The Kansas women's basketball team will hit the road Saturday for a vital game at Oklahoma for the Jayhawks' NCAA Tournament hopes. The game at the Lloyd Noble Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Oklahoma was tabbed to finish tied for second in the Big 12 Conference Preseason Poll with West Virginia, as voted on by the league's head coaches.
NORMAN, IS THAT YOU?
The Kansas women's basketball team hopes that its trip to Norman is like finding a familiar face among a crowd of strangers. The Jayhawks found themselves in a eerily similar situation last season, entering a game at Oklahoma with a 7-10 Big 12 record and NCAA Tournament hopes in jeopardy. KU responded with an upset road win and almost a year to the date enters Saturday's contest with a 7-9 league mark.
As the regular season winds down, Kansas is getting great offensive play from its senior class - Carolyn Davis, Monica Engelman and Angel Goodrich. Over the last five games, the Jayhawk seniors have combined to score 269 points. During that stretch, KU as a team has scored 378 points with the seniors contributing 71.2 percent of the scoring.
THE COMEBACK KIDS
Heading into the 2012-13 season, under head coach Bonnie Henrickson, Kansas was 19-89 (.176) in games where the team trailed at the half. Things are a bit different this season. The Jayhawks have trailed at the half 16 times this campaign and boast a 5-11 (.313) mark, including an 18-point comeback against Iowa State (Jan. 30) and a 23-point come-from-behind win at TCU (Feb. 13).
FIRST WADE, WOODEN, LIEBERMAN, MEYERS DRYSDALE AND NOW NAISMITH
Kansas senior Angel Goodrich is being watched by everyone. The 5-foot-4 point guard is on the watch and finalist lists for the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award, Lieberman Award, Meyers Drysdale Award and the Naismith Award.
GO, GO GOODRICH
The last time out at Iowa State (Feb. 27), Kansas senior Angel Goodrich pretty much did it all for the Jayhawks. Goodrich led the team in points (21), rebounds (7), assists (9) and steals (4). She also threw in a team-best 5-for-6 effort from the free throw line.
THE BEST OF ALL DIMES AND ONE OF THE BEST IN BIG 12 HISTORY
Senior Angel Goodrich dished out 10 assists on Feb. 17 against Oklahoma and became Kansas' all-time career assist leader in the process. Goodrich surpassed Lisa Braddy, whose 686 assists owned the school mark since 1990. Goodrich now has 708 career assists and became the eighth player in Big 12 Conference history to post 700 or more career assists. Goodrich will join Erin Grant (844 - Texas Tech), Shalee Lehning (800 - K-State), Stacey Dales (764 - Oklahoma), Danielle Robinson (726 - Oklahoma), Toccara Williams (724 - Texas A&M), Lyndsey Medders (719 - Iowa State) and Andrea Riley (707 - Oklahoma State).
HERE DEFENSE, DEFENSE
Over the last three games, all KU losses, the Kansas defense has been missing. During the stretch, KU's opponents are shooting a combined 49.1 percent from the field, while averaging 82.7 points per game.
A TALE OF TWO HALVES
For Kansas in Big 12 Conference play, the second half has been the best of times, while the first half has been the worst of times. The Jayhawks have been outscored combined by 73 points in the first half, while owning a scoring edge in the second half of Big 12 games. KU's Big 12 opponents are shooting 45.7 percent in the first 20 minutes and 38.8 percent in the second half.
GOING FOR 30
Senior Angel Goodrich sank a career-best 31 points at Texas (Feb. 21), which was the first 30-point effort by a Jayhawk in over a year. The last 30-point scoring game for KU was Carolyn Davis' 34-point effort against Texas Tech last season at Allen Fieldhouse (Jan. 25, 2012). Goodrich's 31 points were the highest individual scoring effort by any of the Jayhawks this season.
Senior Monica Engelman poured in a career-high 26 points at TCU, including 18 in the second half, and followed that performance with a 21-point game against Oklahoma in Allen Fieldhouse. The back-to-back 20-point games marked the first by Engelman since Dec. 19, 2010. Over the last five games, Engelman is averaging 18 points per outing, while posting three 20-point scoring efforts.
With her 23 points and eight rebounds at Texas (Feb. 20), senior Carolyn Davis joined the elite 1,700-point and 700 rebound club at Kansas. She is only the seventh member, joining Lynette Woodard, Adrian Mitchell, Angela Aycock, Danielle McCray, Vickie Adkins and Lynn Pride. Davis now has 1,722 career points and 712 career boards.
SENIOR CLASS IS NOW 4G
With 20 points against Texas on Jan. 23, senior Angel Goodrich became the 26th player in Kansas history to score 1,000 career points. Goodrich joins Carolyn Davis and Monica Engelman, who also became a member of the club this season. The last time KU fielded three 1,000-point scorers in the same season was the 2000-01 campaign with Jaclyn Johnson, Brooke Reyes and Jennifer Jackson. This year's senior class also went 4G with a combined 4,055 points scored.
