Toby Rowland introduced Bob Stoops to the Sooner Caravan crowd Wednesday evening as “the man who singlehandedly shut up the SEC.”
Stoops, who made waves last summer when he questioned the SEC’s overall strength as a football conference, led the Sooners to a surprising 45-31 Sugar Bowl upset of two-time defending national champion Alabama several months later.
During a trip to Bristol, Conn., last week, Stoops participated in ESPN’s “car wash,” during which he appeared on several of the network’s television and radio programs and defended his comments about the SEC. Stoops also specifically mentioned Texas A&M’s weak nonconference schedule on one program.
“I'm just stating facts,” Stoops said Wednesday. “I'm not lying about anything, making anything else.
“Every now and then, a few things need to be pointed out.”
STOOPS CONFIDENT AFTER STRONG SUMMER
Stoops also told the Sooner Caravan crowd that he’s “never seen Jerry Schmidt and his strength staff so happy.”
The Sooners recently wrapped up Schmidt’s grueling summer workout regimen and begin fall practices early Thursday morning.
“That to me is a big barometer on how we should do,” Stoops said of Schmidt’s demeanor. “We've got a lot of guys returning. We've got a few spots here and there to cover, but we have guys coming up.”
Stoops then took an opportunity to hammer the media for skepticism about the OU defensive line at this time a year ago. The Sooners had lost several key contributors up front and returned very little experience at the positions, but ended up being successful with guys such as Geneo Grissom, Charles Tapper, Jordan Phillips and Jordan Wade.
“Remember, we had no D-line,” Stoops said, repeating a line he’s used no less than 10 times since the Sugar Bowl. “According to all those media guys out there and experts who cover us, and we ended up having one of the better ones in the country.
“This year, we'll have one of the best. Careful what you're sold on; it's not always very accurate.”
KEVIN KRUGER HEADS TO NORTHERN ARIZONA
Oklahoma men’s basketball graduate assistant Kevin Kruger, the son of Sooners coach Lon Kruger, has left to take an assistant coaching job at Northern Arizona.
“Excited for Kevin,” Lon Kruger said. “It’s a neat opportunity. Jobs are hard to get. Anytime you can get on the road and gain that experience, working with Jack Murphy at Northern Arizona is a neat opportunity. Jack does a great job.”
Kevin Kruger helped lead UNLV to the 2007 Sweet Sixteen as a player, averaging 13.5 points and 5.1 assists per game as a senior after transferring from Arizona State to play for his father.
HIELD HEADING TO MEXICO
It’s been a busy summer for OU junior-to-be Buddy Hield.
It’s about to get busier.
Hield is heading to represent the Bahamas in FIBA’s CentroBasket Championship beginning Friday in Nayarit, Mexico.
Kruger called the selection a “great honor.”
“Guys are going to play regardless so when it’s organized competition, with referees and fans, it’s a little bit additional experience that they’re getting,” Kruger said. “Buddy loves to play of course, and he’ll have a great time.”
The 10-team, week-long tournament features teams from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
Hield also participated in the invitation-only camps of Kevin Durant and LeBron James this summer.
"Trevor, he's working on being the man. He's not the man yet. We've had a lot of real ones."
Bob Stoops on Trevor Knight's ascension following his performance in the Sugar Bowl.