Sampson says OU will be bigger, stronger in 04-05

Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson talks about the Sooners' offseason conditioning progress.

The Oklahoma men's basketball team is currenlty going through offseason conditioning in preparation for the 2004-05 season. And Coach Kelvin Sampson gives us this update on how the guys look very early in camp.

"Our squad is bigger and stronger. They are bigger, stronger and a year older, which means they are going to be better. Hollis Price wasn't very physical at 18 years old, but he matured and got more physical as he got older. We have had a lot of kids in their freshman year needing to get bigger and stronger. I remember Eduardo Najera being 6-foot-6 ½ and 212 his freshman year. His senior year he was 6-8, 245 and had six percent body fat. However, we didn't have to depend on any freshman until this past season."

"Lawrence McKenzie has gone from 167 to 179 right now. Brandon Foust is much improved. Taj Gray and Kevin Bookout are going to be a great front line. Kevin is playing full court now full speed as he has been released by the doctors. He is getting after it. Bookout and Gray will be a really good front line. Will it be good enough? That depends on the guards. However, Taj Gray, Kevin Bookout, Larry Turner (258), Johnnie Gilbert and Longar Longar are all talented. I like the mix up front.

"Then in the backcourt you have Terrell Everett, who is a slippery penetrator who knows how to get to the rim. Drew Lavender and McKenzie will be better and Everett will help us. Foust will help us and Jaison Williams will be more of what we looked for him to be, and that is strickly a role player who can shoot threes. Then David Godbold is impressing us early. We have a really young team, but the good new is that we are not as inexperienced as we were."

Coach Sampson will be on Campus Corner Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. to sign copies of his book ‘Kelvin Sampson: The OU Basketball Story.'

The Sooners are also hosting talented 6-3 guard Austin Johnson of Amarillo (Palo Duro HS), Texas this weekend. Johnson is ranked the No. 7 player in Texas this year and among the top 50 in the country. OU is his leader coming in with Texas Tech the top competition.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories