A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Former UK stars Wall, Cousins, return to Rupp Arena for exhibition game on Oct. 15

A day after celebrating the official tipoff of the Kentucky men’s basketball season at Big Blue Madness, past Kentucky greats John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere will return to Rupp Arena on Oct. 15 for an NBA exhibition game.   Wall’s Washington Wizards will play Cousins, Cauley-Stein, Labissiere and the Sacramento Kings. The game is slated for 7 p.m. John Wall...

Keith Taylor: Calipari has room for Bolden if Lee, Briscoe return; Skal’s NBA stock on the rise

Marques Bolden’s future will be decided this week. The heralded 6-foot-11 star is expected to make his decision known at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Bolden is the ranked the top center in the Class of 2016 and has narrowed his college choices to Kentucky and Duke. Bolden, who led his high school DeSoto (High School) to the state championship, has participated in the McDonald’s All-American Game,...

Marcus Lee makes cut, joins teammates Murray, Ulis and Labissiere in NBA Combine

Leading up to what looks to be another Wildcat-heavy NBA Draft, four Kentucky men’s basketball players – Skal Labissiere, Marcus Lee, Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis – are set to participate in the annual NBA Draft Combine in Chicago next week. All four players were on the official 63-man attendee list that the NBA released Thursday. The NBA Combine, set for May 11-15, is a multi-day showcase where...

Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray claim Southeastern Conference weekly awards

Kentucky coach John Calipari always wants his team playing its best basketball in March. If last week was any indication, the Wildcats are on their way to meeting their coach’s expectations. Freshmen Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere were named the Southeastern Conference’s Player and Freshman of the Week after leading the Wildcats to their 47th SEC regular-season championship last weekend. Skal...

Labissiere makes return to lineup, provides spark for Kentucky in 88-79 win over Florida

By Keith Taylor KyForward sports writer Skal Labissiere provided the spark Kentucky needed in its final road game of the season. Labissiere scored 11 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds to help lead the Wildcats to an 88-79 win over Florida Tuesday night. It was Labissiere’s first start in the Southeastern Conference and his first since Kentucky’s 74-67 loss to Ohio State on...

Bounce-back success: Wildcats recover from Auburn loss with 80-66 win at Arkansas

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Kentucky has been successful in bounce-back games under John Calipari and Thursday night was no exception. The 23-ranked Wildcats (14-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from a five-point loss to Auburn in their previous outing with an 80-66 win at Arkansas. Skal Labissiere scored 11 points in UK’s win at Arkansas Thursday night (UK Athletics...

Keith Taylor: Stopping LSU star Simmons main focus for UK in first SEC road game

In its Southeastern Conference opener, Kentucky shut down the league’s top scorer. Tonight, the ninth-ranked Wildcats will face one of the top players in the conference. Even though LSU (8-5, 1-0) has endured a roller-coaster ride in its first 13 games, standout Ben Simmons has been impressive during the first two months of his collegiate career. Kentucky coach John Calipari and the Wildcats...

Sports Notes: Calipari says freshman Labissiere may be showing signs of breaking out of funk

By Glenn Osborne KyForward sports editor It didn’t take Skal Labissiere long to remind Kentucky Wildcat fans what all the excitement was about when he joined the program this year as one of the nation’s top recruits. The 6-11 freshman, who tallied just four points in his previous three games, entered the contest Saturday against Ole Miss six minutes into the first half. He grabbed the first...

Jamie Vaught: Former Cat Mark Pope bringing his Utah Valley team back to Kentucky to face U of L

Random notes …. Mark Pope is coming to Louisville next week. That’s because the former UK hoops standout is the head coach at Utah Valley University and he is taking his team for a two-game appearance in the Billy Minardi Classic. And the Wolverines will facing Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals in the second game on Wednesday evening, Dec. 23. That contest will be seen on ESPNU,...

Keith Taylor: Calipari, Cats have faith in Labissiere, not worried about recent lack of production

John Calipari hasn’t lost faith in Skal Labissiere. “I love Skal,” the Kentucky coach said. “Skal is going to be good.” Skal Labissiere connects on a slam dunk in a win over EKU earlier this month (Darrell Jordan Photo) Although he arrived with lofty expectations, Labissiere’s growth has taken more time than expected to develop. When he arrived at Kentucky, the 6-foot-11 forward...

Keith Taylor: Veteran Marcus Lee not rattled by Calipari’s tone of voice or Sun Devils

John Calipari likes to scream to get his point across. The Kentucky coach blames it on his Italian roots, but Marcus Lee isn’t buying it. “That’s an excuse,” Lee said. “He just screams because he likes to scream.” Jamal Murray, Marcus Lee and Isaiah Briscoe are all smiles after UK’s win over Arizona State Saturday (Regina Rickert Photo) An adjustment early in his collegiate career,...

Keith Taylor: Calipari wants UK to get tougher, establish post presence against EKU

John Calipari knows his team isn’t going to produce blowouts eight games into the season. “We’re not going to be 20 points up on people,” he said. “These are going to be seven, eight-point games and you gotta battle it through. You gotta just have enough grit to go get balls and make a play at the end. We’ve shown we can do it.” Kentucky coach John Calipari wants the Wildcats to...

Four Wildcats earn national honors with places on Naismith, Robertson Player of the Year lists

Already 7-0 to start the season and a No. 1 national ranking, the honors for several Kentucky men’s basketball players continue to roll in during the early stages of the season. Freshmen Isaiah Briscoe, Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray and sophomore Tyler Ulis all garnered preseason accolades from either the Naismith Trophy or the United States Basketball Writers of America. Labissiere, Murray and...

Jamie Vaught: Versatile UK freshman Labissiere hard to compare to other Wildcat big men

Even though he didn’t play well against a tough Duke team in Chicago Tuesday night because of foul trouble, getting only seven points and four rebounds in 13 minutes, UK’s Skal Labissiere is still going to be one of the nation’s most exciting big men in college basketball this season. After watching the 6-foot-11, 225-pound freshman from Haiti play a couple of games in person at Rupp...

UK’s Labissiere named SEC Co-Offensive Freshman of the Week after exploding for 26 points

Following a breakout 26-point performance in a 30-point victory over NJIT, Kentucky freshman forward Skal Labissiere was named the Southeastern Conference’s Co-Freshman of the Week on Monday. LSU’s Antonio Blakeney shared the honors with Labissiere. Labissiere was instrumental to the Wildcats in a pair of victories to open the 2015-16 season. Freshman Skal Labissiere exploded offensively with a...

Keith Taylor: Briscoe records double-double, Wildcats a ‘different team’ when he’s on the court

Isaiah Briscoe added a new dimension to Kentucky’s lineup Saturday night and it showed. Briscoe, who sat out the Wildcats’ season-opening 78-65 win over Albany Friday night because of a knee bruise, recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds in second-ranked Kentucky’s 87-57 rout of NJIT at Rupp Arena. Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe scored 11 points and had 12 rebounds...

Kentucky leads Southeastern Conference by placing five on coaches’ preseason all-league teams

The Kentucky men’s basketball team led the Southeastern Conference with four players on the coaches’ preseason All-SEC teams, which were announced by the conference Thursday. Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis and freshman forward Skal Labissere were named to the All-SEC First Team while senior forward Alex Poythress and freshman guard Jamal Murray made the All-SEC Second Team. Nine of the SEC’s 14 teams...

Wildcat freshmen Labissiere, Murray named to The Sporting News All-American team

(Photo from UK Athletics)   Despite the calendar displaying a mid-September day, it’s never too early to start talking about the 2015-16 college basketball season.   The Sporting News released its preseason All-America teams and two Kentucky freshmen were among the players honored on Monday. Skal Labissiere was named an early-season favorite for second team honors, while classmate Jamal...