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Sooners give one away

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Not Pretty, But Sooners Win

Spectator Sneak Preview

Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

Texas Christian Sacks Sooners

Moses leads Sooner tight ends

Rufus Alexander Q&A

Thompson gets nod at QB

Birdine Lost For Season

Sampson to Visit Kuwait for Hoops with Troops

Walk-on making noise at WR

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Sooners open fall practice

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OU at Big 12 Media Days

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2005 Season Preview Issue Available Now!!

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Ole Miss powers past Sooners

OU's Weekly Sports Report

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Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain




On Sale at Newsstands April 7!
Reaction to Capel Hiring
Nate Carter talks about OU's new coach

NORMAN — Oklahoma announced today that Jeff Capel has been named the school’s 12th men’s basketball head coach. The 31-year-old Capel was formally introduced this afternoon during a press conference at Oklahoma Memorial Union. He replaces Kelvin Sampson, who recently took the Indiana job after 12 seasons with the Sooners.

Capel produced a 79-41 (.658) record over the last four years as head coach at Virginia Commonwealth University. He was the third-youngest men’s basketball coach in NCAA Division I this past season. The former Duke star led his VCU squads to a 47-11 overall home record, which translates into an .811 winning percentage.

Sooner Spectator spoke with current OU player Nate Carter after the press conference to get his reaction to Capel’s hiring:

Sooner Spectator: What is your first impression of Coach Capel and the fact he is the new OU basketball coach?
Nate Carter: Like a lot of people, I didn’t know that much about him before he was hired. But when he came through that door today at our meeting, he demanded what he wants from us and I had nothing but respect for that. I’m really excited and I think I speak for everyone of our players when I say that. I can’t wait to start playing for him.

SS: So you liked his personality right away?
Carter: Yes. He seems like a very aggressive young coach. He’s looking at what he has in front of him and I believe he’s going to live up to all of the expectations.

SS: Has the team gotten used to the idea Coach Sampson is not going to be here next season?
Carter: Honestly, when he first announced he was leaving, we were all pretty disappointed. He was our coach, the man who brought us to Oklahoma. It’s hard to lose a guy like that. We were all shocked. It was just the best decision for Coach Sampson and we all came to that realization. We know we have to move forward and I think Coach Capel is a great choice.

SS: Losing three seniors after a disappointing season, a lot of people don’t have high expectations for this team next season. What are your feelings on that?
Carter: I don’t think that really matters. We are doing everything we can to be better than we were this past season. People are going to see a different team. We are going to defend hard — which is something we didn’t do very well. We need to play as a team and continue to have fun playing the game.

SS: Why did this team have problems with consistency, especially on defense this past season?
Carter: As a team, I thought we had good talent and good chemistry — but there was a lot of inner stuff going on within in the basketball family. There were some distractions, but those have all be resolved. That’s pretty much all I can say about that.

SS: With the core of players coming back and the level of talent coming in, are you excited about the possibilities in 2006-07?
Carter: Without a doubt. First of all, I expect us to be a much more healthy team. Mike Neal and I played almost the entire season with injuries and that was tough. A lot of people don’t understand how that impacts a team. Longar Longar is going to be a surprise to some people and we’ve got David Godbold and Chris Walker and all of those young guys coming in. We are going to have good leadership and I think we are going to be focused on having a great season, especially since it is Coach Capel’s first season.

SS: This will be a chance for you to go out and help lead this team and play a big role in its potential success...
Carter: It’s my goal to be a leader. Not just talk about it, but get it done. We might be under the radar a little since we lost some good players, but this team has a chance to be really good next season.

SS: Obviously, you believe Coach Capel is a good fit at OU?
Carter: Most definitely.

SS: Are you anxious to get to know him better and see what he is like?
Carter: Yes, yes. He’s going to be here for a few days, so we will get a chance to talk and find out more about him as a coach and a person. Other than when I first found out I would be coming to play at Oklahoma, this is very exciting for me. I think it’s going to be a great thing having Coach Capel here as our coach.