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Stephanie Kuzydym: OU's defensive recruiting to blame for lowered talent level of program

Oklahoman Modified: January 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm •  Published: January 24, 2013

When is OU going to recruit the SEC for talent?

They have been. You've seen quite a few commits switch from Oklahoma to Texas A&M or guys who once considered Oklahoma and only have Alabama and LSU or two SEC schools left that they are choosing between. But a lot of those guys are choosing the SEC. If you look at the roster and dissect it a bit, you'll see Oklahoma is recruiting everywhere for their positions.

Regarding Tony Jefferson, what would the OU coaches have to gain by talking bad about a graduating player whether it's true or not? To me it can only do damage with recruiting.

You make a point on recruiting, but if they lie, it could also damage scouts — and you know so many recruits just want to make it to the NFL — so if they damage the programs ties to the NFL, then what do they have? Then they don't have as many teams trusting them that they have the right players so they stop taking players so recruits see that nobody from Oklahoma (or fewer) are going into the NFL so they stop wanting to be recruiting to Oklahoma. See the chain? Not saying that's the concrete chain — just a possibility.

 ON OU BASKETBALL:

Something seems to be lacking ... what can OU's bench do to improve their air guitar playing?

Too bad they don't have a bench cam because they do more than just air guitar. They call it a three band. Whenever somebody hits a three they all put up their threes and play an instrument. That time, it just happened to catch them all rocking on their guitars. They do a ton of other things on the bench too. Look for a story on it coming soon.

I was proud of the student showing at OU/Texas. What was your favorite chant from that game?

No favorite chant but I thought the sign that said 'C'est notre maison' ('This is our house' in French) was by far the most creative.

Why is Tyler Neal playing first half minutes in big games?

Lon Kruger runs a 10-man rotation. Tyler Neal is a part of those 10 men, so that's why he's getting minutes. Defensively he has done a good job of getting is hands up, not committing fouls and just being aggressive. It's offensively that is the trouble.

What will OU have to do in order to spring the upset at Allen Fieldhouse?

Berry Tramel and I talked about this yesterday. OU will have to stick with Kansas, which I believe they will, for a majority of the game. The difference will be some multiple minute stretch where Oklahoma commits too many turnovers or doesn't grab defensive rebounds and lets Kansas rack up second chance points. So in order to pull out the upset, they'll have to make sure those things don't happen.

Will this OU basketball team make it past the first round of the big dance if they get in?

Depends on who they draw. If they draw a Big Ten team, I say highly unlikely. That conference is just too strong this year. Then again, I'm saying this the day after Miami knocked off Duke and the week of about 10 crazy upsets with court rushes. It's college basketball — that's what's so great about it.

Anything you think OU basketball should be doing differently to improve?

Practice more alley oops? Just kidding. Lon Kruger's got them on the right track and rebuilding a team is a step-by-step process that takes time.