So these are the dog days of summer.
Hardly dull days, not for the OU men’s basketball team.
Lots of news. Good news.
* Item: Sooners release non-conference schedule, which could feature as many as 11 teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament. There’s some good games, some tests, too. But for a team expected to challenge in the Big 12 and nationally, it’s nothing that can’t be navigated. Games at Arkansas and Tulsa are intriguing. USC visits Norman, yet it’s far from the O.J. Mayo-led Trojan squad that beat OU in SoCal last year. The highlight of the sked, however, is the NIT Season Tip-Off, which should send the Sooners to Madison Square Garden around the Thanksgiving Holiday. OU could win the thing.
* Item: Blake Griffin is named to Blue Ribbon Basketball Yearbook’s Preseason All-America Team. Get used to the honors. While the Blue Ribbon nod is Griffin’s first, there will surely be more to come. He is, after all, projected to be the first player taken in next year’s NBA Draft by some.
* Item: Sooners get a commitment from Houston point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin. This is a big commit, and not just because Mason-Griffin is the No. 5 point prospect in the country according to ESPN.com. It’s big because Jeff Capel’s been coveting a standout point man for his offense. And now, apparently, he has one. And he has a key piece to plug in if/when Griffin leaves for the NBA after this season.
– By John Helsley