Wichita State Shockers

Henderson takes point for WSU women

Marisah Henderson wanted to push the basketball, but thought better of it.

Wichita State coach Jody Adams motioned to her senior point guard to slow down, but Henderson already knew.

Heading into tonight's matchup with La Salle, the second in a five-game home stand to open the season, Wichita State (1-1) has its floor general established in Henderson.

"That is her role," Adams said, "... to run this team and teach Jessy Diamond how to run the team."

Diamond is Adams' next hand-picked point guard, and in line to run the point next season. It's a position that Adams is demanding of — herself a former point guard for Pat Summitt at Tennessee.

"Jessy and Marisah and I have spent a lot of time together because I work with point guards, because that is who I communicate through in the game," Adams said. "We work every day on our communication."

Henderson still isn't at the level Adams prefers, vocally, but her pass-first mentality and play-making ability makes her the perfect fit. It's a model — typified by her nine-assist performance on Friday — Diamond can strive for.

"She pretty much controls the tempo of the game," Diamond said. "That's something I'm trying to learn to do. She knows when to go fast and when to slow it down. I'm just taking a lot of pointers from her."

Diamond is in the same mold as Henderson, but offers some slight varieties. While Henderson is an effective passer, Diamond has proven to be an offensive weapon as well, averaging 10.5 points.

During games or scrimmages, the different views are helpful.

"I may see something she doesn't see, or vice versa," Henderson said. "Little things I know I try to tell her. Jody just tells us what she knows, too."

In the meantime, Henderson provides the steady veteran play the Shockers need, and Diamond represents the potential future.

"Marisah is a great leader," Diamond said. "She helps me a lot. It makes the transition a lot easier because next year I'm going to have to be the point guard of this team."

Notes — Senior Ashley Gladden, who has started both games this season, will be unavailable for tonight's game due to personal reasons.... Junior Sheena Johnson, who started at Colorado State, will be a game-time decision due to a concussion.