A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Keith Taylor: Poythress, Booker impressed with UK newcomers; Coach K heaps praise on Cousins

Several former Kentucky players are back on campus this week to take part in John Calipari’s Pro Camp. Among the returnees participating in the camp include Devin Booker, Alex Poythress, Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Karl-Anthony Towns, who is scheduled to make an appearance Thursday. Devin Booker took part in UK’s Pro Shooting Camp last week (Vicky Graff Photo) In addition to interacting...

Ex-UK stars Lyles and Young begin play in the Utah Jazz summer league event

Former Kentucky men’s basketball players Trey Lyles and James Young will play in the NBA’s Utah Summer League, which begins Monday and runs through Thursday. Lyles (2015) will play for the Utah Jazz while Young (2014) will suit up for the Boston Celtics for a third season. Trey Lyles will play in the Utah Jazz summer league event this week Former Wildcats Aaron Harrison (Charlotte Hornets), Dakari...

Keith Taylor: Mitchell, Barnhart mourn Summitt’s passing; UK’s heralded freshman class on campus

Pat Summitt made an impact in the coaching profession and fought Alzheimer’s disease with the same passion she exhibited on and off the basketball court. Summitt, 64, battled Alzheimer’s for five years before her battle with the brain disease ended Tuesday in Knoxville. During her 38-year coaching career at Tennessee, Summitt won 1,098 games in her career and stands as the most victories...

Legends open 2016 season with Poythress, new patio, better food … and fireworks

Former University of Kentucky basketball star Alex Poythress will help get the 2016 season underway for the Lexington Legends as he throws out the first pitch before the team’s 7:05 p.m. game with Lakewood at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The Legends, class A affiliate of the World Series champion Kansas City Royals, will take on the BlueClaws, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, to open their...

Ulis one of four finalists for Naismith Trophy; Poythress on Arthur Ashe Jr. Athlete of the Year list

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. Tyler Ulis is a finalist for the Naismith Trophy...

Keith Taylor: A ‘great year’ comes to an end for Kentucky in loss to Indiana in NCAA tourney

DES MOINES — Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray did all they could to keep Kentucky’s season from folding but it wasn’t enough to fend off Indiana. The backcourt duo combined for 43 points but the Wildcats got little production from the rest of the roster in a 73-67 loss to the Hoosiers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. Kentucky’s Alex Poythress...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky moves past seeding snub, sets sights on making a run in NCAA Tourney

Kentucky hasn’t reached its peak, but appears to be getting closer to the pinnacle. The Wildcats (26-8) defeated Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M in a three-day span last weekend to claim their second straight Southeastern Conference Tournament title and carries a five-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. Derek Willis knocks down a 3 during the SEC Tournament finals Sunday in Nashville...

Keith Taylor: Poythress plays ‘like a star’ to lead Kentucky past Alabama in SEC Tourney

NASHVILLE — Kentucky made its postseason debut Friday night and Alex Poythress made it look easy. The senior forward scored 20 points to lead the Wildcats to an 85-59 win over Alabama in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament. Kentucky (24-8) advances to the semifinals and will take on Georgia, which defeated South Carolina 65-64 Friday night. Alex Poythress makes a jump shot...

SEC Tournament: Kentucky gets double bye, plays winner of Ole Miss-Alabama in quarterfinals

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer The stage is set for the Southeastern Conference Tournament and regular season co-champion Kentucky opens the postseason Friday night. The Wildcats, a No. 2 seed, will take on the winner of Mississippi and Alabama. Texas A&M, which shared the title with the Wildcats, is in the upper bracket. Both teams drew a double-bye as a reward for sharing the...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky sets sights on SEC title in regular-season finale against ‘desperate’ Tigers

The Southeastern Conference race is far from over but all will be settled Saturday. Kentucky, currently in a two-way tie with Texas A&M for the top spot, hosts LSU, which has an outside shot of winning the league title with a little luck, coupled with a win over the Wildcats. The Tigers (18-12, 11-6 SEC) defeated the Wildcats (22-8, 12-5) 85-67 a month ago in Baton Rouge. Kentucky senior Alex...

