On Saturday afternoon, the Kentucky basketball team is looking to build off its massive victory over No. 3 Louisville last weekend with a win over the Missouri Tigers to open SEC play.
The 8-4 Tigers will head to Rupp Arena tomorrow at 2 p.m ET, marking the start of Kentucky’s two-games-per-week schedule from now until the end of the season.
Oddly enough, a few news tidbits have come out involving UK’s fellow conference foes and familiar faces, so we’ll start with a note on a former Wildcat, discuss some of the news around the SEC, and work our way back around to Kentucky. Deal?
Former Wildcat Houston Hoggi passes away
On Thursday evening, the University of Kentucky football program and the Southeastern Conference lost a pioneer.
Houston Hogg, a former Daviess County County HS standout, passed away at the age of 71 on Thursday.
The former Wildcat great was one of four African-American men to break the color barrier not only at the University of Kentucky, but in the SEC as a whole.
Sadden to hear the news of the passing of the groundbreaking @UKFootball Player and Daviess County standout Houston Hogg. His contributions to the game of football will not be forgotten. #Legend pic.twitter.com/R5dTZ5nkYH
— DCHS_Football (@DCHS_Football) January 3, 2020
Hogg, along with Nate Northington, Greg Page, and Wilbur Hackett were honored with a statue outside of Kroger Field and the Joe Craft Football Practice Facility back in 2016.
Check out Nick Roush’s full recap on his death and the legacy he left on the world of college athletics right here.
Is Joe Moorhead out at Mississippi State?
Could one of Kentucky football’s regular SEC foes be looking for a new coach? It certainly looks like it.
Late last night, Pete Thamel broke the news that Mississippi State is exploring the idea of firing head coach Joe Moorhead after just two years with the program.
“No formal decision has been made,” Thamel wrote in a tweet. “School officials have been discussing Moorhead’s future since a spate of off-field issues, including the fight that led to QB Garrett Schraeder missing the Music City Bowl.”
Sources: Mississippi State is exploring firing coach Joe Moorhead. No formal decision has been made. School officials have been discussing Moorhead's future since a spate of off-field issues, including the fight that led to QB Garrett Schraeder missing the Music City Bowl.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 3, 2020
Moorhead led the Bulldogs to an 8-5 record and an Outback Bowl appearance in his first year with the program, only to follow it up with a 6-7 record in 2019. Mississippi State fell to Louisville by a final score of 38-28 in the Music City Bowl earlier this week.
Damien Harris says he was “100% going to Kentucky” on decision day
Remember former five-star recruit and in-state product Damien Harris? Of course you do.
And if you take his word for it, Kentucky fans almost got to know him quite a bit more, as Harris now says that he was “100% going to Kentucky” when he sat down to make his decision in January of 2015.
In an interview with CampusLore, the former five-star high school recruit said after planning on picking the Wildcats, “it was like somebody had [his] hand and picked up the Alabama hat” instead of the Kentucky one.
— CampusLore (@CampusLore) January 2, 2020
Interesting, but I don’t buy it. Not for a second.
Harris, a Berea, KY native, picked Alabama over offers from Kentucky, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida, and Michigan, among a surplus of other schools.
The former Crimson Tide running back ran for 1,507 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior at Madison Southern High School in 2014, averaging over 15 yards per carry.
Nate Sestina has full support from home going into SEC play
With SEC play set to begin on Saturday, Nate Sestina’s hometown of Emporium, PA is ready for the big moment.
St. Mark’s, a church located in Sestina’s hometown, is set to host a viewing party to watch their native son help the Cats take on Missouri.
— St. Mark-Emporium PA (@StMark_Emporium) January 3, 2020
If you’re in the Emporium, PA area for some reason, you now have a place to watch the game.
Kentucky assistant, players set to speak to the media
This afternoon, one Kentucky basketball assistant and two members of the team are set to speak to the media, followed by Matthew Mitchell.
As of right now, the assistant coach will be available at 12:30 p.m., followed by select men’s players at 12:45 p.m. and women’s basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell at 1 p.m..
KSR will have all the coverage you need right here on the site.
KSR in an hour
Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin, and the rest of the KSR crew will be live in-studio this morning from 10 a.m. to noon.