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February 18, 2009Since Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel arrived in Norman, Okla. there has been no lack of talent deciding to make their home with the Sooners.
In his first year at Oklahoma, Capel signed his first McDonald's All-American in Blake Griffin. He followed that up last year by signing another McDonald's All-American in Willie Warren.
And just to prove the first two were no fluke, Oklahoma will have two more McDonald's All Americans this year playing on April 1st in Miami. Keith Gallon and Tommy Mason-Griffin were both named to the team Wednesday evening when the rosters were announced to the public.
Before Capel arrived in Norman, Oklahoma had signed four McDonald's All-Americans as a program (Wayman Tisdale, Jeff Webster, Ryan Humphrey, and Drew Lavender). Since he became the OU head coach the Sooners have signed four in the past three years.
Mason-Griffin has built himself into a legend in the Houston area. At 5-foot-10, he is not the tallest point guard, but he has a strong body and great balance.
He combines quickness, speed, and power to give defenders fits and has the ability to shoot the ball well both from three-point range and by driving the ball to the basket.
His strength allows him to absorb hits and finish in the lane. He has great vision as a point guard. He tends to force passes at times, but he is an above average passer with great vision and an innate ability to create open shots for his teammates. He can find open men in traffic and find a way to get them the ball effectively.
He does a good job of handling the ball when under pressure and is a strong, physical defender with his quick feet and hands.
Mason-Griffin's big man counterpart will most certainly cause Sooner fans even more reason for some excitement. Those who have seen Keith "Tiny" Gallon have always thought he had tremendous potential, but lacked the self discipline needed to become a star. Since working out with Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Wilcox this summer he has made significant strides to rededicate himself to the sport of basketball.
He has lost over 50 pounds over the past few months and those who see him on a regular basis say he is beginning to reach that high potential many always saw in him. He has incredible feet for a man his size and has a wide range of skills.
At 6-foot-8, he is a strong scorer when facing the basket. He contains several post moves, as well, but will need to become more physical when he arrives at Oklahoma, because being able to use his size will become increasingly important. Still, he has the potential to make a large immediate impact next year with the likely departure of Blake Griffin.
Both honorees will be Sooners for the 2009-10 season and will be expected to play big roles as freshmen.
The McDonald's All-American game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 at Miami University in Florida. Both players will be part of the West squad alongside Oklahoma native and Putnam City star Xavier Henry.
Full List of McDonald's All-Americans
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