Larry Vaught

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On son’s 18th birthday, Ryan Lemond reveals how son taught him to be better dad, person and man

By RYAN LEMOND

Gavin Lemond, left, taught his father, Ryan, there is more to life than sports.

Gavin Lemond, left, taught his father, Ryan, there is more to life than sports.

I’m experiencing a new emotion today, and I don’t know how to handle it.  I’m happy.  I’m excited, and at the same time, I’m sad.

I cried today.

My oldest son, Gavin, turns 18 today.  All parents have to face this day and go through this emotion, but I’m having a hard time dealing with it.  Gavin is adopted.  He came into my life when he was only 5 months old, and more importantly, he came into my life at a time when I didn’t know if I was ever going to be a dad.  He was and is a blessing from God.

Bill Self: Bonuses of Big 12/SEC Challenge in January outweigh negatives

Is the Big 12/SEC Challenge better in late January when it is not during the college football season or better in November when it does not disrupt conference play?

Here’s what Kansas coach Bill Self said today going into Saturday’s game in Lawrence with Kentucky:

“I think it’s both. I don’t necessarily like it all. I don’t like the disruption of the league play – and I think the majority of the coaches would probably agree with that – but for our league I think it’s going to be a great exposure day,” Self said.

Jamal Murray SEC Freshman of the Week again

-1BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Freshman sharpshooter Jamal Murray was named the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week after helping lead UK to a pair of double-digit wins at Arkansas and against Vanderbilt this week.

Murray averaged 18.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in the two wins. Today’s honor marks the second such award of his career.

The Kitchener, Ontario native continued to be a threat offensively while emphasizing his defensive performance in the two wins this week. Murray and Co. helped lead UK to its first win in Arkansas under the direction of John Calipari on Thursday. Murray poured in 19 points and added seven rebounds. He also contributed a block and a steal in the victory.

DeAndre Ayton has huge triple double, will play at Pulaski County Feb. 6-7

By LARRY VAUGHT

Want to know why 7-foot DeAndre Ayton is ranked as the top player in the 2017 recruiting class?

In a game against Sunrise Christian Saturday in Kansas, he had a triple-double. But not just any triple double.

Ayton scored a school-record 52 points for Hillcrest (Ariz.) Prep, pulled off 33 rebounds and blocked 10 shots.

He played in the recent McCracken County Mustang Madness and will be back in Kentucky Feb. 6-7 for the Thoroughbred Classic at Pulaski County. His team will play Victory Prep of Houston with top 10 junior Jarred Vanderbilt Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. and then Advance Preparatory International Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. that features juniors Billy Preston and Trevon Duvall.

Jamal Murray: “We have to show up, play well and play winning basketball”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

From what John Calipari saw during Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt, he felt freshman Jamal Murray made many more winning plays than losing plays — a point Calipari had been emphasizing to him for weeks.

Murray said there would still be “room for improvement” but he was more excited that it’s obvious players are trusting each other more.

Calipari: “There’s no milk. There’s no eggs. And 25,000 figured out how to get here.”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky fans didn't let a near blizzard keep them away from Rupp Arena Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky fans didn’t let a near blizzard keep them away from Rupp Arena Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

One Kentucky official told coach John Calipari he thought maybe 12,000 fans would be at Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt because of the weather. Calipari said he was optimistically hoping for 18,000.

Instead, over 22,000 fans braved the cold and snow to watch Kentucky pound Vanderbilt.

“These knuckleheads figured out how to get here,” Calipari joked. “I have no idea whether they came two days ago because they heard the storm. Whether they were stuck on the highway and walked here, I don’t know.

Tennessee will be “huge challenge” for Kentucky Monday night

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGT­­­ON, Ky. – Looking to get back in the win column following a setback on the road last Thursday at Ole Miss, the No. 9 University of Kentucky women’s basketball team welcomes No. 18 Tennessee to Memorial Coliseum on Monday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

ESPN Game Day will be there for UK-Kansas

Ames, IA - January 17, 2015 - Iowa State University: Rece Davis, Jay Willimas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Bilas on the set of College GameDay Covered by State Farm (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Ames, IA – January 17, 2015 – Iowa State University: Rece Davis, Jay Willimas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Bilas on the set of College GameDay Covered by State Farm
(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

ESPN College GameDay Covered by State Farm will be on hand for No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 23 Kentucky, as part of the third annual Big 12/SEC Challenge Presented by Sonic – staged for the first time on a common-bye date of Saturday, Jan. 30. The Saturday Primetime presented by DIRECTV matchup will air at 7 p.m. ET from Lawrence, Kan., with the morning show beginning at 11 a.m. and the evening edition beginning at 4 p.m. – all on ESPN.

Tyler Ulis is “the little engine that makes us go”

Ulis

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

What do his Kentucky teammates think of point guard Tyler Ulis.

“On the court, he’s the little engine that makes us go. He’s like a little, mini coach out there,” said Alex Poythress after Ulis scored 21 points and  had five assists in a 76-57 win over Vanderbilt Saturday.

Vandy coach Kevin Stallings said Ulis, the smallest player on the court, was the game’s dominant player.

Poythress not a bully, but he still helps UK dominate Vandy

By LARRY VAUGHT

Alex Poythress had 16 points in Saturday's win over Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Alex Poythress had 16 points in Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings didn’t have any trouble explaining what impact Alex Poythress’ play had on Saturday’s win over his team.

“Poythress was really good, really efficient and dominated the inside for them,” said Stallings.

How good? In 27 minutes, he was 8-for10 from the field for 16 points and had two rebounds. He didn’t have a steal, assist or blocked shot, but he also did not have a turnover and played solid inside defense.