Capel fired at Oklahoma, but is still an attractive prospect

Graham Watson
The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Apparently recruiting Blake Griffin can only buy you so much time.

Several sources are reporting that Oklahoma has fired coach Jeff Capel after two consecutive losing seasons.

Capel and Oklahoma really caught fire when Griffin joined the team for the 2008-09 season. The Sooners played in the NCAA Regional championship that year, but when Griffin left for the NBA, the wheels started to come off.

Oklahoma has had two consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1967 and has failed to make the postseason during three of Capel's five years. The program is also in the midst of an NCAA investigation stemming from alleged improper payments to former Oklahoma center Tiny Gallon.

Capel leaves the Sooners with a 96-69 record.

But what was Oklahoma's trash might be someone else's treasure.

Shortly after the announcement of Capel's ousting, Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution threw out Capel as a possible candidate at Georgia Tech to replace Paul Hewitt, who was fired Saturday.

Let's be honest, Capel was a hot commodity when Oklahoma snagged him and he still has some ties and clout in the ACC and on the East Coast. Capel played at Duke, led Virginia Commonwealth to four consecutive winning seasons and an NCAA berth in 2004, and has shown he has the ability to recruit some of the nation's top talent.

Another possible fit could be Arkansas. The Razorbacks have reportedly targeted Missouri coach Mike Anderson, but Anderson has repeatedly said he has no interest. Capel is one of the hottest and most well-established coaches on the market right now and could be a great fit to help the Razorbacks jumpstart their program again.

At the very least, Capel will get some looks. Although he has some baggage with the consecutive losing seasons and the NCAA investigation, which is centered around money from an agent and not anyone associated with the university or a booster, he does have a tremendous upside and could be a nice catch for a struggling program.

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