As if it weren’t enough there’s even more good news coming for the University of Kentucky basketball program this time on the women’s side. Head basketball coach Matthew Mitchell—the 2009-2010 SEC Coach of the Year—has been making headlines with his ability to remake the Lady ‘Cats in just several years on the job.
Mitchell turned around the program last season with an outstanding run to an Elite 8 appearance in the Women’s NCAA Tournament and a 28-8 record that included an 11-5 SEC record.
Headlined by the play of SEC Conference Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap, who averaged 18.1 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.1 steals, and 1.9 blocks last year the Wildcats have another chance at making a deep run into the NCAA Tournament with an outstanding freshmen recruiting class coming in for the 2010-11 seasons.
The Top-10 recruiting class is comprised of the program’s first McDonald’s All-American (Jennifer O’Neill) and three state players of the year.
What may be the most impressive aspect of this year’s Wildcats team is the respect they are garnering from those around the nation. Among three of the most prominent collegiate basketball magazines—Lindy’s, Athlon Sports, and Sporting News—the Lady ‘Cats are in the Top-15 of all three magazines pre-season rankings.
All in all, it has been a good year for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs and the 2010-11 seasons shouldn’t be any different.
2010-11 LINDY’S PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL
8. Ohio State
10. Texas A&M
2010-11 ATHLON SPORTS PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL
5. Ohio State
7. Texas A&M
9. West Virginia
2010-11 SPORTING NEW PRESEASON TOP 25 POLL
7. Ohio State
8. Notre Dame
9. West Virginia
11. North Carolina