Kentucky coach Elzy suspends All-American Howard, Wyatt

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky interim women’s basketball coach Kyra Elzy suspended All-America guard Rhyne Howard for two games and guard Tatyana Wyatt for three on Wednesday, just hours before the No. 11 Wildcats were to begin their season against Murray State.

Howard, a junior, was suspended for not upholding program standards while Wyatt, a senior, was disciplined for a violation of team rules. No specifics were stated in a news release announcing the punishment, and both players will begin their suspensions Wednesday.

“Both of those young ladies are great people. They made a bad mistake and they are taking responsibility and holding themselves accountable,” Elzy said after the 86-60 win over Murray State. “I am 100% confident that they will be intentional about making better decisions moving forward and I am confident they will be ready to help this team move forward to achieve the goals we have set out.”

Elzy wouldn’t go into detail about what the violations were, but said they weren’t coronavirus related.

“It’s internal and we will keep it in the family. They know exactly where I stand and the standards and expectations of this program, but it was not COVID.”

“Earlier this month, Howard, who averaged 23.4 points per game last season for the Wildcats, became the program’s first player to be honored as a preseason All-American by The Associated Press. She was a unanimous selection by a national media panel. Southeastern Conference coaches named Howard as player of the year last season and as the preseason top player.

Wyatt averaged 6.3 points and 3.7 rebounds last season and had 10 blocks with five steals.

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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