The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 10, 2013

What’s wrong with Coale’s Sooners?

(Continued)

NORMAN —

That’s changed over the last three games — Creighton, Western Illinois, Duke — as Williams has committed only five collective fouls. However, her effectiveness has waned simultaneously. In those games, Williams has averaged 5.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 18 minutes of court time. Prior to those three games, she was averaging 12 points and 5.5 rebounds in 14.5 minutes.

The Sooners need her to maintain her productivity as she learns not to commit fouls.

· Free-throw shooting: It wasn’t an issue against Duke, as the Sooners hit 22 of 26, but it has been many times this season. As a team, OU is hitting 73.1 percent of its foul shots, very nearly what it shot last season (73.5 percent), though neither figure is what the team is after.

The Sooners hit hit 34 of 49 against Gonzaga when 40 of 49 would have made for a 10-point rather than a four-point victory. They hit 11 of 21 against UT-Arlington, 20 of 30 against Creighton and 11 of 18 against Western Illinois. Repeat those figures in a very competitive game and it could be the difference between victory and defeat.

One other issue reared itself against Duke on Sunday.

OU missed easy shots, which led to a loss of confidence and soon enough to the awful 10 minutes in which the game was lost.

“The troubling thing is that you don’t get int the gym and work on that. They can make them with their eyes closed,” Coale said. “It becomes a mental toughness thing. It’s a demeanor. It’s a mindset. That’s something that a kid has to do. It’s a switch they have to flip.”

The same sentiment might go for many of the issues facing the Sooners. Flip enough switches and it can still be a very big season.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

cfhorning@normantranscript.com

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