LEXINGTON, Ky. – Four of the nation’s top-rated recruits in Jaycee Coe, Ivana Jakubcova, Alexis Jennings and Alyssa Rice have inked National Letters of Intent to play for the Kentucky women’s basketball program and head coach Matthew Mitchell.
The class is ranked in the top 20 by all the major recruiting services, including No. 17 by espnW Hoopgurlz and Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, No. 19 by the All-Star Girls Report and No. 19 by Blue Star Basketball. This marks Mitchell's fifth consecutive recruiting class ranked in the top 20.
“We are very excited to welcome four new members to the UK Hoops family,” UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell said. “We are looking for young women who possess high character and the ability to play championship basketball. Kentucky is a unique place and we need people who appreciate our uniqueness. We need people who value character, principles, preparation and sacrifice; the Kentucky way of doing things. We found four exceptional people who are committed to the Kentucky way both on and off the court.”
Coe, a 5-foot-11 guard from Jackson County High School and native of Cookeville, Tenn., is rated the 25th-best shooting guard in the country by ESPN.com. As a junior, she was named District 7-A Player of the Year, District 7-A Tournament Most Valuable Player, Region 4-A Tournament MVP, Class A Miss Basketball, State Tournament MVP, Herald-Citizen Upper Cumberland Player of the Year, and named to the Tennessee Sports Writers All-State Team. She averaged 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game in 2012-13, while shooting 45 percent from the floor, including 31 percent from 3-point range. She has already compiled over 1,500 points in her career at Jackson County heading into her senior season.
Coe chose the Wildcats over Belmont, Georgia, Louisville, Middle Tennessee, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee Tech and Vanderbilt.
“Jaycee is an outstanding player who will make us better,” Mitchell said. “She is a very dangerous offensive threat with the ability to make all the plays we require in our system. Jaycee has a polished offensive skill set. She is a tremendous ball handler and an elite level shooter with extremely deep range. I felt like Jaycee was a player we had to have to make this a successful class and I am ecstatic she chose Kentucky.”
Jakubcova (pronounced YAK-ub-SOVA) is a 6-6 sophomore center at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Okla. MSC competes in Region 2 – Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The native of Bratislava, Slovakia, is averaging 6.3 points, 5.4 rebounds in nine games so far this season. She is ranked as the No. 20 overall junior college player, including fourth-ranked post player. She the first player in program history from Slovakia and is UK’s first international player since Melissa Langelier of Quebec, Canada in 2000.
At 6-6, Jackubcova is the tallest Wildcat since 6-foot-7 Anna Cole in 2010. She will have two years of eligibility remaining.
“Ivana is an exciting player for our 2014 class,” Mitchell said. “She has great size and speed which will be an asset in our up-tempo style of play. She has great hands which we value greatly in our post players. Ivana is a very good shooter and her ability to make shots will be valuable to our offense. Ivana is an extremely hard worker and will be a tremendous asset to the Kentucky program.”
Jennings is a 6-2 forward out of Sparkman High School in Madison, Ala. She is rated as the ninth-best forward in the 2014 class by ESPN.com. As a junior, Jennings was named the Huntsville Times Player of the Year after averaging 22.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and 3.2 steals per game in leading Sparkman to a 33-1 record. She earned Class 6A All-State First Team honors along with being named to the ASWA Super 5 and the AL.com Sweet 16. Jennings was a finalist for the 6A Player of the Year and Miss Basketball award.
She chose UK over Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State and Middle Tennessee.
Coe and Jennings were teammates on the Tennessee Flight AAU team.
“Alexis is an extremely versatile post player who possesses all of the characteristics we look for at Kentucky,” Mitchell said. “She is strong, athletic and skilled. Her ability to run the floor was attractive to us. Alexis has 3-point shooting range which will stretch the defense and she can also put the ball on the floor and get to the basket to score. She is hard-nosed and tough on the defensive end and she will be very effective in full-court press situations. I am thrilled Alexis chose Kentucky. She will be a significant player here.”
Rice is a native of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, where she is a standout player at Reynoldsburg High School. The 6-3 forward is ranked the No. 3 post player in the country and 20th overall player according to ESPN.com. As a junior, Rice led the Raiders to a 24-4 overall record and averaged 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game, while shooting 65 percent from the floor. She was named to the MaxPreps 2013 Girls Basketball All-America Team and is the highest ranked recruit in UK’s 2014 signing class.
She chose Kentucky over Virginia, Maryland, Ohio State and West Virginia.
“Alyssa possesses all of the qualities we desire in a post player,” Mitchell said. “Her incredible combination of size and speed make her a perfect fit for Kentucky. She is clearly one of the top post players in the 2014 class. Her versatility makes her very difficult to defend. Alyssa is a great ball handler, a great shooter and a tough finisher around the basket. Her ability to run the floor will be very valuable to our program. Alyssa has a tremendous work ethic and I am confident that her Kentucky career will be filled with success.”