DTN traded questions and answers with Crimson and Cream Machine. You'll find my answers to CCM's questions here and my questions and CCM's answers are below. This should be a fun game and thanks to Crimson and Cream Machine for talking about the game.
I was so looking forward to watching Blake Griffin play on Saturday, but we must move onward. How do the Sooners compensate in losing their leading scorer and rebounder?
Blake Griffin is an outstanding basketball player and no doubt the Sooners are going to miss him over the next three to four weeks. What compounds his loss even more was the dismissal of forward Keith Clark from the team for academic reasons. Suddenly Oklahoma is very thin when it comes to players in the post. The good news is that Longar Longar had a very good game against Kansas Monday night and OU won't see another team with that much depth and talent in the post the rest of the season.
Now, getting to the answer to your question; with Blake Griffin out the offensive burden is put back on the shoulders of the guards. Longar Longar and Taylor Griffin (Blake's older brother) will have to work on rebounds and garbage buckets but for the Sooners to win the guards are going to have to create and make shots.
OU has been much better offensively this year, what's been the biggest difference?
The main reason for Oklahoma's resurgent offense has been Blake Griffin but two subplots are a healthy Austin Johnson and a much improved Longar Longar. Johnson hadn't been healthy since arriving in Norman and is now playing his best ball since all of his aches and pains are gone and Longar was just so raw when he arrived.
Oklahoma is now 0-2 in conference play, are they going to be pressing on Saturday night to get their first conference win?
Yes, this is an important game for Oklahoma in more ways than one. An 0-3 start in conference would be down right disastrous regardless of who is injured, OU has already lost one home game in conference and with Texas and Texas A&M still to come they really can't give up any more. Most of all this team has to gain the confidence that they can win without Blake Griffin.
With Griffin injured, what player do you think will step up his play to compensate for Griffin's loss?
It has to be Longar Longar! There really isn't another option. Sure the guards are going to have to take over offensively but without a presence inside to suck in defenses it will be extremely difficult for the guards to be playmakers.
Progress of Jeff Caple so far: good, bad or just okay?
I'm a big Jeff Capel fan and for the record I wasn't a Kelvin Sampson basher. Capel brings a needed freshness to this program and the players are taking on his no excuses personality. He's also been able to land top recruits like Blake Griffin and Willie Warren who is coming in the fall. I really feel the future is bright with him at the helm.