POSTS WITH THE MOST
Senior Carolyn Davis and sophomore Chelsea Gardner make more shots than they miss and the duo is among the best in the league for field goal accuracy. Gardner ranks second in the conference with a 57.1 field goal percentage, while Davis is fifth at 54.7 percent. Davis is also No. 15 nationally, while Gardner does not currently average enough made field goals per game to qualify for the national rankings.
SIX SCORE AND ...
A group of 20 units is known as a score and KU has six different players on its roster who have grouped together 20 points or more in a single game this season. Monica Engelman is the most recent member with a career-best 26 points at TCU on Feb. 13. Joining Engelman as 20-point scorers are Carolyn Davis, Chelsea Gardner, Natalie Knight, CeCe Harper and Angel Goodrich.
Comparing the sophomore numbers of Chelsea Gardner to her freshman stats, it is obvious that there is no sophomore slump going on here. In fact, Gardner is nearly doubling her production. The KU sophomore forward is averaging 8.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest this season, as opposed to 4.7 points and 3.7 boards last year. In addition, she has also improved her field goal percentage by 30 points and her free throw success rate by 136 percentage points.
GARDNER FOR THE BLOCK
Since starting Big 12 play, sophomore Chelsea Gardner has been in the center of the lane for the block. Gardner has posted 39 swats in 16 league contests, after posting nine rejections during non-conference action. She ranks tied for third in the league for Big 12 games only with 2.4 blocks per game.
When Carolyn Davis scores 20 or more points in a game, the Jayhawks usually come out on top. Davis has 34 20-point efforts in her career and KU boasts a 28-6 (.824) record in those contests.
OFFENSE GOES THROUGH GOODRICH
Point guard Angel Goodrich has 392 points this season and 182 assists. By calculating two points for every assist, Goodrich is directly responsible for a total of 756 of Kansas' 1,876 points, which comes out to 40.3 percent of the Jayhawks' scoring.
MOVING ON UP
With her two points against Iowa State, senior Carolyn Davis has scored 1,722 career points and is in sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring charts. The KU senior now needs 53 points to surpass Lynn Pride (1,774) for the No. 6 position.
Senior national player of the year candidates Angel Goodrich and Carolyn Davis have built a career on complimenting each other. Goodrich, the nation's assist leader last season, is the all-time career leader at Kansas, while Davis is also atop the all-time career field goal percentage chart. So the duo is truly the essence of start to finish. To highlight their senior season, a promotional website KUStart2Finish.com has been created to promote these player of the year candidates.
SHE GIVETH and SHE TAKETH AWAY
Angel Goodrich's ability to share the ball is well documented after leading the nation in assists per game last season. Goodrich is also pretty good at taking the ball away. The Kansas senior leads the Big 12 Conference in steals per game and she also ranks No. 24 nationally with 3.0 steals per game. Goodrich needs just nine more steals to crack into the top-10 of the Kansas' single-season record book.
MASTERS OF THEIR CRAFT
The senior writers of espnW collaborated and came up with the top-five players in the nation by position. Once again, Angel Goodrich and Carolyn Davis found themselves among the nation's elite. Goodrich was classified as one of the country's top-five point guards, while Davis was tabbed as one of the nation's best five centers.
A NATIONAL LEADER
Senior Angel Goodrich entered this season as the reigning national champion in assists per game. Goodrich paced the Jayhawks with a school and Big 12 record 250 assists last season, or 7.4 per game. Goodrich currently averages 6.7 assists per game, which ranks third in the Big 12 Conference and No. 10 nationally.
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 100-12 record (.893) during her tenure. When KU opponents score less than 70 points, the Jayhawks are 131-69 (.655) during that span.
PLAN FOR POSTSEASON
Faithful followers of the Kansas women's basketball program have learned to plan for postseason play. In Bonnie Henrickson's eight previous seasons with the Jayhawks, KU has advanced to postseason play six times, including five straight. In fact, in Henrickson's head coaching career, she has led her team to postseason play 13 times in 15 seasons.
How does a top-25 program stay in the national polls? Sign a top-25 recruiting class. That's exactly what head coach Bonnie Henrickson and her staff did during the early signing period, inking the No. 14-ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, and the top among Big 12 Conference schools. The class also ranked No. 25 nationally by Blue Star Basketball. The Jayhawks signed Jada Brown (6-0, F, Las Vegas, Nev.), Dakota Gonzalez (6-0, G, Pocatello, Idaho), Dylan Gonzalez (6-0, G, Pocatello, Idaho), Caelynn Manning-Allen (6-4, F, Chicago, Ill.) and Keyla Morgan (5-8, G, Rancho Dominguez, Calif.).