Big Blue Notes: Wildcats face top-five ranked Jayhawks Saturday

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column 'Big Blue Notes' appears regularly in The Lake News.

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column ‘Big Blue Notes’ appears regularly in The Lake News.

Cats down South Carolina, Kansas awaits
With the exception of De’Aaron Fox’s ankle injury, Kentucky’s game against South Carolina on Saturday went according to script with the Wildcats winning by a score of 85-69. The team’s bus ride to the game, however, did not go as planned. John Calipari’s squad was forced to walk the final three blocks to Rupp Arena due to the traffic jam caused by the Women’s March in downtown Lexington.

The Gamecocks and Wildcats entered Saturday’s contest as the only remaining unbeaten squads in conference play. The matchup also pitted the nation’s No. 1 defense of South Carolina against the No. 2 offense of Kentucky. With the win over the Gamecocks, John Calipari’s squad took sole possession of first place in the conference for the first time all season.

After traveling to Knoxville on Tuesday, the Wildcats will host the Kansas Jayhawks in Rupp Arena on Saturday in the battle of college basketball’s two winningest programs. With both squads ranked in the top-five, the game will carry extra importance for NCAA tournament seeding in March.

ESPN’s College Game day crew will be in Lexington and broadcasting live from Rupp Arena at 10 a.m. CST. The Cats and the Jayhawks will tipoff at 5:15 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

Anthony Davis named as All-Star starter
After playing through injury for most of last season, Anthony Davis is having a monstrous year in the NBA. The former Wildcat is averaging 29 points, 12 rebounds, and over two blocks per game for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Davis has been named as a starter for the West Squad in the upcoming NBA All-Star game. After being selected with first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Davis has been named to four All-Star games.

Mark Stoops in home stretch of best class
With National Signing Day looming on February 1st, Mark Stoops appears to be on the verge of the highest ranked recruiting class in Kentucky football history. The Wildcats’ verbal commitments currently rank at No. 23 in the 247Sports composite rankings. For perspective, Stoops current class ranks higher than Florida, Texas, or Louisville’s class. While that’s only good for the eighth best class in the Southeastern Conference, it remains a major positive for the Wildcats moving into the offseason.

With the Wildcats returning most of their key players from last season and a more forgiving upcoming schedule, there is much reach reason for optimism for Kentucky football in 2017 and beyond.

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