Another Arkansas commitment is waiting until the late signing period to sign. Come inside for details.
Another Arkansas commitment is waiting until the late signing period to sign. Come inside for details.
There was a time following his commitment to Georgia in April over Tennessee and Auburn that many put four-star Trezmen Marshall (Homerville, Ga./Clinch ...
UK freshmen Keldon Johnson, Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley have now played 10 games of college basketball.
The UCF football team's 22 seniors are driven to beat LSU in the Fiesta Bowl, joining Nebraska as the only program to ever complete two consecutive ...
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's coaches have been out on the recruiting trail ever since the season ended, and one of their biggest selling points is something ...
During Thursday's Belk Bowl press conference, Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall said he loved the challenge of going up against another ...
An assistant football coach at the University of Missouri has been arrested for missing a court date on a traffic ticket. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Vernon ...
Rounding up the latest news with former Wildcats in the NBA.
Now that we’re two months into the new NBA season, it’s time for a look at what’s been happening recently with the Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA.
Monk Gets Whacked
Malik Monk is having an improved sophomore season in the NBA, averaging 10.3 points for the 14-14 Charlotte Hornets. He made a rookie mistake, though, when he ran out on the floor and celebrated during Jeremy Lamb’s game-winner against the Pistons. Monk was assessed a technical foul, but Charlotte still won the game 108-107. The best part of it all was when Hornets owner Michael Jordan popped Monk in the back of the head as if to say, ‘Seriously?’ You know you messed up when you get that from arguably the best player of all time, but it was a learning experience for a young player that’s trending upward.
Cousins Return News
As Demarcus Cousins is still rehabbing his Achilles injury, everyone is speculating when he will make his return to the floor. Cousins was assigned to Golden State’s G-League affiliate earlier this week, which made it feel like he was ahead of schedule. The reports are all over the place as his return has been expected around Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and February. The Warriors have the luxury of being one of the most dominant teams in league history, so they are in no rush to get him back until he’s at 100%.
Some post practice DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant 1-on-1 as Cousins inches closer to return pic.twitter.com/xzQsi6zdCG— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 16, 2018
PG’s Lead Top Teams
Kentucky has been known for their floor generals over the last few years and two of the league’s best teams are led by Wildcat point guards. Eric Bledsoe is overshadowed by Antetokounmpo and Middleton in Milwaukee, but he’s having a sneaky good season for the Bucks. Bledsoe is averaging 16 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds on 51% shooting from the field for the second best team in the Eastern Conference. Jamal Murray has developed into a great second-option for Denver, who’s tied for best in the West with Golden State. Murray is averaging 17 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds, but his percentages need to continue to improve. Both players will be huge pieces for their teams’ success over the course of the rest of the season.
Rooks Breaking Out Of Their Shells
Most rookies in the NBA naturally struggle at some point of their first year, but two Cats are continuing to shine for their big market franchises. In New York, Kevin Knox is starting to get comfortable for the Knicks, averaging 22 points over his last three games. Knicks coach David Fizdale said, “He’s getting better and we’re watching his growth right before our eyes.” In LA, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been a big piece of the Clipper’s success this season by averaging 10 points on 48% shooting from the field. Both players will be essential pieces in their franchises for years to come and will only get better from here.
KAT is Back
It’s been a little over a month since Jimmy Butler was traded to Philadelphia and you can see the difference in Karl-Anthony Towns. In the 16 games since the trade, KAT has averaged 23 points and 13 rebounds on 49% shooting from the field and 39% from three while the team has gone 9-7. You wouldn’t think another All-Star would have such a negative effect on him, but the pieces obviously weren’t fitting and they couldn’t let Butler just walk in free agency. With Towns back playing at an All-NBA level, the Timberwolves can refocus and do what they can to right the ship in an intensely competitive Western Conference.
Can the Kings keep it coming?
If the NBA were a joke, the Sacramento Kings would be the very painful punchline based on the last few years. The organization has been a mess from top to bottom and their seasons were more about draft position than conference standings. 28 games into the season, though, the Kings are two games above .500 and are 0.5 games behind the eighth seed. De’Aaron Fox has shaken any doubt he’ll be a star and is establishing himself as a franchise player with averages of 18 points and 8 assists on 48% from the field and an eye-catching 41% from three.
Willie Cauley-Stein has slowed down a bit, dropping to an average of 14 points, but is still grabbing 8.5 rebounds a game on 54% shooting. The Kings having improved in this many categories and actually being competitive this late in the year is unheard as of late. If these two keep up their play, and if they get some more contributions from teammates like Skal Labissiere, the Kings will have their chance down the stretch.
New Orleans’ New Wildcat Duo
Last season, the pairing of Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins was fairly successful. With Cousins gone to Golden State, the Pelicans did their best to replace him with signing Julius Randle. Although he’s obviously not the same player, Randle has been fantastic this season for New Orleans. Over the last six games, Randle has averaged 27 points on 59% shooting and 11 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis is continuing to do Anthony Davis things. Over the last month, he’s averaged 30 points and 12 rebounds in 15 games. The Pelicans are 1.5 games out of the playoffs, but they have more than enough, especially with these two, to stay in the conversation until the very end.
The Gators don't feel they have to prove themselves, but feel they will show better this time around against Michigan.
Jaylen Ellis knew what to expect entering his official visit at Tennessee over the weekend, after being sold on the Vols by Jeremy Pruitt for so long. Still, the ...
The beginning of the early signing period is rapidly approaching. Numerous members of the Class of 2019 are getting ready to make their commitment status ...
Gators add another 4-star recruit to their 2020 class.
The Florida Gators hosted several prospects who have been on campus before this weekend but one guy took his first trip to Gainesville this weekend.
Matthew and Andrew Beardall will be on opposite sidelines for Thursday's Gasparilla Bowl.
‘Like a Swiss Army Knife’: Tony Hughes ready to do it all again for Mississippi State – Jackson Clarion Ledger
Mississippi State assistant coach Tony Hughes is happy to be back in a familiar place.
Kentucky bolsters its defensive line depth with a JUCO lineman.
Kentucky bolsters its defensive line depth with a JUCO lineman.
The Kentucky Wildcats have scored a junior college Yahtzee.
On Sunday, Elijah James announced his commitment to Kentucky:
James is a 6-4, 300-pound defensive tackle from Iowa Western C.C. He doesn’t have any other reported offers. He is also teammates with fellow Kentucky JUCO commit JaVonte Richardson.
In high school, James played for Oswego East in Illinois. He signed with Central Michigan as a Class of 2018 recruit, but he wound up in the JUCO ranks. It paid off in a big way after he landed an SEC offer from Kentucky, where he’ll look to bolster the defensive line depth ahead of the early signing period, which begins on Wednesday.
Check out some highlights of the newest Wildcat in action:
Sea of Blue comes loaded with the best Kentucky Wildcats links, news and analysis, and some other stuff. Got a link you think we should check out? Email us at email@example.com, or find us on Twitter at @ASeaOfBlue or on Facebook at Facebook.com/GoASOB.
A hot bed for talent annually, Florida always produces dozens of Power 5 college football signees and the state's 2019 collection of elite players is extremely ...
Mississippi State commitment Nathan Pickering will be a hot topic of conversation for the remainder of the recruiting process.
Daniels is not having the “Calipari is slipping” talk.
Somehow, even though Green has sparingly filled the point guard role, the questions have shifted to whether or not Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley can do what it takes to have this team ready come tournament time.
This past week, 247 Sports’ Evan Daniels offered up his take on Kentucky’s point guard situation. Daniels had promising things to say about each freshman ball-handler.
“I think with Hagans, he really brings defense and toughness,” said Daniels. “He’s shown that he can be a very good on-ball defender, particularly against UNC Greensboro. He’s good in transition, can get to the rim and he’s a good finisher. The biggest weakness is just his lack of shooting ability.”
Hagans is shooting just 38.2% from the floor and has made only one of seven attempts from behind the three-point line. While the Wildcats should not need him to be a sharpshooter, he does need to finish better inside the arc to be a credible threat on the offensive end.
The problem is that the rest of roster is shooting poorly as well. The only guard shooting over 40% from behind the three-point line was Quade Green (42%), and he is gone. Tyler Herro was expected to be a guy that could hit shots consistently, but he is shooting an abysmal 28% from deep. Quickley is not much better at 33%.
“He’s got good size and length and quickness, and he’s also a pretty solid on-ball defender,” Daniels said of Quickley. “He’s pretty dangerous in transition as well. In terms of his biggest concern, though he improved quite a bit as a shooter in high school, to date he hasn’t shot it that well this season.”
Daniels believes that if the other guys on the roster would start hitting shots as they are capable of doing, this back court would be just fine.
Evan also commented this week on all of the recent criticisms of John Calipari’s recruiting. In his regular #AskEvan Q&A on Twitter, he got several questions about whether or not Coach Cal has lost his touch.
What is wrong with Cal?— austin spears (@austinspears1) December 11, 2018
In Daniels’ opinion, most of the negative perception is coming from Kentucky’s loss to the Duke Blue Devils instead of recruiting.
“So here goes … I think some of this is overreaction,” Daniels said. “Here’s why: The expectations for this year’s Kentucky team were high. They were to be a title contender and a dominant one at that. While Kentucky sits at 7-2, they certainly haven’t been dominant. But it’s early.
“To throw fuel on the fire, the team Kentucky fans hate the most (outside of Louisville) right now is Duke. Duke blasted Kentucky the first game of the season and is the current media darling, and rightfully so. Then throw in the fact that Kentucky lost out on James Wiseman and the natives are restless.”
However, he is quick to point out that the 2019 class already has two top 10 players in Khalil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey in addition to a Kentucky native that is still on the rise in Dontaie Allen. Has Kentucky’s recruiting really fallen off the point where it is not good enough to win? “I’m not entertaining that,” Evans wrote.
Daniels noted that Kentucky currently has seven McDonald’s All-Americans on the roster, and it would be eight if Ashton Hagans had not reclassified. The next highest total on any team in the country is five (Duke).
“So I’m not listening to any arguments that Kentucky isn’t recruiting well enough,”Daniels said. “Have they been getting top 5 players? No. But they’ve been getting really good players and their roster would rank three to five talent-wise in the country.”
While he is 100% correct in his assessments, I fear Big Blue Nation will be having none of that positivity until a top 5 recruit is landed or banner No. 9 is hanging in Rupp Arena.
Chris Akporoghene has been committed to Tennessee since July. As of Sunday, his recruitment is officially over. Akporoghene in a message posted on Twitter ...
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Not bad, not bad.
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley has already led the women’s basketball program to several firsts. The 2014-15 season saw the Gamecocks advance to its first Final Four, followed by its first-ever No. 1 ranking and first national championship in 2016-17. This year, she’s accomplished another first in signing the program’s first-ever top-ranked recruiting class, one that includes the No. 3, No. 7, No. 10 and No. 13 players.
There’s obviously high hopes that the incoming class can help the Gamecocks get back to the top, and if Toledo (Oh.) Rogers point guard Zia Cooke’s play is any indication, Staley and company will be set. Cooke, the No. 7 player in the country, dropped 43 in a game against East Kentwood (Mich.) on Saturday night. Check out this highlight video that features several effortless no-look passes and a poor East Kentwood player getting faked out:
South Carolina commit, Zia Cooke scored 43 points in a high school game last night. Watch highlights: pic.twitter.com/H8OMcjyGhL— ment nelson (@mentnelson) December 16, 2018
Even Chance the Rapper was impressed:
The Rams - 4-1 on the young season - play Woodward on Wednesday night.
The Kentucky Wildcats went 9-3 this season and have a chance to pick up win No. 10 during the Citrus Bowl against Penn State. It's one of the best Kentucky ...
Two of South Carolina's best faced off in a high school basketball showcase game on Dec. 15, 2018. Myles Tate, a Gamecocks recruiting target, held his own ...
Hot shooting for the Cats and Cal is ready to welcome back Rick Pitino.
Top ‘O the Mornin’ to ya Big Blue Nation!
The Kentucky Wildcats took care of business at Rupp Arena vs. the Utah Utes with a final score of 88-61. This was the type of game the Cats needed after a disappointing showing against Seton Hall. The offense and the defense were humming and Keldon Johnson took the lead for his team.
John Calipari looks to have figured out his rotation. With the departure of Quade Green, it’s now easier for Cal to work out who he wants on the floor. But Jemarl Baker may have made it a little more difficult for him scoring six points in two minutes going 2-2 from three.
It was good to see the offense come into its own as the Cats will face a North Carolina team that just beat Gonzaga 103-90. The Cats will take on the Tar Heels in Chicago for their first quality win of the season.
Congrats 93 UK team! Proud of you guys and love the hell out of you. Thx Cal for reaching out. Much appreciated.— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) December 15, 2018
John Calipari tried to get Rick Pitino back at Rupp Arena yesterday so he could be honored with the 1993 Kentucky team. Neither Pitino nor Jamal Mashburn were in attendance.
That's quite an introduction. Jemarl Baker catch, shoot, swished contested, deep 3-pointer. ... And then pulls up from even deeper with a dude in his face: splash.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) December 15, 2018
Baker could end up being one helluva weapon for the Cats. Just gotta get some more PT under his belt.
Hot shooting for Jemarl Baker | Cats Pause- It was only two minutes but what a debut for Jemarl Baker in Rupp Arena. The Cats shot well from three overall but if that kid can come in and shoot like that consistently: watch out,
John Calipari wants Rick Pitino to be honored at Rupp | WDRB- Now that Pitino is no longer wearing that horrible red and black, is it time for him to come back to Kentucky? With the final act of his career being such a disaster, maybe it’s time for the Big Blue Nation to bury the hatchet.
Hot shooting propels Cats past Utah | Cats Illustrated- UK hit 12 threes to blast the Utes by 27 points. Keldon Johnson led the way with 27 points.
UK Hoops beat Middle Tennessee | UK Athletics- Matthew Mitchell bounces back after losing a close one at UofL as his ladies beat MTSU 72-55. They are ranked 18th in the country and have a record of 10-1.
Penny Hardaway has Beale Street buzzing | CBS- What a ridiculous homer article by Gary Parrish. The Tigers are 5-5 and Penny Hardaway hasn’t shown any ability to actually coach basketball. But yeah, the Tigers are primed.
Why Gonzaga should be concerned | ESPN- After beating the Duke Blue Devils, Gonzaga has dropped two games. They were boat raced by North Carolina yesterday and there are some real concerns for the Zags.
Coby White taking the reins in Chapel Hill | Sporting News- Coby White has been phenomenal for the Heels this season and the Cats are going to have to lock him up defensively on Saturday.
Penny says Vols wanted to fight | ESPN- Shut up, Penny.
The Early Signing Period is days away (it begins Wednesday and ends Friday) and February's National Signing Day is just over a month out. The 2019 recruiting ...
Memphis F Kyvon Davenport after loss to the Vols: ‘I feel like we got better players’ – Saturday Down South
The Tennessee Volunteers went into Memphis on Saturday afternoon and beat the Tigers 102-92 to improve to 8-1 on the season. However, that hasn't stopped ...
Keldon Johnson is becoming Kentucky’s star right before Big Blue Nation’s eyes.
Coming into the 2018-2019 basketball season, there weren’t any bonafide superstars on head coach John Calipari’s roster.
After a few games, there were certainly a few candidates in regards to the team’s leader but no sure-star that most national championship contending teams usually have. However, as Kentucky completed their 10th game of the season on Saturday, they may have found their superstar.
Rewinding back to their ninth game of the season, which was a loss to the Seton Hall Pirates in the Citi Hoops Classic, Keldon Johnson hit what would’ve been the shot of the year for Kentucky. The freshman nailed a half-court, buzzer-beating three to send a hard-fought game to overtime. Though the Wildcats suffered a late loss to the Pirates, Johnson’s late-game heroics didn’t go unnoticed.
A week later, the Wildcats returned home to host the Utah Utes in search of a much-needed win. Fans quickly saw that one familiar face wasn’t going to let the trend be two straight losses for the Big Blue faithful.
