NORMAN — Teammates, friends, roommates and confidantes, Oklahoma’s Griffins and Parises couldn’t be tighter brother and sister acts.
They share everything from laughs to laundry. The Parises, twins, even shared their mother’s womb.
Still, there’s something they don’t share, can’t
share as siblings.
Blake and Courtney dominate the news and the views — from the Plays of the Day to the Player of the Year races — the same way they dominate the unfortunate foes who dare get in their way.
Taylor and Ashley, meanwhile, slide off to the side, into the background as the "other” Griffin; the "other” Paris.
"Courtney casts a huge shadow over me, but she also casts a huge shadow over almost every player in the country,” said Ashley, Courtney’s older sister by two minutes. "It’s a little bit harder for me, because I’m a post player on the same team with her. And she’s one of the best — if not the best — post players in the country.
"But for me, as I’ve said it over the years, it’s OK with me. Her success doesn’t bother me. I know it kind of takes me out of the spotlight, but that’s fine with me. I’m happy to have her on my team.
"No one made me come to Oklahoma and play behind her. I chose that for myself.”
Taylor Griffin chose OU first, arriving in Norman as a key recruit in 2005.
To that point, Taylor was the big brother and the better basketball player.
"In a way, we’ve switched roles a little bit from when we were growing up, as far as on the court,” Taylor said. "I guess the best word for it is different. It took a little while to get used to it.
"But I’ve pretty much accepted that he’s one of the best players in college basketball right now. And I’m extremely happy for him.”
Ashley and Taylor near completion of distinguished careers at OU.
As seniors, each has thrived following rigorous offseasons spent reshaping their bodies for what have become their best years in Sooner uniforms. And they’ve enjoyed their own moments in the spotlight, too.
When the Sooners knocked off Tennessee for an early February statement win, ironically the date when Courtney’s national record double-double streak ended at 112 games, Ashley scored 19 points, grabbed six boards and added two blocks and three steals.
"I do want to say that while Courtney has done a great job with the double-double, Ashley has really elevated her game,” Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt said afterward.