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. () () Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:04:51 GMT Synapse CMS 10 LEX18.com http://www.lex18.com/ 144 25 Dakari Johnson Returns To UK http://www.lex18.com/news/dakari-johnson-returns-to-uk/ http://www.lex18.com/news/dakari-johnson-returns-to-uk/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 23 Apr 2014 4:11:27 PM Dakari Johnson Returns To UK

Kentucky freshman center Dakari Johnson announced Wednesday afternoon that he will return to UK for his sophomore year.

Johnson said he was excited about having the option to enter the NBA draft, but that after talking to his family, Coach Cal and the NBA committee, coming back to UK seemed like the best for him. 

"Returning to school allows me to build on my leadership skills, improve my individual basketball strength and conditioning skills, and have another opportunity to accomplish one of my individual goals: winning an NCAA national championship in college," he said. 

Johnson was one of the five freshmen who started for Coach Cal during the Cats' NCAA tournament run that led them to the championship game in Dallas.

"Big Blue Nation, I can't thank you enough for your support, and I look forward to representing UK next year."

He wished Julius Randle and James Young the best as the two enter the NBA draft.


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Poythress To Return For Junior Season http://www.lex18.com/news/poythress-to-return-for-junior-season/ http://www.lex18.com/news/poythress-to-return-for-junior-season/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:33:24 AM Poythress To Return For Junior Season

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Sophomore forward Alex Poythress will return to the Kentucky men's basketball program for the 2014-15 season, he announced Wednesday.

"Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but I want to make sure that I'm NBA-ready before I make that jump," Poythress said. "By coming back, I'll be so much closer to earning my degree in business and it will give me another year to prepare my game and my body for the next level."

The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in helping lead the Wildcats to the NCAA title game. He shot better than 68 percent from the field in the NCAA Tournament, including an eight-point, seven-rebound performance in the Final Four against Wisconsin.

"I'm excited for Alex and the decision he's arrived at," head coach John Calipari said. "I'm proud of the work he committed to this past season, on and off the floor, and think he's ready to take that next step and lead this team next season."

The Clarksville, Tenn., native tallied a double-double (10 points, 13 rebounds) in UK's season-opener against UNC Asheville and pulled down 12 rebounds two games later against second-ranked Michigan State.

Fellow sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein and freshman Marcus Lee announced their intentions to return for the 2014-15 season last week.

 


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UK Softball Knocks Off WKU http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-softball-knocks-off-wku/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-softball-knocks-off-wku/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 23 Apr 2014 7:25:30 AM UK Softball Knocks Off WKU

The hot bat of sophomore Christian Stokes lifted the University of Kentucky softball team to a win over Western Kentucky Tuesday.

Stokes went 4-for-4 at the plate, and blasted her fourth home run of the season. She also batted in two runs in the 11-8 win.

Fellow sophomore Nikki Sagermann also contributed, hitting her fifth home run in five games.

The victory marked the Cats' 39th win of the season, breaking the record for the most regular-season wins in school history. The 2013 team won 38 regular-season games en route to a program-best 41 total wins.

Ninth ranked UK will look to increase that win total this weekend with against No. 8 Tennessee. The series will mark the final regular-season home games for UK and starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by a 5 p.m. start on Saturday and 2 p.m. series finale on Sunday.

The Wildcats fell behind the Hilltoppers 2-0 after the first inning, but responded with nine runs over the next three innings to take a commanding 9-2 lead. WKU (31-16-1) did not go down without a fight, scoring two runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth to cut Kentucky's lead to one run, before UK's offense posted two runs in the top of the seventh and sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning to seal the victory.

Offensively, Kentucky was paced by four Wildcats earning multi-hit games, including a career-best four hits from Stokes. The native of Chesterfield, S.C., homered on the first pitch she saw in the contest, before two singles and an RBI double to end the game with two RBI and three runs scored. Junior catcher Griffin Joiner went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Sagermann hit her team-best 11th home run in a 2-for-4 game with two RBI. Senior Lauren Cumbess went 2-for-4 in the game with two singles, while fellow senior Emily Jolly had a hit, RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore infielder Ansley Smith had a hit and RBI, while utility player Maisie Steed had a hit and RBI in her lone at-bat.

Nunley started the game in the circle, tossing the first five innings, giving up four runs - all earned - on eight hits with four strikeouts. She was replaced to start the sixth inning by freshman Meagan Prince, who allowed four earned runs on three hits with one strikeout. Nunley came back on to pitch a perfect seventh inning to gather her team-best 20th win of the season. Nunley is the only pitcher in school history to win 20 games in a season, accomplishing the feat in each of her first two seasons with UK.

WKU started Emily Rousseau in the circle with the senior throwing four innings, allowing nine runs - eight earned - on 11 hits with five strikeouts. Freshman Hannah Miniard came on in relief to throw three innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits with a strikeout. Rousseau got the loss, moving to 16-12 on the season.

At the plate, WKU was paced by a three-run home run from designated player Kaylan Davis, while Amanda Thomas was 3-for-4 with an RBI and Kelsie Mattow had two hits and an RBI.

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

 


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No. 17 UK Outlasts TTU In Matchup Of NCAAS Top-4 Offenses http://www.lex18.com/news/no-17-uk-outlasts-ttu-in-matchup-of-ncaas-top-4-offenses/ http://www.lex18.com/news/no-17-uk-outlasts-ttu-in-matchup-of-ncaas-top-4-offenses/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:53:35 PM Lexington, Ky. No. 17 UK Outlasts TTU In Matchup Of NCAAS Top-4 Offenses

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In a battle of two of the top four run-scoring teams in the nation, Micheal Thomas hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning - the 10th home run hit between the two teams - lifting No. 17 Kentucky to a wild 15-13 win over Tennessee Tech, on a windy Tuesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

 

In a game that pitted Tennessee Tech (32-11) - the NCAA leader in runs scored - against Kentucky, which ranked No. 4 in the nation in runs - the two teams combined to hit 10 home runs, score 28 runs, collect 31 hits and total 18 extra-base knocks.

 

Kentucky (27-14) fell behind in an imposing 7-1 hole after the bottom of the fourth inning, with UK using a career day from senior shortstop Matt Reida in chipping away at the lead with 10 unanswered runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a 11-7 lead. The Golden Eagles responded with a run in the seventh - with UK answering that run with one of its own in the bottom of the frame - before evening up the game at 12-12 with four runs in the top of the eighth inning.

 

Thomas then gave UK the lead with his two-run homer - the seventh of the year for the fifth-year senior - in the bottom of the eighth inning, with Reida adding a two-out RBI single for a three-run cushion. The Eagles plated a run in the top of the ninth on a passed ball but UK managed to keep the ball in the yard on an unprecedently windy day and close out the wild win.

 

A native of Russiaville, Ind., Reida went a career-high 4-for-4 at the plate with four runs and four RBI, with his two leadoff, full-count walks in the fourth and fifth inning setting the tone in UK's comeback. Reida hit his first homer of the year and doubled twice, with his bomb marking his first since 2012, a span of 348 at bats.

 

A member of the Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year Midseason Watch List, Thomas finished 1-for-4 with three RBI, a walk and his seventh homer. UK got the fourth homer of the year from freshman second baseman JaVon Shelby, who was 2-for-4 with three RBI, one walk and two runs. A.J. Reed - the NCAA leader in homers - went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two walks, adding his 12th double of the year. Thomas Bernal, who leads the SEC in average in league games at .419, added a 2-for-5 game, cranking a double and getting hit by a pitch. Austin Cousino and Ka'ai Tom each added singles and a walk, with rightfielder Kyle Barrett drawing a pair of walks and scoring twice.

 

UK freshman starter Zack Brown made his first career start and worked three innings, allowing five hits and three solo homers, not issuing a walk and striking out a career-high four. Freshman Robert Zeigler started the fourth inning, allowing a homer and walk, getting two outs. Sophomore Zach Strecker then came on, allowing a double and a homer, getting one out in the fourth. Strecker worked 2.1 innings, allowing three hits and two runs, walking one and striking out three, with his ability to throw shutout innings in the fifth and sixth changing the tone of the UK bullpen. Logan Salow got four outs, allowing four hits and four runs, with Spencer Jack (2-1) getting two outs, allowing one run and one hit. Sophomore Kyle Cody came on to work the ninth, allowing an unearned run while striking out one for his fifth save of the year.

 

Tennessee Tech starter Jacob Honea worked over one inning, allowing two hits and one run, walking two before loading the bases with no outs in the second inning, prompting Stanton Taylor to come on in relief. Taylor worked two innings, allowing two hits and three runs, walking two. Cain Sloan came on to allow a hit and walk without getting an out, before Ross Spurgeon got out of the fourth. Spurgeon worked two innings, allowing two runs. Kyle Keats got two outs, allowing five runs, with Jeb Scoggins getting one out and walking two. Austin Tolle (3-0) allowed three runs on three hits in 1.2 innings. Justin Alexander got the final out in the eighth.

 

UK will return to action on Friday, welcoming No. 12 Ole Miss for a three-game set, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

 

The Golden Eagles got on the board first in the top of the second inning, as Dylan Bosheers led off with a first-pitch homer yanked over the leftfield fence, his ninth of the year.

 

Kentucky evened up the game in the bottom of the second, as Barrett was hit by a 1-1 pitch to leadoff, taking third on Reida's fourth double of the year down the leftfield line. After Shelby drew a full-count walk to load the bases, Cousino lined a hard-hit sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Barrett.

 

TTU regained the lead with one out in the top of the third inning behind the 12th homer of the year from Zach Stephens, the NCAA-leader with 55 homers in his career. The next hitter, Daniel Miles then hit his eighth homer of the year, a line-drive shot over the left-centerfield fence.

 

Jordan Parris gave TTU a 4-1 lead with his fourth homer of the year in the fourth inning, a solo shot over the leftfield fence. Zeigler then walked the next hitter, Zach Zarzour, who took second and third on a wild pitch. After an out and then a pitching chance, Stephens greeted Strecker with a double into the gap. Miles followed with his second homer of the game, a two-run shot over the left-centerfield fence.

 

Kentucky took a patient approach in its rally in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Reida drew a full-count walk to leadoff and Shelby singled through the left side. Cousino then loaded the bases with a walk, with Kuhn scoring Reida on a single to leftfield. Reed followed with a full-count walk with the bases loaded, scoring another run. Thomas was then hit with the first pitch he faced with the bases loaded, driving in Cousino.

 

The Wildcats continued to chip away in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Reida once again led off with a full-count walk. Shelby then smashed a two-strike offering over the leftfield fence for his fourth homer of the year, cutting the lead to 7-6.

 

UK rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning to gain the lead. Tom led off with a check-swing single to leftfield, taking third on Bernal's double down the leftfield line. After a Barrett walk loaded the bases, Reida doubled over the head of the centerfielder, scoring Tom and Bernal and giving UK its first lead of the game. Shelby then forced in Barrett with a groundout up the middle, giving UK a 9-7 lead. Kuhn then notched a two-out, two-strike RBI single into left-centerfield, scoring Reida. Reed then lofted a double down the leftfield line, scoring Kuhn for an 11-7 UK lead.

 

Tennessee Tech did some two-out damage in the top of the seventh inning, as Tyler Brazelton doubled home Jake Rowland, who reached first on a fielder's choice.

 

Reida got the run back for UK with his first homer of the year, a blast over the 30-foot wall in rightfield. It marked Reida's first homer since his sophomore season and his first in a span of 348 at bats.

 

Stephens got two runs back in the top of the eighth inning, as Zarzour drew a four-pitch walk to leadoff the inning. After Salow got Hopkins to strikeout, despite starting the at-bat in a 3-0 hole, Stephens belted his second homer of the game and his 13th of the year over the left-centerfield wall to cut the lead to 12-10. Miles then dropped a single into shallow centerfield as three UK defenders converged on the ball. Bosheers then poked his 10th homer of the year and second of the game over the rightfield fence, tying up the game at 12-12.

 

Thomas gave UK the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, as he belted a two-run homer over the leftfield fence, scoring Reed, who singled against the shift to the left side. It marked Thomas' seventh homer of the year.

 

TTU scored a run in the top of the ninth inning, as Anthony El Chiban led off with a walk, scoring from third on a passed ball with two outs.

 

 


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Stokes 4-for-4 Game Lifts No. 9 Softball To Midweek Win At WKU http://www.lex18.com/news/stokes-4-for-4-game-lifts-no-9-softball-to-midweek-win-at-wku/ http://www.lex18.com/news/stokes-4-for-4-game-lifts-no-9-softball-to-midweek-win-at-wku/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:14:57 PM Bowling Green, Ky. Stokes 4-for-4 Game Lifts No. 9 Softball To Midweek Win At WKU

University of Kentucky sophomore infielder Christian Stokes went 4-for-4 at the plate, including her fourth home run of the season and two runs batted in, while fellow sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann hit her fifth home run in five games, pacing No. 9 Kentucky to an exciting 11-8 victory over WKU on Tuesday at the WKU Softball Complex in Bowling Green, Ky.

 

The win for Kentucky (39-9) is its 39th of the season, which breaks the record for the most regular-season wins in school history. The 2013 team won 38 regular-season games en route to a program-best 41 total wins. UK will look to increase its win total this weekend vs. No. 8 Tennessee. The series will be the final regular-season home games for UK and 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.

 

The Wildcats fell behind the Hilltoppers 2-0 after the first inning, but responded with nine runs over the next three innings to take a commanding 9-2 lead. WKU (31-16-1) did not go down without a fight, scoring two runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth to cut Kentucky's lead to one run, before UK's offense posted two runs in the top of the seventh and sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning to seal the victory.

 

Offensively, Kentucky was paced by four Wildcats earning multi-hit games, including a career-best four hits from Stokes. The native of Chesterfield, S.C., homered on the first pitch she saw in the contest, before two singles and an RBI double to end the game with two RBI and three runs scored. Junior catcher Griffin Joiner went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Sagermann hit her team-best 11th home run in a 2-for-4 game with two RBI. Senior Lauren Cumbess went 2-for-4 in the game with two singles, while fellow senior Emily Jolly had a hit, RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore infielder Ansley Smith had a hit and RBI, while utility player Maisie Steed had a hit and RBI in her lone at-bat.

 

Nunley started the game in the circle, tossing the first five innings, giving up four runs - all earned - on eight hits with four strikeouts. She was replaced to start the sixth inning by freshman Meagan Prince, who allowed four earned runs on three hits with one strikeout. Nunley came back on to pitch a perfect seventh inning to gather her team-best 20th win of the season. Nunley is the only pitcher in school history to win 20 games in a season, accomplishing the feat in each of her first two seasons with UK.

 

WKU started Emily Rousseau in the circle with the senior throwing four innings, allowing nine runs - eight earned - on 11 hits with five strikeouts. Freshman Hannah Miniard came on in relief to throw three innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits with a strikeout. Rousseau got the loss, moving to 16-12 on the season.

 

At the plate, WKU was paced by a three-run home run from designated player Kaylan Davis, while Amanda Thomas was 3-for-4 with an RBI and Kelsie Mattow had two hits and an RBI.

 

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

 

 


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Julius Randle Press Conference Quotes http://www.lex18.com/news/julius-randle-press-conference-quotes/ http://www.lex18.com/news/julius-randle-press-conference-quotes/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 22 Apr 2014 4:26:14 PM Julius Randle Press Conference Quotes

Opening statement ...

"I've been blessed and fortunate to be put in the position to have decisions. Big decision for me is whether to declare for the NBA draft or not. (After) talking with my family, a lot of prayer I'm deciding to declare for the NBA draft. I'm a man of faith. A lot of prayer has gone into this situation, talking with my mom, my sister, the things they've done for me. I come from a really good background. Jeff and Thrya Webster over there, my godparents, I can't thank them enough for what they've done for me. Mr. Troutt and Mrs. Troutt, Kenny and Lisa, they've been there for me. I started with the best program with Coach Scott (Pospichal) since fifth grade. That was kind of my foundation.

"To all the Kentucky fans, I really want to thank you all for what you all have done for me this year. I've had the best coaching staff in the country. They spent countless hours working with me, night in and night out, in the gym, preparing me to take this step. Also, my former high school, my former school, Prestonwood Christian Academy, they've been huge for me, just not as school and basketball but for my faith as well. I can't thank them for having my back throughout this year and for everything, I can't thank them enough. Like I said, I'm declaring for the 2014 NBA draft, and I'm pretty excited about it."

On if there was a point where he thought about coming back ...

"Yeah. I did. It was just - you know this season, this year, the more I think about it, it just went by fast. I'm definitely going to miss it. Kentucky will always have a special place in my heart. Growing up as a kid, it's always been my dream to play in the NBA, and there's no better opportunity for me to achieve that goal than now."

On what the incentives to come back were ...

"I came here to win a national championship. I came here to grow up and mature on and off the court, and I did that. I know I came one game short of winning a national championship - we did as a team - but everything we went through this year is just an experience that I'll never forget. That alone was enough, kept me at peace to leave."



On why not come back to chase that title ...

"This more was about me personally. Everybody's dream, goal is to win a national championship. Like I said, we came one game short, but this decision was about me personally, what I felt was best for me to grow on and off the court. And also, like I said, there's no better time for me to achieve my dream than now."

On his one year at UK and if anything surprised him ...

"I would say my one year here was fantastic because Coach Cal goes into your home when he recruits you and he says, ‘It's going to be the hardest thing you've ever done. You're going to work the hardest you ever did.' You say OK, but you may not believe it. But once you're in the fire, what he said is true. And I think that's really grown me as a person more than even as a basketball player, I think you can say, because I learned how to deal with things and I can apply it to life as well."

On how much he looks forward to getting defended one-on-one in the NBA vs. double- and triple-teams here ...

"(Laughing) Uh, it'll be nice. It'll be nice. If that's what happens. The next level is going to be a challenge, but hopefully that happens."
On what NBA feedback he got ...

"A lot of positive feedback. Enough positive feedback for me to decide that I wanted to enter the NBA draft."

On how good UK could be next year with some guys returning ...

"Our team next year? They'll be amazing. I mean, we have so much talent. Willie (Cauley-Stein) coming back. We have Marcus (Lee). He was huge in the tournament. All the incoming guys. We have so much talent coming in next year. We're definitely going to make another run. This team is definitely going to be deep next year, depending on who comes back. And you know Coach Cal is always going to do a great job of developing players."

On how much the guys making NBA decisions talked to each other ...

"A little bit, but this wasn't about - it was just about... each individual player personally, and what he thought was best for his future. Any decision any player made, we were gonna have their back 100 percent, and that's the biggest thing. We became brothers throughout the year, and if it was time for somebody to leave or not, if they're staying, we're gonna have their back 100 percent, because we know they're doing the best thing for them. You can't go wrong with either decision."

On what he's heard about where he might go in the draft ...

"I mean, I'm not sure. I'm blessed to be in a position to be able to have a chance to get drafted, and I'm pretty sure when we start the combine and the workouts with individual teams I'll have a better feeling of where I'll go. But I was confident enough to enter the draft."

On if he's picked an agent ...

"I haven't, but I've talked to my family about it, and we're gonna continue to pray about it and go through the right process and I'll come to a conclusion on what agent I want."

On if the postseason run gave him any more peace about making the decision ...

"It was, like I said, an experience I'll never forget. Just all the adversity that we went through all year, and to finally have the opportunity to play for a national championship and to see how we came together during a postseason run, it's just something I'll never forget. And like I said, it'll always - I'll grow old one day and I'll be able to tell my children or grandchildren about something that I did when I was 19 years old. It'll always be a memory for me."
On how this year prepared him for the next level ...

"It just prepared me to learn how to deal with situations. Each day you have to take things a day at a time. You're definitely gonna face adversity in your life, whether it's basketball or not, so just facing this being basketball-related and all the doubt that you may have and the criticism, it just taught me how to deal with things and I can apply (that) to life as well."

On what advice he would give to next year's team ...

"Well me personally, I never-I think that's why I was able deal with the criticism myself, because I never really fed into or really read anything or believed anything. I just tried to stay in my own little circle or little bubble and focused on the team and that's all I really cared about. As long as you're invested into the team and that's your total focus, investing into being a student-athlete, then you really won't waiver too much from the criticism or expectations."

On how old he was when he started thinking about the NBA ...

"I don't know an exact age, but probably when I started playing basketball, three or four years old. I grew up watching guys, grew up watching the NBA Playoffs and stuff like that and it's just always where I wanted to be."

On how his game will change at the next level after he played in the post mostly in college ...

"I'm not really sure. I wouldn't necessarily say that. Coach Cal did a great job of using me in many different ways. It just happened that posting up and a low-post player, that was one of my strengths here and everybody had to sacrifice. Everybody had their role and once we bought into the role and believed in the role I think that's why we made the postseason run and we just believed in each other and our role that coach had for us."

On what he learned from the NCAA Tournament run ...

"It changed my game a lot. I didn't have to worry about doing anything crazy or going out there and trying to score a lot of points or anything like that because we just had so much talent that, I mean, that's the way it should have been. I wasn't too much worried about it. Less is more. We saw what he did with Andrew (Harrison) and how it worked. I had all the faith in coach. That's why I came here, because I trusted his advice and, you know, less is more. That's how I was able to contribute to the run late in the season."

On what stands out in his mind about things he did this season ...

"Just how we overcame things. We went through a lot personally and as a team. We took a lot of things - some of it was fair and some of it wasn't fair - but at the end of the day, it never shook us. We always stayed together and it just lets you know about each individual on the team, how tough-minded they are. A lot of days I don't go into practice or go into a game feeling well, but I look at those guys and I know that they've been through everything I've been through and just kind of gives you motivation to push through the day."

On if he's talked with Andrew or Aaron Harrison at all and where their heads are right now ...

"I can't really speak for them. I haven't given them any advice or anything like that. If I'm talking to anybody it's just because I'm trying to see how they're doing or we're just talking about normal teenage things or whatever. I'm pretty sure they'll make the best decision for them, but as far as where they'll go or whether they'll declare or not, I can't speak on that."

On what advice Coach Cal gave him ...

"As far as?" (Deciding which way to go ...) "He just-he gave me all the information - what NBA teams are seeing, the feedback he's got - and I just took that information and talked with my family about it. He told me that he felt like I was ready. It was up to me whether I wanted to come back or not. He was my biggest supporter-or he was a big supporter for me throughout this process. He put me in a position to be able to declare and I'm happy for that opportunity."

 

 


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Julius Randle To Enter NBA Draft http://www.lex18.com/news/julius-randle-to-enter-nba-draft/ http://www.lex18.com/news/julius-randle-to-enter-nba-draft/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 22 Apr 2014 1:11:15 PM Julius Randle To Enter NBA Draft

Kentucky freshman forward Julius Randle announced Tuesday he will be entering the NBA draft.

In his statement, Randle thanked UK fans and said he had the best coaching staff in the country that prepared him for this next step.

With five days left before the deadline for underclassmen to declare, the 6-foot-9 Dallas native announced the decision many expected even before he arrived as part of Kentucky's best recruiting class ever. Projected as a lottery pick from the outset, Randle solidified his draft stock by leading Kentucky (29-11) to the NCAA final behind a string of double-doubles despite being double- and triple-teamed.

Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds and was voted to The Associated Press' All-America second team. With Tuesday's announcement, he joins guard James Young, who said last week that he would enter the June 26 draft.

WATCH: starts at 12:20

 

Randle has been honored as a third-team All-America selection by the Associated Press, making him one of three freshmen to earn the distinction.

Randle was a key player in taking the Wildcats to the Final Four in Dallas, and there had been a lot of talk around the freshman and what his decision would be. 

Coach Calipari said he had set up meetings with his players throughout the week before Sunday's deadline to enter the NBA draft.

Calipari told ESPN.com he was to meet with Randle on Monday and that he didn't know what Randle would do as of Monday afternoon. He was also supposed to meet with freshman forward Dakari Johnson and sophomore forward Alex Poythress Monday afternoon and with freshmen guard twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison Tuesday.

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.

James Young became the first to announce that he will enter the NBA draft, leaving the twin guards to decide if they will follow him as speculated or return for another season.

Willie Cauley-Stein announced that he would bypass the draft and return for his junior season.

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 also back) and recruits Karl Towns (6-11 and growing) and 6-10 Trey Lyles.

Calipari and Kentucky's fervent fan base now wait to see if  the Harrisons follow suit.

 

___

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 


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Tennessee Hiring Former Morehead State's Donnie Tyndall http://www.lex18.com/news/tennessee-hiring-former-morehead-state-s-donnie-tyndall/ http://www.lex18.com/news/tennessee-hiring-former-morehead-state-s-donnie-tyndall/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:16:05 AM Tennessee Hiring Former Morehead State's Donnie Tyndall

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee is counting on Southern Mississippi's Donnie Tyndall, former Morehead State Morehead State head coach, to make the same successful transition from the mid-major ranks as the Volunteers' last two basketball coaches.

Tennessee announced Tuesday morning that Tyndall would be introduced as its new coach at a 2 p.m. news conference. The hire had first been reported by ESPN and CBS Sports.

Tyndall, who coached at Morehead State from 2006-2012, replaces Cuonzo Martin, who went 63-41 in three seasons at Tennessee before California hired him on April 15. Martin led Tennessee to a 23-14 record and an NCAA regional semifinal appearance this season.

The 43-year-old Tyndall has gone 56-17 with a pair of NIT appearances in two seasons at Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles went 29-7 and reached the NIT quarterfinals this season.

Tennessee has had good luck in the past picking promising coaches from mid-major programs. Martin came to Tennessee in 2011 after three seasons at Missouri State. Martin was preceded by Bruce Pearl, who arrived at Tennessee from Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Pearl and Martin helped Tennessee reach regional semifinals in four of the last eight years.

Before coaching at Southern Mississippi, Tyndall went 114-85 with two NCAA tournament appearances in six seasons at Morehead State. His career highlight came in 2011 when he guided Morehead State to an NCAA tournament upset of Louisville.

Tyndall's best Morehead State teams featured Kenneth Faried, a first-round draft pick who plays for the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

Tyndall faces some immediate challenges.

Tennessee loses four of its top five scorers from this year's team. Josh Richardson, who will be a senior guard, is the only returning player who made over 10 starts this season.

Tyndall has experience in the state of Tennessee and in the Southeastern Conference. He was an assistant at LSU from 1997-2001 and at Middle Tennessee from 2002-06.

Tyndall was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. He played at Iowa Central Community College from 1989-90 and at Morehead State from 1990-93.

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

 


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UK Football Lands Four-Star Recruit http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-football-lands-four-star-recruit/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-football-lands-four-star-recruit/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 22 Apr 2014 6:38:26 AM UK Football Lands Four-Star Recruit

University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops has landed a four-star recruit.

Eli Brown tweeted Monday night that he plans to go to Kentucky.

"Guess its time to get the word out i am now committed to University of Kentucky!! #bbn"

Rivals ranks the 2015 Warren East High School linebacker as a four-star prospect.

Listed at 6'2" and 205 pounds, Brown had 50 tackles (39 solo and 11 assists), two interceptions and a forced fumble last season. He also played running back for the Raiders, rolling up 1,186 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Brown originally committed to Vanderbilt, but later decommitted. He also had offers from Western Kentucky University and Ohio State.

Rivals ranks Brown the 110th top-prospect in the 2015 class, making him the second highest ranked commit for UK since Micah Harris in 2002.

 


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Tyndall Reportedly New Tennessee Head Coach http://www.lex18.com/news/tyndall-reportedly-new-tennessee-head-coach/ http://www.lex18.com/news/tyndall-reportedly-new-tennessee-head-coach/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:11:45 AM Tyndall Reportedly New Tennessee Head Coach

CBSsports.com is reporting that Donnie Tyndall will be the next head coach at Tennessee, replacing the departed Cuonzo Martin.

Tyndall is a former Morehead State player and coach. He's spent the last two seasons leading Southern Mississippi and almost got the Golden Eagles back to the NCAA Tournament. Southern Miss finished with a 29-7 record overall, 13-3 in Conference USA.

