Larry Vaught

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Dollywood’s Splash Country opens Saturday

Vaught’s note: Always enjoy sharing information that might be useful for travel ideas, and as you know there is nowhere I enjoy more than Pigeon Force and Dollywood’s Splash Country is always a good time.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 11, 2016)—Guests know summer fun is right around the corner when the award-winning Dollywood’s Splash Country opens the gate on Saturday, May 14. The water adventure park—home to RiverRush®, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster—continues to improve the guest experience as it begins its 16th season.
“We always want to treat our guests to a few surprises each season, “said Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager, Mike Brown. “This year, we hope they notice more efficiency, more amenities and great new food options. Our team is ready for the 2016 season!”

Calipari expects Lee to stay in draft

LeeBy LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari said today that  he’s still not sure what Isaiah Briscoe will do about keeping his name in the NBA draft, but he said he does expect center Marcus Lee to keep his name in the draft.

“Marcus really wants to do this and my guess is he’ll keep his name in the draft,” Calipari said.

Lee will participate in the NBA Combine in Chicago  Wednesday and Thursday even though he was ranked as only the 107th best prospect by ESPN and is not projected as a draft pick in any of the top mock drafts.

Big Blue Madness, exhibition dates announced

-1LEXINGTON, Ky. – It’s never too early to get excited about next season.

“Next season” officially begins Oct. 14 with the annual spectacle of Big Blue Madness, introducing the 2016-17 men’s and women’s basketball teams. Madness will begin at 7 p.m. in Rupp Arena and will air on the SEC Network.

That’s just the beginning of the exhibition slate, which will encompass Madness, the Blue-White Scrimmage and UK’s first two exhibition games vs. Clarion and Asbury. All events and games are scheduled for 7 p.m. starts. All four events will also be televised live by the SEC Network.

Former player Amber Smith joining Matthew Mitchell’s staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A member of the most successful senior class in Kentucky women’s basketball history, former Wildcat guard Amber Smith has returned to Lexington and joined the women’s basketball support staff, head coach Matthew Mitchell announced Wednesday. Smith will be involved in a variety of areas within the program, helping the coaching staff with numerous tasks.

Offensive lineman Luke Fortner could be surprise in 2016 recruiting class

Luke Fortnter with UK coaches Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and John Schlarman.

Luke Fortnter with UK coaches Mark Stoops, Vince Marrow and John Schlarman.

By LARRY VAUGHT

He’s a physical player who was ranked among the top 70 offensive linemen in the country when he signed with Kentucky in February.

Yet 6-6, 305-pound Luke Fortner was often overlooked in UK’s signing class because of the hype that went to in-state offensive linemen signees Landon  Young and Drake Jackson.

Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman is thrilled to have the Ohio offensive lineman  joining the Wildcats. He’s not only an honor roll student, but he also played center on the basketball team.

Don’t expect any stunning news out of Calipari press conference

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari is having a press conference this afternoon.

Could he be announcing that Marcus Lee is coming back? Could it be to update the status of Isaiah Briscoe?

Maybe it is recruiting related and he knows Marques Bolden is going to sign with UK today?

Actually, I don’t think there is anything to read into the timing of today’s press conference. Here’s the statement UK released: “Due to some outstanding interview requests and because we were unable to conduct a season wrap-up media opportunity at the end of the basketball year, we will have an offseason media opportunity with Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Memorial Coliseum media room.”

Kentucky falls 3-2 at Indiana; Reks has 3 hits, 2 RBIs

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Junior outfielder Zach Reks had three hits and drove in two runs, but the Kentucky baseball team lost at Indiana 3-2 on Tuesday night in non-conference action.

Kentucky (29-20) got on the board first, scoring a single run in the top of the third inning. Freshman outfielder Tristan Pompey drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Troy Squires. Reks then singled to center field, scoring Pompey and giving the Cats a 1-0 lead.

ESPN2 will televise Draft Combine Thursday-Friday

Caron Butler (ESPN Photo)

Caron Butler (ESPN Photo)

ESPN2 will televise the 2016 NBA Draft Combine from 3-7 p.m. ET, on Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13. The event emanates from the Quest Multisport Complex in Chicago, Ill. This is the first in a series of ESPN 2016 NBA Draft events, which also includes the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm (May 17) and the 2016 NBA Draft (June 23).

Four UK softball players earn All-SEC honors

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Four Kentucky softball players were named to the All-Southeastern Conference postseason teams, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon by the league office. Senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley was named first-team All-SEC in addition to being named the SEC Pitcher of the year, Abbey Cheek was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, and seniors Maisie Steed and Christian Stokes were named to the SEC All-Defensive Team.

Those four awards combined with head coach Rachel Lawson being named the SEC’s Coach of the Year gives Kentucky five postseason conference awards – a new program record, surpassing the four gained by the 2011 team that got Kentucky to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional that season.

Kelsey Nunley SEC Pitcher of the Year

Kelsey Nunley (UK Athletics Photo)

Kelsey Nunley (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The best player in Kentucky softball history’s career just got harder to top, as senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley was named the Southeastern Conference’s 2016 Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday morning, as she becomes the first Kentucky softball in program history to earn that honor.

Nunley just capped off the best regular season pitching performance in program history on Sunday with her seventh complete-game shutout of the year as she helped Kentucky clinch second place outright in the SEC for the first time in program history. Nunley set a new regular-season ERA record, posting a 1.26 ERA in her 31 appearances, which was more than five tenths of a run better than anyone had ever recorded in one season in UK history.