“She's been really good for me just to learn from.”
Hand is still there every day in practice, to lend an ear or help motivate how she can, but having Hook's leadership on the floor is irreplaceable.
“There is only so much anyone who is not inside the 94 feet of those lines can do,” Coale said. “Morgan had to pick that up. It's been a stretch for her. For the most part, you watch her play and you appreciate what our team has done and you don't really think about that but that growth has been significant.”
Hook's numbers are comparable to last season — her scoring is down by half a point per game but her assist total is up by nearly two per game. The advantage of what she's had to go through this year figures to show up more next season, when Hook would've had to take a bigger leadership role with Hand's graduation anyway.
“I talked to Aaryn and Nicole about that,” Hook said. “This gives us a perspective of what next year's going to be like and how we all have to have that role a little bit. It can't be just one of us, it can't be just two of us, it has to be all of us.”