June 2020 archive

Tennessee delaying start of football, soccer seasons cannot be good

Grant Bingham of Johnson Central should be one of the state’s top offensive linemen this season.  (Johnson Central Football Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

While Kentucky high school sports hope to be gearing up for fall sports, the same hope in Tennessee took a major, major hit today.

Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association executive director Bernard Childress sent the following memo to member schools Tuesday and also posted it on the athletic association website at https://tssaa.org also an emergency order from the governor was extended until Aug. 29.

Standout Alabama receiver Christian Lewis newest UK commit

Christian Lewis

By LARRY VAUGHT

Having to basically abandon the passing game last year certainly has not hurt Kentucky when it comes to recruiting receivers in the 2021 class.

Alabama standout Christian Lewis became the fourth receiver in the 2021 class to verbally commit to UK when he made his decision Tuesday. The 6-3, 185-pound Lewis is a three-star prospect with a four-star resume. He had over 30 scholarship offers and picked UK over Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Louisville. He also had offers from schools such as South Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, Nebraska, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

Mitch Barnhart says return to sports activity still “pretty fluid” situation

Mitch Barnhart (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart Barnhart said approximately 100 to 120 student-athletes have made their way back to campus and the school has focused on a return to activity during the past few weeks.

“We continue to adjust our protocol as we watch the situations,” Barnhart said. “It’s pretty fluid.”

Barnhart was glad to hear Gov. Andy Beshear give the approval for fans in the stands for the Kentucky Derby and said that’s a positive sign for college and other athletic programs in the state.

Mitch Barnhart says new cheer coach Ryan O’Connor knows “how to represent” UK

Jeff Houchin Photo

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Mitch Barnhart is confident the Game Day experience will “very, very special” when sports return to campus in the future.

“We look forward to the day that we get our fans back in our venues and we look forward to the day that we get our fans back in our venues,” Barnhart said Monday. “With that comes our cheerleading program and having an opportunity to engage with our crowd, create enthusiasm, and do those things that are most important.”

Terry Wilson had recent scare that convinced his mother his knee really is fine again

Quarterback Terry Wilson’s knee must be better because recently he had to sprint to outrun a loose dog coming at him.  (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just in case you had been wondering how Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson was progressing from the knee injury suffered in game two of the 2019 season that ended his year, the senior has left little doubt about it on social media.

“Y’all wait and see what happens when I touch that field again. Trust me,” Wilson posted on Twitter.

Roger Harden didn’t get to shoot often at UK, but when he did he could hit shots

Roger Harden, left (UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his four years at Kentucky point guard Roger Harden played in 122 games, which is still tied for 37th most at UK even though Harden graduated 34 years ago.

But ponder this. In those 122 games, he took only 466 shots. That’s just over four shots PER GAME even though he averaged over 20 minutes per game during his four-year career.

Of his 466 shots, 2018 came in the 1985-86 season when Eddie Sutton took over as coach after Joe Hall resigned. In 86 games under Hall, Harden put up only 258 shots.

Healthy Terry Wilson will give UK different dimension

Terry Wilson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Quarterback Terry Wilson led UK to a 10-3 record in 2018 when he threw for over 1,500 yards and 11 scores and rushed for 547 yards before getting hurt in the second game of last season. He was the first UK player ever with 1,500 passing yards and 500 yards rushing in the same season.

He expects to be at full strength when UK opens the season and center Drake Jackson says Wilson’s speed gives the offense a different dimension.

Growing up Craig Skinner “just wanted to play and didn’t care what sport it was”

Craig Skinner (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It’s been remarkable the way that coach Craig Skinner has elevated Kentucky volleyball into a national program that has won three straight Southeastern Conference titles and is a regular NCAA Tournament participant now. The Cats even have the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class joining the program this fall.

Skinner has led UK to 15 consecutive NCAA Tournaments — a feat only nine other schools in the nation can match. Kentucky has won 17 or more matches in all 15 seasons under Skinner, including 20 or more wins in 11 of the last 13 seasons. He is UK’s all-time winningest coach with a 353-125 overall record. Not bad for a guy who was working at a country club in Myrtle Beach in 1994 when he got offered his first volleyball coaching job.

Who will be UK’s breakout running back because Cats have lot of possibilities?

Chris Rodriguez (24). (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Who will be Kentucky’s breakout running back star during the 2020 season?

Numbers certainly indicate that. Benny Snell rushed for 1,333 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2017 when he averaged 5.1 yards per carry and then as a junior ran for 1,449 yards and 16 more touchdowns in 2018. He broke or tied 14 school rushing record, including most yards (3,873), total touchdowns (48) and rushing touchdowns in a season (17). He broke the career rushing mark set by Sonny Collins in 1975.

UK recruiting target Kennedy Chandler “has more tools than people realize”

Tennessee Mr. Basketball Kennedy Chandler with his father Kylan.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Yahoo Sports and Rivals.com basketball writer Krysten Peek says point guard Kennedy Chandler is a “top 10 player nationally” who is gaining more national recognition.

“I think he has more tools than people realize. Most see him as a playmaker and shifty point guard. But he has hops. He can play above the rim,” Peek said. “He’s a very versatile 6-1 point guard. I remember his first time at USA Basketball and he played with confidence because he knew he belonged because he knows he’s a good player.”