Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ailing Morris eager to return for KU women


Basketball players suffer concussions about as often as desperation shots go through the net.

Sade Morris certainly hadn’t had one before.

“Oh, no, never,” the Kansas University junior said. “This has been a whole different journey for me.”

And, obviously, not a painless one.

Morris had to be helped off the floor during the Texas Tech game a week ago Saturday after she bounced off one Red Raider and struck the side of her head against the shoulder of another.

She wasn’t knocked out, but the blow caused a severe headache.

“I could feel my heart beat in my head,” Morris said, “and it never went away.”

Not until Thursday was she even able to attend classes.

“That wasn’t too bad,” the Norman, Okla., product said, “because I started to feel better.”

Yet the headache, while less severe, persists, and that’s why she wasn’t allowed to participate in Saturday’s 59-50 loss to Kansas State.

“Missing that game today really killed me,” she said. “I am so ready to be back.”

And, naturally, KU coach Bonnie Henrickson is ready, too.

“She looks better. Her eyes are better,” Henrickson said. “But she still has a bit of a headache.”

With a week off until the next game Saturday at Texas A&M;, Morris and Henrickson are keeping their fingers crossed that her head will clear and she’ll be given the OK to return.

“We need her back,” the KU coach said.

lNotes: Of the announced crowd of 5,021, perhaps as many as half were K-State boosters. … It was KU’s second-largest home crowd of the season, trailing the Nov. 18 game against Iowa (5,186) which, coincidentally, also had an 11 a.m. tipoff. …Prior to the game, there was a moment of silence for Kay Yow, the North Carolina State coach who died of breast cancer earlier in the day. “I never knew anyone who didn’t like Kay Yow,” Henrickson said, “and that’s rare in this business.”

— Sports writer Chuck Woodling can be reached at 832-6348.