A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Jamie Vaught: Combination of Hagans, Maxey and Quickley give Cats one of nation’s best backcourts

Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley (Photos from UK Athletics) Kentucky has one of the nation’s best backcourts this season, featuring its three-headed monster lineup of guards Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley. As far as preseason hype goes, Hagans and Maxey had much more attention or publicity than Quickley as they garnered preseason Watch Lists and All-SEC honors....

Ashton Hagans helps carry short-handed Wildcats to 82-74 win over gritty Utah Valley Wolverines

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans wasn’t at full strength but had enough energy to carry Kentucky to victory Monday night. Hagans scored a carer-high 26 points to lead the ninth-ranked Wildcats to a 82-74 win over Utah Valley to help Kentucky survive its second scare in less than a week. “(I’m) still feeling it a little bit, but it’s all good,” he said. “(I’m) going to go...

With Ashton Hagans battling leg injury, John Calipari hopes five-day break will give Cats a chance to heal

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is already making adjustments to his practice schedule and hopes the five-day break will give his team a chance to get healthy. “I’ve had to change practice because we’re practicing with seven and eight guys,” he said following a stunning 67-64 loss to Evansville Tuesday night. “That makes it hard. So, I’ve got to figure out a way (to...

Jamie Vaught: UK sophomores Hagans, Howard will be key to success of respective teams this season

Ashton Hagans, in my opinion, is the most important player for the Kentucky Wildcats this season. As a valuable point guard on the hardwood floor, Hagans runs the show. The 6-3 sophomore from Cartersville, Georgia, will keep things going smoothly with his leadership. And Hagans sure can play sticky defense, creating chaos on his opponent. Last season, he was named SEC’s Co-Defensive Player of the...

Kentucky freshman guard Tyrese Maxey going after his piece of the bone against veteran Ashton Hagans

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyrese Maxey is always smiling but don’t let that grin fool you. Although an upbeat and personable player, the freshman guard hasn’t backed down from anyone on the team, especially veteran sidekick Ashton Hagans. “It’s like two dogs and one bone,” he said. “Two pit bulls going at it … that’s how I describe it. We’re both very competitive and we don’t...

UK draws national runner-up Texas Tech in Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 25 in Lubbock, Texas

The final piece of the 2019-20 University of Kentucky men’s basketball non-conference schedule came into place Thursday, and it’s a good one. The Wildcats will visit the 2019 national runners-up, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, on Jan. 25 at United Supermarkets Arena as a part of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. The full slate of games was announced Thursday by the respective leagues. It will...

UK basketball faces challenging non-conference schedule; Big Blue Madness set for Oct. 11

With the exception of a still-to-be-announced Big 12/SEC Challenge game, the University of Kentucky men’s basketball 2019-20 non-conference schedule was completed Tuesday with five additional games. Already packed with the annual slate of traditional powers and postseason contenders, UK added a multi-team event, the BBN Showcase, and finalized a two-year deal with Georgia Tech from the Atlantic...

Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery announces plans to return; Wildcats to play Auburn twice next season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today EJ Montgomery has decided to return for a second season at Kentucky. The 6-foot-10 forward opted to to return next season after declaring for the NBA Draft and gives the Wildcats another big man in the post. Nick Richards announced Tuesday that he would be back next season, giving the Wildcats four returnees, including guards Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley, on next...

UK’s PJ Washington going to NBA draft, ‘ready for next step’; Hagans returning next year

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington has decided to enter the NBA Draft and this time for good.   
“It’s been a little over a week since our season ended but it still hasn’t hit me that I’ve played my last game with Kentucky across my chest,” Washington said. “This place has been my home for two years and it’s hard for me to put in words how much I’ve grown in my time at...

Jamie Vaught: Despite early season setbacks, Cats rebound, make basketball in Kentucky fun again

UK Basketball is fun again. After that ugly season-opening loss to Duke in Indianapolis back on Election Day in early November, the Big Blue Nation suffered a horrible spell for nearly two months. The rabid fans had seen the Wildcats, a preseason No. 2 team behind Kansas, fall from grace. Kentucky was no longer a serious Final Four contender. Three days later, UK bounced back and defeated Missouri...

P.J. Washington posts second straight double-double as Cats capture lopsided win over Commodores

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Vanderbilt was no match for Kentucky and fast-improving PJ Washington. The seventh-ranked Wildcats showed no signs of a letdown after their win over No. 11 Kansas and rolled to an 87-52 rout over the Commodores Tuesday night in a game that was never close. Kentucky (17-3, 6-1) led Vanderbilt 45-15 at the break and kept the foot on the pedal in the second half to record...

Kentucky rolls past Mississippi State for fifth straight win, sets sights on Saturday matchup with Kansas

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky can now focus on Kansas. The eighth-ranked Wildcats prepared for the Top 10 showdown against the Jayhawks with a 76-55 victory over No. 22 Mississippi State Tuesday night. Kentucky extended its winning streak to five games going into the SEC-Big 12 Challenge this weekend. Kentucky coach John Calipari improved to 11-0 against Mississippi State. Kentucky notched...

UK’s Ashton Hagans scores career-high 23 points as Cats top Georgia Bulldogs Tuesday night in Athens

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans had a career night in a return to his home state. The Kentucky freshman guard scored a career-high 23 points to lead the 12th-ranked Wildcats to a 69-49 win over Georgia Tuesday night in Athens. Hagans, Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball last season, de-committed from the Bulldogs after a coaching change last spring and chose to sign...

UK freshman Hagans finally understands role for the Wildcats, Calipari hoping rest of team can learn theirs

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans finally knows his role. John Calipari wants the rest of his team to define their purpose. The Kentucky coach has been spending his spare time focused in his team in an effort to get each player to reach the next proverbial level. “How do I help individuals get better and how do I help them buy into their role like Ashton has bought into his role?” Calipari...

Wildcats have the competitive edge John Calipari is looking for in preseason

Kentucky coach John Calipari answers a question during Media Day Thursday at Memorial Coliseum. Calipari is entering his 10th season as coach of the Wildcats. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Competition is good and Kentucky has plenty of competitors on the roster. It’s given John Calipari a chance to sit back and coach rather than spend his time motivating the Wildcats...

Highly-touted guard Hagans reclassifies, signs with Calipari, Wildcats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans couldn’t wait to play for Kentucky and is expected to be on campus this week. Hagans reclassified to the Class of 2018 and signed a financial aid agreement to play for the Wildcats. Hagans was scheduled to graduate next year, but opted to graduate high school earlier than expected to “see my dream of playing for coach (John) Calipari and the Big Blue...

Two 5-star prospects, Montgomery, Hagans commit to Calipari, Wildcats

Kentucky coach John Calipari received commitments from two 5-star recruits this week. E.J. Montgomery and Ashton Hagans announced plans to attend UK during the past two days. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Although Kentucky’s roster has dwindled significantly in less than a week, Kentucky coach John Calipari is reloading for next season and perhaps...