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Old 05-23-2019, 04:42 PM   #1
lexusooner
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Default 7’1” Rick Issanza commits- Oops I missed it was already posted

Oklahoma continued to add to its already strong top-25 recruiting class in the form of Rick Issanza. The 7-foot-1 center gave his verbal commitment to the Big 12 program and should be relied upon immediately for his rim protection and rebounding.

A mobile and hard playing center that was one of the top available frontcourt prospects this spring, Issanza is a tremendous late year coup for the Sooners. Issanza took official visits to OU and UConn in recent weeks, and had heard overtures from such others as Oregon, TCU and Texas Tech throughout the recruiting process.


RANK
N/A

-

NATIONAL

-

STATE
38
POSITION
RICK
ISSANZA
7'1" | 225 LBS | C
BELLA VISTA PREP
SCOTTSDALE, AZ
CLASS OF 2019
UNDECIDED
Rated as the 38th best center prospect in the 2019 class, Issanza is a more than serviceable backline piece that Lon Kruger can come to rely on during his college stay. While his defense is ahead of his offense, Issanza is a solid lob finisher that is a presence on the weakside glass.

Where he is best served is in producing off of his own energy levels. A more than solid rim runner and one of the top shot blockers in the 2019 class, Issanza is the type of frontline piece that Oklahoma lacked for last season. The Sooners finished 198th in blocked shots and did not have a single member of its team average over a block per game; that should change upon the proper minutes allotted to Issanza.

Issanza becomes the seventh member to Oklahoma’s 2019 class. In the frontcourt, he will be joined by junior college big man Corbin Merritt, Australian Anyang Garang and Rivals150 senior Victor Iwuakor. The class is furthered supported by Rivals150 prospects De’Vion Harmon and Jalen Hill, along with the services of junior college wing Alondes Williams. Arguably Lon Kruger’s deepest class that he has ever assembled in Norman, the Sooners’ staff will now focus their complete attention on the 2020 class.

Last edited by lexusooner; 05-23-2019 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

Looks like he's added a little muscle.

https://twitter.com/rickissanza/stat...358508033?s=19

Last edited by CMSOONER; 05-23-2019 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:38 PM   #3
lexusooner
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

One thing is certain, he could use some weight.

We are currently the worst shot blocking/ rim protecting/ rebounding team I’ve ever seen.
We have improved our talent at the 5 and effectively put Doo at his natural 4 spot. We’ve added a 7’1” athlete like Rick and a 6’8” athlete in Vic, both should give us shot blocking and rebounding.
If Kur’s back is healthy we have 3 solid shot blockers/ rebounders.




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Looks like he's added a little muscle.

https://twitter.com/rickissanza/stat...358508033?s=19
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Old 05-24-2019, 06:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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One thing is certain, he could use some weight.

We are currently the worst shot blocking/ rim protecting/ rebounding team I’ve ever seen.
We have improved our talent at the 5 and effectively put Doo at his natural 4 spot. We’ve added a 7’1” athlete like Rick and a 6’8” athlete in Vic, both should give us shot blocking and rebounding.
If Kur’s back is healthy we have 3 solid shot blockers/ rebounders.
I really doubt anybody steals minutes from Doo/Manek at the 4/5 spots this year. Going forward, sure, hopefully we'll have a more traditional type body at the 5 spot. But those guys aren't going to move Doo to the 4 this year, mostly b/c Manek isn't going to get moved to the 3.
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Old 05-24-2019, 07:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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I really doubt anybody steals minutes from Doo/Manek at the 4/5 spots this year. Going forward, sure, hopefully we'll have a more traditional type body at the 5 spot. But those guys aren't going to move Doo to the 4 this year, mostly b/c Manek isn't going to get moved to the 3.
I agree that Doo and Manek will likely start at the 4/5 next season and play the bulk of the minutes. However, I think there is a much greater chance that they will play fewer minutes next season than last year, mainly because there will be players capable of keeping them on the bench.

Muni would have played more if he had been heathy and/or had the desire to suck it up and play. Freeman would have played more if he had been the player some of us thought he would be, etc., etc., etc. for the other players on our roster last season.

It’s possible, of course, an injury, a player not making it in for some reason, or not being as good as some of us expect them to be could cut into the quality depth I think we’ll have next season too. But if the unexpected does not happen, Doo, and especially Brady, may need to step up their game to keep their starting spot. I see that as a good thing.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

We know that we have four solid returnees. Doolittle, Manek, Bieniemy and Reeves. We need at least 4 and ideally 5 other good Div I players.

Our biggest problem the last few years has been depth. Too many like Freeman, Polla, Lazenby, et.al. who turned into projects instead of performers. Adding to the issue was the injury and non performance of Jumoni.

We have couple coming in (Harmon, Hill) who should be able to compete and a bunch of others that are less certain to be meaningful performers.

