Led by three outstanding players – Angel Goodrich, Carolyn Davis and Monica Engelman – Kansas reached the Sweet 16 each of the last three seasons. Now that trio has moved on, the Jayhawks' challenge is to maintain that level of success. Two juniors will be asked to step into production and leadership roles. Chelsea Gardner, a 6-3 junior forward, is the Jayhawks' top returning scorer at 8.7 points per game. She also averaged a team-best 6.9 rebounds per game. Junior guard Natalie Knight was averaging 8.3 points per game before suffering an ACL injury in late January. KU is picked to finish seventh in the coaches' preseason rankings.
Coach: Bonnie Henrickson, 158-135 in 9 seasons at KU, 316-197 in 16 seasons overall.
Last season: 20-14 overall, 8-10 in Big 12, 7th.
NCAA Tournament: Lost in regional semifinal.
Junior forward Chelsea Gardner, junior guard Natalie Knight, junior guard Asia Boyd, senior guard Markisha Hawkins, sophomore guard Lamaria Cole, senior guard CeCe Harper, freshman forward Caelynn Manning-Allen, freshman guard Dakota Gonzalez, freshman guard Dylan Gonzalez.
Coach Henrickson says
"We are kind of a little silly putty right now. We are still trying to form that (team identity) and we are a team that has always wanted to play inside first. We are fortunate that Chelsea (Gardner) has had a good career here so far and we are going to ask her to do more as we are going to ask Natalie (Knight) to do more. The identity is still a little weak and offensively we are still a work in process."
Last season, the Jayhawks were 13-4 at home and has a home record of 114-49 under head coach Bonnie Henrickson. Kansas has 19 home games this season. … The Jayhawks have advanced to postseason play in seven of the last nine seasons. … Freshmen Dakota and Dylan Gonzalez are the daughters of former KU women's basketball standout Angie Snider, who tallied 1,518 points in just three seasons at Kansas (1981-84) to earn All-American honorable mention selection. … Kansas was ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/coaches preseason poll.
Nov. 10 vs. Oral Roberts
Top nonconference games
Nov. 17 vs. Creighton
Nov. 30 vs. Duke
Dec. 4 vs. Arkansas
Dec. 15 vs. Purdue
Jan. 2 vs. West Virginia