According to Lakers reporter, Mike Trudell, former UK Basketball player, Jodie Meeks, will graduate from Kentucky on May 10th with a marketing degree.
Meeks just finished up his 2nd season in Los Angeles by averaging 15 points while starting in 70 of the 77 games he played in for the Lakers. The shooting guard is now a free agent and not sure if he's re-signing with the Lakers during the off-season.
Meeks left after his Junior season at UK and has been returning to Lexington during the summer months to take courses he needed to graduate. He's hoping to start a business of his own after his basketball career comes to an end.
Meeks said when he left UK early, he made a promise to himself and his parents to go back and get the degree so he would be prepared for the rest of his life whenever his professional career ended. His father works for Microsoft and his mother is a book keeper at a school in Atlanta.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fresh off its first Southeastern Conference series sweep of the season last weekend at Ole Miss, the No. 8 University of Kentucky softball team looks to keep its seven-game winning streak alive this weekend as it plays host to a three-game series with Arkansas starting Friday at 6 p.m. ET at John Cropp Stadium.
Friday's series opener at 6 p.m. ET will be followed by a 6 p.m. ET first pitch on Saturday and a 1 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday. Live stats and free live radio from all three games will be available on UKathletics.com. Friday and Saturday night's games will be televised by the UK/IMG Sports Network on CWKYT in Central Kentucky and on the entire Fox Sports South footprint. Live video (subscription required) will be available online for Sunday's game only.
Fans will have countless promotions to get involved with this weekend at John Cropp Stadium, including the entire UK team signing autographs on Saturday and Sunday following each game. The series will serve as Little League Weekend at JCS as all little leaguers will receive free admission to all three games, while a poster station will be set up on the main concourse for fans to make a poster to help cheer on the Wildcats. The first 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium on Sunday will receive a set of 2014 softball trading cards.
Single-game tickets into John Cropp Stadium are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only. Gates open one hour prior to first pitch. Fans that show the #SocialSpecial softball photo at the gate that was put on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram earlier this week, will receive free admission for up to four.
Kentucky (36-8, 10-5 SEC) enters the weekend series on a seven-game winning streak after winning all five games it played last week, including sweeping all three games at Ole Miss in league action. The five wins moved UK to 36 wins on the season, which is the second most regular-season wins in school history. UK has 10 wins in SEC action, marking the eighth time in program history and sixth consecutive season that UK has won 10 or more league games. UK has won four SEC series this season, which ties the third most SEC series wins in program history.
The Wildcats started last week with a pair of run-rule wins over Wright State and Mississippi Valley State before sweeping its first SEC series of the season in Oxford. UK earned a pair of 3-1 wins on Friday and Saturday to claim the series against the Rebels, before an 11-4 victory in 10 innings in Sunday's finale.
Senior pitcher Lauren Cumbess had a fantastic week at the plate and in the circle for UK, hitting .471 (8-for-17) with one triple, two homers and 11 RBI, while going 2-0 in the circle with nine innings pitched, allowing only one run on six hits with nine strikeouts. Fellow senior Emily Gaines hit .444 on the week with a double, home run and six RBI, while sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann had a double, two homers and six RBI. Overall, UK scored 36 runs on 35 hits in the five games with its five home runs in Sunday's finale tying the most home runs hit in a game in school history.
In the circle, sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley went 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA, striking out 14 in 17.2 innings pitched, while freshmen Meagan Prince and Shannon Smith each pitched well. Prince tossed four shutout innings against the Rebels, allowing two hits with six strikeouts, while Smith tossed 3.1 innings on the week with two runs scored and three hits allowed.
Arkansas enters this weekend's series at John Cropp Stadium with a 25-20 record overall and a 3-12 mark in SEC action. The Razorbacks have spent much of the season either ranked or receiving votes in the national rankings, peaking at No. 24 in late February. Arkansas is 15-10 at home this season and 4-7 in true road games. Arkansas has played five SEC series this season, dropping all five sets to Tennessee, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Alabama and South Carolina. The Razorbacks' three conference wins have come against Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
The Razorbacks have been led this season by a high-power offense that ranks fourth in the conference in batting average at .319, including an SEC-best 63 home runs with 253 runs batted in. Junior utility player Devon Wallace is the leader of the offense with a .345 (41-for-119) batting average, 11 homers and a .547 on-base percentage, while senior infielder Clarisa Navarro is hitting .359 (46-for-128) and sophomore outfielder Stephanie Canfield .354 (52-for-147) with a team-high 10 stolen bases. Junior infielder Kasey Fagan is hitting .313 (41-for-131) this season with eight homers and 38 RBI, while sophomore utility player Claire Clark (.327), senior outfielder Amanda Geile (.324), senior infielder Chloe Oprzedek (.319), senior catcher Jayme Gee (.310) and freshman infielder Jessica Harrison (.304) are each hitting over .300.
Freshman pitcher Grace Moll leads the team in innings pitched with 84.1, earning a 9-5 record and 3.98 ERA with 57 strikeouts, while junior Kimmy Beasley has a 3-6 record and 3.33 ERA in 40 innings pitched. Fagan is third on the team in innings pitched at 45.1 with a 4.32 ERA and 6-2 record, while freshman Sydney Wright has tossed 56 innings with a 4.50 ERA and 4-4 record and sophomore Kelly Young 42.2 innings with a 4.76 ERA and 3-3 record.
The Razorbacks lead the all-time series against Kentucky 29-17, including a 12-9 record in games played in Lexington. Rachel Lawson is 7-9 against the Razorbacks at UK. The Wildcats have won six of the last 10 games played between the two teams. UK took two of three games from Arkansas in 2010 before winning both games of a doubleheader in 2011. In 2012, the two teams split a doubleheader in Lexington, while the Razorbacks took two of three games from UK last season in Fayetteville.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Records Kentucky 36-8, 10-5 SEC Arkansas 25-20, 3-12 SEC
Rankings Kentucky - No. 10 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 8 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Arkansas - not ranked
Schedule/Results Friday, April 18 Kentucky vs. Arkansas - 6 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Free Radio - UK/IMG Sports Network/FSN South
Saturday, April 19 Kentucky vs. Arkansas - 6 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Free Radio - UK/IMG Sports Network/FSN South
Sunday, April 20 Kentucky vs. Arkansas - 1 p.m. ET - Live Stats - Live Video (subscription required) - Free Radio
Ticket Information: Single game tickets for the series are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under and UK students with a valid student ID are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only. Fans that show the #SocialSpecial softball photo at the gate that was put on Twitter and Instagram earlier this week, will receive free admission for up to four.
Promotions: Friday - #SocialSpecial admission coupon; Little League Day; Poster station; Free posters and schedule cards Saturday - #SocialSpecial admission coupon; Little League Day; Poster station; Free posters and schedule cards; Team autographs following the game Sunday - #SocialSpecial admission coupon; Little League Day; Poster station; Free posters and schedule cards; Team autographs following the game; First 100 fans receive softball trading cards
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky freshman All-Southeastern Conference selection James Young will forego his sophomore season and enter his name in this year's NBA Draft.
"My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I'll always treasure, but I feel that I'm ready to take the next step to the NBA," Young said. "I've learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support. I can't say enough about my teammates; the journey helped us build a bond that we will always share for the rest of our lives. I would like to thank the best fans in the country, the Big Blue Nation, and I hope you guys will continue to support me as I move on. I will always bleed blue. Succeed and Proceed!"
The Rochester Hills, Mich., native knocked down a squad-best 82 3-pointers, the seventh most in a single season inprogram history and second most by a UK freshman. He shot 42.6 percent from behind the arc and better than 85 percent from the free-throw line in the NCAA Tournament.Young averaged 18.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the Final Four en route to Final Four All-Tournament Team honors.
"I'm excited for James and his family and the decision he's come to," head coach John Calipari said. "From day one, the NBA people who came to our practices in the preseasonraved about him. He's done everything we've asked of him all season, investing himself in his brothers for the betterment of the team, and I think we all saw the end result in the tournament and Final Four. Whatever team drafts James is not only getting a superb athlete, they are getting the ultimate teammate."
Young collected All-SEC Second-Team and All-SEC Freshman Team honors after logging 30 double-figure scoring efforts on the season. He received national player of the week honors after delivering a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists) against No. 6/4 Louisville in the regular season. He followed that performance with a 26-point, 10-rebound performance in UK's SEC opener against Mississippi State. It was one of his team-high nine 20-point efforts on the season.
The NBA Draft lottery is scheduled for May 20, and the 2014 NBA Draft will take place June 26.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky coach John Calipari has been too busy promoting his latest book to reflect on last week's NCAA championship game loss to Connecticut.
Calipari must first deal with several issues, the most pressing of which is the futures of several of his highly touted freshmen. Some clarity began to emerge Thursday, when guard James Young became the first to announce that he will enter the NBA draft, leaving forward Julius Randle and twin guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison to decide if they will follow him as speculated or return for another season.
In all cases, Calipari said he has provided them enough information to make a decision.
Regarding last week's tweet from ex-Kentucky player Rex Chapman that Calipari was headed to the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, the coach told former Wildcats star Anthony Davis he wasn't, but also joked "unless you'll come with me."
The coach conceded that Kentucky's surprising recovery from a shaky stretch run to reach the NCAA final - where the Wildcats lost 60-54 to Connecticut - ratcheted up discussion about his and players' pro prospects. As Calipari downplayed his NBA possibilities, he mentioned options to several players during the Final Four.
"All of them I met (with), I said, 'Do you want me to explore the NBA stuff with you?'" said Calipari, adding that he talked with 19 NBA general managers. "A couple of them said 'no,' and the majority of them said 'yes.' "
The coach didn't mention specific players, adding that one who declined information was later told he could be a potential first-round selection.
Young's announcement wasn't shocking, considering he was projected as a mid- first-round pick. Calipari and Kentucky's fervent fan base now wait to see if Randle and the Harrisons follow suit.
Randle has been considered a lottery selection since arriving on campus. The Harrison twins have also gotten first-round mentions, particularly after both matured during the tournament with Aaron winning two games with clutch 3-pointers in the final seconds against Michigan and Wisconsin.
Calipari said he has received additional feedback from his NBA contacts to give parents.
"I don't want there to be any filter," he said. "I told all of the kids that whatever decision you make to leave, to come back, this basketball program 50 years from now will be fine, and so will this institution. You don't make this decision because of me; you make it because it's right for you."
The process resulted in a nice surprise for Calipari on Monday when center Willie Cauley-Stein announced that he would bypass the draft and return for his junior season. The 7-foot shot-blocker recently had surgery on his left ankle injured during the tournament and is expected to recover within a couple of months.
Cauley-Stein's return potentially gives the Wildcats several big men if 7-footer Dakari Johnson stays along with 6-11 Marcus Lee (who's back) and recruits Karl Towns (6-11 and growing) and 6-10 Trey Lyles.
"I never even talked about him about coming back," Calipari said of Cauley-Stein. "I said, 'Right now, you are in the middle of this draft, maybe as (high) as the lottery.'
"That was our talk. When he came back, he basically said, 'You know, Coach, I'm in no hurry to leave. I love going to school. I'm going to be really close to my degree. I still have to grow as a player, and we left something on the table (at the Final Four) that I'd like to try again.'"
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Coach John Calipari Opening Statement “I apologize for being a few minutes late, I was a little under the weather this morning. Let me – I’ll just say a couple things and then you guys can ask questions about the book. Yesterday, the experience for me was the full gambit of being able to sit down with President (Bill) Clinton for nearly two hours, talk about everything. I asked him a lot of questions, he asked me some things. I asked him this question, what would you do if you were in my shoes coaching Division 1 college basketball right now? And you could almost predict this answer because he’s always been about people. I think part of his campaign was ‘People First.’ So then I leave that meeting – or that lunch – and I get to go see Michael Kidd (-Gilchrist), Chris Douglas (-Roberts) and Derrick Rose. And it was like homecoming for all of them for me and the people with me, they could feel what was there. And it’s amazing because people say, ‘well you need four years to have a relation.’ No you don’t. It’s do they trust that you had their back. You ask them to sacrifice, did you – were you there for them, most importantly as an individual. And again, I go back to that’s basically what the book is about, talking about how we get to that point. So it was a good day, even though it was an extremely long day.”
Starts at 37:00
On if he knows who is leaving yet … “The book … (laughter). You know, what we did was I did what I always do. I sit down with all of the kids. Some of them I met down in Dallas, all of them I met and said do you want me to explore the NCAA – er, the NBA stuff with you. And a couple of them said no, a majority of them said yes. I then proceeded to; I ended up talking to or touching about 19 GMs. One of the players that said no, I received information not even trying, they gave it to me, that he potentially is a first round draft pick so I called him back in and said, you need to get with your mother and we need to talk about this because I need you to know what you’re passing on by coming back. And what I told him and his mother, I gotta live with myself. I told him, I want you to come back, I think you need to come back but you need to know what’s out there. So I’ve had to walk through that. The others, again, I talked to the NBA again yesterday as a whole, there was information given to me that I need to go directly to the parents and the reason is because I don’t want there to be any filter. This is what is, this is it, happy, sad, angry, whatever. This is it. And then I told all the kids when we met back on campus when I had the information that I had and it was pretty accurate from what I learned yesterday, whatever decision you make, to leave, to come back, this basketball program 50 years from now will be fine and so will this institution. You don’t make it because of me; you make it because it’s right for you, whatever you do. Willie (Cauley-Stein) said – I said Willie – raise your hand if you were stunned that he said he’s coming back. So, I never even talked about him coming back. My talk to him was about – you know what I said to him – Willie, you know when I went to your high school the first time, you had a tennis racket in your hand. The second time I went to the high school you were playing whiffle ball and the third time I went to your high school you were playing kickball, I never saw you with a basketball. I saw you play two football games where I had a seven-foot corner back and wide receiver and I’m on the sideline just – and I said, you right now are in the middle of this draft, maybe as low as the lottery. But, can you imagine? And that was our talk. And when he came back he basically said, ‘you know, coach, I’m in no hurry to leave. I love going to school, I’m going to be really close to my degree, I still have to grow as a player and we left something on the table there that I’d like to try again. That’s a good answer for me if you want to come back. If you say, I think it would be easier to come back I’d say, you need to go. It’s not easier to come back. There’s a reason why you do this and I want to make sure they’re thinking it through.”
Willie Cauley-Stein will be ready to work out in the summer with his injury … “Yes. He still has a month or two to go, couple months but he’ll be fine.”
On if he had surgery … “He did have surgery. The best doctor in the world did it, kind of like we did with Nerlens (Noel). No, different. They’ve got knee guys, they’ve got ankle guys, they’ve got shoulder people, they have elbow people, he was with the best that there is in the world to have the thing done and it was a procedure that is done a lot so he’ll be fine.” On how surprised he was from the questioning from Bill O’Reilly and how O’Reilly perceived his job … “First of all, I want to tell you, most of the interviews I walked in, I knew people, I was very comfortable, you could tell. With Mr. O’Reilly, I was scared to death, yes. When I sat down with him, you know, because I’ve watched and I love when he gets after people, I just don’t want him to get after me so, you know, he came at me with some questions. You have to understand at the time I didn’t care, I was just trying to protect myself, my – just, you know – and I didn’t know what the dialogue would go because I didn’t know him that way, I’ve never interviewed with him. He asked a couple questions that, you know, I could see someone that reads outlying stories would believe that’s what college athletics are about but let me give him his due this way, before we sat down to talk, I said, so were you rooting for Connecticut? He said, ‘I’m not a big college basketball fan so no.’ Kind of leads you to understand that he’s not into all the nuances of college basketball. That’s my defense of the question but I hope when he left, he said, ‘you know maybe I gotta step back and look at this a little different.’ And the second thing he said, ‘I want to come to a game.’ Yeah, so he wants to come down to Lexington to a game. So at some point we’ll have Bill O’Reilly in the first row having to have police around him because he is a rock star.”
On if he was surprised that that image is still out there … “No, and again – you know – people have an image of this program or me that I know is off base, that’s not accurate. But they have it, how was that generated? By stories, by agendas, people have an agenda, they write a story, they, ‘I’m going to make this program or this guy look this way and everything I write I’m not changing. Even if I look ridiculous and my own credibility is at stake, I’m still going to do it.’ Well you’re going to lose your job. ‘I don’t care.’ It’s what we all deal with.” On where they are going this summer … “We’ll probably do something this summer but I haven’t made a total decision of what it will be. It will probably be something to do with the World Games. You know, trying to play teams from the World Games, which means we’d probably get beat up each game because you’ve got NBA players on every one of those teams but it would be a great experience. Listen folks, I haven’t slowed down right now. And it’s really good, why is it good that I haven’t slowed down? (Because if you did, you’d keel over) Yeah – no that and the fact that I’d think about that last game where we had a chance to win the national title and it’s a one-point game for five possessions, we miss a lay-up, we miss free throws, we miss a 3 and all of a sudden they make a 3 because eventually they were going to make a shot and it change – and then I want to jump off a bridge. So just keep running and I’m not looking back. Until May 2nd, I’m having my hip replaced here in town, one of the best hip doctors is right here in Lexington and so I’ll do it here, take a month to recuperate and then try to get back.”
On if he thinks the twins will be back … “I have no idea.”
On if the guys who haven’t made decisions yet have given him any sort of time frame and if he has to look at adding players … “They have ‘til the (27)th. No, I don’t – well we may – but this is about them, not me and the program. They have ‘til the 27th to make a decision. I don’t even know what the NCAA date is because we don’t worry about it. It has nothing to do with us. The only date they have to be concerned about is the 27th, when they have to put their name in or they don’t put their name in.”
On if he’s done recruiting at this point and if he would restart … “Well, we’re recruiting but it’s – we’re not really recruiting anybody for our team right now but there are some names out there if this thing in the next week or two – and I would imagine there are players out there waiting to see, if these guys leave I’m going because I’ll be able to step in. And we still have some guys that have decisions to make.” On how making it to the championship game really changed the process of guys going to the NBA … “What – and Kenny Payne says this all the time – you guys don’t understand, people want winning players. So winning matters. It does. If our team had gotten in the NCAA Tournament last year and we had advanced, it would have been different for some of those guys, that’s just how it is. Winning matters and that’s why you keep convincing them, you’ve got to do this together, you’ve got to give up some of your game. Let me tell you, last night I go to watch that Bobcat game and Michael started and played nine minutes and then they played Chris Douglas and some other guys and then in the second half he started and played his nine minutes or whatever and I’m telling you the biggest cheerleader on the Bobcats was Michael Kidd. And I can’t tell you how proud that makes me. He is the greatest teammate and there is a value, there is a skill to that. We all know how hard he works, we know what a defender he is, we know all that. There is a skill to that. And so to see that means he learned it, he understands it and I believe he learned it here. You know, again, in the book – by the way – I tell the story about the Vanderbilt game in the (SEC Tournament) championships where he comes into me 30 minutes before the game and he says, ‘You need to start Darius (Miller).’ I go, what are you talking about? He said, ‘coach, the kid hasn’t scored in the first two games, you’re killing him and we need him to win a national title.’ So I do start him and I tell Darius why he is starting, Michael wants you to start in his place. Darius takes 17 shots, which you all know means we were not going to win. Michael comes off the bench which he hadn’t done all year and gets in foul trouble because he didn’t know how to come off the bench. We lose the game, but we win the national title because of a player who said, ‘let somebody – I’ll step back so they can step forward.’ That’s the kind of stuff that’s in the book because people don’t understand we’re teaching servant leadership here. We’re teaching guys to do less, which is more. To be wrong so that someone else can be right. To take responsibility, which takes it off someone else. Well, how do you do it with guys that are all coming in here as the star and the only guy, the center of attention and you’re asking them to do less. Well you know what it is? They have to know, ‘I’ll do this but coach you’ve gotta have my back because my family’s life is at stake. Do you have my back? Are you going to be there for me because you want me to be there for everybody else but I’m trying to survive. I haven’t made it yet coach, I’m trying survive.’ That’s what we talk about, the one-and-done, the NCAA stuff, it was just a coincidence that that food thing changed yesterday. Just a coincidence. But it did change so I’m happy. So now we’re down to 12 more things they have to do instead of 13 and I have another 15 but that will be for another book after they get through these 12.” On Mark Stoops saying yesterday he’s had players send meal money home for their families … “Yeah, oh yeah. They get their – maybe their grant money and they send half of it home to help their family. Oh yes, sometimes more than half. They feel responsibility to their family. Absolutely happens. See, in all this, the food was one part of it, it just showed you how ridiculous some of these things are and they’re not ridiculous because they’re dumb people in the NCAA, they have three degrees – well that doesn’t make them intelligent, let me stop right there. But they are people that have common sense so why would they have these kinds of archaic rules? Because there are people within the NCAA that can’t afford to feed their kids right and those of us that can, can’t feed our kids right because they can’t feed their kids right. They can’t do that, so you can’t do that. That has to end, that is what is ending. It’s what I’ve talked about for the last five years that has to end. The second thing is you cannot call a player professional if he is – we’re flying his family in an expense to a game, to the NCAA Tournament. We fly them home a couple times a year to come to school, to go home to go to Christmas that makes them professional? Stop it. It doesn’t. These people can’t afford to do it so you cannot do it. That’s what’s got to end. We can’t afford to have a cost of living or cost of attendance stipend so you can’t have it. It’s gotta stop. You gotta stop. That’s why this thing is starting to separate, which I talked about five years ago. And then everybody says, ‘he only does this because he’s got an axe to grind with the NCAA.’ Really? Really? I owe a lot to the NCAA. I was able to play basketball, to get a scholarship to go to college, to work in this profession and the NCAA is overseeing it all. No. But – and I don’t agree with all the critics who trying to take people up – but I do have a feel for where this needs to go.” On looking at the roster for next year … “Did you read that last chapter of the book, by the way? (No) OK, did anybody read the last chapter of the book? You didn’t read it? OK, you guys read slow, I know that. Maybe have someone read it for you. They also have, you can put it in the cassette form. Like they have it where you can put it in your car and listen to it. But anyway, the last chapter I talk about this year’s team before the season started and it was very dangerous because I knew it was dangerous, we didn’t know where the season would go, I had no idea. But when you read what we were talking about and where we were trying to go, there is a process and there are steps but the end result if it looks like this, we will still be playing in April, basically what I said. Which was dangerous and ended up playing out pretty good because it was about accurate. But there’s a process to what we’re doing. There’s a process now, after the season it’s very simple what we do, we get the information, we let every player know that I would really love to coach him more but you have a decision to make, here’s your information. Whatever decision you make, I will fight for you, coming back or leaving. Don’t make it because of our university, you won’t believe this but 50 years from now the University of Kentucky will still be here. This basketball program that Adolph Rupp built will still be what it is. The ground he built it on, the cement he built it on, what he did to have it sustain this long, think about it. His legacy lives on and it will live for another 50 years so make it for you and your family. We don’t know what each of these families is going through. We’re not living their lives. It’s easy to say, ‘well he should go four years.’ What if your son were Bill Gates? You’d make him stay in school four years? Or Jordan Speith, you’d make him stay in school? ‘Son, you don’t need to keep playing, you don’t need that professional golf crap. You need that degree.’ Really? He can go back and get a degree. Why do you have to do it in four years, you can’t do it in 12 years? Tell me, tell me what – ‘and they gotta do it on the campus.’ Yeah, now they’re saying you don’t need college campus, you can do it on the internet. Why waste all that money? I mean, this stuff is changing right before our eyes? Are we staying up with it? The social media, ‘you shouldn’t let those kids tweet, Facebook…’ Why? Why don’t we teach them? It’s not going away.” On what it would be like to have a couple of juniors and a couple of sophomores if players return … “Well, obviously it makes my job different than my job has been the last four years. And that means--every one of these kids needs me in a different way. It’ll be even more of a challenge in that regard because I’ve got juniors, sophomores and freshmen. And they all need you different. They need you in a different way. You also have a really talented team of—look, our young players coming in wanted kids to come back. They were calling kids and telling them to come back. So it’s not any of that. Someone would say, ‘Well, would someone leave because of who you have coming in?’ Oh, it’ll be easier against those guys in the NBA than a high school guy? What are you nuts? It has nothing to do with that. It becomes what is best? What is best for that family? You may look at it and say that’s ridiculous, but you don’t live their life. You haven’t done what they’ve done. “So what you have to do is accept their decision, understand it’s been well thought out, they’ve gotten the information, they know the downside because I gave it to them. They see the upside. I have to remind them of the downside of what could happen. And when they make that choice, you gotta live with it. It’s them; it’s their families.”
