Griffin's Big Game

It's games like these that sophomore forward Blake Griffin shows he is simply in a league of his own.

Halfway through the first half, freshman guard Willie Warren chucked up a pass from half court to Griffin , who skied for the alley-oop flush.

Early in the second half, Griffin even did it on his own.

Near the 16-minute mark, Griffin ripped the ball away from Colorado freshman guard Austin Dufault and took it to the other end for a monstrous one-hand slam.

He finished the game with four dunks en route to leading all scorers with 26 points, and he also pulled down 12 rebounds for yet another double-double in the Sooners' 77-72 victory over the Buffaloes.

Junior guard Tony Crocker hit seven threes today and credited Griffin with help on majority of them.

"It's wonderful," Crocker said. "You've got the best guy in college basketball on your team. It makes it a lot easier with everything. You can go to him whenever you want, whatever you need. He's not a selfish guy. He'll kick it back out. He probably got a lot of assists today; passing back out. So he does a lot for us."

Griffin only had one assist, but he tossed the ball back out to guys on the perimeter like freshman and senior guards Willie Warren and Austin Johnson, who dished it to Crocker for the three.

So, indirectly, he had assists by moving the ball back out to the other players on the outside.

That is exactly what OU head coach Jeff Capel marveled about concerning his play today.

"He is great to coach," Capel said. "Obviously he is incredibly talented, and he can do things on the floor that not a lot of people can. He is a guy you have to game plan for, and so it helps us on the offensive end to be able to do more things. It opens things up for everyone."

With his talented level clearly far above the rest, though, games like today also show the level of his work ethic in order to use that talent.

"He is one of the hardest working kids I have been around as far as working on his game and trying to improve and get better," Capel said. "He is very driven, and for us to have a guy like this in our program, hopefully he is a guy that other guys watch and look at and say, ‘This is what it takes to have a chance to be an elite player.'"

Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik even praised Griffin after the game for the same things.

"He is so athletic, and from what I can tell, his head and heart are in the right place," Bzdelik said. "I noticed he said ‘thank you' to a ball boy after he cleaned the floor. He plays hard and is so strong around the basket. He needsd to continue to get better with his skills, which I'm sure he will. He is a great player with a great future."


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories