If Jennifer Jackson had her way, she'd return to Kansas University's women's basketball team before the doctor's 10-day minimum recuperation time expired.
So Jackson's mother took the offensive.
"We just got an e-mail from her mother," KU coach Marian Washington said. "Jennifer left home saying she was going to come back before the 10-day period, and her mother wanted us to know she'd be pushing it."
Whether mother knows best remains to be seen, but Jackson -- Kansas' junior point guard who hadn't missed a start until Tuesday, the day after she underwent cleansing surgery on her left ankle -- won't play today when the 14th-ranked Jayhawks (5-1) play host to Mississippi Valley State (2-4).
Tipoff is 2:05 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.
Without Jackson, the Jayhawks lost their first game of the season, 55-54 on Tuesday at unranked Creighton.
"There's no question Jennifer would have helped us, but we had enough to pull out the game," Washington said. "We just lost it in the first half. We didn't anticipate them playing zone. We'd seen most of their games, and they stayed with man. They showed no zone, but they played zone against us. We were out of synch."
With Jackson ailing, Lynn Pride, the Jayhawks' versatile 6-foot-2 senior All-America candidate, took over point-guard duties. She finished with a season-high 25 points and 16 rebounds.
""She did fine, but when they started to run some different things, we hadn't prepared Lynn for that," Washington said. "We needed some other players to step up and keep us stable, we we didn't get it. That's the bottom line."
The bottom line on KU-Mississippi Valley State is that the Devilettes seem to be outmanned. They won't start a single player who stands at least 6-foot; KU likely will start four 6-footers.
"They're real small," Washington said. "The advantage for us, obviously, is our size. We need to be able to attack them, especially with some mismatches. They're smaller, but in some positions they're probably quicker. We just need to continue to work on some things, particularly with the offense we're running, and we need to continue to work with Lynn at that position."
The Jayhawks, Washington said, have responded positively to their first loss.
"If you're going to lose one," she said, "it's best to lose it early. We learned a lot from it. We learned we need to continue to work with Lynn. We learned we need to get some people to step up to keep us in our offense, particularly against the zone. It's a tough time of year with finals and all. Everybody's tired. Everybody's up pulling all-nighters. But they're anxious to play again and get back on the winning side."
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE (2-4)
F -- Tracey Campbell, 5-9, Sr.
F -- Angela Williams, 5-9, Sr.
F -- Chandra Haywood, 5-11, Sr.
G -- Keisha Payne, 5-7, So.
G -- Letesha King, 5-8, Jr.
F -- Brooke Reves, 6-0, Jr.
F -- Jaclyn Johnson, 6-1, Jr.
C -- Kristin Geoffroy, 6-6, So.
G -- Suzi Raymant, 5-11, Sr.
G -- Lynn Pride, 6-2, Sr.
Tipoff: 2:05 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse
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