To read the entire article about Tyndall going to Tennessee click here.


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No. 8 Softball Visits In-State Foe WKU For Midweek Showdown http://www.lex18.com/news/no-8-softball-visits-in-state-foe-wku-for-midweek-showdown/ http://www.lex18.com/news/no-8-softball-visits-in-state-foe-wku-for-midweek-showdown/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 7:54:50 PM No. 8 Softball Visits In-State Foe WKU For Midweek Showdown

After earning its fifth Southeastern Conference series win of the season last weekend against Arkansas, the No. 8 University of Kentucky softball team will break from league action on Tuesday as it travels to face in-state foe WKU at 7 p.m. ET at the WKU Softball Complex in Bowling Green, Ky.

The midweek conference battle is the only meeting of the season between the two in-state rivals. Live stats and live video (subscription required) will be available for the game at the links provided below. Following the midweek game, UK will return home for its final regular season home games of the season this 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.

Kentucky (38-9) is coming off a series win over Arkansas last weekend, which was its fifth SEC series win of the season. UK won the first two games of the series before falling in the series finale, which snapped a nine-game winning streak, which was the second longest in school history. The two wins also extended UK's SEC winning streak to seven games, which was the longest winning streak in league action in program history. UK has 38 regular-season wins this season, tying the most in a regular-season in program history.

Sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann had three hits over the weekend, including a double, two home runs and three RBI. Sagermann hit a game-winning solo home run in the sixth inning Friday night before a two-run homer in the fourth inning on Saturday that was eventually the game winner as well. It marked the third consecutive game she launched a game-winning home run after a solo shot in the 10th inning two Sundays ago vs. Ole Miss. Fellow sophomore Ansley Smith went 2-for-3 in the series with two walks and two runs scored, while senior infielder Krystal Smith hit her second home run of the season and senior pitcher/infielder Lauren Cumbess had two RBI.

Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley led Kentucky in the circle, going 2-0 with a 0.70 ERA against one of the best offensive teams in the SEC. Nunley threw 10 innings on the weekend, allowing two runs - one earned - on eight hits with six strikeouts. Arkansas, who entered the weekend hitting .319 as a team, hit just .205 against Nunley.

Senior outfielder Emily Gaines leads Kentucky in batting average this season at .390 (32-for-82) with six doubles, five homers and 30 RBI. Sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel is second on the team at .352 (38-for-108) with a team-best 13 stolen bases, while Cumbess is hitting .333 (46-for-138) with seven homers and 32 RBI and junior catcher Griffin Joiner has a .323 (43-for-133) average with eight homers and 26 RBI. Sagermann leads Kentucky with 10 homers and 37 RBI and has four homers in UK's last four games.

Cumbess is 10-0 this season in the circle with a 1.75 ERA in 84 innings pitched, while Nunley is 19-4 with a 1.85 ERA in 151.1 innings pitched. Nunley's 19 wins are the second most in a single season in school history. Last season, the native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., earned a school record 27 wins and is now the first player in school history to win 19 or more games in consecutive seasons.

WKU enters the midweek game with a 31-15-1 record and 11-7 mark at the WKU Softball Complex. The Hilltoppers are led offensively by senior infielder Olivia Watkins, who is hitting .446 (70-for-157) with 49 stolen bases, while junior infielder Preslie Cruce is hitting .309 (42-for-136) with 10 doubles, five homers and 26 RBI. Senior outfielder Kelsie Mattox is hitting .302 (38-for-126) with four homers and 35 RBI, while senior infielder Amanda Thomas leads the team with 41 RBI.

In the circle, senior Emily Rousseau leads the team with a 16-11 record and 2.52 ERA in 180.2 innings pitched with 143 strikeouts, while freshman Hannah Miniard is 13-4 with a 3.02 ERA in 106.2 innings pitched. Junior Janna Scheff is 2-0 this season with a 3.46 ERA in 32.1 innings pitched.

Kentucky leads the all-time series against WKU, 12-7, including a 4-3 mark in games played in Bowling Green. UK head coach Rachel Lawson, who was the head coach at WKU from 2005-07, is 5-0 in her seven-year tenure at Kentucky against the Hilltoppers. The Wildcats were scheduled to face WKU twice last season, winning a 7-1 game at John Cropp Stadium, before the return trip to WKU was canceled due to inclement weather. The two teams have met annually since 2000, with 2008 and 2011 being the lone exceptions.

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

 


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No. 17 Baseball Hosts NCAA Leader In Runs, Tenn. Tech http://www.lex18.com/news/no-17-baseball-hosts-ncaa-leader-in-runs-tenn-tech/ http://www.lex18.com/news/no-17-baseball-hosts-ncaa-leader-in-runs-tenn-tech/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 7:11:59 PM No. 17 Baseball Hosts NCAA Leader In Runs, Tenn. Tech

Coming off three road wins last week, No. 17 Kentucky will return home to host the NCAA leader in runs scored, Tennessee Tech, on Tuesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.

The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Central Kentucky can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM, in Louisville on WKJK 1080-AM and online at UKathletics.com.

The game will pit two of the top scoring teams in college baseball, as Tennessee Tech leads the NCAA in runs (355) and walks (239), ranking sixth in average (.316), fourth in doubles (90), third in hits (471), homers (48), second in scoring (8.5 runs per game) and third in slugging (.485). UK ranks fourth in runs scored (333), seventh in homers (71), ninth in hits (437), eighth in on-base percentage (.406), seventh in slugging (.451) and fourth in scoring (8.3 runs per game).

Kentucky (26-14) moved up to No. 17 in the latest Baseball America top 25 after its four-game road swing that saw a win at No. 9 Louisville and a series win at Texas A&M. UK is also ranked No. 18 by Perfect Game, No. 21 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 22 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association) and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll.

Tennessee Tech will turn to junior right-hander Jacob Honea (3-2, 4.71 ERA) for the start on Tuesday against the Wildcats, with UK yet to announce a starter. Honea has appeared in 14 games with six starts, working 28.2 innings, allowing 13 walks and striking out 20, surrendering 33 hits.

Last week, Kentucky posted a 4-2 win at No. 9 Louisville on Tuesday, riding a strong bullpen effort from freshmen Logan Salow - the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week - and Zack Brown, who combined to fire six shutout innings. The win marked a series sweep over the Cardinals for UK as Kentucky posted an 8-3 win over the Cardinals on April 1 in Lexington.

UK then traveled to red-hot Texas A&M for a crucial three-game series at the Aggies, with TAMU coming off a series win at Vanderbilt and a 18-run win in midweek action. UK posted a thrilling 6-3 win on Friday night to open the series, as A.J. Reed fired eight innings on the mound, allowing just one run, with UK breaking open a 3-3 game in the top of the ninth inning with three runs. UK then claimed the series win on Saturday with an 11-4 result, taking an 11-1 lead into the ninth inning before the Aggies plated three runs for the final margin. UK got four-hit games from Reed and Max Kuhn in the win, with the duo both homering and Kuhn adding doubles down both lines. The Aggies prevented a historic sweep for UK on Sunday, as the Wildcats were looking for just its sixth road SEC sweep in the last 35 years and its first since 2008 and 2000. TAMU got a five-run inning in the first on five two-out runs and never looked back in a 14-2 win to finish the series.

