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Loud Links: 12/31/2009

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Here's your New Years Eve edition of Loud Links. We get started with an article recap of the blood drive that would have netted you free tickets to a Thunders game. Top 10 stories for Oklahoma City ... has the Thunder ranked #3. A pair of articles about one and done recruits. A more ...

Blood Drive Sets Record | NewsChannel 8
Oklahoma Blood Institute’s (OBI) Holiday Blood Drive, supported by the Oklahoma City Thunder, held Wednesday at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, was more than just a success, with some 810 donors giving within 10 hours; it was the largest, single-day, non-disaster-related blood drive in the 33-year history of Oklahoma Blood Institute. During the event, each donor received a voucher for two free tickets to a future Oklahoma City Thunder game. For many, it was their first time to ever donate blood.

One and Done Changed the Equation in Men’s Basketball -
[There's another article after the jump that furthers the whole discussion about college recruiting and rebuilding with one and done recruits ...] Kevin Durant spent only one of the last 10 years as a college player, but it was a memorable season. That 2006-7 campaign, in which he started all 35 games alongside three fellow freshmen and led Texas into the N.C.A.A. tournament, ended with multiple national player of the year honors. Kevin Durant, who is now in his third season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, would be a senior in Austin if he had chosen to stay in school. "Kevin was the best," Longhorns Coach Rick Barnes said, "regardless of class."

Top stories of the decade: Sooner football tops the list |
The Oklahoma City Thunder was placed at No. 3 because the franchise and many of its players are still in their infancy. There’s no telling how long this honeymoon will last, or if the NBA and Oklahoma City will ever divorce. So far, so good, but it’s still early.

Commentary: NBA's gains compounding Pac-10 Conference's losses - The Daily Breeze
If you're searching for reasons why the Pac-10 Conference basketball teams are bad this year, the Oklahoma City Thunder dressing room is as good a place to start looking as any. That's where you'll find Russell Westbrook, the Thunder's explosive second-year point guard, who is averaging 16.2 points, seven assists and five rebounds per game. Sitting next to him is James Harden, the third pick in last June's NBA draft. Westbrook and Harden represent a big part of the Thunder's future. They should be part of the Pac-10's present.

Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love nearly picks up triple-double, fantasy value soaring - ESPN
Elton Brand hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire of late, but if there's a weak link in the Oklahoma City Thunder's defense, it's dealing with physical post players, and Brand could be the Philadelphia 76ers' best chance of competing for at least one night.

NBA wish lists for the New Year vol. 2010 (Northwest Division) - HoopsVibe
Kevin Durant is a baller. This squad just needs tons more of winning experience for the New Year. Jeff Green should drink up to consistency because he desperately needs it. He can’t be coasting through some games with just 6 points and 2 rebounds. That’s awful.

Utah @ Oklahoma City GameThread, Dec 31, 2009 8:00 PM EST - SLC Dunk
Well, not quite. And we probably won't even see Deron Williams and Eric Maynor go head-to-head unless Westbrook gets into foul trouble or something. Kind of a big game tonight as the Thunder are only a game back of the Jazz right now in the standings. A loss would drop the Jazz to the 9th spot in the West albeit relatively early in the season. You don't want to have games like this come back and haunt you when you need a tiebreaker at the end of the season. The Thunder have won four straight including an impressive win @ Phoenix last week. Outside of that, they're beating all of the bad teams and losing to the good teams. The Jazz are just the opposite of course.