White Wins Media Hoops Game Again

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

Aug. 27, 2008

NORMAN, Okla. - Despite turning in one of his best career coaching jobs (and certainly one of his most vocal), Jeff Capel's team fell short on Wednesday afternoon at Lloyd Noble Center.

Capel's Red Team overcame a 20-point halftime deficit to draw within two points inside a minute to go before fading down the stretch in a 45-38 defeat to the Bryan Goodman-coached White Team in the second annual Jeff Capel Media Basketball Game.

Goodman, who serves as the OU men's basketball program's director of basketball operations, took full advantage of the pre-draft scouting period by arriving 45 minutes prior to tip-off.  His extensive charting during layup drills paid immediate dividends as his hand-picked squad jumped out to a 13-2 lead.

Adequate offensively, it was the White Team's defense that made the contest a mismatch for first 20 minutes.  Goodman's squad held the Red Team to 1-of-19 (.053) field goal shooting and used a 12-0 first-half-ending run to take a comfortable 25-5 lead at the break.  The Red Team set several Lloyd Noble records for futility in a half, including fewest points scored and lowest field goal percentage, and worst assist-to-turnover ratio (zero assists and 11 turnovers).

Unfazed by their first-half woes, Capel's crew stormed out of the halftime huddle and netted the first seven points of the second stanza.  NewsOK.com's Damon Fontenot set the tone with a driving bucket and free throw just six seconds in.  Tulsa World writer Guerin Emig followed with a layup a minute later and OU Media Relations assistant director David Bassity drained a putback to force a White Team timeout.

 Box Score

A layup by OU Media Relations intern Ryan Kasmiersky slowed the bleeding for the White Team but failed to stop it.  Three more Red Team buckets by Fontenot (one of them a 3-pointer) and another by KOCO sports director Mark Rodgers cut the margin to eight points, 29-21, with 15:57 remaining.

The White Team righted its ship minutes later when The Oklahoman's Jake Trotter knocked down a pair of treys 20 seconds apart from the same spot on the right wing.  The three-balls pushed the White advantage back to 15 points and seemingly ended all Red Team hopes.

But as he did early in the second half, Capel guided his team through another furious rally as it reeled off nine straight points to make it a 38-32 contest with 2:56 to go.  Three ensuing Rodgers free throws and a miraculous banked 3-pointer from Bassity with 36.4 seconds left trimmed the margin to two and threw the crowd into a frenzy.

Up by two and at the foul line for a one-and-one with 21.5 seconds left, Kasmiersky and the White Team were the beneficiaries of a favorable bounce on the first attempt and a referee error on the second.  The 6-6 center crossed the free throw line well before his second shot got to the rim, but lead official Yanni Hufnagel missed the obvious violation and allowed the make to stand.

Hufnagel later admitted to the mistake.

"Yeah, that was weak," he said.

Kasmiersky's free throws made it a two-possession game and essentially ended all hope for the Red Team.  The coffin was nailed shut with two Red Team free throw misses and three White Team makes in the final 13 seconds.

"I was very pleased with our team's effort," said Goodman, who made his media game coaching debut.  "I think our talent overwhelmed them!  Our defense in the first half was the difference.  We were aggressive and got our hands on a lot of passes. That, along with some questionable shot selections on their part, led to our first-half lead. 

"In the second half, I think you have to give Coach Capel and his guys -- and the refs -- a lot of credit for working hard and getting back into the game.  It's difficult sometimes to keep your focus after such a lopsided half, and we may have been a little complacent.  We had trouble containing Damon Fontenot and that led to some breakdowns defensively.  I am proud of the way our guys fought through their fatigue and finished the game with some great execution.  It was a fun game and the better team won."

Trotter paced the winning White Team with with a game-high 16 points despite his suspect 4-for-12 field goal and 6-for-12 free throw shooting.  He added a game-high 13 rebounds and three steals but mysteriously lost out on his team's MVP honors.  KOCO's Daniel Holdge finished with 10 points, 11 boards, three blocks and three steals while Kasmiersky logged 10 points, six rebounds and four steals.  Goodman named Kasmiersky MVP for his clutch free throw conversions.

Fontenot netted a team-high 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting for the Red.  Bassity finished with nine points, 10 boards and four steals en route to MVP honors from his head coach.

"Although I am disappointed with the outcome of this game, I am very pleased with the effort my team displayed in the second half," said a dejected but proud Capel.   "We got off to an awful start.  When you're 1-for-19, your defense has to work extra hard to keep you in the game.  Unfortunately, the White Team was allowed to basically live in the 3-second lane the entire first half.  Because of that, they got a number of easy baskets. 

"We felt we had a chance when it was a one-possession game with a little under a minute left to play.  They were attempting their second free throw and the shooter blatantly stepped across the line.  I don't know how the referee missed that, but I guess that meal the opposing coach bought for him last night came in handy.  Anyway, it was a great game, and we look forward to revenge next year!"

White Team: Curtis Fitzpatrick (WWLS and Cox Communications), John Helsley (The Oklahoman), Daniel Holdge (KOCO), Ryan Kasmiersky (OU Media Relations), Jeff Latzke (AP), Rusty Olson (KREF), Jake Trotter (The Oklahoman), Jay Upchurch (Sooner Spectator)

Red Team: David Bassity (OU Media Relations), Shawn Clynch (KOKH), Kelly Crull (KOCO), Guerin Emig (Tulsa World), Al Eschbach (WWLS), Damon Fontenot (NewsOK.com), James Hale (KOKC), Mark Rodgers (KOCO), Matthew Wilson (OU Media Relations)

Game Notes: The Red Team scored more points (seven) in the first 2:19 of the second half than it did in the entire first half (five) … The Red Team held the White Team without a field goal for the game's final 12:30 … The game marked the first at Lloyd Noble Center with the new extended 3-point line (20'9") … The teams struggled with the new line, going a combined 5-for-29 (.172) … KOKC's James Hale, The Oklahoman's John Helsley and WWLS's Al Eschbach were held scoreless for the second consecutive year, although they attempted just a combined six shots today … WWLS/Cox Communications personality Curtis Fitzpatrick was 0-for-8 from the field but drained three free throws and added five boards, three assists and two steals in his first Capel Media Game appearance ... KOCO's Daniel Holdge blocked three shots (nobody registered a block in last year's game) … Indiana native Kelly Crull, who started at KOCO last week, made her Lloyd Noble Center debut and finished with two points from the free throw line … Trotter's double-double was the second of his Capel Media Game career (he's averaging 14.0 points and 12.5 boards in his two games) … Trotter, Helsley and Sooner Spectator's Jay Upchurch are all now 2-0 in Capel Media Game competition … KREF's Rusty Olson was voted as this year's biggest and loudest trash talker ... OU men's basketball graduate assistants Yanni Hufnagel and Kellen Sampson served as game officials.