The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat. You can join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Here’s a recap of the Q&A:
ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL:
Q: Who will start at QB for OSU in the fall?
A: I'm on record as saying I believe Wes Lunt will start the opener. A few reasons why. One, Lunt is a better practice player than Clint Chelf, and with a new offensive coordinator who is seeing these guys for the first time, how they perform in practice is sure to resonate.
Second, I just don't think J.W. Walsh has the skill set to be the long-term starter. In a specialized package, he's great. Running the whole offense? I don't see him being as effective.
Third, I believe the lure of having a young guy who can grow in the offense will be strong. It's one of the reasons that they originally went with Lunt last year. He's still a young guy with great upside. That will surely factor in as well.
Lunt has the first year behind him, so now it's time to develop into the QB that he is capable of being.
That has to be what the OSU coaches are hoping. Obviously, Lunt was sidetracked by his injuries last season. And who knows? Maybe that was a one-time deal, or maybe he's going to be an injury-prone quarterback. We'll have to wait and see. But the coaches have to hope that this injuries were just hiccups and that he's going to have a big year as a sophomore. Lunt looks to have all the tools to be really good. Can he bring it all together? That remains to be seen.
Any news on the QB situation in Norman? I know Bob has traditionally been slow to announce a QB unless it's obvious, but has anyone started separating himself from the other two?
There's been no word about any of these guys separating themselves just yet, and unless that happens, I don't think we'll see a starter named quickly. I could be wrong on that, but like you, Mike, I tend to think Stoops likes leaving the door open on competition. Seems like he feels like that makes guys better. All that said, unless something crazy happens, I still think Blake Bell will be the guy come the opener. He'd have to be a really bad practice player, and so far, we've heard no evidence of that being the case.
Maybe one of those other guys will be so good that the coaches will have to pick him over Bell, but again, that would be something unexpected. My suspicion is still that Bell will be the starter.
ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
The OU women played a completed game last night. Your thoughts?
The Sooners played a fantastic game last night. They were great in every phase. That's why they were able to beat a team that beat them soundly earlier in the season and why they are coming back to play in the OKC regional. I know that making shots is paramount in basketball — and the Sooners made a lot of shots last night — but as much as anything, I thought their turnovers were a huge key.
OU committed only seven turnovers last night. Sherri Coale's teams have traditionally struggled with turnovers. But last night, they took care of the ball. You have to do that if you want to win in the tournament, and if they want to beat Tennessee on Sunday, they'll have to do it again. Limit turnovers. Very important.
Can the Cowgirls get it done against Duke?
I actually believe the Cowgirls have a chance. Now, it's a slim chance, but still, I don't believe this is an unwinnable game for OSU. Duke has been almost impossible to beat in NCAA Tournament games at home. It hasn't lost one at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1996. But OSU is athletic enough to beat Duke.
The Cowgirls are going to have to play some of their best basketball. Shoot it well. Take care of the ball. Defend like crazy. But they have it in their power to win this game. Can they get it done, yes? Will they? Um, I'm still picking Duke, but it's going to be close.
ON THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER:
About my favorite subject: Why is Derek Fisher playing so much? Here's my question: Is it possible that it's not Fisher's stats — which are terrible — matter? Is there evidence that other Thunder players perform better or display better habits (passing, help defense, etc.) when he's on the court? Trying to throw Scott Brooks a lifeline, here.
Your favorite subject is a subject that I wish would go away. How would it go away? Scott Brooks would STOP playing Derek Fisher. (Sigh.) Anyway … There isn't evidence that the Thunder is better with Fisher on the court. I don't have the plus-minus numbers in front of me, but there have been several instances where the second team that Fisher is on the floor with has given up leads or let the other team build leads.
I wish there was evidence that showed something different, but there really isn't. There isn't a good reason why Brooks has decided to play Fisher so much. If Fisher was producing great results, I'd take my medicine, say that I was wrong and admit that he should playing. But that isn't happening.
Fisher needs to take the Kevin Ollie Memorial Chair. He can be a great locker room leader, but he shouldn't ever play a meaningful minute. That's what Ollie did, what Royal Ivey did, and it's what Derek Fisher should be doing.
What was the point of signing Brewer?
That's a great question. I wish I had a great answer for you. Seems to me like not playing Brewer is a shame and a waste. I'm not under the impression that he's some first-team defensive player, but there is evidence that he'd be the best defender on the second unit.
I'm not sure why Scott Brooks isn't playing Brewer more. The only thing I can figure is that he's more comfortable with the other guys. Comfort is a big deal, and maybe he just doesn't feel it yet with Brewer.
Scott Brooks has diamond in the rough in Jeremy Lamb ... he should polish him up and use him.
There just aren't enough minutes to go around, unfortunately. I like Lamb's game, too, but I don't see where Lamb fits into the current rotation. Where would Lamb's minutes come from? Who would sit when he plays? Now, if Kevin Martin is out after this season, the answer to that question changes. But as for right now, I don't see Lamb being better than anyone else who's getting minutes. I wish he could get more minutes, too, but right now, he's just an odd man out. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if that doesn't change next year.