Barry Lewis: Bixby's Bittle picks South Dakota State; Adair coach resigns
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Thursday, March 22, 2012
3/22/12 at 5:56 AM
Go to Barry Lewis' BlogOriginal Print Headline: Spartan picks S. Dakota State
Bixby guard Jacob Bittle announced on Wednesday that he has committed to play basketball at South Dakota State.
Last week, Bittle traveled to Albuquerque with his family to watch the Jackrabbits make their first NCAA Tournament appearance. South Dakota State gave Baylor a scare before losing 68-60.
"It was an awesome experience," Bittle said. "I knew after watching that game I wanted to be a part of that."
Bittle, who informed the Jackrabbits last Friday, also was offered a scholarship by Denver, Pittsburg State, John Brown and Northeastern State, and was being recruited by Oral Roberts. South Dakota State coach Scott Nagy visited Bittle's home in September. The Jackrabbits, the Summit League tournament champions, lose only one senior.
"They offered me first last summer and they have stuck with me," Bittle said. "The coaches are great people, and I feel like I'll be in good hands. I'm pretty pumped about this and I really feel South Dakota State is the right place for me."
Bittle, a 6-foot-4 senior, averaged 13 points, five rebounds and four assists per game this season as he helped the Spartans reach the Class 6A state tournament for the second consecutive year. Bittle shot 47 percent from the field and 74 percent on free throws. He had 26 points in an area tournament comeback win over Stillwater and 22 points in the state tournament quarterfinals against Edmond Memorial.
"The bigger the game, the better he played," Bixby coach Scott Padek said. "He's an all-around player. I think Jacob will be a perfect fit there. It was great their coaches gave him the space to wait until the spring period to sign and not rush him into signing last November."
Verbal commitments are not binding. The spring signing period starts April 11.
Rogers resigns: Brad Rogers has resigned after 21 seasons as Adair's boys basketball head coach.
Adair was ranked No. 13 in Class 3A this season and finished with a 22-6 record, falling one win short of the state tournament.
Rogers, who also was an assistant for two years, has a 371-173 coaching record.
"Timing is everything, and this is a good time for me to step away," Rogers said on Thursday. "I wanted to leave when there was a good group of players returning for the next coach."
Rogers will remain at Adair as athletic director and middle school principal.
National rankings: Class 6A champion Union (29-0) is 17th in USA Today's national boys basketball rankings. Edmond Santa Fe (28-0), which won the 6A girls basketball title, is 10th in USA Today's national girls rankings.
Stallard invited: Cleveland quarterback Chas Stallard has been invited to the ESPN Elite 11 regional showcase at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Stallard produced 2,936 total yards and 31 touchdowns in 2011.
Baseball notes: Jenks junior pitcher Thomas Hatch was one of the first 10 selections announced Wednesday for the 2012 UnderArmour All-America Game that is scheduled for Aug. 18 at Chicago's Wrigley Field. ...
Top-ranked 6A Owasso is 9-1 after a 4-1 trip to Florida. Rams pitchers Cory Taylor and Jeb Bargfeldt are each 3-0. ...
Second-ranked Broken Arrow began 12-0 before a 9-3 loss to Moorpark (Calif.) on Wednesday in Phoenix. On Tuesday, pitcher Trey Cobb improved to 4-0 in a 6-5 win over Phoenix O'Connor. Oklahoma signee Jacob Evans went 3-for-3 with his third homer of the season. ...
Stallard also is off to a strong start in baseball this spring with a .515 batting average and 0.53 ERA. ...
Bartlesville's Bruin Classic that was scheduled to start Thursday has postponed first-day action and reworked its schedule that will include four games at Owasso and four in Bartlesville both on Friday and Saturday. Friday's action starts at noon and Saturday's schedule starts at 10 a.m. ...
The Catoosa Invitational has been canceled due to rain.
Athletes of the week: Coaches in spring sports are encouraged to submit athlete of the week nominations. The World will begin honoring athletes of the week next Tuesday and Wednesday. Nominations should be sent by noon Monday to Mike Brown (baseball) at 918-581-8390 and firstname.lastname@example.org; to Kelly Hines (tennis, track and field) at 918-581-8452 and email@example.com; Eric Bailey (soccer) at 918-581-8391 and firstname.lastname@example.org; and Jimmie Tramel (golf) at 918-581-8389 and email@example.com.
All-State forms: Basketball coaches who have not returned their Tulsa World All-State nomination forms are urged to do so as soon as possible to Barry Lewis (boys) at 918-581-8393 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and Kelly Hines (girls). The World's All-State awards and team are scheduled to be published April 8.