TrueBlueFan.com http://www.truebluefan.com/ TrueBlueFan.com Sports - True Blue Site Sports - True Blue Site en-us Copyright 2014, TrueBlueFan.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 28 Nov 2014 10:11:37 GMT Synapse CMS 10 TrueBlueFan.com http://www.truebluefan.com/ 144 25 No. 9 UK Hoops Upset by Illinois, 77-71 http://www.truebluefan.com/news/no-9-uk-hoops-upset-by-illinois-77-71/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/no-9-uk-hoops-upset-by-illinois-77-71/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 27 Nov 2014 9:40:00 PM No. 9 UK Hoops Upset by Illinois, 77-71

Chatrice White scored 23 points and Ivory Crawford added 22 to help Illinois upset No. 9 Kentucky 77-71 on Thursday night at the Paradise Jam.

Illinois (5-0) led 40-39 early in the second half before scoring eight straight, including the last four by Crawford to open a nine-point lead. Kyley Simmons' 3-pointer with 9:45 left extended the advantage to 57-45 before Kentucky (4-1) rallied to cut it to 66-63 with 2:15 left.

Simmons hit nine of 10 free throws over the rest of the game to seal the victory. The Illini will play South Florida on Friday in the round-robin event.

Makayla Epps scored 20 points to lead the Wildcats, who will face Oklahoma on Friday.

Illinois jumped over Kentucky scoring 10 of the first 12 points. Kentucky rallied behind Epps and took a 28-20 lead with 6:33 left in the half.

The Illini closed the first 20 minutes with a 14-5 run to take a one-point lead at the break.


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UK Hoops-Illinois Post-Game Notes http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-hoops-illinois-post-game-notes/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-hoops-illinois-post-game-notes/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 27 Nov 2014 9:18:39 PM UK Hoops-Illinois Post-Game Notes

UK Hoops 2014-15 Postgame Notes
Illinois 77, No. 9/9 Kentucky 71

UVI Sport and Fitness Center - St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

2014 Paradise Jam Tournament

Nov. 27, 2014

Team Records and Series Notes

Kentucky is in its 41st season of varsity women's basketball.
Matthew Mitchell is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Wildcats. He already ranks first on UK's all-time wins list with 174 and winning percentage (.716).
This was the sixth meeting between Kentucky and Illinois. Illinois leads the series 4-2, and has won four straight.
Kentucky falls to 716-487 (59.6) all-time.
Next up: UK will play Oklahoma on Friday at 6 p.m. ET in the second day of the Paradise Jam.

First Half Notes

UK started with the lineup of Jennifer O'Neill, Janae Thompson, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, Bria Goss and Azia Bishop.
Kentucky is 4-1 with this lineup.
Kentucky trailed by as many as 12 points (17-5), before going on a 15-1 run to take its first lead at 20-18.
Illinois closed the half on an 11-2 run to take a 34-33 lead into the locker room.
Azia Bishop led UK with 10 points and five rebounds.
Kyvin Goodin-Rogers also grabbed five boards.

Second Half Notes

UK began the second half with the same starting five who started the game.
Makayla Epps scored 15 points in the second half.

Team/Game Notes

UK's last loss to an unranked team at a neutral site was vs. LSU 72-61 on March 3, 2012 in the SEC Tournament.
Kentucky's 367-game streak with a 3-pointer came to an end tonight. The last time was Nov. 29, 2003 against San Francisco.
Kentucky forced 25 turnovers in the game and scored 23 points off turnovers.
UK has forced 20-plus turnovers in all five games this season.

· Marked UK's first regular-season loss away from home since falling at top-ranked Baylor on Nov. 13, 2012.

· Illinois hit 53.2 percent from the field for the game, the first opponent since South Carolina (52.6 percent) on Feb. 20, 2014 to shoot over 50 percent against the Cats.

 

Individual Notes

· Sophomore Makayla Epps came off the bench to record a career-high 20 points. Her previous high was 16 points vs. Appalachian State on Nov. 14, 2014.

· Hit a career-high seven field goals and her 11 attempts tied a career high.

· Senior Jennifer O'Neill posted 17 points in the game, passing Kim Denkins (1994-98) on the all-time scoring list for No. 26.

Now has 1,067 career points.
Marked her 51st-career double-digit game, and fifth this season.

 


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Stuart Pope Named Academic All-American For Second Time http://www.truebluefan.com/news/stuart-pope-named-academic-all-american-for-second-time/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/stuart-pope-named-academic-all-american-for-second-time/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 27 Nov 2014 4:00:01 PM Stuart Pope Named Academic All-American For Second Time

Senior Stuart Pope was named the University of Kentucky women's soccer team's first-ever two-time Academic All-American on Thursday afternoon, as the Fayetteville, Ga., native was honored as a 2014 CoSIDA Academic All-American for her efforts and achievements in the 2014 season.

 

After completing her final season of eligibility this year, Pope has had one of the strongest academic resumes for UK in her four seasons, recording a GPA of over 3.9 in her four years in Lexington, whilst studying Biology.

 

Pope in 2013 became just the third UK women's soccer player to be named an NSCAA/CoSIDA Academic All-American and the first in seven years, joining Allison Peppers (1999) and Anne Oguedele (2006) as the only other recipients. Pope becomes the first-ever UK player to win the prestigious honor two times in her career.

 

Pope played over 1,800 minutes this season on the field, while scoring two goals and assisting on six other goals, for a season point total of 10. She fired 35 shots this season with 14 of them being hit on target, and also tallied one game-winning goal this season.

 

Pope in her career finished with 15 goals, 14 assists and 44 points in her storied career, in which she had eight game-winning goals, had over 100 shots, and played over 5,100 minutes on the pitch for UK head coach Jon Lipsitz. Pope was an extremely versatile player for the Wildcats, starting her career off in the midfield, before playing up top as a forward for a bit, and alternating depending upon matchups as a forward and midfielder as her career finalized.

 

The two-time Academic All-American go out as a critical member of the winningest class in UK women's soccer history, collecting an overall record of 59-27-4 in its four years in the Blue and White. The class of 2014 made the NCAA Tournament all four years in Lexington, including picking up the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win in 2012 to push the Wildcats to the second round for the first time in program history.

 

The senior class also won five All-Southeastern Conference honors, a SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award, a Honda Award, three All-SEC Tournament honors, and contributed over 100 hours of community service to the Lexington area.

 


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UK Wildcats Serve Thanksgiving Dinner To Those In Need http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-wildcats-serve-thanksgiving-dinner-to-those-in-need/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-wildcats-serve-thanksgiving-dinner-to-those-in-need/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 27 Nov 2014 2:34:54 PM UK Wildcats Serve Thanksgiving Dinner To Those In Need

People waiting for a warm Thanksgiving meal got a huge surprise when Coach Cal and some of the UK Wildcats showed up to help serve.

The Salvation Army in Lexington opened its doors to serve close to 500 people with a dinner that many people would not have received otherwise.

On his online blog, Coach Calipari said he had a lot to be thankful for this year.

"On this Thanksgiving day, I have so much to be thankful for. I've been blessed to be in this position surrounded by great people, and I couldn't be more grateful for it," said Calipari.

In addition to the Wildcats, the organization said that they had numerous volunteers this year.

 

 


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UK Continuing Good Week Of Prep For Rivalry, Bowl Shot http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-continuing-good-week-of-prep-for-rivalry-bowl-shot/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-continuing-good-week-of-prep-for-rivalry-bowl-shot/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:49:00 AM UK Athletics UK Continuing Good Week Of Prep For Rivalry, Bowl Shot

Mark Stoops hoped a bye week would reenergize his team, leading to a strong week of preparation and good performance in its season finale.

So far, he's getting exactly what he wanted.

"It's been a good week of practice so far," Stoops said. "The guys are very energetic, worked hard, enthusiastic. So it's been good. Excited about the opportunity here this week."

The opportunity for Kentucky is two-fold.

To begin with, the Wildcats get to face rival Louisville at noon ET on Saturday in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. To that end, UK continued its educational series on the rivalry by watching a handful of clips from Governor's Cup games past.

Other coaches might downplay the importance of the matchup, but not Stoops. He sees UK-UL as an important part of what it means to be at Kentucky.

"It's a rivalry," Stoops said. "We want to embrace that rivalry. We want kids to be a part of that and know when they come play at Kentucky that Louisville's a big game for us."

Stoops and his staff have needed some educating too, since most have still only been in Lexington for less than two years. Included in that group is defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, who has quickly learned about the intensity of the rivalry.

"Well, one thing that I've learned is this is as big a rivalry as anywhere I've been," Eliot said. "The players want to win. The fans want to win. It's something that is special and it's something you look forward to."

At the same time, the Cats are looking forward to their last chance to secure their sixth win and clinch bowl eligibility. Stoops, just as he hasn't hidden from the magnitude of UK-UL, has acknowledged the importance of reaching that plateau for his program.

Even so, that's not the message he's delivering to his team. He simply sees a group that deserves to keep playing football.

"I haven't said anything about a playoff, but I've said it's pretty self-explanatory," Stoops said. "If we win, then we're going to play another game and, I've told them, they deserve it. They've worked hard, they've done a lot of good things and worked hard for a solid year leading up into this season and did some good things. So I'd like the opportunity for them."

Before that opportunity, the Cats will tweak their game-day schedule slightly for Thanksgiving. They will practice earlier than normal on Thursday before eating a meal together. After that, Stoops has given them the night off, with an option to stop by his house in the evening.

Stoops and his wife Chantel are prepared for a crowd.

"We're going to have a dinner right afterwards for the whole group and then I told them my house was open," Stoops said. "So I may get anywhere from two to a hundred."