Johnson netted five threes in the first half, scoring 15 points. His first half outburst gave Kentucky a sizable lead early on in the game that allowed full control in the win. In the second half, he went for nine to total a game-high 24.
After the game, Johnson said he was just “shooting with confidence,” and he has his teammates’ full trust.
“My teammates just kept telling me to keep shooting, don’t think about it, and just let it go. After I hit the first shot, I knew it was going to be a good day.
“I had some great practices this week. I just felt that it was time to transition all of the hard work that I’ve made in practice.”
The team also shot well from behind the arc, making 12-21 for 57%.
“We’ve really been practicing and emphasizing just getting others involved in practice,” Johnson said.
In regards to Johnson’s own confidence, it seems as if he’s ready to take the reigns.
“I’m comfortable with the offense coming through me,” he said. “I know every night may not be my night. However, I think that I can make the right play and get my teammates involved.”
With the NCAA transcending to a wing-focused league, Johnson’s assertion is just what Kentucky needs.
Sapakoff: From McCaffrey to Deebo to someday Clemson football players skipping playoff games – Charleston Post Courier
More NFL prospects are skipping college football bowl games every year. No big deal. Why not celebrate players who have contributed much to your favorite ...
They committed two months apart and will be signing two months apart, but Blackman's Trey Knox and Adonis Otey are "locked in" to Arkansas.
The Cats locked up the Utes as they improved to 8-2 on the season.
Out of the gate, the Cats looked a little sluggish as they quickly fell behind 10-2. However, after the first five minutes of the game it was all Cats the rest of the half.
Keldon Johnson was dominant in the first half as he started the game 5-5 from three-point land. The Cats used a suffocating defensive performance to build up a 30-19 lead with just under 8 minutes left in the half.
The shooting eventually slowed down for the Cats, but the defense didn’t as they only gave up 8 points the rest of the half.
Kentucky ended the half on a high note with back to back buckets by Reid Travis, and with 5 seconds remaining Ashton Hagans hit Tyler Herro who knocked down a three at the buzzer to send the Cats into the break with a 41-27 lead.
After halftime, Kentucky came out and continued to perform well on the defensive end of the floor and put together what could be their best overall performance of the season to this point.
Utah hit a hot streak where it seemed like they couldn’t miss despite the solid defense as they cut the lead to 10 with 11:52 remaining.
Kentucky quickly went on a 13-0 run to make their lead 70-47 with 7 minutes to play. Kentucky cruised from that point and were able to come away with a comfortable 88-61 win.
Here are a few thoughts on their dominant performance.
Cal has said that this team is probably his best shooting team since he has been at UK. Unfortunately to this point, they hadn’t shown they can shoot.
That wasn’t the case in this one.
The Cats shot 12/21 (57%) from behind the arc for their first very good shooting performance of the season. Hopefully, this is the start of us seeing the skillful shooting that this team is capable of.
Keldon Johnson was fantastic
With the exception of Reid Travis, Johnson has been our most consistent player this year bringing it every night.
Tonight wasn’t any different as he finished with 24 points, 2 rebounds, and a steal. He was also 6 of 7 from three-point land and made big plays on the defensive end as well.
If Keldon Johnson continues to be the best player on the floor for the Cats, then this team is going to have an excellent chance of making a deep run in March.
Jemarl Baker finally had his moment
All last year, we continuously heard that Baker was a fantastic shooter leaving fans eager to know just what he can do. Unfortunately, a nagging knee injury kept him out all last season and the first part of this year.
He made his debut last week against Seton Hall and in this one he came in and immediately went 2/2 from three and will most likely be the talk of the fanbase this week.
However, we didn’t get to see much of Baker because Cal said after the game that he actually forgot he was even on the bench. I would expect we will see a lot more Jemarl Baker going forward.
The Cats took care of the ball
At times this season, turnovers have been an issue for the Wildcats, and in some cases they would have double digit turnovers before they even got to halftime. It is hard to win consistently and convincingly with that many mistakes.
Even against Seton Hall, the Cats coughed it up 15 times which was a big factor in the one point loss.
In this one, they took care of the rock as they only turned it over 6 times. That is encouraging and hopefully becomes a trend for this team going forward.
