Kentucky Wildcats women's basketball

The Kentucky Wildcats women's basketball team represents the University of Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference. The Wildcats have four Elite Eight appearances and seventeen appearances in the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament. They have won the SEC tournament twice and SEC regular season championship once.

Kentucky Wildcats
2023–24 Kentucky Wildcats women's basketball team
UniversityUniversity of Kentucky
Athletic directorMitch Barnhart
Head coachKenny Brooks (1st season)
ConferenceSEC
LocationLexington, Kentucky
ArenaMemorial Coliseum
(Capacity: 8,500[1])
NicknameWildcats
ColorsBlue and white[2]
   
Uniforms
Home jersey
Team colours
Home
Away jersey
Team colours
Away


NCAA tournament Elite Eight
1982, 2010, 2012, 2013
NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen
1982, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016
NCAA tournament appearances
1982, 1983, 1986, 1991, 1999, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022
AIAW tournament Sweet Sixteen
1981
AIAW tournament appearances
1980, 1981
Conference tournament champions
1982, 2022
Conference regular season champions
2012

The first University of Kentucky women's basketball team was organized in 1902,[3][4] and competed for the first time on Feb. 21, 1903. However, in 1924, despite a perfect 10-0 season, the University Senate passed a bill to abolish women's basketball in part because, according to state politicians, "basketball had proven to be a strenuous sport for boys and therefore was too strenuous for girls."[3][4]

After 50 years, women's basketball was granted varsity status in 1974,[3] and most of the official records maintained by the university only reflect games since that time. The team, coached by Sue Feamster, was given the nickname "Lady Kats",[4] which continued to be used until May 1995.[5]

The team's current head coach is Kenny Brooks, who was hired from Virginia Tech after Kyra Elzy was fired in March 2024.[6][7]

Facilities

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Since the restoration of the program in 1974, the Kentucky Wildcats have played their home games in the 8,500 seat Memorial Coliseum, and their record attendance in that building is 10,622, set on February 5, 1983 against Old Dominion; they also led the nation with an average attendance of 3,645 that season.[8] In recent years, the team has also played occasional games in Rupp Arena, which had a capacity of 23,500 before a renovation completed in 2019 reduced the capacity to 20,545.

In January 2007,[9] the university opened the Joe Craft Center, a $30 million state-of-the-art basketball practice facility for both the men's and women's teams, named after businessman and philanthropist Joe Craft.[10]

In July 2022, Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart announced that Memorial Coliseum would be receiving extensive upgrades during the 2023-2024 athletics season. Most notably, air conditioning would be added to the building for the first time, as well as seating upgrades, and the addition of new event space. The renovations are expected to last for one year, displacing all four teams who call the arena home, including women's basketball. On April 18, 2023, Barnhart announced that the majority of the 2023-2024 women's basketball season will be played at Rupp Arena, with a select number of games being played at Transylvania University's Clive M. Beck Center when Rupp Arena is unavailable.[11]

History

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Led by UK all-time leading scorer Valerie Still,[12] Patty Jo Hedges, and Lea Wise, the Lady Kats won the SEC Tournament in 1982. The following year, the same trio led the team to a #4 ranking in the country, the highest in the team's history.

Head coaches

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Former Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Year by year results

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Year Record Coach

1903 1-0 Jane Todd Walton

1904 2-0 C.P. St. John

1905 Unknown

1906 0-1 Thomson Bryant

1907 No Games Thomson Bryant

1908 3-0-1 C.W. Leaphart

1908–09 4-1 Walter C. Fox

1909–10 7-1 No Coach Listed

1910–11 No Record

1911–12 4-1 J.J. Tigert

1912–13 5-0 J.J. Tigert (State Champions)

1913–14 4-2 J.J. Tigert

1914–15 5-1 J.J. Tigert

1915–16 2-2 William Tuttle

1916–17 5-0 J.J. Tigert

1917–18 1-4 Jim Park

1918–19 2-0 Andy Gill

1919–20 0-3-1 Sarah Blanding

1920–21 1-7 Sarah Blanding

1921–22 2-4 Sarah Blanding

1922–23 7-3 A.B. "Happy" Chandler

1923–24 10-0 Bart Peak (Champions of the South)

