UK Women's Basketball

Meet the Cats: Several players adjusting to new roles for UK women's team

Sitting: 12-Jelleah Sidney and standing L-R: 35-Alexis Jennings, 45- Alyssa Rice, 2-Ivana Jakucova (on Rice's shoulders) 50-Azia Bishop,5- Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (on Bishop's shoulders) during the University of Kentucky Women's basketball photo day held at the Joe Craft Center on the UK campus in Lexington, Ky., Monday August 25, 2014. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Sitting: 12-Jelleah Sidney and standing L-R: 35-Alexis Jennings, 45- Alyssa Rice, 2-Ivana Jakucova (on Rice's shoulders) 50-Azia Bishop,5- Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (on Bishop's shoulders) during the University of Kentucky Women's basketball photo day held at the Joe Craft Center on the UK campus in Lexington, Ky., Monday August 25, 2014. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

Azia Bishop

Vitals: The 6-foot-3 senior forward/center is from Toledo, Ohio. Her major is social work. She was born April 5, 1993.

The lowdown: The Cats' most experienced post player and leading shot-blocker last season will need to become more than a role player (5.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) for UK to enjoy the success of previous seasons. Her speed makes her an asset in UK's up-tempo, attacking style.

Jaycee Coe

Vitals: The 5-foot-11 freshman guard is from Gainesboro, Tenn. Her major is undergraduate studies. She was born June 28, 1996.

The lowdown: Probably the best pure shooter on the team, Coe averaged more than 24 points a game as the two-time Class A player of the year in Tennessee, but a preseason car wreck slowed her progress. She can shoot from almost anywhere on the floor, but will need to improve her speed.

Makayla Epps

Vitals: The 5-foot-10 sophomore guard is from Lebanon (Marion County). Her major is undergraduate studies. She was born June 6, 1995.

The lowdown: The team's most improved player this summer, according to her head coach. Epps could be UK's most versatile weapon this season with her ability to create her own shot and play any position on the floor. Epps' high basketball IQ and improved speed could make her a difficult matchup.

Kyvin Goodin-Rogers

Vitals: The 6-foot-1 sophomore forward is from Lebanon (Marion County). Her major is integrated strategic communications. She was born May 23, 1995.

The lowdown: Missed all of last season after suffering from a pulmonary embolism, but she's been cleared and could become a force inside for UK. She's fast, has a good nose for the ball and plays aggressively, skills that make her a natural fit for the system.

Bria Goss

Vitals: The 5-foot-10 senior guard is from Indianapolis. Her major is communications. She was born Sept. 2, 1992.

The lowdown: Team's best on-ball defender became much more of an offensive threat last season, averaging 10.2 points a game. Does a little bit of everything for Cats. As a senior, Goss will be looked to for vocal leadership and high energy.

Linnae Harper

Vitals: The 5-foot-8 sophomore is from Chicago. Her major is communications. She was born Jan. 31, 1995.

The lowdown: Left-handed guard started to emerge as a big-time threat at the end of the season, finishing in double-digit scoring in four of the Cats' last five games. Strong rebounding and aggressive style will make her a key player this season. If she can become a lock-down defender, she'll be a star at UK.

Ivana Jakubcova

Vitals: The 6-foot-6 junior center is from Bratislava, Slovakia. Her major is psychology. She was born Aug. 20, 1994.

The lowdown: Junior-college transfer is still working her way back to health after a stress fracture (leg) and then a concussion sidelined her. Don't be surprised to see athletic center redshirt this season and be a weapon next season.

Alexis Jennings

Vitals: The 6-foot-2 freshman center is from Madison, Ala. Her major is undergraduate studies. She was born March 7, 1996.

The lowdown: Rated the ninth-best forward in this class by ESPN. Her versatility matches her height, with an impressive ability to run the floor and shoot from long range. Scored 2,594 career points. Her jersey was retired in April and it also hangs in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville.

Jennifer O'Neill

Vitals: The 5-foot-6 senior guard is from Bronx, N.Y. Her major is kinesiology and health promotion (exercise science). She was born April 19, 1990.

The lowdown: Kentucky's leading scorer last season, including setting a school record for points in a game versus Baylor, is a speedy ball handler and can play both guard positions. O'Neill doesn't love the leadership role, but as a senior, she's going to have to find ways to lead if UK wants to keep succeeding.

Alyssa Rice

Vitals: The 6-foot-3 freshman center is from Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Her major is undergraduate studies. She was born Nov. 13, 1995

The lowdown: Rated the nation's No. 3 post player by ESPN, Rice was her school's all-time leading career scorer (1,433 points) and rebounder (904). Has impressive length and finishing skills around the rim and is working on improving her shooting range.

Jelléah Sidney

Vitals: The 6-foot-2 senior forward is from Queen's Village, N.Y. Her major is social work. She was born April 23, 1991.

The lowdown: Struggled in preseason with some knee soreness, but will bring depth and speed to a young and inexperienced UK frontcourt. Her leaping ability and aggressive play style should be a boost for UK.

Janee Thompson

Vitals: The 5-foot-7 junior guard is from Chicago. Her major is journalism. She was born Oct. 6, 1993.

The lowdown: Took a while to get comfortable playing in UK's system as a freshman, but blossomed into a top player for the Cats last year, including leading them in assists with 107 to go with her 8.6 points a game. Thompson will look to become a true vocal leader this season.

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