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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Keegan

America, meet Angel Goodrich

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Bob Cousy. Calvin Murphy. Muggsy Bogues. Spud Webb. And now, introduced to America on Tuesday night, basketball’s latest pint-sized point guard sensation, Angel Goodrich.

Never has such an exciting, fearless, flashy, innovative basketball player played in front of such small crowds in Allen Fieldhouse as Goodrich, Kansas University’s 5-foot-4 junior.

KU’s Angel in the backcourt had the audience she deserved Tuesday, when she treated ESPN2 viewers to her vast array of basketball skills in a 70-64 upset victory against No. 3 Delaware. Goodrich totaled 27 points, four rebounds and six assists.

Next up: second-seeded perennial powerhouse Tennessee at 11 a.m. Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.

She hit three-pointers. She threaded no-look passes to precise targets. She drove to the hoop and fearlessly kissed shots off the glass as if she were a foot taller. She led ESPN.com and ESPN’s SportsCenter. She handled her postgame interview with Holly Rowe as if she had spent as much time on national TV as Katie Couric. She trended on Twitter. Repeat: Angel Goodrich trended on Twitter.

Angel’s killer smile reached all the way from Little Rock, Ark., to her hometown of Tahlequah, Okla., to right here in Lawrence.

Goodrich arrived at Kansas on the shy side and had to endure surgeries to repair a torn ACL on each knee. And look at her now.

On a night two saints (St. Bonaventure and St. John’s) and an Angel played their way into the Sweet 16, it was Goodrich who captured America’s imagination. Repeat: Angel Goodrich trended on Twitter.

“The best player on the floor has been the littlest: Angel Goodrich,” ESPN color commentator Fran Fraschilla said as Goodrich was driving the Jayhawks all the way to Des Moines.

With teammate, close friend and leading scorer Carolyn Davis out for the season because of an ACL surgery, Goodrich knew her team’s best chance at countering Delaware’s 6-5 superstar Elena Delle Donne (34 points, 10 rebounds) rested in her clever hands.

Goodrich’s story echoes that of Purdue’s Robbie Hummel, minus 17 inches. The difference: Her effort did not fall short with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. Another difference: The story has one more year to go.

If Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson can find a way to capitalize on Angel’s wild run — and by that I don’t mean talking incessantly about slip screens, fade screens, back screens, down screens, ball screens, etc. — the ball-handling magician’s days of playing inside a cone of silence should be over. Plenty of time to worry about that. For now, Bonnie and her assistants are busy trying to find a game plan for Tennessee that worked as well as the one for Delaware did.

Oh, and did I mention that Angel Goodrich trended on Twitter?

Comments

Doug Merrill 2 years, 8 months ago

She did great - why is it that so many here spend the time to deride Keegan as a writer instead of discussing content? Are you fans or journalism teachers? The interesting portion of this is as to whether Bonnie has been hamstringing these players with poor game plans and poor use of the bench and would it be possible that a breakout performance not just by Angel but by the whole team be enough to get her to change her approach.

MinnesotaJay 2 years, 8 months ago

"and by that I don’t mean talking incessantly about slip screens, fade screens, back screens, down screens, ball screens, etc. "

Huh? Really could have done with the unnecessary cheap shot. Otherwise, nice recognition of a deserving Angel.

John Randall 2 years, 8 months ago

Or you could have appreciated them – if you were fan enough to know how reticent this Angel in the Backcourt has been through the same kind of career setbacks and comebacks that make Robbie Hummel and others into front page news.

This may be far overdue from Keegan, but LJW circulation numbers dictate that coverage follows the men's team.

irvan moore 2 years, 8 months ago

i flipped over to the game and couldn't believe it, she was something

actorman 2 years, 8 months ago

"Never has such an exciting, fearless, flashy, innovative basketball player played in front of such small crowds in Allen Fieldhouse as Goodrich, Kansas University’s 5-foot-4 junior."

I find that comment pretty funny, considering that I can't remember a single column from Keegan about how brilliant she was until this one. Can anyone else recall otherwise?

