Men's Basketball

Dec. 26, 2002

The Louisville Game
Freedom Hall (18,865)
Louisville, Ky.
Dec. 28, 2002
12:02 p.m. ET

No. 14/14 Kentucky Wildcats (6-2)
Louisville Cardinals (6-1)


UK Radio Network (80+ stations): Tom Leach, Mike Pratt, Dave Baker.

Listen Live

Gametracker Live Stats


ESPN: Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Jimmy Dykes.


vs. Louisville

Nickname: Cardinals

Web site:

Series Record: UK leads 23-10

In Louisville: UK leads 8-5

Last Meeting: Dec. 29, 2001 – @UK 82, UL 62


Tubby Smith (High Point ’73)

Overall: 262-107 (.710) (12th)

at UK: 138-45 (.754) (6th)

vs. Louisville: 3-2

Rick Pitino (UMass ’74)

Overall: 377-138 (.732) (17th)

at UL: 25-14 (.641) (2nd)

vs. Kentucky: 0-1

Team Comparisons

                   cats  cardsRecord              6-2   6-1Scoring Offense    77.2  89.6Scoring Defense    69.0  67.1Scoring Margin     +8.3 +22.4FG %               49.2  50.9FG % Defense       43.7  41.33FG %              38.3  38.53FG % Defense      36.2  33.8Free Throw %       68.9  76.1Rebound Average    35.0  40.1Opponent Reb. Avg. 33.0  30.1Rebound Margin     +2.0 +10.0TO Average         13.6  15.7Opponent TO        15.0  19.0TO Margin          +1.4  +3.3Blocks Average      5.3   6.0Steals Average      8.0   8.1

Probable Starters

KentuckyNo. Name            Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl.  Ppg  Rpg Hometown            '03 Note44  Chuck Hayes      F   6-6 247 So.  7.5  5.9 Modesto, Calif.     Team's leading rebounder14  Erik Daniels     F   6-8 214 Jr.  7.5  5.3 Cincinnati, Ohio    First start of season vs. IU50  Marquis Estill   C   6-9 236 Sr. 12.6  4.9 Richmond, Ky.       Shot season-low 50.0% vs. IU10  Keith Bogans    G/F  6-5 213 Sr. 19.0  3.1 Alexandria, Va.     Leads team in scoring & assists 4  Gerald Fitch     G   6-3 188 Jr. 13.5  3.1 Macon, Ga.          Second on team in scoring

Louisville22 Reece Gaines G 6-6 205 Sr. 19.6 *5.1 Madison, Wisc. Leads team in points & assists 2 Ellis Myles F 6-8 235 Jr. 8.6 9.6 Compton, Calif. 2nd in nation in rebounding32 Francisco Garcia F 6-7 175 Fr. 10.0 2.1 Bronx, N.Y. Averaging 1.9 bpg21 Marvin Stone C 6-10 240 Sr. 20.0 12.0 Hun tsville, Ala. Faces ex-team for first time33 Erik Brown G/F 6-5 210 Sr. 4.2 2.8 Lexington, Ky. Lex. Bryan Station alum *Assists

Wildcats Return to Freedom Hall to Face Cardinals

Archrivals Kentucky and Louisville meet for the 34th time as the Wildcats travel to play their third road game of the young season in the River City. It’s the Wildcats’ second consecutive game in Freedom Hall. UK upset No. 6 Indiana there one week ago, handing the Hoosiers their first loss this season.

As if the Kentucky-Louisville storyline weren’t already intruiging enough, this year the intense rivalry takes a new turn as former UK center Marvin Stone faces the Wildcats for the first time as a Cardinal.

Stone, who transferred to U of L over the holiday break last year, became eligible to play last week at the semester break. Through two games, he’s averaging 20.0 ppg and 12.6 rpg in a starting role. Stone remains good friends with a number of the Kentucky players after playing his two-plus seasons with nine of the 15 current Cats.

This marks only the second time the Cats and Cards have met since former UK coach Rick Pitino took over as head coach at Louisville. Last year, UK downed the Cardinals, 82-62, in Rupp Arena. The game marked the first time a former Wildcat coach had returned to Rupp Arena to face the Wildcats with another team.

Tubby Smith became the first former assistant to earn a collegiate victory over Pitino with last year’s win in Lexington.

Series Information

This marks the 34th meeting between the two teams, with UK holding a 23-10 advantage. The Cats have won the last three games, including last year’s 82-62 decision.

This is the 22nd meeting between Kentucky and Louisville since the series was renewed in 1983. UK has wone 14 of those prior 21 games. The series began in 1913 with UK winning seven of the first nine contests. The teams then met three times in the NCAA Tournament between 1948-59. After a 24-year absence, the series was renewed at the 1983 Mideast Region title game in Knoxville with Louisville winning the “Dream Game,” 80-68 in overtime to advance to the Final Four.

Coach Tubby Smith is 3-2 against Louisville, while Rick Pitino is 0-1 versus UK after last season’s loss. Pitino was 6-2 against the Cards while coaching at Kentucky, however.

At Georgia, Smith had an 0-5 record against Pitino-coached Kentucky, but earned his first win over his former boss last year.

Louisville is located 71 miles west of Lexington via Interstate 64.

UK vs. Conference USA

Kentucky is 130-43 (.751) against current members of Conference USA. The Louisville game is the second and final contest against C-USA teams during the regular season. The Wildcats defeated Tulane, 76-60, on Dec. 10 in New Orleans.

Big Stone

Marvin Stone will don a Cardinal jersey for just the third time when he takes the court against his former team on Saturday. Stone played at Kentucky for two and a half seasons before he was dismissed on Dec. 27, 2001 after failing to return to the team from the holiday break.

After a public debate, Stone was granted a transfer to UK’s in-state rival in January. Per NCAA rules, Stone was required to sit out a full academic year, making him ineligible until the conclusion of the fall semester.

Stone played in 75 games in his career at UK with 11 starts. As a sophomore, the big man averaged 6.0 ppg and 4.6 rpg, his best season as a Cat.

That First Staff

Rick Pitino’s first coaching staff at Kentucky (1989-90) consisted of Associate Coach Ralph Willard (Holy Cross), Assistant Coach Tubby Smith (Kentucky), Assistant Coach Herb Sendek (N.C. State) and Graduate Assistant Coach Billy Donovan (Florida). The group guided “Pitino’s Bombino’s” to a surprising 14-14 record with no Cat taller than 6-7.

The second season, Willard departed for Western Kentucky and Smith was named associate coach. Bernadette Mattox, now the UK women’s coach, joined the staff as Kentucky went 20-6 and recorded the best record in the SEC in 1991. Smith became the Tulsa head coach after two seasons at UK.

Pitino’s Cat Highlights

Louisville coach Rick Pitino enjoyed eight successful seasons as UK’s head coach, including a national championship in 1996 and a return trip to the title game in 1997 before he took over the NBA’s struggling Boston Celtics in May 1997. At UK, he compiled a 219-50 (81.4%) record, winning two SEC Championships and five SEC Tournament titles. He had his jersey retired in the rafters of Rupp Arena at his farewell dinner in July 1997.

Other UK highlights include:

1996 AP Coach of the Year

Three Final Four appearances (1993, 1996 & 1997)

Coached three SEC Players of the Year, three All-Americans (Jamal Mashburn, Tony Delk and Ron Mercer), 12 All-SEC players and four All-SEC Freshmen team members.

Fur & Feathers

For the past eight years, the team that has won the annual football game — UK or U of L — went on to lose the basketball game. The football series was renewed in 1994, and Louisvillehas won the gridiron contest in ’95, ’96, ’99, ’00 and ’01. Following the football season, UK captured the basketball victory in ’95, ’96, ’99, ’01 and ’02. The other three years, UK won the football contest and the Cards won in hoops. This past fall, UK handed 17th-ranked U of L a 22-17 loss in Papa John’s Stadium.

U of L senior Erik Brown hails from Lexington and attended Bryan Station High School. The two-time All-State selection transferred to Louisville from Morehead State after his freshman year.

U of L graduate assistant Dan McHale served as a student manager at Kentucky from 1998-01. The Chatham, N.J. native is in his second season with the Cards.

Bird Lover

Senior Keith Bogans has enjoyed excellent play against the Cardinals in his career. He averages 15.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 2.7 apg in three meetings with Louisville.

His best performance against U of L came last season when he talled 17 points and seven rebounds in the victory.

Schedule Strength

Kentucky’s strength of schedule continues to climb. The Wildcats, who are ranked 14th in both voter polls this week, are ranked No. 5 by and eighth by Jeff Sagarin.

The strength of schedule is just as impressive. The Cats, who have played four ranked opponents in their first eight games, rank fourth and seventh in schedule toughness. The rankings follow:

UK – 5th (4th SoS)
U of L – 46th (136th)


UK – 8th (7th)
U of L – 34th (249th)

“Respect Month”

UK forward Chuck Hayes has termed December “Respect Month” for the Wildcats. Following road games at North Carolina and Tulane early in the month and a home date with Michigan State on Dec. 14 and a neutral-site battle with IU last weekend, the Cats close out the month against Louisville on Saturdeay.

UK holds a 430-102 mark (.808) in the month of December, including a 4-1 start to the month this year. Last season, the Cats went 5-1 in the year’s final month with its only loss coming at the hands of then-No. 1 Duke in the Jimmy V Classic.

Home Away from Home

Kentucky could easily call Louisville a second home after playing more than 140 games there, dating back to the 1908 season. The Wildcats own a 113-29 overall record in the “River City” and are 50-15 in Freedom Hall. UK has won 10 of their last 11 games in Freedom Hall including a 70-64 win over Indiana last Saturday.

Last season, the Cats downed Tulane, 101-67, in the arena. UK swept IU and Louisville at the Fairgrounds during the 2001 season.

The Cats are 5-4 against the Cardinals in Freedom Hall, dating back to the 1984 season. UK is 8-5 all-time against the Cards in Louisville.

Freedom Hall opened in 1957 and the Wildcats helped to christen the facility by winning the 1958 NCAA Championship there. UK’s “Fiddlin’ Five,” led by Vernon Hatton and Johnny Cox, upended Temple and Elgin Baylor-led Seattle to grab Adolph Rupp’s fourth NCAA Championship in 11 seasons.

The Hawk Returns

Point guard Cliff Hawkins returned to the court against IU last Saturday after missing the Cats’ first seven games. The junior was ineligible for the fall semester after academic troubles.

Hawkins showed he hadn’t missed a beat when he entered the game mid-way through the first half. The Dumfries, Va., native totaled four points, five rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes.

The highlight of his return came late in the game when he timed an ally-oop pass to Jules Camara for a dunk.

Good Shots, Good Percentage

Kentucky has continued to shoot the ball well this season, topping the .500 mark in four of its eight games, including three of the last five.

After converting a season-high 62.7% against High Point on Dec. 3, the Cats topped the 60.0% mark a second time on Dec. 7 with a 60.3% outing against the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, marking the first time that Kentucky had put together back-to-back 60.0% shooting performances since the 1996-97 season. That season, the Wildcats shot 63.9% against College of Charleston in the finals of the 1996 Great Alaska Shootout before hitting 60.9% of its shots against Purdue in the Great Eight in Chicago just four days later.

For the season, the Cats are shooting 49.2%, led by Marquis Estill’s 66.2%. The percentage dipped just under the 50.0% mark after a 38.8% performance against IU last week. Kentucky has not shot 50% or better from the field during the three-point era, 1986-87 to the present. In 1985-86, UK hit 51.4% during Kenny Walker’s senior year as UK advanced to the Elite Eight.


Kentucky is shooting 38.3% from three-point range this season, ranking third in the SEC, thanks to three Cats who are pouring it in from long range.

Keith Bogans has hit 46.7% of his three-pointers, Gerald Fitch has hit 44.8% and Kelenna Azubuike has canned 54.5% (6-11) from beyond the arc. Bogans’ percentage ranks sixth in the league, while Fitch is 10th.

The school record for three-point shooting in a season is 39.7% by the 1996 champs. The best by a Tubby Smith-coached UK team was 36.7% by the 1998 champs.

UK shot a season-high 62.5% from three-point range during its upset victory at No. 12 North Carolina two weeks ago.

Injury Bug

After losing Jules Camara for much of the preseason with a broken hand and pulled hamstring, the Wildcats were dealt a more serious blow — timing-wise — on Dec. 1 when junior college transfer Antwain Barbour broke his left hand in practice. Barbour, who started the first three games of the season, underwent surgery on Dec. 3 to stabilize the break in his third metacarpal bone and has since missed five games.

National Exposure

The Louisville game marks UK’s eighth national television appearance in nine games this season, its third appearance on ESPN in November and sixth of the season. The Cats will appear on national TV 16 times during the 2002-03 regular season, including 10 ESPN appearances and six games on CBS.

Maui Dividends

Since the Wildcats returned from its three-game stint in the Maui Invitational, their stats have improved. In the five games since, UK has shot 51.9% from the field and 46.6% from three-point range.

The Wildcats are averaging 79.0 ppg in the stretch, up from 74.3 in Maui.

Keith Bogans has shot 52.2% from the field and 51.6% from three-point range during the last five games while averaging 20.4 points, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game.

