A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wildcats dominate top-ranked Volunteers from start to finish with 86-69 win at home Saturday night

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today In the closing minutes of Kentucky’s 86-69 win over top-ranked Tennessee Saturday night, John Calipari made it known he wasn’t fond of the student section’s chant referring to the Volunteers as overrated. “I know how good Tennessee is,” Calipari said. “And that’s what I told our fans, enough of they’re overrated. They’re not overrated. (They’re) probably...

Keith Taylor: Tennessee tough, but Wildcats are good at bouncing back from losses this season

Kentucky has been good at bouncing back this season and as history suggests, that’s good news going into its showdown against top-ranked Tennessee Saturday. The fifth-ranked Wildcats had a 10-game winning streak snapped in a 73-71 loss to No. 19 LSU earlier this week. Losses aren’t good, but they can be learning lessons. Kentucky has taken a live and learn approach during its of its setbacks this...

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....

Cats get physical with South Carolina, coast to ninth straight victory with 76-48 win Tuesday at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today An overwhelming favorite, Kentucky didn’t overlook South Carolina and coasted to a 76-48 win over the Gamecocks Tuesday night. The fifth-ranked Wildcats notched their ninth straight victory, including eight straight Southeastern Conference victories since dropping a 77-75 loss to Alabama in the league opener on Jan. 5 in Tuscaloosa. Kentucky (19-3, 8-1) improved to...

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...

P.J. Washington posts second straight double-double as Cats capture lopsided win over Commodores

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Vanderbilt was no match for Kentucky and fast-improving PJ Washington. The seventh-ranked Wildcats showed no signs of a letdown after their win over No. 11 Kansas and rolled to an 87-52 rout over the Commodores Tuesday night in a game that was never close. Kentucky (17-3, 6-1) led Vanderbilt 45-15 at the break and kept the foot on the pedal in the second half to record...

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...

Jamie Vaught: Cal’s gesture an honorable one, Pitino should be recognized for accomplishments at UK

Rick Pitino was nowhere to be seen in the Big Blue Nation last month when UK basketball coach John Calipari reached out to the former Wildcats boss for the celebration of UK’s 1993 Final Four team’s 25th-year anniversary held in Lexington. It was Pitino who took that team to the school’s first Final Four trip in nearly 10 years. But Pitino — who in 1989 took over the Kentucky program in...

UK’s Ashton Hagans scores career-high 23 points as Cats top Georgia Bulldogs Tuesday night in Athens

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Ashton Hagans had a career night in a return to his home state. The Kentucky freshman guard scored a career-high 23 points to lead the 12th-ranked Wildcats to a 69-49 win over Georgia Tuesday night in Athens. Hagans, Georgia’s Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball last season, de-committed from the Bulldogs after a coaching change last spring and chose to sign...

Looked ‘ugly’ early, but ‘Cats roll up their sleeves to win over Vandy 56-47 at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It’s a trend Calipari would like to see come to an end sooner rather than later. For the second straight game, the Wildcats fell behind early and rallied to beat a Southeastern Conference opponent. Kentucky (12-3, 2-1) overcame a 16-4 deficit and outscored Vanderbilt 28-17 in the second half to defeat the Commodores 56-47 Saturday night.  Similar to its last outing,...

Calipari, Wildcats taking advantage of extended holiday break; Herro is SEC Freshman of the Week

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari gave his Kentucky squad three days off for Christmas but will take advantage of the time he has with his team this week leading up to the team’s Southeastern Conference opener at Alabama Saturday.   For Calipari, the Christmas break is his favorite time of the year and it allows the Kentucky coach time to work with his team not once, but two or more times...

Citrus Bowl-bound Wildcats head to 3rd straight postseason game under Stoops on New Year’s Day

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will be in the spotlight on New Year’s Day and the extra attention will be motivation for the Wildcats when they take on Penn State in the Citrus Bowl. Coach Mark Stoops watches team practice in Orlando. (UK Athletics photo) “I think as you move up and play in New Year’s Day bowl game, and play Penn State, it’s definitely motivation,”...

Keith Taylor: Kentucky’s ‘resume win’ over North Carolina first step in climb back to the top

Just maybe Kentucky’s win over North Carolina will help ease the pain of a season-opening loss to Duke. It remains to be seen, but every little bit helps as the Wildcats delve deeper into the season.   Sure, losing by 34 points to the Blue Devils wasn’t an easy thing to swallow, but Kentucky coach John Calipari and the players couldn’t dwell on the disappointing setback and give up hope on the...

Kentucky Wildcats seek to boost its NCAA resume against No. 9 North Carolina in Chicago

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky has yet to beat a ranked opponent this season. The Wildcats will get a chance to boost their NCAA Tournament resume against No. 9 North Carolina Saturday in the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago. In its last outing against a ranked foe, the No. 19 Wildcats (8-2) failed the test. In the worst setback of the John Calipari era, Kentucky dropped a humiliating 118-84...

Jamie Vaught: Sharing memories of former Wildcats coach Joe B. Hall as he celebrates his 90th birthday

As you’ll recall, former Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall recently celebrated his 90th birthday. He is a beloved celebrity in the Big Blue Nation. He was coaching the Wildcats when I was a student at the University of Kentucky back in the late 1970s. And, through my sportswriting career, I have lots of good memories of Coach Hall and interviewed him a few times. I’ll share some of my favorite...

Seton Hall squeaks by Wildcats, going down to the buzzer, 84-83 at Madison Square Garden

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Myles Cale hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining to send Seton Hall to an 84-83 victory over ninth-ranked Kentucky Saturday at Madison Square Garden.   The Pirates (6-3) led 70-67 with two seconds remaining in regulation but Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson sank a half-court heave at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. Johnson’s 3-point attempt at the end...

‘Cats cruise to easy win over Monmouth as Herro scores 16 points in 90-44 victory

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today It was an easy night for Kentucky.   The 10th-ranked Wildcats (6-1) pushed their winning streak to six games with a 90-44 win over Monmouth Wednesday night, ending the opening month of the season on a high note after dropping a 118-84 loss to No. 3 Duke in the Champions Classic on Nov. 6 in Indianapolis. Tyler Herro scored 16 points to lead Cats past Monmouth. Tyler...

Calipari wants players to take pride on defensive end of the court as Wildcats ready for Monmouth

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari doesn’t have a standard he wants his team to reach on defense. He simply wants Kentucky to embrace the process. “The standard defensively is to just be better than yesterday,” Calipari said Tuesday. “And then let’s look at the last game and then get better. We don’t stay in a stance, we don’t bounce, we don’t anticipate and we don’t play...

Keldon Johnson has career night for ‘Cats but win over Tennessee State ‘made it even better’

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Keldon Johnson carried the load for Kentucky Friday night but was happier the Wildcats finished off feast week with a 77-62 win over Tennessee State. The freshman guard scored a career-high 27 points, including 20 in the second for the 10th-ranked Wildcats won completed their third win in six days and recorded their fifth consecutive victory. “It felt pretty good,”...

UK Wildcats roll to fourth straight victory with win over Winthrop Eagles, 87-74, at Rupp

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky enjoyed a feast on the hardwood before taking a day off for Thanksgiving, rolling to an 87-74 win over Winthrop in a matinee contest Wednesday afternoon at Rupp Arena. The 10th-ranked Wildcats (4-1) placed five players in double figures, led by PJ Washington with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Kentucky has won four straight since dropping...