Indoctrinate \in-ˈdäk-trə-ˌnāt\ transitive verb: To teach to fully accept ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology.
NORMAN, Okla. – “INDOC” is the name, learning offensive fundamentals is the game.
Oklahoma women’s basketball, tabbed the preseason favorite of the Big 12 Conference, used its four practices in week two to instill offensive strategies. The Sooners were taught to look for ways to score in transition and, when those opportunities are unavailable, to sharply execute a half-court offense.
“It’s really fast paced because on offense you run, run, run,” sophomore guard Nicole Kornet said. “I love it because I love to shoot the ball and I love offense, so for me it’s my favorite week.”
T’ona Edwards knows about speedy offenses. The freshman point guard led Northeast Academy to an undefeated 30-0 season and state championship last season using an offense that scored most of its points from the run-and-gun.
“It’s hard for a defense to stop someone in six seconds,” Edwards said. “On offense, scoring within six seconds, it’s pretty quick and it hits them right off the bat. It changes the tempo for the rest of the game.”
Week two promptly built the learning curve as the team incorporated two of its four defensive non-negotiables -- communicate and run -- learned last week into its offensive goals.
“It’s tough and it takes time because your head is spinning and you want to do everything perfect,” Kornet admitted. “But you have to talk while you’re wondering about your lane and your guy. It’s a learning process but, once you get it down, you’ll be fine.”
The game plan is especially challenging for guards, some of whom may play three different positions in as many possessions. Four of OU’s six newcomers find themselves in the backcourt, so learning player tendencies was critical for the flow of drills.
“It’s different than last year and in the fact that we have a lot of speed. Our new girls, a couple of them being guards, they can really get into people’s jerseys and break down their girls and defend. That’s what was so fun about last week. This week we can push, push, push because they are fast and we’re really good at finishing. I think it will be fun this year to have a different dynamic on the team.”
With four of its five starters from last season’s Sweet 16 appearance returning, Oklahoma has an experienced core and is deep on the bench with veteran talent. The extra leadership in practice paid dividends.
“I feel like I’m more of that silent leader rather than an outspoken leader,” junior guard Sharane Campbell said, “I want the others to be like, ‘I want to play defense like Sharane.’ I want to be that type of leader. And even from here on INDOC, I want them to be like, ‘I want to run like Sharane runs, right lane, left lane.’”
“It’s definitely a whole lot easier than last year,” Kornet said.” Just knowing the system and how Coach Coale works. Just to be out there and go faster and harder, it’s much easier. It takes a load off your brain and you can actually play the game.”
The preseason drills put all 14 players on the floor in different rotations, giving the Sooners have a variety of looks they can use to matchup against diverse styles of opponents.
“I think it’s really cool how all six of us guards are all different and unique in our own ways. We have speed and we have shooters. We’re all guards but we’re completely different players. I think it’s cool for Coach Coale, substitution-wise, when you need something and a girl doesn’t bring something to the table, we have it on the bench. So I think this will be really fun to incorporate everyone.”