NORMAN -- The Sooners have been in the midst of fall workouts in preparation for the start of the practice, which begins Oct. 9. OU has completed two, one-hour sessions a week to build up for the start of the 2017-18 season.
Shaina Pellington, Gileysa Penzo and LaNeisa Williams discuss what OU's progress has been like on the court, what improvements they've made to their game individually during the offseason and how they've prepared for the start of team practice.
1. On making improvements to her game in the offseason:
"Offensively, I have improved my shot off the dribble, but I feel like I've improved my outside game too. I’ve improved my ball placement when I’m getting to the rim, but I think the biggest adjustment I’ve made is just seeing and knowing when to take those particular shots."
2. On taking on more of a leadership role as a senior:
"It means a lot, just to be able to be one of the leaders on the team and lead our freshmen. It’s a great opportunity and I can’t wait to make this last year count. I think we have a great opportunity this year to do great things and I can’t wait to impact our team as a leader and as a player on the floor."
3. What personal goals have you established for the year:
"As far as goals go, this season I’m just more worried about leading and impacting while I’m on the court. For our team this year, I expect great things from us. We have four seniors on the team who are able to play and I think we have a great amount of experience to feed into our younger players. I just wanted to be consistent for our team on both ends of the floor in every game."
4. On the non-conference schedule:
“I love our non-conferencce schedule and I think it’s challenging to us. I think it is great competition. It’ll be a test for us and a chance to see all that work we put in this summer individually and together, just to see how that will lead us into conference play. We’re already very familiar with the teams we play in conference. I think the teams we play during the non-conference part of our schedule will have us ready for the Big 12."
1. On fall workouts:
“It’s been really good for our team. We've gotten a lot of reps, especially going full court. It’s better to know how each other plays, and where the other person is going to be at. We’re getting conditioned and doing well in the weight room.”
2. On having four returning seniors:
“I think having half of our team as upperclassman is an advantage because they’ve been here for a long time so they have seen plenty of game action. They know how to lead us and what to expect in the Big 12, and the NCAA Tournament, and even during non-conference play. It’s going to be a great advantage having the knowledge from those four seniors.”
3. On her biggest improvements:
“I feel like I’m figuring out how to use my gifts. I’m a passer and I know where to put the ball in certain situations and I’m trying to use those gifts to my advantage. If my teammates are open, I’m going to put the ball there, and if I’m open I’m going to shoot it or get a lay-up. For me, it's just using my gifts to the best of my abilities."
1. On her experience with Canada during the FIBA U19 World Cup:
"It was an amazing experience. For the first time ever, we placed bronze on a World Championship level, which is extremely important to our country. To set the foundation for Canadian basketball and women’s basketball in general was a big accomplishment and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us."
2. On her favorite part of campus:
"Honestly, I’m going to say my favorite part of campus is the library. It’s really cool, the architecture is really cool, it’s just different from the rest of campus."
3. On the freshmen class and the roles that each player has on the team:
"We all have our roles. You have Mandy (Simpson), who is an agile offensive and defensive rebounder. You have Ana (Llanusa), who does a lot on offense for us in terms of creating shots. And you have me, who can bring the speed on offense and defense. I think we all fit in really well and play to our roles well."