Berry Tramel

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Chat transcript: Berry Tramel returns from his long road trip to talk Deondre Clark, Thunder basketball and comparing Mike Gundy and Bob Stoops

staff reports Published: February 7, 2014
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NewsOK Sports 10:00 a.m. Let's all welcome Berry Tramel back to the Sooner State. Berry's been on the road since January (literally), and he's ready to be back on the Power Lunch chat today. Get your questions in and Berry will jump on at 11 a.m.
NewsOK Sports 10:50 a.m. While we're waiting for Berry, here's his final Travelblog, which wraps up his long road trip: http://bit.ly/1dvmkov
Berry Tramel 11:02 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running, so let's get started.
Gil 11:02 a.m. what is your thoughts on Clark is LSU a done deal
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. I think he signed with LSU. I think they're just trying for some drama. I don't know why.
Guest 11:03 a.m. When are we going to see orange or gold jerseys for the Thunder?
Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. I'll bet they stay away from orange. Want to straddle the Bedlam line. No orange or red, unless it's some kind of NBA mandated thing. Gold? I don't know. They could go with yellow.
Jay 11:03 a.m. The whole Gundy not talking to the media thing: Overhyped or a huge PR mistake?
Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. Probably both. I mean, I think Gundy has been a PR blunder machine. He was a media favorite, everybody liked him, and he's managed to alienate most of us. That's goofy on his part.
Jay 11:04 a.m. Poke BB is in a slump. I've been thinking and comparing Ford's teams to Eddie's teams of yesteryear. The biggest diff I see, besides Ford maybe having more talent right now, is the lack of players playing within their role. Eddie's players knew their role, played it, or they were riding pine. Ford either isn't or can't instill that role mentality in his players. Thoughts?
Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. Here's what I see as the main difference, and I probably ought to write about it. Eddie's teams had some terrible slumps. But most of Eddie's teams improved mightily. Got much better as the year went on. We haven't seen that from Ford's teams.
dr. el prez 11:06 a.m. Berry, from your view as a local writer, who is more difficult to deal with in regards to establishing a working relationship.. Bob Stoops or Mike Gundy? Has Mike Gundy's new contract changed him in that regard or are other matters more into play with his recent lack of openness with the press?
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. Stoops is easier to work with. You know what you're going to get. Stoops is consistent. He's not always pleasant. But he's consistent. Gundy is all over the place. Changing policies. Not telling the truth. That's hard to deal with.
brandon 11:07 a.m. any chance we see Westbrook this weekend?
Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. I assume not. I think they'll go ahead and wait now until after the all-star break. No reason not to.
Stilly Stallion 11:07 a.m. Was Stevie Clark a problem child during his high school career? Just wondering if there were warning signs that Ford should have picked up on to avoid the embarrassment to the program that Clark created.
Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. The only thing I know of is the odyssey to Vegas. Players who take off and leave their high school, then come back a few weeks later, that's a big warning sign. Now, the biggest threat on that would be a quick transfer. I don't know that you could guess discipline trouble. But clearly, Clark has trouble with discipline.
Orange Woman 11:08 a.m. What's the scoop with this mystery man, Daxx Garman? Have any of the media ever spoken with him. I've never seen his picture or a quote from him. Is he a viable option for the Cowboys or is Rudolph the man unless he screws up bad in the spring practices?
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. Garmann, I don't know too much about him. There was no great reason to talk to him. He was the third-team QB. We'll see. Maybe he can play, but I think it's much more likely to be Walsh or Rudolph.
Guest 11:09 a.m. What percentage do you think the Thunder wins the title this year?
Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. Highest in the NBA. But still small. It's hard to win. Miami and OKC and Indiana are all probably in the 20s somewhere.
Guest 11:09 a.m. From Mel Bracht column, The only guy to stop Durant is LeBron James for the title, any argument to that news and how does KD avoid such situations?
Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. Well, Durant can't avoid it. He's got to meet the challenge. And LeBron is the biggest threat to Durant. If OKC plays Miami in the Finals, you won't see Durant scoring 12-for-19, with 35 points every night. Westbrook and the Gang will have to contribute big time. But they're capable.
Guest 11:11 a.m. Charles Barkley's statement that the only thing missing with the Thunder to win it all is low post scoring and more defensive stoppers, would you agree and how to solve that problem?
Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. I think the OKC has plenty of defensive stoppers. I do agree that OKC does not have low post scoring, but neither does the East favorite, Miami. The Thunder DOES have paint scoring. Which is just as important.
Friend 11:11 a.m. The Thunder has made great strides from last years playoff attempt to this year, even without Westbrook and brooks now making a little change of players match-up on other teams, would you beleive that they are ready to be champions or what in your opinion still lacks in their game
Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. I think they are ready. Doesn't mean OKC will win it, but the Thunder clearly could. Better outside shooting would help. And the Thunder has improved over the course of the year in that regard. Plus Westbrook needs to come back healthy, and the Thunder needs to adjust to his return.
Guest 11:12 a.m. Is Brooks a small team coach and would not really know how to play his big men or show how to play other teams big men, with his reliance on only Perkins and Ibaka?
Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. I have no idea what you mean. Collison plays a ton and Adams plays a lot. Brooks has shown he can coach big and small.
Guest 11:12 a.m. How come Thabo, who dribbles the ball quite well cannot finish most of his lay-ups or sometimes dunks? Does he need to be practicing more on offensive moves rather than just a defensive stopper?
Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. I don't know why Thabo sometimes struggles in the open court. He's a good player, but some guys struggle at the rim at times. Thabo is one of them.
