Women’s basketball hoping to build off strong finish
- Aug. 15, 2012
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After completing one of the best seasons in Kansas women’s basketball history, the Jayhawks found themselves somewhere they had not been in 12 years — the NCAA tournament.
The Jayhawks went to their third Sweet 16 in team history after beating Nebraska and Delaware before they fell short to the Tennessee Volunteers. The Jayhawks will need their experience from last year to help them exceed what they accomplished one year ago.
“We had a group of freshmen who’ll be sophomores this year and had a very good finish,” head coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “We got some kids to get into the mix that we think can help us.”
One key will be getting senior forward Carolyn Davis back after suffering an ACL injury. Davis averaged 16.9 points last season before she went down with the injury. As much as Davis is needed, so is senior guard Angel Goodrich.
Goodrich is coming off a year when she was a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, an award for the nation’s top point guard, when she led the nation in assists per game with 7.4. Davis and Goodrich will need to be the senior leaders with the tough schedule that is ahead.
Along with Goodrich and Davis, the Jayhawks bring back three others with starter experience in sophomore forward Chelsea Gardner, junior guard CeCe Harper and sophomore guard Natalie Knight.
The Jayhawks will play 21 contests against teams who made the postseason last year, including National Champion Baylor. Six of the remaining Big 12 made the tournament and also newly added West Virginia made it as well. Henrickson credits the conference to make sure they can make a run at the postseason for the second straight year.
“When you start in the postseason, it starts to look like our conference,” Henrickson said. “Your playing the country’s best and that’s what we get every night.”
Henrickson is looking forward to the additions of West Virginia and TCU to the Big 12.
She said if a similarity was to be made, West Virginia reminds her of newly departed Texas A&M. She also said TCU should benefit greatly from being in the Big 12.
The schedule includes some tough road non-conference games versus Creighton, California and Arkansas, all of which made the NCAA Tournament last year. Despite the tough road games, the Jayhawks will have 15 games inside Allen Fieldhouse.
The key to reliving the success of last season will be consistency.
“The consistency that you have to play with and how well you have to play,” Henrickson said. “We have to make strides and improve on what we did last year.”
—Edited by Ryan McCarthy