UK Hoops Notebook: Productive Practice, Baylor Tickets
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky women's basketball single-game tickets vs. Baylor went on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster on Wednesday morning. The Wildcats are looking to "Pack The House"' on Monday, Nov. 17 against the Lady Bears at 7 p.m. ET in Rupp Arena. The game will be televised live on ESPN2, and will mark the tip-off to the ESPN 24-hour college basketball marathon to kick-off the 2014-15 season.
UK sold out Rupp Arena a season ago, as a school-record crowd of 23,706 turned up to watch the Wildcats face No. 2 Duke on Dec. 22, 2013. Last season, UK hoops set a new program record, finishing ninth in the nation, averaging 6,727 fans per home game, and a season total of 121,089 for all 18 home games. UK has finished in the top 25 for national attendance 11 straight seasons, a program-best streak.
Tickets for the "Pack The House" game are available in two locations, including the Ticketmaster link above. Fans can also call the UK Ticket Office at (859) 257-1818 to book their seat for the game.
"We have the best fans in the nation," UK Hoops sophomore Linnae Harper (Chicago, Ill.) said. "They bring so much energy to the atmosphere, so if they bring our energy and we bring our `A-game', we will be the best that we can be. Baylor has a phenomenal program and team, but with our fans we can make something special happen."
UK Hoops had a 9-4 record last year when playing in crowds of 6,000+, including 14-4 record in games played at Memorial Coliseum.
Lower level reserved tickets are $9, upper level general admission adults are $8, upper level GA youth (ages 6-18)/seniors (ages 65+) at $5. Groups of 10 or more are just $2 each in reserved or general admission areas and can be purchased by calling the UK ticket office directly.
Season tickets are available for purchase for $65 online at UKAthletics.com/tickets or by calling the UK Ticket Office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-2287. Lower level chairbacks are sold out.
Wildcats Continue Strong Workouts
Under the direction of eighth-year head coach Matthew Mitchell, UK held a one-hour workout session on Wednesday morning at the Joe Craft Center, focusing on implementing drills that will be critical to the success of the Wildcats in 2014-15.
"We're just continuing to try and build on some of the drills that we will need to continue to do every day and we will need to do them well once practice gets here," Mitchell said. "I think it's been a good preseason so far. We had a conditioning test yesterday in which everyone did well on, so I think we are rounding into shape and getting ready to start practice.
Kentucky's up-tempo style of play and signature "40 minutes of dread" defense has wreaked havoc for opponents over the past five seasons. The Wildcats have ranked in the top five nationally in turnover margin, having forced more than 800 turnovers in four of the last five seasons. Since 2009-10, UK has compiled an impressive 118-27 record when forcing more turnovers than the opponent.
One of the Wildcats most aggressive defenders is Harper, who Mitchell praised after practice.
"Linnae has all the God-given talent that you could want," Mitchell said. "For her the next step is her approach. Her approach needs to be one of uncommon work ethic and a serious commitment to how things are going. Sometimes when you're a really talented player, you just want to play. At this level there is a lot more to it than getting out there running up and down the court and shooting the ball. She is starting to understand that and when you see her fully embrace it, she will be a special player.
The Wildcats, who were ranked No. 6 in an early preseason poll by ESPN.com columnist Charlie Crème, returns seven letter winners from last season, including key players in Bria Goss (Chicago) and Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.), returning starting point guard junior Janee Thompson (Chicago) and sophomore guards Linnae Harper (Chicago) and Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.). Adding depth to the post position are seniors Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) and Jelléah Sidney (Queens Village, N.Y.) New additions to the roster this season include junior-college transfer and 6-foot-6 center Ivana Jakubcova (Bratislava, Slovakia), freshman shooting guard Jaycee Coe (Gainesboro, Tenn.), freshman forward/center Alexis Jennings (Madison, Ala.) and freshman center Alyssa Rice (Reynoldsburg, Ohio). Sophomore forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (Lebanon, Ky.) also will be available for action after sitting out last season with a pulmonary embolism.
For continuing coverage of UK Hoops, log on to UKathletics.com.