Kentucky may have “hidden gem” in WR Kayaune Ross

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you are looking for a sleeper in the 2016 Kentucky recruiting class, remember the name Kayaune Ross.

He’s a 6-6, 225-pound receiver out of Phoenix College by way of Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio. He played just five games in 2014 before being injured. This year he redshirted, meaning he has three years of eligiblity life.

Three former high school teammates — Kyle Meadows, Mikel Horton and George Asafo‐Adjei — are already at UK. He had offers from Louisville, Arizona State and Indiana.

Rick Barnes understands Ulis “loves the game”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky takes a three-game winning streak into Thursday night’s game with Tennessee and during that time sophomore point guard Tyler Ulis has averaged 19.7 points, 10.3 assists and 36.7 minutes per game. He’s also made just three turnovers in those 110 minutes of play.

That has vaulted him into the SEC Player of the Year conversation and maybe national player of the year if he maintains this pace.

Barnes knows Vols won’t have “house money” to use at Rupp Arena

By LARRY VAUGHT

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes doesn’t think he needs to mention to his players how difficult it is for teams to beat Kentucky in Rupp Arena going into Thursday night’s game.

“They watch enough through so much of ‘SportsCenter’ and everything else out there that they probably know that. I think the fact is that as a coach, you know what, it’s about time to get your guys to execute extremely well and hope that they can stay with it,” Barnes said.

Mt. Sterling Advocate to start using my UK column

By LARRY VAUGHT

Very happy to announce that starting next week readers of the Mt. Sterling Advocate will be able to read by University of Kentucky sports column each week.

Ironically, Matt Hall admits he is a North Carolina fan “living here in Big Blue Nation.” However, he’s learned on thing.

“I know everyone here loves their Wildcats,”  Hall said.

That’s why he’s hoping for a good reader response to the column — and so am I.

Again, if you would like to see your local newspaper using my weekly UK column, let them know or let me know and I will contact them.

“Tater Chip” enjoying different level of training at UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Naquez Pringle (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Naquez Pringle (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Naquez Pringle was recruited not only by Kentucky, but also Clemson and South Carolina while he was in high school in South Carolina. He ended up at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College where he got his easy to understand nickname — Tater Chip.

The defensive lineman said that nickname followed him to Kentucky when he signed with the Cats and enrolled in January. He also admitted his favorite potato chip is, naturally, Pringles.

What is Kentucky doing best?

By LARRY VAUGHT

team restrains Cal

John Calipari said Monday he could not comment on officiating that got him ejected from Saturday’s game at South Carolina. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Kentucky has played its way back not only into the Southeastern Conference race, but also into the talk of teams with the potential to reach the Final Four.

So what has happened to the team that lost to Auburn, Ohio State and UCLA?

“We’re defending better. We came off a Kansas game where we didn’t guard in the second half, (and) really for 25 minutes of the Tennessee game where they just had their way with us,” Calipari said Monday on the SEC coaches teleconference.

Calipari praises Barnes again, but UT coach knows UK on a roll

By LARRY VAUGHT

Skal Labissiere and Derek Willis. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

Skal Labissiere and Derek Willis. (Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics)

When Kentucky played at Tennessee, it led by 21 points 15 minutes into the game only to lose in Knoxville. The teams meet again in Lexington Thursday night at 7.

“They played great offense and (coach) Rick (Barnes) got them to play the way they have to play to win and that’s what he’s doing. Like I’ve said before, he’s one of the best coaches in the country. He’s one of the few that takes his culture with him to organizations,” Calipari said.

Mike Anderson on Ulis: “He’s quietly had a pretty good year”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

First, a big hand to Courier-Journal beat writer Kyle Tucker. It seemed like he asked every coach on the SEC coaches teleconference today what they thought about UK sophomore guard Tyler Ulis being the SEC Player of the Year.

It’s easy to consider it a two-player race between Ulis and LSU freshman Ben Simmons, the likely No. 1 draft pick in June.

Or at least it’s easy for everyone except Arkansas coach Mike Anderson.

“I think he’s doing a good job of commanding their team. He’s quietly had a pretty good year,” Anderson said.

Throwing motion top priority for new UK QB coach

By LARRY VAUGHT

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)

It’s easy for new Kentucky quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw to tell you what he looks for in his starting quarterback.

“No. 1, he he has to have a motion and can throw the ball accurately,” he said. “Believe me, I’m very picky with that. If you don’t have that motion … everything else I can fix.

“I can fix your feet and make you somewhat fast, I can can get your hips and your shoulder going in the right direction I can fix your eyes and train you how to read defenses. We spend hours in the film room. I can do a lot of things.

Jamal Murray SEC Freshman of the Week

image002Jamal Murray quite simply knows how to put the ball in the basket as indicated by another prolific-scoring performance. Murray averaged a team-high 25.0 points per game in the two dominating victories this week which included 10 made 3-pointers to be named SEC Freshman of the Week.

To begin the week, Murray poured in 24 points against the Bulldogs, a game in which he connected on 6 of 10 from 3-point range. He also contributed a pair of steals in UK’s most dominating defensive performance of the season that saw the Wildcats limit the visitors to a mere 22.0-percent shooting clip for the game.