More Top-10 Acclaim for Basketball
Sept. 22, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. - The Oklahoma men's basketball team continues to garner attention from national preseason publications.
After Rivals.com picked the Sooners at No. 7 this summer and Athlon gave OU a No. 10 rating two-and-a-half weeks ago, a pair of even higher rankings have been issued for Jeff Capel's 2008-09 squad. Slam magazine ranks OU No. 3 in the country this week while the comprehensive Blue Ribbon Yearbook tabs the Sooners at No. 6.
Slam's college preview issue, which includes a feature story on sophomore Blake Griffin, has the Sooners picked behind No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Pitt. The only other Big 12 team in the top 20 is Texas (No. 11).
Blue Ribbon Yearbook, widely considered "the bible" of college basketball, picks OU behind only No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Pittsburgh, No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Connecticut. Texas appears at No. 11, Baylor at No. 16 and Kansas at No. 17.
Also, Lindy's college basketball preview has the Sooners at No. 7 nationally and the favorite for a Big 12 championship. The publication ranks Texas No. 14, Texas A&M No. 21 and Kansas No. 32.
Lindy's also rates Griffin as the country's top center and lists OU's frontcourt as the nation's fifth best.
Says Lindy's, "Griffin was considered a virtual lock in the NBA draft lottery, but he passed it up for one more year at Oklahoma. Now, the Sooners -- who improved from 16 wins two years ago to 23 and an NCAA Tournament berth in Griffin's freshman year -- have their sights set much higher than last season's second-round NCAA exit.
"'We want to go as far as we can,' Griffin said. 'We want to win a Big 12 championship. Go to the Final Four, the national championship game.'"
Oklahoma plays a pair of home exhibition games on Nov. 5 and 8 before opening the regular season Nov. 14 at home against 2008 NCAA tournament team American.
Where They Rank Oklahoma Men's Basketball
Slam: No. 3
Blue Ribbon Yearbook: No. 6
Lindy's: No. 7
Rivals.com: No. 7
Athlon: No. 10
CollegeHoops.Net: No. 12