Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tulsa Guard Finds Seals of Approval Are Difficult to Earn

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tulsa Guard Finds Seals of Approval Are Difficult to Earn

Article excerpt

His point guard, Alvin "Pooh" Williamson, left for the Continental Basketball Association.

His coach, Tubby Smith, left for the University of Georgia.

But remaining in Tulsa this college basketball season was Shea Seals' toughest critic - Seals.

"A lot of times I felt like I should do things, and then if I didn't do them, I would get down on myself and really kind of beat myself up," Seals said.

Many times this season Seals came home from a game shaking his head and talking to himself.

I should have done this. I should have done that.

"That probably wasn't the wisest thing to do," Seals said. "I was pretty rough on myself."

Expectations were high this season for Seals, a smooth, versatile junior guard with a National Basketball Association frame at 6 feet 5. He can shoot the 3, get inside for a rebound, come up with a steal on defense.

He was preseason player of the year in the Missouri Valley Conference, and the closest thing the Valley had to a national marquee player. But with a new coach, a new system and no "Pooh" to dish out assists, Seals hasn't had the season he hoped for. He has had to work harder to create his own shots.

"This year, it seems like instead of going forward I've been kind of going backwards a little bit," Seals said. "I don't think I've done nearly the things this year that I was capable of doing."

His scoring and rebounding have dipped slightly. But it's not as if his game has fallen off the edge of the earth - or Oklahoma.

Seals leads the Golden Hurricane in scoring average (16.9) this season. He became Tulsa's career leader in 3-point field goals made (204) and already ranks among the school's top 10 in career points, steals and assists.

"With a new coaching staff, there's an adjustment period for any young man," said Steve Robinson, the former Kansas assistant who replaced Smith as Tulsa head coach. "A lot of people have written that he didn't have a great season. But even if he didn't have a great season, he still was chosen first team all-league. …

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