How successful the Kansas University women’s basketball team can be this season will depend largely on the team’s core of young talent.
Given the relative inexperience of the Jayhawks, it’s only fitting that they get a few trial runs in before the games start counting.
The Jayhawks will meet Fort Hays State in the first of a two-game exhibition season at 2 p.m. today in Allen Fieldhouse. It will be televised live on Sunflower Broadband Channel Six.
“I’m really excited,” sophomore guard Monica Engelman said. “Although we have young players and you could say we have a young team, we have a lot of potential to do something very special here.”
KU last met FHSU in 2008 and easily dispatched the Tigers, 93-37.
The Jayhawks are 5-0 all-time in the preseason against Fort Hays State and 3-0 in coach Bonnie Henrickson’s seven-year tenure.
Henrickson will undoubtedly feature her exciting trio of sophomores — Engelman, center Carolyn Davis and point guard Angel Goodrich — a group which, though talented, is still mostly unproven.
Engelman still needs to show improvement on the defensive end. Davis, who shot nearly 72 percent last season, won’t take anyone by surprise this year. And Goodrich, healthy and ready to go after recovering from a second ACL tear, must stay healthy.
Junior forward Aishah Sutherland and senior center Krysten Boogaard are the lone upperclassmen who made significant contributions last season, and with more minutes to go around, they’ll be relied upon more, too.
Four freshman and red-shirt freshman Tania Jackson will also play, and based on the numbers, potentially quite a bit.
“We’re young,” Henrickson said. “But youth won’t be an excuse for us.”
The Jayhawks will open their regular-season schedule Nov. 14th against South Dakota.