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Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
AUGUST 15, 2012

SoonerSports.com2011-12 Blog Archive M Basketball Main | Join the Sooners  
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  Sooners Go To Disneyland | Saturday, Nov. 26

After many hours of study hall, practice, shootarounds, video sessions, scouting reports (and two wins) since arriving in Anaheim on Tuesday, several Sooners, as well as staff members and their families, took advantage of Saturday's day off of 76 Classic games to visit nearby Disneyland. A brief video recap is below. OU is back in action Sunday at 8 p.m. CT against Saint Louis in the tournament's championship game (televised by ESPN2).

  Calvin Newell Hypnotized | Thursday, Nov. 24

The eight participating 76 Classic teams received their Thanksgiving dinner a day early, partaking in last night's tournament banquet. The featured performance of the evening came from hypnotist Marc Bachrach, and OU sophomore guard Calvin Newell was among the several subjects on stage. Check out the fun video below.

  OU Preps for Washington State | Wednesday, Nov. 23

The Sooners spent their first full day in Anaheim preparing for Thursday night's first-round 76 Classic game against Washington State (click here for a photo gallery). After a morning video meeting, OU participated in a pair of practice sessions. The first was held at Anaheim's American Sports Center, a massive 24-court facility where Coach Lon Kruger's squad worked out for 90 minutes. Then it was off to the Anaheim Convention Center Arena, site of the tournament, for another 60-minute practice. Following the workouts, the team held a study hall session and then attended an entertaining Thanksgiving banquet complete with a hypnotist. Check back for video of Calvin Newell relaxed and in action.

  Sooners Arrive in Anaheim | Tuesday, Nov. 22

After practicing Tuesday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center, the Sooners chartered a three-hour flight to Los Angeles and arrived at the team hotel in Anaheim at 9 p.m. PT. They'll particpate in the fifth annual 76 Classic on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. OU opens against Washington State on Thanksgiving night at 8:30 PT (10:30 CT) and will face either New Mexico or Santa Clara on Friday at 6:30 or 9 p.m. PT. Following a day off, the Sooners will close against Boston College, Saint Louis, UC Riverside or Villanova (time TBD). OU's Thursday game against Washington State will be televised by ESPN2. The team's games the other two days will be televised by ESPN2 or ESPNU, depending on first- and second-round results.

  Big 12 Media Day Coverage | Thursday, Oct. 20

Head coach Lon Kruger and junior forwards Andrew Fitzgerald and Romero Osby were in Kansas City today for Big 12 Media Day. The trio took off at 6 a.m. from Max Westheimer Airport in Norman, was at the Sprint Center for five hours and returned to Norman in time for 3:30 practice. Click on the links below the photo for Big 12 Media Day coverage.

SoonerSports.com's Media Day Coverage
Big12Sports.com's Media Day Coverage
OU's Kruger 'Coming Home'
- Tulsa World
Kruger, Sooners Embrace Challenge - Tulsa World
Degree, Hoops Will Benefit Osby's Family - The Oklahoman
Kruger Trying to Get Sooners Back on the Map - The Oklahoman
OU Unfazed by Low Expectations - Oklahoma Daily

  Video: Practice Highlights | Wednesday, Oct. 19

The Sooners were back on the court for their fifth practice of the fall today, a spirited two-and-a-half hour workout that featured heavy defensive pressure and an up-tempo pace. The practice was the second in which the Sooners worked on full-court defensive pressure, and head coach Lon Kruger seemed happy with the team's progress on both offense and defense.

  Photos: Hoops Jam 2011 | Sunday, Oct. 16

Fans got their first look at the 2011-12 Sooners when the team hosted its "Hoops Jam 2011" event tonight at Lloyd Noble Center. Sponsored by Arvest Bank and free to the public, "Hoops Jam 2011" featured 60 minutes of team drills and scrimmaging, as well as several on-court fan contests. Afterward, team members greeted fans during a 30-minute autograph session. Click here for a photo gallery.

  Video: OU's First Practice | Friday, Oct. 14

OU held its first official practice under new head coach Lon Kruger and staff Friday evening on the Lloyd Noble Center main court. The nearly three-hour session featured extensive defensive work and teaching.

"A great first practice, and a pretty typical one," said Kruger, who is starting his 26th season as a collegiate head coach. "A lot of enthusiasm and effort. Since we're in our first year with this group, it's going to be a little bit slower of a process early on because everything is new to them. The terminology is new, the drills are new -- everything offensively and defensively. But I thought our guys handled it really well tonight."

  Weights and Conditioning Photos | Tuesday, Sept. 20

Here's another team workout photo gallery, this one from last week's strength and conditioning session with Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement Jozsef Szendrei.

  Team Workout Photo Gallery | Monday, Sept. 19

From Sept. 15 to the official start of practice on Oct. 14, college basketball teams are allowed to work out on the court as a full squad for up to two hours a week. The 2011-12 Sooners held their first two workouts under head coach Lon Kruger this past Friday and Saturday. Click here for a photo gallery from Saturday's session. Later this week we'll have a video feature from Friday's workout, for which Kruger wore a microphone.

  Bigs Workout Video | Friday, Sept. 9

Continuing with our video series of the team's opening week of individual workouts, here are highlights of juniors Casey Arent and Andrew Fitzgerald, and seniors Barry Honoré and C.J. Washington from Thursday. Arent, the only newcomer of the group, is a 6-10, 235-pound center from Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif. He was rated as the nation's 22nd-best junior college player last year by JucoRecruiting.com.

Did you know that $99 can get you a season ticket to OU men's or women's basketball? To purchase, call (800) 456-4668 or click here. Here's a short video to whet your appetite for the upcoming hoops season.

  More Workout Video | Wednesday, Sept. 7

The Sooners continued with day two of individual workouts today as another pair of four-player groups hit the court under the direction of the new coaching staff. Four guards participated in the first session (video highlights below): juniors Carl Blair, Sam Grooms and Steven Pledger, and sophomore Calvin Newell. Grooms, a point guard, is a transfer from Chipola College in Florida who was rated as the nation's third best junior college player last year. Blair averaged 7.5 points and a team-high 4.7 assists for OU last year while Pledger averaged 10.9 points and Newell 3.5 points.

  Individual Workouts Begin | Tuesday, Sept. 6

Today marked the first time this semester the Sooners held on-court individual workouts. Head coach Lon Kruger and his coaching staff presided over a pair of sessions today, with four players participating in each of the two groups. The second workout featured juniors Romero Osby (transfer from Mississippi State) and Amath M'Baye (transfer from Wyoming) and sophomores Cameron Clark and Tyler Neal. Below is video from that group. (M'Baye is allowed to practice with the team this year but is not permitted to play in games due to NCAA transfer regulations.) Steve Henson is the assistant coach doing much of instructing in this clip. Look for more video later this week.

  Preseason Conditioning: Week 1 | Friday, Sept. 2

The Sooners concluded their first week of preseason strength and conditioning with Jozsef Szendrei today by running the mile at 6 a.m. Judging by their times, players have done a good job of staying in shape over the summer. Eight of the 14 players who ran recorded personal bests today, including freshman James Fraschilla, who clocked a team-low 5:08.

"It's been a good week," said Szendrei, who is the team's director of student-athlete enhancement. "The guys came back (to Norman) hungry and ready to be here. They're excited, the morale is great, the camaraderie is building. I don't have to worry about people being lazy and not doing what they're supposed to be doing. There's a lot of unselfishness going on, which is good. It was a good run today. I'm happy with it."

