Lady Jayhawks are the real deal

The Lady Jayhawks are ready to make noise after Sweet Sixteen season.

By Dylan Gehlbach

…and by the time the game had ended, Kansas was the winner and the crowd went home happy.

No, Kansas fans, I’m not taunting you. I’m not going to sit here and offer hypothetical ways that Kansas football could have beaten Texas this Saturday. In fact, I am giving you a reason to cheer. I’m referring to Sunday at about 3:50 p.m. when the Lady Jayhawks basketball team sent their opponents home in a decisive defeat while their fans had reason to celebrate. You all know where I am going with this and you have heard this all before.

The Kansas women’s basketball team eased into a 57-35 victory in an exhibition game against the Washburn Lady Blues on Sunday. But what credit do they get? More students attended the girls’ basketball games at my old high school than those that populate the student section to watch the Lady Jayhawks play. When I Google “Kansas women’s basketball scores Washburn,” the only relevant links that pop up are those that direct you to Kansas and Washburn athletic websites.

The Lady Jayhawks have not gotten the credit that they deserve.

After eight seasons as head coach for the KU women’s basketball team, Bonnie Henrickson finally has a squad worthy of attention from Kansas students. To begin her ninth season, she returns all but one player from a squad that made an improbable run to the Sweet Sixteen last year. Along the way, Kansas toppled number three seeded Delaware. KU also finished the season in the Top 25 for the first time in recent memory.

All of this is fine and dandy, but that’s one season. Why should KU fans and students alike attend games this year?

The Jayhawks are going to win. Don’t let the football team fool you, Jayhawk fans surround themselves in victory. It clearly starts at the top with men’s basketball. The volleyball team is one of the best in the country and quickly improving. The golf team has made great strides. The women’s soccer team made the NCAA tournament last year with a young team that is sure to return. What Kansas fan, obsessed with winning, would attend a football game where the home team gets slaughtered instead of attending a game in historic Allen Fieldhouse that favors the home team?

In the past, the Lady Jayhawks have not had dynamic players that draw fans to the fieldhouse. This year, they have two. Carolyn Davis and Angel Goodrich were selected for the Wade Trophy Watch List. Only 25 Division I women’s basketball players are on this list, the best in the country. Only six schools have more than one player on this list. Clearly there is some great talent on this team, and it would be silly for Kansas fans to ignore that.

I know that most Kansas fans are aware of all this, but they still won’t attend one women’s basketball game this season. They think that the games are boring. That baffles me.

It is incredible to think that a school so rich and deeply rooted in basketball would miss an opportunity to cheer on a winning program in historic Allen Fieldhouse. After all, we are the home of basketball, aren’t we? It’s time for fans to prove that they are proud of this fact.