Postgame Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
DECEMBER 29, 2013

Oklahoma Head Coach Sherri Coale
Opening comment:
“Well, I think we made baby steps. We moved toward the things that we had focused on over the break. We did a really nice job of reversing the basketball and sharing it. I think that’s reflected in our shooting percentage. The quality of our passing always affects the quality of our shooting and that was obvious tonight, except at the free throw line where nobody passes it to you. We turned it over a few too many times but I loved the things that Gioya Carter was doing with the basketball. I can live with that one assist and nine turnovers today. I don’t think I can live with it on Thursday, but I can live with it today. I think her playing 33 minutes was significant. I made her play through three fouls. She handled herself pretty well right up until the end. It’s a control issue with her. Overall, offensively, our patience, our shot selection, our unity offensively was really good. Defensively, we did a good job of forcing them to shoot threes. We got them deep in the shot clock several times. It wasn’t that they were settling for threes. We took things away as they tried hard to get into the paint. Then they had to settle for one deep in the clock. I was pleased with our defensive patience, our tenacity in terms of the way we wanted to force Samford to play.”

On if she was pleased with how they defended the paint:
“I thought our attention to it was much, much better than it has been. It’s two-fold. You have to be there and you have to do something while you’re there. We have had a problem getting to that second piece of that. We often get to the help line or get to the hoop and I can see two possessions clearly, one with a guard and one with a post, where we were there and did nothing. And the guy drove right by. That’s two of those possessions where they got shots in the paint. We have to get both of those pieces together, but you can’t do the second one if you don’t have the first one. If you aren’t there in the first place you can’t have a purpose once you are there. I thought our attention to it was much better and I think there is a trust factor that reverberates from that. Each time you get blown by and a teammate is there to keep the ball out of the lane, you feel better about the way you’re playing defense. You have a higher degree of trust for the people around you. That’s not a thing that just adds up. It’s a thing that multiplies and multiplies really quickly, so to be able to get maybe the genesis of that is really important for our team.”

On how valuable it is to get a lot of minutes for a lot of players heading into conference play:
“I take away a couple of things from that. First of all, because Vegas was out tonight, we had some different lineups and you never know when youre going to be forced into that. Vegas isn’t one to get in foul trouble, but if we have Morgan (Hook) in foul trouble or Gioya (Carter) is in foul trouble we have guys who are able to morph into different positions and those combinations that we have on the floor are not as awkward or as new. We have been through that, we have played through that before. I thought they did a really good job tonight at changing. We did some things in timeouts that put people in different places just so they can feel that. I think that’s a benefit that comes from that. Another benefit that comes from that, which is huge and you can’t overlook it, is every time these guys get minutes they earn trust from me. These guys can play. These guys on the bench can play. Not only can they function, they make an impact. Having that does two things. It gives you quality depth as you go ahead and you compete against teams and get in foul trouble. To stay fresh and have quality depth. Also, you can keep people really accountable. It’s really easy to hold people accountable when the guy off the bench is going to come in and do a really good thing and challenge. They say a competition makes a horse race, and we have got that right now. We can build on that as conference play goes on. I thought everyone who came in tonight did some good things and put themselves in a position where I’m not afraid to put them moving forward.”

Oklahoma Senior Guard Morgan Hook
On the struggles at the free-throw line:
“I honestly think it was just the focus, a being in the moment type situation. (Coach Coale) said something in a timeout about focusing on our free throws and Nicole Griffin went and made both of them. It is just staying in the moment that you are in and focusing on it.”

On preparation entering Big 12 play:
“I think we still have a lot of work to do and right now we are just going over hills and hills and we are just trying to get up that mountain. I think we have made steps in the right direction as of the past couple of days and we just have to keep growing. I believe that we still have a shot in the race.”

Oklahoma Freshman Guard Derica Wyatt
On getting the start:
“Going in there I just had to keep the mindset of not having a drop-off between me and Aaryn (Ellenberg), so I just had to play hard and do my part on the floor with making good passes, don’t turn it over. Just to not let there be a drop-off with Aaryn on the bench.”



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