Friday's Mile Times (times in bold indicate personal bests)
James Fraschilla: 5:08
Calvin Newell: 5:10
Carl Blair: 5:22
T.J. Franklin: 5:24
Cameron Clark: 5:25
Jarrod Kruger: 5:30
Amath M'Baye: 5:38
Steven Pledger: 5:39
Tyler Neal: 5:54
C.J. Washington: 5:58
Romero Osby: 5:59
Andrew Fitzgerald: 6:00
Sam Grooms: 6:01
Barry Honore: 6:03

  Alumni Game Highlights | Tuesday, Aug. 30

Head coach Lon Kruger and his staff hosted an incredibly fun alumni reunion weekend this past Friday and Saturday, culminating with a Legends Alumni Game Saturday afternoon in front of approximately 4,000 fans at Lloyd Noble Center. More than 30 former Sooners participated in a contest that saw the Crimson team pull out a 76-75 overtime victory over the Red team. First and second-half highlights are below:

2002 Final Four Tribute Video
Halftime festivities at Saturday's Legends Alumni Game included a video tribute to the 2002 Final Four team. On hand for the 10-year anniversary celebration were the entire coaching staff, and players Richard Ainooson, Michael Cano, Blake Johnston, Hollis Price, Jozsef Szendrei and Quannas White. Here's the video:

  7-Part Series on Lon Kruger | Monday, July 18

Last week, The Oklahoman's Mike Baldwin wrote a seven-part series on new head coach Lon Kruger. Here are links to each of the stories:

Sunday, July 10
Series preview: Lon Kruger is an agent of change
Monday, July 11
Lon Kruger's future was evident when he played
Lon Kruger has a knack for uniting people
Tuesday, July 12
Kansas State launched Lon Kruger's coaching career
Lon Kruger was a savior for Kansas State
Wednesday, July 13
Lon Kruger made Florida basketball fun
Lon Kruger's Florida team bonded on trip to Australia
Thursday, July 14
How Lon Kruger helped revive Illinois basketball
Lon Kruger led Illinois to Cinderella run
Friday, July 15
Lon Kruger failed to turn around the Hawks, but he learned a lot
Lon Kruger's good idea had a bad ending
Saturday, July 16
Lon Kruger brought UNLV program back to prominence
Lon Kruger was heavily involved in Las Vegas community
Sunday, July 17
Lon Kruger begins his Extreme Makeover at OU
Lon Kruger: The Great Communicator

  Kruger Chairs CvC Golf Classic | Monday, June 13

Late last month, OU head coach Lon Kruger served as event chair for the Fourth Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic that helped raise $205,000 for the local office of the American Cancer Society. Kruger was joined by North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, Oklahoma State's Travis Ford, Kansas State's Frank Martin, Washburn's Bob Chipman, country music artist Toby Keith, former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens and UNLV head coach and event co-chair Dave Rice, among others. The three-day event began with an "Opening Night Reception at Bellagio" and also included a silent auction, contests, rounds of golf at Shadow Creek and Southern Highlands Golf Club and an awards luncheon. Coaches vs. Cancer is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. It empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and communities to win the fight against cancer. Since its inception, the Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic has raised more than $700,000.

Pictured above from left to right are Colorado State head coach Tim Miles, Kansas State director of development Mike Clark, Kruger, Chipman, Rice, Martin and Williams.

  Steve Henson Playing Days Video | Monday, May 23

The Kansas State Athletics Department was kind enough to send us the following video clips of OU assistant coach Steve Henson from his Wildcat playing days. A Lon Kruger recruit, Henson starred from the 1986-87 through 1989-90 seasons and earned All-Big Eight and honorable mention All-America honors his final two years. In nine career games against Oklahoma (all starts), Henson averaged 12.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 39.0 minutes per contest. He shot .489 from 3-point range (22-for-45) and .926 from the free throw line (25-for-27). He hit six 3's and scored a team-high 20 points in the 1988 Big Eight Tournament championship game, an 88-83 OU win. Kansas State went 3-6 against the Sooners while Henson wore the Purple and White.

  Hollis Price Earning Degree | Monday, May 16

Eight years after playing his last collegiate game, Sooner fan favorite Hollis Price is earning a bachelor's degree from OU. The seventh-leading scorer in school history with 1,821 points, Price was on campus Friday for OU's student-athlete graduation reception and will finish his degree requirements in August. Price, who led the Sooners to the 2002 Final Four as a junior and to the 2003 Elite Eight as a senior, has been competing professionally in Europe (Germany last year) since his OU playing days. Click on the video player below for a three-minute inteview. Other men's basketball players who are part of OU's 2011 student-athlete graduating class are Longar Longar (2004-08), Beau Gerber (2006-10) and Cade Davis (2007-11).

  Griffin Named Rookie of Year | Wednesday, May 4

To nobody's surprise, former Sooner Blake Griffin was named NBA Rookie of the Year today. Griffin picked up every vote, becoming the first unanimous selection in 21 years. He averaged 22.5 points and 12.1 rebounds per game for the Los Angeles Clippers, and recorded 63 double-doubles (third most in the league). The forward, who took the league by storm with his array of acrobatic dunks, was the only NBA player this season to average at least 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists. He's the first OU product since Alvan Adams in 1976 (Phoenix Suns) to be named NBA Rookie of the Year. Below is video of Griffin from NBA All-Star Weekend.

  Kruger at OU Cousins BBQ | Wednesday, April 27

Coach Lon Kruger keeps making the rounds. He stopped by the 15th annual OU Cousins BBQ last night to help celebrate the end of the semester with OU students. The western-themed party was held at the Whinery Ranch, just south of Norman. The OU Cousins program was created in 1996 by President and Mrs. David Boren as a way of developing understanding, friendship and unity among U.S., international and exchange students at the University of Oklahoma. Coach Kruger met students, faculty and staff to learn about the program, and addressed the crowd with a message of congratulations to graduating seniors.

  Kruger Displays Pitching Arm | Tuesday, April 26

Lon Kruger has kept a busy schedule on and off campus since being named OU head coach on April 1. This past Saturday he was at Marita Hynes Field at the OU Softball Complex to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior the Sooners' game against Texas A&M. Yes, Kruger, who pitched in the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league system after college, threw the ball underhanded on Saturday. Here's video.

  Kruger Visits OU Fraternities | Monday, April 25

Head coach Lon Kruger was on the recruiting trail this past Friday...at three different campus fraternity houses. Kruger visited the Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Upsilon fraternities to begin establishing a strong relationship with the OU student body. View the video below to see Kruger interacting with fraternity members, inviting them to take ownership of the OU program and encouraging suggestions on how to improve student attendance and participation.

  Kruger Playing Days Video | Tuesday, April 12

The day Lon Kruger was announced as OU's new head coach he sat down with Toby Rowland for an in-depth 11-minute interview that hit on a wide range of topics. One of the questions asked of Kruger was about his Kansas State playing days (1972-74) inside the OU Field House. Below is video of Kruger's answer about the "glory days," with several of his highlights against the Sooners mixed in. The man wearing No. 33 in white is former OU All-American Alvan Adams.

  Spring Workouts Continue | Thursday, April 7

OU held its second on-court workout under Lon Kruger and staff yesterday. Confirming Kruger's comments Monday that the Sooners would look to play an up-tempo style when possible, he had his squad operating offensively with an abbreviated shot clock. Here's a clip from the workout, which ends with comments from the head coach.

  Blair, Osby on First Workout | Wednesday, April 6

Juniors-to-be Carl Blair and Romero Osby were two of the 11 Sooners who took part in a one-hour team workout yesterday, the first under new head coach Lon Kruger. Here's post-practice video from the pair.

  OU's First Workout Under Kruger | Tuesday, April 5

The Sooners hit the court today for the first time under new head coach Lon Kruger. OU worked out for 60 minutes, focusing on fast-paced full-court and shooting drills. Also involved in the workout were Steve Henson and Lew Hill, assistant coaches under Kruger at UNLV who he said will serve in the same capacity at OU. Click here for photos from today's workout. Video highlights and comments from Kruger can be viewed below.

  Kruger Introduced as New Coach | Monday, April 4

President David L. Boren and Athletics Director Joe Castiglione introduced Lon Kruger as OU's 14th head men's basketball coach this afternoon inside McCasland Field House. Kruger, who owns a 479-304 (.612) career record at the collegiate level, comes to Norman from UNLV where he led the Runnin' Rebels to a 161-71 (.694) mark over the last seven seasons. Over the last five years, UNLV averaged 25.4 wins per season. 

Click here for full coverage of the day's events. Video clips of Kruger's introductory remarks to the Field House crowd and to the media are below.

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