HOUSTON — Former Oklahoma point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin apologized Monday to OU fans "if they felt I let them down” but said he’s determined to prove he can play in the NBA.
"I want to apologize if they felt I let them down by leaving early or leaving this soon I would say,” said Mason-Griffin in an interview with the Houston television station FOX 26. "This past season, I know we didn’t have the best season, but I gave it my all. My teammates gave it their all even though the end of the season didn’t come out like it was supposed to, but we played hard and we fought.” It was Mason-Griffin’s first interview since he declared for the NBA Draft via Facebook last month. His departure was the first of several blows to the OU basketball program. When Willie Warren decided to turn pro, too, it left Sooners coach Jeff Capel without his starting backcourt and two leading scorers. Underclassmen Ray Willis and Orlando Allen also left the team. And the program is being investigated by the NCAA after a report last month that freshman forward Tiny Gallon received a $3,000 wire transfer from a Tampa-based financial adviser. OU is on probation until May, stemming from previous incidents. Mason-Griffin, a 5-foot-11 guard, said he was simply ready to go pro. The former McDonald’s All-American averaged 14.1 points and 5.0 assists a game during his freshman season at OU, earning third-team All-Big 12 honors. "I know my coaches weren’t expecting me to leave this early,” said Mason-Griffin, who is being represented by Houston-based agent Major Adams, whose other clients include Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young.