Obviously, Kansas women's basketball coach Bonnie Henrickson has been given a lot of rope and her star player, Danielle McCray, is pulling as hard as she can to rescue her coach.
It caught my eye last week when McCray, a senior perimeter player from Olathe East, was chosen as the preseason player of the year in the Big 12.
That's heady stuff, considering the Big 12 is an outstanding women's basketball conference and KU hasn't done much since Henrickson was brought in to revive the program five years ago.
If this is a revival, somebody needs to take the microphone and get me on my feet.
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Kansas did win 22 games last season and, for the third time under Henrickson, made it to the WNIT final. Which surprised me because I didn't know there was a WNIT.
Closer scrutiny, though, shows that under Henrickson, the Jayhawks have not made much of a dent in the Big 12 standings. They were 6-10 last season, finishing in a tie for seventh place. During Henrickson's regime, KU is 32 games below .500 in conference play.
Which is where McCray comes in.
She is legit, having averaged 21.6 points and 7.7 rebounds last season. She plays a lot of minutes and doesn't have a noticeable flaw in her game, although she is adamant about becoming a better defensive player.
McCray moved to Olathe from Florida before her freshman year of high school and has been doing big things since. Last summer, she was one of 12 players selected to play for the United States in the World University Games in Serbia and was the second-leading scorer for that team, which went 7-0.
Now it becomes a matter of what kind of players surround McCray, because she's a given.
KU's top eight scorers from last season are back. And there's a promising freshman class, too. The other league coaches are impressed enough to have picked the Jayhawks to finish second in the Big 12 race, behind Baylor.
Could it be?
"Competing in our conference is just something that has to get better this season,'' McCray said. "We're looking forward to doing that. Being picked in the preseason to finish No. 2 is something that kind of stands out.''
Especially when you haven't been No. 2 in a long, long time.
Henrickson built a winner at Virginia Tech and is the only coach of a high-profile sport to be hired by Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins. So far, it looks like a swing and a miss. But perhaps Henrickson's sixth year is the revival year.
McCray is ready to help take the Jayhawks where they haven't been lately.
"It was exciting for me to be chosen as the preseason player of the year,'' she said. "I was thrilled.''
But McCray is aware that preseason awards come with no hardware; that they're just predictions. And how often are predictions about this kind of stuff right, anyway?
"I have to go out and prove it and our team has to go out and prove it,'' McCray said. "There are no guarantees about anything. I have to keep playing hard like I've been doing and not overlook anything.''
The 5-foot-11 McCray was strictly a post player at Olathe East. Her size and quickness were too much for high school opponents to handle.
She doesn't have enough size, though, to play inside in college and has been able to show off her vast perimeter skills, which she honed playing summer AAU basketball.
Last season, McCray was a 42.6 percent three-point shooter and made 83 percent of her free throws.
Opposing coaches know how much of a go-to player she is, yet they're powerless to stop her.
"Our team looks really good this year,'' McCray said. "But, like I said, we have to go out and prove it. This is a tough league. But it looks like our year.''