Hoops: Maze can't wait to get to Norman

OUInsider.com goes one-on-one with Patterson Prep School combo guard and Sooner commit Bobby Maze. Maze talks about his visit to Norman, what sold him on Jeff Capel and his relationship with Tony Crocker. In the end, Maze chose the Sooners over Wake Forest.

Patterson, N.C. combo guard Bobby Maze talks about his commitment to Oklahoma.

JH: B-Maze, what is the word?

BM: Mr. Hale, I am a Sooner. Tell everybody that I am a Sooner.

JH: Tell me about it.

BM: Oklahoma is a great program with wonderful facilities and wonderful people working within the program. Coach Capel is a young coach that I know is the best coach for me. Playing at Duke in that guard position for them, he knows the guard position. OU has a lot of coaches that specialize in the guard position. I felt like there was an opportunity and I know the type of player that I am when I get in there, and when I get to work, I know how I am going to play a whole lot of minutes. That is what I wanted and Oklahoma is a great place for Bobby Maze.

JH: So, you are saying the fact that coach Capel's coaching staff is a coaching staff that is good at coaching guards played a big role in your decision?

BM: Yeah. Their whole staff, I think, does a great job coaching guards. Their strength coach (Darby Rich) is the best strength and conditioning coach in the country. And how many strength coaches do you know who have played college basketball? A lot of them only know how to lift weights, but he actually played for Alabama and he knows basketball, and that is a plus for me too.

JH: What did you think of the city of Norman?

BM: The town was pretty good, it seemed real nice. I am from the Washington D.C. area, so Norman is not going to be anything like that because I am from such a big city. What I did see was that the town was full of support. When I came out there a lot of people showed me love. They recognized me and everything was good.

JH: How long did it take for you on your visit to realize that Oklahoma was the place for you?

BM: When I first got there. When I first stepped on campus I knew Oklahoma was for me. When I first got there and I first walked into the gym; when I first met the coaching staff; when I first walked into the basketball offices and saw all the trophies and accomplishments, I just knew that place was for me. I had a chance to talk to the players and they looked me right in my eyes and they didn't lie to me about me playing with them.

Some of them had never seen me play before, but after we played a little they said we know you are our guy. They said we need you and we want you. They said we are missing a point guard, but we have Tony Crocker coming in and they have the other kid (Keith Clark) coming in and they said, "We need you right now, man. If you come you can be the missing piece to the puzzle to this team." When they said that to me it meant a lot to me, because I knew they were not joking with me. They really felt that they needed my presence.

When I went into the locker room today, Coach (Capel) said he wanted to talk to me about something. When I went into that locker room and saw that No. 3 jersey sitting there with Oklahoma on the front, I just knew that was my jersey because it had my number on it and I knew that Oklahoma was the team for me. I talked to my mom and she has big support for me. She comes to the game for me no matter where it is. She told me to follow my heart whatever it told me to do. I felt Oklahoma was the place for me.

JH: How happy are you that you get to play with your buddy Tony Crocker again at OU just like you did at Patterson?

BM: I think that is the best thing that could happen to me. I do think that Tony Crocker is one of the best all-around players in the whole country. He definitely can score, he can play defense and he takes the best attitude that he can take to win. We both come from Patterson — one of the best prep schools in the country — playing for coach Chris Chaney. Coach Chaney definitely gets you ready for the next level.

I am just so excited and I know he is excited about me playing with him again and about me coming to OU. He said it jokingly earlier when their other coach was there (Coach Sampson) that I should come to Oklahoma. I told him then that I was going to come up there with him and finally I am going to go up there with him.

JH: Catch us up to date. Where do you stand academically at this time? When will you be in Norman?

BM: I will be there in June, or I believe I will be there in June. It may be July because I have to go back and pick up my test a little bit. I will be straight. I will be in Norman. I will be in an Oklahoma uniform. Nothing is going to stop me from that. You will see me play at Oklahoma next year.

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