The bad news of Juan Pattillo being kicked off the team this week shouldn’t linger too long.
That’s because the Sooners have the No. 6-ranked incoming recruiting class, according to ESPN.com.
Said ESPN, “Four ESPNU 100 players, two of whom are McDonald’s All-Americans, will help soften the blow of Blake Griffin’s early departure from Norman. Center Keith Gallon (Houston/Oak Hill Academy) and PG Tommy Mason-Griffin (Houston/Madison) are the headliners for OU; the duo will be counted upon to be productive from day one. Gallon, at 6-9 and 300 pounds, can score inside, face up to the arc and is a physical rebounding presence. The 5-10 Mason-Griffin is a complete point guard because he can handle, pass and shoot with NBA range. He also is strong enough to handle the contact as a freshman in the Big 12 at 190 pounds. Coach Jeff Capel also added a big-time wing shooter and zone buster in Steve Pledger (Chesapeake, Va./Atlantic Shores). Bookend power forward Andrew Fitzgerald (Owings Mills, Md./Brewster Academy) is a physical scorer on the blocks and a deft offensive rebounder. Powerful rebounder and finisher Kyle Hardrick (Oklahoma City/Putnam City) brings the effort and intensity.”
(To see more recruiting analysis from ESPN, click here. Other notable rankings, Kentucky No. 1, Texas No. 4, Kansas No. 5, Oklahoma State No. 10).
I expect Mason-Griffin and Gallon to be instant starters. With Pattillo gone, Fitzgerald could work his way into the starting lineup as well.
That would leave a starting line up of:
SG Willie Warren
SF Tony Crocker
You won’t win in December with a team like that. But in March, if the youth-movement Sooners gel around superstar Willie Warren, look out, perhaps even for another deep run into the NCAA Tournament.
By Jake Trotter