A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Zan Payne to play for father Kenny Payne and Calipari at Kentucky

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Another coach’s son has officially joined the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. Zan Payne, son of Wildcats associate head coach Kenny Payne, has decided to join the team as a walk-on after scoring more than 1,000 points during his prep career at Lexington Catholic High School in Lexington. Zan Payne The 6-foot-4 Payne averaged 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds...

No mercy: UK softball team sweeps 3 games to reach Super Regionals

Members of Kentucky’s softball team celebrate after the Wildcats defeated Notre Dame 8-0 in six innings to advance ti the NCAA Super Regionals next week at No. 1 seed Oregon. (UK Athletics Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky went undefeated in the first three games of the NCAA Tournament and will compete in the NCAA Super Regionals next week against top-seeded Oregon in Eugene. Kentucky,...

Kentucky’s PJ Washington making an impression in NBA Combine

PJ Washington has enjoyed a pair of successful performances in the NBA Combine this week in Chicago. Washington is undecided on whether to remain in the NBA Draft or return for a second season. (Keith Taylor/Kentucky Today) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington did nothing but help himself during the NBA Combine this week in Chicago. Washington scored 24 points in two 5-on-5 scrimmages and figures...

Pitching, defense a key for Kentucky softball team in NCAA Tournament

Grace Baalman will anchor the Kentucky pitching staff in this weekend’s Lexington Regional at John Cropp Stadium. (UK Athletics Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today When it comes down to it, pitching and defense win championships and Kentucky coach Rachel Lawson hopes the Wildcats have enough experience to make a serious run in the NCAA Tournament. “The postseason is about pitching and defense,”...

Calipari, Wildcats schedule rare home-and-home series with Utah

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky and Utah haven’t played in more than a decade. That will change in December. The two schools have agreed to a home-and-home series, with the Utes visiting Rupp Arena on Dec. 15. Kentucky will visit Utah the following season, with the two foes playing at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 21, 2019. Three days later, Kentucky will take on Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic...

Calipari, Barnhart saddened by passing of former SEC commissioner Mike Slive

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today When Kentucky coach John Calipari counted former Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive as one of his closest friends and said he was largely responsible for his hiring at Kentucky in 2009. “Obviously, Dr. Lee Todd and Mitch Barnhart made the decision to hire me, but my friend, guardian, and mentor Mike Slive was instrumental in me becoming the coach at Kentucky...

UK forward Jarred Vanderbilt withdraws from NBA Combine

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Jarred Vanderbilt has withdrawn from the NBA Combine and is considering his future options. Vanderbilt announced the news on his Twitter account late Tuesday night. “I’ve decided not to attend the NBA combine,” he said. “I’m still weighing my options and working my way through the decision process. Appreciate the continued support.” Vanderbilt played in 14...

Cats officially add E.J. Montgomery to its newest incoming class

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky officially added its newest recruit Monday. E.J. Montgomery, one of the top players in the current graduating class, was added to the roster after signing his letter-of-intent to play for the Wildcats next season. Montgomery verbally committed to play at Kentucky last month. “I hope our fans understand just how good EJ is and how excited we are to have him,”...

Kentucky takes two of three from Bulldogs in final stand at ‘The Cliff’

Cliff Hagan turns the final card during the final regular-season game at Cliff Hagan Stadium Sunday. The Wildcats lost the finale, 18-8, but took two of the games from the Bulldogs over the weekend. (UK Athletics/Noah Richter) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today An era came to an end for the Kentucky baseball team Sunday. The Wildcats (33-18, 13-14 Southeastern Conference) played their final regular-season...

Kentucky baseball ends era with its last regular-season series at ‘The Cliff’

Cliff Hagan Stadium has been home for the Kentucky baseball team for the past 50 years. The team’s final regular-season series at the venue will be Friday-Sunday. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today An era will come to an end this weekend for the Kentucky baseball team. The Wildcats will bid farewell to Cliff Hagan Stadium when the Wildcats play host to Mississippi State...

Former Kentucky standout Anthony Davis keeps turning heads in NBA

Anthony Davis enjoyed a successful fifth season with New Orleans and averaged double figures in points and rebounds. (New Orleans Pelicans Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kevin Durant wasn’t surprised with the way former Kentucky standout Anthony Davis performed in the Western Conference semifinals. The Golden State Warriors standout and Davis played on the same U.S.A. men’s basketball team...

Former UK guard Amber Smith takes on new role with Wildcats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Kentucky women’s basketball team will have more stability in the future after two assistant coaches signed extensions and two others were re-assigned. Amber Smith, a former standout is now an assistant coach, while former assistant Lin Dunn has been named special assistant to the head coach. Dunn has spent the past two seasons in her current role, while Smith, a...

Five Kentucky players receive invite to participate in NBA Combine

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Five Kentucky players who have declared for the NBA Draft were among the invitees who will attend the draft combine later this month in Chicago. As expected, Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PJ Washington, Jared Vanderbilt and Hamidou Diallo were invited to attend the five-day event. Wenyen Gabriel wasn’t on the list of invitees. Yahoo Sports released the draft...

UK linebacker Denzel Ware plans to transfer following early graduation

Denzil Ware announced on social media that he will be transferring following early graduation this weekend. Ware will complete his eligibility as a grad transfer. (UK Athletics Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will be without one of its top defensive players next season. Senior linebacker Denzel Ware announced on social media he plans to leave following graduation and transfer to another...

Kentucky Derby puts Bluegrass State back in national spotlight

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It only takes two minutes to conclude one of the most exciting moments in sports. For the 144th time in history, a field of 20 horses will compete in the Kentucky Derby, an event that puts Kentucky in the national spotlight. The yearly “Run for the Roses” is the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown in 1977 and American Pharaoh...

UK’s Kevin Knox considered one of the top wing players in NBA Draft

Kevin Knox will be one of the Top 20 picks in next month’s NBA Draft in Brooklyn. Knox has already received an invite to the NBA Combine that will be held ahead of the draft. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kevin Knox has already received an invite to this month’s NBA Combine and will be considered one of the top wing players available in this year’s draft set...

Retiring television sports personality Alan Cutler will be missed on the UK beat

WLEX-TV Channel 18 sports personality Alan Cutler will retire from broadcasting after covering the Kentucky Derby this week at Churchill Downs in Louisville. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Alan Cutler is one of the top television personalities in Kentucky. He’s also my friend. Cutler, who will retire after covering the Kentucky Derby for WLEX Channel 18 this week, is...

Stoops adds former UK quarterback Maggard, Franks to support staff

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops announced five changes to his support team in Friday, including the addition of former Wildcats quarterback Freddie Maggard. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops enhanced his support staff with five staff changes, including two new hires on Friday. Stoops promoted Dan Berezowitz to chief of staff. Berezowitz...

Recovering from surgery, UK coach John Calipari hasn’t read commission’s report

Kentucky coach John Calipari underwent minor surgery Tuesday. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari isn’t making a judgment call on a report released Wednesday by the Commission on College Basketball calling for the end of the one-and-done era and banning cheating coaches for life. “I really haven’t had time to look at the commission’s recommendations, yet,”...

Early start: Kentucky to play four exhibition games in trip to Bahamas

Kentucky coach John Calipari and the Wildcats will play four exhibition games in the Bahamas in August. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team will get a jump start on the season this summer. The Wildcats will take a tour to the Bahamas and compete in four games spread across an eight-day stretch Aug. 6-13 ahead of the 2018-19...