As Kentucky begins its quest for an NCAA Tournament title, it will be short one reserve post player.
Junior forward Samantha Drake did not make the trip with the team and has been suspended indefinitely for “not upholding team standards,” team spokesman Susan Lax said Friday night.
No. 2 seed Kentucky will meet Navy in the first round on Sunday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena. If the Cats (27-5) advance, they will meet the winner of the game between Dayton and host St. John’s on Tuesday night.
Drake, a former Nelson County standout who had her jersey retired there in December, was averaging just 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds a game this season, but she had seen her minutes increase recently as Coach Matthew Mitchell had moved to the pattern of subbing five for five late in the season.
In the past five games, Drake had averaged 12 minutes a game and improved her scoring average to 3.6 points.
Drake has played in 84 career games with 23 starts, but none this season with McDonald’s All-American transfers Samarie Walker and DeNesha Stallworth taking on bigger roles.
So far this season, Drake had played in 27 of UK’s 32 games this season and was shooting 58.3 percent from the field.
The 6-foot-3 forward’s season high for points was nine, which she last had against Vanderbilt at the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Three different times this season she has pulled down four rebounds.