Most Recent Posts
- Nunley, Cumbess Propel No. 12 UK Softball to Super Regionals
- DeCourcy says Julius Randle is “so freaking quick” and powerful he will be special
- UK football coach Mark Stoops on wife: “She gets involved as much as she can in a supportive role”
- Swiss Cat – Vacation notes and photos from Larry from his trip to Switzerland.
- Kentucky softball team earns 40th win to tie school record for most wins in a season
- Calipari says Cats will press more, foul more, bump and grind, hip-check next season
- Caldwell County sophomore Elijah Sindelar special QB but also has big-time baseball options
- Stoops believes he has special understanding of high school coaches
By LARRY VAUGHT
Now that you have had time to share Mother’s Day with your mom — or remember her in your prayers if she’s no longer with us — how about sharing the best Kentucky memory/experience you have had with your mother.
It would be anything from attending a game together to watching the Cats play on TV to naming a child or pet for a particular UK player.
No right or wrong answers here, just a way for us all to enjoy a little bit of what Mother’s Day is all about.
Kentucky women’s basketball junior DeNesha Stallworth is one of 31 top student-athletes in the country who have accepted invitations to participate in the 2013 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team trials. Trials will take place May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee issued the invitations.
Stallworth, a 6-foot-3 forward from Richmond, Calif., was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection by the league coaches in her first season with the Wildcats. She played two seasons at the University of California-Berkeley before transferring to UK and had an immediate impact on the UK Hoops team in her debut season. She helped lead the Wildcats to a school-record 30 wins and their school-record fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament, including third Elite Eight appearance in the last four years. She ranked second on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg), rebounding (6.0 rpg), blocks (52), field goal percentage (48.4) and field goals made (181) and ranked in the top 20 in SEC in scoring (16th), rebounding (19th), field goal percentage (4th) and blocks (5th). Her nine double-doubles were a team high. She will head into her senior season with 1,366 career points (438 at UK) and 663 career rebounds (209 at UK).
“We’re fortunate that the World University Games age group allows for the development of our college-aged players and gives them an opportunity outside of the Olympics to gain international experience at the highest level,” said committee chair Jim Foster, who has been a member of nine different USA Basketball coaching staffs. “We feel that this is a good mix of players to build a team that will represent USA Basketball well in Russia,”
The 2013 World University Games (WUGs) women’s basketball competition will be held July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia.
Accepting invitations to participate in the trials were: Danielle Ballard (Louisiana State University/ Memphis, Tenn.); Rachel Banham (University of Minnesota/Lakeville, Minn.); Crystal Bradford (Central Michigan University/Detroit, Mich.); Gennifer Brandon (University of California/Sylmar, Calif.); Cierra Burdick (University of Tennessee/Charlotte, N.C.); Hallie Christofferson (Iowa State University/Hamlin, Iowa); Aaryn Ellenberg (University of Oklahoma/Las Vegas, Nev.); Morgan Eye (University of Missouri/ Montrose, Mo.); ReShanda Gray (University of California/Los Angeles, Calif.); Sara Hammond (University of Louisville/Mt. Vernon, Ky.); Cassie Harberts (University of Southern California/San Clemente, Calif.); Isabelle Harrison (University of Tennessee/Nashville, Tenn.); Bria Hartley (University of Connecticut/North Babylon, N.Y.); Jordan Hooper (University of Nebraska/Alliance, Neb.); Brittany Hrynko (DePaul University/Philadelphia, Pa.); Briahanna Jackson (UCF/Tampa, Fla.); Betnijah Laney (Rutgers University/Clayton, Del.); Jasmine Lister (Vanderbilt University/Corona, Calif.); Tricia Liston (Duke University/River Forest, Ill.); Maggie Lucas (Penn State University/Narberth, Pa.); Tyaunna Marshall (Georgia Tech University/Upper Marlboro, Md.); Ariel Massengale (University of Tennessee/Bolingbrook, Ill.); Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (University of Connecticut/Anaheim Hills, Calif.); Amber Orrange (Stanford University/Houston, Texas); Haley Peters (Duke University/Red Bank, N.J.); Theresa Plaisance (Louisiana State University/New Orleans, La.); Shoni Schimmel (University of Louisville/Mission, Ore.); Meighan Simmons (University of Tennessee/Cibolo, Texas); Odyssey Sims (Baylor University/Irving, Texas); Bria Smith (University of Louisville/Massapequa, N.Y.); and DeNesha Stallworth (University of Kentucky/Richmond, Calif.).
By LARRY VAUGHT
Just in case you were wondering, here are the SEC coaches who were present for the announcement Thursday about the new SEC Network. Is there anything to read into who was there, or not there? You decide.
SEC coaches in attendance: Arkansas men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson, Georgia swim coach Jack Bauerle, Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema, Arkansas men’s cross-country coach Chris Bucknam, Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari, Florida men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan, Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin, Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze, Missouri men’s basketball coach Frank Haith, Auburn swimming coach Brett Hawke, Texas A&M track and cross-country coach Pat Henry, Auburn soccer coach Karen Hoppa, Tennessee football coach Butch Jones, Ole Miss men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy, Georgia women’s basketball coach Andy Landers, Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn, Tennessee men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin, LSU football coach Les Miles, Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen, Florida football coach Will Muschamp, Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel, Mississippi State men’s basketball coach Rick Ray, Georgia football coach Mark Richt, Alabama football coach Nick Saban, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, Vanderbilt men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings, Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops, Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin, Auburn women’s basketball coach Terri Williams-Flournoy and Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise.
1. When will the SEC Network launch?
The Network will launch in August 2014.
2. What will the Network be called?
The Network will be called the “SEC Network.” The formal name is the “SEC ESPN Network.”
3. How is this different than other conference or single-school networks?
This collaboration between the SEC and ESPN will bring together unparalleled content from one of the most competitive conferences in the country with the highest quality, most innovative production partner in the sports industry.
4. Will the Network look similar to ESPN channels?
The Network will have the highest quality production value and a look and feel consistent with ESPN’s other networks.
5. Where will the Network be located?
The production home will be in Charlotte, N.C. This location will provide for efficient use of ESPN’s existing production facility in Charlotte and it will have support from all of ESPN’s resources in Bristol, Conn.
6. Why is Charlotte the Network’s home especially since there are no SEC teams in N.C.?
ESPN already have a state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte that is easily accessible from across the SEC footprint.
7. Will each campus (or the SEC Offices) have upgraded television facilities?
Each campus is being assessed for its capabilities and level of content integration from each of the school campuses. We anticipate some level of connection and integration with each institution’s facilities so we can produce and deliver content in an efficient manner.
8. How many people will work for the SEC Network?
We anticipate more than 100 full-time staff for the Network across ESPN.
PROGRAMMING & CONTENT
9. Will the SEC Network be 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
The SEC Network will have 24/7 programming; it’s a dedicated channel for all things SEC.
10. What kind of shows will I see on the SEC Network?
At the outset, the Network will offer SEC sports and sports-related studio programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More than 1,000 live events will be available in the first full year across the television Network and its digital extensions. This will include approximately 45 football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games and events from across all 21 SEC-sponsored sports.
11. How will the SEC Network enhance the SEC fan experience?
More than 1,000 live events will be available. The SEC Network will provide more than 450 live games each year. An additional 550 games will be distributed digitally. The Network will bring football, basketball, baseball, and all SEC campus sports to SEC fans. These outlets will provide more in-depth content to fans across the country than ever before. Fans will be able to access content on a range of devices. Also, there will be programming dedicated to news and analysis surrounding the events.
12. How many football games will be aired on the Network?
The Network will televise approximately 45 football games per season.
13. How many basketball games? Baseball? Women’s sports? Olympic?
At least 450 events will be televised on the Network each year. Of the 450 events, there will be more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games and 250 Olympic sports on the Network. More than 550 additional sporting events will be available on our digital platforms. The digital platform will include an outlet, similar to ESPN3, for the other 550 games and a live linear stream of the television network. This content will be available to Network subscribers across a range of devices.
