Jayhawks Open 2014-15 Season with South Dakota
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Jayhawks open the 2014-15 slate with South Dakota on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The Coyotes mark the first of 14 opponents that KU faces this season that appeared in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and KU looks to extend its season debut winning streak to 10 games. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network/ESPN3 and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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 touted 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.
THE YOUNG AND THE 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).
SCOUTING THE COYOTES
After winning the Summit League Championship, South Dakota earned an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, where the Coyotes faced Stanford and lost in the opening round, 81-62. USD finished the 2013-14 season with a 19-14 record and was 7-7 in conference action. The Coyotes return 13 letterwinners and four starters from last season’s roster that advanced to the postseason. To start the 2014-15 campaign, South Dakota was voted to conclude the season in second place by the league coaches.
The Coyotes return three preseason all-conference selections in Nicole Seekamp, Raeshel Contreras and Tia Hemiller. Seekamp led the squad in 2013-14 with 15.5 points per game, while also contributing 4.0 rebounds per game and a total of 53 steals. Hemiller grabbed a team-high 6.5 rebounds per game last season and shot 43.2 percent from behind the arc. Contreras, who started 21 games in 2013-14, averaged 12.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. The Coyotes averaged 75.2 points per game and had a +1.9 scoring margin over their opponents. USD shot 42.3 percent from the field and limited its opposition to 42 percent shooting from the field. South Dakota averaged 39.9 rebounds, 7.1 steals and 2.6 blocks per game.
The Jayhawks are 2-0 when facing South Dakota overall in the series and are 1-0 against the Coyotes under head coach Bonnie Henrickson.
The Jayhawks face South Dakota for just the third time in program history and the second time in Lawrence. The series began in 1981 on a neutral court in Minneapolis, Minnesota and continued in 2010 with the first meeting inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Last Time Out
The last meeting, the first in the Henrickson-era, was in 2010 and the Jayhawks defeated the Coyotes, 73-40. Carolyn Davis knocked in 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and tied a career-high in blocks with five. The victory marked the sixth-straight year that Kansas began the season 1-0. In the second half, the Jayhawks continued to stretch their lead, using a pair of 8-0 runs and another 6-0 run to widen their margin throughout the half en route to a 33-point victory. For the game, Kansas held South Dakota to 21.7 percent field goal shooting.
Along with three other Big 12 schools, Kansas returns four starters, the most of the league. With two seniors and two sophomores, KU brings the second-most experienced starting five back to the hardwood behind TCU’s three seniors and junior. The Jayhawks starters accumulated 166 career starts and accounted for 1,005 KU points in 2013-14.
In the month of November, the Jayhawks have an overall mark of 114-29 (.810) in the 11th month of the year. Under head coach Bonnie Henrickson, KU is 44-9 in November. Kansas has won 21 of the last 23 games played in November dating back to the start of the 2010 season.
THAT 70’s SHOW
Kansas’ success during the Bonnie Henrickson-era has been pretty much based on 70 points. When the Jayhawks score 70 or more points, Kansas owns a 112-16 record (.881) during her tenure. When KU opponents score less than 70 points, the Jayhawks are 142-72 (.663) during that span.
SEASON DEBUT SUCCESS
Kansas boosts an overall record of 36-10 in season openers dating back to its first season in 1968. The Jayhawks have an equally impressive record of 19-3 when opening the season at Allen Fieldhouse. Under head coach Bonnie Henrickson, KU is 9-1 in the first game of the season. Henrickson and the Jayhawks have won nine-straight season openers dating back to 2005.
NOT IN OUR LEAGUE
The Jayhawks boast a 331-153 (.686) record all-time versus non-conference opponents. The Jayhawks’ best non-conference record came during the 2005-06 season when they posted a perfect 11-0 mark during the regular season. KU is 72-16 (.862) in non-conference games since the 2007-08 season.
Kansas women’s basketball is playing the 2014-15 season in honor of one of the program’s biggest fans, Whitney Van Dyke. In remembrance of Van Dyke, who passed away earlier this fall after battling Leukemia, the Jayhawks will wear special patches that say “Whitney”. Van Dyke could be found at every home, at Henry T’s for “Hawk Talk” and sitting front row listening to head coach Bonnie Henrickson’s postgame radio show.
Kansas continues its six-game homestand by hosting Texas Southern on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m., inside Allen Fieldhouse. The match-up is the first of four games to be played the week of Nov. 17 as KU hosts the Naismith Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge Nov. 21-23.
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