Oklahoma center Nicole Griffin has faced one tall task after another this season. Such is life in the Big 12.
What kind of challenge will Michigan pose Sunday in the Sooners' NCAA Tournament opener?
Griffin talked about that and much more with The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson.
There are lots of good centers in the Big 12. What's it like knowing you won't be facing someone from the conference on Sunday?
It's almost like a relief. The Big 12, all the teams know what you do. They know what you like. They know your plays. They know everything. Now, it's kind of like a fresh start. I feel like you can play more free because you're not thinking, “They know I'm going to try to do this to counter that.” You can just kind of play.
The Big Ten tends to have pretty physical post players. What are you expecting out of Michigan?
We just watched their defense. Their starter is 6-1, and their second post is 6-4, but they're pretty big.
So, what's important for your post players against them?
First, we need to be available to catch the ball. That's where it all starts. Then, we need to rebound. Offensive boards, we struggled with that last game, and that's one thing we're focusing on as bigs — going and crashing.
What about you individually? What do you need to do Sunday night?
I feel I need to look to score. I need to run the floor, get in transition. I need to be a factor on defense if they penetrate the paint. Those are my three main things.
OK, I've got a non-basketball question — I understand that there's some sort of “Hunger Games” obsession going on among the team?
It is true.
How did this come about?
I think Jo (McFarland) read it first, and she told people about it. I think Whitney (Hand) read it in, like, a night. It just kind of spread from there. I haven't read it. I'll probably go see the movie with everybody. (Laughs.)
So, are you by nature more of a movie gal than a book gal?
I would read books, but I don't have time to read other books besides for classes. I like to read books before I see the movie, but I just don't have time right now.
Since you don't have time to read for fun, what other activities do you like to do outside of basketball?
I live with Aaryn (Ellenberg), Jacqueline (Jeffcoat) and a softball player. We just kind of hang out. We don't necessarily do anything specific ... but it's just kind of spur of the moment. We decided to do something, and we'll go do it.
Are there pros and cons to living with roommates?
I see all good. Usually when we go home, we don't talk about basketball. I try to just leave it alone. When we go home, it's school and life and we try not to think about it. It's kind of like we've got to let it go and get away from it for a minute.