 


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Volleyball Earns Hard-Fought Win at Auburn for Seasons 25th Win http://www.truebluefan.com/news/volleyball-earns-hard-fought-win-at-auburn-for-seasons-25th-win/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/volleyball-earns-hard-fought-win-at-auburn-for-seasons-25th-win/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 26 Nov 2014 9:10:56 PM Volleyball Earns Hard-Fought Win at Auburn for Seasons 25th Win

AUBURN, Ala. - The Kentucky volleyball team rallied to win the fourth set to earn a hard-fought, 3-1 (25-14, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23) win at Auburn Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (25-5, 14-3 Southeastern Conference) fell behind early in the fourth set but rallied for a hard-fought win to reach the 25-win plateau for the fourth time in head coach Craig Skinner's 10-year tenure.

"I was impressed with Auburn's defense and effort tonight," Skinner said. "We talked before the match about how each match form here on out is a fight, and tonight certainly showed that. I thought we fought well as the match went on. Offensively, we did a great job of scoring points when we needed them under pressure."

The offensive attack was led by senior Lauren O'Conner, who had a match-high 16 kills. Sophomore Anni Thomasson added 11 kills with 15 digs for her 14th double-double of the season, while redshirt freshman Emily Franklin had a career-best 10 kills on a career-high-tying .500 hitting percentage.

Junior Morgan Bergren directed UK to a .331 hitting percentage with 60 kills. Bergren, who had 42 assists, joined freshman Kaz Brown and junior Shelby Workman as one of six Wildcats with at least seven kills in the win.

Senior Jackie Napper, the SEC Libero of the Year, had a match-high 20 digs to lead the Wildcats defensively as UK logged seven blocks. Bergren led UK with five blocks and Franklin added four, two solo. Along with Thomasson's 15 digs, Workman had eight and Bergren had seven.

Kentucky returns home Saturday for its regular season finale. First serve of the Senior Night matchup with Arkansas is set for 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum.

The Wildcats used a 10-2 run to close the first set for a 25-14 win. UK opened the match with a kill by Thomasson, and the Wildcats quickly extended their lead to 4-1 on an O'Conner kill. Kentucky's lead became four at 6-2 on an Auburn attack error, a cushion they would maintain until Franklin recorded a kill to give UK a 10-5 edge. The Tigers scored three of four to cut UK's lead to three at 15-12. The Wildcats answered in the form of an 8-0 run to take a lead they would not give up. The run began with three Tiger errors, followed by an ace by Napper and three consecutive kills by Thomasson, Franklin and junior Kayla Tronick. The Wildcats' run was halted with UK leading 23-12, but after Auburn scored two, a Thomasson kill was followed by an ace from Workman to seal a 25-14 win.

UK out-hit AU .406 - .088 in the opening set, with a 15-10 kills advantage. Franklin, O'Conner and Thomasson each had four kills, with Thomasson hitting .571. Napper led the defensive effort with five digs and Thomasson added four. The Wildcats out-blocked the Tigers 4-0, led by Bergren's three and Brown and Franklin each with two.

Kentucky used a late run, and stopped an even later Auburn run, to claim a 25-22 win in the third set. UK fell behind 2-0 in the frame, but quickly answered with back-to-back-to-back kills by Thomasson, O'Conner and Franklin to take the lead. After Auburn tied it at 3-3, the Wildcats went on another run, 5-1, to extend their lead to 8-4. Three different UK players had kills in the stretch. The Tigers rallied back to tie the set at 9-9, but Kentucky did not let Auburn to retake the lead. An O'Conner kill capped an extended rally to give the Wildcats a 14-11 lead, and UK's three-point advantage remained until Franklin got a kill on an Auburn overpass to give Kentucky a 19-15 lead. UK's lead was trimmed to two at 24-22, but out of a timeout, O'Conner notched a cross-court kill for the 25-22 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.

O'Conner's six kills led the Wildcats to .300 hitting in the third set. Thomasson added three kills and a team-high six digs. Napper recorded five digs and Franklin accounted for UK's lone block. The Tigers hit .310 with 17 kills.

The Wildcats fell behind early in the fourth set, but fought back and earned a 25-23 win. Kentucky trailed 5-2 early in the fourth set, a deficit which grew to five at 10-5. That's when the Wildcats went on a furious rally to climb right back into the set and tie it at 11-11. The run was halted at 6-1, but after the teams traded points, UK picked it up again. The Wildcats took their first lead at 14-13 on a Bergren service ace, and Workman extended the lead to 15-13 with a kill. Auburn fought back to tie the set at 15-15, but a Napper ace and an AU error gave Kentucky its two-point lead back at 19-17. O'Conner's 16th kill of the match gave the Wildcats a 22-19 lead, and while the Tigers came back to tie the set at 23-23, but back-to-back AU errors gave the Wildcats the hard-fought win.

UK hit .325 in the fourth set with 16 kills, led by O'Conner with four. Four players had three kills, including Workman who added three digs. Napper had six of Kentucky's 17 digs while Franklin had the Wildcats' lone block. Auburn hit .308 with 16 kills and three blocks in the final set.

Kentucky dropped the second set, 25-20. The Wildcats again opened with a 4-2 lead in the second set, led by a pair of kills by Thomasson and Brown. UK kept a two-point lead at 6-4, but that's when the Tigers went on a 5-0 run for a 9-6 advantage. Kentucky never let the deficit grow to more than three points though, and quickly answered to get to within one at 10-9 on a Workman kill. Auburn's lead stretched to three again at 14-11, but back-to-back O'Conner kills quickly made it 14-13. The Wildcats could not get any closer though, and Auburn took its first lead of more than three points at 20-16. The Tigers closed the set on a 7-4 run for a 25-20 win.

 


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Report: UK And UCLA Close To Home And Home Series http://www.truebluefan.com/news/report-uk-and-ucla-close-to-home-and-home-series/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/report-uk-and-ucla-close-to-home-and-home-series/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 26 Nov 2014 6:16:58 PM Report: UK And UCLA Close To Home And Home Series

According to an ESPN report by Andy Katz, UK and UCLA are close to signing a home and home series against each other.

The Wildcats would play at UCLA next season while the Bruins would come to Rupp Arena in 2016. Kentucky leads the all-time series between the two iconic programs winning six of the ten meetings with UCLA.

UK has only played UCLA once in Los Angeles back in 1960. The Bruins played the Cats in Lexington twice in 1952 and 1961. All others, including NCAA tournament games, were played on neutral sites.

To read more about the ESPN report click here.


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Five Wildcats Earn All-SEC Honors, Napper Named Libero of the Year http://www.truebluefan.com/news/five-wildcats-earn-all-sec-honors-napper-named-libero-of-the-year/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/five-wildcats-earn-all-sec-honors-napper-named-libero-of-the-year/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:40:15 PM Five Wildcats Earn All-SEC Honors, Napper Named Libero of the Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Five Kentucky volleyball players earned All-Southeastern Conference honors and senior libero Jackie Napper was named the SEC Libero of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

Napper, senior Lauren O'Conner, junior Morgan Bergren and sophomore Anni Thomasson were named to the All-SEC Team, while freshman Kaz Brown earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors. The four All-SEC accolades are tied for the most in program history since 1993. Four Wildcats were also named to the All-SEC team in 2008, '09 and 2011. Brown's recognition on the All-Freshman team continues a streak of at least one UK player being named to the team in head coach Craig Skinner's 10-year tenure.

"This is an exciting day for Jackie, Lauren, Morgan, Anni, Kaz and Kentucky volleyball" Skinner said. "They all have had great seasons to this point and this recognition is well deserved. Not only is this great for them, but it's great for our team. For this many players to be named to All-SEC teams is a great reflection of our team's efforts as a whole."

Napper earned her first career All-SEC accolade and Kentucky's fourth Libero of the Year award since 2010, while O'Conner and Thomasson were named to the conference's postseason award list for the second time in their careers after being named to the All-Freshman Team in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Bergren and Brown each earned postseason honors for the first time in their careers.

A Louisville native, Napper is the sixth Wildcat to earn SEC Libero or Defensive Player of the Year accolades, joining three-time honoree Stephanie Klefot and two-time winner Jenni Casper.

Napper's record-setting senior season includes being named SEC Defensive Player of the Week four times, the most by one player in a single season in program history. From Sept. 16 - Oct. 6, Napper earned three of the four SEC accolades and became UK's first repeat Defensive Player of the Week honoree since Stephanie Klefot in 2011.

Currently second in program history in the 25-point rally scoring era and fourth all-time with 1,441 digs, Napper's 462 digs in 2014 are sixth in UK history in the rally scoring era. The senior has charted 10 or more digs in all but four matches, has 15 or more digs in 18 matches and has posted 20 or more digs on seven occasions. Napper has led UK in digs 26 times and in all but two league matches.

Napper's 4.44 digs-per-set rank second in the league as her defense has helped force Kentucky's opponents into a .191 hitting percentage, second-lowest in the SEC.

O'Conner is having a senior season for the record books in 2014. She has earned two SEC Player of the Week accolades and has led UK in kills 11 times and blocks twice. O'Conner has recorded double-digit kills in 17 matches, highlighted by a four-match span where O'Conner had 39 kills on 70 attempts without a single attacking error in nearly 10 consecutive sets from Oct. 29-Nov. 9. Included in the streak was a pair of 19-kill outings in back-to-back contests. The 19 kills in UK's 3-0 win over Tennessee marked a program record in a three-set match in the 25-point rally scoring era. She also holds the record in a four-set match with a career-high 22 at South Carolina.

