Former Cat Walter McCarty doesn’t have team at Evansville to slow down Kentucky

Kentucky figures to overwhelm Evansville tonight. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS, Contributing Writer

In game 1, the Cats showed sufficient toughness to hold off a very strong group of Spartans to lay claim to the #1 spot on the college basketball totem pole. This past Friday, the Cats put the pedal to the metal from the opening tip to the final buzzer and took a bunch of Colonels apart for an impressive 42-point win over our neighbors from Richmond. Tonight former Wildcat star Walter McCarty will bring his Evansville Purple Aces into Rupp to see if he can find the keys to slow down this hot set of Wildcats.

John Calipari heaps praise on Devin Booker, Anthony Davis, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Devin Booker (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you want to get John Calipari on a roll, it’s easy to do. Just ask him about how his former players are performing in the NBA.

That’s just what happened Monday during Calipari’s press conference to preview tonight’s game with Evansville when the UK coach was asked if any of his former players had caught his attention with his play so far this season.

It was like a softball for Calipari to knock out of the park and he swung away in a hurry.

Mark Stoops plans to build on team’s “strengths” so Lynn Bowden likely to stay at quarterback

Lynn Bowden (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Does Lynn Bowden have confidence in his ability to throw the football or is he more comfortable just dropping back to throw and then taking off on scrambles?

That’s a question that was posed to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops Monday — two days after UK’s passing attack was non-existent again in a 17-13 loss to Tennessee.The Cats did run for 302 yards against Tennessee with Bowden, the former receiver, running the offense for the fourth straight game.

Bringing former players like Walter McCarty back to coach against UK a “great thing”

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Odds are the first time John Calipari saw Walter McCarty was the 1995-96 college basketball season.

Calipari was coaching at UMass and McCarty was playing at Kentucky for Rick Pitino on what turned out to be a national championship team.

The teams met twice that year. McCarty had 17 points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal in a 92-82 loss to UMass in the Great Eight in Detroit. A few months later in the Final Four, Kentucky beat UMass 81-74 in the semifinals. McCarty had eight points, 10 rebounds, four assists, one block and played terrific defense on UMass star Marcus Camby in UK’s win.

Good things really might come in threes for UK basketball

John Calipari with Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

There is an old adage that says,”Good or bad things come in threes.” Well, I’m here to talk about the UK Basketball related “good things” that come in threes. And here they are.

Being No. 1 now nice, but Cats want to be No. 1 at end of season

Immanuel Quickley (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Immanuel Quickley wasn’t surprised when Kentucky climbed to the top of the polls Monday.

“We haven’t been No. 1 that long,” he said with a smile. “I think it’s been like 20 minutes. Still kind of getting adjusted. But I think we’ll have a good mindset. Coach does a good job of keeping us humble. We know we’re No. 1, but we know we’re not where we need to be yet. By the end of the year, we want to be that No. 1 team and we know what we’re looking for from each other.”

Mark Stoops encouraging fans to make trip to Vanderbilt

Mark Stoops hopes Kentucky fans will follow the team to Vanderbilt Saturday. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If Kentucky had beat Tennessee Saturday to get to 5-4 going into Saturday afternoon’s game at Vanderbilt there might have been a near capacity crowd of only UK fans at the game.

Instead, UK lost 17-13 to the Vols after having a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. That had Kentucky coach Mark Stoops “encouraging” fans to still come to Nashville Saturday that has turned into a “must win” if the Cats are going to get bowl eligible because a victory over Louisville in the final game is no given.

After “weird” loss to Vols, Mark Stoops says UK’s margin for error in final three games is “extremely small”

Will A.J. Rose and UK be able to celebrate a win at Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — Mark Stoops was still scratching his head Monday as he tried to analyze his team’s disappointing 17-13 loss to Tennessee last weekend.

The Wildcats dominated the line of scrimmage but lost the battle of 50-50 balls and came up short on the goal line in the closing minutes against the Volunteers.

“It was an extremely difficult outcome,” Stoops said Monday. “… it’s not a coaching cliche, but we have to find a way to get those yards at critical moments we have to find ways to execute and make those plays happen.”

It’s only November but John Calipari has ideas for a “couple of tweaks”

John Calipari has some ideas about how to use three guards, including Ashton Hagans, on the court more. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Are Kentucky’s other players following Ashton Hagans’ lead on defense?

Hagans, a sophomore guard, was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season and can totally disrupt an opposing team’s offense.

Kentucky coach John Calipari got asked that exact question after Friday’s win over Eastern Kentucky. However as he often does, Calipari’s answer didn’t have a lot to do with Hagans but it did provide some insights into his defensive thoughts on this team.

Bo Garrett “incredibly thankful and humbled” for getting chance to perform national anthem at UK football game

Bo Garrett (Gary Moyers/Cats Pause)

By LARRY VAUGHT

For someone who was really, really nervous about his performance, Montgomery Gentry guitarist Bo Garrett certainly put on a terrific show performing the national anthem before Saturday night’s Kentucky-Tennessee football game.

He got a standing ovation from the crowd at Kroger Field and a video of his performance that UK Athletics posted on social media has drawn even more attention than what Garrett obviously was expecting based on his Facebook post Sunday night.