NORMAN — During a visit to Norman, Gabbi Ortiz and her father sat down to chat with Oklahoma point guard Morgan Hook, who bluntly laid out what it takes to play the position for coach Sherri Coale.
“She talked about how much Coach Coale is gonna rely on you, constant meetings with her and stuff,” Ortiz said. “It didn’t scare me at all. I was excited. I’m really excited to see what she’s gonna do with me and how I can grow as a player.
“That point guard position is up in the air, so they’re hoping I can come in and have an impact.”
Ortiz, a five-star prospect from Racine, Wis., signed with the Sooners last fall and could be asked to step right into Hook’s shoes next season.
An up-and-down 2013-14 campaign ended Saturday, when a valiant Oklahoma comeback fell short in a 104-100 first-round NCAA Tournament loss to DePaul.
Other possible replacements for Hook include current Sooners Maddie Manning, who has torn ACLs early in each of her first two seasons on campus, and T’ona Edwards, the former Northeast standout who played some off the bench as a true freshman this year.
“What we desperately need for this class to provide is ‘it,’” Coale said. “I’m searching for a word because ‘it’ is what we’re after. That bravado. That moxie. When I was recruiting Gabbi Ortiz, I wanted to sign her because she had ‘it.’ She’s got that thing.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who can play basketball, but we need a rallying force. Maybe one of these returnees figures it out; maybe it arrives in June with that freshman class. But we’re missing ‘it,’ and we’ve gotta find it.”
Ortiz is the nation’s 14th-ranked overall player in the class of 2014, according to ESPN.com’s HoopGurlz rankings.
“Obviously, I want to start, but nothing’s gonna be handed to me,” Ortiz said. “That’s what I have this offseason for. I have a great opportunity to have an impact, but I’m gonna work my tail off.”