Originally Published: Mar 9, 2011 8:41 PM CDT
I’m all for Jeff Capel getting another year. I don’t know if Wednesday’s first-round Big 12 Championship game against Baylor has any bearing on Joe Castiglione’s decision, but you tell me which team looked better coached.
I did not see the Texas Tech game a week ago, but I have yet to see a game in which the Sooners played uninspired this season. Many teams in their position would just be ready to get it over with. I have yet to see a time in which I felt their head coach’s message was not getting across.
While it’s hard to judge Baylor based upon Wednesday night due to the suspension of star freshman Perry Jones, the Bears sure didn’t play with the “us against the world” mentality you would’ve hoped or thought you would see.
Sooner star Cade Davis seemed interested in proving his head coach deserves at least another year. Bears star Lacedarius Dunn seemed interested in proving his team needs to play in the NIT.
Capel was 31 when hired as head coach at OU. You realize that there will be growing pains when you hire a young head coach. There will be miscalculations and mistakes.
Capel’s biggest mistake has been that he has trusted the wrong people. He trusted an assistant coach who got the program into trouble. He trusted players like Tiny Gallon and Tommy Mason Griffin to act like non-knucklehead adults rather than entitled AAU brats. Those mistakes are on Capel’s watch.
But Capel strikes me as a person who quickly learns from mistakes. You don’t become a Division One head coach at age 27 without being a quick study.
OU can get back to a high level and quickly. It only takes a great player or two to elevate a program to elite status. Capel has proven that he can recruit those types of players. He has brought four McDonald’s All Americans to Norman.
It only takes a bad apple or two to bring an elite program down. Capel has thrown a couple of those into the basket as well.
Does a still-young head coach get a chance to prove that he has learned his lessons? Not a decision I would want to have to make.