Jen Smith on Basketball

UK women hopeful injured guards will be full speed for NCAA Tournament

Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell sounded optimistic that guards Taylor Murray and Jaida Roper would both be ready for the start of the NCAA Tournament, which begins later this week.

“Taylor is progressing every day, but has yet to resume practice activities,” he told the Herald-Leader on Sunday night. “Jaida is participating in non-contact activities and is progressing nicely.”

Of both guards, he added: “We are hoping both are back at full speed for the first round of the tournament.”

With 11 seconds left in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament last week, Murray ran into a hard pick and missed the semifinal loss to South Carolina. Roper suffered a head injury during that final game of the conference tournament against the Gamecocks.

Murray is the Cats’ third-leading scorer, averaging 12.7 points and five rebounds a game. She has started all but one game this season, the last one. Roper, one of UK’s only reserves, is averaging 2.8 points a game as a freshman.