Jayhawks To Face Nebraska in NCAA Tournament
March 12, 2012
NCAA Tournament Central
LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the 12th time in program history, Kansas women’s basketball is headed to the NCAA Tournament as the 11th-seeded Jayhawks will take on former Big 12 Conference foe and sixth-seeded Nebraska on Sunday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 from the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark.
KU is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Bonnie Henrickson and first since 2000.
The Jayhawks concluded their regular-season with a 19-12 overall record, including an 8-10 mark during Big 12 play to claim a No. 6 seed at the conference championship. Kansas picked up two wins versus top 25 teams- at No. 23 Texas and vs. No. 21 Texas Tech- this season while also notching the second-best conference road record among Big 12 schools with a 5-4 mark.
KU is led by All-Big 12 members Aishah Sutherland and Angel Goodrich after losing leading scorer and first-team selection Carolyn Davis to a knee injury on Feb. 12. Sutherland ranks in the top 10 of the Big 12 in both points and rebounds averaging a team-high 13.9 points and 9.0 boards per game. Goodrich is next contributing 13.1 points and 4.0 rebounds each outing in addition to her nation-leading 7.5 assists per game.
In its first season with the Big Ten Conference, Nebraska went 10-6 in league play to earn a No. 6 seed at its conference tournament. The No. 22 Cornhuskers fell in double overtime to Purdue in the Big Ten Championship title game to bring a 24-8 overall record to Sunday’s matchup. Jordan Hooper leads NU with 19.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Lindsey Moore also contributes double-figure scoring averaging 15.8 points per outing to go along with a team-high 5.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
Kansas leads the all-time series versus Nebraska, 49-31, and won the teams’ last meeting when the Jayhawks claimed a 77-61 win in Lawrence on Feb. 26, 2011.
Should KU win, the Jayhawks will advance to play the winner of Delaware versus UALR on Tuesday, March 20 at 8:30 p.m.
Selection Monday Press Conference Quotes
March 12, 2012
Head coach Bonnie Henrickson
On getting into the NCAA Tournament:
“It’s really, really cool, and their (the team) reaction is the best. I’ve been in it long enough where I’ve known that we’re in. It’s been one or the other, so I haven’t sat through with the anticipation. What better drama than that we were at the very end. When they first put Texas up, they were like `Uh (disappointed).’ When they were starting to eat, they were saying, `Texas swept Texas A&M, so what does that do for us? But we beat Texas, right?’ I said, `Yeah, we beat Texas. I remember that.’ So they were trying to figure all that out. Then when they saw Kansas State, they got excited, and then saw the `State’ on it. Just listening to them and watching them was priceless. Seeing their reaction at the end is exactly what you want to see from them, and you want all of your student-athletes to feel that. I’m just really happy for them.”
On what this means for the program:
“It matters. It matters for these players, it matters for recruiting, it matters for our fans. I’m happy for our fans, too, and for everyone that watched on pins in needles today like we did. There are a lot of positive things. It speaks to the character and the leadership of the kids in the program that we can bounce back from two really tough losses at home and from the Carolyn (Davis) situation. If you look at it, going to Texas Tech and winning and then going to Oklahoma and winning and playing that well helped. The best part of that day was that everybody made a play, and that should be how we got in. Everybody contributed and made a play.”
On waiting to see if Kansas made it in:
“I was sweating. When we practiced yesterday, we went light. I said, `The best thing I can tell you is that the two teams we needed to win did.’ Delaware had won, although they were down in the first half, and Wisconsin-Green Bay won. I was watching both of the scores on the computer as I was writing up the workout and watching film. I said, `That’s the good news. All we can control today is how we practice.’ We felt like how well we played and how hard we played down the stretch and being in the best women’s basketball conference in the country would help us. That was a lot of fun.”
On playing former Big 12 school Nebraska:
“Ironically, (Nebraska head coach) Connie (Yori) and I were in the same gym recruiting Saturday. I saw her, got up and walked over there because her son and her husband were with her. She was good when Carolyn got hurt. She texted me right away. I said, `Hey, congratulations on a great year. I never got to see you play, so talk to me about your team.’ I told that to the players and they asked if she talked to me. I said, `Yeah, she talked to me, but I talked about us, too.’ (Nebraska guard) Lindsey Moore is a great point guard. She’s on the Lieberman Watch List, like Angel (Goodrich). (Nebraska forward) Jordan Hooper had a great freshman year last year in our league and probably a better sophomore league in the Big Ten. She led the league in double-doubles and is a really bouncy athlete that shoots the three. She said, which I knew, that their back to who she’s always wanted them to be. They run and get up and down. She said, `We played more zone last year in the Big 12 because of injuries than they had in her whole career.’ I’ll know more here in a few hours. She’s started a couple of freshman and I think she’s done really well.”
On what she told her players:
“I just said, `How excited and proud are you?’ I had breakfast with the freshmen a couple of weeks ago, and they were asking about it (NCAA Selection) and how it works. I said, `We’re all going to be in on Selection Monday, you’ll have your shiny sweatsuits on, there will be a bunch of people there and it will be up on TV.’ Chelsea (Gardner) said, `I’m already getting goosebumps.’ Today I just said, `Remember? We talked about this.” I just told them how proud I am. We’ve got a lot of work to do and a game to win to make a run here. They’re excited and they should be.”
Junior guard Angel Goodrich
On what it feels like to be in the NCAA Tournament:
“To be honest, I’m speechless right now. It feels so good to get in the tournament finally. My teammates and I have been wanting this all year.”
On if she was getting nervous as the teams continued to be announced:
“I was feeling very nervous. We were counting all the Big 12 teams that were announced before us and counting down how many spots they had left. Everyone just started closing their eyes and as soon as our name popped up everyone started jumping up and down.”
On playing Nebraska:
“I haven’t seen anything on them this year, but we have Tori (Verdi) and he was there (coaching) for a couple years, so we feel like we’ll be ready. We have a couple days to get prepared.”
On Aishah Sutherland getting in the tournament her senior year:
“I’m very happy for her. We’ve wanted this for a long time and I’m glad she finally got to do it.”
On how long it will take to get over celebrating and start preparing:
“We can celebrate tonight, but tomorrow once practice starts we have to get down to business.”
Senior forward Aishah Sutherland
On making the NCAA Tournament:
“This is incredible. This is a great senior year and to actually go to the tournament my senior year is incredible because I’ve wanted to do that since my freshman year. It’s incredible. It’s like a dream.”
On what went through her mind when she saw Kansas on the television:
“When I saw Kansas I didn’t even know who we were going to play. I just saw Kansas and sprinted towards my teammates. I was just so happy at the time. Then afterward, I was like, `wait, who are we playing?'”
On playing Nebraska:
“We know all about them. Tori (Verdi) used to coach there as well, so that will help a lot.”
On seven Big 12 teams getting in the tournament:
“I feel like we’re in the best conference in the country. Eight teams probably should have been selected, but seven is good. We’re in it and that’s all that matters.”