A night of bleary-eyed basketball
Wednesday was one of those basketball nights when you just couldn’t take it all in. Only the OSU men had the night off, having taken the previous night off down in Austin. Anyway, Wednesday night, the OU women hosted Iowa State, the OU men were at Baylor, the OSU women hosted Baylor and the Thunder was in the Pacific Northwest, three hours south of Seattle.
Thankfully, the OSU-Baylor women’s game wasn’t televised, or my DVR would have exploded. But the other three games, I recorded and watched from opening tip to final buzzer. A few thoughts:
* For all the excitement over Jeff Capel, he’s got one question to answer that could make or break his sanity status. What was he thinking, letting Juan Pattillo sit out more than half the season? Pattillo has NBA ability, and the Sooners might not have won without him at Baylor.
Pattillo had 14 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. He blocks shots and makes his foul shots, which is a rare combination in a ballplayer.
I saw Steve Richardson the other night at the Thorpe Banquet. Richardson once was the college basketball writer for the Dallas Morning News but now is executive director of the Football Writers Association of America. Richardson told me years ago that the teams that do well in March have great forwards. Big, rangy, talented guys. It’s a theory with a certain amount of sense, since everyone has good guards. Well, with Pattillo and Blake Griffin, OU has a frontcourt perhaps second to none.
* I’m afraid Taylor Griffin is going to be the odd man out. He’ll probably keep starting, but Taylor only played 19 minutes at Baylor. As the competition gets better, Pattillo will play more and more.
* I don’t like the OU lineup of both Griffins with Pattillo. I think it hurts the Sooners defensively (Pattillo on the perimeter doesn’t thrill me) and offensively (Taylor Griffin on the perimeter doesn’t thrill me). The strength of this OU team is it usually has three 3-point shooters on the outside, and Super Ox down low.
* If Blake Griffin wants me to get really excited, with now or as an NBA rookie, he’ll start making foul shots. He was 6-of-12 in Waco and is hovering at less than 60 percent. That could drive the whole state crazy for the next decade.
* Strange game. The Paris sisters combined to make 14 of 19 shots, score 38 points and grab 24 rebounds. Point guard Danielle Robinson was excellent, too, with 14 points and four assists. And yet this was a two-point game with 4:31 left, before OU pulled away for a 58-49 victory.
I blame Iowa State. They slowed the game and didn’t let OU get any 3-pointers (only three attempted). So that meant both teams were milking clock, since the Sooners were working for a shot.
* Bill Fennelly is a heck of a coach.
* Amanda Thompson has lost the ability to disappoint me. She had zero points and three rebounds in 22 minutes against Iowa State. For three years, I’ve waited for her to blossom, and now I know it’s not going to happen. She’ll occasionally have a good game in which she displays amazing athletic ability, but for the most part, she’s a role player who you hope won’t beat you.
* I assume everyone realizes that Sherri Coale’s bench isn’t much. Past Nyeshia Stevenson, the Sooners don’t really have anyone you want to put in the game against a good foe. Carlee Roethlisberger? Jasmine Hartman? Jenny Vining? The versatility of Stevenson and Thompson (there I go again) means Coale can generally get by with just six. Which is a good thing. She’s going to have to.
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