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Basketball Season Coverage

Kentucky trails at half, Keldon Johnson suffers ankle injury — UPDATE: He’s okay

Kentucky trails at half, Keldon Johnson suffers ankle injury — UPDATE: He’s okay

Kentucky trails UNC Greensboro 40-37 at half, but that’s just the first bit of bad news. Keldon Johnson suffered an ankle injury late in the first half after going up for a rebound.

The freshman landed awkwardly on his left ankle and had to be helped to the locker room. Thankfully, he returned to the bench just before halftime and appeared to be testing the ankle out to see if he could go back in before the buzzer sounded. We’ll bring you an update from UK as soon as we have one.

As for the rest of the team, the score may not indicate it, but they played really well in stretches, going on a 10-0 run to take a 23-17 lead with 9:30 left. When Keldon went down, the energy shifted and UNC Greensboro stormed back to take the lead going into the half. Reid Travis leads the Cats with 10 points, followed by EJ Montgomery with 8. UNC Greensboro’s Francis Alonso has 19 points, including four threes. He’s really, really good.

UPDATE: Keldon Johnson started the second half. Phew.


5 things to know about the UNC Greensboro Spartans

5 things to know about the UNC Greensboro Spartans

1. UNC Greensboro returns three of the starters from last season’s Southern Conference champion team, as well as the sixth, seventh, and eighth men. Last year’s best player, Francis Alonso, returns as the two guard for the Spartans and is averaging 19 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game so far this year. He’s also shooting lights out to begin the season, including 93.3% from the free throw line and 46.2% from three point while attempting nearly 7 per contest. James Dickey, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in the Southern Conference, stands at 6’10” and is the tallest player in the lineup for UNCG. Lastly, Demetrius Troy runs the point as a senior and two year starter. On top of the three returners, the two new starters this season, both played at least 15 minutes per game last year. Today’s game will require Kentucky’s experienced players to match the experience levels from the opposition.

2. It has been well documented that the largest struggle for the Cats to begin this season has been defending the perimeter. Both the three point shot and guards attacking off the bounce have been weaknesses, with exception to the Monmouth game earlier this week. Unfortunately for Kentucky, UNC Greensboro poses a much larger scoring threat than any team they’ve faced all year, outside of Duke. The Spartans are ranked 16th in the country in scoring at 87.6 points per game and have only scored less than 80 twice out of their eight games on the year.

3. In his 8th year as the Head Coach of the Spartans, Wes Miller has the team ranked third in the preseason polls for the Southern Conference. Despite finishing 27-8 last season and returning a ton of talent, the media projected them to fall behind both Furman and Samford in the final standings. Francis Alonso was also named to the preseason All-Southern Conference Team, after being named first team all conference last season.

4. UNC Greensboro made the NCAA Tournament last season for only the third time ever, and the first time since 2001. The #13 seeded Spartans took #4 seed Gonzaga down to the wire before falling by the score of 68-64. This year’s team features almost all of the contributors from last season, but with another offseason of practice together under their belt. The Spartans are the real deal as an out of conference opponent, and many media members have said they are better than the Cats’ future opponents Utah and Seton Hall.

5. Today will be the first ever meeting between the Spartans and the Wildcats. UNC Greensboro had not played a ranked team in the regular season since the first game of the 2016 season. Kentucky will be the second one they play this season so far, as they narrowly fell to #23 LSU in Baton Rouge by the score of 97-91. If Kentucky doesn’t come out ready to play this afternoon, they’ll be trailing the all-time series 0-1.

Go Cats. Beat Spartans.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Today on KSR, Presented by More Than A Bakery : Kentucky Hosts UNC-Greensboro

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It’s game day in the Bluegrass.  The Cats will tip-off at 1:00 against UNC-Greensboro at Rupp Arena this afternoon.  Tom Hart will be dropping KSBar shout outs alongside Jimmy Dykes on ESPN2.

Kentucky is just a few days removed from a 46-point victory over Monmouth.  Don’t expect them to replicate that margin of victory over UNCG.

The Spartans return six of their top eight players from a team that won the Southern Conference tournament last season.  A 13-seed in the NCAA Tournament, they took Gonzaga down to the wire, only to fall 68-64 in the first round.

If the on-court results don’t capture attention, maybe Vegas will.  Kentucky only opened as a 10-point favorite over UNCG.

If Kentucky does not bring their A-game, it could be a long afternoon at Rupp Arena.

A Birthday Surprise

Instead of baking brownies for the players on their birthday, yesterday Ellen Calipari received a homemade batch of brownies from Brad and a surprise from his teammates.  How sweet.

A Birthday Commitment

J.J. Weaver had a different kind of birthday celebration.  The four-star pass rusher celebrated by committing to Kentucky.  A Rivals250 recruit, Weaver could be the first of two four-star linebackers from Louisville to commit in a week.  Jared Casey was in the stands for Weaver’s announcement.  That’s gotta be a good sign, right? Casey will decide next Thursday.  Click here for more from Weaver’s announcement.

