Category Archive: UK Hoops

Barnhart to Mitchell: Stabilize program, make improvements now

Mitch Barnhart (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Mitch Barnhart (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his 45-minute press conference Wednesday detailing the turmoil in the women’s basketball program, coach Matthew Mitchell revealed what athletics director Mitch Barnhart had said to him — or at least some of what Barnhart said.

“I sense that there is urgency from Mitch that we want our kids and players to be in a stable situation. I think he has that wish for our program and every other program,” Mitchell said. “I have never been around an athletic director that cares more about these young people as individuals and I have said this many times, he knows every athlete in this department and knows her story or his story. He has a tremendous heart for people.

Camryn Whitaker: “This is a place that I love and that means more to me than moving on and being a head coach somewhere.”

Camryn Whitaker (Vicky Graff Photo)
Camryn Whitaker (Vicky Graff Photo)

Camryn Whitaker (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just a few weeks ago Camryn Whitaker was recruiting for next season and seemed perfectly happy coaching at Kentucky, the school the former Harrison County standout grew up cheering for.

That’s the same impression I had in mid March when I interviewed her for a feature I told her I wanted to save for June during the offseason.

Not once did she mention she might not be at Kentucky then and she even invited me to come see her any time during the summer.

Does Matthew Mitchell think he is too hard on coaches, players?

Vicky Graff Photo
Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

For almost 45 minutes Wednesday, Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell constantly blamed himself and no one else for turmoil in the women’s basketball program.

He’s been going through assistant coaches regularly the last three years and will have a completely new staff next year.

So is he hard to work for?

“I don’t think so. It has all come to a head now with the turnover. It goes back three years and one move kind of impacts the next. That is long and drawn out to kind of go step-by-step. I have had tremendous relationships with coaches that have come through here. So as far as me being hard to work with, I will definitely take a look at that and have examined myself,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell tries to explain turmoil; Kyvin-Goodin Rogers, Anthony Epps share thoughts

Epps shoots 2

Epps shoots 2By LARRY VAUGHT

Give Kentucky women’s coach Matthew Mitchell credit for trying to explain all the turmoil in his program Thursday. He went on Kentucky Sports Radio, did an interview with Jen Smith of the Lexington  Herald-Leader and held a 45-minute press conference.

Of course, when six players leave in less than nine months, two coaches quit, one coach is not rehired and two recruits de-commit, it is time to do some explaining.

Mitchell said there was not a general them to the turnover.

Will Mitchell’s press conference answer questions about Team Turmoil?

Matthew Mitchell is running out of players to hand the ball to. (Vicky Graff Photo)
Matthew Mitchell is running out of players to hand the ball to. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Matthew Mitchell is running out of players to hand the ball to. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

With all the recent turmoil that has hit the Kentucky women’s basketball program, it reminded me of a conversation I had with assistant coach Camryn Whitaker before UK played Washington in the NCAA Tournament.

She was a standout player at Harrison County High School and then Western Kentucky University. She joined the UK program just over a year ago and I wondered what a year with coach Matthew Mitchell had been like.

Mitch Barnhart: “Today, the best want to stay here,”; CATSPY Awards winners

UK Athletics Photo
UK Athletics Photo

UK Athletics Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK Athletics presented 38 honors at the 14th annual CATSPY Awards, held Monday in Memorial Coliseum to recognize athletic and academic performances during the 2015-16 year. With co-winners in some categories, a total of five teams and 26 individuals were recognized.

“We were dreaming big when we said we wanted to turn Kentucky into a destination program, one where coaches, students and staff sought to end up,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Before that, UK was a stepping stone. We’ve succeeded in changing that. Today, the best flock here. Today, the best want to stay here. I’m proud of that.”

All 22 Kentucky teams surpass APR score

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate report Wednesday, showing that all 22 of the University of Kentucky sports teams surpassed the NCAA cut score. Twenty of the 22 squads exceeded the national average for public universities in their sports and, for the first time in school history, every Wildcat team scored at least 950.

Men’s basketball, men’s golf, rifle and women’s cross country led the way with perfect 1,000 scores, followed by gymnastics and volleyball with scores of 995. Twelve total UK teams scored a 990 or better. Fifteen of the 22 Wildcat teams improved or maintained their scores from a year ago.

Makayla Epps Named WBCA All-America Honorable Mention

Epps fans get up

Epps fans get upLEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second time in the past week, University of Kentucky junior guard Makayla Epps has been named an All-America honorable mention performer for her impressive season on the hardwood in 2015-16, most recently by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, it was announced recently.

This is the first such honor from the WBCA for Epps, who earlier this week earned her second straight All-America honorable mention honor from the Associated Press.  Epps is the first Kentucky player to earn honorable mention All-America honors from the WBCA since DeNesha Stallworth in 2014. Earlier this season, Epps was named to the Women’s Basketball Coaches Associated All-Region Team, which made her one of 52 candidates for the WBCA All-America Team.

UK signee Lindsey Corsaro in McDonald’s Game at 6:30 on ESPNU

Lindsey Corsaro (McDonald's Photo)
Lindsey Corsaro (McDonald's Photo)

Lindsey Corsaro (McDonald’s Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lindsey Corsaro, who signed her National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Kentucky in November, is one of 24 high school women’s players selected to play in Wednesday’s 2016 McDonald’s All-American Game. 

Corsaro, a 6-foot guard out of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, will play for the East team in the game, which will start at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. The game will be played at the United Center in Chicago. 

Janee Thompson Selected for State Farm College 3-Point Championship

Keith Taylor Photo
Keith Taylor Photo

Keith Taylor Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior guard Janee Thompson has been selected to the women’s 3-point roster for the 28th annual State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championship at the Berry Center in Cypress, Texas, on Thursday, March 31.

Thompson, a native of Chicago, is one of eight women’s college basketball players chosen for the event that will air live on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. According to a release by Intersport, the producers of the event, Thompson was invited to take part in the event after being recognized as one of the finest shooters from 3-point territory during the season.

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