March 2, 2000

Whaley Audio Clip!

NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma senior Phylesha Whaley was named to the Women's Basketball News Service All-American first team, while coach Sherri Coale was selected the ESPN.com The Dish Coach of the Year.

After not being recruited heavily coming out of high school, Whaley earned her first All-American honor as a Sooner. She is the only OU player to have led the Sooners in rebounding for three straight years and one of only two to have been the team leader in scoring four consecutive seasons. The sociology major is also one of only two players ever to score 2000-plus points and grab 800-plus rebounds in a four-year career. Whaley is averaging 20.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

She ranks among the NCAA's top 20 scorers and is among the Big 12 Conference's best in total rebounds, defensive rebounds, offensive rebounds and free throw, field goal, and three-point field goal percentages.

This season has been a record-setting year for the 5-10 forward. The Slaton, Texas, native has put her name at the top of OU's all-time list in free throws made and attempted, field goals attempted, offensive and defensive rebounds, minutes played, games started and consecutive games started. Whaley is also in hunt of the school's career record for most points scored as she's only 72 shy of the all-time record.

Coale, who's in her fourth year as the Sooners' coach, has her team fighting for a share of the 1999-2000 Big 12 Conference regular season title Wednesday night against Oklahoma State in Norman. In a Big 12 coaches' preseason poll, Oklahoma was picked to finish sixth in the conference race.

Coale opened her collegiate coaching career with a 5-22 record, followed by an 8-19 campaign in 1998. Last year, Coale took OU to the WNIT and finished the year with an overall record of 15-14. After struggling to just 28 wins in her first three years, Coale's Sooners are 22-6 this season, and sit at No 21 on the Associated Press and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' polls. The Sooners had won just 13 conference games over the past three years prior to the 1999-2000 season.


WBNS FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICA TEAM

PLAYER            SCHOOL              VITALS 

Erin Buescher     UC Santa Barbara   Jr., guard, 6-2

Katie Douglas     Purdue             Jr., guard, 6-1

Kelly Miller      Georgia            Jr., guard, 5-10

Shea Ralph        Connecticut        Jr., guard, 5-11

Betty Lennox      Louisiana Tech     Sr., guard, 5-8

Tamika Catchings  Tennessee          Jr., forward, 6-1

Phylesha Whaley   Oklahoma           Sr., forward, 5-10

Jackie Stiles     SMS                Jr., guard, 5-8

Edwina Brown      Texas              Sr., guard, 5-10

Jill Morton       Louisville         Sr., guard, 5-6 

Second team: Sue Bird, Connecticut, Karalyn Church, Vermont, Stacy Frese, Iowa State, Svetlana Abrosimova, Connecticut, Nicole Kubik, Nebraska, Linda Frohlich, UNLV, Lynn Pride, Kansas, Stacy Clinesmith, UC Santa Barbara, Diana Caramanico, Pennsylvania, Abbie Willenborg, Marquette.

Third team: Zuzana Klimesova, Vanderbilt, Rhonda Smith, Long Beach State, Megan Franza, Washington, Dawn Zerman, Kent, Taru Tuukkanen, Xavier, Georgia Schweitzer, Duke, Semeka Randall, Tennessee, Bryn Britton, Loyola Marymount, ShaRae Mansfield, Western Kentucky, Grace Daley, Tulane.