But the biggest cheers were reserved for Blake Griffin’s dunks. At the onset of the workout, Griffin went up for a fastbreak basket — and gently laid in the ball without touching the rim, much to the dismay of the 500 or so fans in attendance.
Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman
is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since being placed on 10 years probation for rules violations while coaching at California. Ironically, Cal also was assigned to the Kansas City site.
"I suppose that to some people, there would be some irony there,” said Cal coach Mike Montgomery,
who coached arch-rival Stanford while Bozeman was at Cal. "To me, it couldn’t be less of an issue. He got caught in an unfortunate situation ... from a humanistic standpoint, I’m happy to see he’s rebounded and got back in and now able to get his team to a tournament.”
OU has seen the last of its Big 12 opponents, at least until the Final Four, and that might be a good thing for Griffin. Big 12 defenses have thrown the kitchen sink at trying to stop him.
"I’m always excited to see a different team,” Griffin said. "As a whole team, we’re excited to play outside of our conference.”
Return to Sprint
OU went 1-1 in the 2008 Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center. Any comfort in having played here before? "I guess,” said Taylor Griffin.
"I mean a gym is a gym. I really like this place. It’s a really, really nice place. You know, I guess it is nice to not have surprises when you walk in the door.”
BY BERRY TRAMEL AND JOHN HELSLEY