If Bonnie Henrickson had a doghouse, a couple of familiar names would be in it.
Kansas University’s women’s basketball coach isn’t hiding her displeasure with senior wings Danielle McCray and Sade Morris in the wake of back-to-back losses in the Bahamas.
“Dee and Day need to guard better,” Henrickson said. “They haven’t had any competitiveness on the ball.”
It goes without saying Henrickson wants to see immediate improvement from her two veterans when the Jayhawks entertain UCLA tonight.
Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. Fox Sports Kansas City (Sunflower Broadband 36, 236) will carry a live telecast.
Kansas went to Grand Bahama Island over the Thanksgiving holiday with an unbeaten record and returned with two defeats — 76-71 to No. 9-ranked Xavier and 74-69 to unranked TCU.
Those losses caused the Jayhawks to dip from No. 18 in the Associated Press poll to No. 24, and Henrickson blamed the two-game skid on defensive indifference and/or complacency.
“Defensively, we’ve got to be better,” Henrickson said. “We’re not playing with competitiveness, and it’s not the young kids.”
Notably, the Jayhawks surrendered more than 70 points only four times all of last season, yet both Xavier and TCU surpassed that plateau.
Henrickson stressed she doesn’t plan to tinker with her lineup or make any other changes.
“It’s not time to panic,” she said. “We just need to defend better.”
Kansas hopes to avenge a 67-64 loss to the Bruins last season in Pauley Pavilion. That defeat was partially attributable to McCray making only three of 14 shots and finishing with nine points. The Jayhawks’ preseason All-America candidate failed to reach double figures in only two other games last year.
UCLA (4-2) appears to be at least a notch better this season with the recruitment of Markel Walker, a McDonald’s All-American out of Philadelphia. Walker leads the Bruins in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (10.3).
• It’s a Dollar Day promotion night. Tickets will cost $1, as will most concession items.
• KU sophomore Aishah Sutherland’s torrid 72.5 percent shooting (37 of 51) tops the NCAA chart. Sutherland also leads the Jayhawks in rebounding (8.2).
• UCLA guard Erica Tukiainen has made 20 of 32 three-point attempts (62.5 percent).
• KU’s next five games will be at home.