14. Will each school have a block of time to program as they see fit?
This is a conference-wide network. The goal is to provide equitable exposure for each of the SEC member institutions. The Network will achieve this goal without each school having its own block of time to program.
15. Will the Network show breaking news or investigative pieces about the conference similar to ESPN?
The Network will cover and report on sports news and information in an objective manner, but the basic premise is the Network will represent the conference and its member institutions. The Network has created a Content Board which has equal representation from the SEC and ESPN. The Board will work collaboratively on the programming and presentation. The Network, along with its digital extensions, will serve SEC sports fans and sports fans more broadly.
16. Will there be academic programming?
We have 16 months between now and the launch. We will continue to build out the full scope of the Network which will include content beyond live events. The Content Board will continue to build out the programming schedule for the Network and its digital extensions.
17. What access and programming is each school obligated to provide to the SEC Network?
Outside of the rights in the existing CBS and ESPN agreements, each school provides the rights and access to all other live events for the SEC Network.
18. Will the SEC Network air high school football games?
19. Will the SEC Network be able to re-air games shown on other ESPN networks? CBS?
20. Will the conference staff be on air or have any regular shows?
21. Will the SEC Network air bowl games? SEC Conference Championships?
There are no current plans to air bowl games on the Network. The Network will televise the SEC Championships for all sports other than football.
22. Will there be fewer games available to me now that there is a Network?
The Network will provide more than 1,000 live events per year for SEC fans and sports fans across the country. These games will also be available online on a range of devices to allow for widespread access that is not currently available.
23. Will the Network include new personalities or use existing ESPN personalities for the games and studio shows?
A mix of both existing ESPN personnel and new on-air staff will be present on the Network.
DISTRIBUTION / AVAILABILITY/ AD SALES
24. How can I get the SEC Network in time for the August 2014 launch?
An agreement is already in place with AT&T U-verse to distribute the Network. ESPN is working hard to ensure that the Network will be available via cable, satellite and telco distributors (such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Cox and Verizon FiOS). ESPN will continue negotiating with the other distributors in the coming months. Your cable, satellite, or telco provider makes programming decisions based on customer requests. As a fan of the Southeastern Conference, please support the SEC Network by calling your cable, satellite or telco provider and requesting the SEC Network.
25. Are there currently any carriage agreements?
Yes. An agreement is already done with AT&T U-verse, the fastest growing multi-channel distributor in the country.
26. How do I get the digital part of the Network?
Provided you are a customer who receives the Network from your cable, satellite or telco provider, you can contact that provider and get a username and password which will allow you to access the content on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox.
27. What is the best way for fans and alumni who want to make sure their cable company carries the Network?
Please visit www.GetSECNetwork.com to show your interest in the Network and provide some general contact information.
28. What’s the expected reach of the Network outside the SEC footprint and on what level of service will distributors carry the Network (Expanded basic? Tier?)
The Network will have strong appeal and interest beyond the 11-state SEC footprint. While this is all subject to negotiation, carriage will be sought on broadly distributed packages.
29. Will I be able to watch the Network on my mobile phone or similar device?
Yes. The SEC Network will be available on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox to fans who receive their video subscription through an affiliated provider. The aim is to make this content available to fans anytime, anywhere, similar to how the WatchESPN application works today.
30. Will I be able to watch the Network on a device other than my TV (online? tablet)
Provided you are a subscriber of an affiliated provider (a cable, satellite or telco partner), you will be able to access the content with your existing login credentials, which will allow you to access the content on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other devices like Xbox.
31. How will you decide what games to televise early in the Network’s existence?
The SEC has great depth in all major sports so the Network will have top-tier matchups each week to serve viewers and those distributors that choose to carry the network.
32. Can I pay to subscribe to the network online, Pay-Per-View or via ESPN3 if I can’t get it on TV?
No. The games will be exclusive to the Network and its digital extensions. However, once a subscriber has access to the Network via an affiliated provider, that subscriber will have access to the content on computers, tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices like Xbox. The aim is to make this content available to fans anytime, anywhere.
33. How will this impact my cable bill?
ESPN negotiates for license fee payments from its distributors and has no control over retail pricing. Retail prices are determined by each distributor.
34. Will all SEC campuses carry the network?
Campuses served by an affiliated provider will have access to the Network.
35. I live in [state outside SEC footprint]. Are you working to make sure we are able to see the Network too?
Yes. Our interest is in delivering this content in broadly distributed packages across the country.
36. Right now, I see all my favorite team’s games online at the [SEC school athletics] site. Will I still be able to see all those games?
The Network is for media rights to all sports across our 14 member institutions. Any games produced by the schools will have an outlet, either the SEC Network or its digital extensions, where fans can watch.
37. Who will sell sponsorship for the Network?
ESPN will sell advertising and sponsorship on behalf of the Network. ESPN will also represent the SEC’s Corporate Sponsor Program.
38. Where can I apply for a job at SEC Network?
You can apply online at ESPNcareers.com. Job openings for the SEC Network positions will be posted in late Spring 2014.
39. Will the Network have an internship program?
ESPN has a SEC internship program already in place. The Network will source candidates from the existing process and pool. Information about where to apply is forthcoming.
40. How will money from the Network be used on campuses?
Each member institution has control and discretion on how they use any proceeds from their media rights.
By UK Media Relations
Former Women’s National Basketball Association assistant coach Jeff House has been hired as an assistant coach for the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program, UK head coach Matthew Mitchell announced Wednesday. House comes to Kentucky after spending 10 years in the professional ranks, including the last two seasons with the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. During his 27-year career path, he has coached 19 WNBA All-Stars and major award winners along with four Olympians.
“I am excited that Jeff House is joining our staff at Kentucky,” Mitchell said. “He and I share a vision for this program that is based on the principles of honesty, hard work and discipline. He, his wife Ann and children Elizabeth and Tom are a wonderful family and we are proud that they now become part of our UK Hoops family. His years of experience at the highest levels of professional and college basketball will benefit the growth of our program greatly. I am thrilled that Jeff is a Kentucky Wildcat.”
“In the basketball world there are a handful of really special places and Kentucky is on the tip of everyone’s tongue when people talk about special places to coach or play,” House said. “It’s thrilling and humbling to be on a campus like this and at a university like this. I’m looking forward to working with this amazing staff, our student-athletes and being a part of the Big Blue Nation.”
After seven seasons with the New York Liberty and one year as the top assistant coach with the Washington Mystics, House joined the college ranks serving as the recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Virginia under Debbie Ryan from 2005-2009. As the program’s recruiting coordinator his recruiting classes were No. 10 (2008), No. 3 (2009) and No. 14 (2010) nationally by multiple national services, including Blue Star Report, All-Star Girl’s Report and Collegiate Girl’s Basketball Report. House recruited and helped develop Monica Wright, who was chosen by the Minnesota Lynx as the second overall pick in the 2010 WNBA Draft. He also played a role in recruiting 2009 WNBA draft picks Aisha Mohammed (Minnesota) and Lyndra Littles (Connecticut) and 2008 draft pick Sharnee Zoll (Los Angeles Sparks).
With the New York Liberty, House was instrumental in the team’s 1999, 2000 and 2002 WNBA Eastern Conference Championship titles. Under his tutelage the Liberty made four appearances in the Eastern Conference Championship series, three appearances in the WNBA Finals and he coached in three WNBA All-Star games. House initially joined the Liberty in 1998 as the video coordinator and advance scout after spending the 1997-98 season as a member of the New York Knicks video staff.
“Being in the WNBA I was able to see what Coach Mitchell has done for Kentucky,” House said. “I came to practice here a few years ago to evaluate Victoria Dunlap and other players, and to see him take this program from where it was to now have it knocking on the door of being a national champion is really, really special. For me and my family to now be a small part of it is even more special.”
House played basketball at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., before suffering a career-ending injury. He immediately jumped into the coaching realm, beginning his coaching career at McQuaid Jesuit High School also in Rochester while he was an undergraduate. At McQuaid, he served as an assistant to former Knicks and Houston Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy in 1985. In 1986, House was a key component to McQuaid’s run to the Class B, Section 5 New York State Championship.
House spent tadecade honing his skills as an assistant men’s coach, including four seasons (1988-91) at the University of Lowell as an assistant to former Miami Heat and Orlando Magic head coach and current ESPN analyst Stan Van Gundy. He also spent two seasons at Jacksonville University as an assistant coach with Matt Kilcullen and following the receipt of his master’s degree, four seasons (1992-96) as an assistant coach at Rutgers University during its transition into the Big East Conference with Bob Wenzel. While at Rutgers, House served as head coach for the 1995 People-to-People Sports Holland All-Star Tour. He directed a combination of Big East, Atlantic 10 and Big Ten All-Stars to a 6-1 record, losing only to Holland’s national champions.
House, 47, has been a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches for 26 years and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for the last 15 years. He currently serves as president and on-court director of House’s HOOP Headquarters, a basketball skills and development company he created in 1996. In 2009, House also founded AllBasketballReview.com, a coaching, player and parent resource for all aspects of basketball development.
House has always been an active member in the community. From 2001-09, he helped executive director Ben D’Alessadro run a Virginia 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Virginia Basketball Academy, whose mission is to build character and shape lives through the game of basketball. The organization services over 1,000 boys and girls year-round in the Charlottesville area, providing skill and character development through a wide range of programming. In 2010, House helped establish the Junior Basketball League a boys and girls league for grades 1-4, as well as the Virginia Developmental Basketball League for boys and girls in grades 5-8. These leagues currently have nearly 80 teams participating.
While in New York, House worked closely with the Cheering For Children Foundation and The After School Corporation. He has also served as a regional presenter and coaching instructor for the New Jersey Special Olympics. House participated with the WNBA Read to Achieve program and the Junior WNBA/NBA coaching clinics and is a frequent speaker and volunteer for numerous charitable functions.
House and his wife Ann Leonard-House, the former head women’s volleyball coach at UMass-Lowell and Rutgers, have two children – daughter Elizabeth and son Thomas.
If you haven’t seen this skit performed at UK’s Catspys last night, it’s a must-see. Many thanks to KSTV for providing this video.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky Athletics presented 24 honors at the 11th annual CATSPY Awards, held Monday at Memorial Coliseum to recognize athletic and academic performance during the 2012-13 year. With co-winners in some categories, a total of four teams and 18 individuals were recognized.
Gymnastics and Rifle were named Team of the Year for their achievements. The gymnastics team posted the program’s highest-ever NCAA Regional team score with a 195.575. Competing in the nation’s top gymnastics conference, Kentucky finished the Southeastern Conference schedule with three wins, the most in school history, highlighted by a home-opening victory over then-No. 9 Arkansas. UK also beat then-No. 13 Auburn twice, and tied then-No. 6 Georgia at home. The rifle team posted its second consecutive national runner-up finish, while claiming a Great America Rifle Conference regular season championship and a second-place finish at the GARC Championships. The season also included a record-setting win over Army, a match in which Kentucky broke the program records for total aggregate score, aggregate smallbore, individual aggregate score and individual smallbore.
The Mr. and Miss Wildcat Awards are given for all-around excellence in athletics, academics, character and service. Luis Orta (cross country/track) won the Mr. Wildcat award for the second consecutive year, while Chelsea Oswald (cross country/track), won the Miss Wildcat award.
The Female Athlete of the Year was awarded to Cally Macumber, who finished sixth at NCAA Cross Country Nationals, fewer than 15 seconds behind the race winner. She became just the ninth woman to be named All-American in program history. She also became the first woman in UK history to record a sub-20 minute 6K with her performance at Nationals. Macumber was the highest NCAA finisher for the Wildcat women since Valerie McGovern was the national runner-up in 1989.
