Posted on March 21, 2011 at 6:31 PM
WACO, TX - Freshman guard Odyssey Sims has had a great start to her career at Baylor
"Nothing about what she has done has surprised me," says Baylor basketball coach Kim Mulkey. "I think one thing that she has done, that I didn't know if it would be good or bad, was talking care of the basketball."
Basketball fans in North Texas remember Sims at Irving MacArthur last year, leading a team that was headed for the state tournament before being injured in a regional semi final game against Cedar Hill. Her injury seemed to deflate her teammates and ended up losing the game. This year they won the State Championship after Sims graduated.
"The thing about Odyssey, she hates to lose," says Irving MacArthur basketball coach Suzie Oelschlegel who was Sims' coach in High School. "That's what I love about her the most. She willed her team and our team to win."
Alexis Jones, who was part of this year's championship team at Irving MacArthur, says Sims taught her a lot about how to play the game. She always said "To always play hard and never go out there and just take a game or just to play a game, always go out there and play to win," Jones says.
Baylor is getting used to freshman making an immediate impact. Last year it was Britney Griner. This year it's Sims. She's not a force inside like Griner, but she is taking care of the perimeter.
As a result Sims has been the perfect complement to center Britney Griner. When Griner is double teamed, it's Sims who always seems to be open to get the shot. She's not the only reason Baylor is having a successful run this season, but she is a big part of the Lady Bears offense.
"Right, she gets the post going and I get the guards going, and it's just like when I turn up my defense and she turns up her defense, it's just like a chain reaction with the whole team," Sims says.
"You can stop Odyssey, you can stop Britney, but then those around them are going to have super nights," says Mulkey. "So you really do in a lot of ways, have to pick your poison with this team."
Sims was named to the Big 12 All Conference first team and was named freshman of the year. Even Sims didn't expect to adjust this quickly.
"No I didn't, it was kind of unexpected," Sims says. "Now that I’m in this position, it's not like I’m not like overwhelmed with it. I'm just going with the flow and doing what they tell me to do and taking it how it is."
And the Lady Bears are better because of it.