Back-to-back losing seasons was enough for the Oklahoma administration.
Jeff Capel was fired after going 96-69 over five seasons, including two NCAA Tournament appearances. The back-to-back losing seasons, however, were the first for the Sooners since 1967 as they went 13-18 and 14-18. Before that two-year decline, Capel coached Oklahoma to the Elite Eight with national player of the year Blake Griffin.
Attrition contributed to a roster low on talent this past season, when guard Cade Davis was the lone senior on the squad. Allegations of improper payments to one of the former players, Tiny Gallon, prompted an NCAA investigation that is ongoing.
Gallon was a McDonald's All-American. So too were a pair of other players who left. Guard Willie Warren spent two seasons at Oklahoma and another guard, Tommy Mason-Griffin, was there for one season.
When Capel took over the program, players who signed with previous coach Kelvin Sampson were allowed out of their letters of intent. Two of them, Scottie Reynolds (Villanova) and Damion James (Texas) enjoyed standout careers.
"It's hard," Capel said after the Sooners went 1-1 in the Big 12 Tournament, beating Baylor in the first round before tumbling against Texas. "I couldn't control (attrition) when I first got (to Oklahoma) and really couldn't control some of the things that happened this year."
With the Sooners' fortunes dipping, attendance also sagged. The Sooners recorded no sellouts this past season and averaged 8,563 for their 16 home dates.
The top returnee the new coach will inherit is Andrew Fitzgerald, a 6-8 forward who averaged 12.6 points as a sophomore.
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