April 11, 2012
Kruger and Co. Set to Host Spangler
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Head coach Lon Kruger and his Oklahoma basketball program appear to be on the receiving end of what could be some great news.
In a text message with SoonerScoop.com Bridge Creek (Okla.) graduate Ryan Spangler confirmed previous reports that he would- indeed- be returning to Oklahoma this weekend to visit the Sooners basketball program.
"Yes I am," replied Spangler who starred as both a standout on the hardwood as well as the gridiron while at Bridge Creek High School.
Released from his scholarship Wednesday morning- according to a report published in the Spokesman-Review- the 6-foot-8, 232-pound Spangler leaves the Gonzaga basketball program after his freshmen season in which he appeared in 22 games and averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds including an appearance in Zags NCAA tournament game vs. West Virginia.
Named the 2010-11 Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior Spangler lead Class 4A as a senior in three categories: scoring (avg. 29.8 points per game), rebouns (avg. 17.4), and field goal percentage (71.4 percent) while on his way to leading the Bobcats to a 26-2 record as well as the Class 4A state final.
Sources close to the situation believe a positive visit to Norman this weekend would all but seal the deal for Spangler and the Sooners.
While he would be forced to sit out the 2012-13 season while serving NCAA transfer rules (a la Amath M'Baye this past season) his presence would be a welcomed addition to a team that has lacked athleticism the past two seasons. .
Cousins Officially a Sooner
Wednesday afternoon the Oklahoma basketball program also made the signing of Mount Vernon (N.Y.) shooting guard Isaiah Cousins.
Selecting the Sooners over Dayton, Connecticut, Virginia Tech and Xavier the three-star recruit by Rivals.com and New York's Section 1 "Mr. Basketball" Cousins averaged 15.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 3.0 steals per game while leading Mount Vernon to a 23-3 record and its second straight New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA Championship.
"Most importantly, Isaiah is really passionate about being at the University of Oklahoma," said Kruger.
"He's a young guy who brings a lot to the floor offensively with his skills. He's a really good teammate in that he makes players around him even more effective. But he's also a good scorer and can shoot the ball well. He has a really good feel for things on the defensive end, too."
Cousins ability to play multiple positions on the court also will add an element of athleticism that had been non existent the last few years in Norman.
"He has played a lot at the off (-guard position), he's played a lot at the point. He's a guy who will come in here and make good plays for his teammates. Everyone will enjoy playing with him. He loves to play, he's a good competitor and he has a really high desire to get better and be as good as he can be."
Qualities that Mount Vernon High School head coach Bob Cimmino echoes.
""He's the ultimate gym rat. Isaiah is probably the most improved player I've coached in my tenure at Mount Vernon. He's always had a great work ethic, but something just clicked in the last year, and as a result, his talent just escalated off the charts. He got better and better and became a dominant force in our games," said Cimmino who has served as head coach at Mount Vernon for the last 18 years.
"He only knows how to play at one particular level and that's hard. Isaiah takes no plays off and he works equally hard on both ends of the court."
Joining Cousins in Norman will be 2012 signees Buddy Heild and Jelon Hornbeak as well as in-state product C.J. Cole who will join the Sooners as a preferred walk-on.
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