On if he got a call from Rex Chapman … “I haven’t talked to Rex but I’m fine. Look, there a couple of other rumors that I’m glad he didn’t talk about on radio. It’s fine. I mean, we didn’t hear it, I didn’t hear it. The only time I learned about it is when the game ended and then Anthony Davis and Darius (Miller) and John Wall and the guys were in there. I can’t remember if one of them said to me, ‘You’re going to Lakers.’ It might have been Anthony. I said, ‘Come on, no, I’m not going to the Lakers.’ And then I looked at him and I said, ‘Unless you’ll come with me.’ As I joked, please. (Pause.) Maybe. (Laughing.)” On repeating himself and if he believes he’s changing minds and if he even cares about that … “No, I think—the haters are not changing. They don’t care what I say. They turn the TV off and I’m fine with that. The lovers accept whatever I say. It’s all those independents out there that are looking at this in a different light and saying, ‘Well.’ And then the question is: Am I making sense? Is this common-sense stuff? “I even think the NBA and the NCAA should get together and plan on the players’ association saying, ‘We’re not changing.’ And then I think the NCAA and the NBA should get together and say, ‘How do we encourage kids to stay in school longer, which is good for you and good for us and good for kids.’ It’s not the baseball rule. Would you really want to be a part of the decision that took a whole generation of ninth and 10th graders that said, ‘Forget about education, you’re going directly to the NBA,’ when, in fact, of those 50,000, one or two may do it – maybe, maybe do it. Would you really want to be that person? Or do you want to be that person that encouraged a whole generation of young people, ‘If you want to play pro basketball, you’re going to have to go to college for two years.’ Then by the time they figure out they’re not good enough, they’ll have a college degree and can get on with life. Would you rather be that guy? “The guys that say let them go out of high school don’t want to coach against them. It’s simple as that. They don’t want to coach against them. For anybody to say Brandon Knight or any of my kids have no business being on a college campus, you’re old, you’re grumpy, go away. You don’t understand what we’re dealing with. We’re dealing with young people and families that have goals and aspirations; that have done right by raising their kids the right way, give them an academic base. Every one of these parents wants their kids to go to college, just like my parents. The goal of my parents is to have all three of their children college educated so they know they did their job to give us the start we needed. My parents, everybody in our family were laborers. They wanted us to be professional people. So I know where these families are coming from. “Now there are ways that we can encourage, but the NBA’s going to have to work closely and move the NCAA where they need to be so players and families say, ‘It’s not going to hurt you staying another year in school; you need to stay.’ And the players say, ‘I’m fine.’ You can stay in school. And then the families know after two years and three summers, they’re a year away from a college degree. An educated man, eventhey didn’t get their degree, they’re educated to the point (where) they’re not going to get fooled, they’re not going to get robbed. They don’t have to give power of attorney to somebody because they can’t read a contract and don’t know what it means and then they give power of attorney and they have no money at the end of their career and they don’t understand why. Well, can I explain it why? Or you’re going to get into all these deals and ‘I’m telling you, you’re going to triple your money.’ An educated man says, ‘There’s nothing for free. If it doesn’t sound real, it’s not real.’ But that’s why you mature and you educate.” On what he was looking for in filling vacancies on his staff … “I haven’t—everybody’s already named assistant coaches, they tell me, and I haven’t gone through the process. I’ve called some people up. I still—I have work to do but I haven’t had time. I mean, I’ve not done—like, there’s no one I’ve sat down and said, ‘Hey, I want you to do this.’ But I will.” On how to get past kids thinking they have failed if they return to school … “Well, you have to convince each kid that everybody’s different and we got your back, that you have to trust the process of how we do this. Because the bottom line of the process is developing people and players. That’s what we do. And there’s no skipping steps. Some are mature physically. Some are mature emotionally. Some are both. The ones that are both can go. The ones that are one better be physically and then emotionally you better grow. If you’re emotionally ready and you’re not physically ready and you go, you’re out of your mind. If you’re both, you’re the No. 1 pick in the draft, which we’ve had. So why is one year a failure? ‘Because so-and-so made it.’ You’re not him; you’re you. And he’s not you; he’s him. You have to look at each of these situations, and I’m even doing it in recruiting now where I’m going into homes and one of the things I started saying was, ‘You’re not a failure if you come back two, three or four years. You’re not a failure. You cannot plan on coming into this university for one year and thinking you’re going to get out. If it happens, hallelujah, I’m happy for you. But if it doesn’t happen, you understand, ‘I’m maturing. I understand the grind. I’m physically getting better.’ But it can’t be me just doing it. It’s gotta be everybody out there. Staying in school more than one year is not a failure.” On how often he mentions Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, players who came back and won a title … “Well, they both did the right thing and, again, what’s wrong with Patrick Patterson? He’s going to get a big contract, folks. What’s wrong with him? You know what he said? ‘The best thing I did was go back to school and learn how to play out on the floor. It’s changed my life now.’ Well, what’s wrong with that? Now he gets his contract, he gets success. I mean, it’s just—we’re developing people. You know, these guys are up there, freshmen, and I’m stunned because I don’t do it an outward way, but they say, ‘He’s teaching us life skills, too. He’s teaching us about life.’ And I don’t sit there and have a meeting about life. I do it through the context of basketball and tell them how—I’ll give you an example. When you’re worried about yourself, life is really difficult and it’s really lonely. If all you’re focused on is you and how you’re going to do this and what you’re going to do. If you focus your life on everyone around you and less on yourself or not on yourself at all, well, life just became easier. That’s no different as a basketball player. And that’s why I loved it when John (Wall) and DeMarcus (Cousins) did what they did with charity, a million dollars each. When I see these kids tell me, ‘Coach, I’m going to Children’s Hospital,’ or they’re doing stuff on their own or when Jon Hood comes up to me and says, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve learned while I’ve been here.’ And now he wants to get on teaching after he’s done playing or coaching or whatever job. He wants to get involved at any point with helping children with special needs. I mean, that’s what this is about.” On the argument that players develop better in the D-League … “Ask the guys that all played in the D-League. Ask Terrence Jones. Ask those guys. Don’t ask somebody that’s speaking. ‘I’m gonna tell you that it’s better.’ Really? Have you done it and played it? Let’s all ask the guys, ‘Would you have been better off playing or when they sent you down to the D-League what was better?’ Ask those guys. All I can tell you is its not wasted time if you take advantage of all the stuff that we’re trying to do. But I’m going to come back to we have to make decisions for these kids while they’re here. We can’t make them for us. I made a statement: We’ve gotten into the business of running the railroad instead of moving people. And the minute you do that, the railroad goes out of business. If you’re in the business of moving people, it prospers. It prospers. It feeds on itself. ‘We’re in the business of running the railroad, getting up at 8, leaving at 5.’ Really? ‘Well, we can’t do this.’ Why aren’t you doing it? ‘Because we don’t.’ Really? I presented this to the NCAA, my wife and I: We wanted to start a fund. We’ll fund it; we’ll put the money in. That every player that’s ever played for me, whether they be at Mass, Memphis or Kentucky, can request a grant for their children’s education. And that fund would peel off that money for that reason. And when I stop coaching 25 years later, the money that’s left in that fund would be split between Memphis, Massachusetts and Kentucky. What was the response? ‘It’s an extra benefit.’ My wife and I sat there and said, ‘We’ve been thinking about this for five years. This is what we want to do. So why can’t we put five or 10 million in an account that spills out money that all those players that have played for me?’ ‘Because you’ll use it in recruiting and you’ll have an advantage.’ Well I won’t if 50 other coaches do the same thing. Now if 50 of us do it. We can afford—I’m not the only guy that’s done well and been blessed. Well 50 of us do it. ‘That’s bad.’ That’s the kind of common-sense stuff. Like, they want to act like I don’t want—‘Well how much does he make?’ Well how much have I leveraged this position to do for other people? You all know it. No one else knows it. Now you want to go a step farther and that’s what we fight.”
Quarterback Jalen Whitlow has decided to transfer from the University of Kentucky, Coach Mark Stoops confirmed Wednesday.
"We respect Jalen and his decision as we want the best for him," Stoops said. "I thank Jalen for his contributions to the team during his time at Kentucky. I want everyone to understand how hard he has worked and the effort he has given since our staff has been here."
UK officials say Whitlow will finish the spring semester at UK before transferring. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.
It is not clear, however, where Whitlow will be going after leaving UK.
Whitlow, a native of Montgomery, Ala., came to UK in 2012 and started seven games as a true freshman. He completed 54 percent of his passes for 801 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 206 net yards and three TDs.
In 2013, Stoops' first season as head coach, Whitlow started eight games. He completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 1,033 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 457 yards and six TDs.
"I appreciate the University of Kentucky and what the coaching staff and administration have done for me," Whitlow said. "I also thank the community and the fan support I have received here. I wish the coaches and my teammates the best of luck."
Freshmen Zack Brown and Logan Salow combined to work six shutout innings in relief and Kyle Cody came on to earn his third save of the year with a shutout ninth, as No. 19 Kentucky posted a 4-2 win at No. 9 Louisville to sweep the two-game series, on a bitterly cold Tuesday night in front of 2,597 at Jim Patterson Stadium.
Kentucky (24-13) and Louisville battled in the finale of the two-game, home-and-home midweek series, after UK won the opener on April 1, 8-3 at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The win for the Wildcats marks the first UK sweep of Louisville since the 2011 season, with the Cardinals entering the game on a five-game winning streak that included a sweep at No. 7 Houston last weekend.
"Well it's good to win," UK head coach Gary Henderson said. "It's a game we want to win every year, just like they do. It's a rivalry game. It's not more important than a league game. I get that every year, twice a year. But we're very glad to win, just like we are every other midweek or in-state team. But Louisville's a good club, Dan (McDonnell) does a great job and it's a good win for us. It's always good win a tight game on the road because it gives your kids confidence going forward."
The Wildcats jumped out to a one-run lead after getting a tally in the second inning. The Cardinals bounced back to chase UK starter Ryne Combs from the game in the bottom of the third inning after loading the bases with no outs, taking a 2-1 lead. UK then plated two runs in the top of the fourth inning, spearheaded by a leadoff walk from All-American A.J. Reed. UK got valuable innings in the middle of the game from Salow (2-1) who worked 3.2 shutout innings, striking out three.
UK added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning, with Brown coming out to start the ninth having worked 2.1 shutout innings in relief of Combs and Salow. Brown walked the leadoff hitter on four pitches, with UK turning to Cody to try and lock down the save. Cody got a key strikeout of the No. 1 hitter Sutton Whiting, before allowing a hard-hit single down the rightfield line, with Kyle Barrett making a nice play, to put runners on the corners and one out for a pinch hitter. Cody got Danny Rosenbaum to hit into a game-ending double play up the middle, with UK senior shortstop Matt Reida stepping on the bag and firing to first to end the game. It marked the second UK win in Louisville that ended on a double play, as the Wildcats posted a win in 2011 that concluded on a strikeout, caught stealing double play.
"That's six innings of freshman pitching," Henderson said about his bullpen effort. "That's significant on the road, there's question about that. So those kids are getting better. Zack Brown is getting better, I've mentioned that a couple of times. But great job by Salow, outstanding by Zack Brown and then obviously bring Kyle Cody in there, the matchup was good for us at that point but he's still got to come through and he's still got to do it and he did."
A sophomore southpaw, Combs worked over two innings, with his outing ending after loading the bases with no outs in the third and walking in a run. Combs finished with one hit and two runs allowed in his two innings, walking three and striking out two.
A native of Ashland, Ky., Salow came on a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third, allowing an RBI fielder's choice before getting out of the jam with a strikeout-throw-out double play.
"It's the same as it always is," Salow said about his mindset entering the game. "Just come in, throw strikes and keep the ball low. Make sure we get ground balls and keep getting guys out and keep runs off the board."
Salow worked 3.2 shutout innings, allowing five singles and striking out three.
"All Logan did was throw strikes and that was it and that's all we needed to do," Henderson said. "We needed to throw strikes and if we did that we were going to play enough defense behind him to make it work."
Brown came on with two on and two outs in the sixth, escaping the jam. Brown finished with 2.1 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and two walks, striking out a career-high three.
"It was big," Brown said. "It's a big rivalry for the state kids and coming from Indiana you always know the rivalry exists but you really don't know how it feels. Definitely being on the mound I got that feeling. (It's) Pretty significant. Definitely with Louisville coming off that sweep of Houston and coming over here and winning 4-2, it was a good team win. We didn't really swing the bats well but we found four runs and our ‘pen came in and shut them down."
"I thought they both did a pretty good job," Thomas said after catching the strong relief performance from the freshmen. "They didn't let the pressure of who we are playing or what the game was, or the situation get after them too much. Zack Brown had a little rough patch with his fastball where he couldn't keep it off the ground but he fought through it which was the big thing. It's progress for us and for him to go as many innings as he did was even bigger."
The Wildcats were limited to five hits in the game against a stingy Louisville pitching staff, with Austin Cousino, Max Kuhn, Thomas Bernal, Kyle Barrett and JaVon Shelby each notching singles. UK got a run from Reed, Micheal Thomas and Ka'ai Tom, with Tom and Shelby each driving in runs.
Louisville (27-9) starter Josh Rogers (0-2) worked 3.1 innings, allowing two hits and three runs, walking two and striking out a career-high six. Jake Sparger came on in a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth, escaping the jam. Sparger worked 2.1 strong innings, allowing two singles and one walk, striking out one. UL then used lefty Drew Harrington and Jonah Philley to get out of the sixth inning, with Philley getting a huge out to escape the jam. Kyle McGrath started the seventh, getting an out before leaving with an injury. Cole Sturgeon took over to get out of the frame, working 1.2 hitless innings, walking one and striking out three. Robert Strader and Zack Brudi worked the ninth inning for the Cards.
UK will return to action with a three-game series at Texas A&M, starting on Friday in College Station at 7:35 p.m. ET.
The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the second inning, as Thomas was plunked by a pitch to lead off the frame. After a fly out, Bernal lofted a single into shallow centerfield, to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Louisville centerfielder Logan Thomas trapped the ball on the turf with a diving attempt, before throwing the ball into the first base dugout to allow Thomas to score and Bernal to take second.
Louisville answered in the bottom of the third inning, as Alex Chittenden drew a full-count walk to start the inning. Taylor then laid down a bunt on the third-base line for a single and Sutton Whiting loaded the bases after getting hit by a pitch. Combs then walked Sturgeon on four pitches to force in the first UL run of the game. Nick Solak then blooped a would-be single into shallow centerfield, with Cousino fielded the one hop and fired to third base to get Whiting for the first out, with Chittenden scoring from third on the fielder's choice. Thomas and Salow combined to get out of the jam, as Salow struck out Jeff Gardner on a 3-2 pitch and Thomas threw to get the trail runner trying to steal on a double steal out at second.
UK took a lead in the top of the fourth inning, as Reed drew a 3-1 walk to lead off the game, taking second on a passed ball and moving to third on a well-placed grounder from Thomas. Tom then chopped a grounder to the right side, with Reed scoring and Tom just beating the throw after it was bobbled for an error on Zach Lucas. Barrett then loaded the bases with a full-count single to leftfield, with Shelby forcing in the go-ahead run with a walk on a 3-1 count.
Louisville had a great chance in the bottom of the fifth inning, as the Cards got runners on first and second with two outs, with Brown getting a strikeout of UL slugger Jeff Gardner to end the inning.
"It was key in my inning, I know, because he came up with a guy on third and one out and I threw him a breaker and got him to strike out," Brown said about facing Gardner in the fifth. "Keeping him out of the hit column, that was definitely big."
Louisville rallied in the bottom of the seventh as Sturgeon doubled down the rightfield line to lead off the inning, his ninth double of the year. After Colin Lyman's sacrifice bunt moved Sturgeon to third base with one out, Jeff Gardner went down swinging for the fourth time in the game. Brown then got a deep fly out to the track in leftfield from Zach Lucas to end the threat unscathed.
UK got an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning as Reed lofted a fly ball into the infield, taking second on an error after the ball dropped on the infield turf without hitting the glove of the third baseman. Micheal Thomas then drew a walk to bring up Tom. With Tom at the plate, pinch runner Marcus Carson and Thomas took a pair of bases on two passed balls, with Carson scoring the fourth UK run of the game on a passed ball.
Division I student-athletes can receive unlimited meals and snacks in conjunction with their athletics participation, the Legislative Council decided Tuesday. The rule, which applies to walk-ons as well as scholarship student-athletes, is an effort to meet the nutritional needs of all student-athletes.
The provision of meals approved today is in addition to the meal plan provided as part of a full scholarship. Prior to this change, scholarship student-athletes received three meals a day or a food stipend.
Council chair Mary Mulvenna, associate commissioner of the America East Conference, said Tuesday's decisions underscored the commitment to student-athletes.
"Today we took action to provide meals to student-athletes incidental to participation," Mulvenna said. "I think the end result is right where it needs to be."
No action is considered final until the Division I Board of Directors meets April 24.
The adoption of the meals legislation finished a conversation that began in the Awards, Benefits, Expenses and Financial Aid Cabinet. Members have worked to find appropriate ways to ensure student-athletes get the nutrition they need without jeopardizing Pell Grants or other federal aid received by the neediest student-athletes. With their vote, members of the council said they believe that loosening NCAA rules on what and when food can be provided from athletics departments is the best way to address the issue.
Members also voted to:
Require strength and conditioning coaches to be certified from a nationally accredited certification body; Require a school staff member certified in CPR, first aid and arterial external defibrillation to be present at all physical, countable athletic activities; Reduce the penalty for a first positive test for street drugs during championships; and Require football players to rest for at least three hours between practices during the preseason. Film review and team meetings will be allowed during this period.
The penalty for testing positive for street drugs, including marijuana, will be reduced to half a season from a full season. Street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature, and this change will encourage schools to provide student-athletes the necessary rehabilitation.
All of the adopted proposals are effective August 1, with the exception of the strength and conditioning coach certification requirement. The council members voted to delay until August 1, 2015 to allow coaches time to achieve their certification without their jeopardizing their employment.
The University of Kentucky softball game against No. 4 Tennessee on Saturday, April 26 at John Cropp Stadium has been moved up to a 5 p.m. ET first pitch. The three-game series with the Volunteers starts Friday, April 25 with a 6 p.m. first pitch and concludes Sunday, April 27 with a 2 p.m. series finale.
The Southeastern Conference softball series between Kentucky and Tennessee is part of Big Blue Weekend at UK as the baseball team will host a three-game series with Ole Miss and the football team will hold its annual Blue/White Spring Football Game on Saturday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Gates for Saturday's softball game will open two hours prior to first pitch at 3 p.m. ET with the UK team taking batting practice on the field for fans. The first 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium for the game will receive a set of 2014 softball trading cards, while the entire UK team will sign autographs after the game. Additionally, fans that enter John Cropp Stadium between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. will be eligible to receive a Nike prize package and will get a $1 coupon to use at the concession stand. Fans who present their ticket to the Blue/White Spring Game will receive free admission into Saturday's softball game.
Due to the multi-event day on campus, softball fans are encouraged to arrive early and should expect heavy traffic congestion. Parking for the day is on a first-come, first-served basis with football and softball parking using shared lots.
Single-game tickets into John Cropp Stadium are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (65+) and youth (6-18). Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are all general admission, and can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at John Cropp Stadium prior to each game, and all sales are cash only.
Big Blue Weekend Schedule
Friday, April 25
Softball vs. Tennessee - 6 p.m. ET
Baseball vs. Ole Miss - 6:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 26
Baseball vs. Ole Miss - 1 p.m. ET
Blue/White Spring Football Game - 3:30 p.m. ET
Softball vs. Tennessee - 5 p.m. ET
Sunday, April 27
Baseball vs. Ole Miss - 1 p.m. ET
Softball vs. Tennessee - 2 p.m. ET
Softball Moves Back Into Top 10 at No. 8/10 in National Rankings: For the sixth time this season, the University of Kentucky softball team has found itself inside the top 10 in both the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 and ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25, sitting No. 8 and No. 10 respectively, it was announced Tuesday.
Kentucky (36-8) was ranked 11th in both polls last week, moving up three spots in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and one spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25. The jump came after Kentucky went 5-0 last week, defeating Wright State and Mississippi Valley State in non-conference games before a series sweep at Ole Miss over the weekend.
The rankings mark the 26th consecutive week UK has landed inside the top 25 in both polls, which is the longest stretch of consecutive rankings in school history. Kentucky was ranked in 17 consecutive polls from Feb. 2011 to Feb. 2012. The Wildcats started this 26-week stretch Feb. 12, 2013. UK earned its highest ever ranking during this stretch, peaking at No. 5/6 earlier this season.
Kentucky has earned the top-10 ranking after defeating some of the best teams in the nation this season. The Wildcats have 10 wins over teams either currently ranked or receiving votes in either poll, while it is scheduled to play seven more games this season against currently ranked teams with three-game sets against No. 4/4 Tennessee and No. 15/18 Georgia. UK also has a single game left with Louisville, who is receiving votes in both polls.
Softball Hosts Arkansas this Weekend at John Cropp Stadium: Currently riding a seven-game winning streak, the Kentucky softball team will look to continue its winning ways this weekend when it plays host to Arkansas for a three-game SEC series at John Cropp Stadium.
The series begins Friday with a 6 p.m. ET first pitch before a 6 p.m. start on Saturday and 1 p.m. first pitch in Sunday's series finale. Friday and Saturday night's games will be televised by the UK/IMG Sports Network on CWKYT in Central Kentucky and on the entire Fox Sports South footprint. Live stats and free radio for all three games will be available online at UKathletics.com.
Fans will have countless promotions to get involved with this weekend at John Cropp Stadium, including the entire UK team signing autographs on Saturday and Sunday following each game. The series will serve as Little League Weekend at JCS as all little leaguers will receive free admission to all three games, while a poster station will be set up on the main concourse for fans to make a poster to help cheer on the Wildcats. The first 100 fans into John Cropp Stadium on Sunday will receive a set of 2014 softball trading cards.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky women's basketball senior forward DeNesha Stallworth was the 25th overall selection in the 2014 Women's National Basketball Association Draft as she was chosen by the Connecticut Sun in the third round on Monday night in Montville, Conn.
Stallworth was one of five players from the Southeastern Conference selected on Monday night, joining Vanderbilt's Christina Foggie, Tennessee's Meighan Simmons, LSU's Theresa Plaisance and Missouri's Bri Kulas. With the selection, Stallworth becomes the fourth Wildcat to be drafted in the WNBA and third in the last four years. Former All-Americans A'dia Mathies (10th overall pick in 2013) and Victoria Dunlap (11th overall pick in 2011) join Shantia Owens (53rd overall pick in 2000) as the other UK Hoops draftees.
A native of Richmond, Calif., Stallworth led the team in field goal percentage (.524), field goals made (151) and steals (44), while ranking second in scoring (12.5), rebounding (6.9) and blocked shots (35). Stallworth scored in double-figures 21 times this season, including nine straight to end the season. Stallworth earned multiple honors throughout her senior campaign including, WBCA Region 3 All-America Team, SEC All-Tournament Team, All-SEC Second Team by the league's coaches and All-SEC honorable mention by the Associated Press.
Stallworth finished her career with 1,740 career points (812 at UK) and 871 rebounds (417 at UK). She ranks ninth on Kentucky's all-time double-doubles list with 15. The 6-foot-3 forward is part of a senior class that finished with a record of 109-31, which ranks second all-time in program history.
Follow UK Hoops on Twitter and Instagram at @UKHoopCats and on Facebook by liking University of Kentucky Women's Basketball.
Sophomore forward Willie Cauley-Stein will return to the Kentucky men's basketball program for the 2014-15 season, it was announced Monday.
"I want to come back and have a chance to win a national championship, while also getting closer to earning my degree," Cauley-Stein said. "Being at the Final Four this year was special, but not being able to help my teammates on the floor was tough. I look forward to helping us get back there next year, while playing in front of the best fans in the nation."
Cauley-Stein earned All-Southeastern Conference Defensive Team accolades during the 2013-14 season, the sixth UK player in the last five seasons to earn the distinction. With four rejections against Kansas State in Kentucky's opening round of the NCAA Tournament, Cauley-Stein moved into a tie for second place in the single-season standings for blocks with 106 on the year. Only Anthony Davis (186) had more in a single year. That total also ranked in the top 10 nationally for the year.
"I'm happy for Willie and also proud of him for making the best decision for him and his family," head coach John Calipari said. "Being in school for at least three years will get him closer to having a degree and will help him prepare for the next level and life afterwards."
The 7-foot sophomore has totaled 166 blocks in his career, which ranks sixth all-time in program history.
The Olathe, Kan., native had perhaps the most stunning defensive performance in Kentucky's regular-season win over Georgia. He posted six blocks and six steals in the same contest to become the first player in school history to achieve that feat.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell has announced that he's returning for his junior season with the Cardinals.
Harrell had been projected as a possible late first-round NBA draft selection after becoming an imposing force on both ends for the Cardinals (31-6) last season. The 6-foot-8 power forward led Louisville with 8.4 rebounds per game, was second to Russ Smith in scoring at 14.0 points and just two behind blocks leader Mangok Mathiang with 49.
Cardinals coach Rick Pitino described Harrell's return as "obviously great news" in a release, adding that he believes his co-captain will benefit from playing another season.
A first-team all-American Athletic Conference selection, Harrell also set a Louisville season record with 97 dunks including several with enough force to leave basket supports shaking for several seconds after scoring.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds and Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Tuesday to honor the legacy of the legendary Hall of Famer and for the sixth consecutive year, all players and on-field personnel will wear Number 42.
The annual celebration to commemorate the 67th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier in 1947 will feature on-field, pre-game ceremonies at Great American Ball Park that include: • Chuck Harmon, the first African-American to play for the Reds, will be presented with the 2014 Powel Crosley, Jr. Award and serve as the Honorary Captain of the Game. • Clay Holland from Holland and Holland, Inc. will accept the 2014 Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award from Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and Sean Rugless, President and CEO of the African-American Chamber of Commerce. The award is presented annually by the Reds and Major League Baseball. • Players and coaches from historically black Kentucky State University baseball team and Trevecca Nazarene University baseball team will be recognized. The two teams are playing the first collegiate game at new P&G Cincinnati MLB Urban Youth Academy on April 15 at 2 p.m. at Roselawn Sports Park. • Jackie Robinson Day jeweled bases and lineup cards will be featured and the Number 42 will be stenciled on the field. • The jerseys worn by the players and bases used during the game will be available to purchase from Reds Authentics with proceeds benefiting the Reds Community Fund. • One Number 42 Reds jersey will be signed and auctioned-off on MLB.com, with the proceeds benefitting the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
"We are proud to join Major League Baseball in celebrating Robinson's legacy and immeasurable contributions to the game," said Rick Walls, Executive Director of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. "The Number 42, worn proudly on the uniforms on April 15 and displayed continuously in ballparks across the nation, serves as a reminder and pays tribute to how one man transformed the game. The game of baseball continues to feel the influence of Jackie Robinson on the field and in the stands."
Chuck Harmon will sign autographs and meet with fans at the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The signing is free with Museum admission. The 60th anniversary of Harmon's debut with the Reds is April 17th and he will celebrate his 90th birthday on April 23rd.
Fans can visit the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum to see the following artifacts: • Harmon's game used spikes • Scott Rolen's game used Number 42 jersey from Jackie Robinson Day in 2011 • Eric Davis' road jersey from 1997 (He shortened the sleeves to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson)
On Tuesday morning at 9:42 a.m. ET, baseball fans worldwide will be encouraged to commemorate Jackie Robinson Day with a worldwide Twitter thank you using the hashtag #Jackie42. Iam42.com is a custom Instagram page where fans can share their thoughts and photos in support of Jackie Robinson Day, including using the hashtag #Jackie42.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Supporters of a plan to help finance Rupp Arena's renovation are mounting one last effort to persuade Kentucky lawmakers to include state-backed bonding for the project. It's the legislative equivalent of a last-second shot at the buzzer.
Gov. Steve Beshear said Monday he's trying to win support for a plan that calls for $80 million in state-backed bonds to help renovate the home of the University of Kentucky men's basketball team. Officials from Lexington and UK are pressing their case with lawmakers.
Lawmakers refused to include $65 million in state-backed bonds in the two-year state budget that passed the General Assembly.
Beshear says the revised financing plan does not depend on letting Lexington officials increase their local hotel tax. That proposal passed the House but has stalled in the Senate.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. )
University of Kentucky sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann hit two solo home runs, including the game-winning shot in the 10th inning, while senior outfielder Emily Gaines had two hits and four RBI and fellow senior Lauren Cumbess launched a three-run home run, pacing No. 11 Kentucky to a 11-4 victory in 10 innings to complete a series sweep vs. Ole Miss on Sunday in Oxford, Miss.
Kentucky (36-8, 10-5 Southeastern Conference) trailed Ole Miss (20-22, 3-12 SEC) 4-2 heading into the sixth inning with the Rebels turning to senior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter in the circle. After Fenter got the first out of the inning on a lineout to rightfield, Sagermann hit her seventh home run of the season to leftfield to cut the lead to 4-3 before fellow sophomore Christian Stokes belted her third homer of the season a few pitches later to tie the game 4-4.
The score stayed tied at 4-4 heading into the top of the 10th inning before Sagermann hammered a leadoff home run over the wall in centerfield to give UK a 5-4 lead it did not relinquish. The solo shot wasn't the end of the rally as UK posted seven runs in the inning, getting a RBI single from senior Ginny Carroll, a two-RBI single from Gaines and a three-run homer by Cumbess.
The seven-run 10th inning gave UK an 11-4 lead heading to the bottom of the frame, which was all the support sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley needed, keeping the Rebels scoreless in the 10th to earn her 17th win of the season.
Kentucky's 36 wins this season ties the second most of any team in program history in regular season action. The Wildcats had 36 regular-season wins in 2000 before the 2013 team posted 38 regular-season wins. Entering Rachel Lawson's tenure at Kentucky in 2008, the Wildcats had only won 10 or more conference games twice in program history, but have now accomplished that task in six straight years under Lawson's guidance after earning its 10th SEC win Sunday.
UK claimed the series against Ole Miss after a pair of 3-1 victories Friday and Saturday. The series win marked the seventh straight for the Wildcats over the Rebels with UK claiming series wins in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and now 2014. The stretch of seven consecutive series wins is the longest for UK over any league team in program history. Kentucky is now 13-4 against Ole Miss under Lawson's seven-year tenure.
The series win was the fourth of the season for Kentucky in five league sets. The Wildcats started league action by winning two of three games at Mississippi State, who was receiving votes at the time, before claiming two wins at then-No. 16 Missouri the following weekend. After dropping a series to then-No. 21 Auburn two weekends ago, UK has responded with series wins over then-No. 18 Texas A&M and Ole Miss. The four series wins this season in conference action ties the third most SEC series wins in school history. UK also won four league sets in 2000, 2009, 2010 and 2013. The Wildcats won five conference series in 2011 and a program-best six in 2012.
Cumbess paced the Kentucky offense in the game, going 3-for-6 with three RBI and a run scored, including a three-run home run. The senior extended her hitting streak to six games and now has nine multi-RBI games this season. Gaines had two hits in the game to extend her reach-base-safely streak to 18 games with a two-run homer and two-run single, while Sagermann had two hits - both solo home runs - to move her home run total to eight this season with a team-best 34 RBI.
Stokes was the only other Wildcat to post a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored and her third home run of the season, while sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel went 1-for-4 with two runs scored, extending her hitting streak to a season-best seven games. Junior catcher Griffin Joiner went 1-for-5 in the game with a single and run scored, while Carroll had a RBI single and Jolly went 1-for-4 with a walk and a single.
Freshman pitcher Shannon Smith started in the circle for Kentucky, throwing 2.1 innings, allowing two runs - all earned - on three hits with two strikeouts. Nunley replaced Smith with two runners on in the third inning and allowed two runs before moving to first base for freshman Meagan Prince to throw a near perfect sixth and seventh innings. Nunley reentered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and tossed three strong innings to pick up the win, moving to 17-4 this season in the circle. Nunley threw 5.2 innings on the day, allowing two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts.
Ole Miss started Carly Hummel in the circle with the senior throwing 8.2 innings, allowing three runs - all earned - on seven hits with six strikeouts. Hummel threw the first five innings of the game before making way for Fenter, who recorded an out to start the sixth and then gave up back-to-back homers and was removed from the game. Hummel reentered in the sixth and pitched well until giving up the home run to Sagermann to start the 10th. Hummel received the loss, moving to 9-9 on the year. Madi Osias tossed the final inning, allowing six earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
Offensively, senior Londen Ladner paced Ole Miss, going 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Allison Brown and Courtney Syrett each record RBI as well.
The Wildcats will be back in action next weekend when it hosts Arkansas in SEC play. The series starts Friday with a 6 p.m. ET first pitch before a 6 p.m. ET start on Saturday and 1 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday.
For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKSoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.
Kentucky - 36-8, 10-5 SEC
Ole Miss - 20-22, 3-12 SEC
Rankings Kentucky - No. 11 in ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25; No. 11 in NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Ole Miss - not ranked
Karl Towns Jr., at 17 years old, has more experience and exposure to the best competition than most college basketball players.
At age 16, Towns made the Dominican Republic national basketball team, which competes against the best talent in the world. In fact, the Dominican team will be competing in the 2014 World Cup this summer in Spain.
On Sunday evening, Yahoo Sports reporter Marc Spears released an article about Towns and mentioned the possibility of UK playing in Spain this summer as well:
"Towns' father said it's still undecided as to whether his son will play for the Dominican Republic in the 2014 World Cup in Spain or for Kentucky in an exhibition summer slate in Spain. It appears to be Kentucky coach John Calipari's decision."
UK Spokesman John Hayden tells Lex18 Sports that nothing has been confirmed about the above comments.
After dropping a tight doubles point to the No. 15 University of Florida Gators, the No. 14 University of Kentucky men's tennis team rallied to win on two singles courts, but was unable to complete the comeback in singles as the Wildcats fell to Florida, 4-2, on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon on Senior Day in Lexington.
The Wildcats will be the No. 3 seed in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Tournament to be held next week in Nashville, Tenn., and will be hosted by the Vanderbilt University Commodores. By securing a top-four seed, the Wildcats earned a double-bye and will not see action until Friday.
On Friday morning at 9 a.m. CT, 10 a.m. ET, the Wildcats will play in the quarterfinal round against the No. 6 seed Tennessee or No. 11 Ole Miss. Kentucky beat both Tennessee and Ole Miss in the regular season, with the win over Tennessee coming on the road in Knoxville.
Kentucky lost the doubles court via a tiebreak on court one, as the Wildcats won on court two, but lost on the other two courts to give UF the early 1-0 lead in the match. Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai faced off against Floret Diep and Gordon Watson on court one, and fell in thetiebreak after there were no breaks of serve after all 14 service games in the match.
In singles, Kentucky tied the match at 1-1 when No. 95 Alejandro Gomez was able to solidify a 6-2, 6-1 win on court two to square the match. The win for Gomez on Senior Day was relatively easy, as he broke five times in the match and only dropped serve one time in his win. The win for Gomez was his fifth-straight, as he continues to play well on court two for the Wildcats.
After Florida re-gained the lead at 2-1 with a win on court three, Kevin Lai squared the match at 2-2 with a 6-0, 7-5 win on court four. The sophomore from Taiwan had no problems in the opening set, winning 6-0 before getting ahead at 5-3 in the early part of the second set and had a chance to serve out the match leading 5-3. Lai was then broken, but held for 6-5, where he broke his opponent, No. 82 Elliott Orkin, to win 7-5 in the second set.
After a Florida win on court six, the match then came down to court one, where Florent Deip had a set and a break lead on No. 13 Tom Jomby, leading 6-4, 5-4 and serving for the match. After three deuces, Jomby broke for the first time all match and forced a second-set tiebreak on court one. Jomby then fell in th tiebreak after a back-and-forth affair, and fell, 9-7 after having a set point to force a third set.
