With Oklahoma State needing a spark on offense in the second half of its All-College Classic matchup against South Florida, Cowgirl coach Jim Littell turned to reserve guard Brittany Atkins.
Atkins answered the call with eight points in eight minutes while showing an ability to shoot and drive to the bucket. She followed that performance with nine points and four rebounds in 23 minutes in Thursday's 63-57 victory against Michigan State in the Puerto Rico Challenge.
Atkins talked with The Oklahoman before the team left for Puerto Rico about her role this season, what she learned while recovering from a knee injury during her redshirt season and the energy she brings to the Cowgirls in multiple ways.
Q: You tried to come back from your knee surgery last season. What do you remember about the moment when Coach Littell decided to redshirt you?
A: “I remember the meeting like it was yesterday. We got through a morning practice (in January) and I was about to do some more conditioning, because I had just come back, so I wanted to make sure I was in shape. He just said, ‘Come here.' And so I sat down and he was like, ‘I think you're not 100 percent. Do you think you're 100 percent?' I said, ‘No, I'm probably about 60, 65 percent.' And he said ‘When do you think you'll be 100 percent?' I said, ‘Probably about another three weeks,' and then he was just like, ‘Well, I think this year we should just sit you out. I don't want to waste a year for you, and I think you can get better and improve more.' I agreed with it, because I felt like I could have gotten stronger in the weight room. Just sitting out that year, watching what was going on, knowing how hard I had to play, it really motivated me a lot.”