Tired Cats show they can find ways to win

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky was down to seven scholarship players for Tuesday’s game but still beat Texas A&M 74-73.

Quade Green and Tai Wynyard were both out with back injuries — Wynyard also missed Saturday’s game at Tennessee. Jarred Vanderbilt (leg) and Jamarl Baker (knee) have not played all year.

Kentucky coach John Calipari reminded his players before the game that when he was coaching at UMass his final season — “the year we beat Kentucky” — that he basically played five players.

UK vs Texas A&M Photo Gallery

Photos by Vicky Graff

Sean Hjelle, Tristan Pompey Named Preseason All-Americans

Tristan Pompey (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky juniors Sean Hjelle and Tristan Pompey have been named preseason First-Team All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, respectively. The honor follows a 2017 season that saw each player burst onto the national scene with eye-opening performances.

Hjelle, the reigning Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year, earned first-team honors from Collegiate Baseball and third-team recognition from Perfect Game. The 6-foot-11 junior from White Bear Lake, Minnesota went 11-4 with a 3.89 earned run average in 2017, striking out 102 hitters in 108.1 innings. The 11 victories are the fourth-most in a single season in UK history.

Jarred Vanderbilt ready to play and will give Kentucky a needed “willing passer”

Jarred Vanderbilt could be ready to play. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

P.J. Washington has known Kentucky teammate Jarred Vanderbilt since they were third-graders in Texas. He knows more about the UK freshman than anyone else at UK — and knows what he could add to the team this year if he’s finally able to play.

“I can’t wait for him to get back. He’s a key to our team and we really need him and he’s going to be great for us,” Washington said after Tuesday’s 74-73 win over Texas A&M.

UK-Texas A&M postgame notes, numbers

UK MEN’S BASKETBALL POSTGAME NOTES
TEXAS A&M AT KENTUCKY
RUPP ARENA | LEXINGTON, KY.
JAN. 9, 2018
ATTENDANCE: 22,643

Final Score: #21/20 Kentucky 74, Texas A&M 73

Sacha Killeya-Jones (Vicky Graff Photo)

Team Records and Series Notes
Kentucky is 13-3 overall and 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M is 11-5 overall, 0-4 in league play.
Kentucky leads the series 9-3 and has won four in a row vs. the Aggies.
UK leads the series 5-2 in Lexington.
Kentucky begins a two-game road swing Saturday at Vanderbilt, 4 p.m. EST (3 p.m. CST in Nashville). The game will be televised on ESPN.

Short-handed Cats fight to hold off Texas A&M 74-73

Cats celebrate win over Texas A&M. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It’s hard to imagine with the way John Calipari stockpiles talent that Kentucky could have only seven players healthy enough to play in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

But that’s exactly what happened in Tuesday’s 74-73 over Texas A&M.
The Aggies got two key players — Robert Williams (illness) and Admon Gilder (knee) — back after they had missed games while UK had Quade Green (back), Tai Wynyard (back), Jarred Vanderbilt (left) and Jamarl Baker (knee) all out. If that wasn’t enough, three UK players had two fouls by halftime.

Edwards coming back for senior season

Mike Edwards.
The University of Kentucky football team falls to Florida 28-27 on Saturday, September 23, 2017, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky.
Photo by Quinn Foster | UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Star safety Mike Edwards has elected to bypass an opportunity to enter the NFL Draft and return for his senior season at Kentucky. Edwards announced his decision Tuesday afternoon on his Twitter account.

“I want to get better prepared for the NFL and improve physically and mentally,” Edwards wrote. “I’m also happy about the decision to return because I’m on track to graduate in December! Now it’s time to go win the SEC East!”

ESPN’s College Game Day Coming to UK Jan. 20

ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm is headed to Lexington, Ky., on Saturday, Jan. 20, for the first show of 2018 in advance of the Saturday Primetime presented by AT&T as No. 21 Kentucky faces Florida (8:15 p.m., ESPN). The morning show will be live from Rupp Arena, beginning at 11 a.m. on ESPN, followed by an evening edition leading into the game telecast.

College GameDay Covered by State Farm is hosted by Rece Davis, who is joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams. Dan Shulman, Bilas and reporter Maria Taylor will have the call of the SEC matchup featuring Florida and Kentucky.

Sydney McLaughlin Named to Preseason Bowerman Watch List

UK signee Sydney McLaughlin on the cover of Sports Illustrated

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky track and field freshman Sydney McLaughlin was named to the indoor preseason watch list for The Bowerman Award this week following her historic collegiate debut last month.

The winner of collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor will be named next December at the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention.

McLaughlin won the Hoosier Open 300 meters in 36.12 seconds in December. That was the American junior record, the second fastest time in American history, second fastest in collegiate indoor history and seventh fastest in world history.

Texas A&M Also Brings “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble”

Quade Green (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

The Cats have returned home from a two game road swing through Baton Rouge and Knoxville long enough to get clean laundry and pick up a game at Rupp against Texas A&M before heading back out on the road for another two game swing that will take the Cats through Nashville and Columbia, South Carolina.

After struggling at Rupp against Georgia in the SEC opener, the Cats fought from behind to get a tough 3-point road win in Baton Rouge. However, despite building an 8-point halftime lead over the Volunteers in Knoxville on Saturday night, the Cats were not up to the challenge that Tennessee would present in the second half.