USA Today Sports Images

OU football & basketball hoping for graduate transfer help

OU searching for some graduate transfer help in football and basketball.

Oklahoma has fared well in the graduate transfer department. Wide receiver has been the spot for the Sooners, going back to Justin Brown in 2012, Geno Lewis last year and now former Kentucky receiver Jeff Badet is coming to Norman this summer.

He might not be alone. The Sooners will find out their fate regarding former Clemson defensive tackle Scott Pagano on Friday. Pagano is down to OU, Oregon and Notre Dame although most everyone believes it will be the Sooners or Ducks with the Irish standing no chance.

Pagano started 13 games in the last two seasons for the Tigers, accumulating 92 tackles, 6.5 for loss and two sacks during that time. At 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, Pagano appears to be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Sooners.

He visited OU last month and multiple sources have said OU did everything right in trying to land the former Hawaiian high school star to head to Norman. The Sooners have emphasized just how badly help is needed at defensive line.

Defensive lineman Neville Gallimore doesn’t even disagree with that sentiment even if he does have confidence in the guys already on campus.

“I have just as much as confidence in myself as I do with the other guys. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Gallimore said. “I love this team. I love this defensive line. Again, I know we don’t have a lot of numbers, but it’s just going to make us stronger. The expectation doesn’t change.”

The Sooners simply aren’t deep at defensive line. Maybe they’ll get there in year No. 2 with Calvin Thibodeaux, but they’re not there heading into the 2017 season.

Add lack of depth to the uncertain situation of someone like Du’Vonta Lampkin and you see why the Sooners are looking in Pagano’s direction.

The scuttlebutt has been Pagano wants to stay closer to home, which would make Oregon the clear winner here. But sources have said throughout the week OU’s pitch resonated more than most people think, and the Sooners are not a token finalist heading into Friday’s announcement.

Someone with experience playing in big-time games. Someone who has made plays in those big-time games. Could be a missing ingredient for the Sooners heading into the season.


Egor Koulechov

Not the gridiron, but the hardwood as Lon Kruger and company look for another piece to their puzzle heading into next season.

Koulechov averaged 18 points and nine rebounds per game last season at Rice despite the fact he’s just 6-5. OU was hoping to knock it out of the park last weekend and wrap it up, but Koulechov will indeed visit Florida this weekend.

Koulechov’s journey has been an interesting one, starting at Arizona State before transferring to Rice and now looking for another destination for his final year.

OU would seem to know more about Koulechov than most considering assistant coach Carlin Hartman was at Rice before heading to OU last season.

It’s tough to know how his stats would translate into Big 12 play, but he would bring experience and production to Kruger’s group. His ability to shoot the three but not being afraid to get in the paint to grab rebounds would be a welcomed addition.

If the reported news of Dante Buford transferring does indeed become confirmed, Koulechov is almost a necessity at that point.

OU is in a win now mentality with five-star point guard Trae Young officially signing Wednesday. Koulechov would go a long way toward helping that occur.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories