A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cats hold off Southern Illinois for first win; Johnson and Quickley each score 15 points

UK Athletics Keldon Johnson and Immanuel Quickley each scored 15 points, Nick Richards grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds and No. 2 Kentucky rallied in the second half to beat Southern Illinois 71-59 on Friday night. Immanuel Quickley (Photo by Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown) The Wildcats (1-1) bounced back from Tuesday night’s 118-84 shellacking by No. 4 Duke, but had to work hard in the second...

Landslide: No. 4 Duke rolls past second-ranked Kentucky in season opener

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today A highly-anticipated Top 5 showdown on college basketball’s opening night wasn’t even close. Second-ranked Kentucky fell behind early and never fully recovered in a stunning 118-84 loss to No. 4 Duke Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The final tally by the Blue Devils set a Champions Classic record and the margin of victory...

Cats set to open the season against Duke in loaded Champions Classic

Kentucky freshman guard Tyler Herro and the Wildcats will open the season against Duke Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic at Indianapolis. (Kentucky Today, Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It’s not the Final Four, but it’s close enough. Kentucky will be among four teams competing in the State Farm Champions Classic Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis...

Champions Classic: UK vets Washington, Travis eager for season-opener against Duke

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — PJ Washington doesn’t shy away from the big stage and the Kentucky sophomore forward is looking forward to Tuesday’s season opener against Duke in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis. “I’m a competitor and I love playing against good teams,” he said. “It’s always fun playing against somebody like that. You know that they’re going...

Cats stave off IUP in tougher than expected exhibition encounter

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky got all it could handle from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in its final exhibition game Friday night. The second-ranked Wildcats improved to 6-0 in exhibition games this season with an 86-64 win over the Crimson Hawks, an NCAA Division II squad based in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Kentucky opens the regular season against No. 4 Duke in the Champions Classic Tuesday...

Calipari’s Wildcats not looking ahead to Duke going into final exhibition game

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Before second-ranked Kentucky can start thinking about its season opener against No. 4 Duke set for Tuesday, the Wildcats will play one more exhibition game before the season becomes official. Freshman Keldon Johnson said the Wildcats haven’t started looking ahead to the Blue Devils just yet. “We’re taking it one game at a time,” he said. “We’ll cross that...

Exhibition opener a teaching tool for No. 2 Kentucky, Transy

Transylvania guard Michael Jefferson (10) drives to the basket against Kentucky’s PJ Washington in an exhibition game Friday night at Rupp Arena. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is still growing and learning and far from reaching its peak. The Wildcats had little trouble defeating Transylvania in its exhibition opener Friday night, but the team’s 94-66...

No. 2 Kentucky eager to meet Transy in ‘Battle on Broadway’

Kentucky Today It’s not the official opener, but Kentucky is anxious to open the exhibition season. The second-ranked Wildcats will take on Transylvania in the first of two exhibition games Friday night at Rupp Arena. Although the game doesn’t count, the players are eager to face an outside opponent, signifying the season is drawing nearer. “We’re just excited to play against somebody else,”...

Kentucky coach John Calipari seeking a consistent rotation as Cats prepare to open exhibition play

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today When Kentucky opens its two-game exhibition schedule against Transylvania Friday, John Calipari will be looking for a degree of separation ahead of the team’s season opener against Duke in less than two weeks. “It’s got to start happening and I may start one group of five and then maybe three different guys in the second half,” Calipari said. “(I) may do...

Freshman guard Tyler Herro steals the show in Kentucky’s blue-white scrimmage

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro stole the show. The Kentucky freshman guard scored 34 points in Kentucky’s annual Blue-White scrimmage, which saw the blue squad come away with a 104-96 victory Sunday night. Herro, who played for the white team exclusively, made 12 of 16 shots from the field and knocked down four 3-pointers on six attempts. Herro said his main goal was to “have fun”...

Although favored to win the Southeastern Conference, Calipari, Cats know task won’t be easy

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is used to being the favorite in the Southeastern Conference and this season will be no different. The Wildcats were picked to finish first in the league by media members Wednesday. Kentucky was selected ahead of Tennessee, Auburn, Mississippi State, Florida, LSU, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Georgia, and Ole Miss....

UK Notebook: Calipari glad to see Big Blue Nation develop passion for football team

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari understands why Kentucky’s fan base was not happy following Kentucky’s 20-14 overtime loss to Texas A&M two weeks ago. “Do you remember where two years ago we’d be sad and disappointed? Wasn’t no sad now,” the Kentucky men’s basketball coach said. “Everybody, their staff was mad, their players were mad, our fans were mad, the...

A decade later, John Calipari says Kentucky still the “greatest of them all”

Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari addresses the crowd during Big Blue Madness Friday night at Rupp Arena. Calipari is entering his 10th season as coach of the Wildcats. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It’s been a decade since John Calipari made his first appearance at Big Blue Madness and the Kentucky coach looked ahead to his second decade Friday night. Prior...

Wildcats have the competitive edge John Calipari is looking for in preseason

Kentucky coach John Calipari answers a question during Media Day Thursday at Memorial Coliseum. Calipari is entering his 10th season as coach of the Wildcats. (Kentucky Today/Tammie Brown) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Competition is good and Kentucky has plenty of competitors on the roster. It’s given John Calipari a chance to sit back and coach rather than spend his time motivating the Wildcats...

UK Profile: A veteran, Reid Travis feels like a new kid on the block

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Reid Travis feels like a new kid on the block. Although the former Stanford standout has played college basketball for four years, he’s starting over as graduate-transfer at Kentucky as he pursues his master’s degree. Travis said there are similarities between the two programs and considers the unique situation a “split deal.” “I do feel like a veteran on one...

UK Profile: PJ Washington plans to take it slower, savor sophomore season with Wildcats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today PJ Washington is taking a different approach going into his second season at Kentucky. “I’m just trying to take it slower,” he said. “The season goes by fast and school goes by fast. I’m just trying to enjoy every moment I get, especially in the classroom. They were my teammates as well. I mean, I felt like last year everything was going by in a...

John Calipari Q&A: Coach provides a look at what to expect this season from his newest set of gym rats

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari touched on a variety of topics when meeting with select members of the media last month to preview the upcoming season. Calipari provided a glimpse into what to expect this season. “If we’re really going to be good, it will be because we’re outstanding defensively,” he said. “The biggest thing about this team is...

A decade into his tenure, Calipari has same drive, desire to succeed

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari begins his 10th season as coach of the Kentucky Wildcats. He is shown at his first Big Blue Madness. (Bill Thiry/Kentucky Today ) A decade has passed since John Calipari took over at the University of Kentucky. Has it been 10 years? “That is not that long ago,” he said. “You’re not talking 15 years ago.” Calipari, who has compiled a 275-64 record...

UK Notebook: Cats ranked No. 1 in Blue Ribbon Yearbook preseason rankings

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The college basketball preseason rankings are starting to come out and Kentucky is ranked No. 1 in the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. The Wildcats have been ranked in the Top 10 by the magazine’s writers and editors for the past seven years. Kansas is ranked second behind Kentucky in the poll, followed by Gonzaga, Duke, Tennessee, Nevada, Virginia, Auburn,...

John Calipari says Kentucky is equipped to handle challenging on-conference schedule

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today The Kentucky men’s basketball non-conference schedule is complete. The Wildcats open the home portion of the schedule against Southern Illinois on Nov 9, followed by four more games at Rupp Arena in the inaugural Ohio Valley Hardwood Showcase. The showcase will include games against North Dakota (Nov. 14), Virginia Military Institute (Nov. 18), Winthrop (Nov. 21) and...