Live Chat With Bonnie Henrickson


Bonnie Henrickson Chat Transcript

Coach Henrickson stopped by to answer your questions.

Women’s basketball head coach Bonnie Henrickson is already making waves midway through her first season on the Jayhawk sidelines. After seven successful seasons at Virginia Tech where she built the Hokies into a top-25 program, Henrickson is intent on building Kansas into a national contender as well. In her first few months, she’s already signed a top-25 recruiting class and other Big 12 coaches are already taking notice of the transformation in Lawrence.

Coach Henrickson stopped by and answered your questions on Thursday, Jan. 27. Check out what Coach Henrickson had to say.

Moderator: Hello everyone and welcome to our live chat with Kansas women’s head basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson. Coach Henrickson will now take your questions.
Al; Brainerd, Minnesota: Taylor McIntosh has performed very well for a freshman. Jamie Boyd has been kind of up and down, from what I have seen. What sort of roles do you see for them on next year’s team when there is a full roster?
Bonnie Henrickson: “It’s hard for me to talk about their roles for next year since we are not done recruiting. They both have skills to improve on, but that is true for the whole team. Taylor’s athleticism has helped her with rebounding and in her ability to defend. Jamie is farther ahead offensively with her shot mechanics, but Taylor can get some shots off that Jamie can’t. They are both very different.”
Patty (Blacksburg): How would you compare the level of play in the Big 12 to the Big East?
Bonnie Henrickson: “The Big East has a very strong group of teams at the top like Connecticut, Rutgers, Villanova, and Notre Dame. Six of the toughest 15 places to play women’s basketball are in the Big 12, so that really makes the road games difficult. The environments that you play in are much different. Both leagues have some of the best coaching in the country.”

Flicker — Lino Lakes, MN: Hey Bonnie, Just a quick message to say “Hi” and congrats on your fantastic coaching career. I have follow your teams via the Internet over the past years and am proud to say we were team mates. My question – with 3 daughters of my own who all love and play basketball – What do you look for in a student athlete when your recruiting. Second, when do you do most of your recruiting. During the AAU season or the High School season?

Best of luck to you and your team this year.

Janice Flicker-Waytashek

Bonnie Henrickson: “We see the most players in the July evaluation period. We literally see thousands of kids in 14 days. Last week I was out recruiting three times because we had a bye week. We don’t go to high school games to see if a kid can play, we’ve already seen that player play. You have to do a lot of homework on your student-athletes to make sure that they will make good decisions. The post player that we signed, Jen Orgas, is a blue collar type player. She has an unbelievable work ethic and we really feel like she has a tremendous upside. She has good athleticism and is committed to getting better.”
Barb Chiles -Aledo,IL: Coach–You have coaching experience in several conferences including the Big Ten (assistant) and the Big East (head coach)–how does the Big 12 compare to those conferences? What’s your overall impression of Big 12 women’s basketball?Best of luck the rest of the season.
Bonnie Henrickson: “Texas was picked early on to win it and they are a very good team, but there are a lot of great teams in the Big 12. It is tough to win consistently in the Big 12. Baylor, Texas, Kansas State and Texas Tech are all having terrific seasons. Any of those groups could make it to the Final Four. That is how good this league is and how deep the league is, top to bottom.”
Kristen (Lawrence): I was curious about the new recruiting class you signed and how you think they will compliment the current team
Bonnie Henrickson: “We are really excited about the new class. We signed two point guards. One is a junior college transfer, Shaquina Mosley. She has a tremendous ability to deliver a pass and she has been coached well and played for a winning team. She can set up players with easy lay-ups and she should be huge asset to the team. Next we have Ivana Catic from Serbia. She is a dynamic kid and a great passer with a great basketball IQ. She is an unbelievable competitor. The highest-rated recruit we have is Sophronia Sallard from Syracuse, New York. She is a very explosive player who passes the ball well, but can still challenge one-on-one with her good mid-range and outside shooting ability.The post player that we signed, Jen Orgas, is a blue collar type player. She has an unbelievable work ethic and we really feel like she has a tremendous upside. She has good athleticism and is committed to getting better.”
Bill and Brittany–Vinton, Va: Back here in Blacksburg, we certainly appreciate the talent you left us at Va. Tech. We hope the KU fans will be patient as you get the program there turned around. Our question is what is the most pleasant surprise you have had and what has been your biggest disappointment so far?We are all pulling for you back east Coach!
Bonnie Henrickson: “The pleasant surprise is the basketball IQ here in the community, how much people appreciate and respect the game. We really get a sense of commitment to grow with us into what we are trying to do. The love for the sport is great here. The biggest disappointments have been the losses.”
Michelle, Lawrence: What is it like playing in Allen Fieldhouse?
Bonnie Henrickson: ” It is fantastic. All the history and tradition is wonderful. You can’t walk down the hallways and not stop and read about all the great players that have played here. I joke with our fans all the time, as much as our facility is wonderful, it is the people that work here that make the facility what it is.”
Hank (Wichita): Congrats on the win over Missouri. How was your first Border Showdown experience. Did your team put any extra emphasis on that game?
Bonnie Henrickson: “We didn’t put any extra emphasis on the game. As a fan I think it is fantastic to get caught up in the whole rivalry and that is very positive. But our end of it you can’t get caught up in one game more than another or the season starts to become a roller coaster. Our preparation for Missouri was not any different than it was for Washburn. The next game of our schedule is always the biggest game of the season.”
Helen (Overland Park): What have the contributions of Aquanita Burras and the other senior meant to the team?
Bonnie Henrickson: “Aquanita and Blair have been fantastic. Aquanita has been a great defender for us this year. Her work ethic and her competitiveness and her willingness to do whatever we need have been tremendous. Blair is the same way. Even if she goes through stretches where her minutes are not that great she still gives it her all when she gets in and at practice. Unfortunately, that is uncommon in athletics so we take our hats off to her for always being ready.”
Ginger – Topeka: I have followed Crystal Kemp for quite some time now and I think it is great to have a hometown player make it big at Kansas. How do you think Crystal Kemp compares to other inside players around the Big 12?
Bonnie Henrickson: “On most nights she holds her own. The more consistent she is the higher you would rank her in the league. She is learning to be harder to guard. I think if she develops more inside moves she will become a more dominant player. We want her to be a good face-up post player, a complete player. She has made great progress in her conditioning and work ethic, but I think that there is room for more growth and improvement. We think that she can be better and that is a challenge she has taken on.”
Kyle (Lawrence): Do you have any sort of timetable for when you would like your team to be in the NCAA Tournament, and competing for Big 12 Championships?
Bonnie Henrickson: “I think the biggest indicator will be recruiting. We are excited about these kids that we have brought in. As quickly as we can bring in the talent it takes to compete at that level, we will do so. As we continue to make the players in the program better and coach these kids up as best we can and they remain coachable, and we continue to recruit we will be at that level.”
Juan (Garnett): Was it hard to transition from Virginia Tech to Kansas?
Bonnie Henrickson: “The hardest transistion and something that was gut-wrenching was leaving the kids at Virginia Tech. That is still something that is upsetting at times, because they were just wonderful kids. They are having a great year and there is no one happier than myself that they are doing well.”
Bonnie Henrickson: Thanks for everyone that asked a question today. I look forward to seeing all of you soon at Allen Fieldhouse. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!