Dec. 13, 1999
Franklin D. Smith
El Campo, Texas
I'm an Oklahoman who has been living in Texas for a long time and am very much a Sooner fan. I wanted to tell you I appreciate the job you are doing. Why can you not get Sooners Illustrated to give you more coverage? Good luck for the year.
Coach Coale Says: "Thanks so much! Sooners Illustrated magazine is not a university publication therefore we have no control over the content. Our Athletic Media Relations Office makes suggestions and our administrators have asked specifically for more thorough coverage of women's basketball, to no avail. James Hale does a tremendous job of gathering information and writing features. We appreciate the coverage he gives us and the accurate information he conveys. We just wish more showed up in the final production. Perhaps you could voice your concern to the editor. Thanks for your support."
I live in a very small town and go to a 1A school. I was wondering if someone like me could get a scholarship to play basketball for OU?
Coach Coale Says: "Send tapes to the schools that you're interested in. Send real games and not highlights and go to camps at those schools. Division 1 schools only get 40 days in which to evaluate talent outside the month of July, so we can't be everywhere. We have three players on the squad presently that we discovered at our summer camps. Good luck."
My daughter is eight and loves to going to OU games, however, we must choose games we will attend as we live 40 miles away. Will there be a "pack the house" night this year, or will the UConn game be our best bet? Also, how soon should I start to worry about her bad shooting habits? Eight seems awfully soon to worry unless it is something that may never be corrected.
Coach Coale Says: "We will have a"Pack The House" game on January 8 when we host Texas Tech, but I wouldn't miss the UConn game either if I were you. I have a seven-year-old son so I speak to your question about your daughter as both a coach and a mother. Stress to her that she shoot it correctly. Worry far more about doing it right than making it. Work with a lower goal if at all possible. Strength is often a problem and air balls are okay. Shoot it from the shoulder, not the hip. We have a great camp in June and camps make a big difference. Thanks for your support."
I am a Sooner fan because I was born in Lawton, Okla. I wonder can your team win the Big 12 title or tournament?
Coach Coale Says: "Thanks for supporting the team. I certainly think our team is capable of winning a Big 12 title. We're getting better, though our league is really, really tough."
How would you rate the progress Desiree Taylor has made over the summer and for that matter since she got to OU? As I live in Dallas we do not get a lot of Big 12 women's hoops coverage. I'm an OU alum who had the privilege of covering Desiree for the local newspaper while she was at Richardson Berkner. Being in Texas, I was delighted to watch someone as talented and as nice as Desiree, knowing that she was a future Sooner. Good luck this year. Look forward to seeing you all in the NCAAs this time.
Coach Coale Says: "We appreciate you overcoming your surroundings to cheer for the Sooners. Desiree Taylor is a terrific kid who is a much improved player. Fundamentally she is much more sound than she was two years ago. She is a very explosive post player who runs the floor very well. We expect her to have a good year."
I understand that during your college career you were often referred to as "C.L.S." by your teammates. What does that stand for? Only your grandma believes the "Cute Little Sherri" story. Good luck this season and tell J.R. that Big Dave says hello.
Coach Coale Says: "My grandma plus Max. J.R. says hi to you, too! Come see us soon."
Do you think we will win the Big 12 Tournament this year?
Coach Coale Says: "We have a great shot at winning the Big 12 Tournament. We have to be playing well at the right time and we have to be healthy."
We are having trouble when people switch screens on our out passing game. We are looking for ways to slip the screens, but with little success. If you have any suggestions I could sure use them.
Coach Coale Says: "Have the scorer take two steps toward the ball just as the cutter arrives. Sometimes the slip is to the ball and sometimes it's to the basket, depending on the angle of the scorer and the location. We call the screen a "second cutter." Drop by the gym sometime and I'll show you. Once your kids see how open it is you'll never struggle with it again. Good luck."
Who do you think is the most improved player on the team this year?
Coach Coale Says: "Tough question, possibly Stacey Dales. She was so gifted to begin with, we sometimes don't think of her as improving. Her shooting, however, is more consistent. Defensively, she is leaps and bounds ahead of where she was at this time last year and her assist/turnover ratio is much better. I expect her play to be much more consistent this year. Thanks for your interest."
What is the one area you believe will be the most improved this season?
Coach Coale Says: "Hopefully we'll improve defensively. Our goal is to give up less points and hold our opponents to a lower field goal percentage."
What will you focus the most on this year?
Coach Coale Says: "Our team is focused on getting to the NCAA tournament."
You have a tremendous amount of talent returning and a great class of freshmen coming in. With this in mind there is no doubt that you will get your first NCAA bid. The question is, do you feel that your team has the ability to not only go to the NCAA tournament, but advance and play well? With teams like UConn on the schedule this will help the Sooners to play the stiff competition ahead. How do you feel we will stack up against the Huskies? One last question. On a personal note, how has the transition from coaching at a high school level to Division I program been? You were very successful at Norman High. Has your coaching style changed any since you came to OU?
Coach Coale Says: "I do feel our team can get to the NCAA tournament and advance. Sometimes the getting there is harder than the advancing, especially when your league is the Big 12. Playing UConn certainly helps our chances of getting into the tournament, not only because of the stiff competition, but also because of the exposure. We will be smaller and not as athletic as the Huskies, but we can take away some things they like to do and we do some things they'll have trouble covering. It should be interesting. As for the transition from high school to college question, I don't think so, but ask your girlfriend. Thanks for the question."