Poythress becomes first Wildcat to earn Academic All-America status in 21 years

Kentucky senior men’s basketball player Alex Poythress has been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America Second Team. He is the first Wildcat to take home the honor since Mark Pope in 1995. Poythress is the 12th different Kentucky player to earn Academic All-America honors in program history, joining legends such as Louie Dampier, Larry Conley, Dan Issel,...

Labissiere makes return to lineup, provides spark for Kentucky in 88-79 win over Florida

By Keith Taylor KyForward sports writer Skal Labissiere provided the spark Kentucky needed in its final road game of the season. Labissiere scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds to help lead the Wildcats to an 88-79 win over Florida Tuesday night. It was Labissiere’s first start in the Southeastern Conference and his first since Kentucky’s 74-67 loss to Ohio State on...

Jamie Vaught: Wildcat fans might not be too crazy about the call, but sometimes a rule is a rule

No matter when you read this column, folks will still be discussing that infamous technical foul at the end of last Saturday night’s Kentucky-Texas A&M showdown. If you were watching, you saw, it was a costly technical on UK’s Isaac Humphries when the 7-0, 260-pound freshman spiked the basketball on the floor in an emotional act of celebration. The call was just like the controversial...

Keith Taylor: Return of Alex Poythress gives Kentucky a boost in 78-53 win over Alabama

It’s crunch time and Alex Poythress knows it. After watching Kentucky’s 79-77 overtime loss at Texas A&M last weekend, Poythress couldn’t sit any longer and watch the Wildcats struggle in the post. Alex Poythress scored 14 points in UK’s win over Alabama Tuesday night (Bill Thiry Photo The senior forward gave the Wildcats (21-7, 11-4 Southeastern Conference) a spark and...

Billy Reed: This year’s team is my all-time favorite of Cal’s — and Ulis stands out

Of John Calipari’s seven University of Kentucky basketball teams, the current one is my favorite. The reason is simple. It’s composition is more like a traditional college team instead of an NBA team on training wheels. I have said repeatedly that Calipari is the greatest recruiter in college history. To bring in a steady procession of NBA draft picks without any NCAA investigations is a remarkable...

UK’s Poythress, Louisville’s Onuaku named to Academic All-American district teams

Kentucky senior men’s basketball player Alex Poythress has been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Team and is eligible to earn Academic All-America honors. The CoSIDA Academic All-District teams recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. First Team Academic All-District honorees...

Wildcat forward Poythress one of 30 finalists for prestigious Senior CLASS Award

Kentucky senior Alex Poythress has been named one of 30 candidates for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make positive impact as leaders in their communities. Poythress is the first Wildcat to earn recognition...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky’s overall lack of offensive consistency is driving Calipari ‘nutty’

After watching tape on his team’s 80-74 win over Mississippi State earlier this week, John Calipari was at a loss for words after the Wildcats nearly blew a 20-point lead down the stretch. “We’re playing pretty good – and then the last 10 minutes we gave up 30 points,” the Kentucky coach said. “Are you kidding me? You understand that’s 120 (points) if we played the basketball game...

Poythress gets message, scores career high 25 points in UK’s 77-61 win over Alabama

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Alex Poythress got the message loud and clear and delivered a career performance to lead No. 9 Kentucky to a 77-61 win over Alabama Saturday. The Kentucky senior had just four points in the Wildcats’ 85-67 loss at LSU earlier this week, but scored 25 points and grabbed seven rebounds against the Crimson Tide as Kentucky picked up its first road victory...

Sports Notes: Calipari says freshman Labissiere may be showing signs of breaking out of funk

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor It didn’t take Skal Labissiere long to remind Kentucky Wildcat fans what all the excitement was about when he joined the program this year as one of the nation’s top recruits. The 6-11 freshman, who tallied just four points in his previous three games, entered the contest Saturday against Ole Miss six minutes into the first half. He grabbed the first...