By DAVID UBBEN, Staff Writer Published: December 17, 2009
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/> Almost all his scholarship offers came from nearby schools on the East Coast, jostling for position on the player ESPN ranked the No. 21 shooting guard in America.

Pledger only seriously considered Wake Forest and Georgetown, but he couldn’t help his interest in the offer from Capel.

But if he was going to leave his family in Virginia, he’d need a new one.

"Oklahoma was just a family atmosphere,” Pledger said. "I thought I could get better here more than any other place.”




Pledger hit eight of his first 11 3-pointers at Oklahoma, counting an exhibition debut.

He’s cooled off since, hitting about 40 percent of his attempts this season, but he has already hit at least four treys in three games.

"Steven’s a guy I would have loved to have had on our team last year with the way he shoots the ball, because of how much attention Blake got,” Capel said.

Not since playing on the defense-optional AAU circuit has Pledger gotten his shot off this easily.

"As Tiny starts to develop and get better inside, it could possibly make things even easier for him,” Capel said. "Then Steven will become even more important for us.”

The freshman already plays just over a half per game off the bench, but when he’s on the floor, his higher-profile teammates distract defenses long enough for Pledger to unleash his still-improving Ray Allen impersonation.

"I love the role,” Pledger said. "(Capel) tells me he brought me here to shoot, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

That’s the only way Pledger can prove his coach was right about those feet.



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