#12 Kentucky Women's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Kentucky Wildcats
Overall Rank: #12
Conference Rank: #4 SEC
 Kentucky Logo
Kentucky brings back the reigning national Freshman of the Year in Rhyne Howard. The 6-2 guard led the Wildcats with 16.6 points and 6.6 rebounds, just the second freshman in Kentucky history to lead the program in both categories. Howard connected on 38.7 percent of her 191 attempts from beyond the arc and even added 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Howard got a little NCAA Tournament experience too, but the expectations are rising for Howard and her teammates heading into the 2019-2020 campaign.
2018-19 Record: 25-8, 11-5
2018-19 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Matthew Mitchell
Coach Record: 281-125 at Kentucky, 311-144 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Maci Morris, Guard, 15.1 ppg
Taylor Murray, Guard, 12.4 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Rhyne Howard, Sophomore, Guard, 16.4 ppg
Tatyana Wyatt, Junior, Forward, 6.9 ppg
KeKe McKinney, Junior, Forward, 4.3 ppg
Jaida Roper, Senior, Guard, 6.8 ppg
Blair Green, Sophomore, Guard, 5.3 ppg
Amanda Paschal, Senior, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Ogechi Anyagaligbo, Senior, Forward, 2.5 ppg
Kameron Roach, Junior, Guard, 0.8 ppg
Key New Players
Sabrina Haines, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Arizona State
Emma King, Freshman, Guard
Deasia Merrill, Freshman, Forward
Chasity Patterson, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Texas, eligible 2nd semester
Nae Nae Cole, Senior, Center, Transfer from NC State, not eligible
Dre’una Edwards, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Utah, not eligible
Tatyana Wyatt and KeKe McKinney form a formidable frontcourt duo. Both need to be more efficient scoring around the basket though. Regardless, Wyatt and McKinney are now experienced juniors who were regular starters last season. Even if they are not scoring much more this season, they will play solid defense and help Howard out on the glass. The backcourt must replace Maci Morris and Taylor Murray, who accounted for 27.5 points per game. Roleplayers like Jaida Roper, Blair Green and Amanda Paschal will look to take on larger roles this year. Roper is an experienced senior who can handle the ball and run the show. Green could emerge as one of the more dangerous shooters on this team. The backcourt also brings in a couple transfers who are expected to make an immediate impact. Sabrina Haines comes from Arizona State where she proved to be a very dangerous shooter and all-around scorer. Chasity Patterson saw limited playing time at Texas, but she is an explosive point guard who will make a big impact once she is eligible at the conclusion of the fall semester. As long as Kentucky can find some quality shooting options on the perimeter, this will be a tough team to beat. Winning an SEC title is never easy, but this group has the talent and depth to remain competitive with the top teams in the conference.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.6 (68th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 59.2 (52, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.1 (130, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.1 (237, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (80, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.4 (24, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.5 (39, 1)
Rebound Margin: -2.8 (256, 13)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (151, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (26, 3)
Madness 2019 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#88 Deasia Merrill