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Best of Blue Weekly Awards (week of Nov. 21)

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Thumbnail image for best of blue logo_web.jpg It can be hard to keep up with everything going on in the University of Kentucky's 22 varsity sports. With that in mind, we will highlight the best from around Kentucky sports each week. We'll recognize the best performances from Wildcat teams and players, we'll show you the coolest videos and photos that you may have missed and we'll mix in some new stuff along the way. Here are your award winners for this week:

Team of the week - Men's basketball goes 3-0 on East Coast trip, wins tournament

Another young John Calipari team completed a number of firsts this past week. For the first time, UK would play together away from Rupp Arena. For the first time, the Cats would face off against a ranked foe with talent at least in the same ballpark as their own. For the first time, they would take on an opponent employing a grind-it-out style the Cats should expect to see all season.

It was always pretty and it was far from flawless, but No. 2 UK defeated No. 12 Kansas in Madison Square Garden and Penn State and Old Dominion in Uncasville, Conn., to take home first place in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off. The Wildcats won all three games by at least 10 points and were led by Doron Lamb with 43 combined points in the first two games. In the ODU game, UK led by a score of just 50-49 with under eight minutes left before closing on a 12-3 run. Darius Miller provided a steady veteran presence, leading the team in assists (five) and tying for the team lead in points (13).

Player of the week - Danny Trevathan nearly wills football to victory

Knowing his team needed to win its final two games to clinch a berth in a sixth straight bowl game, senior Danny Trevathan did everything he could to inspire and carry his team to victory on the road against No. 13 Georgia. The Bulldogs were the top-ranked offense UK had faced all season and repeatedly had short fields against the Kentucky defense, yet Trevathan and the Cats would not yield.

UK forced four turnovers and allowed the Bulldogs to convert just 7-of-17 third downs. UGA scored a single touchdown, four field goals and managed no scoring drive longer than 23 yards. Trevathan tied his career high with 17 tackles and added three stops for loss, two forced fumbles and a sack, earning SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors in the Wildcats' 19-10 defeat.

"He's just amazing to watch," Phillips said. "He alone willed the defense to play the way they played Saturday. We continue to tell them to come up to his level, and everyone on defense tried to play better than they were capable of. I think a lot of that had to do with the way Danny Trevathan played."

His game against Georgia also earned him a nomination for Defensive Performance of the Year as a part of the All-Star Football Challenge. Click here to vote for Trevathan. http://www.facebook.com/AllStarFootball

Game of the week - Volleyball rallies past Arkansas, keeps SEC title hopes alive

For a solid month, the Kentucky volleyball team has known it needed to continue winning in order to keep pace with first-place Tennessee as the Wildcats vie for an SEC title. Sitting a game behind the Lady Volunteers all along, UK had won eight consecutive matches and needed to prevail in just one more on Senior Day against Arkansas to set up a showdown with Tennessee and a chance for the Wildcats to win a share of the conference title.

For a long while on Sunday, it appeared the Cats would fall short. Arkansas raced ahead to a two-set lead and held a 19-16 lead in the third, just six points away from ending UK's title hopes.

UK, though, had been through too much to let its goal slip away so easily. Craig Skinner's team outscored Arkansas 9-4 to close the third set, won the fourth set 25-21 and then the final three points of the decisive fifth to win the set 15-13 and the match 3-2. In a season full of dramatic comebacks and nail-biting finishes, this one topped them all.

Now, volleyball shifts its focus to Tennessee. UK travels to Knoxville, Tenn., this week for a match at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. If the Cats win, a share of the SEC will be theirs. If they lose, Tennessee will win the conference outright.

Although the match is extremely important, the Wildcats' season will continue beyond it. With a 26-4 record and a RPI in the top 15 nationally, UK is well positioned not only for a berth in the NCAA Tournament, but to host first and second round matches. Selections for the NCAA's will be announced on Sunday.

Play of the week - Any of UK Hoops' 48 forced turnovers



Alright, I know I'm forcing a square peg into a round hole here, but I couldn't NOT recognize UK Hoops' record-setting performance last week against Jacksonville State. Under Matthew Mitchell, the Wildcats have been known for their defensive prowess and ability to turn over their opponents, but they outdid themselves last Tuesday.

If you haven't heard about this already, prepare for a shock: UK forced a school-record 48 turnovers. In a 100-25 victory, UK scored 50 points off those turnovers and held the visitors to just 9-of-41 (22.0 percent) shooting from the field. The 25 points tied a record for fewest allowed in a single game.

I couldn't pick out a single play from the game, so just take a look at the highlights above.

Photo of the week - Volleyball seniors celebrate

Seniors Ann Armes, Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler celebrate a 3-2 comeback victory in their final home match. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Seniors Ann Armes, Becky Pavan and Gretchen Giesler celebrate a 3-2 comeback victory in their final home match. (Chet White, UK Athletics)

Alumnus/alumna of the week - Wesley Woodyard keeps producing


He went undrafted in 2008, but for those who watched his career at Kentucky, was there ever a doubt Wesley Woodyard would have a long career in the NFL? During his rookie season, he was named special teams captain for the Denver Broncos and has served in the capacity ever since. On defense, he has primarily been a backup, but has been productive each time he's gotten playing time. This week, in the Broncos' 17-13 victory over the New York Jets, Woodyard tallied eight tackles.

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