A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Coach John Calipari, former Kentucky players brace for a very different kind of NBA Draft

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari will be keeping a close eye on the NBA Draft. Calipari has five players from last year’s Kentucky squad — Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery — who have declared for next month’s draft. Although Calipari’s players have fared well in the draft, this one will be much different because of the COVD-19 pandemic. Coach...

Jamie Vaught: Remember the UK guy picked before Michael Jordan? Sam Bowie always a class act

(Editor’s Note: During our national COVID-19 crisis, longtime sports columnist Jamie H. Vaught will be writing about the ex-Wildcats who were featured in one of his first four books on UK basketball, using excerpts that were published in his out-of-print volumes. His latest and fifth book, titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey,” was released in late February 2020.) It was national...

Brad Calipari returns to Rupp Arena, but this time to play against Kentucky in Detroit Mercy uniform

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Brad Calipari will play against his dad for the first time next season. Calipari, a graduate senior at Detroit Mercy, will make a return trip to Rupp Arena, this time as a player when the Titans meet Kentucky on Nov. 13 in Lexington. The contest is part of the Bluegrass Showcase, featuring the University of Richmond and Hartford. Brad Calipari (left) will play against...

Williams’ return to Louisville for senior season prompted by cancelations of ACC, NCAA tourneys

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Malik Williams was wavering between testing the NBA waters for this year’s draft or definitely returning to Louisville for his senior season. The abrupt end of the college basketball season made his decision for him. “It was something I thought about throughout the entire year, being a junior and looking forward to taking that next step,” Williams said...

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...

Calipari says at least five players will enter NBA Draft, including SEC Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is used to rotating rosters. The Kentucky coach is expecting more turnover next season. Calipari said he believes at last five players to declare for the NBA Draft, including Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Immanuel Quickley, along with Nick Richards, Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery and Tyrese Maxey. “My guess is four to five guys would probably...

John Calipari surprised by Keldon Johnson’s slide in NBA Draft, has high hopes for Reid Travis

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari was surprised Keldon Johnson slid down the charts during the NBA Draft last week. Johnson was the last of three former Kentucky players selected in the yearly draft last week and was chosen late in the first round as the No. 29 pick by the San Antonio Spurs. “They said he was a Top 10 pick when he left here and then a month and a half later he’s picked...

Nick Richards up to the challenge of becoming top post player in nation after opting to return to UK

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Nick Richards wants to get better and that’s the main reason he opted to return to Kentucky for a third season. “That’s one of the reasons I came to this school is to improve on my basketball skills and get ready for the next level,” Richards said. “I thought that coming back for an extra year would just benefit that.” Kentucky sophomore Nick Richards declared...

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’s freshman EJ Montgomery to try for NBA Draft, hoping to be a first-rounder; but could return

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today EJ Montgomery is going to attempt to give it a shot at the next level.   The Kentucky freshman forward declared for the NBA Draft Friday, but could opt to return based on feedback he receives from experts. Montgomery will have until May 29 to decide remain in the draft or decide to come back for a second season. EJ Montgomery (Photo by Tammie Brown/Kentucky Today) “My...

Tyler Herro decides to stay in the NBA Draft, ending possibility of returning to UK for a second season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro’s college career is over. 
The Kentucky guard announced Tuesday he plans to remain in the NBA Draft instead of leaving open the possibility of returning for a second season. 
“After exploring my options a little bit more and getting some immediate feedback, I’ve decided to remain in the draft,” he said. Tyler Herro (Photo by Tammie Brown/Kentucky...

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...

Calipari happy for four NBA draftees, disappointed Gabriel not chosen

Kentucky coach John Calipari was happy to see four of his former players selected in the NBA Draft Thursday night in Brooklyn, New York. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari felt a mixed bag of emotions after watching the NBA Draft unfold Thursday night on Brooklyn, New York. Four of his former players — Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo and...

Ex-Cats hit jackpot: Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander lottery picks in NBA Draft

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kevin Knox heard the boos after he was taken as the No. 9 pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night in Brooklyn, New York, but didn’t seem to mind the jeers moments after he was chosen by the New York Knicks. Many Knicks fans in attendance were chanting for Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri, who was later chosen as the No. 14 pick by the Denver Nuggets. Kevin Knox was chosen...

UK coach Calipari still getting a feel for where his players will land in the draft

Kentucky coach John Calipari is still getting a feel as to where his players will land in the NBA Draft set for Thursday night in Brooklyn, New York. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari isn’t sure if all of his players will get chosen in the NBA Draft Thursday night and is still in the process of figuring things out. “There is a lot of interest in a lot of...

Pulled in two different directions, UK’s Jarred Vanderbilt remains in NBA Draft

Jarred Vanderbilt opted to remain in the NBA Draft. Vanderbilt was hindered by injuries and played in just 14 games for the Wildcats last season. (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Jarred Vanderbilt is staying in the NBA Draft. The freshman forward waited until the last minute to make his decision known after enduring a roller-coaster ride in his first and only season with...

Washington plans to return to UK next season; Gabriel opts to remain in NBA Draft

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington opted against remaining in the NBA Draft and will return for his sophomore campaign, while Wenyen Gabriel has decided to leave the school. Washington unveiled his future plans on Twitter Wednesday afternoon with a video and the inscription, “I’m back.” Washington participated in the NBA Combine last week and hinted that he would return if he wasn’t...

Kentucky’s PJ Washington making an impression in NBA Combine

PJ Washington has enjoyed a pair of successful performances in the NBA Combine this week in Chicago. Washington is undecided on whether to remain in the NBA Draft or return for a second season. (Keith Taylor/Kentucky Today) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington did nothing but help himself during the NBA Combine this week in Chicago. Washington scored 24 points in two 5-on-5 scrimmages and figures...