A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Former University of Kentucky basketball stars Hawkins, Willis part of TBT Bluegrass Boys Squad

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will be well-represented in The Basketball Tournament next month. Former Kentucky players Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, Josh Harrellson, Marcus Lee, Ramon Harris, Kevin Galloway and AJ Stewart will form the Bluegrass Boys organized by former Kentucky player Mark Krebs and will be coached by Wayne Turner. The Bluegrass Boys will compete with seven more teams...

Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery announces plans to return; Wildcats to play Auburn twice next season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today EJ Montgomery has decided to return for a second season at Kentucky. The 6-foot-10 forward opted to to return next season after declaring for the NBA Draft and gives the Wildcats another big man in the post. Nick Richards announced Tuesday that he would be back next season, giving the Wildcats four returnees, including guards Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley, on next...

UK forward Nick Richards will return to Wildcats for junior year and John Calipari is expecting big things

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Nick Richards tested the waters and swam back to the shore. The University of Kentucky junior forward announced he would return for a third season with the Wildcats on Tuesday. Richards declared for the NBA Draft, but the 6-foot-11 forward decided coming back would increase of chances of a career at the next level. “First off, I want to thank God, the man up above,...

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...

Keldon Johnson announces he will declare for NBA draft, but leaves door open to return next season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keldon Johnson has decided to test the waters before determining his next career move. The Kentucky freshman guard declared for the NBA Draft on Wednesday but is leaving the door open for a second tour of duty with the Wildcats. Johnson can sign with an agent certified by the NCAA and can return for a second season if he decides to forgo the NBA Draft and return to play...

Past success won’t have any bearing for for Wildcats in preparation for Elite Eight showdown with Auburn

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has already beaten Auburn twice this season but in order to punch a ticket to the Final Four for the first time in four years, the Wildcats will need to repeat the feat for a third time Sunday. 
And it won’t be easy. The Tigers (29-9) have won 11 straight since dropping an 80-53 decision to the Wildcats on Feb. 23 in Lexington and will have to carry on without...

Washington’s return, Herro’s heroics lead Cat’s to victory over Houston, trip to Sunday’s Elite Eight

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington returned at the right time for Kentucky. 
The sophomore All-American, who missed the first two games of the NCAA Tournament because of a strained left foot, scored 16 points as Kentucky advanced to the Midwest Regional finals with a 62-58 win over Houston Friday night at the Sprint Center. 
The Wildcats will take on Auburn (29-9) Sunday for a berth in...

Wildcats have respect for Houston, expect Cougars best shot in Friday night’s Sweet Sixteen matchup

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is used to getting every team’s best shot. That won’t change as the Wildcats delve deeper into the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky (29-6) endured several punches during the regular season, especially in the Southeastern Conference. Coming off two straight NCAA Tournament victories over Abilene Christian and Wofford, respectively, the Wildcats are expecting a similar...

Kentucky makes short work of Abilene Christian in NCAA Tournament’s first round in Jacksonville

Kentucky didn’t have its leading scorer but easily took care of business in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night at VyStar Veterans Arena. The Wildcats (28-6) rolled to a 79-44 win over Abilene Christian and will play the winner of the Seton Hall-Wofford contest Saturday here in Jacksonville. The Pirates nipped Kentucky 84-83 at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 8 in New York City. PJ...

Cats turn focus to selection Sunday after tough loss to Tennessee in SEC tournament semi-final

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky won’t know its seeding for the NCAA Tournament until Sunday night but John Calipari isn’t making any early predictions regarding a possible No. 1 seed. 
“I don’t know — I mean, there’s a bunch of teams that would say it,” he said following an 82-78 loss to Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals Saturday. “I’d...

Wildcats hold off Rebels, reward Coach Cal with Mardi Gras milestone down in Oxford

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky remains undefeated in bounce-back games this season. The Wildcats improved to 5-0 in games coming off a loss with an 80-76 win over Mississippi Tuesday night in Oxford. Coming off a 71-52 setback to Tennessee, No. 6 Kentucky (25-5, 14-3 Southeastern Conference) limited the Rebels to just two field goals in the final two minutes to record its 10th consecutive...

