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Power Lunch Chat transcript, Feb. 1, 2013

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat. Take a look at today’s Q&A and join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on
by Berry Tramel Modified: February 1, 2013 at 1:25 pm •  Published: February 1, 2013

The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel took questions from readers in today’s Power Lunch Chat. Take a look at today’s Q&A and join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on Below is an unedited transcript of today's chat.

NewsOK 9:20 a.m. Berry will be logging in at 11 a.m., but you can begin sending in questions now.
NewsOK 9:22 a.m. Here is Berry's column on Russell Westbrook (aka Peter Pan) from last night's game:
Berry Tramel 10:57 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started.
Guest 11:02 a.m. So is Westbrook a cry baby or just passionate?
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. More passionate than cry baby. But he's not just passionate. He's immature. He loses his head. He basically throws a fit. I mean, last night, he melts down with a 20-point lead and having played very well. It makes no sense. But emotional problems are not sense-based.
Guest 11:03 a.m. Your pick for Sunday?
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. I have no idea. On video Monday, I picked the 49ers. But we had to re-shoot the video, so on Thursday I picked the Ravens. But this morning, I wrote a blog for Sunday, and I've gone back to the Niners. I'm not trying to cover my bases. I'm just waffling. I don't know.
Guest 11:04 a.m. There is no way that Thabo messing up Russ's postup was what set him off. I would guess that he was upset about something off the court and was already a pool of gasoline. The Thabo incident was just the match that sparked the blaze. Your thoughts?
Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. I think you're probably wrong. Looks to me like small things set him off. He plays cool for long stretches, then blows his stack. I think he's just emotionally immature.
Jeff, OKC 11:05 a.m. Are there any moves out there you would like the Thunder to make? Players to target?
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. J.J. Barea. As I've written, the Thunder could trade Perry Jones, Eric Maynor and the Dallas draft pick, which will probably be around 20th, to Minnesota for Barea. Reggie Jackson has potential, but the Thunder could use some stability off the bench. I love Barea, and he comes rather cheap ($4.5 million this year and next).
Alan 11:06 a.m. Didn't Dana Holgorsen start the Pistol? If not him, who did? All the reporting from the Super Bowl makes it sound like Jim Harbaugh came up with it.
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. The Pistol was invented by Chris Ault, long-time head coach at Nevada, who just retired. The Pistol is really a semi-shotgun. A shotgun with the quarterback up closer, so that a tailback can line up behind him. It's a way to have a shotgun set but with a downhill running attack. In most shotguns, the tailback gets the ball while standing still or shuffling sideways.
Andy, Norman 11:07 a.m. Is there a chemistry issue with the Thunder? Does it go back to Harden? Was he the glue guy that held the Durant/Westbrook/etc. crew together?
Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. No, I don't think Harden was the glue guy. Westbrook was pulling some of this stuff in years past. I don't think there's a chemistry issue, but there are some who believe the Thunder is getting weary of having to carry Westbrook's emotional weight. It's potentially a problem.
Guest 11:08 a.m. I know that everybody says the Thunder needs to bring in a backup point guard, but Reggie is playing much better, and who is really available that doesn't cost a lot of money or who would require a kings ransom to bring in? I don't think there is anyone out there worth bringing in
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. Like I said, Barea is worth it. I don't see where Jackson is playing much better. He hasn't shown to me that he's solid at running the offense. Gets his pocket picked a bunch. Doesn't penetrate to the point of opening lanes for others. Maybe he'll get there some day, but he's not there yet.
Dale 11:09 a.m. Are Perk, Collison and others fed up with Westbrook's act? Wouldn't you be?
Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. I don't know if they are fed up. I probably wouldn't be. I have little patience with things, but I have pretty good patience with people. I haven't had to work with too many knuckleheads over the years, but I've probably dealt with them about as good as you can.