Last year we had no one who was solid every game. Some wanted Doolittle benched early on and Manek received a lot of grief for fading away at times. James was hot early and not so much later. Odomes appeared to depend on matchups to contribute and the grad duo of Reynolds and Calixte had their moments, some good and some bad.

Worst of all McNeace who many predicted stardom for most of his OU career just ran out of time to reach such stardom.

The pattern was there all season. Good energy and good start and fading when the backups came in. Also some fading late in the game. Moreso during the critical conference run. Serious depth problem and inconsistency with the starters.

I believe Manek can play the 3. He really defends better against outside players than the big inside guys. He also began to develop more of a short range game this year. Doo should be a great high post guy with nice 15 feet and in range and great quickness to the hoop. If the 5's position themselves right they should get a lot of easy dunks off Doolittle's drives.

We need a couple of 5's other than Doolittle to play quality minutes and at least two others that will be effective Div I players.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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I agree that Doo and Manek will likely start at the 4/5 next season and play the bulk of the minutes. However, I think there is a much greater chance that they will play fewer minutes next season than last year, mainly because there will be players capable of keeping them on the bench.

Muni would have played more if he had been heathy and/or had the desire to suck it up and play. Freeman would have played more if he had been the player some of us thought he would be, etc., etc., etc. for the other players on our roster last season.

It’s possible, of course, an injury, a player not making it in for some reason, or not being as good as some of us expect them to be could cut into the quality depth I think we’ll have next season too. But if the unexpected does not happen, Doo, and especially Brady, may need to step up their game to keep their starting spot. I see that as a good thing.
I agree with your general point that it would be a huge upgrade if we can find three or four bench guys who can consistently play good minutes for us. But I respectfully disagree about Doo -- I don't think that there is even an outside chance of him not starting. He was far and away our best player by the end of the season, and he played that way on a consistent basis. The only players who could give him a run for that distinction this year are guards, Reaves being the most likely. If Doo averages less than 30 minutes, I'll be shocked. I think he will probably play different spots depending on who is on the floor at a given time, but he won't lose playing time. If he isn't in foul trouble, I hope Lon leaves him in other than for a short rest a couple times each game.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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Originally Posted by SoonerinNC View Post
We know that we have four solid returnees. Doolittle, Manek, Bieniemy and Reeves. We need at least 4 and ideally 5 other good Div I players.

Our biggest problem the last few years has been depth. Too many like Freeman, Polla, Lazenby, et.al. who turned into projects instead of performers. Adding to the issue was the injury and non performance of Jumoni.

We have couple coming in (Harmon, Hill) who should be able to compete and a bunch of others that are less certain to be meaningful performers.

Last year we had no one who was solid every game. Some wanted Doolittle benched early on and Manek received a lot of grief for fading away at times. James was hot early and not so much later. Odomes appeared to depend on matchups to contribute and the grad duo of Reynolds and Calixte had their moments, some good and some bad.

Worst of all McNeace who many predicted stardom for most of his OU career just ran out of time to reach such stardom.

The pattern was there all season. Good energy and good start and fading when the backups came in. Also some fading late in the game. Moreso during the critical conference run. Serious depth problem and inconsistency with the starters.

I believe Manek can play the 3. He really defends better against outside players than the big inside guys. He also began to develop more of a short range game this year. Doo should be a great high post guy with nice 15 feet and in range and great quickness to the hoop. If the 5's position themselves right they should get a lot of easy dunks off Doolittle's drives.

We need a couple of 5's other than Doolittle to play quality minutes and at least two others that will be effective Div I players.

I know who the first guards off the bench will be. Williams and Hill. I have no idea who the first bigs will be. Kuath? Iwuakor? Merritt? Polla?
My guess would be Kuath.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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I know who the first guards off the bench will be. Williams and Hill. I have no idea who the first bigs will be. Kuath? Iwuakor? Merritt? Polla?
My guess would be Kuath.
I’d guess kur and victor
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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I’d guess kur and victor
This—in that order early in the season. The reverse of that order later on.

I think it’s going to be hard to keep Victor on the bench. His energy, high motor and focus on defense will be difficult to ignore.
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Old 05-24-2019, 01:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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I know who the first guards off the bench will be. Williams and Hill. I have no idea who the first bigs will be. Kuath? Iwuakor? Merritt? Polla?
My guess would be Kuath.
I honestly think Williams will be a starter at guard ahead of Bienemy. At least by the start of conference play. It may not matter who starts because they will all get plenty of playing time. JMHO
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:01 PM   #12
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

Doolittle & Manek will be the 4/5. IF one has to move to the wing it will be Doo. He’s a better ball handler & perimeter defender.
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Old 05-24-2019, 09:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: 7’1” Rick Issanza commits

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I honestly think Williams will be a starter at guard ahead of Bienemy. At least by the start of conference play. It may not matter who starts because they will all get plenty of playing time. JMHO
Jucos don't have a history of making much of an impact their first year at OU. Bienemy and Reaves have a year in the system. I'm pretty confident they'll start.
But you never know, Williams could be the "real deal".
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