Total: 65-30-1

Conference tournament winners noted with W Source[13]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason Coaches' poll AP poll
Unknown (CIAW) (1969–1970)
1968–69 Unknown 1–1 CIAW First Round
:
Sue Feamster (Independent) (1971–1976)
1971–72 Sue Feamster 10–3 -
1972–73 Sue Feamster 13–8 -
1973–74 Sue Feamster 13–7 -
1974–75 Sue Feamster 16–9 Regional II
1975–76 Sue Feamster 13–12 Kentucky Women's Intercoll. Conf. Tournament
Sue Feamster: 64–21
Debbie Yow (Independent, SEC) (1976–1980)
1976–77 Debbie Yow 19–7 Kentucky Women's Intercoll. Conf. Tournament
1977–78 Debbie Yow 23–12 AIAW Region II, NWIT Third Place
1978–79 Debbie Yow 13–16 Kentucky Women's Intercoll. Conf. Tournament
1979–80 Debbie Yow 24–5 AIAW First Round 14
Debbie Yow: 79–40
Terry Hall (Independent, SEC) (1980–1987)
1980–81 Terry Hall 25–6 AIAW Sixteen 11
1981–82 Terry Hall 24–8 W NCAA Quarterfinals 13
1982–83 Terry Hall 23–5 6–2 2nd (SEC East) NCAA First Round 12
1983–84 Terry Hall 15–13 2–6 T-3rd (SEC East)
1984–85 Terry Hall 16–12 3–5 4th (SEC East)
1985–86 Terry Hall 18–11 4–5 T-6th NCAA First Round
1986–87 Terry Hall 17–11 3–6 7th
Terry Hall: 138–66 18–24
Sharon Fanning (SEC) (1987–1995)
1987–88 Sharon Fanning 14–15 0–9 10th
1988–89 Sharon Fanning 12–16 3–6 T-7th
1989–90 Sharon Fanning 23–8 3–6 8th NWIT Champions
1990–91 Sharon Fanning 20–9 4–5 T-5th NCAA First Round
1991–92 Sharon Fanning 16–14 5–6 6th
1992–93 Sharon Fanning 18–10 5–6 T-6th
1993–94 Sharon Fanning 17–11 5–6 T-7th
1994–95 Sharon Fanning 14–14 4–7 9th
Sharon Fanning: 134–97 29–51
Bernadette Maddox (SEC) (1995–2003)
1995–96 Bernadette Maddox 8–19 2–9 T-11th
1996–97 Bernadette Maddox 8–19 2–10 10th
1997–98 Bernadette Maddox 13–15 5–9 8th
1998–99 Bernadette Maddox 21–11 7–7 T-5th NCAA Second Round
1999–2000 Bernadette Maddox 15–14 5–9 T-8th
2000–01 Bernadette Maddox 6–21 2–12 12th
2001–02 Bernadette Maddox 9–20 1–13 12th
2002–03 Bernadette Maddox 11–16 4–10 9th
Bernadette Maddox: 91–135 28–79
Mickie DeMoss (SEC) (2003–2007)
2003–04 Mickie DeMoss 11–17 3–11 11th
2004–05 Mickie DeMoss 18–16 4–10 T-9th WNIT Semifinals
2005–06 Mickie DeMoss 22–9 9–5 4th NCAA Second Round
2006–07 Mickie DeMoss 20–14 6–8 T-7th WNIT Sixteen
Mickie DeMoss: 71–56 22–34
Matthew Mitchell (SEC) (2007–2020)
2007–08 Matthew Mitchell 17–16 8–6 T-4th WNIT Quarterfinals
2008–09 Matthew Mitchell 16–16 5–9 T-9th WNIT First Round (Play-in)
2009–10 Matthew Mitchell 28–8 11–5 2nd NCAA Elite Eight 9 19
2010–11 Matthew Mitchell 25–9 11–5 2nd NCAA Second Round 22 17
2011–12 Matthew Mitchell 28–7 13–3 1st NCAA Elite Eight 8 12
2012–13 Matthew Mitchell 30–6 13–3 2nd NCAA Elite Eight 7 7
2013–14 Matthew Mitchell 26–9 10–6 4th NCAA Sweet 16 10 11
2014–15 Matthew Mitchell 24–10 10–6 T-4th NCAA Second Round 11 16
2015–16 Matthew Mitchell 25-8 10-6 T-4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen 12 13
2016–17 Matthew Mitchell 22-11 11-5 T-3rd NCAA Second Round 18 24
2017–18 Matthew Mitchell 15–17 6–10 9th
2018–19 Matthew Mitchell 25-8 11-5 4th NCAA Second Round 18 17
2019-20 Matthew Mitchell 22-8 10-6 T-3rd Canceled due to covid 16 18
Matthew Mitchell: 281–125 (.692) 119–69 (.633)
Kyra Elzy (SEC) (2020–2024)
2020-21 Kyra Elzy 18-9 9-6 5th NCAA Second Round 18 21
2021-22 Kyra Elzy 19-12 8-8 7th NCAA First Round
2022-23 Kyra Elzy 12-18 2-14 14th
2023-24 Kyra Elzy 12–20 4-12 12th
Kyra Elzy: 61–59 (.508) 23–40 (.365)
Kenny Brooks (SEC) (2024–present)
2024–25 Kenny Brooks 0–0 0–0
Kenny Brooks: 0–0 (–) 0–0 (–)
Total: 847–583

