Ok… so by now, news of the James Harden trade that shook up the NBA world is old news… if you don’t already know about it, you’re probably not a basketball fan and probably not reading this blog. But a few details…
OKC traded the Bearded One along with three-point specialist Daequan Cook, center Cole Aldrich, and guard Lazar Hayward in exchange for Houston Rockets players Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb, 2 future first round picks, and a future second-round pick.
So with all these new changes… some of you that tuned into the first three games of the season may have found yourselves wondering… who’s that guy on the court?? Pretty much everyone in the state of Oklahoma is a Thunder fan.. and not everyone keeps up with sports news like myself (many of my girlfriends for example… a few of whom watch because they have crushes on certain players), so I am going to quickly introduce each of the new additions to the Thunder roster. Ladies, pictures are included. Remember these faces.
The player who brings the most potential for immediate impact to the team is Kevin Martin, or K-Mart, who in a sense fills Harden’s 6th man role. Don’t expect him to be just like Harden though… he doesn’t have the same play-making ability but is a tremedous spot-up three-point shooter and free throw shooter. The ninth-year veteran was the leading scorer for the Thunder Sunday against Seattle with 28 points. He is hungry for an NBA title and happy to be in OKC.
Jeremy Lamb is a rookie and most likely won’t see much playing time this year… but his athletic ability and potential for the future of this team is crazy. He was a lottery pick, taken 12th overall by Houston in the draft this year. The 20-year-old played college ball at Connecticut. And if you were watching in his debut on the court for the Thunder.. in the one minute he was in against Portland.. he stepped up and drained a three from about 25 feet out like it was nothing. Yeah… he’s gonna be good.
Perry Jones III was the Thunder’s lone draft pick this season… but a total steal! Because of a rumored knee injury, the former all Big-12 player from Baylor fell to the 28th pick and we quickly snatched him up! His knee looks to be fine, and at 6-11 he is the most versatile player on the Thunder roster. He can play every position ( besides point maybe) but is listed as a small forward. Kevin Durant is mentoring the rookie. Look to see Scott Brooks using him in different rotations this year.
Deandre Liggins is a former Kentucky player (which says enough these days) that came to the league after his junior year. He played his rookie year in Orlando before signing with the Thunder this season. He beat out four other players for the coveted fifteenth spot on the roster (before the trade went down) by pure hustle and athleticism. He has amazing work ethic. Watch out for this guy.
Since Cole Aldrich got shipped off to Houston, this guy became pretty important. Hasheem Thabeet is the new back-up center. With Perkins’ health always in jeopardy, he could definitely see some court-time. OH YEAH… AND THE GUY IS SEVEN FOOT THREE.. MAKING HIM THE TALLEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE!!!
He played for Connecticut in college and was drafted 2nd overall by the Grizzles in the 2009 draft. James Harden was drafted third!!
The Thunder sign their first ever hometown boy!! Daniel Orton played for Bishop Mcguiness here in OKC before playing one year for Kentucky and then getting drafted by the Magic in 201o . He played for the Thunder during summer league and exhibition games.. then got cut. But when the trade went down and OKC lost Cole Aldrich.. they brought the OKC native back!! He is currently the third-string big man.
Well there they are! Get familiar so when you go to the games you can cheer on the new-comers! And make sure to tune in tonight when the Thunder take on the Raptors at home at 7 pm.
That was the reaction to OU’s 24-19 loss to Kansas State Saturday night at my family watch party… followed by a lot of ranting and playing the blame game.
Yeah sure, everyone says that one player can’t lose a game for you, but I think this game may have been an exception. Because Landry Jones, in my opinion, cost them this game.
Yes, Blake Bell had the fumble in the red zone that cost OU a touchdown, and yes the defense couldn’t pass rush for the life of them, allowing Colin Klein to have an average of 6 seconds to throw the football.( In the defense’s defense, they were on the field way more than the offense… may have been a bit tired) And you can make the case that the offensive line is a little weak after losing some starters, but I’m gonna ultimately give this loss to the Senior QB who was projected to be a Heisman candidate coming into the season.
LANDRY JONES IS NOT GETTING BETTER. His numbers look pretty great on paper. He has broken some records. But he’s also been a starter for FOUR YEARS… much longer than star OU QB’s Bradford, Heupel, or White. Those three had confidence in big-game situations and Landry just doesn’t have that. He crumbles under the pressure.
Those three also led Oklahoma to national championship games… something Landry hasn’t come close to doing. If you average out his losses per year as a starter it comes out to about 3. For a program as prestigious as the University of Oklahoma.. is this ok?? Should we accept an average season when we are used to being national championship contenders every year??
