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. () () Sat, 25 Oct 2014 02:10:48 GMT Synapse CMS 10 TrueBlueFan.com http://www.truebluefan.com/ 144 25 The New World Of Kelenna Azubuike http://www.truebluefan.com/news/the-new-world-of-kelenna-azubuike/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/the-new-world-of-kelenna-azubuike/ Sports - True Blue Site Fri, 24 Oct 2014 5:32:07 PM Alan Cutler The New World Of Kelenna Azubuike

Kelenna Azubuike's favorite moment at UK was winning the SEC Championship.

The sad news is Kelenna can't play basketball anymore. Not just for money, but for fun. His knee is that messed up.

Most people in this situation, where Kelenna should be making millions in the NBA, would be very bitter. He's not.

"That's the thing, man. God and my relationship with Jesus Christ just kept me really grounded and level-headed about it," says Kelenaa. "God had a different plan and you don't know why things happen sometimes, you don't understand it. It can be frustrating. Just having my family around me and praying for me, it's just all helped me to realize that God has plans for me and I'm cool with whatever he wants to do."

Kelenna had signed a three-year, $9 million contract. He was up to 15 points a game, even though he was playing in pain. The first surgery was messed up. The second one helped, but one kneecap is different than the other.

"Dr. Andrews, he had to put a wire on top of my kneecap and tried to pull it down. You can see how weird it looks. This one down here, and this one is up here. He tried to pull it down because it was all the way up here," Kelenna said. 

The knee isn't pretty.

In his new life, Kelenna is an executive producer for MidRange, a Christian basketball movie. He wants to make more. He has one line in the movie in which he plays himself. He says he studied the great Denzel Washington to deliver his one line with passion.

"Okay. Hold on. Let me get into my character. Got to get serious. You got to jab more. That's what it is. Jab," Kelenna said. 

When it comes to having a great attitude, Kelenna's for an athlete or for that matter anyone in life is about as good as it gets.

On Sunday, Oct. 26, he and former UK star Derek Anderson will speak at Northeast Christian Church at 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.

 


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Johnny Carino's To Donate To Brad Durham Recovery Fund http://www.truebluefan.com/news/johnny-carino-s-to-donate-to-brad-durham-recovery-fund/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/johnny-carino-s-to-donate-to-brad-durham-recovery-fund/ Sports - True Blue Site Fri, 24 Oct 2014 2:51:04 PM Johnny Carino's To Donate To Brad Durham Recovery Fund

Johnny Carino's in Lexington will be holding a Dine to Donate for Brad Durham on Sunday, Oct. 26 from open to close.

Johnny Carino's said in a press release Friday that both locations on Hamburg and Fayette Mall will be donating 20 percent of all dine-in or carry-out sales to a fund set up for the recovery of Brad Durham. All you have to do it mention Durham's Dine to Donate name.

Former UK football player Brad Durham was seriously hurt in a fall from the upper deck at Commonwealth Stadium about two weeks ago. He was recently released from the hospital, but has a long road to recovery. 

Friends and coworkers of Durham have set up a donation account at Central Bank to help ease the financial burden he and his family will be facing. Donations can be made to the Brad Durham Donation Account at any Central Bank location.

"Brad is part of our family here [at Johnny Carino's] and our hearts were broken when we heard of his accident. We really want to be there for him and his family in this time of recovery and do whatever we can to help," said Bill Simms, VP of Operations for Johnny Carino's.


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Kentucky Prepares To Host No. 1 Mississippi State http://www.truebluefan.com/news/kentucky-prepares-to-host-no-1-mississippi-state/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/kentucky-prepares-to-host-no-1-mississippi-state/ Sports - True Blue Site Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:33:07 PM Kentucky Prepares To Host No. 1 Mississippi State

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Mississippi State's recent domination of Kentucky has been a struggle.

The Bulldogs have won five straight against the Wildcats to draw within a game of tying the series entering Saturday's 42nd meeting. But four of the past six meetings between the schools have been decided by a touchdown or less, including MSU's 28-22 win last year in Starkville with the Bulldogs having to make a late defensive stand.

Both teams' fortunes have been on the upswing since then, possibly setting the stage for another competitive game.

The Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) enter with the nation's top ranking and a Heisman Trophy hopeful in quarterback Dak Prescott. Kentucky (5-2, 2-2) meanwhile is a surprising East division contender after being picked to finish last.

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

 


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AJ Reed Homecoming Tailgate Slated For Saturday http://www.truebluefan.com/news/aj-reed-homecoming-tailgate-slated-for-saturday/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/aj-reed-homecoming-tailgate-slated-for-saturday/ Sports - True Blue Site Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:37:44 AM AJ Reed Homecoming Tailgate Slated For Saturday

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- One of the best players in the history of college baseball and the 2014 unanimous national player of the year, former Kentucky star AJ Reed will return to campus to be honored during UK's homecoming football tilt with Mississippi State on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium and the Wildcats will host a homecoming tailgate before the game, head coach Gary Henderson announced.

Reed will be honored during UK's game on Saturday, with No. 1 Mississippi State, with the kickoff at 3:30 p.m. The baseball program will host a homecoming tailgate honoring AJ Reed before the game, with the tailgate tent opening at 1:30 p.m., past the green parking lot and in between the KET and BCTC buildings. The ceremony at the tailgate tent will begin at 2:15 p.m.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed became the third unanimous national player of the year in Southeastern Conference history (Dave Magadan, 1983; David Price, 2007), while leading college baseball in homers (23), slugging (.735) and OPS (1.211) in 2014. The John Olerud 2-Way Player of the Year, Reed led the SEC with a 12-2 record and a 2.09 ERA, becoming the first player in conference history to pace the league in wins and homers.

A 6-foot-4, 240-pounder, Reed was honored as the national player of the year by USA Baseball with the Golden Spikes Award, by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association with the Dick Howser Trophy, also earning the American Baseball Coaches Association National Player of the Year, the Baseball America College Player of the Year, the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Year and the Perfect Game USA National Player of the Year awards.

A unanimous first-team All-America selection, the SEC Player of the Year and the SEC Male Athlete of the Year, Reed was the 42nd overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. In his professional debut, Reed smashed 12 homers in 68 games over the rookie-level New York-Penn League and the low class A Midwest League, hitting .289/.375/.522 with 54 RBI and 20 doubles. Reed was named an all-star in the rookie-league level by Baseball America following the season.


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Stoops Looking Forward To Big-Game Atmosphere At CWS http://www.truebluefan.com/news/stoops-looking-forward-to-big-game-atmosphere-at-cws/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/stoops-looking-forward-to-big-game-atmosphere-at-cws/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:53:20 PM UK Athletics Stoops Looking Forward To Big-Game Atmosphere At CWS

On Thursday, Mark Stoops spoke to the media for the final time before Kentucky's matchup with Mississippi State.

Once again, the UK coaching staff left the practice field happy with the Wildcats' work.

"Guys have been good all week," Stoops said. "We've had good energy and good practices, so hopefully we'll get a few mistakes cleaned up. Seems like we have, and looking forward to a great game here Saturday."

A great game and, if Stoops is right, a great atmosphere as well.

Asked about the opportunity to play against the nation's top-ranked team at home, Stoops repeated that he's excited to take the field in front of a big crowd at Commonwealth Stadium.

"Well, I think we're starting to create a great environment at home and we're looking forward to that, so obviously, always a lot nicer playing at home than at some of these venues in the SEC," Stoops said. "It's pretty challenging. So hopefully we'll get some good home-field advantage and it will help us."

Mississippi State's ranking has added to the anticipation for Saturday's game on the part of fans, but the No. 1 next to the Bulldogs' name only means so much to coaches and players.

"A big game's a big game," Stoops said. "You kind of feel it in the air and the energy and the practice and the focus, so they're really all big games. Once you get to the point where we're doing what we're doing and trying to win a bunch of games, then they're all important. We've got a tough stretch and this is our next one."

 


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UK Soccers Home Finale Dubbed Fan-Appreciation Day http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-soccers-home-finale-dubbed-fan-appreciation-day/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-soccers-home-finale-dubbed-fan-appreciation-day/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:50:53 PM UK Athletics UK Soccers Home Finale Dubbed Fan-Appreciation Day

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The 21st-ranked Kentucky men's soccer team has designated its regular season home finale against seventh-ranked Charlotte on Friday, Nov. 7 as Fan Appreciation Day.

Multiple promotions are planned to thank members of the Big Blue Nation for their support of the team, as members of the Big Blue Nation have flocked to the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex in near record numbers this season.

At the heart of the buildup to Fan Appreciation Day will be a fan poll, in which UK's supporters will choose what promotional item will be given out at the match. Fans have the option to choose one of four options, each of which was handed out at different home games earlier this season.

Fans can choose via a Twitter poll between rally towels, thunderstix, blue-vuzelas (blue vuvuzelas) and t-shirts.

Fans can make their choice by voting in response to a tweet posted via the team account: @UKMensSoccer.

The Nov. 7 match could have major implications in the Conference USA title race, as the Wildcats and 49ers currently sit second and third on the conference table respectively.

The Wildcats sit in second place on 11 points, while Charlotte is in third on nine. UAB moved to the top of the table with its fourth conference win of the season on Tuesday to go to 12 points, but the Wildcats defeated the Blazers in Birmingham earlier this year.

UAB and Charlotte will play on Friday night.

 


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Kentucky Set To Take On No. 1 Mississippi State http://www.truebluefan.com/news/kentucky-set-to-take-on-no-1-mississippi-state/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/kentucky-set-to-take-on-no-1-mississippi-state/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:44:35 PM Associated Press Kentucky  Set To Take On No. 1 Mississippi State

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's recent stage fright at LSU hasn't changed players' belief that they can handle the national spotlight.

The Wildcats want to make sure they perform better against top-ranked Mississippi State in Saturday's nationally televised homecoming showdown.

After six games of doing many things right, Kentucky (5-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) regressed during a 41-3 blowout loss to the Tigers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Wildcats now aim to regain the execution and poise that helped them play well in previous matchups against the SEC's stronger teams.

