At the start of the season, B12H.com ran a "Five Questions For..." segment asking the five most pressing questions of each team. In our continuing review of the season, here are the answers to those questions.
1) How does Oklahoma replace Blake Griffin?
Short answer, they don't. Now don't get me wrong, they thought they had all the pieces together. Willie Warren, an outstanding shooting guard who excelled at the end of last year. Tiny Gallon, a dominant incoming freshman. Tommy Mason-Griffin, a tremendous ball handler with great court presence. Tony Crocker, a veteran who can score.
Problem is that those guys never got the memo.
2) Can Willie Warren be "the man"?
Short answer, no. This season proved that he needed help on the inside to free up his outside shooting, help he never got.
3) Can 6-8, 300 lb freshman Tiny Gallon play big in his first year in the Big 12?
Short answer, kinda. Gallon did average 10.8 ppg and 7.9 rpg, but it looked like he never got in shape, trudging up and down the court and tiring easily. Can discount seventh in the conference in scoring though, as that's why he got the "kinda."
4) Does Oklahoma mind being second fiddle in the Big 12 South?
Oklahoma would have LOVED to have been second fiddle in the Big 12 South. The funny thing about this question is that I had intended Texas to have been first, and Oklahoma second. As it turned out Baylor and A&M were both ahead of UT and the Sooners finished last in the division.
5) Will inexperience in the frontcourt hurt Oklahoma's chances of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament?
Let's break this one down into two part... the part on the inexperience and the part on the *cough* deep run in the tourney.
Inexperience hurt the Sooners, but not in the typical way. And, in fact, I wouldn't say it was ‘inexperience' as much as it was ‘immaturity.' Like stated above, I don't think Gallon ever got into shape. I think Willie Warren just assumed he would be as open as he was when Blake Griffin was getting double and triple teamed and also was listening to the critics touting him as Big 12 Player of the Year. Mason-Griffin actually showed maturity on the court, but not so much afterwards in declaring for the draft, which makes you wonder about his on court maturity.