Big Blue Links: UK women fall; Bruce Pearl’s return


Big Blue Links for Friday:

Nice lede from the Herald-Leader’s Jennifer Smith on the Kentucky women’s 81-69 home loss to Texas A&M on Thursday. “Kentucky’s offense. Kentucky’s defense. Neither was pretty in pink.” Matthew Mitchell’s team has hit the skids with back-to-back losses to Tennessee and the Aggies.

Herald-Leader photo gallery from Kentucky-Texas A&M women

Latest SEC women’s basketball standings

Mark Story of the Herald-Leader writes that Kentucky fans should not fear the prospect of UK being undefeated entering the NCAA Tournament. He goes through those of recent vintage who entered the Big Dance without a blemish.

Bruce Pearl returns to Rupp Arena with a new team but with the same commitment, writes Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. The former Tennessee coach has had his struggles in his first season at Auburn, but Pearl has his new fan base interested in basketball. He’s good for the league.

Stefan Moody led Ole Miss to a sweep of Mississippi State, reports Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger. It was a rare win in Starkville for Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy.

If you can keep with who got traded where in the NBA on Thursday, more power to you. Ex-Cats gives the former Kentucky player rundown, including Brandon Knight being shipped from Milwaukee to Phoenix where he’ll team up with Eric Bledsoe.

Speaking of ex-Cats, Gonzaga’s Kyle Wiltjer scored 45 points as the nation’s third-ranked team beat Pacific on Thursday night.

According to the 247Sports rankings, Kentucky has commitments from four of the top five in-state football prospects for 2016. As we found out from the Class of 2015, the key will be keeping those commitments. The key to that will be getting some wins.

Speaking of rankings, no site loves rankings as much as Bleacher Report. Here BR ranks the remaining opponents, by degree of difficulty, on the Kentucky schedule. No. 1 involves a pig.

Texas A&M’s women just blew by Kentucky in the second half, writes Kevin Erpenbeck of the Kernel. The Cats dropped to sixth place in the SEC standings.

Former UK gymnastics icon Jenny Hansen will have her jersey retired before her alma mater’s gymnastics meet Friday night at Memorial Coliseum. “It’s kind of surreal,” Hansen told Cat Scratches. “I think of myself as Jenny Hansen. I’m Jen. I’m Hansen. I’m just me. I’ve been given this amazing gift and this incredible talent to be able to do what I can do. For the University of Kentucky and the state of Kentucky to recognize me and put me in their hall of fame, I was just blown away. There are no words really to explain it.”

Tony Delk talks to Jon Hale of the Cats Pause about his career and retirement. Delk’s retired jersey will be lifted to the rafters at Rupp Arena during halftime of Saturday night’s UK-Auburn game.

Jamie Vaught of KyForward writes on Louie Dampier’s selection to the Naismith Hall of Fame.

UK softball improved to 8-2 with a couple of wins out west. Christian Stokes went five-for-five against Long Beach State.

Kentucky baseball dropped to 2-1 after a 5-2 loss to Southern Cal. Southern Cal starter Tyler Gilbert was too tough over seven innings for the Cats.

Ex-UK basketball assistant Orlando Antigua has stepped down as coach of the Dominican Republic National Team.

The Big 10 is looking into the idea of making freshmen ineligible for basketball and football.

Florida coach Billy Donovan talks about suspending Dorian Finney-Smith.


Related links

Tony Delk to sign prints Friday at Kennedy’s

Kentucky basketball game-by-game team stats in Excel

Kentucky basketball individual game-by-game stats in Excel

Kentucky basketball results and schedule in Excel

State approves UK Hospital expansion plan

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