Oklahoma Sooners: Ryan Spangler

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.

Immediate impact of Ryan Spangler's addition to Oklahoma’s mens basketball program is easy to see:

The Sooners have one more scholarship player on campus heading into 2013-14.

[+] EnlargeRyan Spangler
Robert Johnson/Icon SMIRyan Spangler will be able to contribute for the Sooners in the 2013-2014 season.
While that sounds like a simple analysis, one glance at OU’s roster shows the observation goes much deeper. The Sooners ended the season with six scholarship juniors including forward Romero Osby, guard Steven Pledger and guard Sam Grooms.

In other words, OU’s roster will be gutted after the 2012-13 season.

And Spangler, who chose to leave Gonzaga after one season and will be a sophomore, will be poised to step right in and become a core member of the 2013-14 squad. A former Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year from Bridge Creek, Okla., Spangler averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22 games for Gonzaga but wanted to play closer to home.

"It's always extra special to have in-state guys as part of the OU program," said Kruger, "Although Ryan enjoyed his time at Gonzaga we're especially pleased that he's returning home to be a Sooner. He's a very natural rebounder, a tough guy on the boards and has an ability to score inside and outside. Ryan's work ethic will allow him to make great strides during his redshirt season."

Spangler is likely to join Amath M'Baye, Cameron Clark and Tyler Neal as the foundation of the 2013-14 team after he sits out this season. Incoming freshman Buddy Hield, Je'lon Hornbeak and Isaiah Cousins will also be battling to contribute. Spangler joins fellow 2012 spring signee D.J. Bennett">D.J. Bennett as the lone post players amongst that group.

At 6-foot-8, 232 pounds, Spangler is a versatile big man who should earn significant playing time immediately and become a core member of OU’s post rotation. He’s an efficient scorer who can shoot and prefers to face up and use his athleticism against defenders.

Having Spangler spending a season learning Kruger’s expectations cannot be overlooked. And having another 6-foot-8 post player already in the fold will change Kruger’s recruiting approach. While OU will still need to recruit additional size, the need is lessened by Spangler’s (and Bennett’s) presence.

Overall, the addition of Spangler to the Sooners’ roster is a great development for OU. He’ll help immediately as a sophomore in 2013-14 and don’t be surprised if he develops into a double-double player (double figure points and rebounds) during his career in crimson and cream.
Every weekday morning, a member of the SoonerNation gives his take on three things happening in the Sooner sports world.

1. It’s judgement day for Ryan Broyles. The former Oklahoma receiver holds his Pro Day today at 10 a.m. CT and is expected to run the 40-yard dash and run routes for NFL scouts. Broyles was slated to be a second or third round pick before the injury and is looking to prove to NFL teams that he is ready to make an immediate impact on Sundays. It has been a quick recovery after his ACL injury last November and it’s hard to believe Broyles won’t have success in the NFL; he’s the type of guy who make the foundation which championships are built upon.

2. Unless something unexpected happens, it appears Ryan Spangler will leave Gonzaga to transfer to OU. Orginally from Bridge Creek, Okla., Spangler is a big body with excellent athleticism and offensive skills. If he does end up in Norman he should become an impact player as soon as he becomes eligible in 2013. Spangler, who was not offered by Jeff Capel’s Sooner program before Lon Kruger took over, is set to visit OU this weekend.

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Freshman power forward Ryan Spangler has decided to transfer from Gonzaga and will make an official visit to Oklahoma this weekend, Spangler confirmed Wednesday.

Spangler, 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, was a high school star at Blanchard (Okla.) Bridge Creek but was not heavily recruited by then-Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel.

[+] EnlargeRyan Spangler
Robert Johnson/Icon SMIFreshman forward Ryan Spangler is transferring from Gonzaga.
With OU head coach Lon Kruger’s commitment to keeping local talent at home, Spangler said he feels he would fit in with the Sooners, which is why he is visiting OU this weekend.

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