The 15th Wildcat to record 1,000 career kills, O'Conner leads all current SEC players with 1,162 career kills. A Taylor Mill, Ky., native, the senior leads UK with 337 kills, 30 aces and 397.0 points in 2014. Her 3.65 kills-per-set in league play ranks sixth in the SEC and her hitting percentage of .333 is 13th. On the season, O'Conner's career-high 3.30 kills-per-set rate is seventh in the SEC.

Bergren has dished out 1,155 assists in 2014 and has directed the UK offense to a league-best 14.32 kills-per-set and a .274 hitting percentage, second-best in the conference. The junior earned SEC Player of the Week honors on Oct. 6 after she led UK to a .306 attacking percentage with six players averaging 1.29 kills per set or better in UK's wins over Alabama and No. 21 Texas A&M. Bergren had 43 or more assists in each win and added 11 kills on .579 hitting with no errors.

A Muncie, Ind., native, Bergren's 11.39 assists-per-set rate in league matches is third in the SEC. In her career, Bergren's 2,518 assists is third in the 25-point rally scoring era and the ninth-best in program history. Leading UK in assists in every match, her 1,155 this season is sixth in Kentucky's rally scoring era record books. She has posted six double-doubles in 2014 and ranks in the top three in aces and blocks for the Wildcats along with her team-best assists total.

After an impressive freshman campaign, Thomasson is backing it up with an even better sophomore season. She has recorded a team-best 13 double-doubles and has led UK in kills eight times, digs six times and blocks twice. The sophomore has posted 21 matches with at least 10 kills and 16 matches with 10 or more digs. She notched double-doubles in three consecutive matches from Oct. 19-26, all SEC contests. She is second on the team in kills with 304, aces with 25, digs with 277 and points with 348.0.

In league matches, Thomasson is 12th in the SEC averaging 2.89 kills per set, eighth with 0.28 aces per set and tied for 19th with 2.58 digs per set. The Newark, Ohio, native has six double-doubles in SEC contests, tied for fifth-best in the conference.

Brown has wasted no time making an impact for the Wildcats as a freshman, both offensively and defensively. She has led UK in blocks 11 times, second-most on the team, with eight of her team-high totals in SEC matches. Brown has tallied at least five kills in 10 matches and four or more kills nine times. She has recorded a career-best eight kills four times, all in SEC play.

A Waterloo, Iowa, native, Brown leads the team with 82 blocks, and her 1.19 blocks per set in SEC play is third in the league. Offensively, she is third in the conference with a .401 hitting percentage in SEC matches.


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Booker, Towns, Lyles - Texas-Arlington Postgame http://www.truebluefan.com/news/booker-towns-lyles-texas-arlington-postgame/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/booker-towns-lyles-texas-arlington-postgame/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 26 Nov 2014 8:19:55 AM Kentucky Wildcats TV Booker, Towns, Lyles - Texas-Arlington Postgame

Booker, Towns, Lyles - Texas-Arlington Postgame Quotes


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Coach Calipari Postgame Quotes vs. Texas-Arlington http://www.truebluefan.com/news/coach-calipari-postgame-quotes-vs-texas-arlington/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/coach-calipari-postgame-quotes-vs-texas-arlington/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:19:08 PM UK Athletics Coach Calipari Postgame Quotes vs. Texas-Arlington

COACH JOHN CALIPARI

Q. Talk about the way you feel Andrew (Harrison) played tonight and has basically played all season, basically compare back to this time last year.

JOHN CALIPARI: It was funny, I told him, he made passes to -- he had a shot, another guy had a shot, he was a better shooter than who he was passing it to. I said, you've got to shoot that; you've got to be down and ready and shoot it. And he looked at me and smiled, and he said, I'm a play maker. And I laughed back at him. I said, I understand -- you've just got to figure this out. You've got to know when you've got to score and you've got to know how you're creating shots for his teammates.

UK blocks 11 shots, holds UT Arlington to 27% shooting, goes on a 30-0 run and wins 92-44.

There were some terrific comments after the game.

Alex (Poythress) was sick today. You knew he was going to struggle. He hadn't practiced with us. He did a little bit yesterday. He struggled. But I thought everybody -- Marcus Lee struggled a little bit today. I don't understand what his deal was. But he struggled a little bit. But the other guys I thought really played. No one played 20 minutes, or Alex played 20 minutes and Tyler (Ulis) played 20 -- well, now I see Trey (Lyles) and Dakari (Johnson) played 20.

But everybody -- they're sharing. The story, everybody wants to talk about defense, they all want to talk about the energy, the blocked shots and the length, and the story is you have 10 guys sharing minutes. That's the whole story in a nutshell.

Why is that happening? Because they're allowing it to happen. Is anybody being hurt by this? No. Will their NCAA stats be as much as some other players? No. Their team NCAA stats will be way beyond most, and their efficiency stats, the big data stats, will be some of the best in the country. And that's how they're evaluated more than anything else.

 

Q. What's the difference in Devin Booker starting the year 1 of 11 from 3?

JOHN CALIPARI: Because he never defended this way. You have to understand, in high school he didn't guard. He was like the biggest guy on the team, so he never guarded the little guards, he never had to go play like this, so now he's playing, and absolutely running up and down, sprinting up the floor, staying in his stance, playing with great energy, and then trying to shoot a ball, and he was stepping in holes. He was bank missing shots like oh, my gosh, he bank missed that. Well, that's all he's getting used to it. Trey is getting used to playing guards out on the floor. Alex and he got to catch up. They've got to catch up. I mean, what I did today, I told the guys if anybody out there was not playing with great energy, you are allowed to sub him if he's at your spot. So if a guy didn't play, sub him. There's nobody giving away their minutes. You must respect that.

 

Q. Dakari shot free throws really well today. What did you think of that? Why do you think he --

JOHN CALIPARI: I don't know, you'll have to ask him, but I'm happy for him. He does want to play, and he knows I'm not playing him at the end of a game if he can't make free throws, so he's making them and now Karl(-Anthony Towns) is missing them.

 

Q. No player played over 21 minutes. Is that something that somebody on the bench keeps that stat or makes sure no one is getting too many minutes?

JOHN CALIPARI: No, I wanted Dom(inique Hawkins) and Derek (Willis) to get in there and gain some confidence. I left Alex in there because, again, it can't be me. They've got to build their own confidence, and that's in demonstrated performance. They've got to be out there doing it. Karl, I thought Karl played better today. Willie (Cauley-Stein) played okay, but why not be better? Why not be the best guy on the floor? But it's hard, you get up 40 on a team, it's hard.

 

Q. As you're building this team toward March, if push comes to shove, would you rather have your defense ahead of the offense or vice versa?

JOHN CALIPARI: Well, the dribble drive, teaching dribble drive as an offense, even if we're running things into it, it gets them to guard the ball, and I think that gets us usually ahead defensively. But we didn't do any defensive teaching this summer. We didn't do any in the spring when the kids came back. We did it on October 3rd. We started talking defense.

This team has a chance of being one of those teams you talk about defensively, like of all time, if they choose to be. But they're going to have to choose to be that. My job right now, and it's on me, is offensive execution. There you can say, well, they're getting a lot in transition. Well, if you guard, you're going to go get it versus anybody, but either way, you've got to be able to create a good shot and a good rebound opportunity each time down the court. We are so big, if we take great shots and we have opportunities with two and three guys around the basket, now with that defense, we become really tough. That's what makes the difference, I mean, when you're offensively really efficient, and we are right now, but still, we're not executing. We're really not.

 

Q. I'm speaking of Karl here. He had a double-double in 17 minutes. How significant is that, and how difficult is that to do, get a double-double in just 17 minutes regardless of --

JOHN CALIPARI: And he had four assists, no turnovers and three blocks and a steal. Was it the last game he was 1 for 4 from the field? Now, last game the white unit went nutty. Today the white unit didn't play as well. That's how these groups are going to feed off each other. If I need to take a guy out and he loses his minutes, you're going to lose them, and it's all based on effort or being -- playing tentative. You've got to go play. You're playing 20 minutes, 21 minutes, 22. You have to play. You've got to go. And if you're being tentative -- even if it's because of me you're being tentative, that doesn't matter, you're still not going to be in. You've got 20 minutes.

See, the greatest thing is a lot of guys, I need some time to get going. How much? About seven minutes. Really? Yeah, I need about five shots, and then -- what? Well, those are players who don't play on winning teams or winning programs. These guys getting in and being ready, we haven't had great starts right now, but the other teams are pretty hyped up.

 

Q. That sharing you're talking about, how much credit do your point guards get for what's going on there, and also talk about Andrew (Harrison)'s defense a little bit this year.

JOHN CALIPARI: It's amazing, isn't it? I don't know -- we've got to get Aaron caught up to where Andrew is. The thing I added to Andrew's plate now that he's really pressuring the ball is I want him to be a defensive playmaker. Well, what a defensive playmaker does is either blocks shots or steals away from his man, not guarding his guy. What he does to the guy he's guarding is deflect balls. But he's never trying to steal from his own man. He's trying to deflect a pass. That's a play maker. It's when you're off the ball. And now you're seeing him be more alert, be more active, because he's trying to come up with -- he listens. He's trying to do what we're asking. And when I told him about shooting and he came back at me and laughed and said, I'm a playmaker. He had 11 points in 20 minutes or 18 or whatever he had. I mean, basically these guys are all scoring 18, 19 a game. That's their efficiencies.

 

Q. You've got guys, players, actively talking about wanting to be the best defensive team in the country. The goal was to not allow any points in the second half against a team. How do you get a whole group bought in that way, taking that sort of pride in their defense?

JOHN CALIPARI: Just tells a lot about who they are. I'll come back to this: In this day and age, every one of these kids has pro aspirations and pro potential, and they're draftable players, and they're doing this for each other. This is crazy. That's why I say, for anybody in our society, where everybody talks about the me and mine and narcissism and all that, why wouldn't you root for this to happen and be good? I don't understand why you wouldn't root for this? You're not rooting for Kentucky or me, okay. Short of that, why wouldn't you root for this? Most of us do care about society.

