Big 12 happenings

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"Control the Controllables" - Shimmy Gray-Miller

17 years of coaching experience prior to Texas Tech
.. Assistant coach at 3 of the Power Five conferences
.. 8 NCAA Tournament appearances including one Sweet 16 appearance

University of Florida (2015-17)
Assistant coach - 2 seasons
Recruiting coordinator; oversaw development of post players.

University of Nebraska (2012-15)
Assistant coach - 3 seasons
.. 3 NCAA Tournament berths and a Sweet 16 appearance (2012-13)
.. 2 Top 10 Signing Classes in back-to-back seasons (2013, 2014)

Saint Louis University (2005-2012)
Head coach - 7 seasons

University of Arizona (2003-05)
Assistant coach - 2 seasons
First PAC-10 Conference Championship (2004) in program history

University of Washington (2000-03)
Assistant coach - 3 seasons
2001 PAC-10 Championship; back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances

Player experience
.. Olivais Futebol Clube Portugal first-division professional club team
.. University of Michigan 3-year letterwinner. Team captain as a junior. Won Bob Ufer Quarterback Club Award for leadership and dedication. Graduated 1994. BA sociology & minor in law/criminology.

What they are saying about Shimmy Gray-Miller
"What a fantastic addition to the Texas Tech staff! Shimmy brings enormous experience from her time at Arizona, Washington, St. Louis, Nebraska, and Florida. Tech hit a homerun when they hired Shimmy!"
Lin Dunn, University of Kentucky Assistant Coach and former WNBA Head Coach, Indiana Fever

"Shimmy is an influencer. She's a dynamic recruiter, a creative teacher and a culture builder. Texas Tech will benefit vastly from her collection of unique experiences and how effectively she uses it to impact lives."
Amanda Butler, Former University of Florida Head Coach

"Shimmy will bring a wealth of experience as a proven recruiter and with her on-court X's and O's knowledge. The Big 12 requires high level players in order to compete for championships and Shimmy has a track record of signing excellent players at Nebraska and Florida. As a bonus she's funny and has a great personality the players and fans will love her."
Nell Fortner, ESPN Women's Basketball Analyst

Texas Tech WBB website, 20 April 2017
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Wednesday - Jan 3

Kansas State 60 @ West Virginia 52
Kansas 60 @ Texas Tech 47
Iowa State 49 @ Baylor 89
Oklahoma State 79 @ Texas 84
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After tonight, there will only be 2 undefeated WBB teams in the Big12. (Yes, I'm counting the Lady Bears as a win.)

Kansas State (0-2) @ West Virginia (1-1) 6:00 p.m. CT Morgantown WV Nexstar
Kansas (1-1) @ Texas Tech (0-2) 6:30 p.m. CT Lubbock TX
Iowa State (1-1) @ Baylor (2-0) 7:00 p.m. CT Waco TX FSSW+
Oklahoma State (2-0) @ Texas (2-0) 7:00 p.m. CT Austin TX LHN
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Big 12 Standings
as of January 03, 08:56 PM CT

3 - 0 Baylor
3 - 0 Texas
2 - 1 Kansas
2 - 1 Oklahoma State
1 - 1 Oklahoma
1 - 2 West Virginia
1 - 2 Kansas State
1 - 2 Iowa State
0 - 2 TCU
0 - 3 Texas Tech
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Really wish Ok. State could've finished it out. They played really Texas really tight but lack of bench production killed them. Only TWO points from their bench.
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HoustonBear15 said:

Really wish Ok. State could've finished it out. They played really Texas really tight but lack of bench production killed them. Only TWO points from their bench.

"LaShann Higgs scored a career-high 30 points and Brooke McCarty added 21 to help No. 8 Texas rally late to beat No. 20 Oklahoma State on Wednesday night.

Oklahoma State led 77-71 before Texas stormed back behind two big baskets from Sug Sutton on a spinning layup and a 3-pointer from right corner that cut the lead to one.

After Audrey-Ann Caron Goudreau blocked a layup attempt by Mandy Coleman, Higgs and McCarty made four consecutive free throws to give Texas its first lead of the second half with just under 2 minutes left.

Miller got Oklahoma State back within one, Coleman missed a long 3-pointer on the next possession before a driving layup by Higgs put Texas ahead 82-79 with 30 seconds to play.

Braxtin Miller scored 23 points for Oklahoma State (11-3, 2-1 Big 12), and Loryn Goodwin and Kaylee Jensen each had 20 points.

Texas (12-1, 3-0) shot 56 percent and went 12 of 13 from the free throw after not getting to the line until there were less than three minutes left in the third quarter.

Big Picture
Oklahoma State
The Cowgirls let a big upset get away late. Foul trouble on the frontcourt was a problem late as Jenson and Coleman both had to play most of the fourth quarter with four fouls. That severely limited the Cowgirls' aggression on the offensive boards, where they had been so good for three quarters.

The Longhorns got bailed out by their super-quick backcourt once again. Higgs and McCarty routinely burst to the basket for layups as Texas scored 52 points in the paint, despite very little scoring from the Longhorns' front court. Higgs was 11 of 15 shooting."

- Associated Press, 3 Jan 2018
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HoustonBear15 said:

Really wish Ok. State could've finished it out. They played really Texas really tight but lack of bench production killed them. Only TWO points from their bench.
They were ahead by 6 with 2:33 to play. From that time on TX score 11 and they scored 0.
Pale Rider
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geewago said:

HoustonBear15 said:

Really wish Ok. State could've finished it out. They played really Texas really tight but lack of bench production killed them. Only TWO points from their bench.
They were ahead by 6 with 2:33 to play. From that time on TX score 11 and they scored 0.
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January 3, 2018

about Oklahoma State's Loryn Goodwin

Oklahoma State Head Coach Jim Littell
Opening statement
This one stings a little bit, but I'm very, very proud of our kids. I thought their competitive spirit and their desire to step up and make plays was tremendous tonight. Our freshman, Braxtin Miller, was incredible tonight; this is a big stage and she played really well. You know, Texas had some kids step up and make some plays down near the stretch; we didn't have an answer for Lashann Higgs. We knew she was good off the dribble and we kind of planned on that, but she still got to the rim and had a great night against us 11-for-15 (from the field), 7-for-7 from the line, I thought she was incredible. Brooke McCarty is an outstanding player. I felt like we did a really nice job on Ariel (Atkins), I think she's one of the premier players in this league.

I can't ask any more out of my team or what they gave or their desire to compete and make big plays. Sometimes we probably got a little rushed, a little hurried on some things because there was a desire to go make a play. We had some bad possessions in the fourth quarter that I'd like to have back and as a coach I probably should have got Kaylee Jensen more touches inside in the fourth quarter. But credit Texas, they made plays with the game on the line and they showed a lot of experience where a lot of those kids have been on the floor for a long time.

On what has changed in Texas junior guard Lashann Higgs' game since last season
Confidence. You just see the young lady exude confidence and there's no uncertainty in her game. I think in the past, and I don't watch her every day, but I just think that she's very explosive player; she's very explosive off the dribble and has a very quick first step. But the difference in her game - she's always been athletic - but the difference in her game is she's extremely confident right now.

On how foul trouble shifted the momentum
It changes the complexion of how you play when you pick up early foul trouble or you pick up four. Kaylee Jensen's first two conference games have been very aggressive and (had) numerous offensive boards; well (foul trouble) takes it out of the scheme of going for offensive boards, so it is a big factor of getting in foul trouble, there's no question on that.

But they kept going inside and (Jatarie) White made some tough shots - some contested shots - that I thought we did a good job of guarding. You look at the stat line. They shot 13 free throws and they got a lot of those down near the end of the game. We had one fewer turnover and a big concern for us was keeping them off of the offensive glass. We only gave up 7 offensive boards, but it did result in 8 points. You look at the stat sheet. Both teams shot over 50 percent. It was a great college basketball game.

- Texas WBB website

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September 30, 2015

"You won't find Amber Ramirez stepping back for pull-up jumpers very often, but sometimes it's necessary on the recruiting trail. It happened in April when Ramirez, who was fresh off leading Wagner to a second-straight UIL state basketball tournament appearance, decided to withdraw her commitment to Oklahoma State.

Ramirez, a 5-8 senior, is one of the nation's most-coveted point guards. Her commitment to Oklahoma State was non-binding, and that was a good thing. Ramirez decided to withdraw her commitment after 4 players transferred from Oklahoma State and a couple of coaches left the program.

"I didn't know about the whole thing," Ramirez said. "I said, 'Let me take a step back and look at everything and make sure I'm going to make the right decision because it's four years of my life.' I wanted to make sure that I'm going to be doing it right."

At the time, she reassessed everything. She reviewed the 40 or so NCAA Division I offers she had received and began the recruiting process all over again. In mid-September, it came to an end when she committed to TCU following a campus visit.

"Going in there, I wanted to see what the style of play was and wanted to make sure that I felt at home," Ramirez said. "I wanted to make sure I felt comfortable with the coaching staff and team."

Ramirez chose TCU over Texas Tech. Ramirez said she has ended the recruiting process and will not be visiting Tech. The first day Ramirez can sign a National Letter of Intent is Nov. 11, 2015.

Oklahoma State's upheaval was TCU's gain. The Horned Frog's second-year coach Raegan Pebley is putting together an impressive class for 2016. Ramirez tops the list as the 13th ranked recruit in the 2016 class, according to ESPN. The Express-News selected Ramirez as its Player of the Year for the 2014-15 season.

Pebley guided the Frogs to an 18-14 record a year ago and an appearance in the WNIT.

"I fell in love with the campus," Ramirez said. "The coaching staff is amazing. I love them. The girls that I'm going to play with and the girls who are coming in, we're going to be competing for a Big 12 championship. We look really good."

Ramirez said she will be used in a variety of ways, playing both point guard and shooting guard. Ramirez is a dynamic scorer who can drive to the bucket and finish strong. And she can shoot. Ramirez made 91 of 227 of her shots from 3-point range. She set a UIL state tournament record for most 3-pointers in a game when she made eight against Houston Cypress Woods during the Class 6A semifinals.

Ramirez is relieved to finish her recruiting before the start of basketball season. Wagner is aiming for a third-straight state tournament appearance. The Thunderbirds two previous trips have ended in the state semifinals. Ramirez is relishing a final chance to take it all the way.

"The process was kind of stressful with everyone telling me the same thing, but to get it done before basketball season is a big weight lifted off my shoulders," Ramirez said. "Now, we can focus on getting back to state and hopefully bringing one back to San Antonio."

- article by David Hinojosa, My San Antonio
- photo from web gathering

Apr 2012 Candi Whitaker hired as Oklahoma State associate head coach.
May 2013 Candi Whitaker hired as Texas Tech head coach.
Oct 2014 Amber Ramirez makes a verbal commit to Oklahoma State.
Oct 2014 Ramirez "narrowed her final list to 9 schools: Baylor, Colorado, Kansas State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, UTSan Antonio & Washington." - Terry Tush, Go Pokes, 28 Oct 2014
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Thursday - Jan 4

TCU 71 @ Oklahoma 84
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Looking back ...

April 19, 2015

"Candi Whitaker was walking around her front yard, waving her phone around and trying desperately to get reception. But the news the former Oklahoma State associate head coach got wasn't worth the fuss. Jada Terry had chosen Texas A&M over the Cowgirls.

"I was crushed," said Whitaker, now the head coach for the Texas Tech Lady Raiders. "When you are with someone for a long period of time, and you find out, it is crushing. Her and her mom were awesome. ... I just told her I wish her the best and that if anything ever changed to give me a call."