Coached by former Wildcat star Matt Bragga, Tennessee Tech (32-10) is paced by an explosive offensive attack that leads the NCAA in runs scored. The Eagles have hit .316 with 90 doubles, nine triples, 48 homers and 326 RBI in 42 games, owning a .485 slugging and a .419 on-base percentage, stealing 39 bases. On the mound, TTU has a 3.80 ERA with 10 saves in 376.2 innings, walking 132 and striking out 313. Defensively, TTU has fielded. 977, turning 35 double plays and allowing 28-of-57 stolen-base attempts.

Tennessee Tech has been led individually by Daniel Miles, who has hit .394 with seven homers and 38 RBI. Brandon Thomasson has slugged 12 homers and has 48 RBI with a .327 average, while Zach Stephens has hit 11 bombs and has 40 RBI and a .277 average. Dylan Bosheers has hit eight homers and 38 RBI with a .273 average, with Zach Zarrzour hitting .353 with 33 RBI and Jake Rowland belting three homers, 32 RBI and owning a .347 mark. Jake Hopkins has added a .323 average with two homers and 32 RBI.

In relief, TTU has been paced by Seth Lucio (2-1, 2.84 ERA), who has nine saves in 20 games out of the pen, striking out 30 in 25.1 innings. Cain Sloan (2-0, 2.41 ERA), Ross Spurgeon (3-1, 2.49 ERA), Jeb Scoggins (1-0, 4.34 ERA), Austin Tolle (3-0, 5.23 ERA) and Stanton Taylor (1-2, 5.50 ERA) have each appeared in at least 10 games.

The Wildcats have been led at the plate by Reed, who has leads college baseball with 16 homers. Reed paces the SEC in average (.372), slugging (.784) and RBI (53), adding a .489 on-base percentage, 11 doubles and one triple. Reed also sports a 7-1 record on the mound in 10 Friday-night starts, with a 2.15 ERA in 71 innings, with wins over No. 1 Virginia, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 12 Florida and at Texas A&M in his starts.

Junior first baseman Thomas Bernal has hit .352 with five doubles, one homer and 23 RBI, while third baseman Max Kuhn has a .341 mark with 13 doubles, five homers and 36 RBI, leading the conference with 31 walks despite hitting in front of the NCAA home run leader for 40 games. Centerfielder Austin Cousino has hit .333 with 10 doubles, two triples, three homers and 25 RBI, stealing 13 bases. Catcher Micheal Thomas has hit .331 with seven doubles, one triple, six homers and 36 RBI. Leftfielder Ka'ai Tom has a .313 average with six doubles, 20 RBI and 12 stolen bases, with rightfielder Kyle Barrett batting .271 with five doubles, one homer, 18 RBI and 11 steals. Second basemen JaVon Shelby has hit .269 with six doubles, two triples, three homers and 16 RBI.

UK used the weekend rotation of Reed (7-1, 2.15 ERA) on Friday, sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer (5-1, 3.40 ERA) on Saturday and junior right-hander Andrew Nelson (1-4, 4.44 ERA) on Sunday for the second consecutive week. In relief, junior Spencer Jack (1-1, 1.52 ERA) has appeared in a team-high 18 games with two saves in 23.2 innings. Freshman Logan Salow (2-1, 1.42 ERA) has a save in 15 innings and fired five shutout innings in two relief appearances last week. Sophomore Kyle Cody (3-0, 2.45 ERA) leads the team with four saves in 12 games and three starts.

 


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Liggins Named NBA D-League Defensive Player Of The Year http://www.lex18.com/news/liggins-named-nba-d-league-defensive-player-of-the-year/ http://www.lex18.com/news/liggins-named-nba-d-league-defensive-player-of-the-year/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 6:57:37 PM Liggins Named NBA D-League Defensive Player Of The Year

Former University of Kentucky basketball player DeAndre Liggins was named the 2013-14 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year.

Liggins has spent the season with the Sioux Falls Skyforce and lead the league in steals (109) and steam per game (2.6).

On the offensive end, he averaged 14.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in 42 games this season.

Liggins' team was tops in the league holding opponents to league-lows of 45.1 percent shooting from the field.

Because of his play, the former Wildcat also earned two 10-day contracts with the Miami Heat around midseason.

The Skyforce finished the year 31-19 earning the fourth-seed in the playoffs.

 


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Logan Salow Named SEC Pitcher Of The Week http://www.lex18.com/news/logan-salow-named-sec-pitcher-of-the-week/ http://www.lex18.com/news/logan-salow-named-sec-pitcher-of-the-week/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 5:37:07 PM Logan Salow Named SEC Pitcher Of The Week

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After working five shutout innings over two relief outings last week, including a win at No. 9 Louisville, Kentucky freshman southpaw Logan Salow has been named Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week, it was announced by the league office on Monday evening.

A native of Ashland, Ky., Salow worked in two games in relief during UK's four-game road swing, tossing five shutout innings. He picked up a win at No. 9 Louisville in a 4-2 rivalry game on Tuesday, tossing 3.2 shutout frames as UK swept the series for the first time since 2011.

In a series-clinching win at Texas A&M on Saturday, Salow came on to fire 1.1 perfect innings in relief, striking out one on 17 pitches. He stranded a pair of runners in support of sophomore starter Dylan Dwyer, bringing his total of inherited runners to 19, allowing only three to score (15-percent).

On the year, Salow has a 2-1 record and a 1.42 ERA in 15 games, owning a save vs. No. 1 South Carolina, working 19 innings, allowing 14 hits - 13 singles - and six walks, striking out 20.

This marks the fourth SEC weekly honor for the Wildcats in 2014, as junior A.J. Reed has been named SEC Player of the Week twice, with senior catcher Micheal Thomas also earning SEC Player of the Week accolades.

No. 17 Kentucky (26-14, 9-9 SEC) returns to action on Tuesday, hosting the NCAA-leading in runs scored, Tennessee Tech (32-10) at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

 


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Bengals' Huber Starting To Kick Again http://www.lex18.com/news/bengals-huber-starting-to-kick-again/ http://www.lex18.com/news/bengals-huber-starting-to-kick-again/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 3:41:13 PM Bengals' Huber Starting To Kick Again

CINCINNATI (AP) - Kevin Huber has gained back the 15 pounds he lost while his jaw was wired shut, forcing him to drink his meals. He no longer wears a neck brace to help a cracked vertebra heal.

The Bengals punter is nearly back to normal after recovering from one of the most painful hits of the 2013 season.

Pittsburgh's Terence Garvin blocked Huber during Antonio Brown's 67-yard punt return for a touchdown last December, hitting the punter's chin with the top of his helmet. Huber broke his jaw and suffered the cracked neck bone.

Huber said on Monday that he's still limited in his weightlifting workout, but he's getting ready to return to a full kicking routine. He said there are no lingering issues.

___

Online: AP NFL website

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

 


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Mitch Barnhart Addresses the Big Blue Nation http://www.lex18.com/news/mitch-barnhart-addresses-the-big-blue-nation/ http://www.lex18.com/news/mitch-barnhart-addresses-the-big-blue-nation/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 2:23:58 PM Mitch Barnhart Addresses the Big Blue Nation

Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart wrote a letter to the Big Blue Nation introducing a fan initiative called BBN First on Monday afternoon. In the first phase of the initiative, fans are being asked submit suggestions for how to enhance their experiences by visiting a new website, http://bbnfirst.ukathletics.com/, or emailing BBNfirst@uky.edu.

 

Below is Barnhart's complete letter.

 

 

As I rode with our men's basketball team from the airport to the celebration of a remarkable NCAA Tournament run, I was reminded of the deep ties we share with our fans. I saw the blue you wore and the pride on your faces and couldn't help but think about how important the Big Blue Nation is to all we do.

 

It's a fact we have never forgotten, but it bears repeating: None of this is possible without you, the fans. Without you, none of us - student-athletes, coaches, staff - would be here.

 

With that in mind, I am asking everyone involved with UK Athletics to make a renewed commitment to our fans. We will honor those deep ties by making sure you have great experiences when you invest time and money to support your Wildcats. We are going to put you, the Big Blue Nation, first.

 

Three core concepts will guide this effort:

 

1. We will compete for championships and make our fans proud.

 

I am incredibly proud of the work our Wildcats have done to make Kentucky as strong overall as it has ever been, culminating in the first top-25 finish in national all-sports standings in school history. For them to do it while also excelling in both the classroom and the community is even more impressive.

 

Now, just as I am asking my staff to take the fan experience to the next level, I am challenging student-athletes and coaches to build on that solid foundation and work to be the best department in the country and to continue to do it the right way. That's what the Big Blue Nation deserves.

 

We all share in this.

 

As a department, it is our job to give our teams the resources they need to compete for championships. With new and under-construction facilities across campus, I believe we are doing this. In all those venues, I ask you to help us create the best possible home-field advantage for all of our teams. I have seen and heard our fans be the difference in more games than I can count. We need you now more than ever.

 

2. We will provide a first-class game-day experience.

 

We know your experience on game day begins well before you enter the stadium. It starts when you are making plans to attend a game, continues when you are parking your car and doesn't end until the moment you arrive at home. For that reason, we will be intentional and transparent in all we do, from our ticketing process to enhancing the action on the field with music, audio and video.

 

No matter the venue, we want to create an atmosphere that tells fans they are at a Kentucky event. We will strive to create memories for fans, not only through the action on the field but also through one-on-one interactions with each and every one of you.

 

3. We will create a shared family atmosphere.

 

From children experiencing their first UK event to students supporting their school to fans who have been attending games for decades, we will create an atmosphere everyone can share. In doing this, we will ask fans to take an ownership role in the game-day experience by observing good sportsmanship, interacting positively with fellow fans and helping to take care of our facilities.

 

We have the best fans in the world and that will shine through in all we do. We truly appreciate you, the members of the Big Blue Nation. We will demonstrate this appreciation by connecting you to Kentucky like never before, using technology to supplement the game-day experience before, during and after events.

 

Though we will strive to be on the cutting edge, we will never forget where we come from. We share an incredibly special history and tradition and will always honor what it means to wear a Kentucky uniform.

 

Guided by these concepts, I formed a Fan Experience Committee with staff members from event management, marketing, ticketing and communications as we began the new year. We are meeting regularly to assess all aspects of our fan experience, but we need your help.

 

We want to know how we can best serve you. We want to know what we can do to give you the game-day experience you deserve. We are already investigating and refining on our own, but we need your input.

 

What can we do better? What are we already doing well? What have you seen at other sporting events that we should implement?

 

No suggestion is too big and none too small. From concessions to promotions to music selection, we want to know what matters to you. We are going to use every outlet available to us to listen to your feedback.

 

· Visit our new website, www.BBNfirst.UKathletics.com, and submit your feedback.

· Email us at BBNfirst@uky.edu.

· Continue the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #BBNfirst and by visiting our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/UKAthletics).

 

We are looking forward to hearing from you. Through our fan experience committee, we are taking a hard look at everything we do and your feedback will play an important role in this process.

 

We hope you notice improvements at the next UK event you attend, but BBN First is only just beginning.

 

‘Til the Battle Is Won,

Mitch Barnhart

 


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Coach Calipari To Meet With Players Before Draft Deadline http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-calipari-to-meet-with-players-before-draft-deadline/ http://www.lex18.com/news/coach-calipari-to-meet-with-players-before-draft-deadline/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:46:53 AM Coach Calipari To Meet With Players Before Draft Deadline

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he will meet with freshman forward Julius Randle on Monday, one day before Randle's scheduled press conference.

According to ESPN.com, Calipari has set up meetings throughout the week with all of the remaining players before Sunday's deadline to enter the NBA draft.

Calipari told the website he is to meet with freshman forward Dakari Johnson and sophomore forward Alex Poythress Monday afternoon and with freshmen guard twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison Tuesday.

The coach said he didn't know what Randle's decision will be yet. Randle is scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.


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Julius Randle To Hold Press Conference Tuesday http://www.lex18.com/news/julius-randle-to-hold-press-conference-tuesday/ http://www.lex18.com/news/julius-randle-to-hold-press-conference-tuesday/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 9:55:00 AM Julius Randle To Hold Press Conference Tuesday

Kentucky freshman forward Julius Randle will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., according to UK Athletics. 

Randle has been considered a lottery selection since arriving on campus. He has been honored as a third-team All-America selection by the Associated Press, making him one of three freshmen to earn the distinction.

Randle was a key player in taking the Wildcats to the Final Four in Dallas, and there has been a lot of talk around the freshman and whether he will return to UK for his sophomore year or enter the NBA draft.

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.

James Young became the first to announce that he will enter the NBA draft, leaving forward Julius Randle and the twin guards to decide if they will follow him as speculated or return for another season.

Willie Cauley-Stein announced that he would bypass the draft and return for his junior season.

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 also back) and recruits Karl Towns (6-11 and growing) and 6-10 Trey Lyles.

Calipari and Kentucky's fervent fan base now wait to see if Randle and the Harrisons follow suit.

The press conference will also be live streamed here. 

 


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UK Baseball Notes Weekend Of April 19 http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-baseball-notes-weekend-of-april-19/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-baseball-notes-weekend-of-april-19/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 21 Apr 2014 6:28:14 AM UK Baseball Notes Weekend Of April 19

Overall Record: 26-14, 9-9 SEC
Record Last Week: 3-1, 2-1 SEC

Recent Results
Tuesday, April 15 - won at No. 9 Louisville, 4-2
Friday, April 18 - won at Texas A&M, 6-3
Saturday, April 19 - won at Texas A&M, 11-4
Sunday, April 20 - lost at Texas A&M, 2-14

Upcoming Schedule (times Eastern)
Tuesday, April 22 - vs. Tennessee Tech * 6:30 p.m.
Friday, April 25 - vs. No. 10 Ole Miss * 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 26 - vs. No. 10 Ole Miss * 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 27 - vs. No. 10 Ole Miss * 1 p.m.

