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. () () Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:10:49 GMT Synapse CMS 10 LEX18.com http://www.lex18.com/ 144 25 UK Soccer Enters Top-25 For First Time This Season http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-soccer-enters-top-25-for-first-time-this-season/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-soccer-enters-top-25-for-first-time-this-season/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:13:26 PM UK Athletics UK Soccer Enters Top-25 For First Time This Season

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

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
see blue. Day Set For Keeneland On Friday http://www.lex18.com/news/see-blue-day-set-for-keeneland-on-friday-392942/ http://www.lex18.com/news/see-blue-day-set-for-keeneland-on-friday-392942/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:45:06 PM Keeneland see blue. Day Set For Keeneland On Friday

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

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

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

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

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

WHERE: Keeneland Race Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Defense Gearing Up For No. 1 MSU, Heisman Front-Runner Prescott http://www.lex18.com/news/defense-gearing-up-for-no-1-msu-heisman-front-runner-prescott/ http://www.lex18.com/news/defense-gearing-up-for-no-1-msu-heisman-front-runner-prescott/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:36:47 PM UK Athletics Defense Gearing Up For No. 1 MSU, Heisman Front-Runner Prescott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
UK Needs More From The Passing Game http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-needs-more-from-the-passing-game/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-needs-more-from-the-passing-game/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 22 Oct 2014 4:22:56 PM Alan Cutler UK Needs More From The Passing Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Bud Dupree Named Quarterfinalist For Lott IMPACT Trophy http://www.lex18.com/news/bud-dupree-named-quarterfinalist-for-lott-impact-trophy/ http://www.lex18.com/news/bud-dupree-named-quarterfinalist-for-lott-impact-trophy/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 22 Oct 2014 4:15:16 PM Bud Dupree Named Quarterfinalist For Lott IMPACT Trophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Former UK Football Player Injured In Fall Released From Hospital http://www.lex18.com/news/former-uk-football-player-injured-in-fall-released-from-hospital/ http://www.lex18.com/news/former-uk-football-player-injured-in-fall-released-from-hospital/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 22 Oct 2014 1:05:23 PM Former UK Football Player Injured In Fall Released From Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Media Picks Kentucky To Win 2015 SEC Men's Basketball Championship http://www.lex18.com/news/media-picks-kentucky-to-win-2015-sec-men-s-basketball-championship/ http://www.lex18.com/news/media-picks-kentucky-to-win-2015-sec-men-s-basketball-championship/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:50:05 PM Media Picks Kentucky To Win 2015 SEC Men's Basketball Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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


Permalink| Comments


]]>
As SEC Dominates Rankings, Calls Of #SECBias Rise http://www.lex18.com/news/as-sec-dominates-rankings-calls-of-secbias-rise/ http://www.lex18.com/news/as-sec-dominates-rankings-calls-of-secbias-rise/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:09:17 PM Associated Press As SEC Dominates Rankings, Calls Of #SECBias Rise

RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

RESEARCH

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

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

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

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

___

DATA

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

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

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

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

___

ESPN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Permalink| Comments


]]>
UK Using LSU In Prep For No. 1 Bulldogs, But Not Dwelling On Defeat http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-using-lsu-in-prep-for-no-1-bulldogs-but-not-dwelling-on-defeat-392799/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-using-lsu-in-prep-for-no-1-bulldogs-but-not-dwelling-on-defeat-392799/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:46:57 PM UK Athletics UK Using LSU In Prep For No. 1 Bulldogs, But Not Dwelling On Defeat

As much as he may have wanted to, Neal Brown couldn't just throw away the tape from a blowout at LSU on Saturday.

Even though it's a painful reminder, there's too much to be gained from looking back at the loss for a young Kentucky team.

"If we had a veteran team, hey, we may have came in and not even watched the video," Brown said. "Really. And just said, hey, we're better than that, let's go. But I think where we're at, especially on offense, we've got to learn from those mistakes, or you repeat them."

UK began the business of correcting those mistakes on Monday and Tuesday, with a practice on both days. Some tough coaching has resulted, but it's all geared toward preparing the Cats to play their best game on Saturday against Mississippi State.

"When we met yesterday, we were hard on those guys because we've got to be better," Brown said. "In those type of games and those type of atmospheres, we've got to be better. Why did things go wrong? Here's why, now let's go out and fix them."

The issues on offense, according to quarterback Patrick Towles, were across the board. UK, however, is on their way to fixing them.

"We just didn't really make plays," Towles said. "The coaches can call a perfect play, but you need to execute. We didn't execute at any level at any position, which you're going to get beat by everybody if you don't do that. We executed really good today. We'll build on that tomorrow so come Saturday we're ready to rock."

The Cats don't have much choice about whether to be ready if they want to win with the top-ranked Bulldogs coming to town. Both Brown and Towles said Mississippi State's defensive line and linebackers represent a challenge the likes of which UK has not yet seen, even against LSU and Florida.

"I think they've got the best front seven that we've played against, maybe the best in the league," Brown said. "I haven't seen them all yet, but their front seven is very talented, d-tackles, they go four deep there and they're big."

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
LEX 18 True Blue Coverage: Devin Booker Talks His Father, Coach Cal http://www.lex18.com/news/lex-18-true-blue-coverage-devin-booker-talks-his-father-coach-cal/ http://www.lex18.com/news/lex-18-true-blue-coverage-devin-booker-talks-his-father-coach-cal/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 7:48:57 PM Alan Cutler/Melissa Ratliff LEX 18 True Blue Coverage: Devin Booker Talks His Father, Coach Cal

Devin Booker is a Kentucky player who can shoot and, according to Booker, he knew as early as 8 years old that he could make the basket. Booker's father was a first team All-American at Missouri, and subsequently played for three teams in the NBA as well as Russia, Turkey and Italy.

"Me and my Dad both love basketball, so what better place to be than two people that love basketball," says Booker.

Booker's father will also be the first to tell him how is playing, truthfully. Booker says his father scolded him for missing shots in the Bahamas.

"...He'll tell me straight up how I played. That's why I love him. He will tell me exactly how I played and he told me I played bad, and I did. That's what it was. He told me to keep building, keep working, and it will come along. He's just glad I'm going this right now instead of during the season," says Booker.

As for being more afraid of his father or Calipari, he claims he hasn't seen the more intense Calipari that basketball season tends to inspire.

"Yeah, I've heard some crazy stories. But I haven't seen it yet. They are saying we are seeing the moderate Cal. That we aren't seeing the full thing," says Booker.

 

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
UK Baseball Announces Weekly Scrimmage Times http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-baseball-announces-weekly-scrimmage-times/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-baseball-announces-weekly-scrimmage-times/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 7:00:52 PM UK Baseball Announces Weekly Scrimmage Times

The Kentucky baseball team will hold four intrasquad scrimmages during the week at Cliff Hagan Stadium, it was announced by UK head coach Gary Henderson on Tuesday.

Kentucky will open its four-game scrimmage week with a 3 p.m. first pitch on Wednesday, resume on Friday at 2 p.m., returning to action at 10 a.m. on Saturday and concluding at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Available parking for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday will be in Parking Structure No. 7 for $2.00/hour, maximum of $16.00 per visit. On Saturday, due to the football game, Parking Structure No. 7 is only available to football permits. Non-permitted, free parking options are in Structure's No. 2, No. 3 & No. 6. Parking Structure No. 2 is located next to WT Young Library and is about a five-minute walk to The Cliff.

CODY TABBED 19TH BEST PROSPECT AVAILABLE IN 2015 MLB DRAFT

Kentucky junior right-hander Kyle Cody has been ranked as the 19th-best prospect available for the 2015 MLB Draft by Baseball America.

A native of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Cody was tabbed as the No. 19 prospect available for the draft, ranking as the seventh-best collegiate prospect. Cody, a 6-foot-7, 240-pounder, was listed as the 11th-best pitching prospect available. Cody is coming off a star summer in the Cape Cod League, earning the starting pitching gig in the 2014 CCBL All-Star Game.

In his two-year Kentucky career, Cody has a 7-3 record and a 4.05 ERA in 33 games and 16 starts, saving five games in 2014. Cody has worked 95.2 innings, walking 33 and striking out 33. As a freshman, Cody made 10 starts in 15 games, before making six starts and appearing in 18 games as a sophomore. Cody finished 2014 with a 4-0 record, a 2.84 ERA and 38 innings pitched, despite missing time due to injury. Cody has shined in SEC play, owning a 3.18 ERA in 34 career conference innings pitched.

 

REED HOMECOMING TAILGATE SLATED FOR SATURDAY

One of the best players in the history of college baseball and the 2014 unanimous national player of the year, former Kentucky star AJ Reed will return to campus to be honored during UK's homecoming football tilt with Mississippi State on Oct. 25 at Commonwealth Stadium and the Wildcats will host a homecoming tailgate before the game, head coach Gary Henderson announced.

Reed will be honored during UK's game on Saturday, Oct. 25 with No. 3 Mississippi State, with the kickoff at 3:30 p.m. The baseball program will host a homecoming tailgate honoring AJ Reed before the game, with the tailgate tent opening at 1:30 p.m., past the green parking lot and in between the KET and BCTC buildings. The ceremony at the tailgate tent will begin at 2:15 p.m.

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

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

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

 

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Blue-White Scrimmage To Air On SEC Network http://www.lex18.com/news/blue-white-scrimmage-to-air-on-sec-network/ http://www.lex18.com/news/blue-white-scrimmage-to-air-on-sec-network/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 3:16:52 PM Blue-White Scrimmage To Air On SEC Network

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky's annual Blue-White Scrimmage set for Oct. 27 in Rupp Arena will air live on the SEC Network, it was announced Tuesday.

The scrimmage will also be available on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com. Dave Baker and Jeff Piecoro will be on the call, as well as former Wildcat Mark Krebs providing insight from the sidelines. The game will be produced by UK Sports Video. Game time is slated for a 7 p.m. ET tip.

UK's Blue-White Scrimmage will mark the first of 11 SEC Network televised contests in 2014-15. In addition to Monday's scrimmage, both of UK's exhibition games vs. Pikeville (Nov. 2) and Georgetown College (Nov. 9) will be available on the SEC Network. It will mark the first time in school history that Kentucky's Blue-White Scrimmage and exhibition games will be available on national television. Check with your cable or satellite provider for availability in your area and channel designations. You can find your network channel at this link: getsecnetwork.com.

Tickets for the Blue-White Scrimmage are still available. Lower-level (singles only) tickets are available for $10, while upper-level tickets are $5. Tickets may be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at (800)-745-3000 or in person at statewide Ticketmaster outlets.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Mullen Previews Kentucky Game As No. 1 Mississipi State Gets Back To Work http://www.lex18.com/news/mullen-previews-kentucky-game-as-no-1-mississipi-state-gets-back-to-work/ http://www.lex18.com/news/mullen-previews-kentucky-game-as-no-1-mississipi-state-gets-back-to-work/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 1:51:54 PM Mullen Previews Kentucky Game As No. 1 Mississipi State Gets Back To Work

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Top-ranked Mississippi State (6-0) returned to practice Monday afternoon following an open weekend as the Bulldogs began preparations for their Southeastern Conference road game at Kentucky at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday live on CBS.

MSU head coach Dan Mullen previewed the Bulldogs' matchup with the Wildcats at his weekly press conference. Below is a transcript:

Opening Statement

"We had a good bye week. We were able to get some guys rested and work on some things. Obviously, there are a lot of things we can improve on as a team. Bye weeks really offer a training camp mentality because we focus on fundamentals."

"Today is a very, very important day. I always think the Monday practice after a bye week is huge. We had a great Monday practice after the last bye week. We were not sluggish, which can happen when guys haven't been out on the field in a few days. We have to hit the field 100 miles per hour and ready to go. We have to have a great week of practice and be a much better team than we were before the bye week or when we got off of the field against Auburn."
"The Kentucky game this week is going to be very challenging. There are a lot of similarities with both teams. In our game against them last year, it came right down to the final play. They have a lot of star players back from last year, and we have a lot of guys back too. So I know they are going to have a lot of confidence. Anytime you are on the road in the SEC, it is going to be a huge challenge."

"I don't know if you can judge any team by how they perform on a Saturday night in ‘Death Valley'. They had a tough game last week and some things went wrong for them, but if you look at their overall body of work on the season, they have very talented players. [Patrick] Towles really throws the ball well and has the size to be able to stand in the pocket and throw it. He is very deceptively athletic. He is a much better runner than he gets credit for. They rotate their running backs through and they all bring something different to the table. They have some explosive wide receivers. They certainly have a lot of big time players on their team. Our focus is to get a fourth SEC win this week, and that is really what it is all about."

On keeping players motivated during the open week:
"If we are going to be successful, it doesn't need to be me doing that. That comes from within. I think our guys understand how much we have to improve and that we have to get better. They also understand that the only way to do that is through hard work. That has to come from within the team. If I have to be a cheerleader at practice, we are going to have problems. We are last in the SEC in total defense and passing defense. We are last in the SEC in our red zone offense, so there are a lot of little things we have to improve on as a football team moving forward. I think, especially for our older guys, it is important to see that. To see that and also to look beyond the statistics. They have to realize that we might not be as bad as some statistics say we are and aren't as good as some statistics say we are. I think our guys look at that and can really see the areas we need to improve. If you go through the motions you certainly are not going to improve."

On the improvement of Kentucky:
"I think Mark Stoops has done a great job. The first thing you start with is getting guys to play hard. You can get the talent, but the guys have to play hard. They are playing hard and with a lot of energy. There are guys stepping up and making big plays for them when they need them. That is a sign that they have bought in to what Coach Stoops is trying to build. I think you are seeing those steps pay off on the field for them this year. They are 5-2, with both losses coming on the road in the SEC. One was a triple- overtime game. When you look at the improvement that they have made, they can compete with anyone."

On staying focused week to week:
"Playing in the SEC gives you a bigger game every week. This is the biggest game we have played of the season. I said the Auburn game was the biggest game ever played in the state of Mississippi. This game is bigger now. Now we are a team that has a target on our back. We have to go on the road in a hostile environment and play one of the hottest and most improved teams in college football. Our guys better learn how to handle that and realize how big of a game this really is."

On the timing of the open week after facing three top-10 opponents:
"I always say that in the SEC, it is not about one game. It is the cumulative effect of playing in this conference. Four of the top five teams in the country are in the SEC. There are probably a couple of teams in every conference that, if they played one game, could beat any one of those four teams. What our league is about, and what our guys have to understand, is that it is not just one week. It is every single week. I think our guys took advantage of the bye week, because they know now we have to play six straight to end the season. They know what that grind is going to be like, so they made sure they were physically and mentally rested enough to be able to handle that. In this league you have to bring your A game every single week."

On the similarities between [Benardrick] McKinney and [Bud] Dupree:
"I think they both play very different games. They have similar physical characteristics. I think [Benardrick] is more of a physical force on the inside, and [Bud] Dupree is more of an edge player and is explosive off the edge. They are both future NFL players. They are both going to make plays that will impact the outcome of the game."

On Jameon Lewis:
"We expect to have him back. We will probably ease him in today, and build a little bit at practice each day. It is going to be great to have him and his experience back on the field playing for us."

On being the ‘hunted' vs. being the ‘hunter'
"I just enjoy the hunt itself. I like being out there and going to play. The bye week was great, but I am starting to get antsy. I am ready to get going again. I had fun playing back yard football with my kids and getting to spend quality time with my wife, but I am ready to get out there and go play. I just want our team to be out there ready to play."

On freshmen filling in for [Jameon] Lewis:
"I think that is huge. It shows that everyone in our program has to be ready when their number is called. When someone has gone down, someone else stepped up. I think that gets contagious around a team. When guys see someone get an opportunity, seize that opportunity, and be successful while helping the team, I think that helps everyone. That motivates everyone to be ready when their number is called."

On what having [Jameon] Lewis back means for the team:
"We have our most explosive player coming back. That just adds another weapon that the defense has to be concerned about. I think that is going to cause more concern for the defense to know exactly where he is because they know what he can do with the ball in his hands."

On offensive line depth:
"I think they have done a very good job. Everyone wonders why we mix and match guys throughout the season, but we try to get as many of them developed as we can for different situations. That is a position where you do not want to deal with injuries. You want to give guys the opportunity to develop before they are thrown into the fire. With all the injuries we suffered last year, there are a lot of guys who have more experience this year than they otherwise would have."

On players getting used to more attention:
"I think it has actually calmed down a little bit more each week since the Texas A&M game. That was the busiest week we have had. I think our guys now have really adjusted to it well."

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
UK Soccer's Justin Laird Named National Player Of The Week http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-soccer-s-justin-laird-named-national-player-of-the-week/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-soccer-s-justin-laird-named-national-player-of-the-week/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 1:44:45 PM UK Soccer's Justin Laird Named National Player Of The Week

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky men's soccer forward Justin Laird was named Disney Soccer/ National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Laird scored two goals in as many matches last week, to help take the now-No. 19 Wildcats into first place in Conference USA.
He scored the game-winner against ninth-ranked New Mexico - Kentucky's third top-25 win of the season.

Laird also earned a spot on the Top Drawer Soccer and collegesoccernews.com National Teams of the Week.

Laird's goal vs. New Mexico was an excellent strike across goal on the half-volley. He also scored the opener in a 5-1 win over Evansville and also assisted another to holding midfielder Paul Sime.

Laird's two goals last week took his team-leading goal total to five this season, and he has three assists on the year for 13 points, which is also the most on UK.

Laird's winner vs. New Mexico was his second game-winning goal of the year (vs. Xavier), which ranks tied for fourth in the league

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin native is tied for third in the league in shots (38), and ranks fourth in C-USA in shots per game (2.71). His 13 points this year ranks sixth in the league.

Laird's honor on Tuesday marked the second time this year that a Wildcat was named NSCAA Player of the Week, as goalkeeper Callum Irving earned the award on Sept. 23.

Four times since 2007 the Wildcats have earned a NSCAA National Player of the Week, with Tyler Riggs earning the honor in 2011 after leading UK to game-winning goals in two games on opening weekend. UK great Tim Crone was honored as the NSCAA National Player of the Week after scoring both goals off the bench in a 2-1 comeback win over No. 1 SMU in 2007.

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

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
UK Hoops Selected by Media to Finish Fourth in SEC Race http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-hoops-selected-by-media-to-finish-fourth-in-sec-race/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-hoops-selected-by-media-to-finish-fourth-in-sec-race/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Tue, 21 Oct 2014 1:42:16 PM UK Hoops Selected by Media to Finish Fourth in SEC Race

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The University of Kentucky women's basketball team was selected to finish fourth in the 2015 Southeastern Conference race in a voting of select panel of both SEC and national media members.

It marked the fifth straight season the Wildcats have been selected in the top four of the preseason poll.

South Carolina, which returns all five starters from last season's SEC regular-season title team, tops the order of finish, with Tennessee, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Georgia and LSU rounding out the top half of the league. Mississippi State, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama and Ole Miss round out the bottom half.

Head coach Matthew Mitchell, UK's all-time winningest coach, enters his eighth season at the helm of UK Hoops after leading the Wildcats to a 26-9 (10-6 SEC) mark last season, a No. 10 final national ranking in The Associated Press poll and the program's school-record fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, including third consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16.

Seven letter winners return from last season's squad, including top scorer and SEC Co-6th Woman of the Year Jennifer O'Neill (Bronx, N.Y.), and starters Bria Goss (Indianapolis) and Janee Thompson (Chicago). O'Neill, a 5-foot-6 senior guard, dropped in a team-high 12.6 points per game last year, while Goss, a 5-10 senior guard, was the team's third-leading scorer with 10.2 ppg. Thompson, a 5-7 junior point guard, averaged 8.6 points per game a year ago, while dishing out a team-best 107 assists. Also returning is senior center Azia Bishop (Toledo, Ohio) who saw action in all 35 games last season with five starts and senior forward Jelléah Sidney (Queens Village, N.Y.) who averaged 3.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game and was second on the team in steals with 41. The dynamic sophomore duo of Linnae Harper (Chicago) and Makayla Epps (Lebanon, Ky.) look to pick up where they left off last season. Harper, a 5-8 guard and member of the SEC All-Freshman team and SEC All-Tournament team, averaged 6.9 points per game overall, including 9.5 ppg in postseason play. Epps, a 5-10 guard, was one of the team's best shooters, hitting .483 percent from the field (56-of-116).

New additions to the roster this season include junior college transfer and 6-foot-6 center Ivana Jakubcova (Bratislava, Slovakia), freshman shooting guard Jaycee Coe (Gainesboro, Tenn.), freshman and forward/center Alexis Jennings (Madison, Ala.) and freshman center Alyssa Rice (Reynoldsburg, Ohio). Sophomore forward Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (Lebanon, Ky.) also will be available for action after sitting out last season with a pulmonary embolism.
The Wildcats open up the 2014-15 season with an exhibition game against Pikeville on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free and the game will be streamed live on SEC Network +. Events on SEC Network + are exclusively available on SECNetwork.com and on WatchESPN via computers, smartphones and tablets.

