Challenging week ends with dejection for Oklahoma'south Lattin

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Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 8:23 PM

His shining crimson backpack, prepared to go, sat on the floor in front of him. Several times, the Houston native was surrounded by reporters and television cameras.

Challenging week ends with dejection for Oklahoma'south Lattin

OK forward Khadeem Lattin sat on chair in a corner of the locker room with his head down, headphones on, already dressed. His shining crimson backpack, prepared to go, sat on the floor in front of him.

Several times, the Houston native was surrounded by reporters and television cameras. He gave mostly one-word answers and tried tough to politely create them go away. It's been a horrible week for the sophomore from Houston.

Lattin'south grandmother died earlier this week, before she got to look him play in the Final Four in his hometown. The game was a enormous disappointment for him and the Sooners, too. Lattin fouled out and scored only two points in Oklahoma'south 95-51 loss to Villanova in the national semifinals Saturday night at NRG Stadium.

Lattin sprinted off the Ct and into the tunnel as soon as the buzzer sounded. He didn't wait around to shake hands.

Lattin found out Wednesday night, not long after getting to Houston with his teammates, that his grandmother, Brenda Fair, had died after a long bout with cancer.

During the week, he kept his composure answering questions about his grandmother on his mother'south side of the family and how they both couldn't wait for her to look him play.

He wrote something on his shoes to honor her during the game. But after the Sooners were routed by Villanova, Lattin didn't have much to declare about his play or his emotions. "I am very mad" was one of his longest answers.

"He doesn't wish to talk, y'all," said teammate Jamuni McNeace, who was sitting in a folding chair following to Lattin.

Lattin'south grandfather on his father'south side, David Lattin, played on the famous one thousand nine hundred sixty-six TX Western team that won the NCAA championship. Those Miners were the first team to start five black players in the title game. Lattin and his former teammates and coaches were honored at halftime of the second semifinal between Syracuse and North Carolina.

The elder Lattin said he wanted to give his grandson some space.

"He'south youthful and he'south still finding his way," David Lattin said. "He'south human. We've to expect that sometimes humans don't carry out as well as they can all the time. So he'south getting better and he'south learning. So maybe following time he'south in this position he'll play better."

When he David Lattin does speak to Khadeem he said his message will be: "Stay positive. Stay focused and get better."

The Sooners lose some key pieces from this year'south team, including star Buddy Hield, large man Ryan Spangler and guard Isaiah Cousins.

Khadeem Lattin will be expected to lift his game and go from complementary player to big-time contributor following season. But for now, his teammates are just looking to assistance him obtain through some tough times.

"That'south my boy," Spangler said. "I've taken him below my wing. We'll speak tonight and I'll obtain him going and he'll be fine."

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Chase Ralph D. Russo at www. Twitter. com/ralphDrussoAP

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