Monday, August 31, 2015

UK Coach Mark Stoops Pre-UL Lafayette News Conference Transcript

Kentucky Football Head Coach Mark Stoops

Opening Statement … 
“Excited to get the season going, it feels like it’s been a long summer. The players have worked extremely hard, the coaches have worked hard, so we are anxious to get going. We have a great opponent in Louisiana Lafayette, who won nine games so we’ll have our hands full, but optimistic and excited to get going.”

On Kyle Meadows and Cory Johnson not being on the depth chart … 
“They will both miss this game. They are suspended for this game.”

On Alex Montgomery… 
“Alex will be playing. He has done a nice job of working his way back, he’s trying to get into the lineup, get healthy, and get in the rotation again.”

On whether there was a violation of rules for Johnson and Meadows… 
“Yes, that’s correct. How did you guess?”

On the excitement of the first home game and the opening of the new stadium…
“I think the stadium certainly adds to it. We are very excited. I think if you look back to the time that I arrived and you look at the three years of building this program and building this stadium, with the anticipation of this day, it’s really an exciting time to be opening this stadium. We get one opportunity for a first impression.”

On Kengera Daniel… 
“KG is a guy that will play as well. He’s done a good job and he’s got a lot on his plate, as I talk about all the time with that outside linebacker position. So, he’s done a good job, he’s learning, and he’s getting better every day.”

On where they are focusing Alvonte Bell … 
“Yeah, we’ve experimented with moving him around a little bit but we are going to settle in on playing him at defensive end, so he won’t be play on his feet.”

On whether or not Ryan Flannigan will play… 
“You know, we’ll see. I had my meeting this morning with Jim Madaleno, and he’s not sure. He’s getting better, I think he’s very close. If he can practice Tuesday or Wednesday he’ll play. If he can’t practice by Wednesday then he probably won’t play.”

On the status of Levon Livingston… 
“I haven’t gotten a final determination on him yet, so not at this time.”

On how Elijah McGuire compares to other SEC players… 
“He’s a fantastic player. He’s just a very dynamic player. He gets an awful lot of yards and averages almost eight yards per carry. Just a fantastic football player. I think they do a nice job of creating space. Their offense presents some problems, obviously they’ll be breaking in a new quarterback. But I think what they do and the pressure they put on you with some of their quarterback run game and creating some space with him puts some problems on you. He’s just a very good player. They’ve done a nice job. They win a bunch of football games and play very hard.”

On how much he has challenged his run defense during the offseason…
“It comes down to getting more stops. We need to be better across the board, really. You could go into statistics and all those things but it comes down to playing good as a team. We have to be good in all phases. Offensively, I think we will control the ball a little bit better, move the ball better. I think defensively we’ll be better. We certainly need to be better on third downs, you limit some opportunities, you limit some plays if you can get off the field. We need to improve in a lot of areas, run defense is one of them. But I anticipate that we will be improved.”

On how different the offense will look with Coach Shannon Dawson… 
“You all have been out there and watched practices. There is nothing totally, dramatically different. I think you’ll see a lot of sets that you’re used to seeing, I think you’ll see some plays that you’re used to seeing, and you’ll see some news things. But we aren’t reinventing the wheel, Coach Dawson has a good handle and fix on some of the things he likes to do, in comparison, but it will be similar. That is what I said right from the beginning, that’s one of the reasons that attracted me to Coach Dawson, but they all come out of the same tree. I mean there are different nuances with each of these coordinators or guys that branch off its just how we evolve every day and every year, so I don’t think it will be too dramatically different.”

On what he likes from Sihiem King… 
“Sihiem has done a nice job. He has been very explosive in camp, he’s made big plays, he’s protected the football, so he’s proven to be a playmaker. I want to give him the opportunity and get the ball in his hands and see if he can make some plays. As you know, we need to improve and become more explosive in the return game and hopefully he can add us that spark. 

On Ryan Timmons at punt return and if he has proved the coaches wrong …
“No, he just wasn’t as good as the guys we used. Demarco (Robinson) had been a little more sure handed, but Ryan’s been working hard and practicing at that for years. So I can’t wait to see him back there. I hope he proves me right, not wrong, so I think he’ll make some big plays.”

