The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

November 12, 2010

Sooners will step on hardwood tonight without glitz of marquis players

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s basketball season begins at 7 p.m. tonight against Coppin State at Lloyd Noble Center, but it’s more than the start of new basketball season.

Basketball is a team sport and the Sooners aspire to be the epitome of that this season.

“I’ve always been a big believer that if your team is winning, the team is the star,” Capel said. “I know guys standout individually — especially when you have someone who is exceptional. I’ve always been very into the team being the star.

“This is different, but every year is different and it’s a different kind of challenge.”

The challenge for the Sooners is entering a season when it doesn’t know who its best player is. The likely choice is senior guard Cade Davis. He’s the remaining link to OU’s Elite Eight team in 2009.

But there’s no preseason player of the year candidate like Blake Griffin two years ago or Willie Warren last season. There’s no McDonald’s All-Americans like Tommy Mason-Griffin and Tiny Gallon, who were expected to step in as freshmen and carry a team.

The Sooners had varying levels of success with their preseason stars. Griffin carried OU to great heights in his two seasons. Last season, Warren, Mason-Griffin and Gallon failed in that department as OU slipped to 13-18.

They never embraced their roles.

This season it is about putting five guys on the court who can play a certain role and the belief that the sum is greater than its parts.

“Everyone has to do what they to do to help us win,” forward C.J. Washington said. “No one cares about being stars here. The only thing that matters is winning around here.”

Washington was a juco All-American last season after averaging 19.3 points and a school-record 13.0 rebounds for Connors State College. A preseason groin injury has limited him in practice. Whatever his health, he’ll have to find a role and thrive in it for OU to succeed. He’s no different than anyone else on the floor tonight.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • Sooners demolish Longhorns in series finale

    Disappointed. Confused. Shocked. Embarrassed....

    April 20, 2014

  • NCAA Womens Gymnastics Sooners vault to program’s first women’s gymnastics national championship

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — It’s probably not the way Oklahoma coach K.J. Kindler drew it up. Probably, in her mind’s eye, when she saw the program she’s taken to the NCAA championships so many different times finally claim national supremacy, she ...

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • OU gets rare hot start, but fails to finish in loss to WVU

    A slow start wasn’t Oklahoma’s problem on Saturday. Perhaps that issue has been rectified. What was evident after its 9-5 loss to West Virginia is it has more problems than solutions....

    April 20, 2014

  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Much riding on Red River rivalry series

    Coach Patty Gasso said before last weekend’s road trip to Baylor that the Big 12 championship would run through Waco. The Sooners took care of that, taking two of three from the Bears to take control of the title race....

    April 17, 2014