Last week, Whitaker got that call.

And all of those days searching for reception in her front yard in Stillwater, Oklahoma, eventually paid off Terry wasn't getting the opportunity she wanted at Texas A&M and had put in a transfer request April 10. She wanted to visit Lubbock.

Two days later, Terry chose to play for the Lady Raiders, becoming the third player to transfer to Texas Tech in the last week and fourth this offseason. Indiana transfers Larryn Brooks and Taylor Agler had announced they were going to play for the Lady Raiders on consecutive days earlier in the week.

"Our transfers are unique because we know them," Whitaker said. "You don't usually have that. But I had already built a relationship with both her and her mom."

And if Terry had chosen Oklahoma State that day, the 6-foot-3 center never could have chosen to come and play for Whitaker at Texas Tech. She wouldn't have been allowed to transfer within the Big 12.

"I have never been so happy I missed out on a recruit," Whitaker said.

Close connections Whitaker was limited. She was hired in late May of 2013 and pickings left in the 2014 recruiting class were slim. The Tech coach wouldn't have her own recruiting class and her true imprint wouldn't be on the program for at least a couple of years.

In her first year, the Lady Raiders went 6-24 and finished a woeful 0-18 in the Big 12. Less than two years later, though, only one player remains on scholarship from that squad Ivonne Cook-Taylor. Since then seven players have transferred from the program and others that Whitaker would have liked to keep longer Kelsi Baker and Amber Battle have graduated.

Now, the roster is hers.

And it looks more familiar than she would have expected. Terry she knew from her time at Oklahoma State and Agler and Brooks both had played under assistant coach Brandi Poole, when she coached at Indiana.

"(Poole) is the reason we got those kids," Whitaker said. "They had a lot of opportunities closer to home, but had some familiarity on their side. It is a relief that they know and trust Bandi. The recruiting process, for them, that was some comfort there."

And it also provided some comfort for Whitaker.

"I think (taking the transfer then and now) is two different things," Whitaker said. "When you take a job in June you are limited in the 2014 class and at this level it is really fortunate to have some background on upperclassman with experience. ... When you have someone who has coached them it is it makes everything right about it and safer."

That philosophy has led to a glut of transfers to the Tech program. The first was Rayven Brooks. Then Jaime Roe, Paige Parliment, Jocelyn Mousty and Ryann Boswer followed. That allowed Whitaker to hit the recruiting trail to help build the program, but still have experienced players on the floor. Those transfers helped the Lady Raiders go 15-16 this season and win five Big 12 games.

But the ones that have come this offseason could help lead Whitaker and Tech back to the NCAA tournament.

The transfers Brielle Blaire announced in late December she would transfer from Virginia Tech after playing in just four games during the fall 2014 semester of her freshman season. She was ranked a four-star recruit out of North Rowan High School by ESPN HoopGurlz and was also tabbed the 72nd best player overall.

"She is an extremely versatile player who can create a lot offensively and help us on both ends of the court. I can't wait to see her in a Lady Raider uniform," Whitaker said at the time of her transfer.

However, last week, Whitaker had her biggest coup getting 3 transfers in a week, including Indiana's leading scorer in Larryn Brooks.

The 5-foot-5 guard led the Hoosiers in scoring the last two seasons with 14.3 points per game and became the first Indiana freshman to score more than 500 points in a season in 2013-14. Brooks displayed her range from the field the last two seasons, hitting 37.1 from beyond the arc. She also ranks third all-time in assists in a single season with 154 (4.5 per game) and has 70 steals.

"Larryn, her stats speak for them self," Whitaker said. "She is a great guard that can distribute and Taylor can shoot the 3 and understands the game, but more importantly, we know them as people. You don't always know them as transfer."

Brooks' transfer came one day after Taylor Agler's. The 5-9 sophomore guard played in 29 games with 15 starts, averaging 17.5 minutes per game for Indiana and her father, Brian, is the head coach of the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks.

That weekend another piece of the puzzle came Terry. The 6-foot-3 center played in 53 games for the Aggies the last two seasons while scoring 144 points and grabbing 72 rebounds.

"Jada is a very talented post player that provides a much-needed inside presence," Whitaker said. "Her pro frame and ability to finish at a high percentage will be an immediate impact when she hits the court."

And even though, that impact won't be for more than a year, Whitaker is beginning to see her vision for the Lady Raiders develop.

"I feel really good with where we are at, but the ability to build relationships recruiting is day to day," she said. "For them to decide is this the place for them or not and make smart decisions that are best for them is crucial. I want to create that for them for them to understand the values for our program."

Going forward Despite a roster that will be filled with eligible transfers for the 2016-17 season, Whitaker, is still pushing hard on the class of 2016. As well, she should be.

The 2016 class is considering one of the most loaded recruiting classes in recent years. Eleven of the top-60 prospects according to ESPN's Hoops Gulrz are from the state of Texas, including seven that have yet to commit.
And while, the nation's No.1 prospect, Flower Mound forward Lauren Cox hasn't listed Texas Tech on her list, Whitaker is primed to pick up some of the other top-level recruits.

In November, she signed the No. 78 overall player in the 2015 class Cedar Park Vista Ridge's Japreece Dean, a four-star point guard. And the 2015 class still has names out there that could continue to add to the Lady Raiders' stockpile of emerging talent. The NCAA's regular signing period for women's basketball opened Wednesday and runs through May 20.

And multiple reports have said that Texas Tech is still in the running for Nathanelle Dambo, a 6-foot-3 center from Gardena, California. Dambo is rated a three-star center by Hoop Gurlz. Of course, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Michigan State and Mississippi all have been reported to also have interest in the center.

And as expected, Whitaker is uncommitted to saying how many scholarships Tech has remaining in each class. With four transfers, though, along with the graduations of Kelsi Baker, Audrisa Harrison and Amber Battle and the transfers of Courtney Vaccher and Minta Spears, the Lady Raiders are looking at a roster of 14 players currently, one under the NCAA scholarship limit for women's basketball.

"We are still recruiting through the spring and looking at some things," Whitaker said. "This year, with the '15 class, we had a year to recruit them. But, you really need two to three years to get that high level kid. This year we signed two and all the transfers will help us."

Transfer complications Having four transfers sitting out next season, leaves the Lady Raiders with a multitude of issues, though. First, it takes up three scholarships for players who won't see the court next season. That leaves Texas Tech with a lack of depth next season, especially until Blaire becomes eligible in the spring semester. But Whitaker isn't worried.

"As we make decisions today and tomorrow are important are best as we turn the corner," Whitaker said. "The '16 class is key for us. Those transfers are for key us. Having them a year prior to putting them on the floor is great.
But those 2016 players won't get to see Brooks and the other transfers on the court, and won't know how those players will transfer into wins for the Lady Raiders.

"I think players understand when someone is leading their team in scoring in the Big 12 that is legit," Whitaker said. "They will have to trust us and ... So much of that is them understanding where we are and the vision for. Yes, our numbers will be small next year and we won't be as deep in some places, but we have help this next year in Dean and Sanders. And our returners have had the best spring since I have been here. They are excited and onboard."

Still, Whitaker knows there is work to do. She knows the class of 2016 looms large in her quest to bring the Lady Raiders back to the power they were when she was the poing guard under Marsha Sharp. And at the end of the day, getting there depends on landing top recruits.

"It is always crucial for everyone's program and some ... had more time with and cultivate. Recruiting is tough; everyone wants the best players," Whitaker said. "It's a challenge."

- Nicholas Talbot, Lubbock Avalance-Journal, 19 Apr 2015


Dec 2015 "Candi Whitaker has agreed to a contract extension. Whitaker's deal, which now totals five years, has her slated to be the head coach of the Lady Raiders through 2020." - Texas Tech WBB website
Pale Rider
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BIG 12

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January 4, 2018

"It took third-year Kansas women's basketball coach Brandon Schneider 27 tries to win his first regular-season Big 12 game.

It took him three tries to win two of them this season. That's what progress looks like.

Here's what else it looks like: In Schneider's first two trips to Hilton Coliseum to play Iowa State, the Jayhawks lost 65-49 and 87-58. Kansas nearly escaped Hilton with a victory before losing, 71-69, in this season's Big 12 opener.

The Jayhawks followed that up by defeating TCU in Allen Fieldhouse, 86-77, and Texas Tech in Lubbock, 60-47.

When KU lost its best player, Jessica Washington, for the season to an ACL injury in October, I figured it would be more of the same and told myself I might as well tune out the team until next year. Wrong again.

Schneider made a recruiting splash when he arrived at KU by adding transfers Washington and McKenzie Calvert to the roster, but neither one has played a part in these recent signs of recovery. Washington's reduced to a cheerleader and Calvert transferred after last season.

Then again, I guess it's not completely accurate to say Calvert hasn't played a part in KU's surprisingly competitive start to the season. She did have a secondhand role in it.

A highly rated high school guard who started her career at USC, where she averaged 10.2 points as a freshman, Calvert plays for Texas Tech now. She averaged 10.2 points for KU last season, but her minutes dwindled to nothing after she went into a deep shooting slump.

Calvert become eligible to play for Texas Tech as a graduate transfer at the semester. She played 27 scoreless minutes vs. KU, took eight shots, turned it over six times and contributed two assists and three steals. A big part of KU junior newcomer Brianna Osorio's role has been to shut down opposing point guards and she certainly did that to Calvert.

Christalah Lyons, a fellow junior college transfer, joins Osorio in the backcourt, and at 5-foot-5, is three inches shorter.

"I like how they've meshed with our returners," Schneider said.

Lyons and Osorio have helped soften the blow of losing Washington, the Big 12's leading scorer and newcomer of the year last season.

"It's amazing how much one player can affect your depth, especially because of her ability to play two positions," Schneider said of Washington. "It's a punch in the gut, for sure. If you're looking for a little bit of a silver lining, it happened our fourth practice in, so we had time to reevaluate."

The self-study resulted in Schneider easing off on defensive pressure and another aspect involved urging Lyons to become more than a facilitator. Lyons answered the call, and with a 14.8 scoring average, ranks behind only Kylee Kopatich (15.4).

"She's really stepped up in the absence of Washington," Schneider said of Lyons. "We recruited her to be a little bit more of a point guard, a distributor, so that we could play Washington off the ball more. With Jess' injury, we really had to challenge Christalah to be more aggressive and provide us with some offense. She's shown a lot more than even what we saw when we were recruiting her."

Kansas never has finished with a winning record in Big 12 play. With No. 6 Baylor, No. 12 West Virginia and No. 8 Texas up next for the Jayhawks, Saturday might be the only opportunity to see KU start a game with a winning Big 12 record.

Baylor's 6-7 junior Kalani Brown ranks third in the conference in scoring (21.5) and rebounding (9.1) and leads the Big 12 in a .731 field-goal percentage.

KU isn't ready to make a game of it against that sort of team or player, but reaching the WNIT is a realistic goal and would be quite an accomplishment for a school that went 0-18 two seasons ago and 2-16 last season.

Most of the roster returns next season and Washington likely will gain another year of eligibility via the medical-redshirt rule. Plus, point guard Brooklyn Mitchell from New Orleans signed with Kansas and is the No. 45-ranked prospect in the nation, per Dan Olson of Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

That's what progress looks like."

- Tom Keegan,

Saturday - Jan 6

Baylor 83 @ Kansas 48
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History of Oklahoma State vs. OU Rivalry

The origin of the Bedlam name has been debated for many years.
Below are 2 of the multiple explanations of the origin of Bedlam.

