The Norman Transcript

Sports

October 30, 2012

Veterans counting on newcomers to push team forward

NORMAN — It was not what Sam Grooms said so much as how he said it Monday afternoon at Oklahoma men’s basketball media day.

Grooms was asked what the Sooner newcomers bring to practice.

There are a couple of walk-ons— C.J. Cole and Steven Noworyta — and they’re probably doing a heck of a job, because that is the way of the walk-on. Still, “the newcomers,” really, are freshmen Isaiah Cousins, Buddy Heild and Je’Lon Hornbeak and preseason Big 12 newcomer of the year Amath M’Baye.

This is what Grooms said:

“It’s a lot. They bring intensity every day. Sometimes, when you’re younger, you want to do things to impress the coaches and they do that every day.”

But the telling part of the moment was this big smile Grooms had as he heard the question and launched into his answer.

It said so much more.

Like it’s hard to keep up with these guys. Like the veterans may have the experience, but they don’t have what these guys have. Like maybe you just have to be there to understand because practice is a completely different deal. It’s different. Things have changed.

If there’s a media day image (or the description of an image) Sooner roundball fans might want to take with them, that’s about as good as it gets. Grooms’ smile gives teeth to the narrative that will be making the rounds this season, the one that has the Sooners headed back to the NCAA tournament.

That was coach Lon Kruger’s message Monday afternoon.

“The opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament is the goal of every player and every team in the Big 12, and that should be our goal, too … That’s a realistic goal and a healthy goal,” he said. “We’re not downplaying that. That’s the goal we want our guys to have every year, and I think this year is more legitimate and more reasonable … This group should have that goal.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Clash tennis Timberwolves win girls’ Clash before boys’ dual ends in a draw

    And Crosstown Clash tennis dominance goes too … Norman North, sort of....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Sooners hoping to keep momentum of marathon victory

    Practice was brief Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Rest was more important than work after what Oklahoma had gone through the previous night....

    April 17, 2014

  • Pistons Thunder Basketball Thunder go all out against Pistons

    OKLAHOMA CITY —  Heading into the final game of the regular season, Oklahoma City coach didn't want to hear anything about a night off. With his team riding a two-game losing streak and fighting for playoff positioning, he treated it like a playoff game.
     

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fuller Westmoore's Fuller signs with Oklahoma Christian

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Tripp Fuller was looking for a school that fit him. One where the Westmoore senior would feel at home at....

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North nearer to filling coaching vacancies

    A host of coaching positions in Norman are open for next year....

    April 17, 2014

  • Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

    MILWAUKEE — Bucks owner Herb Kohl has reached a deal to sell the franchise to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for about $550 million....

    April 17, 2014

  • Hopes high for Negro League stadium comeback

    PATERSON, N.J. — The light touch of a paint roller is enough to dislodge a chunk of plaster from the crumbling walls of Hinchliffe Stadium. Though silent for decades, the former home of several Negro League teams is getting another chance ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Ryu takes early lead in LPGA LOTTE

    KAPOLEI, Hawaii — So Yeon Ryu shot a 4-under 68 on Wednesday to take the lead halfway through a windy first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship. Japan’s Ayako Uehara was one stroke back....

    April 17, 2014

  • Captain Tom teeing it up at RBC Heritage

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Tom Watson wants to take a closer look at American prospects for the Ryder Cup, so the U.S. captain is playing in the RBC Heritage this week....

    April 17, 2014

Facebook