Kansas University women’s basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson has a simple philosophy about basketball in February.
“You’re getting worse or you’re getting better,” Henrickson said. “Nobody stays the same.”
It remains to be seen which group Henrickson’s team settles into — the Jayhawks (15-8 overall, 2-7 in Big 12) are 1-1 since tearing January off the wall calendar — but one of her leaders has planted herself firmly in the category that matches the title of a Beatles tune.
Angel Goodrich, KU’s sophomore point guard known, thus far, as much for her unfortunate injuries as her play on the floor, seems to have hit her stride in the last few weeks. After missing seven games in the middle of the season, Goodrich has strung together a stretch of 13 straight starts. She’ll look to make it 14 straight when the Jayhawks play host to No. 20 Iowa State (16-6, 4-4) at 7 tonight at Allen Fieldhouse. Henrickson said the reason Goodrich has bounced back so many times was her inner drive.
“She’s arguably one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever had,” Henrickson said. “Her coachability is something that I have great respect for. She wants to do it right and she wants to be coached and she just continues getting better and better.”
There was a time, this season, when those around the KU program wondered if Goodrich would ever be full strength again. Her play over the last few games has answered those questions. During the past five contests, Goodrich has logged 38 minutes or more four times. The only game she didn’t was last week’s 81-53 blowout of Colorado in which she scored four points and dished eight assists (against one turnover) in 25 minutes.
In 16 games, Goodrich is averaging seven points, five assists and three rebounds while playing 31 minutes per night. Since the beginning of conference play, Goodrich has raised her assist average to seven assists per outing and, during the last five games, the Tahlequah, Okla., native has averaged 8.8 points, 7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.
“The resilience she’s shown and the toughness she’s shown, through the process and even after, she’s been a kid who, no matter what you ask her to do, she does it without a flinch,” Henrickson said.
The Jayhawks enter tonight’s game smarting a bit from their recent stretch. Last week, KU snapped a five-game conference losing skid with the win against Colorado. But the woes returned three days later, when the Jayhawks fell, 80-68, at Texas.
Iowa State has won three of its last four Big 12 games after opening league play with a 1-3 record. ISU is led by senior guard Kelsey Bolte, who has averaged 17.8 points per game.