UK Leads the Nation with 24 Players on NBA Opening-Day Rosters

1LEXINGTON, Ky. – John Calipari has made the statement before that he would like to see every NBA team have at least one Wildcat on its roster and half of the NBA’s annual All-Star Game hailing from the University of Kentucky.

It’s an ambitious goal, sure, but with each passing season, as the number of UK players playing in the NBA continues to rise, it doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

The Kentucky men’s basketball team, the nation’s most prolific NBA player-producing program, once again leads the country with 24 players on an opening-day NBA roster. Of the 449 players in the NBA to start the 2016-17 season, approximately 5.35 percent played college basketball at UK.

Construction on New Baseball Stadium Set to Begin in February

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Athletics Department will begin construction on a new baseball stadium in February, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced at a press conference on Monday. Construction is expected to take 18-20 months, meaning the stadium will open in late fall 2018 in time for the 2019 UK baseball season.

“This is another step toward making the vision we have for our facilities a reality,” Barnhart said. “We are excited to begin construction on the baseball stadium we’ve long worked to build and even more excited to give our program an incredible new facility as we pursue our goal of competing at the highest level in the strongest conference in America.”

Austin MacGinnis one of Lou Groza “Stars of the Week”

Austin MacGinnis

Austin MacGinnis

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award, college football’s top kicking award presented by the Orange Bowl. Each week the Palm Beach County Sports Commission recognizes three of the top kickers from FBS division teams as the “Stars of the Week.”

MacGinnis, Snell earn SEC honors

Austin MacGinnis (UK Athletics Photo)

Austin MacGinnis (UK Athletics Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior kicker Austin MacGinnis and freshman running back Benny Snell Jr. were named Southeastern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week, respectively, for their standout performances in Saturday’s 40-38 victory over Mississippi State, the league announced on Monday.

This is only the second time in school history that Kentucky has had two players honored for the same game.  In 2007, linebacker Wesley Woodyard was SEC Defensive Player of the Week and guard Jason Leger was SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week following a win at Arkansas. 

Calipari has to figure out best way to use guards

De'Arron Fox (Vicky Graff Photo)

De’Arron Fox (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Trying to figure out the best way to use guards Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe and De’Aaron Fox together will be one of the early challenges for coach John Calipari.

All three have to play. Along with Bam Adebayo, they are UK’s best four players and Calipari is not going to keep one on the bench with him.

“We haven’t played them all together. 

Had a great meeting with those three today,” Calipari said after Friday’s Blue-White Game. “We got a lot to figure out. It’s going to be organic, as it always is here. We got to figure out different rotations, who plays better with whom.

Benny Snell: Win over Mississippi State gives team hope

Benny Snell enjoyed Saturday's win. (Bill Thirry Photo)

Benny Snell enjoyed Saturday’s win. (Bill Thirry Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky opened the season by blowing a 35-10 lead and lost to Southern Mississippi. On Saturday night, UK just about blew a 34-24 lead — and UK had the ball  inside the 10-yard line just about to score again — before rallying to beat Mississippi State 40-38.

So what does that do for coach Mark Stoops’ program?

Few woes will not stop veteran fan from continuing to attending UK Women’s Clinic

Sheen

Sheena Wethington with Bam Adebayo at Sunday’s clinic.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Like a lot of Kentuckians, Sheena Wethington said she had no choice but to be a UK basketball fan.

“My love for UK basketball started probably before I was born. My dad was a huge UK fan, so I don’t think I really had a choice but to be one, too,” she said.

Wethington went to Western Kentucky University but refused to wear red, Western’s school color. She says she became an even bigger UK fan — if that was possible — when she moved to Lexington five years ago.

Former UK linebacker Marty Moore will be inducted into KHSAA Hall of Fame

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame Class of 2017 was announced today in a press conference at the KHSAA Offices. The 11 members in this year’s class will be the 30th inducted into the Dawahares/KHSAA Hall of Fame, and consists of former high school coaches, athletes, officials, administrators, and contributors. The Class of 2017 will be inducted in ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, March 18, 2017, at the Lexington Convention Center. The Class of 2017 will also be recognized during the semifinals of the 2017 Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet 16®. The induction of the 11-member Class of 2017 will bring the total number of honorees in the Hall of Fame to 456.

How did Stoops handle State’s fumble return for score, Johnson’s ineffective first half

Mark Stoops and Stephen Johnson hug after Saturday's win. (Chet White/UK Athletics Photo)

Mark Stoops and Stephen Johnson hug after Saturday’s win. (Chet White/UK Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After Kentucky’s dramatic win over Mississippi State Saturday night, I wanted to know two things from coach Mark Stoops.

First, what did he say to his team after Stephen Johnson’s fumble was returned for a score when it looked like UK was ready to score and take a 41-24 lead instead of having the margin trimmed to 34-31 early in the fourth period.

Mississippi State coach appreciated concern Stoops had for his injured player

By LARRY VAUGHT

Early in the third quarter Mississippi State offensive lineman Darryl Williams was hurt when the Bulldogs kicked a field goal against Kentucky.

He laid motionless on the field for over 10 minutes before he was put on a stretcher and taken off the field to a waiting ambulance. State coach Dan Mullen had his players surround him and they prayed for Williams.

Kentucky fans, players and coaches applauded as Williams left the field. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops spent time on the field checking on Williams.