Season tickets for UK's entire 15-game regular-season home schedule are on sale now for $65. Lower-level chair backs ($80) are sold out.

Single-game Baylor tickets in Rupp Arena are also on sale. They are $9 for lower level reserved and $8 for upper level general admission. Youth (ages 6-18) and senior citizens (ages 65 and up) are only $5. Groups of 10 or more are $2 each in reserved and general admission areas and can ONLY be purchased by calling the UK ticket office directly.

UK students, faculty and staff are admitted free to all UK Hoops games with a valid UK identification card.

Season tickets may be purchased online at www.ukhoopstix.com. Baylor tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the UK Ticket Office at (800) 928-2287 or (859) 257-1818. Fans can also visit the Joe Craft Ticket Office. Office hours are 9 a.m. ET - 4:30 p.m. ET.

All other single-game tickets for Memorial Coliseum will go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 28, beginning at 9 a.m. ET through the UK Ticket Office or www.Ticketmaster.com.

SEC Champion
South Carolina


Order of Finish
1. South Carolina 210
2. Tennessee 191
3. Texas A&M 179
4. Kentucky 154
5. Vanderbilt 150
6. Georgia 132
7. LSU 122
8. Mississippi St. 108
9. Florida 96
10. Auburn 83
11. Arkansas 77
Missouri 77
13. Alabama 74
14. Ole Miss 21

Player of the Year
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina


Preseason All-SEC
Martha Alwal, Mississippi State
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina
Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee
Courtney Walker, Texas A&M


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Anthony Davis Injured in Pelicans' Win http://www.lex18.com/news/anthony-davis-injured-in-pelicans-win/ http://www.lex18.com/news/anthony-davis-injured-in-pelicans-win/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 20 Oct 2014 10:40:45 PM Anthony Davis Injured in Pelicans' Win

Anthony Davis scored 14 points and Ryan Anderson had 11 as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Washington Wizards 88-84 on Monday night in the next-to-last preseason game for both teams.

Led by 10 points from Davis, who went 5 for 5 from the field, the Pelicans went on a 24-4 run to take a 28-12 lead with 47.4 seconds left in the first quarter.

Early in the third quarter, Davis sprained his right wrist and didn't return.

Washington rested point guard John Wall and forward Paul Pierce. Pierce bruised his right knee on Friday against Charlotte.

The Wizards, led by Kevin Seraphin's 14 points, rebounded from a 29-point deficit to get within 87-84 with 18 seconds to play.

TIP-INS:

Wizards: Wall sat out his first preseason game. Coach Randy Wittman said he wanted to rest Wall, who has tendinitis in his left knee.

"Considering everything that's going on, there's no need to stress with that," Wittman said.

Wittman believes Wall will be back at practice on Tuesday. When asked if Wall's minutes needed to be monitored, Wittman shook his head no.

Washington suited up just 11 players. Forward Kris Humphries, who had surgery on his right pinkie last month, was scheduled to have sutures removed on Monday.

Pelicans: Coach Monty Williams played Tyreke Evans 20 minutes. Evans, who played in just his second preseason game after missing the first five because of a right hamstring injury, had 10 points.

"Tyreke is still under restriction a little bit with his minutes, so we don't want to push that," Williams said.

New Orleans isn't planning to play its starters many minutes in the team's final preseason game on Thursday. Williams used this as an opportunity to play the players he anticipates will be in his regular-season rotation.

"We have a number of new guys who are learning our language," Williams said. "We still have some things we want to look at the last couple of games. The last game we won't see our starters much, if at all."

WELCOME HOME:

The game was played at the newly named Royal Farms Arena, the latest moniker for the more than 50-year-old downtown building that was home to the Wizards' predecessors, the Baltimore Bullets from 1963-73.

ORIOLE IN THE HOUSE:

Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones served as the Wizards' honorary captain. Jones' Orioles were eliminated in four games by Kansas City in last week's American League Championship Series.

UP NEXT:

Pelicans: Host Dallas on Thursday

Wizards: Visit New York on Wednesday.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
True Blue Coverage: Big Blue Madness Player Introductions, Drake, Coach Calipari http://www.lex18.com/news/true-blue-coverage-big-blue-madness-player-introductions-drake-coach-calipari/ http://www.lex18.com/news/true-blue-coverage-big-blue-madness-player-introductions-drake-coach-calipari/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 20 Oct 2014 7:49:25 PM True Blue Coverage: Big Blue Madness Player Introductions, Drake, Coach Calipari

The University of Kentucky Athletics Department have released some highlights from the 2014 Big Blue Madness, including player introductions and hip hop artist Drake's introduction to Coach Calipari.

You can follow Big Blue News with LEX 18's True Blue Coverage. Join the conversation on our LEX 18 True Blue Fan Page.

 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WbXAwfjIaSo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Permalink| Comments


]]>
UK Women's Tennis: Ravita and Sutjiadi Advance to USTA/ITA Regional Finals http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-women-s-tennis-ravita-and-sutjiadi-advance-to-usta-ita-regional-finals/ http://www.lex18.com/news/uk-women-s-tennis-ravita-and-sutjiadi-advance-to-usta-ita-regional-finals/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 20 Oct 2014 7:36:11 PM UK Women's Tennis: Ravita and Sutjiadi Advance to USTA/ITA Regional Finals

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - With four wins in the last three days, the Kentucky women's tennis doubles team of Nadia Ravita and Aldila Sutjiadi have advanced to the Doubles Championship match at the USTA/ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. The duo play Vanderbilt's Courtney Colton and Sydney Campbell Tuesday in the Regional Championship Finals.

Ravita and Sutjiadi came into the tournament seeded as the No. 1 team in the main doubles draw and advanced to the finals with wins over Miami-Ohio, Lipscomb and Vanderbilt before Monday's semifinal victory over Purdue, 4-6, 6-1 (10-6).

"Nadia and Aldila were mentally tough today," UK head coach Carlos Drada said. "Staying in the present allowed them to play at their top level. Tomorrow is both a challenge and an opportunity, but I know we will be at our best again in the finals."

Ravita and Sutjiadi‘s journey to the finals began on Saturday morning with an 8-2 win over Miami-Ohio's Christine Gerrezzi and Ana Rajkovic in the main draw's first round. That afternoon, they beat Melissa Kromer and Laura Kent of Lipscomb, 8-3, in the round of 16 to move on to the quarterfinals. Sunday, Ravita and Sutjiadi beat Vanderbilt's Ashleigh Antal and Astra Sharma, seeded sixth in the tournament, 8-5.

In Monday's semifinals, Ravita and Sutjiadi beat Daniela Vidal and fourth-seeded Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum from Purdue, 4-6, 6-1 (10-6) to set up Tuesday's championship match vs. Vanderbilt. The Commodores are seeded third and advanced to the finals with a victory over second-seeded Tennessee Monday, 6-3, 6-0.

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Football Cats Prepare for No. 1 Mississippi State http://www.lex18.com/news/football-cats-prepare-for-no-1-mississippi-state/ http://www.lex18.com/news/football-cats-prepare-for-no-1-mississippi-state/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 20 Oct 2014 6:55:16 PM Football Cats Prepare for No. 1 Mississippi State

Mississippi State has spent the past month obliterating stereotypes about the program, ignoring a mediocre history and rising to the top spot in the national rankings for the first time in school history.

Now the Bulldogs are learning to embrace life as the favorite.

No. 1 Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) travels to face Kentucky (5-2, 2-2) on Saturday, which will be the program's first game as the top-ranked team after the Bulldogs were off last weekend.

"We're going into a game with a target on our back," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. "Having to go on the road in a hostile environment ... against one of the most improved teams in college football this year. Our guys better learn how to handle that and make sure we have unbelievable focus about how big of a game this really is."

Life in the SEC is almost never easy, but Mississippi State's next three weeks are relatively forgiving. The Bulldogs travel to face the Wildcats on Saturday - which lost to 41-3 to LSU last weekend - before home games against Arkansas and UT-Martin.

The previous off week has allowed the Bulldogs time to rest and now they're close to having everyone healthy.

Star receiver Jameon Lewis, who has missed the past two games with a leg injury, is expected to play against Kentucky. The 5-foot-9, 183-pound senior caught 15 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown in the first four games and was the team's leading receiver a year ago.

The Bulldogs' biggest fear at this point might be an emotional letdown. It's been an intense four weeks for the program, with wins over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn catapulting them into the national spotlight.

