Tag Archive: UK basketball

UK target DeAndre Ayton not interested in playing overseas

DeAndre Ayton earned MVP honors at a game in Kentucky this season. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)
DeAndre Ayton earned MVP honors at a game in Kentucky this season. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

DeAndre Ayton earned MVP honors at a game in Kentucky this season. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Seven-footer DeAndre Ayton of Hillcrest Academy in Phoenix is the top-rated player in the 2017 recruiting class and despite some recent speculation that he might be thinking about playing overseas a year instead of going to college before turning pro, he told me back in January at the McCracken County Mustang Madness that was not the case.

Guest post: “I didn’t expect to love Tyler Ulis the way I do.”

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff )
Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff)

Vaught’s note: Brandy Osborne is a lifelong member of the BBN, originally hailing from Oldham County and now settled in Jessamine County. While basketball is her obsession, she is learning to love football, slowly but surely. She is married to Ben, a not so basketball fanatical husband, who baked her “I’m sorry your team lost” brownies after the loss to Wisconsin in 2015. The brownies were good, the loss still hurts.

By BRANDY OSBORNE

Draft analyst has Murray fourth in draft

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)
Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford has Jamal Murray as the fourth overall pick in the June NBA draft going to the Philadelphia 76ers.

“Murray is a scoring machine who can take over an offense as well as any freshman in the draft not named Ben Simmons,” Ford wrote on ESPN.com. “Scouts fret a bit about his lack of explosive athletic ability and a defined position, but his skill level and basketball IQ make up for most of what he lacks.”

He still has freshman Skal Labissiere going 13th to Phoenix despite his inconsistent play this season.

Meeting Rodney Branum a SEC tourney highlight for me

Rodney Branum is a true blue fan battling cancer who has lost none of his passion for the Cats. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)
Rodney Branum is a true blue fan battling cancer who has lost none of his passion for the Cats. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Rodney Branum is a true blue fan battling cancer who has lost none of his passion for the Cats. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During the Southeastern Conference Tournament in Nashville, I enjoyed being around many, many Kentucky basketball fans. Some I have known for years, some just a short time. Others I met for the first time either at the games, in downtown Nashville or at the J.D. Shelburne concert.

However, I doubt that I will ever forget meeting UK fan Rodney Branum. He flew to Nashville from Houston where he had been taking radiation treatment for cancer thanks to the generosity of a special group, Big Blue Nation Cares.

Guest post: Why I will always love Tyler Ulis

Kentucky fan Krystal Dittus of Florida knows exactly why she will miss Tyler Ulis so  much.
Kentucky fan Krystal Dittus of Florida knows exactly why she will miss Tyler Ulis so  much.

Kentucky fan Krystal Dittus of Florida knows exactly why she will miss Tyler Ulis so much.

Vaught’s  note: Krystal Dittus is a Kentuckian now living in Florida who has remained a die-hard UK basketball fan. She became a huge fan of Tyler  Ulis — as did many of you — and I asked her to share her thoughts on the Kentucky guard.

By KRYSTAL DITTUS

What is it about Tyler Ulis that made so many of us in Big Blue Nation love him so? His outstanding play has been analyzed countless times in interviews hosted by Tom Leach, discussed on KSR by Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond, and Mark Buerger once said the “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” show should be renamed the “Praise Tyler Ulis Show.”

Tyler Ulis finalist for Naismith Trophy

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)
Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky sophomore guard Tyler Ulis is one of four finalists for the Naismith Trophy, awarded annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club to the nation’s most outstanding player of the year.

Ulis is a finalist along with Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon, Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. Ulis is the only non-senior of the four.

Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, founder of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the women’s and men’s college basketball players of the year. This year’s trophy will be presented at the Naismith Awards Brunch on April 3 in Houston, site of the Final Four.

Calipari: “We became a team that physically didn’t have it, yet still became a pretty good defensive team”

Q. John, can you talk about the progress this team made from day one to right now, because clearly obviously winning the SEC Tournament, you’re playing your best basketball of the year, and as you said, probably didn’t play your best basketball today. But talk about your team and its progress?
JOHN CALIPARI: Here is what I would say, we knew — I didn’t think it would be shooting, but we knew if a couple of players didn’t give us great efforts we would struggle to win. I knew that before the game. If they struggled, we’re not going to — each level you go in this thing you’re going to have a team full of the guys performing.

Matthew Mitchell to Host Pizza Party for BBN Saturday for UK-IU

Vicky Graff Photo
Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky women’s basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell will provide free pizza to Wildcat fans in attendance at Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament first-round game vs. UNC Asheville at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday. The pizza will be provided after Kentucky’s 4 p.m. ET tip vs. UNCA for fans that wish to stay around and watch the Kentucky men’s basketball team play Indiana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on the video board.

Lee on playing Indiana will “be history”

By LARRY VAUGHT

What does Marcus Lee think about playing Indiana Saturday?

“It’s always going to be history. I guess you could say all of us adjust to it because we’re in the NCAA Tournament,” Lee said Thursday night. “But I think it’s just a point where we have to get ready for it and we’ll be happy to be there.”

Since Kentucky and Indiana have not played since 2012, has Lee ever seen a Kentucky-Indiana game?

“Growing up, that’s kind of the best part of basketball, in college basketball, is rivalry week and those rivals of the hyped up teams. So it’s really cool to finally be a part of it,” Lee said.

Calipari knows Indiana is “really, really good”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Credit John Calipari for not mincing words about why Kentucky and Indiana have not played since 2012.

I didn’t want to play home and home. I told them we would play two years in Indianapolis if you want. I didn’t want to play home and home. I didn’t want to go there, and they didn’t want to have to come to us. So that ended the series,” Calipari said after UK beat Stony Brook Thursday night tin Des Moines to set up a game against Indiana Saturday in the NCAA Tournament second round.

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