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Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

All the right pieces: KU women aim for more successful March

The Kansas women's basketball team held its annual media day Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Kansas women's basketball team held its annual media day Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

October 12, 2011

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It wasn’t easy for Kansas University forward Carolyn Davis to watch NCAA Tournament games from her apartment last year — especially after seeing a few teams the Jayhawks had beaten.

“As the years have gone on, it’s gotten more disappointing and more disappointing (to miss the NCAAs) with the more talent we’re gaining,” Davis said. “This year, we have all the talent. We have all the right pieces.”

It’s why the preseason All-Big 12 selection wasn’t shy about sharing her expectations for her team during KU women’s basketball media day on Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

For Davis, it’s NCAA Tournament or bust for the Jayhawks this season.

“The only excuse is us,” Davis said. “If we don’t make it this year, we can’t blame anybody but ourselves.”

The Jayhawks have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

For one, KU returns 83.4 percent of its scoring from last season, when it finished 21-13 overall and eighth in the Big 12.

Not only that, the Jayhawks return the Big 12’s top field-goal percentage shooter (Davis), three-point shooter (Monica Engelman), and assist leader (Angel Goodrich).

KU coach Bonnie Henrickson— still searching for her first NCAA Tournament appearance in her eighth season — says a trip to the Big Dance would be the next step for a program that has come close in recent years.

“It’s been important, it will be important, it is always important. Absolutely,” Henrickson said. “It’s frustrating. That’s where we’re trying to get. That’s what we work every day (toward), and you take a couple nights off in this league, and you ruin all the work you put in.”

Much of Henrickson’s excitement with this year’s team comes from the belief that the Jayhawks have plenty of room to grow defensively.

Already, the coach has preached a few key statistics to her players in practice: KU was last in the Big 12 in defensive field-goal percentage (46.3 percent) and rebounding margin (-5.8 per game) during conference play last season.

The Jayhawks are slowly buying into the added emphasis on defense.

“I want them to fall in love and marry it, and they don’t want to add it on Facebook or follow it on Twitter, if you talk in their language,” Henrickson said with a smile. “We need to have wedding bells here on the defensive end.”

KU also should get immediate help from five newcomers —and especially freshman Natalie Knight.

The 5-foot-7 freshman guard from Olathe needed just 10 practices to earn a starting spot for the team’s exhibition trip to Italy in August.

Davis, meanwhile, will be KU’s unquestioned leader after averaging 19 points per game last season.

The Houston native said part of the reason she came to KU was to try to help turn around the program.

After watching the NCAA Tournament selection show last year, only to have KU left out once again, she’s ready for a new experience next March.

“I want to be cheering when they call our name,” Davis said. “That’s the plan.”

Comments

Lisa Rasor 2 years, 6 months ago

The thing is, there were probably several photos for the editor to choose to run with this article, including more "serious" photos from the same photo shoot. Why did you choose this one, LJW? I would like to know your reasoning, if any.

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PFC 2 years, 6 months ago

The picture bootlegger has is of Erwin Rommel. And you remove it because I say he has a picture of a Nazi? Who do think Rommel was?

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bootlegger 2 years, 6 months ago

Why did they approve this pic? This is so embrassing for the Univ of Kansas!! Ladies? NOT.....more like thugs.....

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Lisa Rasor 2 years, 6 months ago

OMG, the men's team would never take a goofy photo like this! http://matthiasclamer.blogspot.com/2009/12/kansas-jayhawks.html

No, they usually go in for more serious photos that reflect well on KU and KU Athletics. http://www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-kansas-basketball-player-mario-121610,0,6676767.story

I love this photo of the women's team; it shows their cameraderie and sense of humor. I look forward to seeing them play this season.

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DRsmith 2 years, 6 months ago

Are they really flashing gang signs? Nice. Maybe they will be better this year.

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bootlegger 2 years, 6 months ago

Their coach must of approved this picture; out of control; another non winning team!!!

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Jayhawk1963 2 years, 6 months ago

My, my. Aren't the PC police really active today on this thread??? You people are a pathetic joke !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wonder how long this response will last?

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

Flashing gang signs, how very classy.

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bootlegger 2 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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bootlegger 2 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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thanksforcoming 2 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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DedicatedAlum 2 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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thanksforcoming 2 years, 6 months ago

Those aren't real gang signs! Get out of Lawrence once in a while. Are we really that ignorant about this goofy picture?!

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bigtoe 2 years, 6 months ago

I will never attend a college sporting event where the athletes on the team throw gang signs in their group photo. Unbelievable!

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thanksforcoming 2 years, 6 months ago

You don't think they took a serious picture first?! C'mon. Have you ever been on a team?

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thanksforcoming 2 years, 6 months ago

Really 71-Hawk?! Since when does a goofy picture have any relationship to how the University is represented and how organized a coach is?! I guess 18-22 year olds have to be serious all the time. I guess playing basketball isn't any fun. What about the skits that the kids do at Late Night?! Those sure aren't representative of the University or the Coach, Men's or Women's. What's the old addage, don't judge a book by it's cover. I'm sure those Division 1 athletes know when to take things seriously or they wouldn't be where they are.

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71_Hawk 2 years, 6 months ago

No change here this year. Nice picture - represents Kansas University very well - really organized coach!

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flux 2 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 6 months ago

Don't expect any miracles here. I'll believe it when I see it. “This year, we have all the talent. We have all the right pieces.”

Okay, then its on you Bonnie to make it happen. No more lack of "talent" excuises.

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firebird27 2 years, 6 months ago

If Henrickson does not make significant progress this year in the Big 12, it's time to get another coach. In women's athletics at KU, it seems the athletic department is willing to put their coaches to the same tests of success as they do for the men's teams. Can you imagine Henrickson surviving with her past record if she was the men's coach?

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dragonwagon2 2 years, 6 months ago

May the force be with you!

Looking forward to the season and really excited to see how it all comes together.

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