No “scared money” for Stoops with Johnson against South Carolina

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

Stephen Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Two things that stood out to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops about the way quarterback Stephen Johnson played in his first big opportunity last week were his poise and his accuracy.

He threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the win over New Mexico State and will make his first start at quarterback against South Carolina Saturday night with Drew Barker out for an unspecified amount of time with a back injury.

Johnson’s threat to run adds a new dimension to the UK offense.

UK Athletics Hall of Fame to Induct Six New Members

1LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016, featuring Rich Brooks (football), Chuck Hayes (men’s basketball), James Johnson (wrestling), Molly Johnson-Belcher (softball), Bernadette Madigan-Dugan (cross country/track and field) and Wesley Woodyard (football), will be inducted during Hall of Fame Weekend, Sept. 23-24, in conjunction with the football home game vs. South Carolina.

Rich Brooks, Football, 2003-09

UK Men’s Basketball Finalizes Remaining Game Times, TV Networks

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaiah Briscoe (Vicky Graff Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team has finalized game times and television network selections for the remainder of its schedule.

UK has confirmed times and television networks for the remaining games, all of which will be held in Rupp Arena:

–          Nov. 11 vs. Stephen F. Austin – 7 p.m. on SEC Network

–          Nov. 20 vs. Duquesne – 9 p.m. on ESPN

–          Nov. 23 vs. Cleveland State – 1 p.m. on SEC Network

–          Nov. 25 vs. UT Martin – 7 p.m. on SEC Network

Stoops on defense: “We’re not real tough, we’re not real smart and we’ve got a long way to go.”

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

Whatever the reason, Stoops finally did what he should have — he lit into his players after Wednesday’s practice for continuing to make the same mistakes.

“Yeah I got after them a little bit. I’m not pleased. I’m just … it’s frustrating. We try to teach, try to coach, try to educate, and sometimes all that don’t work. The truth is the truth. If we’re so fragile we can’t handle the truth, we’re not going to win many games. I told them the truth,” Stoops said.

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.