Sitting Griffin would be a good move
Blake Griffin’s status for tonight’s Oklahoma-Kansas basketball game remains unknown, and this might be a Willis Reed moment. Right up until tipoff, fans might keep their eyes glued to the Lloyd Noble Center tunnel, hoping to see their star center walk onto the court.
But sitting Griffin might be the prudent move, even if doctors say he’s OK to play after suffering a concussion Saturday night against Texas.
Concussions are tricky things. We don’t see them much in basketball; they’re a football-centric injury. A turnaround this quick — 48 hours — seems a little hurried to try to get a player back on the court.
Jeff Capel on Sunday talked about Griffin’s future and how that’s the paramount consideration in this discussion. But this OU team’s future favors extreme caution with Griffin.
The KU game is huge for all parties. It’s a virtual Big 12 title game. But this team has reason to look far past Big 12 championships. This has been a Final Four contender all season, and in recent weeks the Sooners have served notice that they are good enough to win the NCAA championship.
A loss to Kansas would cripple OU’s Big 12 title hopes but not would not damage, in any way, OU’s national title hopes, if the loss occurs without Griffin. No way would the NCAA seeding committee hold it against the Sooners if they lose without Griffin. But even if it did, it wouldn’t be worth risking Griffin’s health.
Standing on the OU practice court Sunday, the Norman Transcript’s John Shinn made an excellent point. All over the practice court hang banners for OU’s basketball success. At this time, Shinn said, those banners (pointing to a Final Four proclamation) are a lot more important than those banners (pointing to a Big 12 flag).
That’s true. As much fun as they are to win, and as much pride as they instill, winning a Big 12 basketball championship pales in comparison to the NCAA Tournament, the defining event in any season.
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