Calipari sees a lot of strengths for Texas A&M


Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky almost lost at Texas A&M last year with a team that started the season 38-0. Tonight the Cats are leading the Southeastern Conference and are ranked higher than the Aggies going into tonight’s game, but host Texas A&M is a slight favorite.

So what does Texas A&M do best? Let John Calipari explain.

“They have great post game. They have guards that are creative and make plays. Obviously (Danuel) House can go for 40 (points). They have other guys that come off the bench that can shoot the ball well. (Alex) Caruso is one of the best passers you will ever see. He tries to steal every ball so you have to be aware, you can’t just throw a lazy pass, it’s a layup,” Calipari said.

Texas A&M coach says GameDay hoopla “awesome”


Tyler Ulis 2Having ESPN College GameDay and the focus of the country on his program has Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy excited going into Saturday night’s game with Kentucky. In fact, he says the attention is “awesome” despite his team’s recent struggles.

“It (national attention) has been a long time coming. I’m really excited about it for our guys and our program because it’s something that I would have hoped would have happened before, to have College GameDay here, playing in a big game like this,” Kennedy said.

Saddle Up in Pigeon Forge: Brigid Reedy unique with her music and personality

Vaught’s note: As I noted when this blog became my own operation, it sometimes will have more than just UK basketball and football. This is one of those days. I am in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for the annual Saddle Up. I think you’ll enjoy reading and learning more about 15-year-old Brigid Reedy, who is unique for a lot of reasons.


Brigid Reedy, left, enjoys playing the fiddle and yodeling. She's 15 and does not own a cell phone and avoids social media. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Brigid Reedy, left, enjoys playing the fiddle and yodeling. She’s 15 and does not own a cell phone and avoids social media. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

PIGEON FORGE, TENN. — Brigid Reedy is not your typical 15-year-old.

Pregame Kentucky-Texas A&M notes and numbers

A few  notes and numbers on Saturday night’s Kentucky-Texas A&M matchup from the Texas A&M perspective.

Willis says he’s good to go; Calipari looking for Novacaine for media session


Willis rebound“I haven’t seen him yet.”

That is what Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday when asked about the health of both Marcus Lee, who missed the second half of Thursday’s win over Tennessee with a sore back, and Derek Willis, who said after the game that both knees and an ankle were hurting.

“Obviously, you want to have a full team, but you go with who’s there. I mean, Marcus went out and we played better. Next man up. That’s what we’ve done. I walk in the locker room, ‘Alex (Poythress) can’t go today.’ ‘What?’ I walk in the locker room, ‘Isaiah (Briscoe) hurt his ankle in the warm-up line.’ ‘What?’ Next man up. That’s how we do it here,” Calipari said.

Larry Conley named Kentucky’s SEC Basketball Legend

Larry Conley, right, and NBC-TV's Tom  Hammond at a recent UK game.

Larry Conley, right, and NBC-TV’s Tom Hammond at a recent UK game.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – An All-Southeastern Conference team member and a part of the 1965-66 “Rupp’s Runts,” Larry Conely has been tabbed as Kentucky’s 2016 SEC Basketball Legend and will be honored at this year’s SEC Tournament, which will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., March 9-13.

A key member of “Rupp’s Runts,” one of the most beloved teams in Kentucky basketball history, Conley helped lead the Wildcats to a 1966 national runner‐up finish, a 27‐2 record and an SEC championship.

Murray continues hot scoring but also doing other things better


Jamal Murray had nine rebounds Thursday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray had nine rebounds Thursday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray continued a streak of making at least one 3-point shot in every game this year during UK’s win over Tennessee Thursday. He had 28 points and was 3-for-6 from 3-point range. But coach John Calipari was happiest about the way he went inside and finished 8-for-12 from the field and 9-for-10 at the foul line.

Humphries feels more comfortable with teammates now

Isaac Humphries (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaac Humphries (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaac Humphries could need to play a big role at Texas A&M Saturday night if center Marcus Lee cannot play after injuring his back in Thursday’s win over Tennessee.

Here’s some of what Humphries had to say after the game.

On what a performance like Derek Willis’ does for UK offensively …
“It just hypes us up when he makes all those 3s and gets his crazy put-backs – I don’t know how he does it. It just lifts us up. When the crowd goes crazy when Derek makes a shot it just helps us a lot with the mental side, just getting more hyped up.”

Tom Leach with the highlights

Hurting Willis “didn’t play that hard” but scored 25

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Derek Willis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Derek Willis had a career-high 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field in Thursday’s win over Tennessee. But he said not only was he hurting physically, but he didn’t even play that hard.

On how much he is hurting …
“My knees feel like—oh, they just feel horrible. And was it yesterday I twisted my ankle? Maybe it was today. I don’t even know. I can’t get my body healthy right now.”

On the quick turnaround with a game Saturday night at Texas A&M…
“Just a lot of rest tomorrow and get some treatment on my body and get ready for that game. That’s it.”