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

NCAA tournament results

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Year Seed Round Opponent Result
1982 #2 First Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#7 Illinois
#3 South Carolina
#1 Louisiana Tech
W 88-80
W 73-69
L 60-82
1983 #3 First Round #6 Indiana L 76-87
1986 #7 First Round #10 Drake L 70-73
1991 #9 Second Round #8 James Madison L 62-70
1999 #6 First Round
Second Round
#11 Nebraska
#3 UCLA
W 98-92
L 63-87
2006 #5 First Round
Second Round
#12 Chattanooga
#4 Michigan State
W 69-59
L 63-67
2010 #4 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#13 Liberty
#5 Michigan State
#1 Nebraska
#3 Oklahoma
W 83-77
W 70-52
W 76-67
L 68-88
2011 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Hampton
#5 North Carolina
W 66-62 (OT)
L 74-86
2012 #2 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#15 McNeese State
#7 Green Bay
#11 Gonzaga
#1 Connecticut
W 68-62
W 65-62
W 79-62
L 65-80
2013 #2 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#15 Navy
#7 Dayton
#6 Delaware
#1 Connecticut
W 61-41
W 84-70
W 69-62
L 53-83
2014 #3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#14 Wright State
#6 Syracuse
#2 Baylor
W 106-60
W 64-59
L 72-90
2015 #2 First Round
Second Round
#15 Tennessee State
#7 Dayton
W 97-52
L 94-99
2016 #3 First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#14 UNC Asheville
#6 Oklahoma
#7 Washington
W 85-31
W 79-58
L 72-85
2017 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Belmont
#5 Ohio State
W 73-70
L 68-82
2019 #6 First Round
Second Round
#11 Princeton
#3 NC State
W 82-77
L 57-72
2021 #4 First Round
Second Round
#13 Idaho State
#5 Iowa
W 71-63
L 72-86
2022 #6 First Round #11 Princeton L 62–69

Accomplishments

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2009–10

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  • SEC Player of the Year (consensus): Victoria Dunlap[14]
  • SEC Freshman of the Year: A'dia Mathies[14]
  • SEC Coach of the Year: Matthew Mitchell[14]

2010–11

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  • SEC Player of the Year (AP): Victoria Dunlap[15]
  • SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Victoria Dunlap[16]

2011–12

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  • SEC Player of the Year (consensus): A'dia Mathies[17][18]
  • SEC Freshman of the Year (consensus): Bria Goss[17][18]
  • SEC Sixth Woman of the Year (shared; awarded only by coaches): Keyla Snowden[17]
  • SEC Coach of the Year (AP): Matthew Mitchell[18]

2012–13

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2018–19

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2019–20

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  • SEC Player of the Year (consensus): Rhyne Howard

All-American players

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Player awards

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SEC Awards

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Victoria Dunlap - 2010, 2011
A'dia Mathies - 2012, 2013
Rhyne Howard – 2020 , 2021

