Can Williams and Dunn help on the court?
“Oh, maybe,” Coale said. “It’s way to early to tell.”
Still, the move is paying off in some ways already. As Coale reports, teaching the new players has aided to clear the minds of the original players, making for crisp practices. Also, more players can better absorb a demanding drill session.
“It definitely takes some of the exhaustion away,” Sooner guard and leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg said. “We’re going extra reps all the time. It does help with that.”
There was always familiarity.
As a unit, the basketball team is a regular for Sooner volleyball at Howard McCasland Field House. Most of the players already knew Dunn and Williams well.
Additionally, Dunn and Williams are quite used to a serious and successful collegiate athletic program. Their volleyball season ended Jan. 1 in the second round of the NCAA tournament, the same round Sooner women’s basketball exited last season’s NCAA tournament.
“They’re just two really remarkable young women and you don’t even think about adding somebody unless you have that,” Coale said. “Anything else you get is going to be gravy, and it’s already made practice feel a little better.”
Of course, in the face of so much injury, new blood makes for a good story, at least until the Sooners get back on the game court at 2 p.m. Saturday against Cal-State Northridge.
“I never really thought I’d play basketball again,” Dunn said, “but here I am.”
“When I was little,” Williams said, “I honestly thought I wanted to play college basketball.”
Now she is, too.
Clay HorningFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org