Now Jerry (Tipton) is going to write that I think I'm changing society. I don't, Jerry, I'm just making a point that people should want to see this work.

 

Q. That would go over good on Good Morning America.

JOHN CALIPARI: Yes, it would.

 

Q. That was where you should have said it, not here.

JOHN CALIPARI: No, it went on the Today Show. Good Morning America cut us off, but Today Show ran with it.

 

Q. How much do you struggle or deal with the idea of trying to be as efficient as possible and really go for the throat with not humiliating the other team?

JOHN CALIPARI: Well, the issue becomes, you know, I've got to worry about my team, and I'm sitting on the bench, and you want to say, okay, let's just don't play. Well, my guys aren't playing enough to do that. If you're only going to play 19, 20 minutes, do you really want to go in and not play? And then it's not like you're saying, okay, put your last five in. Well, those five are pretty good, too, and you throw Dominique in and Derek in and a couple -- you're still not bad.

So I'm not -- if you've followed my career, I'm not one that tries to run up scores on people. I don't do it. But this is a unique situation, and all I'm doing is coaching my team. We're going to have to play games like we did with Kansas and Providence coming up and Texas, and we've got a Louisville game, we've got a North Carolina game, we've got a UCLA game, we've got hard games that we're going to have to play 40 minutes, so I can't come out in this game and say let's play 30 and let's stop playing. We've just got to finish it out, and I'm half the time rooting for them to make baskets.

 

Q. You guys had a prolonged stretch in the first half where you looked pretty good against the zone. Have you done anything with it in practice?

JOHN CALIPARI: Well, the way they played, I watched last year's tape, and you had to attack them on the baseline, and that's what we did. So again, without a whole lot of practice, we show them the video, we talk about it, in the walk-through I show them and then they come out and perform. This is a unique group because they're really intelligent kids, and they've got great hearts. The only reason this is happening is they're allowing it to happen, and this was not done for me to be a genius. This was done because we're trying to take care of 10 guys.

Now, they must respect the minutes they're getting. If not, they're going to get less because the guy on the bench is just going to go in for him, say I'm not giving you minutes if you're not going to play. Compete. Quit being tentative. Play hard, or I'm going back in. They're not going to do it in a mean way, but they understand that. Today the one unit was really on the bench getting on each other because I took them out because we had two guys not playing, and they were like all over them, like come on, man, you're costing me minutes, too.

 

Q. Coach Cross said it was very possible you guys would go undefeated. How do you put up with the clutter from these opposing coaches?

JOHN CALIPARI: Well, you know, all this stuff, I say it again, Coach (Joe B.)Hall told me when I said the 100-pound jacket, he said, coaches wear that 100-pound jacket, too, and you've got to deal with all that same stuff. All I'm doing is focusing on this team. I'm focusing on individuals. What can I keep adding to their game. And then I'm looking at a team, how do we become a better execution team offensively, how do we continue to play with this kind of energy, and what other tweaks can we give the defense? What can we do, because folks, I'm going to have to keep this team engaged all year, and right now we're ahead defensively, so I need to start adding stuff, and even if it's little things to make them think so that they don't get into that rut of just hearing the buzz, Zzzzzz, like I'm making them think, I'm making them be engaged, those are the kind of things we're going to have to do as the year goes on. Kentucky Student-Athletes

#1, Devin Booker, G

 

On the difference in his shooting today than at the beginning of the year ...

"I wouldn't say there was a difference. I didn't change anything. They're falling now. I guess there's just not much to it. I'm shooting it all the same. It's just going in now."

 

On Coach Cal's comments about him actually having to play defense now unlike high school ...

"He told me I wasn't accustomed to playing defense in the beginning. The defense in high school depended on the game, honestly. In high school you don't always have to lock in defensively, but I've said that before in college you have to or you'll get exposed out there. The talent level is higher so you have to play defense."

 

On buying into the defensive system ...

"I wouldn't say it just Cal getting us into it. It's us getting us into it as a collective group. We just want to lock teams down and we take pride in it so that's what we've been doing."

 

On being up 57-12 at one point ...

"You just have to focus. You can't really focus on the score. We're playing for us. We want to play the best we can play and not worry what the other team is doing. We want to keep playing hard. The score will pan out how it is. The other team doesn't really say anything. They just kept playing and I respect that. They keep playing hard and keep going at us, but we take pride in our defense in trying to stop teams."

 

On determining whether to shoot the three or drive ...

"It's all a read or how your body is feeling. Towards the beginning of the game you want to get more involved in the paint area or get a free throw just to get your rhythm going. From there on out, if you're feeling the three, then just keep shooting it."

 

On the hype of bigger upcoming games like Providence and Texas ...

"Excited. It'll be good for us playing a team that's undefeated and we'll be ready for it."

 

#41, Trey Lyles, PF

 

On UK's first half performance ...

"First half we came out with a lot of energy on defense. The offensive end responded well to the zone that they played against us and made it work. Most teams are going to play us zone now and try to make us shoot jump shots to get us away from posting the ball. If we go out there and play hard defensively then offense will work itself out."

 

On the platoon system continuing to be effective ...

"Coach is into it, we're into it and we're into it for each other. So we go out there and try to play hard all the time."

 

On difficulty guarding smaller guards ...

"It was much more difficult early on in the season, but going through it in practice Coach has been requesting it and wanting it from me. It makes me get down low and lock in with pressure on the ball."

#12, Karl-Anthony Towns, F

 

On the team played as a unit? ...

"We did a good job, especially in the first half. We played great defense, and we executed offensively. In the second half, we slacked off a little bit defensively. We gave up too many points that should have been stopped. However, it was a great team effort."

UK blocks 11 shots, holds UT Arlington to 27% shooting, goes on a 30-0 run and wins 92-44.

There were some terrific comments after the game.

 

On how dangerous UK can be if they play the way they did in the first half? ...

"We can be very dangerous. Our biggest opponent is ourselves. We have to stay strong mentally, and we need to continue to pray to the man upstairs that we stay healthy physically. If we can do that, we will look very good all season."

 

On getting a double-double in only 17 minutes ...

"It is pretty difficult to do. You have to put in a lot of effort, but that is why we train so hard. The amount of training we put in makes it a lot easier. Since we know that we are all limited on minutes, it makes everyone put in full effort for every minute that we are given. I am mainly glad that I could offer quality minutes to my team today, not necessarily the double-double. It feels good to give my brothers a helping hand."

 

On how difficult is it knowing you have limited minutes with the platoon system? ...

"We are all so talented, so it is not about getting started. It is more about entering the game and playing the whole time with energy. Today, we played with a lot of energy in the first half. It all starts with energy, so if we can continue to do that, then everything will fall into place."

 

On what Andrew Harrison offers the team? ...

"He has made a tremendous improvement from last year to this year, especially as a passing point guard. He drives the ball up the court so well and makes defenses have to think. He almost always makes the right decisions, and he has great vision on the court. He is a dual threat. He throws us lobs sometimes, but then he can step back and hit the jumper. Andrew and his brother are a deadly duo."

 

 

 


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UK Postgame Notes vs. Texas-Arlington http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-postgame-notes-vs-texas-arlington/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-postgame-notes-vs-texas-arlington/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:16:40 PM UK Athletics UK Postgame Notes vs. Texas-Arlington

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 92, UT Arlington 44

· Kentucky is 6-0 and UT Arlington is 3-2.

· Kentucky leads the series 2-0.

· Kentucky is 184-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 24 of the last 26 games as The Associated Press top-ranked team.

· Coach John Calipari has led three teams to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has a 68-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 27-4 at UK.

· Kentucky returns to action Sunday at home against Providence. Game time is 2 p.m. and it will be televised on ESPN2.

First-Half Facts

· Kentucky's opening lineup featured Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Alex Poythress, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein for the fourth time this season.

· Kentucky finished the half with a 42-5 run for a 55-12 advantage at intermission. UK started the 42-5 run with a 10-0 stretch and finished it with a 28-0 spurt.

· Kentucky's 43-point lead tied the second-largest halftime margin in school history. The record was a 44-point advantage vs. LSU (86-42) on Jan. 16, 1996. The other 43-point halftime margin was Feb. 27, 1956, when UK led Georgia 75-32 at intermission.

· With the Mavericks scoring 12 points in the first half, it marked the sixth time in 11 halves this season that the opponent has been held under 20.

· Devin Booker paced the opening stanza with four 3-pointers for 12 points, as many as UTA had as a team.

Second-Half Story

· Kentucky started the second half with Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson.

· Booker opened the second half with a dunk, extending the run to 30-0, before UTA tallied again.

· UK led by as many as 50 points before finishing with a 92-44 victory.

Team Notes

· UK won consecutive games by 58 points (vs. Montana State) and 48 points (vs. UT Arlington). The last time UK won consecutive games by at least 48 came on Feb. 2, 1954, a 51-point win over Georgia Tech (99-48), followed by a 51-point win over Georgia (106-55) on Feb. 4, 1954.

· Kentucky shot 56.6 percent from the field (30 of 53), second time this season UK has made at least 50 percent of its shots.

(over)

· UT Arlington was limited to 27 percent from the field.

· Kentucky has held all six opponents under 40 percent shooting, including three games under 30 percent.

· UK had 11 blocked shots tonight. UK has blocked at least seven shots in every game this season, the longest streak since rejecting at least seven in 12 straight games from Dec. 28, 2011 through February 4, 2012.

· UK won rebounding 49-29 tonight and has outrebounded all six opponents this season.

· UK won bench points 45-23 and has won bench points by at least 22 points in every game this season.