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Memorial Coliseum". University of Kentucky. Archived from the original on December 17, 2009. Retrieved March 12, 2010. A one million dollar renovation was completed in 1990, when a state-of-the-art weight training facility, new basketball and athletics administration offices, a players' lounge, and a team meeting room were added. As a result of the renovation, the seating capacity was reduced from 11,500 to 8,500.
  2. ^ "Primary Color Palette". University of Kentucky Athletics Brand Identity Guidelines (PDF). February 5, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "All-Time Kentucky Head Coaches" (PDF). University of Kentucky. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 25, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "Women's Basketball Timeline" (PDF). University of Kentucky. 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  5. ^ "'Lady' killer women's basketball team now Wildcats", Lexington Herald-Leader, p. B1, May 13, 1995, The gender-specific Lady Kats are out. The gender-neutral Wildcats are in. In a stark three-line, three-sentence press release issued at 5 p.m. yesterday, the school announced that its women's hoops team is switching monikers.
  6. ^ "Kyra Elzy, Kentucky Women's Basketball Head Coach, Relieved of Duties". UKAtheltics.com. March 11, 2024.
  7. ^ Makauskas, Caroline (March 26, 2024). "Kentucky hires women's basketball coach from ACC power to replace Kyra Elzy". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved March 26, 2024.
  8. ^ "Memorial Coliseum: Home of Kentucky Women's Basketball". University of Kentucky. Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  9. ^ "Practice facility will benefit all of UK's athletic teams". Kentucky Kernel. January 16, 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  10. ^ "Basketball Practice Facility". University of Kentucky. 2005. Archived from the original on November 15, 2007. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
  11. ^ Rupp Arena to Serve as Primary Home Venue for UK Indoor Sports in 2023-24
  12. ^ "This Still's a Potent Producer". Sports Illustrated. January 17, 1983. Retrieved March 6, 2010. Now, as a 6'1" senior center at the University of Kentucky, Valerie Still finally has her own athletic identity. That was ensured when she tallied 30 points against Miami of Ohio on Dec. 5 and thereby surpassed Dan Issel's 2,138 to make her the school's alltime leading scorer. The game was halted so Still could receive a plaque, the game ball and applause.
  13. ^ "Media Guide". University of Kentucky. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c Smith, Jennifer (March 3, 2010). "UK women sweep SEC post-season awards". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved March 7, 2010.
  15. ^ "Dunlap Named AP SEC Player of the Years" (Press release). University of Kentucky Athletics. March 15, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  16. ^ "Three Wildcats Earn SEC Postseason Honors" (Press release). University of Kentucky Athletics. March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  17. ^ a b c "Mathies, Goss, Snowden Honored by SEC" (Press release). University of Kentucky Athletics. February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c "Wildcats Sweep Associated Press All-SEC Awards" (Press release). University of Kentucky Athletics. March 13, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  19. ^ SEC (April 15, 2013). "Seven SEC Players Taken In 2013 WNBA Draft". secdigitalnetwork.com. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  20. ^ "Mathies, Stallworth, Walker Honored by SEC" (Press release). University of Kentucky Athletics. March 5, 2013. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  21. ^ a b Smith, Jennifer (March 31, 2010). "UK notes: Dunlap is third-team All-American". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved March 31, 2010. On Tuesday, she added another first to her ballooning list when she was named UK's first Associated Press All-American...The UK women have not had any kind of All-American since Valerie Still made the Kodak and Street & Smith All-America teams in 1983.
  22. ^ a b "UK's Dunlap named coaches' All-American". Louisville Courier-Journal. April 3, 2010. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2010. Victoria Dunlap became the second University of Kentucky women's player to be named to the 10-member State Farm Coaches' All-America team, it was announced Saturday by State Farm and the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association...She joins Valerie Stil[sic] (1981–83) as the only UK players to earn State Farm (formerly Kodak) All-America honors.
  23. ^ "Dunlap on USBWA All-America team". Louisville Courier-Journal. March 31, 2010. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2010. University of Kentucky junior Victoria Dunlap is on the 10-player All-America team announced Wednesday by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, the first UK player honored since the USBWA started naming a team in 1997.
  24. ^ "Mathies Named to USBWA All-America Team" (Press release). University of Kentucky Athletics. March 28, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
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