The Wildcats led twice at Florida before losing 36-30 to the Gators in three overtimes, gaining resolve they believe helped them rally twice from 14-point deficits to upset South Carolina.

Kentucky's challenge is regrouping from the LSU setback against the Bulldogs (6-0, 3-0).

With chances to topple the nation's best team, stay in contention for the East division title and become bowl eligible, the Wildcats are making sure there are no lingering doubts from that loss.

"We can't afford to look back," quarterback Patrick Towles said. "We've got a big team, looking forward. ... We didn't execute at any level, at any position. You're going to get beat by everybody if you don't do that."

Kentucky definitely can't have breakdowns against a Mississippi State team coming off a bye.

The Bulldogs feature dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott, who has led them to the program's first-ever No. 1 ranking and become a Heisman Trophy candidate.

"We've been working really hard to defend him this week," Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot said, "but we know they're a great offense and it's going to be a huge challenge for us."

While the Wildcats made mistakes in all phases against the Tigers, things snowballed after special teams miscues dug a 17-3, first-quarter hole. A failed squib kick and subsequent penalty set up LSU's first touchdown and the Tigers returned a punt 67 yards for another score.

LSU also rushed 51 times for 303 yards in outgaining Kentucky 423-217. Hardest thing for second-year coach Mark Stoops to accept was his players' lack of focus after falling behind.

Concentration has been an issue at times during Kentucky's strong start, but Stoops and his staff have gotten players dialed back in and have worked this week to ensure that doubt doesn't creep back in.

"When you make a lot of mistakes, you can have a tendency to lose confidence," Stoops said. "So, now we've got to make sure they don't slip back and start doubting, and it goes back to preparation and work and controlling the things we can control."

After dropping passes and missing assignments at LSU, coaches have challenged Wildcats receivers in particular to step up their games against Mississippi State. There's a potential opening against a Bulldogs pass defense allowing 308.3 yards per contest, and leading receiver Ryan Timmons (339 yards) is determined to take advantage.

"They've challenged me to pretty much be a playmaker and make more plays," said Timmons, who caught just four passes for 24 yards against LSU and had a few drops.

"Last game, we didn't play well as an offense and we needed the wide receivers to step up. I didn't do that last Saturday."

There's another incentive for Kentucky to bounce back against MSU. It's been a while since the Wildcats have played a significant game at this point in the season, which says a lot about their turnaround.

They're determined to make the most of it with the nation watching.

"They are playing hard and with a lot of energy," Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said this week. There are guys stepping up and making big plays for them when they need them. That is a sign that they have bought in to what coach Stoops is trying to build. ...

"When you look at the improvement that they have made, they can compete with anyone."

 

 


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UK's Couch, Still On Hall Of Fame Ballot http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-s-couch-still-on-hall-of-fame-ballot/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-s-couch-still-on-hall-of-fame-ballot/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 4:14:42 PM Alan Cutler UK's Couch, Still On Hall Of Fame Ballot

A number of college football greats who played or coached in Kentucky are on the 2015 College Football Hall Of Fame Ballot.

One of them is Tim Couch, a Kentucky-Quarterback who in1998 was a consensus First Team All-American,  finished fourth in Heisman voting in 1998 and ninth in 1997.

Couch was the 1998 SEC Player of the Year who led Cats to first win over Alabama in 75 years. He set seven NCAA, 14 SEC and 26 school records.

Art Still - a Kentucky-Defensive End-1977, unanimous First Team All-American and two-time First Team All-SEC performer and the 1977 SEC Defensive Player of the Year setting a school record for 22 TFL in 1977 ( which still standing, by the way).

Eastern Kentucky tailback Markus Thomas who finished third in FCS rushing with 5146 yards and Western Kentucky Coach Jimmy Feix, who died on Oct. 5 at the age of 83.

Feix won or shared six conference titles from 1968-1983.

The winners will be announced on Jan. 9.

 


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Rotary Club Honors Mitchell For Service To Boy Scouts http://www.truebluefan.com/news/rotary-club-honors-mitchell-for-service-to-boy-scouts/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/rotary-club-honors-mitchell-for-service-to-boy-scouts/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 3:06:22 PM Rotary Club Honors Mitchell For Service To Boy Scouts

LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky women's basketball head coach Matthew Mitchell annually speaks to the Lexington Rotarian chapter but this speaking engagement took a different turn when the Rotarians surprised Mitchell on Thursday with the prestigious Cliff Dochterman Award which is reserved for a select few in recognition of exemplary service to the Rotary Club and scouting.

The Cliff Dochterman Award is named in honor of distinguished Rotarian, former Rotary International President and dedicated Scouter Cliff Dochterman of Moraga, Calif. His professional career in higher education included 20 years at the University of California in Berkeley and 20 years at the University of the Pacific. Dochterman earned Eagle Scout honors, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program, when he was 14 years old and later obtained three of scouting's highest honors -- the Silver Beaver, Silver Antelope and Distinguished Eagle.

Mitchell is one of four sons of John and Carol Mitchell from Louisville, Miss. The Mitchells were very active in the Boy Scouts of America as John and Carol both served as scout leaders and all four boys (David, Mark, Matthew and Stephen) went on to earn Eagle Scout honors.

