From OU Associate Athletics Director for Communications Kenny Mossman.
No. 41 | February 14, 2008
How about this set of numbers: 18-of-55 for 33 percent.
And no, those are not my career free throw statistics.
The 55 is the number of games Jeff Capel has coached
at Oklahoma. The 18 is the number of times he has done
so with the full roster at his disposal.
All together now, "wow."
I've got to tell you, I've been in college athletics
for 24 years now. I really don't believe I've seen
anything like this before.
And that does not include those that may have signed
with Oklahoma and then went elsewhere. That 18-of-55
is the guys that were on hand for the team photo a
day or two before the season began.
Let that sink in for a second. Oklahoma's men's
basketball coach has been able to employ his full compliment
of players in just one third of the games he has mentored
from the Sooner sideline.
Coaching with arm tied behind his back? Yes, I'd
say that qualifies.
|OU head coach Jeff Capel and the men's basketball
team invite Sooner fans to Finish
Strong at the Lloyd Noble Center as the regular
season comes to a close.
Look, I'll be the first one to admit that the "no
excuses" approach is the only one that any serious
coach can adopt with a team. Rarely will a season go
completely to form so when the bumps come, you have
to be ready.
To lean on the shortcomings is to enable the doubt
and failing of spirit that seek to infiltrate the locker
room every time something bad happens.
But 18-of-55? Are you kidding me? You can't categorize
that statistic under "bumps." That's more
like 10 consecutive miles of waist-high rumble strips.
I admire Capel, especially for the way he has navigated
this string of unfortunate personnel twists. His jaw
is still set and if he's muttering, rolling his eyes
or shaking his head, it's impossible to see it from
Surely in his private moments he is screaming at
the top of his lungs.
This much I know, though. Sports are a series of
breaks, some good, some bad. And while I most adamantly
disagree with the fact that anyone makes all of his
or her own breaks (how many of these tough ones did
Capel create?), I do embrace the theory that over time
they tend to even out.
The time for evening out must be around the corner.
When it finally happens, and it will to a coach as
mature, strong and just flat good as Capel, I would
suggest buying as much stock in him as possible. The
basketball soldiers of fortune owe him to the tune
of about 67 percent as near as I can tell.
And when that payout comes, it will be particularly
sweet to those that persevered.
an inside perspective from the University of Oklahoma
Athletics Department on the latest Sooner sports topics.
Associate Athletics Director for Communications Kenny
Mossman provides his thoughts in his online column