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Oklahoma basketball: Ryan Spangler gets Romero Osby's seal of approval

The Sooners' Romero Osby says Gonzaga transfer Ryan Spangler has helped him improve. Osby expects Spangler to surprise some people next season.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, Published: March 12, 2013

The thought of containing the Oklahoma basketball team's energy next year makes senior forward Romero Osby laugh.

Although Osby will be gone to graduation, there will be plenty of emotion from some of OU's current young guns. There's the ever-energetic Buddy Hield, the New York-edgy Isaiah Cousins, the hardworking Je'lon Hornbeak and the French connection Amath M'Baye.

So who will take the place of Osby?

That job will likely fall to forward Ryan Spangler — a guy who has just as much edge and aggression as the rest of them. And the Gonzaga transfer has received Osby's approval.

“He's just as quick as he is strong,” Osby said.

Both of those Spangler characteristics helped make this year's team so good.

Osby, who with 471 points has accounted for over one-fifth of the Sooners' scoring production this season, credits practicing with Spangler for making him better.

“In a game, the guys I face are either quicker than me and I'm stronger than him or he's stronger than me and I'm quicker than him,” Osby said. “(Spangler)'s one of those guys that balances it out. Going against him is tough.

“I really got to think the game. I really got to make crisp moves and really attack it because he goes hard every day.”

For the third straight year the Sooners have a secret weapon stashed away, a transfer sitting out whose impact is limited to practice -- for now.

Two years ago it was Osby, the Mississippi State transfer who became an All-Big 12 first-teamer. Last year it was M'Baye, who transferred from Wyoming and made the All-Big 12 third team.

This year it's Spangler, The Oklahoman's 2011 state Player of the Year at Bridge Creek. Known as a scorer in high school, it's Spangler's strength and aggression that have stood out in Norman.

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