If there was any game on the Kentucky schedule that senior Carly Ormerod had circled and starred on her calendar, it was the Louisville game in Freedom Hall.
It was her last chance to break a personal 0-3 streak against the Cardinals.
But it's not going to happen. In her last chance to play in front of her hometown crowd, Ormerod will have to settle for a seat on the bench.
She is still battling soreness in her left foot, which could sit her until the start of 2009.
"I'm certain that doesn't sit well with her because she's such a competitor and I'm sure she'd like to go back to Louisville and perform well," Coach Matthew Mitchell said.
He said she knows it's important to rest the injury, though.
"She has to do what's best for the team and the long-term success of the team," he said. "Carly understands that while short term it's going to be very difficult for us, for the good of the team she's going to have to sit one out."
UK will check her injury and mobility again early next week, but Mitchell said she's "doubtful" for games versus Alabama A&M and Santa Barbara.
Rucker's quick start
Less than 10 days ago, Gwen Rucker was wearing a Louisville volleyball uniform, playing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Now the former Henry Clay standout is in a Cardinals basketball jersey and becoming a valuable contributor.
On Dec. 5, which was a Friday, Rucker lost in the tournament, then got on a bus and headed back to Louisville. The next morning, she was practicing with the basketball team.
The next day, she played 15 minutes in her first-ever college game.
Three days later, Rucker was playing again.
"She's doing very, very well," Coach Jeff Walz said of Rucker, who is averaging 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in her two games so far. "She's a great addition to our team."
With a lack of depth in the post, Rucker has quickly become the first player off the bench for the Cardinals' frontcourt. Walz hopes she can keep improving quickly.
"There's no question if we'd had her in the pre-season and the first three months, she'd be further along, but for our needs — especially with our lack of depth in the post — she's very important," he said.
■ This will be the 1,000th game in UK history since women's basketball became a varsity sport 35 years ago.
■ This is the 45th time Louisville and Kentucky have met. The Cats lead the overall series 28-16 but trail 9-11 when the game is played in Louisville.