Wildcats Picked to Finish Fifth In SEC Preseason Poll
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Coming off the program’s best finish in 16 years, the Kentucky women’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the 12-team Southeastern Conference preseason media voting, it was announced Thursday at the league’s annual media days. It was the highest preseason pick for the Wildcats in school history.
Tennessee was a unanimous choice for the women's basketball title. Georgia placed second and two-time reigning SEC Champion LSU was third. Vanderbilt was voted fourth followed by Kentucky fifth, Florida sixth, Ole Miss seventh, Auburn eighth, South Carolina ninth, Arkansas 10th, Alabama 11th and Mississippi State 12th.
“I anticipated being picked anywhere from fourth to sixth in the standings,” UK coach Mickie DeMoss said. “I think it’s fitting that we are picked in the fifth spot because there are some teams in this league we still need to beat on a consistent basis. Fifth is a good place for us.”
After being picked to finish ninth in last season’s SEC preseason poll, the Wildcats proved otherwise. They recorded an impressive 22-9 record en route to a fourth-place finish in the league standings. They also advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years.
DeMoss, named the 2006 SEC Coach of the Year by the league coaches and The Associated Press, enters her fourth season at the helm of the Wildcats. She welcomes back nine letter winners and all five starters from last season’s squad, including two-time All-SEC selection Samantha Mahoney (Detroit), junior center Sarah Elliott (McKee, Ky.), and sharp-shooting senior Jenny Pfeiffer (North Vernon, Ind.). Senior forward Jennifer Humphrey (Memphis, Tenn.) also is back after receiving a medical hardship for missing all but six games of her sophomore year with an illness. Humphrey led UK and ranked fourth in the SEC last season in rebounding (8.5 rpg).
Sophomore Carly Ormerod (Louisville, Ky.), who was named to the All-SEC second team in the media voting, returns as the floor general after starting in all 31 games during her rookie campaign and averaging a team-high 31.1 minutes per game. She was an All-SEC freshman team selection last season. UK also welcomes three prep standouts in Brittany Edelen (Springfield, Ky.), Amani Franklin (Decatur, Ga.,) and Lydia Watkins (Hopkinsville, Ky.). The only letter winner not returning is junior post player Eleia Roddy (Columbus, Ohio) who suffered a season-ending knee injury during practice on Oct. 17.
The Wildcats begin their season with two exhibition games. UK will play host to Northern Kentucky on Wednesday, Nov. 1 before taking on Shawnee State on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Both games tip off at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum and are free of charge.