Friday, December 16, 2011

Shoot-first, injury-free Angel Goodrich does it all for KU women

Kansas’ Angel Goodrich (3) hits a pull-up jumper over defender Drew Roberts during Kansas’ final exhibition game against Pittsburg State Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks, who won 68-43, open the season at home against Western Michigan on Nov. 13.

Kansas’ Angel Goodrich (3) hits a pull-up jumper over defender Drew Roberts during Kansas’ final exhibition game against Pittsburg State Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks, who won 68-43, open the season at home against Western Michigan on Nov. 13.


The Iowa State Cyclones were barely guarding her.

It was March 1, 2011, and whenever Kansas guard Angel Goodrich had the ball on the perimeter, her defender was a few feet away, just daring her to take a three-point shot.

Goodrich calls it one of the most embarrassing games in her basketball career. She’s only reviewed the film of the game once.

“I don’t even have to watch it,” Goodrich said, “because I can just remember every moment.”

ISU was able to guard Goodrich easily. Because of the sagging defense, Goodrich had nowhere to drive in the congested lane.

Not only did the Cyclones win, 72-36, but they also held Goodrich to 2-for-12 shooting overall and 0-for-3 three-point shooting.

Iowa State also limited KU forward Carolyn Davis to six points, essentially double-teaming the Jayhawks’ best player with Goodrich’s defender.

“I was so disappointed in myself, because that’s the one thing you need to be able to do is knock down an open shot, because obviously, I was open,” Goodrich said. “Just seeing that, I was like, ‘Wow. If I don’t do this, if I don’t change something, then this isn’t going to change.’”

The memory of that game, Goodrich says, helped motivate her in the offseason; she made just 28 percent of her three-pointers last year (19 of 67).

Goodrich — along with each of her teammates — hoisted up 20,000 shots on their own in the summer. The 5-foot-4 junior estimates about half of her shots were three-pointers.

“I always thought, ‘Pass first,’” Goodrich said. “We just needed to change my mind-set, as far as ‘shooting first.’”

The extra work has led to significant improvement this season.

Goodrich has made 39 percent of her three-pointers this year (9 of 23), which ranks 11th in the Big 12.

“She feels like people come up and guard her more, which means she’s shot the ball better,” KU coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “That’s what I said (in the offseason), ‘We’ve got to get people to guard you, and the only way they’re going to guard you — respectfully guard you, really try to guard you — is if we get you to make more shots.’ And that’s changed sometimes what it looks like in the lane for everybody else.”

Outside shooting isn’t the only area where Goodrich has excelled.

Henrickson said the guard is KU’s leader on both ends of the floor, as she’s the team’s best on-ball defender, communicator and decision-maker.

That’s been backed up in the statistics. Goodrich is second nationally in assists per game (7.8) and seventh nationally in steals per game (4.2).

Part of the reason for her success also has been the fact that she’s stayed healthy.

When talking with a teammate a few days ago, Goodrich realized that she had yet to play a full season at KU without missing games because of some ailment or another.

While at KU, the point guard has torn her ACL in both knees, with both requiring surgery and rehab.

Goodrich said she is pain-free now. The only time her knees bother her at all is during a quick temperature change. When that happens, the screws in her knees expand and contract, which sends an ache from the outside of her knee to the inside.

The screw in her right knee is actually visible under the skin — a small bump on the side of her knee.

“Just going through that has made me who I am now,” Goodrich said. “I feel like I’ve accomplished so much, in just getting through the adversity I went through.”


MinnesotaJay 10 years, 6 months ago

Angel, you've earned the recognition. Hat's off to you!

big12ku 10 years, 6 months ago

You're an awesome young lady, Angel. It's good to hear that you're healthy now. It takes someone with the heart of a champion to come back from the injuries you suffered in past seasons. My hats off to you.

big12ku 10 years, 6 months ago

On another note, I just saw an article with Keena Mays still listed on the KU roster. Did she transfer or not? If she is still here maybe that would explain the rumor that Keena leaving KU has more to do with HCBH than "wanting to be closer to home" as reported in the press and that HCBH is not cooperating with the transfer - making it extremely difficult for the kid to get situated elsewhere. Tom Keegan why don't you put your investigative skills to work. I think you will find some interesting things about the way ole Bonnie Henrickson does business that could be construed as ethical violations which are grounds for the school to take another look at her contract.

Could be a WIN WIN for everyone involved - well except for Bonnie.

Code_2008 10 years, 6 months ago

She's leaving at the end of the semester. So I assume she'll transfer after the last few games of December.

TheGiftedOne 10 years, 6 months ago

Angel is the motor for this team truly its most valuable player. Carolyn puts up the numbers but she needs Angel to control the pace and get her the ball to be effective. I still have questions about her size when we get to Big XII play but she should be good enough this year to finish in the top half. Regarding Keena, she is gone and it devastating for the program. This team could of made some serious noise with her in the lineup. Just a shame. Can you imagine Elijah just transferring next week?

wakeupcall 10 years, 6 months ago

Angel - She has really worked on her game in the offseason and looks great so far. Every good team needs a solid floor general. I hope that she stays healthy and remains a productive piece of this program.

Keena - Fact: She is no longer on the team and has returned to Texas. Fact: Coach Bonnie did deny her transfer request. Here's the thing though - Regardless of her reasons for leaving KU if Keena no longer wanted to be on the team then why not just wish her well (sign the necessary paperwork), let her go and focus on the ones remaining in the program?

What happened to the coaches that cared about being mentors for our youth and made decisions based on the best interest of the child? Coaches abusing their power is running rampant in college sports. We are The University of Kansas and are supposed to be above these type of tactics.

Oh well, Keena wish you would've stayed. You were exciting to watch and will truly be missed.

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