1. From the Barry Sanders Supercenter in Stillwater OK
"Between the Cowboys and Cowgirls of Oklahoma State University and the Sooners of Oklahoma University lives one of the greatest rivalries in American college sports. Commonly known as the "Bedlam Series" the friendly rivalry (for lack of a better phrase) is an Oklahoman tradition that has inspired loyal allegiances, tragic heartbreaks, and state-wide disputes for decades.

The Bedlam Series has its roots in multiple varsity sports. Because games between OSU and OU often determine the conference championship, these events are always full of high-stakes energy and intensity.

The Bedlam began between the two schools' wrestling programs, named after the wild crowds that would attend the matches.

It evolved into a title for all the games OSU and OU would play against each other, most notably football.

The first Bedlam football game was the scene of one of those unforgettable football miracles that feel more like legend than history. It was a brisk anwindy day in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and when the punter loosed the ball, it was pushed behind him by a gale-force wind. The ball rolled down behind the field, all the way into an icy creek. Since a touchback or touchdown was at stake, both teams dove into the arctic waters, but it was the Sooners who surfaced with the ball. They went on to win the game 75-0, thus igniting the fiery rivalry that would last for a century.!"

2. From John Rohde of The Oklahoman on November 22, 2005

"Trying to unearth the origin of the phrase "bedlam series can result in, well, bedlam.

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will meet for the 100th time in football. That particular series began in 1904, but when did all the bedlam truly begin?

Who first linked the word "bedlam with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State athletics?
.. Did an Oklahoma A&M professor hatch the idea during World War I?
.. Was it during the 1930s, when Aggies wrestling began its outrageous string of national titles under coach E.C. Gallagher?
.. Could it have begun in the 1940s, when legendary basketball coaches Henry Iba and Bruce Drake toiled?

And which sport is bedlam's true offspring?

I'm here to admit I have no idea who begat bedlam, or when. I'm fairly certain no one else knows for sure, either.

I thought Pat Quinn might know bedlam's origin, seeing how the former sports information director arrived in Stillwater in the late 1950s, when Oklahoma A&M was still a bunch of Aggies and on the verge of becoming a bunch of Oklahoma State Cowboys in the newly formed Big Eight.

"I can't say for the life of me when that term started," the 77-year-old Quinn said. "But the only people I hear say it now are car dealers, or credit-card holders, or whatever it is they're selling."

Bedlam often was used in newspaper accounts depicting the horrors of war. As has often been the case since the 1900s, the word misguidedly oozed its way into the sports vernacular.

Bedlam most frequently was used to describe baseball, particularly during a World Series.

Then on Nov. 29, 1917, something happened that had never before happened. Oklahoma A&M actually outscored Oklahoma in a football game, winning 9-0 in Oklahoma City. The Aggies had lost the first 11 games of the series by an average score of 30.5-1.8. Because of this chaos, the word bedlam surfaced in The Oklahoman for the first time while describing an athletic event between the two schools.

An excerpt of what was published Dec. 1, 1917
"So surprised were students, faculty members and citizens when they first heard the 9 to 0 victory story from Oklahoma City that confirmation was necessary. Then bedlam broke loose. Nine long shrieks of the college power plant whistle told the score. Guns were fired. The antique, dust-covered bell in old Central building belfry chimed for the first time in years. Literally the town was painted white. On buildings, sidewalks, windows and other places, the score was painted. A huge figure nine and a tiny naught."

(Interestingly enough, many years later there were several sightings of a huge figure 12 and a tiny naught following an OSU victory on Owen Field in 1995.)

And bedlam was born albeit unwittingly.

No reference to "bedlam series" appeared in The Oklahoman until March 3, 1943, when the two schools got ready to play against each other in basketball for the 71st time.

Perhaps the safest assumption is this: The phrase simply evolved into the no-holds barred, knock-down, drag-out, truck-selling, credit-card carrying, trophy-toting bedlam we have today.

It is believed Iba and Drake weren't particularly fond of the word bedlam, which was derived from St. Mary of Bethlehem in London, a hospital that became known as a lunatic asylum around 1400. The name Bethlehem often was shortened to Bethlem or Bedlem, which became Bedlam in modern spelling.

We might not know the bedlam series origin, but given the lunatic behavior often seen at OU vs. OSU, we can at least agree the word fits."

Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell & Oklahoma head coach Sherri Coale

BEDLAM HISTORY for Women's Basketball
January 6, 2017

.. Oklahoma leads the all-time series, 61-40, against Oklahoma State with the Sooners winning 18 out of the last 24 meetings.
.. OU is 14-7 in the Big 12 era at Gallagher-Iba Arena, but the Cowgirls have won three out of the last five matchups in Stillwater.
.. OU head coach Sherri Coale is 35-11 in the Bedlam series during her tenure with the Sooners.
.. Coale is 8-5 against Oklahoma State head coach Jim Littell.

- Oklahoma WBB website

Sunday - Jan 7

Texas 75 @ Kansas State 64
Iowa State 49 @ West Virginia 57
Texas Tech 72 @ TCU 93
Oklahoma 82 @ Oklahoma State 96
gone to Tickfaw
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Texas really struggling vs KSU. Only scored 8 in the first quarter? Down 20-15 with 6.21 left in the second.

other possibilities of upsets: LSU over Mississippi State and Missouri over South Carolina. Hopeful
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Texas' post play has looked very poor every time I see them. Brown and Cox should score 50 against them and dominate the boards. They also have a knack for committing offensive fouls which I hope we use against them. We absolutely slaughtered this Kansas State team but Texas is in a dogfight.
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Lady Cows win by 11.

Just like BU when we were defending national champs in 2006, the South Carolina Lady Chickens are about to lose at Missouri.

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whitetrash said:

Lady Cows win by 11.

Just like BU when we were defending national champs in 2006, the South Carolina Lady Chickens are about to lose at Missouri.
whitetrash, Thanks for the recall. Interesting fact.

