Long before Blake Griffin was a household name, his older brother Taylor Griffin was one of the most dominant and successful prep players in the state of Oklahoma during the past decade. He was the Gatorade Player of the Year in 2005 before starting for three seasons at the University of Oklahoma and helping spark the Sooners' Elite Eight run in 2009.
Griffin stopped by OU recently to spend some time around Lon Kruger and the Sooners basketball program. He talked with the media during his short stay in Norman:
On Lon Kruger: I think he’s been great for the program. He seems like a pretty genuine guy and a genuine interest in the program and getting some wins. Seems like everybody likes him around here. It’s good to see what he’s doing and I’m hopeful for the future.
On his memories of OU: That tournament run was amazing. I felt like it ended short but the experience and that whole season, how good we were as a team and the unique team we had. And every year playing OSU, Bedlam, being an Oklahoma guy you grow up watching those games and I got up an extra level for those games.
On returning to OU as a former player: That’s huge as far as building a legacy. You don’t want guys to come in, be gone and you never see them again. I think all the big programs, the Duke’s, the North Carolina’s, the UConn’s always have their pros come back. It’s motivation for young guys and it’s good for the pros to come back and share experiences. We definitely want to build that here are Oklahoma.
On his first few years as a professional: I was overseas for one year, in Belgium, it was an experience. There are some different rules you have to get used to. All in all, I prefer to play here.
On his future: Right now I’m trying to narrow down some options as far as going to camp with a NBA team. I have a few offers but I’m trying to find the best fit, see where I have the best chance of making the team.
On adjusting to the pro level: Here I played the four, a forward, in the NBA I play the 3, a guard. And each year I’ve gotten better. In Europe, I’m a four, so I’m not in a position where I can focus on one thing, I’m switching back and forth.
On his confidence level: Truthfully, my rookie year, my confidence level was not there. Part of it was transitioning to a new position. But each year, my confidence has grown and grown. Right now I think I have the most confidence and I’m probably the best player I’ve ever been which is huge. In any sport, confidence is a huge thing sometimes greater than talent or skill. If I find a good situation, I feel good about my chances to make a team.
On what he's looking to improve: My shot is one of the biggest thing I’ve worked on in the past three years. I’m trying get to were I can be a consistent 3-point shooter. I feel like that process is coming along really well. Another thing is being able to defend the 3, I’ve learned a lot in the past three years and I learned a lot in Phoenix, watching Grant Hill and Jason Richardson. I like where I’m at, obviously I can get better every day.