Guest 11:10 a.m. Is there a chance that Russ is bipolar? Or at least has severe anger management issues? There is no way to know because it is a privacy issue, but I hope that he sees a licensed professional to help him
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. I don't even know what bipolar means, technically. Anger management doesn't seem exactly right, either. It's more just immaturity. But maybe it is anger management. I once wrote a column asking Bobby Knight what he was so mad about. Maybe the same thing applies to Westbrook. What does he have to be so angry about?
Guest 11:11 a.m. I would love love love to see the Thunder bring in a KG if he was amenable. But he makes too much money and there is no way to make salaries match and I value the young guys more than what they could bring in via trade due to their low salaries. I would even included Collison to bring in KG, but again, Nick's salary is too low. But KG would help the Thunder a bunch
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. I would not trade Nick Collison for Kevin Garnett. I wouldn't do it. You talk about chemistry. It's possible that Collison is the glue guy. It's possible that Collison is the adult in the room. I don't know that at this point in their careers, Garnett is a more effective player for the Thunder than is Collison. And you're right. The money doesn't work at all.
Tom 11:13 a.m. Will OU's football team be ranked in the top 25 at the start of next years season?
Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. Heck, yeah. Probably about 15th. Do you know how tough it is to find teams to fill out the last 6-7 spots in a poll. Top 25 is ridiculous. Top 20 was plenty.
Guest 11:13 a.m. If Westbrook's anger issues become a team problem, at least he is definitely tradeable and would command a nice haul if Presti was forced to make a move
Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. Now that's a defeatist attitude. Let's see. A player with phenomenal ability, an all-star, a guy who has led you to near the summit, suddenly you want to trade him. Teams are going to want to know why. Good teams won't want to take on the Thunder's problem, and bad teams won't have equal value to send. Trading Westbrook is no answer. Helping him change or just dealing with him is the best avenue.
Tom 11:15 a.m. Do you think that in his second year as D coordinator, Mike Stoops should be held responsible for the defensive preformance, or should he be given another year?
Berry Tramel 11:17 a.m. Should he be given another year to be he held responsible? Or should he be given another year in lieu of firing? I think Mike Stoops was held responsible. He simply wasn't a magic man. He's coaching in the Big 12 2012, not the Big 12 2001. Defenses don't rule. He's not coming in here and turning things around. If Bob wanted him back, great. But if Bob thought Mike was some kind of magic elixir, that was silly. If fans thought Mike was a wizard who would restore the defensive dominance, they had their heads in the sand.
Tom 11:17 a.m. How is Tim Kish preforming as a coach, and what do you look at to be able to do a proper evaluation of him? Through one year I would say that OU had its worse proformance at linebacker since Bob has been at OU.
Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. I don't know how to evalute individual coaches. The defense wasn't good. It wasn't good the year before. Of course, both years, the defense had its times. OU's defense was solid against K-State and great against Texas. It was bad against OSU, West Virginia and A&M. Same as last year. I don't remember if OU's had worse linebacking seasons. The age of linebacking everywhere has taken a hit. The notion that OU should play without linebackers is not totally goofy. The field is spread, the ball flies everywhere, you need guys that can run.
Guest 11:20 a.m. What is a better problem for the Thunder to have to deal with? I think Presti has already answered this, but Westbrook going into a rage if he is upset, or Harden going into a shell and disappearing?
Berry Tramel 11:21 a.m. I don't know what you mean by "better problem." Westbrook is a better player than Harden. They're both great. but Westbrook's better. Harden really only disappeared in the Miami series. Westbrook blows up about once every 2-3 months. The hope is that both change. Harden rises up in big games (which he did in a bunch of pre-Finals big games). Westbrook matures. I think it's more likely that Harden changes.
Tom 11:21 a.m. How do you think Presti is evaluatiing this problem with Westbrook, since he is a good citizen type of guy?
Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. I think Presti has a stiff upper lip who will tell us what a good person Westbrook is and how he has the full respect of his teammates. And I think in private Presti pulls his hair out. I think Presti was appalled by last night. Totally mortified.
