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Chat Transcript: Oklahoma State writer John Helsley talks Joe Wickline, the OSU backcourt and football recruiting

by John Helsley Published: January 21, 2014
NewsOK Sports 11:05 a.m. Greetings, from the home office in Edmond. Sorry for the tardy start, but we'll get to your questions and OT is always a possibility. Here we go...
Guest 11:05 a.m. Is there anything out there yet about the OL position?
NewsOK Sports 11:08 a.m. Not much to report on the OL coaching void. There is no rush, with the recruiting class mostly set and a big visit date over the weekend that solidified many of the commitments. Wickline's spot has been replaced on the road recruiting by a GA, whom the staff really likes, so Gundy can take his time, as he has done in the past. And by doing so, he doesn't have to wreck somebody else's recruiting, potentially.
Ryan 11:08 a.m. Can you provide any more insight into the Wickline V. Gundy story Trammel wrote about yesterday? Do you believe that Gundy wanted Wickline gone before the 2013 season started? Also, any word on Wickline's replacement?
Patrick 11:09 a.m. What is your take on Tramel's somewhat thin premise that there was friction between Wickline and Gundy? Are you hearing anything at all on Wickline's replacement?
Pistolio 11:09 a.m. Comments on Tram's story on the friction between Gundy and Wickline? Was Gundy really going to fire him?
NewsOK Sports 11:12 a.m. Popular topic, so we'll try to handle it with a 3-for-1. Let's start with this: 10 years is a long time to be on one staff. Over time, friction, differences of opinion, etc., often develop. I've heard that was the case with Wickline/Gundy, and it may have intensified with the hiring of Yurcich. I've heard, from credible sources, that friction had heightened, possibly to the point that Gundy may have wanted to nip it in the bud a year ago. This is not a bad reflection on either guy. Hey, the Kardashians could only wish for a 10-year relationship.
cowboy orange 11:12 a.m. Did Marcus Smart do a back flip after the game on Saturday?
NewsOK Sports 11:13 a.m. No, he did not. Neither did Andrew Wiggins.
cowboy orange 11:13 a.m. Has holder and boone tried to buy out of the FSU game to start the year?
NewsOK Sports 11:15 a.m. Not a chance. Sure, the game looks like a much worse matchup now than it did when they signed off. But it's a big ESPN production, already set in AT&T Stadium. They'll take their medicine, or dish it out in the most optimistic of stances. And they'll take their big paycheck. And move on down the road.
cowboy orange 11:15 a.m. So was Wickline calling the plays (as some reported) or was Gundy wanting to fire him and in his doghouse?
NewsOK Sports 11:16 a.m. Wickline hasn't called plays since his days at Delta State in the mid-late '80s. And he won't be the sole play caller at Texas, no matter what you hear.
Guest 11:16 a.m. will there be in suprise recruts that land in Stillwater?
NewsOK Sports 11:17 a.m. Always a chance of it. The Cowboys are in the hunt for Louisiana LB Kenny Young, who would be a great get. They are getting a visit from Jenks standout Stephen Parker. And while indications are that Parker is headed elsewhere, if they get a visit, there's always a chance.
Guest 11:17 a.m. Had you heard the same as Tramel on the desire to fire Wick?
NewsOK Sports 11:19 a.m. I'd heard that things had gotten uncomfortable, yes. And I've had it confirmed from people who would know. I've heard conflicting reports -- and Berry wrote this too -- that it had gotten to the point that Gundy wanted to take action.
Patrick 11:20 a.m. To be 16-1 and ranked No. 8, it sure seems like the women's b-ball team doesn't get much exposure. There haven't been many of their games televised.
NewsOK Sports 11:21 a.m. They are having a great season. And if they continue to progress inside and develop depth there, I think they can really make a strong run in March. A lot of the women's games are booked for TV way too early. And I believe this has hurt the Cowgirls. Hopefully, that will change as they continue to move along as one of the best teams in the Big 12 -- and the nation.
