Archive for Friday, February 5, 2010

Senior McCray tears ACL, out for season

Kansas forward Danielle McCray goes up for a layup prior to tipoff against Illinois State, Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Danielle McCray goes up for a layup prior to tipoff against Illinois State, Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

February 5, 2010, 12:06 p.m. Updated February 6, 2010, 12:00 a.m.


McCray out for season

Danielle McCray will not play another game during this year's basketball season. The senior torn her ACL during practice. Enlarge video

Great career

Danielle McCray’s career came to a premature end, but she still ranked near the top in school history in several stats:

• Points: 1,934 (4th)

• Threes made: 205 (2nd)

• Threes attempted: 544 (2nd)

• 3-pt. percentage: 37.7 (3rd)

• Field goals made: 710 (4th)

• FT percentage: 78.8 (4th)

Danielle McCray seemed almost bulletproof. Every time Kansas University’s All-Big 12 basketball player went down with an apparently serious injury, she always bounced back.

Not this time. The 5-foot-11 senior suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during Thursday’s practice, and the college career of one of KU’s most talented athletes is over.

“It stinks for her, and it stinks for us,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “But we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. It will do no good.”

McCray went down early in the workout while performing a routine drill.

“It’s a drill we do every day,” Henrickson said. “It was something she said she had done a thousand times. There was no contact.”

Not everyone saw it happen, but they all knew right away something was amiss when they heard McCray scream.

“She’s a very strong person,” teammate Monica Engelman said, “and to hear her in pain like that was overwhelming. I was amazed and shocked it could happen to her.”

Engelman, a 5-11 freshman from San Antonio, will take McCray’s place in the starting lineup.

“I have some big shoes to fill and I need to step up,” Engelman said. “I never expected this to happen, so I need to be ready.”

Henrickson is confident Engelman can fill in capably.

“She has to grow up in a hurry,” the KU coach said.

At the same time, Henrickson realizes McCray was the Big 12’s second-leading scorer at 19.8 points a game as well as the Jayhawks’ second-leading rebounder.

“Monica just has to be who she’s been,” Henrickson said. “It’s not time to reinvent the wheel. We can’t do that.”

McCray becomes the second KU starter to suffer a season-ending ACL tear. Less than a month ago, point guard Angel Goodrich went down late in the Oklahoma State game. Henrickson is also red-shirting freshman Tania Jackson this season because of complications of a torn ACL suffered prior to her senior year at Lawrence High.

McCray seemed a lock to surpass the 2,000-point plateau, but she finishes with 1,934 points to rank fourth on the school’s scoring chart behind Lynette Woodard, Adrian Mitchell and Angela Aycock.

The Olathe East High product also ranks in the Top 10 in nine other school categories, including second in three-point goals and third in three-point field goal percentage.

After a solid, but unspectacular first two years on Mount Oread, McCray exploded on the Big 12 scene last season, earning first-team all-league honors and almost single-handedly fueling the Jayhawks’ stirring run to the WNIT championship game.

Last summer, she was one of a dozen players selected for the USA Basketball’s World University Games team that won the gold medal in Belgrade, Serbia.

So impressive was McCray’s junior year that she was tapped last October as the Big 12’s preseason player of the year by conference coaches.

Now the Jayhawks will have to finish the season without her.

“It’s a bummer and it sucks,” teammate Sade Morris said, “but we have a game Sunday and we can’t let it affect us.”

Kansas will meet Kansas State at 1 p.m. Sunday in Allen Fieldhouse in its annual Pink Zone game to heighten awareness of breast cancer.

McCray sent word Friday she preferred to delay discussing the injury with the media, but Henrickson stressed McCray wasn’t distraught and was “taking it well.”


truman1902 8 years, 1 month ago

Dear Danielle..You're still the heart and soul of this squad. It's not the kindest of breaks for you or this team. Keep the image of a packed Allen Fieldhouse for an NIT final in your mind. THAT is your lasting legacy for the 2008-09 team and for that alone, you deserve a banner inside the rafters of the PHOG!! God Speed....... Dust it off Coach Bonnie!! Go Jayhawk Women!

