Talented bigs will make Ashton Hagans’ job “easy” this season

Ashton Hagans, left, with teammates at Big Blue Madness. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Freshman Ashton Hagans says Kentucky has been a “crazy, eye-opening” experience for him since arriving on campus in June. He was amazed when some UK fans “flipped” a car after the UK football team beat Florida in September to end a 31-year losing streak.

“I was shocked by flipping the car. I can only imagine when basketball season comes around what it might be like after big wins,” Hagans said. “The older guys have been telling us about the fans and how everything will be. Anywhere you go, somebody knows you. The fans are friendly, but they like to talk to you a lot.”

Take a look at Iceland vacation sites thanks to Denise Henderson

My friend, Denise Henderson, and her husband, Levi, are spending time in Reykjavik, Iceland, this week and enjoying going to different places each day. She was at UK Media Day last Thursday helping me with photos and videos before heading to Iceland and will be back in Danville for Saturday’s Celebrity Chili Cook-Off at Wilderness Trail Distillery to benefit the Kiwanis Club Christmas Project.

Enjoy some of the photos she sent me from this obviously scenic country.

Vanderbilt coach compares UK running back Benny Snell to former Georgia great Nick Chubb

Benny Snell (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vanderbilt defensive lineman Dare Odeyingbo knows plenty about Kentucky running back Benny Snell, the SEC’s second leading rusher going into Saturday night’s game at Kroger Field.

He said Snell is an electric running back, one that is difficult to defend.

“He has great balance, great vision. He can really hurt you if you leave the smallest crease open,” Odeyingbo said.

Count Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason as a Snell fan, too. He compared the UK junior to former Georgia star Nick Chubb.

Herro Tabbed to 2019 Jerry West Award Preseason Watch List

Tyler Herro (Chet White/UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky men’s basketball freshman guard Tyler Herro is among 20 players on the preseason watch list for the 2019 Jerry West Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Herro is one of five freshman on the preseason list, and he is the only first-year player among Southeastern Conference nominations. The league is represented with four candidates among the preseason list of 20 players. Also included were Auburn’s Bryce Brown, Florida’s KeVaughn Allen and Mississippi State’s Quinndary Weatherspoon.

Cats picked to win SEC again; Travis, Washington preseason all-SEC picks

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With a mix of seasoned veterans and another crop of talented newcomers, the Kentucky men’s basketball team will once again be the hunted. Of course that’s the same mantra every season, but a select panel of media confirmed the standard for 2018-19 when it voted the Wildcats to win their sixth regular-season title under 10th-year head coach John Calipari.

Should Kentucky achieve the feat, it would mark the program’s 49th overall regular-season title.

Five things UK fans learned from SEC games last weekend

Benny Snell, MIke Edwards, C.J. Conrad and Josh Allen (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

With the University of Kentucky idle last weekend seems like the rest of the SEC really picked up the action. Here are five things we learned from all the games played in the SEC last weekend:

Is sophomore libero Gabby Curry doing more talking on the court? (Larry Vaught/Verizon Video)

Kentucky Offensive Line Named to Midseason Honor Roll for Joe Moore Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky offensive line has been named a member of the midseason honor roll for the Joe Moore Award, recognizing the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in College Football, it was announced on Tuesday.

This season the Wildcats’ running game is averaging a 223.5 yards per game, good for third in the Southeastern Conference and 26th nationally midway through October. Junior running back Benny Snell Jr. continues to rewrite the record book and now sits third on UK’s all-time rushing list with 3,123 yards. This season, he has rushed for 699 yards and eight touchdowns in six games for 117.5 yards per game (ninth nationally). The Cats have twice had two 100-yard rushers in a single game, just one of just seven schools to accomplish that this season.

Could Kash Daniel and Chris Oats play together?

Kash Daniel (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

By LARRY VAUGHT

With Kash Daniel suspended for the first half of Kentucky’s game at Texas A&M after being ejected for a targeting call the previous game, it gave true freshman linebacker Chris Oates a chance to start.

Oates took advantage of the opportunity and played well before Daniel returned in the second half.

Now what does coach Mark Stoops do? Does he play them both? Does Oates continue just as a backup and play sparingly? Could they play together?

Kentucky has league-high 31 players on NBA rosters

By UK ATHLETICS

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Every year the numbers gets bigger and wilder, but the bottom line remains the same: No school can match the Kentucky men’s basketball team’s ability to develop players and put them in the NBA.

As the 2018-19 NBA season begins Tuesday, a whopping 31 players on NBA opening-day rosters (including two-way, inactive and suspension lists) played and finished their college basketball careers at the University of Kentucky, the nation’s most prolific NBA player-producing program in the country. UK’s 31 players are once again the most of any college basketball program, beating the next-closest school (Duke with 25) by six players.