By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 11:00pm
After a slow start to the season with numerous lackluster performances, the Kentucky Wildcats have turned things around in a major way. They’ve rattled off victories against four teams ranked in the top 25, and following a 21-point beatdown at home against No. 22 Mississippi State, they’re finding their groove at the perfect time.
So what’s working for the 15-3 (5-1 in the SEC) Wildcats?
From the top of the roster to the bottom, we’re starting to see consistency and balance shine through. Five different players have led the team in scoring throughout the season, with each of them accomplishing that feat at least twice. Six different players have led the team in rebounds, while four have led the team in assists. They’re attacking opponentson both ends of the floor in different ways with various weapons, and teams just don’t know how to stop it.
Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland said the pressure got to his team and they just weren’t able to handle it. The Wildcats overwhelmed them.
“I thought they really pressured us and we didn’t handle that pressure very well,” he said after the game. “We should be able to handle that better than we did. I thought in the first half we were penetrating, which was what we needed to do. They were so spaced out. We have to attack the basket. We were getting in there and not jump stopping. We were getting sped up. You have to stop and slow down.”
As far as specific players go, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro have obviously been major scoring threats throughout the year, Ashton Hagans is a terror on defense, PJ Washington and Reid Travis have each been forces on the inside, and Immanuel Quickley’s shot is coming on. Heck, even Jemarl Baker has his 3-and-D role carved out for him in limited minutes. The roles are there.
With Kentucky centers Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery, however, it’s been more of a struggle in terms of consistency and finding their respective grooves. They’ve each had flashes of brilliance, but never enough to truly dominate on either end of the floor.
Against the Bulldogs last night, though, they both had small breakthroughs that the team believes could absolutely change the entire landscape of the season moving forward. They just need to be able to replicate that on a game-to-game basis.
Richards finished with eight points, six rebounds, and a block off the bench, while Montgomery added five points, two rebounds, one steal, and one block. Neither had earth-shattering numbers, but their big moments came in crucial times of the game.
After a few missed gimmes and an ugly turnover early, Montgomery had a momentum-shifting block on one end, which led to a massive dunk on the other for Richards with 12:51 remaining. Kentucky’s three point lead turned to five, which then turned to 14 at the 7:32 mark. It was the turning point of the game.
“I mean, did you see him block that shot?” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said after the victory. “It changed the game. If we had another big guy in, and he just acted like, well, it’s not my man and didn’t block that shot and that ball goes in, we could have lost the game.
“That changed the game. Those kind of plays, one, they make it so guards won’t drive in there, but two, they changed the game because you get breakouts down the other end. And he and Nick are able to do that for us.”
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 23, 2019
And then for good measure, Montgomery sank a three-pointer from the left elbow with just 2:50 remaining in the second half, his first make from deep of the season. He has fallen in love with taking long twos, and though they look solid coming off his hands, the 6-foot-11 freshman is never able to make them fall. With his first made three in the books, Calipari wonders if this is what he needed to finally break through.
“I told him, “It’s the first one he made all year. It’s good that you made one finally.” I keep telling him, he’s going to break through and everybody is going to say, oh, my gosh, who is this guy,” Calipari said.
Kentucky guard Tyler Herro said Montgomery’s improved play isn’t a surprise, as the entire team has seen it in practice. But when it finally happened out on the floor on Tuesday evening, it was a game-changer.
“EJ has been making great shots throughout the season, he works hard every day at practice,” Herro said. “EJ’s play today changed the game today, he sparked us a little bit. (Once he finds his rhythm) he’s going to be another great contribution for us, but he’s already playing really well. For him to come in and make plays like that, it’s big.”
When asked if Montgomery was the difference-maker in taking this team to the next level, Kentucky point guard Hagans said it isn’t just him with that potential impact. He said they’re going to need Richards’ continued development, as well.
Once that happens, Hagans believes things are going to get scary.
“Not just EJ, we’re going to need Nick too,” he said. “When Nick get in, it’s great, he’s just great on the court. EJ also. EJ is going to get it going when the season goes along, and once he gets it going, we’re going to be one hell of a team.”
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You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.
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#10 CA Don
I feel bad watching this while eating a chocolate chip cookie….
— CA Don (@C_A_Don) January 23, 2019
Same man, same.
#9 Chris Liner
Nothing makes me smile more then to be watching Tennessee basketball and the announcers begin talking about Kentucky basketball. #BBN
— Chris Liner (@Bigblueliner) January 24, 2019
It’s warming to the soul.
— Brad (@UKblueinmyveins) January 24, 2019
Same can be said for NFL Quarterbacks.
#7 Tyler Campbell
— Tyler Campbell (@TylerCampbellKY) January 24, 2019
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
#6 Nick Beasmore
— Nick Beasmore (@nickobeazo) January 23, 2019
Could Shannon the dude be the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble?
#5 Mark Pickett
— Mark Pickett (@UKflatlander) January 24, 2019
Blue. Gets. In.
#4 Christopher Peak
— Christopher Peak (@chrispeak5280) January 24, 2019
Start them young.
#3 Kentucky Towboater
— Kentucky towboater (@OldschoolUKlogo) January 23, 2019
Wait, it DOES exist??
#2 Terry Jordan
— Terry Jordon (@tnjordon) January 23, 2019
Give meTyler Ulis and Dbook over DX.
#1 John Robic’s Hair
Matt’s drink bet reminded me of the movie Semi-Pro when Jackie Moon promised corn dogs for the entire stadium and then tried to block his own player from making the shot so that they wouldn’t win – but he made it@KySportsRadio @ryanlemond @ShannonTheDude pic.twitter.com/9oZcltkrWd
— John Robic’s Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) January 23, 2019
I would pick up the tab just to watch Matt do that.
Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets: @BrentW_KSR
By Maggie Davis on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 10:15pm
Tonight on Hey Kentucky, Matt Jones is joined by Perrin Johnson. March is quickly approaching, which means it’s time for BRACKETOLOGY! If the tournament started today, what would the matchups look like? How would Kentucky do? And if the Cats had to play Duke for a chance at the Final Four, who would come out on top?
Check it out!
For more videos from Hey Kentucky!, head to HeyKentucky.com
By Maggie Davis on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 10:00pm
The Kentucky women’s basketball game will be back in action Thursday night when they take on Missouri. And while it’s the first game back following their bye week – and another challenging, top-25 matchup – it will mean a little extra to the coaching staff. The game is part of “We Back Pat Week” across the SEC, bringing awareness and honoring the legacy of Pat Summitt. Representatives of the Pat Summitt Foundation are also scheduled to be on hand for a special check presentation.
Assistant coaches Niya Butts and Kyra Elzy will rock these custom sneakers by True Blue Customs.
Our staff has a special connection to Pat Summitt and @CoachButts and @CoachLZ will honor her legacy and bring awareness for @WeBackPat Thursday vs. Missouri with these custom made shoes from @truebluecustoms!
— Kentucky WBB (@KentuckyWBB) January 22, 2019
The shoes will also be auctioned off as part of the foundation’s fight to end alzheimer’s.
Learn how to win a pair of these on Thursday. Hint … you will need to join the SEC WIN CHALLENGE. @WeBackPat let’s put in that work. I’m confident that we will sign some new people up to help us END ALZ! #? https://t.co/FOHh1N0Jf9
— Kyra Elzy (@CoachLZ) January 23, 2019
Some sad news: the game will be extra bittersweet, as Pat Summitt’s mother just passed away Wednesday afternoon.
May their family find some peace during this heartbreaking time.
Calipari still waiting for EJ Montgomery’s breakout game, but knows he “changed the game” against against Mississippi State
By Maggie Davis on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 9:30pm
EJ Montgomery made some mistakes against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, but he also made some clutch plays to help the Cats finally pull away in the second half. One, of course, was his block that set up Nick Richards’ fast-break dunk.
“I keep telling [Mongtomery], he’s going to break through and everybody is going to say, ‘Oh, my gosh, who is this guy?’” Calipari said after the win. “I mean, did you see him block that shot? It changed the game. If we had another big guy in, and he just acted like, ‘well, it’s not my man,’ and didn’t block that shot and that ball goes in, we could have lost the game. That changed the game.”
In addition to his “game-changing” block, Montgomery also sank his first three-point ball of the season.
“I told him, ‘It’s the first one you made all year. It’s good that you made one finally,'” Calipari laughed.
On the season, Montgomery is shooting just under 46 percent from the floor and, thanks to his single trey, 20 percent from the three-point line. He’s recorded double-digit minutes in four of the Cats’ last five games, but he’s taken the second-fewest shots out of all of the players in the main rotation (Richards has taken the fewest (41); Montgomery has taken 74). And although Montgomery’s game may not be progressing as quickly as some of his teammates’ (see: Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro), the other Wildcats have his back.
“EJ [Montgomery] had a great game. The stats sheet won’t show that, but it felt like he had 20 [points] and 10 [rebounds] for us,” PJ Washington said. We’re happy for him. He blocks shots and rebounds really well, so once he gets his time on the court, he’s going to do great with it.”
Part of his issue is still confidence. As one of four Kentucky big men in the rotation, Montgomery doesn’t always have the opportunity – or, perhaps, directive – to step back and take shots.
“We know he can make shots – he does it in practice a lot,” Washington said. “We’re willing to let him take those in a game. He just has to be confident and let those go. One went in today, and I think his confidence went up as well.”
If he can hone in on his shooting ability while still grabbing rebounds and blocking shots, the ball will really be in his court.
“We had a stretch where our two bigs [Washington and Travis] were going through the motions and couldn’t fight. Okay, bang: you’re out. We’ll play these two, [Montgomery and Nick Richards],” Calipari said after Tuesday’s game. “And I told those two, play as many minutes as you can play. You need a break, let me know. We’ll sub a guy off the bench and when you want to go back in, you go back in.”
Not a bad deal. But if he’s going to be the game changer Calipari believes him to be, he still has some work to do.
By Maggie Davis on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 9:00pm
They always say no rest for the weary so, naturally, John Calipari is back on the road.
Today, he was in Georgia, visiting 5-star Sharife Cooper. The 2020 recruit is currently listed as the No. 2 point guard in his class and the No. 21 overall player, according to 247Sports. He received a scholarship offer from Kentucky back in September while on his unofficial visit.
— Jason Jordan (@JayJayUSATODAY) January 23, 2019
Now, he’s planning his official visit. Cooper is tentatively scheduled to make his way back to Lexington for the Auburn game on February 23. Interestingly enough, Cooper’s Crystal Ball is currently 80 percent Auburn and 20 percent Kentucky. Plus, Cooper’s high school teammate, 4-star small forward Isaac Okoro, signed with Auburn back in November. Could Bruce Pearl and the Tigers steal the show when they come to town for their matchup against Kentucky?
As if it wasn’t already important enough for the Cats to get a win over Auburn… Now, they also need to come out and impress Cooper. Rupp needs to be rocking for this one.
Just look at that hair – Sharife Cooper belongs at Kentucky.
By Maggie Davis on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Jamal Murray had quite the hot hand during his time as a Wildcat, and now he’s emerging as one of the NBA’s young stars. The 21-year-old point guard for the Denver Nuggets is averaging 18.8 points and 4.9 assists per game, but it’s his constant dedication to perfecting his shot that makes him stand out among dozens of talented players.
In a profile by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Murray’s intense diligence and consistently-competitive nature are on full display. While his appearances (sometimes up to three in one day) inside Denver’s practice facility are impressive, it’s nothing compared to how he grew up playing the game in Canada:
“Try shooting 3-pointers outside, in the snow, with a bitter Ontario wind ripping through you, after you’ve just held a deep-knee squat for 12 minutes, a cup of piping hot tea carefully balanced on your thigh to make sure you do not waver — all this executed under the watchful eye of your father, a martial arts enthusiast and basketball junkie who has been honing your skills since you were an infant.”
In addition to his physical fitness, Murray also devotes time to improving his mental state. Meditation has become part of his routine over the last several years, and he’s not to be interrupted during this time, “not even during a recruiting visit in 2015 from Kentucky assistant Kenny Payne, who approached Murray one day as he finished his workout, only to be instructed by [Murray’s father] to wait while Jamal sat cross-legged, eyes blissfully shut, in a corner of the gym,” according to the profile.
The article also talks about Murray’s upbringing in Canada, his relationship with Coach Calipari and his highest (and lowest) stretches throughout his time in the league. It’s a great read that gives readers a fascinating look into the player – and man – Jamal Murray is becoming.
By Maggie Davis on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 7:30pm
Karl Towns and Devin Booker may have earned adjoining places in the hearts of the BBN forever during the 2014-15 season, but Karl-Anthony Towns has to side with his new teammate after last night’s altercation during the Timberwolves-Suns game.
“I love Devin like a brother … but I got Gorgui,” Towns said in a postgame interview after Minnesota’s win.
In case you haven’t seen it yet (is there anyone who hasn’t seen it by now?), check out the video of ex-Cat Devin Booker versus ex-Card Gorgui Dieng.
Devin Booker and Gorgui Dieng are both ejected after a fight and then rush into the tunnel ? pic.twitter.com/jR8LuhlneU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 23, 2019
So word I’m getting is that after the ejections Dieng fought off two security guards and got within about 15 yards of the Suns locker room before security was able to restrain him. Booker was not in the locker room or anywhere near as he was held up by security outside the tunnel
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) January 23, 2019
After the game, Dieng joked he “just wanted to exchange jerseys with [Booker], nothing else.”
And while Kentucky fans are all, of course, #TeamBooker, Dieng’s slight size advantage is worth noting: Dieng is listed at 6-foot-11, 252 pounds; Booker is listed at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds.
Whatever – I’ll still take Booker all day. Cats by 90.
By Maggie Davis on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Throughout this season, Kentucky has seen two sides of PJ Washington. Sometimes, he’s on fire, as he was throughout most of the UK vs. Mississippi State game – against the Bulldogs, he finished with 21 points, six rebounds and four blocks. But there are also plenty of other times, sometimes in critical moments, when Washington seemingly disappears.
And that’s what’s frustrating John Calipari.
“He’ll dunk on you; he’ll go get a rebound in traffic; he’ll go block, and when he doesn’t, he posts up and the guy runs around him and tips it away,” Calipari said of Washington’s skill set and potential. “He has that game, but he also has that other game and we’ve just got to tell him, it’s not acceptable.”
That “other” game, of course, happens when Washington does that disappearing thing. And although he finished with an impressive stat sheet against Mississippi State, Calipari says it wasn’t good enough.
“I still think he played without that motor parts of the game, and that’s what was making me angry,” Calipari said. “Come on, man – battle. But that’s how good I think he is.”
So, what does happen to turn Washington’s motor off during a game?
“I have no idea,” Washington said. “If I knew that, it wouldn’t slow down. I’m just trying to watch a lot of film with [assistant coach Kenny Payne].”
While he may not be able to pinpoint exactly how or why it turns off, he does know how it gets flipped back on: getting benched.
“Sometimes I’ll get lackadaisical and won’t get a rebound or something, and that’s when [Calipari] will take me out,” Washington said. “Then, when I come back in, I just try to get the flow going and try to get aggressive.”
That’s exactly what happened against the Bulldogs.
“I told P.J. today, ‘I let you out six minutes and, you know what, you came in and played as good as you played all year,'” Calipari said. “Maybe I should leave you out six minutes – maybe that gets you going; maybe you need to rest.”
But, of course, Washington doesn’t think so.
“I kinda get mad a little bit,” Washington laughed when asked about his reaction to being pulled from the action. “I always want to be in the game, so I’ve just got to make sure I’m always doing the right thing.”
If he’s trying to always do the right thing, recording 21 points and four blocks is certainly a step in the right direction. But it has to become more consistent – he just can’t let that motor turn off again, especially against Kansas.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Following yet another victory against a top-25 opponent in Mississippi State on Tuesday evening, the Kentucky Wildcats are easily considered one of the top teams in all of college basketball. Sitting at 15-3 on the year (5-1 in SEC play) with five consecutive victories, the Wildcats are ranked No. 8 in the latest AP Poll and KenPom rankings.
As of today, Kentucky has four victories over teams currently ranked in the top 25 in North Carolina (11), Auburn (16), MSU (22) and Louisville (23), with three of those wins coming away from home. They also have matchups with Kansas (9), at Mississippi State (22), LSU (25), Tennessee (1), Auburn (16), at Tennessee (1), and at Ole Miss (20) left on the schedule before we even get to the SEC Tournament.
If the Cats can keep trekking forward and rack up victories against the conference’s best, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better resume in the nation than Kentucky’s when Selection Sunday rolls around.
Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland said it best last night: the Wildcats have the depth, experience, and talent to be a dangerous, dangerous team come March.
He started with the Kentucky frontcourt.
“It really helps to have a fifth year in Reid (Travis),” he said. “There is a lot of experience between him and PJ Washington. For him to be a sophomore and be as good as he is, they have two really experienced guys up there. Nick Richards is back for his sophomore year, it’s just something that hasn’t always happened because these guys sometimes leave early. I think those three guys really anchor their front line.”
And he continued with the Wildcat backcourt, saying Kentucky head coach John Calipari deserves a lot of credit for what he has been able to get out of this group so early in conference play.
“I think their perimeter players, those three freshmen are really good,” Howland said. “They have Ashton (Hagans) who is 19 years old and he’s mature. I think Tyler (Herro) is fantastic, he really hurt us early tonight. … Those guys did a really good job and I think Immanuel (Quickley) give them good depth coming in. He’s a real high level guard. They don’t drop out when he comes in the game. So, they’ve got good depth and they are playing with a lot of poise.
“Part of it is their schedule, they have played a tough schedule early. Think about where they were during the first game of the year versus Duke. It’s credit to John (Calipari) and his staff – Hall of fame coach.”
After the game, Calipari said that while a 21-point victory against a ranked Mississippi State team and a 5-1 start in the SEC certainly feels spectacular, he needs his team to continue to have that same hunger every night for them to reach their goal of contending for a national championship.
“They are getting better,” he said. “Now I’ve just got to keep an eye on being humble and being hungry. Not, you know, getting carried away, because we’re just — we’re just beginning the climb of where we need to go. … They are engaged. We had a coach come in the gym the other day and watch us practice and said, man, are they engaged. They are really locked into what you’re doing and what you’re trying to do as a team.”
When asked about keeping that focus and hunger in such a tough stretch of games, Kentucky point guard Ashton Hagans said that competitive spirit kicks in while playing against tough opponents. He says he’s confident in his team’s mindset moving forward.
“Coming off a tough win at Auburn against a great team, we just came in knowing we had to play another really tough team (in Mississippi State),” he said. “And then we know we have another tough team coming in here on Saturday. We just have to keep listening to what the coaches have going on at practice, keep the gameplan going. We’re looking a lot better on the defensive end, and that’s really all it is.”
For Hagans, he says it’s a fantastic feeling to have a group of teammates that understands their roles and gives it their all from tip-off to final buzzer.
“It feels good going out there knowing I’ve got my guys with me. We always go out there and try to fight the whole 40 minutes. I feel like this entire team is getting better, everybody is playing their role that coach has given us. We’ll see how the season goes from here,” the defensive standout said with a grin.
Calipari says a big part of that fight has to do with Hagans himself leading the way. When he goes about his business and fights the way he does on each possession, his teammates follow his lead. As a result, the wins are coming at a rapid pace and the chemistry is the best it’s been since the season began.
“I thought Ashton (Hagans), when you’re on the ball, playing like he plays, it bleeds into everybody else,” he said. “If your guy at the point is getting beat on a dribble and can’t control the guy a little bit, you’re in jeopardy. That’s why when we recruit point guards, if we have a guy, I tell them: How are we going to start our defense if he can’t stay in front of the ball? The stats don’t matter to me; can he do it. Last year, Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) did it, and now Ashton does it.”
Kentucky guard Tyler Herro says growth and maturity has been a major reason for his team’s consistent success here in the heat of conference play. As the game has slowed down for the newcomers, productivity has picked up.
“I think the game is slowing down for everybody,” he said. “At the beginning of the season, I think we were all really young, but we’re starting to mature a lot more. We’re really getting better game to game.”
They can prove it on Saturday by knocking off No. 9 Kansas at Rupp Arena when College GameDay comes to town.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 5:00pm
Kentucky is currently 15-3 overall, 5-1 in conference play. What will that record look like at the end of the regular season?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a time machine, but I do have access to the Sagarin and KenPom ratings, both which include predictions for the rest of the season. Obviously, the chances these numbers turn out to be right isn’t great, but it’s a rainy day, so let’s have some fun and look ahead.
Sagarin Predictor: 27-4, 16-2 in conference play
Kentucky’s current Sagarin Predictor rating is 89.14, ninth best in the country. The home advantage is 3.1. Using those numbers and the numbers of Kentucky’s opponents, the Sagarin Predictor has the Cats finishing the regular season 27-4, the only loss being at Tennessee.
|Sat, Jan 26||HOME||Kentucky 92.24||Kansas 89.61|
|Tue, Jan 29||AWAY||Kentucky 89.14||Vanderbilt 82.31|
|Sat, Feb 2||AWAY||Kentucky 89.14||Florida 88.82|
|Tue, Feb 5||HOME||Kentucky 92.24||South Carolina 78.24|
|Sat, Feb 9||AWAY||Kentucky 89.14||Mississippi State 88.25|
|Tue, Feb 12||HOME||Kentucky 92.24||LSU 85.66|
|Sat, Feb 16||HOME||Kentucky 92.24||Tennessee 91.03|
|Tue, Feb 19||AWAY||Kentucky 89.14||Missouri 82.18|
|Sat, Feb 23||HOME||Kentucky 92.24||Auburn 88.38|
|Tue, Feb 26||HOME||Kentucky 92.24||Arkansas 81.24|
|Sat, Mar 2||AWAY||Kentucky 89.14||Tennessee 94.13|
|Tue, Mar 5||AWAY||Kentucky 89.14||Ole Miss 86.33|
|Sat, Mar 9||HOME||Kentucky 92.24||Florida 85.72|
That’s pretty much a dream scenario and one I’d pay good money to see happen. Unfortunately, there is no way to put a point value on “Everybody’s Super Bowl,” so you have to think the Cats have more slip ups than on the road vs. the current No. 1 team in the country.
KenPom: 23-8, 13-5 in conference play
The Cats are currently No. 8 in the KenPom ratings. KenPom also predicts future games and team’s final records, but the formula for the final records is based off cumulative probabilities, so in some cases — like this one — the numbers don’t match. I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand that, but KenPom’s projected record for Kentucky is 23-8, 13-5 in conference play. That would have them finishing third in the SEC, which could mean the late game Friday night at the SEC Tournament, depending on tiebreakers (gag):
KenPom’s individual game projections are much rosier, showing Kentucky only losing two more times, at Florida and at Tennessee (the far right column is percentage chance to win):
|Sat, Jan 26||HOME||Kentucky 74||Kansas 69||65%|
|Tue, Jan 29||AWAY||Kentucky 75||Vanderbilt 66||78%|
|Sat, Feb 2||AWAY||Kentucky 64||Florida 65||50%|
|Tue, Feb 5||HOME||Kentucky 82||South Carolina 66||92%|
|Sat, Feb 9||AWAY||Kentucky 72||Mississippi St. 71||51%|
|Tue, Feb 12||HOME||Kentucky 78||LSU 71||74%|
|Sat, Feb 16||HOME||Kentucky 75||Tennessee 74||51%|
|Tue, Feb 19||AWAY||Kentucky 69||Missouri 63||71%|
|Sat, Feb 23||HOME||Kentucky 76||Auburn 71||68%|
|Tue, Feb 26||HOME||Kentucky 79||Arkansas 66||88%|
|Sat, Mar 2||AWAY||Kentucky 71||Tennessee 77||27%|
|Tue, Mar 5||AWAY||Kentucky 73||Ole Miss 71||57%|
|Sat, Mar 9||HOME||Kentucky 68||Florida 61||73%|
Personally, I see two or three more losses for the Cats. One will undoubtedly come vs. Tennessee, probably at Thompson-Boling, and another at Mississippi State or Ole Miss. Add in a loss to Kansas on Saturday night or a random off night somewhere along the way and that feels about right; however, with the way this team’s building momentum right now, you never know.
How do you think Kentucky will finish the season? Pick their final record below:
By Drew Franklin on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 3:45pm
When the average person is on a treadmill, they’re moving around three to five miles per hour while watching re-runs of mindless network television shows or listening to a murder podcast or a playlist they created with songs ranging from early 2000s rap to Mumford and Sons.
But when Josh Allen is on a treadmill, he is sprinting at a pace that would pass most cars in the far right lane on Nicholasville Road. It’s speed that is very uncommon to someone his size, but Josh Allen is a freak of nature and he runs faster than a human being should run.
Check out this clip from his latest workout, posted to his Instagram account:
Allen still isn’t receiving any first-pick love from NFL draft prognosticators. Hopefully that will change after the combine in a little over one month.
By Drew Franklin on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 3:00pm
Tennessee is the No. 1 team in college basketball for only the second time in the program’s history. The last time Tennessee held the top spot in the polls, almost 11 years ago, it lost at Vanderbilt in its very next game.
Tennessee will play at Vanderbilt tonight. Will history repeat itself?
This year’s Vanderbilt isn’t nearly as strong as the Vanderbilt that spoiled Tennessee’s top-ranked fun back in February of 2008, less than 48 hours into the new poll. That Vanderbilt had only four losses, was ranked 14th in the country, and included a senior Shan Foster averaging over 20 points per game, plus seniors Ross Neltner and Alex Gordon, and a young AJ Ogilvy and Jermaine Beal. Foster dropped a game-high 32 points on the Vols that night, finishing 9-of-13 from the field and 6-of-9 from outside. It was considered an upset, but not a big one by any means.
Tonight, however, Vanderbilt is a double-digit underdog on its home floor with its star player out for the whole season. It’s unlikely Tennessee will fall to 0-2 all-time as No. 1 overall, but wouldn’t it be nice for Kentucky’s SEC hopes (and maybe its tournament seeding) if it happened?
If Tennessee does get its first ever win as the top team, the Vols will need to hold off West Virginia at home on Saturday to keep the spot for another week. Then with a very manageable five-game SEC slate after that, maybe we see a No. 1 Tennessee in Rupp Arena on Saturday, February 16.
You can watch Tennessee-Vandy tonight at 7 pm on ESPN2.
By Nick Roush on ©January 23rd, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Mike Edwards, Darius West and Lonnie Johnson began practice Tuesday in preparation for the Senior Bowl. The latter is already earning more money in Mobile.
Representing the South team, the three UK defensive backs started their week on the scale before hitting the practice field.
As soon as Lonnie Johnson walked into Mobile, he was a star. Scouts were impressed with his combination of agility and size. NFL.com reporter Lance Zierlein said Johnson was one of the biggest winners at Day One of the Senior Bowl.
“Now that the chief evaluators are here — the guys who make the draft picks — they’re going to be impressed by Johnson. He’s 6-2, 210 pounds with long arms (32 1/4 inches). He looks the part. He made money just by showing up, getting measured this morning and then walking out here in his uniform. That might sound silly, but that’s how it works in the NFL. Guys want players with certain traits and he’s got them. On top of that, he played fairly well today. A lack of ball production in college (one interception) is the knock on him, but NFL teams always think they can coach that up.
Based on his tape, I thought he was a Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) player. But based on the traits, it wouldn’t shock me to start to hear people talking about him as a top-50 player.”
On the other hand, Darius West struggled a bit. One New York Jets reporter put West in his “Day One Losers” category. Just like in Lonnie’s case, it’s always wise to pump the brakes after only one day.
Meanwhile, Mike Edwards was the first Wildcat to make highlight-worthy play. The Badger denied Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow during 7-on-7 work.
Kentucky's Mike Edwards breaks up this pass intended for Hunter Renfrow here at the Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/Hakqqshl5H
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 22, 2019
Today’s practice schedule has been slightly altered due to severe weather, but the UK trio should still have plenty of time to put together quality tape at South Alabama’s indoor practice facility.
The Senior Bowl is this Saturday at 2:30 ET on the NFL Network.