JayhawkAlum03 8 years, 1 month ago

Poor Danielle. What a disappointing way to end a stellar career.

We will see what Sunday against KSU brings. This season had so much potential after the great ending last year and seeing the talent we would have to play with, but losing both Danielle and Angel is huge. I hope we can find a few people to really step up and take hold of the chance to shine.

Sharon Roullins 8 years, 1 month ago

Say it ain't so. Hey Danielle, great season. Here's to a speedy recovery. Will be at the game on Sunday.

sportsFan22 8 years, 1 month ago

Danielle you still have a great career ahead of you at the next level.... the people we need to feel sorry for are the other players and the staff that now have to revamp after losing their top two players. Hang in the Bonnie... we still believe in you and these hawks. You have won games with less in the past (let us not forget how much this program has changed since she took over). I'll be pulling for you.

amesn 8 years, 1 month ago

This breaks my heart! My prayers are with you!

ldawg 8 years, 1 month ago

That is unfortunate! She is a workhorse and a great representative for KU Women's basketball. I wish her quick healing and a successful future. Bonnie has recruited talent and will overcome this.

Phillbert 8 years, 1 month ago

Thank you, Danielle, for everything you have done for KU basketball, and for the leadership that we all know you'll continue to provide to the team from the sideline.

Jayhawk fans: There are five home games left, including one Sunday at 1 p.m. against KSU. The best way to respond to this sad news is by going and supporting the team.

Bruce Rist 8 years, 1 month ago

That stinks

Thanks for all your hard work.

PS I agree with Phillbert

kugrad 8 years, 1 month ago

Wow, first Angel and now Danielle! I hope you both recover fully. Thank you Danielle for all the great games! I wish more people would come out to support our Lady Jays!

7texdude 8 years, 1 month ago

Terrible news. Best of luck Danielle. You deserved better. Hang in there Hawks. Long way to go and the Big 12 is very unforgiving. Hope Sade can carry the load. Go Hawks!

KU_cynic 8 years, 1 month ago

Too bad for this young lady and the teammates that relied on her.

As I noted previously when Goodrich tore her ACL this season, women's sports are plagued by stress injuries. See Michael Sokolove's insightful book Warrior Girls: Protecting Our Daughters Against the Injury Epidemic in Women's Sports.

Having these women athletes practice for and play a 31-game schedule that matches men's basketball is simply abusive. The women's basketball season should be shortened to a spring-semester-only season of practice and play. Have a 5-game preseason followed by an 11-game conference round-robin schedule, and then post-season as needed. Every hour spent off the court would be one less hour in which likely injuries could occur. Women basketball players could then focus on their classes in the fall semester, something that the KU team with their embarrassingly low team GPA could put special effort into.

But then how could coaches like Bonnie Henrickson justify their $400K+ annual salaries?


Robert Rauktis 8 years, 1 month ago

ACL injuries...the bane of women's basketball. Seems that the statistics would easily be there to prove or disprove that these killers are indeed overuse injuries, as well as related factors, such as weight, position (in injury and floor assignment). Then Ms. Henrickson might start justifying her salary and position at an academic institution.

yankeevet 8 years, 1 month ago

$400,000 for being a basketball coach??? omg!!!!!

WhiteDog 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm so sorry to hear this news. Danielle has been a joy to watch over the years.

Rick Aldrich 8 years, 1 month ago

SFbayhawk and yankeevet if you know everything then step up and take over her job. i'm sure Lew would like paying a couple of nads minumum wage to win win win! ROCK CHALK LADY HAWKS!!!!!!

yankeevet 8 years, 1 month ago

hey touringdriver;

who said we know everything??? one thing for sure you dont know anything.............

Armen Kurdian 8 years, 1 month ago

Very disappointed to hear about this, so unfair to her, such a terrific athlete & individual. Get the surgery, rehab, and go on to a stellar career in the WNBA. We'll miss you on the court!

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