Still Sooners?

OU basketball signees Damion James (pictured above), Scottie Reynolds and Tony Crocker talk to SoonersIllustrated.com about the departure of Kelvin Sampson and if their future is still at Oklahoma.

DAMION JAMES, 6-8, F, NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS:

JH: Are you still committed to OU since Kelvin Sampson decided to leave OU for Indiana?


DJ: "Nothing has changed. I am still going to be a Sooner."

JH: What did you think about Coach Sampson leaving OU for Indiana?

DJ: "It was very heartbreaking, but at the same time you have to do what you have to do. I don't really understand why Coach Sampson did what he did, but my coach tries to explain it to me everyday."

JH: What does your coach tell you?

DJ: "My coach says sometimes you have to do what is best for your family. I still don't understand it because I put my trust in Coach Sampson and he really hurt my feelings. I guess you have to do what you have to do."

JH: But despite your disappointment you are still a Sooner?

DJ: "I am still a Sooner. I am a true Sooner now. I want to take Oklahoma to new heights."

JH: Do you talk to any of the other recruits?

DJ: "I talk to them all the time. I just got off the phone with Tony and he is still very excited. Scottie says he is waiting to see who the new coach is, but he says he is still going to be a Sooner. He is basically waiting to see what I am going to do and I am telling him I am going to be a Sooner."

JH: Who do you think will be the next head coach?

DJ: "I heave heard John Lucas maybe. That would be great if it was John Lucas. I heard it from a couple of people. It doesn't really matter. I am sure the athletic people at OU will make the best decision."

TONY CROCKER, G, 6-5, THE PATTERSON SCHOOL, PATTERSON, N.C.:

JH: Now that Coach Sampson left to go to Indiana, do you still want to play at Oklahoma?

TC: "Yeah I am still committed and I still want to be a Sooner. I am just waiting to see who they are going to get, but I am sure it is going to work it. I talk to Damion earlier today and I asked him what he was going to do and he asked me if I was still going to come with him. I told him yes that was what I was going to do to. We still plan on winning a National Championship."

JH: What did you think when you heard the news?

TC: "I didn't know what to think. I really didn't think he was leaving. We just got this great recruiting class, this top five class or whatever, so I didn't think he would leave. I guess he has to do what is best for his family."

JH: Did you ever talk to Coach Sampson?

TC: "I talked to him last week and he told me that he had to do what is best for his family. He told me that I should still go to Oklahoma."

JH: Do you have any preference as to who you would like to see be the next head coach at OU?

TC: "No, I really don't know. I know a lot of names on that list, but I don't know who they are going to get. I am sure whoever they get they will get somebody really good."

SCOTTIE REYNOLDS, G, 6-0, HERNDON, VIRGINIA:

JH: Now that Coach Sampson has left OU and gone to Indiana, do you still want to come to OU?

SR: "I am committed and signed man. I just wish I knew who the coach was right now."

JH: What did you think when you first heard the news?

SR: "I was just shocked. I really didn't know at first and I didn't know if it was true or not. I even talked myself into feeling like it wasn't true."

JH: So when you heard it was official what did you think?

SR: "It was kind of like I didn't know what to do. I was unsure about a whole bunch of things."

JH: Did you eventually talk to Coach Sampson?

SR: "I talked to him Tuesday morning after I practiced at the McDonald's game. He was just talking to me for about 10 minutes because I wasn't saying anything back to him. I was just listening."

JH: Did you sign with OU because of the university and program or was it because of Coach Sampson?

SR: "You always have to have a combination when it comes to where you are going to go. You don't' want the coach to be the whole focus, and with me that is the case. I love Oklahoma, I love the campus and I love the people. It is unfortunate that Coach Sampson left, but I am sure they will bring in somebody just as good and we will get the job done."

JH: All of your (signees) are talking and staying together, aren't you?

SR: "Yes, that is true. I told the guys — Damion and Tony — I haven't talked to Keith yet because I lost his number, but I told them not to make any drastic decisions right now. We need to be patient and see how the coaching thing works out because we can still do some great things at OU. We just need to sit back and see who they are going to hire and go from there. I was at the McDonald's game and everybody that was coming up to me were wishing me luck and telling me that they couldn't wait to see me in Norman."

JH: What did you think about playing in the McDonald's All-American game?

SR: "In the first half I really didn't play that well, but in the second half I got the ball up and down the floor like I like. I set up a few shots and made a couple of shots myself. I hope that a lot of people saw that game and in the second half. You saw a glimpse of what hopefully Oklahoma Sooner basketball is going to be like."

JH: What were you season totals at the end of the season?

SR: "I ended the season averaging 27 points, five assists and five rebounds a game."


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories