Kansas Women's Basketball Attends Big 12 Media Day

Oct. 22, 2008



COACH Bonnie Henrickson

PETER IRWIN: We have Coach Henrickson here. Coach, if you’d like to make an opening comment or two, and welcome to the Big 12.

COACH HENRICKSON: Other than our trip started like our season, a little bumpy, we’re good. That’s why we got here safely. It’s good to see everybody. It’s hard to believe we’re back at it again. Excited to be back at it again.

Obviously a quick — excitement, and for those of you from this area, and Angel Goodrich, a player from Tahlequah, a young lady we’re still obviously excited about and a young lady who brought a lot of enthusiasm in a short period of time to our program into Lawrence, Kansas.

But we are fortunate that we’ve got great doctors and trainers and she will be back. And just by design we have Monday off after it happened on Sunday. And I think it was probably good timing and give everybody a chance to be sad and upset.

Yesterday she started her rehab and we need to start working towards not changing our goals but reevaluating how we’re going to get things done. We’re fortunate that I’m real proud of our returning players, they worked hard in the off-season.

We are individually player to player better. And in this league it’s better to get better every year. And we’re fortunate we’ve got two returning point guards that played that position all of last year, who for them it’s an opportunity, opportunity especially as a senior with Ivana to have the senior year and get on the floor and be an impact player for us. But we’re excited Danielle and Sade who we brought here. Those two have really worked hard to be better perimeter players. Krysten Boogaard who is an all-rookie, a member of the all-rookie team, worked hard, played in the summer with her international team. She played the Chinese Olympic team over in China three times this summer.

So she’s had a great off-season. So it has been a little bit of a bump here and a jolt to all of us. But we’re committed to obviously having a great year.

PETER IRWIN: Questions.

Q. Obviously a lot of interest on Angel. Could you talk more about how you projected her, how important she’d be for this team and about the injury?

COACH HENRICKSON: Well, my projection for her, having watched her as long as we have, I think first time I saw her was right after eighth grade year, play-making point guard.

I was asked to describe at our media day. She has a personality like Russell Robinson from our men’s team last year. Very, very quiet. Very reserved but leads by example and in her own way communicates very clearly with her teammates.

But as a play-maker, Chris Paul, in the NBA, because of stature and you put her and Krysten Boogaard next to each other it’s nearly comical. Angel is 5′-2″ barefoot and Krysten is 6′-5″. For her to be in a position — and we will in a year, a play-making, good decisions, she throws things most kids don’t see let alone try to throw. She can score. She’s handled the transition very well.

Our strength and conditioning coach has ranted and raved about her performance this summer and this fall. She handled that much better than I think she thought she would handle it.

On the court with her I was just so excited to be able to coach a kid like that and how special she is and just I was telling someone when we walked in about — for a long time after late night where she made a great move to the rim and scored, threw two great passers, scored on a jumper, and everybody was so excited and she was so excited.

I remember watching her being interviewed back by the locker room and I had never seen her smile so big and talk so fast. As long as we’ve worked with her and spent time with her and might have even talked faster than I do. And she’ll be back.

And she loves it at Kansas and is excited about being there. But it’s disappointing, but she’ll play again and she’ll be better because of this because of how tough she is.

Q. Not that there’s ever a good time for something like this, but that you’ve got all of your practice in front of you, can you talk about that?

COACH HENRICKSON: Exactly. And you’re exactly right. If it had to happen, at least it gives us a chance to regroup because quite honestly it would have changed drastically how we would have played offensively because of her ability to make a play and ability to make a decision to score.

The two that play that position, it’s not fair to run the same things for them because that doesn’t put them in a position to be successful, doesn’t put our basketball team in a position to be successful.

So we will have retooled, sat down, went back to the drawing board about how can we have those two still help us but still get the ball in Danielle and Krysten’s hands and it will be in their hands more. They still would have gotten shots, I don’t mean to say Angel would have taken all the shots, but she would be in a position to be a play-maker, have the ball in her hands quite a bit.

