OKLAHOMA CITY - Although Candace Parker won the dunk contest at the 2004 McDonald's High School All-American Game in her last visit to Oklahoma City, Parker is hoping to stop a losing streak at the Ford Center.
In the 2004 All-American game, Parker's West team lost 91-66 to the East, featuring future Tennessee teammates Alexis Hornbuckle and Nicky Anosike.
"It was a great experience," Hornbuckle said. "We were just talking about it ... just being here and having great memories. We have fun together as a whole and hopefully we can keep our winning streak alive on this court and Parker can get one started, because it's on her."
DUKE'S NEW LOOK
After seven years at Michigan State, Joanna McCallie has gotten Duke to the Sweet 16 in her first season with the Blue Devils.
"It's been very, very interesting and it's been an everyday process in trying to get to know the team, having the team get to know us better," McCallie said.
"As you know many teams in this tournament, I guess with the exception of Louisville, coaches have been with their teams multiple years, five years, 10 years, a long time. What's fabulous about this group is they've been able to really just come together as a group and keep that trust factor alive, because that's really what can be the difference down the stretch."
Duke junior Chante Black said McCallie and former Duke coach Gail Goestenkors, who left for Texas after 15 seasons at Duke, are different.
"They're two different people," Black said. "I know Coach McCallie is a more energetic coach. She's always in the game. You see her hands going on the sidelines."
SEEKING SOONERS FANS
With Oklahoma eliminated and not in Oklahoma City for the Sweet 16, Texas A&M coach Gary Blair hoped to convert Sooners faithful into Aggies fans today.
"The state of Texas gave you former OU running backs Billy Sims and Adrian Peterson," Blair told the Daily Oklahoman. "Now it's time for payback.
"We're going to need to borrow some fans from OU women's coach Sherri Coale. I'd like to borrow OU center Courtney Paris, too, but I can't do that."
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, whose Irish eliminated Oklahoma in the second round, is also hoping to convert some OU fans.
"We're combing the state for Catholics right now," McGraw said. "I'm hoping to fill up the arena and get all the Catholic school kids out here."
McGraw added she would wear red today so "maybe they'll cheer for us rather than Tennessee's orange."