Category Archives: UK Sports

College Volleyball – Wildcats Drop Tournament Finale to Creighton

Dusek’s 60 total digs earn sophomore libero All-Tournament honors

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 10th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team dropped its tournament finale, 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-18), to Creighton on Saturday evening.

Sophomore Ashely Dusek led the way for the Wildcats, with another impressive performance. The libero charted 18 digs in the contest, marking her fifth-consecutive contest with 10 or more digs. Dusek also added a service ace in the loss. Continue reading College Volleyball – Wildcats Drop Tournament Finale to Creighton

Visiting Ohio Upsets the No. 10 Wildcats

Sophomore outside hitter Darian Mack logs a double-double in the defeat

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 10th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team faced its first setback of the 2015 campaign on Tuesday evening, as visiting Mid-American Conference powerhouse Ohio defeated the Wildcats, 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 30-28) in front of 1,401 fans in Memorial Coliseum. Continue reading Visiting Ohio Upsets the No. 10 Wildcats

Wildcats Special Season Still On Track

(Mark Stoops 2015 Signing Class Just Days Away) 

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

UK vs Georgia 11-8-14 (78)As we enter the last week of January the Kentucky “Wildcats” special season is still on track at 19 – 0 with games coming up this week at Missouri (Thurs.9:00 est. ESPN) and saturday in Rupp Arena (7:00 est. – SEC Network) . Most all the college basketball gurus don’t think there will be a bump in the road this week either but sometimes that’s when lightning strikes . Cal’s boys did dispose of Missouri in Rupp Arena a couple weeks ago pretty easily and the Alabama game this coming saturday will be in the friendly confines of Rupp Arena so it’s doubtful anything earth shattering will happen this week unless it’s with the only other undefeated NCAA Div. 1 team over in Charlottsville , Va.

The Virginia “Cavaliers” have a tough road ahead over the next two weeks in ACC play ( Duke / UL at Home and North Carolina / NC State away ) while UK has an upcoming road swing of back to back games on the road at Florida and LSU within three days of each other . If both the Cats and Cavs are still undefeated after wadding thru those tough waters then we can all start getting excited and talking about something that could be very special which would be the prospects of something I’m not sure has ever happened before , an NCAA championship game with 2 undefeated teams .

Hey , we can dream can’t we it’s not Hollywood but we can still dream .

On the home front Devin Booker continues to open eyes across college basketball with his uncanny shooting from behind the arc now hitting at a 64% clip the last five games . Just last weekend the SEC Network’s premier weekly show SEC Now did a poll among their host and game announcers of who were the top (5) three point shooters in the SEC . Guess what team had (2) players in that top (5) , none other than your own Kentucky “Wildcats”  . Soph. Aaron Harrison was ranked the # 3 shooter from behind the arc and Devin Booker UK’s multi talented freshman was the top rated long range specialist in the SEC .

Double Dip Weekend For BBN Out In State

In the fall of the year most of Big Blue Nation loves a double dip weekend of Keeneland racing on a saturday afternoon and UK football at CWS on saturdayevening . This coming weekend you can get the winter version of double dipping UK basketball style . This coming saturday as we mentioned above you have UK playing Alabama at Rupp Arena with tip-off slated for 7:00 p.m. then on sunday afternoon you can catch Matthew Mitchell’s UK Hoops team in Memorial Coliseum battling the Georgia womens basketball team at 1:00 p.m.and still get back to most parts of the Commonwealth at a decent hour for a good nights rest to start monday morning off for another week at the office .

There is only one more of these double dip weekends left in the season and it comes when the men play Arkansas on Feb. 28th then the UK Hoops team plays # 1 South Carolina the following day (Sun.) March 1st in Memorial Coliseum .

You can go online at www.combsbrothersonkysports.com for more coverage of UK basketball and football as well as KHSAA basketball and football . You can also follow me on twitter at @combsbrothers5 .

UK Now One Of Only Two Undefeated Teams

By – Ira D. Combs

Tri State Sports Media Service Inc.

(Mon.) 1/19/2015

 

First off don’t ever try to figure out why teams and players play to the extreme one way or the other within the same season  , there is no rational explanation .

 

With that being established I still don’t know if it was the annual January slump or just overlooking an opponent week before last when UK struggled to two OT wins against Ole Miss and Texas A & M but it appears after last weeks two games against Mizzou and Bama when UK bombarded both with a total of over 70 points worth of beat downs that Cal’s Boys are back hitting on all eight cylinders .

 

Next up this week is Vandy (Tues. 9:00 est. / SEC Network) and South Carolina (Sat. Noon est. / ESPN) . If the Cats are truly back on track both should be wins but the South Carolina game could be troublesome for a half or so . However , if this team has a pay back game on this years schedule it would be the “Gamecocks” , why , remember last year . UK suffered it’s most embarrassing loss of the season in Columbia , SC. and Cal was boosted by the officials in the process .

 

Devin Booker seems to be the hottest of the Wildcats at the present time averaging 10.6 ppg while knocking down 20 of his last 28 (3) point attempts . UK has (7) players averaging between 11.4 – 7.8 ppg with Tyler Ulius just behind those (7) players averaging 5.7 ppg. Yet , Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl Anthony-Towns continue to get the bulk of the love from the media and especially the NBA scouts and GM’s .

 

Time will tell once the NBA draft rolls around but I still think Devin Booker will be highly valued by NBA folks once it’s all said and done . Booker has perfect skills both offensively and defensively for an NBA two guard and his 6’ 6” frame is spot on for that position .

 

Undefeated Match-ups Dwindling For March Madness

 

Now that Duke , Wisconsin , Louisville , and Arizona have all hit a wall and lost at least (2) games the only team left that could be undefeated and matched – up against UK is Virginia . With the ACC being as strong as ever I doubt Virginia can work their way thru that regular season schedule without at least a couple losses if not more . So don’t expect (2) undefeated teams to make it to Indianapolis for a championship showdown .

 

It would have been interesting to compare TV ratings of (2) undefeated mens basketball teams playing for the NCAA championship to the Oregon – Ohio State football championship TV ratings .

 

Special Day Of Hoops In Honor Of Joe B. Hall

 

Normally this column is devoted exclusively to UK sports in season but this week we honor an old warhorse who is finally getting the love he deserved years ago . This coming Saturday Jan. 24th over at the MCHS Events Center in Mt. Sterling adjacent to the MCHS high school the 25th annual Joe B. Hall Prep Classic will take place showcasing several of the Commonwealth’s top 25 high school teams and all (4) of the Mr. Basketball candidates ( Ray Spalding – Trinity , Cam Justice – KCC , “Beetle” Bolden – Holmes and Jacqualis Matlock – Hopkinsville ) . The 1st game tips-off at 1:30 and the fifth and final game tips-off at 8:30 . Those worried about missing part of the 2nd half of the UK – South Carolina game which tips-off at Noon don’t worry there will be a big screen TV in the lobby for the fans to not miss a minute of the game which should end about halftime of the first game .

 

You can go online to www.combsbrothersonkysports.com for more coverage of UK basketball and football as well as KHSAA basketball and football . Also , you can now follow us on twitter at @combsbrothers5 .

Cats Dodge Another Bullet Still Undefeated

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

Photo by Tammie Brown
Photo by Tammie Brown

Thank God those eight letters across the jersey UK wears still has an impact to it’s opponents , even if it doesn’t with the ones who wear it , or else UK would be saddled with (2) losses today .

Last Tuesday late in the Ole Miss game my brother Oscar ( who has much more name recognition than I’ll ever have with Big Blue Nation ) while setting beside me on media row out of the blue said “ anyone above 30 years of age that said this team is capable of or should go undefeated should be examined for sports brain surgery “ .  I didn’t know how to take that since obviously I’m way above that age cutoff , then again so is he and he may not be on record predicting a 40 – 0 season but he’s been high on the soap box with his opinion of this team to make such a statement .

Anyway , If these Kentucky “Wildcats” are like a normal feline they only have (7) lives left after last weeks single and double overtime wins against Ole Miss and Texas A & M .

Now in order to keep the undefeated season in tact several things must change and quickly if this team is serious about doing something special that no other UK team has done . What appears to be the difference in the team the last two games from the team that played in late Nov. and all thru December?

Coach Cal said in the post game interview at Texas A & M that , “he felt they still had a will to win at the end of last weeks two games “ . Maybe so but only at the end , you can’t tell me this team has played the last two games with the same passion , physical effort , and intensity defensively from the tip off to the end . That was evident when they continuously got beat off the dribble against Texas A & M and gave up uncontested open looks earlier in the week against Ole Miss plus were nowhere close to where they were in dominating the boards like the first 13 games . While Coach Cal may have fudged a little with his remarks in defense of his players on their will to win he did confess that “ we simply aren’t very good right now “ .

Again when and where did UK lose that edge ?

Is it due to the fact no more marquee opponents for national TV are left on the schedule . Could the Louisville game as physical as it was piggy backed with 10 days of Camp Cal have taken a little out of the teams physical abilities and emotions which now need some recuperation time over in the Wildcat Coal Lodge . Could the loss of Alex Poythress experience maybe have hurt this teams abilities to fight thru tough road game atmospheres or dare I even say this teams ceiling offensively may not be as high as it’s ceiling defensively .

 

It does appear this teams strength and depth inside at the power forward , post , and base line positions what everyone thought going into the season was their strength is not as potent especially offensively as first thought . There is no denying that Devin Booker , Tyler Ulis , and on occasion Aaron Harrison’s perimeter shooting has bailed this team out of a couple losses already .

Whatever the problem is that needs to be fixed it better happen this week because the SEC is not as weak and putrid as in past years . Arkansas is now a serious top 25 contender , LSU is just a few votes away from the top 25 , South Carolina has received votes for consideration to the top 25 , and Alabama UK’s opponent this coming Saturday may be a tougher game in Tuscaloosa than any of the above mentioned teams , the Crimson Tide announced last week that the UK – Bama game on Jan. 17th is already a hard sellout .