TK, perhaps she might have played in front of bigger crowds if you would have made the slightest effort to get the word out about her.

Freedman Moor 2 years, 8 months ago

Do we really need Keegan to hype one player to get everyone to pay attention? Angel has actually had a great season/career at KU. Perhaps she would play to larger crowds if people took the initiative to go to or watch the games and support the players. Not only has KU had a women's basketball team for several DECADES now, the greatest women's player (and one of the greatest players period) played in Allen Fieldhouse. That should be enough.

Ludwig Supraphonic 2 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately. even when Lynette Woodard was playing, women's basketball games were sparsely attended.

Freedman Moor 2 years, 8 months ago

I purposely omitted the name of the player to whom I was referring. I appreciate the fact that you know who I was talking about. Man, you're a true Jayhawker!

like_n_Lawrence 2 years, 8 months ago

Agree, actually could have done without Keegan doing this article. Can LJWorld please put someone that doesn't take cheap shots at our Jayhawks write the articles. Isn't there someone in that Sports department that feels this is wrong? If he wrote a poor article like these about the men, the whole town would be up in arms. Well we're are you now? FIRE KEEGAN! Keegan, you should be ashamed of yourself. KU WOMEN ARE IN THE SWEET SIXTEEN!!! Choke on that.

bville_hawk 2 years, 8 months ago

I have re-read this article and don't see any bashing of the Jayhawks. I think he does take a little shot at Bonnie and the answers she gives at interview sessions. I've never been to or read a Bonnie press conference so I can't judge if his shot was appropriate or not. I'm guessing it's pretty accurate.

So, lighten up. It was a good article about a great KU player on a great run.

MinnesotaJay 2 years, 8 months ago

Accurate? He said 'incessant,'which means 'unending,' implying it seemed so to him. Appropriate? No. His comment is an unnecessary cheap shot at the coach, and has no place in this piece.

jhox 2 years, 8 months ago

Angel was pretty awesome last night. I'm glad she's finally healthy and getting to show the world what she's capable of. It's just too bad that Carolyn Davis had to go down with an injury this season. It would have been great to see the two of them playing together in this tournament.

People have been very critical of our coach, but if you look at it objectively, she's been the victim of some very tough luck. She recruits Angel, one of the best high school point guards in the country, then she ends up with 2 ACL injuries. Finally, this year, the pieces seem to be in place, and Davis goes down with an injury. In an average conference, maybe you can cover for losses like those, but the Big 12 is not an average women's conference.

I'm as guilty as anyone for not supporting the women's team. I'll admit, I am not a big fan of women's basketball. For me, it is tough to watch the athleticism and size of men's teams, and then watch women's teams. It's not that I don't respect the work they put in, or the skills some of these women have. It's just difficult to turn it back a notch and watch women, when you watch our high flying men's team. But I did watch much of the game last night, and I was very impressed with Angel. She has a very high basketball IQ, as do many women players. In fact, I think in that part of the game women may be ahead of most men. Too many male players rely on their athleticism, and never really learn the game.

In any event, congratulations to the KU women's team. Keep the run alive, ladies.

DaNeille Davis 2 years, 8 months ago

Angel was a stud last night! Keep up the good work. Glad to see everyone talking about KU women! Good luck against the Vols. Do what you did last night and you can make it to the elite 8! Coach did a great job changing up the defense. Rock chalk!

Displayhawk 2 years, 8 months ago

Excellent job Ladies, and in particular to Angel! But also to Bonnie and her coaching staff. Great game plan, and from what I saw last night, great recruiting! We played a lot of young players, and they all look talented, so the future indeed looks bright. Best of luck in Des Moines! RCJH!

phogthedog 2 years, 8 months ago

Ten hours later and I am still on a high about this win. I love the press for Angel and Aishah. But what about the freshman who contributed? This was outstanding coaching with a team cobbled together over the last month. So proud of this team!!!!!!! On to Des Moines!

tanaumaga 2 years, 8 months ago

On to Des Moines, and then back to Kansas. Go Lady Vols.

