2010-11 College Basketball Season Preview: Oklahoma

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Oklahoma Sooners (Last Year: 13-18, 4-12 in Big 12)

2010-11 Projected Depth Chart:

F/C: Andrew Fitzgerald (So)/Abdul Ahmed (Fr)

F: Kyle Hardrick (So)/ Nick Thompson (Jr)/Tyler Neal (Fr)

G/F: Cameron Clark (Fr)/Steven Pledger (So)/C.J. Washington (Jr)

SG: Cade Davis (Sr)/ T.J. Taylor (Fr)

PG: T.J. Franklin (Jr)/Carl Blair (So)/Calvin Newell (Fr)

Gone: G-Willie Warren, G/F-Tony Crocker, PF-Ryan Wright, PG-Tommy Mason-Griffin, C-Keith ?Tiny? Gallon, SG-Ray Willis (transfer-North Carolina Central), C-Orlando Allen (transfer-Marshall)

2010-11 Outlook:
The Sooners are coming off an absolute mess of a season and a summer that brought question marks about possible violations the program had committed. Now just two years after having the national player of the year and being an Elite 8 team, Oklahoma is pretty much starting from scratch.

Jeff Capel knew he would possibly lose Willie Warren to the NBA Draft but nobody imagined freshmen Tiny Gallon and Tommy Mason-Griffin would both be gone after just one year in Norman. Add in two transfers and a pair of seniors graduating, and Oklahoma ushers in eight new players. Meanwhile, returners T.J. Franklin and Kyle Hardrick have combined to play just 63 minutes in their time at Oklahoma. So to say Capel's crew will be inexperienced is like saying Jimmy Fallon sometimes cannot keep a straight face.

Capel has proven to be a tremendous recruiter in his four seasons at Oklahoma, and hopes his 2010 class led by Cameron Clark and T.J. Taylor can be a building block for the future; something Gallon and Mason-Griffin were supposed to be at this time a year ago. Realistically, this program is a few years away from once again being relevant in the Big 12.

Player to Watch: Cameron Clark, SF
Clark is one of the top-ranked small forward recruits in the 2010 class and is just too talented of a player to not make an immediate impact on a roster in a re-building mode and desperately in need of a serious spark. Clark has the potential to be the go-to scorer in his first season as the Sooners lack a true scorer with his ability to slash to the basket. He should be one of the top freshmen in the Big 12 this season.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/22 vs. Kentucky (Maui Invitational)
  • 11/23 vs. Washington/Virginia (Maui Invitational)
  • 11/25 vs. Michigan State/Chaminade/UConn/Wichita State (Maui Invitational)
  • 12/1 at Arkansas
  • 12/5 at Arizona
  • 12/18 vs. Cincinnati

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