NORMAN – Oklahoma has discovered a lot about itself after the season’s first three games.
Sherri Coale’s team won two of three contests during the Preseason WNIT with the lone setback coming against a Missouri State team which returned many core players from last year’s Sweet 16 squad.
Coale mentioned the benefits of playing a tough schedule during a Monday chat with reporters.
“There aren’t bad teams on our schedule. That gives us a lot of opportunity to be exposed, to learn and improve,” Coale said. “This team has been so good about getting better every day.”
The Sooners will face Stephen F. Austin at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Other questions answered by Coale this week:
How much does four games (one exhibition, three regular-season games) of film help the Sooners?
“It's monumental. It's one thing to show practice film. It's another thing to show the principles that we've been teaching from day one. Let me show a clip. What principles did we fail to adhere to on this possession? Oh, so maybe that was us and not them. Maybe we did have more control over this than we thought. Maybe life didn't just happen to us. Maybe we played a role in that and so getting them to connect those dots is really important in the film study.”
How much is new assistant coach Jackie Stiles helping the team’s defense?
“Jackie is a bulldog toward whatever it is she's doing. She gets obsessed – with her work ethic as a player scoring as a Division 1 player – and her job with defense so she's watching it every day after practice. She's going through every rep of film and she's finding all the little crevices and honing in on them. And I think that's just an attribute of her as an individual. That's who she is and that's what she brings.”
How has Madi Wiliams progressing this season?
“The first three games (including the exhibition win), I thought she really was our anchor. You know we could have gone either way to begin with ... I thought ‘well we can call a play and call her number and she could go score.’ That didn't happen in the Missouri State game and we were a little rocked by that. We have to have her consistent presence.”
How has Holland Hall graduate Gabby Gregory done in her first college games?
“She’s as tough as any kid I've ever had. She's had pneumonia. And nobody knows. She just keeps playing. She’s just tough. We haven't had a chance to see her at all in what she can do and what she's going to be. She's been playing sick. And she's better right now so I expect to be really good this week.”
What is it like playing an 11 a.m. game in front of kids?
“I love it because there's so much energy in the gym. You don't have to manufacture anything. For our players on both teams, there is such an opportunity with a platform to influence another generation about participating in sports. And I think it's an opportunity that we need to make sure that we seize by playing the right way.”