Oklahoma basketball: Edmond Memorial's Jordan Woodard commits to OU

Edmond Memorial point guard Jordan Woodard, an early target of coach Lon Kruger's staff, announced his commitment to Oklahoma on NewsOK.com Thursday evening.
by Scott Wright Published: August 23, 2012

From the time he became Oklahoma's basketball coach 16 months ago, Lon Kruger has emphasized the recruiting of in-state talent.

That focus paid off two-fold Thursday.



The state's top senior point guard, Jordan Woodard of Edmond Memorial, gave his verbal commitment to the Sooners live on NewsOK.com Thursday evening. And OU got a commitment from a young big man, 6-foot-9 junior Jacob Hammond of the homeschool Oklahoma City Sky.

Woodard, who made his decision official live on NewsOK.com Thursday evening, was an early target of Kruger's staff, which extended an offer in the summer of 2011. Stanford, Memphis and San Francisco were also in the picture, and many other schools showed interest, but Woodard decided to stay close to home.

And Kruger's strong pursuit played a big role in that.

“It meant a lot, with how consistent they were with recruiting me,” Woodard said. “They were recruiting me hard the whole time.

“I love what coach Kruger has done with the program. I have a great relationship with him, and that led to my decision.”

Woodard is one of the two most sought-after recruits in the state, along with Tulsa Washington's Juwan Parker, who committed to Georgia last week.

A powerful 6-foot point guard with a solid all-around game, Woodard stands to fit in well with Kruger's program.

“Oklahoma is getting a kid who knows how to win, which is definitely a valuable skill,” Edmond Memorial coach Shane Cowherd said. “He loves the struggle of competition. He embraces it, absolutely thrives in competition, and you have to have that at the collegiate level.”

Woodard averaged 13.1 points, 4.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 steals as a junior as he and brother James Woodard led the Bulldogs to the Class 6A state finals, losing to Tulsa Union. Woodard was the starting point guard on Edmond Memorial's state title team in 2011 as well.

“Jordan is a tremendous team guy,” Cowherd said. “The role I asked him to play the last two years is not the role he'll be asked to fill this year. People will see a different kid than the Jordan Woodard they watched the last two years.

“He's willing to do what the coach and the team require of him. He'll accept the role that best helps the team win, and I think that embodies everything coach Kruger believes in.”

As first reported by OKHoops.com, Hammond verbally committed to OU Thursday afternoon.

A long, athletic forward, Hammond played his freshman season at Duncan, and his sophomore year with the Oklahoma City Storm. He averaged 11.0 points per game as the Storm reached the national homeschool championship game last season. This winter, he'll join the Sky, a new homeschool team in the OKC metro area.

Woodard and Hammond are each the first verbal commitments for the Sooners in their respective recruiting classes. Kruger has brought in two other in-state players so far, with Sperry's C.J. Cole joining the team as a preferred walk-on and Bridge Creek product Ryan Spangler transferring in after one year at Gonzaga.

Junior Tyler Neal of Putnam City West, who was signed by former coach Jeff Capel, is the only other state player on the roster.


by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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