The Male Athlete of the Year was awarded to Greg Ferrucci, who had garnered multiple SEC Diver of the Week honors as well as being named SEC All-Second Team. After claiming both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard titles at the Zone C Diving Championships, Ferrucci finished off the most impressive season in Kentucky diving history with nine individual event victories on the year.
The Academic Teams of the Year were men’s cross country and women’s tennis. The Scholar-Athletes of the Year were Ashley Frazier (volleyball) and Jon Keltner (swimming).
A complete list of awards is below:
Kastine Evans (Women’s Basketball)
Luis Orta (Men’s Cross Country/Track)
Community Service Award
Megan Moir (Women’s Golf)
Natalie Horner (Women’s Soccer)
Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
Ashley Frazier (Volleyball)
Male Scholar Athlete of the Year
Jon Keltner (Swimming)
Female Academic Team of the Year
Male Academic Team of the Year
Female Rookie of the Year
Nadia Ravita (Tennis)
Male Rookie of the Year
Connor Davis (Rifle)
Female Performance of the Year
Cally Macumber (Cross Country/Track)
Male Performance of the Year
Greg Ferrucci (Diving)
Shannon Mitchell (Gymnastics)
Bill Keightley “Assist” Award
Brian Wiese (Athletic Training)
Blue Heart Award
Arin Gilliland (Women’s Soccer)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Coach(es) of the Year
Tim Garrison (Gymnastics)
Gary Henderson (Baseball)
Harry Mullins (Rifle)
K-Association Female Athlete of the Year
Cally Macumber (Cross Country/Track)
K-Association Male Athlete of the Year
Greg Ferrucci (Diving)
Teams of the Year
Chelsea Oswald (Cross Country Track)
Luis Orta (Men’s Cross Country/Track)
By GARY GRAVES, AP Sports Writer
A’dia Mathies didn’t start thinking about the WNBA until her Kentucky career began winding down. And when her Wildcats playing days ended, she didn’t dare think about what team might draft her.
Well, Mathies’ dream came true Monday night when the Los Angeles Sparks chose her with the 10th overall pick. The 5-foot-9 Louisville native joins a team that reached the Western Conference finals last year, led by all-WNBA forward and 2008 Most Valuable Player Candace Parker. With her ability to score, handle the ball and defensive prowess — skills that earned Mathies consecutive Southeastern Conference player of the year awards — she is Kentucky’s highest WNBA draft pick ever.
Mathies becomes Kentucky’s second first-rounder in the past three years, following Victoria Dunlap’s No. 11 selection in 2011.
“When you’re younger, you always write down, ‘I want to go to the WNBA,’ but when you get older you kind of forget about it,” Mathies said Tuesday of her thought process. “At least, I did. Just coming here to see how close I am to the opportunity and then seeing players that I played against in the WNBA, I feel like I can be there. I’m just glad I got selected, and I’m ready to work.”
Mathies heads to a Sparks team she said usually thought of when pondering the next level. But the uncertainty of when she’d be selected and by whom left her with an open mind as she and her family watched the draft unfold at her grandmother’s house.
Projected as an early second-round choice by some draft sites, Mathies grew more anxious late in the first round before excitement took over when her name was announced. Going to L.A. and reuniting with her brother there made it even better.
“Once they got up into (picks) seven, eight, nine, my heart starting beating fast on every single pick they was calling,” she said. “I’m just excited to get picked by L.A. … When you think about the WNBA, you automatically think of the Sparks. Just to be going there, my brother lives there, I miss him and am just very excited right now.”
Mathies is just a few weeks removed from finishing her Kentucky career as one of the Wildcats’ greatest players. Second all-time in women’s scoring with 2,014 points, she’s one of just five Wildcats to break 2,000 at Kentucky. Only Valerie Still (2,763), Hall of Famer Dan Issel (2,138), Kenny Walker (2,080) and Jack Givens (2,038) have scored more.
