Barnhart to Mitchell: Stabilize program, make improvements now

Mitch Barnhart (Wade Upchurch Photo)

Mitch Barnhart (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his 45-minute press conference Wednesday detailing the turmoil in the women’s basketball program, coach Matthew Mitchell revealed what athletics director Mitch Barnhart had said to him — or at least some of what Barnhart said.

“I sense that there is urgency from Mitch that we want our kids and players to be in a stable situation. I think he has that wish for our program and every other program,” Mitchell said. “I have never been around an athletic director that cares more about these young people as individuals and I have said this many times, he knows every athlete in this department and knows her story or his story. He has a tremendous heart for people.

Trae Young confident in his leadership, Michael Porter wants to be “best player in the country”

Olivia Prewitt Photo

Olivia Prewitt Photo

Two of Kentucky’s top recruiting targets in the 2017 class are Trae Young and Michael Porter. Both played in Indianapolis last weekend and vaughtsviews.com intern Olivia Prewitt had a chance to pose a few questions to each player.

Enjoy their insights:

TRAE YOUNG

UK volleyball has another challenging non-conference schedule

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Composing a challenging schedule that encompasses a multitude of playing styles has continually prepared head coach Craig Skinner’s teams for a run at the Southeastern Conference title and post-season berths. Skinner has once again achieved those standards with the unveiling of the 2016 non-conference schedule on Thursday.

UK will play 11 total non-conference matches with six of those opponents advancing to the NCAA Tournament a season ago. Kentucky’s non-conference schedule features three early season tournaments and a date at rival Louisville as the teams meet for the eighth consecutive season. 

Zack Brown will open weekend series against Auburn on mound

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Coming off a pair of midweek wins against Dayton and Miami (Ohio), the No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats baseball team will continue its Southeastern Conference slate this weekend with a three-game series against the Auburn Tigers. UK will begin the series Friday with a 7 p.m. ET game before playing again Saturday at 7 p.m. ET and concluding with a 2 p.m. ET game Sunday, all at Plainsman Park at Auburn.

Camryn Whitaker: “This is a place that I love and that means more to me than moving on and being a head coach somewhere.”

Camryn Whitaker (Vicky Graff Photo)

Camryn Whitaker (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just a few weeks ago Camryn Whitaker was recruiting for next season and seemed perfectly happy coaching at Kentucky, the school the former Harrison County standout grew up cheering for.

That’s the same impression I had in mid March when I interviewed her for a feature I told her I wanted to save for June during the offseason.

Not once did she mention she might not be at Kentucky then and she even invited me to come see her any time during the summer.

Does Matthew Mitchell think he is too hard on coaches, players?

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

For almost 45 minutes Wednesday, Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell constantly blamed himself and no one else for turmoil in the women’s basketball program.

He’s been going through assistant coaches regularly the last three years and will have a completely new staff next year.

So is he hard to work for?

“I don’t think so. It has all come to a head now with the turnover. It goes back three years and one move kind of impacts the next. That is long and drawn out to kind of go step-by-step. I have had tremendous relationships with coaches that have come through here. So as far as me being hard to work with, I will definitely take a look at that and have examined myself,” Mitchell said.

Hinz’s RBI single drives in winning run to beat Cards

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The No. 11 Kentucky softball team scored two runs in the top of the seventh, just minutes after the conclusion of a 54-minute lightning delay to come from behind to give the Wildcats a 2-1 win over the Louisville Cardinals in the annual “Battle of the Bluegrass” at Ulmer Stadium on Wednesday night.

Kelsey Nunley did what she does best all night long, throwing a complete game winner – holding the potent Louisville offense to just one run on four hits all night. The Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native threw 153 pitches on the night, striking out seven batters and allowing just three walks in the game. With Wednesday night’s win, Nunley now hoists a 19-5 overall record.

Mitchell tries to explain turmoil; Kyvin-Goodin Rogers, Anthony Epps share thoughts

Epps shoots 2By LARRY VAUGHT

Give Kentucky women’s coach Matthew Mitchell credit for trying to explain all the turmoil in his program Thursday. He went on Kentucky Sports Radio, did an interview with Jen Smith of the Lexington  Herald-Leader and held a 45-minute press conference.

Of course, when six players leave in less than nine months, two coaches quit, one coach is not rehired and two recruits de-commit, it is time to do some explaining.

Mitchell said there was not a general them to the turnover.

Cheers: Emily Sawyer joins us on WPBK-FM Thursday

Emily Sawyer will join us on WPBK (102.9 FM) on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Emily Sawyer will join us on WPBK (102.9 FM) on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Every radio interview gives me a chance to interact not only with listeners, but special guests.

That’s why I am really looking forward to Thursday’s show on WPBK (102.9 FM, wpbkfm.com) when Tim Estes and I will be joined by University of Kentucky cheerleader Emily Sawyer, a Jessamine County resident.

She was on two national championship teams at UK and cheered in two Final Fours. She also recently just got back from helping Team USA win a gold medal in cheer competition.

Woodyard calls it “huge blessing” to play with Williamson

By LARRY VAUGHT

Wesley Woodyard and Avery Williamson both came to Kentucky with chips on their shoulders because they both felt they were under valued by recruiting analysts.

Obviously, both had great careers at UK and led the team in tackles. Both also went into the NFL with a lot to prove, especially Woodyard since he was not even drafted.

Now both are teammates for the Tennessee Titans and both playing well.

“It’s amazing to have a Wildcat next to you,” Woodyard said. “He is a young guy learning the game and I would like to think I can help him. It’s just a huge blessing for me to play with a guy like that.”

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