Three Reasons Why UK Football Will Be A Surprise Team In The SEC East

Gunnar Hoak (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

Kentucky “texting” with Dontaie Allen’s mother, could scholarship offer be coming?

Dontaie Allen with Keaton Belcher.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Pendleton County senior Dontaie Allen put on a show for Kentucky coach John Calipari Thursday when he had 30 points on 11-for-15 shooting, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range, at the Under Armour Challenge in Georgia playing for M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs

That came a few hours after he got scholarship offers from Florida and Pittsburgh to go with ones he already had from West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Xavier and others. He picked up another one Saturday from St. Louis and during the Georgia event also added offers from Oklahoma, Iowa State and Illinois.

Keep former UK football player Dave Hopewell in your prayers

Dave Hopewell (right).  (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Former University of Kentucky football center Dave Hopewell is recovering in Cincinnati after having about four hours of heart surgery today.

Hopewell, an Alabama native, was part of UK’s 10-1 team in 1977 and also part of the 1976 Peach Bowl team. His sons, Dan and Andrew, both also played at Kentucky.

His daughter-in-law, Jennifer, said the former UK lineman, now an insurance agent in Harrodsburg, had not been feeling well for several weeks. He had a stress test Monday and was immediately admitted to the hospital before being transferred to Cincinnati for surgery in hopes he could have robotics surgery. Instead, he ended up having a traditional surgery that took longer.

Tubby Smith to play in Barbasol Championship pro-am

Tubby Smith celebrates UK’s 1998 national championship.

LEXINGTON, KY (July 13, 2018) – Sports and music will collide at Champions at Keene Trace when the Barbasol Championship Pro-Am is played next Wednesday. Former University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith, country music star John Michael Montgomery, Kentucky Sports Radio founder Matt Jones and radio legend Rick Dees will be playing alongside a PGA TOUR pro as the celebrity team in the Pro-Am competition.

ESPN Personality Paul Finebaum Signs Multiyear Contract Extension

Paul Finnebaum (ESPN Photo)

ESPN has reached a multiyear contract extension with radio personality Paul Finebaum to remain a key contributor on ESPN and SEC Network. Finebaum will continue his presence across a number of high-profile network shows and programming, including as the host of The Paul Finebaum Show and as an analyst on SEC Nation.

“I’m thrilled to be a member of the ESPN family and look forward to continuing our show on SEC Network,” Finebaum said. “I consider myself incredibly blessed to do this every day, and I’d like to thank everyone at ESPN, as well as all of our loyal listeners and viewers, for their support.”

Montgomery Gentry has finally found a “new normal” without Troy Gentry

Troy Gentry, left, with Bo Garrett. (Twitter Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After Troy Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash in September, it took time for Montgomery Gentry lead singer Eddie Montgomery and other band members time to decide what they wanted to do without their friend and co-star.

“Last winter Eddie and I were texting. One text made me realize that I wanted to come back and have his (Montgomery’s) back,” said Bo Garrett, lead guitarist for Montgomery Gentry. “He said, ‘Brother, it is all we know how to do.’ I knew then he was right.”

What will James Wiseman do and when?

James Wiseman (USA Basketball Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Memphis power forward James Wiseman, a consensus top three player in the 2019 recruiting class, said at Peach Jam this week that he’ll cut his list of college choices to eight after this event ends.

He also said those who believe it is a two-school race between Kentucky and Memphis are wrong.

“During the fall I am going to take five official visits to schools I am interested in,” said Wiseman. “I’ll be looking at the relationship with the coach and teammates, the atmosphere, can I fit into the environment.”

Pendleton County star Dontaie Allen showing Kentucky why he’s more than worthy of scholarship offer

Dontaie Allen

By LARRY VAUGHT

Give Pendleton County senior Dontaie Allen credit — he’s not letting the pressure of being evaluated by Kentucky, and many others, bother him.

The wing player who somehow is not ranked among the nation’s top 150 players picked up a scholarship offer from Florida today to go with ones he already has from West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue, Western Kentucky, Xavier, Dayton and others.

Louisville coach Chris Mack watched him play Wednesday night in the Under Armour tournament in Cartersville, Ga. Kentucky assistant coach Tony Barbee did, too, and today UK head coach John Calipari watched him play.

All Allen did was have 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists Wednesday night and then come back with 33 points, five rebounds and seven assists Thursday morning for M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs. Then with Calipari watching, he went 11-for-15 from the field and had 30 points. He was 4-for-6 on 3-pointers.
In  three games, he’s averaging 28 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game and shooting over 45 percent from 3-point range.
Steve Quattrocchi, director of M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs, posted this on Twitter today: “We may not be UA, Adidas or EYBL but we have great kids who play hard and we promote the hell out of them. Kentucky kids can compete at the national level. Just need the opportunity.”
Allen has made it clear he would like a UK offer — and could well commit if he gets one. And with the way he’s playing, if he doesn’t get an offer then there obviously is no way Kentucky — which has not signed an in-state player since 2013 — was ever going to offer him based on all he’s done.

UK Football Fan Day Set for Aug. 4

Jordan Jones signed autographs at Fan Day last year. (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky football has set a date for Fan Day, with the popular annual event to take place on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Fan Day will kick off with an autograph session at Nutter Field House from 9-10:15 a.m. All UK players and coaches, including head coach Mark Stoops, will be available for autographs. Following the autograph session, fans are invited to an open practice starting at 11 a.m. at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility practice fields.

Vernon Carey will visit UK for Big Blue Madness

Vernon Carey (USA Basketball)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Top 2019 prospect Vernon Carey said Thursday that he will take his official visit to Kentucky in October during Big Blue Madness.

He’s already taken an official visit to Michigan State and will take officials to Duke, North Carolina and Miami, too.

The 6-10 Carey had 21 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks and four steals in a matchup with James Wiseman — who had 26 points and 10 rebounds — at Peach Jam Wednesday. Wiseman is another one of UK’s top 2019 targets. Carey came back with 25 points and eight rebounds in a Peach Jam win Thursday.