IOWA CITY, Iowa — Amanda Thompson might need to do more than make her return tonight.
She might need to make a difference, too.
The Oklahoma forward has been hampered by a tendon injury in her left foot and sat out the Sooners’ NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament opener against Prairie View A&M. But her ability to defend the perimeter and crash the boards could be key against Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets, after all, make a living getting to the rim and scoring in the paint.
"It’s huge,” Thompson said of her role. "Me coming out there and being focused and doing what I need to do, it’s huge. It’s what we need.
"I know if I can’t do it, somebody else will.”
No doubt the Sooners have other players with athleticism comparable to Thompson’s. Danielle Robinson, Nyeshia Stevenson and Ashley Paris come to mind.
Thompson, though, is unique. She is agile enough to keep players from driving past her, but at 6-foot, she is stout enough to battle for rebounds.
The big question — will she be able to do those things with a bum foot?
"How long she will be able to go — whether it’s three possessions or a three-minute period — we won’t know,” Sooner coach Sherri Coale said. "She won’t know. No one knows.”
Still, Thompson played much of her freshman season with a major shoulder injury.