2013-14 Season Outlook: Shooting Guards

Returning: Sr. Markisha Hawkins, Jr. Asia Boyd
Gained: Fr. Dakota Gonzalez, Fr. Dylan Gonzalez, Fr. Keyla Morgan
Key Losses: Monica Engelman

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In the first of a three-part series, the 2013-14 Kansas women’s basketball season outlook begins with an in-depth look at the shooting guards.

The largest of the three position groups, the shooting guards welcome back upperclassmen Markisha Hawkins and Asia Boyd and add three freshmen, Dakota Gonzalez, Dylan Gonzalez and Keyla Morgan, who can make an immediate impact for the 2013-14 season.

Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson will need a combination of those five every night to replace what she loses in Monica Engelman (2009-13). Engelman started 104 games during her four years in the Crimson and Blue and scored 1,255 points in her career, becoming the 25th player in Kansas history to join the 1,000-point club. Engelman was a pinpoint shooter from beyond the arch and is one of just 10 Jayhawks in program history to tally 100 or more three-point makes.

The 2013-14 team will look to Hawkins and Boyd to help replace Engelman’s consistency from the perimeter. Hawkins, a transfer from Tyler Junior College enters the 2013-14 season with added confidence after completing her first year at the Division I level in 2012-13. Hawkins contributed to the team’s success late in the year, seeing starts in the team’s last six games and scoring in double-figures three times, including a season-high 15 points against TCU (3/5). Despite her limited sample size, Hawkins displayed her touch from beyond the arc, knocking down shots at a high percentage (9-20, .450).

Asia Boyd has also shown the ability to shoot from the outside and put the ball on the floor to get to the rim. With her size and athleticism from the shooting guard position, the Jayhawks will also need her to have a presence on the boards, where she grabbed 27 on the offensive end in 2012-13.

Coming in for the Jayhawks at shooting guard are the Gonzalez twins, Dakota and Dylan, along with Keyla Morgan. Dakota and Dylan come to Lawrence by way of Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho where they earned the distinction as the No. 43 and 44 rated recruits in the class of 2013, respectively. The twins are the daughters of former KU standout Angie Snider, who tallied 1,518 points in just three seasons at KU (1981-84) to earn an All-American honorable mention selection.

Morgan, the No. 72 rated guard in the nation, joins the Jayhawk roster via Long Beach Poly High School, where she led the Jackrabbits to a state championship in 2013. Morgan will add depth to the position and can make an immediate impact on any given night with her athleticism and rebounding ability.  

Head coach Bonnie Henrickson
On Markisha Hawkins:
“She came in at the end of the year (last season) and really did a great job for us. Asia and CeCe still got minutes and played too, but Hawk gave us some consistency. She went to the offensive glass, she didn’t turn the ball over and she hit some big shots. She has practiced with a lot more confidence coming into the year, but she’s been more aggressive – which I like – trying to get to the rim, putting it on the floor and driving to the rim a lot more in workouts this fall than she did last year. That’s a great thing for us, because that’s a great way to get to the free throw line, by driving into the paint, and she has done a great job.”

On Asia Boyd:
“She has made progress. She has practiced as well as she has since she got here and it’s been discipline, because there is a young lady that wants to make a play every time she touches it. She can catch and shoot the three and I need her to rebound. Would it help us if she could come off a ball screen and take a pull up jump shot and knock it down? Yes. For her simple is okay, just reverse the ball to the other side of the floor and give the defense a chance to make a mistake. She has been playing better in that way. Defensively, with the change in our game and how much they are going to get the defense off of contact, we have been all over her because she has fouled a lot in her career. She has practiced with more discipline this fall than we have seen since she got here and that will be the biggest difference for her. If she can do that and commit to that on both ends of the floor, with the discipline to go rebound and the discipline to stay out of foul trouble and the discipline to take good shots, that will be huge for her and it will be huge for us.”

On the twins, Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez:
“With Dylan it has been tough, because she has been out three weeks. As soon as we got Dakota (concussion) back, Dylan had hernia surgery. So it has been hard, but she (Dylan) is back into shooting drills now. Dakota has shown the ability to come off some on-ball screens and has made good decisions. Defensively, she has worked to improve on the ball; she is a kid who will rebound for us, which is key for that guard spot, so that that will be important for her moving forward as well.”

On Keyla Morgan:
“She is kid who can get a shot off and elevate over the top on a jump shot. She has driven the ball and handled the ball a little bit better with pressure than when we first started. She can’t just turn the ball over when someone gets on her and pressures her on the ball. I think she can help us (on the boards) because she is a pretty big and long, athletic guard. Defensively, for her to stay underneath somebody, quickness has been a challenge for her to keep her guy in front of her.”

On if the freshmen can make an immediate impact:
“We have 12 total (players on the roster) and five of them are freshmen, so the numbers would tell you they will have to and they are capable of that. It’s not going to be all of them the same night, nor does it need to be all of them the same night, but we are going to need a couple kids out of that freshman class to step up and contribute.” 

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