Mathies ranks in the top 10 on 13 lists, including No. 1 with 140 games played, 139 starts and 320 steals. This past season she led Kentucky in scoring (16.1 points per game), 3-pointers (73) and a .422 percentage from long range while ranking second in steals and assists.
Now comes the next phase of raising her game to get minutes on a Sparks roster boasting a strong, deep backcourt in all-WNBA second teamer Kristi Toliver, Alana Beard and Lindsey Harding.
Kentucky assistant athletic director Ukari Figgs believes that’s just a matter of Mathies continuing to show her versatility.
“I think A’dia’s going to be somebody that can come in and do a little bit of everything,” said Figgs, who helped the Sparks win the 2001 championship during a five-year WNBA career. “That’s what makes her special. Playing professional basketball, you have to be pretty versatile to make an 11-player roster. She can back up the point guard, she shoots well enough to play the 2 guard position and defensively she can guard an array of guards on the perimeter. She puts herself in a good position to be able do a little bit of everything.”
Not only that, Mathies must display her talents pretty quickly. Right after graduation on May 5 she heads west for the opening of training camp; Los Angeles begins the regular season May 26 against Seattle. It will be a whirlwind for sure, but with a track record of making plans come together in a hurry, Mathies is confident of following through on her dream.
“I think I can definitely help, especially playing for UK and the way we play up-tempo,” she said. “I think I can be a great asset to the team and really help them out a lot. … Right now, I’m on cloud nine.”
University of Kentucky women’s basketball senior standout A’dia Mathies was the 10th overall selection in the 2013 Women’s National Basketball Association Draft as she was chosen by the Los Angeles Sparks in the first round on Monday night in Bristol, Conn.
Mathies, a native of Louisville, Ky., is UK’s highest draft pick in school history. She is the third player in school history to be chosen in the draft and the second Wildcat in the last three seasons to be selected in the first round. Victoria Dunlap (2008-11) was chosen as the 11th overall selection in the 2011 draft, while Shantia Owens (1999-2000) was the 53rd pick in the third round of the 2000 WNBA Draft.
In her senior season, Mathies was named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by The Associated Press and Co-SEC Player of the Year by the league coaches. She led the seventh-ranked Wildcats in scoring (16.1 points per game), 3-point field goals made (73) and 3-point field goal percentage (.422), and was second on the team in steals (69) and assists (80). She reached double-figure scoring in 34-of-36 games and led UK to a school-record four straight NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back Elite Eight appearances.
“All of us are thrilled for A’dia,” UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell said. “She did so much for the Kentucky program while she as here and we had no doubt she was one of the top players in the country. Being chosen as a first-round pick just shows what she did for us and how hard she has worked to get here. I think the Los Angeles Sparks made a great pick.”
The 5-foot-11 guard ended her illustrious Wildcat career ranking in the top 10 of 13 career lists, including No. 1 in games played (140), games started (139) and steals (320). She moved ahead of Dunlap in career scoring at No. 2 with 2,014 points, becoming just the fifth player in UK basketball history, men or women, to chart 2,000 or more career points. She joins Valerie Still (2,763, 1979-83), Dan Issel (2,138, 1967-70), Kenny Walker (2,080, 1982-86), Jack Givens (2,038, 1974-78) on that elite list. She ranks second all-time in 3-point field goals made (177) and free throws made (413).
By LARRY VAUGHT
Angela Mattingly says her daughter, Miss Basketball Makayla Epps of Marion County, enjoyed everything about the McDonald’s All-American Game. Epps, a Kentucky signee, had 13 points in the game.
“She is an amazing player,” said McDonald’s All-American Linnae Harper, another UK signee. “I can’t wait to play with her next year.”
Epps enjoyed mingling with the other great players from across the nation — as did her two brothers.
Epps and her mom shared a few photos with vaughtsviews.com for readers/UK fans to also enjoy.