UK Women's Basketball

Kentucky women picked to defend SEC title; Mathies voted player of year

A'dia Mathies and Coach Matthew MItchell had their photo taken as the University of Kentucky women's basketball team held its annual Photo Day in the Joe Craft Center on the UK campus in Lexington, Ky., Monday, August, 20, 2012. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
A'dia Mathies and Coach Matthew MItchell had their photo taken as the University of Kentucky women's basketball team held its annual Photo Day in the Joe Craft Center on the UK campus in Lexington, Ky., Monday, August, 20, 2012. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

The University of Kentucky women's basketball team is counting on big things this season.

The media that cover the Southeastern Conference are in agreement.

They picked Kentucky to win the 2012-13 league championship and chose Wildcats senior A'dia Mathies as SEC Player of the Year in voting announced Tuesday.

Mathies was named to the All-SEC first team. Junior teammate Samarie Walker received second-team recognition.

Kentucky, the reigning SEC regular-season champion, returns 10 letterwinners and four starters from last season's NCAA Elite Eight squad, including SEC Player of the Year Mathies, SEC Freshman of the Year Bria Goss and Walker, an all-NCAA regional selection. The Wildcats also welcome back sophomore guard Jennifer O'Neill, who sat out the 2011-12 season because of injury, and junior forward DeNesha Stallworth, an All-Pac-10 selection, who will see her first action at Kentucky after sitting out last season upon transferring from California.

Mathies was an overwhelming choice for SEC Player of the Year with 20 votes. Christina Foggie of Vanderbilt was next, with four.

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