A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Now back on campus, Louisville’s Williamson understands importance of following virus protocols

By Kenny Klein University of Louisville University of Louisville forward Samuell Williamson is glad to be back on campus with his teammates, but he understands that everyone needs to continue to follow proper protocols and be cautious in this pandemic environment. “It’s (the virus) definitely something that’s always in the back of our heads,” said Williamson. “When we’re...

UK coaches have served as father figures to many players — on and off the court — for decades

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today College coaches are charged with more than just teaching their respective sports. They also serve as mentors to student-athletes, many of whom are thousands of miles away from home. Throughout history, the University of Kentucky has had some coaches who have served as a father figure to their players and juggled managing the team on and off the court and the field with...

Jamie Vaught: UK great ‘Wah Wah’ Jones played for legends Bear Bryant, Adolph Rupp — at same time

(Editor’s Note: During our national COVID-19 crisis, longtime sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest and fifth book, titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey,” was released in late February 2020.) It has been...

Louisville legend, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld dead at age 74

Former University of Louisville standout Wes Unseld, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, passed away on Tuesday. He was 74. Unseld’s No. 31 is one of just four retired jersey numbers in UofL history. In three seasons at UofL (1965-68), he scored 1,686 points (11th all-time at UofL) and grabbed 1,551 rebounds (second all-time at UofL). Seneca High School graduate Wes Unseld...

After ‘up and down year’ freshman year, Louisville’s Johnson excited about upcoming season

By Kenny Klein University of Louisville University of Louisville guard David Johnson reflected on his freshman season and spoke about what he needs to improve upon during an off-season news conference with local media. “I think it was a pretty up and down year,” said Johnson about his freshman year. “I started off kind of doing okay and then I went into a little slump. Then I had...

Already an NCAA and NBA champion, former Wildcat Nazr Mohammed wins new title — UK graduate

By Guy Ramsey, Amy Jones-Timoney and Brad Nally University of Kentucky Twenty-five years ago, Nazr Mohammed left Chicago to enroll at the University of Kentucky. Mohammed chased his dreams as a basketball player and a student, and embarked on a journey that has seen him succeed at every turn. First came a pair of national championships and All-Southeastern Conference honors during three years as a...

While Louisville answers notice of allegations, Pitino could also face NCAA penalties at Iona

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Overlooked in most of the initial reporting on the University of Louisville’s notice of allegations from the NCAA this week was the potential ramifications it could have for former coach Rick Pitino. Pitino, of course, was in charge when the alleged violations in the pay-for-play scandal took place in the summer and fall of 2017. He was fired in October of that year,...

Wake Forest transfer Sarr looks to reboot career at Kentucky; averaged 13.7 points last season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky landed a future post player on Wednesday when Wake Forest standout Olivier Sarr announced plans to transfer and continue his career in Lexington. Sarr, a 7-foot center who averaged 13.7 points and nine rebounds per game last season, chose the Wildcats over Duke, Gonzaga, Florida State and Baylor. Sarr will have to sit out next season because of transfer rules. He...

Brad Calipari returns to Rupp Arena, but this time to play against Kentucky in Detroit Mercy uniform

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Brad Calipari will play against his dad for the first time next season. Calipari, a graduate senior at Detroit Mercy, will make a return trip to Rupp Arena, this time as a player when the Titans meet Kentucky on Nov. 13 in Lexington. The contest is part of the Bluegrass Showcase, featuring the University of Richmond and Hartford. Brad Calipari (left) will play against...

Legendary Madison Central High School baseball coach Don Richardson dead at age 88

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today A legendary figure in Kentucky high school sports has passed away. Longtime and retired Madison Central High School coach Don Richardson died Saturday at the age of 88. Richardson served as baseball coach at Madison Central for 35 years and compiled a 952-157 mark. In addition, he was named the top coach in the state in 1982 and 1983 after guiding the Indians to a perfect...

Louisville basketball program hit with four allegations of NCAA violations committed during Pitino regime

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today The day the University of Louisville dreaded, while hoping it never arrived, came to fruition with the announcement Monday afternoon that the school has received a Notice of Allegations (NOA) from the NCAA for alleged infractions under the Rick Pitino regime during the college basketball pay-for-play scandal. 
The NCAA alleges four violations — the most serious, a Level...

