Hoops: Top junior checks out Norman

Top Oklahoma junior Blake Griffin talks about his meeting with new OU coach Jeff Capel.


JH: I understand you recently went down to Norman to visit with Coach (Jeff) Capel and Coach (Mark) Cline. How did that go?

BG: "I really liked it a lot. I really thought Coach Capel was cool and I really enjoyed talking with him and Coach Cline. We didn't stay all that long. I guess it was 30 to 35 minutes, but I was just very impressed with them."

JH: What was the main thing from the visit that you came away with?

BG: "You can just tell he is very passionate about basketball and that he loves the game. It is easy to tell that he used to play and that he just very passionate about basketball. His enthusiasm for the game is very evident."

JH: So from your visit, did you come away with less questions and concerns about the new coach?

BG: "I definitely came away with less questions and concerns following the visit. He sat me town and told me about himself and what he wanted to do with the program. Now I have an understanding what he has in mind for the program."

JH: Your brother Taylor is currently at player at OU so what has he said about playing for Coach Capel?

BG: "He just said he was really excited about playing for Coach Capel. He said it has been great working with Coach Capel and Coach Cline during individual big man drills, because they use different drills and have some different thoughts. He is pretty excited about the change."

JH: You are playing for Athletes First again this summer. How good is this year's team?

BG: "I think we are pretty good. We went to Virginia and won the Silver Bracket, winning five games and losing one. We are going to Houston this weekend to see what we can do."

JH: How well did you play?

BG: "I felt I played pretty good. I played better later in the tournament. Early on it took me a couple of games to get adjusted to the speed of the tournament, but toward the end I was playing pretty well. I am not sure what I averaged for the tournament, but I know in the semi-finals I had 26 points and in the finals I scored 28."

JH: What are your thoughts on recruiting at this point?

BG: "I am still very open right and nothing has really changed there. I do have some new schools that appear to be getting interested in me since the Boo Williams Tournament. I am now hearing from UNC, Kentucky, Texas, Michigan State, Bucknell, Notre Dame, UConn and Missouri. Then you have the schools that I have been interested in who have always been interested in me in OU, Kansas, OSU, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Baylor, K-State."

JH: Now that you have met Coach Capel, what are your thoughts on Oklahoma?

BG: "I like them, and I like the two new coaches so far. I know a lot about the program and I like OU a lot. They are definitely in the running."

JH: Your dad Tommie is coaching you this summer, so what has that been like for you?

BG: "I like it. He definitely pushes me, but that is how I am going to get better. I wouldn't want it any other way."

NOTE: Griffin was named the best big man at the Boo Williams Tournament, which is another indication of just how good he is. Don't be surprised if he is not rated among the top 20 players in the country following this summer.

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