· Kentucky is now 43-0 under Coach Calipari when holding the opponent to 55 or fewer points.

· No Wildcat played more than 21 minutes tonight.

· First time this season that six Wildcats scored in double figures.

Player Notes

· Devin Booker had a game-high 19 points, including five of six on 3-pointers.

· He is the first Wildcat to make five 3s in a game since James Young on Jan. 28, 2014, at LSU.

· He has made at least three 3-pointers in the last three games and has made 12 of 17 from 3-point land during that span.

· 19 points ties Aaron Harrison for the most points scored by a Wildcat this season.

· Karl-Anthony Towns totaled 13 points and 11 rebounds, his first Wildcat double-double. Both of those are his personal bests as a Wildcat.

· In his first game back after an illness, Alex Poythress had four points, nine rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots.

· Dakari Johnson scored 12 points, his fourth straight game in double figures and fifth this season.

· He made his first seven foul shots and finished 10 of 12, a career high for free throws made.

· Aaron Harrison had 11 points, his third straight game in double figures.

· Andrew Harrison also had 11 points, his third game in double figures this season.

· Tyler Ulis had a game-high five assists, second straight game to lead the team in that category.

· Trey Lyles had 10 points and a season-high nine rebounds.

 

 

 


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No. 1 Kentucky Routs Texas-Arlington 92-44 http://www.truebluefan.com/news/no-1-kentucky-routs-texas-arlington-92-44/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/no-1-kentucky-routs-texas-arlington-92-44/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 25 Nov 2014 9:13:17 PM Associated Press No. 1 Kentucky Routs Texas-Arlington 92-44

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Devin Booker scored 19 points for his second career best in as many games, Karl-Anthony Towns added 13 with 11 rebounds, and No. 1 Kentucky had no trouble with Texas-Arlington in Tuesday night's 92-44 blowout.

The Wildcats (6-0) concluded a busy season-opening stretch of six games in 11 days with a complete effort on both ends. Besides shooting 57 percent from the field (30 of 53), Kentucky held the Mavericks (3-2) to 27 percent shooting.

Second-platoon guard Booker followed Sunday's 18-point effort by hitting 7 of 8 shots, including five 3-pointers. Towns added three blocks and four assists for Kentucky, which led 55-12 at halftime and rarely let UTA get within 40 points afterward in ending the Mavericks' two-game winning streak.

Dakari Johnson scored all 12 points on free throws, twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison each had 11 points and Trey Lyles 10 for the Wildcats.

 

 


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UK 92 UT Arlington 44 http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-92-ut-arlington-44/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-92-ut-arlington-44/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 25 Nov 2014 8:02:09 PM Alan Cutler UK 92  UT Arlington 44

UT Arlington can't buy a shot.  UK's great defense is holding UT Arlington to 13% from the field as UK leads 55-12 at the half.  

It's Cal's biggest lead at the half at UK.

UK scores the last 28 points of the half.

Devin Booker has hit 4 of 5 shots from downtown.  He leads everyone with 12 points.

Aaron Harrison is next with 11.

The best shot blocking team in the country already has 8 blocks.

UK is shooting 61% from the field.

Booker with a dunk to open the second half.  The makes it a 30-0 UK run.

It wasn't that long ago that Devin Booker was 1 for 11 from downtown.  He hit 5 of 6 from downtown and led everyone with 19 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 13.

Dakari Johnson had a strange night when it comes to his numbers.  12 points, all from the free throw line. Dakari who has struggled from the free throw line only missed 2 of 14. 

Andrew and Aaron Harrison both had 11.

UK wins 92-44.

UK shot 56% from the field.

UT Arlington hit 27% from the field. No team has hit 40% against UK this season.

UK had 18 turnovers.  UT Arlington had 16. 


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UK Volleyball: No. 15 UK Travels to Auburn for Regular Seasons Final Roadtrip http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-volleyball-no-15-uk-travels-to-auburn-for-regular-seasons-final-roadtrip/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-volleyball-no-15-uk-travels-to-auburn-for-regular-seasons-final-roadtrip/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 25 Nov 2014 5:26:17 PM UK Volleyball: No. 15 UK Travels to Auburn for Regular Seasons Final Roadtrip

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The No. 15 Kentucky volleyball team plays its final road contest of the regular season Wednesday at Auburn at 6 p.m. ET.

The match will air on the SEC Network +, available on SECNetwork.com and with the Watch ESPN app. Fans can also listen to a radio broadcast from Auburn, Ala., on UKathletics.com, with Mandy Robbe and Katie Eiserman on the call. Live stats can also be found on UKathletics.com.

Kentucky (24-5, 13-3 Southeastern Conference) has won six of its last seven and is second in the SEC standings. The Wildcats are coming off a 3-0 win at Mississippi State Sunday., which began the regular season's final week that features three matches in seven days. UK closes the regular season Saturday at home for a Senior Night matchup with Arkansas.

Auburn (12-17, 2-10 SEC) returns home from a four-match roadtrip, where the Tigers went 1-3. AU has won two of its last five, with wins over Tennessee and at South Carolina and a 3-0 loss at Florida. The Wildcats and Tigers met on Oct. 12 in Lexington, a 3-0 UK victory.

One of two SEC teams ranked in both the AVCA Coaches' Poll and the RPI Top 25, Kentucky's No. 15 ranking in the coaches' poll marks the 31st consecutive week UK has earned a spot in the top 25. It ties the longest stretch in program history, set from 2008-10.

SCOUTING AUBURN

Auburn begins the regular season's final week with a 12-17 record and a 4-12 mark in SEC play. The Tigers return home from a 1-3 roadtrip, with a 3-2 win at South Carolina and a 3-0 loss to No. 7 Florida. AU is 0-5 vs. ranked opponents this season, including a 3-0 loss at Kentucky on Oct. 12.

The Tigers are led offensively by Courtney Crable, who has notched 303 kills on .128 hitting with a team-best 30 aces. Stephanie Campbell has 274 kills with a team-leading .267 hitting percentage. Alexa Filley has dished out 1,079 assists in addition to notching 309 digs. Defensively, Breanna Barksdale has tallied a team-high 98 blocks and Alyssa Ivey leads the squad with 400 digs.

Rick Nold is in his fourth season as head coach of the Tigers and is 59-60 at Auburn. Nold owns a 231-158 career record, which includes nine seasons at Jacksonville State. He led JSU to three conference titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances in addition to being named the conference Coach of the Year three times.

SERIES HISTORY VS. THE TIGERS

Kentucky owns a 34-10 advantage all-time vs. Auburn, including a 3-0 win earlier this season on Oct. 12. The Wildcats have won seven in a row in the series and are 14-7 all-time in Auburn, Ala. Kentucky has won 14 of the last 15 meetings after dropping four consecutive matches from 2004-06, UK's longest losing streak in the series. In the Craig Skinner era, the Wildcats are 14-3 against the Tigers, including 6-2 on the road.

On Oct. 12, Kentucky used a record-setting block total to tally a 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-17) win over Auburn. UK notched 13 blocks and 26 block assists, tied for the most in a three-set match in UK history in the 25-point rally scoring era. Sara Schwarzwalder assisted in turning away 11 Tiger attacks, the most in program history in the 25-point rally scoring era. Kentucky held Auburn to 0.12 hitting with 27 kills, both season-lows for a UK opponent. Offensively, junior setter Morgan Bergren had 33 assists to lead the Wildcats to a .229 hitting percentage, led by junior Shelby Workman's 11 kills and Schwarzwalder's nine.

 

UP NEXT: VS. ARKANSAS

Kentucky returns home for its regular season finale on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. ET. The Wildcats host Arkansas on Senior Night.

LAST TIME OUT: UK SWEEPS MISSISSIPPI STATE

Led by a strong defense, a balanced offense and a double-double from Anni Thomasson, UK recorded a 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-22) win at Mississippi State Sunday. The Wildcats dominated in a 25-10 win in the first set and held the Bulldogs to the fewest points in a set by a UK opponent this season. After a 25-15 win in the second set, UK battled for a 25-22 win in the final frame.

Five of the six Wildcats to get at least 10 attack attempts recorded at least five kills as UK hit .343 with 46 kills in the match, while holding MSU to .071 hitting with 28 kills. Kentucky out-hit the Bulldogs .579 - -.080 in the first set. Defensively, Kentucky had seven blocks and 43 digs. Mississippi State had 21 attack errors in the match.

Thomasson led UK with 10 kills and 10 digs for her 13th double-double of the season. The sophomore, who hit .375, added a pair of block assists. Freshman Kaz Brown had a season-best eight kills on .333 hitting with a team-best five blocks. Senior Jackie Napper led UK defensively with 17 of Kentucky's 43 digs.

2014 TEAM NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTS

• Now with 226 career wins, head coach Craig Skinner became UK's all-time winningest coach with his 210th victory Sept. 13.

• Kentucky has recorded 20 or more wins in each of the last four seasons and seven of the last eight. UK has also notched 17 or more victories in all 10 seasons under Skinner - the longest streak in program history. Before Skinner arrived in 2005, Kentucky hadn't won more than 16 games since 1993.

• UK has been ranked for 31 consecutive weeks, tied for the longest stretch in team history. UK was ranked for 31 weeks from Oct. 6, 2008 - Sept. 20, 2010, also under head coach Craig Skinner.

• Kentucky's 11-match winning streak from Sept. 13-Oct. 17 was its longest since the Wildcats won 12 in a row in 2008.

• UK players have been named SEC Player of the Week eight times in 2014, the most in a single season in program history. Jackie Napper has earned four defensive accolades, the most by a Wildcat in one season in team history. Lauren O'Conner has been named Player of the Week twice, while Morgan Bergren and Sara Schwarzwalder have each been recognized once.

