LEX18.com http://www.lex18.com/ LEX18.com *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage en-us Copyright 2014, LEX18.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:04:51 GMT Synapse CMS 10 LEX18.com http://www.lex18.com/ 144 25 UK Softball Wins 2 of 3 Versus Arkansas http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-softball-wins-2-of-3-versus-arkansas/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-softball-wins-2-of-3-versus-arkansas/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Sun, 20 Apr 2014 5:15:21 PM UK Softball Wins 2 of 3 Versus Arkansas

Arkansas junior first baseman Kasey Fagan had six runs batted in, while freshman pitcher Grace Moll threw six scoreless innings in the circle, leading the Razorbacks to an 8-0 victory in the series finale over No. 8 Kentucky on Sunday at John Cropp Stadium.

 

Kentucky (38-9, 12-6 Southeastern Conference) won the first two games of the series with a 4-3 win Friday night and 7-5 victory on Saturday to claim its fifth SEC series of the season. Saturday's win was Kentucky's 38th of the season, which tied a program record for regular-season wins. Sunday's loss to Arkansas snapped a nine-game winning streak for UK, which was the second longest in program history. It also broke a seven-game SEC win streak, which was the longest in program history.

 

The Wildcats will be back in action Tuesday when they travel to Bowling Green, Ky., to face in-state foe Western Kentucky at 7 p.m. ET. Live stats from the game will be available online at UKathletics.com. Following the midweek game, UK will return home for its final regular season home games of the season next weekend against No. 4 Tennessee. The series starts with a 6 p.m. ET first pitch on Friday, followed by a 5 p.m. ET start on Saturday and 2 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday.

 

Arkansas (26-22, 4-14 SEC) scored three runs in the first inning and one in the second to take control of the game before a four-run sixth inning lead to the 8-0 victory in six innings. Fagan was the star for the Razorbacks, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and six RBI, while infielder Chloe Oprzedek went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a home run. In the circle, Arkansas received a great performance from Moll, who went six scoreless innings with three hits allowed and five strikeouts.

 

UK tossed two freshman pitchers in the game with Shannon Smith starting in the circle, tossing three innings, allowing four earned run on four hits with six walks and five strikeouts. Fellow freshman Meagan Prince came on with two runners on and no outs in the fourth inning to get a double play and a groundout to end the threat. Prince finished the game in the circle, allowing four runs on four hits with a strikeout. Smith received the loss, moving to 2-2 on the season with Prince getting a no-decision.

 

Offensively, UK got singles from junior catcher Griffin Joiner, senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess and sophomore shortstop Christian Stokes. Joiner's hit extended her reach-base-safely streak to 11 games, while Cumbess now has a hit in eight of UK's last nine games.

 


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Bat Cats Win 2 of 3 at Texas A&M http://www.lex18.com/news/bat-cats-win-2-of-3-at-texas-aandm/ http://www.lex18.com/news/bat-cats-win-2-of-3-at-texas-aandm/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Sun, 20 Apr 2014 3:43:03 PM Bat Cats Win 2 of 3 at Texas A&M

A.J. Reed hit his NCAA-leading 16th homer of the year but Texas A&M plated five runs on five consecutive two-out hits in the first inning to post a 14-2 win over No. 19 Kentucky to salvage the series and keep UK from its sixth all-time league sweep on the road, on a perfect Sunday afternoon at Blue Bell Park.

 

Kentucky (26-14, 9-9 Southeastern Conference) was seeking just its sixth SEC sweep on the road in program history and just its third against a team not named Vanderbilt or Tennessee. UK's last road SEC sweep came in 2008 at Tennessee, which marked its first since 2000. UK won the first two games of the series, 6-3 on Friday, and 11-4 on Saturday at Blue Bell Park, claiming the road series against an Aggie club that was coming off a road series win at Vanderbilt and an 18-run win in midweek action.

 

Reed, the midseason national player of the year by Perfect Game, belted his nation-leading 16th homer of the year. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder now has 33 career homers, tying him with John Shelby (2004-06) for 11th in UK history. His 16 bombs mark the most for a UK player since Collin Cowgill and Sawyer Carroll each hit 19 homers in 2008.

 

UK got a two-hit game from Thomas Bernal, with UK also getting hits from Marcus Carson, Zach Arnold, Dorian Hairston and Kyle Barrett. Hairston and Arnold each notched pinch-hit singles in the eighth inning. Carson - making his first career SEC start - earning the nod in centerfield in place of All-American Austin Cousino, who had his team-high streak snapped at 151 straight starts due to illness.

 

UK starter Andrew Nelson (1-4) suffered the loss, working four innings, allowing 10 hits and eight runs, walking one. He allowed the five two-out runs in the first, with the Aggies getting single runs in the second and fourth innings. Matt Snyder came on in relief in the fifth, allowing a two-run homer in the frame to finalize Nelson's line. Snyder worked two innings, allowing three runs on three hits, walking one. Taylor Martin took over to start the bottom of the seventh inning, getting one out and allowing a pair of runs on a walk and hit. Ryne Combs came on in a jam in the seventh, working two outs and allowing two hits and one run. Freshman Robert Zeigler worked the eighth inning in his first appearance since March 8, striking out one in a shutout frame.

 

Texas A&M (24-17, 8-10 SEC) starter Grayson Long (5-1) - who entered with a staff-best 2.47 ERA - picked up the win, working eight innings, allowing eight hits and two runs, walking one and striking out eight. Andrew Vinson came on to work the ninth for the Aggies.

 

UK will return to action on Tuesday, hosting an explosive Tennessee Tech club at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

 

The Wildcats got on the board in the top of the first inning as Reed drilled a two-strike, two-out bomb over the leftfield fence. It marked his NCAA-leading 16th homer of the year.

 

The Aggies answered in the bottom of the first inning, as Cole Lankford singled to centerfield with two outs, taking third on Nick Banks' single through the right side. Jonathan Moroney then scored Lankford with a single to left-centerfield. Troy Stein then chopped a single in front of the second base bag, with Reida fielded it and his throw to try and nail Banks at the plate going to the right side of the plate for a throwing error. Ryne Birk then smashed his second homer of the year over the rightfield fence.

 

Texas A&M added a run to its lead in the bottom of the second inning, as Nelson walked the nine-hole hitter, Jace Statum on four pitches to open the inning. Blake Allemand then singled through the right side to put runners on the corners and no outs. Nelson then got a 4-6-3 double play ball from Logan Taylor that got Statum home for the sixth run of the game for the Aggies.

 

The Aggies added to their lead in the fourth inning, as Krey Bratsen reached on a one-out infield single to third base, stealing second and scoring on Statum's RBI single off the extended glove of Shelby up the middle.

 

A single ended the game for Nelson to start the fifth inning, with Banks following a line out with a two-run homer off Snyder, his second homer of the year, giving TAMU a 9-1 lead.

 

The Wildcats got a run back in the top of the sixth inning, as Tom singled through the right side with two outs and stole second base against Aggie starter Grayson Long, who did not check the runner on back-to-back pitches. Bernal then smashed a double into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Tom.

 

The Aggies scored in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Snyder walked Bratsen with one out, with Bratsen stealing second and third base. Statum then lofted a sacrifice fly to left-centerfield, scoring Bratsen. Blake Allemand then singled to leftfield, taking second on a wild pitch and scoring on Taylor's RBI single to rightfield.

 

Texas A&M got three runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Moroney drew a one-out walk, taking third on Stein's double off the leftfield wall. Birk then singled to rightfield to score the duo and make it 13-2. Statum then singled up the middle to score Birk.

 


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Harrison Twins Speak On NBA http://www.lex18.com/news/harrison-twins-speak-on-nba/ http://www.lex18.com/news/harrison-twins-speak-on-nba/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Sun, 20 Apr 2014 5:31:46 AM Harrison Twins Speak On NBA

As we all wait in anticipation, the Harrison family speaks out to a Fox News station in their home town of Houston, Texas.

The father of the twins told the Fox station yesterday they are waiting for feedback from the NBA before making a decision on whether the two will make themselves available for the NBA draft or to stay at UK.

If the Harrisons are headed to the NBA, they must make their decision by April 27th.

The family tells their local Fox News station that they are not leaning either way, but they are very blessed with the opportunities they have been given.

To read the entire article, click here.

 


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UK Softball Wins Ninth In A Row http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-softball-wins-ninth-in-a-row/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-softball-wins-ninth-in-a-row/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Sat, 19 Apr 2014 10:02:55 PM UK Softball Wins Ninth In A Row

University of Kentucky softball pitcher Kelsey Nunley came on in relief to throw six strong innings for the win, while senior infielder Krystal Smith hit a solo home run and sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann hit another game-winning roundtripper in the fourth inning, pacing No. 8 Kentucky to a historic 7-5 series-clinching win over Arkansas on Saturday night at John Cropp Stadium.

 

The win was the ninth consecutive for Kentucky (38-8, 12-5 Southeastern Conference), which is the second longest winning streak in school history. The Wildcats set the school record for consecutive wins to start the 2014 season with 12 victories in a row. Entering the season, no team in program history had won nine or more games. In 18 years of UK softball, this is the seventh time a team has won eight or more games in a row with six of those streaks coming under seventh-year head coach Rachel Lawson.

 

Kentucky's 38 regular-season wins this season tie the school record for most wins in a regular season. The 2013 team posted a school-best 41 wins overall, including 38 in regular-season play.

 

"It starts in the circle and we have got great performances out of all four of our pitchers," Lawson said. "I have to give them a lot of props for that. Most importantly, offensively, our team knows that they are never out of it. They are starting to gain a lot of confidence and playing the game a little bit smarter. We are doing different things. We are hitting the long ball, playing the short game, hitting behind runners. I just think it is great because we are growing and it is a good time to be doing that as we push towards the end of the season."

 

Saturday night's win over Arkansas was the seventh straight SEC win for Kentucky, which sets a program record for consecutive league games won. The previous record of six games was set in 2011 and 2013. The victory clinched the series for Kentucky, who has now won five league sets this season, which ties the second most SEC series wins in program history. The Wildcats also won five league sets in 2011 before claiming six league series in 2012.

 

"I think the great thing about this team is we are winning games a lot of different ways and a lot of different people are contributing," Lawson said. "Last night, it was the bottom of the order getting a lot of hits and today we got some big hits and got it done on the mound again. I think it is such a balanced team and we are getting great effort out of everybody and we are getting different types of effort every single day. It is good because we are able to match our player's strength against the other teams. Again, just really happy with the balance."

 

Kentucky's balance was on full display Saturday night, starting with Nunley, who came on to start the second inning and tossed six innings, allowing two runs - one earned - on seven hits with four strikeouts. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., earned the win to move to 19-4 on the season with a 1.85 ERA. Nunley has 46 career wins in her short tenure with the Wildcats, which ranks third on UK's all-time wins list.

 

Senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess started in the circle, allowing three earned runs on three hits in one inning of work. The senior answered with her bat in the bottom of the frame, however, earning a two-out, two-RBI single up the middle to cut into the Razorback's lead. Krystal Smith went 1-for-3 in the game with her second home run of the season, while Sagermann continued her impressive hitting with a 2-for-3 night with two RBI and a home run. On the season, Sagermann leads UK with 10 homers and 37 RBI and has recorded an RBI in 12 of UK's last 16 games. Junior catcher Griffin Joiner and sophomore infielder Ansley Smith each posted singles.

 

"I think the great thing about today is that our offense did continue to chip away and get the lead and maintain the lead, which was nice," Lawson said. "Kelsey did a great job again today of coming in and shutting them down. They have such a great offense the fact that she was able to keep them off balance and keep the runs down was a big boast for us today."

 

Arkansas (25-22, 3-14 SEC) started freshman Sydney Wright in the circle for the second consecutive game. Wright went 1.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on two hits with one strikeout and five walks. Sophomore Kelly Young came on in relief and tossed 4.1 innings with UK scoring three earned runs on four hits. Wright got the loss, moving to 4-6 on the season with Young getting a no-decision.

 

Offensively, Arkansas was paced by multi-hit games from junior Devon Wallace, sophomore Stephanie Canfield and senior Clarisa Navarro. Wallace and Canfield each recorded RBI, while senior Jennifer Rambo had a two-RBI single and freshman Parker Pocklington had an RBI.

 

Arkansas scored first in the game for the second consecutive night, getting three runs in the first inning behind a RBI double from Canfield and two-RBI single by Rambo. After UK responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame on Cumbess' two-RBI single, the Wildcats posted two runs in the second inning to grab a 4-3 lead it did not relinquish. Krystal Smith started the rally in the second by flying out before Ansley Smith was walked, senior Emily Jolly was hit by a pitch and Joiner was walked to load the bases for pinch hitter Breanne Ray, who hit an RBI groundout to tie the game. Arkansas walked Sagermann intentionally to load the bases before UK scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to go up 4-3.

 

Krystal Smith increased UK's lead to 5-3 with her solo home run in the third inning before the Razorbacks cut the lead to 5-4 with an RBI single by Wallace in the top of the fourth. Kentucky responded in the bottom of the frame, again, with Sagermann launching her fourth home run in the last three games, putting UK up 7-4. The home run was the game-winner for Kentucky, marking the third consecutive game-winning home run from Sagermann.

 

Arkansas added a run in the seventh inning on an RBI single from Pockington before Nunley got senior Jayme Gee to strikeout with the tying runs on base to end the game.

 

The Wildcats conclude the series with the Razorbacks on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at John Cropp Stadium. Live stats, free radio and live video (subscription required) will be available online at UKathletics.com. The entire UK team will sign autographs after the game, while 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.

 


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Dykstra Smashes Javelin Records, UK Wins Eight Kentucky Relays Events http://www.lex18.com/news/dykstra-smashes-javelin-records-uk-wins-eight-kentucky-relays-events/ http://www.lex18.com/news/dykstra-smashes-javelin-records-uk-wins-eight-kentucky-relays-events/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Sat, 19 Apr 2014 9:57:56 PM Dykstra Smashes Javelin Records, UK Wins Eight Kentucky Relays Events

Kentucky won eight Kentucky Relays events, spearheaded by Raymond Dykstra's second-ranked NCAA javelin throw on a sunny Saturday at the UK Outdoor Track and Field Complex

Dykstra's stadium and school-record javelin throw led the way for the Wildcats. The two-time All-American launched his fifth attempt 76.25 meters/250-feet, 2-inches bettering his previous personal best from the 2012 season by nearly three feet.

The mark smashed the previous stadium record by more than 12 feet, and also ranks second in the NCAA this year.

"Just competing at home I wanted the team to get that comfortable feeling," head coach Edrick Floréal said. "As we prepare for the SEC Championships on this track in a month's time we wanted the team to get a feel for competing here. Hopefully for SEC's we get an even-more exciting environment. We really want to create a home-field advantage.

"Alisha Adair sort of jumped out from the crowd a little bit today. She's sort of been in the background and today running 23.9 and splitting 52.7 in the 4x400m relay was a great job. Ray almost threw that thing across the track where it could have hit some of the pole vaulters. He finally has figured some things out, and he's done a fantastic job."

In all, the sixth-ranked Kentucky women's team won five events, while the No. 25 men's team won three.

The Kentucky Relays notably marked the 2014 debut of two-time SEC Champion and five-time All-American Cally Macumber. The senior returned to action by winning the mile with a time of 4:50.13. Macumber was not handed the win either, as after leading for much of the first three laps, she conceded her advantage at the bell before kicking nicely to win going away on the final straight-away.

Adair enjoyed what was likely her best-ever competition so far in a UK uniform. The freshman won the 200m with a personal best time 23.91 before running one of the best relay splits of her career, 52.7, as part of UK's second-place 4x400m relay team.

2014 NCAA 200m Champion Dezerea Bryant had a solid outdoor home-opener winning the 100m dash easily with a time of 11.55.

Leah Nugent edged teammate and fellow multiple times All-American Kayla Parker to win the 100m hurdles by .03 seconds as she clocked in at 13.41 having run into a -0.7 wind.

Justin Kretchmer won the men's high jump with his outdoor season-best clearance 2.09m/6-10.25. Ibn Short and Ryan Ratliff placed fourth and fifth respectively.


Andrew Evans capped his Senior Day with a win in the discus as he was one of three Wildcats to win at their final regular-season home meet (Macumber - mile, and Parker - 4x100m relay). The returning NCAA Discus Bronze-Medalist threw his outdoor season-best 60.87m/199-8.

Charles Moushey placed second in the pole vault with a top clearance of 5.20m/17-0.75, a mark which ranks just under an inch short of the UK Freshman Record. Notably, it was Moushey's first time ever clearing a bar above 17-feet in competition.

Angelica Whaley also acquitted herself nicely as she lowered her personal-best 400m time to 53.84, her first time under 54 seconds.

Rebecca Famurewa placed second in the hammer throw with a PR mark of 58.41m/191-08.

The Kentucky Relays, which had not been held since the early 1990s, served as a sort of dress rehearsal for the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championships. The SEC Outdoor Meet has not been contested in Lexington since 1996, but will be hosted by UK May 15-18.

 


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A.J. Reed Hits NCAA-Best 15th Home Run in Bat Cats' Win http://www.lex18.com/news/a-j-reed-hits-ncaa-best-15th-home-run-in-bat-cats-win/ http://www.lex18.com/news/a-j-reed-hits-ncaa-best-15th-home-run-in-bat-cats-win/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Sat, 19 Apr 2014 8:47:50 PM A.J. Reed Hits NCAA-Best 15th Home Run in Bat Cats' Win

Max Kuhn and A.J. Reed each had four hits and a home run, and Dylan Dwyer worked 6.2 one-run inning in his second career Southeastern Conference start, leading No. 19 Kentucky to a series-clinching 11-4 win at Texas A&M, on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in front of 5,311 fans at Blue Bell Park.

 

Kentucky (26-13, 9-8 SEC) clinched the series victory at Texas A&M with the win, a day after posting a thrilling 6-3 win in the opener on Friday night. After UK fell behind a run in the first inning, UK plated single tallies in the third, fifth and sixth innings, before exploding for two runs in the seventh and ninth and putting up a four-run tally in the eighth. The win improved the Wildcats to 3-0 on its four-game road trip, including a 4-2 win at No. 8 Louisville on Tuesday.

 

The Wildcats rode prolific offensive days from Kuhn and Reed, with the duo each charting four-hit games, with Reed belting his nation-leading 15th homer and Kuhn belting his fifth homer of the year. Reed finished 4-for-6 with a double off the wall in rightfield, driving in four runs. Kuhn went 4-for-6 with a two-run homer in the ninth and double down the left and rightfield lines.

 

On the year, Reed has hit .375 (54-for-144) with 11 doubles, one triple, 15 homers and 52 RBI, owning a .778 slugging percentage and a .494 on-base mark. The midseason national player of the year by Perfect Game, Reed also has a 7-1 record and a 2.41 ERA in 10 series-opening starts on the mound, working 71 innings. Kuhn, hitting in front of Reed in the order in all 39 games, leads the SEC in walks (30) and runs (49), batting .348 with 13 doubles, five homers and 36 RBI.

