Kentucky's women's basketball team, ranked 18th in The Associated Press' preseason poll, will host Union (Tenn.) in its lone exhibition game of the season on Sunday in Memorial Coliseum.
Kentucky is in its ninth season under head coach Matthew Mitchell, who is the winningest head coach in program history.
Last year, the Wildcats posted a 24-10 record and earned a school-record sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cats return two starters from last year's team that defeated six ranked opponents, including three ranked in the top 10 nationally at the time UK defeated them — senior guard Janee Thompson, who has recovered from an injury that sidelined her for the final 17 games last season, and junior guard Makayla Epps.
Never miss a local story.
Thompson was averaging 10.1 points at the time of her injury, while Epps (Marion County) led the Southeastern Conference in scoring during league play and was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference by league coaches.
The Wildcats also return junior forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (Marion County), sophomore post players Alexis Jennings — a member of the All-SEC freshman team last year — and Alyssa Rice. Senior center Ivana Jakubcova returns as well after missing last season because of injury.
Five newcomers complete the roster for Kentucky, including last year's WBCA Junior/Community College Player of the Year, Evelyn Akhator. True freshmen include guards Maci Morris (Bell County) and Taylor Murray and forward Batouly Camara.
Cincinnati transfer Makenzie Cann (Anderson County) will sit out the 2015-16 season because of NCAA transfer rules.
The Cats projected starting lineup Sunday is Thompson, Morris, Akhator, Murray and Jennings. Epps is sitting out the exhibition game and the season opener as she completes the requirements of her offseason suspension.
Union finished last season with a 28-4 record, including 19-3 in Gulf South Conference play. Under head coach Mark Campbell, Union has won five NCAA Division II national titles, the most recent in 2014.
The Lady Bulldogs won both the GSC regular season title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Division II national tournament after a 62-50 win over Delta State (Miss.) in the GSC Tournament championship game.
Union advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen last season, losing 67-62 to Nova Southeastern in the South Region title game.
Union's roster features three players who transferred from an NCAA Division I school. Both Jordan Johnson and Tiara Caldwell transferred from Tennessee-Martin, where Caldwell started in all but three games as a sophomore. Carnecia Williams is a familiar face for the Wildcats, as she spent two seasons with Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State and started in all but five games for the Bulldogs.