Hey Mickie!! UK Hoops gains momentum

Coach Mickie DeMoss, in her third season at the helm of UK Hoops, has the UK women's basketball program gaining respect. The roller coaster ride of the first two seasons may smooth out in the 2005-2006 season as UK Hoops seeks to build off last season's Final Four WNIT appearance.

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart opened the Women's Wildcat media day extravaganza by discussing some 2005-06 particulars. The likes of which heighten the enthusiasm for the Wildcats and the direction coach Mickie DeMoss is taking the team. The UK AD reported that over 4,000 season tickets have been sold in the shrinking capacity of 5,600 in Memorial Coliseum. "Memorial is becoming a very, very difficult place to play with the volume of noise, how close the crowd is, it is a pretty special place to play."

With that, Barnhart brought the main attraction to the podium, head coach Mickie DeMoss. A little musical ditty from the 80's struck up over the PA system, featuring "Hey Mickie!" (It seems fitting to change the spelling used in the actual lyrics.)

Upon arriving, DeMoss quipped, "At least it wasn't (Aretha Franklin's) ‘Chain of fools'." Playing in the very tough SEC, she could do with a helping of Franklin's ‘A Little Respect.'

DeMoss quickly shifted the attention to where she feels it belongs and that's the players.

"This is all about the players," DeMoss said. "I am real excited about our team this year. The last two years has been a little bit of a roller coaster. But we ended last year on a positive note with post-season competition. She said they have better speed, better quickness, and more depth."

When discussing her roster DeMoss quickly pointed out that in her most recent recruiting class, they signed the Kentucky Miss Basketball Carly Ormerod from Louisville Sacred Heart Academy. This was the first signing of a Kentucky Miss Basketball since 1984.

As evidence of the team going in the right direction she talked extensively about her sophomore class that was very instrumental in the successes the team experienced last season. It's obvious that she was desirous of the point being made of improved recruiting is taking hold in her program.

Keeping the team healthy is always an issue among women's basketball because of the stability of knees in intense play. Studies say the build of the female anatomy puts pressure on the knees and far more injuries occur than in men's basketball. DeMoss said that presently her team is healthy.

The coach commented on the electricity in Memorial Coliseum that makes it a tough home court advantage. She said: "We were able coach every game in the WNIT because of our crowds in Memorial. Two coaches came up to me this summer and said it was the toughest place to play in the entire year – one from the SEC and one from the Big East."

Every player we talked to expressed excitement about having four games in Rupp Arena this season. Few girls that go to play their college basketball get to apply their wares on a stage as humungous as Rupp, Tennessee being an obvious exception.

DeMoss, who played in the golf scramble associated with media day, was asked about her golf game and she replied, "my golf game is like freshmen, you never know what to expect." She said starting freshmen cause sleepless nights and about fifteen pounds of weight loss.

She expressed that their team options are broader than in the past because - 1) We have slashers; 2) we have more three point shooters and 3) we will be able to extend our defense.

DeMoss said that Jennifer Humphrey the lone senior on the team is providing excellent leadership off the court but it is going to be interesting to see who develops as the on the court leader.

No starting lineup yet!

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