Mitchell, who was named an honorary Rotarian by the Lexington chapter in 2011, frequently supports the Rotary Club's projects and the Blue Grass Council for scouting despite his busy coaching schedule. He and his wife Jenna are very active in the community as they pledged $1 million over the next 10 years to the University of Kentucky Athletics Department and have recently launched The Mitchell Family Foundation, a non-profit organization set to benefit charities in the Lexington community.


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Women's Soccer Hits Road For Final Time in Regular Season http://www.truebluefan.com/news/women-s-soccer-hits-road-for-final-time-in-regular-season/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/women-s-soccer-hits-road-for-final-time-in-regular-season/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 11:26:28 AM Women's Soccer Hits Road For Final Time in Regular Season

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After a historic weekend at the Wendell & Vickie Bell Soccer Complex, which saw the University of Kentucky women's soccer team collect its first top-five win in program history over the No. 5/4 Florida Gators on Sunday, the Wildcats turn their attention to the Southeastern Conference's final full weekend of action, as UK travels on the road to face LSU (8pm ET, SECN+) on Friday night, and No. 21/16 Georgia on Sunday (6pm ET, SECN+).

The Wildcats after a 2-0-0 weekend currently sit at 10-5-0 overall on the 2014 season, and are now 5-3-0 in the SEC after three-consecutive wins in conference play, with two of them coming over top-25 opponents. UK currently sits in a tie for fourth on the SEC table, with 15 points accumulated thus far on the season. Texas A&M leads the league, and can secure at least a share of the conference championship with two wins this weekend.

UK faces the LSU Tigers on Friday night at 8 p.m. ET from the LSU Soccer Complex in Baton Rouge, La. The match will be live on the SEC Network+. Kentucky this season is 7-2-0 in night matches (matches that start at 7 p.m. ET or later). The Wildcats have picked up wins over arch rival Louisville, South Carolina, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State all in night matches.

LSU continues their season under the direction of head coach, Brian Lee, with a 5-10-2 overall record. The Tigers are 1-6-1 in the SEC with its lone SEC win over Mississippi State. The Tigers non-conference wins over Troy, Northwestern St., Nicholls, BYU and a draw against Stephen F. Austin. Jorian Baucom leads the Tigers with a total of 20 points, including eight goals and four assists. Lily Alfred has a tally of four shutouts from the net with a GAA of 2.13 and 67 saves.

Zoe Swift was named the Southeastern Conference's Offensive Player of the Week, after scoring two game-winning goals this weekend, which propelled Kentucky to a 2-0-0 weekend, collecting six crucial points in the SEC standings, including a 2-0 win over No. 5 Florida, the first top-five win in program history.

Swift scored two goals this weekend, with both of them serving as game-winning goals. The sophomore scored in the 13th minute on Friday night against Ole Miss to open the scoring for the Wildcats. Fellow sophomore Jade Klump played a perfectly-placed and weighted ball from the midfield stripe down the right side to a waiting - and onside- Swift, who collected down the right-hand side 25 yards from goal. Swift then beat her defender 1v1 and finished low and to the far post past a diving Kelly McCormick.

On Sunday, Swift gave the Wildcats the lead just after the half-hour mark as she was slotted in on goal from a through-ball from Michaela Dooley before hammering her fourth goal of the season into the net. Dooley got the ball from the left side and made a run to the corner flag and got endline, beating her defender and serving a ball across the mouth of the goal which was hammered home by Swift, who scored her fourth of the season. The assist went to Dooley, who charted her team-high tying eighth assist of the season, as the sophomore transfer now has 14 points on the season.

After the 2-0-0 weekend with wins over (40) Ole Miss and (6) Florida, the Wildcats currently sit at No. 30 in the NCAA RPI. The Wildcats were No. 59 two weeks ago before its three-match winning streak. However, UK still has matches left with Georgia (28) and the SEC Tournament to pick up quality wins in the national and conference landscape.

For continuing coverage of UK women's soccer, log on to UKathletics.com.


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Grand Jury To Hear Rape Charge Against Tubman http://www.truebluefan.com/news/grand-jury-to-hear-rape-charge-against-tubman/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/grand-jury-to-hear-rape-charge-against-tubman/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:57:20 AM Grand Jury To Hear Rape Charge Against Tubman

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A grand jury will review a first-degree rape charge against Lloyd Tubman after the Kentucky freshman defensive lineman waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Tubman, 20, was arrested Oct. 7, five days after an incident involving a female student in a campus dormitory room. First-degree rape is a felony in Kentucky punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Appearing Thursday morning in Fayette District Court before Judge Megan Lake Thornton, Tubman waived the preliminary hearing on to a grand jury. The 12-member body meets Mondays and Tuesdays to review evidence and decide whether to indict someone, but there's no timetable on if or when an indictment will be returned on Tubman.

Tubman is free on $10,000 bond and suspended indefinitely by Kentucky coach Mark Stoops. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Louisville native is also subject to discipline under the school's code of conduct.

Represented by Lexington attorney Jim Lowry, Tubman was the first person called Thursday before Thornton. The judge outlined the next procedural steps and reminded the player about bond conditions, which prohibit him from having contact with the woman.

The Associated Press does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

Lowry and several of Tubman's family members declined comment as they left the courtroom.

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

 


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UK Soccer Enters Top-25 for First Time This Season http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-soccer-enters-top-25-for-first-time-this-season-393020/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-soccer-enters-top-25-for-first-time-this-season-393020/ Sports - True Blue Site Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:20:57 AM UK Soccer Enters Top-25 for First Time This Season

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky men's soccer team checked into the national top 25 for the first time in three seasons this week, having extended its winning-streak to four games with two more victories last week.

The Wildcats are ranked as high as No. 19 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire poll. UK ranks 23rd in the Soccer America poll and 24th in the College Soccer News poll. The Wildcats are ranked 25th in the Top Drawer Soccer composite poll, which accounts for five national polls.

The Wildcats were last ranked during the first week of October in 2011. Kentucky reached a high of No. 15 in the coaches' poll that season in early September.
UK moved into first place in Conference USA with two wins last week, including a 1-0 result over then-No. 9 New Mexico on Saturday. UK is the lone unbeaten team in league play with a W3 L0 D2 record against C-USA opponents. The Wildcats are 8-3-3 on the season.

The win over ninth-ranked New Mexico was the Wildcats' third road win over a top-25 opponent this season. UK also has wins at then-No. 1 Notre Dame and at No. 21 UAB this season.

Kentucky's three top-25 wins this season ties the school record set in 2012, which was head coach Johan Cedergen's first season.

The team's six-match unbeaten streak is the fifth longest in school history.

UK boasts one of the nation's top defenses, highlighted by its 0.41 goals against average, which ranks fifth-best nationally.

The Wildcats are tied for the second-most shutouts in the country on the season (9), and their shutout percentage of 0.64 per game (14 games) ranks eighth in the NCAA.

Senior striker Justin Laird was named Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week on Tuesday after he scored two goals, including the winner against New Mexico last week. Laird was C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, while junior goalkeeper Callum Irving earned the league's Defensive Player of the Week award.

Irving leads the conference in GAA, shutouts and shutout percentage.

UK will return to action Saturday, Oct. 25 with a trip to South Carolina in a C-USA matchup colloquially referred to as the Southeastern Conference Men's Soccer Championship. The Wildcats and Gamecocks are the only two SEC schools that sponsor men's soccer.

 


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UK Soccer Enters Top-25 For First Time This Season http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-soccer-enters-top-25-for-first-time-this-season/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-soccer-enters-top-25-for-first-time-this-season/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:13:26 PM UK Athletics UK Soccer Enters Top-25 For First Time This Season

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky men's soccer team checked into the national top 25 for the first time in three seasons this week, having extended its winning-streak to four games with two more victories last week.

The Wildcats are ranked as high as No. 19 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire poll. UK ranks 23rd in the Soccer America poll and 24th in the College Soccer News poll. The Wildcats are ranked 25th in the Top Drawer Soccer composite poll, which accounts for five national polls.


The Wildcats were last ranked during the first week of October in 2011. Kentucky reached a high of No. 15 in the coaches' poll that season in early September.

 

UK moved into first place in Conference USA with two wins last week, including a 1-0 result over then-No. 9 New Mexico on Saturday. UK is the lone unbeaten team in league play with a W3 L0 D2 record against C-USA opponents. The Wildcats are 8-3-3 on the season.

 

The win over ninth-ranked New Mexico was the Wildcats' third road win over a top-25 opponent this season. UK also has wins at then-No. 1 Notre Dame and at No. 21 UAB this season.

 

Kentucky's three top-25 wins this season ties the school record set in 2012, which was head coach Johan Cedergen's first season.

 

The team's six-match unbeaten streak is the fifth longest in school history.

UK boasts one of the nation's top defenses, highlighted by its 0.41 goals against average, which ranks fifth-best nationally.

The Wildcats are tied for the second-most shutouts in the country on the season (9), and their shutout percentage of 0.64 per game (14 games) ranks eighth in the NCAA.

Senior striker Justin Laird was named Disney Soccer/NSCAA Player of the Week on Tuesday after he scored two goals, including the winner against New Mexico last week. Laird was C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, while junior goalkeeper Callum Irving earned the league's Defensive Player of the Week award.


Irving leads the conference in GAA, shutouts and shutout percentage.

UK will return to action Saturday, Oct. 25 with a trip to South Carolina in a C-USA matchup colloquially referred to as the Southeastern Conference Men's Soccer Championship. The Wildcats and Gamecocks are the only two SEC schools that sponsor men's soccer.

 

 


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see blue. Day Set For Keeneland On Friday http://www.truebluefan.com/news/see-blue-day-set-for-keeneland-on-friday-392942/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/see-blue-day-set-for-keeneland-on-friday-392942/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:45:06 PM Keeneland see blue. Day Set For Keeneland On Friday

Keeneland will be a sea of blue when it hosts "see blue." Day to mark the official start of the University of Kentucky's homecoming weekend. UK and Keeneland are calling all fans to the post for a pep rally on The Hill, the track's popular tailgating area adjacent to the Keene Barn & Entertainment Center.

