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Are you ready? Oklahoma City University is.

When it's gametime in Abe Lemons Arena, you know it - the girls make you aware of it with their introduction to take the court.

Recorded phrase by phrase by the members of the team, this credo rings through the gym -

In the heart of the city lies a school built on a winning tradition where pride knows no boundaries.
You mess with one you mess with all.
We've been uncomfortable.10, 260 minutes and counting. 
For every shirt that started out dry has ended up drenched.
We've come two seconds short, two times too many.
For all the reasons I'm now comfortable, you're about to be uncomfortable.
Have you really put in your hours, because we have.
Are you ready? Are you ready? Because we are.

Now that Oklahoma City University has a dozen wins under their belt, they want you to know it too. They're ready.

After the Stars turned in their most complete game of the season, it appears OCU head coach Rob Edmisson finally thinks they're ready too.

Edmisson finally got what he wanted from his team. He's gotten a glimpse what he's been preaching about all year long: offense, defense, rebounding. Heart, intensity, enthusiasm. All of that and more for 40 minutes. Yet the sounds of practices echoing through Abe Lemons Arena, there are days you would think the Stars were struggling for a .500 record.

But they're not.

The Stars are ranked No. 2 in the NAIA Division I women's basketball polls. They're cruising through their Sooner Athletic Conference schedule picking off one opponent after another. Seven conference wins, two against ranked opponents, and the closest final score of the non-exhibition season was an 11-point win.

Have you really put in your hours because we have.

Nearing the halfway mark of the season OCU has won in a multitude of ways - the record-setting blowout against Dallas Christian that saw the Stars more than quintuple their opponent with a 138-26 demolition. The wins that have been standard like the 74-45 thumping of Mid-America Christian on the road. The "close games" that Edmisson thought were chock full of teachable moments, like the 73-61 win over Lubbock Christian. The 13-point win at John Brown that saw him more disappointed than I've seen all season. And now the elusive complete game in the 93-51 win over Northwestern.

After the win that put them at a string of a dozen straight, Edmisson finally seemed to be genuinely pleased with what he saw on the basketball court. It's sometimes hard to get a happy Edmisson after a blowout win and a quiet and sitting Edmisson on the sideline is almost an anomaly. Instead, you'll often see an animated coach demanding more from his players - always after the extra ounce of energy, the extra hustle play, the extra pass and the extra-special season.

12 games is nowhere near the 90-game streak like that one NCAA Division I team racked up. But this Edmisson coached team has to have a similar mentality to UConn when they lace them up and play more against themselves than their scheduled competition some nights through the season.

"In no way am I from an ego standpoint saying we're as good as Connecticut, but we're in a similar situation as the Connecticut women where most nights the game can get out of hand," Edmisson says. "How can you handle that maturity-wise with your team? I'm no different than Geno. You watch them play and they can be up 30 and he's still going to coach them hard, and that's the way I am."

We've been uncomfortable.

That tough mentality did a number on the OCU women after Monday's road trip to Arkansas and 13-point win over John Brown. The Stars were up by 21 in the second half before they allowed the home team to scratch back into the game. And then the fouls, turnovers, mistakes started mounting. And mounting. This is when the maturation and composure that Edmisson knows is paramount to national success is fostered in a team.

So on Tuesday, they got worked hard. Trust me, I could hear it. And on Thursday before their next game game, they leapt out onto the court, laughing and smiling yet focused on putting a complete performance on the hardwood. That maturity and drive is growing in the team of 12.

For every shirt that started out dry has ended up drenched.

"That's why I am so animated," Edmisson says. "We're trying to teach these kids to play every possession because we do know from our experience that there are going to be times this year when we get to the national tournament that you're going to have to play 40 minutes rather than 20 to win a game. I'm trying to condition this team not physically but mentally into being able to understand that every possession matters.

"Human nature is you look at the scoreboard - I'm sure fans go wow he's getting on them and they're up by 30, but they don't understand what our long-term goal is. Our short term goal can sometimes get solved in about the first eight minutes, but what we're trying to do is get our kids to understand that you have to play every single possession."

You mess with one you mess with all.

Human nature also says that teams have stars. And for these Stars, the stats go by way of teamwork. The first time OCU shows up in the individual stats categories in the NAIA is at 12th place, with Lauren Gober's free throw percentage. But as a team?

First in scoring margin (35.0 points) and field-goal percentage (0.501), second in assist to turnover ratio (1.102), assists per game (19.75), third in scoring offense (87.5 points) and scoring defense (52.5 points) out of the 116 NAIA Division I teams. OCU ranks in seven more team categories before getting to Gober's 12th spot. Everyone plays considerable minutes each game. Everyone makes considerable contributions to the stat sheet night in and night out. Any given night you can see a different high-scorer, a new difference-maker, an additional threat that the opposition can't handle.

A team of Stars with no one star, but just like if you gaze at a constellation in the night sky, each star has its place, its role in painting a picture that is only complete when every star is seen. The Oklahoma City University Stars are shining bright.

Are you ready?

Because we are.

Oklahoma City University is more than ready. And now they're complete.