NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma and head coach Sherri Coale will unveil the 2006-07 women’s basketball team on Wednesday night in their exhibition opener against Lake Truck at 7 p.m. at the Lloyd Noble Center.
Single game tickets for the Lake Truck exhibition game are currently on sale at $8 for adults and $5 for children. Single game sales for all other games will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Season tickets sales continue at a strong rate. The reserved level season tickets (5,000) are sold out, however general admission season tickets still remain for the low price of $95. Fans that do not make it to the Lloyd Noble Center can watch a free webcast of the game on SoonerSports.com.
Lake Truck is a traveling team that is composed of former collegiate stars and fringe WNBA players. The most recognizable faces on their roster are Brittany Jackson and Nikki Blue, who played at Tennessee and UCLA respectively. Jackson was a fan favorite sixth man during her time with Lady Vols. She averaged 7.3 points and 1.9 rebounds during her senior campaign in 2003-04. Blue was an All-America candidate for UCLA last season. She played in the 24 games for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics in 2006 and averaged 2.3 points.
The Sooners return five starters and nine letterwinners from the 2005-06 team that went 31-5 and reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Headliners on the 2006-07 squad are sophomore center Courtney Paris and senior forward Leah Rush. Paris was a consensus All-American last season and the national freshman of the year. Rush was a second team All-Big 12 selection. Five other seniors will also help lead the 2006-07 team, including returning starts Britney Brown, Erin Higgins and Chelsi Welch. New to the mix are five freshmen, who composed a consensus top-10 recruiting class last November.
The Sooners will close the exhibition season on Nov. 7 against Missouri Western. OU opens the regular season by hosting the State Farm Classic in which they will play DePaul at 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 12.
Setting The Scene
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006
Location: Norman, Okla.
Tipoff: 7 p.m. Central
Venue: Lloyd Noble Center (12,000)
Radio: KOKC (1520 AM)
Radio Talent: Brian Brinkley (Play-by-Play) & Tara DeGiusti
Tickets: (800) 456-GoOU
Player To Watch
Amanda Thompson leads a highly touted freshman class that will begin its collegiate career on Wednesday night. All signs point to Thompson receiving the most minutes in the early going. The Chicago native is built like a small or power forward, but she may also see time in relief of either Chelsi Welch or Erin Higgins in a three guard set.
* Oklahoma is 13-0 in exhibition games since 2000.
* OU won its only exhibition game last season 107-44 over Oklahoma Christian. The attendance for that exhibition was 5,342, which is an OU record. OU should approach that number on Wednesday night considering season tickets sales are at 6,200.
The NCAA Rules Committee is enforcing two experimental rules
during all Division I women’s basketball exhibition games and sanctioned events, including the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.
The 3-point line has been moved back nine inches (20 feet, 6 inches from rim) and is marked by a three-inch line. Players can shoot a legal 3-pointer from beyond or on top of that line, but the shot will be worth two points if any portion of the foot crosses the inside of the line.
The second experimental rule is the 10-second backcourt rule that
is utilized in men’s college game. Teams have 10 seconds to get the
ball across half court after a made basket or change in possession.
Season Ticket Update
As of Monday, Oct. 30, Oklahoma has sold 6,200 season tickets, which includes selling out the entire lower bowl (5,000) as reserved season tickets. The spike in sales is an increase of 35 percent over last season’s 4,013. The current total does not include the 300 seats in the lower bowl that are held for students, which were routinely filled during the 2005-06 season.
General admission season ticket sales remain strong and fans are encouraged to purchase those tickets prior to the start of the season. GA Season Tickets are available for $95. Group and single game ticket sales will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Single game tickets are currently available for the Lake Truck exhibition game.
Last season OU set numerous attendance records including season ticket sales (4,013), average attendance (7,630) and single game attendance (12,112 vs. Baylor on Feb. 12).
Fans can purchase season tickets by calling the OU Ticket Office at (800) 456-GoOU or by clicking on this link.
Add An Inch
Abi Olajuwon has grown an inch since her senior year of high school and now stands 6-4. The media guide lists her at 6-3.
OU held an intra-squad scrimmage on Thursday, Oct. 26. The Sooners played five, 10-minute periods switching sides each period. Courtney Paris led all scorers with 38 points, Chelsi Welch had 25 and Ashley Paris had 20. Leah Rush led all rebounders with 11, Courtney Paris was second with 10 and Ashley Paris had nine. Freshman Rose Hammond and senior Britney Brown led the squad with six assists apiece. Ten of 14 players scored in double figures. Amanda Thompson led the freshmen with 10 points.
Previewing Lake Truck
Lake Truck is a exhibition travel squad put together by Houston Comets assistant coach Kevin Cook.
Lake Truck began their 10-game exhibition schedule with a 78-66 win over Houston on Sunday afternoon.
Point guard Nikki Blue led Lake Truck with 13 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists against Houston. Forward Chelsea Grear also scored 13 points against the Cougars.
Lake Truck trailed 39-38 at half, but outscored Houston 40-27 in the second half to gain the win. The second half rally was charged by Lake Truck shooting 51 percent from the field in the second session.
On Tuesday Lake Truck defeated Duquesne 78-73 despite trailing for a large portion of the second half. Forward Brandi Teamer scored a game high 25 points. Blue, who nearly had a triple-double against Houston, did not play in the contest.
KeKe Tardy, Jackson, Teamer, Grear and Blue all have WNBA experience of some degree. Blue was the only player on a WNBA roster last season. She averaged 2.3 points per game in a reserve role for the Washington Mystics in the most recent WNBA season.
Blue and Jackson are the only two players on the Lake Truck roster that OU faced during their collegiate careers. Last season when UCLA came to Norman, Blue tallied 23 points in the Sooners’ 83-78 win. Jackson average 8.5 points against the Sooners in two meetings during her career with the Lady Vols.
For Planning Purposes
Below are some upcoming dates to be aware of:
Wednesday, Nov. 1 - USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll Announced
Tuesday, Nov. 7 - AP Preseason Poll Announced
Wednesday, Nov. 8 - AP Preseason All-America Team Announced
Wednesday, Nov. 8 - National Signing Day
The Rookie Can Shoot It
Freshman Jenna Plumley showed off her shooting ability in the 3-point contest that was part of the Baseline Bash on Friday, Oct. 20. Plumley scored 17 points in the first round and 16 points in the second round (out of a possible 25 points) to win the event. She defeated Erin Higgins in the first round and Chelsi Welch in the second round. The freshman from Frontier HS defeated the three most prolific three-point shooters on the OU squad, including Higgins who already owns the school career record.
Need to Know Nicknames
Assistant Coach Chad Thrailkill: T.K.
Reason: T.K. is easier to say that Thrailkill
Amanda Thompson: The Waitress
Reason: Given by fellow street ball players in Chicago because as Thompson says, “I be serving people.”
Courtney Paris: CP3
Reason: First and last name initials and her jersey number.