Oklahoma advanced to the Sweet 16, where it lost 74-59 to Tennessee. Oklahoma State reached the second round, losing 68-59 after a valliant effort against No. 2-seeded Duke on its home floor.
No. 16-seed Tulsa lost its first-round game 72-56 at top-seeded Stanford.
Like OU, Oral Roberts was eliminated from the tournament by Tennessee. The No. 15-seeded Golden Eagles lost 83-62 to the Volunteers in the first round.
“All four schools made it and played well,” Coale said. “Had a great showing, and I think across the board, the thing that people across the country will say about those four teams is we all fought like crazy. Really competitive, and full of rosters with Oklahoma kids, all of us.
“I think it really spoke volumes, maybe more about the state of high-school basketball in the state of Oklahoma, than anything, because we have so many kids from here.”
* Asked what Whitney Hand is going to do now, Coale said, “Anything she wants.”
Hand started 103 games at Oklahoma, recording 1,211 points, 555 rebounds and 296 assists. A second ACL tear in early December ended her college career and, seemingly, her playing career altogther.
But the San Antonio Silver Stars selected Hand in the third round of last month’s WNBA Draft, leaving open the possibility that she could return to the floor in 2014.
“I don’t think she knows at this time,” Coale said of that opportunity. “A lot of it will depend on the knee and how it heals.”
Hand’s husband, former Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, is beginning his NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Should Hand choose to pursue a WNBA career in San Antonio, Coale said she didn’t think the conflicting professional sports careers would be an issue.
“The great thing about the WNBA season is it’s so short,” Coale said. “It falls in a perfect complement to his season and what he does. I think there’s probably a way to do both, and if there were ever two people who could do it, it would probably be them.”
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