Patrick 11:21 a.m. I know OSU can't comment on the officiating, but what was the general thought on it for the KU game? It seemed pretty poor both ways.
NewsOK Sports 11:23 a.m. Foul trouble completely took the Cowboys out of their game plan in the first half, which was to attack the bigs and pressure the ball. We saw it in the second half and the KU turnovers turned the game around. Back to the question: it was bad both ways, but due to depth, I'm sure OSU felt a lot worse about it than the Jayhawks. I mean, a double foul on a block/charge? C'mon, it's one or the other. Just make the call.
Orange Jesus 11:23 a.m. Are scouts going to stay away from bball games after that story badmouthing Gallagher-Iba came out?
NewsOK Sports 11:25 a.m. I'm not buying it. I mean, if you're the GM of an organization, do you want some other team getting a good player because your scout doesn't like the working conditions in GIA? Baseball scouts find ballplayers in Taloga. They'll analyze OSU players, one way or another. Whether it's regularly in GIA, or on the road or in the tournament, then so be it.
dr. el prez 11:25 a.m. John, several questions this morning. 1 Is Scott Drew the worst bench coach in the Big 12? 2 Is there any validity to Tramel's piece in regards to Gundy wanting to previously fire Joe Wickline? 3 If Gundy had fired Wickline---would Boone have interceded?
NewsOK Sports 11:27 a.m. El Prez....
1) A lot of folks on the inside in the Big 12 believe that. And it's not getting any easier, with Tubby Smith taking over another down program at Texas Tech.
2) Some, yes, as previously mentioned.
3) Boone may have indeed interceded.
Patrick 11:27 a.m. Just looking at "stars", does this look like it could be Gundy's best recruiting class ever?
Guest 11:27 a.m. SO any good recruiting news?
NewsOK Sports 11:30 a.m. It's shaping up as a very strong class. And quietly. Most of the commitments were gained early. Some of them are already on campus, including Mason Rudolph, Tyreek Hill and Devon Thomas, who are premium recruits, some of the best at their positions. But because there's little news -- little room left in the class -- some fans are concerned. The Cowboys did their work early. And they're hoping to close with a few big ones.
Greg G. 11:30 a.m. Do you have any idea on the percentage of plays called by Gundy thourgh out the year versus the number called by Yurich?
NewsOK Sports 11:31 a.m. Impossible for me to say. We always hear things, but until I get it from somebody in the thick of it, I tend to be skeptical. Just being honest.
cowboy orange 11:32 a.m. whats the status with stevie clark? wasn't he arrested several weeks ago? is this another chris Collins type thing, where he will play until he actually goes to the courtroom?
NewsOK Sports 11:33 a.m. Let's see, one was involved in a rape case involving an underage girl.
The other was in a car where weed was found.
Somehow that's the same?
Orange Jesus 11:33 a.m. I don't think the Thunder can get Smart. But what about Markel Brown? The Thunder have a good habit of getting guys later and making them players.
NewsOK Sports 11:35 a.m. I've seen Markel develop his game in some way every year he's been on campus, which shows his willingness to work and be coached. He's a good kid who will fit into a locker room very well. He's a willing defender. Sure, on a lot of levels it's a fit. The question will come down to wants and needs for all teams.
Patrick 11:35 a.m. Early thoughts on men's Bedlam b-ball?
NewsOK Sports 11:36 a.m. Can't wait. Shapes up as a fabulous matchup. And an important one for both teams. Cowboys haven't won in Norman since 2004.
NewsOK Sports 11:38 a.m. Recent, no. But as said before, much of the work was done early. Names to watch: LB Kenny Young, RB; DB Stephen Parker; RB Myles Autry; the Cowboys have also recently jumped into the mix with Georgia safety Kirk Tucker, who was committed to Stanford, but found out his academics weren't up to the school's strict standards.
guest 11:38 a.m. Any recent wins on FB recruiting?
NewsOK Sports 11:38 a.m. Answer, then question
Guest 11:39 a.m. I think the Kansas loss could have a huge affect on this team, but i'm not sure in which you think they will be fired up after the near comeback, or devastated at the letdown?
