Longar Plays Role in Gallon's Development

NORMAN, Okla. – The Sooners are starting to heat up a little on the hardwood and the play of low-post man Tiny Gallon has improved in stride…

Keith Gallon's career at Oklahoma got of to a fast start when he was able to post a double-double in a 18-point, 15-rebound performance against Mount St. Mary's.

At that time it looked like he was going to make an easy transition on to the college basketball scene and should be considered as one of the strongest big men in the Big 12 conference.

But after reeling off three straight wins to start the season the Sooners hit the wall and dropped three consecutive games to VCU, San Diego, and Houston before returning home to trump bigger named opponents like Arkansas and Arizona.

With three consecutive wins now in the bag it is clear that OU head coach Jeff Capel's team is progressing and so is the play of "Tiny" Gallon.

On Sunday night he poured in 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds before being forced from the game around the 7:00 minute mark with cramps.

"It was good to see Tiny (Gallon) have some positive stuff happen for him inside," Capel said after the game.

"He is becoming polished. He is learning how to make moves and play with his back to the basket. Tiny right now would probably rather shoot fade aways and shoot jump shots, and eventually he will be able to do that, but for our team right now we this is what we need him to do for us. He is getting better. He is doing extra stuff."

As a matter of fact Gallon has been getting some extra work in with former OU big man Longar Longar, who averaged 7.2 points per game and collected 103 rebounds in his time in a crimson and cream uniform ('04-'08).

"Longar was here and Longar was working with him before practice and after practice," confirmed Capel. "So for him to have the chance to play against Longar Longar everyday, who was a pretty good defensive player, that helped Tiny out."

"So he is learning. He is learning and the thing I like he is that he continuing to progress and he is showing a pretty good attitude about it. And he wants to get better. That's the main thing."

One would assume that a man of Gallon's stature would have been honing his skills down low his entire life, especially in high school at Oak Hill, but instead he was just overpowering smaller opponents.

"Not much," Capel responded when asked if Gallon posted up in high school. "They were so much better than everyone they just ran and played. They did at times, but you have to remember he was about 340 (pounds). When you are in high school you are not playing guys your size. The post guys are 6'2 or 6'3. It was easier to just catch the ball turn and score."

"But he is learning how to use jump hooks now. He is learning how to use crab dribbles. He is understanding angles and how to duck in and those kinds of things."

Capel believes that it willwork out well if Gallon continues to work hard and learn all the nuances of great post play.

"When you have a guy that has talent that one thing, but when you have a guy that has talent but then he is willing to work and listen and wants to get better then that guy really has the chance to become good," Capel informed.


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