Larry Vaught

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USBWA Picks Jamal Murray For Freshman All-America Team

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Clearly one of the best freshman and one of the most prolific scorers in the country, freshman guard Jamal Murray was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Freshman All-America Team on Wednesday.Murray joined California’s Jaylen Brown, Marquette’s Henry Ellenson, Duke’s Brandon Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons on the team.

Last week, Murray was named to the Sporting News Freshman All-America Team.

The USBWA Freshman All-America Team was voted on by members of the USBWA, which is comprised of more than 900 sportswriters and sports journalists who cover college basketball for newspapers, magazines and websites.

UConn coach glad to see Stony Brook in NCAA

Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie talked today in Des Moines about what it was like to see Stony Brook, the team that plays  Kentucky Thursday night in the NCAA tourney in Des Moines, finally make the NCAA

Q. Kevin, you’re focused on your team, but is it nice to see (coach Steve) Pikiell here and for him to break through and get Stony Brook here?

KEVIN OLLIE: Yeah, it was beautiful, watching that game with Buffalo, I’m going crazy in the hotel room. I couldn’t watch the game live, and Rodney was there to watch it and Coach Calhoun was there to watch it and Steve has been so close and to see him break through was a wonderful thing.

Butler coach’s mom a life-long UK fan and has “great respect” for Tubby Smith

Butler coach Chris Holtman is a native Kentuckian and  will send his team against Texas Tech and coach Tubby Smith in the NCAA Tournament Thursday in Raleigh. During his media conference today, he was asked about Smith:

Q. Coach Holtmann, you’re a native Kentuckian and Tubby Smith obviously had great success with the Wildcats there. Have you crossed path was him at all? And were you a Tubby Smith and Kentucky fan growing up?

Stony Brook star on UK: “I watch them all the time.”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Four straight years Stony Brook reached the America East Tournament championship game. Four straight years the Seawolves lost — by an average of five points — to miss the NCAA Tournament.

This year they overcame a 15-point deficit to defeat Vermont in the title game and now get a chance to play Kentucky Thursday night in Des Moines

“Our program has been knocking on the door,” Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell said. “It’s the hardest thing to do, to get to the NCAA Tournament.

“Destination: Houston – Wildcats in the NCAA” will air on affiliates across Kentucky

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky fans can fill their insatiable appetite for UK men’s basketball postseason basketball action with a pre-tournament television special, “Destination: Houston – Wildcats in the NCAA,” that will air across the state of Kentucky on Wednesday and Thursday and on UKathletics.com.

“Destination: Houston,” presented by UK Healthcare, will be a one-hour look at the 26-8 Wildcats as they try to build off another incredible season that featured a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship and the SEC Tournament title.

Makayla Epps named to AP All-SEC first team

Evelyn Akhator (Vicky Graff Photo)

Evelyn Akhator (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky junior guard Makayla Epps, junior forward Evelyn Akhator and senior guard Janee Thompson have been named All-Southeastern Conference performers by the Associated Press, it was announced on Tuesday.

Epps was named to the first team, becoming the first player since A’dia Mathies in 2012 and 2013 to earn First Team All-SEC honors from the organization multiple years. Akhator, who was named to the All-SEC Second Team earlier this season by league coaches, earned the same honor from the AP, while Thompson was one of seven players to be named to the AP’s honorable mention team. Thompson was a Second Team All-SEC selection by league coaches.

NCAA ticket info from TiqIQ.com

Here is some data regarding ticket demand to Kentucky’s session in the NCAA Tournament in Des Moines from www.TiqIQ.com .

Both of Thursday’s sessions at Wells Fargo Arena are pretty similarly priced. Average ticket price for Session 2 (featuring Kentucky) is $241, while the day session (featuring Kansas) averages $251. The cheapest ticket available for Session 2 is $131 while Session 1 is $135.
The most expensive opening round game is Thursday’s early session at the Dunkin Donuts Center, averaging $375 per ticket. However, Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena is the most expensive session in the round of 32, averaging $390 and cheapest ticket $202.
Additionally, last year’s opening round game for Kentucky at KFC Yum! Center averaged $166 with cheapest ticket $73.

ODDS-MAKERS BANK ON BARKLEY OVER OBAMA

MAR. 15, 2016 – The odds-makers at https://www.SportsBettingDime.com, think it’s more likely that Charles Barkley (8/1) correctly predicts college basketball’s National Champion than President Obama (9/1).  And, based upon the President’s previous brackets, the odd-makers lay even odds (1/1) that the “first fan” picks a #1 seed as his champion and an over/under of 6 first round upsets.  When it comes to TV’s other enthusiastic analyst, the odds-makers expect “Send it In” (o/u 8.5) and “The Kiss” (o/u 8) to be Bill Raftery’s most common expressions.

Pitino on Calipari: “He tries to make the world being against him.”

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

Louisville coach Rick Pitino went on ESPN Radio this morning on the Mike (Greenberg) and Mike (Golic) Show to talk about a variety of things. Obviously, the sex scandal at Louisville was the big topic of conversation.

However, the hosts also asked him about Kentucky coach John Calipari complaining about the seedings. Pitino said that was just Calipari being Calipari.

“He tries to make the world being against him. He does the same thing that John Thompson did at Georgetown — the world’s against us. Wherever he’s going, he’ll probably stay 30 miles outside of town because the hotel’s not good enough. Nothing’s ever good enough, the world’s against us,” Pitino said.

Calipari wants all players to have same defensive bounce as Tyler Ulis

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s defense had some issues in SEC Tournament wins over Georgia and Texas A&M. However, Kentucky coach John Calipari said part of it was that both teams made some “ridiculously tough” shots.

“You gotta accept it if you did their job and they hit it. We broke down about four times, maybe five, and it was basically the same couple guys that just broke down. Like, ‘It was you again. It was you again. It was you again,'” Calipari said.