Nov. 1, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 7/8 Kentucky women’s basketball team opens the 2013-14 season on Sunday, Nov. 3 when it plays host to Eckerd College in the Wildcats’ lone exhibition contest of the season. Game time is 1 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free, while supplies last.
The game can be heard live on the UK IMG Sports Radio Network with Neil Price calling the action for the ninth consecutive season. Fans can follow the UK Hoops team on Twitter at @UKHoopCats and use #UKHoops to comment on the game. A live video stream is available on the subscription video portion of www.UKathletics.com.
Eckerd College is a Division II school located in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Tritons are coached by Paul Honsinger, who enters his eighth season at the helm. Last year, Honsinger guided the Tritons to their fifth campaign over the .500 mark in the past six years. Eckerd finished third in the Sunshine State Conference with a 9-7 mark, while going 14-12 overall. The nine conference wins tied the school’s single-season record for most conference winsThe Tritons return seven letterwinners off last season’s squad, including senior forward Liga Vente who is the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder after averaging 9.9 points and 4.9 rebounds a game last season. Eckerd has one player on its roster from the Commonwealth in junior point guard Kayla Bowlin of Monticello, Ky.
“I am glad to be kicking off the 40th season of varsity women’s basketball here at Kentucky,” UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We have a lot of high hopes for the season and I am looking forward to getting it started. This exhibition game coming up against Eckerd on Sunday will be our first chance to take the floor at Memorial. It’s always special to get to play in Memorial Coliseum. We hope we can get some fans out Sunday afternoon because we’re looking forward to it. It will be a good chance to see where we are.”
This marks the first ever meeting between the two programs. UK is 5-1 in exhibition games under Coach Mitchell who is in his seventh season as the all-time winningest coach in UK Hoops history with 144 victories.
The Wildcats return 10 letterwinners and four starters from last season’s NCAA Elite Eight squad that won a school record 30 games. UK advanced to its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, including its third Elite Eight in the last four seasons.
UK will be led by All-Southeastern Conference performers Bria Goss (Indianapolis), DeNesha Stallworth (Richmond, Calif.) and Samarie Walker (West Carrollton, Ohio) and NCAA Tournament Bridgeport Regional All-Tournament Team honoree Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.). UK will lean on veteran leadership this season as nine of the 13 players on the roster are upperclassmen, including five seniors. New faces to the roster are McDonald’s All-Americans Linnae Harper (Chicago) and Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.). Freshman forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (Lebanon, Ky.) will not see action this season after being diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism on Monday.
FREE Spectator parking is located in the following areas:
- All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum beginning 3 hours prior to tip-off
- Parking Structure #5 (adjacent to Kennedy’s Bookstore) available 1.5 hours prior to tip-off
- Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage available after 5:00 p.m. ET on weekdays and all day on weekends.
- When parking in the Transit Center, bring your yellow token from the dispenser along with your game ticket to the Lexington Avenue Entrance and request your free parking coupon at the Guest Services desk.
- Handicap parking is available in the E-Lot (Employee Lot) north of the Craft Center, adjacent to the metered spaces running along the frontage of the Craft Center with a valid, state issued handicap tag. These spaces (typically 20-30 stalls) are available on a first-come, first-serve basis until full.
Please note: parking is prohibited in any R (Residential) lots. Vehicles parking in Residential lots without a proper permit, along yellow curbs, grass spaces, or other non-specified and unapproved areas may be subject to ticket and/or tow.
- Shuttles are available beginning 1.5 hours prior to tip off from Parking Structure # 5 located off Limestone and Upper Street and the Transit Center Parking Garage located off High Street and Vine Street.
- Parking Structure # 5 (blue route) picks up/drops off on Administration Drive, at the end of the pedestrian sky bridge accessed from the 3rd floor of the parking garage.
- Transit Center Parking Garage (green route) picks up/drops off near the corner of High Street and Martin Luther King. See event staff for assistance.
- Shuttles will start back up at halftime and continue until 1 hour post-game to return guests to their parking areas.
Game day Information:
- Doors to the Coliseum will open one (1) hour prior to tip-off.
- UK Athletics encourages women's basketball fans to arrive early to ease traffic and parking congestion around the Coliseum.
