Larry Vaught

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Cats lose to Kansas but still a lot to like going forward with John Calipari’s team

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drives by Kansas’ Malik Newman. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky may still not know how to execute the way coach John Calipari wants at the end of a close game, but the Cats did prove one thing Tuesday night — they will not go down without a fight.

The Cats lost 65-61 to Kansas in the Champions Classic in Chicago. Kansas used an 11-0 spurt in 2:37 to take an 18-7 lead early in the game. Kentucky was discombobulated on offense and had trouble defending.

Wisconsin guard Tyler Herro commits to UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Wisconsin guard Tyler Herro surprised no one today when he signed with the University of Kentucky.

The four-star Herro had originally verbally committed to home-state Wisconsin before changing his mind about two months ago and re-opening his recruitment.

Herro thanked those who had supported him and those who had pushed him to be better.

“I have to commit to coach john Calipari, Big Blue Nation and the University of Kentucky,” said Herro before putting on a UK hat and taking off his sweatshirt to show the UK T-shirt he already had on.

Could Kansas be a “Tai game” tonight?

Tai Wynyard. (UK Photo by Elliott Hess

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky freshman center NIck Richards only played 13 minutes in Sunday’s win over Vermont.

He scored just two points — he took only two shots — and had four rebounds. Those are not the numbers UK needs from the player expected to be its best interior player this season.

Will he play more tonight against a bigger, stronger Kansas team in Chicago?

“It may be right for Tai (Wynyard), too. This may be a Tai game. Let him go in there and bang the crap out of them.,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

Knox, Diallo on Wooden Award Preseason Top 50

Kevin Knox (Jeff Houchin Photo)

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 14, 2017) – The John R. Wooden® presented by Wendy’s® announced its Preseason Top 50 today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on ESPN.com. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious individual honor.

Stoops always wants a quarterback in each signing class

Jarren Williams no longer will be part of UK’s recruiting class.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Certainly Mark Stoops has to have thoughts he would like to share about Georgia four-star quarterback Jarren Williams de-committing to Kentucky for a second time over the weekend.

The first time, Williams decided Kentucky was the right place for him after all. But not this time. He was on an official visit to Miami when he made his decision and will now take official visits to Auburn and Ohio State.

Cats will play nine games against teams that made 2017 softball World Series

Abby Cheek (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky softball head coach Rachel Lawson, who enters her 11th year at the helm of the program in 2018, unveiled her team’s schedule for the spring on Monday afternoon.

The 2018 slate features 32 games against teams that made the 2017 NCAA Tournament – with 16 of those games coming on the road. The Wildcats will play 18 games against teams that made it to the Super Regional round, and nine against teams that made it to the Women’s College World Series.

Numbers project 24-point win for Kansas over UK

By RICHARD CHEEKS

Each summer and early fall, we have all grown accustomed to Coach Calipari’s familiar refrain that his team is so young, the road will be bumpy, but he really likes his team. The common response to these annual warnings has included a subtle rolling of the eyes, and a silent retort, “Yeah Coach, we know.”

However, this team is clearly different, and if our expectations are based on how Coach Calipari’s previous eight teams have matured and developed, especially early in the schedule, we are very likely to be disappointed this season. This team has had the slowest start of the Calipari Era, as shown in the Table below:

Stoops likes way Cats bounce back, also admits he thinks about what might have been this year

Sihiem King had two touchdowns at Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Each time Kentucky has lost this season, it has won the next game.

“When asked how the team will respond after a tough loss or a blowout loss the answer is always the same because that’s what I believe. The leadership is here, there is great pride within this team and we’re going to go back to work and do the very best we can,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Monday. “It’s not for a lack of effort on anybody’s part, the wins and the losses, and I do like the way we responded this past week.”

Volleyball’s Kaz Brown, Blue Ribbon’s Chris Dortch, Kami Bivins will join me on Leach Report Tuesday

Kaz Brown (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Senior Kaz Brown is a big reason the Kentucky volleyball team is 22-3 overall and 13-1 in Southeastern Conference play.

She’ll join me on the Leach Report Tuesday at about 9:10 a.m. to discuss the season. Kentucky will host Georgia Friday at 7 p.m. and Ole Miss Sunday at 2 p.m. in what will be Brown’s final regular-season home match.

She was an all-SEC pick in 2015 and 2016 after earning all-SEC freshman team.

Georgia knows UK wants to prove it is best team in SEC East

Mark Stoops (Wade Upchurch Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Georgia will be coming off a shocking 40-17 loss to Auburn when it hosts Kentucky Saturday in a game it must win to keep alive its hopes of playing for a national championship.

It will be Senior Day for the Bulldogs, but Georgia coach Kirby Smith warned Monday not to underestimate Kentucky (7-3).

“Mark Stoops is a good coach. He’s done a tremendous job up there. The energy and enthusiasm in that game last year when we played up there was incredible. For me, it’s not really how I remembered it from before as a player,” Smart said.