 

A native of Murray, Ky., Dwyer (5-1) worked 6.2 innings, allowing five hits and one run - coming in the first inning - walking two and striking out four. In his first two career SEC starts, Dwyer has worked 13 one-run innings. Including a midweek win over No. 8 Louisville on April 1, Dwyer has worked 18.2 innings in his last three starts, owning a 3-0 mark and a 1.45 ERA, allowing three runs.

 

Kentucky freshman Logan Salow replaced Dwyer with two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh inning, getting a strikeout to escape the jam. Salow worked 1.1 perfect innings, striking out one, stranding two inherited runners. Salow, a native of Ashland, Ky., has inherited 19 runners in 2014, allowing only three to score.

 

UK then used freshman Zack Brown and junior Spencer Jack in the ninth inning, with Brown allowing three ground-ball singles through the infield, with all three runs scoring. Jack got the final three outs, striking out one to end the game.

 

The Wildcats were led at the plate by Kuhn and Reed but UK also got two-hit games from Ka'ai Tom and Micheal Thomas. Freshman JaVon Shelby notched a triple and scored two runs, with Austin Cousino, Marcus Carson, Thomas Bernal and Storm Wilson each charting hits. Bernal extended his hitting streak to a team-high 11 games with an RBI single.

 

Texas A&M (23-17, 7-10 SEC) ace starter Daniel Mengden (2-6) worked six innings, allowing nine hits and four runs - three earned - walking one and striking out five. Lefty Tyler Stubblefield replaced Mengden with a runner on first and no outs in the seventh, allowing a homer to Reed, the first batter he faced. Stubblefield worked 1.2 innings, allowing five hits and five runs, walking one and striking out one. TAMU then used Jason Freeman and Ryan Hendrix to finish out the game, with Hendrix allowing two runs on one hit.

 

The series will conclude on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Blue Bell Park. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG 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. UK will turn to junior right-hander Andrew Nelson (1-3, 3.22 ERA) on Sunday to face off with Texas A&M sophomore righty Grayson Long (4-1, 2.47 ERA). The game on Sunday will be played with an SEC travel curfew due to Kentucky's commercial air travel out of Houston. No new inning can start after 4 p.m. ET.

 

The Aggies got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as Blake Alleman led off with a single to rightfield, falling just in front of Wilson. Logan Taylor then battled through a full-count walk and after Cole Lankford's sacrifice bunt, Logan Nottebrok grounded out to Reida to score Alleman.

 

Kentucky evened up the game in the top of the third inning, as Cousino led off with a single against the shift and Kuhn smashed a two-strike single to rightfield. Reed then loaded the bases with an RBI single through the right side. After a Thomas grounder allowed the Aggies to get Cousino as the lead runner out at the plate, Tom lofted a single into shallow leftfield to score Kuhn and even up the game at 1-1.

 

The Wildcats took a lead in the top of the fifth inning, as Kuhn led off the game with a double down the leftfield line, scoring on Reed's RBI single into right-centerfield.

 

Shelby gave UK a run in the top of the sixth inning as the freshman laced a line drive off the wall in leftfield, motoring to third before a bobble allowed him to score just ahead of the throw.

 

UK added two runs in the seventh to chase Mengden and give the Wildcats a 5-1 lead. Kuhn doubled to lead off the inning, his second double of the game, with the Aggies going with a lefty reliever to face Reed. Reed smashed an 80 mph changeup on a 1-1 offering over the 400 foot sign in centerfield, his nation-leading 15th homer of the year.

 

In the top of the eighth, UK plated four runs, Carson dropping a single into shallow leftfield, with Reed scoring him with a laser double off the wall in rightfield. Thomas then scored Reed with a single to centerfield and Tom was hit by a pitch. Bernal delivered an RBI single, scoring Thomas, with Wilson following with an RBI single to leftfield, scoring Tom.

 

UK added two runs in the top of the ninth, as Shelby was hit by a one-out pitch and after the second out of the inning, Kuhn drilled his fifth homer of the year off the videoboard in left-centerfield.

 


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UK Men's Tennis Eliminated in SEC Tournament http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-men-s-tennis-eliminated-in-sec-tournament/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-men-s-tennis-eliminated-in-sec-tournament/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Sat, 19 Apr 2014 3:32:57 PM UK Men's Tennis Eliminated in SEC Tournament

The No. 2 seeded Texas A&M Aggies used the doubles point and three singles wins on courts three, four and six to advance into Sunday's championship match of the 2014 Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Curry Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn., knocking out the Wildcats in the semifinals.

 

"I'm disappointed with the outcome of this match. I thought the doubles point was important, but not a killer. We had the lead, but they are both good teams and the match on one could have gone either way. We talked in the locker room about playing all six singles matches and after a rough start the first five to 10 minutes, we played better. We were not able to close out the first set on four and six and not able to come back at three, but we had our chances. I'm also disappointed at myself. I should have had them more ready to play and do something special. There was no difference in talent, and Texas A&M wanted it more than we did, and that's my fault."

 

The 2014 NCAA Men's Tennis Selection Show will be on April 29 at 5 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NCAA.com. The top 16 seeded teams will receive the right tohost a regional and the First and Second Rounds at their home site. Entering this week's SEC Tournament, Kentucky was No. 12 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

 

Texas A&M got two wins in the doubles on courts one and two to clinch the early lead for the Aggies. On court one, the Wildcats' duo of Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai got ahead an early break at 2-0 but were broken right back at 4-4 and then found themselves down a break later in the match. Texas A&M then served for the match at 7-6 and won 8-6. Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez were unable to hold serve in an 8-1 loss to No. 66 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant on court two.

 

Kentucky would fire back in singles taking three first sets, and only needing to flip one court as the Wildcats won the first set on courts one, two and five. Grant Roberts on court six was up 5-4 in the tiebreak on court six after dropping serve at 5-4 in the first set and lost the last three points to drop the set.

 

Kevin Lai tied the match at 1-1 overall as he beat Jackson Withrow 6-2, 6-4 on court five to square the match. Lai went ahead an early break in the first set and then served out the win, before leading 5-4 in the second set and breaking Withrow for the first time all set to collect the 6-2, 6-4 win on court five.

 

Texas A&M would then collect singles wins on courts four, six and three to close out the match.

 

On court four, Jerry Lopez was up a break early in the first set at 4-3, but lost three of the last four games of the set to fall 6-4 in the opening frame. Lopez then dropped serve early in the second set, as Texas A&M won the match there on four.

 

In court six, Grant Roberts was ahead at 5-4 and serving for the first set, but was broken to force five all and after two service holds, the opening set would go into a tiebreak. Roberts was up 5-3 in the tiebreaker, but lost the last few points and the set. In the second set, Roberts was broken twice and lost the second frame, 6-1.

 

The clinching match came on court three as Beck Pennington dropped a tight two-set match to No. 57 Jeremy Efferding 6-4, 7-6 (1). Pennington was receiving in the second set at 6-5, but broke at love to collect the game and force a tiebreak. Pennington held for the 1-0 lead but lost the next seven-straight points tofall 7-1.

 

Tom Jomby and Alejandro Gomez both won their first sets, but lost their second sets as both matches on courts one and two were in third sets at the time of theclinch. Jomby was on serve at 3-2 and Gomez trailed a break at 1-3 when thematch was clinched.

 

Agate

SEC Tournament - Quarterfinals

(2) Texas A&M 4, (3) Kentucky 1

Curry Tennis Center - Nashville, Tenn.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Match Duration: 3:01

 

Doubles (Order offinish: 2, 1*)

1- No. 5 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. No. 39 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) 8-6

2- No. 66 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. Beck Pennington/Alejandro Gomez(UK) 8-1

3- Nils Ellefsen/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) led No. 78 Jeremy Efferding/Jason Szabo (TAMU) 6-4 (DNF)

 

Singles (Order offinish: 5, 4, 6, 3*)

1- No. 11 Tom Jomby (UK) led No. 14 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-4, 4-6, 3-2 (DNF)

2- No. 23 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) led No. 80 Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-7 (5), 6-0, 3-1

3- No. 57 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) def. Beck Pennington (UK) 6-3 7-6 (1)

4- Junior Ore (TAMU) def. Jerry Lopez (UK) 6-4, 6-3

5- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Jackson Withrow (TAMU) 6-2, 6-4

6- Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 7-6 (5), 6-1

 


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Future Wildcats Shine In Jordan Classic http://www.lex18.com/news/future-wildcats-shine-in-jordan-classic/ http://www.lex18.com/news/future-wildcats-shine-in-jordan-classic/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:55:44 PM Brooklyn, NY Future Wildcats Shine In Jordan Classic

There are four players in the UK Basketball class of 2014 and all four were invited to take part in the annual Jordan Brand Classic. This year's game was in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Power forward, Trey Lyles, had the most points out of the four. The Indianapolis native scored 17 and pulled down 6 rebounds. The 6'10" Lyles also hit his free throws in the all-star game.

While his stats may not have looked all that impressive, Karl Towns, opened some eyes with his athleticism and passing. Early in the game, off an in-bounds pass, the seven-footer fired up a three pointer. In the second half, Towns received a pass and quickly whipped it downcourt behind-the-back to a teammate for a lay-in. Towns finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds.

Point guard, Tyler Ulis flirted with getting a triple-double in the highest scoring game ever at the Jordan Classic. The 5'9" Ulis finished with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists. He shows some quickness on the court.

Shooting guard, Devin Booker, was also able to get some buckets. He hit a late step-back three pointer to finish his night with 11 points and 5 rebounds.

Just in case you were wondering, Towns and Lyles were on the winning East squad. Booker and Ulis were on the West. The final score was East 158 West 147.


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Sagermann HR Powers No. 8 Softball Past Arkansas in Opener http://www.lex18.com/news/sagermann-hr-powers-no-8-softball-past-arkansas-in-opener/ http://www.lex18.com/news/sagermann-hr-powers-no-8-softball-past-arkansas-in-opener/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Fri, 18 Apr 2014 9:31:07 PM Sagermann HR Powers No. 8 Softball Past Arkansas in Opener

Trailing by three runs heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the No. 8 University of Kentucky softball team scored four unanswered runs, including a game-winning home run from sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann, leading the Wildcats to a 4-3 series-opening victory on Friday night at John Cropp Stadium.

Kentucky (37-8, 11-5 Southeastern Conference) posted three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning behind two Arkansas errors to tie the game 3-3. The rally started after sophomore infielder Ansley Smith drew a one-out walk, moving to second on a single by senior outfielder Emily Jolly. Sophomore utility player Maisie Steed followed with a ground ball to the Arkansas third baseman, who threw wildly to first to allow two runners to score and Steed to advance all the way to third base. After a pop up for the second out and a walk, senior outfielder Emily Gaines reached on a fielding error that scored Steed from third and tied the game.

That set the stage for Sagermann, who belted a 2-0 pitch over the wall in centerfield for her team-leading ninth home run of the season, giving UK a 4-3 lead it did not relinquish. The game-winning solo home run for Sagermann marked the second consecutive game she has won on a solo home run. The sophomore from Buford, Ga., hit a solo home run to lead off the 10th inning last Sunday at Ole Miss, pacing UK to the eventual win.

Sagermann finished the game 1-for-2 and now has an RBI in 11 of UK's last 15 games, including six multi-RBI games during that stretch. Ansley Smith was 1-for-1 in the game with a walk and infield single, while Jolly went 1-for-2 with a single and walk - on a 15-pitch at-bat - and senior outfielder Ginny Carroll was 1-for-1.

Freshman pitcher Meagan Prince started in the circle for UK, earning her third league start of the season. The native of Martin, Tenn., went three innings, allowing three runs - two earned - on four hits with one walk. Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley took over in the circle to start the fourth inning, tossing four scoreless innings, allowing only one hit with two strikeouts. Nunley faced 14 batters in the game, retiring 12 to earn her team-best 18th win of the season.

The win was Kentucky's 37th of the season, marking the second-most regular-season wins in school history. UK set a school record with 41 wins last season, including 38 in the regular season. The victory also extended UK's winning streak to eight games, which is only the seventh time in school history a team has won eight consecutive games. It is the sixth time a Rachel Lawson coached team has accomplished that feat and the second time UK has won eight or more straight games this season.

Arkansas (25-21, 3-13 SEC) started freshman pitcher Sydney Wright, who went six innings, allowing four runs - one earned - on four hits with one strikeout. Offensively, shortstop Clarisa Navarro and rightfielder Amanda Geile each had RBI, while centerfielder Stephanie Canfield, catcher Jayme Gee and second baseman Chloe Oprzedek also recorded singles.

The series will continue Saturday at 6 p.m. ET before a 1 p.m. ET series finale on Sunday. Live stats and free live radio from both games will be available on UKathletics.com. 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 enjoy 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 every game, 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.