Q. Does it change your outlook? You’ve got — I imagine you were going to feel pretty good about this team going in no matter what based on who you had coming back?

COACH HENRICKSON: Outlook in that, it will look different. And when we huddled up right away and as I sent text messages to everybody when we realized what had happen, we’ve got to take care of her and we’ve got to step up and our goals don’t change.

And we’ve got 80 percent of everything coming back. And we have returners that have improved and gotten better and really committed to training to be successful and improving. So, no, that doesn’t.

And, like I said, we let ourselves be sad and upset. We had a day to do that and once we regrouped it was we’ve got business as usual and work to get better and try to get better every day.

Q. Talk about Sade’s role on the team this year?

COACH HENRICKSON: It will be similar to last year as far as her ability to — I think right now she’s shooting the 3-pointer as well as she has since we got her. She’s a great mid-range pull-up jump kid. She gets to the rim. I want her to get to the rim more. I want her to get fouled more. I want her to get to the free throw line, because it’s an 89 percent shooter who shot 30 free throws in the league play last year, and for a kid who can put the basketball on the floor and make a play.

So she’s got to be more aggressive. That’s — when you’re talking about a door that’s opened for some with Angel’s injury, but an opportunity for some or expectation for a few to do more, and that will be her. That will be Danielle and that will be Krysten.

But day-to-day, the confidence that I think she should play with, the confidence I have in her, I wish she was as confident in herself as I was in her. I think she’d play more aggressively. I think she’d get to the free throw line. I don’t know if you could notice but she’s put on about 12 pounds. Always call her my pencil with ears. I can’t say that anymore. We could probably put 10 more on her. I think she’s committed to doing what it takes to do that and just eat nonstop. So her roommates say she does do that.

So I think for her just to be aggressive and get to the free-throw line and offensively create as much more than she did last year.

I think the weight for her, because we got to a point last year where she had lost a considerable amount of weight because she’s got — she’s just got a fire that burns and eats all that up. And she eats. We actually would sit and have breakfast with her and lunch with her training table with her make sure she was eating we couldn’t believe she kept losing the weight. But she’s mastered that over the off-season. That for her she’s running and performing at that weight better than she ever has in her career to put on about 12 or 13 pounds. Now it’s our job to make sure she keeps it on. She plays with a bigger tank, just plays better longer.

Q. Just talk about Danielle McCray and Krysten Boogaard and how you relied on them so much for scoring last year, what they’ve done to improve and then those around them?

COACH HENRICKSON: Danielle went down and participated in point guard camp. She’s not going to be a point guard, but from a leadership standpoint, from a basketball IQ standpoint, she’s expressed an interest in it and we encouraged her to do it. Ivana had went through it two years ago. I had talked to Lindsay about how I thought it could help Danielle grow as a player, as a teammate, and she is — she’s never been a bad teammate. I didn’t mean to say that at all. But she’s embraced pushing her teammates since that experience. I got 30 pages of notes on my desk and often go page through some things to get some ideas I think they do a great job there.

And she’s a versatile player as far as posting her, putting her on the floor. She’s got to be better off the dribble, better decisions off the dribble. I think we’ve seen that and it’s quickly and briefly as we’ve practiced.

But as I mentioned with Krysten, she’s got a little definition now, she’s not huge by any stretch of the imagination, but she’s supposed to be on the same eating regimen as Sade is, but to put some weight on her and get some explosiveness with her, her experience. We’re able to keep her in summer school in June and she trained and then went with her Canadian development team in July and then had that experience over in China. And that was good for her to play at that level. She played against — again, their Olympic team and their post player is 6′-10″ and that’s great experience for her. You see a more confident Krysten, a more self-assured Krysten. And that’s been important. Maybe not a quite so stubborn Krysten. That’s been a much improved.

So her coachability is all-time high right now. That’s a lot more fun to be around. And that will help her in her development.