NewsOK Sports 11:41 a.m. One of this team's strengths is its tough mentality. So I don't see that game lingering. If the halves had been split, maybe. But since they closed strong, I see no concerns.
Chris 11:41 a.m. Is there any silver lining to losing Wick?
NewsOK Sports 11:43 a.m. Well, if there was friction to the point that it was evident on the staff -- and I've heard that was the case -- it's probably best that the two parted ways. Wick is an outstanding OL coach and that's to be feared as he moves on to a Texas program where they have traditionally underachieved on the line. Ideally, he'd have moved on to the ACC or somewhere distant. But there are good OL coaches out there. And Gundy has a strong track record for hiring good coaches.
Sooner Fan 11:44 a.m. I read on ESPN last year that there was a representative from each team in Nomran last year for OU-OSU. So even if they are not making it to GIA, they are deffinitly watching at other places.
NewsOK Sports 11:44 a.m. Bingo.
Patrick 11:44 a.m. Agree Markel has done a great job developing his skills and I've never heard one bad thing about him as a young man, but I thought he had outgrown his emotional outbursts. That second "T" he got really hurt at KU.
NewsOK Sports 11:45 a.m. I'm with you, Patrick. He has done a much better job of controlling his emotions. And that one cost the Cowboys. You'd sure have wanted him on the floor at the end against KU, the way he was shooting. I'm sure Ford will use that T as a reminder.
Greg G. 11:45 a.m. Any news on Spencer going back to Georgia?
NewsOK Sports 11:47 a.m. The Bulldogs hired their D coordinator, from FSU. So I would expect Spencer to remain. Since the passing of his wife, and with two teenage sons, I think it would take a special situation for him to shake up their world again. Georgia, Georgia Tech -- back home where he has family support -- would be the exception.
Cowboys Rule -Chris 11:47 a.m. Just saw Mason Rudolph picked up his 4th star from rivals. Finally. Heard Mason was invited to Under Armour All American game but declined. Scout has us 15 with 7 -4 star players and 1 5 star player Hill. Rivals has us #28 so far. ESPN has us 25 as of today. What are your thoughts on the recruiting class?
NewsOK Sports 11:49 a.m. Rudolph may be one of the most underrated QBs in the country, for the very reason you listed: he declined to attend a lot of the camps hosted or attended by the recruiting services who determine the star ratings. Overall, I think it's a strong class. Not big into the stars. Bigger into evaluating players who both can play and fit what you want, then developing those players. Clearly, the Cowboys have proven to be very good at this.
dr. el prez 11:50 a.m. John, thanx for the answers. At a later time we will have to delve into this Gundy-Boone Dynamic in greater detail.
NewsOK Sports 11:50 a.m. Look forward to it.
NewsOK Sports 11:51 a.m. A lot of Thunder questions on the chat. Appreciate them, but not sure I'm the right guy to field those. My head is pretty much dug into OSU and the college game.
Brian Wick 11:51 a.m. I like the flexibility of the Clark/Forte/Smart backcourt, do you think we see it more?
NewsOK Sports 11:52 a.m. I do, partly because Smart will be asked to play the four spot more. Against teams that don't have strong interiors, or against teams with inferior talent, I can see OSU going small and playing fast. They probably can't afford to do it for extended periods, but I can see it being useful.
SouthTulsaMike 11:53 a.m. When will we see Gary Gaskins play a more prominent role for the Cowboys? Soucek has looked fairly woeful of late.
NewsOK Sports 11:55 a.m. Gaskins, as is the case with a lot of Jucos, has struggled to learn the system on both ends of the floor. So there's a trust factor that Ford just doesn't have right now. And with the Big 12 so good, it's hard to find games that are comfortable enough to get him some PT. It's up to him in practice to change the perception.
Brian Wick 11:55 a.m. Brian Williams seems to be in a slump since Big 12 play started, is that to foul trouble or lack of aggressiveness on offense?
by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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