Women’s basketball TV analyst Debbie Antonelli speaks so highly of OU forward Amanda Thompson’s improved play this season that she placed her in a special category in her Big 12 postseason awards.
Antonelli, the analyst on ESPN2’s coverage of the Kansas City Regional on Sunday night, said Thompson was more deserving than just a spot on her all-screener team, all- toughness team or all-under-the-radar team, which were announced on FSN’s Big 12 tournament coverage.
"Amanda kept coming up in every category, so I made her own team — the Amanda Thompson team,” said Antonelli, who has broadcast nine OU games this season. "She deserved it because she’s tough, she can screen and she’s under the radar.”
Antonelli praised OU coach Sherri Coale for making better use of Thompson’s talents as a power forward in the Sooners’ triangle offense following the departure of the Paris twins. Thompson has responded by averaging 13.0 points and 10.5 rebounds a game with 63 steals and 43 blocks.
"She might be one of the best players inside 15 feet in our game this year,” Antonelli said.
That’s high praises from Antonelli, a former N.C. State standout and the nation’s most prolific women’s basketball analyst. She works about 95 women’s games a season, including WNBA, while raising three sons (ages 15, 12 and 8) in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
"It’s rocking and rolling all the time,” she said of her household.