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Notebook: Goodin-Rogers' spirits high after news of blood clot

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Kyvin Goodin-Rogers will miss the 2013-14 season after being diagnosed with a blood clot this week. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) Kyvin Goodin-Rogers will miss the 2013-14 season after being diagnosed with a blood clot this week. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)
Kyvin Goodin-Rogers was coming down the stretch of her first preseason as a college basketball player. In practice, the talent of the highly touted freshman forward was on display and she had just begun making a strong case for immediate playing time.

But just a week before UK's exhibition against Eckerd, Goodin-Rogers experienced chest pains. After reporting her symptoms to Senior Athletic Trainer Courtney Jones, she was taken to the Albert B. Chandler Hospital and diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism in her lungs.

Just like that, she went from looking forward to her collegiate debut to having her freshman season cut short before it even really began.

"You can imagine coming to play at Kentucky has been something she's been looking forward to doing for so long, and to work so hard during the summer and work harder than you've ever worked before, then you get right here to the beginning of the season and it's taken away from you," UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said. "It's a very difficult set of circumstances for her."

As trying as the situation may be, Mitchell is grateful it wasn't any worse.

"I think in the end, for her, it's great that she communicated with our training staff and medical staff, so we could identify a serious problem," Mitchell said. "We'll work real hard with her to find a positive way out of this and we certainly believe there is a positive outcome."

Goodin-Rogers immediately began undergoing blood-thinning treatments to address the blood clot, a process that is expected to last several months. For that reason, she will not play this season. She will, however, continue to take classes and spend plenty of time around the team.

"I think we can expect a range of emotions here early on," Mitchell said. "She's trying to have a really positive attitude through this very difficult situation."

Exhibition offers opportunity to test style with new officiating guidelines

Asked by a reporter what he wanted to see out of his team in UK's lone exhibition against Eckerd College at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Mitchell gave an answer anyone who has watched his program in recent seasons would expect.

"I want us to play 40 minutes of really up-tempo basketball," Mitchell said.

In other words, he wants to see the "40 minutes of dread" style of play that has come to define UK Hoops in practice.

"I want our point guards, and really all our players, to really push the ball on offense and try to get as many layups as we can and put a lot of pressure on Eckerd in transition," Mitchell said. "I'd love to see that and I want to see us play tenacious defense without fouling."

Mitchell's mention of defending without fouling is a timely one, because the NCAA-mandated officiating guidelines regarding physical play that have been such a hot topic with the men's game extend to the women as well.

Considering UK's reliance on full-court pressure, Mitchell will be keeping a close watch on the way Sunday's game is called.

"Those kinds of things, you are anxious to see called and what adjustments you have to make," Mitchell said. "We've been working really hard on playing defense with our feet and being fundamentally sound in our position and technique."

Preseason rankings show difficulty of UK's schedule

On Friday, the Associated Press released its preseason poll and the Wildcats check in at No. 7, one spot ahead of their No. 8 ranking in the coaches' poll.

UK's ranking will be put to the test early and often this season. The Cats will face eight teams ranked in the preseason AP top 25: No. 2 Duke, No. 4 Tennessee, No. 5 Louisville, No. 10 Baylor, No. 15 LSU, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 22 South Carolina and No. 24 Georgia.

Kentucky's December schedule will particularly trying, as the Cats will take on three top-10 teams -- Duke, U of L and Baylor -- along with DePaul, who is receiving votes, from Dec. 1-22.

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