There are no sports, but there is a bear roaming UK’s campus. (They should probably get that figured out by the way.) So what better time than now to look back on the other wildlife that has roamed UK’s campus over the years.
And yes, this is where we are right now. I’m writing about animal names. Would you rather talk about the game last night? Exactly. So let’s continue…
The unsung hero on John Calipari’s only championship team at Kentucky, Lamb was overshadowed by the star power in Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and sometimes even fellow sophomore Terrence Jones or the team’s senior from Kentucky, Darius Miller, but I didn’t see any of those guys score 22 points in the national championship game.
Lamb is also UK’s all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage at 47.5 percent for his career, with over 300 attempts. And remember when he set the freshman record for points in a game when he dropped 32 on like 11-of-12 shooting?
Eat, D. Lamb, eat.
You can’t speak about greats without mentioning Jack “Goose” Givens. The Lexington native is one of only three players in UK’s 2,000-point club, and 41 of his 2,038 career points came in the 1978 title game against Duke. If you score 41 against Duke in a championship game, you’re forever a legend around here.
Also from Lexington, Leroy “Baby Magic” Byrd was a fan favorite after he transferred back home from trying out UNLV straight out of Bryan Station High School. I’m aware that it’s a stretch to include Byrd in this conversation about animal names, but if you’re still reading this right now you’re already doing better than I expected so let’s include him because this entire exercise is absurd.
Byrd played 22 games in that 1985-86 season that went 32-4, his senior year.
Moncell “Turtle” Allen rushed for over 500 yards with four touchdowns in his career as UK’s running back/fullback. (Remember fullbacks?) He caught three touchdowns too.
Dan Issel, you’ve heard of him. But did you know they called him “The Horse”? Still do, I assume.
Anyway, the Horse is co-best ever at Kentucky. It’s him or Anthony Davis, depending who you ask. Issel is the all-time leader in both points and rebounds. It’s a pretty strong case.
Fox ran wild for one season at Kentucky as John Calipari’s point guard in 2016-17. During that one standout season, Fox averaged 16.7 points per game while leading the team in assists; he recorded a triple-double, the second one in the Kentucky basketball program’s entire history; he earned First Team All-SEC and SEC Tournament MVP honors; and on March 24, 2017, he brought his son, Lonzo Ball, to the Sweet 16 so he could score 37 points on him a few months before the NBA Draft.
And if not for Luke Maye and his stupid face that looks like mine, Fox is an NCAA Champion.
They can’t get the current bear off campus, but it’d be nice if the first Bear stuck around Lexington a little longer. Bryant went on to win six national championships after he left Kentucky in 1953, but not before he won 60 games as the head coach of the Wildcats.
Ok now go catch that present day bear already.