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Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jayhawks refocused

November 2, 2008

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The funk is over, Bonnie Henrickson says. No crying over spilled milk for Kansas University's women's basketball team.

Henrickson, KU's fifth-year coach, and her players were down in the dumps two weeks ago today when touted freshman Angel Goodrich suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice.

Now, Henrickson stresses, her players have rebounded and refocused.

"They've been good about it, very good," Henrickson said.

Today's exhibition against Fort Hays State was supposed to mark the debut of Goodrich, a 5-foot-4 point guard from Tahlequah, Okla., in a KU uniform. Instead, Henrickson will be using mostly familiar faces when the Jayhawks tangle with the Tigers.

Tipoff will be at 2 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Sunflower Broadband 6 will carry a live telecast.

Without Goodrich, Henrickson has only one new face - Aishah Sutherland, a 6-2 freshman from Perris, Calif., who is in the mix to replace graduated Taylor McIntosh at small forward.

Three players are battling for McIntosh's old job - junior Porscha Weddington, sophomore Nicolette Smith and Sutherland.

"Right now, the nod goes to Porscha," Henrickson said. "Aishah's behind because she's a freshman."

The other starters will be returnees Danielle McCray, Sade Morris, Krysten Boogaard and Ivana Catic. Of those four, the most improved may be Morris.

"Sade has been the most consistent," Henrickson said. "I've been impressed with her aggressiveness."

Morris, a 5-11 junior from Norman, Okla., was the Jayhawks' second-leading scorer last season at 9.8 points per game. She was also, however, the team leader in turnovers with 120.

Morris wasn't alone in giveaways. Kansas led the Big 12 in that category last season, and ball protection tops Henrickson's fix-it list.

"It's A-number-one," the KU coach said.

Fort Hays State, an NCAA Div. II school, has a new coach in Tony Hobson, formerly at Hastings College in Nebraska. In a preseason MIAA coaches poll, the Tigers were predicted to finish last in the league.

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