Archive for Wednesday, November 25, 2009

George, Goodrich genuine

November 25, 2009


If you don’t give a hoot about women’s basketball, shift your eyes to the latest update on Mark Mangino twisting in the Lew Perkins wind … if you haven’t already.

OK, if you’re still with me, you’ve probably watched the Kansas University women this season and, in particular, freshman point guard Angel Goodrich.

To this point — just three games — Goodrich has played like a freshman. That is to say, she’ll make a great pass, then she’ll make a dumb pass. She’ll hit a tough shot, then she’ll miss a layup. She’ll make a steal, then she’ll be beaten on a drive.

The bottom line, though, is talent. Goodrich has unmistakable basketball instinct, a knack for playing the game that other women — even more athletic women — can only wish they possessed.

By the time Goodrich is a senior, it’s no fantasy to expect her to be as good or better than Justina George.

Haskell women nearing top 25

The Haskell women's basketball team could join the NAIA top 25 soon if it keeps up its strong play. Enlarge video

Who’s Justina George? Right now, she’s the best Native American guard playing college basketball in Lawrence.

A senior at Haskell Indian Nations University, George is three inches taller than the 5-foot-4 Goodrich and not as clever a passer. But George is more of a scorer and, at this stage, a better defender than Goodrich.

On Monday, George, a member of the Navajo tribe from Ramah, N.M. (population 407), was named Midlands College Athletic Conference player of the week.

Check out the numbers George compiled during three HINU wins: 16.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.7 steals and 4.3 rebounds. Against Ottawa last Thursday, George was credited with a jaw-dropping eight steals.

I’m sure if Goodrich were playing at the NAIA level, she would be compiling similar numbers and, at the same time, if George were suiting for the Jayhawks or another NCAA Div. I school her statistics wouldn’t be nearly as glossy.

Nevertheless, both Goodrich, who hails from Oklahoma and belongs to the Cherokee tribe, and George bring a high level of skill to a game that is considered by many unworthy of interest because men are so much better at running, jumping, shooting and, of course, dunking.

Regardless of gender, however, and regardless of the level of competition, talent almost always translates into winning and both Goodrich and George are helping elevate their programs.

At Kansas, for example, early season crowds are about double what they were last season. Goodrich isn’t the only reason for that upswing, of course, but she is clearly making a good team better.

Meanwhile, Haskell is off to an 10-2 start thanks mainly to George and to Maria Parker, a 6-0 center who lacks the bulk to play at the NCAA level but is lithe and athletic, and can shoot the rock.

It would be nice to say the Fightin’ Indians’ women’s basketball team is drawing bigger crowds, but sports at Haskell don’t draw crowds. They draw gatherings.

Still, I would expect the HINU women to draw more interest in December and early next year through word of mouth.

If you’ve read this far, thanks. Now you can go on to the latest installment of the Mangino-Perkins soap opera.


zags2009 8 years, 6 months ago

Chuck are you serious? Angel and Justina are like night and day. the only similarities they have is 1. playing college ball (yet totally different levels) 2. being native american. Justina is not the best player on her team, Maria parker is. Maria has scored over a 1,000 points, been voted ALL-Conference, and Nominated for ALL-American. George only nominated for all-conference, but she made academic all conference. The level of competition that KU is playing is way better than the level Haskell is. George was recruited by who? Angel was recruited by D1's and is plays alot for a ranked d1 team. Better defender than Angel? A NCAA d1 or d2 guard is lot harder than guarding weaker NAIA d2 schools and the slow guards on their rosters. You mention angel throwing a bad pass, well what about george leading her team in turnovers. George is maxed out on how good she can be. If your giving out compliments and titles then do research. Maria is the best on her team, take her away and that team will STRUGGLE more than if geogre was gone. Kudo's to george, but dont give her a title she is not worthy of. George is an alright shooter, but take george over to ku, washburn, emporia state, and those shots will not get off, and she probably wouldn't be able to get the ball in her hands. Angel and Maria the best in lawrence.

rgh 8 years, 6 months ago

Good story and a nice relief from the Lew Perkins saga.

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