NORMAN — They called it Friday Night Tailgate and it was a unique outing for the Oklahoma women.
In front of their booster club and many season-ticket holders, the Sooners took on one another and their scout team — almost all former Norman High boys hoops standouts — as coach Sherri Coale wore a microphone and frequently spoke directly to the fans in the midst of the action. And, if she wanted to speak to her players, well, everybody in the arena heard that, too.
Coale, however, may have watched her tongue, because she couldn’t have been too pleased with her basketball team. The Sooners were wildly inconsistent, frequently appeared tired, and though they got the best of their scout team in the final scrimmage period, they did not in previous periods.
“I thought it was really sluggish. I really did,” Coale said. “I don’t think we played with great energy. I don’t know where that came from because we’ve had nine really good practices with over-the-top energy.”
Players were not pleased and didn’t mind talking about their disappointment in themselves.
“I thought we were terrible,” fifth-year senior shooting guard Whitney Hand said.
OU, which finds out today where it’s ranked in the preseason Associated Press Top 25, may have one of the nation’s best scout teams.
Among the players are Colton Coale, Connor Madole, Will Saxon and Grant Ladner, all former Tigers. The group has size, shooters — Saxon was red hot — and moves well without the ball, even without a coach telling it what to do. And Friday night at Lloyd Noble Center, there were stretches the Sooners struggled to keep up.
“It was terrible,” point guard Morgan Hook said. “That’s not how we’ve practiced the last 10 days and there’s nothing we can really say. It was all under our control … It is a big deal. This is the first time our fans got to see us and that’s the first impression. It was just embarrassing.”