UK women’s basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell made his annual special guest host appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio radio Monday morning, and in doing so he revealed tentative plans for his program’s return to campus.
According to Mitchell, Kentucky’s 2020-21 preseason will be limited to virtual interaction through June and July with hopes for his student-athletes to report back to campus in late July.
“We think we’re going to have a really good team,” Mitchell told his KSR audience. “We’re excited for them. They are absolutely just itching to get back.
“Today’s a big day for Kentucky because we are starting step one of our phased approach of coming back to campus, so we have some football players returning to campus today. We’re going to do that over the course of the summer, and we’re still in the very first step, but we’re very hopeful we can get everybody back on campus at some point. I know our basketball team is very excited and we’re staying in contact with them. Our plan right now is to do a virtual summer for middle of June through July, and our hope is to get our team back on campus in late July. A lot has to happen between now and then, but at least there’s some plan to get that done. Each sport is handling that the best way they know how.”
Mitchell also reflected on last season, its abrupt ending and how he and his coaches and players are left wondering what could have been.
“We’ll never know, but I’ll tell you what was a great satisfaction to us, out of what was a devastating end to the season,” he said. “Because we did believe we had the type of team that was built to go deep in the tournament. We had a lot of positives going for us and we felt like the ten days off between the SEC Tournament was going to give us some good time to re-energize, so we were looking forward to it.
“But I think when we look back on it, we got a ton out of the season: the kids worked so hard; a lot of unknowns going into the season; we never lost two games in a row; we bounced back every time we got knocked down and it was an awesome, awesome, high-character, hard-working group that we’re real proud of.”
Mitchell also confirmed incoming Maryland transfer Olivia Owens is not related to Buck Owens, a response to John Short’s inquiry on the show.
To hear Coach Mitchell guest host both hours, tune in to today’s podcast below: