A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

John Calipari completes Kentucky coaching staff with hiring of former Texas assistant Jai Lucas

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari’s revamped coaching staff is now complete. The University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach hired University of Texas assistant coach Jai Lucas, who will serve as a special assistant to the head coach and recruiting coordinator. Lucas will be in charge of the team’s recruiting and also assist Calipari in other capacities such as scouting, player development,...

James ‘Bruiser’ Flint reunites with John Calipari, looks to ‘accomplish special things’ at UK

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It didn’t take John Calipari long to find a replacement for Kenny Payne. Calipari hired former assistant James “Bruiser” Flint to join the Kentucky coaching staff less than two weeks after Payne resigned to take a similar post with the New York Knicks. Flint spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Indiana University. Former Indiana Hoosiers Assistant...

Indiana assistant Bruiser Flint emerges as possible replacement for departing Kenny Payne at Kentucky

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It may not take long for John Calipari to find a new assistant coach. Less than 24 hours after longtime associate head coach Kenny Payne announced his departure, Bruiser Flint’s name surfaced as a possible replacement. Flint replaced Calipari at Massachusetts and has been a long-time friend of the Kentucky coach. He served on Calipari’s staff with the Minutemen from...

Kentucky adds University of Alabama-Birmingham and Marshall to non-conference basketball schedule

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky’s non-conference basketball schedule is almost complete. The Wildcats added the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) and Marshall to the slate it was announced Tuesday by the school. Kentucky will host the Blazers on Dec. 6 and Marshall on Dec. 29. Coach John Calipari shouts instruction in Kentucky’s win over UAB last year. The Wildcats will play the...

Six Kentucky football players test positive for coronavirus antibodies after return to practice

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Kentucky men’s basketball team will begin a COVID-19 screening process on Sunday before returning to activities prior to the July 4 holiday. The only staff personnel who will be present at the workouts will be the school’s athletic development and performance coaches “for the safety of student-athletes, including strength and conditioning staff, athletic trainers...

John Calipari disappointed London matchup with Michigan postponed, but pleased that series saved

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari will have to wait two more years to see the Queen. The Kentucky coach was disappointed after a three-game series against Michigan was postponed Wednesday. The Wildcats were scheduled to take on the Wolverines in the Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase in December but the series was put on hiatus because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m disappointed...

John Calipari adds Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin, plans to ‘chase greatness’ at Kentucky

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari officially added another transfer to his roster Monday. Rhode Island forward Jacob Toppin will join Kentucky this fall and will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season because of NCAA transfer rules. Toppin, brother of Dayton standout Obi Toppin, averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season. He chose to transfer...

Calipari says Keion Brooks has what it takes to be a ‘special’ player as he plans return for second season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keion Brooks Jr. is staying put and will return for a second season. The University of Kentucky forward announced on Tuesday night that he would be in a Wildcats’ uniform next year. Kentucky forward Keion Brooks is set to return for a second season. (Photo by Tammie Brown, Kentucky Today) “Let’s run it back, BBN,” Brooks tweeted Tuesday night. Earlier the...

Freshman guard Tyrese Maxey leaves Kentucky a ‘better player’ as he prepares for the next level

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyrese Maxey is leaving with no regrets. The Kentucky freshman guard declared for the NBA Draft on Monday and said his lone season with the Wildcats was a success. “This year getting to rep Kentucky across my chest was everything I could have imagined,” Maxey said. “I got to play for a Hall of Famer, be pushed every day by the best coaches in the country, compete...

Kentucky sophomore Ashton Hagans declares for the NBA Draft, gives up last 2 years of eligibility

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The expected exodus of Kentucky basketball players to the NBA Draft has officially started. Sophomore guard Ashton Hagans declared for the NBA Draft on Sunday and has opted to remain in the draft, giving up his last two years of eligibility. It wasn’t clear if he had signed with an agrent. Hagans is the first of probably four or five players from the 2019-20 team...

