Guest post: Numbers favor Kansas by 8 points

By RICHARD CHEEKS

For the record, the Cats have now posted three consecutive very strong performances since their inexplicable loss at Auburn 2 weeks ago. The last two games, against Vanderbilt and Missouri in Rupp Arena represented back to back season bests for this team. On Saturday evening, the Cats will venture into the Phog in Lawrence, Kansas to find out if their new found surge to high performance levels can be sustained in a hostile environment against one of the Marquee college basketball programs of all time.

Calipari says Allen Fieldhouse is much louder than Rupp Arena

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky coach John Calipari joked Friday that Kansas had lost three home games in 10 years when asked how hard it might be to win at Allen Fieldhouse tonight.

“You have really good players. You have really good fans that push you over the top many times. You have a team that’s comfortable in that environment. I think that’s both schools. To win those kinds of games as an opponent you’ve got to be careful of runs and 3’s,” Calipari said. “A team like that can score a bunch in 12, 15 seconds, and that’s what you’ve got to guard against.

John Calipari knew what to pick for his best Kansas memory

By LARRY VAUGHT

Ellen Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

Ellen Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari was an assistant coach at Kansas early in his career and he knew exactly what to say Friday when asked about his fondest memory of his time there.

“Meeting my wife. You knew I was going to say that. Met my wife there,” Calipari said. “I had nothing. I had no aspirations for anything other than to learn basketball. Felt so blessed that I had an opportunity to start on that campus. The guy who invented the game was their first coach. (Then) Phog Allen, who coached Adolph Rupp, who was, you know. Wilt (Chamberlain). I mean, you can go on and on, but I was just blessed to have that chance. Made no money.”

Scout writers evaluate UK’s 2016 recruits

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Josh Gershon have an article on Scout.com today evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the five members (so far) of Kentucky basketball’s 2016 class:

  • De’Aaron Fox
  • Malik Monk
  • Wenyen Gabriel
  • Edrice Adebayo
  • Sacha Killeya-Jones

Scout rates Fox as the top point guard prospect in the country and Monk as the top shooting guard. Gabriel is rated third and Killeya-Jones seventh at power forward. Adebayo is rated No.2 at center.

Click here to read the story and be prepared to be excited.

 

Poythress says Cats want to continue their “little run” at Kansas

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Last year Kentucky thrashed Kansas 72-40 in Indianapolis for its third straight win over the Jayhawks. Saturday night the Cats play at Kansas, a spot where the home team seldom loses.

Here’s what Kentucky forward Alex Poythress had to say about Kansas on Friday going into the 7 p.m. game that will be shown on ESPN.

On how much they are looking forward to this trip …
“We’re all looking forward to this trip. We’ve been on a little run. We’re just trying to make improvement and trying to just see where we’re at.”

Calipari still not sure about Hawkins’ status for Kansas game

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky junior guard Dominique Hawkins practiced Thursday but coach John Calipari said he is still not 100 percent because of his sprained ankle and he’s not sure if he can  play Saturday night at Kansas or not.

“It would be a nice game to walk into. Be out a month and walk into this game. ‘Go ahead, get in there. You can do it!’” Calipari joked.

Calipari said UK needs his toughness and steady play and that he plays within himself at all times.

Kidd-Gilchrist returning to Hornets

It looks like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is returning to the Charlotte Hornets tonight after being out since early October with a shoulder injury. MKG had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Oct. 6.

Here are some MKG highlights from the 2015 season:

Getting ready for Kentucky vs. Kansas

Kentucky knows challenge waiting at Kansas

By LARRY VAUGHT

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky not only has won three straight games, but it is coming off its most dominating game of the season against Missouri going into Saturday night’s showdown at Kansas.

“Kansas is a great team. Now that this game is over, tomorrow we’ll get ready for Saturday,” Kentucky freshman Isaiah Briscoe said after the Missouri win.

He also said UK had been focusing on itself, not Kansas, even though a win would certainly boost UK’s NCAA seeding resume.

Another freshman, Skal Labissiere, says coaches have stressed creating every game the same whether its Kansas or Missouri.

Stephen Johnson confident he can be starting quarterback at UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Media members listened to Stephen Johnson explain why he thought he could be UK's starting quarterback. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Media members listened to Stephen Johnson explain why he thought he could be UK’s starting quarterback. (Vicky Graff Photo)

A few months ago California junior college quarterback Stephen Johnson admitted he knew a little bit about the University of Kentucky football program but little about the players or coaches.

That changed after Kentucky coach Mark Stoops let offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson and receivers coach Tommy Mainord go and quarterbacks Patrick Towles and Reese Phillips both decided to transfer. New quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator Darin Hinshaw and his boss, Eddie Gran, came from Cincinnati to UK and it didn’t take long for Hinshaw to reach out to Johnson.