Depth was not supposed to be an issue this season for the Wichita State womens basketball team.
Jody Adams has filled the roster with talent, but players not meeting Adams requirements in practice shortened her rotation to seven players in the holiday tournament in Cancun, where the Shockers lost three games by a total of 13 points.
Wichita State returns home tonight to host winless Grambling State and its clear the message Adams is trying to send her team.
Until our bench takes ownership of their role and shows investment in this program, youre going to see people not dress, Adams said. You might see some people not travel.
They have to earn their uniform, the right to travel, and the right to be part of this program.
One player that has gained the coachs trust is Kelsey Jacobs. After tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in 2010 and redshirting her freshman season due to a stress fracture, Jacobs is finally regaining her form.
I feel like my old self, like what they recruited, Jacobs said. Im more athletic, explosive and aggressive now.
Jacobs had the best stretch of her career in Cancun, starting two games and playing over 30 minutes in all three. She averaged 7.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 steals.
Her focus was just wrong before, Adams said. The biggest thing for Kelsey was to change her focus and begin controlling what she can control.
The addition of Kirk Crawford to the coaching staff has benefitted Jacobs the most. Jacobs played timid in the 10.3 minutes a game she averaged as a freshman; that mentality is long gone now.
I just saw a kid playing with no confidence, said Crawford, who specializes in working with post players. Forget the knee injury, that didnt even bother her anymore. The bottom line is now shes playing with confidence.
Now the rest of the team could learn from Jacobs transformation.
Right now the teams overall effort might be a problem, but its talented players like Jacobs that have Crawford believing its only temporary.
When I was at Drake last year, I wanted to work here, Crawford said. The facility, the weight room, Jody, the staff, the players, everything is in place here to win championships.