“I think so much we get stuck in our own little worlds here,” Hand said.
THE NEW GUYS ARE LEARNERS
Coale learned a lot about her team in Australia. That's the bonus of having a week during the summer to play games and bond on the basketball court.
OU played four games Down Under as part of a rule that allows a team to take a trip abroad to play every four years.
Coale said there's something that a coach isn't able to tell while they're recruiting: Can the player learn?
The Sooners' three newcomers — junior college All-American Portia Durett, Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year Maddie Manning and high school All-America team MVP Nicole Kornet — are all learners, Coale said.
“They really would take that one thing — maybe they weren't running their lane hard or maybe they weren't blocking out and move off triple penetration — and they would go back in and try to correct that and make a change,” Coale said. “All three of those guys are learners, meaning they change their behaviors, so that was huge.”
COALE ON THE NEWCOMERS
Portia Durett: “Just an explosive, relentless, offensive rebounder,” Coale said. “She can shoot. We learned in Australia she can really pass, and I didn't see that much in junior college primarily because she's the one they were trying to get to shoot all the time.
“She really has nice vision and a clever way of delivering the basketball, but her deal is she'll get a rebound.”
Maddie Manning: “She can score and she can get to the rim,” Coale said. “She has a fantastic first step. I think she's going to be a great defender because of her length, but her deal is delivering the basketball.
“She can look east and drop it down west.”
Nicole Kornet: “She scores the basketball. She puts it in the basket, and it doesn't matter if you're up by 20 and there are 15 minutes left in the game or you're down by two and it's one possession. She wants the basketball, and she knows what to do with them.”