A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

John Calipari, former UK players shocked and saddened by death of L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Like thousands of basketball fans, teams and coaches across the nation, John Calipari was speechless after hearing of the death of Kobe Bryant on Sunday. The Kentucky coach said, “we all are in a state of shock over the news of Kobe, his 13-year-old daughter and those who perished with them. No words work on a day like today; only a prayer.” “Lord, we all mourn...

Kentucky marks milestone as Immanuel Quickley’s late heroics help Wildcats sink Crimson Tide

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky reached a milestone and remained unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference Saturday. The No. 14 Wildcats scored six unanswered points in the final 1:12 and held on for a 76-67 triumph over Alabama. The hosts led by 15 in the second half and overcame the Tide’s late surge down the stretch to get the win, which was the team’s 1.000th regular-season victory...

Tyrese Maxey scores career-high 27 points to lead UK’s Cats to 78-70 overtime win over Louisville Cards

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyrese Maxey is making it a habit of stepping up in big games. He did just that against Kentucky’s in-state rival Saturday. The freshman guard scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Wildcats to a 78-70 overtime victory over No. 3 Louisville. Maxey broke a previous high of 26 he scored in the Wildcats’ 69-62 upset of then top-ranked Michigan State in the team’s...

Sporting News tabs UK’s Calipari as decade’s top coach for changing ‘college basketball landscape’

Underscored by more victories than any other coach or program over the last 10 seasons, more Final Four appearances, a record number of NBA Draft picks, and the 2012 national championship, John Calipari was named the College Basketball Coach of the Decade by Sporting News on Monday. In a piece penned by national writer Mike DeCourcy, Sporting News credits Calipari for changing the college basketball...

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...

Transformed point guard Ashton Hagans a ‘star’ and a ‘pro’ as Cats win against Georgia Tech 67-53

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky coach John Calipari would match Ashton Hagans against any point guard in the nation. “He’s so far advanced,” Calipari said after Hagans scored 21 points to lead the No. 8 Wildcats to a 67-53 win over Georgia Tech Saturday. “There may be better point guards out there. I’d have to watch closely. I mean, the way he is playing — that he’s...

Wildcats in midst of ‘Camp Cal’ in preparation for Southeastern Conference play, winter grind

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky coach John Calipari has been yearning for more time with his team this season. He will get that chance this month. The eighth-ranked Wildcats (6-1) will play five games in the month of December, starting with Saturday’s contest against Fairleigh Dickinson. Kentucky’s schedule also gets tougher as the Wildcats inch closer to the Southeastern Conference portion...

Early troubles shooting from behind the arc are a concern for Coach John Calipari and the Wildcats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari’s offense has never been centered around the 3-point shot, but the Kentucky coach would like to see his team improve their 3-point shooting in the near future. The ninth-ranked Wildcats (3-1) made just one on 12 attempts in an 82-74 triumph over Utah Valley earlier this week. Tyrese Maxey , who leads Kentucky with five 3-pointers this season, made the...

Ashton Hagans helps carry short-handed Wildcats to 82-74 win over gritty Utah Valley Wolverines

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans wasn’t at full strength but had enough energy to carry Kentucky to victory Monday night. Hagans scored a carer-high 26 points to lead the ninth-ranked Wildcats to a 82-74 win over Utah Valley to help Kentucky survive its second scare in less than a week. “(I’m) still feeling it a little bit, but it’s all good,” he said. “(I’m) going to go...

With Ashton Hagans battling leg injury, John Calipari hopes five-day break will give Cats a chance to heal

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is already making adjustments to his practice schedule and hopes the five-day break will give his team a chance to get healthy. “I’ve had to change practice because we’re practicing with seven and eight guys,” he said following a stunning 67-64 loss to Evansville Tuesday night. “That makes it hard. So, I’ve got to figure out a way (to...

Former Wildcat Walter McCarty returns to Rupp, leads Evansville to stunning upset of No. 1 Kentucky

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today A week after Kentucky beat the No. 1 team, the Wildcats lost as the top-ranked team. Kentucky’s stay atop the Top 25 will last less than a week after the Wildcats dropped a stunning 67-64 decision to Evansville Tuesday night, ending the school’s 52-game winning streak against non-conference, unranked opponents. Much like their coach — Walter McCarty, who played...

Kentucky poised to take over top spot in college basketball rankings as they roll past EKU Friday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is still riding high and showed no signs of a letdown with a 91-49 win over Eastern Kentucky in its home opener Friday night. Coming off a 69-62 win over top-ranked Michigan State, the second-ranked Wildcats started fast and never let up in winning their 12th straight home opener under John Calipari.  Kentucky is poised to take over the top spot when the Associated...

Calipari anxious to see how Wildcats will fare in blockbuster opener against Michigan State in N.Y.

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari doesn’t know what to expect from his team when Kentucky opens the season against Michigan State in the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden. “This is so early in the season, I can’t predict what goes on,” he said Sunday. “They have a have a couple of veterans, but really their veteran quarterback (Cassius Winston) makes them go....

John Calipari’s Wildcats set to open exhibition play Sunday against Georgetown College

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari doesn’t mind giving state schools a helping hand. The Wildcats will play Georgetown College on Sunday, followed by a second and final exhibition matchup against Kentucky State on Nov. 1 at Rupp Arena. “Whoever we play we’re helping, the Kentucky coach said. “We’re helping that school. So part of what you’re doing is, who do you want...

UK freshman Johnny Juzang is a shooter who’s looking to be an all-around player for the Wildcats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Johnny Juzang is a shooter and he’s not afraid to admit he has a feel for making shots. “I’ve always had kind of a touch. I’m not saying that to (push) myself up, but I’ve always had the touch and it’s something that I definitely work on extensively,” he said. “It’s something that I work on a lot.” Juzang turned in an impressive...

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...

Veteran forward Nick Richards excited for upcoming season, ready to step into leadership role for Cats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Nick Richards is more than excited about the upcoming season than his first two seasons with the Wildcats and his goals haven’t changed, either. “One of the goals when I came in was to win a national championship, and that’s one of my goals this season,” he said. “I don’t feel any pressure at all. I know I have a good team that’s behind me. I know I can...

Jamie Vaught: Calipari set to begin second decade at UK helm; Gators will give Cats a run for SEC title

Yes, it’s hard to believe that John Calipari is beginning his second decade at Kentucky. Yes, it’s been that long since he arrived on campus in 2009 to take over the coveted head coaching job at UK. Despite the constant turnover of “one-and-done” standouts over the years, the 60-year-old Calipari once again is expected to have another very good basketball team in Lexington this winter with...

UK Basketball: Immanuel Quickley becoming ‘that guy’ for Wildcats and the transformation is evident

One of an occasional series of profiles on the UK men’s basketball team. By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Immanuel Quickley has changed and that transformation has been evident during preseason workouts.   “Immanuel (Quickley) is not even the same player,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “I had someone come in and watch us practice and say, ‘he’s not even the same guy.’”   Following...

John Calipari reflects on first decade at Kentucky, sets sights on second tour of duty with Wildcats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari’s first tour of duty at Kentucky is over. The Kentucky coach is set for his second decade as coach of the Wildcats and the Hall of Fame coach reflected on his first 10 years on Tuesday. “It’s been a pretty good run,” he said. “Tthis is the second tour, let’s see what happens now. That, what happened for those 10 years are done.” That...