Charles Matthews on Ulis, soul searching, defense, practice

By LARRY VAUGHT

Tyler  Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Freshman Charles Matthews is from Chicago just like Tyler Ulis and is a former AAU teammate of the Kentucky sophomore point guard who continues to defy logic at his size with his scoring and minutes played.

“He’s a great player. I’m pretty sure he does get tired at times, but he knows how to fight through it so that makes him even more special,” Matthews said Friday.

Here’s more of what he said about Ulis and other things.

Calipari still working on Jamal Murray’s shot selection

By LARRY VAUGHT

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

At times Jamal Murray’s scoring can carry Kentucky’s offense. At other times, his questionable shot selection can stymie the UK offense.

But to win, Kentucky has to have his offense.

“It’s getting better. I’m working on him every day,”  UK coach John Calipari said about the shot selection Friday. “I told him, ‘I’m not changing. You have to understand what I’m saying.’ I stopped him 10 times, both on defense and offense.

He even asked point guard Tyler Ulis for ideas and says Ulis gave him some he was not going to reveal.

Calipari warns that Florida is playing as well as it has all year

By LARRY VAUGHT

Florida has a new coach in Mike White but a look much like what the Gators had under former coach Billy Donovan, who won two national titles at Florida and is now coaching in the NBA.

“He probably went in and said, ‘You know what? A lot of this stuff is really good and worked. If it’s good for those players.’ And he knows Billy was a really good coach,” Calipari said Friday. “A lot of the stuff is some of the same thing and actions.

Marcus Lee thinks Kentucky ready to be “aggressors” now

By LARRY VAUGHT

Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

Well, at least Marcus Lee is saying the right things after Kentucky’s perplexing loss at Tennessee after it had a 34-13 lead late in the first half Tuesday.

“Emotionally I think we’re ready to be the aggressors now, and I’ve seen that in practice. A loss is like those, you see players kind of regretting practice and kind of just hesitating and not really excited for it. It’s been the total opposite,” Lee said.

Calipari continues “trying different buttons different ways”

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

After Kentucky blew a 21-point first half lead and lost at Tennessee, Kentucky coach John Calipari said his team and staff had some “soul searching” to do.

Friday he said it was more self-evaluating than soul searching going into Saturday’s game with Florida.

“You’ve gotta look at yourself. I mean, as a coach I’ve gotta look at myself and just say, ‘OK, what are we doing? How are we doing it? Is there a better way of doing it?’ You’ve gotta ask questions and sometimes you’ve gotta ask yourself a different question than you did last week,” Calipari said.

Game times set for Tennessee and Texas A&M

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Two upcoming game Kentucky men’s basketball game times have been set by ESPN. UK’s road game at Texas A&M on Feb. 20 has been set for a 6:30 p.m. tip on ESPN. Also, the Wildcats’ home game vs. Tennessee on Feb. 18 has been confirmed for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN.

  • Feb. 18 vs. Tennessee – 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Feb. 20 at Texas A&M – 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

The UK-Tennessee game will mark the second meeting this season between the two schools. Kentucky dropped the game in Knoxville, Tenn., on Tuesday, just the Wildcats’ second loss to Tennessee in its last 10 games.

Big uglies part of recruiting class that Stoops, Schlarman like

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman was thrilled with the way UK’s overall recruiting, and in-state recruiting, went this year.

“I love this class,” he said Wednesday. “I think we’ve stacked two pretty good classes (together). Time will tell, we’ve got to go out and prove it on Saturday.”

So how did coach Mark Stoops feel?

Question: Is this your best recruiting class at UK?


Shannon Spake’s “favorite moment” came before UK-Tennessee game

By LARRY VAUGHT

Any Kentucky basketball fan has to know who ESPN sideline analyst Shannon Spake is.

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Shannon Spake with her son, Brady, before the Kentucky-Tennessee game. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Last March she practically became a part of the UK program she spent so much time following the unbeaten Wildcats. She is a sideline reporter for Saturday primetime college basketball and Super Tuesday SEC basketball games. She is a sideline reporter for Saturday college football games.

She’s also an avid runner and even though she’s on the road most of the week still finds a way to train — and run long-distance events regularly.

UK target DeAndre Ayton playing twice in Somerset

By LARRY VAUGHT

Ayton MVP

DeAndre Ayton, center, was MVP during his team’s game at the McCracken County Mustang Madness last month. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Fans have a chance to watch the nation’s top-ranked junior play in Somerset Saturday and Sunday when 7-footer DeAndre Ayton and his Hlllcrest Academy of Arizona play two other teams loaded with top-rated playes.

Hill Crest will play Victory Prep of Texas and top 10 junior Jarred Vanderbilt Saturday at 9 p.m. at Pulaski County High School. On Sunday at 3 p.m., Ayton will go against Advance Prep International of Texas with standout juniors Billy Preston and Trevon Duvall.

Kentucky-South Carolina postgame notes and numbers

Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes

FINAL:  #2/2 South Carolina 78, #18/18 Kentucky 68

Colonial Life Arena – Columbia, S.C.

Feb. 4, 2016

Team Records and Series Notes

–    Kentucky fell to No. 2/2 South Carolina on the road, 78-68.

–    The meeting was the 57th meeting between the two programs, with Kentucky falling to 33-24 in the all-time series.  South Carolina also won the previous matchup on Jan. 14, 73-62.

–    With the loss, UK moves to 15-6 on the season, including 4-6 within Southeastern Conference action.

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