On whether or not they will be redshirting Tavin Richardson and Jabari Greenwood ...
“We are in a position right now where we want to redshirt them if we can. They’re both doing some very good things but as you can tell there are some good players ahead of them. If we stay healthy then we’ll protect them if we can, but if we need them to win football games then we’ll play them. Those are two guys that we will hold until we see what happens here in the first couple weeks.

On a possible percentage of how good the talent this is versus last year… 
“I would be hesitant to give a percentage, I think it’s certainly better, just like we talked about all summer. We are a much different football team than we were when we took the field my first year. Last year, I think we had some good talent and we had to rely on that talent to win us some football games that were very young. This year, we are playing nine true freshmen and 10 redshirt freshman. The good news about those 10 redshirt freshman is that they’re redshirt freshman. So I think just any experience we’ve got the last few years can only help us. I think there were some significant players that I have mentioned often, certainly on the offensive side of the ball, that are going to be second year guys. So at least they have that year of experience.”

On wanting to get to a point where he can redshirt an entire class …
“I don’t think so, I don’t think so in this day in age we will always need some of that depth. I think you can see that from some of the perennial top-10 teams, even they will play some freshman to plug in holes. I don’t think so, Alan (Cutler). I think we will always play some. If guys come in and they can help you and they are talented players, I expect them to play. Because the more game we win the more talented players we are going to get and so you expect those guys to come in and help you.”

On having Jeff Badet back…
“He and [Blake Bone], it’ll be one or the other to start. We’ll see how this week goes, to be honest with you. That’s the great thing about competition, I think Jeff really has done some good things through camp, you’ve heard me mention it. I thought he had a really good week of practice last week. It’s nice, [he’s] another guy that redshirted a year ago, but he’s in his third year with the program and it’s important to have him back. I mentioned Alex (Montgomery). He’s playing a spot where we’re probably as deep as any position of the team, at the inside wide receiver position, we have some guys who have really done a nice job and made some plays. Alex needs to work his way back into the rotation and just get on the field more than anything. Alex has had little setbacks from his injury and really hasn’t got the reps but he’s getting back in there now, so I’m anxious to get him back in the fold now.”

On the importance of getting off to a good start… 
“Any time, any game you’d certainly like to start fast. I think it’s important, I think it’s important for us to not get too far ahead of ourselves. I think the guys will be extremely excited, I’d be completely shocked if we we’re not very excited to come into the new renovated stadium. The guys have worked hard, the anticipation for a new season. We better have to tell them, “Whoa.” I’d rather have to tell them, “Whoa” than “Giddy Up.” I think they’ll be ready to go and anxious but that’s where it’s got to come one play at a time, but it is important to start fast.”

On what units/players fans should anticipate to perform at a higher level…
“I think we’re getting the depth that we’re counting on at wide receiver, I think that was important for us. We’ve worked hard since we have been here developing that position because we were so far behind when we showed up and I think we’re getting some talented players there. I think running back is another position that we anticipate, we should be pretty good, and those guys haven’t disappointed. I think Chris Westry would be a guy that you know I have talked about. We needed to improve outside in the secondary. He’s a guy that I’m excited to watch, he has a lot of talent.” 

On the team’s physicality and ability to get the “hard yards”
“I feel really good about the amount of work we were able to get done this summer. I feel like we… It’s nice to be able to practice a little more physical and have a little bit of depth and have those practices where you can really work it and you feel like you have a good chance because you’ve got some guys who are strong enough to move some people when they have to, and defensively stop them as well. We’re by no means perfect and we need to continue to improve, as you know, throughout this season we play some very physical teams, but I think we’re getting to the point where we’re more comfortable with the way we run the ball.”

Oh how the offense’s physicality has helped strengthen the defense… 
“Quite a bit, quite a bit. It was one of the reasons why I was attracted to Coach Dawson, because I like the physical nature that he likes to call the game and wants to be physical. It only helps the defense because you’ve got to see that every day in practice, you have to see that mentality.” 

On Boom Williams’ potential to become a top tier running back in the SEC …
“I believe so, I do. Just like last year and this week, you’re going to see some very talented backs but Boom is certainly one of them. I can promise you when they turn on the film and are watching him they see how explosive he is as well.” 

