Larry Vaught

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John Calipari knew what to pick for his best Kansas memory

By LARRY VAUGHT

Ellen Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

Ellen Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari was an assistant coach at Kansas early in his career and he knew exactly what to say Friday when asked about his fondest memory of his time there.

“Meeting my wife. You knew I was going to say that. Met my wife there,” Calipari said. “I had nothing. I had no aspirations for anything other than to learn basketball. Felt so blessed that I had an opportunity to start on that campus. The guy who invented the game was their first coach. (Then) Phog Allen, who coached Adolph Rupp, who was, you know. Wilt (Chamberlain). I mean, you can go on and on, but I was just blessed to have that chance. Made no money.”

Poythress says Cats want to continue their “little run” at Kansas

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Last year Kentucky thrashed Kansas 72-40 in Indianapolis for its third straight win over the Jayhawks. Saturday night the Cats play at Kansas, a spot where the home team seldom loses.

Here’s what Kentucky forward Alex Poythress had to say about Kansas on Friday going into the 7 p.m. game that will be shown on ESPN.

On how much they are looking forward to this trip …
“We’re all looking forward to this trip. We’ve been on a little run. We’re just trying to make improvement and trying to just see where we’re at.”

Calipari still not sure about Hawkins’ status for Kansas game

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky junior guard Dominique Hawkins practiced Thursday but coach John Calipari said he is still not 100 percent because of his sprained ankle and he’s not sure if he can  play Saturday night at Kansas or not.

“It would be a nice game to walk into. Be out a month and walk into this game. ‘Go ahead, get in there. You can do it!’” Calipari joked.

Calipari said UK needs his toughness and steady play and that he plays within himself at all times.

Kentucky knows challenge waiting at Kansas

By LARRY VAUGHT

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky not only has won three straight games, but it is coming off its most dominating game of the season against Missouri going into Saturday night’s showdown at Kansas.

“Kansas is a great team. Now that this game is over, tomorrow we’ll get ready for Saturday,” Kentucky freshman Isaiah Briscoe said after the Missouri win.

He also said UK had been focusing on itself, not Kansas, even though a win would certainly boost UK’s NCAA seeding resume.

Another freshman, Skal Labissiere, says coaches have stressed creating every game the same whether its Kansas or Missouri.

Stephen Johnson confident he can be starting quarterback at UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Media members listened to Stephen Johnson explain why he thought he could be UK's starting quarterback. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Media members listened to Stephen Johnson explain why he thought he could be UK’s starting quarterback. (Vicky Graff Photo)

A few months ago California junior college quarterback Stephen Johnson admitted he knew a little bit about the University of Kentucky football program but little about the players or coaches.

That changed after Kentucky coach Mark Stoops let offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and receivers coach Tommy Mainord go and quarterbacks Patrick Towles and Reese Phillips both decided to transfer. New quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw and his boss, Eddie Gran, came from Cincinnati to UK and it didn’t take long for Hinshaw to reach out to Johnson.

Cousins, Davis, Wall make all-star team; Towns, Noel in Rising Star Challenge

Anthony Davis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Anthony Davis (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Further proving the notion that the Kentucky men’s basketball program helps prepare its players for the NBA better than any other school, three former Wildcats – DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and John Wall – were selected for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game as reserves on Thursday night.

No college has more than two representatives in the NBA All-Star Game.

The former UK stars will compete in the NBA All-Star Game in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Feb. 14. The game will be televised by TNT. It’s the third time Davis and Wall have been named NBA All-Stars, while Cousins will make his second straight appearance.

Georgia defensive lineman T.J. Carter picks UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Georgia defensive lineman T.J. Carter announced on Twitter tonight that he is now committed to the University of Kentucky.

The 6-4, 245-pound defensive end out of Whitefield Academy (GA) visited Kentucky last weekend when he got a scholarship offer. He currently does not have a star ranking from any recruiting service.

Defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh has never been one to worry about recruit rankings and he was the chief evaluator on Carter and why he got a late scholarship offer.

 

Kentucky-Vanderbilt postgame notes and numbers

Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes

FINAL:  Vanderbilt 71, #12/12 Kentucky 69

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

Jan. 28, 2016

Team Records and Series Notes

–    Kentucky dropped its second home contest of the season to Vanderbilt on Thursday evening, 71-69.

–    With the loss, UK moves to 15-4 on the season, and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play.

–    The meeting was the 50th between the two programs, with UK falling to 27-23 in the all-time series.

–    The loss snaps a nine-game winning streak against the Commodores, dating back to 2010.

Kelsey Nunley named to preseason All-SEC Team

-1LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second year running, senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley was named preseason All-Southeastern Conference, it was announced by the league office on Thursday afternoon.

Nunley finished the 2015 season with 14 wins and over 200 innings pitched, allowing just 73 runs and striking out over 150 batters, while leading the Kentucky softball team to its fourth Super Regional in the past five seasons a year ago.

The Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native had a 2.42 earned run average in 2015, and allowed just a .229 opposing batting average. Nunley broke the school record for career wins, with her 69th-career all-time win against Western Kentucky, where she pitched nine scoreless innings with nine strikeouts to capture the record-setting win.

Skal Labissiere doesn’t think that coach John Calipari “screwed” him up

By LARRY VAUGHT

Skal Labissiere yelled after scoring against Missouri Wednesday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Skal Labissiere yelled after scoring against Missouri Wednesday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky coach John Calipari admitted again after Wednesday’s win over Missouri that he “probably screwed” up Skal Labissiere by forcing him to play inside. Against Missouri, Labissiere played out on the floor more on offense and had 10 points. On defense, he blocked five shots. Of course, he did not have a rebound, something Calipari says has to change if he wants to play at Kansas Saturday.