VaJay 2 years, 8 months ago

Hey - we've got men's & women's teams in the sweet sixteen. How are them "manly" vols doing. Oh sorry...

tanaumaga 2 years, 8 months ago

Oh sorry, I was talking about women's basketball. My bad.

Ludwig Supraphonic 2 years, 8 months ago

Hopefully, you don't have to go through Middle Tennessee.

Mike Kendall 2 years, 8 months ago

Angel was awesome last night and Fran Fanchilla (sp) and Holly Rowe were giving out the love to the "Lady Jayhawks." Don't think for one minute that there were some high school senior girls watching this game on ESPN 2. One would think that it would slightly help the recruiting for HC Bonnie Henrickson.
I would love to see the Lady Jayhawks compete with the Lady Vols on Saturday. Unfortunately, I have to work during this game but my thoughts are with you Ladies. Jayhawk Nation is proud of you! Rock Chalk!

ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 8 months ago

Attention Keegan and Poster. Step away from the kool aid and come out with your hands up. We have you surrounded.

Phoghorn 2 years, 8 months ago

No Kool-aid here, but I am enjoying the season! Just grab a beer, sit back, and enjoy the game! Rock Chalk!

ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years, 8 months ago

Lol! No, it's kind of cool and I admit I watched some of the game. I'm just putting a warning out so people won't be jumping out of windows after we meet Tenn.

Phoghorn 2 years, 8 months ago

I will save that until next year if our FB team loses in Norman. Even then it will only be if it is a first floor window, and I have the entire KU Cheerleading Squad to catch me.

AFAN 2 years, 8 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS LAIDES!! Team defense and pushing the ball is what got you to the sweet sixteen and that is what will get you to the elite 8. Keep playing hard nose defense. You can do it!!

oldnongrad 2 years, 8 months ago

Great article, Tom. Almost as great as Angel played last night. I tuned into that game with the score 17 - 16 because I wanted to see Delle Donne because ESPN had been bragging her up. She was worth watching but Angel was just a bit more because of the difference in size. I loved her no look passes and the fact that her targets could shoot the 3 ball so well.

The steal and drive with just under 4 minutes to go was really exhilarating and I could see either of our guards off the mens team sprinting to the other end and although knowing she couldn't dunk it like both of them always did I came out of my chair to see those short legs going so fast.

I would watch more women's games if they were all played like that one was. I think that those young ladies did what Coach Henrickson drew up better than Bill's men often do. The way they attacked the zone after a timeout convinced me that she speaks good and they listen just as good. Very impressive team and short their star, too.

I will sure be on hand Saturday morning to see them play again because of how well they executed Henrickson's defensive plans last night. The ESPN people will sure make some noise about Angel before the game starts. I do hope that Fraschilla works that game. He always knows about the players from either team, no matter who they are, and he will surely know about the Jayhawk team from last night. He does his job so well that I can't believe it.

WhoSaidThat 2 years, 8 months ago

I've watched her since she became a Jayhawk. She has always been explosive! In her early years I was like, why isn't she finishing her shot instead of passing out?Now she has the perfect mix of pass and shoot. She is and has been the backbone of this team since Danielle McCray.

jhawkrulz 2 years, 8 months ago

The game was great. I turned it on after work and it was like 16-14 KU and was like this could be good.

They started to fade and I thought..oh no...but KU rallied back to get within 3, that late 3 by Delaware made me think...wow a 6 point deficit just like the men's team (only 37-31 instead of 36-30), that is workable.

The difference was KU came out in the second half and really didn't look back. The only think that makes me nervous was their FT shooting. I swear that they had a 11 point lead and it shrank to 6 because they couldn't hit a FT. This especially hurt because they were the front-end of 1 and 1s. All I have to say is against UT, they really need to hit those FTs. UT is a lot more balanced.

Good Game Lady Jayhawks and good luck on Saturday.

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