Kentucky cannot make unforced turnovers at Arkansas

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and other Cats cannot make unforced turnovers against Arkansas’ defense. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari knows Kentucky is going to turn the ball over against Arkansas’ pressure defense Tuesday night. Every team does.

What Kentucky can’t do, though, is make unforced turnovers that lead to easy Arkansas score.

“They are going to force some turnovers and they’ll force you into bad situations because they are really good at, but you can’t have unforced turnovers. You can’t have guys just driving in and losing the ball and saying, ‘My fault!’ You can’t have plays that are not forced because they are going to force turnovers,” Calipari said Monday.

SEC basketball notes

Conference Notes

  • The SEC’s six teams in the Top 25 of the Feb. 19 NCAA RPI are the most in the nation: No. 8 Auburn, No. 15 Tennessee, No. 18 Kentucky, No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 24 Missouri and No. 25 Arkansas.
  • Seven SEC teams rank in the Top 50 of the RPI (Tied 1st in the nation).
  • Twelve SEC teams rank in the Top 80 of the RPI (1st in the nation).
  • Thirteen SEC teams have Top 60 SOS and seven are in the Top 25

Join us for live remote on WPBK-FM at Lemons Mill Brewery before and after UK-Florida game on March 3

By LARRY VAUGHT

Looking for a different way to watch/enjoy the Kentucky-Florida basketball game on March 3.

Well, consider joining us at Lemons Mill Brewery in Harrodsburg. WPBK (102.9 FM) will be doing a live remote at Lemons Mill Brewery from 10:30 until noon when the game tips off and then again from about 2-3 p.m. after the game ends.

WPBK morning personality Tim Estes and I will anchor the remote but we will have plenty of guests, including Lemons Mill Brewery owners LeMayne Ellis, Steve Anderson, Keith McQuerry and Jay Anderson, all of Harrodsburg.

Baseball home opener moved to Tuesday

LEXINGTON, Ky. The 50th and final season at Cliff Hagan Stadium will open earlier than expected with Kentucky set to host Xavier on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. The game has been moved up a day due to the forecast of wet weather on Wednesday.

The Cats (4-0) are coming off a successful opening weekend where they knocked off Wofford, USC Upstate and Evansville in Spartanburg, S. Carolina behind strong pitching and an offense that used extra-base hits to harass the opposing pitching staffs. It is the first time UK has started 4-0 on the road since the 2007 season and first 4-0 overall start since 2012.

John Calipari: “I’m with Hami” — but playing time decreasing

Hamidou Diallo (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

He’s started all 27 games and was considered not only Kentucky’s most athletic player, but likely its best player going into the season.

Hamidou Diallo is averaging 11.1 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. But he’s shooting only 42 percent overall from the field and just 30 percent from 3-point range.

In recent games, his offensive numbers have been even worse. In the last six games, he’s 1-for-11 from 3-point range and is shooting only 30 percent overall from the field. He’s also had nine turnovers and just one assist.

Calipari sees comparisons between Vanderbilt and Rodman; wants freshman to play fast but not hurry

Jarred Vanderbilt (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

In the 10 games Jarred Vanderbilt has played since coming back from his preseason leg injury, Kentucky is 4-6 and suffered a four-game losing streak — the longest in coach John Calipari’s tenure at UK.

However, Vanderbilt’s emergence continues to be seen as the key to any hopes UK has for a late-season run.

The 6-9 Vanderbilt is averaging 4.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in 15.1 minutes of play. But he’s shooting just 34 percent from the field and has had trouble making shots other than dunks.

Morris Scores Career High 35 Points, But UK Falls to No. 8 South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Maci Morris scored a career-high 35 points, but the Kentucky women’s basketball team lost to No. 8 South Carolina 81-63 on Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena.

Morris hit 13 of 23 from the floor, including five of nine from behind the arc. She made all four of her free throw attempts in the game. The junior from Bell County (Ky.) High School surpassed her previous career high of 29 points, set during her freshman season on December 11, 2016 against Arizona State.

Early Runs, Pompey’s Big Day Secure Unbeaten Opening Weekend

Daniel Harper (Bill Ballew Photo)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Tristan Pompey hit three doubles and freshman pitcher Daniel Harper was impressive in his first collegiate start as No. 8 Kentucky defeated Evansville 8-4 to close out a perfect opening weekend in South Carolina. It’s the Wildcats’ first 4-0 start on the road since 2007.

Pompey, a preseason First-Team All-American, did nothing to change that designation to start the season, smacking eight hits, scoring six runs and posting an OPS of 1.374. He was sensational on Sunday, going 4-for-4 with three doubles, three runs scored and a walk. He also homered earlier in the weekend.

Jarred Vanderbilt on adjusting to being part of team (Larry Vaught/Verizon Video)

UK vs Alabama Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff