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Berry Tramel


Berry Tramel chats NCAA pace-of-play change, Marcus Smart's return and Pastagate

staff reports Published: February 21, 2014
NewsOK Sports 10:42 a.m. Plenty to talk about today. Thunder-Heat. Marcus Smart's return. Bret Bielema's uncomfortable comments. Berry Tramel will be on at 11 a.m., so get those questions in now.
Berry Tramel 11:00 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started.
Billy Bob 11:00 a.m. Have you ever heard comments any more ridiculous than the one's we just heard from the Arkansas coach, or do you not agree with me that they were ridiculous?
Berry Tramel 11:01 a.m. You're talking about Bret Bielema's theory that a Cal player's death is attributable to uptempo football. He might have some ground to stand on. But I don't know what it is. I thought the player died during a training run. I don't really understand the correlation. Bielema said he has a hard time getting a beleaguered player out of the game. I think that's nonsense. I see players go to the ground all the time in an obvious manuever to slow down the game. If players do that when they're NOT hurt, why can't a player do it when he is hurting?
-M 11:02 a.m. Please let the OSU losing streak come to an end...
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. It would be nice. If the Cowboys don't beat Tech on Saturday, you wonder when it will end. I mean, OSU goes to TCU on Monday night, but the way this season is going, the Frogs could win. Now, if OSU could win Saturday, then beat TCU, they've got a little momentum going for when Kansas comes to Stillwater a week from Saturday.
Brant 11:03 a.m. Last night's game exemplified why the Thunder needed Westbrook back. KD played heavy minutes while Westbrook was gone and has looked tired lately. The Thunder need a fresh and focused KD for the playoffs. It would be great if KD won MVP but a Championship is the Thunder's goal.
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. Well said. You're right. Durant is gassed. Westbrook will provide all kinds of benefits and soon. Now, that doesn't mean OKC is in position to beat Miami. The Heat showed last night that it still has the Thunder's number.
Orange Boy 11:04 a.m. This new OL Coach for OSU - He has coached at some big-time schools - but has he also been fired from every one of those coaching jobs? If so, why would Gundy go with a reject?
Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. I don't know. I don't know if Connelly has been fired from more than Arizona State, but I know he was fired from ASU and was coaching high school last season. So that's a strange hire. Maybe the guy can coach. We'll have to see. But it was strange.
harry man 11:05 a.m. well is OKC fans seeing parts of the thunder team that has been hidden? With a week off can really hurt a team. LA Clippers sunday...see what happens..
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. A week off can hurt a team, though the Thunder wasn't playing well when the break occurred. OKC needed some rest. Unfortunately, the guy who needed the most, Durant, didn't really get it. All-Star weekend is a whirlwind for all-stars.
Crimson Jesus 11:06 a.m. Slow start again for the Thunder. Is that going to come back and bite them come playoff time. Seems like they've made a habit of starting slowly.
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. Especially against the Heat. In what I consider the biggest game in Thunder history, Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Miami jumped to a 15-2 lead. Or something like that. Then held on for a tight victory. Win that game, and who knows how the rest of the series goes. Slow starts have continued to be a problem.
Just Saying 11:07 a.m. I think Marcus Smart may be better off as a 10 or 12 pick rather than a 1 or 2. He may lose a few million but he will get to play with a better team.
Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. And not face as much pressure. I agree with you completely. Smart is better off at 10 or 12. However, that doesn't mean he was better off returning to school. This season has been a disaster. the key to this decision is make a decision and then make it the right one. Smart made a decision and then made it the wrong one.
Galileo 11:08 a.m. Berry, about Bielema and player safety in general. I don't think the pace of the game is the problem. It's the change from a game that was designed to be played near the line of scrimmage in a "scrum" manner to the current game that is so spread out that too many hits are happening in open space by defensive back and linebackers who have a running start. What do you think about rules changes that would reduce the spreading of players all over the field? Why not do something with hash marks or zones that limit how many players can line up wide. Any ideas?
Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. You raise a good point, but you're also advocating artificial elements to change the game. That's always dicey. What we've seen are more rules for behavior -- striking, illegal contact, those kinds of things -- than rules for structure. It's a serious debate and one that won't go away. Football in many ways is under siege.
Versace 11:10 a.m. Any word on new uniforms for OU football?
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. No. But I've got to believe we'll see some tinkerings. Not with colors, but with styles, and maybe just for special occasions. Sometimes, you can't even tell who's playing anymore.
Floyd 11:12 a.m. Did anyone on the Thunder look good last night?
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. I would say Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones were the only guys who came close to their standard. I mean, even Nick Collison looked lost. I liked Jeremy Lamb's and Derek Fisher's aggressiveness, but their shots were off. Everyone was just out of sorts. But I thought Jackson stabilized things in the first quarter and was solid and aggressive throughout, even though his shot didn't fall.
Brant 11:13 a.m. The Thunder don't necessarily need Perkins' defense against the Heat and the Heat have problems with Indiana's big lineup. Why not start Adams and pound the ball inside to him until the Heat show that they can stop it?
Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. That's an interesting question. The answer, I'm sure, is that Perk guards Bosh -- and does a decent job -- but no way could Adams guard Bosh. But you're right in that Adams absolutely could make the Heat pay for going small. No way does Miami want Bosh trying to keep Adams off the block. Of course, the Heat might just switch LeBron onto Adams. LeBron probably could block out Adams.
Byron Houston 11:14 a.m. Does OSU make the NCAA's when it's all said and done?
Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. Not in basketball. I don't see it. The Cowboys are 4-9 in the Big 12. 16-10 overall. They've played poorly for more than a month. If OSU finishes halfway strong, 3-2 or something, to even make it a debate, then the Cowboys still are 7-11 in the Big 12 (which is a no-good to the committee) and 19-12 going into the Big 12 Tournament. I think OSU has to finish 8-10, get to 20-11, win that first-round game in Kansas City, play well in the next game against Kansas or beat Texas or OU, then take their chances. I don't think 3-2 gets it done.
Galileo 11:16 a.m. True, adding artificial elements are always quite dicey. But structural alignments are at least measurable, as opposed to judgement calls on player behavior (striking and targeting). Talk about dicey. There is no easy answer but I think the combination of larger, stronger players coupled with the spreading of the field is a big factor.
Berry Tramel 11:18 a.m. Oh, you're right. No doubt. I just think it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Few teams spread out for half a century, and when they finally did, it was only a player or two. But now, everyone is spread out. Here's an idea. How about trimming the width of the field. Go from 160 feet wide to 140 feet wide. That would make the ground easier to cover for the defense, would turn the game back closer to the scrum-based game you mentioned. In the same way that basketball actually needs a bigger court because everyone is so much bigger and faster, but maybe football needs a smaller field for the same reason.
Byron Houston 11:19 a.m. So, if they don't make the Big Dance you have to assume they get rid of Ford, crazy contract or not. Say that happens, throw some names out there you think they take a look at...
Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. I don't see how you can fire Ford if the payoff is in the neighborhood of $2 million. Basketball once was a money maker at OSU. You had to have success. Now, basketball is more a sense of pride. Football carries the freight. But anyway, I have no idea where OSU would turn. I need to start researching it.
dr. el prez 11:20 a.m. Berry, how many empty seats and overall indifference to the program will Mike Holder and Boone Pickens accept before addressing the potentially expensive buyout of Travis Ford? Does Ford get a free pass this season if O State fails to make the Dance, or is it a certainty he gets at least one or two more seasons beyond this one?
Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. I think Ford will be back. That contract is too stiff. Indifference to the program bothers Holder, but I don't know that Boone cares all that much. I mean, he wants to win, but people who think he'll pony up another huge check just to pay off a basketball coach, I think that's misguided. Boone gave OSU a ton of money to have a fighting chance, and OSU has used that money to produce quality football. But money to fire a basketball coach? I don't see it.