Freshman Jerry Lopez dropped the first set, but rallied to force a third set in the only remaining match on court at the time of the clinch. Lopez was up a break at 4-3 in the final set at the time of the clinch and looked destined to win the match there for the Wildcats.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats defeated Murray State with singles wins from Gomez, Pennington, Lopez, Nils Ellefsen, Lai and Maks Gold.
No. 15 Florida 4, No. 14 Kentucky 2
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center - Lexington, Ky.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Match Duration: 3:37
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*)
1- Florent Diep/Gordon Watson (UF) def. No. 20 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) 8-7 (5)
Missouri fifth-year senior Eric Anderson worked a strong start on the mound and drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning to post an 8-3 win over No. 12 Kentucky to claim the series, on a windy Sunday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Kentucky (23-13, 7-8 Southeastern Conference) and Missouri faced off the rubber match of the series on Sunday, after the Tigers won the opener, 8-7 with a three-run homer from Anderson in the eighth inning erasing UK's two-run lead. UK answered to even the series on Saturday with a 12-0 win, before the Tigers jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the third. UK got two runs back in the third, with the two teams trading single runs in the fourth for the Tigers and the fifth for UK. Missouri then took advantage of a pair of misplayed double play balls that went as errors in the ninth inning to stretch its lead to 8-3.
A former member of the USA Collegiate National Team, Anderson (2-2) gave the Tigers the lead with his third hit of the game, a two-out RBI single to centerfield in the top of the sixth inning. He finished working seven innings on the mound, allowing nine hits and three runs, walking one and striking out 10.
The Wildcats were paced at the plate by a three-hit game from Austin Cousino, with Micheal Thomas and Thomas Bernal also charting a multiple-hit game. Max Kuhn got UK on the board with a two-RBI double in the third inning, with UK also getting hits from A.J. Reed and Matt Reida.
UK starter Andrew Nelson (1-3) worked six innings, allowing 10 hits and four runs, walking three and striking out two. Sophomore Ryne Combs replaced Nelson to start the seventh, working an inning and allowing a hit with a strikeout. After an error led off the top of the eighth inning, UK turned to Kyle Cody in relief. Cody worked around a second error in the inning and an infield single in the eighth. Cody loaded the bases without an out in the ninth, getting an out, before allowing a RBI single with the infield in. Freshman Zack Brown came on in a bases-loaded jam with one out in the ninth, getting the final two outs.
Holding a one-run lead to start the eighth inning, Missouri turned to hard-throwing closer Keaton Steele, who worked the final two innings for his ninth save of the year. Over four saves in his four career outings vs. UK, Steele has worked a combined seven shutout innings.
Kentucky will return to action on Tuesday, traveling to facing No. 10 Louisville at 6 p.m. ET at Jim Patterson Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Missouri (17-17, 6-9 SEC) scored first in the top of the third inning, as Shane Segovia doubled down the rightfield line to lead off, taking third on a well-placed grounder and scoring on Jake Ring's RBI single. Anderson then executed a perfect hit-and-run, smacking a slow roller through the right side with UK covering the second base bag on the attempted steal, allowing Ring to take third. Nelson then got a tailor-made double play ball hit up the middle but it was bobbled for an error that allowed a run to score and keep the inning alive. After Thomas threw out the trail runner on a second attempted hit-and-run in the inning, Nelson got a strike out to end the threat.
The Wildcats immediately answered with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the third inning. Reida led off the inning with a single up the middle, taking second on Cousino's second hit of the game to leftfield. Kuhn then scored the duo with a line-drive double down the leftfield line, evening up the game at 2-2.
The Tigers regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning, as Kelly led off with a single, poked through the left side, with Ryan Howard following by hitting into a double play. Nelson then walked Logan Pearson and hit Segovia with a 2-0 pitch to bring up Everett. Everett singled over the leaping glove of Shelby at second base, allowing Pearson to score from second.
Kentucky evened up the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Cousino laid down a perfect bunt single with one out, stealing second base for his 13th steal in 2014. After a pop out for the second out, Reed got in a two-strike hole, before smashing an RBI single to leftfield to even up the game at 3-3.
In the top of the sixth inning, Missouri took the lead with a two-out RBI from Anderson, scoring Everett, who had reached on a fielder's choice.
The Tigers took advantage of a fourth UK error in the ninth inning, as Kelly reached on an infield single to lead off. Cody then got a tailor-made double play ball that went between the legs of a UK defender, putting two runners on and no outs. Logan Pearson followed with a five-pitch walk to load the bases for Segovia. After Cody got Segovia to pop up in the infield, Everett bounced a single up the middle, through the drawn-in infield, to score Kelly and re-load the bags. With the infield in and Brown on the mound, Ring chopped a grounder through the right side, scoring Howard. UK then got a double play ball hit in the infield, with the throw pulling Shelby off the bag and re-loading the bases after scoring another run.
Senior pitcher Lauren Cumbess delivered a game-winning, two-run triple in the first inning and followed the clutch hit with five impressive innings in the circle, before freshman pitcher Meagan Prince closed out the game to earn the first save of her career, leading No. 11 Kentucky to a 3-1 series-clinching win over Ole Miss on Saturday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex in Oxford, Miss.
Kentucky (35-8, 9-5 Southeastern Conference) claimed the series against Ole Miss (20-21, 3-11 SEC) after a pair of 3-1 victories Friday and Saturday. The series win marks the seventh straight for the Wildcats over the Rebels with UK claiming series wins in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and now 2014. The stretch of seven consecutive series wins is the longest for UK over any league team in program history. Kentucky is now 12-4 against Ole Miss under head coach Rachel Lawson's seven-year tenure.
The series win is the fourth of the season for Kentucky in five league sets. The Wildcats started league action by winning two of three games at Mississippi State, who was receiving votes at the time, before claiming two wins at then-No. 16 Missouri the following weekend. After dropping a series to then-No. 21 Auburn two weekends ago, UK has responded with series wins over then-No. 18 Texas A&M and Ole Miss. The four series wins this season in conference action ties the third most SEC series wins in school history. UK also won four league sets in 2000, 2009, 2010 and 2013. The Wildcats won five conference series in 2011 and a program-best six in 2012.
Entering Lawson's tenure at Kentucky in 2008, the Wildcats had only won nine or more conference games twice in program history, but have now accomplished that task in six straight years under Lawson's guidance.
The Wildcats will go for the series sweep over Ole Miss at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday in the series finale. Live stats and free radio from the game will be available online at UKathletics.com.
Kentucky scored all the runs it needed in the first getting, getting three runs on three hits. After a groundout to start the frame, speedy outfielder Sylver Samuel extended her hitting streak to a career-high tying six games with an infield single, moving to second on a throwing error by the Ole Miss second baseman. Junior catcher Griffin Joiner followed with a double to leftfield, scoring Samuel and giving Kentucky a 1-0 lead. After senior Emily Gaines walked and sophomore Nikki Sagermann hit into a fielder's choice for the second out, Cumbess lined a ball off the glove of the Ole Miss' first baseman and into the rightfield corner, clearing the bases and giving the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
The triple by Cumbess was the first of her career and took her RBI total to 27 this season. The senior now has 104 career RBI, moving into eighth place all-time in UK's career RBI list. Cumbess is currently riding a five-game hitting streak and has a hit in 18 of her last 22 games, including eight multi-hit games during that stretch.
The senior was also impressive in the circle, tossing five innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts to pick up the win. The native of Normal, Ill., is now 10-0 on the season with a team-best 1.52 ERA. Cumbess was replaced to start the sixth inning by freshman pitcher Meagan Prince, who threw the final two innings to pick up her first career save. Prince allowed two hits with two strikeouts in the game, lowering her ERA to 3.10 this season.
Joiner and Cumbess were the lone Wildcats to post RBI in the game while Samuel went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Senior outfielder Ginny Carroll went 1-for-4 in the game with a single, while sophomore infielder Ansley Smith had a single and was hit by a pitch. Gaines was 0-for-1 in the game but walked three times and has now reached base safely in 17 straight games.
Ole Miss started redshirt freshman Emily Gaitan in the circle, who went two innings allowing three earned runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Sophomore Madi Osias came out of the bullpen to start the third inning, tossing four scoreless frames with one hit allowed before senior Shelby Jo Fenter tossed a perfect seventh inning with a strikeout. Gaitan received the loss in the game, moving to 4-6 on the season.
Offensively, the Rebels posted a run on five hits, getting a double from designated player Lauren Lindsey and a 2-for-3 games from catcher Marina Parra. Shortstop Haley Cullet went 1-for-3 in the game with the single by rightfielder Jamie Morgan had a bunt single and a RBI groundout.