Kansas University freshman women’s basketball guard Asia Boyd arrived on campus touted as coach Bonnie Henrickson’s highest-rated recruit in her time as KU coach.
But entering the Jayhawks’ ninth game of the season — at 7 tonight at Allen Fieldhouse, against Wisconsin — Boyd has received a dreaded DNP (did not play) four times. The most recent of those came Sunday at Alabama, KU’s first loss of the season.
Henrickson said she loves Boyd’s confidence on the floor, but she is looking for a different approach from the 6-foot-1 freshman guard.
“I love her bounce to her,” the eighth-year Kansas coach said, “but right now she’s still playing with the mentality that she played with in high school, which is go make a play every time you touch it.”
If Boyd played differently at practices, Henrickson indicated, the Detroit native would play more in games.
“She thinks, ‘If I just go make a play, that’ll get me on the floor.’ So she has really got to change how she thinks,” Henrickson said.
Boyd did not play in the first three games for Kansas (7-1). Then, in a blowout home win over Lamar on Nov. 25, Boyd saw 15 minutes of action, scored 11 points, grabbed four rebounds and passed out an assist.
In the Jayhawks’ next three games, she played a total of 11 minutes and made one of just three field goal tries.
Her coach said that too often Boyd “wants to hit a home run,” and tries to make a play on her own when Henrickson wants her to play within the team’s system.
“That is not a strength for her against the defenses at this level,” Henrickson said. “Right now, offensively, (she needs to) keep us in a play, swing it, reverse it, let Carolyn (Davis), Aishah (Sutherland), Angel (Goodrich), Keena (Mays), ‘Monnie’ (Monica Engelman) play.”
Henrickson said that didn’t mean Boyd would always have that role at KU, however.
“Right now,” the coach emphasized, “that’s what it needs to be for her to get on the floor.”
Boyd has made progress, Henrickson added, since arriving on campus.
“It’s different for her now than it was when she first got here,” the coach said. “It’s just not different enough often enough.”
Henrickson expects Boyd will get it all figured out eventually.
“If she just calms down and allows the play to happen, it’ll be better for her,” the coach said. “And that’s hard when you’re young, when you’re used to making plays all the time.”