‘We as a community have to decide what we want’: Jennie Baranczyk calling for big Red River crowd
The Oklahoma Sooners will play a big game against Texas Longhorns in a game that could determine the Big 12 title in the regular season. A championship the Sooners haven’t won since 2009.
Oklahoma and Texas are top of the Big 12 standings with three games left. With everything at stake, head coach Jenny Baranchyk makes it his mission to put the Lloyd Noble Center back together.
“But the fact is that we, as a state, as a community, must decide what we want from women’s basketball here,” Baranchik said at a meeting with the media. “And I mean, you talk about the match, you talk about the rivalry, you talk about the senior class, you talk about what they were able to do.
“Today is Saturday and I know the playoffs will be in high school. I understand it. And trust me, we’re watching it all. But if you look at the top teams in the country and look at women’s basketball attendance, you know we should have at least eight to ten thousand people.”
Coach Baranchik is right. The best teams in the country put people in the stands. The #1 team in the country and the reigning national champion South Carolina Gamecocks average over 12,400 fans at their games. LSU, who is 25-1 in the season, 15,000 fans showed up for their victory over Tennessee..
Oklahoma has the second-highest offensive scoring in the nation with a strong and interesting group of players who can fill up the streak. Norman is home to the college basketball record for most career three-pointers, Taylor Robertson.
“They are incredible,” Baranchik said of her team. “They are incredible people who come and watch, you know, they point at each other. They laugh, they work hard. You know, after the game, they’ll sit there and sign autographs for everyone. I mean it takes a lot of time to do this. And we want to be the best we can be for this community.”
This year this team was a lot of fun to watch. They play an open, fast style of basketball with players who can hit outside or drive the paint. And in less than two years, Jenny Baranchik helped Oklahoma return to Big 12 title contention and put them on the cusp of their second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
This is a team worthy of an entrance fee and a team worthy of big crowds. Especially for a big game like the Sooners on Saturday against the Texas Longhorns.
“But we need everyone,” coach Baranchik pleaded. “And we need a lot of people in red this weekend. You can wear white and okay, you just can’t wear orange or any other color you want. And to be honest, it’s really an expectation. I feel like we’re really going to find out what people think about women’s basketball in this state on Saturday at 1pm.”
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