Faced with the loss of six players from this season’s NCAA Tournament Oklahoma basketball team, new head coach Porter Moser has added a couple of big transfers to next season’s roster.
Eastern Washington transfer Tanner Groves, who caught the big-time attention of the national media with a big game against Kansas in the opening round of this year’s NCAA Tournament, has committed to play for Moser next season at Oklahoma.
And he is bringing his brother, Jacob, with him. The addition of Tanner and Jacob Groves is a big find find out of the transfer portal, and at 6-foot, 9 inches, Tanner gives Moser and the Sooners a solid interior presence to help make up for the loss of 6-foot, 9 -inch, four-year starter Brady Manek to the same transfer process. Manek is headed to North Carolina to finish out his collegiate career.
Tanner, who will be a redshirt senior next season absolutely torched Kansas in the NCAA Tournament, scoring 35 points against the Jayhawks, including five of eleven from three-point range. His brother Jacob had a great game against the Jayhawks as well, adding 25 points to the Eastern Washington upset bid.
Tanner made the decision to enter the transfer portal after his head coach at Eastern Washington, Shantay Legans announced a week after the NCAA Tournament loss that he was leaving to take the coaching job at the University of Portland. Tanner’s short list of potential landing spots were OU, Portland, Texas and Washington State.
Between them, the brothers Groves accounted for 60 of the Eagles’ 84 points in the losing effort versus Kansas. Jacob will be a junior in the 2021-22 season.
The Big Sky Conference Player of the Year this past season, Tanner averaged 17.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He shot 56 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from behind the arc and recorded nine double-doubles (10 or more points and at least 10 rebounds).
The 6-foot, 7-inch Jacob started 11 of 24 games for the Eagles this season and averaged 9.3 points a game.
“I know there’s a lot of work to do to get the roster filled,” Moser said during his introductory press conference last week, “and that’s one of the top priorities.
“The transfer portal is a different market, it’s a different market right now of getting it (compared to traditional recruiting), but that’s part of it,” added the new OU head coach.
Something tells me the Groves brothers won’t be the only Sooner roster additions next season that come via the transfer process.