Team Puts Big Emphasis on Rebounds

Dec. 29, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan.- After recording her first double-double of the season against Oral Roberts, Carolyn Davis followed that with a 21-point, 13-rebound performance. The 13 rebounds marked a season-high and helped propel the Jayhawks to an 87-59 win against Sam Houston State.

Davis led Kansas in both categories and scored at least 20 points in a game for the fifth time this season. Even though her offense has been steady, she has recorded double-digit rebounds in only the past two games, notching a double-double in both.

“I’m starting to feel more confident and better on the court,” said Davis, who missed the season opener against Western Michigan with a foot injury. “I think rebounding has been a big emphasis for me. I have come out the last two games and proven that. I’m just putting more focus on it. If I just go, I usually get the rebound. I think that’s what I have to tell myself ‘to just go.’ I’ve been trying to box out more because a lot of times, I’ll just go get the rebound. When I box out, I get more chances at actually grabbing it.”

Davis recognized the importance of rebounding on her team’s success. She knows she can have a big impact without leading the team in scoring every night.

“I know I have to be a factor on the boards,” said Davis. “I have to help my team get rebounds, offensively and defensively. The offense will come to me. Some nights I might not score in double-figures, but as long as I’m making a mark on the boards, I’ll be fine.”

Davis wasn’t the only Jayhawk to hit the boards strong. KU almost doubled up Sam Houston State in rebounds by pulling down 49 compared to the Bearkats’ 25. This included an astounding 17 offensive rebounds, and Coach Bonnie Henrickson took notice.

“We shot 56 percent and had 17 offensive rebounds. (We) missed 30 shots and had 17 offensive rebounds,” Henrickson noted. “We haven’t done that all year. That’s as many offensive rebounds as we’ve had on the year. That had been a concern of mine, so we kind of cleaned that up.”

Aishah Sutherland contributed another 10 rebounds to the team effort. The two starting forwards combined for 23 rebounds, including 8 offensive boards. Both noticed that they have been working well together, and it has been starting to pay off in great proportions as of late.

“I think we kind of complement each other. Sometimes I’ll tip it, and she’ll go get it, or I’ll box my man out and let her go get it,” said Davis. “I think we work hard together on the boards, and that’s what helps us get our numbers up.”

“(Carolyn is) doing well. She’s coming in and getting rebounds. We’re getting a lot more rebounds together on the floor,” Sutherland affirmed. “I’ve been getting rebounds and now we’re both getting rebounds.”

The Jayhawks are clicking at just the right time of the year. With conference play fast-approaching, KU will need to carry this rebounding mentality throughout the rest of the season. Davis recognized this game is what the team needed, and knows the importance of continuing this performance.

“We haven’t been that good in a while (on the boards),” said Davis. “I can’t remember a game this season that we’ve been that good. That’s a big confidence builder going into Texas, where they’ll be big on the boards. We have to be the same way we were tonight.”