With every season that passes without a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the next season becomes all that more crucial for the Kansas women's basketball program and coach Bonnie Henrickson.
Henrickson enters her seventh season at KU without the support of the athletic director who hired her. Odds are, by season's end, a new athletic director will be in place to evaluate the program's performance under her direction.
So far, it's amounted to a lot of hoping. The Jayhawks haven't gotten the results, compiling a 29-67 record in Big 12 play and having to settle for four WNIT berths. Last season, KU was picked to finish second in the league because it returned star Danielle McCray, but McCray tore her anterior cruciate ligament in January, and the Jayhawks never recovered. In that case, Henrickson's squad simply ran into some bad luck.
This season, the Jayhawks are picked to finish sixth. If they could just meet that expectation, they would likely have the resume to put them in the NCAA Tournament.
Still, KU once again is probably a year away. Sophomores Angel Goodrich, Monica Engelman and Carolyn Davis are the team's best players, and it will be asking a lot of them to be leaders this early in their careers.