Kentucky's Lady 'Cats are the Queens of the Court in the SEC! (via ocad123)
I know, but I couldn't resist. Freddie would be loving him some UKHOOPS too!!
SEC Champs. We kind of take those words for granted around here somewhat when it comes to basketball. After all, we have won more of them here at Kentucky than they have everywhere else, right? Oh, yeah, that's the men. We are talking about the women.
Thirty years is a long time. A lifetime for some people. Unthinkable in today's "I want it now" world. But thirty years it has been since the Kentucky Women's Basketball team could call themselves SEC Champs. The wait is over.
Lots of things to talk about after the jump!The UKHOOPS regular season is over. Their accomplishments are many, although none of them official, there are a few that I believe are locks for this season. Let's start there.
Coach of the Year: Matthew Mitchell, hands down. I would give this to Pat Summitt, if there was such a thing as time in position earning it. And yes I know she has done a remarkable job of keeping herself in the games this year, but Mitchell just took his next step in college coaching. The award is his.
Player of the Year: A'Dia Mathies. No explanation necessary. She is the MVP of the Wildcats and no one else is even close. She has some competition from other squads, but they also are not close. It's hers.
Freshman of the Year: Bria Goss. She has played some outstanding basketball this year, and compliments Mathies game in every way. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen didnt have any better chemistry.
Those awards should be locks for this season. Experts will tell you. This team is good. Very good. Good enough that if they can catch a little more magic in the bottle, they can play themselves into a solid #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It will take winning the SEc Tourney, but that can be done by this team. I know it can, I know it in my gut.
As for today's game? Well, one word, DEFENSE. UK kicked the D into high gear early and never took their foot off of MSU's necks and they just ground MSU into dust. Sharon Fanning-Otis had no answers either for Mississippi State's struggles. UK forced 20 turnovers, and made the most of every one, scoring almost as many points off of turnovers,as they had TO's.
If you could have scripted this for UK at the beginning of the season, it could not have been done any better. Mitchell pushing the women to get better and better, and them responding at every turn. I am not going to hound numbers. Mathies gets my game ball for jump starting the Hoops' D and their offense as well.