By Scott M. Johnson Herald Writer
SEATTLE — Jazmine Davis was bouncing around the bowels of Hec Edmundson Pavilion on Tuesday afternoon, her smooth stride an uninterrupted gait answering the question before it was asked.
Yes, the star point guard on the University of Washington women’s basketball team will be on the floor tonight when the Huskies play Seattle University at Key Arena. A little ankle sprain won’t keep the sophomore away.
“I’m good,” she said Tuesday, before taking part in her second consecutive day of practices with the Huskies after spraining her ankle in Friday night’s win over St. Mary’s.
A few feet away, fellow guard Mercedes Wetmore, who played all but six seconds in the St. Mary’s game, laughed at the prospect of being tired.
“That’s how we do it,” she said. “We don’t know another way.”
Not injuries nor extended minutes nor a thin bench that includes just two scholarship players can slow these Huskies down. Coach Kevin McGuff’s team is playing faster than ever, yet using fewer bodies, and it has yet to affect the UW women one bit.
“They’re young kids,” McGuff said. “People talk about kids getting tired; I think that can be a little overstated. A lot of people around the country are playing six, seven players, even if they have 13, 14 they can play. I wouldn’t use (being tired) as an excuse with us.”
Wetmore said the Huskies are most tired at the beginning and end of games: “When we’re out there, we’ve always got a second wind.”
So, the Huskies (1-0) might be short-handed tonight at KeyArena against crosstown rival Seattle University, but they won’t be slowing things down.
The Huskies could play most of the non-conference season short-handed. The UW’s top two recruits, post player Katie Collier and wing Heather Corral, are hurt. Collier suffered a season-ending knee injury while Corral could miss six weeks with a broken hand. A personal issue has kept reserve Kellie McCann-Smith away from the team.
The Huskies’ injury trouble took a near catastrophic turn in the first half of Friday night’s game when Davis crumpled under the basket. She missed only about four minutes of action with an ankle injury before returning to the floor, eventually making the game-winning shot in UW’s 70-68 win over St. Mary’s.
Davis sat out Sunday’s practice to rest the ankle but was back on the floor Monday afternoon. By Tuesday, she was pronounced ready to play in tonight’s game.
“She’s as close to 100 percent, I think, as you can get,” McGuff said.
The Huskies and Redhawks played at UW’s Hec Edmundson Pavilion last year, and the Huskies dominated the game while playing 11 players and getting four double-figure scorers — even though leading scorer Regina Rogers was held to six points in her most quiet performance of the season. It marked the eighth consecutive time UW has beaten Seattle U.
With Davis, the Huskies again should be in the position of favorite against Seattle U., despite UW’s lack of depth. The Redhawks are technically the home team tonight, but there should be plenty of UW love at KeyArena.
With Seattle U now officially a Division I program, there’s talk about a Redhawks-Huskies rivalry heating up. Maybe in the future, but Davis doesn’t see a rivalry yet between the two teams.
Her definition of a rivalry is: “win one, lose one, win one, lose one,” she said. “So I don’t consider it a rivalry.
“I consider it a tough game between two teams from the same city, but I don’t consider it a rivalry.”
Former Meadowdale star Kristen O’Neill is an associate head coach for the Redhawks. … Jackson High School product Kristin Stoffel is a freshman reserve for Seattle U. She played 14 minutes and scored one point in the Redhawks’ opener, a 71-70 loss to Pacific.