Is this the beginning of a rare disappointing SEC regular season or are we simply fighting thru another January slump Calipari style unlike the old Joe B. Hall January slumps of the 70’s and 80’s .

You can go online to www.combsbrothersonkysports.com for more coverage of UK basketball and football as well as KHSAA basketball and football plus you can now follow me on twitter @combsbrothers5 .

The Ten Dumbest Fan Bases in America: #2 The Kentucky Wildcats

(The following article was written by what I believe to be the single dumbest sports writer in the world, CLAY TRAVIS for Fox Sports. We will not give his Twitter account or Facebook since we do not want to add traffic to this moron’s accounts. We will however give you his email for those of you who want to message him. clay.travis@gmail.com. The actual link to this absolutely asinine article can be found HERE)

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The Ten Dumbest Fan Bases in America: #2 The Kentucky Wildcats | FOX Sports

Camp Cal Behind Them UK Enters Part 3 Of 2014-15 Season This Week

Stoops & Assistants Begin Final Phase Of 2015 Recruiting Class

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

Most college basketball experts will tell you that each season is divided into (5) mini seasons which consist of ( pre-season practice , non conference games , conference regular season , conference post season , NCAA tourney )  so this week UK enters the SEC regular season portion of the schedule .

Coach Cal - photo by Tammie Brown
Coach Cal – photo by Tammie Brown

 The Cats are ranked # 1 and considered a prohibitive favorite to win the SEC regular season title and quite possibly run the table at 18 – 0 which if this materializes would put them at 31 – 0 entering the SEC post season tourney in Nashville , Tenn. and on schedule for the ultimate prize of a 40 – 0 undefeated season and NCAA championship # 9 . So far there has been only a couple mild bumps in the road . First was the season ending ACL injury which sidelined Alex Poythress then second was not as much a bump in the road as it was the first physical hard fought challenge on the road with the possibility of spoiling the undefeated season . At this point it appears Poythress injury can be overcome and the Louisville game while much like a scrum match has been placed in the W column and everyone can now move forward .

 

So the big question during Camp Cal the last 10 days has been now that all the marquee games (Kansas-Texas-UCLA-North Carolina-Louisville) are behind them and the SEC once again not getting much respect from the pollsters what can John Calipari do to keep this team hungry ?

 

My guess is and what I would recommend is to use what everybody doesn’t want to talk about as a motivation factor . Tell the players you want to do something special be a part of history then let’s talk about going undefeated and keep it in the forefront and fresh on their minds before they take the court for every game . Your playing for a program that deals constantly with being placed in the national media’s eye , the majority of your roster has already experienced playing on the biggest stage . The UK freshman like most of recent years have already been exposed to more big time game day atmospheres thru the all star game circuit than most juniors and seniors .

 

I can’t think of anything else that would keep the players minds from wondering and putting an emphasis on attention to detail more than constantly reminding them they are square in the middle of doing something very special , another words use the pressure don’t let the pressure consume you .

 

As far as competition the upcoming (2) months I’m not buying into what others are saying especially on the road across the south . When Kentucky arrives at places like ( Florida – LSU – Arkansas – Georgia ) it’s very much like when the Alabama football team rolls into town during the fall , everybody raises there game a level . More 3’s fall , more rebounds bounce into the home teams hands , and the whistle mysteriously turns in favor of the home team unlike Rupp Arena .

 

Everything taken into consideration it does appear that this UK team is special enough to pull off this 40 – 0 miracle season but it has to go out every nighthungry with a fresh mind and true sense of purpose because it will be the world against the blue team , at least until they run into Duke .

 

UK Football Hits Final Leg Of 2015 Recruiting Season

 

Mark Stoops and his assistants are drifting into the final leg of the 2015 recruiting season and must close the deal on about 17 verbal commitments from the past year then reel in a couple recruits who have not yet made their decision .

 

The most coveted recruit still on the board at this point resides just 25 minutes down the road in Richmond , Ky. , Damien Harris who many consider the # 1 running back in the entire country is set to make his decision this coming saturday and Harris has made it known that the winner will come from ( UK – Alabama – Ohio State ) . Many think Stoops has done his homework and will get the coveted prize come signing day but until it happens it’s still pure speculation . Marcus Lewis a 6’ 2” safety rated #154 in ESPN’s top 300 from the Washington D.C. area is still uncommitted and UK is reportedly squarely in the mix .

 

Stoops already has verbal commitments from (2) ESPN top 300 players in safety Marcus Walker and LB Eli Brown , both should have an opportunity to play as freshman due to a severe lack of quality depth at both of their positions . As always there will be a surprise or two on signing day but if Stoops can pull in the (4) above mentioned recruits along with the 17 previous verbal commitments it should provide UK with another top 20 class like last year and maybe it’s all time best .

 

You can go online to www.combsbrothersonkysports.com for more coverage of UK basketball and football as well as KHSAA basketball and football . Also you can follow me on twitter at @combsbrothers5  .

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