DEMAREE: Home is where the heart is

Mickie DeMoss is involved in a plight with her Wildcat basketball team that in many ways resembles the plight of the UK football team in their quest for respectability. In both cases it's like pulling teeth without anesthesia. It's painful!

Women's basketball in the SEC has evolved into the toughest league in the country, as well the Eastern Division of the SEC in football is the toughest in the country.

In order to adequately build in this league, certain things must happen and one of those is attracting quality transfers. And what better of a situation is to have a transfer from the backyard of the university with Nastassia Alcius having transferred from the University of Dayton back to UK. Alcius played her high school basketball at Lexington Henry Clay High School. Alcius was a key substitute off the bench for DeMoss' team.

Coming out of high school, how did she wind up at Dayton and not at UK? First of all, was she considered a recruitable athlete? One would have to say so since she played in the Kentucky-Indiana All-Star Basketball Classic.

"UK gave me some looks but there seemed to be some misunderstanding as to whether I was interested," Alcius said. So how did she land in Dayton?

"I was recruited by some good schools but they were to far from home," she explained. " I spent the summer playing AAU up in Dayton, Ohio where I stay with an uncle there. I worked out in their facilities and it was convenient for me because it wasn't that far from home. So I signed to play there."

She said when UK brought in the new staff, she did some investigating on the internet and learned that DeMoss liked to play the up tempo game. She came back home and was spotted playing with the girls and when the opportunity came, she jumped on it. "I use to play with guys and athletic girls a lot and that's their style," Alcius explained. "I instinctively play the game but I found you have to run your sets. More structure and not street ball."

To that end, before the season, DeMoss said: "She likes to play fast and sometimes gets out of control but she is getting better. We've had to rein her in.

"Nastassia brings a lot of enthusiasm to the backcourt. She is very explosive. She is a tremendous defensive player as well."

Alcius has one more year of eligibility left at UK. What's in her future after UK? "I workout a lot and I work on my game," she said. "I talk to a lot of positive people that tell me to keep working on my game, the sky's the limit and you can take your game to the next level. I've always been a level headed person and I don't take things for granted that I can get to the next level, so sometimes I need that reassurance."

This past season, Coach DeMoss looked for Alcius to come off the bench and be a spark and get some shots up. Could her role expand from last season? Stayed tuned!


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