Tag: Kenny Payne

Zion Harmon-D.J. Jeffries matchup likely Dec. 2 at Marshall County Hoop Fest

D.J. Jeffries with UK coach John Calipari and assistant Tony Barbee.

By LARRY VAUGHT

The Marshall County Hoop Fest is annually one of the nation’s best prep basketball showcases and this year certainly is shaping up to be superb.

While exact pairings for the four-day event Nov. 30-Dec. 3 have not been released, several sources have confirmed one Dec. 2 game that will match Zion Harmon, the top-ranked player in the 2021 recruiting class, against D.J. Jeffries, a top 20 player in the 2019 recruiting class. Both are UK recruiting targets.

James Ulis on UK coaches: “They taught him how to be a professional”

James Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

James Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

When Tyler Ulis announced he was leaving Kentucky for the NBA, his father, James, repeated a them that has become common for players leaving college early.

“I thought Cal and Coach (Kenny) Payne who acted as a father to him while he was here – We had several conversations or a few over the last couple of years. I think they taught him how to be a professional,” James  Ulis said.

Calipari on Kenny Payne: “He is not just a big man coach.”

Kenny Payne (Vicky Graff)

Kenny Payne (Vicky Graff)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After his second straight strong performance Saturday, Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere credited assistant coach Kenny Payne for helping him.

He said that Payne “did a really good job” as did his teammates being physical with him in practice.

But coach John Calipari said Payne does more than just Kentucky’s biggest players.

“He’s working with guards and everybody on this team, but let me just tell you what he does: He has a great relationship with these kids. He doesn’t BS them. He doesn’t tell them what they want to hear. He tells them the truth. That’s one,” Calipari said.

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.