Pregame Press Conference Quotes
Nov. 27, 2001
Cats Return to Queen City
Kentucky will meet the Kent State Golden Flashes for UK's annual game in the Cincinnati on Wednesday. It marks the Cats' first game outside of Rupp Arena this season. Sophomore Erik Daniels returns to his hometown hoping to repeat his performance from a year ago. In last season's game at the Firstar Center, the freshman had his own homecoming celebration, recording 19 points on perfect 3-for-3 shooting, including 1-for-1 from beyond the arc. His 12-of-14 free-throw shooting helped lead the Cats to a 91-48 win over Jacksonville State.
Kent State returns three of five starters from last year's team that beat Indiana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The 2001 Mid-American Conference Champions are predicted to repeat this year and with new coach Stan Heath, the Flashes are off to a 3-1 start.
Series Record: 0-0
In Lexington: 0-0
In Kent: 0-0
At Neutral Sites: 0-0
Last Game: First Meeting
Tickets to the Kent State game are still available. The seats are $34 each and can be purchased at the Memorial Coliseum ticket office, by phone with a Visa or MasterCard (800-928-CATS) or on the web at UKathletics.com. Tickets also are available at the Firstar Center or through Ticketmaster at 513-562-4949.
This will be the first meeting between the Wildcats and Golden Flashes. The teams have one common opponnet this season, Marshall. The Cats defeated the Thundering Herd, 90-73, in the consolation game of the NABC Classic on Nov. 16, while Kent State will meet its Mid-American Conference rival twice during the regular season -- Jan. 5 in Huntington and Feb. 19 in Kent.
UK vs. MAC
The Wildcats own a 48-6 record against Mid-American Conference opponents with a majority of their games played against Miami (Ohio). Kentucky's latest MAC matchup was in the NABC Classic two weeks ago, where the Cats defeated Marshall, 90-73.
Cats in Cincy
Kentucky owns a 5-1 record in Cincinnati's Firstar Center with its only blemish coming in Nov. 1999, a 68-66 loss to Dayton. This is the fifth straight season UK has played a game in the facility formerly known as Riverfront Coliseum and The Crown. Previous games played at Firstar Center include:
12-23-92 Ohio W, 73-63
12-17-94 Texas Tech W, 83-68
1-22-97 Vanderbilt W, 58-46
11-23-98 Wright St. W, 95-75
11-29-99 Dayton L, 66-68
11-21-00 Jacksonville St. W, 91-48
College Hoops in Cincy
Two other college basketball games will be going on at the same time as Kentucky and Kent State in the southern Ohio area.
Cincinnati takes on Dayton at the Shoemaker Center, while Xavier travels to Oxford to face Miami.
UK in November
With its 2-1 record so far this season, the Cats are now 48-14 in the month of November, including a 30-3 mark at home.
The .774 winning percentage in November is the second highest of any month next to a stellar .808 mark in December.
UK needs three wins to become the first Division I school to reach 1,800. The next closest team is future UK opponent North Carolina, which has 1,781 victories.
Marvin Stone was erroneously credited with a three-point attempt against Morehead State when, in fact, the shot originated from close to the free-throw line. The three-point attempt has been deleted, making UK 8-29 (27.5%) from beyond the arc against the Eagles. On the season, the Wildcats are 19-75 (25.3%) from 3FG range.
Tayshaun Prince needs only one made three-pointer to move into ninth place with Richie Farmer on UK's all-time list of career three-point baskets made. He could move into a tie with Jamal Mashburn for eighth place with two made baskets.
Both Prince and Keith Bogans continue to climb UK's list of all-time scoring leaders. Prince is 26th with 1,259 points, while Bogans is 45th with 1,038.
For the updated lists, see page 4.
Last Time Out
Tayshaun Prince had a game-high 23 points, including five threes to lead the Cats to a 19-point win over Morehead State.
Keith Bogans added 20 points and six assists. J.P. Blevins started at point guard in his first appearance of the season after spraining his ankle on Nov. 11 in exhibition play. Marquis Estill made his first career start at center.
Prior to the first exhibition game, Rashaad Carruth suffered an ankle sprain in practice and is listed as day-to-day.
Chapman Makes Dunk List
Former Wildcat Rex Chapman made the list of Slam Magazine's top-50 dunkers of all-time. Chapman, who played two seasons (1987-88) before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Charlotte Hornets, was No. 35 on the list.
The top five were Vince Carter, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Julius Erving and Jackie Jackson. Not on the list was former Cat Kenny Walker, who won the NBA's slam dunk contest in 1993.
UK began the season ranked fourth in both major polls. Following the loss to Western Kentucky, UK fell to 10th in the AP poll and 12th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll. After the win over Morehead State, the Cats surprisingly fell three spots in the AP poll and two spots in the Coaches rankings.
Kentucky's streak of hitting a three in consecutive games sits at 444 games, the nation's fourth-longest streak, trailing UNLV, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech. UNLV, Vanderbilt and Princeton have hit a three-pointer in every game since the rule was adopted in 1987.
The Wildcats' last game without a three-pointer came against Seton Hall on Nov. 26, 1988, a "three-point" loss in the Great Alaska Shootout.
Kentucky is 81-18 in season openers after its loss to Western Kentucky in the NABC Classic. Last season, the Cats were upset in New York by St. John's, 62-61. Tubby Smith is 8-3 in season openers during his head coaching career.
Kentucky is 84-15 all-time in home openers after the loss to WKU. Nine of those losses occurred before Adolph Rupp began coaching in 1930. The Cats are 65-6 since 1930, losing the home opener in 1955 to Temple, 1962 to Va. Tech, 1972 to Iowa, 1988 to Northwestern State, 2000 to Penn State and this season to Western Kentucky.
UK now stands at 23-3 in home openers at Rupp Arena.
Within the Borders
UK will face four Kentucky colleges during the 2001-02 season, the most since the 1920-21 season.
The Cats have already played Western Kentucky and Morehead State, and will battle Kentucky State and Louisville in December. They faced Kentucky Wesleyan, Cumberland, Georgetown and Centre during the '21 season, posting a 5-1 record in the meetings.
AP Names Prince All-American
Forward Tayshaun Prince added yet another honor to his resume in November as he was named to the The Associated Press Preseason All-America team, the only senior on the list.
Prince joined Duke's Jason Williams, Stanford's Casey Jacobsen, Missouri's Kareem Rush and Illinois' Frank Williams.
Prince is just the second Wildcat to earn the preseason honor from the AP since the national news organization began naming a preseason team in 1985. Jamal Mashburn was a preseason All-American prior to the 1992-93 season.
Prince also was named first-team Preseason All-America by collegeinsider.com, Athlon Sports, Blue Ribbon Basketball, The Sporting News and Basketball News.
He was a second-team selection by AP at the end of last season.
Kentucky was picked to finish first in the SEC by a media vote at the conference's annual media day on Nov. 1.
Tayshaun Prince also was predicted to repeat as SEC Player of the Year, while he and Bogans both were named first-team Preseason All-SEC.
Men's Basketball Predictions
Champion - Kentucky (20), Florida (3).
1. Kentucky (20) 26
2. Florida (3) 43
3. Tennessee 76
4. South Carolina 98
5. Georgia 105
6. Vanderbilt 123
1. Alabama (15) 33
2. Arkansas (5) 60
3. Ole Miss (2) 66
4. Auburn (1) 78
5. LSU 121
6. Mississippi State 125
All-SEC First Team
G - Brett Nelson, Florida 17
G - Keith Bogans, Kentucky 15
C - Udonis Haslem, Florida 22
F - Tayshaun Prince, Kentucky 22
G/F - Rod Grizzard, Alabama 11
Prince, Bogans on Wooden List
Tayshaun Prince and Keith Bogans were both named to the preseason Wooden Award Candidate list for 2001-02.
Only 50 college basketball players make the prestigious list, which culminates in the presentation of the Wooden Award for the nation's best collegiate basketball player each April.
