Oklahoma women's basketball: Aaryn Ellenberg entering final NCAA Tournament of her prolific career

by Jason Kersey Published: March 21, 2014

photo - Oklahoma's Aaryn Ellenberg prepares to shoot during practice before the NCAA basketball tournament in Durham, N.C., Friday, March 21, 2014.  Oklahoma faces DePaul in the first round on Saturday.  (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)
Oklahoma's Aaryn Ellenberg prepares to shoot during practice before the NCAA basketball tournament in Durham, N.C., Friday, March 21, 2014. Oklahoma faces DePaul in the first round on Saturday. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)

— Five years after Courtney Paris played her final game at Oklahoma, Sherri Coale can fully appreciate the former All-American’s historic career.

That’s why the Sooners coach doesn’t expect the full weight of senior guard Aaryn Ellenberg’s career to sink in for a while.

“When we have a prolific 3-point shooter making basket after basket after basket, and we look up and she’s still so far away from Aaryn’s records, then it will sink in,” Coale said.

Ellenberg will begin her final NCAA Tournament at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when the 10th-seeded Sooners face No. 7-seed DePaul in Durham, N.C. The Las Vegas native holds OU’s single-season and career records for 3-pointers made, and is second in school history — behind only Paris — in career points scored.

“She just has an uncanny ability to score, and I think she has grown as a defensive player,” Coale said. “She has grown in her understanding of the game without the ball in her hand. I think the pauses between the notes, if you will, have improved dramatically for her.”

Ellenberg wasn’t ready to reflect on her remarkable career when asked about it this week.

“It’s all just been one big focus on the team and what we’ve been doing over the last four years, so I guess when I get away from it I’ll be able to reflect on it a little bit,” Ellenberg said.

The quiet, reserved Ellenberg has never been particularly fond of media interviews and rarely displays much emotion on the basketball court. The most memorable exception came earlier this month during a postgame Senior Day ceremony; Ellenberg broke down in tears addressing the crowd when she began to thank her mother.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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