When will Neal Brown get a chance to move up based on success he’s had?

Neal Brown has Troy football rocking. (Troy Athletics Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Let me admit that I am still a bit surprised that former Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown has not received a big-time job offer.

His name has been mentioned in connection with several jobs — Louisville, Kansas State, Texas Tech. I’m even convinced that if Jeff Brohm had left Purdue for Louisville, then Brown could have been the next coach at Purdue.

If Troy can beat Buffalo Dec. 22 in the Dollar General Bowl it will give Brown a third straight 10-win season. While he’s known for his offensive work, the Troy defense has ranked in the top 25 nationally in points allowed the last three seasons.

LaMelo Ball will play two games at McCracken County Mustang Madness

LaMelo Ball

By LARRY VAUGHT

LaMelo Ball will be coming to western Kentucky to play two games in January.

Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Laker guard Lorenzo Ball, plays for SPIRE Academy out of Ohio after withdrawing from high school last season to play professional basketball in Lithuania at the urging of his father, LaVar Ball. .

LaMelo is a former ESPN top-100 recruit and is still just 17 years old. He won’t be able to play college basketball because he signed with an agent before going overseas.

Is Kentucky basketball falling behind other blue blood programs?

John Calipari doesn’t want any more excuses from his players. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By KEITH PEEL, Contributing Writer

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about what, if anything, is wrong with the Kentucky basketball program.

First, John Calipari hasn’t forgotten how to coach basketball since the end of the 2015 season. In fact he may have improved as a coach since then because of the various types of players he has recruited and coached over that three year span. So what gives? His teams in 2011 through 2015 went to four Final Fours in five years. That’s pretty hard to beat as a coach. Also in that same time span he had one national championship team and one runner-up.

Utah (4-4) versus Kentucky (7-2)

GAME 9: Utah (4-4) at #19/18 Kentucky (7-2)
WHERE: Lexington, Ky. (Rupp Arena)
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
TIP-OFF: 5 p.m. ET
TELEVISION: ESPN2 / WatchESPN (Tom Hart and Jimmy Dykes)
RADIO: ESPN700 / Utah Radio Sports Network (Bill Riley and Jimmy Soto)
Utah Game Notes

Penn State quarterback knows about Snell, UK defense but UK better also know plenty about him before Jan. 1

Benny Snell (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley really had no reason to know much about Kentucky when the teams were matched to play in the Citrus Bowl Jan. 1.

Penn State plays in the Big Ten and Kentucky is in the SEC. However, McSorley had already heard plenty about Kentucky running back Benny Snell when the bowl pairings were set.

“Obviously Benny Snell is a great player,” the Penn State quarterback said. “He’s been dynamic all year.”

He also knew that Kentucky going 9-3 was not the normal year for UK football.

Rhyne Howard SEC Freshman of Week

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third time this season, University of Kentucky freshman guard Rhyne Howard has been tabbed the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week by the league office for her strong performances for the top-20 ranked Wildcats.

Howard received her first honor of the season on Nov. 13 after strong performances against Alabama State and Southern before being tabbed the league’s top freshman on Nov. 27 after helping UK win the Paradise Jam Island Division. The native of Cleveland, Tenn., is the fourth player in program history to win three or more conference freshman of the week honors, joining Victoria Dunlap, A’dia Mathies and Bria Goss. All four players have come in the Matthew Mitchell era.

What kind of swag will UK player get in Citrus Bowl compared to what players in other bowls will receive?

By LARRY VAUGHT

Sam Gardner believes Kentucky and Penn State players are going to like the swag each one will get for participating in the VRBO Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 1.

Gardner — director of marketing and communications for the bowl — says the bowl “stays within the rules” that the NCAA sets for the maximum value of each player’s gift at a maximum of $550. That’s in addition to the player outings at a go-cart track (I want to wager on Kash Daniel being UK’s best) or when players partner with local kids at an amusement park.

Football Writers Association names Josh Allen All-American

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen has been named first-team All-America as announced Monday night by the Football Writers Association of America. 

Allen is UK’s first FWAA All-American since wide receiver/kick returner Derek Abney in 2002. 

Allen’s honors add to a growing list of accolades for the senior from Montclair, N.J.

·        Bronko Nagurski Award, National Defensive Player of the Year

·        Chuck Bednarik Award, National Defensive Player of the Year

·        Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy, National Defensive Player of the Year

Maybe Mississippi State coach Ben Howland’s comments at SEC Media Day about Tennessee were right

By LARRY VAUGHT

Could Ben Howland have been right with his comments about Tennessee and Kentucky back in mid-October?

At the SEC Media Day, the Mississippi State coach took exception to Kentucky being picked over Tennessee as the SEC’s best team.

“They’re the best team in our league going into the season, in my opinion, because of all the experience returning,” Howland said about Tennessee. “There’s no doubt they’re the team to beat in our conference.”

Howland wasn’t concerned that John Calipari led UK to the SEC title in 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and SEC Tournament title the last four seasons and six in nine years.

More All-American honors for Josh Allen, Benny Snell, Bunchy Stallings

Benny Snell (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky senior linebacker Josh Allen, senior offensive guard Jervontius “Bunchy” Stallings and junior running back Benny Snell Jr. continue to add to their stack of All-America honors with selections announced Monday by The Associated Press, ESPN.com and CollegeFootballNews.com.

Allen is first-team All-America by all three organizations.  Snell is a second-team All-American by College Football News and third-team from AP.  Stallings is first-team All-America by the AP and honorable mention by College Football News.