Mark Story

The players who left UK women’s hoops: Two have thrived but more have faced adversity

In her first appearance against her former Kentucky team, South Carolina forward Alexis Jennings, No. 35, scored 17 points and claimed 7 rebounds in the Gamecocks’ 81-64 win in Rupp Arena Jan. 21. On Sunday, Kentucky travels to Columbia for a rematch against Jennings and defending national champion South Carolina.
In her first appearance against her former Kentucky team, South Carolina forward Alexis Jennings, No. 35, scored 17 points and claimed 7 rebounds in the Gamecocks’ 81-64 win in Rupp Arena Jan. 21. On Sunday, Kentucky travels to Columbia for a rematch against Jennings and defending national champion South Carolina.

From the end of the 2014-15 season through the aftermath of the 2015-16 campaign, the Kentucky women’s basketball program had eight players with remaining eligibility depart for various reasons.

In the same period, UK saw five recruits decommit.

Of the many who parted ways with Kentucky, two have since thrived. As bad luck would have it, those two are the only ones from UK’s mass exodus that Matthew Mitchell and the Wildcats have subsequently played against.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., Kentucky (13-14, 5-8 Southeastern Conference) will face ex-Cat Alexis Jennings for a second time when the Wildcats visit defending NCAA champion South Carolina (21-5, 10-3). In the Gamecocks’ 81-64 victory over UK in Rupp Arena on Jan. 21, Jennings had 17 points and seven rebounds.

On the season, the 6-foot-3 forward — who transferred from Kentucky after the 2015-16 season — has averaged 12 points and 6.9 rebounds (all statistics are through Thursday) while starting all 26 South Carolina games.

The initial Cats vs. ex-Cat matchup came in last year’s NCAA Tournament. In the round of 32, Ohio State’s Linnae Harper almost hung a triple-double on her former team, going for 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Buckeyes ended UK’s season.

Harper — who left the Kentucky team before the 2015-16 season — has started all 27 games for Ohio State this year and is averaging 15.3 points and 8.7 rebounds.

Most of the other players who parted ways with UK have yet to taste such post-Wildcats success.

After Kyvin Goodin-Rogers became the fourth player to leave the program in the past six weeks, Kentucky women's basketball coach Matthew Mitchell talked Tuesday about the state of the program.

Other transfers

Batouly Camara. The 6-2 forward sat out last season at Connecticut after leaving UK following the 2015-16 season. Now a redshirt sophomore, Camara has barely played this year due to a knee injury. In 13 games, she is averaging one point and 1.1 rebounds.

Morgan Rich. The former Allen County star left Kentucky before the 2015-16 season after having never been cleared to practice. Rich transferred to Oklahoma where, after becoming eligible at mid-semester last season, she scored three total points in three games. After suffering a knee injury in a September team workout, Rich will miss all of the current season.

Batouly Camara & Morgan Rich in UK picture
Since parting ways with Kentucky, injuries have slowed the college careers of Batouly Camara, No. 1, at Connecticut and Morgan Rich, No. 11, at Oklahoma. The duo were part of UK’s 2015 recruiting class that also included current Cats standouts Maci Morris, No. 4, and Taylor Murray, No. 24. Lexington Herald-Leader file photo

Jaycee Coe. A sparsely-used UK freshman (20 total points) in 2014-15, Coe transferred to Western Kentucky. The 5-11 guard averaged 5.2 points in 26 games for WKU last season, then transferred again. This year at Florida’s Southeastern University, an NAIA school, Coe has started all 25 games and is averaging 15.4 points.

Chrishae Rowe. The transfer from Oregon was dismissed from the UK team before the 2015-16 season without ever playing for the Cats. Last year at Mississippi, Rowe averaged 10.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in six games before missing the rest of the season with an undisclosed medical condition. The 5-10 senior guard is listed on the Ole Miss roster this season, but has not played.

Kyvin Goodin-Rogers. The ex-Marion County star left Kentucky early in the 2015-16 season. Eligible at mid-semester last year at Western Kentucky, she started 25 of 26 games and averaged 8.1 points and 4.1 rebounds. Goodin-Rogers gave up her final season of eligibility at WKU in 2017-18 due to chronic knee pain.

However, Goodin-Rogers “unretired” for the second semester this season at Union University, an NCAA Division II school in Tennessee. Through 13 games, she has averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Kendall Noble, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and head coach Michelle Clark-Heard say goodbye to 2016-2017 season after suffering a first round loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Ivana Jakubcova. A little used front-court reserve at Kentucky in 2015-16 (27 points in 24 games), the 6-6 Jakubcova graduate transferred to Southern California and averaged two points per game last season as a senior.

Recruiting decommits

Lindsey Corsaro. A 2016 McDonald’s All-American from Indianapolis, Corsaro asked UK for and received a release from her letter-of-intent amidst Kentucky’s 2015-16 postseason upheaval. The 6-1 wing wound up at UCLA where, last year, she was limited to four games due to an undisclosed injury. Granted a medical redshirt, Corsaro is again a freshman this season but has played in only two games.

Lindsey Corsaro
Lindsey Corsaro, a 2016 McDonald’s All-American, chose UCLA after Kentucky released her from her signed national letter of intent. In two seasons at UCLA, Corsaro has battled an undisclosed injury and appeared in only six games. Matt Marton

Chanin Scott. An under-the-radar Class of 2016 signee for UK, the 6-foot Scott also got a release from Kentucky and chose Georgia Tech. This season as a sophomore, the Charlotte product has started 22 of 26 games and is averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds.

Sydney Shelton. A point guard from Indiana, Shelton committed to Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class in May 2014. She decommitted before signing with UK and picked Butler. Last season, Shelton made the Big East All-Freshman Team after averaging 8.8 points. This year, she left the Butler team after averaging 2.2 points in 11 games.

Lindsey Duvall. Kentucky’s 2017 Miss Basketball committed to UK before her junior season, decommitted and signed with Louisville. She is sitting out this season at U of L after undergoing preseason knee surgery.

Lindsey Duvall
Former Bullitt East star Lindsey Duvall, Kentucky’s 2017 Miss Basketball, was originally committed to Kentucky but ultimately signed with Louisville. She is sitting out this season at U of L after undergoing preseason knee surgery. Mark Mahan

Madison Treece. A 6-4 post player, Treece committed to UK’s 2017 recruiting class before her junior year of high school, then decommitted and chose Duke. This year as a freshman, Treece has appeared in 15 games and is averaging 1.1 points and 0.9 rebounds.

Sunday

Kentucky at No. 8 South Carolina

When: 3 p.m.

TV: SEC Network

Radio: WLAP-AM 630

Records: Kentucky 13-14 (5-8 SEC); South Carolina 20-5 (10-3)

Series: Kentucky leads 33-29

Last meeting: South Carolina won 81-64 on Jan. 21 in Lexington

  Comments