Kentucky ladies’s basketball will get SEC residence, highway assignments

Kyra Elzy enters her third season as Kentucky's head coach in 2022-23.

Kyra Elzy enters her third season as Kentucky’s head coach in 2022-23.


The University of Kentucky women’s basketball program is in rebuilding mode this season, but that won’t lessen the usual lineup of perennial powerhouse foes on the Wildcats’ schedule.

the Southeastern Conference revealed home and away opponents for all of its 14 schools on Wednesday, and Kentucky’s slate includes its traditional games against defending national champion South Carolina in Lexington and in Columbia, SC

The Gamecocks were ranked No. 1 in the nation in ESPN’s most recent “Way-Too-Early Top 25” for 2022-23 released last month.

Kentucky, whose roster includes five returning players and 10 newcomers for the season ahead, is not included in ESPN’s Top 25. However, the Wildcats will face three SEC teams in addition to South Carolina that are ranked: No. 4 Tennessee, No. 14 LSU and No. 25 Georgia.

South Carolina has been a permanent home-and-away opponent for Kentucky since 1995-96. UK’s other home-and-away foes this season — Missouri and Georgia — are rotating opponents.

Kentucky’s eight home opponents are Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, South Carolina and Tennessee.

UK’s eight road foes will be Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

How tough has the SEC been?

The league sent eight programs to the 2021-22 NCAA Tournament, and three more to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament, with half of the NCAA Tournament teams winning at least one game. Since 2012, the SEC has had at least seven teams receive bids each year, while it leads all other conferences in all-time NCAA Tournament bids with 256.

Kentucky knocked off South Carolina to win its first SEC Tournament title in 40 years last March. Then the Gamecocks bounced back to win the NCAA championship a few weeks later, while UK was eliminated from the NCAA tourney in the opening round.

Kentucky’s non-conference opponents for 2022-23 have not been announced, other than its appearance in the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship in Nassua, The Bahamas. The Cats will face Virginia Tech there on Nov. 21 and Dayton on Nov. 23. Virginia Tech was ranked No. 11 by ESPN.

The Wildcats’ roster features just five returning players (guards Robyn Benton, Blair Green, Emma King and Jada Walker and forward Nyah Leveretter) along with 10 newcomers.

Of the newcomers, six are freshmen and four are transfers from other Division I programs, including guard Maddie Scherr, a former Miss Kentucky Basketball from Ryle High School who previously played at Oregon.


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