OU men's basketball notepad: Brent Venables speaks during halftime of OU-Baylor

·2 min read

Jan. 23—Even with Oklahoma trailing Baylor at halftime Saturday, the crowd at the Lloyd Noble Center was still on its feet.

That was because new OU football coach Brent Venables walked onto the floor.

Venables spoke to the crowd for around four minutes in his first public appearance since last month.

"I just wanted to let you know how incredibly thankful and humbled I am to be the head football coach here at the University of Oklahoma," Venables said.

"I can assure you our players and our staff are relentlessly committed to the standard of excellence that this program represents. Our goal and our vision for our program is to be the model program in all of college football. Standing for integrity, for class and for toughness."

Venables and his new coaching staff have been hard at work in recent weeks, and they've been particularly active in the transfer portal. The Sooners have added nine players via the transfer portal, while signing 13 players to the 2022 class during last month's early signing period.

"As you know, we've been the most consistent program in college football since 1999," Venables said. "This is the one and only program when it comes to winning. We will win at the highest level, but we're going to do it the right way.

Venables ended his speech by leading the crowd in a "boomer, sooner" chant.

Considering the OU men's basketball team eventually fell to Baylor 65-51, Venables' appearance was a highlight for fans.

—Bench advantage: The Sooners' starters struggled against Baylor, but the bench gave them a spark.

With Ethan Chargois and C.J. Noland out, OU coach Porter Moser opted to play Akol Mawein and Marvin Johnson more minutes.

Mawein finished with six points, four rebounds and two steals, while Johnson added five points and two rebounds. The duo also combined for a plus/minus of 11.

"They both came in and did some nice things," Moser said. "We've got to keep getting them better, but I thought they both came in [and did good things]. I think Marvin gave us energy running in transition. He had a nice basket, he had a great rebound above the rim, and just settling in, getting some good practice time with him. I thought he did some nice things.

"AK got some offensive rebounds. He battled in there, did what he could on that. But offensive rebounds is the thing that AK gives us and he did that."


The Sooners travel for a road game against West Virginia on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The game will broadcast on ESPN2.

Jesse Crittenden is the sports editor of The Transcript and covers OU athletics. Reach him at jesse@normantranscript.com or at 405-366-3580