#14 Oklahoma Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Oklahoma Sooners

Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12
#14 Oklahoma Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
Oklahoma Team Page


A very experienced squad will lead the Oklahoma Sooner women’s basketball team this upcoming season.  Four starters return from a dynamic team offensively that should, with the departure of Brittney Griner from Baylor, be right there as one of the front runners to win the Big 12 Conference Championship and build off of last year’s run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.

2012-13 Record:  24-11, 11-7
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Sherri Coale, 18th season
Coach Record:  381-179 at Oklahoma, 381-179 overall

The experience and talent in the backcourt are huge strengths for the Sooners. The senior guard combination of Aaryn Ellenburg, who is going to be a national player of the year candidate all year long, averaged nearly 19 points per game last year. Ellenburg also was lethal from behind the three-point line as she hit just over 41 percent of her three-point shots last season. That makes life very difficult for opposing defenses as they have to commit to trying to slow her down, at least from the outside. Morgan Hook is the floor general who does a great job of distributing the basketball and creating a balanced offensive attack. She had an assist to turnover ratio of almost two to one. Nicole Griffin is going to be the key cog to the offense down in the post as she shot exactly 50 percent from the floor, which is excellent for a post player.  If she can put up similar numbers this year that will keep defenses honest all year long.

The defensive end of the court is something that will be a liability come postseason time if Oklahoma does not get better at protecting the boards. They are going to typically play a smaller than normal lineup, but if they can get some more rebounding than normal from their backcourt, it will limit their opponent’s chances at quality second and third shots.  The other key thing to address for the Sooners is taking care of the basketball as they had nearly 17 turnovers a game last season. If they can reduce that by a couple per game and cut down on those extra opponent possessions, that will help them be even stronger defensively this season.

Final Projection:
The schedule starts fast for Oklahoma with a trip to the preseason WNIT where the field includes LSU and Gonzaga, both games which would be fantastic tests for this veteran Sooner squad.   Oklahoma will also be tested before conference play starts with a return trip to UCLA and a visit to Norman by the Duke Blue Devils. The conference schedule has a good early two-game road swing to West Virginia and Iowa State that will be a great tone setter for the rest of the season. If the Sooners can get some early road wins in those games, it will set them up nicely for the back half of the conference schedule when they start with Oklahoma State on February 1.   The Sooners have five of seven conference games at home in Norman, which is a huge plus for this team as they get to play in front of one of the most passionate fanbases in all of women’s college basketball. Overall, if this team can stay healthy and grow defensively, they have the experience to be able to outscore most teams and will be a significant threat to do some damage come NCAA Tournament time.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Aaryn Ellensburg, Senior, Guard, 18.7 points per game
Morgan Hook, Senior, Guard, 9.9 points per game
Sharane Campbell, Junior, Guard, 10.0 points per game
Shay Kellogg, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Nicole Griffin, Senior, Center, 11.3 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.6 (16th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.6 (275, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage:  42.3 (44, 5)
Field-Goal Defense:  38.0 (140, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  7.8 (16, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.6 (10, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.5 (54, 3)
Rebound Margin:  0.5 (150, 7)
Assists Per Game:  13.8 (85, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.2 (119, 6)

Madness 2014 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#15 Aaryn Ellenberg

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#106 Shaya Kellogg


See All Top 44 Women’s Basketball Previews