Oklahoma women's basketball: Navy SEALS put Sooners through tough drills

Sooners coach Sherri Coale notices a huge change in the team's ability to focus
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: October 15, 2012
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photo - NCAA TOURNAMENT / OU WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale encourages her team during a first round game of the NCAA women's basketball tournament between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Michigan Wolverines at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Sunday, March 18, 2012. Oklahoma won 88-67. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
NCAA TOURNAMENT / OU WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale encourages her team during a first round game of the NCAA women's basketball tournament between the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Michigan Wolverines at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Sunday, March 18, 2012. Oklahoma won 88-67. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Hand also said she enjoy the opportunity to tour what the university offers.

“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.”


by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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