It appears things are going to have to get a little worse for the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program before they start getting better.
The Wildcats suffered another off-the-court setback Monday when their top committed player for the class of 2017 decided to reopen her recruitment.
Lindsey Duvall, a point guard from Bullitt East High School who committed last fall to play for the Wildcats, has had a change of heart. The news was first reported by Bret McCormick of All-Star Girls’ Report, then confirmed by her high school coach, Chris Stallings.
Duvall is the No. 23-ranked player overall in the class of 2017 in ESPN’s HoopGurlz ratings. She was sidelined most of last season after a tumor was discovered on her left leg but returned from surgery earlier than expected to finish out 2015-16.
Duvall’s coach said she will continue to consider Kentucky but will look at other schools as well. Kentucky has only one other commitment for the 2017 class, point guard Kameron Roach from South Carolina.
Monday’s news added to the recent upheaval in the UK program.
Seven players have exited since last fall, and all three of head coach Matthew Mitchell’s assistant coaches have departed since the start of last season.
On the recruiting front, the Wildcats last week granted McDonald’s All-American Lindsey Corsaro a release from her national letter of intent for 2016. That left UK with only one signee for this coming season in swing player Chanin Scott.
Corsaro initially said she would continue to consider Kentucky but released a list of finalists over the weekend that did not include the Wildcats. According to the Indianapolis Star, Carsaro will choose among Baylor, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA and Washington.
Kentucky has been hard-pressed to go more than a couple of days between bouts of bad news in recent days.
Last Wednesday, starting forward Alexis Jennings was granted her release from the team. The sophomore’s departure left UK with five players from last year’s 25-8 team. The Cats add Cincinnati transfer Makenzie Cann and 2016 signee Scott.
As players and recruits scatter, Mitchell has begun the job of rebuilding. He hired two former assistants — Kyra Elzy and Niya Butts — to return to the Wildcats in hopes of establishing stability.
When he addressed the media last week, Mitchell seemed to understand that recruiting would take a hit.
“I’m not doing a lot of recruiting outside the building right now,” he said. “I’m recruiting inside the building, trying to settle them down.”