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“EXCITED” WILDCATS PUT BIG TOWN BEATDOWN ON UCLA

UK vs UCLA - Photo by Brendon Miller - Midwest News & Sports
UK vs UCLA – Photo by Brendon Miller – Midwest News & Sports

As performances go, Kentucky today was really something special.  Calipari attributed the Cats performance to the fact that his team was so excited to go home for Christmas that it showed on the court.  Wow, if that is what the Christmas season brings, Cal may either want to move the players families into Wildcat Coal Lodge the rest of the season, or simply stop the clock and leave the tree and decorations up for the next four months.  That excitement produced an 83-44 clinic that was an annihilation of one of college basketball’s other blue bloods, storied UCLA.  For Brantley Gilbert fans, the CATS today didn’t lay down a Small Town Throwdown on the Bruins, but a Big Town Beatdown in the Windy City.

The Cats really seem to show up in big time, big promotion games, and take it to another level when the lights are the brightest.  Today was just an example of what this team can be when they put it all together.  Defensively, this team is simply, phenomenal.  Just like the whip job they put on Kansas a few weeks ago in the Champions Classic in Indianapolis, the defensive numbers today were again historic.  24-0 to begin the game, 41-7 at the half,  and a field goal percentage of 8.1 % in the first half against an admittedly not great UCLA team, but a good team that was capable of putting some points on the board.  As what has now become the norm, it was difficult for UCLA to get a good shot, and when they did, it was contested, or ended up being one of 13 blocks.  The Cats defense is going be a constant from game to game, as UCLA Coach Steve Alford put it, ““I think this is a team (Kentucky) that if they were to shoot only 20% and only score 50 points, they will still hold you to 35 points and beat you.  They are just that good.”

When the Cats are clicking offensively, this is the result.  Shooting 50% from the field and 46.2% from 3Land means any opponent is in trouble.  UCLA tried to pack in a zone to start the game, but after Aaron Harrison hit a three just 15 seconds into the game and a second three minutes later it was 16-0 at the first timeout.  Devin Booker then went on an 8-0 run by himself with two threes and a dunk in less than a minute, nearly half of his team high 19, and the score was 24-0, at the 12:40 mark.  The result was decided.  Alford summed it up, “In my 24 years of coaching, this is the best team I’ve coached against.  This is a really, really, really good team.  If they continue to play at that level defensively, they have a chance to run this thing out.”

The challenge will be how Cal is able to keep this team “excited” for the balance of the season after next week’s showdown with Louisville.  The average margin of victory is now 29.1 points a game.  Devin Booker was asked the teams mentality when it dominates a team and get a lead on them like today, to which he stated the “We have to keep playing against ourselves.  Coach always stresses to us we’re not playing against the other team; we’re playing against ourselves.”  If Cal can continue to keep this group “excited” by “playing against themselves”, Cats fans will be the ones excited in April.

Harrell gets ejected, but Cardinals hold on to win 76 – 67

The Louisville Cardinals first played Western Kentucky in 1926 when the Hilltoppers won 28 – 27.  Today’s game was the 78th game between the two games with Western Kentucky surprisingly holding a 39 – 38 advantage in the series.  Western has won only three times in last 26 games against Louisville dating back to 1961.  It would be hard-pressed to find a more intense game between the two teams that what we saw in front of a packed house in E. A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

The No. 4 ranked Cardinals came in winners of their first nine games and playing their first true road game.  They knew this would be a difficult test and that is exactly what they got.

Montrezl Harrell was in control of the game in the first half, scoring 14 of his team’s 28 points and grabbed six rebounds.  However, he was ejected from the game with 38 seconds remaining in the first half for throwing an elbow at a Western Kentucky player follow a loose ball scramble on the floor.  After the officials reviewed the play, Harrell was assessed a Flagrant-2 foul.

Assistant coach Kenny Johnson filled in for Rick PItino after the game said this about the Harrell ejection, “Anytime you – you always talk about keeping a level head, no matter what the environment may be. Montrezl owned up to his part in the mistake. That’s what happens in life as well as basketball, you make mistakes. In his mind, he was trying to protect himself so he could stand up properly. He owned up to it, and we had to fight without him.”

After all of the dust settled, it was Terry Rozier who showed up in a big way.  Rozier was seemingly unstoppable in the second half finishing with a career-high 32 points to go along with his five rebounds and three steals.

At one point in the second half Rozier scored 17 consecutive points during a 10 minute and seventeen second stretch.

Several players had strong games in Harrell’s absence.  Anas Mahmoud played 23 minutes off of the bench and finished with six points, grabbed five rebounds, and blocked three shots.  One of his biggest plays of the came after Western Kentucky scored to make it 69 – 64.  Mahmoud cut down the lane and received a pass from Anton Gill and slammed it home to put the Cardinals up 71 – 64, showing why coach Pitino sees huge potential in him.

Anton Gill’s shot still is not where it needs to be, but Pitino has stressed that he needs to do the other things well to get more playing time.  Today’s game was case-in-point.  Gill scored only five points, but grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot in 15 minutes of action.  His three-pointer with 6:45 remaining pushed Louisville’s lead to 10.  He made two big free throws down the stretch after making only three of his first nine on the season.

Free throw shooting has been Louisville’s achilles heel this season so far.  Today they finished well above their season average 60.4 percent, hitting 26 of their 30 attempts for 86.7 percent.

  1. J. Price led Western Kentucky with 24 points, but made only 7 of his 19 attempts. D. J. Clayton was the only other player for the Hilltoppers to score in double figures scoring 14 points off of the bench.

With the loss, Western Kentucky falls to 5 – 5 while Louisville improves their record to 10 – 0.

Louisville returns to the KFC Yum Center Tuesday night at 7:00 to take on Cal-State Northridge.

NOTES:

*Terry Rozier’s 32 points were a career-high.

*Rozier’s 11 free throws made and 13 attempts were both career-highs.

*Shaqquan Aaron dressed for his first collegiate game, but saw no action.

*This was Rick Pitino’s 950th game coached in college

Louisville Struggles in 68 – 57 Win

UL vs UNCWRick Pitino heaped high praise for his former assistant Kevin Keatts before the game and even more after the No. 4 ranked Louisville Cardinals 68 – 57 win over visiting UNCW Seahawks.  Pitino said, “I’m real proud of Kevin Keatts, for his team.  You like to see that.  They really deserved a better fate than that because they really outplayed us.”

Pitino was not in the mood to talk after the game.  His post-game press conference lasted less than two minutes.  His most telling statement, “I’m really disappointed in our basketball team, but they made us look bad so you’ve got to give all the credit to them.”

The game started slow for the Cardinals as UNCW jumped out to a 4 – 0 lead.  The slow start led to Pitino calling a quick timeout.  Wayne Blackshear then scored Louisville’s first basket 3:14 into the game.

Montrezl Harrell’s strong inside play helped push the Cardinals’ halftime lead to 32 – 24.  Harrell scored nine first half points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The second half started out much better than the first half with Louisville pushing their lead out to a game-high 17 points with 11:42 remaining.  The Cardinals looked to be in control leading 52 – 45, but the Seahawks would not go down easily.

The Seahawks fought back, eventually getting to within two points with just under seven minutes remaining.  They outscored Louisville 15 – 0 over a five plus minute stretch.

Terry Rozier then scored six of the next eight points to push Louisville’s lead to 60 – 52.  Rozier finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals, but Pitino was not happy with his performance saying, “he turned the ball over too much and he didn’t have an assist in the game. He didn’t play well at all.”

Montrezl Harrell finished with his fifth consecutive double-double.  He tied Rozier with a game-high 19 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds.

Louisville’s poor performance came just five days after one of their more impressive offensive performances against the Indiana Hoosiers.  They put up a season-high 94 points and 15 assists.  Against the Seahawks they finished with only seven assists.  The assist total is what Pitino has said is keeping this season’s Cardinals from becoming a great team saying, “We didn’t pass the ball like we did against Indiana. We hunted points and we paid the consequences of hunting points rather than hitting the open man.”

UNCW was led in scoring by senior guard Freddie Jackson who finished with 16 points.

Louisville’s next game will be their first true road game as they travel to Bowling Green to face Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

NOTES:

*Freshman Shaqquan Aaron will be eligible to play against Western Kentucky after being suspended for the first nine games of the season.

*Montrezl Harrell’s 17 rebounds against UNCW is a career-high.

Louisville Struggles in 68 – 57 Win

Rick Pitino heaped high praise for his former assistant Kevin Keatts before the game and even more after the No. 4 ranked Louisville Cardinals 68 – 57 win over visiting UNCW Seahawks.  Pitino said, “I’m real proud of Kevin Keatts, for his team.  You like to see that.  They really deserved a better fate than that because they really outplayed us.”

Pitino was not in the mood to talk after the game.  His post-game press conference lasted less than two minutes.  His most telling statement, “I’m really disappointed in our basketball team, but they made us look bad so you’ve got to give all the credit to them.”

The game started slow for the Cardinals as UNCW jumped out to a 4 – 0 lead.  The slow start led to Pitino calling a quick timeout.  Wayne Blackshear then scored Louisville’s first basket 3:14 into the game.

Montrezl Harrell’s strong inside play helped push the Cardinals’ halftime lead to 32 – 24.  Harrell scored nine first half points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The second half started out much better than the first half with Louisville pushing their lead out to a game-high 17 points with 11:42 remaining.  The Cardinals looked to be in control leading 52 – 45, but the Seahawks would not go down easily.

The Seahawks fought back, eventually getting to within two points with just under seven minutes remaining.  They outscored Louisville 15 – 0 over a five plus minute stretch.

Terry Rozier then scored six of the next eight points to push Louisville’s lead to 60 – 52.  Rozier finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals, but Pitino was not happy with his performance saying, “he turned the ball over too much and he didn’t have an assist in the game. He didn’t play well at all.”

Montrezl Harrell finished with his fifth consecutive double-double.  He tied Rozier with a game-high 19 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds.

Louisville’s poor performance came just five days after one of their more impressive offensive performances against the Indiana Hoosiers.  They put up a season-high 94 points and 15 assists.  Against the Seahawks they finished with only seven assists.  The assist total is what Pitino has said is keeping this season’s Cardinals from becoming a great team saying, “We didn’t pass the ball like we did against Indiana. We hunted points and we paid the consequences of hunting points rather than hitting the open man.”

UNCW was led in scoring by senior guard Freddie Jackson who finished with 16 points.

Louisville’s next game will be their first true road game as they travel to Bowling Green to face Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

NOTES:

*Freshman Shaqquan Aaron will be eligible to play against Western Kentucky after being suspended for the first nine games of the season.

*Montrezl Harrell’s 17 rebounds against UNCW is a career-high.

Jolene Campbell Obit

Jolene Campbell Obit
Jolene Campbell Obit

Jolene Campbell, 38, War Creek passed away Friday, December 12, at the Hazard Appalachian Regional Hospital. She was a member of the Pentecostal Workers Church.  She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Louise Campbell. She is survived by her daddy, Don Baker; her mom, Geneva Baker; two sisters, Tammy (Marvin) Reed and Rushie Mae Thompson; two nieces, Danielle Rose Miller and Alleah Rickelle Reed; three nephews, Mark Edward McIntosh, Daniel Ronin Thompson, Odin Ripley Thompson; special cousin, Kathleen Swartz; special friend, Becky Miller. Funeral services Wed., Dec. 17, 1:00 PM at the Breathitt Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Ruth Kilborn and Rev. Clyde Kilborn officiating.   Burial in the Campbell Cemetery at Clayhole.  Breathitt Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

U.K. ready for next "tough" test

cbs sports classicU.K. has defeated all eleven of it’s opponents by at least 10 points and leads the nation with an average margin of victory of 28.2 points. U.K. also ranks at or near the top in several defensive categories. Next up for U.K. is UCLA as part of the CBS SPORTS CLASSIC today in Chicago. UCLA’s depth may be an issue against the vaunted Wildcat “Platoon” system.

Coach Cal’s Pregame Comments –

On how the current team ranks with other teams he has coached … “It’ll be interesting to see how we finish, but the best teams I’ve had, like just unbelievable teams – I’m not saying the most talented teams – but I’m telling you the best basketball teams we had were when I was playing five and six guys.” On Tyler Ulis’ health … “He’s got to make sure he takes care of himself. It’s like when you go in an NBA locker room. Every one of them, I think 75 percent of the NBA has tendonitis so you can figure out how to play with it or don’t play. Get another job.” On if Ulis has tendonitis … “No, but it’s the same idea. There are certain things you have that you have to deal with. You have to learn to play with.” On the common characteristics between players who played for him that are from Chicago … “They were all different. I mean Derrick (Rose) played at one of the best high schools as far as the tradition of the program. Anthony (Davis) played at one of the worst high schools traditionally. Tyler played at a private school so it’s all different. What they all had in common is a desire to improve, a comfort-level in their skin, which made them very good teammates, great guys to be around. It’s funny how they won’t ever change. The injury that Derrick has, his team fully supports him because they know what a great guy he is and that he’s there for them. The same with Anthony. I mean, I’ve watched him play where Tyreke Evans – he played for me too – had like 35, and he (Davis) was fine with it. It never bothered him. He’d just keep feeding him the ball, chesting him. He’s one of those guys. This kid (Ulis) is the same way. I mean he’s cheering for Andrew (Harrison) to do well. And he knows how good Andrew is. And even though they run the different teams and they go at each other, he has great respect and he’s a great teammate.” On how well he knows UCLA head coach Steve Alford … “I’ve known him for years and years. We’ve become close, but I knew him when he was at Southwest Missouri State. I did things for him. My wife grew up an hour and a half from there on a dirt farm. You guys didn’t catch that. That’s what I told her. She grew up on a dirt farm. He and I have been close when he went to Iowa. I think we played. They beat us when I was at Memphis one of my first years, but he’s a terrific coach. Just a great guy. Great family. Tanya (Alford) is a great lady. His kids are great kids. And he now has that opportunity to be there in that job, which is one of the premier jobs.” On the idea of a grace period in a new coaching job … “There are two things. The kids remember the last three years. The families remember the last 30. The kids remember when they were 13 and 14 and before that they don’t have any idea. I think what Steve (Alford) did last year I think they won 30 games or 29 games or whatever it was. Walked right in and developed guys that people did not think would be able to go right to the NBA, and they did. Three of them after one year, one of them the (a high) pick in the draft. He’s also now done it with Kevon Looney. I mean, they’re telling me he’s the fourth or fifth pick in the draft. So he has developed players, but I think in our case we were prepared to lose a bunch of guys. I don’t think they knew that that many guys would leave them. And so that one guy missing has made it so they’re playing five and six guys. They would have played seven and they would have been fine. But I think he’s done a great job. He’s on the West Coast. He’s rebuilding the image of what they want there. We want to tie to programs like that. That’s what we want, both of us. Does that answer it?” On coaches like Roy Williams, Rick Pitino and Larry Brown this team to some of the all-time greats … “For a minute there I thought you were going to say all-time coaches. I understand that’s not going to be said. What were we talking about? No, I’m just kidding. What I really like is Willie (Cauley-Stein) has taken on a different persona. I sat him down about a month ago and said, ‘Why don’t you want to be the number one pick in the draft?’ He asked me what I meant. ‘Well it’s obvious you don’t want to be the number one pick. Why wouldn’t you? You have this team around you. All you have to do is perform and improve and improve in a couple areas and you’re on the page.’ He said, ‘I do want to.’ Then do more. Come into practice longer. Come in here at night. Spend more time at this – the sport. He has been. I think when you start talking about the teams that were the great teams, they had hall-of-fame players. We have yet to prove where we are in that regard. I think we’re a terrific team. I think what we’ve been doing to keep reinforcements coming has made us even better and made it easier for each guy to perform at a higher level. Let this season play out before they talk in terms of those teams because again some of them had three hall of famers on their team. In Springfield, their college team had three and to compare us to those teams. Come on. Maybe they’re looking at us compared to the other college teams in the last couple years. I don’t know.” On lessons taken from North Carolina game … “Toughness, rebounding, breakdowns defensively, and not sprinting back. Those are things that will cost you basketball games and we’ve focused on that now this week and for the next three. We’re the 13th best defensive rebounding team out of 14 in our league. Really? The tallest bad defensive rebounding team in the history of the game. There are things that I look at right now and I’m like, ‘Come on.’ We turn it over with just a little bit of pressure like token traps. We threw the ball all over the place. I would say if you watched our game, you have teams licking their chops saying, ‘We’re going to run, press, and trap these dudes. Try to get free baskets early and when we shoot it we’re sending four the glass. Forget about them.’ If you watched that game, then that’s what you’d do. Teams that will push you in the back on shots so they can get and edge and teams that just crash and bang and grab are looking at this and licking their chops.”

On how big the rebounding aspect is with a guy like Kevon Looney on their team … “It’s more than just him. I’m talking about my team. Our guards right now, we may have the worst group of rebounding guards in the country, too. So we’re doing stuff to hold them accountable. We started two days ago. Yesterday was an individual work day because we’re in finals, but we’re going to go back at it today. And I told them, ‘From here and through what we call Camp Cal, we’re doing this stuff every day.’ I said, ‘The stuff we’re not doing – the physical play, we get bumped, we hit the ground, we start throwing balls to a guy next to us, we throw it – well, we’re going to be playing in games where they grab, they hold, they kick, they push, they bite. Can you play in that type of game? If you can’t play in that type of game, you can’t win that game.’ ”

On how Alex Poythress is doing … “He and I met today. He’s doing good. He has a great frame of mind. He and I talked a little bit about Derrick Rose’s mental approach when it happened to him. He’s going to have the surgery after Christmas, so he has time. We talked about what his options could be and some things that we should think about.”

On how Poythress can still make it to the NBA Draft even though he’s going to miss the season and workouts … “He has more time than Nerlens (Noel) had, so he’s going to have an extra two months, really a month and a half. I would tell you that there will be an option for him if he chooses to (go). But we only talked (about it) slightly. We talked a little bit. I said, ‘The other side of it is being mentally tougher. Why? Because you’ll never get through the rehab (if you’re not). Pushing through a comfort level, which you struggle with. Well, you’ll have to through the rehab. You have no choice. Coming back with that increased motor. And then we’ll work on some skills.’ I told him about getting his wrist back on every shot. No more of this (hand straight up and down). Now we have time. Wrist is going to be back. You’re going to be up and off instead of that (straight up and down). I said, ‘We have time now.’ ”

On what it would be like to have him back as a senior … “A young man that they all respect and a young man that’s a straight-A student and a guy that can do things that normal players can’t do, it would be nice. But, if it’s in his best interest to put his name in the draft, I would support it and help it along and do that. He’s going to do what’s right for him. It’s tough. But he was really good today. I mean, I think he’s coming back to the reality of this happened, it’s not a dream, it’s real, now I’ve got to deal with it. He looked like was at ease with what was going forward.”

On if his hip is still bothering him … “I’m fine. The biggest thing is I’m sleeping at night. I’m working out every day. I still need to lose 20 pounds, which I gained – very happily – when I couldn’t do anything last year. But it’s a little harder getting it off. But like I told my team, I’m not supposed to have a six-pack. I’m 55. You’re supposed to have a little belly when you’re 65. Now I don’t want to have a big belly, but a little one.”

On if he was a “root for UCLA” kid when he was growing up a “root against UCLA” kid growing up … “I liked North Carolina growing up. I liked UCLA. I watched more basketball that way. I didn’t have a (team). Pitt, because Pitt wasn’t when I was younger the Pitt is now, but we had some guys from our high-school team play on that team so you followed Pitt and some of that stuff. West Virginia and all that because of where I grew up. UCLA, they were like faraway lands. I mean, I didn’t even go on vacation until I was 19, and that was to Maryland. Maryland. We drove to the Maryland shore. I was not on an airplane until I was 20. So when you start talking UCLA, ‘Where in the world? Is that in our country?’ Yeah. ‘Like, near Youngstown? Where is it?’ It’s just different than it was. So I wasn’t (a huge fan), but I liked them, respected them.”

Letcher County Fast Food Restaurant Robbed at Gunpoint

(Isom, KY) – A Letcher County restaurant became the latest victim of armed robbery late Tuesday evening.  At approximately 8:25 p.m., troopers with Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard responded to the Isom Subway, located at 75 Isom Plaza, after receiving a call that an armed individual had robbed the business.

Troopers arrived at the scene and spoke with a Subway employee who had reported the incident.  She advised them that an unknown white male entered the store armed with a rifle.  The subject demanded money from the employee, who complied with his demands.  The man fled the store with approximately $486 dollars.  He was last seen leaving the area in a black Toyota or Nissan pickup truck, traveling southbound on KY Highway 7.  The man is described as being approximately five feet five inches tall, wearing black clothing and a black mask.  No one was injured during the course of this incident.

Troopers conducted a search of the scene but were unable to locate the suspect vehicle.  This incident remains under investigation by Tpr. Michael Burton with KSP Post 13.

Cals Boys & Mitchells Gals On A Unique Ride

By – Ira D. Combs – Tri State Sports Media Service Inc. 

As we scan across the USA this holiday season there are not too many colleges or universities enjoying the combined success in college basketball as the University of Kentucky .   

John Calipari has his team atop all the men’s college basketball rankings as the consensus #1 team with only two real solid challenges left before the calendar turns to the new year . The first is coming up this saturday against UCLA (3:30 on CBS) at the United Center in Chicago , Ill. where I’m sure Big Blue Nation will make the trip north up 1-65 and give them a decided neutral court advantage . The following saturday Dec. 27th at the Yum Center in Louisville , Ky. many college basketball gurus think will be the Cats first real test of being bumped from the unbeaten ranks when they take on Rick Pitino’s # 4 ranked Louisville Cardinals .  

With first semester classes behind them and no more NCAA 20 hours per week rule holding them back you can be sure both Cal and Rick as well as their trusty assistants will be burning the midnight oil in the film room and their players will be practicing , eating , sleeping , and  dreaming basketball 24/7 .  

Other than a matchup between UK – UL in the NCAA title game the next best scenario would be meeting in the regular season as unbeatens at  # 1 and # 2 . That scenario has come about as close to happening this year as any time in the past but to come true U-Conn has to bump Duke from # 2 on Dec. 21st then UNLV must bump Arizona from # 3 on Dec. 23rd . I doubt either will happen but then again I never thought I’d live long enough to see the day Gardner Webb would be UK in Rupp Arena . 

Only one thing I’m sure of come Dec. 27th and that’s with the Yum Center having 21 different concessions/venues where you can purchase alcohol you can be sure the vast majority in attendance will hit the hard sauce either in celebration or deep sorrow . I wouldn’t want to be in or around the River City the evening of Dec. 27th nor will I be . 

Matthew Mitchell and his UK Hoops team’s holiday schedule will be similar in ways (especially the extra practice routines) but Santa has already provided Mitchell and his gal’s with an early present when they came from 16 points down at the Yum Center last sunday and beat the Lady Cards by (9) points . Now Mitchell and his lady hoopsters set their sights on a Dec. 21st date with Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium (3:00 o’clock on ESPN2) before they embark on another tough SEC regular season schedule that with a solid showing (I’m thinking at least 12 – 4) can propel them into a # 1 or # 2 seed for the NCAA Women’s version of March Madness . Remember starting in 2016 Rupp Arena will play host to (3) consecutive years (2016-2017-2018) of an NCAA Women’s regional round which if not this year hopefully in 2016 that will propel the UK Hoops team into that ultimate Final Four that Matthew Mitchell has so coveted in recent years . 

Regardless of how everything plays out in March for either Wildcat program you have to be pleased this holiday season to be a member of the Big Blue Nation . 

Special Notes Of Interest For Wildcat Fans 

# 1 – Beginning (Mon.) Dec. 15th at 9:00 a.m. 2015 UK season football tickets will go on sale for the general public now that the new seat selection process for CWS is completed .  For obtaining season tickets you can go online to   www.TheNewCws.com and click the button that says (Buy New Season Tickets) or call the Joe Craft Center ticket office at 1 – 800 – 928 – 2287 . 

# 2 – Tony Delk , arguably one of the top 2 or 3 Wildcat all time 3 point shooters will have his jersey number retired into the rafters of Rupp Arena on (Sat.) Feb. 21st against Auburn . Delk was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 . Most consider having your jersey retired by a school it’s highest honor to an athlete . Any remaining tickets for this game will go on sale at www.ukathletics.com about 10 to 12 days before this game . 

# 3 – UK and UCLA announced last week that the two historic men’s basketball programs have signed a contract to play each other in a home and home series beginning Dec. 3rd , 2015 in historic Pauley Pavilion where John Wooden made the Bruins famous then the following year Dec. 3rd , 2016 the Bruins will make their first ever appearance in historic Rupp Arena . Steve Alford one of Bobby Knight’s favorite players is the head coach at UCLA presently and agreed to the terms with John Calipari .