Senior forward and All-American candidate Danielle McCray is certainly
living up to her preseason billing. McCray is averaging a team-high
21.7 points and 1.9 steals per game, while ranking second on the team
with 7.1 rebounds per contest. She's shooting 51.2 percent from the
field and a scorching 50.8 percent beyond the arc.
McCray is coming off a 30-point game against UC Riverside last Sunday,
followed by a career-high 37 at Houston on Tuesday night. She shot 17
of 22 from the field vs. the Cougars, including an eye-popping 12 of 13
(for 25 points) in the first half.
"McCray is an incredible player and we couldn't stop her," Houston
coach Joe Curl told the University Daily Kansan. "We tried the box and
one. We tried the triangle and two. We put our best defensive player on
her. We tried to do everything we possibly could to slow her down."
McCray, who entered the week ranked second in the Big 12 and No. 16 in
the NCAA in scoring, passed Lynn Pride with her 37-point outburst and
moved into fifth place on KU's all-time scoring list with 1,778 career
points. McCray, the preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, has indeed
made her mark as one of the best players in Jayhawk history.
And you can bet she's enjoying all the rewards of her hard work.
"It's something I've dreamed about — being in the spotlight and being
on the right track, being successful, helping others," McCray said in
preseason. "Just being loyal and trustworthy. It's great to be an
athlete that has a lot of success and has more things to come."
The Jayhawks have two players whose fathers played in the NBA and NFL.
Freshman forward Annette Davis's dad, Antonio, played in the NBA for 13
seasons, while senior forward Porscha Weddington's father, Mike, played
five seasons at linebacker for the NFL's Green Bay Packers.
Phog.net spoke to Antonio Davis after he watched his daughter's first
exhibition game in Allen Fieldhouse against Pittsburg State on Nov. 1.
Antonio was excited watching his daughter play her first collegiate
"It feels good," he said. "She's been working really hard trying to get
prepared for the season. I just come out here and support her. It's a
little bit of a hike (Davis lives in Atlanta), but I'm going to try to
get to as many home games and away games as I can this year."
Davis, the 6-9 former power forward/center who played for Indiana,
Toronto (All-Star in 2001), Chicago and New York from 1993-2006, works
for the NBA Players' Association and NBA TV. But his true passion is
being a father and watching Annette play.
"I'm just tying to be a good dad. That's a full-time job in itself," he
Any advice Antonio gives to his daughter?
"At this particular point in time, it's just be patient and keep
working hard," he said. "It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. You'll be
here four years, you work really hard, first of all getting a degree
and (working on) your studies. With basketball, nothing comes
overnight. You just got to keep working and pushing and working and
pushing and things will happen."
Davis said he gained a greater respect for Kansas basketball after
attending the exhibition game and walking around Allen Fieldhouse.
"I didn't realize all this tradition," he said. "I walk by the board
(by the KU tunnel and concourse where a montage of past Jayhawk greats
are displayed) and Drew Gooden is from Oakland, Calif., where I'm from,
and Paul Pierce and Danny Manning and Larry Brown, who gave me my first
opportunity to play in the NBA (as head coach of the Indiana Pacers
during Davis's rookie season in 1993-94). There's a lot of history here
and it's really exciting to look on those walls and see all those great
Davis, a former standout at UTEP, is glad Annette is a Jayhawk after
starring at Bellaire High School in Houston, Texas.
"I think she picked the right school," Davis said. "From what I know
about the coach (Henrickson), she's great. I just kick back and wait to
see how she's progressing, making sure she's enjoying it and understand
that it's a tough thing to take on. But it's one she chose, so you just
do your best."
Despite her lack of minutes playing behind veterans Krysten Boogaard,
Aishah Sutherland and Nicollette Smith, Henrickson believes Annette has
a very bright future. She's averaging 1.0 point, 1.0 rebound, and 4.6
minutes in seven games.
"Annette Davis has really shown a high basketball IQ," Henrickson said
during Media Day in October. "She creates a different look at the power
forward. She is not the shooter that Nicollette Smith is, and she is
not the long, lanky, athletic hang-in-the-air kid that Aishah
Sutherland is, but a powerful, explosive player who can score on the
block, score from the free-throw line or put it on the floor and shoot
BELIEVING IN ANGEL
KU redshirt freshman point guard Angel Goodrich has been a huge boost
this season. The 5-4 native of Tahlequah, Okla., leads the team with
8.3 assists per game, entering the week ranked second in the Big 12 and
fourth in the NCAA. Goodrich (6.5 ppg), who scored a career-high 20
points against Creighton on Dec. 13, has recorded double-digit assists
in three of her last five games.
Goodrich's teammates definitely believe in Angel.
"I love playing with Angel," said Smith, a fellow Oklahoma native and
Goodrich's former longtime AAU teammate. "She just makes the game so
much easier for everybody around her.
"She can push the ball constantly. She has great court vision. She
knows how to create and she's a point guard who can score outside and
take it in and score. She's just an all-round good point guard. That's
the type of point guard we need to win a championship."
AISHAH'S BREAKOUT SEASON
This has been a breakout season for the 6-2 sophomore forward
Sutherland, one of the most improved players in the country.
After averaging 5.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season in a
reserve role, she's become a true force this season. Sutherland has
started all 11 games, averaging 13.0 points (No. 2 on team) and a
team-high 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest. She's posted three
double-doubles and scored a career-high 24 points in KU's opening game
against Oral Roberts on Nov. 15.
She's starting the season as she finished last year, where she averaged
11.8 points and a team-high 9.2 rebounds during the WNIT (five-game run
to the championship game). Above all, she's feeling much more confident
and comfortable this season.
"I've improved on looking for my shot, running in transition, looking
for the ball more, finishing, more confident with actually putting up
my shot instead of passing it out," Sutherland said.
KU Women's Hoops Notebook
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