Kentucky Basketball

Kentucky speedsters Rajon Rondo and the late Ralph Beard
The 2019-20 Kentucky Wildcats abruptly ended their season on the eve of their first game in the SEC Tournament, due to the emerging Covid-19 Coronavirus. The Wildcats had just secured the the regular season Southeastern Conference championship and were playing well, just beating Florida on a last-second tip-in.

The team was led by three guards, sophomore Immanuel Quickley who blossomed from a reserve at the beginning of the season to being named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year by the end of the season. Quickley proved to be a deadly shooter, hitting nearly 43% from the three-point line and 92.3% from the free thrown line (good for 2nd all-time among UK players with at least 90 attempts) to lead the team in scoring at 16 ppg. Joining him in the backcourt was defensive ace Ashton Hagans (11.5 ppg) and freshman sensation Tyrese Maxey (14 ppg).

Also key to Kentucky's success was the emergence of Junior center Nick Richards who contributed 14 points per game but more importantly anchored the interior defense without the foul problems and inconsistent play which plagued him his first two seasons. Richards led the team with 241 reboudns and 66 blocked shots on the season. Sophomore E.J. Montgomery and grad transfer Nate Sestina battled injuries during the season to make important contributions down the stretch. Freshman forward Keion Brooks showed great promise with his efforts on both ends of the court.

This team continued a long tradition of outstanding teams which represent the University of Kentucky basketball program. Kentucky basketball is comprised of talented players and coaches who form together as a single unit to work toward a common goal. The team plays an exciting brand of basketball which looks to get out and run, but one that also looks to execute offensively whenever possible and minimize mistakes. Defense is Kentucky's bread and butter, as they look to disrupt and shut down the opposing team's game plan. The team regularly faces some of the most challenging schedules in the nation against motivated opponents looking to make a name for themselves by beating the Big Blue.

There is no program in the nation with as devoted, knowledgeable or fanatical fans as the University of the Kentucky. It's no accident that Kentucky is generally considered the top college basketball program of all-time, or that Kentucky leads the nation in numerous statistical categories, both on and off the court. To keep up with the Cats, check out the Associated Press Rankings, USA Today Coaches Rankings, the ESPN BPI Rankings or the Jeff Sagarin Ratings to keep up with the Cats.

Wildcat Logo

"It's not just about working hard, it's about working together. You have to care more about the team than you do about yourself" - Coach John Calipari

"I just thought it was the Kentucky fans coming in." - Coach Billy Gillispie in Atlanta after a tornado slams into the Georgia Dome.

"Really, UCLA's a great place as well, but they don't have the kind of environment they have here. The fans here have a passion." - Dick Vitale on Kentucky fans, December 23, 1999.

"He's got the puppies set off the bus." - Bill Raftery talking about Tayshaun Prince hitting his fifth straight three-point shot from U.

"Apparently the University of Kentucky basketball dynasty is to continue forever." - Philadelphia Inquirer, December 23 1954.

"Turner ... Burner .... and one" - Jim Nantz

"Kentucky has found the secret of basketball, that it's five guys playing together." - former University North Carolina coach Frank McGuire

"I see no reason to end the basketball season in February just so some of these schools can start spring football practice early... Someday they are going to wake up and realize that basketball is here to stay." - Adolph Rupp on his Southeastern Conference brethren in 1934.

"I'd just as soon freeze to death." - Actress Ashley Judd relating a story of being offered a University North Carolina - Chapel Hill jacket on a chilly movie set. - Lexington Herald Leader, August 15, 1996.

"It's not wise to come to Kentucky and try to run them off their court. Not too many teams have ever done that." - Mississippi State Coach Babe McCarthy in 1962.

