UK Hoops Selected by Media to Finish Fourth in SEC Race

Oct. 21, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team was selected to finish fourth in the 2015 Southeastern Conference race in a voting of select panel of both SEC and national media members.

It marked the fifth straight season the Wildcats have been selected in the top four of the preseason poll.

South Carolina, which returns all five starters from last season’s SEC regular-season title team, tops the order of finish, with Tennessee, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Georgia and LSU rounding out the top half of the league. Mississippi State, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama and Ole Miss round out the bottom half.

Head coach Matthew Mitchell, UK’s all-time winningest coach, enters his eighth season at the helm of UK Hoops after leading the Wildcats to a 26-9 (10-6 SEC) mark last season, a No. 10 final national ranking in The Associated Press poll and the program’s school-record fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, including third consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16.

Seven letter winners return from last season’s squad, including top scorer and SEC Co-6th Woman of the Year Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.), and starters Bria Goss (Indianapolis) and Janee Thompson (Chicago). O’Neill, a 5-foot-6 senior guard, dropped in a team-high 12.6 points per game last year, while Goss, a 5-10 senior guard, was the team’s third-leading scorer with 10.2 ppg. Thompson, a 5-7 junior point guard, averaged 8.6 points per game a year ago, while dishing out a team-best 107 assists. Also returning is senior center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) who saw action in all 35 games last season with five starts and senior forward Jelléah Sidney (Queens Village, N.Y.) who averaged 3.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game and was second on the team in steals with 41. The dynamic sophomore duo of Linnae Harper (Chicago) and Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.) look to pick up where they left off last season. Harper, a 5-8 guard and member of the SEC All-Freshman team and SEC All-Tournament team, averaged 6.9 points per game overall, including 9.5 ppg in postseason play. Epps, a 5-10 guard, was one of the team’s best shooters, hitting .483 percent from the field (56-of-116).

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 and 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.

The Wildcats open up the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game against Pikeville on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free and the game will be streamed live on SEC Network +. Events on SEC Network + are exclusively available on SECNetwork.com and on WatchESPN via computers, smartphones and tablets.

Season tickets for UK’s entire 15-game regular-season home schedule are on sale now for $65. Lower-level chair backs ($80) are sold out.

Single-game Baylor tickets in Rupp Arena are also on sale. They are $9 for lower level reserved and $8 for upper level general admission. Youth (ages 6-18) and senior citizens (ages 65 and up) are only $5. Groups of 10 or more are $2 each in reserved and general admission areas and can ONLY be purchased by calling the UK ticket office directly.

UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free to all UK Hoops games with a valid UK identification card.

Season tickets may be purchased online at www.ukhoopstix.com. Baylor tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the UK Ticket Office at (800) 928-2287 or (859) 257-1818. Fans can also visit the Joe Craft Ticket Office. Office hours are 9 a.m. ET – 4:30 p.m. ET.

All other single-game tickets for Memorial Coliseum will go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 28, beginning at 9 a.m. ET through the UK Ticket Office or www.Ticketmaster.com.

SEC Champion

South Carolina

Order of Finish

  1. South Carolina (210)
  2. Tennessee (191)
  3. Texas A&M (179)
  4. Kentucky (154)
  5. Vanderbilt (150)
  6. Georgia (132)
  7. LSU (122)
  8. Mississippi St. (108)
  9. Florida (96)
  10. Auburn (83)
  11. Arkansas (77)
  12. Missouri (77)
  13. Alabama (74)
  14. Ole Miss (21)

Player of the Year

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Preseason All-SEC

Martha Alwal, Mississippi State
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina
Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee
Courtney Walker, Texas A&M