Adolph Rupp, Wendell Ford and Colonel Sanders

Former U.S. Sen. and Kentucky Gov. Wendell Ford passed away Thursday at age 90. Our coverage contained a great picture of Adolph Rupp, Ford and Colonel Sanders. The photo was provided by the Ford family.


Related link: Herald-Leader photo gallery of Senator Wendell Ford

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BBL: Kentucky preparing for another Saturday road trip

Most of the Friday links deal with Kentucky’s Saturday trip to play Frank Martin’s South Carolina Gamecocks. And at least some of those links deal with UK’s loss last year in Columbia.

On the football front, we’re winding down toward national signing day Feb. 4. Though most commitments are set, expect some jockeying back and forth before prospects put their names on the dotted line.

Big Blue Links for Friday:

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SEC: Arkansas snaps two-game losing streak

Remember last year when Kentucky lost in overtime on a put-back at Arkansas? The same thing happened to Alabama on Thursday night. Bobby Portis’ put-back at the end of overtime gave Arkansas a 93-91 win over the Crimson Tide.

Michael Qualls scored 30 points for the Razorbacks, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Alabama lost for the third straight game. The Tide lost 70-48 to visiting Kentucky last Saturday.

SEC links for Friday:

Related link: SEC basketball results and schedules in Excel

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John Wall, Anthony Davis named All-Star Game starters

Former Kentucky stars John Wall and Anthony Davis have both been named starters for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. Wall, point guard for the Washington Wizards, will start for the East. Davis, power forward and center for the New Orleans Pelicans, will start for the West.

Davis, who led UK to the 2012 national title, was a Western Conference reserve last season. He joins Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wall, the point guard on John Calipari’s first Kentucky team, also was a reserve last season, but for the East. He joins LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls and Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors as starters for the East squad.

Davis is averaging 24.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He also leads the league in blocked shots with 2.9 per game. Wall is averaging 17 points per game and leads the NBA in assists with 10 per game. The Wizards are currently 29-14.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden.

By the way, former UK guard Adrian “Odie” Smith was the MVP of the 1966 NBA All-Star Game. Smith, who played for the Cincinnati Royals, scored 24 points for the East at Cincinnati Gardens.

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Video: Tyler Ulis says he’s better shooter than Devin Booker

At Kentucky basketball’s media opp Thursday, Tyler Ulis talked about his defense and about shooting — saying with a big grin that he is a better shooter than his buddy Devin Booker.

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Class-action suit filed over North Carolina academic scandal

The Raleigh News and Observer that a second class-action suit has been filed against the University of North Carolina over the school’s fake-class scandal. The suit filed Thursday seeks damages for all scholarship athletes drawn into the scandal.

The NCAA is listed as a defendant, as well as UNC. According to Dan Kane of the News and Observer it “identifies former women’s basketball player Rashanda McCants and former football player Devon Ramsey as directly harmed by the fake classes.” McCants is the younger sister of former basketball star Rashad McCants, who spoke out publicly about taking fake classes.

Also, according to Kane, “Michael Hausfeld, the Washington D.C. attorney who represented former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon and other athletes in an anti-trust case against the NCAA, is representing former UNC athletes in the new lawsuit, which was filed in state Superior Court in Durham.

Related link: New York Times on the newest UNC lawsuit

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Video: John Calipari breaks down South Carolina

For you Basketball Bennies out there, John Calipari gives a strategic breakdown of what South Carolina will try to do Saturday when Kentucky faces the Gamecocks in Columbia. Calipari also joked he might get tossed again this year just so won’t have to do the post-game press conference.

Click here for the audio of Calipari’s press conference Thursday

Related link: Andrew Harrison says he would have thrown Cal out last year, too

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Three quick things from UK’s South Carolina preview

Three quick things from Kentucky basketball’s media opportunity on Thursday previewing Saturday’s game at South Carolina.

1. Lot of talk about last year’s South Carolina game. The one Kentucky lost. The one Kentucky lost to a bad South Carolina team. The one in which John Calipari got ejected in the second half. The one in which after the ejection Kentucky rallied but came up short.

“We didn’t bow our necks until I got tossed,” Calipari said. “Then we bowed our necks and played. The game’s going to be physical.”

South Carolina may not be playing well right now — the Gamecocks are 1-4 in the conference — but Frank Martin’s team does play hard and physical. If you don’t, you don’t play. Ask Laimonas Chatkevicius, who sat the entire second half of South Carolina’s 66-62 loss to visiting Tennessee.

2. Everything is Andrew Harrison’s fault. That was the Calipari line of the press conference. If it rains in Lexington, it’s Andrew Harrison’s fault. If there is a wreck on I-75, it’s Andrew Harrison’s fault.

Harrison was one of the players made available for interviews and the sophomore said he was getting some of his confidence back after a rough stretch. He also said that he is to the point where nothing anyone says can affect his play.

His twin brother received much credit for the win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday, but Andrew played well down the stretch, as well. Calipari pointed that out after the game.

3. Even an 18-0 team isn’t perfect. Calipari said he will be “messing around with some stuff” in practice over the next couple of days to help improve the offense.

He referenced players having to be able to make “a two-footer” against “another college player.” Guessing that’s Dakari Johnson. Cal even said, “It’s not ‘Wilt the Stilt,'” which prompted we in the media to wonder how many UK players know “Wilt the Stilt” or even “Wilt Chamberlain.”

Cal also referenced one player who said he could throw it in the ocean is now shooting airballs. Guessing that’s Devin Booker, who had been red hot but missed his only three-point attempt against Vanderbilt on Tuesday.

Related link: Three takeaways from UK’s tough win over Vanderbilt

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Video: Andrew Harrison talks pressure and criticism

A consistent theme of Thursday’s UK basketball media opportunity was the Cats’ loss last year at South Carolina. That was the game where John Calipari got tossed. Thursday, Andrew Harrison said, with a little grin, that he would tossed the UK coach, too.

Andrew also talked about the pressure he plays under and how he’s just now getting his confidence back after a rough couple of games where his level of play dipped a bit.

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Kentucky-South Carolina is now sold out

South Carolina has announced that Saturday’s game against top-ranked Kentucky is a sell-out. It’s the first sell-out at Colonial Life Arena since UK’s visit on Jan. 22, 2011.

The Cats lost last year at South Carolina 72-67. That was the game when John Calipari was ejected in the second half. The Cats rallied after the head coach was tossed but still lost.

One note about the last sellout at Colonial Life: It was the same day that Jadeveon Clowney made his official visit to USC. Kentucky won that game 67-58.

Dick Vitale will be at this one. He’s part of the ESPN crew along with Mark Jones and Kaylee Hartung.

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