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.

Cousins, Davis, Wall make all-star team; Towns, Noel in Rising Star Challenge

Anthony Davis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Anthony Davis (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Further proving the notion that the Kentucky men’s basketball program helps prepare its players for the NBA better than any other school, three former Wildcats – DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and John Wall – were selected for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game as reserves on Thursday night.

No college has more than two representatives in the NBA All-Star Game.

The former UK stars will compete in the NBA All-Star Game in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Feb. 14. The game will be televised by TNT. It’s the third time Davis and Wall have been named NBA All-Stars, while Cousins will make his second straight appearance.

Georgia defensive lineman T.J. Carter picks UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Georgia defensive lineman T.J. Carter announced on Twitter tonight that he is now committed to the University of Kentucky.

The 6-4, 245-pound defensive end out of Whitefield Academy (GA) visited Kentucky last weekend when he got a scholarship offer. He currently does not have a star ranking from any recruiting service.

Defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh has never been one to worry about recruit rankings and he was the chief evaluator on Carter and why he got a late scholarship offer.

 

Kentucky-Vanderbilt postgame notes and numbers

Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes

FINAL:  Vanderbilt 71, #12/12 Kentucky 69

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

Jan. 28, 2016

Team Records and Series Notes

–    Kentucky dropped its second home contest of the season to Vanderbilt on Thursday evening, 71-69.

–    With the loss, UK moves to 15-4 on the season, and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play.

–    The meeting was the 50th between the two programs, with UK falling to 27-23 in the all-time series.

–    The loss snaps a nine-game winning streak against the Commodores, dating back to 2010.

Kelsey Nunley named to preseason All-SEC Team

-1LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the second year running, senior pitcher Kelsey Nunley was named preseason All-Southeastern Conference, it was announced by the league office on Thursday afternoon.

Nunley finished the 2015 season with 14 wins and over 200 innings pitched, allowing just 73 runs and striking out over 150 batters, while leading the Kentucky softball team to its fourth Super Regional in the past five seasons a year ago.

The Soddy Daisy, Tenn., native had a 2.42 earned run average in 2015, and allowed just a .229 opposing batting average. Nunley broke the school record for career wins, with her 69th-career all-time win against Western Kentucky, where she pitched nine scoreless innings with nine strikeouts to capture the record-setting win.

UK interviews with Drake Jackson and Kash Daniel

Skal Labissiere doesn’t think that coach John Calipari “screwed” him up

By LARRY VAUGHT

Skal Labissiere yelled after scoring against Missouri Wednesday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Skal Labissiere yelled after scoring against Missouri Wednesday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky coach John Calipari admitted again after Wednesday’s win over Missouri that he “probably screwed” up Skal Labissiere by forcing him to play inside. Against Missouri, Labissiere played out on the floor more on offense and had 10 points. On defense, he blocked five shots. Of course, he did not have a rebound, something Calipari says has to change if he wants to play at Kansas Saturday.

UK vs. Missouri Highlights

Calipari credits Derek Willis for UK’s improvement, but Willis gives all the credit to Tyler Ulis

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari says Derek Willis has been the catalyst for UK's improvement. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari says Derek Willis has been the catalyst for UK’s improvement. (Vicky Graff Photo)

One could forgive Derek Willis if he wanted to say I told you so to all those who doubted him after his 18-point, 12-rebound performance in Wednesday’s rout of Missouri, his second double-double in the last four games.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said Willis’ play has changed UK since he inserted him into the starting lineup at power forward and cut minutes for both Marcus Lee and Skal Labissiere.