A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Billy Reed: Paying homage to former college athletes on medical front lines in battle against COVID

Let’s stop fretting, for just a moment, about whether we’ll have 2020-’21 basketball season, and concentrate on paying homage to all the former athletes who now are on the front lines of the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic. They come from different sports and different nations. They come from both sexes and with different skin colors. What they have in common is that they used the educations...

Dick Gabriel: Let me interrupt your misperceptions about Adolph Rupp with some facts on the race issue

Given the climate in America today when it comes to race relations, it was inevitable that a debate would open up about Rupp Arena and its namesake. To many, the thought of Adolph Rupp still kindles the notion not of basketball, but of racism and segregation.
 It did in me, starting in the mid-‘60s when I began following college basketball. I couldn’t stand the notion of the guy coaching a team...

Jamie Vaught: Nearly 35 years later, Cotton Nash still gets autograph requests for Sports Illustrated cover

(Editor’s Note: For the next few months during our national 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 book – fifth one in a series – was released in late February 2020.) Cotton Nash, a three-time All-American...

Season over early but Calipari to keep in touch with teams via calls, text; Pitino hired at Iona in New York

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Reality is beginning to sink in for Kentucky coach John Calipari. After both the Southeastern Conference and the NCAA Tournaments were canceled last week, because of coronavirus concerns, Calipari came to the realization Saturday the team’s season ended following last week’s 71-70 win over Florida in Gainesville.   “It kind of hit me this morning that my time to...

Immanuel Quickley picks up where he left off, scores 30 to lead Wildcats over Texas A&M

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Immanuel Quickley picked up where he left off and turned in another impressive performance for Kentucky on Tuesday night. Quickley, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, scored a career-high 30 points to lead the No. 8 Wildcats to a 69-60 win over Texas A&M at College Station. “I was a little hot, I guess,” Quickley said. “My teammates were finding...

Longtime sports columnist Jamie Vaught set to release book spotlighting UK basketball Feb. 22

A college professor, who also moonlights as a longtime credentialed sports columnist in Kentucky, has written another book about University of Kentucky basketball. The new 256-page paperback by Jamie H. Vaught, a professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Middlesboro, is titled “Chasing the Cats: A Kentucky Basketball Journey.” After writing four books about UK hoops during...

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...

Richards stands out as UK Cats defeat Missouri in the season’s first SEC game for both teams, 62-50

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Missouri had no answer for Nick Richards. Richards scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead No. 17 Kentucky to a 62-50 win over the Tigers Saturday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. It was the sixth double-double of the season for Richards, who poured in 13 points and grabbed 10 boards in a 78-70 win over No. 7 Louisville last week. The junior...

SEC releases television schedule; All UK basketball games to be televised as part of ESPN package

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Southeastern Conference unveiled its television conference schedule on Tuesday and every game will be on national television. All of the team’s games are part of a package offered by ESPN, including the SEC Network. Kentucky will open the conference schedule against Missouri at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4, followed by a road encounter at Georgia set for 9 p.m. on Jan. 7 on...

UK draws national runner-up Texas Tech in Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 25 in Lubbock, Texas

The final piece of the 2019-20 University of Kentucky men’s basketball non-conference schedule came into place Thursday, and it’s a good one. The Wildcats will visit the 2019 national runners-up, the Texas Tech Red Raiders, on Jan. 25 at United Supermarkets Arena as a part of the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. The full slate of games was announced Thursday by the respective leagues. It will...

Geoffrey Staton hired as head athletic trainer for UK men’s basketball; also worked with Phoenix Suns

Geoffrey Staton, who has experience at the college, professional and international levels, has been hired as the head athletic trainer for the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. Staton will take over for Chris Simmons, who served in the role since 2009-10 and returned to Memphis as the head athletic trainer in June. Staton will begin his role with the Wildcats immediately. “I...

Former UK basketball star Derek Anderson among six to be inducted into Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame

Six individuals who have made outstanding contributions to sports – dating back nearly a century through recent times – have been selected as the 2019 class of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame fueled by the Kentucky Lottery. Comprising the 42nd KSHOF class are: Derek Anderson, a member of a University of Kentucky basketball national championship, 11-year NBA veteran and NBA champion; Deion Branch,...

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...

Jamie Vaught: It’s OK to be disappointed by UK’s loss to Auburn, but stop whining about John Calipari

Interestingly, a small bunch of so-called “Monday Morning” coaches in the Big Blue Nation as well as some opinionated media folks have been complaining and howling about basketball coach John Calipari and his favored Kentucky Wildcats for failing to make a coveted trip to the 2019 NCAA Final Four after Sunday afternoon’s heartbreaking overtime loss to Auburn. Sure, we are saddened with the painful...

Kentucky advances to Sweet Sixteen with win over Wofford, 62-56; Herro gets last-basket 3-pointer

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (KT) — Nobody has made more 3-pointers in college basketball than Fletcher Magee. In his final collegiate contest, Kentucky’s defense made the Wofford standout’s performance less than memorable.   
Magee failed to make a three on 12 attempts as the Wildcats survived with a 62-56 win over the Terriers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament...

Kentucky holds off Mississippi State in Starkville to capture 20th win of the season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The streak continues for Kentucky. The fifth-ranked Wildcats (20-3, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) staved off a furious rally by host Mississippi State and held on for a 71-67 win over the Bulldogs Saturday in Starkville. Kentucky recorded its 10th consecutive victory and completed a regular-season sweep of the Bulldogs. Kentucky defeated Mississippi State 76-55 on Jan....

Jamie Vaught: Despite early season setbacks, Cats rebound, make basketball in Kentucky fun again

UK Basketball is fun again. After that ugly season-opening loss to Duke in Indianapolis back on Election Day in early November, the Big Blue Nation suffered a horrible spell for nearly two months. The rabid fans had seen the Wildcats, a preseason No. 2 team behind Kansas, fall from grace. Kentucky was no longer a serious Final Four contender. Three days later, UK bounced back and defeated Missouri...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky may not be the best, but Cats are the hottest team in the nation

Kentucky is one of the hottest squads in the nation after notching three victories over ranked teams in a seven-day span. 
It all started with a thrilling 82-80 win over Auburn on Jan. 19, followed by a blowout over Mississippi State last Tuesday. The Wildcats parlayed that success into a 71-63 triumph over Kansas Saturday in front of the largest crowd to witness a game in Lexington this season. 
Rupp...

PJ Washington turns in inspiring performance, leads Wildcats past Kansas 71-63, gets 5th double-double

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today When he’s at his best, PJ Washington is nearly unstoppable. He was a force for Kentucky when the Wildcats needed him the most Saturday night.   Washington had a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the eighth-ranked Wildcats to a 71-63 victory over No. 9 Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge at Rupp Arena. It was the team’s fifth consecutive victory...

Kentucky rolls past Mississippi State for fifth straight win, sets sights on Saturday matchup with Kansas

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky can now focus on Kansas. The eighth-ranked Wildcats prepared for the Top 10 showdown against the Jayhawks with a 76-55 victory over No. 22 Mississippi State Tuesday night. Kentucky extended its winning streak to five games going into the SEC-Big 12 Challenge this weekend. Kentucky coach John Calipari improved to 11-0 against Mississippi State. Kentucky notched...