Kastine Evans has new role with UK women: scoring threat

jsmith3@herald-leader.comNovember 16, 2013 

Kentucky Wagner Basketball

Kentucky's Kastine Evans, left, outreached Wagner's Taylor Butigian during UK's 96-57 win last weekend. Evans is UK's second-leading scorer (13.0) three games into the season.

MARK LENNIHAN — AP

  • Sunday

    Central Michigan at Kentucky

    When: 2 p.m.

    Records: CMU 1-0; UK 3-0

    Series: First meeting

    TV/radio: CWKYT-27.2, FS South, WLAM-AM 630

    Twitter updates: @jenherald-leader

  • Matchups

    CENTRAL MICHIGAN (1-0)

    Starters: Da'Jourie Turner, 5-6, So., G (14.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg); Jessica Green, 4-10, Jr., G (10.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg); Kerby Tamm, 5-10, Jr., G (10.0 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 4.0 apg); Niki DiGuilio, 5-8, Sr., G (20.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.0 apg); Jas'Mine Bracey, 6-2, Jr., F (14.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg)

    Key reserves: Jordan LaDuke, 5-11, Sr., F (14.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg); Taylor Johnson, 5-10, Sr., F (8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Jewel Cotton, 6-2, Fr., F (6.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Chelsea Lynn, 6-0, So., F (5.0 ppg); Jacqueline Simpson, 6-0, Fr., F (3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

    NO. 7 KENTUCKY (3-0)

    Starters: Bria Goss, 5-10, Jr., G (10.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 apg); Kastine Evans, 5-9, Sr. (13.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg); Janee Thompson, 5-6, So., PG; (6.0 ppg, 3.7 apg); Samarie Walker, 6-1, Sr., F (8.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg); DeNesha Stallworth, 6-3, Sr., F (13.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.7 Spg)

    Key reserves: Jennifer O'Neill, 5-6, Jr., G (9.0 ppg, 4.0 apg); Azia Bishop, 6-3, Jr., F (7.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg); Linnae Harper, 5-8, Fr., G (6.7 ppg); Makayla Epps, 5-10, Fr., G (5.5 ppg); Bernisha Pinkett, 5-7, Sr., G (9.3 ppg, 2.0 spg); Jalleah Sydney, 6-2, Jr. (2.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Samantha Drake, 6-3, Sr., F (1.3 ppg)

Kastine Evans' role has never been clearly defined at Kentucky.

The senior guard was just one of those players asked to do a little bit of anything and everything.

If UK needed a rebound or an assist or a steal, Evans just did what she was asked.

This season, as the seventh-ranked Cats adapt to playing games without the services of the program's second-leading all-time scorer, A'dia Mathies, Evans has been asked to score some points.

She's happily obliged.

"We knew coming into the season that we were going to have a team that needed more than one scorer," said Evans, who is second on the team in scoring at 13 points a game, 8.2 above her career average.

"I don't think necessarily that I wasn't scoring before because we had other scorers and there were times where I had to play another role. The new season, the new system is opening a lot more opportunities for all of us."

Coach Matthew Mitchell doesn't necessarily love the pre-season questions where he has to discuss which player has made the biggest jump in the off-season, but this year he was quick to answer.

"She's making all sorts of plays," he said of Evans in October. "She's just a tremendous young woman. She looks really, really good and is playing really great right now. ... I'm most happy for her because I know what she's put into it."

Coming into the season, Evans had just 16 career double-digit scoring games, including only four last season.

Three games into this season, she already has two double-figure games and had nine points in the other one for Kentucky (3-0), which faces Central Michigan (1-0) on Sunday at Memorial Coliseum.

It wasn't just a matter of replacing Mathies in the lineup for Evans. The 5-foot-8 guard from Salem, Conn., spent a lot of time in the gym this summer.

"For me, it was really just working hard and getting in the gym and becoming really confident," said Evans, who came into this season averaging 33.7 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from long range for her career.

After three games this season, Evans is shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three-point range.

"Kastine just had a great opening weekend and that's how she's been playing in practice, really shooting the ball well, doing a good job," Mitchell said last week. "Veteran, smart player getting the most out of her ability. She's an outstanding player and somebody we're real proud of that she's here at Kentucky."

Evans has gone from a role player to a key player.

And that makes her head coach quite happy.

"It's so exciting for me as a coach to see a player come in as one thing and walk out the door as another."


Sunday

Central Michigan at Kentucky

When: 2 p.m.

Records: CMU 1-0; UK 3-0

Series: First meeting

TV/radio: CWKYT-27.2, FS South, WLAM-AM 630

Twitter updates: @jenherald-leader


Matchups

CENTRAL MICHIGAN (1-0)

Starters: Da'Jourie Turner, 5-6, So., G (14.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg); Jessica Green, 4-10, Jr., G (10.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.0 apg); Kerby Tamm, 5-10, Jr., G (10.0 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 4.0 apg); Niki DiGuilio, 5-8, Sr., G (20.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.0 apg); Jas'Mine Bracey, 6-2, Jr., F (14.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg)

Key reserves: Jordan LaDuke, 5-11, Sr., F (14.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg); Taylor Johnson, 5-10, Sr., F (8.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Jewel Cotton, 6-2, Fr., F (6.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Chelsea Lynn, 6-0, So., F (5.0 ppg); Jacqueline Simpson, 6-0, Fr., F (3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

NO. 7 KENTUCKY (3-0)

Starters: Bria Goss, 5-10, Jr., G (10.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.7 apg); Kastine Evans, 5-9, Sr. (13.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg); Janee Thompson, 5-6, So., PG; (6.0 ppg, 3.7 apg); Samarie Walker, 6-1, Sr., F (8.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg); DeNesha Stallworth, 6-3, Sr., F (13.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.7 Spg)

Key reserves: Jennifer O'Neill, 5-6, Jr., G (9.0 ppg, 4.0 apg); Azia Bishop, 6-3, Jr., F (7.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg); Linnae Harper, 5-8, Fr., G (6.7 ppg); Makayla Epps, 5-10, Fr., G (5.5 ppg); Bernisha Pinkett, 5-7, Sr., G (9.3 ppg, 2.0 spg); Jalleah Sydney, 6-2, Jr. (2.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Samantha Drake, 6-3, Sr., F (1.3 ppg)

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

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