Football season is now under three weeks away and as much as we're anticipating September 3rd Oklahoma fans are also enjoying getting to know new men's basketball coach Lon Kruger. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Coach Kruger and discuss the upcoming season, the NCAA and if he enjoys football or not.
CCM: You've done a really good job at reaching out to the fans since arriving at OU. What has the response been like?
Coach Kruger: "The response has been great. This program belongs to the university and its fans and we want them to be able to take ownership of it"
CCM: Each coach has their own style of play or system that they use. What can OU fans expect to see from your squad?
Coach Kruger: "Our players will dictate a lot of that. We want to do what it takes to give them the best opportunity to succeed on both ends of the floor."
CCM: In Coach Kruger's perfect world what would we see?
Coach Kruger: "That's another thing that will be dictated by our players. We want to be able to be able to be in control on both ends of the floor and we want to be good at rebounding. Rebounding is crucial for us."
CCM: Do you expect any more punishment from NCAA?
Coach Kruger: "Our self-imposed penalties were in cooperation with the NCAA, so from that standpoint I'm comfortable but there aren't any guarantees"
CCM: I know you can't talk about recruits specifically, but what types of players are you currently targeting - big guys, point guards, etc?
Coach Kruger: "We have three scholarships available for 2012 and we're going after the best available guys. We'd like to get bigger but that doesn't mean that's the only direction we're looking."
CCM: Romero Osby has been quoted that he wants to be a leader on this Oklahoma squad. Has he gained the respect of his teammates and are you willing to give that to a first year player although a transfer?
Coach Kruger: "The players know who a leader is. When guys get out on the court it becomes obvious who they're looking to. Romero has worked really hard and wants to be that guy. I think the other players are responding well to that."
CCM: You are known for turning around teams. How is Oklahoma a different monster, if at all, than the other schools you have resurrected?
Coach Kruger: "Oklahoma is a good brand and the leadership here, from Joe Castiglione to President Boren is great. This is a place where things can come together and that leadership is a tremendous asset"
CCM: You've had a successful career already and many people though that you would end your career in Las Vegas. What was the draw that brought you to Oklahoma?
Coach Kruger: "Once again you look at Oklahoma and it's a well-known brand. I thought I would end my career in Las Vegas but when Joe (Castiglione) called it was very intriguing. I really enjoy being back in the Midwest and am looking forward to coaching in the Big 12."
CCM: Well, you may be the basketball coach but since this is Oklahoma I've got to ask, are you a football fan?
Coach Kruger: "I am. Bobby has a great thing going here and my wife and I are looking forward to going to the games. We're going to try and bring our recruits in to watch as well. It's going to be a lot of fun."