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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bonnie stays busy as camp closes

More KU camps, off-campus recruiting loom

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Bonnie Henrickson concluded her Individual Camp on Wednesday, but her busy summer continues as the Kansas University women's basketball coach looks to improve on last year's disappointing season.

KU will conduct two more camps, Jayhawk Team Jamboree (June 30) and Junior Jayhawk Camp (July 16 to 19). July also will feature two 10-day windows for off-campus recruiting. NCAA regulations permit coaching staffs to observe recruits at tournaments but not contact prospects in person or by phone call or text message.

On Aug. 4 KU will travel to Australia and practice eight times and play four games against club teams, an excursion that should bond the team and expose it to strong competition.

"The trip to Australia will be really good for us," Henrickson said. "Plus it's a fantastic educational experience."

Henrickson hopes that experience provides an early boost as KU attempts to bounce back from its 11-20 record, the worst under her reign. She has not dwelled on last season, however, instead pointing out how the Jayhawks finished the season by going 5-4.

"You don't want to let 'em beat themselves up about the record, but also it can be a source of a motivation," Henrickson said. "Our record obviously wasn't good, but we were better than our record."

The Jayhawks' inefficiency in the post served as a major reason for their poor season. Taylor McIntosh led the team with a paltry 6 rebounds per game, and opponents outrebounded KU by 2.4 boards per game. Kansas also struggled to score easy interior baskets, shooting only 39 percent overall.

Henrickson said Krysten Boogaard, a 6-foot-5 freshman from Regina, Saskatchewan, should help down low and receive major playing time from the get-go like Kelly Kohn, Danielle McCray, Sade Morris and Porscha Weddington did as freshmen last year.

"I've played young kids, and that's well-documented," she said. "(Boogaard)'s truly committed to being a great player."

Boogaard did not attend this week's camp but continues to develop her game on the 21-and-under Canadian national team.

Henrickson spent the last few days developing the skills of young basketball players during her camp. On Tuesday she lectured the approximately 200 campers, who ranged from fifth grade to high school, and answered questions for 30 minutes. Henrickson's topics centered around being a good person, a good student and a hard worker.

The coach and her players provided instruction and encouragement throughout her individual camp.

"This one's a little bit more low key in that we get more time to get to do more fundamental work," Henrickson said. "And then the little ones are just adorable. That's always fun."

¢Feickert on the mend: Sophomore Rebecca Feickert sported a black cast, which extended from her thumb to her elbow, throughout the camp.

During a late February basketball practice, she took a charge and fell on her right wrist and tore a ligament. After undergoing wrist surgery June 5, Feickert does not know when she will resume playing but said the cast would come off at the beginning of August.

"Every person rehabs differently," she said.

Feickert, who averaged three points while playing in eight games last year, has concentrated on dribbling and shooting with her left hand. Associate director of strength and conditioning Andrea Hudy has modified Feickert's exercise routine to include light dumbbell work, leg machines and running.

"It's a bad thing because I'm not able to use my right hand," Feickert said. "But in some respects it's a good because it forces me to work on my left hand and strengthen parts of my game, which may be weaker."

One downside is that while the six-foot-two Feickert possesses a strong shooting touch she lacks the muscle to bang down low. The injury prevents her from performing any Olympic lifts like squats.

"Her biggest challenge is she's got to get stronger," Henrickson said. "She's got to be able to play with some contact."

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