Bedlam nuggets from Ford, Capel & Eaton
The Bedlam game Saturday was excellent basketball. Well played. Ferociously contested. A couple of epic performances. James Anderson scored 37 points, the most by a Cowboy in Bedlam since Leroy Combs 28 years ago, in an OSU rout at Lloyd Noble Center, a game I also covered. Blake Griffin had 33 points and 14 rebounds against the Cowboys, a feat most amazing in that it’s not looked upon as not that amazing.
Anyway, let’s get to some Bedlam leftovers.
* OSU coach Travis Ford said Griffin might be “the best player I’ve ever gone against as a player or coach.” That’s heady, heady praise. Ford played with Jamal Mashburn. He played against Christian Laettner and Shaquille O’Neal.
Here’s what I would say. Earlier in the year, I committed the heresy of suggesting that Griffin was just as dominant as had been Wayman Tisdale and Alvan Adams. It’s possible that I undershot Blake on that one.
* Ford said some interesting things about basketball in general that everyone should know and probably does know but might not remember as often as they should. “It wears on you when the other team is shooting 3-footers, and you’re shooting 3-pointers,” Ford said. “We’re doing everything we can to get shots off, because we don’t have Blake.”
That’s the complete truth. Easy shots are the key to winning basketball. OSU shot not only 3-pointers, but in-traffic 2-pointers. OU did, too, of course, but Griffin’s presence allows the Sooners to generally get easier shots.
“It’s a lot easier to score two feet above the basket,” Ford said. Excellent point. Shooting down at the basket is done AT the basket. And that’s the difference a Blake Griffin makes.
* OU coach Jeff Capel said this is “fun time.” He meant March. “The pressure,” Capel said. “I loved the pressure when I played. It’s championship time.” That’s what I love about the conference tournament. Sure, the Sooners — and Missouri and Kansas and probably some others — are in the NCAA Tournament no matter what they do in Oklahoma City, and the Big 12 Tournament performance can only impact their status so much. But the tournament setting itself prepares teams for the win-or-leave town format.
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