Guest 11:14 a.m. If only Thabo can make shots, according to Mel's interview with Barkley and Ernie Smith, the Thunder will not let other guys double or even triple team KD, becuase everyone is a threat and can score, your idea?
Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. The more people who can score, the better. I think Thabo's (and Lamb's and Jackson's) shooting is key. If Thabo proves he can make a 3-pointer, that will release pressure on Durant.
Cowboy Forever 11:15 a.m. OSU Offensive Line Coach Wickline was an excellent coach and helped the program immensely. However, don't you think some people are over-reacting to his departure. The sky isn't falling. Aren't there other excellent line coaches in the country who can also recruit well? Sometimes change is good. Your thoughts?
Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. I do not think it means the sky is falling. I agree. Other solid line coaches can be found. Some say Wickline wasn't a great recruiter anyway. I don't know. I Would say the bigger concern is the underlying reasons behind his departure. Did Gundy run him off? Is there staff dissension? Those are the key questions.
Chris J 11:16 a.m. Berry, I've heard that Westbrook's agent demanded that Russ's knee be operated on by an independent, non-team doctor, and that this doctor botched the surgery--so much so that Russ could have 1-2 surgeries a year to clean out his knee. Is there any truth to this, and should the Thunder try and deal Russ if this is the case?
Berry Tramel 11:17 a.m. I would not trade Russell Westbrook. Under any circumstances. But the story is basically true. Non-team doctors did do the original surgery, and it hasn't gone well. That's apparently quite common in the NBA. Agents run the league.
Paul 11:17 a.m. Do you think that Clark is going to lsu
Berry Tramel 11:17 a.m. Yes. I think he's already signed.
Guest 11:17 a.m. Do you know why the team lost to a lower tier team like the Wizards, who has 2 big players like Nene and Gortat who scores on them from the inside or around the paint?
Berry Tramel 11:18 a.m. The Thunder lost because you can't win 'em all. The Thunder was on the back end of a back-to-back, coming off two big wins. And for whatever reason, the Wizards over 3-4 years have played OKC tough. Nene and Gortat don't have much to do with it.
Guest 11:18 a.m. Can you explain the Mike Gundy paranoia with the near media blackout on signing day? Is he becoming too isolated by staying in a bubble that he doesn't realize that OSU fans are starting to miss out
Berry Tramel 11:19 a.m. He does not realize it. He's either getting bad advice or not listening to advice. He ultimately is freezing out OSU fans. Which is fine if you win big but not good if you start losing.
Guest 11:19 a.m. How much of a concern is the Thunder's lack of consistency with 3 pt shooting? Is it just a weakness that is mitigated because the team is so good in other areas or does Presti need to make a move to get another shooter?
Berry Tramel 11:19 a.m. I would not make a move unless something just fell in the Thunder's lap.The luxury tax is too precarious. OKC has a great team and remains under the tax. It would take a special deal to make me jump.
Billy 11:19 a.m. Berry, I have always appreciated your candor when admitting you were wrong on a call or projection. Therefore, I am sure you will admit that your conjecture that OSU recruiting would probably suffer due to the SI debacle must be readjusted. OSU had no de-commits, picked up some de-commits, and had what Gundy describes as his best class ever. I have no reason to not believe him. What say you?
Berry Tramel 11:21 a.m. No one has any idea how OSU did in recruiting. I guess you're right that OSU had no de-commits, but we're talking about last September. Way too early to look at how SI affected OSU's recruiting. An even better barometer is to look at general OSU student population. Has the SI series hurt enrollment of any kind?
Guest 11:22 a.m. If you're going to beat Miami, you see (Pacers forward) David West and (Pacers center) Roy Hibbert owned them (and) beat them like a drum down low. The problem with Oklahoma City not having a low-post scorer is you're not going to beat Miami on the perimeter said Barkley, do you agree with him?
Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. It's all about matchups. Miami has the edge on OKC, OKC has the edge on Indiana, Indiana has the edge on Miami. That's the way the league works. Sure. OKC can go get a low-post scorer. But it would cost them in other ways.
Mark 11:23 a.m. More disappointing season: 2009 OU football or 2014 OSU basketball?
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. Well, the Cowboy season isn't over. But it's a good parallel. Injuries and personnel losses and other problems hurt the Sooner football squad, and now it's hurting the Cowboy basketball.
Greg 11:25 a.m. Welcome back to Oklahoma !
Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. I'm a thankin' ya.
Guest 11:25 a.m. Barkley's comment; “Magic Johnson and LeBron James are two of the greatest players ever that would rather get 12 assists than 35 points. Kevin Durant has always been like that, but with Westbrook out, he has been more aggressive. I want to see what's going to happen when Westbrook comes back.” Is Westbrook coming different?
Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. Who knows? I don't think Durant is like that. I think he likes to pass because he wants to get people involved. I don't think Durant has the same mentality as Magic and LeBron.
Brandon 11:26 a.m. If KD wins the MVP and the Thunder win the NBA Finals, do you think the narrative will change in the "world's greatest player" debate, or do you think LeBron will still have that title on lockdown?
Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. Still lockdown. But Durant will have narrowed the gap. Durant is gaining steam.
Chaz 11:29 a.m. Do you think the NFL will schedule more Super B0owls in the Northeast and if so, why?
Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. I don't know. They were very lucky with the weather. I don't know if they want to risk it again.
Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. OK, I've got to scram. But I'll save the questions that were asked and answer them on the blog soon.