Gonzaga transfer visiting OU this weekend

Freshman power forward Ryan Spangler has decided to transfer from Gonzaga and will make an official visit to Oklahoma this weekend, Spangler confirmed Wednesday.

Spangler, 6-foot-8 and 225 pounds, was a high school star at Blanchard (Okla.) Bridge Creek but was not heavily recruited by then-Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel.

With OU head coach Lon Kruger’s commitment to keeping local talent at home, Spangler said he feels he would fit in with the Sooners, which is why he is visiting OU this weekend.

“I feel like Coach Kruger has things going in the right direction,” Spangler said. “I’ve only spoken to him once, but I like his attitude and enthusiasm.”

Spangler said the transfer has nothing to do with being unhappy about playing time or Gonzaga. He simply wants to play closer to home. He has talked to schools in Oklahoma and Arkansas about a potential transfer but said the only team he is really pursuing is the Sooners.

“I’ve made a lot of great friends this year at Gonzaga and love it here. But I want to see my family more, and I want my family to see me play more," he said. "I’ve been thinking about it for the last month or two. It was tough, but I’m doing the right thing.”

Spangler was the 2011 Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year. The Sooners also have the 2010 Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year on the roster in Tyler Neal, who is from Oklahoma City Putnam City West.

Spangler averaged 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 22 games this season for the Bulldogs. He will have to sit out next season but would then have three years of eligibility remaining.