Jayhawks Open Exhibition Play With Fort Hays State
LAWRENCE, Kan. – In preparation for the 2014-15 season, Kansas women’s basketball will host a pair of exhibition games before embarking on the upcoming year. In the first exhibition, the Jayhawks welcome Fort Hays State to Allen FIeldhouse on Sunday, Nov. 2, with tip off slated for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Jayhawk Radio Network, along with the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3. Audio streaming and live stats are also available at KUAthletics.com.
About the Jayhawks
Kansas is led by the senior foursome of Asia Boyd, Chelsea Gardner, Natalie Knight and Bunny Williams. All four were elected captains early on during the offseason and have worked hard on and off the court setting the tone for the 2014-15 season, which is unselfishly giving to the team in order to return to the postseason. Prior to 2013-14, the four seniors helped the Jayhawks reach back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16’s and it’s where the captains would like to end their final season or advance even further. Gardner and Knight are KU’s returning all-conference selections from a year ago. Gardner nearly averaged a double-double with 17.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, while Knight is one of the top returning three-point shooters in the league after ending 2013-14 by making 40.9 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc. Boyd contributed 11.0 points and 4.8 rebounds per game mostly off the bench, while Williams added 1.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
Also returning and joining the senior captains as the veterans on the roster are sophomores Jada Brown, Caelynn Manning-Allen and Keyla Morgan. Brown made 13 starts and appeared in every game but one as a freshman. She scored 1.3 points per game and snagged 1.8 rebounds per game. Manning-Allen is being toted as one of the most improved players on the Jayhawk roster and increased her vertical a few more inches in the offseason. In limited playing time last season, Manning-Allen grabbed 2.0 rebounds and registered 1.5 points per game. Morgan was the second freshman to work her way into the starting lineup, but a concussion sidelined her from the final 17 games of the season. A strong defensive presence on the court, Morgan also contributed 5.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 47.1 percent from the three-point line.
Although KU returns four starters and has one of the more experienced squads in the Big 12 conference, the Jayhawks will have a first-year floor general. Three newcomers: Lauren Aldridge, Terriell Bradley and Timeka O’Neal, are all vying for the starting point guard position. Aldridge ad Bradley are both true freshmen with a background of success at the high school level, while O’Neal is a junior college transfer from Johnson County College and had an accomplished tenure with the Cavaliers.
KANSAS FAST BREAKS
- Senior Forward Chelsea Gardner earned her first career All-Big 12 First Team honor at the end of 2013-14, while senior guard Natalie Knight received her first career All-Big 12 Honorable Mention accolade. Kansas has a total of 34 All-Big 12 selections and 18 have earned conference honors under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
- Gardner was also named to the WBCA All-Region Team for her efforts on the hardwood throughout the season.
- Gardner posted a Big 12-leading 13 double-doubles on the season and recorded double-digit scoring efforts in 28 games last year, including the last 17 games. Gardner’s 13 double-doubles are the most by a Jayhawk in a single season since Shyra Holden had 14 in 1978-79.
- Gardner shot 56.1 percent from the field, which was second-best in the Big 12 and 20th in the country. It also marked the fourth-best career field goal percentage in Kansas women’s basketball history. The top career percentage by a Jayhawk is 61.8 by Carolyn Davis (2010-13) and Vickie Adkins (1983-86).
- Knight was Kansas’ most consistent threat from beyond the three-point line, making a team-high 63 shots from deep, which is fourth-most in a season by a Jayhawk. Knight connected on 40.9 percent of her attempts, which was the highest percentage in the Big 12 during the 2103-14 season and the seventh-highest in program history. Knight shot 50 percent or better 15 times during the season.
- With the help of Knight, Kansas, as a team, shot 34.0 percent from beyond the three-point arc during the 2013-14 season. It was the second-best percentage in the Big 12, trailing only Texas (36.5) and the highest total by a Jayhawk team since the 2009-10 team finished with the same total.
- Kansas’ all-time record is 770-552 while the program has an all-time conference record of 237-249. Head coach Bonnie Henrickson is 329-216 all-time and 171-154 at KU.
- KU has a record of 124-58 (.681) in Allen Fieldhouse under Henrickson and an all-time home record of 396-159 (.714).
- KU has an overall record of 360-391 away from Allen Fieldhouse and during the Bonnie Henrickson-era, the Jayhawks are 47-94 when playing away from home.
Scouting the Tigers
Fort Hays State concluded its 2013-14 campaign with a 21-8 record, including a 12-7 conference mark and a fifth-place finish. The Tigers return four starters and 11 letterwinners from last season’s roster. FHSU was selected to end the upcoming season in fourth place as voted on by the league coaches and received one first-place vote.
Among the veteran returners is the MIAA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year and All-MIAA First Team selection Kate Lehman. The senior center averaged 16.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game. Junior guard Chelsea Mason is the only other Tiger returner to average in double figures after posting 13.0 points per game.
Collectively, the Tigers averaged 77.7 points per game and allowed opponents to score only 59.9 points per game for a +17.8 scoring margin. Over the course of 29 games, FHSU shot 41.0 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from behind the arc. Defensively, Fort Hays State limited its opposition to 36.0 percent shooting from the field, while averaging 9.3 steals and 7.6 blocks per game.
A Look Back At Exhibitions
Dating back to the 1986-87 season, Kansas owns a 43-9 record in exhibition games. Under head coach Bonnie Henrickson, the Jayhawks are 19-1, have an 18-game winning streak and haven’t lost an exhibition game since 2004. The largest margin of defeat in an exhibition game for Kansas was 97 points after earning a 136-39 victory over the Monterrey Tigers. Since 2003, the Jayhawks have posted a 21-1 exhibition mark inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Gardner Earns Preseason Accolade
After ending 2013-14 with various postseason awards, Kansas senior forward Chelsea Gardner is kicking off the upcoming season the same way, adding to her list of accolades. The DeSoto, Texas, native was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team as voted on by the conference head coaches.
Seniors Asia Boyd, Chelsea Gardner, Natalie Knight and Bunny Williams will not only lead the Jayhawks as captains, but will also be a strong force for Kansas. During the 2013-14 season, the four seniors accounted for almost 60 percent of Kansas’ 2,134 total points (1,273). Leading the pack was Gardner, who tallied a team-high 548 points throughout the season and is an anticipated soon-to-be member of the 1,000 point club with 980 points currently to her name. They were also successful behind the arc tallying 96 three-point shots. Knight knocked down 63 of these, which is the fourth-highest in program history. To add to this success, they chalked up 563 total rebounds and Gardner led again with 270 rebounds. During the seniors’ tenure at Kansas, the Jayhawks made back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16’s in 2012 and 2013.
The Young and Restless
Kansas welcomes five newcomers to the roster for 2014-15, who bring an array of talent to the court. The new players include junior transfer Timeka O’Neal and freshmen Lauren Aldridge, Lorraine Enabulele, Chayla Cheadle and Terriell Bradley. With a lot of success under their belts, the new additions are ready to contribute however needed. O’Neal is coming off a 30-2 record with the Cavaliers of Johnson Country Community College and numerous postseason awards. Aldridge helped Marshfield High School to four-straight conference championships and a third-place finish at the Missouri State Championship as senior. Cheadle is also no stranger to success as she led Rock Bridge High School to three-straight Class 5 Missouri State titles (2012-14).
“Hawk Talk” Slated to Begin Nov. 13
“Hawk Talk” with Kansas women’s basketball head coach Bonnie Henrickson is scheduled to begin after exhibition play, with the first show slated for Thursday, Nov. 13 at Henry T’s. Each week Henrickson will be joined by a special player guest. “Hawk Talk” allows fans to ask Henrickson questions and hear the latest Kansas women’s basketball news. There will be a total of 15 “Hawk Talks” during the 2014-15 season. The show will air Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. with a few exceptions.
Kansas plays its final exhibition on Nov. 9 against Washburn at 2 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse. It is the last of two exhibition games that the Jayhawks will play before opening the 2014-15 season versus South Dakota on Nov. 16. The final exhibition match-up will air live on the Jayhawk Radio Network and the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3.
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