Oklahoma Sooners: Basketball Recruiting

Burton impresses at UA Summer Jam 

July, 20, 2013
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MILWAUKEE -- One player who has continued to impress this week for the Houston Defenders at the Under Armour Summer Jam but is flying slightly under the radar is ESPN 100 small forward/shooting guard Joe Burton (Porter, Texas/Atascocita).

[+] EnlargeJoe Burton
Kelly Kline/Under Armour ESPN 100 SF/SG Joe Burton's scoring skills have several programs in the Big 12 after him.
Burton’s knack for scoring makes him a dependable option on the offensive end and has some excellent high-major programs in hot pursuit. He list offers from Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Houston, Texas A&M, Boise State, Oklahoma, Oregon State and UTEP.
Fast-rising ESPN 100 power forward/center Myles Turner (Euless, Texas/Trinity) trimmed his list of college suitors on Wednesday.

The No. 10 overall prospect in the Class of 2014, who has seen his recruitment skyrocket this spring and summer after being unranked coming into the travel season, narrowed his list from a whopping 58 to a more manageable 26 heading into the July evaluation period and hopes to trim the list even further after this month.

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Every Friday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • Why OU isn't out of the picture for a four-star Houston safety.
  • An OU linebacker target who visited for junior day is taking his time and will visit other schools.
  • What the Sooners' newest commit brings to OU's future defense.
  • An in-state tight end is dedicated to becoming great. Will the Sooners offer?
  • Keep an eye on a 2015 in-state defensive back who is working out with elite DBs.
  • More on what went wrong with OU's basketball decommitment.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


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Oklahoma basketball lost its only Class of 2014 commit Monday afternoon when three-star power forward Jacob Hammond (Bel Aire, Kan./Sunrise Christian) said he has decommitted from the program.

Hammond, who is 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds, had been pledged to the Sooners since August and has been pursued by Lon Kruger and rest of the OU coaches since before his sophomore season.

Now other schools from across the country are starting to enter the mix, and Hammond said he wants to make sure he is making the right decision.

“I still like OU, but as of recently, I have had a lot of interest from schools in the Big 12, Pac-12, Big Ten and schools on the West Coast so I want to make sure that I am making the right choices,” Hammond said in a text message.

Hammond maintained a solid relationship with the OU coaches this last season despite transferring from playing in nearby Oklahoma City to Sunrise Christian, just outside of Wichita, Kan.
FRISCO, Texas -- Soso Jamabo (Plano, Texas/Plano West) would have liked to be a part of this weekend’s Nike EYBL series playing with the Texas Titans. With a sling on his right shoulder, however, the 2015 two-sport star was reduced to watching the Titans on the bench, offering instruction to teammates and being the team’s biggest supporter.

For the rest of the spring and most of the summer, Jamabo’s focus will be on rehabbing after undergoing shoulder surgery on April 30. Jamabo broke some bones and damaged some ligaments in his shoulder during a Texas Class 5A Division-I state quarterfinal playoff. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound athlete is expected to miss 6-10 weeks but is projected to return a couple of weeks before Plano West’s first scrimmage in August.

“It’s early in the process, but it’s going well,” Jamabo said of the rehab process. “I’m just trying to get the shoulder back to usual, if not better. Right now, I’m just doing basic stuff and keep everything as minimal as possible.”

Exactly what kind of football player will Plano West look to see back on the field? Jamabo’s first rush as a varsity player was against Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus on Aug. 31. It went for 12 yards. His second rush: A 75-yard touchdown run.

Since then, Soso has been ... well ... anything but.

Only the shoulder injury managed to slow the electrifying 2015 running back down. He rushed for a team-leading 1,697 yards and 24 touchdowns and also caught 20 passes for 453 yards -- an average of almost 23 yards per catch -- and four touchdowns. On the basketball court, Jamabo averaged 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 11 games.


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Three-star shooting guard Frank Booker Jr. (Augusta, Ga./Westside) is now off the board after committing to Oklahoma over offers from Texas A&M, Tennessee and a late push by in-state Georgia.

"I selected Oklahoma because the players made me feel very comfortable and welcome,” said Booker. “They are very family oriented, and I like that. Coach Kruger is a very successful coach, and he will help me get better."

Booker is a very aggressive guard with good size at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds and should be an impact player with the Sooners.

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The Oklahoma basketball coaching staff knew what it needed to pursue this winter. The Sooners need more offensive firepower, need more scoring going forward.


