The Kentucky women’s basketball team routed Lincoln Memorial University in their only exhibition game of the season by a score of 101-64.
While it was only a preseason game, there were still a couple significant takeaways that we can look at as the team heads into the new season. Take a look at the highlights before we get rolling.
— Kentucky WBB (@KentuckyWBB) November 3, 2018
Most notably, the full court press was dominate. Kentucky executed a hard press for nearly the entire game and disrupted any type of offensive rhythm LMU tried to establish. The result was 31 total turnovers for LMU – more than double their total number of assists (15) – and it turned into 41 points for Kentucky.
“I do not care who you are playing,” said head coach Matthew Mitchell. “to force 31 turnovers in 40 minutes is impressive and the type of effort that we have to have this year.”
The length of Kentucky on the perimeter is going to be a problem for opposing offenses as they can quickly fill holes and intercept passes. The Cats are long enough to employ a zone defense and it was rather effective when Coach Mitchell threw it into the defensive scheme throughout the course of the game and it’s something he wants to continue working on as the season progresses.
“We need our zone to be really disruptive, it’s going to be an attacking zone and so we were able to zone press back into a zone half-court,” said Mitchell. “our length really helps us there.”
The press is going to be the backbone of this Kentucky team. Being able to go an entire season against top-tier competition will be a challenge and the team understands that it’s going to take plenty of hard work and conditioning to keep it up all year.
“We’re gonna have to be able to press like that the whole game in order to be successful,” said senior guard Maci Morris.
The other notable takeaway was the impressive shooting confidence from the freshmen, Blair Green and Rhyne Howard.
Green scored 17 points on 8-17 shooting while Howard added 16 points on 5-13 shooting. They came out of the gate firing and never got discouraged even if their shots weren’t falling initially.
“Coach has complete confidence in us,” said Green. “and we have the green light to take any shot we feel we can make.”
The jitters of playing in their first official game at Memorial Coliseum didn’t seem to phase the two fresh faces. The team had a combined 26 assists to only seven turnovers.
“I think playing in Italy helped us a lot and having the scrimmage helped a lot,” said Green. “so we’re kinda bonded now.”
The regular season officially kicks off on Nov. 7 when the Cats take on Alabama State at home.
When asked their predictions for Saturday’s Georgia-Kentucky football game, both Morris and coach Mitchell believe in a 28-21 victory for the Cats.
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