A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Calipari expects UK to play at Louisville this season; Mack questions logistics, potentially no home crowd

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky coach John Calipari fully expects to play at Louisville this season despite concerns from Cardinals coach Chris Mack. “Chris and I have talked and he expressed his concerns,” Calipari told the Louisville Courier-Journal on Friday. “While I understand the difficulty and the complications created by the pandemic, we are prepared to come to Louisville...

WKU basketball standout Charles Bassey named preseason All-American by Lindy’s Sports Magazine

It’s been a while since Charles Bassey stepped on the court for a game, but national pundits haven’t forgotten what he can do. The Western Kentucky University junior center has been named a preseason second team All-American by Lindy’s Sports Magazine. Bassey – a 6-foot-11, 235-pound native of Lagos, Nigeria – was named a first team preseason All-American as a sophomore in 2019-20...

Mack excited, Louisville players ‘relieved’ to finally have tipoff date for upcoming basketball season

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Louisville basketball coach Chris Mack will be dealing with some massive scheduling headaches for the 2020-21 season during the next week or so, but he’s not complaining. Far from it. Mack was just glad to get the news Wednesday night that the NCAA had finally decided when teams can tip off the season, bumping the starting day back two weeks from Nov. 10 to Nov. 25...

UK’s Calipari says Wildcats ‘pretty well in order’ while living in a bubble guarding against pandemic

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari doesn’t mind living in a bubble and said the Wildcats have things “pretty well in order” when it comes to guarding against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “The guys have been great, but this thing has been hard,” Calipari said. “I’m more concerned with mental health than with anything else. (The players) know...

Western Kentucky players, coaches happy to be back on campus with a ‘little bit of basketball’ normalcy

When the Western Kentucky University men’s basketball team returned from the canceled Conference USA Tournament in March, things changed rapidly in the wake of COVID-19. Players moved back home and began preparing for online classes. Locker room meetings and weight room workouts moved to Zoom and FaceTime, and head coach Rick Stansbury even discovered TV shows like The Office, Breaking Bad and Stranger...

West Virginia transfer Brandon Knapper granted waiver by NCAA for immediate eligibility at EKU

Eastern Kentucky University basketball head coach A.W. Hamilton has announced that West Virginia transfer Brandon Knapper has been granted a waiver by the NCAA that makes him immediately eligible to compete. A 6-0 guard from Ontario, California, Knapper played the past two seasons at West Virginia. He appeared in 27 games for the Mountaineers last season, averaging 2.6 points and earning second team...

Radford transfer Carlik Jones brings experience, leadership and scoring ability to Louisville

By Kenny Klein University of Louisville University of Louisville guard Carlik Jones is ready to provide leadership, confidence and whatever is necessary to his new team as a graduate transfer for the Cardinals this season. While Jones was a prolific scorer and playmaker as a junior last season at Radford, he is clear on what his role with the Cardinals can be this year. “I’m just ready...

Cayman Islands Classic relocates to Florida due to pandemic; WKU part of eight-team tournament field

The fourth annual Cayman Islands Classic, which includes Western Kentucky University, has been relocated to Niceville, Fla., in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament will be held Nov. 23-25 at Raider Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College. Teams participating in the tournament with Western Kentucky are Kansas State, La Salle, Ole Miss, Miami (Fla.), Nevada, Northern Iowa...

WKU adds Davidson transfer Luke Frampton to roster; led Atlantic 10 in 3-pointers as a freshman

Western Kentucky University head coach Rick Stansbury has announced the signing of transfer Luke Frampton from Davidson. Frampton, a 6-foot-5 guard, emerged as one of the top shooters in Davidson history during his two seasons with the Wildcats. “We liked Luke out of high school a few years ago, and we feel blessed to have this opportunity for him to join our program now,” Stansbury said....

Eddie Sutton lived ‘full life’ amid triumphs, troubles; short tenure at UK rocked by 1989 recruiting scandal

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Eddie Sutton’s short tenure at the University of Kentucky was rocked by a recruiting scandal that brought the state’s flagship school to its knees. The Wildcats eventually recovered from the disaster and Sutton also found success after resigning as coach of the Wildcats following the 1988-89 season. Those ups and downs followed Sutton at Oklahoma State and his ability...

Calipari: UK basketball players to be in ‘pretty good bubble’ upon return to campus in June

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky head coach John Calipari expects things to be different, much different, when players return to campus for voluntary workouts in less than two weeks. The Southeastern Conference paved the way for players to return to campus on June 8. It will mark the first time students have been allowed on campus since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the SEC...

Jamie Vaught: After sassing Adolph Rupp, Hall of Famer Louie Dampier believed UK career was over

(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.) Long before...

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...

Billy Reed: After the most unconventional of college basketball seasons, I’m backing the Bears. Maybe…

This has been the most confounding college basketball season ever, a Las Vegas casino sort of thing in which Duke was stunned by Stephen F. Austin in Cameron Indoor Stadium, Kentucky found a way to lose to lowly Evansville in Rupp Arena, and Indiana stumbled on the historic day when Bob Knight put aside his animosity toward Indiana and appeared in Assembly Hall for the first time since the university...

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 by Heart: As state is abuzz with basketball, some new hoops books to highlight ‘annointed time’

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Basketball is buzzing in Kentucky these days, with both high school and college basketball tournaments in full throttle. Some might call this annual sports season focus as a state birthright… our “anointed time.” Being in the spirit of such mania, I’ve recently read a couple of good hoops books, one a biography on Adolph Rupp, the iconic University of...

‘Deplorable’ defense in shocking loss to Pittsburgh, among other flaws, raise questions for Cardinals

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today It’s always risky to read too much into either a win or a defeat by a college basketball team, but there are good losses and there are bad losses. And Louisville’s 89-86 overtime shocker at Pittsburgh Wednesday night definitely landed in the bad category — but not only because it came against one of the worst teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. It’s...

Calipari, Wildcats go about their business preparing for season amid college recruiting scandal

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari was pressed to delve into the FBI investigation into several college basketball programs, one which included instate rival Louisville, during Kentucky’s annual media day Thursday at Memorial Coliseum. Calipari didn’t dodge several questions and touched on a subject that led to Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s suspension and exposed other collegiate coaches...

Former UK star Monk completes pre-draft workouts, awaits word on his future NBA destination

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer Malik Monk is finished with his workouts and will now play the waiting game until the NBA Draft, set for Thursday in Brooklyn, New York. The Kentucky freshman guard worked out for the Philadelphia Sixers Thursday after conducting workouts for the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic. Monk, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year after...

Wildcats miss out on Bamba, but Calipari ‘ecstatic’ about three spring signees to complete class

By Keith Taylor KyForward Senior Sports Writer John Calipari’s newest recruiting class is now complete. Calipari and his coaching staff concluded the spring signing period with three additions to next year’s squad, considered one of the top classes assembled in the nation according to several national recruiting services. Kentucky coach John Calipari was all smiles after Kentucky wrapped up the...