OU men's basketball team welcomes several new players to roster
The OU basketball team is about a month and a half away from opening up its 2010-11 season. After a disappointing 2009-10 and the departure of nearly the entire roster, the Sooners will feature a team almost entirely comprised of new faces.
Freshman guard/forward Cameron Clark
Sherman High School (Texas)
6-6, 195 pounds
Clark is a wing player and comes out of high school as one of the top recruits in the nation. Ranked as the 32nd-best high school player in the nation by ESPN, Clark is part of the Texas duo of freshmen that highlight the Sooners’ incoming class.
Freshman guard T.J. Taylor
Denison High School (Texas)
6-3, 217 pounds
Taylor is a combo guard who played in the same district as Clark in Texas. He is the all-time leading scorer in the history of Denison High School. He averaged 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists in his four-year varsity career. He was ranked as the 16th-best point guard in the 2010 recruiting class by ESPN.com and the 28th-best shooting guard by Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Freshman forward Tyler Neal
Putnam City West
6-7, 209 pounds
Coach Jeff Capel didn’t have to go far to find this next recruit. Neal was born and raised less than an hour from Norman and had a hand in taking his high school team to a level it hadn’t reached in more than 30 years. Averaging 18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals a game during his senior year, Neal was named Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year and led his team to the state tournament for the first time since 1977.
Junior forward Nick Thompson
College of Eastern Utah (JUCO transfer)
6-9, 215 pounds
The first of several JUCO transfers OU picked up over the offseason, the Clint, Utah product will be one of the players the Sooners turn to to fill the space left by the departures of Tiny Gallon and Ryan Wright down low. He averaged 8.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore at Eastern Utah.
Junior forward C.J. Washington
Connors State College (Okla.) (JUCO transfer)
6-7, 210 pounds
Washington was a first-team All-JUCO selection as a senior, averaging 19.3 points, 13 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He led his team to a 30-4 record and an appearance in the NJCAA tournament. Washington recorded double-doubles in 25 of his 32 games, at one point recording 14 in a row. His scoring ability and emphasis on rebounding should serve the Sooners well in the frontcourt.
Sophomore guard Carl Blair
University of New Orleans (Transfer)
6-2, 214 pounds
Although Blair is a transfer, he will be eligible to play this season because his former school, the University of New Orleans, is moving from Division 1 to Division 3. Blair averaged 9.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in his freshman year.
Freshman forward Abdul Ahmed from London, England
Freshman guard Calvin Newell Jr. from Philadelphia, Pa.
Junior forward Romero Osby from Mississippi State University
Although the Sooners are going into the season with a lot of turnover, there are some players that carried over from last year.
Senior guard Cade Davis, who has been a leader by example in the past, will likely be asked to take on a larger role.
Forward Andrew Fitzgerald and guard Steven Pledger have returned for their sophomore seasons after playing significant minutes last year.
Sophomore forward Kyle Hardrick, an Oklahoma City product, didn’t see the court very often last season, but with so many departures he will have the opportunity to earn minutes this year. The same is true of junior guard T.J.Franklin.
Junior forward Barry Honore transferred to OU from Southern University last season and will be eligible to play for the Sooners in 2010-11.
The only other returning Sooner is redshirt freshman forward Ryan Randolph from Norman, who is a walk-on.