Wildcats know Willis and Poythress want to play

By LARRY VAUGHT

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky assistant coach Tony Barbee said Monday afternoon that injured junior forward Derek Willis is being “real diligent” with his rehabilitation from Saturday’s ankle injury

“I know he’s going to want to get out there with his teammates tomorrow,” said Barbee.

He also said that senior forward Alex Poythress, out with a knee injury, was scheduled to “resume activities” Monday but he wasn’t sure if he would play against Alabama or not tonight.

Cats keeping positive approach with Isaac Humphries

By LARRY VAUGHT

UK players are continuing to support Isaac Humphries, seated on bench. (Vicky Graff Photo)

UK players are continuing to support Isaac Humphries, seated on bench. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Just as Kentucky coach John Calipari and players did after Saturday’s overtime loss at Texas A&M, UK assistant coach Tony Barbee said Monday that everyone has stayed positive with Isaac Humphries.

The freshman got called for a technical foul for spiking the basketball with less than 10 seconds left in overtime and UK leading by a point.

Marijuana charge leads to Jason Hatcher being kicked off team

By LARRY VAUGHT

Jason Hatcher (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jason Hatcher (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky’s defense took a big hit today when defensive end Jason Hatcher was kicked off the team.

Kentucky issued this statement after news broke that Hatcher had been cited for trafficking marijuana: “Jason Hatcher, a defensive end/linebacker on the University of Kentucky football team, has been dismissed for violation of team rules, Coach Mark Stoops has announced. UK has no additional comment.”

Hatcher was stopped for speeding in Franklin County when the officer smelled marijuana and found marijuana on Hatcher and in the car.

Calipari has no update on Derek Willis

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari said on the SEC Coaches Teleconference this morning that he had no update yet on junior forward Derek Willis.

Willis turned his ankle in the second half of Saturday’s loss at Texas A&M and did not return to the game.

“I have not seen Derek. I cannot tell you how bad it is,” Calipari said when I asked him about Willis.

He did add that Alex Poythress, out with a knee injury, did work out Sunday but he was not sure if he could “go or not” this week.

UK fan Rachel Mason gave father special birthday present

By LARRY VAUGHT

Jimmy Brown and Rachel Mason (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Jimmy Brown and Rachel Mason (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Rachel Mason of Casey County always enjoys watching Kentucky play basketball. However, her trip to Rupp Arena last week when Kentucky beat Tennessee was even more special because she treated her father, Jimmy Brown, to the game as part of his birthday present.

“I wanted to take dad because as far back as I can remember he has been the person I’ve watched UK basketball with. It was one of the thing my dad, my three older brothers, and myself would all do together was cheer on the Cats,” Mason said.

Boys Writing Club, prep doubleheader on WPBK, Dale Brown interview all on tap for this week

By LARRY VAUGHT

This is going to be an interesting week of work, the kind that I really like.

It starts today with speaking to the Boys’ Writing Club at Casey County Middle School in Liberty. Eighth-grade Language Arts teacher Kim Baldwin invited  me to speak several months ago and it was easy to say yes to this request.

“Casey County Middle School staff believe having men from our community to come in an speak to our male students about writing will create a stronger interest in writing.  The majority of our male students are not interested in writing, so we are trying to bring in people who have built good, strong careers in writing,” Baldwin said.

Despite loss, Calipari “can’t be mad” at this team

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari said Sunday he wasn't mad at his team over Saturday night's loss. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari said Sunday he wasn’t mad at his team over Saturday night’s loss. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Wonder how Kentucky coach John Calipari dealt with Saturday night’s controversial to Texas A&M in overtime that left UK  leading the Southeastern Conference by one game over LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M.

Kentucky freshman Isaac Humphries got hit with a technical foul with less than 10 seconds left in overtime after he blocked a shot and grabbed a rebound with UK ahead by one point and slammed the ball to the floor to celebrate. That enabled Texas A&M to rally and win.

Kentucky-Arkansas postgame notes and numbers

Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes

FINAL:  #16 Kentucky 77, Arkansas 63

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

Feb. 21, 2016

Attendance: 7,589

Team Records and Series Notes

–    Kentucky moves to 19-6 on the season, and 8-6 in Southeastern Conference play.  The Wildcats have won four in a row, their longest streak this season in league games.

–  Arkansas is 11-16, 6-8 in league action.

–    UK leads the series, 20-13, with the Wildcats winning six in a row. 

–    Matthew Mitchell is in his ninth season with Kentucky and he is 243-116 overall, including a 213-87 record while at Kentucky.

Guest post: Football practice right around the corner

By ALEX OTTE

Drew Barker and Boom Williams are two key offensive players returning for UK. (Alex Otte Photo)

Drew Barker and Boom Williams are two key offensive players returning for UK. (Alex Otte Photo)

In the midst of basketball season, some UK fans still have their eyes on a different prize.

With spring football beginning in early March, and the annual spring game set for April 16th, football is right around the corner and after the “Finish What We Started” Super Bowl commercial, Kentucky football fans have reason to be excited.

The Wildcats will have a tough and full schedule this year, beginning with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles for the first game September 3rd, and the very next week facing the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.

Texas A&M coach, player postgame quotes

Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy 

Opening statement…
“It was a heck of a game, real fortunate to get the win. I was really impressed with Kentucky’s guards. Obviously down the stretch, they made it hard to put them away and I’m proud of our guys for being resilient and hanging tough and fighting and figuring out a way to win. Tyler Davis, what a heck of a play he made at the end and went to the rim like he was supposed to and made a big shot.”
On technical fouls…
“I thought both technicals weren’t very good so it was a little bit different, but I mean if you’re going to call a blocked foul when you think it’s a blocked foul, kid slams a ball on the floor, that’s the rule. That’s a technical foul. You’re going to call a tech on me, running in our huddle and running out when I come back out and I’m wrong and I need a tech. I think as long as they call it right when they see it and what they believe in, I can live with that.”
On being a part of the game’s atmosphere…
“It was thrilling. Obviously, until the end I thought we had pretty good control of the game but I was really impressed with [Tyler] Ulis and [Jamal] Murray, the plays that they made, the special plays and the lob play that they executed down the stretch and their defense was really, really good but we didn’t execute. We had some possessions that weren’t very good offensively that we need to clean up. We were fortunate.”
On A&M and UK going into overtime for consecutive years…
“I hope it’s not overtime next time and I hope we can win. But, I guess it was our turn, it was our turn. I think style of play has a lot to do with it, just defensively and offensively how we both like to play mostly man. We played man the whole game. Our guys, everybody raises a level up when Kentucky comes in and it’s interesting and again I’m proud and excited we won but when you have the Kentucky jersey on, you can see those kids think they’re going to win every game and that’s a credit to John Calipari and what he’s done with the program. That’s what I was really proud of our guys this year, we were resilient and I thought we thought we were going to win the game. We never thought we weren’t going to win the game, that’s why we were fortunate to win.”

Jalen Jones

On Super Bowl MVP Von Miller giving the team a pre-game pep talk…
“It was incredible. I watched him throughout the season and I watched a couple of his highlights on YouTube. Just an incredible athlete and it really meant a lot and he gave us an extra boost of motivation to go out there and play hard.”
On impact of the win moving forward…
“It just means that we’re getting on the steps of being on the right track where we were earlier in the season, how we know we’re a good team and we’re all clicking and doing the right things. We’ve just got to continue to build on this and take it one day at a time.”

Tyler Davis

On his perspective of the last play of the game…
“Once Danuel [House] got the ball, I knew he was going to either shoot it or drive it. He was getting to the basket, he just wasn’t getting some calls. But, I kept my guy on my backside and once he put the shot up, I just had a chance to grab the board and put it back in.”
On emotions during game…
“What was going through my head when we were going into the first overtime, I felt like I was drained from my energy just flowing all night. I was like ‘Dang, I’m drained right now’ but got no choice but to keep playing hard and we did that.”
On Texas A&M team…
“We’re a good team as well, we can play with anybody. I know we can. I just believe in my teammates. I know we can compete with any team in America so whoever we step on the court with, in my mind, I’m ready to go to war with my teammates.”