A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Calipari, Wildcats welcome junior ‘gym rat’ Riley Welch to roster; third walk-on to join team this year

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky’s basketball roster expanded on Thursday. Riley Welch, a 6-foot guard, has joined the team, giving the Wildcats three walk-ons this year. Welch, who played at UC Irvine and College of the Desert, has enrolled as a junior and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Brennan Canada and Zan Payne also are walk-ons. Riley Welch (Photo from Kentucky Today) “I...

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...

Thirteen former UK players to play in Las Vegas Summer League, tips off today

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today When the Las Vegas Summer League tips off today, 13 former Kentucky players will be part of the event.   The league will feature all 30 NBA teams, including a pair of International squads. Tyler Herro (Miami Heat) and Wenyen Gabriel (Sacramento Kings) are currently playing in the California League. Keldon Johnson (San Antonio Spurs) is playing in the Salt Lake City...

Brad Calipari announces transfer plans, will finish two remaining years of eligibility at Detroit Mercy

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Brad Calipari will finish his collegiate career away from home. Calipari, son of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari, has decided to transfer to Detroit Mercy as a graduate transfer and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Brad admitted the decision wasn’t an easy one. “It’s always been a dream of mine to make a major impact on the court on...

John Calipari surprised by Keldon Johnson’s slide in NBA Draft, has high hopes for Reid Travis

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari was surprised Keldon Johnson slid down the charts during the NBA Draft last week. Johnson was the last of three former Kentucky players selected in the yearly draft last week and was chosen late in the first round as the No. 29 pick by the San Antonio Spurs. “They said he was a Top 10 pick when he left here and then a month and a half later he’s picked...

PJ Washington (Charlotte), Tyler Herro (Miami) are back-to-back picks in NBA Draft on Thursday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today As expected, PJ Washington was the first Kentucky player selected in the NBA Draft Thursday night at the Barkley’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. Washington was taken as the No. 12 overall selection by the Charlotte Hornets. In somewhat of a surprise, Washington’s teammate Tyler Herro was selected next at No. 13 by the Miami Heat. Washington declared for the NBA Draft...

Nick Richards up to the challenge of becoming top post player in nation after opting to return to UK

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Nick Richards wants to get better and that’s the main reason he opted to return to Kentucky for a third season. “That’s one of the reasons I came to this school is to improve on my basketball skills and get ready for the next level,” Richards said. “I thought that coming back for an extra year would just benefit that.” Kentucky sophomore Nick Richards declared...

Calipari says pickup games still essential to player development as many focus on individual workouts

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is concerned about the lack of time players are spending playing pickup games compared to individual workouts. “One of the things that I’m a little concerned about in this great game that we coach, kids are starting to just be about individual workouts,” he said. “My own son, Brad (Calipari), that cone has no arms. You need to play pickup basketball...

Johnny Juzang is chasing his dreams all the way from California to play basketball for UK’s Calipari

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Johnny Juzang will start chasing his dream at the University of Kentucky.   “I’m a dream chaser, go-getter, always will be,” he said Friday.   The four-star perimeter guard from Studio City California’s Harvard Westlake, announced his college choice in Instagram Friday night. Juzang chose Kentucky over defending national champion Virginia.   “I’m going...

UK Notebook: Coach John Calipari completes successful first decade at helm of Kentucky

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari just completed his first decade at Kentucky and has enjoyed a memorable run since he was hired in 2009. The Kentucky coach led the Wildcats to a 30-7 record, the fifth time Kentucky has recorded 30 or more victories during his tenure in Lexington. During that same span, Kentucky has won 31 games in the NCAA Tournament, made four Final Four appearances, made...

UK’s freshman EJ Montgomery to try for NBA Draft, hoping to be a first-rounder; but could return

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today EJ Montgomery is going to attempt to give it a shot at the next level.   The Kentucky freshman forward declared for the NBA Draft Friday, but could opt to return based on feedback he receives from experts. Montgomery will have until May 29 to decide remain in the draft or decide to come back for a second season. EJ Montgomery (Photo by Tammie Brown/Kentucky Today) “My...

Calipari rebuilding as Nate Sestina, a graduate transfer from Bucknell, and Keion Brooks join roster

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky added two new faces to its roster Thursday.   Nate Sestina, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound  graduate transfer from Bucknell, will enroll as a graduate transfer next season. Sestina, a second-team All-Patriot Team performer, averaged 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season and will be eligible for one season.   The Wildcats also signed freshman forward Keion...

Keldon Johnson will stay in NBA Draft, ending collegiate career; Jemarl Baker to transfer

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keldon Johnson is following in the footsteps of Tyler Herro and PJ Washington. 
Nearly a week after declaring for the next level, Johnson announced his plans to stay in the NBA Draft, ending his collegiate career. Johnson started 36 games last season and averaged 13.5 points per game. He averaged 5.9 rebounds per game and was third on the team in both categories. Keldon...

Tyler Herro decides to stay in the NBA Draft, ending possibility of returning to UK for a second season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro’s college career is over. 
The Kentucky guard announced Tuesday he plans to remain in the NBA Draft instead of leaving open the possibility of returning for a second season. 
“After exploring my options a little bit more and getting some immediate feedback, I’ve decided to remain in the draft,” he said. Tyler Herro (Photo by Tammie Brown/Kentucky...

Tyler Herro to test NBA waters — but would be ‘thrilled’ to return to UK to compete for championship

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro is going to test the waters.   The Kentucky freshman guard declared for the NBA Draft Friday but is leaving his options open considering his future plans. Herro plans to hire an agent and return under new NCAA guidelines regarding the draft and will have until May 29 to make a final decision.   Herro discussed his options with his family and Kentucky coach...

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: It’s OK to be disappointed by UK’s loss to Auburn, but stop whining about John Calipari

Interestingly, a small bunch of so-called “Monday Morning” coaches in the Big Blue Nation as well as some opinionated media folks have been complaining and howling about basketball coach John Calipari and his favored Kentucky Wildcats for failing to make a coveted trip to the 2019 NCAA Final Four after Sunday afternoon’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Auburn. Sure, we are saddened with the painful...

John Calipari agrees to long-term deal that will ensure he will finish his coaching career at UK

Coach John Calipari questions a call in Kentucky’s loss to Auburn. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari will finish his coaching career with the University of Kentucky, the school announced Monday night. Calipari, 60, agreed to terms on a long-term contract after completing his 10th season as head coach with Sunday’s loss to Auburn in the Midwest Region...

Kentucky falls to Auburn in overtime, but P.J. Washington ‘gave it everything’ he had

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today KANSAS CITY (KT) — PJ Washington left it all on the court in what could have been his final game at Kentucky. Although a national championship would have been icing on the cake, Washington did his best to carry the Wildcats on his shoulders in Kentucky’s first Big Dance in Kansas City.   “I just tried to go out there and give it everything I had,” he said....

Partnership with Maker’s Mark, Keeneland makes impact for CATS, UK student-athletes’ success

The Center for Academic Tutorial Services (CATS) is the first center of its kind in America. Now in its fifth and final year, the partnership that has helped CATS ensure University of Kentucky student-athletes have the resources necessary for success in the classroom continues to make an impact. “Education is at the heart of everything we do as an athletics department,” UK athletics director Mitch...