Sooner fans already fond of OU coach Jeff Capel
NORMAN — Jeff Capel emerged from the Lloyd Noble Center tunnel a few minutes before tipoff Saturday, and the Lloyd Noble Center crowd gave him a rousing ovation.
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Do the Oklahoma Sooners have their newest rock star?
"No, no, no," Capel said with a rare grin.
Don't dismiss the notion so quickly. The OU basketball coach might not have Bob Stoops fame or Sherri Coale-like adoration, but Capel is moving up the ladder fast.
"I like him very much," said OU fan Rube Reingold of Henryetta. "I like his demeanor.
"He doesn't try to showboat. He sees what happens on the court and tells his players. He doesn't rant and rave."
Capel flew under the radar his first two OU seasons. Not so now, with the Sooners ranked No. 2 in the nation.
"He's got a lot of leadership," said Dr. Rick McCurdy, a former Sooner football player who sat in the lower bowl of Lloyd Noble Center as OU beat Colorado on Saturday.
"A lot of poise. Seems like he has a lot of passion. I hope he stays a long time."
When Capel returned to the court for a post-game radio show some 20 minutes after the game, only a smattering of fans remained in the seats. They cheered him still.