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 NewsOK.com/sports.
by Berry Tramel Modified: July 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm •  Published: July 31, 2012
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West Virginia's offense indeed struggled a decent amount of the time. But the Mountaineers got going late, particularly in that Orange Bowl. I think it will be interesting.

Is it correct to say that the deadline to sign an extension for RFAs this coming season is on October 31? otherwise they become available to sign offer sheets from other teams next off season?

Yes. That is correct.

Who do you think has more upside? Ibaka or Harden? And who do you think best fits OKC short term and long term?

Oh, I think Ibaka has the most upside. But I think Harden is the surer deal. Harden is on the U.S. Olympic team, for crying out loud. I like Harden for this reason -- he seems to be a link with Westbrook and Durant. They have a bond that I think is fairly special.

Who are the top three in receptions at OU this year?

Stills, Metoyer, Finch. Let's go in that order.

Will Boone Pickens eventually be labeled as the most significant figure in OK State athletics history? Among the Top 5? After all, football is the face of most athletic programs and most universities.

No. He won't be No. 1. Henry Iba is No. 1. But Boone will rank with Eddie Sutton and Mike Gundy in the top five.

Who is the starting running back by/for Texas?

Malcolm Brown was a good freshman last year, and now the 'Horns have Jonathan Gray, who is supposed to be a stud.

Who are the starting safeties, and who do you see playing the nickel?

For OU? Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris are the safeties. Gabe Lynn looks like the nickle back. Mike Stoops likes them all. If you're talking about OSU, the safeties are Lowe and Cooper. The transfer from Wyoming, Shamiel Gary, might be the nickle. That's what my OSU people say.

Berry, saw your interview with the WVU mascot last week at media day. Personally, some of your best work EVER.

Hey, thanks. I loved the Mountaineer. Clearly he's the No. 1 mascot in the league.

Berry, are the media and fans overestimating how good the Sooners could be? They weren't good at the end of last season and lost a lot on the team.

You make a good point, that OU wasn't great late last year. But the Sooners were still pretty salty until Broyles and Whaley were gone. I think they have the potential to be really good. No reason why OU can't be like Alabama 2011. Disappointing 2010, then comes back strong.

Any chance that suspend OU players will

Play? Yes. I think Jaz Reynolds and Trey Franks and Kameel Jackson will be back soon.

Who are your top 5 favorite NBA players? Not necessarily from a journalist standpoint, but from a fan standpoint. Who do you wanna watch on tv?

Watch on TV? Russell Westbrook. Steve Nash. Kevin Love. Shane Battier. I'll get back to you on the fourth.

I think everybody is over reacting on the Lakers and the possibility of adding Howard. Howard would make them better, but I'm not sure how much better. They have had probably the second best big man in the game, and Bynum can actually hit a free throw which means they can leave him in at the end of games unlike Howard. And don't forget Nash is old. The Lakers would be better, but I think the Thunder is still better

Here's why Howard would help the Lakers immensely. LA is a bunch of old guys who can't guard much anybody anymore. But if Dwight Howard is in the middle of the lane, all of a sudden getting around the old guys like Nash isn't nearly as appealing.

Who is Landry Jones going to throw the ball to? Other than Kenny Stills. I sure hope the running game can be strong.

Trey Metoyer will be a star. And I think Sterling Shepard will be good as a freshman. And like I said, don't be surprised of all or some of the suspended guys are back. And besides, receivers are easy to find.

If Serge cannot be resigned, what do you think about working out a sign and trade with Cleveland and get Varajou next summer?

We'll, I'm a huge fan of Varejao. He's just about my favorite NBA player. I love the South Americans. But I'd have to study the financials to figure out if that's a good idea.

Who is next assistant coach at OU/OSU to get a head coaching job in football?

Todd Monken. If OSU has another good year, Monken will get hired somewhere. Colorado, someplace like that.

How would the Lakers be favorites over the Thunder? Kobe has never played with a dominate ball handler. Dwight will help with pick and roll defense against Russell Westbrook and get some more rebounds but he's not going to add a whole lot offensively. Kobe suddenly does not look dominate like he once did. They cannot stop KD, Russ, and Harden. I think your opinion is definitely interesting and worth looking at but I have to disagree. How many games would you say it goes?

Oh, I think OKC would win the series. But I think the Lakers would be favored going into the season. The Nash/Kobe deal definitely bears watching. But Howard is the league's most dominant defender. That makes a huge difference.

Speaking of Roy Finch, what type of roll will he play for the Sooners this season?

He'll play a bunch. If Whaley is healthy, Finch won't get a ton of carries, but he'll get some, and he'll get a punch of passes, too. I look for Finch to have a big year.

Every four years we are reminded that maybe the NCAA isn't so bad. The IOC is like the NCAA on steroids

The NCAA definitely gets a bad rap. The IOC is a total mess.

Bold prediction, The Braves will win the World Series this year, your thoughts?

Is Jeff Blauser still the Atlanta shortstop?

With so many blogs, etc., what Big 12 media members do you respect and follow for news and rumors?

Oh, I read Kirk Bohls in Austin. Blair Kerkhoff in Kansas City. Those are probably the top two.

Berry, whats the coolest job in sports for youngsters, NFL ball boy, NCAA football assistant equipment manager (or student equipment manager), MLB bat boy, or NBA ball boy?

Any of the three except NCAA assistant equipment manager. That's a thankless job, with lots of grunt work.

If Texas goes 7-5 again and still has not decided on a QB, how restless will they be with Mack Brown?

They ought to be storming the bastille.

When is OU going to get that dominate corner? Like a first round pick. Like a Marurice Claiborne, or a Tyrone Mathieu? I know those are SEC type guys but OU needs a dominate corner, I do love Hurst and Fleming was a heck of a player so don't get the wrong idea.

Well, I don't know. When is Florida or Ohio State or USC going to get one? There aren't 50 running around. OU has been very good at corner. Fleming was excellent and Hurst is good. Cornerback is the least of OU's problems.

Hey, great questions. Talk to you guys next week.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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