7-0 KENTUCKY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TO HOST LOUISVILLE THURSDAY NIGHT
The old joke goes:
"Will the last player left on the roster please turn out the lights to the gym?"
|Ivana stares in disbelief at Matty's latest hand jive.|
The saga began when incoming freshman Morgan Rich left the squad before even participating in WBB Media Day. According to a University spokesman, she 'had not met certain program standards to practice'. Transfer Chrishae Rowe, a transfer from Oregon, was dismissed for 'failure to uphold standards of the program'. Junior Linnae Harper left the squad next for an unspecified reason. We're not sure if standards were involved here or not...
|This is not the UK 2015-16 team photo|
Mitchell retains a 'glass-half-full' attitude about the squad:
"The sky's definitely not falling. In fact the sun's coming up. There are going to be some storms here and there but I'm not concerned."
A statement that resembles the famous Bill Murray quote in the movie Caddyshack:
"I don't think the heavy stuff is gonna come down for quite awhile."
Despite the changes in the UK roster, the Cats are 7-0 and ranked #8 in the nation. They haven't beat up on a very challenging slate of opponents...#24 Arizona State took them to overtime in Tempe in their second game of the season. If you look at the combined win/loss record of the teams UK has played this season, it is an unimpressive 26-25. It's been a schedule that has also featured five home games and a brief jaunt to Highland Heights, KY to play NKU.
|Louisville's next? I'm all-in !!|
Beside the two, only Alexis Jennings has played in the rivalry for UK. Newcomers Evelyn Akhator (Chipola C.C.), Ivana Jakubcova (Murray State College, OK) and freshmen Batouly Camara, Taylor Murray and Bell County product Maci Morris round out a UK squad that averages 86 p.p.g. and has had five different leading scorers in their seven contests this year.
|Matthew always seems to be doing something with his hands...|
So, how does Louisville break the UK win streak over them? We'll go into more detail on that in Thursday's column...but stopping the impressive UK dribble-drive attack of Epps, Thompson and Morris has to be near the top of Jeff Walz's list. The Cards will need a strong rebounding effort from Cortnee Walton, Myisha Hines-Allen and Sam Fuehring and late-game lapses that have led to several losses this season can't poke their head into Rupp Arena.
|Again...with the hands...|
The last time the two squads faced there was Jeff Walz's inaugural 2007-08 season...when the Cards took a 80-65 win home. A game where Angel McCoughtry took a bump over the eye that required 17 stitches. She watched the game in the locker room while getting treatment, demanded to be taken back to the floor and returned to play...ending up with 23 points.
With less than 48 hours before the tip-off, we're fairly sure that there will be no additional changes in the UK roster. Thompson was reported to have the stomach flu in the Cats win over NKU, but is expected back for the UofL game. Our attempts to send Epps on an all-expenses paid cruise to Alaska this week didn't come to fruition.
The Cards will go into Rupp with four players who have experienced the rivalry. They hope to bring thunder and lightning to the blue skies Matthew Mitchell is experiencing these days. If the Cards lose...it wouldn't shock anyone. If they win, though...the storms could get nasty in Lexington.