Kentucky gets beat ‘every which way but loose’ in rematch with Tennessee Saturday in Knoxville

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky was without its senior leader and it showed in a 71-52 loss at Tennessee Saturday. The fourth-ranked Wildcats (24-5, 13-3 Southeastern Conference) won two straight after Reid Travis went down with a strained knee in a 66-58 loss at Missouri on Feb. 19, but defeating the Volunteers for the second time this season proved to be a harder task without Travis. Kentucky...

Jamie Vaught: With basketball season winding down, it’s time to discuss SEC’s top individual award

With UK basketball’s regular season nearly over, we can now start discussing one of SEC’s top individual awards. Who is going to be the 2019 SEC Player of the Year? Tennessee’s 6-7 junior star Grant Williams, who captured SEC Player of the Year honors last year, is attempting to make history by becoming the 10th player to win SEC Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. The other nine SEC...

Tyler Herro steps up to lead Wildcats to comeback win in close call against Razorbacks Tuesday night

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro was the hero for Kentucky Tuesday night. 
The freshman guard scored a career-high 29 points to lead the fourth-ranked Wildcats to a 70-66 triumph over Arkansas. The victory kept Kentucky (24-4, 13-2 Southeastern Conference) in a first-place tie with LSU in the Southeastern Conference standings with there games remaining. The comeback was Kentucky’s largest...

Tennessee looming, but Wildcats not looking past Tuesday matchup with struggling Razorbacks

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky owns a six-game winning streak over Arkansas but that won’t matter when the Wildcats take on the Razorbacks Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. “Our prep is the same as it’s been for Transylvania and IUP,” Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus said. “You have a little bit more information at this time of year so your preparation is probably a little more intense....

Group effort in wake of loss of senior Reid Travis leads Cats to blowout win over Auburn Saturday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington set the tone and the rest of his teammates followed and led fourth-ranked Kentucky to an 80-53 win over Auburn Saturday at Rupp Arena. 
“He started us off,” Kentucky freshman Keldon Johnson said. “We just followed and followed and kept riding off that energy.” 
Washington scored 24 points — five from tying his career high — as the fifth-ranked...

Wildcats dodge second-half surge by Tigers as Kentucky tops Missouri Tuesday in Columbia

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Missouri has only beaten Kentucky once in school history. The fourth-ranked Wildcats avoided a repeat of last year’s setback in Columbia with a 66-58 victory Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. Kentucky (22-4, 11-2) remained one game behind first-place Tennessee and LSU in the Southeastern Conference standings with five games remaining. The Volunteers rebounded from their...

Wildcats dominate top-ranked Volunteers from start to finish with 86-69 win at home Saturday night

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today In the closing minutes of Kentucky’s 86-69 win over top-ranked Tennessee Saturday night, John Calipari made it known he wasn’t fond of the student section’s chant referring to the Volunteers as overrated. “I know how good Tennessee is,” Calipari said. “And that’s what I told our fans, enough of they’re overrated. They’re not overrated. (They’re) probably...

Jamie Vaught: UK hoops rivalry with Tennessee has produced numerous memorable battles

Over the years, there have been numerous memorable Kentucky-Tennessee basketball battles. In this heated rivalry series, UK fans will remember UT coaches or stars like Ray Mears, Bernard King, Ernie Grunfeld, Rodney Woods, Dale Ellis, Don DeVoe, to name several. They all gave Kentucky coaches Adolph Rupp and Joe B. Hall plenty of disappointments. Both of them had a hard time competing against Mears,...

Calipari pleased with Kentucky’s progress, but Kansas will be another great challenge for Cats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keldon Johnson has no problem get hyped up for a game. The energy level will likely reach epic proportions when Kentucky takes on Kansas Saturday at Rupp Arena. Johnson admitted Friday he is anxious for the Top-10 showdown between the eighth-ranked Wildcats and the ninth-ranked Jayhawks in the fifth SEC/Big 12 Challenge. “I’m excited to get out there and put everything...