Henrickson And Trio Of Captains Attend Big 12 Media Day

Fox Sports Southwest talking to KU women’s basketball | Engelman participating in the Big 12’s media day round table | Engelman on music | Engelman on her mohawk | Engelman on skateboarding

Oct. 20, 2010


Kansas women’s basketball head coach Bonnie Henrickson and the trio of team captains Carolyn Davis, Monica Engelman and Angel Goodrich spent Wednesday morning in Kansas City for the 2010 Big 12 Conference Media Day.

Henrickson addressed a crowd of assembled reporters and then the foursome did interviews with some national television outlets. Next Engelman participated in the player’s roundtable discussion, joining one player from the five other schools participating in the morning session of the event. Following the roundtable portion of the day, the three Kansas players–along with Henrickson–took time out to do one-on-one interviews with members of the media.

Bonnie Henrickson Press Conference Transcript

THE MODERATOR: Welcome. We are ready to start. We are now joined by Coach Bonnie Henrickson from Kansas. And, Coach, your opening comments and then we’ll take some questions from the floor.

COACH HENRICKSON: Sure. It is a pleasure to be here. Good morning to everybody. Everybody had some coffee, I’m assuming. Ready to get started. On our end, I’m very, very excited for a couple different reasons. We’ve gotten ourselves healthy over the offseason. Angel Goodrich is cleared and competing in practice. It has been exciting with our new legislation that we have been able to start a little bit sooner here and probably Have had six or seven practices under our belt by now, which is a little bit unique to what this was a year ago. It has been exciting to get her on the floor.

We are excited to return Carolyn Davis and Monica Engelman now returning sophomores, two young women who finished and had a fantastic freshmen years. And the experience that those two gained and in situations we put them in at the end of the year to take shots and make shots to win games to make them more confident and more experienced sophomores than had some of those situations not happened at the end of year to injuries to some key players.

We have four freshmen, and I have reminded myself daily that I live to tell about Danielle McCray, Sade Morris, Kelly Kohn, and LaChelda Jacobs, being freshman at the same time four years ago. So I live to tell about that. I promised myself I could do the same thing with this group. I love their energy. I love their competitiveness. We get better every single day and they are a fun group to be around.

Aishah Sutherland, in particular, in the junior class had the most impressive offseason of everybody we have had in a long, long time from a strength and conditioning standpoint. She looks good. She has always been very, very athletic. She finishes stronger right now than she has, so she has had a great summer between her sophomore and junior year. Tania Jackson locally from Lawrence, Kansas, is healthy off of her redshirt year. It was good to get her back in the mix to give us some added depth at the post position. So it has been exciting. Every day it is exciting when you have that many young players. If you look at our most experienced returning players being Monica and Angel, we are young. But youth won’t be an excuse for us. We will play hard and we will compete.

And then we will rely on our seniors, Krysten Boogaard had a great summer. She stayed on campus in June. Went up and played and trained with our Canadian national team in July. And did some really good things and has come back with more confidence. And then Marisha Brown is the other senior in that class. Again, gives us a great rebounding guard, a tremendous defender at that position, looking for her to help us a little bit more in her senior campaign.

Q. You have had a week to practice now since we last talked to you. What have you seen so far? Who is standing out? Are you impressed with what you have seen?

COACH HENRICKSON: I have been. I think Brooke Jelniker in the freshman class has been the most consistent. She has shot the ball really well. She spent a lot of time this summer in the fall working on just changing her shot just a little bit. She has seen the benefits of that which means we will see the benefit of that. She’s probably taken and made the most 3s in practice right now, which we need her to be a spacer. The kids that are good off the dribble, Keena Mays, Diara Moore, CeCe Harper, those kids are learning to understand the pace and what the defensive pressure in practice is like at this level. And on occasion, they have been able to throw some pretty nice passes. It is just the consistency. We are not very consistent yet with those young kids. But Carolyn and Krysten for the first week of practice, those two shot over 60% from the floor. It is important for the young kids — if I am a young player in our program, there are two things I could do to get on the floor. That is guard and throw it inside. You can figure those two things out, you have a chance to play for us right away. We have done that. Angel’s play-making ability, Monica’s leadership and her ability to get out and guard. She has got to be a better defender for us this year and I anticipate her being able to do that for us.

Q. You have been asked this a thousand times, I will be 1,001. What is Angel Goodrich’s return? What does it mean to your team?

COACH HENRICKSON: This definitely changes how we play. Having been able to have her on the floor for 15 games last year and our field goal percentages in the post were at that point very good. Aishah was in the top three in the conference in field goal percentage. She starts the year shooting over 70%. Angel dictates how we play because of how she makes us play in transition. It allows us to make plays off the dribble. She’s — she is as good as anybody in a long, long time and anybody I have ever coached about beating her guy, making the next guy play her and making the right decision, making the right pass. She is the quickest player to 100 assists in the program’s history in 15 games. And she allows us to get uncontested shots which these young kids are going to need. She can challenge the defense. We have added some kids that I think can space the defense which allows her more room to make plays. The most obvious is in transition because as soon as she went down, it didn’t take long for –and not by design, we didn’t run as hard in transition, we didn’t get out, didn’t look for the ball because it wasn’t going to come. Not like it had with Angel for the first 15 games. Just our willingness and the anticipation of us — someone being able to get a pass and get an uncontested shot when Angel had the ball in transition, I think these players, the kids here at media day today, even when she joined us in pickup it changed again back to how it needs to be and how she allows us to play in transition. Getting numbers, attacking the defense when it is most vulnerable in transition. And then being able to make passes that a lot of people can’t.

Q. What about the different types of lineups you can put out on the court and how that might help you in terms of the different type of opponents you have to face, especially in the Big 12.

COACH HENRICKSON: Right. I think it will be important for us. Two things — and one requires the freshmen playmakers that we brought into the program and let me address the second first and I will go back to the playmakers. It will be important for us having spent some time in the off season look at how can we play Krysten and Carolyn together. Carolyn is very talented and Krysten is very talented. Right now when one plays the other one doesn’t. It doesn’t make sense for quality post players in our league. So at some point, who is going to take advantage of their advantage? Do we take advantage of the fact we have got two kids that have great size and great skill and let them play together. And then does someone try to take advantage — one of those guys will have to guard somebody on the perimeter or do you change up your defense a little bit? That is something we haven’t done that we will do, and we have been working on already. Those two have played really well together. And then the playmakers like Keena Mays can make a play and put it on the floor and make a play. CeCe Harper has played a lot of point guard. We really have three point guards on the program right now. Keena is a talented kid from Timberview (Arlington, Texas). CeCe is from San Antonio. If two of those three are on the floor, we can go closest guard to the rebound can go outlet and go in transition, where in the past with Angel, it is always we wanted Angel to have the ball in transition. Now Angel can play in a wing and let her go make a play and get ahead of the defense even more as an outlet up the floor. So those two things based on personnel will allow us to play a little bit differently.

Q. Could you just comment a little bit about just the conference as it kind of shapes up and on paper, just how tough Baylor appears to be with all those starters back.

COACH HENRICKSON: The league is great again. And that’s what’s exciting to coach in this league. It is as good as it has been. I think there is even more balance this year. Obvious with the finish — the run that Baylor had and all the experience and the players they bring back from that team, they’re very, very talented. You know, but what’s exciting about the league is night in and night out you are challenged. There are no nights off in this league and I think that’s what people don’t understand outside of our league, that there are no nights off. It is a league where you have got to learn to bounce back quick because if you take a loss and carry it in your backpack, it gets pretty heavy and it doesn’t take long for it to get heavy. You have to be able to bounce back and have the resiliency and that’s where your upperclassmen can help you with that. Sometimes when they are young, they say, Who do we play next? So there is a trade-off with your seniors and your freshmen. The league is great. The players are great. The coaches are great. It is talented and it is competitive. It is exciting. Baylor had a tremendous run, but there are a lot of really good teams in our league.