Trying to pick top 10 UK basketball memories was no easy task

By LARRY VAUGHT

Recently former Kentucky basketball player Cameron Mills asked if I would consider writing a column about my 10 best memories from covering Kentucky basketball since 1975.

It turned out to be a much more difficult task than I envisioned because there were so many memories.

However, I finally got it down to 11 (no way I could have stopped at 10) and the story is now on his website if you would like to read it.

It may not be exactly what you expect but to me covering UK basketball has been more than scores and games. It’s been about the people I’ve had the privilege to meet along the way.

Russ Yeast: “I feel good about Kentucky, but I just want to look around.”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Junior receiver Russ Yeast has seen the social media uproar about him deciding to take an unofficial visit to Louisville a few months after he verbally committed to Kentucky.

He’s heard the speculation he might be ready to decommitt from UK over a lack of “love” from the UK coaching staff or UK not offering his father, former UK all-star receiver Craig Yeast, a spot on the coaching staff.

Calipari wants to see Labissiere “keep going” now

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Freshman Skal Labissiere had 11 points, three rebounds and three blocked shots in Thursday’s win at Auburn and now Kentucky fans are hoping that is the start of his resurgence after six weeks of being basically a no-show to use coach John Calipari’s terminology.

So what about Labissiere’s confidence now going into today’s game with Vanderbilt?

“Well the first shot he took, I looked and I went, ‘What?’ And it went in and I said, ‘It better have gone in.’ But I think it built his own confidence and he’s gotta—he’s got work to do,” Calipari said Friday. “There’s no question. He’s gotta keep going, but he’s worked in practice.

Guest post: Numbers favor Kentucky by one point over Vanderbilt

By RICHARD CHEEKS

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

During the off season, much chatter focused on an anticipation that the 2015-16 Kentucky Wildcats would again compete in the final four. We recall all of the arguments. Coach Calipari has another #1 or #2 group of incoming players. Coach Calipari has led his youngsters to four final fours in six years, and won a championship. There will not be any dominant team or teams in the land in 2015-16 like there was in 2014-15. However, amidst all of this optimistic talk, early November did arrive, and in an Olympic manner, all proclaimed, “Let the games begin.”

Three Wildcats playing in bowl games Saturday

Farrington Huegenin is one of three Wildcats playing in bowl games Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Farrington Huguenin is one of three Wildcats playing in bowl games Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky seniors Farrington Huguenin and A.J. Stamps will play in the National Football Players Association Collegiate Bowl, set for Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2, and defensive tackle Cory Johnson will play in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on the NFL Network.

Despite weather issues Kentucky-Vanderbilt game still on for 4 p.m. Saturday

The Firecrackers jump rope team is scheduled to perform at Rupp Arena Saturday but a final decision on their appearance due to travel concerns will be made Saturday morning. (Vicky Graff Poto)

The Firecrackers jump rope team is scheduled to perform at Rupp Arena Saturday but a final decision on their appearance due to travel concerns will be made Saturday morning. (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Despite winter weather conditions in the Lexington area, Saturday’s Kentucky men’s basketball game vs. Vanderbilt in Rupp Arena is still scheduled for a 4 p.m. tipoff. Unless otherwise announced by UK Athletics, the game will be played as scheduled.

Vanderbilt arrived in Lexington, Ky., on Thursday in preparation for a winter storm that has dumped large snowfall accumulations across Central Kentucky. The Wildcats returned from their Thursday night game in Fayetteville, Ark., late Thursday night.

Cats will have to do more than defend 3-point shot to beat Vanderbilt

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t let the snow keep him from meeting with media members Friday. Here’s most of what he had to say in relation to Saturday’s game in Rupp

Find out more about the Firecrackers before they get to Rupp Arena Saturday

By LARRY VAUGHT

The Firecrackers return to Rupp Arena Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

The Firecrackers return to Rupp Arena Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

This year I asked some of the Firecrackers two questions just to give fans a chance to know a little more about them. One, what is their favorite thing to do other than jump rope? Two, what is their favorite thing about being a Firecracker?

Enjoy the answers and get ready for a dazzling performance again Saturday unless the snow/weather makes it impossible for them to get to Rupp:

Stallings believes UK searching for right combinations like a lot of other teams are

Vanderbilt is coming off an impressive win over Tennessee going into Saturday afternoon’s game at Kentucky.

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said on the SEC coaches teleconference this week that he had not yet watched Kentucky other than when he saw them win at Alabama as he was scouting the Crimson Tide.

“I really don’t even have the right to say this because I have not studied them, but maybe a little bit like a lot of the rest of us in that they’re searching for all of the right guys at the right times to do the right things. Kind of the same thing that we’ve been after, and probably a number of other teams in our league. That would be an impression,” Stallings said three days before UK seemed to find some of that in the win at Arkansas.

Calipari on Skal Labissiere: “He’s not Shaq(uille O’Neal), he’s a jump shooting big man.”

Before this season started, knowing that Skal Labissiere would have 11 points, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal in a game would not have been a big shock. But based on how the 7-foot freshman has been playing the last six weeks, those numbers in Thursday night’s win were a significant improvement and a big reason UK won.