ESPNU to televise UK practice on Sunday

ESPNU will televise Kentucky’s basketball practice on Sunday. The telecast will be from 7-9 p.m.

During the SEC Network (alternative) telecast of UK’s football game against Eastern Kentucky Saturday, the announcers spoke of the upcoming basketball telecast, which they dubbed UK’s “Pro Day.”

Two NBA scouts, former UK players Kevin Grevey and Irving Thomas, said Sunday’s practice is considered this year’s UK “Combine.” UK expects scouts from several teams at the practice.

As with the ESPNU telecast of UK’s so-called “Combine” last year, the players will go through various agility and shooting drills in addition to 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 scrimmaging.

Doris Burke, Jay Williams and Seth Greenberg will work the ESPNU telecast. Andy Katz will do sideline reports.

UK offers video celebrating 2014-15 season

Kentucky has produced a video  chronicling the 2014-15 season. The video, titled “Let’s Ball,” is an all-access documentary that covers UK’s attempt at a historic 40-0 record. The documentary will be available in stores and online Oct. 13.

UK Sports Video shot, edited and produced the review of last season.

Fans will be able to buy the documentary through Netflix, iTunes,, and the UK Team Shop. Fans can also buy a Blu-ray/DVD package of Let’s Ball at stores across Kentucky.

2016 NCAA Tourney tickets go on sale Oct. 17

Tickets the 2016 NCAA Tournament go on sale Oct. 17 at host cities, which include Louisville.

The tickets are for the First Four, first- and second-round games and regional semifinals/finals. These tickets are available at

The 2016 tournament begins on March 15-16 with the First Four games in Dayton, Ohio.

First- and second-round games will be Thursday-and-Saturday sites in Denver; Des Moines, Iowa; Providence, Rhode Island; and Raleigh, North Carolina (March 17 and 19). The Friday-and-Sunday games (March 18 and 20) will be in Brooklyn, New York; Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Spokane, Washington.

Louisville will be the South Regional site and Anaheim, California will be the host of the West Regional. Those games will be played on Thursday and Saturday (March 24 and 26).

Philadelphia (East Regional) and Chicago (Midwest Regional) will have games on Friday and Sunday, March 25 and 27.

The Final Four, which will be April 2 and 4 in Houston’s NRG Stadium in Houston, is  sold out.

But the NCAA said the fans can buy ticket and hospitality packages from PrimeSport, the official ticket and hospitality provider of the NCAA, by visiting

What’s known as the NCAA Experience ticket and hospitality packages for all preliminary rounds of the championship can also be purchased at that website via PrimeSport.

Madness camper to get ‘luxury tent upgrade’ from Cal, Tempur-Pedic

One camper for Big Blue Madness tickets will receive what’s called a “luxury tent upgrade” from Kentucky Coach John Calipari, Tempur-Pedic and Sleep Outfitters.

The winner will receive two twin Tempur-Pedic “Champions Collection” mattresses and pillows, free food, two tickets to a regular-season game and what a news release called a “meet-and-greet tent-warming visit” by Calipari.

Fans can begin camping out at 5 a.m. Wednesday. Registration for the prize will between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday at a site between Memorial Coliseum and the Wildcat Coal Lodge.

The winner will be announced during a live broadcast on 98.1 The Bull and 630 WLAP. The tent-warming will be Wednesday evening.

Blue-White tickets go on sale Tuesday

Tickets for Kentucky basketball’s Blue-White Game go on sale Tuesday at 9 a.m. The Blue-White Game is scheduled for Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in Rupp Arena.

Tickets will be available online through or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or by calling the Rupp Arena Box Office (859-233- 535) between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Tickets will cost $10 (lower level) and $5 (upper level).

UK students may claim up to two free eRUPPtion Zone tickets for the Blue-White Game, while supplies last. Student tickets must be claimed in person at the Joe Craft Center ticket office with a valid student ID.

Tickets are $100 for UK clinic for women on Oct. 25

John Calipari’s annual clinic for female fans will be Oct. 25 from 3-6 p.m. at the Joe Craft Center on the University of Kentucky campus, UK announced Tuesday.

Tickets are $100 for the clinic, which UK touts as “an exclusive inside look” at Calipari’s program. Fans can register at

Check-in will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lexington Avenue entrance to the Joe Craft Center.  Staffers and players will present “the inner workings” of the program, UK said. Calipari, assists and players will also do a Question-and-Answer session with participants.

UK suggested that attendees wear comfortable attire and athletic shoes in order to better participate in activities and presentations.

Parking will be available in the E lot located on the north side of the Joe Craft Center. Attendees must park in a legal parking spot in that E lot only (parking in R lots is not permitted).

This clinic is open to women only. Recruitable age participants (currently in the 7th-12th grades, junior college or prep school) are not permitted to register for or attend the clinic, according to NCAA rules.

UK encouraged fans to register as soon as possible. Camps the last four years have been sellouts, UK said.

Blue Ribbon names UK No. 1 in its pre-season poll

Kentucky tops Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook’s preseason Top 25 poll for the second consecutive season, it was announced Wednesday.

In a news release, Blue Ribbon noted that Kentucky had been “gutted” by seven players from last season’s team turning pro. But, the yearbook noted, the Cats were again a national championship contender.

“As we began the process of putting together our book back in the spring, Kentucky wouldn’t have been our pre-season No. 1,”Blue Ribbon editor Chris Dortch said in the release. “But then the Wildcats signed Jamal Murray from Canada in June. He’s so good we thought that, combined with the players returning and other great newcomers, including Skal Labissiere, the mix has the potential for another deep run in the NCAA tournament.”

Kentucky became the first program to be No. 1 in back-to-back pre-season polls compiled by Blue Ribbon since North Carolina in 2007 and 2008.

Incidentally, no team ranked No. 1 in the Blue Ribbon pre-season poll has gone on to win that season’s national championship since North Carolina in 2008-09.

Besides Kentucky, two other Southeastern Conference teams made the top 25: Vanderbilt at No. 14 and Texas A&M at No. 22.
The Big Ten had the most teams in the poll (five), followed by the Pac-12 (four) and the ACC, Big 12 and SEC with three each.

Blue Ribbon’s 35th anniversary edition is available for pre-order now at The tablet version of the book will be available for download next week, and the printed version ships in mid-October.


Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook Top 25

  1. Kentucky
  2. Maryland
  3. Virginia
  4. North Carolina
  5. Kansas
  6. Duke
  7. Arizona
  8. Iowa State
  9. Villanova
  10. Gonzaga
  11. Wichita State
  12. California
  13. Indiana
  14. Vanderbilt
  15. Michigan State
  16. Oklahoma
  17. Michigan
  18. Oregon
  19. Purdue
  20. Utah
  21. SMU
  22. Texas A&M
  23. Connecticut
  24. Butler
  25. Dayton

Cal looks forward to meeting Pope Francis on Sept. 24

Although professing fatigue with all of his recent off-court activities, Kentucky Coach John Calipari sounded excited about a scheduled meeting with Pope Francis in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24.
“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to kiss his ring,” ‘he said after a charity game in Rupp Arena Sunday night, “but I’m going to be there listening to him.”
When a reporter asked if he was a fan of Pope Francis, who has been a polarizing figure for Catholics, Calipari said, “I don’t know if he’s polarizing. But I know this, he cares about people, and every decision he makes (is based on),  is this good for the people? You know, he’s about charity. He’s about forgiveness. And he’s moving the needle.”

Then Calipari turned to the reporter and said, “You must not be Catholic if you think he’s polarizing.”

According to multiple news reports, more conservative Catholics question Pope Francis’ call for compassion and forgiveness, for less attention to hot button issues like abortion and homosexuality.

“He brought us all together,” Calipari said of Pope Francis. “All us Catholics.”

UK, charities win Alumni Game

Kentucky won the just-for-funsies game Sunday night. UK fans, who didn’t come close to filling Rupp Arena despite the announced attendance of 23,154, enjoyed seeing the heroes (Kentucky) and villains (North Carolina) of yesteryear. And 17 charities benefitted to the tune of an announced $1.5 million.
DeMarcus Cousins, an enduring fan favorite, led what the scoreboards called “UK Pro’s” (avert your eyes, English teachers). His 33 points, 18 rebounds and six assists helped former UK players to a 122-112 victory in a night of defense-lite basketball. Harrison Barnes led the North Carolina “Pro’s” with 39 points.
From the beginning, it seemed predestined that Kentucky would win the ersatz game. UK had more players (10-8) and more draft picks (9-3). The North Carolina “Pro’s” had two 40-year-olds: Jerry Stackhouse and Shammond Williams.
Plus there was the home crowd (announced as 23,154 although the upper levels in each end zone had plenty of empty spaces).
If that wasn’t enough, public address announcer Patrick Whitmer reminded fans again that Rupp Arena is the home of “greatest tradition in history of college basketball.” The former North Carolina players just had to take one for the Kentucky team.
The money raised for charity surpassed the totals from similar games in 2012 and 2013. The 2012 game raised $350,000, UK announced. In 2013, the total increased to more than $1 million.
Despite not playing the game last year, the John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience raised about $1 million for 23 charities and organizations, UK said.
The charities benefiting from this year’s game were 4 Paws For Ability, The Starkey Hearing Foundation, Kids 2 Camp, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital Equip, John Maxwell Group, Golden Door Scholars, CISE, Stand Up To Cancer, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Louisville Zoo, Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project, United Way of Central KY, UNC Children’s Hospital, HOF Legacy Fund in Memory of Dean Smith, Samaritans Feet, Urban League of Lexington Fayette County and Team Focus.
A timely coincidence came with 7:16 left in the first half. After the announcement that The Starkey Hearing Foundation would receive $100,000, a fan in the upper arena yelled “Go Cats!” It was unlikely anyone on the court heard him.
With less than four minutes left in the first half, a lone voice bellowed “Go Big Blue!” After a pause, the voice — with growing desperation — again yelled “Go Big Blue!”
Slowly and with growing strength, fans joined in until a C+ version of the chant filled Rupp Arena.
A reminder of the artificial quality of the basketball came at halftime. As the players left the floor, a recording of “On, On U of K” played on the Rupp Arena sound system. There was no pep band in sight.
The halftime statistics had a fictional appearance. More than 60 percent of UK’s shots (25 of 41) were three-pointers. Cousins took six three-pointers in the first half. That matched the six he took in his 2009-10 season for Kentucky.
Cousins scored 20 points to lead Kentucky to a 59-51 halftime lead,
As the game wound down, at least one fan wanted more. With UK ahead 118-108 with less than a minute left, a female voice could be heard yelling “C’mon Cats.”

List of charities benefiting from UK-UNC Alumni Game

Here is a list of charities benefiting from the Kentucky-North Carolina Alumni Game:

4 Paws For Ability

The Starkey Hearing Foundation

Kids 2 Camp

St Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Equip, John Maxwell Group

Golden Door Scholars


Stand Up To Cancer

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Louisville Zoo

Alltech Sustainable Haiti Project

United Way of Central KY

UNC Children’s Hospital

HOF Legacy Fund in Memory of Dean Smith

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Samaritans Feet

Urban League of Lexington Fayette County

Team Focus