Kentucky Women's Basketball 2012 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Kentucky Wildcats
SEC (25-6, 13-3)

Kentucky fell in the second round last season and had to replace their leading scorer. There were some questions heading into the season about how good this team could be, but the Wildcats answered most of those concerns. Coach Matthew Mitchell has done a tremendous job during his five years at Kentucky and this is a team on the verge of a breakthrough tournament run.

Big Wins: 12/8 Duke (72-65), 1/12 Tennessee (61-60), 1/19 at Georgia (69-64)
Bad Losses: 12/28 at Middle Tennessee (58-70), 2/5 at LSU (51-61), 2/16 at Alabama (72-76)
Coach: Matthew Mitchell (5 seasons at Kentucky)

Why They Can Surprise:
Few teams in the nation have as much quality depth as Kentucky. Keyla Snowden was set to become the Wildcats leading scorer this season, but she has turned into the first player off of the bench instead. Snowden is providing a great spark off of the bench and she is a good pure scorer. However, fellow guards A’dia Mathies and Bria Goss have stolen some of Snowden’s spotlight. Mathies, a 5-9 junior, is the team’s leading scorer and a threat to shoot the long ball and attack the basket. She is even a superb rebounder for a guard and a great defender and passer. Goss earned a starting role right away as a freshman and at this point in her career is a slightly less productive version of Mathies. They are both big guards who can shoot and get to the charity stripe. Amber Smith is the point guard who makes this team tick. She is not a scorer, but she does not have to be on this team. It is her job to keep the turnovers down and find the scorers and she does that very well.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Kentucky will use 11 or 12 players in a game for a couple reasons. Most of all they have the talent to do it. That depth leads to a lot of steals and the Wildcats will get a ton of extra possessions because of their magnificent turnover margin. But they also use a lot of players because this team will rack up a ton of fouls. In general it is the frontcourt that is most susceptible to foul trouble. Brittany Henderson is the usual starter in the frontcourt, but again there is plenty of depth when the Wildcats need to play bigger or they run into foul problems. The addition of Samarie Walker, a transfer from Connecticut, provided a much needed scoring punch under the basket. Walker is also the team’s best shot blocker and this Kentucky team is not consistent on the defensive end so having a shot blocker under the basket has helped decrease their opponent’s field goal percentage.

Probable Starters:
Amber Smith, Senior, Guard, 4.1 ppg, 2.7 apg
Kastine Evans, Sophomore, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 1.4 apg
A’dia Mathies, Junior, Guard, 15.7 ppg, 2.5 apg, 5.3 rpg, 2.7 spg
Bria Goss, Freshman, Guard, 11.2 ppg, 1.6 apg, 4.2 rpg
Brittany Henderson, Junior, Forward, 3.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Azia Bishop, Freshman, Center, 5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Maegan Conwright, Sophomore, Guard, 4.4 ppg, 1.5 apg
Samantha Drake, Sophomore, Center, 5.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg
Bernish Pinkett, Sophomore, Guard, 5.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Keyla Snowden, Senior, Guard, 9.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Samarie Walker, Sophomore, Center, 7.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (11th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.9 (86, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.4 (103, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (280, 11)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.9 (75, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.0 (127, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.1 (217, 4)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (90, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.7 (160, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.3 (172, 6)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
Kentucky    2011    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Hampton
Kentucky    2011    NCAA        Round of 32 loss to North Carolina
Kentucky    2010    NCAA        Round of 64 win over Liberty
Kentucky    2010    NCAA        Round of 32 win over Michigan State
Kentucky    2010    NCAA        Regional Semifinal win over Nebraska
Kentucky    2010    NCAA        Regional Final loss to Oklahoma
Kentucky    2009    NIT           First Round win over Chattanooga
Kentucky    2009    NIT           Second Round loss to Wisconsin
Kentucky    2008    NIT           Second Round win over MTSU
Kentucky    2008    NIT           Third Round win over James Madison
Kentucky    2008    NIT           Fourth Round loss to Marquette
Kentucky    2007    NIT           First Round win over Oakland
Kentucky    2007    NIT           Second Round win over Ball State
Kentucky    2007    NIT           Third Round loss to Wisconsin

*all team stats through 3/1

See All Women’s Basketball Postseason Capsules