Goodrich and Davis embrace roles on and off court

A month ago, Angel Goodrich and Carolyn Davis were sharing the spotlight that’s shining brightly on Kansas women’s basketball right now.

Davis was a bona fide All-American candidate, dominating the low post in the Big 12.

Goodrich was the same. Despite two knee injuries since arriving at Kansas she is leading the country in assists. She is a star in the early rounds of this year’s NCAA tournament.

For Goodrich, nothing else matters. The team still comes first.

The crowd of media at Thursday’s send off in Lawrence asked her about her last three games, in each of which she collected 20 plus points. Like always she directed the question back to her team.

“I just like to be aggressive,” Goodrich said. “If 20 points comes with that than so be it, but I’m going to be aggressive.”

Goodrich doesn’t care if the 20 points are hers or someone else’s as long as Jayhawks keep winning.

“It’s great to see that,” Davis said. “We knew that she was all capable of what she is doing. Just for her to be elevating her game at this time of the season is just we need her the most.”

Carolyn and Angel lead very different existences now.

The attention is constantly on Goodrich now. Lights flashing everywhere she goes, constant interview requests, even reporters scrapping for the last bit of information about her life as she goes to practice.

Everyone wants a piece of Goodrich.

Then there’s Davis.

When media availability opened up on Friday afternoon. There was no mad rush to Davis’ locker. She grabbed a bowl of snacks from the refreshment table. Went back to locker and began nibbling on the tasty treats while sifting through her first “Hunger Games” book.

Since tearing her left ACL and dislocating her knee against Kansas State on Feb. 12, Davis has lived a much quieter life.

People have given her her space and let her recuperate from in one of many ACL injuries in recent Jayhawks history.

With six ACL tears during Bonnie Henrickson’s time at Kansas, Davis realizes there’s support around every corner if she needs it. But Goodrich is one of the first people she goes to if she needs help.

“Even though my situation’s different,” Davis said, “she still helps me as much as we can and she talks me through it when I’ve had bad days. All my teammates are supportive of me when I’m doing rehab on the side. They’re all cheering for me.”

“She just gives us that momentum and that strength that our team can have,” Goodrich said. “She’s another coach for us and that’s awesome to see her because she things that we don’t see sometimes.”

Although the public has turned away from Davis, the team has not.

She’s still an active member of the team constantly dishing out advice and staying a positive influence.

“Seeing Carolyn stay positive and strong through this process because we all know she wants to be out there. We all want her out there,” Goodrich said.

—Originally published on kansan.com on March 24, 2012

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