ESPN2 will air Nike Hoop Summit with UK signees Fox, Gabriel

De'Aaron Fox (McDonald's Photo)

De’Aaron Fox (McDonald’s Photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (March 29, 2016) – The 2016 Nike Hoop Summit will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 9 from the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Mike Couzens will handle play-by-play and Paul Biancardi and Fran Fraschilla will be analysts.

The game also will air live on ESPN Deportes and will be available on the WatchESPN app.

Fox, Monk, Adebayo honored by USA Today

Bam Adebayo (McDonald's All-American Photo)

Bam Adebayo (McDonald’s All-American Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Three Kentucky men’s basketball signees – De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Edrice “Bam” Adebayo – were named to the All-USA Boys Basketball Teams. USA TODAY announced the teams on Tuesday.

Fox was named to the first team, Monk made the second team and Adebayo earned third-team honors.

The teams were selected by Jim Halley with input from USA TODAY Sports’ Jason Jordan, high school coaches and recruiting experts.

Fox (first team), Adebayo (second team) and Monk (second team) were named to the Naismith Boys’ Basketball All-America teams earlier this year.

Ramsey, Horton okay but TE Greg Hart needs pinky surgery


Offensive lineman Ramsey Meyers returned to practice Tuesday after being held out of Saturday’s scrimmage. He started every game last season at guard.

“He was back out there today part go. He got a head injury, so he’s out with that right now,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Tuesday.

Running back Mike Horton was also “out there” for practice after suffering a minor injury late in Saturday’s scrimmage when he was hit on his shin.

Tight end Greg Hart, a transfer from Nebraska, was hurt catching a pass and is not back at practice.

De’Niro Laster, Kobie Walker impressing Stoops at linebacker


Kentucky needs to find playmakers at linebacker and Kentucky coach Mark Stoops sounded Tuesday that he likes what he is seeing from transfer De’Niro Laster and redshirt freshman Kobie Walker.

Stoops said Laster, a transfer from Minnesota, has a “high motor” daily and is being used at both inside and outside linebacker.

“He’s versatile. We’ve got to find the right spot for him. He could play outside; he could play inside just as well. I’m anxious to see how we progress here through spring and see how he does. I have high hopes for him and we’ve got to make sure we put him in the right spot,” Stoops said.

Guest post: Despite UK loss, Des Moines was great host city for BBN fan

Vaught’s note: Kentucky fan Jessica Jones got a chance to attend UK’s games in Des Moines, She wrote about her excitement before the Indiana game and this story — which was delayed due to the death of a family member — tells more about the NCAA experience for her. Enjoy.


