November 20, 2008

The Sooners Next Leader?

Since Oklahoma head coach Jeff Capel arrived in Norman, Okla. there has seemed to be a constant search for a true point guard.

The search finally ended when Houston (Texas) Madison superstar point guard Tommy Mason-Griffin gave his verbal commitment to Oklahoma in July. Wednesday he made that commitment official.

"I signed (last Wednesday) morning at 8," Mason-Griffin said. "I talked to (coach Capel). He was excited to have me signing early and getting it over with. He was just excited for me to be an Oklahoma Sooner.

"I feel great about being a Sooner. I want to go in and be a winner and contribute whatever way I can."

The original commitment to Oklahoma was all about relationships. The former LSU commitment reopened his recruiting process last summer and found comfort in the Oklahoma coaching staff.

"Coach Capel and coach O (Talieferro) are like big brothers to me," he said. "They just seem laid back and understand where I'm coming from. I think coach Capel can show me how to run a team, how to be verbal, and just all the things I need to be a great point guard at the next level."

His official visit to Oklahoma on September 26th was his chance to see what life in Norman might be like.

"It was good time," he said. "Willie Warren was my host and we were already good friends. My favorite part was probably just hanging out at the gym and watching practice and just shooting around. I'm pretty laid back so that was fun to me."

Mason-Griffin may be laid back, but on the court he is one of the most highly thought of point guards in the country. While there is plenty to be excited about, he knows there are things to be working on to prepare for his freshman season at Oklahoma.

"Working on getting my jump shot to be more sufficient and getting in better shape," he said. "Then just getting better at everything else."

The No. 66 player in the country will work on that shot throughout a season full of high hopes for Madison High School in Houston.

"We have a first game coming up," he said. "We had a few scrimmages, but they held me out. I'm just trying to get my team to state. I do whatever I need to do to help my team win. I score a lot and I set up things, too."

As a junior, Mason-Griffin was named the 2007-08 Houston area player of the year by the Houston Chronicle. He averaged 23 points and seven assists for Madison during the regular season and has averaged over 30 point per game in the playoffs since his sophomore campaign.

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