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.

UK Basketball: You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til It’s Gone

Frank Ramsey with Cliff Hagan in 1954. (UK Athletics Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

In 1970 Canadian born singer Joni Mitchell wrote and recorded a song titled “Big Yellow Taxi” It became a hit song for her reaching No. 24 on the Billboard Charts in 1974. In that song one of the lines in the chorus says,”You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone”. That seems to be so true in almost any endeavor.

What? Calipari critics won’t believe one-and-done Jarred Vanderbilt on Academic Honor Roll

Jarred Vanderbilt (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Guessing the John Calipari critics won’t pay attention to the Southeastern Conference First-Year Academic Honor Roll released Wednesday.

It takes at least a cumulative 3.0 grade-point average for the 2017 summer and fall terms along with the 2018 spring term semester to make the honor roll.

Kentucky had 78 athletes honored — fourth most in the SEC. That included 19 in baseball.

But guess who one of the athletes honored was? It was Kentucky basketball freshman Jarred Vanderbilt, a one-and-done player who was a second-round NBA draft pick. So much for the theory some have that Calipari’s one-and-doners care only about basketball and nothing else.

UK making right choice taking Benny Snell, Josh Allen, C.J. Conrad to SEC Media Days

Josh Allen. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Give Kentucky coach Mark Stoops for picking what seems the logical three players to take with him to Southeastern Conference Media Days in Atlanta Monday/

Running back Benny Snell, tight end C.J. Conrad and linebacker Josh Allen will be on display for up to 1,000 media members in Atlanta.

Snell is an all-SEC running back and recently was named one of the nation’s top 100 returning college football players by Sports Illustrated. Allen is already being projected as a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Conrad could be the pivotal piece for UK’s offense to reach a new level no matter who the quarterback is and he’s been ranked as one of the nation’s top three tight ends.

SEC Network will have 45 hours of coverage from SEC Media Days

SEC Network’s coverage of 2018 SEC Kickoff Presented by Regions Bank boasts 45 hours of live programming from Atlanta, including a special edition of SEC Nation live from Centennial Park on Sunday, July 15 at 6 p.m. ET.

SEC Nation will feature host Laura Rutledge, analysts Paul Finebaum and Marcus Spears, along with reporter Lauren Sisler. ESPN’s new Monday Night Football announcing team of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten and Booger McFarland will play significant roles in the special SEC Summerfest show, joining the Nation crew to preview the 2018 season while on their nationwide trek to the 32 NFL franchises. The trio is well-versed in the headlines and heartbeat of the SEC, as Tessitore previously hosted SEC Nation, and Witten (Tennessee) and McFarland (LSU) are former SEC football standouts.

FedExCup champion Billy Horschel commits to play in Barbasol Championship next week

LEXINGTON, KY (July 11, 2018) – Five-time PGA TOUR Winner and 2014 FedExCup Champion Billy Horschel has committed to the July 19-22 Barbasol Championship, it was announced today by tournament Executive Director Brooks Downing. A FedExCup winner is the top honor on the PGA TOUR, having to excel both in the regular season and the four-event playoffs to become the season-long Champion.

“The addition of a FedExCup winner is a huge boost to the overall strength of our player field,” said Downing. “Billy is one of the top players on the PGA TOUR, has a tournament win from earlier this year, and is one of the most fan-friendly players on the circuit.”

Reid Travis a “monster” in first UK practice

Reid Travis

By LARRY VAUGHT

There was no official announcement about Reid Travis now being eligible at Kentucky, but TJ Beisner’s practice report at coachcal.com Tuesday night revealed that the Stanford graduate transfer practiced with the Wildcats for the first time.

Travis had been allowed to watch practice but not participate. However, Beisner noted that the two-time all-Pac 12 player had no trouble adjusting to UK’s practice schedule or pace.
 “Physically, he’s a monster.  With four years of college under his belt, he’s obviously more advanced than the rest of Kentucky’s young team and wasn’t shy about using his strength on day one.  During a drill, players drove to the basket and a staff member fouled them as they went up.  The first two players struggled to finish through contact.  Travis then drove, took a hard foul on his left side, brought his right hand through with the ball and punched it through the rim on top of the staff member.  That was sort of his that he came to compete.  And that’s exactly what he did,” Beisner wrote.
Beisner also noted that no UK players back down from Travis’ physical play — a huge improvement from last year when physical play did bother the Cats. Beisner noted how freshman Keldon Johnson, known for his physical play, went at the bigger Travis almost the entire practice.
 
Here’s one other Beisner nugget UK fans should love, too:
“When practice ended, you wouldn’t have known it because everyone was still in the gym going through individual work,” Beisner wrote.

Logan Stenberg has to the “nastiest” player to be successful

Logan Stenberg talks with UK offensive line coach John Schlarman. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If Kentucky offensive lineman Logan Stenberg has one obvious fault it would be that he’s too aggressive.

“That is kind of how I have been since middle school football,” said Stenberg, an Alabama native. “I have always been the guy that has got personal fouls.

“It has definitely come back to bite me in the ass a couple of times but I don’t think I could change. I am not the biggest, fastest or strongest, so I have to be the nastiest. That’s how I think about it.”

J.D. Shelburne, Walker Montgomery, Tasji Bachman all scheduled to perform during Barbasol Championship

J.D. Shelburne entertained UK fans at a pregame football concert . Next week he will perform at the Barbasol Championship. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

LEXINGTON, KY (July 10, 2018) – The Barbasol Championship is shaping up to be more entertainment than just golf. Organizers have landed three country music acts for its “Main Street Stage Live at the Barbasol,” that will play each night after the last putt drops. The PGA TOUR event, Kentucky’s only annual professional golf tournament, will be played at Champions at Keene Trace, July 19-22, just south of Lexington across the Jessamine County line.

Wildcats’ Big Blue Bahamas Games to be Televised by SEC Network

LEXINGTON, Ky. – It won’t be able to replace the paradise that’s just outside the arena, but for Kentucky men’s basketball fans who are unable to make it to the Bahamas in August for UK’s foreign exhibition tour, they’re still in luck: The SEC Network will televise all four games from the Atlantis on Paradise Island.

The ESPN college basketball crew of Tom Hart (play-by-play), Seth Greenberg (analyst) and Dan Dakich (analyst) will be on the call to bring fans all the game action, live from the Bahamas.