A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky associate head coach Kenny Payne says Wildcats ‘well-trained’ as tournament time nears

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today If you ask Kenny Payne, Kentucky is prepared for the challenge Texas A&M presents when the two teams meet Tuesday. “We’ve trained all this time for this time of the year,” the Kentucky associate head coach said Monday. “Right now, we want to be playing our best basketball leading up into going into the tournament, going into the NCAA Tournament. A lot of...

Wildcats crack top ten, lead SEC; showdown with struggling LSU set for Tuesday in Baton Rouge

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is back in the Top t0. The Wildcats moved up from No. 12 to No. 10 following wins over Vanderbilt and Ole Miss last week. Kentucky (20-5, 10-2 Southeastern Conference) holds a one-game lead over Auburn and LSU in the Southeastern Conference standings, Kentucky plays at LSU in a 9 p.m. tipoff Tuesday in Baton Rouge. The Wildcats had to rally from a 14-point deficit...

Improving Vanderbilt has the full attention of John Calipari’s Wildcats ahead of Tuesday night’s matchup

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Vanderbilt has Kentucky’s full attention. The 12th-ranked Wildcats (18-5, 8-2 Southeastern Conference) inched out a 71-62 win over the Commodores last month, so they are aware of Vanderbilt’s potential. The Commodores’ 99-90 upset of LSU last Wednesday served notice Vanderbilt isn’t giving up on the season. Kentucky coach John Calipari received an updated scouting...

Kentucky proving to be almost unstoppable when junior forward Nick Richards is at top of his game

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has been nearly flawless this season when Nick Richards is at his best and the junior forward was nearly unstoppable against Mississippi State. Coming off his poorest outing in the Southeastern Conference with seven points in a loss at Auburn last Saturday, Richards reversed course and scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds — his 10th double-double...

Jamie Vaught: Calipari asks media, ‘What did you learn about my team?’ after scare from Vanderbilt

University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari loves teaching his players how to play and respect the game. He really enjoys his role. Instead of Coach Cal, we perhaps should start calling him Professor Cal. And he probably couldn’t resist an opportunity to teach the media folks a thing or two like he did after 13th-ranked Kentucky’s 71-62 comeback win over Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena Wednesday...

Kentucky’s Nick Richards adds another feather to his cap with SEC Co-Player of the Week honors

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Nick Richards added another chapter to his storybook season Monday. The Kentucky junior forward was named Southeastern Conference Co-Player of the Week and NCAA March Madness Player of the Week Monday after averaging 22.5 points, 11 rebounds and 3.5 blocks in No. 13 Kentucky’s wins over Georgia and Texas Tech last week. He also won both awards following Kentucky’s...

Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans expecting another tough contest against struggling Georgia Bulldogs

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans doesn’t think much will change when Kentucky takes on Georgia for the second time this season Tuesday night at Rupp Arena. “It was good to be back at home, but now we’re back in Lexington playing them,” said Hagans, a former Georgia Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year winner. “It’s the same game plan. We just go out there and play...

Wildcats blow 14-point lead, fall to Gamecocks on last-second shot Wednesday night in Columbia

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky’s four-game winning streak came to an end Wednesday night in South Carolina. The 10th-ranked Wildcats suffered their first Southeastern Conference loss of the season with an 81-78 setback to South Carolina in Columbia. It was the first league victory of the season for the Gamecocks (9-7, 1-2), who rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half and used...

Kentucky marks milestone as Immanuel Quickley’s late heroics help Wildcats sink Crimson Tide

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky reached a milestone and remained unbeaten in the Southeastern Conference Saturday. The No. 14 Wildcats scored six unanswered points in the final 1:12 and held on for a 76-67 triumph over Alabama. The hosts led by 15 in the second half and overcame the Tide’s late surge down the stretch to get the win, which was the team’s 1.000th regular-season victory...

Ashton Hagans listed day-to-day as he returns to home state in Tuesday night matchup with Georgia

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans is returning to his home state, but it’s not known whether he will even play when No. 14 Kentucky takes on Georgia Tuesday night. Hagans suffered an apparent low ankle sprain in the Wildcats’ 71-59 win over Missouri last weekend in the team’s Southeastern Conference opener. Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus said Monday Hagans is listed day-to-day. “We...

Wildcats in midst of ‘Camp Cal’ in preparation for Southeastern Conference play, winter grind

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky coach John Calipari has been yearning for more time with his team this season. He will get that chance this month. The eighth-ranked Wildcats (6-1) will play five games in the month of December, starting with Saturday’s contest against Fairleigh Dickinson. Kentucky’s schedule also gets tougher as the Wildcats inch closer to the Southeastern Conference portion...

Mark Stoops, Wildcats have no plans to change their routine going into final two weeks of the season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky won’t change its routine going into the final two weeks of the regular season. 
”It’s much the same,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Monday. “Get back to us, get back to having a great week of preparation, continue to work and improve and just to see how good we can be and how much we can improve.” 
The Wildcats (5-5,...

Just two games away from bowl eligibility, Stoops, Cats taking rest of the season one game at a time

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is two wins away from becoming bowl eligible with four games remaining. Instead of looking at the big picture, Mark Stoops is taking it one week at a time. “We look at it as the last stretch here with the four games and we’re worried about going 1-0, that is the big message for us,” the Kentucky coach said. “Let’s put everything...

Lynn Bowden pleased with SEC Co-Player of the Week honor, but winning remains his main focus

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Lynn Bowden Jr. doesn’t mind accolades, but he enjoys winning football games much more than individual honors. No one had more fun than Bowden after the receiver turned quarterback rushed for a career-high 204 yards on 21 carries, complete with two touchdowns, to lead the Wildcats to a 29-7 win over Missouri last Saturday night. The junior all-purpose player was named...

John Calipari’s Wildcats will open season against Michigan State Nov. 5 as No. 2 team in AP Top 25

With a mix of talented newcomers and experienced veterans, the Kentucky men’s basketball team will begin the season among the preseason top five in the Associated Press Top 25. The Wildcats, the preseason Southeastern Conference favorites, will open play as the No. 2 team in the land and face preseason No. 1 Michigan State on Nov. 5 in Madison Square Garden in New York. The Spartans begin the...

John Calipari’s Wildcats favored to win Southeastern Conference title in poll of league’s media members

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has been picked to win the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday in a poll conducted by the league’s media members. The Wildcats were picked to finish ahead of Florida, LSU and Auburn. Tennessee was fifth, followed by Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Missouri and Vanderbilt. Kentucky coach John Calipari says...

As Wildcats and Gamecocks both look for first SEC win, the two teams share some similarities

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky and South Carolina haven’t won a Southeastern Conference game this season, but that will change when the two teams meet Saturday in Columbia. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops termed the Gamecocks as the best 1-3 team in the nation earlier this week and much like the Wildcats, South Carolina is trying to find its way after losing their starting quarterback. Ryan Hilinski...

Kentucky’s running game faring well through first three games despite the loss of Benny Snell Jr.

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today How is Kentucky faring without Benny Snell? Through the first three games, the Wildcats rank No. 6 in the Southeastern Conference in rushing offense, averaging 185 yards per game. Most of that success can be attributed to an experienced offensive line. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was pleased with the team’s running attack in a 29-21 loss to Florida. Kavosiey Smoke collected...

Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead says Wildcats, Bulldogs not desperate, but both need a win

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead thinks Kentucky isn’t the same team without Terry Wilson but he was impressed with backup quarterback Sawyer Smith’s performance against Florida last week. “He is a little bit different from the Terry Wilson kid,” Moorhead said earlier this week. I think (Smith) is a little more passer than a runner but is a guy who can beat...

UK’s Sawyer Smith ‘good to go’ ahead of Saturday’s debut as starting quarterback against Florida

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Sawyer Smith is set for his debut as Kentucky’s starting quarterback. “I”m getting comfortable out there with the game plan,” Smith said Wednesday. “I’m throwing it to everybody and I’m good to go.” Previously a backup, the Troy transfer was thrust into the starting role after veteran Terry Wilson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Wildcats’...