For the latest on UK softball, follow "@UKsoftball" on Twitter and Instagram or like Kentucky Softball on Facebook.

 


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Blue/White Spring Game TV, Radio Information Announced http://www.lex18.com/news/blue-white-spring-game-tv-radio-information-announced/ http://www.lex18.com/news/blue-white-spring-game-tv-radio-information-announced/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Fri, 18 Apr 2014 5:08:50 PM Blue/White Spring Game TV, Radio Information Announced

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Members of the Big Blue Nation who will not get a chance to make their way to Commonwealth Stadium for the Blue/White Spring Game on Saturday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET, will have several other ways to catch the action as the game will televised and broadcasted on radio by the UK/IMG Sports Network, it was announced.

Former Wildcat lettermen Jeff Piecoro and Dusty Bonner will be on the TV call, which will air live starting at 3:30 p.m. ET on CWKYT in Lexington, Ky., WMYO-TV in Louisville, Ky., and WSAZ-DT (My Z) in Huntington, W.Va.

Fox Sports South will have two delayed telecasts of the game. A same-day delay in the state of Kentucky only will air on FSN South at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, while the entire FSN South footprint will see the game at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 27.

The UK/IMG Sports Radio Network will air the game on radio with the Voice of the Wildcats, Tom Leach, joined by former UK quarterback Freddie Maggard, and sideline reporter Dick Gabriel. The game will be live on 630-AM WLAP in Lexington and 840-AM WHAS in Louisville. Station information across the Bluegrass has not yet been determined. The radio broadcast will start at 3 p.m. ET.

Tickets to the game are free, and fans may obtain up to six tickets each. Tickets may be obtained in the following ways:
- Online at Ticketmaster.com, www.ticketmaster.com/event/16004c64aca07a50
- By calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000
- In person at Ticketmaster outlets in Kentucky
- NOTE: Tickets are free but there is a small service charge per ticket

UK students may obtain their free tickets at the Joe Craft Center ticket office. Students may pick up two tickets per ID.

Tickets still available on game day may be picked up free of charge at the stadium, based on availability. Due to construction at Commonwealth Stadium, seating in the south lower and south upper level sidelines will not be available. Capacity for the Blue/White Spring Game will be approximately 42,500.

 


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Lee To Return To UK For His Sophomore Year http://www.lex18.com/news/lee-to-return-to-uk-for-his-sophomore-year/ http://www.lex18.com/news/lee-to-return-to-uk-for-his-sophomore-year/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Fri, 18 Apr 2014 3:55:58 PM Lee To Return To UK For His Sophomore Year

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Freshman forward Marcus Lee will return to the Kentucky men's basketball program for the 2014-15 season, it was announced Friday.
"I've really enjoyed my college experience and I'm looking forward to continuing to develop as an all-around player," Lee said. "Playing in the Final Four was such an amazing feeling, but I want to come back and help win that final game this year."

The 6-foot-9 forward was called upon in Kentucky's Final Four run and he answered the call with a 10-point, eight-rebound, two-block performance in the Elite Eight against Michigan. He finished the tournament shooting 70 percent from the field and was named to the Midwest Regional All-Tournament team.
"I'm excited for Marcus and think he's barely scratched the surface of what he's capable of," head coach John Calipari said. "In addition to his athleticism and the energy level he brings, the experience he gained in the NCAA Tournament this year will be immeasurable for us next season."

The Antioch, Calif., native tallied 17 points in UK's season-opener against UNC Asheville and pulled down a then-career-high six rebounds against Northern Kentucky.

The NBA Early Entry deadline is at 11:59 p.m. ET Sunday, April 27.

 


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Jodie Meeks Set To Graduate http://www.lex18.com/news/jodie-meeks-set-to-graduate/ http://www.lex18.com/news/jodie-meeks-set-to-graduate/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:56:13 PM Jodie Meeks Set To Graduate

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.


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No. 19 Baseball Travels To Texas A&M For Three-Game Set http://www.lex18.com/news/no-19-baseball-travels-to-texas-aandm-for-three-game-set/ http://www.lex18.com/news/no-19-baseball-travels-to-texas-aandm-for-three-game-set/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 8:01:13 PM No. 19 Baseball Travels To Texas A&M For Three-Game Set

Coming off a midweek win at No. 9 Louisville on Tuesday, No. 19 Kentucky will continue its four-game road swing by traveling to College Station, Texas, to face off with Texas A&M, with first pitch of the series opener on Friday slated for 7:35 p.m. ET at Blue Bell Park. The series will resume on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. ET, before concluding on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET.

The three games 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 games live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.

Kentucky (24-13, 7-8 Southeastern Conference) posted a 4-2 win at Louisville on Tuesday, completing the sweep of the Cardinals for the first time since the 2011 season, as UK won the first meeting in Lexington on April 1, 8-3. UK got heroic relief outings from freshmen Zack Brown and Logan Salow in the win, with the duo combining for six shutout innings in support of starter Ryne Combs.

Last weekend, the Wildcats suffered a series loss to Missouri in Lexington. UK mounted a comeback on Friday night vs. Missouri to take a two-run lead into the eighth inning, before allowing the go-ahead three-run homer in the series-opening loss. UK bounced back with a 12-0 win to even the series on Saturday, getting a homer for the second consecutive game and the record fifth straight SEC game from A.J. Reed, who struck out a career-high 10 on Friday in a no decision. In the rubber match on Sunday, UK rallied to tie the game at 4-4, before starting pitcher/DH Eric Anderson - who hit the game-winning homer on Friday - drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and the Tigers added four runs on two UK errors in the ninth for an 8-3 win. It marked UK's first home series loss of 2014 and its first since falling to No. 1 Vanderbilt in 2013.

The Wildcats will turn to the starting rotation of junior left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed (6-1, 2.29 ERA) on Friday, sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer (4-1, 3.76 ERA) on Saturday and junior righty Andrew Nelson (1-3, 3.22 ERA) on Sunday. Texas A&M will counter with senior righty Jason Jester (2-2, 4.26 ERA) on Friday, junior right-hander Daniel Mengden (2-5, 4.05 ERA) on Saturday and sophomore righty Grayson Long (4-1, 2.47 ERA) on Sunday.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed will be making his 24th consecutive series-opening start for the Wildcats and his 10th of 2014. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder has made nine starts in 2014, working 63 innings, allowing 54 hits and 17 walks, striking out 42 and holding opponents to a .230 average. In his three-year career, Reed ranks fourth in program history with a 3.08 ERA, owning a 13-12 mark in 39 games and 28 starts, tossing 199 innings, walking 41 and striking out 145. In his last start on Friday vs. Missouri, Reed took a no-decision despite striking out a career-high 10 in seven innings. Reed left with a two-run lead to start the eighth inning after allowing nine hits and five runs - four earned - in seven innings, walking one. Reed allowed a first-inning run on a leadoff double, before a homer in the third inning gave the Tigers a 3-1 lead. Reed then hit the cleanup hitter on a 3-2 count with two outs in the fifth, loading the bases before two runs scored on a bloop single with three UK defenders colliding in the outfield. Jester has appeared in 16 games with one start in 2014, with three saves in 19 innings, allowing 27 hits and 10 walks, striking out 19. Jester worked four innings on Friday at No. 7 Vanderbilt, allowing six hits and three runs - two earned - walking two and striking out four.

