February 2016 archive

Jamal Murray, Tyler Ulis finalists for prestigious national awards

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – The U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced today finalists for the USBWA’s Oscar Robertson Trophy as the men’s national player of the year and the USBWA’s Integris Wayman Tisdale Award for the men’s national freshman of the year.

The finalists’ lists include 11 players for the men’s player of the year and five players for the men’s freshman of the year. Three players from the Atlantic Coast Conference headline the Oscar Robertson Trophy list, including Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon, a finalist from a season ago. Iowa State’s Georges Niang, one of two Big 12 players tabbed, is also a repeat finalist. Kentucky and Duke have finalists on both lists.

Calipari to bigs: “You gotta assert yourself;” Willis starting to run


On the Southeastern Conference coaches teleconference today I asked Kentucky coach John Calipari if he had any different feelings about his team’s loss at Vanderbilt after reviewing the game tape from Saturday. Here’s his answer:

“We’ve got some guys that we have to help them build confidence. Some of it’s just teaching them how to assert themselves. I talked to the team, if a guard is thinking about Kentucky and he goes to John Wall and says, ‘John, I’m thinking about Kentucky.’ John Wall will say, ‘Can you get your own shot? Because he’s not running a whole lot of plays for anybody. He runs actions and you gotta be able to insert yourself and make plays,'” Calipari said.

Jamal Murray SEC Freshman of the Week

-2BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – February will forever be a month to remember for freshman Jamal Murray. The sharpshooter averaged 26.4 points per game in eight games during the month and capped it with a 33-point performance at Vanderbilt en route to claiming Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honors on Monday. It is the fourth such honor of the season for the Kitchener, Ontario native.

Head coach John Calipari has enjoyed a number of prolific players and scorers in his coaching tenure – although, Murray is putting up numbers unlike any other player under Calipari in a long, long time.

Evelyn Akhator SEC Player of the Week

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGT­­­ON, Ky. – University of Kentucky junior forward Evelyn Akhator has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week by the league office and CollegeSportsMadness.com after helping the Wildcats defeat two ranked teams last week, it was announced Monday.

Akhator was brilliant for Kentucky, averaging 15.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game in UK’s wins over No. 24 Missouri and No. 11 Texas A&M. Against the Tigers, Akhator scored 15 points with nine rebounds, including hitting a season-best .750 (6-of-8) from the field with one block. She followed that performance with her 10th double-double of the season at Texas A&M with 15 points and 18 rebounds, adding three assists and two steals. The junior’s 18 rebounds set a new season high, while her 10 offensive rebounds were also a season best.

Calipari wants Matthews back to being “energy guy”

Charles Matthews (Vicky Graff Photo)

Charles Matthews (Vicky Graff Photo)


The day before Kentucky lost at Vanderbilt, UK coach John Calipari was optimistic that freshman Charles Matthews might provide a needed boost for the Wildcats.

“He’s getting back to being the energy guy. He got away from that, like started judging his energy based on shooting and scoring,” Calipari said Friday. “Well, you’re not going to have a whole lot of energy then.

Second fall slows healing process for Bobby Flynn


It has been almost two months now since Bobby Flynn had an accident at his home in Lexington that forced him to miss his part-time job — being in charge of press row at Rupp Arena.

Of course, the personable Flynn has the same duty at Commonwealth Stadium and any regular UK media member knows they will see Flynn before every game checking to see if they are at the game.

He had to be taken to the UK hospital after the fall that left him with broken ribs, broken clavicle, internal bleeding, and other injuries.

Kentucky women No. 5 seed in SEC Tournament

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGT­­­ON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky women’s basketball team will be the No. 5 seed in the 2016 Southeastern Conference Tournament and play on Thursday at approx. 2:30 p.m. ET against the winner of 12th-seeded Alabama and 13th-seeded LSU.

With its win at 11th-ranked Texas A&M on Sunday, Kentucky tied for the No. 4 seed in the tournament with Florida, who won the head-to-head tiebreaker having defeated the Wildcats, 85-79, in Gainesville in late January. Kentucky faced both Alabama and LSU earlier this season in Memorial Coliseum, taking down Alabama, 73-48, and LSU, 70-58.

Kentucky-Texas A&M postgame notes and numbers

Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes

FINAL:  #15/14 Kentucky 71, #11/11 Texas A&M 58

Reed Arena – College Station, Texas

Feb. 28, 2016

Team Records and Series Notes

–    Kentucky extended its winning streak to six games with a 71-58 upset of No. 11/11 Texas A&M. The Wildcats have won six straight league games by double figures for the first time in program history.

–    The meeting was the seventh all-time between two programs, with Kentucky advancing to 4-2 in the all-time series.  The game is Texas A&M’s third loss at home, and second in SEC play.

Dustin Beggs named Most Outstanding Pitcher

SAN DIEGO — After firing eight-shutout, two-hit innings, Kentucky senior right-hander Dustin Beggs has been named Tony Gwynn Classic Most Outstanding Pitcher, it was announced on Sunday afternoon.

A native of Roswell, Ga., Beggs turned in a strong performance, striking out 10 in his eight shutout innings, surrendering just two singles and a walk. He fired first-pitch strikes in 19 of the 28 hitters he faced, squaring off with just three over the minimum. 

Marcus Lee: “We (Alex Poythress and him) weren’t there today.”

Alex Poythress (Vicky Graff Photo)

Alex Poythress (Vicky Graff Photo)

Here’s what junior Marcus Lee had to say after Kentucky lost to Vanderbilt Saturday.

On what Coach John Calipari was most frustrated with after the game …
“Bigs not contributing. That’s something where we can’t be in and out of games like that. We can’t have foul trouble, we can’t totally zone out the first half, and that’s something we did today. For us to be successful, we have to be on point big-wise the whole game.”