June 2018 archive

Suns waive Tyler Ulis

Tyler Ulis . (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Former Kentucky standout Tyler Ulis is now a NBA free agent after Phoenix failed to pick up the $1.5 million option on him for next year. He has played the last two years for the Suns after being picked in the second round of the 2016 draft — a move that former UK teammate Devin Booker helped persuade the Suns to make.

Ulis was the 2016 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as well as the Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a UK fan favorite — and one of the league’s most difficult players to guard.

Barbasol Championship has commitments from five major champions

Tournament executive director Brooks Downing, left, says the names of more players coming to the Barbasol Championship will be released next week. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

LEXINGTON – The Bluegrass State’s only annual official PGA TOUR tournament, the Barbasol Championship, announced its initial player field today, headlined by five former major championship winners with a total of eight majors between them.

Davis Love III (1997 PGA Championship), Retief Goosen (2001, 2004 U.S. Open), Brittany Lincicome (2009, 2015 ANA Inspiration [LPGA]), Angel Cabrera (2007 U.S. Open, 2009 Masters), and Y.E. Yang (2009 PGA) have all committed to the Barbasol Championship, to be held July 19-22 at Champions at Keene Trace in Nicholasville, just outside Lexington.

Bilas: Doing away with one-and-done won’t fix college basketball’s problems

Jay Bilas (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

By LARRY VAUGHT

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas expects high school players to be able to go directly to the NBA if they are good enough sometime in the next few years.

Bilas just hopes everyone remembers why the one-and-done rule came into existence.

“The one-and-done rule came in for a reason, and the reason was the NBA was tired of having high school players and they were tired of having their scouts and NBA personnel sitting in high school gyms. And college coaches were thrilled with the one-and-done rule when it first came in because they were having to recruit players that ultimately, whether they projected them or not, went pro out of high school,” Bilas said. “So they still had to recruit guys in a belt-and-suspenders approach.

Jaemyn Brakefield a name to remember for UK recruiting

By LARRY VAUGHT

One name to remember for future Kentucky basketball recruiting is 6-8 Jaemyn Brakefield of Huntington (W.Va.) Prep. He has 15 scholarship offers, including Alabama, Kansas, South Carolina and Mississippi.

He’s a consensus top 20 player in the 2020 recruiting class, but does not have a scholarship offer from Kentucky yet. However, Rivals.com recruiting writer Dan McDonald reported that Kentucky had an assistant coach watch him during an event in Atlanta this spring.

The five-star forward has also been at UK several times for unofficial visits.

Gabriel Highlights Wildcats in NBA Sacramento Summer League

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former Kentucky men’s basketball player Wenyen Gabriel (2016-17) will have an opportunity to impress NBA teams during the NBA Summer League. Gabriel, along with Bam Adebayo (2017) and De’Aaron Fox (2017), will participate in the annual NBA Summer League, which will tip off Monday with leagues in Sacramento and Utah.

Adebayo (Miami Heat) and Fox (Kings) will utilize the summer league minutes to continue to improve upon successful rookie campaigns, while Gabriel will make his professional debut.

New State Sales Tax to Impact Ticket Prices

 (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Beginning July 1, 2018, the Kentucky Department of Revenue will levy a 6-percent sales tax on the sales of admissions to events hosted by most non-profit organizations. This legislation will affect the sale of tickets to UK Athletics events, a fact confirmed by extensive review with internal University of Kentucky legal counsel.

UK Athletics is in the process of adjusting all ticket prices by adding the 6-percent sales tax to reflect one price inclusive of the tax. The 6-percent increase in ticket prices will be directly remitted to the state.

Washington likes Montgomery’s versatility

By LARRY VAUGHT

P.J. Washington seems particularly enamored with what freshman E.J. Montgomery, a 6-9 interior player, can add to the team this season at Kentucky.

“He is very versatile. He can do a lot of things on the court,” Washington said. “He can dribble, he can shoot, he can pass. Just having that with a big guy down there really helps us.

“He can pick-and-pop. If Quade comes off a screen and he picks-and-pops and shoots a 3, I feel like that’s going to be helping us a lot.

Familiarity leads to “home feeling” at UK for Drake Jackson

Drake Jackson, left.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Redshirt sophomore center Drake Jackson says campus life “was fun” his freshman year.

“You are forced to be around more people,” Jackson said.

He now lives off campus and says it is a more “laid back” atmosphere when he’s not at football.

“I just kind of go to class and do my thing, come home and just hang out,” Jackson said. “It’s weird growing up around Lexington (in Woodford County) where I would come into the city every now and then and do things to eat, shop or whatever.

Calipari wants Washington, Travis to be bulls but train like guards along with Richards and Montgomery

John Calipari wants P.J. Washington, along with UK’s other bigs, to train like guards to extend their scoring range this season. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari has confidence that  center Nick Richards is going to have a more productive sophomore season.

“He’s gotten way more comfortable, way more confident, way more physical,” Calipari said Thursday on the SEC summer coaches teleconference. “But he’s going to have to demonstrate performance in games so that he builds his own confidence.

“It’s not what I’m going to do or what I say. He’s gotta go do it. We’re working with him every day.”

UK picked to win SEC volleyball title, 3 players preseason all-SEC

Leah Edmond

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After a season that saw the Kentucky volleyball team win a share of the Southeastern Conference title, the league’s coaches tabbed UK as the 2018 SEC preseason favorite. Junior Leah Edmond and sophomores Madison Lilley and Avery Skinner were picked to the preseason All-SEC team.

Kentucky received eight of the league’s 13 first-place votes and finished atop the poll with 140 points. Florida garnered the remaining five first-place votes and finished in second with 137. Missouri trails both schools with 116 points, while Georgia and LSU round out the top five.