by Berry Tramel Modified: March 19, 2009 at 4:47 am •  Published: March 19, 2009

221;

A Final Four, or even the pipedream of an NCAA title, is possible with talent like this.

"I’ve known how talented this group was going to be since last summer, when we started playing pickup ball together,” said Sooner senior Taylor Griffin. "I knew this was going to be a special team.

"I knew we had a chance to make a long run in the tournament, and that time is upon us.”

Final Four history is full of great players. Bill Walton. Hakeem Olajuwon. Patrick Ewing.

But times have changed. Superstars no longer stay three or four years in college. It’s one and done for most. Blake Griffin gave the Sooners a rare gift by staying for his sophomore year. This is it for this prime opening. It’s back to the real world next season.

In another life, Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman coached California and a point guard supreme named Jason Kidd, who led the Bears to the 1993 Sweet 16.

Bozeman issued a warning, reeling off a list of superstars who never made the Final Four, starting with Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan, who played four years.

But, Bozeman said, "it definitely can give you an edge. When you have a great player like that and you hit those walls sometimes in games, they can kind of pick you up and carry you.”

Griffin has carried OU basketball far. But there are miles to go before the Sooners sleep. This is a rare chance for OU hoops.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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