STILLWATER — Liz Donohoe wants to avoid a sophomore slump.
The Oklahoma State forward, and reigning Big 12 Freshman of the Year, knows she won't be a surprise to anybody in the conference this season after leading the Cowgirls in rebounding (7.8 per game) and tying for the team lead in scoring (13.1 points per game) last year.
The always soft-spoken Donohoe talked with The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell about her expectations for herself and the Cowgirls this season, playing with a point guard like Tiffany Bias and the team's “Call Me, Maybe” video.
What were the biggest things you worked to improve during the offseason?
“Definitely my speed and being able to come off screens better and having a quicker release and being able to knock down those shots. And just getting better at defense. I need to be faster and stay down and be a better defender than I was last year.”
Looking back, how did the extra practice and game experience in the WNIT help this team?
“It was kind of like that new start. We had a new goal to accomplish. It's a different mindset. We're not going to be perfect, but we can go out and we can play hard and control out effort and attitude, as Coach (Jim) Littell says all the time. That gave us momentum, I think, and the confidence that, ‘OK, we know we can be that good.'”
And you return all five starters. How can you build on the way you finished last season?
“We have everybody back, and even these newcomers (Brittney Martin, Brittany Atkins, Kamri Anderson, Morgan Toben) are amazing. They're going to help us out a lot. Coach Littell has said we have the pieces to the puzzle, and I really think that's what we have. We're not going to surprise anybody. We know how to play each other and trust each other. We're just going to have a lot of fun.”
What's it like to play with a point guard like Tiffany Bias?
“I am so glad she's on our team, because I would hate to play against her. I hate guarding her in practice, even helping (on defense) to try to stop her. She's a leader and she's poised and smart. She's a great teammate. She's amazing. I'm just glad she's on my team.”
Is the biggest goal to make the NCAA Tournament this season?
“Definitely. I want that so bad. We all want that. I would love to make the NCAA Tournament.”
Your team was one of the first to create a “Call Me, Maybe” video last spring. What was that like?
“That was fun. That's just part of how close we are. We always do things like that all the time. We're always together. This team has good chemistry. We love being with each other.”