#9 Kentucky Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Kentucky Wildcats

Overall Rank: #9
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
#9 Kentucky Women's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview
Kentucky Team Page


The Wildcats have been a model of success recently, having made five consecutive NCAA Tournaments. That includes a trip to the Sweet Sixteen last year, where they lost to Baylor.  The team will look to win its second SEC title in three years, just losing to Tennessee last season 71-70 in the title game.

2013-14 Record: 26-9, 10-6
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mathew Mitchell
Coach Record: 171-70 at Kentucky and 200-100 overall

Jennifer O'Neill led the Wildcats in scoring last year at 12.6 points per game. And that was as a reserve. She returns with two starters, Bria Goss (10.2 ppg) and Janae Thompson (8.6 ppg), who were third and fifth on the team in scoring last season, respectively. A positive the Wildcats have is that they bring back a lot of experience.  Every returning player but one played in at least 34 of the team's 35 games. Linnae Harper, a high school teammate of Thompson, returns for her sophomore campaign after averaging 6.9 points.

Kentucky loses three starters, including DeNesha Stallworth, who averaged 12.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Both she and Samarie Walker, another graduate, reduce the size in the frontcourt with their departures. Walker averaged 8.7 points and 8.7 rebounds, which was the best on the team. The team's third lost starter, Kastine Evans, averaged 8.2 points.

Final Projection:
Three of the four newcomers stand 6-2 or taller, including junior college transfer Ivana Jakubcova, who is 6-6. The other three, Jaycee Coe, Alexis Jennings and Alyssa Rice, were all high school standouts who averaged at least 19 points their senior years. Rice was an All-American, while Jennings was Alabama's Gatorade Player of the Year. The Wildcats will find out how good they are right away, as they host Baylor on ESPN2 in the team's second game of the season. Other big games include three games in the Virgin Islands at the Paradise Jam against Illinois, Oklahoma and USF, as well as matchups with Duke and in-state rival Louisville.                                                                                                                                                      

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Jennifer White, Senior, G, 12.6 points per game
Bria Goss, Senior, Guard, 10.2 points per game
Janae Thompson, Junior, Guard, 8.6 points per game
Azia Bishop, Senior, Forward/Center, 3.7 points per game
Alyssa Rice, Freshman, Forward, DNP

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 81.3 (14th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.7 (207, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.4 (45, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (153, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.5 (148, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.0 (67, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.4 (237, 11)
Rebound Margin: 4.5 (60, 5)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (110, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.5 (142, 5)

Madness 2015 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#23 Jennifer O'Neill

Madness 2014 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#20 Alyssa Rice
#71 Alexis Jennings


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