A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Three former Wildcats jumpstart NBA careers through participation in Orlando Pro Summer League

Former Kentucky men’s basketball players Bam Adebayo, Dakari Johnson and Derek Willis will play in the NBA’s Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League, which begins Saturday at the Orlando Magic’s Amway Center practice court. The league will jumpstart a busy summer for former UK players either making their professional debuts or looking to enrich their opportunities in the NBA. In addition...

Keith Taylor: Dakari Johnson enjoying success in summer league; Duvall honored to be an All-Star

The NBA season has been over for more than two weeks but that doesn’t stop players from competing in the summer months. Two summer leagues began this week in Orlando and Utah, giving players an opportunity to earn roster spots and further develop their skills. Several former Kentucky standouts are playing in the two leagues, including Dakari Johnson and Trey Lyles. Dakari Johnson is enjoying...

Welcome to the BBNBA: Kentucky rookies could join former Wildcats through draft

Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison, Trey Lyles, Dakari Johnson, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns and Aaron Harrison declared for the NBA Draft April 9. (Photo by UK Athletics)   By Jonathan Coffman KyForward intern   When John Calipari arrived as head coach of Kentucky in 2009, he came with a reputation for quickly developing future NBA superstars. But few expected there would soon be multiple...

Ashley Scoby: Very superstitious, writing's on the wall, it's no wonder these Cats are 38-0

Devon Booker (left) likes to eat the same foods before games while Tyler Ulis wears only white shirts during shoot-arounds (UK Athletics Photo)   If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Since not a whole lot has been broken so far during Kentucky’s 38-0 season, which continues Saturday night against Wisconsin in the national semi-finals, several of the players have stuck to what’s worked when...

Ashley Scoby: Very superstitious, writing’s on the wall, it’s no wonder these Cats are 38-0

Devon Booker (left) likes to eat the same foods before games while Tyler Ulis wears only white shirts during shoot-arounds (UK Athletics Photo)   If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Since not a whole lot has been broken so far during Kentucky’s 38-0 season, which continues Saturday night against Wisconsin in the national semi-finals, several of the players have stuck to what’s worked when...

Sports Notes: Most eyes are on Indy this weekend, but some are looking ahead, too

Kentucky survived a scare from Notre Dame to advance to the Final Four, where Wisconsin awaits for a rematch of last year’s semifinal contest (UK Athletics Photo / Chet White)   As the eyes of Big Blue Nation (and the rest of the basketball-watching country) turn toward Indianapolis to see whether top-ranked Kentucky can close the deal, some eyes are being trained on next year’s team.   Reports...

Ashley Scoby: Road to season of perfection had genesis in Bahamas exhibition defeat

Tyler Ulis says he remembers Kentucky’s exhibition loss mainly because he missed some critical free throws and three-point attempts near the end (UK Athletics Photo)   CLEVELAND — The concrete answer for “how to beat Kentucky” requires a run-on sentence, and a look back to August.   This team can lose – and it has – when they have played six games in eight days, against...

Jamie Vaught: Relaxed, fitter Johnson thriving in Calipari's new platoon system

Since Dakari Johnson arrived last year in Lexington as a Wildcat rookie from Florida’s Montverde Academy, he really has come a long way.   And the 7-0 sophomore — along with another 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein — are arguably the most improved players on this current UK squad, which has been ranked No. 1 since the AP preseason poll came out on Oct. 31.   Johnson, who is actually...

Jamie Vaught: Relaxed, fitter Johnson thriving in Calipari’s new platoon system

Since Dakari Johnson arrived last year in Lexington as a Wildcat rookie from Florida’s Montverde Academy, he really has come a long way.   And the 7-0 sophomore — along with another 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein — are arguably the most improved players on this current UK squad, which has been ranked No. 1 since the AP preseason poll came out on Oct. 31.   Johnson, who is actually...

Aaron Harrison cements his legendary legacy as Kentucky advances to Monday's title game

ARLINGTON, Texas — Few questions remain about this Kentucky team. The main one will be answered Monday—Can a bunch of freshmen win a national championship?—and in a way, the Wildcats’ legacy still has a lot on the line five-sixths of the way through what, to this point, may be the most idyllic run through the NCAA Tournament any team has ever dared. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   And...

