A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Leading the Way: Nine former Wildcats participating in NBA All-Star Weekend showcase

The Kentucky men’s basketball team will make its annual presence felt at NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans with nine Wildcats participating the league’s showcase of talent. Headlined by three NBA All-Stars, more alumni than any other school, UK will touch nearly every part of All-Star weekend. The main event will be Sunday night at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans for the All-Star Game....

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...

Cats’ Murray drafted seventh by Denver; Labissiere the 28th pick, but traded to Kings; Ulis to Suns

It was another successful evening for the Kentucky men’s basketball program at the NBA Draft as Jamal Murray (seventh, Denver Nuggets), Skal Labissiere (28th, Phoenix Suns) and Tyler Ulis (34th, Phoenix Suns) were selected in the 2016 draft on Thursday. Murray is the 11th UK player since 2010 to go in the top seven picks. Labissiere is UK’s 21st first-rounder in the John Calipari era, while Ulis...

Marcus Lee makes cut, joins teammates Murray, Ulis and Labissiere in NBA Combine

Leading up to what looks to be another Wildcat-heavy NBA Draft, four Kentucky men’s basketball players – Skal Labissiere, Marcus Lee, Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis – are set to participate in the annual NBA Draft Combine in Chicago next week. All four players were on the official 63-man attendee list that the NBA released Thursday. The NBA Combine, set for May 11-15, is a multi-day showcase where...

UK honors its top student-athletes in CATSPY Awards, Tyler Ulis named top male athlete

UK Athletics presented 38 honors at the 14th annual CATSPY Awards, held Monday at Memorial Coliseum to recognize athletic and academic performances during the 2015-16 year. With co-winners in some categories, a total of five teams and 26 individuals were recognized. “We were dreaming big when we said we wanted to turn Kentucky into a destination program, one where coaches, students and staff sought...

One and Gone: UK’s Murray excited and anxious for the journey that awaits him in the NBA

By Keith Taylor KyForward sports writer Jamal Murray has packed up his bow and arrow and is headed to the National Basketball Association. Murray officially declared for the NBA Draft Friday, leaving as the school’s all-time freshman leading scorer. In his lone season with the Wildcats, Murray scored 720 points, the most for a freshman, shattering Brandon Knight’s record of 657 points he...

Reaching a Consensus: Wildcat guard Ulis sweeps first-team All-American recognition

It’s official: Kentucky men’s basketball point guard Tyler Ulis is a consensus first-team All-American. Ulis earned the honors Tuesday after making the Associated Press All-America First Team alongside Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon, North Carolina’s Brice Johnson and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. Ulis is the only non-senior on the team. According to the AP, the...

UK’s Ulis, Murray add more honors, named to the NABC District 21 First Team

With unprecedented seasons in the record books, it was never really a question whether Kentucky guards Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis would be recognized for their historic years. On Friday they added another one to their growing list of postseason accolades as the duo was recognized on the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 21 First Team. UK’s star backcourt was two members of a five-member...

Looking ahead: Who’s staying? Who’s going? UK players ponder future as roster turnover looms

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer DES MOINES — Who’s staying? Who’s going? At this point, no decisions have been made, but let the speculation begin. “We really don’t know what anybody is going to do, to be honest,” Kentucky guard Dominique Hawkins said. Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray are expected to declare for the NBA Draft in the coming weeks (UK Athletics Photo) As...

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...

Murray adds another honor, earns spot on U.S. Basketball Writers Freshman All-American team

One of the best freshman and one of the most prolific scorers in the country, freshman guard Jamal Murray was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Freshman All-America Team on Wednesday. Murray joined California’s Jaylen Brown, Marquette’s Henry Ellenson, Duke’s Brandon Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons on the prestigious squad. Jamal Murray currently leads the Wildcats in scoring...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky taking ‘refuse-to-lose’ mentality into the postseason

Kentucky has one goal in mind going into the postseason. “We’re just trying to win every game,” guard Jamal Murray said. “We’re going to go in there with a refuse-to-lose mentality and everybody is locked in and ready to play. We’re just anxious to get on the court.” Jamal Murray and the Wildcats take aim on a second straight SEC tourney title this weekend in Nashville (Bill...

Although a prolific offensive player, UK guard Tyler Ulis takes great pride in his defense

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Tyler Ulis was all smiles after receiving the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year award Tuesday. He was even happier when he learned he also was named the league’s top defensive player. “That’s an award that I like the most because I take pride in my defense,” he said. “I really don’t like being scored on and I didn’t really know...

Best in the league: Ulis named SEC Player of the Year, joins Murray on All-SEC team

Fab-ULIS indeed. Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis was named the Southeastern Conference’s player and defensive player of the year to highlight the league’s coaches’ vote announced Tuesday. Tyler Ulis was named SEC Player of the Year Tuesday (Bill Thiry Photo) Freshman sharpshooter Jamal Murray joined Ulis on the All-SEC First Team, while also earning All-SEC Freshman Team honors. In addition to the...

Top Cats: Sophomore Ulis named first-team All-America, Murray earns second-team nod

Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis and freshman guard Jamal Murray, arguably the best backcourt duo in the country, have been recognized for their stellar regular seasons with All-America honors from USA Today Sports. Ulis has been named to the five-man First Team while Murray has been named to the Second Team. Ulis joined Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Jakob Poeltl (Utah) and Denzel...

Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray claim Southeastern Conference weekly awards

Kentucky coach John Calipari always wants his team playing its best basketball in March. If last week was any indication, the Wildcats are on their way to meeting their coach’s expectations. Freshmen Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere were named the Southeastern Conference’s Player and Freshman of the Week after leading the Wildcats to their 47th SEC regular-season championship last weekend. Skal...

UK guard Jamal Murray ends big month with SEC Freshman of the Week honor

Kentucky guard Jamal Murray was named Freshman of the Week Monday (Bill Thiry Photo)February will be a month to remember for freshman Jamal Murray. The sharpshooter averaged 26.4 points per game in eight games this month and capped it with a 33-point performance at Vanderbilt en route to claiming Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honors on Monday. It is the fourth such honor of the season...

Murray scores 33, but Kentucky fails to ‘ring the bell’ in 74-62 setback to Vanderbilt

By Keith Taylor KyForward sports writer For the third time this season, Jamal Murray eclipsed the 30-point mark but it wasn’t enough for Kentucky in a 74-62 loss to Vanderbilt Saturday in Nashville. Murray led all scorers with 33 points but the Commodores used a big second half to defeat the Wildcats and remain in contention for the Southeastern Conference regular season title. Kentucky (21-8,...

Jamie Vaught: Dean calls Ulis All-American, says road to SEC title runs through Lexington

It is definitely an exciting time to be a Kentucky Wildcat or SEC fan as March Madness nears. With less than three weeks of regular season college basketball remaining, we can pretty much pick out the top players in the SEC. Who are they? I asked former UK assistant coach and longtime SEC observer Joe Dean Jr. during a brief e-mail interview, covering different topics, this past weekend. Here are...

Ulis earns pair of Player of Week Awards; Murray nabs SEC Freshman of the Week accolades

Since the start of conference play in early January, there is no better scoring duo in the country in the major conferences than Kentucky’s sophomore Tyler Ulis and freshman Jamal Murray. The duo combined for 53.2 percent of Kentucky’s scoring in dominating victories over Georgia and South Carolina, and for their efforts Ulis was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week while Murray...