Kentucky-Mississippi photo gallery by Vicky Graff

Immanuel Quickley’s clutch play helps Cats rally beat Ole Miss 67-62 — with help from free throw misses by Rebels

EJ Montgomery fought to get this rebound that led to a Tyrese Maxey score late in Saturday’s win. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky did so many things poorly and made so many mistakes that it needs some help against Ole Miss — and got it when Breein Tyree, a 79 percent foul shooter, missed the front end of the bonus twice in the final minute Saturday in Rupp Arena.

Kentucky rode the clutch play of Immanuel Quickley to rally to beat Mississippi 67-62 and keep alive its Southeastern Conference title hopes because a home loss to the Rebels could have been devastating.

Numbers favor Cats by 11 over Ole Miss

John Calipari and the Cats face Ole Miss today. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

On Tuesday night, it seemed the Kentucky Wildcats portrayed a modern version of Charles Dickens’ 1859 opening lines for his “A Tale of Two Cities” when the Cats played its best of halves and the worst of halves in the same game. When the Cats fell behind Vanderbilt by 14 points late in the first half of the game, they clearly played their worst half of basketball of the season.

John Calipari won’t let up on Cats because he wants them to “play for each other”

John Calipari is not letting up on his players. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Don’t worry about Nick Richards getting complacent because of all the success he’s had this season.

“He’s good. He’s building his own confidence through demonstrated performance. He’s not delusional on the court. Anytime he starts to slip he’s got a whole staff all over him,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said Friday. “Like, I may walk in the gym and he’s on the treadmill and I’m thinking, ‘Wow, isn’t that great, he’s out there conditioning.’

John Calipari on Nick Richards: “He’s not delusional on the court.”

Nick Richards (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Kentucky will be spending the weekend at home for the first time in more than a month.

Coming off a 78-64 win at Vanderbilt earlier this week, the Wildcats carry a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game, the team’s first weekend home game since a 76-67 win over Alabama on Jan. 11.

Kentucky played its previous four Saturday games on the road and compiled a 3-1 record, including a 77-64 win over Tennessee last weekend, the Wildcats’ first victory in Knoxville in four years.

Whatever it cost to keep Vince Marrow, it was money well spent by Kentucky

Vince Marrow helped get receiver Kalil Branham to UK in the 2020 signing class.

By LARRY VAUGHT

The message from Lynn Bowden was short but significant.

“You know where home is,” Bowden posted on Twitter Friday night after Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow had confirmed on Twitter that he was not leaving Kentucky for a similar position at Michigan State.

The offer came after the Spartans hired Mel Tucker as the new coach earlier this week. Tucker and Marrow had never worked together but have been friends for years and it was not a great surprise he targeted Marrow immediately. Marrow, an Ohio native, has turned into one of the nation’s best recruiters.

Valentine’s Day humor from John Calipari

John Calipari may have been upset here but he seems a lot happier with his team based on his Valentine’s Day mood. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

At the end of his media opportunity on Friday, Kentucky coach John Calipari got asked an interesting question by John Huang of  https://justthecats.com/ about why he went back to the suit-and-tie look during games after dressing a little more casually on game day earlier in the season.

“I can’t remember,” Calipari said.

Obviously you knew more was coming.

Mr. and Miss Basketball candidates announced

Erin Toller

LOUISVILLE – Today the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation announced the candidates for Kentucky’s 2020 Mr. and Miss Basketball.  As part of a partnership between the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation (KLEF) and the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches (KABC) the following Kentucky senior student athletes have been selected as Mr. and Miss Kentucky Basketball candidates and Regional Players of the Year:

2020 Miss KY Basketball Candidates 

Could UK single-season RBI leader Alex Martens also have been a Division I volleyball player?

Alex Martens, left, set a school record for RBI’s last year.  (Kentucky Today/Keith Taylor)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It’s not really a surprise that senior second baseman Alex Martens was named to the preseason All-Southeastern Conference softball team based on the numbers she put up in 2019 when she set a school record by driving in 66 runs while also hitting .310 with 13 home runs.

Want more? She had a .588 slugging percentage and got on base 37.3 percent of her at-bats. She started all 60 games and helped UK reach the NCAA Tournament for the third time in her three years.  

Two obvious keys for Kentucky against Mississippi

Kentucky players hope they can celebrate another win against Ole Miss Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky likely will have two keys to beating Mississippi Saturday afternoon in Rupp Arena.

FIRST KEY

First, the Wildcats will have to find a way to contain Breein Tyree, who had 40 points in an 83-58 win over Mississippi State earlier this week and outscored the Bulldogs 27-24 in the second half. He hit 13 of 22 shots — including four 3-pointers — and 10 of 11 free throws.