The fun will begin at noon and feature the UK Pep Band playing the UK fight song and "My Old Kentucky Home," the CATS cheer led by the UK cheerleaders and an appearance by the UK dance team. The Jordan English Band also will perform.

UK students, alumni and faculty receive free general admission to the track and access to reserved Grandstand seating with valid UK IDs.

Lextran will provide a dedicated shuttle for students between UK and Keeneland at a cost of $1 each way from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The first 500 students to ride the Lextran shuttle from campus will receive a commemorative "see blue." Day T-shirt.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 24; Gates open at 11 a.m., post time for the first race is 1:05 p.m. ET

WHERE: Keeneland Race Course

"see blue." Day Schedule:
Noon. National Anthem performed in the Walking Ring by Paws and Listen

12:10 p.m. UK Pep Band, UK cheerleaders and UK dance team kick off the day's festivities on The Hill

12:25 - 2 p.m. The Jordan English Band performs on The Hill

2 p.m. UK cheerleaders and dance team recognized in the Winner's Circle during the Race 3 post parade

2:30 p.m. UK DanceBlue recognized in the Winner's Circle during Race 4 post parade

5:05 p.m. UK Track and Field team recognized in the Winner's Circle during Race 9 post parade

 


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Defense Gearing Up For No. 1 MSU, Heisman Front-Runner Prescott http://www.truebluefan.com/news/defense-gearing-up-for-no-1-msu-heisman-front-runner-prescott/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/defense-gearing-up-for-no-1-msu-heisman-front-runner-prescott/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:36:47 PM UK Athletics Defense Gearing Up For No. 1 MSU, Heisman Front-Runner Prescott

As a defensive coordinator in the Southeastern Conference, every week presents unique challenges to Kentucky's D.J. Eliot.

Eliot, in his second year directing the UK defense, faces another daunting task on Saturday as the Wildcats play host to Heisman Trophy frontrunner Dak Prescott and the top-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.

"He's an excellent player. He's a veteran player. He's been there," Eliot detailed about MSU's junior quarterback. "He's gotten those reps that's made him such a great player. He can run it; he can throw it; he makes good decisions. It's going to be a huge challenge for us. We've been working really hard to defend him this week. We know they're a great offense and it's going to be a huge challenge for us."

During a junior season that has seen him emerge as the Heisman front-runner, Prescott has rushed for 576 yards and eight touchdowns, passing for 1,478 yards, with a 14-4 touchdown-interception ratio. Prescott presents a unique dual-threat challenge in the molds of recent SEC quarterback greats, including MSU head coach Dan Mullen's star during his time as the offensive coordinator at Florida, Tim Tebow.

"Well, when you're good at both, you've got to be able to defend both, so there's not just one certain area that I'm emphasizing on (this week in preparation)," Eliot said. "I've got to emphasize on all aspects of an offense to defend that offense and a quarterback like this."

Kentucky battled MSU in a tight game in Starkville, Miss., in 2013, with the Bulldogs edging the Wildcats, 28-22. Prescott accounted for three touchdowns - two passing - with his 17-yard TD reception with 36 seconds left in the third quarter serving as the game-winning score.

"You know, it's tough," Eliot described about the challenges of defending Prescott. "It's when they have a quarterback that's a runner that makes it even harder, because a lot of your keys that you teach defensive players are based off of the running back being the runner, so you have to kind of adjust some of that for the week and then on top of that, you just have to be really sound in the pass game. Because as soon as you tighten up for the run game, that's when they try to get one over your head."

Prescott finished the 2013 meeting with Kentucky charting 268 yards on 23-of-34 passing, rushing for 33 yards on 16 carries.

"He's making better decisions and he's getting rid of the ball quicker than he did last year," Eliot said. "He's always been a great runner and they've always had a great quarterback run game plan, but now he's added that dimension of being able to throw the ball and make great decisions as well."

 


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UK Needs More From The Passing Game http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-needs-more-from-the-passing-game/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/uk-needs-more-from-the-passing-game/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 22 Oct 2014 4:22:56 PM Alan Cutler UK Needs More From The Passing Game

The word of the day for the wide outs is "focus."  That was the big problem at LSU.

No, we are not suggesting that Kentucky would have won if they did a great job of focusing against LSU, but it was a problem. Fans like to know why an athlete would have a problem with the word focus.

"It's hard to get bad plays behind them, so a couple of times we go out there and it's three plays and out," says Ryan Timmons who leads UK with 31 catches. "Guys get frustrated and get disappointed in not scoring so they get unfocused, they get upset, so we just try, it's up to me and the older guys to help them with that."

"When the whole unit doesn't do a great job, that falls on me," says UK wide out coach Tommy Mainord. "It's my responsibility. I will coach them better. "

"Maybe not being in the right mindset," says freshman wide out Garrett Johnson. "Just being in a different atmosphere. It's a ton of different things for different people."

