Basketball Recruiting: Signing Period Preview

OU could sign as many as three recruits during the early signing period, which starts Wednesday

With the early signing period starting in just three days it looks like the Sooners are going to sign a great class. I don't expect the Sooners to sign anybody on November 14th, the first day of the early period starts, but before it is over I expect the Sooners to have two signees and possibly three.

As we head into the nitty-gritty, OU has the lead on Stroud, Oklahoma star Kevin Bookout over OSU. This would be a knockout for OU if OU fans cared more about the Sooner program. Bookout has been to the OU midnight madness and exhibition games when very few fans showed for either event.

He went to OSU's basketball bash and saw close to nine-thousand fans in attendance and close to 11-thousand for the Cowboys recent exhibition game. Bookout believes that OSU fans care more about basketball and that they are more of a basketball school. OSU has also promised him that they will hire a world class throwing coach for their track and field program if he signs with OSU. Of course if I am Bookout, I make sure they have the coach already hired and I know who that coach is before I sign on the dotted line.

What OU has going for it is that Bookout has grown up around the University of Oklahoma all his life and he has always dreamed of being a Sooner. OU has also hired Ed Wade as their throwing coach in track and field, who is a former All-American at OU. Wade is regarded as an excellent technician and Bookout already knows a lot about him.

It's my guess here that Bookout's life-long love for OU will win out here, but a more rabid fan base would have really helped Kelvin Sampson here.

Six-foot-five shooting guard DeAngelo Alexander of Midwest City is telling everybody that will listen that he is no longer committed to OU and that he will not sign during the early signing period. However, OU is totally confident that before the early signing period is over that he will be an Oklahoma Sooner.

Alexander is telling the media that he is not committed to OU, that he will not sign early and that he will visit St. John's, UCONN and Georgetow. He tells the media that OU is still being considered, but he will pick a school that can provide him with the best opportunity to help him get to get to the NBA.

However, Alexander talks to the OU coaches almost on a daily basis and he is telling them he will sign early. The problem for OU here is that DeAngelo's father, Stephen Alexander, wants him to wait until the second signing period to see what the East Coast schools have to offer.

DeAngleo has always wanted to play at OU and the OU coaches believe that dad will back off if DeAngelo really wants to go to OU.

The OU coaches are very confident the son will win out here and that he will sign sometime during the early signing period. In fact, Alexander has set a press conference for Friday, reportedly to sign with OU.

The final piece to the puzzle could still be Tulsa (Victory Christian) guard Kelenna Azubuike. Azubuike has never wavered publicly and still says that he is signing with the Sooners. However, behind the scenes this has been a struggle between papa Azubuike and Coach Sampson.

Coach Sampson is his own man and will coach his team the way he wants to coach it. Does anybody remember Ryan Humphrey? Coach Sampson wouldn't bend to Mr. Humphrey's demands and he won't to Azubuike's as well.

There is no question that the Azubuike's want Kelenna to go to the NBA and believe he can get there soon. However, there are many mixed opinion's about that and many feel that he needs at least three years of solid play in the collegiate ranks and maybe four.

Mr. Azubuike has at times has demanded specific playing time and a certain starting role if Kelenna signs with OU. Coach Sampson has said there are no guarantees and it looks like the Azubuike's have finally accepted that.

It looks like Azubuike will sign with the OU on Wednesday. This is not set in stone and we will believe it when we actually see the ink on the dotted line, but at press time things look good for Azubuike inking with the Sooners before the weekend.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories