Sherri Coale's Sooners are always in style

Jenni Carlson: Whether the OU women are strong in the backcourt or in the paint, winning remains constant.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: January 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm •  Published: January 15, 2011
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How good is that?

Crazy good.

During the Coale Era, no Sooner team has ever averaged more than 6.1 3-pointers a game or shot any better than 38.0 percent from behind the line. Only once has a squad averaged more than 80 points a game.

While the guard-centric style is showing well this season, the Sooners went to the Final Four these past two seasons with the half-court, big-girl look.

Does that mean this season is a break from what Coale would prefer? Or were these past few years the diversion from her preference?

“I prefer whatever works,” Coale said. “And that depends on the people who are workin' it.”

No doubt Coale has a perfect vision for the game. As a former point guard, she likes a game that is free flowing and hard charging.

Think Maravich and Magic and MJ.

But Coale has never recruited players to fit a certain style — at least not an on-court style.

“There's a kind of kid ... that we have always wanted and still want,” she said.

Coale didn't specify the personality traits of her kind of recruit, but really, there was no need. Just look at the players who've come through her program during the past 15 years. It's easy to see what she wants.

Her gals are reflections of her. Smart. Strong. Even a bit sassy.

“Those guys will be successful, I'm convinced,” she said. “Some are fast. Some can really shoot.”

But whatever their strengths, Coale will adapt. If she's got dominant posts, she'll play a slower, more methodical style. If she's got speed, she'll go up-tempo. If she's got shooters, she'll go guns a blazing. She isn't picky about how her team plays as long as it wins.

It's a classic style — never goes out of fashion.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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