"Oh, no sir," says senior wide out Demarco Robinson. "I don't feel like anybody's confidence is down. Coach is doing a good job of getting our confidence back up. And I feel like the confidence will come when we start having success in the games, so that will help a lot."

Timmons has another problem. The coaches don't think he's playing hard enough. No player can be happy with that comment, but credit Timmons for taking it the right way.

"It doesn't really bother me," says Timmons. "It just motivates me to do a lot more. Coach Brown and Coach Stoops see the potential that I have and they are doing a great job of coaching me and getting me in the right positions. It's up to me to make plays."

So the wide receivers as a group aren't very happy.

 


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Bud Dupree Named Quarterfinalist For Lott IMPACT Trophy http://www.truebluefan.com/news/bud-dupree-named-quarterfinalist-for-lott-impact-trophy/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/bud-dupree-named-quarterfinalist-for-lott-impact-trophy/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 22 Oct 2014 4:15:16 PM Bud Dupree Named Quarterfinalist For Lott IMPACT Trophy

LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky senior defensive end/linebacker Alvin "Bud" Dupree, who leads all active Southeastern Conference players in sacks, has been named a quarterfinalist for the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy, it was announced Wednesday.

Dupree is one of 20 student-athletes across the nation to be named a quarterfinalist for the prestigious award, which honors a student-athlete that best embodies Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity (IMPACT). Dupree is one of four SEC student-athletes on the list, joining Landon Collins (Alabama), A.J. Johnson (Tennessee) and Deterrian Shackelford (Ole Miss).

Dupree, who was named to the midseason All-SEC Team by Phil Steele earlier this week, is having a great season with Kentucky with 35 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss, a team-best three sacks, one interception, one pass breakup and three quarterback hurries.

The star has made a habit of making game-changing plays this season as his interception against South Carolina was Kentucky's first game-winning interception for a touchdown since 1998. The following week, Dupree blocked a ULM field goal attempt that helped spark 45 unanswered points from the Wildcats.

In his career, Dupree has played in 42 games with 208 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 19 sacks and five pass breakups. His 19 career sacks lead all active SEC players and ranks tied for second best in UK history.

Eight semifinalists will be chosen Nov. 11, with ballots then sent to more than 400 national voters, a panel that includes former coaches and players, members of the media, past Lott IMPACT Trophy winners and finalists as well as members of the Board of Directors for the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the sponsors of the award.

The four finalists will fly to Newport Beach for a black-tie gala at the Pacific Club on Dec. 14 where the winner will be announced. The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will make a $25,000 donation to the general scholarship fund of the winner's university and $5,000 to each of the schools of the runner-ups.

In 10 years, the Foundation has now donated more than $1 million, including nearly $500,000 to universities throughout the country.


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Former UK Football Player Injured In Fall Released From Hospital http://www.truebluefan.com/news/former-uk-football-player-injured-in-fall-released-from-hospital/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/former-uk-football-player-injured-in-fall-released-from-hospital/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 22 Oct 2014 1:05:23 PM Former UK Football Player Injured In Fall Released From Hospital

UK officials say former football player Brad Durham has been released from the hospital after he was seriously hurt in a fall from the upper deck at Commonwealth Stadium about two weeks ago.

UK officials said fell roughly three stories from the stadium's upper deck while celebrating the game winning touchdown on Oct. 5.

According to posts from Durham's family members on Facebook, he was put in a medically induced coma after the incident. He had fractured vertebrae and ribs, the posts stated, but was in stable condition. 

Durham played offensive tackle for Kentucky from 2007-10. He was a two-time SEC All Academic Honor Roll and was a starting tackle during his senior year under Head Coach Joker Phillips.

Durham, a Rockcastle County native, graduated from UK with a degree in Agricultural economics in 2011.

 


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Media Picks Kentucky To Win 2015 SEC Men's Basketball Championship http://www.truebluefan.com/news/media-picks-kentucky-to-win-2015-sec-men-s-basketball-championship/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/media-picks-kentucky-to-win-2015-sec-men-s-basketball-championship/ Sports - True Blue Site Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:50:05 PM Media Picks Kentucky To Win 2015 SEC Men's Basketball Championship

Birmingham, Ala. - Kentucky was predicted to win the 2015 Southeastern Conference men's basketball championship in voting by a select panel of both SEC and national media members.

The Wildcats, who are the overall preseason favorite for the 10th time since the 1998-99 season, tallied all 20 first-place votes.

Kentucky sophomore Aaron Harrison was the choice of the media for SEC Men's Basketball Player of the Year. Aaron Harrison was one of five Wildcats that received votes in the preseason Player of the Year voting, joining Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison, Alex Poythress and Karl-Anthony Towns. Georgia's Charles Mann, LSU's Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey along with Ole Miss' Jarvis Summers also received votes in the Player of the Year voting.

Aaron Harrison, Mickey and Summers were each All-SEC First Team selections along with Arkansas' Bobby Portis and Florida's Michael Frazier II.

Points were compiled on a 14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each media member also voted for a five-player All-SEC Team.

The 2014-15 campaign begins November 14, with conference play set to begin January 6. The 2015 SEC Tournament will be March 11-15 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.


