Larry Vaught

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Former Cat Hopewell, TaxSlayer Bowl member Showalter will join us on WPBK-FM Wednesday morning

Mark Stoops says playing a bowl game in Florida has to help recruiting. (John Showalter Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Want some TaxSlayer Bowl talk to start your day on Wednesday? We are going to have it for you on WPBK (102.9 FM, wpbkfm.com) from 7:30-8 a.m.

Show host Tim Estes and myself will be joined first by former University of Kentucky offensive lineman David Hopewell and then by TaxSlayer Bowl committee member John Showalter, a former football player at Boyle County High School in Danville.

Hopewell will have plenty of statistical information on Kentucky’s bowl foe, Georgia Tech. He will be going to Jacksonville for the game.

Gary Trent, DeAndre Ayton will be at Mustang Madness/Grind Session in Paducah; complete list of top players

DeAndre Ayton, right. (Caleb Lowndes/CJ Correspondent)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Some of the nation’s best prep players will be in Paducah Jan. 5-8 for the annual McCracken County Mustang Madness, which is part of The Grind Session (@thegrindsession on Twitter).

Prolific Prep (Calif.) played in the Marshall County Hoop Fest in December features Duke signee Gary Trent Jr. He was the best player at Hoop Fest and is considered one of the nation’s top overall players and best guards. He’s physical and much more mature than most players his age. His team will play twice in the event.

Akhator Named CollegeSportsMadness.com’s SEC Player of the Week

Evelyn Akhator (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After earning her 20th career double-double against Washington State, including two clutch free throws in the final minute of the game to clinch the win, University of Kentucky senior post Evelyn Akhator has been named the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week by CollegeSportsMadness.com.

This is the second weekly honor for Akhator from CollegeSportsMadness.com, which named her the National and SEC Player of the Week after the first weekend of the regular season. Akhator earned the early season honor after posting back-to-back double-doubles against highly ranked Miami and Albany.

Four-star Yusuf Corker adds to UK’s future secondary depth with his commitment

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s secondary was good this year, but it should be even better in the years ahead.

The Wildcats will return starting sophomore cornerbacks Derrick Baity and Chris Westry along with safety Mike Edwards, another sophomore. In UK’s 2016 recruiting class, UK coach Mark Stoops signed Jordan Griffin, Davonte Robinson and Tobias Gilliam, all highly regarded players. Griffin played mainly special teams this year while the other two redshirted.

Now the 2017 recruiting class is loaded with defensive backs, including the surprise commitment of four-star Yusuf Corker. He announced his decision on Twitter today the the 6-0, 185-pound Georgia prep standout and picked UK over Tennessee, Michigan State and South Carolina.

Gran now loves being around Boom Williams

Boom Williams (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During spring practice new Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran had little to say about running back Boom Williams.

First, he was unable to practice often as he was still rehabbing from offseason surgery. Second, he had some moments in the 2015 season when his lack of maturity showed.

Gran wisely said he was just waiting to see what Williams could or could not do.

Rick Pitino: “No one has recruited like John (Calipar)”

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After Louisville beat Kentucky last week, Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said UK had “dominated” the series recently — and he was right.

It was just Louisville’s second win in 10 tries against Kentucky coach John Calipari in his eight seasons with the Wildcats. Even though many of the losses were close, PItino said that did not matter.

“That’s not the way it works in basketball. You lose you lose, whether it is 2 points or 9. So, we’ve played good basketball against them, but they’ve had — and I say this not only in victories but also in defeats — there are a number of programs, Kentucky is Kentucky,” Pitino said.

Rick Pitino on defending De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk

Louisville did its best to slow down De’Aaron Fox. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky returns to action Thursday when it starts Southeastern Conference play at Mississippi.

The Wildcats will be trying to bounce back from last week’s 73-70 loss to Louisville that showed a few glitches in what had been a high-powered Kentucky offense.

The Cardinals did a good job slowing down UK point guard De’Aaron Fox and limiting UK’s fast break points.

Cincinnati mother knew the perfect Christmas gift for her children after getting an even better gift a few months earlier

Joi Martin with her children Anthony and Sara at the Yum Center Wednesday.

By LARRY VAUGHT

As we get set for Christmas, I want to share a story about a special Kentucky fan I met by chance before the Kentucky-Louisville game in Louisville Wednesday night.

As I pulled into the parking garage by the Yum Center, I saw a woman and two children get out of their vehicle. They were all in UK gear. I went over to wish them luck being UK fans on this night — and that’s how I met Joi Martin.

Kentucky “type of team” that five-star Jarred Vanderbilt wanted to join

New UK commit Jarred Vanderbilt with his mother, Gwen, and father, Robert, today.

By LARRY VAUGHT

It was about a year ago that I talked to Houston Victory Prep standout Jarred Vanderbilt in person for the first time. I was impressed with his size, character, humble attitude and maturity. On the court, I was impressed by almost everything about him.

I also remember after watching him play at the McCracken County Mustang Madness and was impressed by his ability at 6-8 to play “position-less” basketball. He could pass, handle the ball, rebound and score.

Canadian has become a true Kentucky basketball fan

Canadian Nicholas Garcia has become a huge UK fan.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Interacting with Kentucky fans on Twitter has become one of my favorite things to do each day. It’s a good way to stay connected with how fans feel, meet some really interesting people and even get story ideas.

Take Nicholas Garcia. I noticed on Twitter (@plainwildcatfan) that he lives in Waterloo, Canada, but was a die-hard Kentucky fan.