 

2014 INDIVIDUAL NOTES AND MILESTONE WATCH

• Senior Lauren O'Conner had 39 kills in 70 attempts but did not commit a single attacking error in nearly 10 consecutive sets over four matches from Oct. 29-Nov. 9. In the four contests, O'Conner totaled 63 kills on 116 swings with just 6 errors and a .491 attacking percentage.

• O'Conner had back-to-back 19-kill matches, including in a 3-0 win vs. Tennessee on Oct. 29, marking a program record for kills in a three-set match in the 25-point rally scoring era.

• Sophomore Anni Thomasson recorded double-doubles in three consecutive matches from Oct. 19-26, the first Wildcat to post more than two double-doubles in a row since Whitney Billings had four to open the 2013 season. Thomasson leads UK with 13 double-doubles in 2014.

• In UK's win at Louisville, its first at U of L since 1993, junior Shelby Workman exploded for a career-high 21 kills, including 13 in the third set, a program record for kills in a set in the modern era.

• O'Conner, who leads all current SEC players with 1,162 kills, became the 15th Wildcat to notch 1,000 career kills on Oct. 5 vs. Texas A&M and is second in program history in the rally scoring era.

• Senior Jackie Napper joined the 1,000th career dig club on Aug. 30. Now with 1,441 digs, she is second in the UK record books in the rally scoring era and fourth in the all-time top 10. Her 462 through 29 matches in 2014 is sixth in a single season in the rally scoring era.

• Junior Morgan Bergren is third all-time in the rally scoring era and ninth in UK history with 2,518 career assists. In the single season record books, Bergren's 1,155 assists in 2014 is sixth in the modern era. Her career-high 55 assists at Louisville is a program record in a four-set match.

• Junior Sara Schwarzwalder's 11 block assists on Oct. 12 were a program record in a three-set match in the 25-point rally scoring era, while her 11 total blocks, and UK's total of 26 block assists in the match, tie a modern-era record in a three-set match. Schwarzwalder's 245 career block assists and 261 total blocks are fifth and sixth, respectively in UK history in the 25-point rally scoring era.

 

 


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UK Hoops To Participate In Paradise Jam http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-hoops-to-participate-in-paradise-jam/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-hoops-to-participate-in-paradise-jam/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 25 Nov 2014 3:58:22 PM UK Hoops To Participate In Paradise Jam

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky women's basketball team will spend their Thanksgiving break participating in the Paradise Jam, Reef Division, Nov. 27-29 in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The Wildcats will meet Illinois, Oklahoma and South Florida in the three-game event.

UK will tip off against Illinois in its first game Thursday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. ET followed by Oklahoma Friday, Nov. 28 at 6:15 p.m. ET and South Florida Saturday, Nov. 29 at 8:15 p.m. ET. All of the games will be streamed live on www.paradisejam.com and be broadcast live on the UK Radio Network with Neil Price.

Thursday will mark the sixth meeting between Kentucky and Illinois in the all-time series but the first since 1988. The Fighting Illini, who lead the series 3-2, have won the last three meetings, the last victory coming on Dec. 18, 1988 in Champaign, Ill., 84-71.

"We are off to a 4-0 start with some good results for us, but we really need to get better as a basketball team" UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell said. "We've got a tough week ahead of us with three games against some really quality opponents in three days. It will be a tough task. It's a great trip and a great tournament, and an opportunity for the players to experience some things that they've never experienced before. We're thankful to our athletic department for letting us have this type of experience."

Kentucky (4-0) is coming off a hard-fought, 71-68, road victory over last year's Mid-American Conference champions, Central Michigan. Despite an early 20-point first-half lead by the Wildcats, CMU put on its defensive clamps and pulled as close as three on two occasions in the second half, the final time with 40 seconds to go in the game. CMU attempted a game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds left but it missed the mark. Senior guard Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.) led UK in scoring with 19 points after hitting a career-high tying five 3-pointers. Sophomore guards Linnae Harper (Chicago) and Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.) added 12 and 10 points, respectively, while senior center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.

UK has had a very balanced scoring attack through the first four games as eight players are averaging 5.3 points per game or better, including three in double figures. O'Neill leads the way with 18.8 points per game, while Harper is second with 12.8 ppg. Epps follows 12.3 ppg, while junior point guard Janee Thompson (Chicago) and Bishop narrowly miss the double-figure mark with 9.3 ppg apiece.

 

 


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76ers, Noel Lose 14th In A Row, 114-104 http://www.truebluefan.com/news/76ers-noel-lose-14th-in-a-row-114-104/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/76ers-noel-lose-14th-in-a-row-114-104/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:49:41 AM Associated Press 76ers, Noel Lose 14th In A Row, 114-104

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 of his 33 points during the pivotal third quarter to help the Portland Trail Blazers defeat Philadelphia 114-104 on Monday night, sending the 76ers to their 14th straight loss to open the season.

Wesley Matthews added 17 points, Damian Lillard had 16 and Robin Lopez chipped in 12 for Portland (11-3), which won its eighth in a row.

Michael Carter-Williams led Philadelphia (0-14) with 24 points.

The 76ers moved within one loss of matching the franchise mark for consecutive losses to begin a season and will look to avoid an 0-15 opening when they host Brooklyn on Wednesday. They also are just four losses from tying the 2009-10 Nets, who set an NBA record by beginning the season 0-18. If the losing continues, Philadelphia could break the NBA record for losses to start the season on Dec. 5 when hosting Oklahoma City.

After taking a halftime lead for just the fifth time this season, Philadelphia upped its two-point advantage to its biggest of the game when consecutive layups by Carter-Williams and Henry Sims made it 56-50 early in the third quarter. And Philadelphia's lead again was six, 58-52, on Carter-Williams' two free throws with 10:33 remaining in the period.

But it was all Portland from that point. The Blazers went in front on Aldridge's drive that made it 63-62 with 8:10 left in the period and then continued to pour it on. Nicolas Batum's dunk with 4:02 remaining in the third gave Portland its largest lead to that point, 80-68, and capped a 6:31 stretch in which the Trail Blazers outscored Philadelphia 28-10.

Aldridge had three straight baskets during the run, including an alley-oop dunk on Steve Blake's pass. Aldridge was 5-for-5 from the field in the period to help Portland enter the fourth with an 89-80 lead. Aldridge ended 13-for-20 from the field

Sims finished with 22 points and Tony Wroten added 20 for the 76ers, who went 0 for 8 from 3-point range.

A pair of Carter-Williams free throws with 6.6 seconds left before intermission gave Philadelphia a 52-50 halftime lead. Wroten led Philadelphia with 10 points at the break.

The Trail Blazers also helped Philadelphia with 12 first-half turnovers, but they committed just five in the second half.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Portland's winning streak is the best since winning 11 in a row from Nov. 8-25, 2013. . Portland, which entered second in the NBA in made 3-pointers per game (10.1), were 2 for 12 from the arc at the break and finished 7 for 27.

76ers: Philadelphia's worst start in franchise history was set during the 1972-73 season when they also finished with the worst, 82-game record in league history at 9-73. . Fans behind the basket used boxes of macaroni and cheese as noisemakers on a night when those who brought a box to the game received a free ticket to a future contest.

UP NEXT

Portland plays at Charlotte on Wednesday.

Philadelphia hosts Brooklyn on Wednesday.


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Individual Men's Basketball Player Posters to Be Distributed http://www.truebluefan.com/news/individual-men-s-basketball-player-posters-to-be-distributed/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/individual-men-s-basketball-player-posters-to-be-distributed/ Sports - True Blue Site Mon, 24 Nov 2014 4:52:38 PM Individual Men's Basketball Player Posters to Be Distributed

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A series of individual posters featuring all players on the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats will be available for free to fans at Rupp Arena starting with UK's game against Providence on Nov. 30.

Five thousand copies of each poster will be distributed at 14 different games this season, starting with freshman Devin Booker's poster for the Providence game. The first 5,000 fans at Rupp Arena for the 2 p.m. ET game will receive one poster for free.

Posters will be distributed in the main concourse at Rupp Arena. Doors open 90 minutes prior to tipoff and fans are encouraged to arrive early and proceed to the table where posters are being distributed after entering the arena.

The remaining posters will be distributed according to the following schedule:

Providence - Devin Booker (Nov. 30)
Texas - Trey Lyles (Dec. 5)
Eastern Kentucky - Karl-Anthony Towns (Dec. 7)
Columbia - Tyler Ulis (Dec. 10)
North Carolina - Alex Poythress (Dec. 13)
Ole Miss - Aaron Harrison (Jan. 6)
Missouri - Andrew Harrison (Jan. 13)
Vanderbilt - Willie Cauley-Stein (Jan. 20)
Alabama - Dakari Johnson (Jan. 31)
Georgia - Marcus Lee (Feb. 3)
South Carolina - Derek Willis (Feb. 14)
Auburn - Dominique Hawkins (Feb. 21)
Arkansas - EJ Floreal (Feb. 28)
Florida - Sam Malone, Tod Lanter and Brian Long (Senior Day, March 7)

Only 5,000 copies of each poster have been printed, therefore the posters will be available only to the first 5,000 fans at Rupp Arena for each game listed above.


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Stoops: Press Conference Before Biggest Game Of Season http://www.truebluefan.com/news/stoops-press-conference-before-biggest-game-of-season/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/stoops-press-conference-before-biggest-game-of-season/ Sports - True Blue Site Mon, 24 Nov 2014 3:38:38 PM Stoops: Press Conference Before Biggest Game Of Season

The following is a transcript from Coach Stoops' most recent press conference:

COACH STOOPS: Looking forward to getting back out to the action this week. Team had a good bye week. Rested up, got some good work. Looking forward to a big rivalry game this week with Louisville. They're certainly playing some good football, coming off a big win this past week at ND. So we're excited and rested and ready to get to this challenge here this week.

