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Women's Hoops Hosts Local Media
October 24, 2006

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma women's basketball team hosted its annual media day on Tuesday afternoon at the Kerr McGee Courtside Club within the Lloyd Noble Center.
 
A turnout of about 30 media members spoke with all of the Sooner players, as well as head coach Sherri Coale for over an hour.
 
Below are quotes from Coale and several players:

Sherri Coale
On the first few practices...
"We are about ten days in and far enough to know that we have a lot of stuff to work on, but I like the way our guys our fighting and what we’re getting on a daily basis.  Hopefully when it’s time we’ll be ready to go.
 
2006 Media Day Video
  Coach Coale, Team Meet Press at Annual Media Day 
  Freshman Forward Amanda Thompson (Chicago, Ill.) 
  Senior Point Guard Kendra Moore (Ardmore, Okla.)
  Freshman Center Abi Olajuwon (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  Senior Guard Chelsi Welch (Plainview, Texas) 
 
"The competitive nature that we do everything in is greater than it’s ever been.  Of course we have 14 players in the gym, which is different than what we had last year.  But there is great competition at every spot and that’s been a real positive thing and good for everybody.

"We combine athleticism with great experience so it’s good pieces, they aren’t all fitting together right now but they’re not supposed to in the middle of November.  So we think we’ve got a chance to maybe put a special product on the board."

 Buy Season Tickets |  2006-07 Schedule 

On looking toward the Big 12 season...
"The only thing that we’re looking at all is beating DePaul honestly.  We’re trying to jump to the basketball today.  We’re not even thinking about beating Baylor twice or Texas twice or holding up any type of trophy.  It’s just baby steps for a while and we’ve got a lot to do before we put ourselves in position for Big 12 play."

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Krista Sanchez
On being a role model for the younger girls...
"My goal is not to take on a bigger role than I’m supposed to play.  My goal right now as a senior is to help these new freshmen.  That’s my role right now and I’m just trying to be that role player that coach needs me to be."

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Abi Olajuwon
On advice from her dad...
"My dad has given me a lot of basketball advice but the main thing that he’s tried to instill in me is how to be a great person on and off the court.  It’s character he feels that people get to interact with, not just you playing on the court.  To have good character and to remember your background and who you are."

On the recruiting process...
"The only thing that is important to me is what my team and my coach thinks.  That’s something that was really important to me during recruiting.  The reason why I came here to Sherri Coale is because that wasn’t a perspective at all.  She’s watched me since I was a sophomore, she had told me what she expected of me and that it was going to be a lot of hard work.  The sense of equality that she has from Courtney all the way down to every other person on the team is something that not a lot of institutions do.  I wanted to find an institution that I could live up to."

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Jenna Plumley
On hopes for her first season...
"My hopes are coming in and just being able to learn and contribute.  Coach is going to put the best five out there.  If any of them are freshman, then we’re going to have to live up to it, but if it’s not then we’re just going to be here to cheer on our team."

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Chelsi Welch
On the first practices of the season...
"The first practices are where you can start to kind of get bogged down because you’re learning so much and that’s where I think the freshman are.  Coach Coale said we had to go back to the basics today, and then learn something else and move on.  It just goes step by step right now and that’s where we are right now."

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Amanda Thompson
On playing basketball with girls and guys...
"I started playing with mostly guys and I just got used to it.  And that’s why it was just so weird when I started playing with girls because I was so used to playing with boys.  The more I played with girls, the more I learned defensively. 

On her dribbling ability...
"I grew up dribbling a lot.  I think that’s one of the things I have to work on, not dribbling too much.  I’m used to just playing around with the ball, but it’s a different level now."

Why she chose Oklahoma...
"During the recruitment process, I looked for schools that were committed to me in the beginning.  I didn’t want schools coming in just because they were the tops schools, and if they came in at the end I just wasn’t going to change my mind over someone that’s been there for me since the beginning.  That’s one of the most important things that I looked at and when I came out here I just enjoyed it.  I just loved the coaches, the atmosphere, the people." 

On Coach Coale...
"I like the fact that I can have a coach-player relationship and also be a friend, I love that.  My high school coach and I were really close and I knew that if I wanted to become a better person and a better player at the next level, I had to come somewhere were I could have that type of relationship."

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Britney Brown
On handling the media hype around the team...
"I think Courtney deserves everything that she gets.  Our whole team knows what everybody does and she can’t do everything by herself and she knows that.  If we’re going to be together and go really far this year, then everybody’s going to have to do their part everyday in practice and games and just handle business."

On the team's aspirations this year...
"I think everybody knows that our goal is to win a national championship this year and you're always going to be thinking about it, then again you always know that you’re going to have to beat the team that you play on that night that you’re going to play.  So you’re going to have to be ready to play every night."

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Ashley Paris
On team goals...
"Our goal is to take it one game at a time.  We want to win the Big XII Championship and a conference championship, so that’s the goal and we believe we can.  So as far as going undefeated we just have to take it one game at a time.  I think our team is so talented right now, but we have to have good chemistry and play together.  Coach talked a lot about having defensive pride and we just have to come out ready and play together."

On being called the most improved player by Coach Coale...
"It means a lot to me that she recognizes that I’ve taken the time to get better.  I took last season and grew from that.  I saw that there are a lot great players out there last season; I do need to take my game to the next level, and I need to start improving, learning, and focusing more."

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Leah Rush
On her personal improvements...
"There’s a lot to improve on.  I think I have these images of some of the best players to come through a program and I don’t feel like I fit into one of those categories.  Maybe fifty years I’ll look back and say I was one of the best players to come through, but for the time being I just hope to be an important part of the team.  I’ve worked on taking better care of the ball, especially in terms of ball handling.  I’ve done a lot of weight training this summer and I’m a lot stronger than I was in the past, so that’s going to bode well for me."

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Erin Higgins
On the team's strong points after the first two weeks...
"We can break defenses down, which I think is huge.  We have a lot of freshmen with speed, so we’re working on things like back cuts and I’m trying to get Nyeshia to where she’ll dunk it one game.  It’s exciting because it’s so diverse from what we’ve ever had.  The opportunities for me to get my shots off are the best they’ve been ever since I’ve gotten here. 

"We can go fast line up, we can go shooting line up and there are so many things that we can do.  I feel like that in itself is probably one of the largest opportunities we have this year for success is how we are in our bench."

Talking about the freshmen...
"This year you’re really going to see some speed.  Defensively they’re really going to be in the passing lanes and it’s going to be exciting.  Amanda calls herself “the waitress” and it’s because she’s just going to dish out all of these passes.  Nyeshia has unbelievable athleticism and Jenna can really shoot the ball.  They just bring so many different things to the table, but they’re really starting to find their niche on the team."

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