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Elzy preaching culture in first full season as Kentucky head coach

UK Women’s Basketball Team Photo.

Photos by Chet White | UK Athletics
UK Women’s Basketball Team Photo. Photos by Chet White | UK Athletics(Chet White | UK Athletics)
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 3:19 PM EDT
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(WYMT) - Last November, Matthew Mitchell stepped down as Kentucky’s head coach due to health issues.

Kyra Elzy was named the interim head coach and now, almost one year later, she is settling in as the leader of the Wildcats. That sudden transition from an assistant to head coach was not an easy one, but she has finally instilled her culture in Lexington.

She returns three starters, including SEC Preseason Player of the Year Rhyne Howard, four role players and believes that her group is bought in.

“That was really important to me to set the tone,” said Elzy. “This is my program now and a change of the guard from coach. So setting the tone and culture of how I wanted things was really important. And last year, I was kind of thrown into it, we were in the middle of the season, so it was survival mode. Culture and committing to it. We’re asking them to commit to it on the court, whether it’s how we play defense, whether it’s buying into your role, it’s all encompassing, and what we are trying to do to move this program forward.”

Howard also spoke at Monday’s Media Day and mentioned an SEC title and a Final Four run as goals. She was the only player in the country last season to average twenty points and at least 7.3 rebounds per game and she is ready to dominate again.

“This year I am playing to show everyone that I am the best player on the court and leave no doubt about it,” said Howard. “I’m working hard and giving everything I got for myself and for my teammates. I am working on tuning up the skills, I have extending my range shooting, finishing through contact. Small things that help win games.”

Kentucky opens the season November 9 at home against Presbyterian.

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