A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wildcats move past Duke shellacking to host Southern Illinois in home opener Friday at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari knew his team would receive a wake-up call early in the season and wasn’t surprised by his team’s loss to No. 4 Duke earlier this week in the Champions Classic. It was a setback the Kentucky coach kept anticipating even after posting six impressive victories in the Bahamas and a pair of exhibition wins during the past two weeks. “I was never intoxicated...

Landslide: No. 4 Duke rolls past second-ranked Kentucky in season opener

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today A highly-anticipated Top 5 showdown on college basketball’s opening night wasn’t even close. Second-ranked Kentucky fell behind early and never fully recovered in a stunning 118-84 loss to No. 4 Duke Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The final tally by the Blue Devils set a Champions Classic record and the margin of victory...

Cats set to open the season against Duke in loaded Champions Classic

Kentucky freshman guard Tyler Herro and the Wildcats will open the season against Duke Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic at Indianapolis. (Kentucky Today, Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It’s not the Final Four, but it’s close enough. Kentucky will be among four teams competing in the State Farm Champions Classic Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis...

Stoops is more concerned about defeating UT than ending 34-year drought in Knoxville

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops addresses the media during his weekly press conference Monday. the Wildcats close out the SEC portion of the schedule at Tennessee Saturday. (Kentucky Today/Mark Stoops) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky hasn’t won a football game in Knoxville since 1984, but Mark Stoops won’t be making that a point to his team leading up to Saturday’s Southeastern Conference...

Champions Classic: UK vets Washington, Travis eager for season-opener against Duke

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — PJ Washington doesn’t shy away from the big stage and the Kentucky sophomore forward is looking forward to Tuesday’s season opener against Duke in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. “I’m a competitor and I love playing against good teams,” he said. “It’s always fun playing against somebody like that. You know that they’re going...

Georgia proves it’s the best in the SEC East, Wildcats look to regroup

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Georgia is good and is the best team in the Eastern division of the Southeastern Conference. The Bulldogs proved it yet again Saturday night. The Bulldogs clinched the SEC East with a 34-17 victory over No. 11 Kentucky, sending Georgia into the SEC championship game for the second straight season. Sixth-ranked Georgia (8-1, 6-1) defeated Auburn 28-7 in last year’s conference...

Cats stave off IUP in tougher than expected exhibition encounter

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky got all it could handle from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in its final exhibition game Friday night. The second-ranked Wildcats improved to 6-0 in exhibition games this season with an 86-64 win over the Crimson Hawks, an NCAA Division II squad based in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Kentucky opens the regular season against No. 4 Duke in the Champions Classic Tuesday...

Dogfight: Kentucky, Georgia meet to determine the best team in the SEC East

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky hasn’t beaten Georgia in nine years and owns just three victories in the last 27 tries against the Bulldogs. Although wins over Georgia in 1996, 2006 and 2009 were monumental, none would compare if the Wildcats break an eight-game losing streak to Bulldogs Saturday at Kroger Field. A win would give the 11th-ranked Wildcats (7-1, 5-1 Southeastern Conference)...

Calipari’s Wildcats not looking ahead to Duke going into final exhibition game

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Before second-ranked Kentucky can start thinking about its season opener against No. 4 Duke set for Tuesday, the Wildcats will play one more exhibition game before the season becomes official. Freshman Keldon Johnson said the Wildcats haven’t started looking ahead to the Blue Devils just yet. “We’re taking it one game at a time,” he said. “We’ll cross that...

Smart, Bulldogs not surprised Cats are playing for SEC East division title

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky made its debit in the College Football Playoff Rankings earlier this week at No. 9, while Southeastern Conference foe Alabama was listed at No. 1. The Wildcats (7-1, 5-1) are one of three SEC teams ranked in the Top 10, while three others are among the Top 25. LSU is third and Georgia is sixth, followed by Kentucky at No. 9. Florida is ranked 11th, while Mississippi...

