Murray and Ulis make sure lead does not get away from UK this time


This time Kentucky didn’t let the lead get away.

After blowing a 21-point lead and losing at Tennessee Tuesday, Kentucky jumped on Florida here early Saturday with a 22-3 run and never really let the Gators back in the game while winning 80-61.

Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis nearly outscored the Gators. Murray had a career-high 35 points on 13 of 21 shooting, including 8 of 10 from 3-point range, and six rebounds. Ulis tied Terrence Jones for the most points by a player in the John Calipari era and he’s the first player in the Calipari era to have two 30-point games in his career.

Numbers favor Kentucky by 4 points over Florida


Alex Poythress (Vicky Graff Photo)

Alex Poythress (Vicky Graff Photo)

The Cats seemed to be disoriented by the Phog in the second half and overtime, but on Tuesday night the Cats completely lost their bearings after 15 minutes in the Smokies. Hopefully the clear, clean air of Rupp Arena will allow this team to reorient itself and find its game. However, to accomplish a recovery, the Cats will have to wrestle with a Gator who left the swamp to engage these Cats.

UK signee Sacha Killeya-Jones in Somerset tonight


Saccha Killeya-Jones, center, will be playing in Somerset tonight.

Sacha Killeya-Jones, center, will be playing in Somerset tonight.

Kentucky signee Sacha Killeya-Jones, ranked as the nation’s No. 14 senior by 247Sports, is playing at Pulaski County High School in Somerset today at 6  against Josh Jackson, one of the nation’s top ranked unsigned seniors.

His coach at Virginia Episcopal is Curtis Staples, a former standout at Virginia.

“He’ll remind a lot of fans of Anthony Davis. He plays comparably. He can play the two through the five, can face the basket, really shoot it, is a really good athlete to be 6-10. He’s a gym rat, so the kid is improving at a really high pace,” Staples said.

Charles Matthews on Ulis, soul searching, defense, practice


Tyler  Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Tyler Ulis (Vicky Graff Photo)

Freshman Charles Matthews is from Chicago just like Tyler Ulis and is a former AAU teammate of the Kentucky sophomore point guard who continues to defy logic at his size with his scoring and minutes played.

“He’s a great player. I’m pretty sure he does get tired at times, but he knows how to fight through it so that makes him even more special,” Matthews said Friday.

Here’s more of what he said about Ulis and other things.

Calipari still working on Jamal Murray’s shot selection


Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

At times Jamal Murray’s scoring can carry Kentucky’s offense. At other times, his questionable shot selection can stymie the UK offense.

But to win, Kentucky has to have his offense.

“It’s getting better. I’m working on him every day,”  UK coach John Calipari said about the shot selection Friday. “I told him, ‘I’m not changing. You have to understand what I’m saying.’ I stopped him 10 times, both on defense and offense.

He even asked point guard Tyler Ulis for ideas and says Ulis gave him some he was not going to reveal.

Calipari warns that Florida is playing as well as it has all year


Florida has a new coach in Mike White but a look much like what the Gators had under former coach Billy Donovan, who won two national titles at Florida and is now coaching in the NBA.

“He probably went in and said, ‘You know what? A lot of this stuff is really good and worked. If it’s good for those players.’ And he knows Billy was a really good coach,” Calipari said Friday. “A lot of the stuff is some of the same thing and actions.

Marcus Lee thinks Kentucky ready to be “aggressors” now


Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

Marcus Lee (Vicky Graff Photo)

Well, at least Marcus Lee is saying the right things after Kentucky’s perplexing loss at Tennessee after it had a 34-13 lead late in the first half Tuesday.

“Emotionally I think we’re ready to be the aggressors now, and I’ve seen that in practice. A loss is like those, you see players kind of regretting practice and kind of just hesitating and not really excited for it. It’s been the total opposite,” Lee said.

Calipari continues “trying different buttons different ways”


John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

After Kentucky blew a 21-point first half lead and lost at Tennessee, Kentucky coach John Calipari said his team and staff had some “soul searching” to do.

Friday he said it was more self-evaluating than soul searching going into Saturday’s game with Florida.

“You’ve gotta look at yourself. I mean, as a coach I’ve gotta look at myself and just say, ‘OK, what are we doing? How are we doing it? Is there a better way of doing it?’ You’ve gotta ask questions and sometimes you’ve gotta ask yourself a different question than you did last week,” Calipari said.

Game times set for Tennessee and Texas A&M

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Two upcoming game Kentucky men’s basketball game times have been set by ESPN. UK’s road game at Texas A&M on Feb. 20 has been set for a 6:30 p.m. tip on ESPN. Also, the Wildcats’ home game vs. Tennessee on Feb. 18 has been confirmed for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN.

  • Feb. 18 vs. Tennessee – 7 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Feb. 20 at Texas A&M – 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

The UK-Tennessee game will mark the second meeting this season between the two schools. Kentucky dropped the game in Knoxville, Tenn., on Tuesday, just the Wildcats’ second loss to Tennessee in its last 10 games.

Big uglies part of recruiting class that Stoops, Schlarman like


Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman was thrilled with the way UK’s overall recruiting, and in-state recruiting, went this year.

“I love this class,” he said Wednesday. “I think we’ve stacked two pretty good classes (together). Time will tell, we’ve got to go out and prove it on Saturday.”

So how did coach Mark Stoops feel?

Question: Is this your best recruiting class at UK?