Versatile RB A.J. Rose getting better

By LARRY VAUGHT

Redshirt freshman running back A.J. Rose got to play the role of Heisman Trophy quarterback Lamar Jackson to help Kentucky’s defense prepare for Louisville.

Now he’s playing the role of quarterback in Georgia Tech’s triple option offense to prepare for the Dec. 31 TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville.

“He is versatile. One of the things we really talked to him about was learning our offense and making sure he really honed in on that. I can already tell he is light years away from where he was in the fall,” UK coach Mark Stoops said.

Calipari on Pitino: “We’re not mean to each other, not nasty to each other.”

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

Going into Wednesday night’s game at Louisville, coach John Calipari of Kentucky says his relationship with Louisville coach Rick Pitino has been fine.

“We’re 90 miles away from each other. Coach at competitive rival schools. It’s hard to send each other Christmas Cards. I have known him for 25 years. I know how good of a coach he is. He is a great coach. He’s a Hall of Fame Coach,” Calipari said today.

Even Gran not quite sure how Kentucky offense found the right recipe for success

Eddie Gran (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Even Kentucky offensive coordinator Eddie Gran isn’t quite sure how UK’s offense evolved into what it did this year to where it produced two 1,000-yard rushers in Boom Williams and Benny snell.

“When we went into this thing, we thought it was going to be a lot different. And when (quarterback) Drew (Barker) went down and Stephen (Johnson) became our quarterback, and we had to re-evaluate, all of our coaches did a great job of what will the recipe be for us to score points? ” Gran said Monday.

What is the biggest story line in this Kentucky-Louisville matchup?

Bam Adebayo faces his first college road game at Louisville. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

What will be the most interesting story line in Wednesday’s Kentucky-Louisville basketball game?

Is it that John Calipari has owned Rick Pitino with an 8-1 edge since he got to UK? Is it how the Kentucky freshmen will react to their first road game? Could it be how Malik Monk responds to his incredible performance Saturday?

I asked several media members who cover Kentucky basketball for their thoughts on the top story line.

Numbers favor Cardinals over Kentucky by 3 points Wednesday

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By RICHARD CHEEKS

On Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada, two of the game’s true blue blood programs faced off inside the ring at a venue more associated with championship heavy weight boxing than championship college basketball. These giants stood toe to toe for a full 40 minutes. During this bout, each team delivered shuttering blows to the other, and each of them withstood the best that their opponent could deliver.

Thanks to help from Delta Airlines, Mercer County girls basketball team will get to Phoenix Tuesday

By LARRY VAUGHT

Finally some good news for the Mercer County girls basketball trip that had its trip to Phoenix to play in the prestigious Nike Tournament of Champions ruined Sunday by Frontier Airlines cancelling the team’s flight and offering no help to get the Lady Titans to Phoenix any other way.

Mercer County Chris Souder said that Delta Airlines has worked with his team and some players and coaches will take a Delta flight out of Louisville early Tuesday morning and be in Phoenix by noon. Arrangements have also been made for other players and coaches to get to Phoenix while parents who were on the original Sunday flight have also been making alternate plans to get to the Nike Tournament of Champions.

Calipari to Adebayo: “Just don’t foul him.”

Bam Adebayo (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky freshman Bam Adebayo fouled out against North Carolina Saturday and also got in early foul trouble. He had 13 points and seven rebounds but played only 19 minutes.

Kentucky coach John Calipari will need him to play more against Louisville Wednesday to help offset the Cardinals’ interior size and physical play.

“Winning was important, but Bam has to understand you can’t go near people. Like when they’re driving in and they’re going to have a lay-up, then give them the lay-up. I keep telling them, this isn’t football. That is not a touchdown. We may score in four seconds. Give them the lay-up. Your foul kills us. That basket we’ll make up,” Calipari said.

Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox sweep weekly SEC honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Forty-seven points. That was more than enough for Malik Monk to earn Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors, while De’Aaron Fox hauled in SEC Freshman of the Week accolades after posting his team-leading fourth double-double behind a career-best 24 points and 10 assists in the win over No. 7/6 North Carolina.

The dynamic duo provided the game-winning plays to seal a memorable 103-100 victory over No. 7/6 North Carolina in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday, and both performances were award-worthy.

ESPN going all out for Kentucky-Louisville coverage

Jay Bilas (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Jay Bilas (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

By LARRY VAUGHT

ESPN is certainly pulling out all the stops with its coverage of No. 6 Kentucky at No. 11 Louisville at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Maria Taylor will be on air for the game on ESPN and WatchESPN.
Before that, College GameDay covered by State Farm will air on ESPN and WatchESPN at 6:30 p.m. Analysts Rece Davis, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams will be on air for halftime, pregame and postgame coverage

Guest post: Is it time to retire the Air Raid siren?

Boom Williams. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Boom Williams. (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL

If you have ever attended a UK football game in the last four years I am sure you are very familiar with the sound of the “air raid” siren. It is played in celebration after UK scores a touchdown.

For those fans that are old like me you will remember that the “air raid” siren became famous during the Hal Mumme era at UK when he brought his revolutionary “air raid ” offense to UK football. He (and the offense) became instant stars in the Bluegrass. The “air raid” offense was exciting, unpredictable and unconventional just like it’s inventor, Hal Mumme.