The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 10, 2012

Sooners prepared for season-opener and a whole lot more

NORMAN — Oklahoma women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale has been at this thing going on 17 seasons. She’s been to 13 straight NCAA tournaments, taken the Sooners to a trio of Final Fours and reached the Sweet 16 eight different times.

Within the span have been two discernible and memorable eras.

There was the Stacey Dales Sooners, including teams that from 2000 to 2002 reached three straight Sweet 16s and a Final Four. There was the Courtney Paris era, from 2006 to 2009, that included one Final Four trip, one perfect march through the Big 12 conference season and postseason tournament and one national championship guarantee from Paris herself that came in a couple wins short.

The Sooners are in no particular era right now. Fifth-year senior shooting guard Whitney Hand may go down as the program’s most beloved player. She played a season with Paris and two-plus with All-American point guard Danielle Robinson. Still, the thought of past eras comes up for another reason.

The reason?

Remove those two eras and there likely hasn’t been any season in which OU thought so highly of its possibilities.

The combination of it being Hand’s last go-round, of just about everybody who played a significant role last season coming back, and the addition of three newcomers expected to play and excel in major roles, has the Sooners thinking all things are possible.

A return to the Final Four?

Sure.

A national championship?

Why not.

n n n

It all begins at 1:30 p.m. today at Creighton, where the Sooners open up against the team that took St. John’s to the wire at the NCAA tournament last season at Lloyd Noble Center two days before St. John’s ended OU’s season.

Openers can make for sluggish efforts, especially away from home against a team that could make its season by knocking off a team like OU. On the other hand, it’s a stiff early test that may demand the Sooners prove they are who they think they are, or something close to it, to return home with a victory.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • North’s Barrett on track for great stuff

    It was after the guy working the PA at John Jacobs Field Friday afternoon understood The Norman Transcript was in the house when he began singing the praises of Norman North’s Ben Barrett....

    April 19, 2014

  • Sooners advance to Super Six

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships....

    April 19, 2014

  • Woodard powers through

    For most of Friday afternoon, Norman North’s Haley Woodard, the day after notching a goal and an assist against Edmond Santa Fe, was lying down and feeling  sick under the North track and field team’s canopy at John Jacobs Field....

    April 19, 2014

  • Can the Heat flip the switch?

    MIAMI — LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call “Championship Alley” a few minutes after last season’s NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message. It wasn’t for his fans....

    April 19, 2014

  • No April, May or June Madness in NBA

    AP National Writer ATLANTA — If the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks were in any other sport, they might have a glimmer of hope for winning a championship. The NBA? No way....

    April 19, 2014

  • Warriors and Clippers take mutual dislike into playoff series

    LOS ANGELES — As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don’t like each other, they’re a lot alike in some ways....

    April 19, 2014

  • Thunder set to take on unlikely rival in Memphis

    It’s become an unlikely rivalry. There is no reason for Oklahoma City and Memphis to have an ongoing feud, except that they do and the numbers seem to bear it out....

    April 19, 2014

  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook