Seniors shouldn't be remembered for last game

Oklahoma's quartet of seniors helped put Oklahoma back on the college basketball's map. Pictured left: Hollis Price and Quannas White embrace during OU's second round win over California. The duo combined for a 58-12 record during their two years together at Oklahoma and led the Sooners to two Big 12 Tournament titles, a Final Four and an Elite Eight appearance.

ALBANY, N.Y. – Hollis Price and Quannas White sat in the postgame press conference in shock. This wasn't the way their college careers were supposed to end.

The dream of returning to the Final Four, in their hometown of New Orleans, had been shattered just moments earlier in a 63-47 loss to Syracuse in the East Region Final in Albany, N.Y. Seniors are supposed to save their best for last, Price and White didn't. The two combined for only 10 points on 4-of-25 shooting in the final game of their careers.

"We came so far and were so close," said Price. "It hurts."

"It's real tough knowing that we lost this game and knowing that we didn't come out like we were capable of playing," said White. "Syracuse did a great job and you have to give them credit."

Despite Sunday's performance, the backcourt mates from New Orleans shouldn't be remembered for what they didn't do in their final game, but for what they did leading up to it. Oklahoma basketball has always been on the map, but it wasn't until Hollis Price, Quannas White, Ebi Ere and Jozsef Szendrei showed up that people started to look for Norman.

"I've said many times that when the season was over I was going to thank God for having the opportunity to coach Hollis Price for four years," said a teary-eyed OU Head Coach Kelvin Sampson during Sunday's postgame press conference. "And I say the same thing for Quannas White for two years."

"Hollis Price, in four years, has won 111 games," Sampson added. "That's almost 28 wins per season. He's won three Big 12 titles. He's been to a Final Four and Elite Eight. I don't know if a kid has won more in just two years then Quannas, Ebi and Jozsef. Quannas White, in two years, has won 58 games."

Price, White and seniors Jozsef Szendrei and Ebi Ere teamed up for the greatest two-year stretch in Oklahoma basketball history. They helped lead Oklahoma to its first Final Four since 1988 and were one game away this season.

Over the last two seasons, with Price and White starting in the same backcourt, the Sooners posted a 58-12 record. And over the course of his four-year career, Hollis Price participated in 111 wins, which ranks him first among every player to ever don an Oklahoma basketball uniform.

"We feel bad right now because we lost," said Sampson. "Sometimes when you lose a game you tend to see the trees and you never see the forrest. Whereas when you win you see everything."

"When this passes these kids are going to be awfully proud," Sampson continued. "This is an unbelievable era for Oklahoma Basketball."

An era that will be hard to duplicate. Thanks for the memories.

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