ESPN Game Day will be there for UK-Kansas

Ames, IA - January 17, 2015 - Iowa State University: Rece Davis, Jay Willimas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Bilas on the set of College GameDay Covered by State Farm (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

Ames, IA – January 17, 2015 – Iowa State University: Rece Davis, Jay Willimas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Bilas on the set of College GameDay Covered by State Farm
(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

ESPN College GameDay Covered by State Farm will be on hand for No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 23 Kentucky, as part of the third annual Big 12/SEC Challenge Presented by Sonic – staged for the first time on a common-bye date of Saturday, Jan. 30. The Saturday Primetime presented by DIRECTV matchup will air at 7 p.m. ET from Lawrence, Kan., with the morning show beginning at 11 a.m. and the evening edition beginning at 4 p.m. – all on ESPN.

Tyler Ulis is “the little engine that makes us go”

Ulis

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

What do his Kentucky teammates think of point guard Tyler Ulis.

“On the court, he’s the little engine that makes us go. He’s like a little, mini coach out there,” said Alex Poythress after Ulis scored 21 points and  had five assists in a 76-57 win over Vanderbilt Saturday.

Vandy coach Kevin Stallings said Ulis, the smallest player on the court, was the game’s dominant player.

UK vs Vandy Photo Gallery (Photos by Vicky Graff)

Poythress not a bully, but he still helps UK dominate Vandy

By LARRY VAUGHT

Alex Poythress had 16 points in Saturday's win over Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Alex Poythress had 16 points in Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings didn’t have any trouble explaining what impact Alex Poythress’ play had on Saturday’s win over his team.

“Poythress was really good, really efficient and dominated the inside for them,” said Stallings.

How good? In 27 minutes, he was 8-for10 from the field for 16 points and had two rebounds. He didn’t have a steal, assist or blocked shot, but he also did not have a turnover and played solid inside defense.

Calipari’s choice was not to play Labissiere against Vanderbilt

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari decided Vanderbilt was not a good opponent to play Skal Labissiere against. (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari decided Vanderbilt was not a good opponent to play Skal Labissiere against. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Remember how well freshman Skal Labissiere played at Arkansas Thursday? He made shots. He rebounded. He blocked shots. He played with confidence.

Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt was going to be a chance for him to be on that success. Kentucky coach John Calipari said as much after the Arkansas win.

So what happened? He played all of four minutes, missed his only shot and did not have a rebound even though UK won by 19 points.

Kentucky-Vanderbilt postgame notes and numbers

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Kentucky Men’s Basketball Postgame Notes
Vanderbilt at 23/19 Kentucky
Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky., Jan. 23, 2016
Attendance: 22,975

Final Score: Kentucky 76, Vanderbilt 57

Team Records and Series Notes
• Kentucky is now 15-4 on the season, 5-2 in Southeastern Conference action. Vanderbilt is 11-8 overall, 3-4 in league play.
• Kentucky leads the all-time series 141-46 and has won three in a row.
• Next for the Wildcats: UK plays host to Missouri on Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Kentucky plays its best to throttle Vanderbilt 76-57

By LARRY VAUGHT

A week that figured to test Kentucky turned into a week filled with promise for the future.
Not only did Kentucky get an impressive road win at Arkansas Thursday, but the Wildcats demolished Vanderbilt 76-57 here Saturday.

And what made Saturday’s win so good was the way every player filled the role that coach John Calipari wanted. Tyler Ulis led Kentucky with 21 points, Jamal Murray 18 and Alex Poythress 16. On the boards, Derek Willis had nine and Murray seven. Ulis had five assists and Briscoe four. Murray had three steals.

Trying to pick top 10 UK basketball memories was no easy task

By LARRY VAUGHT

Recently former Kentucky basketball player Cameron Mills asked if I would consider writing a column about my 10 best memories from covering Kentucky basketball since 1975.

It turned out to be a much more difficult task than I envisioned because there were so many memories.

However, I finally got it down to 11 (no way I could have stopped at 10) and the story is now on his website if you would like to read it.

It may not be exactly what you expect but to me covering UK basketball has been more than scores and games. It’s been about the people I’ve had the privilege to meet along the way.

Russ Yeast: “I feel good about Kentucky, but I just want to look around.”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Junior receiver Russ Yeast has seen the social media uproar about him deciding to take an unofficial visit to Louisville a few months after he verbally committed to Kentucky.

He’s heard the speculation he might be ready to decommitt from UK over a lack of “love” from the UK coaching staff or UK not offering his father, former UK all-star receiver Craig Yeast, a spot on the coaching staff.

Calipari wants to see Labissiere “keep going” now

By LARRY VAUGHT

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

Freshman Skal Labissiere had 11 points, three rebounds and three blocked shots in Thursday’s win at Auburn and now Kentucky fans are hoping that is the start of his resurgence after six weeks of being basically a no-show to use coach John Calipari’s terminology.

So what about Labissiere’s confidence now going into today’s game with Vanderbilt?

“Well the first shot he took, I looked and I went, ‘What?’ And it went in and I said, ‘It better have gone in.’ But I think it built his own confidence and he’s gotta—he’s got work to do,” Calipari said Friday. “There’s no question. He’s gotta keep going, but he’s worked in practice.