Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ex-Kentucky Miss Basketball transfers to UVa.

Sarah Beth Barnette, a 6-2 forward who in some respects would seem to be the last person to transfer from Kentucky, is doing just that and is heading for Virginia.

For Barnette, leaving Kentucky is essentially leaving home. The 2010 Kentucky Miss Basketball, was born in Lexington, Kent., the city in which the university. Her parents both went to Kentucky. And she describes herself as a lifelong Wildcats fan who was so sure she wanted to play for UK she verbally committed to the school as a high school sophomore.

But after a freshman season in which Barnette played sparingly, often out of position - in the post as opposed to on the perimeter - and while battling a shoulder injury, well, Charlottesville, here she comes.

"Virginia was everything I've been looking for," Barnette told "It's a beautiful school, a beautiful campus. ... I love the coaching staff there, especially Coach (Joanne) Boyle."

So what happened at Kentucky? That Barnette averaged just 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds per game as a Wildcats freshman may be part of it. But her high school coach at Lexington Christian Academy, Jason Seamands, suggested that it may have been simply a case of struggling to adjust to a big state university after attending a small, Christian private school.

We remember Barnette burying a pair of first-half three-pointers for the Wildcats during their 66-62 overtime victory over Hampton during the NCAA tournament. We were rooting against Barnette that time, but we look forward to watching her knock 'em down for the Cavaliers in the years to come.

Barnette must sit out the 2011-12 season but will have three years of eligibility beginning with the 2012-13 campaign.

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