Because of that, Mullen said that last week's rest came at a good time, but he'll be watching his players closely throughout the next few days to make sure they bounce back from the down time.

He expects veterans like quarterback Dak Prescott and linebacker Benardrick McKinney to take the lead and bring emotion to the practice field.

"If we're going to be successful, I don't need to be the one doing that," Mullen said. "That comes from within - the leadership within the team. I think our guys understand how much we have to improve and get better. If I have to be a cheerleader out at practice, we're going to have some problems."

Mullen said one look at the conference statistics proves Mississippi State has plenty of places to improve. Despite a perfect start to the season, the Bulldogs rank last in the league in pass defense (308.3 yards per game) and total defense (428.8).

Kentucky has a promising young quarterback in sophomore Patrick Towles, who has thrown for 1,687 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.

The Wildcats would like nothing more than to ruin Mississippi State's dream season. Kentucky has a 3-11 record against No. 1-ranked teams.

"They're playing red hot and it starts with (Prescott)," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "He's as talented of a guy as there is in the country. He can run it, he can throw it. He's making great decisions and their offense puts stress on you."

Mullen said it's up to the Bulldogs to prove they can handle the scrutiny that comes with being No. 1 and handle Kentucky's best shot.

"We tell them 'It's pretty easy, if you don't like the attention then go out there and play really poorly and nobody will ever talk about us again,'" Mullen said. "If you like the attention, continue to work hard, get better and play well."


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Former Wildcat Joins SEC Network http://www.lex18.com/news/former-wildcat-joins-sec-network/ http://www.lex18.com/news/former-wildcat-joins-sec-network/ *LEX 18 True Blue Coverage Mon, 20 Oct 2014 6:46:25 PM Former Wildcat Joins SEC Network

SEC Network will televise 118 Southeastern Conference men's basketball games in its inaugural season and surround coverage with sportscasters, former coaches and former players with extensive SEC expertise. The experience of Dave Baker, Barry Booker, Joe Dean Jr., Daymeon Fishback, Tom Hart, Darrin Horn, Dave Neal, Will Perdue and Jon Sundvold highlight the SEC Network's basketball commentating roster. In addition, the network has hired former SEC men's basketball players Dane Bradshaw (Tennessee) and Tony Delk (Kentucky) as SEC Network analysts.

SEC Network Basketball Play-by-Play Commentators:

· Dave Neal - the two-time EMMY Award winner has been covering SEC sports for nearly 15 years and worked with ESPN since 2009

· Tom Hart - play-by-play for SEC Network's college football coverage, a Missouri graduate covering a span of college sports including women's basketball and baseball

· Dave Baker - sportscaster for men's and women's SEC basketball for more than two decades

 

SEC Network Basketball Analysts:

· Barry Booker -played guard at Vanderbilt University from 1985-89 and has been a college basketball analyst on ESPN networks for the past five seasons. Booker will now cover games as analyst for SEC Network

· Dane Bradshaw - new to ESPN networks, Bradshaw is a former Tennessee guard he will cover games and appear in SEC Network's studio coverage

· Joe Dean Jr. - former Mississippi State basketball player and assistant coach at two SEC schools, Dean joins SEC Network after covering SEC basketball games for more than 20 years

· Tony Delk - new to ESPN networks, Delk was a Kentucky point guard for the 1996 National Championship team. He will be an analyst for SEC Network's studio coverage

· Daymeon Fishback - former Auburn player, Fishback will contribute as a game analyst for SEC Network

· Darrin Horn - previously coached at South Carolina, Horn has been covering basketball at ESPN for the last two years and will continue to do so for multiple ESPN networks including SEC Network

· Jon Sundvold - former Missouri guard, Sundvold was an All-American and a first round draft pick. He has contributed his analytic expertise at ESPN for more than a decade including covering the SEC the last two years. He will now also cover games for SEC Network

· Will Perdue - a former Vanderbilt basketball player, Perdue was a first round NBA draft pick and played on four NBA Championship teams. He will contribute to SEC Network studio programming and games as an analyst

 

The SEC Network's first regular season men's basketball game - William & Mary at Florida on Friday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. ET - will feature ESPN commentators Dave O'Brien and analyst Sean Farnham. SEC Network's full schedule of men's games is available below. In addition to the 118 televised games, more than 40 games will be carried as digital exclusive events on SEC Network +, available on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com.

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>