Okklahoma City After not playing for the sixth time in eight games in Friday night’s season finale, a 79-75 loss to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 women’s basketball tournament, Kansas sophomore guard McKenzie Calvert discussed with two reporters a Dec. 9 incident that led to KU men’s player Josh Jackson being charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to her car.
“I was kind of shocked that I got suspended and he didn’t get anything, but that’s coach Self’s decision,” Calvert said.
By not getting “anything,” Calvert meant that Jackson was not suspended. Kansas men’s coach Bill Self said that his punishment of Jackson was handled in-house and would not be made public.
Calvert said she initially was suspended for the Rhode Island game Dec. 11, but then received a phone call informing her that she would not be suspended for the game. She opted not to play in that game and then averaged 22.9 minutes in the next 11 games.
Her production dropped off severely once Big 12 play arrived, and enventually her playing time dwindled and then more often than not vanished.
Asked if she thinks she has been treated fairly this school year, Calvert said, “No, I don’t.”
Asked to identify whom she thought had treated her unfairly, she couldn’t name anybody.
“I don’t know, because a lot of things, a lot of people, come into play with these types of things, punishments and stuff, so I can’t say, but I don’t feel I’ve been treated fairly at times,” Calvert said.
Has coach Brandon Schneider treated her fairly?
“I don’t really think coach Brandon had much say in a lot of things that happened with me,” Calvert said. “I feel like it was a lot of upper people because I know coach Brandon. He wants to win. He recruited me to come here to play for him, so I can’t imagine him not wanting me to play.”
She did not cite any specific instances of anything she thought had come from above Schneider.
“Just 'cause he has a boss,” Calvert said. “Everybody has a boss.”
Schneider has detailed the reasons that go into his playing decisions and has done so in a way that he makes it clear nobody influences those decisions.
In non-conference play, Calvert shot .355 from the field, .298 from 3-point territory and .679 from the free-throw line.
In Big 12 play, she shot .232 from the field, .155 from 3-point distance and .375 from the line.
“Some of the reasons why I’m not playing that have been stated don’t make sense,” Calvert said. “Chemistry on my team is fine. We’re close. In practice I go hard, do what he tells me to do. I don’t see what the issue is. I’m not making that many shots but as a unit we’re not making that many shots.”
Calvert said she has no plans to transfer again. Why not?
“Because I love my team and I just have a good feeling,” she said. “I’m going to go in the gym and I’m going to work on everything he gives me, take everything he says and I’m going to do the best I can in the summer to show him I’m here to play for him and for KU to get on the court and win with my team.”
Calvert said an attorney made a phone call on behalf of Jackson to her attorney in February and relayed that he had agreed to pay for the damage. Jackson issued a public apology through a third party to the Journal-World and a promise to pay for the damage.
“But the incident happened in December,” Calvert said. “(The offer to pay for damages) was close to when the DA was ready to make a decision, so it wasn’t like he was trying to pay for it right when it happened. Because if that was the case, none of this would have happened. I’m not the type of person that wants to be in the media. I want to be in the media for scoring 30, for winning a national championship. If that would have happened as soon as the damage happened, we wouldn’t be here right now.”
Calvert said that the night of the incident, she threw a drink in the face of KU men's basketball player Lagerald Vick.
"He knows (why)," Calvert said. "People there know. As you see, he didn't retaliate."
Calvert had been in a relationship with Vick, but declined to say whether she still is.
"I can't comment on that," she said. "I can't comment on that."
Calvert remained calm throughout the post-game interview, losing her composure only when she spotted a rat in the corner of the locker room.
"A what?" a nearby teammate said.
"A rat," Calvert said. "A rat. R-A-T. Rat."
Calvert continued to talk about her frustrating season without taking her eyes off the hole into which the rat escaped.