 

Q. (Dorian) Baker's not on the depth chart?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, he got hurt last week, so he's done for the year. He's going to need surgery.

 

Q. On what?

COACH STOOPS: Knee.

 

Q. So if you went to a bowl game, he wouldn't be available?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah. Unfortunate accident. We were practicing against each other doing some good?on?good, but really it was no?contact. He just planted awkward and hurt his knee.

 

Q. When you get back to basics during the bye week, what do you think they benefited the most from during that time?

COACH STOOPS: It was good just to get out. After a couple days' rest, get out and do some good, competitive work. Get back to some fundamentals. Do some things that we do through camp where we go good against good, do some one?on?ones. We do some half lines where we just technique?wise need to get better sometimes throughout the season. You get so enamored with the X's and O's and assignments that you drift from some of the basics. We obviously try not to. We constantly have individual (practice periods) in certain things, but it was good to spend more time with that last week.

 

Q. Neal (Brown) mentioned you would break down every play they run, every position grouping together. Is there anything you guys do similarly on the defense?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, we'll go back ?? when you have time like that, we go back and look at all the things we've done well, things we've done poorly. Whether it be technique, somebody just getting beat, scheme, whatever it might be and try to zero in on things that they'll be looking at and things that they'll want to exploit.

So we spent a good dose of time looking at ourselves trying to get better, and obviously getting ahead of Louisville.

 

Q. Does that reveal anything to you that you may be in the moment, or as the games were just going week to week, you hadn't necessarily identified about yourself?

COACH STOOPS: Well, I think you're always learning. As I say, just speak in general terms here, I think you're always looking at things and seeing things you could do better. Again, whether it be fundamentals or scheme.

 

Q. You sitting here today, do you feel a little fresher as a coach?

COACH STOOPS: A little what?

 

Q. Little fresher just mentally.

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, you can't help but feel better. Yeah, it gets to be a lot when you've got, I think it was eight straight weeks, so it was nice to have one day off.

 

Q. Which day was that for you?

COACH STOOPS: Saturday.

 

Q. Did that mean you got to watch football on that day?

COACH STOOPS: I did. I did, yeah. I couldn't get away from it too far. I didn't watch as much as I normally do though, actually. I got out of the house. Took my boys out of the house for a while.

 

Q. Did you catch the Louisville game?

COACH STOOPS: Most of it. I caught a good portion of it. Obviously very impressive win for them. Their coach is doing a great job. They haven't missed a beat to what they've been doing. They win a bunch of football games, they play extremely hard. They're very well?coached, and that's an impressive win. They're playing good football.

 

Q. What are your impressions of Reggie Bonnafon?

COACH STOOPS: I've been impressed. Very cool. He's been just very poised back there, making good decisions. I think it also speaks a lot to Coach Petrino and what he does and how he calls plays and protects him. He's got a very good football team around him that are physical, they can run the ball. They do a nice job of mixing it up, keeping you off balance. You've heard me talk about that all year. That's why you need balance. They have very good balance. They're physical. Can hurt you in the run game, and then they have the play actions off of it.

I think Reggie has played some very good football, along with their whole offense. Certainly them having DeVante (Parker) back outside is a real weapon. He is a fantastic football player and a guy you've constantly got to have your eye on and know where he's at.

 

Q. Some rivalries are built on respect, others are built on a dislike. How do you define this rivalry?

COACH STOOPS: Well, we're trying to create it to be a bigger and better rivalry. I think that comes from us having to play better football and winning more games and putting ourselves in a position where we can get this game on a more national scale. But it's important. It's important to the people in this state. It's important to our fans and our players and coaches.

So, you know, I think it's just like most of these games. It's important to a lot of people, and you feel that, and you want to go play well.

 

Q. In retrospect as you look back, do you like it being the last game of the year?

COACH STOOPS: I really don't put any thought into that anymore. It is what it is. So we're excited and ready for this opportunity.

 

Q. Coach, we often talk about the physicality of playing in the SEC. How do they stack up compared to the opponents you guys have had?

COACH STOOPS: I think there is no question they're a nationally ranked, top?20 team and deserve to be. They're a very good football team that's physical and they're balanced.

So it's hard to say. I don't know. You'd have to make your own decision on where they stack up with the rest of the SEC.

 

Q. They ran the ball pretty effectively in the second half, Louisville. They ran some sets where they ran offset lines and tackles with tight ends. What would be the key to try to stop that?

COACH STOOPS: I think they do a very good job. I don't think it's any secret that Coach Petrino does a nice job of setting up his run game and scheming the run game, not so much like some teams (that) are gonna line up and pound you with certain run games. They scheme their run game really well. They have some really good boots (bootlegs) and play actions off of everything, and they keep you off balance. I think that is the key to any good play?caller is keeping you off balance.

 

Q. One guy with 13 interceptions in the secondary, how do you combat a guy like that? Is it possible to throw away from him?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, (Gerod) Holliman, I remember him coming out of high school. Very good player there from Florida. I remember the other safety, No. 2 (James Sample), just as good. He doesn't have the numbers, but they're good football players, both of them.

 

Q. Talking about the run game and how they scheme it. They run unbalanced line and stuff like that.

COACH STOOPS: They do some. They mix it up, but he likes certain run plays versus four downs (down linemen), certain versus three down. Certain guys are going to pull. Once again, just a variety of things.

I think it's a credit to them sometimes when you look at their whole body of work, they do quite a bit and execute it very well. So what and how they want to feature each week is something you've got to keep an eye on. But he likes certain plays versus four down, certain versus three. And again, I think they execute them. The key to them and their success is they execute them very well.

 

Q. It's a rivalry game, you're playing for a bowl. Are you concerned at all that you guys might get a little too caught up in the moment, especially the start?

COACH STOOPS: I hope not. I don't think we'll be tight. We shouldn't be. We've got a lot to play for. Guys are excited and energized. Like I said, it's been a good, tough stretch against some quality teams down the stretch here. We've got time for a bye, and we're playing our rival on the road for an opportunity to go to a bowl game. So it is what it is.

We'll prepare and be excited to go play. But there is no reason to be tense or to go play tight. I don't anticipate that. I'd like to see us play with that great passion and energy that we did for most of the season.

 

Q. Will it be extra gratifying to get it against your rivals?

COACH STOOPS: I really don't care who we get it against. (laugher) It really doesn't. No, I think, no, I'd just love to get it.

 

Q. (Question regarding Reggie Bonnafon.)

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, I think I'm just impressed with him. I think you can see that he comes from a great high school program. You can see that he's won a lot of football games. I think, again, it's a credit to their coaching staff and the positions that they put him in.

I think that's the nice thing when you have balance in your offense. So they don't have to necessarily just put it all on him to win a game. They have good players around him and a good scheme.

 

Q. Has Patrick (Towles) had any lingering effects from the ankle injury at Tennessee?

COACH STOOPS: We'll see how he is today. Hopefully he'll be out there at full strength today. So we'll see.

 

Q. What would you like to see from him?

COACH STOOPS: I'd just like to see him go back to really playing a quality game. He's had some ups and downs; we've all seen that. He's done some very good things at times. So I'd like to see him really put it all on the line this last week and go out and just play and be the great leader that he's shown at times this year and really just lay it on the line and play a quality football game for us.

 

Q. Obviously a lot has changed since the last time you played Coach Petrino. What have you learned about him this last year?

COACH STOOPS: I think I need more time to study him. We're different right now. He's different in some ways, but some things are a staple that you can go back a long time with him. But just the opportunity to really study him some more and just see what he likes in certain situations and what he likes in the run game to certain people.

But he's a very good football coach and has a lot of answers. Again, he mixes things up very well.

 

Q. When you struggled defensively, were there things you tried to do in the off week to build those guys back up?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, we did. And a lot of it was putting guys in competitive situations and making competitive plays. I think you look at those games and we weren't making our fair share of competitive plays. It gets down to making plays and being a good football player at times. Fundamentally getting guys in the right spots.

So we worked on everything, yeah.

 

Q. What have you seen on film with Louisville's front and maybe Saturday's game, what stands out about how they attack, how they pressure a quarterback?

COACH STOOPS: Well, they play extremely hard. They play very hard. I think if you look at Coach (Todd) Grantham and what they've done defensively, I think in certain ways may be simplified maybe in certain ways. Their guys are playing very hard. I think that's the thing I've noticed the last two years playing Louisville.

To their credit, I think they play very hard. And their guys, their front gets after it, and plays, like I said, plays relentless, as does their whole defense. They've played really well.

 

Q. Would you say win or lose, this has been a successful season for you?

COACH STOOPS: I'll let you decide on whether it's been successful or not. I really haven't put any thought into that, to be honest with you. I know we're a better football team. I felt like that coming into the year that we'd be better. I think we are better. Are we where I want to be? No, and probably not where a lot of people want to be. So we're going to keep on working, and keep on getting better.

I am proud of this team. I felt like they've been a fun group to coach. They mean well, they work hard, and they have a great attitude. We're just not quite as good as we'd like to be.

 

Q. Along those lines, what would a win this weekend mean?

COACH STOOPS: I think a win this weekend would do an awful lot for these players. I think they deserve it. That's what I've told them. They put in the work. They've put in the time and they care and they deserve to win and have that taste of success and that taste of a bowl game.

I'd like to see that for them.

 

Q. For a coaching staff, you guys started so well, 5?1, and to not go into the off?season with six losses in a row, momentum?wise, recruiting, everything, how important is it to try to avoid that?

