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Archive for Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Starters anything but set for KU women

Lineup still in flux as Jayhawks open exhibition play tonight against Fort Hays State

November 1, 2006

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Ivana Catic will start. So will Taylor McIntosh.

After that, only coach Bonnie Henrickson knows who will open for Kansas University's women's basketball team in tonight's exhibition against Fort Hays State.

"Whatever group I don't start," Henrickson said, "we don't drop off a whole lot right now."

Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Sunflower Broadband Channel 6 will televise the game live.

Sophomore guard Ivana Catic averaged 7.7 points and 4.6 assists while starting 25 games last season. Junior McIntosh led KU in rebounding seven times last year while averaging 4.5 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Maria Zinic, a 6-foot-2 soph, is another possibility to start up front. Otherwise, Henrickson may dip into her seven-member freshman class.

"I'm anxious to see how they respond to being in a uniform," Henrickson said of her first-year players. "Just to see what they look like when you smell the popcorn and the lights are a little bit brighter."

Of the seven freshmen, 6-1 Porscha Weddington may be the best bet to answer the opening bell.

"Weddington in the post is really catching people's eyes," the KU coach said. "She's probably our best finisher in the paint right now."

Olathe East product Danielle McCray, arguably the most heralded freshman recruit, could also help in the frontcourt. Henrickson said McCray was 100 percent after undergoing ankle surgery in early August.

In fact, the Jayhawks are injury-free at this stage.

"Knock on wood," Henrickson said. "We're in pretty good shape. We should have everybody suited up."

Henrickson made her KU coaching debut against Fort Hays State, an NCAA Division II team, in 2005, and the Jayhawks romped 88-49. This year's FHSU team has even more newcomers than Kansas - five freshmen and three junior college transfers.

Senior Ashlee Gustin is the Tigers' best player. She averaged 15.6 points and 7.5 rebounds last year.

"They're going to have a lot of new kids on the floor," Henrickson said. "We will, too."

KU's last exhibition contest will be at 2 p.m. Sunday against Washburn. The Jayhawks will open for real Nov. 11 against Seton Hall in a first-round game of the WBCA Classic in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.

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