Kentucky-Vanderbilt postgame notes and numbers

Tyler  Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
No. 16/14 Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tenn.
Feb. 27, 2016
Attendance: 14,326

Final Score: Vanderbilt 74, Kentucky 62

Team Records and Series Notes
• Kentucky is now 21-8 on the season. The Wildcats are 11-5 in Southeastern Conference action.
• Vanderbilt is 18-11 overall, 10-6 in SEC play.
• Kentucky leads the all-time series 141-47, with today’s game ending a three-game UK win streak vs. the Commodores.
• Next for the Wildcats: UK has its final away game of the season Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Florida.

Murray scores 33, but Cats fall 74-62 at Vandy


Jamal Murray's 33 points were not enough for UK Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray’s 33 points were not enough for UK Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray scored 33 points, but Kentucky could not overcome Vanderbilt’s big second half, as the Wildcats lost 74-62 on Saturday at Memorial Gym in Nashville.

Kentucky struggled from the floor in the seccond half, hitting just seven-of-26 (26.9 percent) of its shots. That allowed Vanderbilt to turn a 39-36 deficit into a 12-point win.

The Wildcats missed their last nine shots and did not score over the game’s last 3:47.
Murray scored 21 of his points in the first half, carrying Kentucky’s offense as he did much of the day. The freshman came up just two points shy of his career high of 35 points.
Vandy fell behind by as many as seven early in the second half before a 10-2 run allowed the Commodores to take a 48-47 lead with 15:29 remaining in the game. Vanderbilt would hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
Kentucky (21-8, 11-5 SEC) had only one other player in double figures in the game. Tyler Ulis had 12 points, along with six assists. Only two other Wildcats scored, with Marcus Lee posting nine points and Isaiah Briscoe adding eight.
Vanderbilt had only five players score in the game, but four of them scored in double figures. Matthew Fisher-Davis led Vandy with 20 points, while Jeff Roberson had 16. Damian Jones added 15 points and Wade Baldwin IV had 14.
While Kentucky went cold in the second half, Vanderbilt improved its shooting percentage, although only slightly. Vandy hit 13 field goals in each half, but needed only 30 attemps in the second half (43.3 percent) as opposed to 32 in the first half (40.6 percent).

Guest post: Cats need win but numbers favor Vanderbilt

Tyler Ulis will try to keep smiling today at Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis will try to keep smiling today at Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)


Last week, the Cats lost Derek Willis to an ankle injury at Texas A&M, and then got Alex Poythress back from a knee injury on Tuesday. Alex Poythress picked up right where he had left off, and delivered an inside presence that the Cats needed in handling Alabama with greater ease than anticipated.

As the season enters the final three games, the Cats continue to hold the #1 spot in the SEC at 11-4, but the lead is tenuous because Texas A&M sits only 1 game back with a much more favorable finishing schedule than the Cats.

Even Humphries not sure why he spiked ball at Texas A&M

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo


Freshman Isaac Humphries talked to the media Friday for the first time since his controversial technical foul at Texas A&M when he slammed the ball into the floor with  just a few seconds left in overtime.

“I was just so excited, I was so pumped up. Tyler (Ulis) came over and was so happy too. I don’t know. I honestly don’t know why I did it, but I was just so happy. It was just the first thing I thought of really,” Humphries said.

Court configuration does not worry Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)


Freshman Jamal Murray has never played at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Coliseum, but the unusual configuration with the team benches at the end of the court is not a big worry for Murray.

“We’ll roll with it. What happens, happens. We got great guards. Tyler (Ulis), he’ll get us organized on the other end of the court. But we’ll be fine. It’s a different court,” said  Murray Friday. “It’s just another basketball (game) with nothing special about the court.”

Calipari: Winning the SEC doesn’t look promising


Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky plays Saturday at Vanderbilt and Tuesday at Florida before closing the season by hosting LSU. On Friday, Kentucky coach John Calipari said that schedule will make it hard for UK to win the conference title despite having a one-game lead.

“We’re gonna play the games, and I’m more concerned about us getting better. We have two tough road games and a team that beat our brains in down there. So we could lose all three. But if we’re playing at a high level and doing what we’re supposed to, we’ll be going into the tournament, we’ll be fine,” Calipari said.

Could Murray be SEC Freshman of the Year?

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)


Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t say that Jamal Murray should be SEC Freshman of the Year with games left to be  played.

“I know he’s awful good.  Awful good. And he’s playing winning basketball, which he didn’t at the beginning of the year. He just played basketball – whatever happened, happened. Now he’s playing to win and you’re seeing a guy on another level,” Calipari said Friday.

Will Kentucky have official Doug Sirmons again this season?

Vicky Graff Photo

Could John Calipari see official Doug Sirmons again Tuesday? (Vicky Graff Photo)


Remember referee Doug Sirmons?

If you are a Kentucky fan, it’s likely you remember him well for ejecting Kentucky coach John Calipari early in UK’s win at South Carolina earlier this month.

It was just 2 1/2 minutes into the game when after a foul called on South Carolina, Calipari said something to Sirmons that drew a technical foul and that sent the coach into a tirade.  It took five players and assistant coach Tony Barbee to keep him away from Sirmons.

Not all sunshine and rainbows, but Mitchell proud of what Janee Thompson contributed to UK

Janee Thompson took over in the fourth quarter Thursday night during Kentucky’s win over Missouri on Senior Night that was her 100th career win at UK.

“To the program, she has been a very productive, big time player. She’s always come up big in big games. She’s a talented, productive player,” Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said.

“To me personally, she means a lot more because we did not always have a smooth path together. There was a lot of work we had to do together. There was a lot of learning from each other. She’s really, really special to me because if neither one of us had worked at it, we could have just existed and had an okay relationship.

Guest post: Kentucky Women Sports Talk has unique format

Vaught’s note: Kentucky Women Talk Sports airs every Saturday at 1 p.m.  on 970 AM. You can also listen on iHeart Radio and this week I will join Maria Taustine on the show. Give us a listen. Here’s Taustine explaining more about her unique background and show.


Maria Tuastina, right, and

Maria Tuastina, right, and Daryl Foust.