Dwyer, a native of Murray, Ky., will be making his second career SEC start after shining in his first SEC starting assignment on Saturday vs. Missouri. Dwyer has appeared in nine games and started six, working one complete-game shutout in 38.1 innings, allowing 33 hits and 11 walks, striking out 36. In his two-year career, Dwyer has appeared in 23 games with six starts, with a 5-1 record and a 3.79 ERA, tossing 54.2 innings, allowing 53 hits and 18 walks, striking out 43. Dwyer made his first career SEC start on Saturday vs. Missouri and pitched a gem to even the series. He fired 6.1 shutout innings, allowing six hits - five singles - walking one and striking out two. Was in a tight game through a 0-0 game after the top of the fourth, before UK?got a three-run frame and a nine-run tally in the bottom of the fifth inning edging the lead. Dwyer worked around a double in the second and singles in the third and fourth innings. He got into a two-out jam in the sixth inning but UK?centerfielder Austin Cousino fired a strike to the plate to end the inning and keep the shutout intact. Allowed a pair of one-out singles in the seventh before UK turned to Logan Salow, who got an inning-ending double play. Mengden has made nine starts in 2014, working 60 innings, allowing 54 hits and 19 walks, striking out 68. In his last start on Saturday at No. 7 Vanderbilt, Mengden worked three innings, allowing eight hits and six runs, walking two and striking out three on 87 pitches.

A native of Omaha, Neb., Nelson has appeared in 10 games with seven starts in 2014, tossing 44.2 innings, allowing 45 hits and 11 walks, striking out 24. Nelson worked six innings in a loss to Missouri on Sunday in the rubber match, scattering 10 hits - eight single - allowing four runs and three walks, striking out two. Nelson pitched well enough for UK?to win, allowing a two-run frame in the third, a run in the fourth after a two-out walk, hit batter and single and a run in the sixth inning that edged the Mizzou lead to 4-2 after a lead-off double. Long has made nine starts in 2014, working 54.2 innings, allowing 56 hits and 15 walks, striking out 34. In his last start on Sunday at No. 7 Vanderbilt, Long worked 7.2 innings, allowing 11 hits and two runs, walking one and striking out four on 122 pitches.

Kentucky has hit an SEC-leading .310, pacing the conference in runs (314), homers (33), slugging (.452) and on-base percentage (.408). UK has cranked 72 doubles and stolen 53 bases. Defensively, UK has fielded .965, turning 36 double plays and allowing just 18 steals. On the mound, UK has a 3.28 team ERA with six saves in 329 innings, allowing 322 hits, 100 walks and 231 strikeouts.

The Wildcats have been led at the plate by junior two-way star A.J. Reed, the midseason national player of the year. Reed has hit .363 with 10 doubles, one triple, 14 homers and 48 RBI, sporting a .763 slugging and a .485 on-base percentage. Senior catcher Micheal Thomas has hit .344 with seven doubles, one triple, six homers and 35 RBI. First baseman Thomas Bernal has a .343 average with four doubles, one homer and 17 RBI, owning a .429 on-base percentage. Third baseman Max Kuhn has hit .336 with 11 doubles, four homers and 34 RBI, leading the SEC with 29 walks. Centerfielder Austin Cousino has hit .335 with 10 doubles, two triples, three homers and 25 RBI, stealing 13 bases. Leftfielder Ka'ai Tom has a .301 average with six doubles, 17 RBI and 11 steals. Rightfielder Kyle Barrett has hit .276 with five doubles, one homer and 18 RBI, stealing 10 bases. Freshman JaVon Shelby has a .268 average with six doubles, one triple, three homers and 16 RBI. Shortstop Matt Reida has hit .228 with three doubles and 18 RBI.

In relief for UK, junior righty Spencer Jack (1-1, 1.59 ERA) has appeared in a team-high 17 games, with two saves in 22.2 innings, allowing 15 hits and five walks, striking out 17. Freshman Logan Salow (2-1, 1.53 ERA) has appeared in 14 games with one save in 17.2 innings, allowing 14 hits - 13 singles - six walks and striking out 19. Sophomore Kyle Cody (3-0, 2.57 ERA) has three saves in 11 games and three starts, working 21 innings, allowing 20 hits and four walks, striking out 11. Freshman Zack Brown (0-0, 2.70 ERA) has worked in 11 games in relief, working 10 innings, with Ryne Combs (1-2, 4.10 ERA) and Zach Strecker (0-1, 4.15 ERA) each appearing in at least 11 games.

Texas A&M (23-15, 7-8 SEC) is coming off a midweek rout of Abilene Christian on Wednesday in College Station and a huge series win at No. 7 Vanderbilt last weekend, handing the Dores its first series loss in over at home in a year. The Aggies have hit .277 as a team in 2014, with 59 doubles, eight triples, 14 homers and 179 RBI, stealing 42 bases and owning a .370 slugging and a .356 on-base percentage. Defensively, TAMU has fielded .972, turning 21 double plays and allowing 32 steals. On the mound, Texas A&M has a 3.36 ERA in 331.2 innings, allowing 319 hits and 105 walks, striking out 307.

Individually, the Aggies have been led at the plate by Nick Banks, who has hit .323 with five doubles, one triple, one homer and 12 RBI. Cole Lankford has a .315 average with eight doubles, four homers and 31 RBI, with Krey Bratsen hitting .299 with two doubles, one triple, five RBI and 10 steals. Patrick McLendon has a .296 average, Mitchell Nau has hit .295 and Blake Allemand has a .288 average. Catcher Troy Stein has hit .283, with J.B. Moss owning a .267 mark.

In relief, Andrew Vinson (1-1, 2.81 ERA) has appeared in a team-high 20 games, with one save in 25.2 innings, allowing 15 hits and five walks, striking out 27. A.J. Minter (1-0, 1.50 ERA), Ty Schlottmann (0-1, 2.45 ERA), Jason Freeman (1-0, 3.95 ERA) and Matt Kent (2-0, 4.07 ERA) have each appeared in double-digit games in relief.

Kentucky will be meeting Texas A&M for the first time since 2002 and the fourth time in program history. UK played two games in 1989 in College Station, both losses, before claiming a 3-1 win in a 2002 meeting in College Station.

 


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No. 8 Softball Returns Home To Face Arkansas in SEC Action http://www.lex18.com/news/no-8-softball-returns-home-to-face-arkansas-in-sec-action/ http://www.lex18.com/news/no-8-softball-returns-home-to-face-arkansas-in-sec-action/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 4:46:27 PM No. 8 Softball Returns Home To Face Arkansas in SEC Action

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

 


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Young To Enter NBA Draft http://www.lex18.com/news/young-to-enter-nba-draft/ http://www.lex18.com/news/young-to-enter-nba-draft/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 3:14:11 PM Young To Enter NBA Draft

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.

 


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Coach Calipari Awaits Players' Decisions http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-calipari-awaits-players-decisions/ http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-calipari-awaits-players-decisions/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 3:07:50 PM Coach Calipari Awaits Players' Decisions

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.)

 


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Coach Cal Wraps Up Season http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-cal-wraps-up-season/ http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-cal-wraps-up-season/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 1:22:25 PM Coach Cal Wraps Up Season

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.”


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Coach Cal Holding Press Conference Thursday Morning http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-cal-holding-press-conference-thursday-morning/ http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-cal-holding-press-conference-thursday-morning/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 8:50:07 AM Coach Cal Holding Press Conference Thursday Morning

University of Kentucky Coach John Calipari will hold a press conference Thursday morning.

The press conference will begin at 10:30 a.m. and is expected to serve as a wrapup to the 2013-2014 season.

You can watch the presser live HERE.

 


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Archie Goodwin Scores Career High In Win http://www.lex18.com/news/archie-goodwin-scores-career-high-in-win/ http://www.lex18.com/news/archie-goodwin-scores-career-high-in-win/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Thu, 17 Apr 2014 6:21:41 AM Archie Goodwin Scores Career High In Win

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A season-ending victory proved meaningless for the Phoenix Suns, who will be remembered for having one of the best records in NBA history that wasn't good enough to make the playoffs.

Former Wildcat Archie Goodwin scored 12 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Suns defeated the Sacramento Kings 104-99 Wednesday night in the season finale for both teams.

The Suns outscored the Kings 33-25 in the fourth quarter to snap a three-game losing streak.

It was a disappointing season for the Suns (48-34), who missed the playoffs despite a dramatic turnaround under rookie coach Jeff Hornacek after winning 25 games a year ago. Only the Suns and Golden State (2007-08) have won 48 games and failed to make the playoffs since the NBA went to the 16-team playoff format.

After winning nine of 11 and moving into seventh last week in the Western Conference, the Suns dropped three straight games in a four-night span. The Memphis Grizzlies clinched the last available playoff berth Monday night in Phoenix, eliminating the Suns with a 97-91 victory.

"That's the tough part about it. Maybe we go down as one of the best non-playoff teams ever," Hornacek said. "They can hang their hat on that."

Goodwin, a rookie guard with little playing time this season, made a jumper to put the Suns ahead for good with 3:49 left in the game. He was solid all game, hitting all four shots in the fourth quarter and finishing 11 of 13 overall.

"It was good. I fed off my teammates," said Goodwin, who averaged 3.7 points in 52 games. "They put me in great positions for me to score. I got a couple of good steals, couple of offensive rebounds, so everything was just going my way tonight."

Marcus Morris had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for the Suns. Twin Markieff Morris scored 15 points and Gerald Green 12.

Phoenix played without guard Goran Dragic (sore left ankle), who led the Suns in scoring and assists. That led to the expanded playing time for Goodwin, whose previous best was 16 points against the Kings.

"It's very disappointing, that was our goal all season, making the playoffs," Goodwin said. "To fall that short, it really hurts."

Ben McLemore had 31 points and five assists, both career highs, for the Kings, who lost for the sixth time in seven games while playing starters Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas limited minutes. Travis Outlaw had 15 points and Ray McCallum 13.

"The one thing that I'm most proud about is that in February he (McLemore) hit a wall, physically and mentally," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "He could have stayed down and hung his head and felt sorry for himself. He's a fighter. I thought the way he played these last two months has been phenomenal."

A rookie guard, McClemore struggled to find his shot all season and entered the game shooting 37 percent. Against the Suns, he was aggressive all game, hitting 9 of 20 shots and 10 of 15 free throws. He also had three 3s and added five rebounds.

Sacramento was without leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins.

He was called for a technical foul in Sunday's victory over Minnesota and drew an automatic one-game suspension for getting his 16th technical foul of the season.

It was another lackluster season for the Kings (28-53), who matched their win total from last year and failed to make the playoffs for an eighth straight season.

Goodwin converted on three-point play to give the Suns a 92-87 lead midway through the fourth quarter. After the Kings tied the score, Goodwin made a layup and a 3, putting Phoenix ahead 99-94.

The Suns had a great season and I think Coach Hornacek should be in the coach of the year conversation," Malone said. "He did a phenomenal job. No one gave that team a chance and they played the whole season right up to their last game in the playoff race."

The Kings shared the ball and shot 50 percent in the third quarter to take a 74-71 lead into the fourth.

McLemore surpassed his previous career-high of 18 points when he hit a 3 at the 10-minute mark in the third quarter.

NOTES: Former Kings standout Mitch Richmond was honored at halftime for his recent induction into the Hall of Fame. ... Before the game, Gay accepted the Oscar Robertson Triple-Double Award, which is presented to the Kings player who best exemplifies winning characteristics as both a player and an active community member. ... The award was presented by Robertson, a Hall of Famer who played for the franchise when it was the Cincinnati Royals. ... Channing Frye became the first Suns player to start all 82 regular-season games since Amar'e Stoudemire did it in 2009-10.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Quarterback Jalen Whitlow To Transfer From UK http://www.lex18.com/news/quarterback-jalen-whitlow-to-transfer-from-uk/ http://www.lex18.com/news/quarterback-jalen-whitlow-to-transfer-from-uk/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:14:41 AM Quarterback Jalen Whitlow To Transfer From UK

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."

 


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