On what would make this a successful season for the team …
“I think improvement, just improvement across the board. I’m not going to fall into that trap that some of our players have and I have let them. If they want to talk about a bowl game and all that then fine, but we’ve got one game next week, can’t win two. We’ve got to take care of business one week at a time, one day at a time. And as I told them, “If that’s what motivates you then put your money where your mouth is. And if things get tough later down the road then let’s be tough and consistent and go to work every day to get better.” I think that’s where I want to see the improvement. This summer I think we’ve been more consistent. I talked to you guys just about every practice and if it didn’t go well then I told you but for the most part things were improved that way, we were more consistent, we had a tougher mentality, so I’d like to see that throughout the year.”

On if he would prefer Matt Elam not say the team is going 12-0 …
“I didn’t even know he said that. He needs to lose a few pounds, so I will get him after practice today. (Laughter)”

On importance of first game …
“I think it is important. I think anytime, any opener, you’re not totally sure what you have until you see your team play. I’ve only been a head coach - this is going into my third opener as a head coach, but even as a coordinator and position coach, you have a pretty good feel for what you have, but until you get out there and play you never truly know. I think it’s exciting, you know, that anticipation and getting ready to watch this team play and feel good about them. I feel like we’re a better football team, and I’m anxious to watch them play.” 

On Reese Phillips returning …
“It will. Obviously, he’s missed an awful lot of reps, so it will be hard. Drew’s done some very good things and has gotten so many reps between spring and summer that that’s pretty hard to do once you get in-season.”

On emerging leaders in the locker room …
“We’ll see. I think the energy has been good across the board for the most part. I think guys have been excited to practice and get better, so we’ll see how that goes this week.” 

On Khalid Henderson and Nico Firios …
“Khalid’s done some good things. He’s played a lot of football for us. He’s gotten quite a few reps because we’ve been thin at that position. That’s helped him. He’s really tried to make the most of that and get better. He needs to continue to improve, but I really like his attitude. He’s been a strong guy in the locker room because he’s got talented guys pushing him, so we’ll see what happens. With Nico, he’s a guy, what I’ve seen, is a guy, just like we recruited, in the middle of your defense that finds a way to get to the football. He has a very good instinct and a very good nose to get to the football. Now at times, he doesn’t know where he’s going or what he’s doing, so we’ve got to continue to work with him and put him in a position to be successful, but I really like the way he gets to the football. That’s the number one objective, right? For a middle-linebacker to get to the football. He’s got the right attitude. He works hard, and he’s got good instincts. He’s just got to continue to learn all the different packages and everything that goes with playing that position. It can be hard on them at times.”

On Jacob Hyde as a fullback …
“We’ll use him if we need to. Jacob has done everything that we’ve asked him to do on defense and at fullback. He’s always there to do anything we ask him to so I appreciate Jacob, and he’s getting better at D-line play as well.”

On Will Thomas Collins at fullback …
“He’ll play. We’ll see how he does, but he has done a nice job.”

On if Hyde is in the dog house for causing Flannigan to miss time with an injury …
“(Laughter) No, funny thing is we had a good feeling there would be a good collision on that play, too, and our linebackers been out ever since. That’s poor coaching. Actually, that goes on Coach Dawson. We told him to get him out of there for that one. (Laughter)”

On Landon Foster’s roles…
“Landon’s just been an incredible kid. He’s a very talented punter and good leader. You know, just does anything whether it be holding or helping out. Just a great kid, great young man, and I hope he kicks the heck out of it this year.” 

On having a preference of a punter as a holder…
“I do because they spend so much time together and he’s talented he can throw the ball and do some things that we’re working on. He’s very conscientious, and he spends so much time. You know, those kickers spend so much time together. Just ask them.”

On sense of security with Landon and Austin (MacGinnis)…
“It is. Last year, going into the year with Austin, not knowing what he can do and how he was going to respond to the pressure. Very pleased and they’ve been very steady here in this camp.”

On maybe having two true-freshman cornerbacks starting in the opener…
“There was a chance, but Cody’s (Quinn) been solid. Cody’s done a nice job, so we’ll see where that goes, but I’ll imagine he’ll get in there and play some.” 

On two true-freshman cornerbacks starting in the future…
“If we need to, then we will.”

On Jacob Hyde taking a lawnmower to his senior prom…
“No, is that right? That’s beautiful. I like teasing Jacob, so I’ve got some ammo right there.” 

On putting Drew Barker in for a series…
“Absolutely, I’d like to. I’d like to early when the game’s on the line. We will see. I’d like to.”

