Kentucky will face its first Power Five opponent in more than a month when Josh Pastner’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets travel to Rupp Arena for basketball action, beginning at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN.
“Disarray” might be a good way to describe the Georgia Tech basketball program. The Yellow Jackets were put on probation after committing a couple of violations in the recruitment of Wendell Carter Jr. Turns out, you can’t take recruits to strip clubs. Who knew? Banned from the postseason, they also are without their starting point guard and returning leading-scorer, Jose Alvarado, who was expected to return from an ankle injury in time to play against UK.
To put up points Pastner will have to rely on and Michael Devoe and a familiar face for Kentucky fans, Bubba Parham. Last year Parham knocked down ten-three pointers at Rupp as a VMI swingman. Devoe is scoring 21.3 ppg. while shooting over 50 from the field and behind the three-point line.
Tech isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but the ACC program is a nice introduction into the meat and potatoes of Kentucky’s schedule. Enjoy Rupp for now. It’s the last time UK will play at home until Louisville comes to town Dec. 28.
TV, Radio, Vegas
The Wildcats are 15-point favorites over the Yellow Jackets with an over-under of 137 points. Tech has only failed to cover twice in 2019. One of those losses ATS was an abomination. They were three-point favorites against Syracuse last Syracuse and lost by 34 points. Yikes.
The KSR Pregame Show begins on WLAP at 2:30 p.m. ET. Jason Benetti and Jay Bilas are on the call for ESPN. If you can’t watch, there are multiple ways to listen to The Voice of the Wildcats.
- AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
- FM: 98.1 WBUL
- Satellite: XM-190 and Sirius-134
- Online: iHeart Radio
A Calipari-Pastner Reunion
Georgia Tech’s head coach initially planned to follow John Calipari from Memphis to Kentucky. Pastner’s name actually appeared on Coach Cal’s first contract with UK, serving as a witness. He told the Courier-Journal earlier this week, “I was all excited, ready to go to Kentucky… I had not thought one second of being the head coach at Memphis.”
Have always been intrigued by the witness signature on Calipari's 1st UK contract. So with Josh Pastner set to coach at Rupp this weekend, I asked him about it.
— Jon Hale (@JonHale_CJ) December 11, 2019
The U.N. Security Council’s in the House
Kelly Craft is bringing the most powerful peacemakers in the world to Rupp Arena. I hope management is planning to pull out all the stops to show the diplomats the best the Bluegrass has to offer.
Today’s Tale of the Tape
College Basketball on TV
We got more than a couple of big games this Saturday. Penny Hardaway and Rick Barnes reignite their feud to lead into the UK game. There’s also a spectacular Pac-12 After Dark game on the slate between the Zags and Zona.
— 11:30: Miss. State at Kansas State on ESPNU
— Noon: EKU at #1 UofL on ACCN
— Noon: #10 Oregon vs. #5 Michigan on CBS
— Noon: #16 Michigan State at Oakland on ESPN2
— 1:00: Syracuse at Georgetown on Fox
— 2:00: UIC at DePaul on FS1
— 3:00: #13 Memphis at #19 Tennessee on ESPN
— 3:00: UCLA at Notre Dame on ABC
— 4:00: St. Louis at #12 Auburn on ESPN2
— 4:00: #23 Xavier at Wake Forest on ACCN
— 6:00: Oklahoma at Wichita State on ESPN2
— 10:00: #6 Gonzaga at #15 Arizona on ESPN
Meet Louie Dampier and Dan Issel
Louie Dampier will be honored in the 5th edition of the Wildcat Legends fine art series. To celebrate the occasion, Dampier and Dan Issel will be at Your Frame of Mind in the Lexington Center signing autographs before tip-off from 3-4:30 p.m. ET. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet a pair of Wildcat Legends.
UK’s Volleyball Season Ends
Kentucky’s valiant fourth set comeback fell short against Washington (16-25, 24-26, 25-15, 25-22) in the Sweet Sixteen. Kentucky took a 21-20 lead after a successful challenge and ace reversed their fortunes, but it wasn’t enough to force a fifth set. The Wildcats finished 25-7 in their third consecutive SEC Championship campaign. Wearing a Kentucky uniform one last time, Leah Edmond added 17 kills to her school record.
"Thank you for giving me a platform to be my true self…I've been blessed with the best coaches and even greater teammates."@leahedmond13 writes an emotional letter to the sport of volleyball as her @KentuckyVB career comes to an end.#NCAAVB pic.twitter.com/cupdQv2dbf
— NCAA Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) December 13, 2019
Official Visitors in Lexington
Just days away from National Signing Day, Mark Stoops is hosting a couple of four-star recruits — Bowling Green’s Vito Tisdale and JUCO offensive lineman Jeremy Flax. They’re pulling out all of the stops to roll some dice before prospects put pen to paper Wednesday. Along with high school seniors, there will be dozens of underclassmen on campus for Kentucky Junior Day.
While Stoops’ squad was on the practice field Friday afternoon, Samuel Anaele’s coach revealed the top 150 prospect has been accepted into UK and will enroll in January. It’s always great to add a four-star defensive end to the rotation in time for spring practice.
Go Army, Beat Navy
The Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy is on the line this afternoon in Philadelphia. The Midshipmen opened as 6.5-point favorites but that line has been bet all the way up to 10.5. That’s a lot of points for this rivalry. Expect drama from start to finish once the ball is kicked off at 3 p.m. ET on CBS.
Hours after this game concludes, Joe Burrow will win the Heisman Trophy in New York City. Who else will be at the ceremony? It doesn’t matter. Burrow’s bringing one back to the bayou.
Kentucky’s December commencement is still a week away. Godspeed to all the Wildcats preparing for final exams. Many other institutions across the state hosted graduation ceremonies Friday afternoon. In Richmond, one EKU graduate celebrated the occasion by throwing L’s Down.