A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Six Kentucky football players test positive for coronavirus antibodies after return to practice

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Kentucky men’s basketball team will begin a COVID-19 screening process on Sunday before returning to activities prior to the July 4 holiday. The only staff personnel who will be present at the workouts will be the school’s athletic development and performance coaches “for the safety of student-athletes, including strength and conditioning staff, athletic trainers...

Southeastern Conference to move forward with football media days using virtual format

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference is moving forward with its annual Football Media Days but will feature a different format this year. Because of COVID-19 concerns, the league announced Wednesday it will go the virtual route instead of a three-day event originally scheduled for July 13-16 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. The dates and times will be announced...

John Calipari listening and learning, speaks out about racial inequality during NABC webinar

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is listening and learning. The Kentucky coach took part in a discussion on race relations during a webinar sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He joined former Oregon coach Ernie Kent, Houston coach Kelvin Sampson and Ron Hunter of Tulane. Frank Martin of South Carolina and Pat Chambers of Penn State also were part of the discussion. Like...

Mitch Barnhart says safety will be top priority as UK’s student-athletes return to campus Monday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky’s first priority will be safety when student-athletes return to campus Monday, says Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. Kentucky will follow the recommendations outlined by the Southeastern Conference’s Return to Activity Medical Guidance Task Force. The university will ensure that proper protocols are in place when players start arriving on campus, the AD...

KHSAA board votes to allow high school sports teams to resume meeting in limited groups June 1

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today High schools across the state can begin meeting with their athletic teams on Monday. The Kentucky High School Athletics Association Board of Control voted Thursday to allow team meetings of 10 or less June 1-14. Beginning on June 15, practices can resume for some sports on a limited basis. Based on current guidelines from Governor Andy Beshear, practices with 10 or fewer...

John Calipari disappointed London matchup with Michigan postponed, but pleased that series saved

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari will have to wait two more years to see the Queen. The Kentucky coach was disappointed after a three-game series against Michigan was postponed Wednesday. The Wildcats were scheduled to take on the Wolverines in the Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase in December but the series was put on hiatus because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m disappointed...

KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett says fall sports could be vastly different for Kentucky’s schools

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Julian Tackett is hopeful a form of normalcy can be achieved in high school sports this fall. Tackett, the commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, is beginning to see a glimpse of hope that prep sports will be played when school resumes, although he thinks it won’t be the same as last fall. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the KHSAA to...

Mark Stoops says former Kentucky standout Lynn Bowden is ‘right fit’ for Las Vegas Raiders

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops expects Lynn Bowden to provide the same excitement for the Las Vegas Raiders that he gave Kentucky during the past three seasons. “I think he’ll be a great fit,” Stoops said. “The fan base will be energized by him and he’ll feed off that. I think coach (Jon) Gruden is a good fit for Lynn because I know (Jon) and I think the way he can relate...

Former Lafayette High School standout Jedrick Wills Jr. becomes first state player selected in NFL draft

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Jedrick Wills Jr. became the first state player taken in the NFL Draft Thursday night when the Cleveland Browns selected the former Lafayette and University of Alabama standout as the 10th overall selection. Wills (6-foot-4, 312 pounds) started the past two seasons at right tackle for the Crimson Tide, including 28 consecutive games. Wills was the second offensive lineman...

Calipari says Keion Brooks has what it takes to be a ‘special’ player as he plans return for second season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keion Brooks Jr. is staying put and will return for a second season. The University of Kentucky forward announced on Tuesday night that he would be in a Wildcats’ uniform next year. Kentucky forward Keion Brooks is set to return for a second season. (Photo by Tammie Brown, Kentucky Today) “Let’s run it back, BBN,” Brooks tweeted Tuesday night. Earlier the...

Freshman guard Tyrese Maxey leaves Kentucky a ‘better player’ as he prepares for the next level

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyrese Maxey is leaving with no regrets. The Kentucky freshman guard declared for the NBA Draft on Monday and said his lone season with the Wildcats was a success. “This year getting to rep Kentucky across my chest was everything I could have imagined,” Maxey said. “I got to play for a Hall of Famer, be pushed every day by the best coaches in the country, compete...

Kentucky sophomore Ashton Hagans declares for the NBA Draft, gives up last 2 years of eligibility

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The expected exodus of Kentucky basketball players to the NBA Draft has officially started. Sophomore guard Ashton Hagans declared for the NBA Draft on Sunday and has opted to remain in the draft, giving up his last two years of eligibility. It wasn’t clear if he had signed with an agrent. Hagans is the first of probably four or five players from the 2019-20 team...

Calipari says at least five players will enter NBA Draft, including SEC Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is used to rotating rosters. The Kentucky coach is expecting more turnover next season. Calipari said he believes at last five players to declare for the NBA Draft, including Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley, along with Nick Richards, Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery and Tyrese Maxey. “My guess is four to five guys would probably...

Kentucky’s college basketball broadcasters can’t help but wonder what might’ve been in postseason

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tom Leach can’t help but wonder what would have transpired if the COVID-19 crisis didn’t bring sports to a sudden halt earlier this month. Like many in the sports profession, Leach was busy preparing for the postseason after calling Kentucky’s thrilling 71-70 comeback win at Florida on March 7 in Gainesville. By March 13, the season came to a screeching halt. Kentucky...

Calipari foundation working to help struggling Kentucky families during time of uncertainty

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is doing his part to help struggling families during the current coronavirus crisis that has crippled the state, nation and the world. The Calipari Foundation, the Kroger Company, and Fayette County Public Schools will be providing food for families based in 37 elementary schools through April 20 and said if they “need more, then we will do more — eight...

SEC, ACC to play the remainder of tournaments without fans due to growing coronavirus concerns

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The arenas playing host to the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference tournaments will be mostly empty for the rest of the week. Both leagues announced Wednesday that the remainder of their conference tournaments will be played but without fans because of coronavirus concerns. The SEC officials said it will conduct the tournament with “only essential...

Quickley makes impression on Southeastern Conference; Calipari named top coach in SEC

Immanuel Quickley was named SEC Player of the Year and John Calipari took Coach of the Year honors as announced by the league Tuesday. (Photos by Tammie Brown/Keith Taylor, Kentucky Today) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Immanuel Quickley’s transformation made an impression on the Southeastern Conference. Quickley was named the league’s Player of the Year Tuesday ahead of the conference tournament...

Kentucky coach John Calipari wants Ashton Hagans in ‘great frame of mind’ heading into SEC Tournament

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari isn’t worried about Ashton Hagans and the Kentucky coach expects to meet with the sophomore point guard soon to sort out their differences as the Wildcats prepare for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. “My hope is we’ll talk (Monday) or (Tuesday) and I think he’ll be fine,” Calipari said Monday during the SEC Teleconference. “Whether I start...

Kentucky gets first lead late in second half to beat Florida 71-70 in stunning season finale in Gainesville

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky led just once against Florida. It was all the Wildcats needed to complete a regular-season sweep of the Gators. EJ Montgomery’s tip-in with 11 seconds remaining capped a second-half comeback by the Wildcats and lifted No. 6 Kentucky to a 71-70 victory over the Gators Saturday in Gainesville. Florida guard’s Andrew Nembhard’s desperation three at the buzzer...

Cats remain upbeat heading into Saturday’s regular-season finale against Florida Gators in Gainesville

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has gotten over its disappointing loss to Tennessee and the sixth-ranked Wildcats face a tough task in a bounce-back encounter at Florida in their regular-season finale Saturday in Gainesville. Kentucky (24-6, 14-3 Southeastern Conference) let a 17-point lead slip away in an 81-73 setback to the Volunteers earlier this week. The loss was a second-half meltdown...