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Matthew Mitchell brings in another top 20 recruiting class

Britney Howard | Ukathletics.com

Britney Howard | Ukathletics.com

Matthew Mitchell has a lot to be cheering about after signing his sixth-straight top 20 recruiting class. Four of the nation’s best recruits signed letters of intent to play for the Cats next season. The class is ranked seventh nationally by Blue Star Basketball and 13th by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report.

Here is a little breakdown of each player they signed:

Batouly Camara

This 6′ 2″ Neew York City power forward is considered the No. 2 PF and the ninth-best post player in the country. Last season, she averaged 12.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game in helping lead Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., to a 19-3 finish.

 

Maci Morris

A Pineville, Ky. native, Morris has played varsity basketball for Bell County High School since 7th grade. Last season she averaged a team-high 22.0 points, 9.5 rebounds per game and shot 55.4 percent from the field in helping the Lady Cats win the 52nd District championship and advance to the 13th Region title game.

 

Taylor Murray

Although she might not have the height at 5′ 6″, the Maryland native is rated as the No. 18 point guard by espnW and the No. 15 overall player by MaxPreps. She is a four-year starter at Annapolis Area Christian where she averaged a team-high 25.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 9.3 steals and 3.1 assists last season.

Most impressively,  Murray was named to the USA Basketball Women’s U16 National Team this past summer and  she helped the USA to a 5-0 record, a gold medal and a berth into the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.

 

Morgan Rich

Another Kentucky native, from Scottsville, 6-Foot Rich averaged d 20.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.2 blocks last season before tearing her right anterior cruciate ligament in February. She signs as  the No. 30 guard in the 2015 class.

Prior to her injury, Rich broke the Allen County-Scottsville career scoring record with 1,754 points and set the school’s single-game scoring record with 45 points. As a sophomore, she broke the school record for most points in a single season with 672 and was all-state honorable mention.

 

 

 

Don’t forget the women travel to Central Michigan today to face the Chippewas for its first road contest of the season. You can catch the game on ESPN3 at 8 p.m.

 

@Sealey_KSR

 


ICYMI: Here are some UK vs. Boston Highlight

The first half might not have been pretty, but Kentucky can still play.

@Sealey_KSR


Happy Birthday, Megan Calipari! Wait….what?

cal-davis

This was Calipari’s face this morning after he tweeted this Happy Birthday tweet to his middle child, Megan.

 

 

 

 

While the tweet was very sincere and sweet. There was one problem:

 

 

 

Coach Cal had a smooth save though:

 

Poor Cal.

@Sealey_KSR


Denzil Ware hints at injury

(h/t @ejhs18)

In today’s edition of ‘Reading Twitter Tea Leaves’, it looks like Redshirt Denzil Ware might have an injury to be on the look out for.

Ware came to Kentucky last year as the highest-rated signee according to ESPN which ranked him as the No. 113 overall prospect and the 12th best DE. While it won’t affect Kentucky on the field against Louisville, it is something to be worried about for the upcoming off season.

Ware started hinting at something wrong yesterday with these tweets, which are average for a football player just being thankful:

 

But then came this tweet this morning:

 

This comes a day after offensive coordinator Neal Brown said he thinks Ware has shown major potential during his redshirt season:

“I’ve been really impressed with Denzil Ware. I think he’s got what it takes to be an edge rusher in this league, especially in the three-down front stuff that we’re doing, I like his demeanor. He’s got a good burst. He’s getting better going against our two tackles.”

 

Take it how you will.

@Sealey_KSR


Women’s soccer advances to first-ever Sweet 16

(h/t @ukathletics)

(h/t @ukathletics)

For the first time in school history, The University of Kentucky women’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 with a 3-1 defeat of Arizona State Friday.Last night the Cats dominated on the scoreboard and in stats, out-shooting the Sun Devils 12-9 with six shots on goal from the Cats.

Courtney Raetzman scored in the fifth minute with an assist from Jade Klump. Arizona State hit the equalizer in the 50th minute with a goal from Whitney Kanavel. Kentucky responded three minutes later with a goal from Zoe Swift off an assist from Courtney Raetzman. In the 66th minute, Cara Ledman scored the Cats’ final goal to bring the score to 3-1.

The Cats will play the winner of Virginia vs. Rutgers tomorrow at 5 p.m.

@Sealey_KSR


Saturday morning links

links

Good Morning, Sunshine! Here are some links to get your day started:

 

— As always, here is a rundown of today’s SEC Football Schedule. Of course, there’s no Kentucky football today because of the bye week. It also looks like it is a weak schedule for the SEC this week with no Top 25 matchups.

 

— I always hate to see former Cats fight and hope that Bledose and Noel can work this out. Obviously Bledsoe is still upset over what happened on the court. I really think Bledsoe was joking with his comment of how Kentucky could beat the 76ers and hope they can work this out off the court.

 

— Even with Kentucky not playing the best basketball last night, after watching Kansas, Louisville, Florida and Kentucky play this past week there is one thing I have learned: There is a huge difference between the #1 team’s playing level and the playing level of anyone #5 or up. Here is a look at the Top 25 men’s basketball teams and how they fared. My favorite part is where Louisville struggled to handle a very weak Marshall team in a rebuilding period.

 

— Seventh-ranked Alaska handed the No. 2 Kentucky rifle team its first loss of the season after winning 4693-4665 in a Friday matchup. Alaska outscored UK by a 2370-2355 score line in air rifle and a 2323—2310 margin in smallbore. The team will be back at it today against another strong opponent No. 5 Nebraska at 1 p.m., continuing the team’s stay in Alaska.

 

— After day one, at the Ohio State Invite, Kentucky Swimming and Diving team member Danielle Gallyer won the 200 individual medley and broke a school record. The Cats finished the day with 19 members placed in the top 10 in 11 events. The women sit in second place, while the men are in fourth.

 

— The University of Kentucky gymnastics team will have a season preview today with its Blue/White meet at 4 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free and it will be the last chance for UK to tune-up before the 2014 begins in January. The Wildcats, who finished 21st in the national rankings last season, return 13 gymnasts from the 2013 squad that posted the program’s highest-ever NCAA Regional team score of 195.925.

 

@Sealey_KSR


(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Eight notes from a letdown rout

After flying high after the rout over Kansas, the Cats needed to be pulled back to Earth a bit, and tonight, the Boston Terriers tried their best to play the spoiler. Of course, UK still won by 24, but that seems to be a pattern this season: even with an incomplete performance, the Cats are big and strong enough to cruise. Let’s go through the highlights.

Hangovers are real, yo

The first half wasn’t pretty. As predicted, UK jogged out of the gate after the huge win over Kansas, and to their credit, the Terriers were truly pesky, nipping at the Cats’ heels like the friskiest of Jack Russells. “We did not fight in the first half,” Calipari said. “I expected a letdown, I was just hoping it wouldn’t be too bad.” After the game, Boston head coach Joe Jones acknowledged that his squad may have caught Kentucky at a good moment after the thrilling win over Kansas.”I thought it was always hard to get up for a game like this when they had such a big game and they played so well in that game,” Jones said. “I was using everything at my disposal.”

Jones is a character and obviously loved the spotlight of UK’s stage. After he was done with his press conference, he “accidentally” tried to walk into the wrong locker room, joking “Is this Kentucky? I’m going to change teams.”

Really, can we keep him?

Ryan Lemond tackled the UK mascot at halftime

In case you haven’t been to a game yet this season, Ryan Lemond now handles halftime festivities, emceeing halfcourt shots. Tonight, the UK mascot made the halfcourt shot, and Ryan tackled him in celebration.

Yes, those are zippers on his back pockets. Zipper pockets on the jeans! Mark this down as a show topic for Monday.

Boston got chippy

The second half escalated quickly. Boston stayed right with Kentucky for the first ten minutes thanks to several fouls from the refs, which sucked up any life in Rupp Arena. The officials called a double technical on Aaron Harrison and Cedric Hankerson, and another technical on Nathan Dieudonne. Boston clearly wasn’t scared of the Cats, jawing and scrapping until the end. In fact, UK only won the rebounding battle by five; however, the Cats opened it up with about seven minutes left, cracking BU’s 2-3 zone by going to their strengths: length and lobs.

Andrew Harrison got mad

Andrew Harrison only had eight points tonight, but I’d argue he shifted the momentum in the second half. After the refs tried to choke any and all rhythm from the court, Andrew got mad, driving the ball, drawing a foul, and sinking two free throws. He followed that up with a beautiful lob to Willie Cauley-Stein. Andrew also had five assists, second to only to Devin Booker, the star of the game. UK shared the ball better than they have all season tonight with 24 assists, the most in a game since dishing out 28 vs. LIU-Brooklyn in 2012.

Speaking of Harrisons, Aaron had a lot of these, too:

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Devin Booker took over

Remember when Devin Booker finally found his shot vs. Kansas? That hot streak continued tonight, and in the second half, it seemed like Devin couldn’t miss. He finished with 15 points off 5-8 shooting, 4-6 from behind the arc. Even better were Booker’s seven assists, a team high. Booker admitted that getting his shot to go down vs. Kansas was a huge confidence boost. “Finally got to see a shot go in. so, that was good,” Booker told reporters afterwards. “Shooters keep shooting. I feel like I kind of shot myself out of it and from here on out I’ll be good.”

Still looking for a full performance

It seems crazy, but we still haven’t seen a complete performance from the Cats. Tonight, the offense finally flowed in the second half thanks to Aaron and Devin, but the defense struggled. On defense, Calipari said that against Kansas, UK looked like a “January team,” whereas tonight, they looked like a “November team.” He also issued his standard disclaimers, warning that this team isn’t as great as everyone is making them out to be. “We all expect this team to be world-beaters every time out, and let me say this, folks: they’re not going to be,” Cal said.

I get Cal’s point, but the fact that it’s only November and the team looks this good and still has room to improve has me heading to bed happy. These quotes from Boston head coach Joe Jones help. “They have so many guys that someone is gonna get hot. They are so good,” Jones said. “Even though it was a close game, they were playing as a team. You can win big that way.”

“They’ve got a chance to get better and better. That’s the scary thing.”

Really, let’s keep him.

Meanwhile, in Athens, Georgia…

@D00bin

LOL. No, you don’t.

This dunk by Dominique Hawkins is all you need to see

Dominique got the start after Alex Poythress sat out because of illness, and made the most of it with this dunk, the first of his career at Kentucky. “Now people know I can dunk. I feel like I’m the best dunker on the team,” Dominique said.

There’s no topping that. Enjoy the rare Saturday off.


Booker never doubted Hawkins’ hops

Booker never doubted Hawkins’ hops

hawkins-lob

Devin Booker admitted his pass to Dominique Hawkins was a little high when he let it go. But, he’s seen Dominique dunk before, so he had very little doubt Hawkins would find a way to go up and get it. And he got it alright. Hawkins took it over the top of a Boston defender and threw it down with two hands, and should’ve gotten a foul call.

When asked about the decision to throw it up to the six-footer, Booker said that’s the way Cal drew it up so that’s what they ran.

Hawkins, on the other hand, wonders why everyone is so shocked by the play. “I feel like I’m the best dunker on the team,” he said with a smile.

I’m not doubting him, not after seeing that.

#SCTop10

 


Listen and/or call in to Matt Jones on the KSR Postgame Show

Kentucky got off to a slow start against a fearless Boston team but escaped with a 25-point win thanks to a second half run powered by Devin Booker. It wasn’t quite the dominant performance many fans expected after the Kansas game, so there is still plenty to critique and dissect. You can do so by calling in to the KSR postgame show or listening in on 630 WLAP and 840 WHAS.  You can also tune in via the iHeartRadio app right here.


Devin Booker shines in Kentucky’s win

Devin Booker shines in Kentucky’s win

devin-booker

Devin Booker, you’re tonight’s MVP.

The freshman guard set career highs with 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds in the win. He was the star in the second half that pushed Kentucky to pull away from a Boston team that wouldn’t die. Back-to-back jumpers stand out and, of course, the four or five lobs to backdoor cutters for dunks.

After the game, Cal said, “Devin had seven assists, a bunch were in the zone where we’re throwing that lob. And when he makes shots, we become a little bit different.”

Shooting wasn’t a problem for Booker tonight, something that can’t be said of his last couple times out. He said Cal told him to keep firing and they knew it would eventually turn around.

Great game from Booker. (It’s almost like someone predicted it on the KSR pregame show.)


Watch the postgame press conference


Play of the Game or Play of the Year?

All six feet of Dominique Hawkins went up over a Boston defender to finish off a beautiful lob from Devin Booker with a two-handed slam. Perfect execution and extreme confidence from Booker to throw it up there to Hawkins, who didn’t let him down.


Kentucky 89, Boston 65

Kentucky 89, Boston 65

boston-box


(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Cats put away the pesky Terriers 89-65

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It wasn’t as fun as the Kansas game, but the Cats eventually put away the pesky Terriers from Boston University 89-65.

Aaron Harrison led all scorers with 19, but Devin Booker was close behind with 15 points and an impressive SEVEN assists. Nice MVP pick, Drew Franklin.

More coming throughout the night…


UK vs. Boston U. LIVE BLOG

Live Blog UK vs. Boston LIVE BLOG