UK Women's Basketball

Kentucky women picked to finish fourth in SEC basketball

Kentucky Wildcats head coach Matthew Mitchell talked to the crowd during Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Amy Wallot
Kentucky Wildcats head coach Matthew Mitchell talked to the crowd during Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Amy Wallot Herald-Leader

The University of Kentucky women's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2014-15 Southeaastern Conference race in a vote of media that cover the league.

South Carolina, which returns all five starters from last season's SEC regular-season title team, tops the predicted order of finish, with Tennessee, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Georgia and LSU rounding out the top half of the league. Mississippi State, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama and Mississippi were picked to finish eighth through 14th.

Tuesday's vote marked the fifth straight season the Wildcats have been selected in the top four of the preseason poll.

Kentucky's Matthew Mitchell, UK's all-time winningest coach, enters his eighth season with the Cats after leading them to a 26-9 (10-6 SEC) mark last season. UK ended the season with a No. 10 national ranking in The Associated Press poll and the program's school-record fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, including a third consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16.

Seven letter winners return from last season's squad, including top scorer and SEC Co-6th Woman of the Year Jennifer O'Neill, and starters Bria Goss and Janee Thompson. Also returning are senior center Azia Bishop and senior forward Jelléah Sidney, along with the dynamic sophomore duo of Linnae Harper and Makayla Epps.

The Wildcats open the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game against Pikeville on Nov. 6 in Memorial Coliseum.

SEC VOTING

The SEC's predicted order of finish this season according to media who cover the league, listed with points received:

1. South Carolina 210

2. Tennessee 191

3. Texas A&M 179

4. Kentucky 154

5. Vanderbilt 150

6. Georgia 132

7. LSU 122

8. Mississippi State. 108

9. Florida 96

10. Auburn 83

11. Arkansas 77

11. Missouri 77

13. Alabama 74

14. Mississippi 21

Preseason Player of the Year:

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Preseason All - SEC team:

Martha Alwal, Mississippi State

Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina

Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina

Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

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