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Rhyne Howard scores 11 of her team’s 20 points in 3×3 National Championship

via @KentuckyWBB

Kentucky’s star freshman continued to dominate – this time, on a national stage. Rhyne Howard led her team to the 3×3 National Championship game in Las Vegas, scoring 11 of the team’s 20 points. Ultimately, her efforts couldn’t quite get it done – her team lost by one point to the team representing the University of Oregon.

Howard was one of eight athletes that participated in a minicamp after submitting applications and being accepted by USA Basketball. Howard was joined by North Carolina’s Janelle Bailey (center), Drake’s Rebecca Hittner (guard) and Oregon State’s Destiny Slocum (guard). Howard was the only freshman on her team and one of just 21 freshmen competing in the tournament, out of 72 total participants.

Howard led her team to a 3-1 record in pool play before a 17-9 win over Michigan in the quarterfinal play-in game and 14-12 overtime win vs. Yee’go in the quarterfinals. They defeated NC State in the semifinals before falling to defending national champion Oregon, led by Sabrina Ionescu who earned MVP honors.

The two-day event also served as the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 National Team trials. The selected roster will be announced later in May.

Until then, Howard will focus on the 2019 USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team Trials, which will be held later this month at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The 12-member team will be selected at the end of trials with training camp to follow July 5-19 and  U19 World Cup competition taking place July 20-28 in Bangkok, Thailand.


Happy Big Blue Birthday, Maci Morris!

Happy Big Blue Birthday, Maci Morris!

Maci Morris served as an integral part of Kentucky’s women’s basketball team during each of her four seasons on campus, but today is all about her. It’s the Bell County native’s birthday today.

While she’s now considered a former Wildcat, the name Maci Morris will remain etched in the Cats’ record books. She’s No. 6 on Kentucky’s all-time scoring list, and she holds the record for highest career three-point percentage at 40.9 percent. She’s ranked No. 2 all-time for career free-throw percentage at 85.1 percent.

A lingering injury affected Morris’ performances down the stretch during her senior season, but she – along with fellow senior Taylor Murray and freshman Rhyne Howard – led Matthew Mitchell and the Wildcats to an NCAA berth and a first-round win over No. 11 Princeton.

Morris is celebrating far away from her eastern Kentucky home, as she’s still participating in the WNBA’s Washington Mystic’s training camp. Happy birthday, Maci! Now go earn yourself a spot on the roster.


UK Softball’s Abbey Cheek finishes No. 1 in the NCAA

Photo by UK Athletics

Abbey Cheek already owns Kentucky softball’s all-time home run record, and now she’s etching her name in the NCAA books, too. She finished the regular season with a .631 on-base percentage – good for No. 1 in the NCAA among all players.

Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson responded to the news via Twitter, saying “So happy for abbey – she has worked so hard at this part of her game. #DreamBig then #Commit”

Cheek has been a huge part of the Cats’ success this season – Kentucky is currently 32-21 on the season and 14-10 in the SEC. That record earned them a bye for the first round of the conference tournament, so the Cats won’t see action again until Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. Then, the No. 4 seeded Wildcats will take on the winner of Game 5, which will pit No. 5 Ole Miss against the winner of game 1 between (13) Texas A&M and (12) Mississippi State. The game will be shown live on the SEC Network.

Cheek may be a senior, but the South Carolina native isn’t giving up the game just yet. She was selected as the No. 14 overall pick in the MLS Draft (third round) to the Chicago Bandits. She’ll be joined by fellow teammate Katie Reed (No. 19 overall pick).


Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Today on KSR: Controversy Swirls as Country House takes 145th Derby

Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

I watched the Kentucky Derby from Great American Ballpark minutes before the Reds and Giants played. My dad and I saw Maximum Security win and made our way to our seats thinking that was the end of everything. It was until I got a notification that said that Maximum Security was DQ and Country House was declared the winner.

I am the furthest thing from an expert when it comes to horse racing. Did Maximum Security “impede” the progress of another horse? I don’t even know that I would know what to look for.

To watch the stewards discuss the ruling, click the link below:

Again, I would be the first to admit that I don’t have a true understanding of the rules that go into a race. What I do know is that this will be a finish that is talked about for the next 145 Derbys.

