Kentucky's Mitchell suspended Drake for 'a series of things'

jsmith3@herald-leader.comMarch 23, 2013 

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Kentucky forward/center Samantha Drake fought for the ball with Texas A&M center Kelsey Bone in the second half Thursday at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington. Photo by Jonathan Palmer

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QUEENS, N.Y. — It wasn't just one incident but a series of incidents over an extended period of time that led to the indefinite suspension of Kentucky forward Samantha Drake.

Coach Matthew Mitchell addressed the junior reserve's status briefly during UK's news conference Saturday before the second-seeded Cats meet Navy in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

"We have a standard we want to uphold as Kentucky basketball players and she just hasn't been doing that," Mitchell explained. "It's not one particular thing, it's just a series of things."

And those things led to the 6-foot-3 junior from Bardstown being left home for at least these first two rounds of the tournament and likely the remainder.

"We want her to always strive to do her best," Mitchell continued. "That's not happening right now, so we need to try to see if we can create a situation where we can motivate her to do her best."

The former Nelson County standout played in 27 of UK's 32 games this season and was averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds a contest. She was a part of the second wave of five subs Mitchell started using a few games ago, and her numbers increased.

"It's unfortunate for her, unfortunate for our team," Mitchell said. "We'll see what the future holds for Sam. It's just a series of things that aren't happening, that need to be happening."

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com, ukwomen.bloginky.com

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