Hardwood News Hits Center Stage

NORMAN, Okla. -- It may be Day One of the 2011 NFL Draft, but this time around, it's not four first-rounders that are stealing the show of the day for the Crimson and Cream.

Instead, it's more news from the Lloyd Noble Center and new head coach Lon Kruger, who took over for the ousted Jeff Capel on April 1

He announced the signing of his third addition to the squad Thursday afternoon, junior college post man Casey Arent from Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif

Arent, a 6-foot-10, 240-pounder from Penryn, Calif , scored 19 1 points and brought down 11 4 boards per contest as a sophomore for his team last season

He shot 51 6 percent from the field, including 37 5 percent from behind the arc, and he was 62 1 percent from the charity stripe

"Casey will be a very nice addition for us," Kruger said "He brings good size and athletic ability, as well as a team-first attitude He adds length for us on the inside and plays with a great deal of intensity on both ends of the floor

He's worked extremely hard the last two years at Sierra College to position himself to play in the Big 12 One of the things we really like about him is that he wants to do whatever he can to help his teammates get better and to help his team win "

Sierra College head coach John Fusano also raved about him

"The number one thing with Casey is that he's a great kid," Fusano said "As stereotypes go, he's more of a Midwestern type guy So, I knew he would just love Norman and would love Oklahoma His teammates are going to like him, he's as humble as heck and he's fun to root for He's one of those kind of guys "

Then, he bragged on his play

"As far as him as a player, he's skilled," Fusano said "He's 6-10 but can really, really pass it, dribble it, shoot it Really can pass it, though It's not just that he's unselfish, but he has the ability to just whip a left-handed pass, a bounce pass, an overhand pass, you name it And he can shoot it, too Defenses wouldn't be too wise to back away from him "

Arent joins junior college point guard Sam Grooms and Wyoming transfer forward Amath M'Baye as Kruger signees

But even though this is a chunk of good news, there's also some bad news to go along with it

Forward Nick Thompson, a transfer from Eastern Utah who averaged 4 4 points, 3 3 rebounds and 1 4 assists while playing 17 1 minutes per game, has been released from his scholarship, Kruger also announced Thursday

"Nick has expressed an interest to be closer to home," Kruger said "We're understanding of that and wish him the best at his next stop "

Thompson wasn't the only one to be released from scholarship, either

Center Robert Goff, who signed with OU back in November, also will go another route

"And with the coaching change here, Robert has also asked to be released from his letter of intent," Kruger said "We are granting that request, and likewise wish him well "

So, the Sooners gained one and lost two, good for an eventful day with some unrelated draft news on day one of the 2011 NFL Draft

For more discussion on Arent's signing, check here.

For more discussion on the release of Thompson and Goff from their scholarships, check here.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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