Next week the Cats will have a chance to get a high-quality win against North Carolina, which they desperately need for resume purposes. That game will tip at 5:15 on CBS.
Now, here are the postgame notes, courtesy of UK Athletics:
Team Records and Series Notes
- Kentucky is 8-2 on the season and Utah is now 4-5.
- Kentucky leads the series 10-2 and has won eight in a row.
- Next for Kentucky: The Wildcats continue their stretch of five straight Saturday games, taking on North Carolina on Dec. 22 in Chicago’s United Center in the CBS Sports Classic. Game time is 5:15 p.m. ET and it will be televised, of course, by CBS.
- Kentucky’s 1993 Final Four team was honored at halftime.
In the First Half
- Kentucky started Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Reid Travis and PJ Washington for the third time this season. This lineup is now 1-2.
- Kentucky got the first basket but Utah’s Booth Gach countered with eight straight points and another Utes basket made it 10-2 in favor of the visitors.
- UK responded with a 12-2 spurt to make it 14-12.
- Utah tied it at 14, but a Johnson 3-pointer gave the Wildcats a lead they never relinquished.
- All totaled, UK’s run was 28-9, featuring 5-of-5 3-pointers by Johnson to shove the Cats ahead 30-19.
- The last Wildcat with five 3s in a half was Wenyen Gabriel vs. Alabama in the SEC Tournament on March 10 of this year. Gabriel was 7 for 7 that game.
- With 15 points from Johnson and 10 from Herro, UK took a 41-27 lead into halftime.
- Key stat in the first was turnovers, as Kentucky forced 10 miscues, including three 30-second violations, and the Cats won points off turnovers 17-4 in the opening period.
In the Second Half
- Kentucky opened the second stanza with the starting lineup.
- UK increased the lead to 19 points at 48-29.
- However, Utah got hot and made eight shots in a row to narrow the gap to 10 at 57-47.
- Kentucky quelled the uprising when Johnson and Washington sparked a 13-0 run to rebuild a comfortable cushion.
- The Wildcats led by as many as 28 points before finishing with an 88-61 win.
- Turnovers were a huge difference-maker today. UK won the turnover battle 18-6 and the Wildcats capitalized with 34 points off turnovers, winning that stat 34-9.
- UK limited Utah to 61 points. UK is 158-7 (.958) under Coach John Calipari when holding the opponent to 63 points or fewer, including 6-0 this season.
- Kentucky blocked five shots today. UK has rejected at least four opponent shots in every game this season.
- UK shot a season-high 58.6 percent from the field today. It is UK’s fourth game of the season over 50 percent.
- Kentucky hit a season-best 57.1 percent from 3-point range, making a season-high 12 out of 21.
- The win marked the 51st consecutive home victory over an unranked Associated Press poll nonconference opponent.
- UK is now 231-39 under John Calipari against unranked competition.
- UK is now 46-12 under Calipari in “bounce back” games after losses.
- Kentucky improved to 241-5 (.980) under Calipari when leading by at least 10 points at any point in the game.
- UK has won 11 in a row at Rupp Arena, dating back to last season.
- Keldon Johnson had a red-hot first half with 15 points and finished with 24, his second-highest total of the season.
- After a previous best of two 3-pointers, he made 6 of 7 from long range today.
- The last Wildcat with six 3-pointers was Wenyen Gabriel, who made seven vs. Alabama on March 10, 2018.
- This is Johnson’s third 20-point game of the season.
- He has scored double figures in all but one game this season.
- Tyler Herro hit for 17 points, one shy of his season high.
- He is averaging 17 per game over the last three home games.
- Reid Travis turned in 16 points today, his fifth straight double-figure game.
- Immanuel Quickley had 12 points, matching his second highest total of the season.
- It is his first double-figure game since North Dakota on Nov. 14.
- Ashton Hagans had two points and a career-high seven assists.
- Playing less than two minutes, Jemarl Baker Jr. scored his first points as a Wildcat by swishing a pair of 3-pointers.
- Calipari is now 283-66 at UK.
- Calipari has a 728-206 all-time on-court record.
- He is now 14 wins away from tying Joe B. Hall for the second-most victories by a UK head coach in program history.
South Carolina Gamecocks football receiver Deebo Samuel isn't playing in the Belk Bowl and will instead start preparing for the 2019 NFL draft. Samuel recently ...
Women’s basketball dropped a game to Central Michigan. We have nothing else to talk about, so I guess we have to...
We admit to not writing about Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team a lot, largely for the reason that at the moment, it’s just not fun to write about. Earlier this week, the team added Jackie Welch — who just finished her senior season on the soccer team — to the roster. Welch was one of seven Commodores who suited up for Saturday night’s game against Central Michigan.
Welch only played one minute, but the reason behind that — Autumn Newby went down with an injury, and LeaLea Carter fouled out — is a bit telling. Welch got into the game because the other option was to literally play 4-on-5.
Oh yeah, and Vanderbilt lost to Central Michigan, 66-57, dropping its record to 4-6 on the season. Losing to Central MIchigan isn’t inherently bad — the Chippewas are a year removed from a Sweet 16, after all — but the state of the program at present is summed up as, Vanderbilt is legitimately in a situation where it has six players available for its next game against Miami on Thursday night.
In a sport where you’re allotted fifteen scholarships, there is never any excuse to have six players available for a game at any point, much less a situation where you had to borrow a player from the soccer team just to get to six. The injuries have been bad, no doubt — by my count, sophomore Chelsie Hall, freshman Jordyn Cambridge, freshman Brinae Alexander, freshman Isabella Paldrmic, and now sophomore Autumn Newby are unavailable, and senior Bree Horrocks just returned last night. Still, Vanderbilt went into the season with ten players on the roster (and I don’t pay enough attention to know if any of those were walk-ons.) In a sport where you’re allotted fifteen scholarships. Five players being injured at the same time would take a toll on just about any basketball team, but it’s disastrous on a team that started out playing shorthanded.
It’s really hard to figure out where this went wrong. Stephanie White seemed like a good hire on paper, but since a 10-1 start in her first season, the Commodores are 15-45. There seem to be some good individual talents on the roster; this isn’t a roster that should be losing to teams like North Alabama, MTSU, and Central Michigan.
We all know how this ends. Now let’s file this away until sometime around March.
This one flew a bit under the radar, but redshirt junior offensive lineman Jared Southers is going to Georgia Tech as a graduate transfer. Southers had previously announced that he was transferring to Temple, but will apparently follow former Temple coach Geoff Collins to Georgia Tech.
And in case you missed it, the football team got a commitment yesterday.
Mississippi State makes a statement with a 70-59 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats
Yesterday morning, College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein said, “Tonight’s game between Cincinnati and Mississippi State is the equivalent of a 4 seed meeting a 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32. Someone is waking up tomorrow with a Quad[rant] 1 win.” And the game was just as exciting as a Round of 32 game. Last year, Mississippi State traveled up to Cincinnati, Ohio to face the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Bulldogs lost by 15 a year ago, but the Bulldogs will be the ones waking up with a quadrant 1 win. The game started with a defensive stop by the Bulldogs and a 3 by Nick Weatherspoon assisted from Lamar Peters.
This was a hard-nose, grind-it-out type of game, and it was fun to watch. Cincinnati came out of the gates with a full-court press and stuck with that for most of the game. Both teams got in early foul trouble. Abdul Ado even got a flagrant 1 foul in the first 8 minutes of the game. Reggie Perry came off the bench and had an incredible game, making play after play. Each team would score back and forth and no one could get a large lead. The largest lead of the first half was 37-30 with 1:00 left in the half. Cincinnati scored before going into the locker room to make the game 37-32.
Cincinnati came back from half and tied the game at 43, but couldn’t find a way to get the lead. Over the course of the game, Cincinnati only lead the game for 2 minutes and 5 seconds. After the game was tied at 43, the Bulldogs had a 7-0 that was all too much for the Bearcats to overcome. Cincinnati got within 4 to get back in the game, but Lamar Peters kept the comfortable lead by draining a 3 in the corner right in front of the MSU bench. Mississippi State defeated Cincinnati 70-52 after 4 different Bulldogs scored 12+ points.
