True freshman forward Kevin Bookout continues to look like the real deal and will give the Sooners a legit inside scoring threat this year. Right now he figures to start ahead of Johnnie Gilbert at the power forward spot, because he has a better scoring game inside.
Freshmen center Larry Turner is a fantastic athlete who is a raw talent and is still learning how to practice at the Sooners' level. I am not sure he will play this year or not. If I had to bet right now I would say that he will redshirt. With Jabahri Brown, Joszef Szendrei, Gilbert, Bookout and Matt Gipson inside the Sooners don't need him, unless he can make a major impact on defense. He might be able to on defense, but he still needs some work on offense. His upside is great, but it sure wouldn't hurt him to redshirt, work on his offensive game and hit the weight room hard.
Hollis Price says that freshmen wing DeAngelo Alexander has been a man through the first two weeks of practice. An intense player and an excellent defender on the wing, Alexander has looked super thus far and if he continues at this rate Jason Detrick will be able to redshirt.
Redshirt freshmen forward Matt Gipson is one of Sampson's favorites, but he gets mixed reviews from the Sooner coaching staff. He has outside skills, but is playing inside for the Sooners. Gipson needs to get tougher inside and become a better rebounder, but he will be able to step out and hit the outside jumper.
I also watched the women practice today and I continue to be amazed at how good Caton Hill is. She was dominate at practice in so many areas and is a tremendous leader.
Theresa Schuknecht gives the Sooners a better scoring punch in the low block than they had a year ago from Jamie Talbert. Schuknecht is a better athlete, but we will have to see if she can bang as well as Talbert. However, I feel this is one position where the Sooners will be greatly improved. Schuknecht will give Hill a great low post player to pass the ball to and don't be surprised if Hill, who is an excellent passer, doesn't pick up another assist or two with Schuknecht playing with her in the post.
Maria Villarroel is as quick and fast as advertised, and looks to me like she will be an excellent scorer for the Sooners. I can't see players being able to say in front of her on defense, unless they play her very physically.
Dionnah Jackson is the point and a better player than a year ago. She knows this year she can step up and be a much better offensive player this year. She has a tremendous first step and she will be one of the best players in the conference.
One key is going to be how quickly Chelsi Welch adjusts to playing D-1 basketball. She is just a ball player who is not the best athlete on the floor, but not the worst. She knows how to play the game and has tremendous tools. She will have to let the game come to her, which may be tough for her to adjust to.
I worry about the Sooners guard depth because I am not sure who will step up. Lauren Shoush needs to become more consistent and Stephanie Luce needs to become a better offensive player. Senior Kate Scott may play a big role for the Sooners this year and right now she appears to be the best guard off the bench.
Inside the Sooners are better off with freshman Beky Preston (6'3) and Antoinette Wadsworth. Wadsworth is still trying to work the kinks out from knee surgery, but she is very athletic.
Preston has skills and she also needs to learn how to play D-1 basketball. However, she is skilled enough to play right away and will be the first big player of the bench.
Bookout, Hill impressive in early workouts
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