Two of the most telling words to that quote are “on occasion” and Ellenberg is hardly the only one who has struggled to put her best self forward.
Kaylon Williams, who started in front of Nicole Griffin Saturday, offered her best game in months, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and nine rebounds, and boy could OU have used some games like that during the conference season. Instead, her highs among OU’s 18 league tilts were nine points (at Baylor) and seven rebounds (against Texas Tech).
Or Sharane Campbell, who was terrific Saturday, with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Only once in conference play (against Oklahoma State) did she score more and only once all season (against Kansas State) did she match her board total.
Saturday’s biggest regret among the stalwarts that stuck with this team through more highs than lows should be the 3-of-13 shooting, 11-point and five-turnover day of point guard Morgan Hook.
Hook was the biggest reason OU ever even won 18 games this season. Without her, the Sooners lose more than they win and aren’t even in the WNIT.
Just a bad game at the wrong time.
You wonder where Coale’s Sooners go from here.
Next season they’ll have a new point guard and a new leading scorer and both may be Maddie Manning, even on two reconstructed ACLs, and if it happens like that you then have to wonder just how many wins there might be.
Or, Campbell can become the player she’s been every once in a while most of the time, Williams can discover even the slightest consistency, Gioya Carter can begin to earn those Stacey Dales’ comparisons, Derica Wyatt can become a certified gunner and, just like that, OU can be the surprise team in the conference for a second straight season, only this time in a good way.