No. 11 Kentucky women eager to display talent, depth in season opener

The Wildcats host Murray State Wednesday at 1:00.
Chasity Patterson.   

WBB Practice.

Photo by Eddie Justice | UK Athletics
Chasity Patterson. WBB Practice. Photo by Eddie Justice | UK Athletics(Eddie Justice | Eddie Justice)
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 3:31 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Wednesday afternoon at 1:00, the No. 11 Kentucky women’s basketball team is hosting in-state foe Murray State in their season opener.

Kyra Elzy is set to make her debut as interim head coach and she is nervous, but eager to show off her team’s talent and depth. The Wildcats are led by AP Preseason All-American Rhyne Howard and her Wildcats are ready to showcase their surplus of weapons.

“I am very excited to coach a team like this,” said Elzy. “Our rotations, I mean, there are so many possibilities that we can put on the floor, but one thing that I have been talking to the players about, along with the staff, there is one basketball, there is 40 minutes and five positions. We’ve had role meetings all week, and it is vital that each player buys into their role and we celebrate each player’s success.”

“One night, it might be your night and one night it might not be, but our job as a staff is to put five players on the floor that can put us in positions to win, and that is part of the price that you have to pay when you have this much talent and depth, but it is a great problem to have,” added Elzy. “I can sleep well at night as a coach for having it.”

Kentucky brings back its top two scorers, while also returning its top two rebounders. Kentucky will also add Maryland transfer Olivia Owens, Auburn transfer Robyn Benton, 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Dre’una Edwards and a top-15 recruiting class in true freshmen Treasure Hunt, Nyah Leveretter and Erin Toller.

Rhyne Howard was the nation’s second-leading scorer last season and enters 2020 with high expectations.

“Well, as we all know, Rhyne is extremely gifted on the basketball floor,” said Elzy. “She is a woman on a mission, she has a chip on her shoulder, she is out to prove to everyone that she is the best player in college basketball, so I think her work ethic has followed suit to the goals that she is trying to achieve.”

“I think having a talented team, other people on the floor that can score, has really taken some pressure off of her this year, and I feel like she just wants to go out and play, and obviously this offense does revolve around her, but having other talent does help,” added Elzy. “The biggest step forward for me and this staff is she has become a vocal leader, she has demanded greatness not only from herself, but from everyone around her.”

The game vs. Murray State at 1:00 will be streamed on SEC Network+ with Jeff Piecoro and Christi Thomas on the call.

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