You could tell from the beginning that his game was off. He is lucky that K-State only picked him off for one interception.. because he threw about three or four right into the defense’s hands… not to mention the fumble that resulted in a touchdown for the Wildcats.
So why did he stay in the game!? He has a history of performing badly in a few games every year… and he never improves as the game goes on. I guess the coaching staff just decided to go down with the sinking ship.
And the part that bothers me the most is that he just looks like he has NO PASSION OR FIRE INSIDE HIM while leading this team. The great leaders get fired up and inspire their teams to victory. He looks stoic to me all times.
SIDENOTE: Sterling Shepard, perhaps the only positive note in this game, looked outstanding. He should be a star at Oklahoma for a long time and I honestly hope he gets alot more PT. It’s sad when your true freshman receiver is the only one that looks like they are playing with heart.
And you have to give some credit to K State. They played decent and Klein is a good quarterback. Not great.. but pretty darn good. His run game is tough. But OU and Jones handed them this game on a silver platter.
The bottom line: Maybe we are spoiled as OU fans, but we have a right to be. This program has worked too hard for too long to make itself what it is today, and that performance was as pathetic of a display as I have seen in a long time.
Let’s hope this doesn’t happen in Lubbock next week, where we already have problems playing Texas Tech at home and then at the Cotton Bowl against Texas. If it continues this way, things could get ugly Sooner fans.
For Thunder fans, Metta World Peace instantly became the ultimate villain after throwing the elbow heard ’round the world, which luckily did not critically injure 6th Man of the Year James Harden. Well… Mr. World Peace does not shy away from any topic… and is in the media today making some extreme predictions for the 2012/2012 season with the new additions to the Lakers roster.
“We definitely want to beat the Bulls record and go 73-9, that’s definitely something that I want to do. Whoever is out there at the beginning of the season then we gotta get it. It’s as simple as that. We just have to go get it. (Host: So that Bulls record is something you’re thinking about?) No question. You try to snatch records before you leave this earth. You gotta try to do a lot of great things so it’s definitely a goal. With Dwight Howard, (Steve) Nash, Kobe (Bryant), myself, Pau (Gasol) and then (Antawn) Jamison and a lot of great additions it’s something that’s possible.”
My humble opinion… IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN.
The new Lakers have yet to prove they haev team chemistry with a new point guard and new center so to say that you think his team will beat the winning record of Michael Jordon’s team is a little arrogant… but hey, what else can we expect from Metta?
He also has a pretty high opinion of himself, if there was any doubt of that.
“To me, I know I’m definitely one of the best players in the league, there’s no question. I proved that when I got into shape so I don’t need to be, I’m definitely one of the best defensive players to ever play the game so people can deny it if they want but it’s okay. I do my own thing, I market myself in my own way so I really don’t need to be marketed or talked about throughout the outlets because I do that on my own. On this team nobody plays defense like Metta World and nobody in the league plays defense like Metta World so I don’t really need to prove that.”
Thunder fans- I wouldn’t start worrying about your reign as the best in the West just yet… let the Lakers prove themselves before we make them out to be a huge threat.
Switching pace from college football for a short minute…The OKC Thunder’s starting center Kendrick Perkins met with the media today and I’ve got the full audio for you guys to listen to. The most widely talked about portion of the interview- Perk’s opinion that James Harden is very close to being signed to the team for years to come. Check it out.
If you have never had the fortune to attend a University of Oklahoma football game, then you have probably never seen the intro video. And that’s a shame… because they are pretty great! Their now famous slogan “There’s Only One Oklahoma” captures every fan’s heart in just two minutes’ time.
And this year’s video is the best yet. Not gonna lie… I may have teared up a little while watching it on the jumbotron last Saturday. Something about seeing the legends of the past with the stars of the present and future just gives you chills.
I rounded the video up for those of you haven’t seen it! Enjoy and let me know what you think!!!
Hi. My name is Tori Nichols, and this is the first and last time I will be talking about myself in this blog. I want to introduce myself for those of you want to know the person whose opinions you are reading every week(wishful thinking J).
I work for KFOR Channel 4 as a news writer. I am working towards becoming a sports reporter. I am an unbiased professional there. I do not express opinion in my writing. I report the news. THAT IS NOT WHAT THIS BLOG IS. These are my opinions and conclusions drawn from my love of watching our Oklahoma sports teams. I will say WE when referring to my teams, because you know… I feel that the fans are a part of the team. If that bothers you… you probably just don’t understand.