The award was started in 1976 and has seen past winners that include Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Tim Duncan. No Kentucky Wildcat has ever claimed the honor.
Jason Parker underwent his second ACL surgery on his right knee in four months when he had a patella tendon autograft performed by team physicians Darren Johnson and Scott Mair on Nov. 1. Parker injured the knee June 24 in a pickup basketball game and had his initial surgery July 2. He retore the ligament prior to introductions for Big Blue Madness on Oct. 12.
Parker will miss the 2001-02 season as a redshirt. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Kentucky lost one senior from last year, returning 12 lettermen and four starters from a team that finished as co-champions of the Southeastern Conference and won the league tournament. With the loss of Jason Parker for the season, the numbers change to three returning starters. The statistics below reflect the returning production, excluding Parker:
Their Old Kentucky Home
This season's roster boasts six products from the Bluegrass State, the most since the 1991 season.
J.P. Blevins (Edmonton), Marquis Estill (Richmond), Cory Sears (Corbin), Matt Heissenbuttel (Lexington), Josh Carrier (Bowling Green) and Adam Chiles (Louisville) all hail from within the state's borders.
In '91, Reggie Hanson, Richie Farmer, John Pelphrey, Deron Feldhaus, Michael Parks and Todd Bearup all came from Kentucky. Much like Sears and Heissenbuttel, Parks and Bearup were both walk-ons 11 seasons ago.
Fans attending UK home games will recognize changes at floor level. In addition to the new floor that was purchased last summer, courtside fan seating has been added as well. Currently, 20 new "scholarship seats" have displaced some traditional media seating and been installed on press row. The 20 seats were sold for $313,000 a pair and the revenue generated will go to endow all 13 men's basketball scholarships. There are still four pairs remaining to be sold.
Kentucky celebrated its 25th season in the first built-for-basketball arena last year, playing for a quarter of a century on the original floor. Pieces of the original floor were auctioned off prior to the charity game, "A Night of True Champions," on Aug. 11, raising more than $38,000. The money was split between the UK Basketball Museum, the KHSAA and the Lexington Civic Center for the purchase of the new floor.
The new floor was designed by UK in conjunction with Lexington Civic Center officials. It was constructed by Robbins, Inc., in Cincinnati, Ohio at a cost of $125,000.
BIG BLUE MANIA
Keightley In 41st Season
Kentucky equipment manager Bill Keightley is in his 41st season in the UK program. The beloved Mr. Wildcat has served UK since 1961-62, watching the Cats roll to a 946-290 record during that era.
Keightley, who has a jersey retired in the rafters of Rupp Arena, has worked under five different head coaches at UK -- Rupp, Hall, Sutton, Pitino and Smith.
Wiggins Keeps on Coming
Big Blue fan Bob Wiggins continues his amazing streak of following the basketball Cats. Wiggins, who is retired and lives in Falmouth, Ky., saw 615 consecutive games -- home and away -- from 1977 until he suffered a heart attack just before the 1996 Great Alaska Shootout. It's the second-longest streak on record at UK.
The illness forced him to miss four games, but he has since returned to see every contest in person, a streak of 180 games.
Meanwhile, his home court streak is still intact. Wiggins has not missed a home game in 41 years, a streak spanning 578 games. During that period, which dates back to 1960-61, UK has a home record of 514-64.
In all, he's in his 49th season watching the Cats in person and through his own record keeping, has attended 1,194 UK games.
UK No. 2 with Most NBA Players
To start the 2001-02 NBA season, the following Wildcats were active:
Derek Anderson Portland
Tony Delk Phoenix
Walter McCarty Boston
Jamaal Magloire Charlotte
Jamal Mashburn Charlotte
Ron Mercer Chicago
Nazr Mohammed Atlanta
Scott Padgett Utah
Mark Pope Milwaukee
Antoine Walker Boston
In addition, former UK assistant coach Jim O'Brien is the head coach of the Boston Celtics while the Cats' all-time leading scorer Dan Issel coaches the Denver Nuggets and former UK All-American Pat Riley coaches the Miami Heat.
-- Go Cats --