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Thursday, February 28, 2008

KU women tumble, coach grumbles

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Longhorns sneak by Kansas

The KU women's basketball team fell to the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

Another Kansas University women's basketball game, another Get Well card.

Five days ago, KU played nurse to Missouri's 10-game losing streak. On Wednesday night, the Jayhawks were just what the doctor ordered for Texas's 10-game Big 12 Conference road skid.

The Longhorns wiped out a nine-point second-half deficit and salvaged a 57-53 victory in Allen Fieldhouse that essentially ruined any hopes the Jayhawks had of earning a postseason tournament bid.

"It just doesn't make sense to me," a visibly frustrated KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "We just keep making the same mistakes. The same bonehead plays. I don't understand."

Eighteen turnovers certainly didn't help, although that's two fewer than the Jayhawks have been averaging per game. And Texas had 18 giveaways, too. But :

"Both teams had 18 turnovers," Henrickson said, "and they turn theirs into more points that we do."

Texas was credited with 21 points off turnovers, while Kansas counted just 11. In part that was because seven of the Longhorns' turnovers were offensive fouls.

As ticked as she was about the 18 gifts, Henrickson was also particularly peeved by the passive performance of 6-foot-5 freshman Krysten Boogaard.

"We get nothing in our low-post game," Henrickson said. "No presence, no box out, no nothing."

Boogaard played 27 minutes and scored 10 points, but she retrieved just four missed shots. Worse, according to Henrickson, Boogaard had just one offensive rebound.

"She doesn't have enough focus to block out," the KU coach said. "She's 6-5 and she gets one offensive rebound. She watches the shot, then she walks to the rim."

Boogaard didn't bear the entire brunt of Bonnie's barbs, though. Henrickson had unkind words for just about every player whose name came up in her postgame debriefing.

On paper, for instance, Danielle McCray kept the Jayhawks in the game with team highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds. Yet Henrickson didn't hide her disappointment about McCray botching of a designed play in the waning seconds.

Texas had taken a 55-53 lead on a pair of free throws by Brittainey Raven with :26.9 on the clock. During a timeout between Raven's charities, Henrickson had drawn up a play that would set a screen allowing McCray to drive the lane and pull up for a short jumper.

"It was an easy read," Henrickson said. "Drive the lane, pull up, tie the game."

Instead McCray drove all the way to the basket, toppled over UT's Earnesia Williams and was whistled for an offensive foul with about 13 seconds left.

"I told her, 'They're not going to let you drive the lane. They'll be waiting for you,'" Henrickson said.

Moments later, Erneisha Bailey's two free throws added salt to the Jayhawks' wounds.

In retrospect, McCray conceded she had erred.

"When I got in the lane," the 5-foot-11 sophomore said, "I saw (Ashley) Lindsey, but I didn't see anyone else, so I drove around her, and I fell on someone (Williams). I should have pulled up. It's something I'll learn from."

Failure to learn from mistakes, however, is why Henrickson was venting in the wake of the Jayhawks' third straight defeat.

"We just come out and turn it over," she said. "It's the same thing. We make a bonehead pass, then we travel. Then Ivana (Catic) picks up a dribble in the corner. A junior point guard can't do that."

Now 15-12 overall and 4-10 in the Big 12, the Jayhawks have at least three games remaining. They'll go to Iowa State on Saturday, entertain Kansas State on Wednesday, then are assured of one game in the Big 12 tournament.

In reality, though, the Jayhawks' postseason hopes have all but disappeared.

Or as Henrickson said: "We're trying to do something special, and we ain't doing anything special."

Comments

Layne Pierce 9 years, 9 months ago

This team in some aspects is actually overachieving, because the players we have just don't measure up to the Big 12 standard. McCray and Boogard on a good night, are Average, occasionally Morris, but the rest of our team, pretty much are below. I think the kids coming in next year are C or better.

Next year I think we barely get to the post season. The only othe answer is get a great Juco player who can play right away, but that is not part of our long term plan.

Stick in there, Bonnie.

FlaHawk 9 years, 9 months ago

Nebhawk77,

I agree with your concensus on the talent on this team. Coach Bonnie needs to clear scholarships as other than McCray and Boogard the cupboard is bare.

My only complaint is that Coach Bonnie recruited these players and is their coach. Something is seriously wrong with this picture. The team has NOT improved in the last three years and is potentially two years away from NCAAs or upper division in Big XII (hope next year).

Five years is along rope to give someone for meager results.

sevenyearhawk 9 years, 9 months ago

calling out Rush worked for Self ...

but this IS a very bad sign, Coach Bonnie will get another year - maybe two, maybe ...

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