I am a sports enthusiast. I thought I would be in the WNBA at this point in my life, but my basketball career sadly ended after high school. My love for sports never faded. I am a die-hard Sooner fan. My dad was a walk-on tight end in the eighties and I’ve been going to games since before I could sit up on my own. The Oklahoma City Thunder have brought out a level of devotion in me that I didn’t even know I could have for a team. They ambushed and surprised me with how fast I fell for them. I now refuse to miss a game. And although I am a Sooner fan, I have a lot of respect for Oklahoma State. They are a quality organization and deserve all the success they have received the past few years.
So these are the teams I will mainly be covering in this blog. Use it for updates. Use it if you missed the game. But I hope you will get some entertainment and hopefully a unique opinion while reading it. Oh- and I love debate and discussion, so if you disagree with me… comment! You won’t hurt my feelings.
Looking forward to many games, playoffs, and championships… and discussing them with you all!
Let’s set the stage.
Number 5 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. 2012 Home Opener. Week 2. 80,000 anxious fans in the audience….
And so many unsanswered questions.
Needless to say, last week’s 28-7 victory over UTEP left many fans(including myself), a little nervous about the upcoming season. If you’re being honest, the thoughts going through you as a Sooner fan’s mind were probably something along the lines of “ UTEP!?!? Really?? What’s going to happen when we play a REAL team??”.
Well hopefully Saturday night’s 69-13 win over first-time opponent Florida A&M put all you loyal Oklahomans slightly at ease. Let’s not kid ourselves… the Rattlers are nothing like what we will face down the road in a West Virginia-caliber team, but the score was much more along the lines of what we have come to expect from our Sooners.
And the major advantage of this game… we got a MUCH better glimpse of the talent and ability of all the new additions to the team… such as player of the game Damien Williams who was PHENOMENAL rushing for 156 yards and pounding the ground for four touchdowns, one of which was an 89- yard effort. And yes… that performance set a school record for the most rushing yards in a debut performance. Sorry Dom Whaley-looks like your starting spot might be in jeopardy.
Who were the other newbies that excelled against the Rattlers, you ask?? Well there was Justin Brown, the Penn State transfer who has made an IMMEDIATE impact on OU’s roster. This guy is exceptional on punt returns and is pretty good at catching the football too. He didn’t get a touchdown in this game, but set the Sooners up for a couple and I have a feeling he’ll have several before the season is over. The only bad thing about the acquisition of Justin Brown is that we only get him for his senior year.
Sterling Sheperd didn’t see many minutes, but made it count when he did. The true freshman from Heritage Hall had a particularly impressive 28-yard diving catch in the fourth quarter that had me wanting to see more. I think he has a long, great career to look forward to at Oklahoma.
Other notable players- Brennan Clay is a little under-rated if you ask me. He may not be flashy but he flew under the radar and managed to score two touchdowns. Trey Metoyer, the freshman wide receiver who had such a great spring, hasn’t made the huge impact that I thought he would make in the first couple of games, but did have probably the toughest play of the game on his diving, flipping touchdown reception in the corner of the endzone late in the second. Kenny Stills played bi-polar, which is what I have come to expect of him. He had some great catches including a one-handed 20-yard reception slashing through the middle of the field and a touchdown reception, but also dropped a PERFECTLY placed pass from Landry Jones in the endzone. And speaking of Jones, he finished with 252 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. So overall… not a bad night.
Roy Finch didn’t play much, but had a touchdown late in the fourth and a couple nice punt returns. I want to find out the story of what is really going on with him. He had such a promising freshman year and it seems as though we see him less and less. This leads me to believe that something personal may be going on there.
Ok so those were the exciting things… but yes there were some downers. Landry Jones threw the one interception and another that should have been intercepted. And both were nobody’s fault but his. Also, Dom Whaley fumbled for the third time in two games. I think just maybe he isn’t the same as before he got injured. I hope he can come back strong though. I love his underdog story.
Also, the first quarter was EXTREMELY long due to three timeouts, some penalty calls, and a replay. OU stills looks like they don’t have it all down yet with all the newbies. These mistakes could prove costly when playing a better opponent.
I don’t have much to say about the defense… they gave up a 75-yard touchdown run in the third and many some pretty lengthy punt returns, but they played pretty good overall. We will see them tested more at home against Kansas State in a couple weeks.
GAME THESIS: Sooner fans should not become over-confident by this victory, but should be much more confident than they were last week. The newbies played great, the stand-outs emerged, and the weaknesses also came to light.