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OU signee Woodard goes out in style 

March, 12, 2013
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There are certain traits Lon Kruger is looking for when eyeing potential Oklahoma basketball targets. Leadership jumps to the front. Character is up there. Ability is certainly in the mix. How he fits into the system factors into the equation.

Then there are those intangible qualities. In Edmond (Okla.) Memorial signee Jordan Woodard, the Sooners truly are getting it all.

But maybe what sets Woodard apart from the rest of the crowd is his unselfishness, his team-first attitude.


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OU signee hits championship winner 

March, 10, 2013
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TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma signee Jordan Woodard (Edmond, Okla./Memorial) had a chance for history last March. A championship-winning 3-point shot hit the back of the rim as time expired in a one-point loss to Tulsa (Okla.) Union.

On Saturday at Oral Roberts, with 7.1 seconds left in the Oklahoma Class 6A championship and trailing 48-47 against Midwest City, it didn’t look like Woodard was going to get a chance for redemption.


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Randle trims NC State and Oklahoma 

March, 8, 2013
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ESPN 100 No. 3 overall prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) has cut NC State and Oklahoma from his list of finalists, ESPN.com's Dave Telep has learned.

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Every Friday, SoonerNation releases the Sooner Intel, a sneak peek inside Oklahoma Sooners football recruiting with news and notes on the latest happenings around the program. Talk about it on our forum. A few things discussed in this week's update:

  • Two prospects from a north Texas high school will be on campus this weekend. One is the son of a former Sooner.
  • ESPN Watch List OT is building a relationship with OU's new assistant.
  • A Dallas safety target talks about being a lifelong Sooners fan.
  • OU is hosting a defensive tackle this weekend who's looking to see what the Sooners are all about.
  • An ESPN Watch List safety is visiting, too, but maybe not for junior day.
  • How the Sooners lost out on their top defensive tackle target.
  • More on ESPN Watch List DE Deondre Clark's decision to drop OU ... for now.
  • More on OU basketball target Frank Booker and what the coaches are telling him.

Read the Sooner Intel after the jump.


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Julius Randle added to McDonald's game 

March, 6, 2013
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It has been an eventful couple of weeks for ESPN 100 No. 3 overall prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian). First, he returned to the court three weeks ago after being out since November with a fractured foot. Then on Monday he announced he would make his college decision March 20.

And on Wednesday, the McDonald's All American Games announced Randle has been added to the McDonald's roster as a 25th player. He will suit up for the East squad in the game, which will be played April 3 at the United Center in Chicago and televised live on ESPN at 9:30 p.m. ET.

[+] EnlargeJulius Randle
John F. Rhodes for ESPN.comJulius Randle was added to the McDonald's All American roster on Wednesday.
The McDonald’s All American Games released the following statement: “Today, the McDonald’s All American Games Selection Committee is pleased to name Julius Randle of Prestonwood Christian Academy to the 2013 McDonald’s All American Team. As promised, we’ve been closely monitoring Randle’s play since his return to the court in February, and it’s been an inspiring return to watch. Randle has not only proven that he is capable of competing at the highest level, but truly deserving of the title McDonald’s All American.”

Why did this happen and what does it mean?

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Julius Randle will announce on March 20

March, 5, 2013
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ESPN 100 power forward Julius Randle (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) announced on Monday night he will make his college decision on March 20.

The senior will announce at 1 p.m. ET, with the decision expected to come on ESPNU.

Randle has visited all six schools on his list, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky and NC State.

Randle led Prestonwood to a Texas private school state title over the weekend.
Not every top basketball prospect signed with a school in the fall. Some needed a solid senior season to open up even more eyes.

Case in point is three-star shooting guard Frank Booker (Augusta, Ga./Westside). Booker had some offers heading into his senior season. He didn’t make a decision, believing bigger and better things would be coming his way.


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Randle injury won't stop his recruitment 

November, 30, 2012
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It is extremely unfortunate that both ESPN 100 No. 2 overall prospect Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) and No. 4 prospect Julius Randle (Dallas/Prestonwood Christian) suffered injuries that will impact their senior seasons. There’s nothing more devastating for an athlete than having your senior season affected by injury.

In Parker’s case, he fractured his right foot in July while playing with Team USA at the U-17 World Championships and had been out of action since then, missing much of the summer and practice heading into the season. However, he made a surprise return to action for Simeon's season opener on Saturday, though he'll likely be limited while he takes some time to return to full form and get into game shape.

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