Norman — The story of Oklahoma women’s basketball this season isn’t the story of point guard Danielle Robinson.
It is not that simple. It is, though, close.
The turnaround most point to occurred following the Sooners 18-point homecourt loss to Texas Feb. 3.
It began in the locker room right after the game and grew legs when the Sooners next took the court at Oklahoma State, Feb. 5, when Robinson played the game of her life, scoring 36 points and dishing six assists against one turnover.
Robinson’s personal turnaround, though, began three games earlier with a seven-assist, three-turnover, 14-point outing against Kansas.
It may well be the case that the Sooners’ turnaround, triggered by an embarrassing loss to the Longhorns, was erected upon the foundation Robinson had already started building.
“One thing I can say about Danielle, and it’s so simple she’s going to think I’m crazy,” OU coach Sherri Coale said, “she is just a competitor who hates to lose and she’d just lost enough. She just said, ‘We’ve lost enough and we’re not going to lose any more.’
“It was ever bit as simple as that because she knows, for us to win, she has to be on the floor and she can’t turn the ball over.”
The numbers tell a story.
The first 17 games of the season, which included games against (some) weak competition not found in the Big 12, Robinson averaged 5.4 assists and 4.9 turnovers. Limit the string to games 11 through 17, and the averages were 5.4 assists and 6.1 turnovers.
No matter how many points she was scoring — and Robinson was scoring plenty — she wasn’t making the Sooners better as a group.
Yet over the season’s last 16 games, beginning Jan. 23 against Kansas, the averages are 4.9 assists and 2.9 turnovers. Averaging a half-assist less the second half of the season can be chalked up to playing nothing but conference opponents. The significant reduction in turnovers can be chalked up to Robinson raising her game.