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Saturday, November 11, 2006

New KU to take court

Freshmen provide fresh look for debut

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Roles were clearly defined on last season's Kansas University women's basketball team.

"We stood around a lot and waited for Erica (Hallman) to make a play, or we just gave it to Crystal (Kemp) in the paint," KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "That won't happen this year. They don't care who gets the credit."

The new-look Jayhawks will open the regular season today against Seton Hall in the WBCA Classic.

Tipoff will be at 2 p.m. in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. Metro Sports (Sunflower Broadband channel 37) will show the first half live, then switch to the Army-Missouri men's game.

Henrickson used eight players for 16 minutes or more in last week's six-point victory over Washburn, and half were freshmen - LaChelda Jacobs, Danielle McCray, Sade Morris and Kelly Kohn.

"I'm not trying to jerk anyone around, but it's competitive," Henrickson said. "Just working hard is not enough. Everyone works hard. You're going to start because you've been able to produce and be consistent."

Morris is the only freshman who started in the exhibition games.

"If I start or not, regardless, when it's my time to go out, I'm going to give 110 percent," said Morris, a Norman, Okla., native.

Meanwhile, McCray has come off the bench to average 13.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.

"We like to utilize her strength in the paint," Henrickson said of McCray. "She missed a few layups against Washburn. But she will make those layups. Defensively, she was fantastic in the second half."

McCray's defensive intensity spread. Washburn went scoreless for nearly six straight minutes in the second half.

"We didn't come out with intensity," Morris said of KU's first-half performance. "We have to learn to keep it for 40 minutes. I think it will come as we get into the season."

The Jayhawks also bounced back on offense. They shot 32 percent from the field in the first half, but 56 percent in the second.

"What helped is that we got opportunities in transition," Henrickson said. "We passed a lot better, and our press was effective. Even though they weren't pressing, our halfcourt offense was much better."

Seton Hall finished last season 6-21, second-to-last in the Big East Conference. The Jayhawks will look to key on Pirates senior forward Monique Blake. She nearly averaged a double-double last season, tallying 11 points and nine rebounds per game.

As for freshman jitters, Morris said that wasn't too much of a factor.

"Not yet at least," Morris said. "I might get nervous as it gets closer, but right now, I'm not nervous at all."

Missouri State and Iowa are paired in the other WBCA Classic contest at 4:30 p.m. Today's winners will meet at 4:30 p.m. Sunday for the championship. The losers will tangle in a consolation game at 2 p.m.

KU's home opener will be Thursday against UMKC.

Comments

Joe Ross 13 years, 2 months ago

Hey all! Get over to driveshow.com and vote for the KU analysts. K-State has been whipping on us for weeks!!! It'll only take a hundred votes or so to win this week so take 10 seconds and click over to cast a vote for the HAWKS!!!!

http://www.thedriveshow.com/polls/2006/nov/

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