Guest 11:22 a.m. This Memphis trade is going to be a fascinating case study. The stat geeks led by the always snarky John Hollinger who think they are smarter than everyone else, vs "regular basketball business"
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. I don't think Hollinger is snarky. I like guys who study issues rather than just accept conventional wisdom. And you don't have to be a stat geek to see that Memphis in 2011 without Gay was better than Memphis with Gay in 2012.
Guest 11:23 a.m. Last time I checked Tim Kish had to coach Tom Wort, not Rocky Calmus
Berry Tramel 11:24 a.m. And there's that, too. Teddy Lehman's eligibilty is over. Now, I think Corey Nelson has been a disappointment, for both coaches.
Tom 11:24 a.m. Shac and Barkley said last night that Westbrook need to stop these outbursts, since he is a team leader. Will hurt his ability to lead and will have a negative affecft on the teams preformance. What say you.
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. Well, I agree to some extent. I just don't buy it that he's a team leader. Team leader and best player(s) are not the same. You don't become a team leader strictly by performance. For instance, clearly Durant is a team leader. The other team leaders? I would say Collison and Perkins. I think the guys follow Perk a lot. Collison, too. Who follows Westbrook?
Tom 11:25 a.m. Rumors on the Sports Animal that Mangino may be coming back. Any truth to that? And if so, why?
Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. Well, I've heard the same rumors, but we'll see. The reason you bring back Mangino is he's a heck of a coach, and Stoops is trying to rekindle the magic. Of course, there's no opening right now. That could change. Stoops fired a coach last year for the first time ever. He could do the same.
Guest 11:26 a.m. Are we taking KD for granted? This guy is so good and makes the incredible seem routine
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. I don't think anyone is taking him for granted. He's everything you sasid. He's a player for the ages, and I think everyone knows it. I think maybe we don't know how lucky we are. Fifteen years from now, it's not likely that OKC will have a player this good.
Guest 11:27 a.m. What makes OU a preseason #15 at the start of the season?
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. Tradition. Talent base. Status as a possible Big 12 champ. Who do you want to list in the top 15? Michigan State or Southern Cal?
Guest 11:28 a.m. I think the other players know how to deal with Russ. When he gets in a rage just give him space and time for him to calm down. And don't pour gas on the fire
Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. Excellent point. Seemed like last night the Thunder guys just avoided Westbrook when he went koko.
Tom 11:28 a.m. What is this defensive philosophy they brought from Arizona where the linebacker fill gaps and safetys tackle. Sound very unusual to me. And I think is asking to much of the safetys. Hope they change that.
Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. I don't know. I never fully understood that. Filling gaps doesn't mean you can't find off blockers. And truth is, if you're not on the line, you're not in gaps. Gaps are spaces between players. Linebackers operate mostly in space.
Brian Wick 11:29 a.m. Any hunches on new OC at OSU? I kind of think it comes form NFL
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. I have no insight, other than Glenn Thomas, the Falcon QB coach that we keep hearing. But here's a thought. After we got into January, the common theory was that Gundy was looking at the NFL, waiting for the playoffs to end. But now that we're in February, what if he's looking at a college coach and waiting for the recruiting to end?
Guest 11:30 a.m. all of this crap about Westbrook is a huge overreaction by you and the fans, he isnt Rasheed or Rodman. He is a passionate guy who loses his cool sometimes. Id rather have him than any PG in the league outside of Chris Paul
Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. I would, too. I love Westbrook. But how the heck do you know he isn't Rasheed? What's Rasheed Wallace done that is so much worse than what Westbrook pulled last night? Westbrook acts irrational at times. He bolted off the court last night, for crying out loud. You never see that on a team outside the Wizards. Don't take up for him.
Tom 11:32 a.m. I think the top 25 could have a lot of non traditional programs, like TCU. Every year there are a lot of these that end up in the final top 25. And many big time teams start off ranked high and disappoint, like OU, USC......
Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. No kidding. But you asked where OU would be ranked. I guess 15th, and if I'm off by more than two either way, I'll my hat.
Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. OK, super guys. Good questions. Talk next week.
by Berry Tramel
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 Oklahoman,...
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