ayman was fine with it. He joked with me about it. He just told me, ‘As long as he can play.'”
Capel didn't mention anything else to Griffin until a couple weeks ago, when he asked Griffin to call Tisdale himself.
Griffin isn't trying to steal any attention from Tisdale's legacy, though he hopes to make an impact similar to the former Tulsa Washington star. He admits he hesitated about taking the number for fear of any uproar it might cause.
"I'm not trying to disrespect Mr. Tisdale, and I don't want to offend anyone,” Griffin said.
"When I talked to Mr. Tisdale on the phone, he was really cool about it.”
Griffin will be the second player to wear No. 23 since Tisdale. Ron Roberts, a junior-college transfer wore it the two seasons after Tisdale left. And it will be the third time at OU a player has worn the number of a jersey that has been retired, though in different circumstances.
Renzi Stone was already wearing No. 33 when Alvan Adams' jersey was retired in 1998. Same with Hollis Price's No. 10 when Mookie Blaylock's jersey was retired in 2001.
But ultimately, a jersey number doesn't make anyone a better player.
"Everyone knows whose number that is,” Capel said. "That number represents someone who was excellent here. There will never be another Wayman Tisdale.
"We just need Blake to be the best player he can be. Hopefully, Blake will have half the career Wayman did.”