LEXINGTON, Ky. – A year after winning the program’s second Southeastern Conference regular season title, the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team was selected to repeat as champions by the media in the preseason polls as announced by the league office on Tuesday. This season marks the first year the Wildcats have been selected preseason champions since the inception of the polls in the 1990-91 season.
Reigning SEC Player of the Year, A’dia Mathies was recognized as the preseason player of the year, while junior Samarie Walker was named to the second team.
Head coach Matthew Mitchell enters his sixth season at the helm of UK Hoops after leading the Wildcats to a 28-7 (13-3 SEC) mark last season and the program’s second regular season SEC title and first since 1982. UK also advanced to its second NCAA Tournament Elite Eight in the last three seasons.
Mathies, who was recognized as one of 25 players named to the preseason “Wade Watch” list and tabbed an All-American by Lindy’s and Athlon sports magazines, returns for her senior season after leading the Wildcats in scoring (15.0 ppg), assists (2.7 apg), steals (2.6 spg) and 3-point field goal percentage (.378). The Louisville, Ky., native ranked second on the team in rebounds (5.1 rpg), 3-point field goals made (51) and was third in blocks (21). The 5-foot-9 guard has climbed to No. 12 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,435 points and is sixth on the career steals list with 251.
Walker, a native of West Carrollton, Ohio, led the Wildcats in rebounds, corralling 7.2 boards per contest last season. The 2012 NCAA Tournament Kingston All-Region team member finished second on the squad in field goal percentage (.484) and blocks (22), and was third with 9.7 points per game.
The Wildcats open up the 2012-13 season with an exhibition game against Bellarmine on Monday, Nov. 5 at 6:00 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free.
Season tickets are on sale for the entire home schedule for $65. Lower-level chair back seating ($80) is sold out.
Group tickets for the “Pack the House” game vs. DePaul on Dec. 7 in Rupp Arena are also available. Purchase 20 or more for just $3 per ticket or purchase 50 or more for just $1 per ticket. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge in the general admission seating area.
All groups are welcome and will be given seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Nathan.Schwake@uky.edu to purchase group tickets for the DePaul game.
Fans interested in season tickets can go to UKathletics.com or call the UK ticket office at 1-800-928-CATS.
Follow UK Hoops on Twitter and Instagram at @UKHoopCats and on Facebook by liking University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball.
SEC Preseason Polls
5. Texas A&M
7. South Carolina
11. Mississippi State
12. Ole Miss
Player of the Year
A'dia Mathies, Kentucky
All-SEC First Team
A'dia Mathies, Kentucky
Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt
Kelsey Bone, Texas A&M
Jennifer George, Florida
Anne Marie Armstrong, Georgia
All-SEC Second Team
Sarah Watkins, Arkansas
Jasmine Hassell, Georgia
Samarie Walker, Kentucky
Ieasia Walker, South Carolina
Meighan Simmons, Tennessee