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Kentucky WBB transfers Ajae Petty, Eniya Russell announce decisions

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan04/15/24

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Baltimore natives Ajae Petty and Eniya Russell transferred together from different SEC schools to Kentucky during the 2022 offseason. Two years later, the pair will now leave Kentucky together as seniors with one year of eligibility remaining.

On Monday, Petty announced that she is transferring to Ohio State while Russell announced she’ll be transferring to Mississippi State. Petty was on an official visit to the Buckeyes over the weekend.

During the 2023-24 season, Petty was Kentucky’s leading scorer (14.2 PPG) and rebounder (10.6). The 6-foot-3 forward took a significant leap in the offseason under former head coach Kyra Elzy, going from averaging 15.1 minutes per game as a junior in 2022-23 to 31.1 minutes per game as a full-time starter this past season.

Meanwhile, Russell was Kentucky’s fourth-leading scorer at 10.1 points per contest. She also chipped in 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.7 minutes. The 6-foot guard flashed moments of brilliance as a scoring sparkplug off the bench.

Petty, who spent the first two seasons of her college career at LSU, was a sought-after target in the portal this offseason following her breakout campaign in 2023-24. She is ranked as the 16th-best player to enter the portal by ESPN. Her 339 rebounds rank sixth in Kentucky’s single-season record book while her 10.6 rebounds per game was tied for sixth. Petty was even named SEC Player of the Week back in early December.

As for Russell, she’s not too far behind Petty in ESPN’s portal rankings at No. 21. After starting her career at South Carolina under Dawn Staley (where she was a member of the 2022 national title team), Russell transferred to UK with hopes of more playing time. Although her first season with Kentucky in 2022-23 didn’t pan out that way (11.1 MPG), she became an important piece in 2023-24, more than doubling her on-court production.

When Elzy was relieved of her duties as the head coach of Kentucky on March 11, Petty and Russell didn’t waste much time putting their names into the portal. Once Kenny Brooks was hired a couple of weeks later, there was a sense that the two could consider a return to Lexington. But, obviously, that is no longer the case as Brooks looks to build his first roster from scratch.

Kentucky WBB 2024-25 updated roster

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2024-05-23