A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Wildcats embrace top ranking, welcome former Ky. standout, Evansville coach Walter McCarty to Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Immanuel Quickley wasn’t surprised when Kentucky climbed to the top of the polls Monday. “We haven’t been No. 1 that long,” he said with a smile. “I think it’s been like 20 minutes. Still kind of getting adjusted. But I think we’ll have a good mindset. Coach does a good job of keeping us humble. We know we’re No. 1, but we know we’re not where we need...

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...

Confident Wildcats ‘locked-in’ as they prepare for Friday night’s home opener against Eastern Ky.

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Nate Sestina wasn’t surprised by Tyrese Maxey’s performance at Madison Square Garden earlier this week. “Tyrese is a big-time player,” he said. “The dude is a big-time shot-maker and everything that he does, he does well and he does it with a smile on his face that’s when you know he’s really playing.” Maxey came off the bench and scored 26 points to lead...

Wildcats drop top-ranked Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Tyrese Maxey’s big debut

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today For the first time in college basketball history, the second-ranked team in the nation defeated the No. 1 squad to open the season. Kentucky erased the pain of last year’s embarrassing showing in the State Farm Champions Classic with a 69-62 win over top-ranked Michigan State Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Wildcats came into the contest ranked No. 2 in...

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....

Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey figures to take on bigger role as junior Nick Richards recovers from injury

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyrese Maxey didn’t start Kentucky’s exhibition opener against Georgetown College, but that doesn’t mean much moving forward. As Kentucky inches closer to the season-opener against Michigan State set for Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in the State Farm Champions Classic, Maxey figures to play a bigger role as junior Nick Richards recovers from a foot injury he...

Cats lose Nick Richards to ankle injury, but have little trouble with Georgetown College in exhibition opener

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky had no trouble with Georgetown College in the first of two exhibition games Sunday night. 
Although the Wildcats rolled past the defending NAIA national champions 80-53, the team’s roster dwindled after junior forward Nick Richards suffered a lower leg injury early the second half and didn’t return. Prior to the injury, Richards made all three of his attempts...

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...

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...

Kentucky freshman guard Tyrese Maxey going after his piece of the bone against veteran Ashton Hagans

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyrese Maxey is always smiling but don’t let that grin fool you. Although an upbeat and personable player, the freshman guard hasn’t backed down from anyone on the team, especially veteran sidekick Ashton Hagans. “It’s like two dogs and one bone,” he said. “Two pit bulls going at it … that’s how I describe it. We’re both very competitive and we don’t...

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...

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...