OU making tough decisions on the wing

Sooners pull scholarship from local two-sport star

Mustang junior Jakolby Long has been on Oklahoma’s radar for a long time.

The Sooners have been keeping tabs on Long since the seventh grade. He was offered a scholarship in the summer of 2013, but almost 17 months later, the Sooners pulled the scholarship according to his father Terry Long, who is also the coach at Mustang.

Oklahoma also pulled the scholarship of 6-foot-8 Austin Meyer, Long’s teammate at Mustang.

Such seems to be the growing case for many athletes who don’t want to pick a sport in the increasing world of specialization.

“I have to talk to my parents about that and see what the best decision is for me,” said Jakolby Long, who also plays football for Mustang and has been hoping for a D-I football scholarship.

Jakolby Long still has in-state basketball offers from Oklahoma State and Tulsa according to his father, but he’s taking his time with his biggest decision – football or basketball.

The offers haven’t materialized in football for Long, who said that basketball is still a big option. He’s been playing since he was four years old.

“It’s really my number one thing I’ve been doing for a long time,” said Jakolby Long, who added that the lack of offers for football is a partial reason for choosing basketball, but he hasn’t made a final decision. “My whole family played ball. It’s like life for me.”

Oklahoma, which has a pair of talented wing plays signed for the 2015 class, seems to be moving on as well.

The Sooners are still heavily pursuing a quartet of players on the wing for the 2016 class, which is already about half full with two verbal commits.

The first commit of the 2016 class, point guard Payton Pritchard, is the highest-rated commit by Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger during his time with the Sooners. Pritchard is locked in at point guard.

Edmond Memorial product Kristian Doolittle, a 6-foot-7 forward with good handles for a player of his size, can stretch the court and has the ability to play as a stretch power forward or a post-up small forward. He is shooting better 70 percent from behind the arc.

Despite stopping its recruiting entirely with Texas-based point guard J.J. Caldwell after Pritchard’s signing, the Sooners are still pursuing DeJon Jarreau, a 6-foot-4 point guard out of Louisiana. Jarreau, ranked 56th overall by Scout, said Oklahoma still contacts him regularly although it has slowed since the season began.

He hasn’t narrowed down a list but is still considering the Sooners.

Four-star shooting guard Lamonte Turner, a top 100 player, and 3-star, 6-foot-6 forward K.J. Santos both hold offers from Oklahoma. Santos intends to visit Norman this summer and hopes to have a listed narrowed down before the start of his senior year.

“I still have to talk with my parents about it,” said Santos, who is also hoping to visit Iowa, Xavier and DePaul.

Shooting guard Greg Williams, who plays at the Genesis Academy in Virginia, said the Sooners are still in the running for him as well. Being a Houston-native though, Williams is close with Khadeem Lattin and 2015 signee Christian James.

"It's crazy how good OU is this year," said Williams, a 6-foot-4, 3-star wing that holds almost a dozen offers, including Oklahoma.

It’s just Jakolby Long who has been left out – possibly by his decision to play football.

The 6-foot-4 Long is a talented athlete with a quick release and great strength when driving to the basket. His father said that Jakolby Long had a great summer and expected him to work on his game, fully choosing basketball.

Jakolby Long, who has been leaning towards playing basketball, continued to chase the dream that his brother realized a few years earlier by walking on the football team at Missouri.

Terry Long said that the ultimate decision of which sport his son plays is up to his son. As a long-time basketball coach though, the elder Long’s choice would be easy.

“Honestly, if it was my way, he’d stay in the gym forever,” Terry Long said. “I think he’s a talented kid. I think certain times, you can’t get those reps back when you’re out there. He’s an athlete.

“. . . It may sound strange, but I don’t. Right now, it’s basketball. So, this is kind of all he cares about – this time and the summer. I told him, ‘If you really want to play football, I’ll take you to camps. I’ll take you where you can get some exposure, so people can see you. If this is what you want to do.’”

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories