Former UK all-SEC receiver Craig Yeast says son will stay on Louisville football team

Russ Yeast (Louisville Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Former Kentucky all-SEC receiver Craig Yeast says his son, Russ, believes he fits in well with what new Louisville coach Scott Satterfiled wants to do and will remain with the Cardinals.

Russ Yeast indicated during the season he would transfer from Louisville. After coach Bobby Petrino was fired, Russ Yeast stayed with the team and will not transfer anywhere now.

“The situation Russ was in had nothing do with his athletic ability or work ethic,” said Craig Yeast, the new head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan. “I believe the obstacles that were in front of him are no longer there.

UK signee Dontaie Allen’s numbers continue to impress

Dontaie Allen (Micah Satterly/Winchester Sun)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After scoring 92 points in two weekend games, Kentucky signee Dontaie Allen of Pendleton County now has 3,136  points — 23rd best all-time in Kentucky. He also needs just 48 points to pass Talbert Turner to become the all-time leading scorer at Pendleton County.

He had 49 points  and 20 rebounds (his third 20 plus rebound game of his career) in a win over Harrison County and came back with 43 points, 14 rebounds, five blocks and one assist in an 86-68 loss to Bourbon County. He was 15-for-29 from the field (3-for-11 on 3’s) and 10-for-14 at the foul line.

Keldon Johnson SEC Freshman of Week again

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the second time this season, Kentucky freshman guard Keldon Johnson was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week.

Johnson led the Wildcats with 24 points on 8-of-9 (.889) shooting and drained a career-high six 3-pointers in a dominating 88-61 win over Utah on Saturday. It was his team-high-tying third 20-point game this season. Kentucky’s leading scorer at 16.1 points per game, Johnson has reached double figures in all but one game this season.

Keldon Johnson not afraid to be go-to player for Cats

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

If Kentucky needs a go-to player, and every team does, then freshman Keldon Johnson said put that on him and he’ll be fine.

“Definitely, I’m not afraid to take a big shot or step up in big moments. If my team ever needs me to get a bucket or make a big stop on defense, I can be that man,” Johnson said Saturday after hitting five 3-point shots in the first half of a win over Utah.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has been stressing for his team to become a “pass first” team. Again, Johnson is fine with that, too.

“Active hands” on defense led to easy UK points

Keldon Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

The dribble-drive offense — when Kentucky really has run it — gets a lot of notoriety for coach John Calipari. However, what he’s always counted on from his teams is a strong defensive presence.

That has been lacking often this season, but Saturday against Utah the Cats got 34 points off 18 Utah turnovers.

Calipari said his team had “active hands” on defense, something that had been missing.

Junior college defensive lineman Elijah James commits to UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

He’s not rated by any of the major recruiting services but that doesn’t mean getting a commitment from 6-4, 260-pound junior college defensive lineman Elijah James could not be an important one for coach Mark Stoops.

James posted on Twitter Sunday that he had committed to UK. He plays for Iowa Western Community College

A SEC team can never have too many defensive linemen. And remember just a few years ago when no one was overly excited — except Freddie Maggard — when UK signed a defensive end out of New Jersey named Josh Allen.

Kentucky-Utah Photo Gallery by Vicky Graff

UK fans still tell Derek Anderson his 1997 injury cost UK a national title

Derek Anderson

By LARRY VAUGHT

Derek Anderson played a key role in helping Kentucky win the 1996 national championship and played in the NBA from 1997-2008 after being a first round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anderson is in his first year as an assistant coach for Tim Haworth at Louisville Male High School.

If Anderson had not hurt his knee midway of his senior season when he was averaging about 17 points per game , most Kentucky fans remain convinced that UK would have won the national title that year, too. He had 674 points in 55 career games at UK along with 199 rebounds, 155 steals and 98 assists.

Mark Stoops did not try to influence Josh Allen, Benny Snell on bowl decision

Mark Stoops with UK players being recognized during Saturday’s basketball game. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s chances of beating Penn State in the Citrus Bowl and winning a 10th game this year — something Kentucky has not done since 1977 — certainly are better with linebacker Josh Allen and running back Benny Snell, both All-Americans, playing in the game.

Both players have said they will play even though Allen is a likely top 10 pick in the 2019 NFL draft and Snell has opted to bypass his senior year at UK to enter the draft. However, coach Mark Stoops said he did not try to influence the players on whether to play or not play.

John Calipari believes UK “fans would be great” to Rick Pitino if he came back to ceremony honoring his accomplishments

Kentucky’s 1993 Final Four team was honored Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky continued a tradition of honoring outstanding teams this weekend when the 1992-93 Final Four team has its reunion and was recognized at halftime of Saturday’s UK-Utah game.
That’s the team that lost to Michigan and the Fab Five in New Orleans after UK senior guard Dale Brown injured his shoulder diving for a loose ball and then star Jamal Mashburn got called for fouls three, four and five in the final six minutes after the Cats had a six-point lead.
Not every player on that team came back — Tony Delk, Rodrick Rhodes and Travis Ford all had video messages played during the ceremony. Mashburn was not there and no reason was given.
Also missing was coach Rick Pitino, who remains beloved by his players despite eventually going to Louisville to coach and then encountering numerous off-court issues recently.

“Congrats 93 UK team! Proud of you guys and love the hell out of you. Thx Cal for reaching out. Much appreciated,” Pitino tweeted Saturday hours before the game.