UK Hoops recruiting class one of nation's best

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s basketball program and head coach Matthew Mitchell are not only excelling on the court this season but in recruiting as well. Mitchell and his staff signed five outstanding high school players during the fall signing period, which ended Wednesday, giving UK a Top-10 national ranking by two recruiting services. The class was ranked No. 5 by Blue Star Basketball and No. 10 by ESPN HoopGurlz. It marks the highest-ranking class for the Wildcats since 2006.

Three of the UK recruits, Jennifer O’Neill (Bronx, N.Y.), LaQuinta Jefferson (La Vergne, Tenn.), and Kastine Evans (Salem, Conn.) are ranked in the top 70 overall by ESPN HoopGurlz. O’Neill is ranked No. 30 overall and is the No. 10 point guard, Jefferson is ranked No. 64 overall and is listed as the No. 16 guard in the class while Evans ranks No. 67 overall and is the No. 18 shooting guard. In Blue Star Basketball rankings, O’Neill is ranked as the No. 25 overall recruit and Jefferson is No. 45.

Joining O’Neill, Jefferson and Evans in the 2010 class are Sarah Beth Barnette, a 6-foot-2 forward from Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Ky., and Maegan Conwright, a 5-8 guard from Mansfield Timberview High School in Arlington, Texas. Barnette is considered one of the lead candidates for Kentucky’s Miss Basketball honor and Conwright is listed as the 36th-best guard in the nation by ESPN Hoopgurlz.

A story submitted to USA Today by Chris Mennig, the national evaluator for Blue Star Basketball read, “… (Matthew) Mitchell & his staff have put together the class that will be the foundation for their future success in the SEC.”

The Wildcats are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since the 2005-06 season and return to Memorial Coliseum, Sunday, Nov. 22 vs. Chattanooga. Game time is 6 p.m. EST following UK volleyball’s SEC showdown with No. 13 Florida at 2 p.m. EST. The volleyball team moved up to No. 10 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll this week and is looking for its first SEC title since 1988. All single-game ticket sales for Sunday will be good for both the volleyball and women’s basketball contests. For further details on Sunday’s matchups visit