Carolyn Davis Bursts On To The Scene
Jan. 17, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. –
As the starting lineups were announced, the Jayhawk faithful saw not just one change in the lineup, but two, as senior guard LaChelda Jacobs and freshman forward Carolyn Davis each made their first starts of the season.
With the opportunity, Davis made the most out of her first career start. The Houston, Texas native provided a spark down low both in the scoring and rebounding category with 13 points and six rebounds for the Kansas team that got its first win in conference play. The Jayhawks grabbed a 72-59 win over Missouri to move to 11-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12.
In her first career start, Davis was one of three Jayhawks in double figures for the game, a list that also included senior guard-forward Danielle McCray [26 points] and senior guard Sade Morris [15 points].
“I knew it was a big thing for me to start and Missouri is a tough team,” Davis said. “It was easier for me to play knowing that my coaches had faith in me to start the game and I came out strong, so that also helped me with my confidence.
Davis had played in 11 games this year and averaged 6.2 minutes per game before today’s matchup. In today’s Border Showdown matchup, Davis saw 28 minutes of action. Down the stretch, when a big body was needed down low, Davis provided that big body for the Jayhawks.
The aggressive nature that the coaches were looking for showed in Davis’ start.
“I’ve never been a really aggressive player and obviously you need to be aggressive to play in the Big 12, so that was a big thing I needed to work on,” Davis said. “My mindset going into practice and into the game was to be more aggressive and go at people and it is really opposite of my personality.”
Davis said it was hard to tap into that side since she is a soft, nice person, but it is starting to become more natural as she continues to do it every day in practice.
Part of that aggressiveness can be contributed to teammate, junior center Krysten Boogaard.
“It is really good having her,” Davis said. “She is a junior and she is a big, strong player so she has helped me to become stronger because I have to be strong to go against her.”
Davis, a 6-foot-3 forward, started in place of Boogaard. Henrickson said that between the two, it is great competition.
“If both of those two kids raise their level of play and they both play really well, then we are a better basketball team just because of that,” Henrickson said.
In the first half alone, Davis reached career highs in minutes, points, and rebounds. Cruising to a 46-18 lead at halftime, Davis added 11 points in her 16 minutes of play, along with McCray shooting lights out with 20 points. Davis’ previous career-high was six points, which she had reached three times this season. She also tallied four rebounds in the first half, which tied her career-high of four rebounds.
The true freshman got involved early in the game and within the first five minutes of the game, she had already contributed five points and two rebounds to get the Jayhawks off to a 9-4 lead out of the gates.
Henrickson said that a month ago Davis was not prepared to step in and play this many minutes, but her productivity in practice lately has improved significantly.
“I have never had a kid from the first day of practice to now, improve as much as she has improved,” said Henrickson. “It is about producing and it is about competing every day I thought it was big for her to come in and play with that much confidence right away. I thought her teammates also showed confidence in her to throw her a couple of balls.”
Up next for the Jayhawks will be the Iowa State Cyclones on the road in Ames, Iowa on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m.