No. 30 player in 2016 commits to UK women

 Posted by at 10:05 PM on May 14, 2014  No Responses »
May 142014

Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell picked up another commitment from Indiana on Wednesday night.

Sydney Shelton became the second player from the Hoosier State this week to announce her pledge to the Wildcats for 2016. Shelton, a 5-foot-8 prospect from Fortville, Ind., joins Lindsey Corsaro in UK’s class. Corsaro committed to Kentucky on Monday.

Kentucky Premier Coach David Tapley confirmed Shelton’s commitment to the Herald-Leader and said that she had received scholarship offers from Arkansas, Butler, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, St. John’s, Texas Christian and several others.

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Apr 162014

UK women’s basketball signee Alyssa Rice has been named a third-team All-American by USA Today.

Rice — a 6-foot-3 post player from Reynoldsburg, Ohio — averaged 19.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game during her senior season. She also represented UK at the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago earlier this month.

USA Today named Notre Dame signee Brianna Turner its national player of the year.

MORE: USA Today All-Americans


Two UK women’s signees receive national honors

 Posted by at 11:55 AM on February 26, 2014  No Responses »
Feb 262014

UK women’s basketball signees Alexis Jennings and Alyssa Rice were honored Wednesday by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Jennings was one of 10 players to be named to the WBCA high school All-America team. The 6-foot-2 prospect from Harvest, Ala., is considered the ninth-best forward in the 2014 class by ESPN. She chose UK over Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Florida State.

Rice was one of 20 players to receive an WBCA All-America honorable mention designation. The Reynoldsburg, Ohio, native is UK’s top-rated signee in the four-player class of 2014. ESPN ranks the 6-3 recruit as the No. 3 post player and No. 20 overall prospect in the class. Rice will also represent UK in the McDonald’s All-American Game in April.

UK’s class, which also includes Tennessee guard Jaycee Coe and 6-6 junior-college center Ivana Jakubcova, is ranked No. 17 in the nation by ESPN.

Dec 162013
Photo: Charles Bertram/Herald-Leader

Photo: Charles Bertram/Herald-Leader

The UK women’s basketball program has the No. 16 recruiting class in the country for 2014, according to the latest update from the All-Star Girls Report.

The recruiting service updated its team rankings Sunday, putting the Cats’ four-player class at 16th in the nation and fourth in the SEC.

Power forward Alexis Jennings is UK’s highest-rated recruit at No. 35 overall. Center Alyssa Rice is next at No. 44 overall, followed by wing forward Jaycee Coe at No. 195. Ivana Jakubcova — a 6-foot-6 center from Slovakia — is considered the No. 15 junior-college player in the class.

All-Star Girls Report analyst Bret McCormick had the following comments on UK’s class: “Jennings is a versatile player who is coming off a very good summer. She can rebound, score inside and face up out to the three-point arc. Rice is a very skilled player with great footwork and the ability to finish with either hand. Rice has tremendous potential. Coe can put the ball on the floor, but she made her mark as a long range shooter. Jakubcova can score inside with her size, but she also has the skills to face up and put the ball on the floor.”

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Matthew Mitchell comments on four UK signees

 Posted by at 11:26 AM on November 26, 2013  No Responses »
Nov 262013

UK women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell has signed four players to his recruiting class of 2014.

The program officially announced the signings of guard Jaycee Coe, forwards Alexis Jennings and Alyssa Rice and junior college center Ivana Jakubcova on Tuesday morning. UK’s class is currently ranked No. 17 in the country by ESPN and No. 19 by All-Star Girls Report.

“We are very excited to welcome four new members to the UK Hoops family,” Mitchell said in a press release. “We are looking for young women who possess high character and the ability to play championship basketball. Kentucky is a unique place and we need people who appreciate our uniqueness. We need people who value character, principles, preparation and sacrifice; the Kentucky way of doing things. We found four exceptional people who are committed to the Kentucky way both on and off the court.”

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Oct 172013
UK women's coach Matthew Mitchell has taken the Cats to two consecutive Elite Eight appearances. Photo: Charles Bertram/Herald-Leader

UK women’s coach Matthew Mitchell has taken the Cats to two consecutive Elite Eight appearances.
Photo: Charles Bertram/Herald-Leader

UK women’s coach Matthew Mitchell has become one of the main attractions at Big Blue Madness in recent years, showcasing his dance moves for the Rupp crowd with full-on impersonations of artists like Michael Jackson and M.C. Hammer.

Mitchell’s been getting it done once the season starts too, leading the Cats to the Elite Eight three of the past four years. That success starts with recruiting, and the UK coach will have a dozen high-profile prospects in Rupp on Friday night.

Class of 2014

Alexis Jennings | Madison, Ala.

Jennings — a 6-foot-2 post player — is one of UK’s three commitments from the senior class. ESPN ranks her as the No. 9 post player and No. 64 overall prospect in the Class of 2014. Her high school coach’s evaluation: “She can shoot the three; she can post up with her back to the basket; she can run the floor, she can rebound, she’s relentless on the offensive glass. There’s not a whole lot to not like.”

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UK women: Harper makes USA under-19 team

 Posted by at 2:06 PM on May 20, 2013  No Responses »
May 202013

Incoming UK freshman Linnae Harper was one of 12 players named to the USA Basketball women’s under-19 team Sunday.

Harper — a point guard from Chicago — will compete in the World Championships in Lithuania from July 18-28. She has already won gold medals as a member of last year’s under-17 World Championship team and the 2011 FIBA Americas under-16 championship team.

This year’s squad was selected after a four-day tryout that wrapped up Sunday in Colorado Springs.

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Apr 132013

UK commitment Dominique Hawkins scored 14 points Saturday night, but the Kentucky All-Stars were defeated 106-98 in a game with the Ohio All-Stars at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky.

22ft Academy’s MiKyle McIntosh scored 18 points and was named MVP for the Kentucky stars. Madison Central’s Ken-Jah Bosley added 17 points for Kentucky.

Cincinnati signee Kevin Johnson scored 21 points for the Ohio squad and was named that team’s MVP.

Hawkins will next play in Friday’s Derby Festival Classic at Freedom Hall in Louisville. He will be joined in that game by fellow UK commitment Derek Willis.

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Apr 032013
Kentucky signee Makayla Epps competed in the McDonald's three-point skills contest Monday night in Chicago. Photo courtesy of McDonald's

Kentucky signee Makayla Epps competed in the McDonald’s    three-point skills contest Monday night in Chicago.
Photo courtesy of McDonald’s


CHICAGO — Kentucky Miss Basketball Makayla Epps spent the first few minutes of her big night at the McDonald’s All-American game sitting on the bench. And listening to her father yell at her coaches.

“He was mad that I didn’t start,” she said. “He kept hollering, ‘Why ain’t you in the game!’ And I was like, ‘Chill, dad! Chill!’”

Epps said the antics of her father — former UK point guard Anthony Epps — were all in fun.

“He loves it,” she said. “He’s glad I’m here, and he’s just happy for me.”

Once she entered the game, Epps was one of the best players on the court. And that’s saying something, because she was surrounded by the biggest high school stars in the country.

Epps’ East squad lost in a rout, 92-64, but the UK signee scored 13 points, the second-highest total on the team.

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Harper, Epps have good showing in girls’ game

 Posted by at 9:46 PM on April 3, 2013  Comments Off
Apr 032013

CHICAGO – Makayla Epps and Linnae Harper held their own on a national stage Wednesday night.

The next goal will be raising the national profile of the Kentucky women’s basketball team.

Harper had eight points and four assists to help lead the West to a 92-64 victory over the East in the McDonald’s All-American Game in the United Center. Epps had 13 points for the East, which was the second-highest total on the team.

The two UK signees showed off their point guard skills throughout the game, with Marion County’s Epps slashing to the basket and Harper dishing flashy passes to teammates in her hometown of Chicago.

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