A.J. REED NOTE UPDATE
·Leads the NCAA in homers (16), owning two more then the next closest player (Michael Katz - 14, William & Mary).
·The SEC leader in average (.372), homers (16), RBI (53), total bases (116), slugging (.784), on-base percentage (.489), adding 11 doubles and a triple, with a 25-28 walk-strikeout ratio.
·Has made 24 consecutive weekend opening starts on the mound and has a 7-1 mark and a 2.15 ERA in 2014, ranking fourth in the SEC with 71 innings pitched.
·Hit two homers at Texas A&M over the weekend, a bomb to leftfield and to right-centerfield, also lacing a double off the wall.
·Entered last week with more homers then 179 teams in college baseball.
·Has hit nine homers away from Cliff Hagan Stadium in 2014, with 13 of his 16 blasts traveling over the right-centerfield, centerfield, left-centerfield or leftfield walls.
·Has hit .311 (175-for-562) in his career with 28 doubles, three triples, 33 homers and 148 RBI, with a .548 slugging and a .409 on-base percentage.
·On the mound in his career, has a 14 wins and a 3.00 ERA in 207 innings, striking out 149.
·Ranks 11th in UK history in homers, ninth in RBI an fourth in ERA.

PLAYER/PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
A.J. Reed
6-4 Jr. LHP/1B Terre Haute, Ind. (Terre Haute South)
Week Stats: .353 (6-for-17), 6 R, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .765 SLG%, .450 OB%
Week Stats: 1-0, 1.12 ERA, 8 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO

Notes: Kentucky junior two-way standout A.J. Reed had another prolific week in leading No. 19 Kentucky to three wins in its four-game road swing. Reed belted two homers and drove in five runs during the three-game weekend at Texas A&M, going 6-for-13 with a double, two homers and five RBI, drawing a walk and getting plunked by a pitch. Reed also worked his seventh win of the year on the mound Friday, firing eight innings, allowing just one earned run, walking one and striking out four. In a series-opening win at Texas A&M on Friday, Reed went 1-for-3 at the plate, getting hit by a pitch and intentionally walked. In a Saturday win at Texas A&M, Reed belted a homer, two singles - including the go-ahead RBI single in the fifth inning - and a double off the rightfield wall. On Sunday at TAMU, Reed gave UK the lead with a first-inning, two-out homer over the opposite-field fence, his NCAA-leading 16th of the year. On the year, Reed leads college baseball with 16 homers, batting an SEC-high .372 with 11 doubles, one triple and 53 RB, owning a .784 slugging and a .489 on-base percentage. On the mound, Reed has a 7-1 record and a 2.15 ERA in 10 Friday-night starts, working 71 innings, walking 18 and striking out 46. Reed has wins vs. No. 1 Virginia, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 12 Florida and at TAMU among his seven wins.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
Logan Salow
6-1 Fr. LHP Ashland, Ky. (Paul G. Blazer)
Week Stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 APP, 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

Notes: Freshman Logan Salow had a strong week in leading the No. 19 Wildcats to three wins on the road, including a midweek rivalry win at No. 9 Louisville on Tuesday. Salow picked up the win at UofL, working 3.2 shutout innings, scattering five singles and striking out three as UK held on for a 4-2 win. In a series-clinching win at Texas A&M on Saturday, Salow came on to fire 1.1 perfect innings in relief, striking out one on 17 pitches. On the year, Salow has a 2-1 record and a 1.42 ERA in 15 games, owning a save vs. No. 1 South Carolina, working 19 innings, allowing 14 hits - 13 singles - and six walks, striking out 20.

TEAM NOTES
The 19th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats complete a four-game road swing during the week with three wins, including a midweek victory at No. 9 Louisville and a weekend series win at Texas A&M. Kentucky will return to action for a four-game week, welcoming Tennessee Tech on Tuesday and No. 10 Ole Miss for a three-game weekend series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky (26-14, 9-9 Southeastern Conference) posted a 4-2 win at No. 9 Louisville on Tuesday, riding a strong bullpen effort from freshmen Logan Salow and Zack Brown, who combined to fire six shutout innings. The win marked a series sweep over the Cardinals for UK as Kentucky posted a 8-3 win over the Cardinals on April 1 in Lexington.

UK then traveled to red-hot Texas A&M for a crucial three-game series at the Aggies, with TAMU coming off a series win at Vanderbilt and a 18-run win in midweek action. UK posted a thrilling 6-3 win on Friday night to open the series, as A.J. Reed fired eight innings on the mound, allowing just one run, with UK breaking open a 3-3 game in the top of the ninth inning with three runs. UK then claimed the series win on Saturday with an 11-4 result, taking an 11-1 lead into the ninth inning before the Aggies plated three runs for the final margin. UK got four-hit games from Reed and Max Kuhn in the win, with the duo both homering and Kuhn adding doubles down both lines. The Aggies prevented a historic sweep for UK on Sunday, as the Wildcats were looking for just its sixth road SEC sweep in the last 35 years and its first since 2008 and 2000. TAMU got a five-run inning in the first on five two-out runs and never looked back in a 14-2 win to finish the series.

The Wildcats have been led at the plate by Reed, who has leads college baseball with 16 homers. Reed paces the SEC in average (.372), slugging (.784) and RBI (53), adding a .489 on-base percentage, 11 doubles and one triple. Reed also sports a 7-1 record on the mound in 10 Friday-night starts, with a 2.15 ERA in 71 innings, with wins over No. 1 Virginia, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 12 Florida and at Texas A&M in his starts.

Junior first baseman Thomas Bernal has hit .352 with five doubles, one homer and 23 RBI, while third baseman Max Kuhn has a .341 mark with 13 doubles, five homers and 36 RBI, leading the conference with 31 walks despite hitting in front of the NCAA home run leader for 40 games. Centerfielder Austin Cousino has hit .333 with 10 doubles, two triples, three homers and 25 RBI, stealing 13 bases. Catcher Micheal Thomas has hit .331 with seven doubles, one triple, six homers and 36 RBI. Leftfielder Ka'ai Tom has a .313 average with six doubles, 20 RBI and 12 stolen bases, with rightfielder Kyle Barrett batting .271 with five doubles, one homer, 18 RBI and 11 steals. Second basemen JaVon Shelby has hit .269 with six doubles, two triples, three homers and 16 RBI.

UK used the weekend rotation of Reed (7-1, 2.15 ERA) on Friday, sophomore southpaw Dylan Dwyer (5-1, 3.40 ERA) on Saturday and junior right-hander Andrew Nelson (1-4, 4.44 ERA) on Sunday for the second consecutive week. In relief, junior Spencer Jack (1-1, 1.52 ERA) has appeared in a team-high 18 games with two saves in 23.2 innings. Freshman Logan Salow (2-1, 1.42 ERA) has a save in 15 innings and fired five shutout innings in two relief appearances last week. Sophomore Kyle Cody (3-0, 2.45 ERA) leads the team with four saves in 12 games and three starts.

Kentucky will host Tennessee Tech, one of the top scoring offenses in the nation, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Wildcats will then welcome No. 10 Ole Miss to Cliff Hagan Stadium for a three-game set, starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET.


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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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