They don’t call preseason games tune-ups for nothing.
As the Kansas University women’s basketball team concludes its exhibition schedule against Washburn at 2 p.m. today in Allen Fieldhouse, coach Bonnie Henrickson hopes for a sharper performance than last week.
“Everyone had a few jitters,” Henrickson said of Sunday’s game against Fort Hays State. “Some more than I would have thought.”
Sure, the Jayhawks comfortably took down Fort Hays State, 83-62. They outrebounded the Tigers by 13, dished seven more assists and blocked six more shots.
But there were plenty of areas to improve upon for a team that has aspirations of contending in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks committed 16 turnovers, many coming as they tried to push the ball up court and force the ball into tight spaces.
“You want more of a frantic pace on the defensive end and more calm on the offensive end,” Henrickson said. “And we were flipped a little bit.
“On the defensive end, we just need to contain a little better,” Henrickson added. “And on the offensive end, we can still attack and be aggressive.”
KU was whistled for 17 personal fouls against Fort Hays State. That’s not an alarming total. On a team devoid of depth, though, early foul trouble needs to be avoided.
Junior forward Aishah Sutherland was called for two quick fouls against Fort Hays State, which relegated one of KU’s most experienced players to the bench for most of the first half.
With the offense mostly revolving through sophomore Carolyn Davis in the paint, the Jayhawks made 50 percent of their shots, but shot only 2-for-7 from behind the arc.
“On the perimeter, we’re going to have to get used to knocking down open jump shots,” Henrickson said.
That will become even more crucial once teams begin to double-team Davis and leave her teammates open on the wing.
“It’s coming,” Henrickson said.
Boogaard Update: Henrickson said Krysten Boogaard, who did not play against Fort Hays State because of patellar tendonitis, is still limited but improving. Henrickson called Boogaard’s status day-to-day, hinting that it would be a toss-up as to whether she plays today against Washburn.
Series history: KU is 2-0 against Washburn in exhibition play, winning the last meeting (Nov. 9, 2008), 67-51. The Jayhawks are 9-1 in the regular season against Washburn, with the only blemish coming in a 62-59 setback in 2004.