January 4, 2006

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - "LaToya Bond scored 21 points and Missouri beat No. 4 Baylor 64-61 Wednesday night, ending the defending champion Lady Bears' 30-game winning streak."

Read more

Back in the days when Big 12 was 12 teams

1996-2011 Colorado
1996-2011 Nebraska
1996-2012 Missouri
1996-2012 Texas A&M
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January 8, 2018

"Loryn Goodwin drove the baseline, blasting by an Oklahoma defender and pulling up for an uncontested jumper. Good form. Good focus. Good flair, too.

The Oklahoma State point guard regularly punctuates her jump shot by kicking up her heels. At the top of her shot, just as she releases the ball, her knees bent and her feet kick back. It was fitting that Goodwin did her signature move on that shot because it essentially ended the Sooners.

"Goodwin is a handful, man," Sooner coach Sherri Coale said. "She is difficult to defend."

That jumper late in the third quarter Sunday was evidence of that. It turned back a Sooner surge that was threatening to erase a Cowgirl lead that had been as big as three touchdowns.

Now, you don't ultimately beat your in-state rival by double digits without a strong team effort. Kaylee Jensen and Mandy Coleman were tough in the post. Braxtin Miller and Maria Castro were strong on the perimeter.

But Goodwin was the glue. And it wasn't just that she scored a game-high 31 points on a mere 19 shots. She got to the free-throw line 10 times, making nine of them. She had eight rebounds from the point guard position. She had five assists to only two turnovers despite OU bringing extra defenders to help and hound her whenever it could.
What's more, she played a full 40 minutes.

"She's just a grinder, and she's very, very competitive," Cowgirl coach Jim Littell said of Goodwin. "She loves playing in big games."

No doubt about that. Against Tennessee, Mississippi State and UCLA, Goodwin averaged 30.3 points.

Sunday, in her first Bedlam game, the graduate transfer had her second game of 30 points this season and extended her streak of 20-point games to eight.

Early in the game, the Sooners limited Goodwin's attacks to the basket, one of her favorite modes of scoring. But then, they got caught on some switches with their hands down and she made them pay with a couple threes early in the second quarter.

"When she steps up and hits big shots ... it really does help us," Jensen said of both mental confidence and floor spacing. "It just kind of trickles down."

Goodwin doesn't seem to get rattled. Rare is a change of expression. Unless you ask her about that knee bend on some of her shots. Apparently, her jump-shot hop is a hot topic of conversation among her teammates, and when brought up after the game Sunday, she became animated.

"I think it gives me an extra inch," Goodwin argued. "I'm usually the smallest one out there (5'9") and I feel like when I do it, it gets me a little higher so they can't block it. I swear that's what it is."

Jensen shook her head.

"I remember the first time we got in the gym together," Jensen said. "We were shooting off the gun, and she did it, and I kind of just stared. It was my turn next to shoot, and I just kind of stared at her."

Jensen burst out laughing.

There are lots of unconventional things about Goodwin. She is in her sixth season of college basketball. She is playing for her fourth college team. She is on track to win her third of-the-year award in her third difference conference; Sun Belt freshman of the year and Conference USA newcomer of the year are already in the bag, and now, Big 12 newcomer of the year seems likely while conference player of the year isn't all that far-fetched.

But her jump shot? Might be the most unconventional thing of all about Goodwin.

"I feel like Maria kind of does it sometimes now," she said.

Could it be catching?

"By the end of the season," Jensen said, "maybe we'll all have a little kick start."

If not, Loryn Goodwin seems capable of providing plenty of kick starts all on her own."

- Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman, 8 Jan 2018
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Lashann Higgs & George Washington

March 23, 2017

"When she's tired or sore, exhausted during a game or practice and searching for motivation, Texas guard Lashann Higgs looks down at her feet. On her right shoe she's scrawled the words, "In Jesus's name I play."

But it's her left shoe, with the words "Romilly Higgs" that gives her a lift when she needs to dig deepest. That's the name of Lashann Higgs's mother, who passed away in September 2013, back in Harbour Island, Bahamas, almost 1,200 miles away from Houston. Lashann grew into one of the nation's best women's basketball prospects in Houston. Romilly didn't get to witness Lashann's journey, but she heard about it from Lashann, who called back to the Bahamas every week to tell her mom and sisters about life in America.

Lashann, who last week hit a crucial free throw that helped Texas eke out an 84-80 win over NC State and earn a spot in the Sweet 16, says she is sometimes overcome with emotion when she realizes her mom will never see her play in college. But the Texas sixth woman, who averages eight points and three rebounds off the bench, then remembers that Romilly sent her to America to find happiness. The sadness evaporates, at least temporarily.

That means that Friday, when the Longhorns meet Stanford in Lexington for a spot in the Elite Eight, Lashann won't be thinking about a rough past or the tremendous adversity she's overcome. Instead, she'll remember what she came here for.

"When you watch TV as a kid, especially in another country, America always seemed like the place of opportunities," she says. "That's what I felt like this was: the opportunity to accomplish something amazing, by getting a college education."

Basketball, as it turns out, was more of a happy accident.

To Texas assistant coach George Washington
coaching is far from a 9-5 job. Before he became an assistant with the Longhorns five years ago, Washington worked as a high school coach and, in the off-season, with Dallas-based AAU club DFW Elite. On the weekends, he volunteered at a community outreach program through FallBrook Church in Houston, training aspiring hoopers. He tutored dozens of kids through FallBrook, often opening his home and inviting those players to have dinner and hang out with his wife Jackie and their three boys. He counseled kids on and off the court, breaking down how to attack a full-court press and how to get through life without a mother or father.

"I've coached a lot of kids who are in bad situations," he says. "And never did I have the desire to say, 'Hey, come and live with me, I've got you.'"

