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
  • 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

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014