The bad news is Kentucky has played two games this season and had a starter go down with a knee injury in each game. The good news for UK is that neither Samantha Drake nor Keyla Snowden is lost for the season, Coach Matthew Mitchell said on Friday.
"It's very good news on both of them," Mitchell said. "There was no ligament damage, so now it's just ... if any pain is lingering can they tolerate that on the court. It will be a process of getting them back to where they can play."
Drake suffered a bruised bone at Miami (Ohio) and is listed as day to day. The freshman forward was on a crutch Friday afternoon and still had not practiced. Snowden, who was hurt in a collision during the Morehead State game last week, has been able to practice on a limited basis and could see the floor against Notre Dame and former Lexington Catholic teammate Natalie Novosel.
Drake previously had tweaked that same knee this summer and wore a brace for support. Mitchell said the brace probably helped keep the injury from being more severe.
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"The way (the injury) happened at Miami, I think the brace helped her tremendously," he said. "Thank goodness for that."
Canty chooses Rutgers
Briyona Canty, the sixth-best player in the country according to one recruiting service, opted to stay closer to home and play for Rutgers.
At her news conference to announce her signing this week, Canty explained her reasons.
"It came down to Kentucky and Rutgers," she said. "Kentucky's a great school but I just felt more love at Rutgers. I got to talk to Cappie Pondexter (current WNBA star and former Rutgers guard) and Matee (Ajavon, currently on the Washington Mystics) who played for Coach Stringer and they told me how Coach Stringer was, both on and off the court."
UK was in the hunt for three top-15 recruits in this class, but each opted to go elsewhere. Kentucky's class, which includes No. 17-ranked Bria Goss and Azia Bishop, who is rated No. 34 by ESPN's Hoopgurlz, is ranked No. 12 in the nation overall.
Tickets still available
As of late Friday afternoon, there were 5,817 tickets sold for Sunday's contest between No. 9 UK and No. 12 Notre Dame. The game is Kentucky's annual Pack the House game. It is the highest-ranked non-conference opponent to face the Cats since 2003, when UK faced No. 13 North Carolina. Kentucky hasn't beaten a ranked, non-conference opponent since 1997.
Mitchell asked for extra fan support Sunday.
"Memorial really rocking on Sunday afternoon could really help us," he said.