NORMAN — The Oklahoma women's basketball team opens its season Saturday afternoon at Creighton. Junior guard Morgan Hook sat down with The Oklahoman to preview the Sooners' season:
Q: You open this weekend at Creighton. Do you have to prepare differently for road games?
A: I think we have to have a different mentality where we have a sense of unity. Because it is away and we're not going to have fans there like we do here and so we have to stay … inside of ourselves and kind of grow from there and just give the energy on the bench. It just starts with us and it is from our inner circle.
Who do you think was the most improved throughout the preseason?
I would say Nicole Griffin. I mean she's just more confident and more talkative in practice, demanding the ball and stuff like that. She developed different ways to score, so I think it's really helped us.
How would you say the spirits of Kaylon Williams and Lyndsey Cloman (both sidelined by injuries) are?
Their personalities are what makes our team, and regardless that they're not on the court ... they're still loud in practices. I mean it's terrible that they aren't on the court with us, but them off the court isn't like they're invisible now to us. They still do the same things and contribute the same way.
How do you think the newcomers will help your production?
Well since exhibition, they've all come in and put up great numbers in all different categories. I think it's just like the starters come out, we're not really losing anything when the freshmen or even Portia (Durrett) goes in. It just gives us a sense of confidence as a team that everybody can produce at every position.
You were voted a co-captain. What do you see as your role or your duties?
Just basically controlling the attitude, the energy, everything like it comes through the captains. After a day off, we're the ones in charge to make sure everybody's focused and everything like that. Just any problems or situations, it has to go through us before Coach has to deal with it.
Can you explain the team motto, “the 12 inches in front of you”?
It's just like, kind of like be in the moment. Don't think ahead or whatever. If you're in one game, think of that possession, not if you're down 10 points. Think about the possession you're in to try to get a stop or a score.
Oklahoma at Creighton
*When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
*Where: D.J. Sokol Arena, Omaha, Neb.
*Radio: KREF-AM 1400
Three things to know
* Oklahoma is 3-0 all-time against Creighton. The Sooners' last victory against the Bluejays was Dec. 20, 2009, in Omaha. OU won that game 67-58.
* The Sooners are 12-4 in season openers under Sherri Coale. They're 5-4 in away season openers during Coale's tenure.
* Oklahoma newcomer Portia Durrett led the Sooners in preseason scoring with 21 points. Durrett is a junior-college transfer from Walters State.