OU's Carlee Roethlisberger stands in line during practice in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday, March 27, 2010. The University of Oklahoma will play Notre Dame in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament on Sunday. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
"I can’t let it get to me emotionally. I have a team, my second family.”
She stays away from the news. No TV. No newspapers. "If there’s something I need to know, my brother or parents let me know,” Roethlisberger said. "We just keep in touch, enough to know he’s OK. From there, it’s school and basketball.”
Roethlisberger’s basketball is up and down. "Inconsistent,” is the one-word answer Sherri Coale used to describe Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger’s scoring has steadily declined since January; she had scored just 28 points in the eight games before Tuesday night, when she had nine first-half points to key a 60-44 second-round victory over Arkansas-Little Rock. Roethlisberger’s defense on UALR star Chastity Reed also was pivotal.
"She can do a lot of things,” Coale said. "If you watch us practice or warm up, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, that girl’s it.’ ”
There go more expectations.
Roethlisberger went to Findlay (Ohio) High School, same as her brother, and was a two-sport star. She says she’d be playing volleyball at Nebraska if she wasn’t playing basketball at OU.
"Everybody’s the star player on your high school team,” Roethlisberger said. "Then you adjust. That’s how it is unless you’re (UConn’s) Maya Moore, (OU’s) Danielle Robinson, Whitney Hand. Do the little things needed of you.
"As you get older, you feel you have more of a dominant role. You need to come in, make your presence known. I’ve been kind of on and off.”
The Sooners need Roethlisberger to be on tonight. Fair or not, they need her to live up to her name.
405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.