UK signees Terrence Clark, BJ Boston named McDonald’s All-Americans

By ERIC LINDSEY, UK Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team’s 2020 signing class will be well represented at the 2020 McDonald’s All American Game.

Fall signees BJ Boston and Terrence Clarke are the latest “burger boys” who will play in the prestigious all-star game before heading to UK next season. They were named the 24-man rosters announced Thursday on ESPN’s “The Jump” on ESPN.

UK is one of three schools with multiple selections.

This 43rd edition of the game is set for April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

EJ Montgomery knows Cats “blossom” when he plays well along with Nick Richards

EJ Montgomery (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

He’s not had the season he hoped or many Kentucky fans expected but maybe it’s good news that sophomore forward EJ Montgomery has not lost his confidence.

“I think I make a big difference,” Montgomery said after he had 10 points, five rebounds and one block in a win over Georgia Tuesday. “I can go out there and guard and just get the buckets that’s needed and just try to help the team win.”

Immanuel Quickley’s aunt has a Big Blue dream — watch a game from the E-Rupp-Tion Zone

Demetria Caldwell, right, cheering for Immanuel Quickley. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

She’s only been part of Big Blue Nation for two years, but there’s not a bigger Kentucky basketball fan now than Demetria Caldwell.

Her nephew, sophomore guard Immanuel Quickly, is emerging as a star player for the Cats and one of the better guards in the Southeastern Conference. She’s not missed a home game since he’s been at UK, made every postseason game last year and also has been to several road games.

“Kentucky has embraced us and loves this team,” Caldwell said. “Big Blue is serious about basketball.”

Numbers show just how special Nick Richards has become

Nick Richards (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Nick Richards has scored in double figures the last seven games — UK is 6-1 in those games — and averaged almost a double-double — 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds — in that span. He’s become UK’s leading scorer at 13.7 points per game after his 20-point performance against Georgia Tuesday night in UK’s win. If that’s not enough, he also leads the team in rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage.

Texas Tech will have to play “best game” to be competitive with Kentucky

Nate Sestina (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Texas Tech and Kentucky have played just four games against each other and the two teams haven’t met in more than two decades.

A fifth meeting will take place this weekend.
 
For the first time since 1965, the 15th-ranked Wildcats will take on the No. 18 Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge Saturday. The two programs haven’t played since Kentucky dealt Texas Tech an 83-68 setback in Cincinnati.

Despite the lack of history between the two programs, Texas Tech coach Chris Beard is well aware of Kentucky’s rich history and its coach, John Calipari.

Ashton Hagans on defensive player of year watch list

By DEB MOORE, UK Athletics

ATLANTA – The reigning Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year is being recognized for his stout defense once again. Kentucky men’s basketball’s Ashton Hagans was one of 15 players to appear on the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s midseason watch list for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award on Wednesday. He is the only player from the SEC listed.

Players not on the midseason list are still eligible to be selected as award semifinalists, which will be announced in February.

Kentucky-Georgia photo gallery by Vicky Graff

Kentucky basketball is not for everybody and players at UK deserve lot more slack than some fans willing to give

Playing at Kentucky is not easy for a lot of reasons. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

“These kids are resilient. They deserve all the credit,” Associate Head Coach Kenny Payne said. “When you come to a school like Kentucky, it’s not talked about a lot, but you have to overcome adversity. … Things aren’t gonna go your way in a game, just like life. How are you gonna handle it? Who are you? What are you about? You may get a bad whistle, you may not.”

John Calipari says ‘if you want to watch a great player,” then go see Rhyne Howard

Rhyne Howard (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari is a terrific promoter of his team and has pleaded with fans to support his team several times this year.

On his weekly radio show, he made a different plea to fans.

“Folks, if you want to go watch a great player, go to our women’s game,” Calipari told Tom Leach on his weekly show. “She is a great player. She is up for player of the year in the country. She has a chance to be a leading scorer in the nation. Our stands should be packed to watch her. Just go watch her.

NBA rookie star Ja Morant knows it is Ashton Hagans who makes Kentucky go

Ashton Hagans enjoyed Tuesday’s win and got a shout from NBA rookie Ja Morant for his play. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you ask John Calipari who is the nation’s best point guard, he’s going to say his sophomore, Ashton Hagans, because of the way he defends in every situation.

Hagans had five rebounds, four steals and one blocked shot in Tuesday’s 89-79 win over visiting Georgia but also did his share on offense with 23 points and nine assists.

That performance got a mention from former Murray State University star and current NBA rookie Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies on social media Tuesday night.