Aaron Harrison cements his legendary legacy as Kentucky advances to Monday’s title game

ARLINGTON, Texas — Few questions remain about this Kentucky team. The main one will be answered Monday—Can a bunch of freshmen win a national championship?—and in a way, the Wildcats’ legacy still has a lot on the line five-sixths of the way through what, to this point, may be the most idyllic run through the NCAA Tournament any team has ever dared. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   And...

Considering Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky: The Badgers' star is dangerous and unique

Wisconsin has made it to the Final Four largely on the back of 7-footer Frank Kaminsky (back, both arms raised). Wisconsin plays Kentucky in the Final Four on Saturday. (Photo by David Stluka, courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics)   ARLINGTON, Texas — Much noise has been made about Wisconsin 7-footer Frank Kaminsky, and it’s deserved. The breakout junior, not even a starter last season for the...

Considering Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky: The Badgers’ star is dangerous and unique

Wisconsin has made it to the Final Four largely on the back of 7-footer Frank Kaminsky (back, both arms raised). Wisconsin plays Kentucky in the Final Four on Saturday. (Photo by David Stluka, courtesy of Wisconsin Athletics)   ARLINGTON, Texas — Much noise has been made about Wisconsin 7-footer Frank Kaminsky, and it’s deserved. The breakout junior, not even a starter last season for the...

Dakari Johnson never 'let go of the rope,' and could be key in Sunday's Elite Eight

Dakari Johnson was discouraged to stat the season, but he’ll be crucial if Kentucky’s season is to extend beyond Sunday. (File photo by James Pennington)   INDIANAPOLIS — Dakari Johnson was discouraged. He had always been the biggest player on his teams, and he always got all the shots he wanted and all the minutes he could stand, and when he got to Kentucky, none of that was true...

Dakari Johnson never ‘let go of the rope,’
and could be key in Sunday’s Elite Eight

Dakari Johnson was discouraged to stat the season, but he’ll be crucial if Kentucky’s season is to extend beyond Sunday. (File photo by James Pennington)   INDIANAPOLIS — Dakari Johnson was discouraged. He had always been the biggest player on his teams, and he always got all the shots he wanted and all the minutes he could stand, and when he got to Kentucky, none of that was true...

Willie Cauley-Stein injury casts shadow over Cats' win against Louisville in Sweet Sixteen

INDIANAPOLIS — Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein left Friday’s Sweet 16 win over Louisville in the first half with a left ankle injury, and with that left the most imposing single piece in Kentucky’s defense for the rest of Friday’s game and perhaps more. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   Kentucky did not disclose the severity or type of injury to Cauley-Stein;...

Willie Cauley-Stein injury casts shadow over Cats’ win against Louisville in Sweet Sixteen

INDIANAPOLIS — Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein left Friday’s Sweet 16 win over Louisville in the first half with a left ankle injury, and with that left the most imposing single piece in Kentucky’s defense for the rest of Friday’s game and perhaps more. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   Kentucky did not disclose the severity or type of injury to Cauley-Stein;...

Considering Wichita State: Can Kentucky overcome the Shockers' offensive balance?

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall is the architect of a team balanced enough to be excellent despite not being excellent at any one thing. (Photo by James Pennington)   ST. LOUIS — No. 1 Wichita State is undefeated heading into Sunday’s round-of-32 matchup against No. 8 Kentucky, but the Shockers aren’t invincible. Opponents have had their chances to put a tally in Wichita State’s loss...

Considering Wichita State: Can Kentucky overcome the Shockers’ offensive balance?

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall is the architect of a team balanced enough to be excellent despite not being excellent at any one thing. (Photo by James Pennington)   ST. LOUIS — No. 1 Wichita State is undefeated heading into Sunday’s round-of-32 matchup against No. 8 Kentucky, but the Shockers aren’t invincible. Opponents have had their chances to put a tally in Wichita State’s loss...

Emerging 7-footer Dakari Johnson will be vital to Kentucky's NCAA Tournament run

Kentucky’s Dakari Johnson will be integral if the Wildcats were to advance in the NCAA Tournament. (Photo by James Pennington)   Dakari Johnson has emerged as one of Kentucky’s most emotional players, and he knows his teammates feed off the positive energy with which he beams when he makes a tough shot through contact or high-fives a teammate during a dead ball. Only recently, though,...