Kentucky Women's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Kentucky Wildcats
SEC (27-5, 13-3)


When you play in the shadow of a dominant men’s team at a college, often your exploits are lost as teams flock to watch the men’s squad in action. This was a year, however, where the women outplayed the men in Lexington. Basketball-mad fans in the Bluegrass State don’t care if it is men or women playing as long as it involves hardwood and a ball, and fans that followed the women’s team this year were treated to an outstanding season. Kentucky made it to the finals of the conference tournament before it lost to Texas A&M, so this could suggest some good times ahead for followers of the Big Blue.

Big Wins: 2/14 South Carolina (78-74), 2/18 at Texas A&M (70-66), 3/3 Tennessee (78-65)
Bad Losses: 1/24 at South Carolina (50-55), 2/3 Georgia (71-75), 2/24 at LSU (72-77)
Coach: Matthew Mitchell

Why They Can Surprise:
Just as easy as Kentucky can sneak the ball to the basket, it can bury a 3-pointer and catch a team off guard. There are plenty of specialists on the Wildcat team that can drain the three-ball with pinpoint accuracy, including six players that were successful on over 30 percent of their attempts. Samarie Walker is a rebounding machine, as she is relentless with opponents when it comes to grabbing the basketball first. Of her 266 rebounds 106 came on offense, and those were vital when it came to Kentucky’s second and third-chance baskets. Oh, and did we mention A’dia Mathies? A finalist for national player of the year, Mathies can shoot with accuracy, rebound, dish it off or commit grand theft basketball with a steal. Mathies won’t likely walk away with national MVP honors, but to fans of the Big Blue she is already an MVP in their book.

Why They Can Disappoint:
If the 3-point shooting goes cold then Kentucky could suffer. Take the case of the Wildcats’ loss to Texas A&M in the tournament finals, which could have given Kentucky its first SEC tournament championship since 1982. Kentucky shot 22.2 percent from long range in the first half and 25 percent for the game. Not to mention Texas A&M’s Kelsey Bone dominated the second half of that 75-67 loss. If Kentucky runs into a player that causes problems like that, it could be a long game. About the only way this team could disappoint is cold shooting or if Mathies has a bad game. Kentucky has a lot of weapons in its possession and isn’t afraid to use them.

Probable Starters:
Jennifer O’Neil, Junior, Guard, 10.5 ppg, 2.8 apg
A’dia Mathies, Senior, Guard, 15.9 ppg, 2.3 apg, 4.5 rpg
Kastine Evans, Junior, Guard, 4.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Samarie Walker, Junior, Forward/Center, 8.8 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.1 spg
DeNesha Stallworth, Junior, Center, 12.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Bria Goss, Sophomore, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Janee Thompson, Freshman, Guard, 4.2 ppg, 1.0 apg
Azia Bishop, Sophomore, Forward/Center, 4.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 77.3 (4th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 56.9 (72, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.4 (53, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (221, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.9 (36, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.8 (68, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.7 (144, 6)
Rebound Margin: 5.0 (52, 4)
Assists Per Game: 13.8 (93, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.6 (84, 5)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Round of 64 win over McNeese State
2012    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Green Bay
2012    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Gonzaga
2012    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Connecticut
2011    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Hampton
2011    NCAA    Round of 32 loss to North Carolina
2010    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Liberty
2010    NCAA    Round of 32 win over Michigan State
2010    NCAA    Regional Semifinal win over Nebraska
2010    NCAA    Regional Final loss to Oklahoma
2009    NIT        First Round win over Chattanooga
2009    NIT        Second Round loss to Wisconsin
2008    NIT        Second Round win over MTSU
2008    NIT        Third Round win over James Madison
2008    NIT        Fourth Round loss to Marquette

*all team stats through 3/7


See All Women’s Basketball Postseason Capsules