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September 22, 2009

Capel heads to Lone Star State for Latest Star

Once upon a time it was a miraculous event for Oklahoma basketball to be even mentioned with the top players in the country. Since Jeff Capel's arrival in Norman it seems the nation's elite prospects, including current Los Angeles Clipper No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin, have bypassed mentioning the Sooners and instead are committing to them.

Once such player is Cameron Clark of Sherman, Texas who took his official visit to Oklahoma this weekend and came away with a decision to be next in line of Capel's star recruits.

"I committed, I've just been thinking about it the last few weeks and it's the right place for me," Clark, the nation's No. 30 player said. "I've kind of known for a while that it's where I wanted to be but I wasn't sure. I just wanted to take my visit and while I was there I knew it was where I needed to be.

"It wasn't anything like putting guys into the league or anything like that, I just felt the most comfortable with the players and the coaches."

It's possible that Capel's acumen with high-profile recruits stems from the reality that both he and his brother were once just such recruits.

In fact when Clark informed Capel of his decision he mentioned showing off some of his well known-skills form his days at Duke.

"Oh man, he was real happy he told me he was about to jump over a fence," Clark said laughing. "He might still be able to, I'm not sure."

However the one thing that has proven true through the years, be it at Oklahoma or elsewhere, is that good players want to play with players of similar talent levels. That fact wasn't lost on Oklahoma while they hosted Clark, who spent a lot of time around Willie Warren, Ray Willis, and Ryan Wright.

"Mainly it was just everybody, we were all hanging out together," he said. "Mainly I talked to, the main person I talked to was Ryan, and Willie, and Ray. They were saying they wanted me there and they said that they can utilize my abilities."

Clark said Capel informed him that he plans to use him as a three guard, but for now his focus returns to helping his Sherman teammates towards the state tournament.

"I think we've got like a month, I'm just working on getting into condition, running, lifting weights, and just shooting," he said.

While he is running Clark admits he'll have to get used to the idea that all of the craziness of recruiting has come to an end, but says so far it hasn't.

"I think this is it, I'm an Oklahoma Sooner. That still hasn't sunk in yet, but it will."

SoonerScoop.com caught up with Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jerry Meyer to break down just what type of talent Capel has brought into Norman this time.

"Clark is a great pick up for Oklahoma. He is a bouncy athlete at 6-foot-6; Clark also has a solid skill package which centers around his ability to knock down jump shots," Meyer offered. "There is room for Clark to improve his dribble and passing game but you can count on him to make shots.

"He is also a quality defender. Built to defend the three he can potentially range out and guard twos and fours."

While Clark clearly has a lot of talent, Meyer still feels there is plenty of room for improvement.

Could Clark be another NBA talent for the Sooners?

"As far as ceiling goes, if he becomes a dead-eye shooter, which is very possible, he will be a NBA player. The size, athleticism and ability to defend and rebound are in place."


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