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October 26, 2013

New rules may bode well for speedy Sooners

NORMAN — The NCAA, perhaps not known for doing Sooner athletics great favors, appears to have done one for Oklahoma women’s basketball.

It changed the rules.

Not rules about recruiting or scholarships or the time a coach may spend with her players, but the actual rules.

“I love it,” OU women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale said.

Friday was the program’s local media day at Lloyd Noble Center and Coale had plenty to say. 

Her newcomers appear to be adjusting to the college game faster than any recruiting class before, Kaylon Williams and Maddie Manning have returned from season-ending injuries without the all-too common fear or re-injury, putting them a year ahead of the schedule many athletes take to return to full strength, and Aaryn Ellenberg, the quiet preseason All-Big 12 selection appears to have transformed herself into a real leader through the offseason.

Coale likes all of that.

Also, she loves the new rules.

Actually, there are two new rules and one very big point of emphasis the NCAA is charging its officials with enforcing.

For the first time, the women’s game will now include the 10-second rule to get the ball across halfcourt. Before, teams could burn as much of the 30-second shot clock as they wished bringing the ball up the court. Also, and this will affect the game much more drastically, the way charges can be taken in the lane is very different.

Already, charges could not be taken inside the half circle at the bottom of the lane, very nearly directly under the basket. Now, if a player begins a move to the basket with the ball from outside the lane, only a player who also began defending that player outside the lane, may take a charge inside the lane. In essence, help defense may come from a post patrolling the basket, yet that post, if she was in the lane all along, cannot take a charge from the penetrating player.

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