The Big Three

It may be a long time until a college has similar success in an academic year relative to that the Sooners had throughout this year's 2008-09 campaign. For a look at the major success, what you might not see again for year's to come and why it's been such a good year, let's look at the big three stars and their achievements.

1. Football Quarterback Sam Bradford:
When the No. 4 Sooners took the field in the beginning of the fall, there were high expectations as always. OU would once again compete nationally and have legitimate hopes to get to Miami to play for the national championship. But everyone on the team had to be true to form, especially leader and quarterback Sam Bradford. And he did not disappoint, as he threw for more than 4,700 yards and 50 touchdowns with a 180.84 quarterback efficiency. While the Sooners dropped the BCS National Championship to the Florida Gators, those types of numbers justified why Bradford won the 2008 Heisman Trophy, propelling him up with the likes of Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims and Jason White. And that was only the start of a great year to come in Soonerland.

2. Men's basketball forward Blake Griffin
The men's basketball team wasn't ranked quite as high as the football team was at the beginning of their season, but one thing was for sure. Forward Blake Griffin, as one of the five AP preseason All-Americans, was expected to have a break-out year. And break out, he did. Griffin was the most dominant force in college basketball, averaging 22.7 points per game and 14.4 rebounds per game en route to earning the National Player of the Year Award. He led the Sooners to the Elite Eight, their first such trip since 2003. Now, he is lauded as the No. 1 pick in the June 2009 NBA draft after declaring a few weeks ago.

3. Women's basketball center Courtney Paris
To cap off the Big Three, take the path of Courtney Paris. She had already been the most dominant player in college basketball for three years running when the Sooners opened up the 2008-2009 season with a No. 4 ranking. And into the season, she carried her impressive double-double streak dating back to her freshman season. While it was snapped at 112 games against Tennessee midway through the year, Paris was still able to average nearly 16 points and 14 rebounds per game and guided the Sooners to the Final Four for only the second time ever. Paris, who will now head to the Sacramento Monarchs, became the first ever player to be named Associated Press All-American four years in a row.

It may be a long time, if ever it happens again, where the three best players in three major sports are from the same school...


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