Sooners in the Midst of Special Run?

The Sooners realize they are a special bunch that could ride the waves of a long run in the NCAA tournament, perhaps leading them to the Final Four in Detroit when it's all said and done.

Just ask OU head coach Jeff Capel.

"I think this team knows that we're in the midst of something that's pretty good and something that has a chance to be special," Capel said following the Sooners' 95-74 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders last weekend. "And you should be motivated by that. You should be excited about that. It doesn't happen all the time."

And the type of success the Sooners have had so far this season is often rare at the college level.

"None of these guys have experienced this at the college level, and so we should be motivated," Capel said. "Hopefully we're hungry and ready to go. We have a tough stretch coming up, but we'll be excited for it and ready for it."

That tough stretch includes tonight's game at 8 p.m. in Austin , Texas against the Texas Longhorns, and the Sooners hit the hardwood again in Norman two days later against the Kansas Jayhawks at 8 p.m. on Big Monday.

Then OU hits the road for games at Texas Tech and Missouri , before rapping up the regular season at home against Oklahoma State .

Throughout the season, the Sooners have been led through their tough stretches by sophomore forward Blake Griffin , the current leading candidate for National Player of the Year.

His play and demeanor is the main reason this team has the ability to be "special," as Capel put it.

"You know, when you're around him and you see how he carries himself, I mean, it's like a guy that's a true professional," Capel said. "He understands that part at a very, very early age, and I think that's the reason why [he's so special]. I mean, he's always getting treatment doing the things that's necessary to help you be at your best."

What else makes him special enough to lead this group where they want to be at the end of the year?

"Well he's focused," Capel said. "He's really, really talented and he works. He's different. He's unique. That's the way I'll always describe him is really unique, and we feel very fortunate to have him in our program. A guy like that doesn't come around too often."

If Griffin and the Sooners can continue to roll, it could end up a very special season for the Sooner nation.


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