Surface event lots (i.e. Student Center, Joe Craft Center North and LR Cooke lot) typically reach capacity approximately 1 hour prior to tip-off, at which point, vehicles should proceed directly to Parking Structure #5 (PS#5) or the Lexington Authority Transit Center Parking Garage.
For more information on parking around Memorial Coliseum and other game-day questions visit www.ukathletics.com/wbbgameday.
Media Opportunity - October 31, 2013
“I am glad to be kicking off the 40th season of varsity women’s basketball here at Kentucky. We have a lot of high hopes for the season and I am looking forward to getting it started. This exhibition game coming up against Eckerd on Sunday will be our first chance to take the floor at Memorial. It’s always special to get to play in Memorial Coliseum. We hope we can get some fans out Sunday afternoon because we’re looking forward to it. It will be a good chance to see where we are.”
On Kyvin Goodin-Rogers’ spirits…
“They were good this morning. I think we can expect a range of emotions here early on. She’s trying to have a really positive attitude through this very difficult situation. 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. It’s a very difficult set of circumstances for her. I think she’s really working hard to try and stay positive through a very disappointing set of circumstances. 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. We’ll work real hard with her to find a positive way out of this and we certainly believe there is a positive outcome.”
On when Goodin-Rogers realized something was wrong…
“She woke up Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. with a very sharp pain in her chest. We couldn’t identify it at that time, so we didn’t know what was going on. It subsided a little bit and she was able to get some sleep. She was able to come in and lift (Monday morning), but was still struggling with pain, so she asked the trainer for a couple Aleve and we started asking her what was going on. She said she had a sharp pain in her chest and that is never really good. That’s when our plan went into action. She didn’t practice Monday morning and we got her over to the student health center. The good folks over at Chandler Hospital really handled everything wonderfully. She had a CAT scan somewhere around one in the afternoon and it revealed a blood clot. We couldn’t be more proud of how Kvyin communicated to the medical staff and how it was handled all the way through.”
On how much it will affect the team’s frontcourt depth…
“That’s one great thing I feel about our program is that if you want a chance to play, you are going to get it here. Every single day we have up-tempo, physical practices. Everybody gets reps and everybody gets a chance. We have a talented team, there’s no quote-unquote end of the bench where it’s written in stone you aren’t going to play. It’s still so very early, so she had a great opportunity to earn playing time. She was certainly at a spot where she was behind because there are seniors and juniors, but I thought she had really come on in the last week or so and progressing well. She would have had plenty of opportunity to play.”
On if this team will play a different style this season…
“I think for us, as a coaching staff, we tried very hard to put our players in a position to improve in all areas of the game. If you think about our success over the last few years, we’ve done a lot of things well. We’re not a million miles away anywhere in any phase of the game. It’s small incremental success we need to have and you can’t pinpoint one part of the game. I think people make too much of our half court offensive execution. That being said, can our offensive execution get better? It can, so we’re working hard on that. Can our defensive execution get better? It can. It has certainly been a period of time in the preseason where we’ve paid attention to detail in every area and I do see it hopefully making a difference for us in all areas of the program.”
On the half court offense…
“I think we need to be better in the half court, but I think it’s very important we stay true to our personality and identity of the program. That’s something we’re moving toward doing and I’m optimistic about our chances.”
On playing an exhibition game…
“I think there’s value in getting into a game situation and having the officials and the crowd that are hard to simulate in practice or a scrimmage. That’s valuable just from game day activity and just going through that routine of checking in and out of a ballgame, late game situations or whatever it may be. The value of playing a game is there and then there’s a lot of talk of how officiating in college basketball. There’s going to be a more strict interpretation to call the game the way the rules are written. For instance, the rules are you can touch a player one time to measure up and then that’s it. There’s no second touch. There are no two hands on a ballhandler. Those kinds of things, you are anxious to see called and what adjustments you have to make. We’ve been working really hard on playing defense with our feet and being fundamentally sound in our position and technique.”
On what he’s looking for from his team against Eckerd…
“I want us to play 40 minutes of really up-tempo basketball. 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. I’d love to see that and I want to see us play tenacious defense without fouling. Can we set the tone on the kind of team we want to be and can we do that together? On Sunday, that’s what I’ll be looking for.”