On Lafayette’s new defensive coaches…
“Three, I believe it’s three (new coaches). Yes, we had to go back and look at some things that we anticipate that they will do coming from Auburn, watching some Auburn film. The good thing about our offense is they see quite a bit from our defense. Whether it’s three down or four down, they get to see quite a bit of that. So, yes, we’ve gone back and looked at some of the things that they’ve done in the past."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

UK Players Poythress, Ulis on Athlon Sports magazine cover

The Athlon Sports 2015-16 college basketball preview issue comes out Sept. 8, and on one of its four regional covers is senior Alex Poythress and sophomore Tyler Ulis in a really cool shot from Matt Hernandez.

The magazine features an exclusive Q&A with Ulis, previews all 351 teams in Division I and all 32 conferences, breaks down the top 10 storylines of the season and much more.

2015-16 Big 12-SEC Challenge Schedule Released

The full slate of times for the Big 12-SEC Challenge was revealed Wednesday morning, and there are some big matchups. 
Saturday, Jan. 30
• Noon: No. 18 Vanderbilt at Texas, ESPN or ESPN2; No. 20 West Virginia at Florida, ESPN or ESPN2
• 2 p.m.: Tennessee at TCU, ESPN2; Ole Miss at Kansas State, ESPNU
• 4 p.m.: Texas Tech at Arkansas, ESPNU
• 6 p.m.:Georgia at No. 17 Baylor, ESPN2
• 8 p.m.:Oklahoma State at Auburn, ESPN2
• No earlier than 2 p.m.; No later than 7 p.m.; No. 3 Kentucky at No. 5 Kansas, ESPN
• No earlier than 2 p.m.; No later than 7 p.m.; No. 7 Iowa State at No. 25 Texas A&M, ESPN
• No earlier than 2 p.m.; No later than 7 p.m.; No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 22 LSU, ESPN

Friday, August 21, 2015

UK Women’s 2015-16 Basketball Schedule Released

2015-16 University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball Schedule

Date Opponent TV Site Time

Nov. 8 (Sun) Union University (EXH) LEXINGTON 5 p.m.
Nov. 15 (Sun) at Arizona State Tempe, Ariz. TBA

Dec. 2 (Wed) at Northern Kentucky Highland Heights, Ky. TBA
Dec. 10 (Thurs) LOUISVILLE LEXINGTON (Rupp Arena) TBA
Dec. 13 (Sun) at Middle Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tenn. TBA
Dec. 20 (Sun) DUKE LEXINGTON (Rupp Arena) TBA

Jan. 3 (Sun) at Auburn SEC Network+ Auburn, Ala. 3 p.m.
Jan. 10 (Sun) at Georgia SEC Network+ Athens, Ga. 2 p.m.
Jan. 14 (Thurs) SOUTH CAROLINA SEC Network LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Jan. 17 (Sun) AUBURN SEC Network LEXINGTON 1 p.m.
Jan. 21 (Thurs) at Ole Miss SEC Network Oxford, Miss. 9 p.m.
Jan. 28 (Thurs) VANDERBILT SEC Network+ LEXINGTON 7 p.m.
Jan. 31 (Sun) at Florida SEC Network Gainesville, Fla. 1 p.m.

Feb. 4 (Thurs) at South Carolina SEC Network Columbia, S.C. 7 p.m.
Feb. 7 (Sun) LSU SEC Network LEXINGTON Noon
Feb. 14 (Sun) at Vanderbilt SEC Network Nashville, Tenn. 4 p.m.
Feb. 18 (Thurs) at Mississippi State SEC Network Starkville, Miss. 7 p.m.
Feb. 21 (Sun) ARKANSAS SEC Network LEXINGTON 3 p.m.
Feb. 28 (Sun) at Texas A&M ESPN2/ESPNU College Station, Texas TBA

March 2-6 SEC Tournament (N1) Jacksonville, Fla. TBA
March 18-21 NCAA First & Second Rounds (N2) Top 16 seeds sites TBA
March 25-28 NCAA Regionals (N3) Predetermined sites TBA

April 3 & 5 NCAA Final Four (N4) Indianapolis TBA

All game times are EASTERN STANDARD TIME and subject to change.

