Ulis and Murray both on midseason watch lists

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky guards Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray are on the midseason watch lists for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s national player of the year award and freshman of the year award, respectively.

Ulis is one of 20 midseason players on the watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given annually to the men’s national player of the year. He’s one of only two players from the Southeastern Conference to make the cut.

Meanwhile Murray is one of 10 on the midseason watch list for the Wayman Tisdale Award, which goes to the top freshman in the game.

Matthew Mitchell says beating Tennessee was “great victory”

Kentucky Women’s Basketball

#12 Kentucky vs. #19 Tennessee

Postgame Quotes

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

Jan. 25, 2016

Kentucky Head Coach Matthew Mitchell

Opening Statement …

Kentucky-Tennessee postgame notes and numbers

Kentucky Women’s Basketball Postgame Notes

FINAL:  #12 Kentucky 64, #19 Tennessee 63

Memorial Coliseum – Lexington, Ky.

Jan. 25, 2016

Team Records and Series Notes

–    UK came back from a 10-point deficit to take down No. 19 Tennessee, 64-63 in Memorial Coliseum.

–    With the victory, UK moves to 15-3 on the season, and 4-3 in Southeastern Conference play while Tennessee falls to 12-7 (3-3 SEC).

–    The meeting was the 64th between the two programs, with UK advancing to 11-53 in the all-time series.

–    The victory snaps a four-game losing skid against the Lady Vols.

On son’s 18th birthday, Ryan Lemond reveals how son taught him to be better dad, person and man


Gavin Lemond, left, taught his father, Ryan, there is more to life than sports.

Gavin Lemond, left, taught his father, Ryan, there is more to life than sports.

I’m experiencing a new emotion today, and I don’t know how to handle it.  I’m happy.  I’m excited, and at the same time, I’m sad.

I cried today.

My oldest son, Gavin, turns 18 today.  All parents have to face this day and go through this emotion, but I’m having a hard time dealing with it.  Gavin is adopted.  He came into my life when he was only 5 months old, and more importantly, he came into my life at a time when I didn’t know if I was ever going to be a dad.  He was and is a blessing from God.

Bill Self: Bonuses of Big 12/SEC Challenge in January outweigh negatives

Is the Big 12/SEC Challenge better in late January when it is not during the college football season or better in November when it does not disrupt conference play?

Here’s what Kansas coach Bill Self said today going into Saturday’s game in Lawrence with Kentucky:

“I think it’s both. I don’t necessarily like it all. I don’t like the disruption of the league play – and I think the majority of the coaches would probably agree with that – but for our league I think it’s going to be a great exposure day,” Self said.

Jamal Murray SEC Freshman of the Week again

-1BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Freshman sharpshooter Jamal Murray was named the Southeastern Conference’s Freshman of the Week after helping lead UK to a pair of double-digit wins at Arkansas and against Vanderbilt this week.

Murray averaged 18.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in the two wins. Today’s honor marks the second such award of his career.

The Kitchener, Ontario native continued to be a threat offensively while emphasizing his defensive performance in the two wins this week. Murray and Co. helped lead UK to its first win in Arkansas under the direction of John Calipari on Thursday. Murray poured in 19 points and added seven rebounds. He also contributed a block and a steal in the victory.

DeAndre Ayton has huge triple double, will play at Pulaski County Feb. 6-7


Want to know why 7-foot DeAndre Ayton is ranked as the top player in the 2017 recruiting class?

In a game against Sunrise Christian Saturday in Kansas, he had a triple-double. But not just any triple double.

Ayton scored a school-record 52 points for Hillcrest (Ariz.) Prep, pulled off 33 rebounds and blocked 10 shots.

He played in the recent McCracken County Mustang Madness and will be back in Kentucky Feb. 6-7 for the Thoroughbred Classic at Pulaski County. His team will play Victory Prep of Houston with top 10 junior Jarred Vanderbilt Feb. 6 at 9 p.m. and then Advance Preparatory International Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. that features juniors Billy Preston and Trevon Duvall.

Jamal Murray: “We have to show up, play well and play winning basketball”


Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

From what John Calipari saw during Saturday’s win over Vanderbilt, he felt freshman Jamal Murray made many more winning plays than losing plays — a point Calipari had been emphasizing to him for weeks.

Murray said there would still be “room for improvement” but he was more excited that it’s obvious players are trusting each other more.

Calipari: “There’s no milk. There’s no eggs. And 25,000 figured out how to get here.”


Kentucky fans didn't let a near blizzard keep them away from Rupp Arena Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky fans didn’t let a near blizzard keep them away from Rupp Arena Saturday. (Vicky Graff Photo)

One Kentucky official told coach John Calipari he thought maybe 12,000 fans would be at Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt because of the weather. Calipari said he was optimistically hoping for 18,000.

Instead, over 22,000 fans braved the cold and snow to watch Kentucky pound Vanderbilt.

“These knuckleheads figured out how to get here,” Calipari joked. “I have no idea whether they came two days ago because they heard the storm. Whether they were stuck on the highway and walked here, I don’t know.

Since weather stopped the Firecrackers a look back at their time in Rupp from 2014