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With Five Returning Starters, Oklahoma Is Confident
November 07, 2012
Story line
Oklahoma returns all five starters from a team that overcame inexperience to finish second in the rough and tumble Big 12 Conference. All five starters are back led by senior guard Whitney Hand and junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg - both are 1,000-point scorers. Coach Sherri Coale is excited about the contributions that a trio of freshmen are expected to make.

Coach: Sherri Coale, 357-168 in 16 seasons.
Last season: 21-13 overall, 11-7 in Big 12, tied 2nd.
NCAA Tournament: Lost in 2nd round.

Top players
Senior guard Whitney Hand (13.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg), junior guard Aaryn Ellenberg (14.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg), junior guard Morgan Hook (10.9 ppg), junior center Nicole Griffin (5.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg), sophomore guard Sharane Campbell (9 ppg); senior guard Jasmine Hartman (injured last season), junior forward Portia Durrett, freshman guard Nicole Kornet, freshman guard Maddie Manning.

Coach Coale says
"We have enough guys who have been through it and they understand what it takes. And I think what they're sensing there is that we have quality depth, that everybody on the basketball team understands the commitment that is necessary to reach the level of excellence that we're striving for. They just get it. They know that and those guys sense it, one to another. Chemistry off the court is fantastic. They are really close and on the court they have very complementary skills."

Aaryn Ellenberg was second in the Big 12 behind Kansas State's Chambers in 3-point field goals made last season with 75. She was fourth in the Big 12 in scoring (15.5). ... Sharane Campbell, a 5-10 sophomore guard who averaged 9 points a game last season, was named the Big 12's Sixth Man of the Year. ... Oklahoma returns 89 percent of the scoring and 85 percent of the rebounding from last year's team. ... Kaylon Williams, a 6-3 sophomore who averaged 4.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg and became a key starter late in the season, suffered a torn Achilles tendon injury in practice and will be out for the season. ... Oklahoma went on an exhibition tour of Australia in August.

Season opener
Nov. 10 at Creighton

Top nonconference games
Nov. 14 UCLA
Nov. 23 vs. Arkansas
Nov. 24 vs. Oregon
Dec. 16 Vanderbilt

Conference opener
Jan. 2 West Virginia

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