Oh, well. Coale obviously was giving veteran players a chance, but now Griffin seems ready to step into the big shoes of Courtney Paris and Abi Olajuwon. The Sooners had five years of big-time post play, and Griffin appears capable of keeping the tradition strong.
Against A&M's big, rugged defenders, Griffin showed the ability to catch the ball and immediately attack the basket.
“She wants the ball,” said OU's Whitney Hand. “She wants to go score. You can draw up a play for her and she's going to be in the right spot.”
A scoring threat in the post “simplifies everything,” Coale said. Relieves defensive pressure off Robinson and the shooters. Creates foul shots. Offensive rebounds.
Griffin's development is huge not just for next week, but the next two years. Baylor's Brittney Griner isn't going anywhere. If the Sooners don't want to be pulverized by the Bears, they had to find a Goliath of their own.
Griffin is no Griner — not as athletic, not as strong, not as quick, heck, not as tall — but you can't surrender.
“That's what everybody in the league is having to do,” Blair said, “go find some taller kids that can play post if you want to try to win championships here during Griner's four-year run.
“Give Griffin a lot of credit. She's turning into a great, great freshman post player.”
The Sooners played A&M tough. They trailed just 43-41 early in the second half and got within 75-68 with 1:57 left in the game before the Aggies stood firm.
OU won't play anyone as good as A&M until the Sweet 16. Play like this, and the Sooners can make another deep March run.
The growth of Griffin, pun intended, is a major reason why.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He 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. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.