Freshmen Duo's Emergence Helps Fill the McCray Void

Feb. 13, 2010

Morris | C. Davis | Engelman


When Danielle McCray went down with a season-ending injury, a huge void was left for Coach Bonnie Henrickson and the Kansas women’s basketball team. Through three games, freshmen Monica Engelman and Carolyn Davis are doing all they can to try and compensate for the loss of McCray.

The Texas duo continued to perform well today against their home-state Texas Longhorns in a disappointing double overtime loss. Davis hails from Houston, while Engelman is a San Antonio native.

“The thing that has been most impressive to me about Monica and Carolyn is how emotionally mature they are,” said Henrickson. “They make mistakes like we all do, but they don’t allow one mistakes to turn into several mistakes.”

Engelman helped keep the Jayhawks close with a sizzling first half performance that saw her shoot 5 of 7 from the field for 14 points. Engelman finished the game with 22 points along with six assists and three rebounds.

The slick shooting guard continued her clutch play with a key three-pointer that helped force overtime for the Jayhawks with just 14 second remaining in regulation.

“Monica’s shot at the end of regulation was huge for us,” said Henrickson. “I wish she and Sade had worked back to LaChelda better on the last play of the game, but that is something we are going to have to learn from and grow from.”

Her freshman counterpart, Carolyn Davis, is evolving into a double-double machine. Including her 29-point and 14 rebound performance today, Davis has had a double-double in each of the three games since McCray’s injury.

“The incredible part about Carolyn’s maturation is how coachable she is,” Henrickson said. “She is always getting better and unlike a lot of players she never falls back on her old habits.”

Engelman may have been the offensive focal point in the first half, but the Jayhawks stayed in the game in the second half by force-feeding the ball down low to Davis. The freshman post player showed her strong ability to seal off defenders and continually was able to lay the ball in.

Davis has also become a defensive force by helping to clog the lane and blocking opponent’s shots. She blocked five Longhorn attempts today. Her stat line was one her male counterpart Cole Aldrich would be more than proud off.

The continued emergence of Davis and Engelman will continue to excite Jayhawk fans not only for the duration of this campaign, but for the next four years.