Cats not shying away from hype going into Georgia showdown

Kentucky receiver C.J. Conrad celebrates after the Wildcats rallied for a 15-14 win over Missouri Saturday. Kentucky plays Georgia Saturday, with the winner advancing to the SEC Championship game. (UK Athletics Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops knows the stakes will be high when Kentucky hosts Georgia Saturday. His players aren’t shying away from the hype, either. “You can’t shy...

Keith Taylor: Stoops has changed culture, expectation of Kentucky football

For the first time in school history, 12th-ranked Kentucky will have a chance to play in the Southeastern Conference Championship game if the Wildcats can beat No. 7 Georgia on Saturday at Kroger Field in the defacto SEC East championship game. It doesn’t get much bigger. The 7-1 and 12th-ranked Wildcats completed a successful five-minute drill in the fourth quarter to erase a 14-3 deficit and...

Show me! No. 12 Kentucky scores on last play of the game to stun Missouri

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today No. 12 Kentucky pulled off an improbable victory with a 15-14 triumph at Missouri Saturday to set up a showdown with No. 7 Georgia for the SEC East championship. The Wildcats (7-1, 5-1) host Georgia Saturday with the winner going to Atlanta for the SEC championship against the SEC West winner, either top-ranked Alabama or fifth-ranked LSU who also played Saturday. The...

Exhibition opener a teaching tool for No. 2 Kentucky, Transy

Transylvania guard Michael Jefferson (10) drives to the basket against Kentucky’s PJ Washington in an exhibition game Friday night at Rupp Arena. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is still growing and learning and far from reaching its peak. The Wildcats had little trouble defeating Transylvania in its exhibition opener Friday night, but the team’s 94-66...

Missouri’s ‘explosive’ offense to test Kentucky’s stingy defensive unit

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Missouri is winless in the Southeastern Conference but the Tigers have Kentucky’s undivided attention. “I definitely think there’s some pride there and that’s why this week is so important,” defensive coordinator Matt House said earlier this week. “This is the most explosive offense we’ve faced and we’re going to find out a...

No. 2 Kentucky eager to meet Transy in ‘Battle on Broadway’

Kentucky Today It’s not the official opener, but Kentucky is anxious to open the exhibition season. The second-ranked Wildcats will take on Transylvania in the first of two exhibition games Friday night at Rupp Arena. Although the game doesn’t count, the players are eager to face an outside opponent, signifying the season is drawing nearer. “We’re just excited to play against somebody else,”...

Kentucky coach John Calipari seeking a consistent rotation as Cats prepare to open exhibition play

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today When Kentucky opens its two-game exhibition schedule against Transylvania Friday, John Calipari will be looking for a degree of separation ahead of the team’s season opener against Duke in less than two weeks. “It’s got to start happening and I may start one group of five and then maybe three different guys in the second half,” Calipari said. “(I) may do...

UK’s Stoops staying in the moment, puts starting QB Wilson on notice

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The next three weeks will make or break Kentucky’s chances of reaching the Southeastern Conference Championship game for the first time in school history. The 12th-ranked Wildcats (6-1, 4-1 SEC) have three conference games remaining, starting with Saturday’s encounter at Missouri, followed by a home contest against Georgia and a road encounter at Tennessee. Although...

Freshman guard Tyler Herro steals the show in Kentucky’s blue-white scrimmage

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro stole the show. The Kentucky freshman guard scored 34 points in Kentucky’s annual Blue-White scrimmage, which saw the blue squad come away with a 104-96 victory Sunday night. Herro, who played for the white team exclusively, made 12 of 16 shots from the field and knocked down four 3-pointers on six attempts. Herro said his main goal was to “have fun”...

Snell’s late touchdown sends No. 14 Kentucky to a 14-7 win over Vandy

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Not even the wind could stop Benny Snell. Neither could Vanderbilt. The Kentucky junior running back rushed for 169 yards and scored a touchdown to lead No. 14 Kentucky to a 14-7 win over the struggling Commodores Saturday night. Snell’s go-ahead touchdown with eight minutes remaining broke a 7-7 deadlock and gave the Wildcats their third straight victory over Vanderbilt....