Now onto the other news of the day:

Jalen Johnson includes Kentucky in Top Four

D1 Circuit Nike EYBL

One of the top juniors in the class of 2020 announced yesterday that Kentucky, along with Wisconsin, Arizona and Duke, are finalists in his recruitment.

Johnson is a 6’8 forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He told reporters last year that the hometown Badgers had a slight lead, but his recruitment was still wide open. While their games aren’t the same, if I am John Calipari, I 100% send the five-star prospect footage of Tyler Herro. Show what Kentucky can do for a kid from Wisconsin.

For more on Johnson, including his opinions on Kentucky… and Duke, click this link for a write up from KSR’s recruiting expert Jack Pilgrim.

Beau Allen talks decision

@BeauAllen11

To say the last week has been good for recruiting in Kentucky would be an understatement. Tomorrow could be the cap off of a true trifecta with Lexington native Beau Allen announcing his commitment.

Allen, a four star quarterback, will make his decision between Kentucky, Washington State, West Virginia and Duke. In a recent interview with Rivals, Allen talked about what he likes about each school and his response to Kentucky is interesting. You might think the “hometown hero” card is the biggest factor, but it is something else that he likes.

To find out what that is, and his opinion on other schools, click here.

Cats visit five-star guard Daishen Nix

@SimplyFunBBall

The recruiting didn’t end for the Kentucky coaching staff as Joel Justus was in to see Alaska native Daishen Nix. I admittedly don’t know a lot about Nix, but the minute I saw Alaska native, I knew exactly why the Cats were recruiting him. While he now plays in Las Vegas, you never know if an in-home visit could happen in Alaska and isn’t that Coach Cal’s dream to go there? I kid…

Nix is the #13 player in the class of 2020 and holds offers from most of the major west coast programs.

From yesterday’s KSR article, “Josh Gershon of 247 Sports says Nix is an ‘outstanding facilitator’ with ‘elite vision’ and ‘strong natural instincts.’

Good size for position with strong, sturdy frame. Elite vision; outstanding facilitator who is creative as a distributor. High basketball IQ with strong natural instincts for position. Improving shooter with range to perimeter although he is more efficient as he get closer to basket. Quick hands and impressive instincts on defense. Could improve as a shooter but it’s an area he’s shown progress and in general has been on a high trajectory since arriving in Nevada from Alaska prior to his freshman season. Projects as a successful college point guard with NBA upside.

This seems like a good guy to get to join Ramon Harris as Cats from Alaska.

Baseball DH at home this afternoon

UKBaseball

If you are looking for a good way to spend your Saturday, make your way to Kentucky Proud Park where the Kentucky Baseball team will take on Arkansas in a DH beginning at 1pm.

I have heard nothing but good things about the new stadium and with the rain gone, I can’t think of a much better way to spend a Sunday.


@KentuckyWBB

It’s official: transfer Dre’una Edwards will be a Wildcat

@KentuckyWBB

Utah standout Dre’una Edwards has made it official: she’ll be transferring to the University of Kentucky next season. Although she announced the news yesterday, she has now officially signed all of the paperwork required to become a Wildcat.

Her official commitment also means Coach Matthew Mitchell and his staff are able to comment on the Las Vegas native and the immediate impact she could have on the program.

“We are thrilled Dre’una is a Wildcat,” Coach Mitchell said. “She will be an incredible addition to our family. Her positive energy and unbridled enthusiasm are infectious and will impact our program immediately. Dre has a game that fits our system perfectly and her competitive spirit will help us win. We all are excited for the future.”

Unfortunately, Edwards will have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. However, she’ll be able to actively participate in practices as soon as she arrives in Lexington. Her presence alone will help her teammates in practice, and she plans to join the team beginning this summer.

In one year at Utah last season, Edwards averaged 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field. She suffered a knee injury late in the year that kept her from playing in Utah’s last four games, but the 6-2 forward still did enough to earn the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year award.

Along with Edwards, UK will add true freshmen Emma King (a native of Stanford, Kentucky) and Deasia Merrill, alongside transfers Sabrina Haines, Nae Nae Cole and Chasity Patterson.

Next season is shaping up to be a good one for Wildcats.

You can show Edwards some BBN love on Twitter HERE.