NORMAN — The Oklahoma women's basketball team is 12-2, and 2-0 in Big 12 Conference play after Saturday's 78-70 win at Texas. Sophomore guard Sharane Campbell, who was on The Oklahoman's Super 5 team after her senior season at Star Spencer, scored a career-high 24 points in the win.
The Sooners return to the court at 7 p.m. Wednesday at TCU. OU coach Sherri Coale talked about the team's improvement and Campbell's progression as a college player.
Q: What has stood out to you about your team over the first couple conference games?
A: “Resilience. Toughness — mental and physical toughness. That's been what has stood out to me. It's just a formulation of an identity. We're starting to figure out who we are.”
What do you think that identity is? Is it possible to know at this point?
“We've had four versions of ourselves this year: Who we were all together, before they all got hurt, and then every time somebody is removed from the mix, you change a little bit. We're still establishing our footing and defining roles.
“We've had different people step in and assume responsibilities. It's been a process. I think the reason we've been able to weather it as well as we have to this point is because everybody knows what the ‘whole' is supposed to look like. There's a certain way you're supposed to play.”
What has allowed Sharane Campbell to progress so much?
“So much of it is sense of confidence, which comes from demonstrated ability. She comes to the gym and works and reaps the benefit. So much of being a great athlete at this level is how you see yourself.”
Is this the kind of potential you saw back when you recruited her?
“We just saw putty; we saw what could she be. She is just clay in the hands. ‘If she approaches and works the right way, this kid can be really special.' She does, and she's becoming special.”
Is she just one of those players that needed time to adjust to the college game?
“Some guys come in and because of either physical stature or exceptional skills, can come in and impact you immediately while they're learning. Sometimes, like Sharane, a kid's athleticism is far more advanced than their fundamental base. It's kind of like trying to run while you learn to crawl. She had to go back and lay that foundation, and it's grown firmer and firmer.”
Is that especially tough for a player who was such a high-school standout?
“Yeah, I think the greater adjustment for Sharane was not necessarily that she wasn't ‘the guy'; I don't think that ever really affected her. All of a sudden, she felt like there were so many things she could not do. I don't think she'd ever felt like that before. It was really a bruise to her self image as an athlete. She had never really failed because she was such a superior athlete.
“She's a spunky kid and she's a smart kid. She's very attentive. Excellence matters to her. I think that's one of my favorite things about her. Everything she does, she does really well. She's concerned with the process. That's in her school work and in everything she does.”
NO. 16 OKLAHOMA AT TCU
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, Fort Worth, Texas
TV: Fox Sports Southwest Plus (Cox 68/HD 715)
Radio: KOKC-AM 1520, KREF-AM 1400
Three things to know
*Oklahoma beat TCU 82-54 Dec. 28, 2011, in Norman when the teams last met.
*The Horned Frogs narrowly lost 59-58 Saturday at Kansas State.
*TCU junior reserve guard Meagan Henson is from Yukon and played high school basketball at Christian Heritage.