With under an hour until the opening tip, it has been announced that No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats forward KeKe McKinney will sit out tonight’s game against Alabama due to a serious migraine-like headache.
Junior forward KeKe McKinney is out for tonight’s game due to a serious migraine-like headache and is listed day-to-day.
— Kentucky WBB (@KentuckyWBB) January 10, 2020
She’s listed as day-to-day going forward, but this is a big loss for the No. 14 Wildcats right now as they face a Crimson Tide frontline with serious size.
McKinney has been Kentucky’s best overall defender this season and a viable source of production on offense. She leads the team in blocks with 24 on the year and is fourth in steals with 15. The junior has averaged 6.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per outing as a permanent start this season and her absence will open up a gaping hole inside Kentucky’s interior defense.
With Nae Nae Cole serving the final game of her three-game suspension, there aren’t many replacement options for McKinney. Ogechi Anyagaligbo will surely receive those minutes in her absence and Tatyana Wyatt’s presence in the paint will be more necessary than usual. Blair Green will probably see upwards of 20 minutes, too.
Both of Alabama’s starting frontcourt players stand at 6-foot-3. Without McKinney, Kentucky is down to just four players that break the 6-foot barrier. ‘Bama is one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the SEC and the ‘Cats just lost one of its top offensive rebounders.
An SEC road game just a bit more difficult for Kentucky. The ‘Cats are going to need even more from Rhyne Howard than usual. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network.