UK Women's Basketball

Junior guard Conwright leaves UK program

The UK women's basketball team participates in photo day at Joe Craft Center on August 20, 2012 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Britney McIntosh | UK Athletics
The UK women's basketball team participates in photo day at Joe Craft Center on August 20, 2012 in Lexington, KY. Photo by Britney McIntosh | UK Athletics UK Athletics

Guard Maegan Conwright has decided to leave the Kentucky women's basketball program and return to Texas.

The 5-foot-8 junior from Arlington, Texas, saw action in 77 games with 20 starts and, in that time, played nearly every position on the floor for the Wildcats.

Conwright, who could not be reached for comment, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee on Dec. 26 and underwent surgery on Jan. 25. Before that, she played in 10 games last season with four starts and was averaging 10.8 minutes and 2.4 points.

For her career, Conwright averaged 19 minutes, 4.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 steals.

Conwright, who was best known as a defensive stopper, scored her career high of 15 points at Miami (Ohio) in 2010.

After the graduation of Amber Smith two years ago, Conwright was considered a top contender to take over the starting point guard spot for Kentucky.

In a pre-season interview last fall, Coach Matthew Mitchell said he thought Conwright was poised to have a breakout season.

"There's a noticeable change in her maturity level from the day she stepped on campus," Mitchell said in September. "She has so much ability and she's so smart. She made some eye-popping plays today. She can really make plays; she just battles herself so much mentally."

In that pre-season interview, Mitchell said he was rooting for Conwright.

"I've spent a lot of time with her and I have a lot invested in her at that position," Mitchell said. "I thought she was going to do it last year and she had a really, really mixed bag of results there."

After Conwright went down with the knee injury in practice, Jennifer O'Neill seized control of the starting spot and helped lead Kentucky to its third NCAA Elite Eight in four seasons.

O'Neill, a junior-to-be, returns to lead next season's team, which probably will include three other McDonald's All-Americans vying for time at the guard spots in sophomore-to-be Janee Thompson and incoming freshmen Linnae Harper and Makayla Epps.

Stallworth picked for U.S. tryouts

UK forward DeNesha Stallworth is one of 31 players who have accepted invitations to try out for the United States' World University Games women's basketball team.

The tryouts are May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Joining Stallworth at the tryouts will be three players from NCAA Tournament runner-up Louisville: Sophomore forward Sara Hammond of Rockcastle County, junior guard Shoni Schimmel and sophomore guard Bria Smith.

The World University Games women's basketball competition will be held July 8-15 in Kazan, Russia.

The 12-member roster is expected to be announced May 19.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader