The KU Lady Jayhawks are coming off a disappointing 12-16 season. Worse, they're coming off a disappointing decade as the career of Marian Washington came to an end. At the end of this dismal tunnel, however, ther is a very bright light, and there is nowhere to go but up! Start with newcomers to the KU squad. Preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, Shaquina Mosley, is a powerhouse. She plays much bigger and stronger than her 5'6" frame suggests. In the JC ranks, she led her Central Arizona team to a 67-4 record and was the national NJCAA player of the year. I had a chance to see her play in Salina, where her Central Arizona team won the NJCAA tournament championship, and I think KU fans will love her speed and quickness.
Mosley can play either guard position but would prefer to play point. KU has another heralded newcomer at that position as well, 5'8" freshman Ivana Catic, one of the top high school guards on the East Coast last year. The Jayhawks also have 3-point sharpshooter Erica Hallman returning to the backcourt, who shot 39% from behind the arc last year for KU.
Expect the KU women to extend the defense this year and push the tempo. In an interview with Harold Bechard of the Hutchinson News published today, Coach Henrickson will look to extend the 'Hawks' defensive pressure and play up tempo to take advantage of the speed and aggressiveness of her backcourt players. The KU women will be fun to watch, and a winning season should be on tap.
As for the future, Henrickson is settling in and is an outstanding coach. KU has upgraded the finest venue for college basketball in America. Moreover, KU Women's Hoops has the best TV contract in the entire Big 12 conference - men or women - except for the KU men. This program will get plenty of exposure. When you mix all those ingredients together and toss in a sweet Late Night event with several important female recruits, you've got the makings of a fine program for years to come.
The future of KU Women's Hoops looks bright indeed!