Like always, the negatives come first. The Bulldogs had season-high’s in both turnovers and fouls committed. It’s very unlike MSU to foul so much and turn the ball over numerous times. Mississippi State also had a season-low in free throw percentage. The Bulldogs’ season average is 76.8%, and tonight, they shot 60.9% from the line. This is also very uncharacteristic for the team. I feel repetitive when I always say that the interior defense was the issue, but that wasn’t the case this game. The defense down low held together for the better part of the game. Hopefully this can carry over into the games following tonight.
Now the positives. The biggest one is getting this victory. MSU’s biggest non-conference games were against Clemson and Cincinnati, and Mississippi State beat them both by a total margin of 22 points. Both Cincinnati and Clemson are likely to go to the NCAA Tournament, and your Bulldogs beat both of them. Lamar Peters didn’t have another career-high scoring night or tie the school record for made 3’s in the game, but he did finish with 14 points and 9 assists. Reggie Perry coming off the bench in the game was the biggest difference maker. He stepped up when we needed points off the bench, scoring 12. Quinndary Weatherspoon was a perfect 3/3 from deep and tied Peters for the team lead in scoring with 14. The team made 52.2% of their 3’s taken after shooting 12/23. This team is red-hot shooting the ball and any team in the country would be afraid to play this team the way they are shooting right now.
Looking ahead, Mississippi State closes the non-conference schedule with home games against Wofford, Wright State, and BYU then open conference play with a road trip to South Carolina. If the Bulldogs can keep the winning streak going into conference play, they’ll likely be ranked just outside the top 10 when they travel to Columbia. Mississippi State may have just punched their ticket to March Madness after handling Cincinnati, but the Dawgs have to stay strong through conference play to go to The Dance.
- Mississippi State has made 31 3’s in the last 2 games, the 2 biggest games of the season so far
- In the past 3 games, Mississippi State is shooting 53.6% from 3
Reggie Chaney sparked Arkansas to victory in a career-high 28 minutes off the bench.
In a crucial recruiting weekend for Mark Stoops and his staff heading into Wednesday's early signing deadline, Kentucky hosted many recruits this weekend for ...
Four-star recruit Devonta Lee seems to be very much in play for the Wildcats after his official visit.
In a crucial recruiting weekend for Mark Stoops and his staff heading into Wednesday’s early signing deadline, Kentucky hosted many recruits this weekend for official visits.
Recruits got the opportunity to attend the Kentucky Basketball team’s win over Utah and see the football program honored on the court for their Governor’s Cup victory over Louisville.
Among the group making visits this weekend was four-star wide receiver Devonta Lee from Louisiana.
Lee made the trip with his high school teammate. Amani Gilmore, who is committed to Kentucky to play quarterback as well as play baseball for the Wildcats.
Heading into his senior season, Kentucky wasn’t even in Lee’s top seven.
However, after Gilmore’s commitment, it seems Lee began to look more closely at Kentucky as a landing spot. Heading into this weekend’s visit, all indications pointed toward Lee staying home to play for LSU.
247’s crystal ball prediction gave LSU a 95% chance to snag Lee.
The receiver even sported LSU gloves in his state championship game.
Those predicting Lee’s fate may want to reconsider their prediction. Following his visit Lee sent out a powerful tweet expressing how much he enjoyed his visit to the Bluegrass.
That has to be a huge confidence boost to Kentucky’s staff, who’s working hard to land him.
Lee would be a massive addition to a Kentucky team that has struggled at wide receiver all season long outside of Lynn Bowden.
In addition, Kentucky will be losing reliable pass catcher David Bouvier and fellow senior Dorian Baker and haven’t had much production from the group of receivers returning.
Lee is a type of player who can make an impact from day one. He is ranked the No. 7 prospect from Louisiana and 177th in the nation.
According to 247’s evaluation of Lee, he is a “physical, aggressive wide receiver. He has a great body and frame.”
Landing him would be a big win of Stoops and possibly make Louisiana a Lexington pipeline as they’d make it two big-time recruits from the Pelican State.
We are now officially into bowl season, our toes dipped into the water knowing the big wave is coming. If you don't watch sports on TV, you may not know that ...