Brooks glad to build with Rowe and Tyler – Winchester Sun

Brooks glad to build with Rowe and Tyler

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2024

New Kentucky women’s coach Kenny Brooks has been able to help build his first UK roster with Virginia Tech transfers and former West Virginia commits. However, Brooks says returning UK players Cassidy Rowe and Saniah Tyler, both juniors, are also key members of next year’s team.

Tyler started 13 of 32 games last season when she averaged 10.2 points and 1.8 rebounds per game while shooting 34.5 percent from 3 (61 of 177). Rowe started 16 of 31 games and averaged 2.6 points, 1.3 assists and 10 rebounds per game. Rowe also had only 22 turnovers in 539 minutes of play.

“It is important to get the right players to stay and the ones willing to fit into a new system,” Brooks said. “I am excited to have those two as part of our team. Those two exude Kentucky pride.

“Both wanted to be part of something new and different. They just love Kentucky. You can see their passion. Both can add a lot of value and different things. They have been good at helping with recruiting. There’s a lot we do not know about UK and Lexington that they can shed light on.

“I have loved their attitude. I think they can add value not only on the court but off court with their attitude and love for Kentucky.”

Brooks continued to schedule recruiting visits and monitored the transfer portal daily until it closed.

“We have a lot of size and a lot of things we want. We probably need another couple of guards. There is so much freedom by the NCAA now that you can transform your roster in a year, but chemistry is still a big part of it and you have got to be careful with that.

“When I took over at Virginia Tech you had to go with what you had (personnel-wise). We had two players here from the previous roster and had to add a lot. Our staff has gone out and vetted a lot of players to see if the fit is right with us.

“We still need one or two pieces. At this level you need depth. South Carolina proved that when they wore people down to win the title. We went to the Final Four two years ago and were playing six players and ran out of gas. You have got to have depth.”