Matthew Mitchell is headed back to a place he once called home.
He'd love to sit and chat with the Morehead State athletic director and other friends, but the Kentucky coach has other things on his mind, such as winning a basketball game against the school that gave him his first college head coaching job.
"If they didn't have such a good basketball team, it would mean more to me to be able to go over and enjoy the trip," Mitchell said. "I'm not sure how enjoyable the trip's going to be because we'll be working so hard trying to get the win."
UK has won its first two games of the year behind junior post player Victoria Dunlap, who has averaged 28.5 points and 15 rebounds.
Mitchell wants his team to keep playing strong against the Eagles, who were picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference in the pre-season.
"We're going to have to play awfully hard to win," he said. "It's a big game for us. We need to try to continue some positive momentum as we go forward."
Mitchell served as the head coach at Morehead State from 2005-07, and the Eagles had just signed him to a four-year extension before he was lured away by Kentucky.
Part of the buyout to let him out of that contract was a game versus the Cats (2-0) at Morehead's Johnson Arena.
Mitchell said he didn't mind going back there because it might give some UK fans in a different part of the state a chance to see his team play.
"If it's something that can be good for both schools, I think it's a good thing," he said.
Most of the players Mitchell coached and recruited there are gone, but the one remaining player with ties to the old coach is the most dangerous one on the floor for Morehead State (0-1).
Chynna Bozeman, the pre-season player of the year in the OVC, was recruited to play for the Eagles by Mitchell and his staff. The 5-foot-10 junior averaged 15.9 points a game last season. Bozeman tied the MSU single-season record with 95 three-pointers.
"I never got to coach her," Mitchell said. "She was a freshman after I left. ... She's had a good career so far. I hate to have to go up against her because she's so good."
It will be the first time that Morehead and UK have met since 1995 and the first time at Morehead since 1991. UK leads the Eagles 22-4 and have won 22 straight over OVC teams.
■ The game will be televised on Insight cable channel 524 in Lexington; over-the-air channel WLEX-18.2; Access cable channel 65; InterMountain cable channel 256; Insight cable channel 432 in Louisville; and over-the-air channel WHAS-11.3 in Louisville.