Examining the transfers: Jacob Groves
It had only been a couple of weeks, but the anxiety regarding the transfer portal and college basketball was already getting to some Oklahoma fans.
First-year coach Porter Moser, taking over for a retiring Lon Kruger, was still finding his footing and was seeing players leave Norman like crazy without any additions.
This was his new reality.
“A really good question because the portal it’s on both ends. Like you can get hurt by it because you can lose guys like we did,” Moser said. “There were a lot of guys that went into the portal even before I got the job. But then it gives you the opportunity to give you guys to be able to play right away. It’s both ends. A lot of teams are getting hurt because so many guys are transferring but also gives the opportunity as a new coach to bring in some guys.”
Jacob Groves, 6-7, 185, Soph. (Eastern Washington)
Last season: 9.3 points, 4.2 rebounds
Once it was revealed the Sooners had made a splash in the portal with Tanner Groves, the natural question was how long would it be until Jacob, his brother, came along for the ride?
Not long at all, and OU added some much-needed size and experience in a hurry by getting the Groves brothers to head to Norman.
Tanner was the headliner, but Jacob really started to put together some solid outings and find his confidence down the stretch.
“Jacob Groves, his ceiling is really high,” Moser said. “He was just getting his confidence; you can see he was just getting better and better and better. He’s got a little edge to himself, which I like.
“I was a younger brother. That younger brother syndrome, you’re always trying to compete and you’ve got an edge to yourself, and he has that. He’s long, he has a high release. He’s skilled, but he’s also got a little edge with his toughness.”
Groves has the size of someone who can be a little more physical, but it’s unclear if he has the strength to be that guy. He can definitely shoot outside well and be a factor on the perimeter. But if he can make that leap to doing the gritty things down low, it would make a huge difference for OU going forward.
Luckily, at least he understands that and has gone in with that mentality.
“The strength factor and for him to come in and he recognizes that, you love that. No matter what age you are, you've got to be a life-long learner,” Moser said. “You've got to be willing to grow and get better. I heard the same podcast and I heard him talk about that, about I want to get stronger, I know I'm going into the Big 12 and I just played Kansas in the NCAA tournament, I saw. Our conversations with him, I saw. And he has attacked that running.”
SoonerScoop.com grade: B+. You can appreciate Groves realizing his strength is going to be a huge priority, but we’re gonna need to see proof. If he can make that leap, we’ll look back and laugh at this grade because he’ll be a lot more valuable.