Trent 11:22 a.m. NCAA sedd for the Sooners?
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. Let's see. I'd say 5-6-7 right now. Finish strong, high side of that, with even a chance at a four with really strong wins. Finish weak, low side. OU I still think is headed for a second-place Big 12 finish, which would strength the Sooner resume.
Luke 11:23 a.m. # 5 in country with talks of final 4 to NIT and disaster of a season. Ford needs to go. Agree?
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. I think it would be best if OSU could make a change, just to erase all the negativity. But I don't see how OSU can make a change, because of the contract. So I'd work to make things better in other ways. Look for ways to reinvigorate the fan base. Look for ways to improve. Ford is actually very good with people. At least from my experience. If he's alienated the fans beyond the W-L record, then I think that's correctable.
Guest 11:25 a.m. I know the Pacer are a better matchup an the Thunder would have a better chance of winning a title if Indy was the foe instead of Miami, but beating the Heat would be a lot more satisfying. Am I crazy? The Finals would be a war and I think far more competitive than last time, and sure he Thunder could come up short, but I want to see OKC Miami. Both team have won on the others home floor with the home team not playing well both times so I don't think you can take a lot ou of either matchup
Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. I don't think you can take a lot out of either matchup. But I think you can take a lot out of the last eight matchups. Seven wins by the Heat. With largely the same rosters. Certainly the same core players. So yes, you're crazy. Much better to get the right matchup than some sense of satisfaction over beating the HEat.
Brant 11:26 a.m. Do you know where I could get some of that pasta from pastagate? It is getting close to lunch time and Ikard made it sound like some good grub.
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. Ikard is pulling our leg. Banquet pasta is no way to eat.
Galileo 11:27 a.m. I like the idea of narrowing the field. It accomplishes the same as my idea but it eliminates the enforcement problem. It also preserves the 100 yard gridiron length tradition. Also easy an inexpensive to implement because it doesn't require construction. Added benefit is it allows more space on the sidelines. Both OSU and OU's narrow sideline dilemma solved!
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. Man, we are solving the world's problems right here on this chat. Two completely different problems, solved by one simple change. Of course, at a place like Kansas, where the football field is surrounded by that old track, the fans would be half a mile from the action. Not that anyone at KU would care.
dennis 11:28 a.m. Favorite Heat player? Least favorite Heat?
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. Favorite? Chris Bosh. I used to not like him because he plays with that mouthpiece during games and looks all evil. But in reality, he's a very agreeable guy to interview. Really enjoyed chatting with him last night. Least favorite? Dwyane Wade. Not all that enamored with a guy who splits with his wife (maybe for good reasons, I'm not saying one way or the other), has a big custody suit in which I assume Wade had the world's best lawyers, then writes a book about fatherhood. Spare me.
Byron Houston 11:31 a.m. Mount Rushmore of Pasta?
Byron Houston 11:32 a.m. Who has the better basketball program overall OU or OSU, outside of arenas. GIA vs Loyd Noble isn't even close, but that's the architects fault.
Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. I did my Rushmore list of all kinds of things yesterday. You can read it here.
I had my four favorite Italian joints on the list. No. 1 is Garozzo's in KC, followed by Pete's Place in Kreb, The Grotto in Scottsdale and Charlie Gitto's in St. Louis.
Byron Houston 11:32 a.m. Who has the better basketball program overall OU or OSU, outside of arenas. GIA vs Loyd Noble isn't even close, but that's the architects fault.
Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. Oops, got those out of order. Sorry. But it's a good question. OU has had more sustained, consistent success. OSU has had more epic periods, thanks to Iba and Sutton. But it's close on both regards. The difference historically is that when OSU got down, it stayed down for near a quarter century. When OU was down ('60s), it didn't stay down that long.
Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. OK, super questions. I appreciate it. I've got to go now. Talk to you next week.