Kentucky coach John Calipari wants Ashton Hagans in ‘great frame of mind’ heading into SEC Tournament

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari isn’t worried about Ashton Hagans and the Kentucky coach expects to meet with the sophomore point guard soon to sort out their differences as the Wildcats prepare for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. “My hope is we’ll talk (Monday) or (Tuesday) and I think he’ll be fine,” Calipari said Monday during the SEC Teleconference. “Whether I start...

Kentucky gets first lead late in second half to beat Florida 71-70 in stunning season finale in Gainesville

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky led just once against Florida. It was all the Wildcats needed to complete a regular-season sweep of the Gators. EJ Montgomery’s tip-in with 11 seconds remaining capped a second-half comeback by the Wildcats and lifted No. 6 Kentucky to a 71-70 victory over the Gators Saturday in Gainesville. Florida guard’s Andrew Nembhard’s desperation three at the buzzer...

Crushing loss to Tennessee at Rupp Arena deals blow to Kentucky’s tournament resume

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky’s loss to Evansville back in November haunted the Wildcats. A shocking 81-73 setback to Tennessee in the home finale Tuesday night dealt yet another blow to the team’s NCAA Tournament resume with one game remaining in the regular season. The sixth-ranked Wildcats (24-6, 14-3 Southeastern Conference) defeated Tennessee 77-64 on Feb. 8 in Knoxville but the...

SEC title in hand, Wildcats still have plenty to play for; Immanuel Quickley makes history

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has secured the Southeastern Conference title and will be the top seed in the league tournament, but the Wildcats have plenty to play for during the final week of the regular season. Kentucky, which climbed to No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, hosts Tennessee on Tuesday and closes out the regular season at Florida Saturday in Gainesville. The Wildcats...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky has all the right tools in place to be a serious national title contender

What will it take for Kentucky to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament? It obviously takes luck, skill and a lot of talent to win it all and the Wildcats have a team that’s capable of going all the way this season. It’s too early to make a projection simply because there are three more games left in the regular-season, not to mention the Southeastern Conference Tournament, but it’ safe to say...

Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne says Wildcats ‘well-trained’ as tournament time nears

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today If you ask Kenny Payne, Kentucky is prepared for the challenge Texas A&M presents when the two teams meet Tuesday. “We’ve trained all this time for this time of the year,” the Kentucky associate head coach said Monday. “Right now, we want to be playing our best basketball leading up into going into the tournament, going into the NCAA Tournament. A lot of...

Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards day-to-day as Wildcats prepare to host Florida Gators at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards didn’t practice Thursday and it’s uncertain if both players will be able to play when Kentucky hosts Florida on Saturday. Hagans missed the final five minutes of Tuesday’s game with LSU because of what appeared to be thigh injury, while Richards came down on his ankle after dunking late in Kentucky’s 79-76 win in Baton Rouge. Kentucky...

Wildcats find their shooting touch, use big second half to hold off LSU in Baton Rouge

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky snapped out of a shooting slump and remained alone in first place in the Southeastern Conference standings with a 79-76 victory over LSU Tuesday night in Baton Rouge. The 10th-ranked Wildcats 21-5, 11-2 SEC) made their first seven 3-pointers of the second half and built a 15-point lead to hold off the Tigers’ late surge down the stretch for their fifth consecutive...

Wildcats survive ‘rock fight, show their will to win against tough Ole Miss Rebels at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ole Miss gave Kentucky its best shot. In the end, Kentucky had a will to win. The 12th-ranked Wildcats weren’t at their best in their first Saturday home game in more than a month but made six free throws down the stretch and escaped with a 67-62 win over the Rebels for their fourth consecutive victory. “This was like a rock fight,” Kentucky coach John Calipari...

Cats set to face surging Ole Miss as they return to Rupp for first weekend home game in four weeks

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will be spending the weekend at home for the first time in more than a month. Coming off a 78-64 win at Vanderbilt earlier this week, the Wildcats carry a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game, the team’s first weekend home game since a 76-67 win over Alabama on Jan. 11. Kentucky played its previous four Saturday games on the road and compiled a...