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Archive for Saturday, March 26, 2005

Moving forward

Jayhawks made strides in their first year under Henrickson

March 26, 2005

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First-year Kansas University women's basketball coach Bonnie
Henrickson is framed between a pair of Jayhawks in this file photo
from Dec. 4. Henrickson coached KU to a 12-16 record this past
season.

First-year Kansas University women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson is framed between a pair of Jayhawks in this file photo from Dec. 4. Henrickson coached KU to a 12-16 record this past season.

No one expected Bonnie Henrickson to perform miracles during her first year as Kansas University's women's basketball coach.

Henrickson took over a team that had dropped its last 10 games and 14 of its last 15. Moreover, the Jayhawks' roster was down to nine scholarship players following a handful of defections and dismissals.

Nevertheless, Henrickson guided the depleted Jayhawks to a dozen victories, the most since 2000-01. The next step is to bring an end to the string of five consecutive losing seasons.

"The growth we've had this year isn't enough, obviously, because we're not in the postseason," Henrickson said after the Jayhawks bowed to Missouri, 62-57, in the first round of the Big 12 Conference tournament.

Bonnie Henrickson provides instruction during the pregame huddle
against Dartmouth. KU beat the Big Green, 84-51, on Dec. 18 at
Allen Fieldhouse.

Bonnie Henrickson provides instruction during the pregame huddle against Dartmouth. KU beat the Big Green, 84-51, on Dec. 18 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Still, the Jayhawks did improve, so that was worth at least one rung on the comeback ladder.

"It's growth that was important for us this year," the KU coach said. "We understand as a group we need the same amount of growth next year."

Henrickson lost only one contributor, guard Aquanita Burras, to graduation and will add at least four players to the roster next year. Two of them -- point guard Shaquina Mosley and forward Sophronia Sallard -- are expected to help right away.

KU coach Bonnie Henrickson, second from left, states her case for
an out-of-bounds call as players Alicia Rhymes, left, Jamie Boyd,
second from right, and assistant coach Katie O'Connor make their
opinions known in this file photo from KU's 63-45 loss to Kansas
State on Jan. 8 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU coach Bonnie Henrickson, second from left, states her case for an out-of-bounds call as players Alicia Rhymes, left, Jamie Boyd, second from right, and assistant coach Katie O'Connor make their opinions known in this file photo from KU's 63-45 loss to Kansas State on Jan. 8 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Mosley, who played at Central Arizona CC, was named national junior-college player of the year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Assn. The 5-foot-10 Sallard led Syracuse, N.Y., Nottingham High to a state championship.

Henrickson will have four returning starters in Crystal Kemp, Erica Hallman and Kylee Brown -- all seniors -- and sophomore Taylor McIntosh. Kemp led the Jayhawks in scoring (13.8) and rebounding (8.8) during the 12-16 season.

"We already have a year under our belt under coach Henrickson," the 6-2 Kemp said. "The fact that we're going to be seniors, I think, is a plus because we know what to expect, and we know how to lead the team now."

First-year Kansas University women's basketball coach Bonnie
Henrickson, left, rebounds the ball for junior forward Crystal Kemp
after a Dec. 4 practice at Horesji Center.

First-year Kansas University women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson, left, rebounds the ball for junior forward Crystal Kemp after a Dec. 4 practice at Horesji Center.

Hallman, a 5-8 guard who averaged 13.1 points a game, is expected to surrender the point to Mosley and move to shooting guard. She was a 39 percent shooter from three-point range last season.

"When our freshmen come in, we've got to get them on the same page," Hallman said, "and just keep listening to coach because we've been successful this season, and we will be more successful next season."

Bonnie Henrickson makes a point during a 58-41 victory over Western
Illinois on Dec. 8 at Allen Fieldhouse. Henrickson was a graduate
assistant at Western Illinois in 1988.

Bonnie Henrickson makes a point during a 58-41 victory over Western Illinois on Dec. 8 at Allen Fieldhouse. Henrickson was a graduate assistant at Western Illinois in 1988.

Clockwise from front, Trena Anderson, director of basketball
operations; Katie O'Connor, assistant coach; Kyra Elzy, assistant
coach; husband of assistant coach Karen Lange; Karen Lange; and
head coach Bonnie Henrickson break down film of a 62-45 loss to
Minnesota. The staff regularly meets at Henrickon's Lawrence home
after games to critique the team's play.

Clockwise from front, Trena Anderson, director of basketball operations; Katie O'Connor, assistant coach; Kyra Elzy, assistant coach; husband of assistant coach Karen Lange; Karen Lange; and head coach Bonnie Henrickson break down film of a 62-45 loss to Minnesota. The staff regularly meets at Henrickon's Lawrence home after games to critique the team's play.

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