All home games will be played in Memorial Coliseum except for Dec. 10 vs. Louisville and Dec. 20 vs. Duke
# - SEC Network Whip Around Coverage highlighting all seven SEC games; game will be available on SEC Network+ in its entirety
N1 – SEC Tournament – Jacksonville, Fla. (Veterans Memorial Arena)
N2 – NCAA First & Second Rounds – TBA
N3 – NCAA Regionals – Bridgeport, Conn. (Webster Bank Arena); Dallas (American Airlines Center); Lexington, Ky.
(Rupp Arena); Sioux Falls, S.D. (Denny Sanford Premier Center)
N4 – NCAA Final Four – Indianapolis (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UK Men's 2015-16 Basketball Schedule Released



  • 2 (Mon) * OTTAWA [TBA] TBA
  • 13 (Fri) 1 ALBANY [TBA] TBA
  • 14 (Sat) 1 NJIT [TBA] TBA
  • 17 (Tues) 2 vs. Duke [ESPN] 7:30 p.m.
  • 24 (Tues) 1 BOSTON [TBA] TBA
  • 27 (Fri) 3 vs. South Florida [ESPN] 5 p.m.
  • 30 (Mon) ILLINOIS STATE [ESPN2] 7 p.m.

  • 3 (Thurs) at UCLA [ESPN] 9 p.m.
  • 9 (Wed) EASTERN KENTUCKY [ESPN2] 7 p.m.
  • 12 (Sat) ARIZONA STATE [ESPN] 3:15 p.m.
  • 19 (Sat) 4 vs. Ohio State [CBS] 3:30 p.m.
  • 26 (Sat) LOUISVILLE [CBS] Noon

  • 2 (Sat) OLE MISS [SEC Network] 7 p.m.
  • 5 (Tues) at LSU [ESPN] 9 p.m.
  • 9 (Sat) at Alabama [SEC Network] 6 p.m.
  • 12 (Tues) MISSISSIPPI ST [ESPN/SEC Network] 7 p.m.
  • 16 (Sat) at Auburn [ESPN/ESPN2] 4 p.m.
  • 21 (Thurs) at Arkansas [ESPN/ESPN2] 7 p.m.
  • 27 (Wed) MISSOURI [SEC Network] 9 p.m.
  • 30 (Sat) 5 at Kansas [TBA] TBA

  • 2 (Tues) at Tennessee [ESPN/ESPNU/SEC Network] 7 p.m.
  • 6 (Sat) FLORIDA [CBS] 4 p.m.
  • 9 (Tues) GEORGIA [ESPN/ESPNU] 9 p.m.
  • 13 (Sat) at South Carolina [ESPN/ESPN2] Noon
  • 18 (Thurs) TENNESSEE [ESPN/ESPN2] 7 p.m.
  • 20 (Sat) at Texas A&M [ESPN/ESPN2] TBA
  • 23 (Tues) ALABAMA [ESPN/ESPNU/SEC Network] 7 p.m.
  • 27 (Sat) at Vanderbilt [CBS] 4 p.m.

  • 1 (Tues) at Florida [ESPN] 7 p.m.
  • 5 (Sat) LSU [CBS] 2 p.m.
  • 9-13 (We-Su) 6 SEC Tournament [SEC NETWORK/ESPN] TBA

As of Aug. 19, 2015 – All Times Eastern; HOME GAMES in BOLD CAPS

All dates and times are subject to change

*–Exhibition Games;
1–Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic (Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.);
2–Champions Classic (United Center, Chicago, Ill.);
3–Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic (American Airlines Arena, Miami, Fla.);
4–CBS Sports Classic (Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.);
5–Big 12/SEC Challenge (Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.);
6–SEC Tournament (Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.)

Australia 7-footer Isaac Humphries has officially signed with Kentucky for the class of 2015

Wildcats Add Australian Big Man Isaac Humphries to 2015 Class

UK head coach John Calipari announced the signing on Thursday.
“I watched Isaac when he first came over to the United States in high school in Indiana and was impressed with his skill and size,” Calipari said. “He reminded me of a much bigger Josh Harrellson. He’s very skilled, has great hands and is a great passer. To have a 7-footer who just turned 17, he has a lot still in front of him, and the best part is he wants the challenge of playing at Kentucky.”

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

UK Women's Basketball Coach Mitchell Summer Press Conference

Matthew Mitchell met with the media discuss his newly formed band, Matthew Mitchell and the Go Big Blue Band, who are set to open for Sundy Best on Saturday, Sept. 5 in a pregame concert to commemorate the grand opening of The New CWS.