For a Kentucky women’s basketball program that had seven players with remaining eligibility, two signed recruits and one other class of 2016 verbal commit separate last year, the first meeting against one of the departed was supposed to be Thursday night when Mississippi invades Memorial Coliseum.
The Rebels, coached by former UK assistant Matt Insell, have Chrishae Rowe on their roster. Rowe transferred to Kentucky in 2014-15 after being dismissed at Oregon in spite of averaging 21.6 points as a freshman.
Before Rowe ever played a game for UK, Mitchell kicked her off the team prior to last season. She then landed at Ole Miss.
Eligible this year at mid-semester, Rowe dropped 20 points on Austin Peay and 18 on Alabama. In six games, she is averaging 10.3 points in 18.3 minutes a game.
However, it does not sound like Rowe will make her Memorial Coliseum debut Thursday night, either.
She has not played in Mississippi’s past four games. Ole Miss women’s hoops publicist Jessica Poole said Monday Rowe is “dealing with a medical condition” and “unavailable right now.”
So, even if UK likely won’t face an ex-player Thursday night, it nevertheless seems an opportune time to look in on how the other former Kentucky players/recruits are faring in their new locales.
Linnae Harper. The ex-UK starting guard quit the Wildcats program last preseason. Eligible at Ohio State (17-5) at mid-semester, Harper has played in 11 games without making a start. The 5-foot-8 junior has been productive, though, averaging 8.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in 18.8 minutes a game.
Kyvin Goodin-Rogers. The ex-UK forward quit the Cats early last season. Eligible at mid-semester at Western Kentucky (14-5), KGR has started all 11 Hilltoppers games since and is averaging 8.6 ppg and 5 rpg but making only 32.3 percent of her shots.
Jaycee Coe. A little-used guard at Kentucky in 2014-15, Coe has played in 16 of Western Kentucky’s 18 games and is averaging 6.4 points in 11.4 minutes.
Ivana Jakubcova. A sparsely-utilized frontcourt reserve at UK last season, the 6-6 Jakubcova moved to Southern California (10-9) as a graduate transfer. In La La Land, she’s started eight of 18 games and is averaging 13.2 minutes, 2.2 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 26.8 percent.
Morgan Rich. The former Allen County star was never cleared to practice at Kentucky. Eligible at the semester break at Oklahoma (15-5), she’s played in only two games for three minutes and has scored three points.
Sooners women’s basketball publicist Tyler Pigg says the 5-10 Rich is healthy, but notes she gained eligibility at midyear on a team with six seniors and 13 returning players.
Lindsey Corsaro. The 2016 McDonald’s All-American asked for and received a release from her Kentucky letter of intent and instead ended up at UCLA. An injury has kept the 6-1 wing from really getting started so far in L.A. — she’s played in only four games and made one field goal for the Bruins (15-4).
Chanin Scott. The 6-footer from Charlotte was an under-the-radar signee by Kentucky, billed as a potential defensive stopper. After joining the exodus from UK last summer, she landed at Georgia Tech (13-6). Scott has turned in a very solid freshman season so far, starting nine of 19 games while averaging 6.9 points and 4.8 rebounds and compiling 26 steals (second on the team).
Sydney Shelton. The guard from Indiana, once a class of 2016 UK verbal pledge, instead signed with Butler (5-15). Shelton has started 13 of the 16 games in which she’s played but is hitting only 26.3 percent of her shots while averaging 7.4 points.
The two players that Kentucky misses most this season are not on the above list. Power forwards Alexis Jennings and Batouly Camara are sitting out after transferring to South Carolina and Connecticut, respectively.
Even after all of last year’s tumult, had just one of that duo stayed, UK (14-6, 5-2 SEC with seven recruited, scholarship players) would be a top-10 team.