A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Keith Taylor: Unbeaten Wildcats happy to be 5-0 but still striving for perfection

Kentucky defensive players Derrick Baity (8), Lonnie Johnson (6) and Josh Allen (41) celebrate a big play during the Wildcats’ win over South Carolina Saturday night. (Kentucky Today, Bill Thiry)

Stoops, perfect Cats seek to keep streak going against Gamecocks

Kentucky running back Benny Snell rushed for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns in last year’s win at South Carolina. The two teams will meet Saturday at Kroger Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Kentucky Today/Bill Thiry) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will attempt to knock down another proverbial door in front of an expected sellout crowd Saturday at Kroger Field. The 17th-ranked Wildcats,...

South Carolina Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp impressed with Kentucky’s ‘active’ defense

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Prior to becoming a head coach, Will Muschamp had a reputation as one of the top defensive coordinators in college football. Muschamp once coached defensive backs at Eastern Kentucky University before going on to LSU, Miami Dolphins, Auburn and Texas to serve as the top defensive boss at all four stops. Following a four-year stint as head coach at Florida, he returned...

UK coach Stoops not worried about team’s mentality following perfect start

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops isn’t worried about his team’s mental approach following a 28-7 win over Mississippi State last week that gave the No. 17 Wildcats their first ranking in more than a decade. (Kentucky Today/Bill Thiry) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops isn’t worried about where his team is ranked. The Kentucky coach is more concerned about the Wildcats staying...

Newly-ranked Wildcats staying grounded, hungry despite ranking, perfect start

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is ranked for the first time in more than a decade, but that won’t change the Wildcats’ demeanor going into Saturday’s game against South Carolina. “We have to stay grounded and we absolutely will,” Kentucky senior right end C.J. Conrad said. “We wanted this, we wanted to change this program, but we are far from done and we’re going to keep this...

Cats lose big lead, falter down the stretch in 76-68 loss at South Carolina

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jarred Vanderbilt made his much-anticipated debut but Kentucky couldn’t fend off South Carolina and dropped a 76-68 setback Tuesday night. Kentucky led by 14 with 13 minutes remaining, but the Gamecocks used a 26-8 run to grab the lead for good down the stretch and run their record to 7-1 at home this season. The Wildcats lost their second Southeastern...

Surging Kentucky hopes to build on recent road successes at South Carolina

Kentucky’s Nick Richards battles for a rebound against Texas A&M last week. The Wildcats will face a physical South Carolina team Tuesday night in Columbia, South Carolina. (UK Athletics Photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has found a way to win close games on the road and hopes the trend continues at South Carolina Tuesday night. “We’re trying to be a great road team –...

Cats continue recent dominance of South Carolina with 23-13 win in SEC opener, move to 3-0

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky continued its recent dominance of South Carolina Saturday night in its Southeastern Conference opener. The Wildcats (3-0) notched their fourth consecutive victory over the Gamecocks 23-13, spoiling South Carolina’s home opener. Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad celebrates with Benny Snell following a touchdown by Snell in the first half Saturday night in Columbia,...

Stoops, Wildcats embrace anticipated challenge at South Carolina in SEC opener

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mark Stoops has had more success against South Carolina than any other program in the Southeastern Conference. The Kentucky football coach has won three straight against the Gamecocks, including a 17-10 triumph last year at Kroger Field. During the Wildcats’ last visit to Brice-Williams Stadium two years ago, Kentucky edged the hosts 26-22 in a thriller that spiraled...

Stoops says Cats must become more disciplined going into SEC opener at South Carolina

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops knows his team will have to take a big leap forward in the Southeastern Conference opener Saturday at South Carolina. Although the Wildcats are 2-0, the competition level will get tougher against the Gamecocks, who have won their first two encounters, including last week’s conference-opening 31-13 win over Missouri. Mark Stoops and...

Keith Taylor: Winning with flaws certainly beats not winning at all for perfect Wildcats

Kentucky is undefeated, but far from perfect. Although the Wildcats have won their first two games for the third time in Mark Stoops’ five-year tenure, an unblemished slate doesn’t mean Kentucky is ready and set to make a run in the Southeastern Conference. Kentucky running back Benny Snell and the Wildcats rushed for more than 200 yards in a win over Eastern Kentucky Saturday (UK Athletics Photo)...

Cats roll past South Carolina in SEC baseball tourney opener, face LSU in second round

Kole Cottam’s fourth inning home run over the 405-foot mark in centerfield gave No. 8 Kentucky the lead for good and the bullpen worked six scoreless innings as the Wildcats opened the SEC Tournament with a 7-2 win over South Carolina on Wednesday at the Hoover Met.  The win is UK’s first in the SEC Tournament since 2014 and gives the Cats 39 victories this season, the most since the 2012 team...

Kentucky baseball team set to open SEC tourney against South Carolina on Wednesday

The Kentucky baseball team begins action in the SEC Tournament on Wednesday, when the Wildcats face the South Carolina Gamecocks at the Hoover Met. South Carolina advanced to Wednesday’s game by outlasting Vanderbilt 7-4 on Tuesday in opening-round action. Mississippi State and Georgia will play in the first game Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., followed by Kentucky and South Carolina in the second game...

Keith Taylor: Final Four should be a fun event, even without Cats on the big stage

Kentucky isn’t in the Final Four this year. Neither is Louisville or any other instate school for that matter. However, that doesn’t mean college basketball’s final weekend won’t lack for excitement as four schools — two of them newcomers to the party — battle for the title this weekend. Defending national champion North Carolina, Oregon, Gonzaga and South Carolina will take the big stage...

Epps scores 23 points but UK women can’t keep pace in 75-63 loss to No. 4 South Carolina

Makayla Epps scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but the 25th-ranked Kentucky women’s basketball team lost to No. 4 South Carolina 75-63 on Thursday night at Memorial Coliseum. Sophomore Maci Morris added 14 points for the Wildcats, while junior Alyssa Rice had 10. Kentucky struggled from the floor, hitting just 21-of-62 (33.9 percent) of its field goals in the game. Makayla Epps scored 23...

Kentucky expects another push and shove encounter against surging South Carolina

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Kentucky senior Derek Willis hasn’t forgotten last year’s win over South Carolina. “It was a hard game at first,” Willis said Friday. “It was real physical. It kind of took us some time to get used to it and then, we eventually broke away from them.” Kentucky coach John Calipari is expecting a close encounter against South Carolina Saturday...

Keith Taylor: Stoops hopes Cats can continue recent trend of success against South Carolina

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has four wins in the Southeastern Conference during his tenure as coach of the Wildcats. Two of those victories have been against Eastern division foe South Carolina. Stoops hopes his team can continue the trend against the Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1) Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium. A second-straight win (and third in a row over the Gamecocks) would give Kentucky a boost of...

Louisville women to play South Carolina in Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge

In the summer of 2014 and 2015, Louisville coach Jeff Walz and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley helped guide USA Basketball to consecutive gold medals. The two will see each other again this fall – from opposite sidelines – when the Cardinals and Gamecocks headline the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge on Nov. 27 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. ...

No Cal, No Problem: Early ejection provides spark for Kentucky in 89-62 rout of South Carolina

By Keith Taylor KyForward senior sports writer Kentucky coach John Calipari wanted to see how his team would respond on the road following two straight blowouts. Although Calipari didn’t witness the final 37 minutes of the Wildcats’ 89-62 rout of South Carolina Saturday, the Kentucky coach had to be pleased after hearing the final result in the team’s locker room. Jam Murray was...

Keith Taylor: Wildcats’ play affecting Calipari’s sleep patterns, but team is improving

John Calipari’s sleeping habits have changed. The challenge of coaching the Wildcats has always been stressful, but the amount of stress can vary, depending on the makeup of Calipari’s squad. Unlike last year when the Kentucky coach had a good handle on his team, this year has been completely different. Dominique Hawkins makes a pass around a Georgia defender earlier this week. Kentucky...