"When you see Kentucky's fans, you just wonder. You think how wonderful it would be to go to their school. You wish you could trade places for a day, just so you could experience that feeling." - UCLA player Kris Johnson

"In the next four or five years, Kentucky will be at its best. It has taken a lot of hard labor, but down the road we will be at our best." - Rick Pitino in 1995

"They had it before you, they had it during you, they'll have it when you're gone"...." - Al McGuire on Kentucky Basketball Tradition

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Looking Ahead

Keion Brooks
The 2020-21 season finds the program in it's most uncertain time in the program's history. With the premature end to the preceding season and the continued Coronavirus pandemic, it's not a given a season will be played, or even if schools will hold classes on campus in the Fall. Even without this uncertainty, the team will be as young as any team head coach John Calipari has ever had, as most of the previous team members opted to enter an undetermined NBA draft and guard Johnny Juzang transferred to UCLA.

The only player with any experience playing at Kentucky is sophomore Keion Brooks, who played hard throughout his freshman year and showed offensive promise down the stretch. Kentucky native Dontaie Allen spent his freshman season injured and is looking to make his debut on the court this season.

If this Kentucky team has anything, it's a slew of incoming and highly regarded freshmen. Kentucky signed the top-rated recruiting class with two five-stars and four 4-stars. Leading the way are guard B.J. Boston who was originally from Georgia but played his senior season at Sierra Canyon High School in California and wing Terrence Clarke who last played at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. Joining them are point guard Devin Askew, wing Cam'Ron Fletcher and big men Lance Ware and Isaiah Jackson.

Providing much needed collegiate experience is guard Davion Mintz who transferred to UK from Creighton and who as a grad transfer will be able to play immediately. Mintz averaged 29 minutes and nearly 10 points per game with the Bluejays. Another transfer Jacob Toppin from Rhode Island will likely sit out the season. The season may hinge on yet another transfer, Olivier Sarr, a 7-foot center originally from France who was a third-team all-ACC player for Wake Forest his junior year in which he averaged 13.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, along with leading the team in blocked shots. Sarr was named the ACC's most improved player his junior season for the Demon Deacons. Sarr is currently petitioning the NCAA to be granted immediate eligibility. If this is granted, Kentucky will automatically jump to being a legitimate national contender.

The schedule for the 2020-21 season hasn't been fully announced. A game between UK and Michigan which was originally planned for London's O2 Arena has been postponed until another year due to uncertainty around the Coronavirus. Kentucky is scheduled to face the Kansas Jayhawks in Chicago as part of the Champions Classic doubleheader (the other game will be between Duke and Michigan State). Later that week, Kentucky will play the University of Detroit in a reunion between John Calipari and his son Brad Calipari who transferred from UK and has worked his way into becoming a sharpshooter for the Titans.

Kentucky is also scheduled to face former SEC foe Georgia Tech in Atlanta on November 27, traditional rival Notre Dame December 12 in Rupp Arena and blue blood UCLA in the annual CBS Sports Classic on December 19. Kentucky's game versus their annual rival Louisville will be in the Yum! Center although a date has not been announced.

The SEC promises to provide a difficult challenge as there are a number of established and talented young coaches who have brought in a tremendous amount of talent into the league. Some of the most dangerous opponents includes preseason top-10 team Tennessee along with the always dangerous Florida Gators and LSU Tigers, among many others.

The 2021 SEC Tournament will be held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee March 10-14.

The NCAA Final Four will also be held in Indianapolis April 3rd and 5th at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Regional sites include Denver, CO, Minneapolis, MN, Brooklyn, NY and Memphis, TN. Lexington's Rupp Arena will be the site of one of the First/Second Round Games. As host school, Kentucky will not be allowed to play there per NCAA regulations. The next nearest early-round site to Lexington will be in Detroit, MI at Detroit Mercy's Little Caesars Arena. Perhaps another Calipari reunion is in store?

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Statistics of past Kentucky Players and Teams

Here you will find the most complete statistical site devoted to any one college basketball program. Check it out, and let me know if there are any corrections or additions that should be made. - (Continually Updated)

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Top 10 Misconceptions surrounding UK and their basketball squad

I believe most every home page should bring something new to the internet rather than recycle the same information. In that vein, I have included my thoughts on some of the misconceptions that surround Kentucky basketball. Some have questioned me as to why someone would want to concentrate on what is sometimes negative or hard-to-defend areas rather than relive the many good aspects of the Kentucky Basketball program. My main answer is that while I generally don't like to dwell on the negative, I attempted to cover these topics because many of these issues simply are not covered anywhere else and some of the stories are important to tell. I could have put together material which illustrates the amazing accomplishments of such a storied program that is Kentucky Basketball, however much of this has been covered before in books, special edition memorabilia and videos spanning many decades. Most of this information is off the top of my head although I have gained much information from the Lexington Herald Leader along with other newspaper archives, magazines and books. If you have any facts or statistics to support or disprove me, I would appreciate .

Some Oldies but Goodies

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Kentucky Articles

From time to time, I might have something I want to write about or provide which doesn't fit into the 'detractors' format as above. So here is that place.

Kentucky Detractors

Every great program will attract its share of detractors and Kentucky has plenty of them. Whether they think UK is a bunch of cheaters, they don't like the coaches, the fans, the style of play or they just think UK wins too much, there's always going to be someone who roots against the Cats. I've put a list together of the top ten detractors of the basketball program. This page is intended to tell a little about the background of each person, the apparent reason for their dislike of the program and includes some anecdotes and quotes about the subject. All in the name of fun. A nationally known sports columnist loved it so much he was moved to pronounce it as "quite a list. An amazing list in fact." (More is available about that also.) Contributions to the Top-10 page are greatly appreciated.

Below is a critique of various poor media practices concerning issues related to Kentucky in the year 2010. Hopefully this type of critique will not be necessary in future years.

I've also written two book reviews which I believed unfairly criticized Kentucky. The first review is of Raw Recruits from the perspective of a Kentucky fan. The second review is of a recent book And The Walls Came Tumbling Down which attempts to drag former coach Adolph Rupp's name through the mud.

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Historic Kentucky Rivals

From time to time, I will write up a short history of the rivalry between Kentucky and some of their historic foes in preparation for an upcoming game. The ones which are done are highlighted below. Hopefully someday the rest will be filled in.

Non-Conference Rivals

Conference Rivals

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NCAA Tournament Pools

While not directly related to Kentucky basketball, I do have a definite opinion about how to run an office pool when NCAA Tournament time rolls around. In the past, I've run a pool that is easy to maintain, fun and doesn't require that you buy any software you don't already have.

UK Media Outlet Links

Print Media Outlets

Television Media Outlets

Radio Media Outlets - For complete list see UK Athletics

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Wildcat Blogs and Discussions

Wildcat Blogs

Wildcat Tweets - Below are selected Twitter accounts of recent and notable Kentucky Men's Basketball Players and coaches. A full list can be found here.

Wildcat Chat, Mailing Lists and other Discussion Groups

Talking about the Wildcats has been a tradition in Kentucky for over 100 years. With the internet, this tradition has taken on new forms with many different sites and formats popping up through the years. For fun, I put together a rough timeline of the various discussion groups, many which are included below.

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General Information Links

Team Profiles

General UK Information Links

Wildcats in the NBA - Selected Current Wildcats. For full list see this page.

For a list of former UK players playing overseas, check the following link.

Individual Pages of Current and Past Wildcat Players & Coaches

General College Basketball Links

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UK Homepages

Below are some home pages of other Wildcat Fans. If you think your page should be listed or know of others, .

Search Google, Bing or Yahoo! for more Kentucky Wildcat Pages.

This site and others can be searched through this link.

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Conference Information

Sometimes if the Cats aren't on TV and you can't get onto their radio site, you can catch them through their opponents broadcasts. For Kentucky, that would be the nasty Southeastern Conference.

SEC Logo

Radio Broadcasts

Athletic Home Pages

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Last Major Update May 20, 1996

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