Makayla Epps Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

Makayla Epps (Vicky Graff Photo)

Makayla Epps (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – New season, same story for University of Kentucky senior guard Makayla Epps, who has added another honor to her already lengthy list of awards, after being named to the Athlon Sports 2016-17 Preseason All-America Second Team, it was announced recently.

Epps, who is one of three Southeastern Conference players on either the first or second team, is coming off a great junior season where she was named All-America First Team by CollegeSportsMadness.com and All-America Honorable Mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and The Associated Press. The native of Lebanon, Ky., was also named a first-team All-SEC performer by league coaches and the AP, while she was on the Dawn Staley Award Mid-Season Watch List, Naismith Trophy Midseason 30 and Wade Trophy Watch List last season.

Barker our for “foreseeable future” with back problem

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After waiting two years to become Kentucky’s top quarterback, Drew Barker is going to be out at least the next three to four weeks — and maybe longer — because of a lingering back injury from this summer that no one at UK had disclosed until he went out after three plays against New Mexico State last week.

C.J. Conrad Named John Mackey Tight End of the Week

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky sophomore tight end C.J. Conrad has been named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week after a career game last Saturday against New Mexico State, it was announced by the John Mackey Award Committee on Wednesday.

Conrad caught five passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns – all career highs – in Kentucky’s 62-42 win over NMSU. It was the first 100-yard game for Conrad, who earned third-team Freshman All-America honors last season. Back in July, Conrad was named to the 2016 John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List, which annually honors the most outstanding collegiate tight end.

Boom Williams knows UK offense needed boost from Johnson and Snell

Boom Williams (Vicky Graff Photo)

Boom Williams (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Boom Williams is Kentucky’s most explosive offensive player and had a terrific game against New Mexico State last week even if he was overshadowed by the emergence of backup quarterback Stephen Johnson and backup running back Benny Snell in the 62-42 win.

“It was nice to get points on the board and have fun,” said Williams. “Stephen came in and did a nice job. He took over the offense and extended plays and drive. That was really good for us.”

What about Snell?

UK Men’s Basketball Practice to be Televised by ESPNU on Oct. 9

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

Dominique Hawkins (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky fans will once again get a sneak peek at the UK men’s basketball team for a live, televised open practice on ESPNU. This year’s open practice will be televised Oct. 9 from 7-9 p.m.

The Wildcats will go through various agility and shooting drills in addition to 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 scrimmaging.

Doris Burke, Seth Greenberg and Fran Fraschilla will be on hand to call the action for ESPNU, along with Andy Katz, who will handle sideline reports.

It’s the third season in a row UK has had a practice televised live.

Despite numbers, Gran gives Benny Snell only “solid B” for performance against New Mexico State

Benny Snell (Vicky Graff Photo)

Benny Snell (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

I would not want to have Eddie Gran for a teacher after the way the Kentucky offensive coordinator graded freshman running back Benny Snell’s play against New Mexico State.

Snell ran for 136 yards and a school-record four touchdowns. The only other UK freshman to score four touchdowns in a game was Don “Dopey” Phelps in 1946.

Yet Gran only gave him a “good solid B” even though the UK offensive had scored just one touchdown in the last six quarters going into the game.

UK Hoops will have 10 games on national TV

Maci Morris (Vicky Graff Photo)

Maci Morris (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Southeastern Conference announced its 2016-17 women’s basketball schedule Tuesday, with the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team set to host Missouri, Texas A&M, Georgia, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Florida and Mississippi State inside Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats will travel in the league to play at Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina.

Guest post: What if Kentucky had hired Petrino?

Bobby Petrino (Vicky Graff Photo)

Bobby Petrino (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL

I was thinking about UK’s current state of affairs in football after watching UofL go to 3-0 by demolishing second ranked Florida State while UK sits at 1-2 and struggled to beat a team that is a bottom feeder in the Sunbelt.

It occurred to me that at one point in 2012 Bobby Petrino could have been a viable option for UK as a head football coach. It appeared he was interested in the job. He had been fired by Arkansas for an undisclosed affair with his football assistant that he had previously given a $20,000 Christmas present to and one he had hired to the assistant’s job while they were having an affair.

Stephen Johnson No. 1; could Gunnar Hoak be No. 2

Gunnar Hoak, second from left, could be pressed into action Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Gunnar Hoak, second from left, could be pressed into action Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Quarterback Drew Barker did not practice Tuesday because of his lingering back issues and offensive coordinator Eddie Gran said Stephen Johnson will be the starter Saturday night against South Carolina.

“Stephen is be the guy and they’re still getting evaluated and still getting in stuff with Drew. That’s all we know right now. Right now, Stephen’s the guy,” Gran said.

Johnson played well in UK’s 62-42 win over New Mexico State after Barker went out after throwing an interception on the first series. Kentucky amassed almost 700 yards of offense with Johnson at quarterback.

Big Blue Madness tickets to be distributed Sept. 30

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tickets for the 2016 Big Blue Madness in Rupp Arena will be available on Friday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions and online at Ticketmaster.com. Big Blue Madness, the first open practice opportunity for UK’s 2016-17 men’s and women’s basketball teams, is Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. It will also air live on the SEC Network.