Then the Washingtons met Lashann
A shy, skinny girl who lived with her uncle in a group home for international students, Lashann had moved from the Bahamas as a seventh grader. When she met the Washingtons one year later, they connected instantly. She was 14, mostly alone in a strange country and without many friends. She had a variety of dental problems, and no health insurance to cover the cost of fixing them. She wanted to sit around and watch the Lifetime Movie Network with her mom again. She appreciated finally being able to visit Toys R Us and Chuck E. Cheese ("I like the games! I admit it!" she cries), like she'd heard all American kids did, but hated the cold. The fourth of five girls, she desperately missed her siblings.

But around the Washingtons, Lashann felt at ease, laughing and playing with their boys (George Jr., also known as "Lil' G," is 13, Jackson 11 and Jayden 9). Soon George started picking her up and dropping her off for workouts. That turned into dinners with the family, which led to church on Sundays and before long, weekend stays. The boys thought she was "so cool," according to their mom, and George and Jackie adored Lashann's sweet disposition.

Finally, after almost a year of visits, Jackie hit her breaking point. As a former professional basketball playershe played two seasons in Finland after graduating from Abilene ChristianJackie loved talking hoops with Lashann and watching her game develop. But as a mom, she could not handle the heartbreaking details regarding Lashann's medical issues. Lashann had six completely rotted teeth that needed to be removed and no money to pay for the procedure.

"That's it," Jackie told George one night. "I want to help take care of this girl. Permanently."

The misconception of this whole situation, George says, revolves around how good of a basketball player Higgs was when she came to live with the Washington family. As a former AAU coach, Washington's heard the stories of handlers and coaches who exploit talented players, using a teenager's skill to advance their own careers. That's not what this is. George and Lashann laugh talking about just how unskilled and underdeveloped she was back in the eighth grade when the two first met. When Jackie initially proposed letting Lashann move in full-time, no one knew Lashann had Division I potential.

Back in the Bahamas
- where Lashann's family lived in a home with concrete floors and sometimes went weeks without running water or electricity - basketball was hardly a priority. On a walk to her grandmother's house one day, Lashann saw a group of boys playing pickup at the local park. She studied the game, decided it looked fun and joined in.

"A naturally gifted athlete," Texas coach Karen Aston said."Lashann's speed and defensive abilities are obvious to anyone who watches her, along with a terrific motor."

Lashann one day caught the eye of a local coach, who pulled Lashann and Romilly aside. The coach told Romilly that her daughter had talent and potential, and that in the United States, there were coaches and teachers who could give her direction. More importantly, he said, Lashann could get into a good school system.

The Bahamas's economy relies heavily on tourism
and the best job most women can hope to land is as a hotel cleaning lady. Romilly and her oldest daughter worked in hotels, and Lashann knew if she stayed, she was likely destined for that life, too.

"One night my older sisters told me, 'A college education could change your life. You have a gift and an opportunity that God has blessed you with that could help you be successful,'" Lashann recalls.

Shortly after that conversation, she was on a plane with her older cousin Marvin Higgs, bound for Texas. They settled in Houston, in the group home, before meeting the Washingtons.

How do you call a mother and tell her you want to take care of her child?
How do you walk the delicate line of offering charity without coming across as judgmental?

George and Jackie struggled with those questions for weeks. George, whose parents had adopted three young girls when he was a child, knew how a better living situation could transform a young woman's future. Ultimately, he decided being straightforward was the best bet and called Romilly to introduce himself.

George said, "I had never talked to her mom before that and right away she says, 'I know who you are, my daughter has told me all about you.' As for offending her, that's what I would tend to worry about. But No. 1 they're not American, so they have a completely different frame of reference. No. 2, the economic situation that she came from was completely different from what we can comprehend. When I took her to see her mom when she was sick and in the hospital, that's when I understood why she had to come to the United States."

In Feb. 2010, the Washingtons became Lashann's legal guardians and she moved in full-time.

Initially, she wouldn't eat dinner
her mouth hurt so bad
when the dentist eventually removed Lashann's six teeth, George says they were so decayed that "he touched one and it just broke in half"
she was overwhelmed with portions
In Harbour Island, Lashann sometimes went to bed hungry. In Houston, she'd sneak food up from the dinner table and hide it in her room, just in case.

Though George coached a championship program at Westbury Christian High in Houston
he enrolled Lashann at Kinkaid School because he didn't want anyone to question his motives.

"They actually beat us one time," he sighs, "and it's because she had an incredible game."

Then, just a few months before Lashann turned 18, George got a phone call from one of Lashann's sisters back in Harbour Island.

"You need to bring Lashann home," she told him. "I don't think my mom is gonna make it through the weekend."

That was a Saturday. On Monday, George and Lashann were on a flight to the Bahamas.

George says now that from the moment they walked into the hospital in Harbour Island, he knew Romilly wouldn't survive. She had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cervical cancer and the hospital situation, particularly for someone of her financial stature, was abysmal. Romilly could not afford the necessary treatment to combat the cancer, and she knew it. She waited until Lashann left the room, then told George she wanted him and Jackie to take care of her daughter. Then a 17-year-old sophomore, Lashann had no idea of the conversation taking place.

Back in the states, George and Jackie spoke immediately with an adoption attorney but wavered on sending paperwork to the Bahamas.

"We struggled with it because basically, we're asking a dying woman to sign paperwork that says, 'I don't want my daughter anymore,'" he says. "How could we do that?"

A few weeks later, Lashann got the call that her mother had passed. That expedited everything. Within 10 days, Lashann, George and Jackie were in front of a judge making official what George says everyone felt since the first time Lashann walked into the Washington home: She was part of the family. After Romilly died, Lashann decided to skip the funeral.

"I didn't want to see her like that," she says. "I didn't want her in a coffin to be the last image in my head. When I saw her, she told me she loved me and smiled. That's what I wanted to remember."

