Waiting game for OU as Griffin contemplates draft

April, 3, 2009
DETROIT -- Blake Griffin's parents got back to Oklahoma from the Elite Eight loss in Memphis to find their answering machine was full.

Tommy and Gail Griffin said agents had flooded the phone line, ready to pounce. There were also calls for Taylor Griffin, as he attempts to land some sort of pro option.

Taylor Griffin is done at Oklahoma. He is a senior. His young brother, Blake, is a sophomore and if he makes the expected decision to enter the NBA draft, he'll likely be the No. 1 pick in June.

But will he make that move?

Griffin began picking up his trophies Friday morning with the United States Basketball Writers Association Oscar Robertson Player of the Year trophy at the Detroit Athletic Club. Later Friday morning, he received the Associated Press Player of the Year honor at the Marriott.

Griffin said he hasn't had a chance to meet with Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel yet. But he is expected to once he gets back to school next week.

What are the pros to returning for his junior season? "The thing that would be to stay is to try to get a national championship,'' Griffin said.

But Griffin admitted that he is physically ready for the league. He's also mentally prepared, which is something he wasn't a year ago.

Having Taylor on the team, though, is something he wasn't going to get even if he returns for his junior season.

But this is all a blur for Blake, who wasn't projected to be a player of the year candidate when he arrived in Norman from Oklahoma City's Oklahoma Christian School.

"It all happened so fast,'' Griffin said. "But me and my teammates worked so hard and put ourselves in this position so it feels good.''

• Capel said he was sitting in his house, playing with his daughter, when he saw on the bottom line that the East Valley (Ariz.) Tribune had reported he was in negotiations to go to Arizona. Needless to say, he was stunned. He hadn't talked to Arizona. Capel reinforced that he's staying.

• A source did say that Arizona inquired about Capel for the first time after USC's Tim Floyd turned the Wildcats down. Still, Capel isn't interested.

• Kansas coach Bill Self received the Henry Iba USBWA Coach of the Year award for leading the Jayhawks to the Big 12 title after losing all five starters from the 2008 national championship team. Self said he hasn't heard from Sherron Collins or Cole Aldrich yet on their decisions on the NBA draft. But he said there's a good chance both will return. If they do, the Jayhawks could be one of the preseason top-5 teams. Kansas is waiting to see if it will land Xavier Henry, the No. 1-ranked player in the ESPNU 100, and No. 8 Lance Stephenson. Henry signed with Memphis but is expected to leave now that John Calipari is the head coach at Kentucky. Henry chose Memphis over Kansas. Stephenson is still undecided.

• Michigan State coach Tom Izzo received the USBWA's "Good Guy" award, which essentially means he's looking out for our interests as journalists. Izzo is truly one of the good guys in the sport. He did say that the Spartans felt pressure to be here in Detroit, even if it wasn't publicly stated until last weekend in the Elite Eight. He said it was always hovering over the Spartans.

Andy Katz | email

ESPN Senior Writer



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