Larry Vaught

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DOLLYWOOD TO REOPEN FRIDAY

My grandsons always love Dollywood and we visit Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg at least six times per year. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

My grandsons always love Dollywood and we visit Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg at least six times per year. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., (November 29, 2016 5:00 p.m.)  After assessing the damage wrought by recent wildfires in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is focusing its efforts for the next two days supporting the community.   

Dollywood hosts have joined in supporting the needs of their fellow hosts affected as well as assisting other area businesses in supplying personal care items to the shelter at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge and they continue to feed and house firefighters and first responders.

Adebayo full of praise for Dominique Hawkins

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Count Bam Adebayo as a big Dominique Hawkins fan.

“He plays hard, he’s smart, he’s an intelligent point guard. He just plays hard on the ball and off. He is a great defender. If he gets caught on an island, I don’t have to help as much as I should. He’s just outstanding. He has experience and knows what it is all about,” Adebayo said.

How tough is Hawkins?

“I thought he should have played football and been a running back. I am just glad I have him on my team,” Adebayo said.

Stoops no longer “ticked off” about Louisville losses

Mark Stoops enjoyed the win over Louisville. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Mark Stoops enjoyed Kentucky’s 41-38 win over Louisville with his players. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY  VAUGHT

Coaches are supposed to say that no one game is more special or important than any other game. Doesn’t matter what sport it is or what level it is. Coaches all say that. But they don’t mean it.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops finally admitted as much after his team beat Louisville 41-38 last week. The two previous years UK had leads over the Cardinals knowing a win would make the Cats bowl eligible. Each time they lost.

Kentucky-Arizona State postgame notes, numbers

Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes

Arizona State vs. Kentucky, Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Nov. 28, 2016
Attendance:
1,200

Final Score: No. 1/1 Kentucky 115, Arizona State 69                                                   

Team Records and Series Notes

  • Kentucky improved to 7-0. Arizona State is 4-3
  • Kentucky leads the all-time series 5-0 and is now 3-0 in neutral site games.
  • Kentucky is 2-0 in neutral site games this season
  • Kentucky returns to Rupp Arena to face another Pac-12 opponent, UCLA, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS

 

In the First Half

Fox has historic triple-double to lead UK rout

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari was hoping for a grind-it-out, close game against Arizona State in the Bahamas Monday night.

He didn’t get that as No. 1 UK rolled from the start and thrashed Arizona State 115-69, it’s third straight game over 100 points for the first time since 1977.

But what Calipari did get was to watch history. Freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox became just the second UK player to get a triple double with his 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists (he also had two steals). The only other UK player ever to have a triple-double was Chris Mills on Dec. 27, 1988.

Jon Toth Accepts Reese’s Senior Bowl Invitation

Jon Toth anchors UK's  offensive line. (Wade Upchurch photo)

Jon Toth anchors UK’s offensive line. (Wade Upchurch photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior center Jon Toth, pronounced TOETH (long “o” sound), has accepted an invitation to play in the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Quade Green’s coach, Kyle Macy, Jim Lambert will join me on Leach Report Tuesday

Quade Green (USA Basketball Photo)

Quade Green (USA Basketball Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

With Tom Leach “having” to spend time in the Bahamas working the Kentucky basketball game Monday night, he has trusted me to host The Leach Report Tuesday from 9-10 a.m. on WLAP (630 AM).

Knowing that Freddie Maggard had more football information today than I ever could, we will go a different route Tuesday.

First will be coach Carl Arrigale of Philadelphia. His star player this year is UK signee Quade Green, who is maybe the nation’s top point guard. Arrigale will share insights on what got Green to sign with UK as well as a lot about what type player and person he is.

UK signee Shai Alexander plays at Marshall County Hoop Fest Friday

By LARRY VAUGHT

Fans at the Marshall County Hoop Fest will get to see Kentucky signee Shair Alexander play Friday  at 5:30 p.m. CST against Prolific Prep out of California (call 270-527-6714 to purchase tickets in advance).

Alexander and his Hamilton Heights (Chattanooga) teammates will play Thursday night in Memphis against Memphis East on ESPN2.

“That will be a heck of a stretch for us,” Hamilton Heights coach Zach Ferrell said. “We’ll be doing some sleeping on the bus. We’ve not been to Hoop Fest before but I know what a quality event it is.”

Edwards, MacGinnis, Johnson earn Player of the Week honors

Austin MacGinnis with his sister, Kelsey, after Saturday's win at Louisville.

Austin MacGinnis with his sister, Kelsey, after Saturday’s win at Louisville.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Three Kentucky players were honored for their contributions to Kentucky’s 41-38 road upset victory over No. 11 Louisville on Saturday, which gave the Wildcats their first seven-win regular season since 2009.

Kentucky sophomore safety Mike Edwards, junior quarterback Stephen Johnson and junior kicker Austin MacGinnis received Southeastern Conference Player of the Week recognition both from the league and independent outlets. The three played critical roles in Kentucky’s first win over the rival Cardinals since 2010.

Competition getting better, but numbers project 21-point win over Arizona State

Bam Adebayo during practice Sunday in the Bahamas. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

Bam Adebayo during practice Sunday in the Bahamas. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

By RICHARD CHEEKS

Rarely, if ever, will I find the subjective wire service polls have it right while analytical models such as my ANE model, or Pomeroy not so much. However, this is one of those times and want to explain why I believe this is happening. First, a short recap of the first six games. The Cats have beaten their first 6 opponents by an average of 28 points, and their closest margin so far has been the 21 point defeat they handed Michigan State at MSG. No UK team since 1947-48 team has dominated its first 6 opponents by 21 or more points in each game.