UK Hoops gets top transfer Walker



Since UK head coach Matthew Mitchell has been at UK he’s had no problem landing great recruits.

But Mitchell’s highest-ranked player picked UK at a peculiar time, during the middle of the season.

Samarie Walker was a top 10 recruit last season and planned on being next in line of Connecticut All-Americans until she recently had a change of heart and transferred to UK.

“I am very happy that Samarie has joined the Kentucky program,” Mitchell said in a release. “She is a fine young woman who I got to know well while recruiting her during her high school career.

“Samarie is a talented player who will have an excellent opportunity to make a significant impact at Kentucky on and off the basketball court.”

In a statement released by Connecticut, Walker said she didn’t have the “energy and commitment that it needs to be successful” at Connecticut.

Walker averaged 6.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game with Connecticut.

Mechelle Voepel, who writes about women’s basketball for ESPN, cited location — Walker is a Dayton, Ohio native — as a possible reason for the decision.

Voepel’s article on said Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma was surprised in Walker’s decision to leave and also said Walker told him she had been losing her passion for basketball since tenth grade.

Voepel was not available for further comment.

Walker can immediately practice with the team but may not travel or play. She will be eligible to play next season after the fall semester and will have three years of eligibility remaining.