Larry Vaught

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Tyler Ulis one of 20 finalists for John Wooden Award

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LOS ANGELES – Kentucky men’s basketball sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis is one of 20 players on the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list, announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Wooden Award is presented annually to the top player in college basketball.

The players on the list are considered strong candidates for Wooden Award, though a player does not have to be on the preseason, midseason or late season list to win the award. Fifteen top players who have proven to their universities that they are also making progress toward graduation and maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA will be submitted to the voters on the ballot prior to the NCAA Tournament.

Freddie Maggard joins me and Tim Estes on WPBK-FM Thursday morning


Even at Rupp Arena when Freddie Maggard talks football, everyone listens. (Gary Moyers Photo)

Even at Rupp Arena when Freddie Maggard talks football, everyone listens. (Gary Moyers Photo)

If you still want to know more about Kentucky’s football recruiting class and prospects for the 2016 season, then join WPBK-FM (109.2) morning host Tim Estes and myself Thursday morning when we have former UK football quarterback and current Kentucky Sports Radio football columnist Freddie Maggard on air.

I’ll join Estes at 7:15 a.m. and then Maggard will be with us from 7:30 until 8 a.m. He is a football recruiting guru and true football junkie. He worked the UK-Georgia basketball game Tuesday night and every basketball-related item had a football twist to it for Maggard.

Makayla Epps Named to Naismith Trophy Midseason 30

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After being named to the 2015-16 Naismith Trophy Women’s College Player of the Year Early Season Watch List in December, Kentucky women’s basketball junior guard Makayla Epps has been selected to the Midseason 30 on Wednesday.

The original 50-player watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors, which based its criteria on player performances from the previous year and expectations for the 2015-2016 college basketball season. From the 30 athletes on the midseason watch list, the field will be cut to 10 semifinalists on March 3.

Willis believes Humphries could be next man up for UK


Isaac Humphries (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaac Humphries (Vicky Graff Photo)

If Kentucky coach John Calipari is right, senior forward Alex Poythress will be out two weeks with an injury to his right knee. He  missed most of last season with a left knee injury.

Kentucky beat Florida Saturday and Georgia Tuesday rather easily even without Poythress. However, UK has games at South Carolina and Texas A&M in the next two weeks before Poythress would be scheduled to return.

How do the Cats cope?

“Next man up. That’s just kind of the theme. One guy goes down, isn’t playing, next guy up,” junior forward Derek Willis said after Tuesday’s win.

Murray getting better, more comfortable making shots


Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray has been shooting so well that going 8-for-14 from the field in Tuesday’s 82-48 victory over Georgia did not seem like a hot shooting night to him. He was also 6-for-10 from 3-point range.

So how did Murray play?

“Better. He’s getting better,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

Then the UK coach made a statement that drew laughter in the media room but probably did not seem funny to others for obvious reasons.

Calipari: Poythress will be out two weeks


For the second straight game, Alex Poythress did not play for Kentucky.

On the pregame Kentucky Sports Radio show, Ryan Lemond reported that Poythress suffered a “minor meniscus” problem in the knee he did not have surgery on last year and would be about 10 to 14 days after having surgery Tuesday.

So how is Poythress?

“He will be out about two weeks,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said.

So I asked if he had surgery as Lemond noted?

“He will be out two weeks. I don’t think there is any reason to talk about it more,” Calipari said.

Kentucky defense overwhelms Georgia


Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

LEXINGTON — It’s hard to imagine any college team could miss 21 straight shots from the field and go almost 18 minutes without a field goal.

Yet Georgia did exactly that here Tuesday night while falling 82-48 to Kentucky.

Georgia finished the game 11 of 50 — 22 percent — from the field. The 11 field goals were the fewest in the country this season by a Power 5 team.

“It was us and them both. Now we are back playing defense,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “We are really working on our team defense.

Kentucky-Georgia postgame notes and numbers

Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
Feb. 9, 2016 
Attendance: 22,136

Final Score: Kentucky 82, Georgia 48

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Team Records and Series Notes
• Kentucky is now 18-6 on the season, 8-3 in Southeastern Conference action. Georgia is 13-9 overall, 6-5 in league play.
• Kentucky leads the all-time series 120-26 and has won five in a row.
• Next for the Wildcats: UK plays at South Carolina on Saturday at noon.

Guest post: Cam Newton needs to respect game more, but also be given grace we all need

Vaught’s note: Allison Tamme, the wife of former UK tight end Jacob Tamme, went to Sunday’s Super Bowl in San Francisco. Her husband played twice in the game — once for Indianapolis and once for Denver — and this year his Atlanta Falcons were the only team to beat Carolina before Denver did the same thing Sunday. She has some passionate thoughts on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and I thought you would enjoy her perspective.


Allison and Jacob Tamme at Sunday's Super Bowl

Allison and Jacob Tamme at Sunday’s Super Bowl

After reading everyone’s thoughts about the Cam Newton situation (at the Super Bowl), I wanted to put my two cents in.

Numbers project 14-point win over Georgia


The On Again-Off Again Cats were in the On Again mode on Saturday when Florida entered Rupp Arena. Can anyone really know which brand of Cat will make an appearance at Rupp Arena on Tuesday night when the Georgia Bulldogs come to town?

Georgia brings a 13-8, 6-4 record into this SEC showdown with the Cats, who sport a record of 17-6, 7-3 in the SEC. Georgia completed their non-conference schedule 7-4, with losses to #69 Chattanooga by 2 in OT, at #30 Seton Hall by 7, to #39 Kansas State by 2, and at #29 Baylor by 10. Georgia’s most impressive non-conference win came at the expense of #52 Clemson by 23.