Oklahoma was the preseason favorite to claim this year's Big 12 women's basketball championship, but so far, the Sooners have failed to live up to that hype.
OU coach Sherri Coale said one of the most disappointing things about her team through 17 games is a troubling lack of energy.
“Regardless of who you're playing, or where you're playing, or what's at stake, there's one thing that has to be common, and that is the energy that you bring to the floor,” Coale said. “That is nonnegotiable.”
The Sooners (11-6, 2-2 Big 12) should benefit, then, from their week off Saturday afternoon at West Virginia.
All of Oklahoma's three home losses have come against top-15 opponents, and two of those games went into overtime. On the road, though, the Sooners have struggled, losing games at unranked UCLA, Marist and Texas.
In the Mountaineers (15-2, 4-1 Big 12), Oklahoma meets an opponent playing at a very high level. West Virginia is coming off a 14-point victory at No. 13 Iowa State, a team that beat OU in Norman earlier this month.
“It doesn't matter if you've won 12 in a row,” Coale said of playing with energy. “It doesn't matter if you're picked to finish first or you're picked to finish last. That is nonnegotiable, for a champion, or in my belief, for anyone who puts on an Oklahoma jersey.
“That's something that we've been addressing and we will continue to address. I've gotta find five guys who will take the floor and play with Oklahoma energy.”