Lashann does not directly address Jackie and George as "mom and dad." George jokes that Lashann "made me earn my paycheck" as an assistant at Texas because it wasn't a given that Lashann would sign with the Longhorns. But through the recruiting process, it became clear to Lashann that Austin was the only fit because it already felt like family.

"Playing for him again in college, it doesn't feel any different to me than when I played for him before," she says. "I've never separated him as 'Coach' and 'Dad.' Most girls who have dads as coaches get to play for them, so I think it's pretty cool."

She always wanted that, she says. She just didn't know it would happen like this.

Lil' G, the Washingtons' oldest boy, admits with a little prodding, that it's true he's never beat his older sister in one-on-one. "Not yet," he says, making sure everyone understands that it's going to happen someday.

In the meantime, he and Jackson, the second oldest, team up for two-on-two battles against Lashann and Jayden, the youngest. Lil' G wishes everyone knew how hard Lashann works when no one is looking. Jayden likes playing football with her, too, which typically involves her running routes and him playing the role of the hero quarterback. But mostly, Jackson says, he and his brothers just want everyone to know that their big sister never gives up, on anything. She's told them they're not allowed to either. That's a message that's resonating with everyone.

"There's some resiliency in her that's not normal," says Aston, the fifth-year Texas coach. "Even when she has a bad day, she just doesn't quit. I think some of that is because she has a real passion for the game. But on the flip side, I think she has a passion for wanting to be somebody. That's the bigger part of this: She really wants to make something of herself."

Her family would say she already has."

- Lindsay Schnell, Sports Illustrated
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Certainly nothing wrong with posting about our opponents since that's what this thread is about. But I've got to admit that's just a whole lot more than I want to waste my time reading about a UT player...
Pale Rider
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BuinmyBlood said:

Certainly nothing wrong with posting about our opponents since that's what this thread is about. But I've got to admit that's just a whole lot more than I want to waste my time reading about a UT player...

Then simply don't read it. Easy.
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Good article. Sometimes, it's good to remember these athletes are opponents, not enemies. Amazing and moving story. She will be a handful to handle when we play. We have the defenders to contain her. Hopefully they will....
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January 9, 2018

"Shimmy Gray-Miller made no bones about the loss Sunday being one of the more demoralizing ones sustained this season. The key Monday and Tuesday, aside from emphasizing a match-up the interim coach loves, was getting the Lady Raiders' feet back under them and ready to go for a competitive Oklahoma team visiting for a 6 p.m. tip Wednesday.

"They were pretty dejected because they're competitive," Gray-Miller said. "That's what we want. But our deal right now is we can't focus on the outcome. We really can't. It's hard for me to explain that to 20-year-olds, but we've got to focus on the process. Because if all we did was focus on the outcome, we'd be really disappointed because we're not there yet But it's going to happen."

Players were not available for comment, a norm in pregame press conferences since former coach Candi Whitaker's dismissal Jan. 1.

Texas Tech went to TCU this past weekend for a battle of winless Big 12 Conference teams. The Horned Frogs averaged three players in double digits and walked away with six in double figures as well as a 21-point win.

Oklahoma, which already beat TCU, has more fire power. Yet Gray-Miller sees it as an opportunity for the Lady Raiders to exert unmatched muscle. Four of five double-digit scorers for the Sooners are guards, and they like to trot out four guards in the starting line up. Senior center Vionise Pierre-Louis is the outlier with a team-best 14.9 points.

Three of the Lady Raiders' top scorers Brittany Brewer, Brielle Blaire and Jada Terry are forwards Gray-Miller hopes can overwhelm Pierre-Louis on the offensive end and then double cover the Sooners' star the other way.

Guard Recee' Caldwell is a fourth player in double digits for Texas Tech, but she's still questionable from an undisclosed injury sustained Dec. 31 against No. 6 Baylor.

Texas Tech's leading forwards in the score book plus Erin Degrate average 13.6 rebounds, three blocks and 2.3 steals per game and will be pitted up against an opposing offense shooting about one percent better, 44.2, through four conference games.

"We have to take care of our advantage on the boards," Gray-Miller said. "As difficult as it might be with us and Pierre-Louis, it's going to be a physical one-on-one match up for her and us. We have a definite advantage size wise and a definite advantage on the glass."

- Mike Graham, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Pale Rider
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Looking forward to watching this game. Thanks for the article sis.
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Pale Rider said:

BuinmyBlood said:

Certainly nothing wrong with posting about our opponents since that's what this thread is about. But I've got to admit that's just a whole lot more than I want to waste my time reading about a UT player...

Then simply don't read it. Easy.
Not to worry. I didn't.
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Pale Rider said:

Looking forward to watching this game. Thanks for the article sis.
Hi Brother Pale Rider,
You are welcome.
The OU @ Texas Tech game is being carried on Fox Sports Southwest Plus.

"Texas Tech junior point guard Recee' Caldwell is out with a torn labrum (cartilage in the rim of the shoulder socket that helps keep the ball of the joint in place). Caldwell did not make the trip to Fort Worth, as this is the second game she has missed due to the shoulder injury."

- Jada Butts, Summitt Hoops, 8 Jan 2018

Notes from OU website
.. OU has won 13 straight games against Texas Tech, its longest active winning streak against a Division I opponent.
.. Sooners have won 24 out of the last 25 matchups with the Lady Raiders.
.. Sooners have won 11 out of the last 12 contests in Lubbock with their lone loss coming on March 5, 2011.
.. OU record vs Texas Tech in 2011
.... Jan 19 W Oklahoma 71-Texas Tech 61 @ Norman
.... Mar 05 L Texas Tech 65-Oklahoma 61 @ Lubbock
.... Mar 09 W Oklahoma 71-Texas Tech 69 @ Kansas City Big 12 Tournament

Link for OU pregame information
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Pale Rider
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Pale Rider said:

Looking forward to watching this game. Thanks for the article sis.

Man this game is just way too painful to watch right now. Not sure I've seen a worse team than Tech.
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