SoonerSports.com | The Write Space and Time

 
 Sherri Coale, 14th Season

Adrian Taylor  
Coale, a four-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, enters her 14th season as the head coach of the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team. Under her watch, the Sooners ascended from the bottom of the Big 12 to one of the nation's winningest programs.

Oct. 16, 2009: The Write Space and Time
 
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Spacing and timing. Sonny and Cher. Batman and Robin. Some things just go together. By themselves they work, kind of. But when paired? Look out. That's when the magic happens. Beautiful basketball pivots on offensive spacing and timing. And it seems to me that life swings back and forth on the same two hinges. So every week or so we'll be examining both, or maybe just pondering about one or the other. And who knows what might happen with the right amount of space and enough time...

Oct. 16, 2009 -- This is my favorite time of year. I love the challenge of putting all the pieces together. I love how fresh the air in the gym is. And I love the thought of what might be. Players are hungry. No one has yet begun construction on the self-imposed walls that often limit them as practice wears on. All believe. And all enter with a clean slate and their own best plays in their eyes.

I've always been a big fan of October, but this group has me giddy about today and the formal start to it all. I think they get it. They pay attention. They show up, completely. They look each other in the eye. The guys on our team aren't all alike, but they have an easiness about them -- a respect and maybe even an admiration for one another. And they all LOVE to play.

As I spread the puzzle pieces out on the table, there don't seem to be any missing. (Which is a beautiful thing to behold, even if it's only for a little while.) And they all seem to group themselves together neatly with an obvious place to be and a job to do. That makes a teacher's task easy. You know those puzzle boxes that say ages 5 and up? This could be one of those years.

Fitting together gives you a chance but, unfortunately, it offers no guarantees. You want the final product to be detailed and classic and substantive enough to frame. We have our share of challenges in front of us. We have some scoring to replace and we're all about to be reminded of the value of a block out, but I sure like the way we move. I like our commitment to stuff that matters. And I think we have some guys whose time has come.

For every weakness there is an opposite end of the spectrum strength. But you must look through the right lens to see it. And you have to be bold enough to hitch your wagon to whatever it is you find there. We'll run as fast as Danielle Robinson's skinny, little legs will take us and we'll fly as high as Whitney Hand's joy will lift us. And there will be things that we can do that none of us even know yet because some stuff just grows from the intricate evolution of the sharing of parts. So the gun fires this afternoon and the shaping and twisting and turning begin. I can't wait to see what we become.

-SC