Coale sees one constant, yet many causes. Whether her team is executing its game plan but not getting the desired results, or simply missing shots or failing to live up to the demands of its defensive scouting report early in the game, each issue has led to a dramatic loss of energy.
And, believes Coale, energy can quickly falter when you’ve been playing a very short roster very long minutes in a conference as tough, top to bottom, as the Big 12 … especially after experiencing any of the breakdowns described.
So the time off is wonderful, also a valuable tool.
“I think it’s just sort of a result of carrying baggage with you and that’s what this time is good for,” she said. “You get to unpack the bags, lay them down and start fresh.”
Hook remembers that when shots weren’t falling, “we let that affect us and we weren’t playing well defensively.”
Shooting guard Aaryn Ellenberg, like her coach, has continued to refer to the day-in, day-out nature of facing Big 12 opponents as a “beating.”
“It’s definitely good for us to get away from that and rest a little bit,” she said, “and get a fresh start against different teams.”
The Sooners won’t find out where they’re going and who they’ll be playing once they get there until Monday night. But when they do play again, their coach doesn’t think they’ll be nearly as susceptible to the letdowns that have plagued them recently.
Because of the break, OU should be significantly less fragile.
“The fissures get to heal,” Coale said. “That’s literal and figurative.”
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