Over the last six games, Baylor's Odyssey Sims has averaged 29.3 points per game - just 0.6 under her - but has shot 50% from the field and 48% from the three point line, both obviously above her season numbers.
So what's happening?
In terms of her usage rate relative to the team's during that time, there's nothing to suggest she's less involved in the offense than normal - she still has an extremely high team-high usage rate of 34.69%. Her assist ratio is about the same as it has been all season at 34.86%. Even if she was getting to the free throw line more often, she didn't even have an attempt in two of those six games.
But two things really stand out in watching Baylor's 96-89 win over Oklahoma: first, 39.06% of her shots have been from behind the three point line over the last six games - including a season high 12 attempts against Oklahoma - which is up a bit from her season rate of 32.36%. Second, and more importantly, opposing defenses aren't sending constant doubles and junk defenses which both frees her up for easier shots and puts less pressure on her teammates.
And Baylor coach Kim Mulkey alluded to something after the Oklahoma game that is also evident although it can't really be quantified, as reported by Jason Orts of the Waco Tribune.
Five of her eight turnovers came in the second half, but she also got to the free throw line with greater regularity and went 10-for-15 from there.
"I think there was a period of time there she tried to do too much, and reverted back to just let it happen," Mulkey said. "Share the ball, trust your teammates, and sometimes when you cut a lead like that, the great ones want the ball in their hands at all times and think they’re going to do it. For the most part, she really does do it."
This is a largely inexperienced team that has gone through their share of growing pains even as Sims has carried them to victory. But Sims is clearly trusting her teammates more lately and not only are they responding with more confident play but it also makes the whole unit more dangerous, which in turn makes easier for the nation's leading scorer.
By the way, Sims finished that Oklahoma game with 38 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds.