The Norman Transcript


December 29, 2007

Griffin has played through frustration

Sooners meet West Virginia today

Blake Griffin has shoulders about as broad as the lane he patrols on the basketball court. They’re so big the freshman forward doesn’t mind trying to put the weight of the world on them.

Through 12 games and about five times as many practices, he’s tried to do that each and every day.

“Blake is a perfectionist,” OU coach Jeff Capel said. “He wants to be really good and I think sometimes he feels like he’s letting people down.”

Griffin has experienced the dose of reality every freshman feels when he starts playing big-time college basketball. Handling success is easy for most. They’re accustomed to being the best player on the floor and performing like it on a daily basis. But adjusting to the fact opponents have great athletes, too, and dealing with that frustration, isn’t learned overnight.

Griffin has gone through the valleys as well as the peaks this season.

OU’s last game, a 72-68 victory over Gonzaga in the All-College Classic, was one of his best performances of the season. He scored 15 points and was huge in the paint with 14 rebounds and two blocked shots.

But the most surprising thing is the effort came after OU assistant coach Mark Cline and Capel had a heart-to-heart sit down with Griffin a few days earlier.

The talks, Cline’s verbal and Capel’s in the form of a letter, had nothing to do with Griffin’s effort, attitude or intensity.

“I thought Blake wasn’t having fun,” Capel said. “He looked like he was carrying a heavy burden.”

Griffin laughs about the discussions now. He said it was never a case of not having fun playing. His expectations, however, are unrelenting.

“When you’re not playing as well as you can, it’s not as fun,” Griffin said. “It’s definitely not fun to lose like we did against Stephen F. Austin.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cody adds former champions Maple, Howe as assistants

    A great wrestler doesn’t necessarily make a great wrestling coach. On the other hand, it’s not a bad place to start....

    July 30, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014