The city of Des Moines was buzzing with NCAA fever. Huge programs were coming. My nearest city would host Kentucky for the NCAA tournament. I can’t begin to describe how excited I was.
When I arrived in Des Moines Thursday night for Kentucky’s game against Stony Brook I was thrilled. I had been waiting and hoping for over a year that my team would come to my town. Walking around downtown I began to get to worry. There were not many Kentucky fans to be seen. I saw the UK team bus and watched the guys board the bus. When I got in the arena it was different than any postseason experience I have ever had (and if you read the last blog, I’ve been to several). Over 3/4 of the arena was filled with Iowa and Iowa State fans. There were several Indiana fans and a few specks of blue through out the arena.
Once the game started the Iowa and Iowa State fans in the arena began cheering for Stony Brook. When Kentucky did something exciting, I jumped out of my seat clapping and cheering. I was the only one in my section. It was a weird feeling. Luckily Kentucky started to pull away and the arena started to empty. Just a host of Kentucky fans remained to watch the Cats finish off Stony Brook.
When I arrived downtown Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised to see significantly more Kentucky fans out and about. I felt like this was a good sign. I even attended the pep rally at a local bar which was a lot of fun. I met several other Kentucky fans and even one from Iowa.
Walking into the arena was again a little awkward. Most of the fans there were neutral and out to enjoy a Saturday afternoon ball game. Iowans were definitely excited about the NCAA tournament but it made for a bit of a quiet game. Unfortunately we lost but the nice thing is I had a short drive home and there was only one rude person (a Kansas fan).
Local people locked fans out of the ticket market but I assure you, next time BBN gets sent to Des Moines I urge the BBN to show up! While online ticket prices were high, tickets were easily available on the street for cheap — this will be my lesson for next time!
Des Moines itself was an excellent host. There are several hotels within easy walking distance to the arena, better than most cities I have been to. The downtown area and “fan zone” were very much alive and happening! There were several restaurants and bars to visit but the best thing was food trucks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to grab a bite to eat before a game only to find there were 2 hour long waits. In Des Moines, there were several food trucks parked in the fan zone area for a convenient and quick bite to eat. If you’re like me you can’t eat during the game because of the intense cheering! This was a nice option that I haven’t seen in any other city thus far.
If you’re from Iowa you’ve hear of the Iowa Craft Beer Tent. It’s a beer tent full of 20+ different kinds of beers all made in Iowa. My favorite is a cider beer. They had their tent set up in the fan zone complete with TVs for March Madness viewing. The Iowa Craft Beer Tent is well equipped for handling large crowds and made getting a tasty beer quick and easy to get!
Des Moines will host the tournament again, I’m positive. I know they’re putting bids in for the 2019-2021 tournaments. I’m certain they’ll get one of those years. Will Kentucky be placed in Des Moines again? Unlikely. However IF they do, I urge the BBN to come cheer on your Wildcats in a great city. I’ll be sure to post a list of places to go and things to do! Looking forward to next year, Go Big Blue!

Drew Barker, Boom Williams showing signs of maturity

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)


Quarterback Drew Barker has had his off-field issues at Kentucky. Now getting ready for his redshirt sophomore season, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is seeing not only improved play on the field, but improved maturity both on and off the field. In fact, Tuesday he said there was a “big difference” in Barker’s maturity level and that should be good news for UK football fans.

Tyler Ulis named AP All-American

Tyler Ulis is an AP All-American. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis is an AP All-American. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield were unanimous selections to The Associated Press’ 2015-16 All-America team while Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis was third in the voting with 43 first-team votes from the panel of 65.

Ulis, a sophomore, was the only non-senior selected to the team, and at 5-9 is the shortest player named to the AP team since 5-9 Johnny O’Brien of Seattle in 1953.

Earlier Ulis had been named the AP Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Tuesday he was also named an All-American by CBS Sports.

Janee Thompson Selected for State Farm College 3-Point Championship

Keith Taylor Photo

Keith Taylor Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior guard Janee Thompson has been selected to the women’s 3-point roster for the 28th annual State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championship at the Berry Center in Cypress, Texas, on Thursday, March 31.

Thompson, a native of Chicago, is one of eight women’s college basketball players chosen for the event that will air live on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. According to a release by Intersport, the producers of the event, Thompson was invited to take part in the event after being recognized as one of the finest shooters from 3-point territory during the season.

ESPN to Air Texas Western’s Historic Victory over Kentucky in 1966 NCAA Title Game

ESPN Photo

ESPN Photo

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, ESPN will present Texas Western’s historic victory in the 1966 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Championship Game on Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Miners’ 72-65 win against the Kentucky Wildcats became a watershed moment in sports history because it was the first time a college basketball team started five African-American players in the sport’s title game.

Making History: The 1966 NCAA Championship – Texas Western vs. Kentucky is a 90-minute presentation featuring the audio call of Walt Sullivan and will contain every basket that took place inside Cole Field House in College Park, Md. on March 19, 1966.

Makayla Epps Associated Press honorable mention All-American

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Associated Press announced Monday that University of Kentucky junior guard Makayla Epps has been named an honorable mention All-America selection after averaging 17.1 points with 4.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game this season.

This is the second straight year that Epps has earned honorable mention All-America honors from the organization. This is the seventh straight year that Kentucky has had a player honored by the AP nationally with Victoria Dunlap earning recognition in 2010 and 2011, before A’dia Mathies was honored in 2012 and 2013. Jen O’Neil was named honorable mention in 2014 before Epps’ honors the last two seasons.