The 2016 class is complete with five players, ranging from the No. 35 player in Kameron McGusty to an under-the-radar late addition in point guard Jordan Shepherd. Add in Matt Freeman, Kristian Doolittle and Darrion Strong and it’s the highest-rated class for Oklahoma under current coach Lon Kruger.
Sooners Illustrated wanted to learn more about the quintet – who they are, what they like and what fans can expect from all of them.
Who better to turn to than the coaches who have been around them for years?
Here are five things that Doolittle’s high school coach at Edmond Memorial, Shane Cowherd, pointed out about the incoming freshman:
Big feet and big tears as a little kid . . . He had a little height to him, but he had these big old clown feet. He had the biggest feet on a little dude as I have ever seen. He was a good little player, but Kristian was a little bit bigger than some of the other guys. One of the first times I ever had a chance to be around him was at basketball camp at our Bulldog basketball camp. . . . There were a couple times I remember in Bulldog camp, him crying because things were too rough or tough and his dad had to sit him down over in the stands and basically give him what for about crying on the basketball court. That’s one of the first things I remember about Kristian.
Kristian loves mobile apps . . . If there’s a weird thing about them, he plays some of the weird, dumbest games on his cell phone. He is on that thing, constantly. It doesn’t matter. Right up until game time, he’ll be on that stupid phone playing some dumb game that he downloaded that he has to conquer. . . . He’s probably in the middle of some multi-sim battle trying to save the world.
Kristian is Tim Duncan, just younger . . . He’s just an old man. That’s about the best way to put it. He is what I would picture Tim Duncan being in high school.
Kristian has already bested Bill Self . . . What stands out to me more than anything else is this: Kristian ended up as the all-time leading scorer at Edmond Memorial. People would not think that or ever realize that after having watched him play. Kristian wasn’t a guy that needed to go get 40 or 50 to make his mark on a game. He went about his business every night and made the guys around him better and gave his team a chance to win. In being so understated, he’s probably the most understated superstar that we’ve had at Edmond Memorial. . . . He was a kid that could have gone the other direction with his ability. Sometimes I might have even wanted to see that at times. To be able to accomplish what he did in such a humble and understated manor is pretty special in today’s society. . . . We’re talking about a guy who know Bill Self off of the charts. Bill Self was the all-time leading scorer at Edmond Memorial, and he knocked him off that list. There’s been some good ones that have come through: Jordan Woodard, James Woodard, Obi Emegano. These are guys that he quietly passed just by doing his job every day.
Being a little brother fueled Kristian . . . There’s some of that competitiveness of always being beat up and picked on. Kristian did a lot of playing with his older brother’s friends in basketball and football. Being around the outskirts of that helped drive him to be the best version of himself. On the flip side, it helped him decide that he wanted to be a basketball player because he wanted to forge his identity. He didn’t want to always be compared to Kameron.