COACH STOOPS: I think it's important. You really try not to ever think about this streak or that streak or whatever. You put your head down and go one at a time. Obviously, anytime, I've made no bones about that. Every win is a huge win for us when you're trying to build a program. That's what's difficult when you play the stretch that we have. When you're trying to build a football program in the SEC, there is no easy one out there. It really can take its toll on you when you're not as physical as you'd like to be. That's where it's pretty evident that we have to go back to recruiting like we talked about, and really work on our players in physically developing them to get bigger and stronger.

 

Q. On the recruiting side, do you feel like the losses have maybe put any doubt in players' heads?

COACH STOOPS: No, not at all. I feel very good about where we're at and where we're going recruiting.

 

Q. You mentioned Parker, a fantastic player. What are your corners going to have to do to contain him?

COACH STOOPS: Well, I think we've got to compete certainly better than we've been the past couple of weeks. We've got to compete at a much higher level. We've got to be conscious of where he's at. We've got to have guys underneath. If it's zoned coverages or different things, getting to their spots, getting under him, so we can affect him a little bit. And, again, I think that's where any offense that has the balance and can run and pass and put you in that situation where they can put him in some one?on?ones because they can run the ball. So once again, once we read the play action or boots and certain things, trying to get people under him to help.

 

Q. Are your corners healthy?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, we were banged up pretty good. We're in good shape now. We'll be better. We'll see what this weekend did for them. They should be out there this week ready to go.

 

Q. You had a rivalry game against Tennessee. This one's Louisville. I know the players are excited but how fired up are you to play a rivalry game?

COACH STOOPS: I think the whole staff and everybody's excited about it. We've talked about that right after the last game. It's a beautiful thing, as we have this opportunity in front of us to get the sixth victory against a big rival. A lot of people would believe in this state that it's the most important game of the year.

So it's important and it's exciting.

 

Q. Do you believe in it?

COACH STOOPS: I think every game is important. I really do.

 

Q. Do you put any more importance on this game?

COACH STOOPS: No, I don't. No. Like I just said, I think all of them are important. We all know how difficult they are to come by. So I think each one is very important to us. Just winning, when you win, it obviously builds that confidence within your team. That is what's difficult when you're playing the schedule that we play. The players need to feel that success. I think that's why it was great to get off to that start that we did. But anytime you've lost a certain number of games in a row, that doubt is obviously going to creep up into your mind, and that's what we have to get out of there.

That's why we had to have a great week of preparation, and go play with that great excitement and enthusiasm that we did in certain games.

 

Q. It's often said that players are perhaps the best recruiters. Does the doubt in their mind seep through to recruits?

COACH STOOPS: No, I don't worry about that one bit. We have a good group of players that enjoy playing here and have really worked hard and done the right things. I think you could ask them, I think they have full trust in what we're doing. So I don't worry about that at all on the recruiting front.

 

Q. In college football you rarely get the chance for a win?or?go?home opportunity. Does that change the message to your team this week?

COACH STOOPS: To some extent, I guess. Just a simple change in the message. I think they all know what we're playing for. They know that. There's no point in hiding from it. But it's not the only message, right? The message is to do what we constantly preach, and that is put the time and effort and focus into our preparation. It's not just turning it on on game day. We've got to have a great week.

 

Q. Anybody else you're worried about injury?wise this week?

COACH STOOPS: I think Kyle Meadows will probably be a long shot to play.

 

Q. Looked like Denzil Ware tweeted he was injured over the weekend.

COACH STOOPS: He's fine. He's fine. He did Tweet that? I didn't hear that. Freshmen.

 

Q. Do you have any guidelines you enforce on the guys?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, I tell them to not Tweet about injuries (laughter), amongst other things, amongst a lot of things. We bring in professionals with a full seminar on what to do and what not to do. It doesn't always work, no. You need that seminar about once a week.

 

Q. (Question regarding the play of the offensive line.)

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, I think we're developing some depth inside. I think we've done some good things. Once again, I know it's a broken record, but we're not where we want to be. I think they've battled hard. They're trying. We're inexperienced at certain positions inside that we're trying to gain some depth. I thought the tackles have played extremely hard. (Jordan) Swindle is a great leader and a great player for us. We know he's made some mental mistakes. Again, it's not for lack of effort with him, that's for sure.

I thought Darrian's (Miller) really done some good things and played through some injury, and really left it all on the field this year. He's played really hard. I'm very proud of Darrian and the way he's tried to battle and help this team.

 

Q. Through the first year, has Matt Elam progressed at the rate you would hope for?

COACH STOOPS: Yeah, he's about where we thought he would be. He really is. He's done some very good things and once again, he's still a work in progress. But Matt's going to be a very good football player. He's got the right attitude. He works hard and he's getting better and better.

 

Q. Is it just technique?

COACH STOOPS: Well, it's technique and understanding the urgency that you have to play at this level. Just takes some time.

 

Q. What has this season brought out of you as a coach in terms of keeping the players motivated and focused? You had the 5?1 start and now a losing streak. How have you been able to keep that even keel with the players?

COACH STOOPS: That part of it, you know, I'd say it's not going to be hard, but I don't know. It's always a challenge. Anytime you go through a long season, we're no different than anybody. Win or lose, it's a challenge getting guys ready each week. I think you're dealing with college kids that sometimes are very, very young and haven't been through this thing before. I think it's consistency in what we're doing as a coaching staff, and what we're teaching them and how we're going about our business. We'll keep on doing that and keep on pushing them, and keep on being consistent and the players will obviously keep on getting that message, and keep on getting better.

 

Q. (Question regarding Kentucky fans being vocal at the game on Saturday.)

COACH STOOPS: I think it would be very important. That doesn't surprise me that they'd find their way into this stadium and see a lot of blue, and I look forward to seeing that on Saturday.

 

Q. (Question regarding youth of several teams nationally.)

COACH STOOPS: I really would have no idea. I'd be throwing a dart out there to speak on their behalf, so I don't really know.

Of course, LSU, I know them because I've played them. I think if you ask them, they'd probably say that, but again, no coach wants to sit up here and make excuses. It is what it is. We all know we're a better football team with experience. We all know the teams that are winning a whole bunch of games out there have some very good older guys on their team. That's what we're all striving to do, is have that experience, that leadership and that depth.

But it's not always the case. There are cases where you could also look around the country, and I'm sure there are some freshmen making some big impacts on some top?10 teams as well. It happens. When you're counting on quite a few of them, it's hard to count on a whole bunch of freshmen to go in and win a bunch of SEC football games.

 

Q. There is a chance the SEC could have 13 bowl teams. What's that say about the conference?

COACH STOOPS: I think you're starting to see that depth top to bottom that we all want. I think it's pretty evident. It gets talked a lot about certainly in the preseason what the SEC (has done), with conferences and all that stuff. But I think it's pretty evident that all 14 schools in this league are doing everything they can to build a quality football team. Obviously, it's difficult because, once again, there is nobody really going backwards. Everybody's going forward.

 


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UK Women No. 9 In AP Poll http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-women-no-9-in-ap-poll/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-women-no-9-in-ap-poll/ Sports - True Blue Site Mon, 24 Nov 2014 1:32:00 PM UK Women No. 9 In AP Poll

UK Hoops jumped to No. 9  in The Associated Press women's basketball Top 25 on Monday.

South Carolina took over as the new No. 1. It's the first time in school history that the Gamecocks reached the top spot in the poll. Staley is no stranger herself to being ranked No. 1.

As a player, she helped Virginia reach No. 1. Staley is only the second person in women's basketball to play and coach a top-ranked team, joining Baylor's Kim Mulkey.

The Hall of Famer has built South Carolina into one of the powers in the Southeastern Conference over her seven years at the school. Last season, the Gamecocks earned their first conference title and a top seed in the NCAA tournament.

Now, with virtually the entire team back as well as star freshmen, South Carolina has loftier goals in mind.

The Gamecocks received 21 first-place votes Monday, edging Notre Dame for the top spot. South Carolina headed to the Bahamas to play in the Junkanoo Jam over Thanksgiving where it will face Wisconsin in its first game as No. 1 on Thursday.

The Irish garnered 12 first-place ballots and moved up to second. UConn, which held the top spot for 22 straight weeks, drops to third after losing in overtime at Stanford last Monday. Tennessee and the Cardinal rounded out the first five.

Texas made one of the biggest leaps, moving up four spots to No. 6 after knocking off Stanford and UCLA this past week. Texas A&M, Duke, Kentucky and Maryland finished off the top 10. The Wildcats moved up four places after beating then-No. 8 Baylor last Monday. The Lady Bears dropped to 13th.

No. 25 Mississippi State entered the poll for the first time since Nov. 23, 2009, after beating West Virginia and winning the preseason WNIT. Gonzaga fell out.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. )

 


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No. 1 Kentucky Gives Kansas A Top 25 Tumble http://www.truebluefan.com/news/no-1-kentucky-gives-kansas-a-top-25-tumble/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/no-1-kentucky-gives-kansas-a-top-25-tumble/ Sports - True Blue Site Mon, 24 Nov 2014 1:26:19 PM No. 1 Kentucky Gives Kansas A Top 25 Tumble

Top-ranked Kentucky certainly made a believer of Kansas coach Bill Self last week.

Made a lot of believers among Top 25 voters, too.

After running roughshod over the Jayhawks in the Champions Classic, the Wildcats routed Boston and Montana State to cap a perfect week. The impressive performances allowed Kentucky to consolidate its spot atop the AP poll on Monday, earning all but three votes from the 65-member media panel.

Those three went to Wisconsin, which was tied for second with Arizona. Duke and North Carolina round out the top five. Louisville, Texas, Virginia, Wichita State and Gonzaga are the rest of the top 10.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

 


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