Men’s Soccer Season Ends

Maryland scored on their first short attempt, and Kentucky simply could not catch up.  The Cats fought like hell at The Bell, but could not punch their first ticket to the College Cup.  Maryland defeated UK 1-0 to end Kentucky’s spectacular season.

UK Volleyball Keeps Rolling

Shortly after the soccer game ended, Kentucky’s volleyball team swept Murray State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.  They’ll play for a Sweet 16 berth at Memorial Coliseum vs. Purdue tonight at 7:00.

Conference Championship Saturday

  • Big 12: #14 Texas vs. #5 Oklahoma at Noon on ABC
  • Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Appalachian State at Noon on ESPN
  • C-USA: UAB at Middle Tennessee at 1:30 on CBSN
  • AAC: Memphis at #8 UCF at 3:30 on ABC
  • SEC: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Georgia at 4:00 on CBS
  • Mountain West: #25 Fresno State vs. #22 Boise State at 7:45 on ESPN
  • Big Ten: #21 Northwestern vs. #6 Ohio State at 8:00 on Fox
  • ACC: #2 Clemson vs. Pitt at 8:00 on ABC

College Basketball on TV

  • Noon: Louisville at Seton Hall on Fox
  • Noon: St. John’s vs. Georgia Tech on ESNPU
  • 2:00: #1 Gonzaga vs. Creighton on Fox
  • 2:30: #12 Kansas State at Marquette
  • 2:30: #20 Texas Tech vs. Memphis on ESPNU
  • 3:30: #19 Purdue at #7 Michigan on ESPN
  • 4:30: #5 Nevada at USC on Fox
  • 7:00: Stetson at #3 Duke on ESPN2
  • 9:00: #18 Oregon at Houston on ESPN2

Two New State Champions

Two mountain teams lost by a combined two points in an electric start to the state championships at Kroger Field.  In the Class A title, Beechwood’s John Odom picked off a late pass to secure a 21-20 victory over Pikeville.

In 3A, Central avenged a 2017 state semifinal loss to Corbin.  The Yellow Jackets dominated the third quarter to take a 20-19 lead.  After Corbin blocked a punt with less than a minute to play, they had one last chance to win the game, but the 44-yard field goal never had a chance.  The two teams did not share pleasantries after the game.

Three more teams will be crowned state champions today at Kroger Field.  Mayfield and CAL kick things off at 1:00, followed by Johnson Central and Franklin-Simpson at 4:30 and the 6A showdown between Male and Scott County at 8:00.  If you can’t make it to Kroger Field, you can watch all the action at KSBar.

R.I.P. George H.W. Bush

The 41st President of the United States, and the father of the 43rd, passed away late last night at the age of 94.  A WWII fighter pilot, CIA director, congressman and U.S. Ambassador, Mr. Bush exemplified what it means to be a public servant.


Kentucky men’s basketball hosts Make-A-Wish visitor

Kentucky men’s basketball hosts Make-A-Wish visitor

The Kentucky men’s basketball team is hosting a very special visitor this weekend.

And it’s not a high-level recruit or former player.

Meet Kaylee, a Kentucky basketball super-fan with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Her one wish? To live the life of a Wildcat and hang out with the team for the weekend.

She started the trip by watching practice and getting autographs from the team:

Her favorite player? Quade Green, who she got a picture with after practice today.

She’ll be at the game tomorrow and then she’ll be with the team the rest of the weekend, so we’ll be sure to post updates on Kaylee’s special visit as they come.


LIVE: Kenny Payne previews UNC Greensboro

UK Associate Head Coach Kenny Payne is about to preview tomorrow’s game vs. UNC Greensboro. Watch below courtesy of KyWildcatsTV:


UK offering $15 tickets to Saturday’s game

!!!! DEAL OF THE CENTURY ALERT !!!!

Fans of the greatest program in college basketball history can go see their team in action this Saturday for only $15. Yes, FIFTEEN DOLLARS. American.

These tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com but only if you use the promo code GOCATS.

The tickets are 200-level seats from the unused student inventory and the deal will be available until one hour before tip-off Saturday afternoon.

So those of you who asked for the opportunity to buy the tickets the students don’t want, you got your wish. The UK ticket office was listening and they got you.

Click here for a direct link to purchase.


Happy 90th birthday to Joe B. Hall

There are big birthdays, and then there’s the one Joe B. Hall is celebrating. The former Kentucky coach turns 90 today, and the birthday wishes are pouring in online.

First up, John Calipari, who is now 16 wins away from tying Joe B. for the second most victories by a UK head coach in program history:

You knew the venerable Oscar Combs would put together a great birthday tribute:

Finally, a great quote from Doug Brunk, the author of “Wildcat Memories: Inside Stories from Kentucky Basketball Greats”:

Happy birthday, Coach.