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Jeff Eisenberg

More bad news for Oklahoma: Tiny Gallon suspended

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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You can't watch college basketball for more than 10 minutes these days without hearing about what a disappointment UConn and North Carolina have been, but what about the other preseason top 20 team struggling to stay above .500?

That would be onetime No. 17 Oklahoma, which received another dose of discouraging news even before slipping to ninth in the Big 12 with a humiliating 97-76 loss to rival Oklahoma State.

Freshman Tiny Gallon, Oklahoma's starting center and the leading scorer in the McDonald's all-American game last spring, was suspended indefinitely on Saturday morning and did not join the team in Stillwater.

The Sooners did not disclose the reason for the suspension, but sources told OUHoops.com that Gallon’s suspension was due to concerns over improper contact with an agent prior to the beginning of the season.

Why would an agent would be talking to an immature 6-foot-9, 290-pound freshman who appears more comfortable on the perimeter than the low block? That's certainly a fair question, but if the report is true, it's certainly another black eye for an Oklahoma program that has sustained a few of them this year.

In the wake of a Blake Griffin-fueled Elite Eight run a year ago, Oklahoma appeared to have the pieces in place for another strong season with guards Willie Warren and Tommy Mason-Griffin returning and Gallon arriving to help down low. Instead Warren hasn't progressed, Gallon has been adequate but hardly dominant and two fellow freshman were arrested for shoplifting, all factors that help explain why the Sooners are just 13-11 and light years from NCAA tournament contention.

There isn't much hope that this season can be turned around at Oklahoma, but here's a slight silver lining for success-starved Sooners fans: Every hoops loss brings football season another day closer.

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