Wright looking to expand his game under Capel

Ryan Wright talks about his game and decision to leave UCLA for Oklahoma. Coming out of high school, Wright was rated as the 52nd-best prospect in the 2006 class by Scout.com.


JH: Congratulations on your decision to transfer to Oklahoma from UCLA. Tell us how all this came about?

RW: ?"Basically, I am leaving UCLA. It was a great experience here. I learned a lot here. I was coached by great coaches and I made a lot of great relationships and made a lot of great friends. I was just at a point in my career where I thought I could take my experience of going to two Final Fours and I could use my experience with another team, help them win and be a bigger part of the winning than I was here at UCLA. That is not to say that I wasn?t a part of it (at UCLA), but I just felt like it was time for me to take what I learned here and look for another opportunity to continue my career and help another team.?"

JH: Even though you have a started a few games in your career, is it safe to say that you are looking for chance to get more playing time at OU?

RW: ?Yeah, that is one of the biggest things when I was deciding was where I could go to get more playing time. I just thought Oklahoma was a great place and Coach Capel is a great coach, and I already have a pretty good relationship with him. I know that he is a great coach who will work me and help me get better. I think he will really give me an opportunity, so I decided on Oklahoma.?"

JH: How did your relationship start with Coach Capel?

RW: ?"He recruited me in high school. He didn'?t really recruit me hard when he was at VCU, but he saw me in high school and he knew me from high school. He kind of followed my career that way because he came up to Canada a few times to see me play in high school and everything. So,when he learned about me transferring, I sent a release over to them and I just started to talk to them. From there, we kind of hit it off because even though VCU wasn?'t one of the schools that I was considering in high school, he had seen me enough to know my game. I am very comfortable with him and he is a great young coach. I think he is one of the best up and coming coaches in the country. I look forward to playing for him.?"

JH: Did you know that much about the Oklahoma program before you decided to look into transferring from UCLA?

RW: ?"Yeah, I knew about the program. I knew how the coaching change went through and I knew about the last couple of years and everything. With that coaching change, they graduated a few players. Also, when I will be eligible to play they will be graduating a few other players. So the opportunity for me to step in there and be a significant part of the team and get some playing time and help the team win, I thought, was there.?"

JH: Talk about your game. Also, you will have to sit out a year so what will you be concentrating on during that redshirt year?

RW: ?"During the year, I will basically work on expanding my game. I will be working on doing some more things, like shooting from 17-feet out on the perimeter and then putting the ball on the floor and working on my mid-range jump shot and my long-range jump shot. I already feel like the strengths of my game are that I play really solid defense inside coming from a defensive program in high school. I guess you could say that got instilled in me. I feel like I can score really well with my back to the basket. I can score in the paint and I feel I can score in transition. One of the things that I am going to be working on while I am sitting out is really trying to expand my game and to be able to some things in the mid-range area.?"

JH: When you became interested in Oklahoma, what did you think about how Coach Capel's offense got the ball inside to the post players?

RW: ?"Yeah, I watched the tapes and I saw that the big guys, the 4?s and the 5?s, were getting an opportunity to post up and get the ball. They were also getting an opportunity to get the ball off the block. They were getting the opportunity to pick and pop on the wing. The bigs in that program get an opportunity in that offense to get the ball in the post and they also get an opportunity to get the ball in the mid-range area. The big?s are expected to be able to do things all over the court in that offense, and that is what I like. It gets all the players involved and that is going to help me get a lot better playing this style.?"

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