OU's three true freshmen all start, combine for 46 points as team improves to 3-0.
Sept. 2, 2007
LANGLEY, B.C. - Playing with a new starting lineup that featured four newcomers and a fifth player who missed more than half of his freshman season last year, Oklahoma men's basketball head coach Jeff Capel got a similar result on Sunday night -- a comfortable win. The Sooners cruised to a 107-58 victory over an undersized-but-scrappy Trinity Western squad to move to 3-0 in its exhibition tour of the Vancouver area.
OU has won its three games by an average of 32.3 points and plays its final contest on Monday against Douglas College at 11 a.m. CDT (9 a.m. PDT).
Capel started freshmen Cade Davis, Blake Griffin and Tony Neysmith, junior college transfer Omar Leary and sophomore Keith Clark. Clark injured his left knee on Dec. 28 of last year and sat out the rest of the season while recovering. The freshmen combined for 46 points in an up-and-down-the-court contest.
"This was a different style of game," said Capel following the 49-point triumph. "Trinity Western runs and guns, and they're a lot smaller than the other teams we've played here. We did some good things. We were able to get it inside early to Blake Griffin, and Cade Davis made some 3's tonight."
For the third consecutive game, Griffin assembled a double-double. The freshman forward registered team highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds despite not playing the game's final 14 minutes. His brother, Taylor Griffin, finished with 15 points for his highest output of the trip. Longar Longar also netted 15 points and was followed by Davis (14), Neysmith (14), Tyson Seng (10) and Beau Gerber (nine).
Davis rebounded from a 0-for-5 start on 3-pointers by canning four of his final five trey attempts. His 14 points represented his most in a game thus far. Neysmith's high prior to Sunday night was nine points.
"Longar Longar did some good things off the bench and it was good to see Taylor Griffin score some points out there," added Capel. "We're just trying to use every day to get better. Today was a tough day with two games, but I like how our guys responded. We get to look forward to one more game tomorrow and then get on back home."
Oklahoma fell behind 7-6 but answered quickly with an 11-0 spurt that set the tone for the rest of the night. The Sooners led 32-13 after the first quarter, 60-26 at halftime and 86-38 after the third period. Gerber put OU over the century mark at the 2:41 mark of the final stanza when he converted an alley-oop pass from David Godbold.
Sophomore and redshirt freshman walk-ons Beau Gerber and Tyson Seng saw their first extensive playing time of the trip and took advantage of it. Gerber finished with nine points while Seng registered 10 points with the help of a pair of 3-pointers. Seven of Seng's points came during a 37-second span late in the third quarter on a 15-footer, a transition layup and a trey from the corner.
Head coach Jeff Capel was quick to recognize their production following the game.
"Those two guys were terrific," said Capel. "Beau knows our stuff as well as anyone on the team. He really understands how to play, understands who he is and what he can and can't do. He communicates well on defense. I love having Beau on our team.
"Tyson came in and did a good job making shots. He can really shoot it. I thought he handled it pretty well tonight and made some good decisions."
Said Seng, "It was great to get out there. I didn't see much time in the first couple of games, but whenever Coach Capel calls my number I'll be ready. Tonight my teammates were finding me -- they wanted to get me the ball because they knew it was kind of a fun time for me to get in there. They hit me with some good passes."
ROOM TO IMPROVE
While OU has won by at least 19 points in each of its three games in Canada, Capel remarked after Sunday night's contest against Trinity Western that the Sooners can improve in several areas.
"We did some good things tonight, but we also see some areas where we need to get better," he said. "We have to improve our transition defense -- that's been a constant all trip. We have to be able to execute our offense a little bit better. Granted, we don't have much stuff in right now, but we have to be better at the stuff that we do have implemented. We have to be better with our spacing and moving, we have to handle the ball better, make better decisions and stay down in our defensive stance all the time. Those are all things that we can and we will correct."