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Berry Tramel: Power Lunch Chat transcript, July 31, 2012

Berry Tramel answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at
by Berry Tramel Modified: July 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm •  Published: July 31, 2012

Will Amath M'Baye be the push that gets OU back to the dance? Kruger usually makes a big jump during his second year at schools.

I think quite possibly so. M'Baye sounds like the real deal. OU wasn't awful last season. M'Baye might be enough to get OU back to the Big Dance. Sure would be a big boost to the program to return to the NCAAs.

Give us a few of your favorite OU football/basketball nicknames of all time.

Here's a few: Raymond “Sugar Bear” Hamilton, The Boz, “Bugger” Paul Parker, Dewey “Snorter” Luster, Indian Jack Jacobs, Gilford “Cactus Face” Duggan, Leon “Mule Train” Heath, Ed “Wahoo” McDaniel.

Berry, what are your thoughts on Wes Lunt? Can he get the job done?

Intriguing. I don't know if he can get the job done. But it's going to be fascinating to watch. Obviously, he's got the tools, else Gundy wouldn't have named him. I would guess that Lunt plays well, not great, and is even better next season.

Berry, heard the news about the OU players not going to be able to make it. That's a big blow not what we needed to hear right now. This is starting to look like another 2011 -- not good. How much of a impact do you think this will have on this season?

Not all that much. I mean, I don't know if Latu was going to start. OU's got a lot of receiving prospects, so who knows if they'll miss Gardner. Remember, guys are in junior college for a reason.

What did you think about all the news the OU football program received yesterday? How will this affect the upcoming season?

I think it's unfortunate that the kid from Florida de-committed. And it was bad news that the kid from Duncan can't play anymore. That's awful for him. But let's not pretend that Jamarkus McFarland and Gabe Ikard were lost.

Berry, considering how strong Texas' defense and running game will be, if David Ash is able to perform as well as he did against Cal in the Holiday Bowl, shouldn't Texas be the favorite to win the Big 12? I think everyone is underestimating just how strong the Texas D will be.

No. Cal in the Holiday Bowl? Texas won 21-10 against a mediocre team. Is that the reason to believe in UT? I don't know how good Texas' running game will be. The O-line has been so-so for several years. But I agree that the Texas defense will be good.

Why is OU decreasing their emphasis on Texas recruiting?

I don't think they are. I just think OU is looking all over the nation. Same with Oklahoma. It's a numbers game, and if you recruit a kid from Florida, that's one less Oklahoma or Texas kid who could get a scholarship.

I'm sure you are aware that a local, social blog came across your old OU student ID picture? With all due respect, it is funny.

It is that.

If the Lakers add Dwight Howard to Kobe, Nash, and Pau, are they prohibitive favorites over the Thunder in the West? Would either team be favored over the Heat?

I think the Lakers probably would be favored over the Thunder. But it would be wildly interesting.

As Gundy had a Texas/OU problem ( and still might to a certain degree), does Bob Stoops have a Texas Tech problem now?

Great question. Stoops hasn't won in Lubbock since 2003, and now the Red Raiders are winning in Norman. The game Oct. 6 looms as huge. The Sooners will be tested.

When do you think the Harden and Ibaka situation will be over? As soon as they get back from the Olympics or during the season nearing the trade deadline?

Neither. The key deadline is Oct. 31. The Thunder can extend their contracts until the season starts. So that's the big question. Both Thabo and Nick signed extensions just before the start of the season.

What do you think is the best solution to OKC situation on Harden, Ibaka, and Maynor? Sign them all? Let someone go? If trading is the solution who shud be traded and for whom?

I wouldn't trade. No reason to trade. I would try to sign Harden and Ibaka for a total of $20 million. If that fails, probably let Ibaka go. I would hate it, but I would do it.

WVU is getting a lot of attention. But if you watched the last year they struggled in a lot of area (running the ball and OL play). The Orange Bowl was the only time the playe a complete game.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist and Reporter
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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