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Wednesday night was a long time coming for Kentucky women’s basketball junior Maddie Scherr. But it was worth the wait.

Scherr was Kentucky’s Miss Basketball in 2020 after an outstanding career at Ryle High School in Florence. She signed with Oregon out of high school, electing to take her talents to the Pac-12. She would play two years for the Ducks before deciding to return closer to home for the remainder of her career.

After a second recruitment process, Scherr ended up at Kentucky. And in Wednesday’s exhibition game against Pikeville, Scherr donned the Kentucky jersey for real for the first time. It was a special moment.

“It was great,” Scherr said. “Obviously, I’m a hometown girl. So, just being able to wear Kentucky across my chest is great. To be able to perform under the lights, in front of the fans. It was just a great feeling.”

When did the feelings actually hit Scherr?

“It was actually at the beginning of the game, like when we were announcing the starting lineups and I was like ‘wow, I get to wear Kentucky across my chest this time’,” she said. “It’s just a great feeling and I’m having fun out there.”

Wearing the Blue and White seems to agree with Scherr, who played an outstanding all-around game in Wednesday’s 93-45 win over Pikeville. Scherr made five of seven from the floor, including both of her three-point shots, and made her only free throw on her way to 13 points in just 19 minutes of action.

But scoring only tells part of the story with Scherr. She added three rebounds, three assists, blocked three shots and had two steals in Wednesday’s win.

UK head coach Kyra Elzy is impressed with Scherr early in her UK career.

“Maddie Scherr makes us different,” Elzy said. “She has that ‘it’ factor.”

What, exactly, is the “it” factor that Scherr has?

“She’s tough as nails. She’s a competitor and she has a high basketball IQ,” Elzy said. “She has a great feel. She knows when it’s time to push, she knows when to create for others, she knows when it’s time to take over and score. Just her competitive spirit makes us better.”

“I think we all did really well. We just really wanted to work on things together, top to bottom. My teammates made it really easy for me.”

“Very important. That’s one of the things that me and Coach Elzy talked about a lot is just being able to build that relationship with the returning girls also the newer girls. I think we’ve done a really good job of meshing and getting to know each other, trusting each other.

“As a point guard, that’s my favorite thing is seeing players run the side, posts run down the floor. I think we did a great job of that tonight, which led to the scoring distribution.”

Scherr will continue to bring that “it” factor to the Kentucky team this season. And if Wednesday is any indication as to what the Big Blue Nation should expect, it should be a fun season for Scherr and the Cats.



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