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As SEC Dominates Rankings, Calls Of #SECBias Rise http://www.truebluefan.com/news/as-sec-dominates-rankings-calls-of-secbias-rise/ http://www.truebluefan.com/news/as-sec-dominates-rankings-calls-of-secbias-rise/ Sports - True Blue Site Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:09:17 PM Associated Press As SEC Dominates Rankings, Calls Of #SECBias Rise

RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer

Duck fans in Oregon and Buckeye backers in Ohio are united. Seminoles in the Florida panhandle and Sooners in the Oklahoma panhandle are rallying around a common cause.

As the Southeastern Conference was trending last weekend after becoming the first league to hold four of the top five spots in the AP Top 25, fans of other conferences had an angry response: #SECBias.

The conference that won seven of the last eight BCS championships has many fans exasperated with media coverage they feel has created an unbeatable-SEC narrative. The fear is it will lead to the first College Football Playoff being overrun by one conference.

"AP hard at work to make sure first playoff has 4 SEC teams. #SECbias," posted to Twitter by jAwhatley2.

The AP Top 25 panel consists of 60 media members from all over the country. Voters are mostly chosen by state, with the number of voters from each state determined by the number of FBS teams there. Texas has the most voters with four. California, Ohio and Florida each have three.

Regional favoritism doesn't seem to be an issue. All Ohio voters have at least three SEC teams in the top five. Two of them have four. California voters all have at least three SEC teams in the top five, including one with four.

Jerry Palm of CBS.com, who spent years analyzing the college football polls while breaking down the Bowl Championship Series standings, said he hasn't noticed an SEC bias.

"Right now the name programs are in the SEC because they've been on a really good roll the last 10 years," he said Monday. "Preseason is where I see the bias. By the time you get to the middle part of the season, most of that stuff has worked itself out."

Another common complaint is SEC teams get an extra boost in the rankings when they beat other SEC teams and don't fall as far when they lose in the conference.

Mississippi State rose to No. 1 by beating three top-10 SEC teams. One of those teams, LSU, is now ranked 24th. Another is Texas A&M, which shot up the rankings after an opening-night romp at South Carolina, but is now unranked and on a three-game losing streak.

The Aggies were beaten soundly by the Bulldogs and Ole Miss before losing 59-0 to Alabama on Saturday. The victory nudged the Crimson Tide up to No. 4.

"I know how to become a top-five team," former UCLA coach and Pac-12 analyst Rick Neuheisel said. "Just play Texas A&M."

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RESEARCH

According to research done by STATS, SEC teams have risen an average of 2.8 places in the rankings after winning conference games this season.

By comparison, Big 12 teams rose an average of 3.1 places, and Pac-12 teams have moved up 2.3 spots. Big Ten teams have moved up 1.7 spots after conference wins. For ACC teams, the gain is less than half spot (0.4) mostly because the league has had few teams ranked this season and Florida State, the preseason No. 1, had nowhere to go but down.

The average drop for ranked SEC teams after conference losses is 7.5 spots, tied for the most with the Pac-12. The Big 12's average poll drop after a conference loss is 7.0 spots, followed by the Big Ten (5.5) and the ACC (4.3).

A look back at the last five years shows a similar pattern, with the SEC seemingly getting no advantage over the other conferences.

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DATA

In the latest Sagarin Ratings, one of the computer rankings used in the old BCS formula, the top six teams are from the SEC. Florida State is 10th.

In the four of the five other computer rating systems the BCS used, those four SEC West teams are in the top five.

The Football Outsiders website uses a measure called F/+ that analyzes play-by-play data and the results of each series in a game to rate teams. The formula also takes into account level of competition. So as Texas A&M sinks, the Aggies drag down the grades of the teams they have played. In those ratings, the SEC West teams occupy four of the top six spots.

ESPN's advance metric, Football Power Index, has six SEC teams among the top seven, with Mississippi State tied for sixth with Ohio State.

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ESPN

No organization gets hit with #SECBias charges as hard as ESPN. The network holds media rights agreements with all the Big Five conferences, though it partners with the SEC on the conference's newly launched network.

ESPN's "College GameDay" sets the agenda for college football discussion and debate. Many fans feel the SEC always seems to get the benefit of the doubt from the network's army of talking heads.

"Does ESPN forget that Tennessee is one of the worst CFB teams in the country? Of course they do because #SECBias." posted by matthewcermak, a Florida State fan.

In a sport that still subjectively determines its champion - this year with a selection committee picking the final four - it's not just fans who are worried about the power ESPN could have in shaping opinions.

"When you have that type of strong partnership with somebody, human nature can set in," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said of the relationship between ESPN and the SEC. "You want to be as neutral as you can. I'm sure they say that they are. We're all human. Being a member of a different conference than that, would that worry me if it came down to two teams and a decision? Yeah, it would worry me a little bit."

Lee Fitting, senior coordinating producer for ESPN's "College GameDay," said he hears the criticism.

"But like all feedback, we don't overreact to it," he said. "We like to pride ourselves on giving the college football fan what they want in order to get ready to watch a full day's and nights' worth of football."

"The show has a good track record of working under no agendas and no biases."


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