Former Western Kentucky center Chris Marcus passes away at 40; led nation in rebounding in 2001

Former Western Kentucky star center Chris Marcus passed away last week in his hometown of Charlotte, N.C. He was 40. One of the most dominant Hilltopper big men ever, Marcus was chosen last year as one of the 15 finest players in program history as a representative of the WKU All-Century Team. Former WKU center Chris Marcus passed away last week at the age of 40. (WKU Athletics photo) He received Associated...

Western Kentucky adds JUCO standout Osawe, CORE4 Academy star Milton for upcoming season

Western Kentucky University has added junior-college basketball standout Kevin Osawe and CORE4 Academy star Kylen Milton for the 2020-21 season. Osawe, a 6-foot-6 forward, will have two years of eligibility remaining after transferring from Vincennes (Ind.) University. Milton, a 6-foot-5 guard originally from Conway, Ark., averaged 23 points per game during a 2019-20 post-grad season at CORE4 Academy...

Mack says incoming graduate transfers Jones, Minlend bring toughness to Louisville backcourt

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Toughness, both mentally and physically, were at the top of coach Chris Mack’s list when he went searching for graduate transfers who could provide immediate help in Louisville’s depleted backcourt. And he thinks found players who fit that description in Carlik Jones and Charles Minlend Jr., both of whom have signed financial aid agreements with the Cardinals...

Former EKU basketball player Willie Cruz now NBA athletic performance coach for Houston Rockets

Like most kids who grow up playing basketball, Willie Cruz dreamed of reaching the NBA. He made it. Only not as a player. Cruz, a former Eastern Kentucky University basketball player, is now the athletic performance coach for the Houston Rockets. Cruz was born on the shores of Lake Ontario, in the “Flower City” – Rochester, New York. Willie Cruz, a former EKU basketball player, is now...

Pair of outstanding recruits from Florida to join talented Morehead State basketball in 2020-21

With a load of young talent set to return to the Morehead State men’s basketball program in 2020-21, the influx of new talent is superior as well. Johni Broome, a 6-foot-10 forward, and Drew Thelwell, a 6-foot-3 guard, recently wrapped up successful senior years leading their Florida high school programs. Broome, from Tampa Catholic, was named the Hillsborough County Player of the Year. He averaged...

EKU standout guard Jomaru Brown declares as early entrant in NBA Draft; eligible to return to school

Eastern Kentucky University sophomore guard Jomaru Brown has submitted his name as an early entrant in the 2020 NBA Draft. Under NCAA rules, Brown can sign with a certified agent, receive feedback and still have the ability to return to school if he chooses. The 2020 NBA Draft Combine is tentatively scheduled to be held May 21-24 in Chicago. All early entrants have until 5 p.m. on June 15 to choose...

Kentucky suffers second straight setback of 2-game road trip to Las Vegas, loses to Ohio State 71-65

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has never beaten Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic. That trend continued Saturday night. The Wildcats (8-3) suffered a second straight setback of the two-game road trip to Las Vegas with a 71-65 loss to the Buckeyes. Kentucky suffered a 69-66 loss to unranked Utah last Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena. “We put ourselves in a position to win the game, but...

UK Wildcats roll to fourth straight victory with win over Winthrop Eagles, 87-74, at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky enjoyed a feast on the hardwood before taking a day off for Thanksgiving, rolling to an 87-74 win over Winthrop in a matinee contest Wednesday afternoon at Rupp Arena. The 10th-ranked Wildcats (4-1) placed five players in double figures, led by PJ Washington with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kentucky has won four straight since dropping...

Jamie Vaught: Kentucky sophomore PJ Washington settling into role as one of the ‘old guys’ for Wildcats

In the one-and-done era, especially at Kentucky, PJ Washington is now considered one of the old guys. Even though the 6-7, 236-pounder from Dallas will be a sophomore, he will be expected to provide some guidance and leadership for UK’s 2018-19 squad which is loaded with a super crop of highly-regarded freshmen as well as a couple of key sophomore returnees Quade Green and Nick Richards. In addition,...