Oklahoma City Losing Angel Goodrich for the season is not just a big story in Lawrence, but around the Big 12 Conference.
And so Kansas University women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson addressed her prize signee's upcoming ACL surgery in her opening statements at the league's women's basketball Media Days on Wednesday.
"Yesterday she started her (pre-surgery) rehab and we need to start working toward not changing our goals but re-evaluating how we're going to get things done," Henrickson said of life without the 5-foot-4 point guard from Tahlequah, Okla.
"I'm real proud of our returning players. They worked hard in the offseason. We are individually player-to-player better," she added, praising returning Jayhawks Sade Morris, Danielle McCray, Ivana Catic and Krysten Boogaard.
Henrickson acknowledged that losing Goodrich changes the "outlook" of the team.
"Outlook in that it will look different," she said. "When we huddled up right away and as I sent text messages to everybody when we realized what had happened (following her injury at Sunday's practice) we've got to take care of her and step up and our goals don't change."
Suffice it to say the team has plans on finishing better than its predicted slot of ninth overall in the coach's poll.
"We've got 80 percent of everything coming back," Henrickson said.
"Like I said, we let ourselves be sad and upset. We had a day to do that and once we regrouped it was business as usual and work to get better and try to get better every day."
Morris, a 5-11 junior from just down the road in Norman, Okla., said the Jayhawks accepted the fact their freshman teammate is out for the whole season.
"We all feel bad for her but we can't feel bad for ourselves," Morris said at Media Day. "We've just got to get over the hump and we just have to have certain people step up. Yes, she's going to be missed, but I think we're experienced enough that we'll be able to move on without her. I know she's still going to be great for us in the coming years."
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Morris, who was the only Jayhawk to start all 33 games last season, was asked about her unique first name:
"My dad actually decided to name me after the singer Sade because his favorite song is 'Smooth Operator,''' she said.
"Growing up I used to follow him around when he went to play intramural basketball. And since I was never old enough to play against people, I always would just go on the side court and take a ball and dribble it around. Then as I got older I'd always play him in a game of horse or pig. And until about when I was a senior in high school I finally beat him in horse. He still doesn't like to admit it. But I won."