Cats in Stats

In last week’s NCAA stats, Marquis Estill ranks fifth in the nation and is second in the SEC in field goal percentage, hitting 66.2% entering the weekend. As a team, UK ranked 13th nationally last week in field goal percentage (51.0%).

In the updated SEC stats, Keith Bogans ranks third in scoring, sixth in 3FG percentage and first in threes made per game.

Gerald Fitch ranks 10th in 3FG percentage. Estill also ranks fourth in blocks, just ahead of teammate Jules Camara in fifth.

As a team, UK is fourth in the league in scoring, third in FG percentage, third in three-point percentage, fifth in FT percentage, fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio and third in blocks.

Vs. Ranked Opponents

The Wildcats own a 3-1 record this season against ranked opponents with wins over No. 20 Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational, No. 12 North Carolina in Chapel Hill and No. 6 Indiana last weekend. The Cats’ only loss to a ranked opponent was a 71-67 drop to No. 21 Michigan State on Dec. 14.

In January, UK will battle another top-10 team in Notre Dame and this week’s No. 1 team, Alabama. The SEC is loaded, with three other ranked opponents in this week’s polls — Florida, Mississippi State and LSU.

Cats in the Polls

The Wildcats were ranked 17th in both preseason polls. The Wildcats rose to No. 12 in both polls before suffering the loss to Michigan State, falling to 16th in the ESPN/USA Today poll and 18th in the AP poll. After the upset-win over IU, UK jumped to 14th in both polls.

Next Opponent

Kentucky will return to the court just two days after facing Louisville when it battles Tennessee State in Rupp Arena on Monday. The week will be a busy one for the Wildcats, who also take on Alcorn State on Jan. 2 at home before playing host to its annual neutral site game at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati on Jan. 4, facing Ohio for the first time since 1997.

Last Time Out

A close and physical battle came to an exciting conclusion as Indiana coach Mike Davis was assessed two technical fouls and ejected from the game late in UK’s 70-64 win over the Hoosiers. It was the first loss of the season for IU and UK’s third consecutive series victory.

Cliff Hawkins returned to the UK rotation after serving a semester-long academic suspension, recording four points, five rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes.


Keith Bogans tallied 17 points against Indiana to advance to 14th on UK’s all-time scoring list. In the past three games, Bogans has surpassed a trio of UK legends — Johnny Cox, Pat Riley, Cliff Hagan and Melvin Turpin — to reach 14th place on the all-time list. He has 1,511 points and needs six points to catch one of the all-time greats, Ralph Beard.

Bogans’ three made 3FGs against MSU moved him into third place on the UK list for career three-pointers, pushing him past Travis Ford and Derrick Miller. He has 195 career threes and needs nine more trifectas to catch former teammate Tayshaun Prince in second place.

Jules Camara ranks seventh on the Wildcats’ all-time blocked-shots list, trailing No. 6 Nazr Mohammed by three blocks.

Three Mania

Kentucky ranks third nationally in consecutive games with a made three-pointer. The Wildcats have hit a three-pointer in 481 consecutive games, which trails UNLV and Vanderbilt.

The Wildcats’ last game without a three-pointer came 14 seasons ago against Seton Hall on Nov. 26, 1988, a “three-point” loss in the Great Alaska Shootout.

Estill Holds Record Mark

Senior Marquis Estill shot six-of-eight from the field in the season opener against Arizona State and now has the minimum 200 made field goals in his UK career to take the all-time lead in FG percentage. So far this year, he’s 45-of-68 from the field (66.2%). For his career he’s shooting 62.3%.

Estill ranks ahead of the school’s previous record holder, Charles Hurt (1980-83), who shot 59.3 percent. Estill can own the school record should he maintain the pace throughout the season. The 6-9 center can earn a fourth year of eligibility should he graduate by the fall semester of 2003.

Career FG Percentage (Min. 200 made)

62.3 Marquis Estill (241-387) 2001-03
59.3 Charles Hurt (303-511) 1980-83
59.1 M. Turpin (626-1059) 1981-84
58.1 Rick Robey (533-917) 1975-78
57.1 Kenny Walker (765-1339) 1983-86


Kentucky got its first double-double performance of the season when Jules Camara totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds in relief against Virginia. It marked Camara’s fifth career double-double.

Chuck Hayes nearly pulled off the feat against Gonzaga, but fell just short, finishing with 11 points and nine boards against the Bulldogs.

Rupp Arena

Kentucky is in its 27th season at Rupp Arena, where the Wildcats own a 341-40 (89.5%) record.

The Cats have won the national attendance title the past seven seasons. Overall, the Wildcats have won 15 national attendance titles in the building.

Once again this season, the arena debuts new upgrades, including all blue seats in the lower level, a new concourse, a standing-room only “eRUPP-tion Zone” for the student body and a media press box, all totaling $5.1 million. The new purple concourse is two levels, replacing the old one-level boxed concession stand. It features greater concession stand access and more restrooms. The “eRUPPtion Zone” moved 400 season ticket holders to other seats in lower arena and moves the band and nearly 700 students into the end zone nearest UK’s bench. It also gives students access to floor-level seating, er, standing. Shockingly, a UK junior from Lincolnton, N.C., Andy Acker, named the area in a contest among the student body. His entry was picked from nearly 200 submissions.


100th Season

The Cats are playing their 100th season of basketball this year. The Cats have a number of events planned throughout the season, including fan balloting for the program’s greatest players, games and moments. The celebration includes replays of the top 10 games on radio, a 25-year reunion of the 1978 NCAA Champs, and four special-edition bobble-head dolls that fans can collect. The celebration concludes with an all-letterman reunion on Feb. 23 at the MSU game.

Kentucky celebrates unparalleled tradition, including seven NCAA titles, the most wins in college basketball, the best winning percentage in college hoops, the most consensus All-Americans, the most AP top-10 finishes, the most SEC Championships and tournament crowns and 15 national attendance titles.

Its first bobble-head promotion was held at the home opener when 500 lucky students received a Kyle Macy bobble-head. The second bobble-head was Adolph Rupp, which debuted against Michigan State. A third has made its way out of the bag before the Indiana game — Tubby Smith. The last of the series will be unveiled for the Tennessee State game on Dec. 30.

Fitch Named SEC and TSN’s POW

Gerald Fitch recorded back-to-back career highs – 18 points against High Point, 25 against No. 12 North Carolina – in early December to lead the Wildcats to consecutive wins, earning SEC Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. He also was recognized nationally as The Sporting News’ Player of the Week.

Fitch shot 68.2% from the field for the week and 75.0% from three-point range against the two teams. Against High Point, he totaled a career-high six assists as well. Against UNC, he scored 16 of his 25 in the decisive second half as UK rallied from a 43-40 halftime deficit. Fitch, normally a two-guard, was playing at point guard in the absence of 2002 starter Cliff Hawkins. He averaged 21.5 ppg and 4.0 apg for the week.

Triple Trouble

Three Wildcats topped the 20-point mark in UK’s win over UNC on Dec. 7, making it the first time in 13 seasons that three players scored 20 points in the same game. Gerald Fitch led the team with a career-high 25 points, while Keith Bogans and Marquis Estill each added 20. All of Estill’s points came in the decisive second half.

The last group to accomplish the feat included current UK assistant coach Reggie Hanson. With Tubby Smith on the sidelines as an assistant coach, Hanson combined his 20 points with 21 by Deron Feldhaus and a 40-point burst from Derrick Miller for a 100-73 win over Vanderbilt on Feb. 7, 1990.

Long-Range Love

UK was 10-of-16 from treyville against UNC, connecting on 62.5% of its shots, which would be a school record had the Cats made the minimum 20 threes needed.

It was the highest three-point percentage since UK hit 63.6% of its shots against Wake Forest during its 1996 march to the national title. UK was 7-of-11 from outside in that game.

Daniels’ Solid Return

Junior Erik Daniels, who was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating NCAA rules governing summer league play, had a stellar return against North Carolina on Dec. 7. Daniels shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, including 1-of-1 from three-point land, for 9 points, while grabbing five rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes.

His productive start was reminiscent of his freshman season when the Cincinnati native missed the opener after having his knee scoped in the preseason. He returned against UCLA and over the course of the next three games was a perfect 9-for-9 from the field.

Home Openers

With the win over High Point, Kentucky is now 85-15 all-time in home openers. Nine of those losses occurred before Adolph Rupp began coaching in 1930. The Cats are 66-6 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 last season to Western Kentucky.

UK now stands at 24-3 in home openers at Rupp Arena.

Maui Invitational Results

Kentucky finished in third place at the 19th annual Maui Invitational. Kentucky beat Arizona State in the first round before getting upset by Virginia in the semifinals. The Wildcats then beat No. 20 Gonzaga in the consolation game. It was the third appearance for UK in the Maui Invitational. The Cats are now 7-2 all-time in the tournament, earning a championship in 1993 and a third-place finish in 1997 in their two previous appearances.

Keith Bogans averaged 16.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game to earn All-Tournament team honors. UK rival Indiana beat Virginia to claim the 2002 title.

Well more than 500 Kentucky fans made the trip to the Maui Invitational to cheer on the Wildcats. UK chartered an L1011, and along with an official traveling party of 55 team and school personnel, an additional 300 fans were aboard the plane. Also, another 150 fans purchased the trip through Commonwealth Travel in Lexington and flew commercially. Others made the trip via additional travel agencies or on their own to help give the Wildcats the largest cheering section among the eight participating teams.

SEC Domination

UK will play its 70th season of SEC action in 2003. A charter member, the Cats have been the most dominant team in the league through the years, recording a 780-212 mark (78.6%). No other team has won more than 647 regular-season SEC games (Alabama) and no other team has a better winning percentage. UK has averaged 11.3 wins and 3.1 losses per season during its SEC tenure.

The Wildcats have won 41 SEC titles and 23 SEC Tournament Championships, more titles than the other teams combined.

Kentucky has won eight of the last 11 SEC Tournament titles.


Returning Production

UK lost just one starter off its 2002 Sweet 16 team (Tayshaun Prince), but returned just 67.1% of its scoring from a year ago. Here’s the complete breakdown:
Points 67.1%
Rebounds 76.6%
Assists 81.7%
Blocks 67.3%
Steals 77.4%

SEC Preseason Poll

The Wildcats were picked to finish third in the SEC Eastern Division in a preseason poll of media members. UK, which has not finished lower than second since the league split into divisions in 1992, was also predicted to finish fourth in the race for the SEC regular-season crown.

Keith Bogans was the only Wildcat picked as either first- or second-team preseason All-SEC poll. The first team included Erwin Dudley (Alabama), Mario Austin (Miss. State), Jarvis Hayes (Georgia), Maurice Williams (Alabama), and Brett Nelson (Florida). The second team included Bogans, Ronald Dupree (LSU), Matt Bonner (Florida), Ezra Williams (Georgia) and Derrick Zimmerman (Miss. State).


Keightley’s Seen Half of UK’s Games


Bill Keightley is in his 42nd season as equipment manager of the UK basketball team. The beloved “Mr. Wildcat” began assisting in the equipment room during the 1961-62 season and since then, UK has played 1,272 games, owning a 972-300 record.

The Wildcats, who are celebrating their 100th season of basketball, have played 2,394 games, meaning Keightley has played a role in 53.1% of the games.

The Lawrenceburg, Ky., native, 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. The current cats have a modern nickname for the 75-year-old Keightley — “Smooth.”

Wiggins In 50th Season

Big Blue fan Bob Wiggins continued his amazing streak of following the basketball Cats. He’s starting his 50th season watching Kentucky play in person and through his own record-keeping, has attended 1,230 UK games.

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 longest record is the late Steve Reardon’s 626 games.

The illness forced Wiggins to miss four games, but he has since returned to see every contest in person, a streak of 216 games.

Meanwhile, his home court streak is still intact. Wiggins has not missed a home game in 42 years, a streak spanning 591 games. During that period, which dates back to 1960-61, UK has a home record of 524-67.

UK’s NBA Players

To start the 2002-03 NBA season, the following Wildcats were active:
Derek Anderson – Portland
Tony Delk – Boston
Jamaal Magloire – New Orleans
Jamal Mashburn – New Orleans
Walter McCarty – Boston
Ron Mercer – Indiana
Nazr Mohammed – Atlanta
Scott Padgett – Utah
Mark Pope – New York
Tayshaun Prince – Detroit
Antoine Walker – Boston

In addition, former UK assistant coach Jim O’Brien is the head coach of the Boston Celtics while former UK All-American Pat Riley coaches the Miami Heat.

Other Wildcats participating in professional basketball include Heshimu Evans, Jared Prickett, Andre Riddick and Wayne Turner, who are all playing overseas, and Saul Smith, who plays for Columbus of the NBDL.

UKathletics com 100-Year Catalog and Online Store

UK Athletics has released an official catalog and online store with products celebrating the 100 years of UK hoops. The product line includes memorabilia, Tubby Smith autographed items, videos, DVDs and the full-line of Nike apparel. The catalog is a special 100-year basketball that features UK’s national champions, All-Americans, great coaches and 100-year logo. Fans may call 888-234-9350 or log on to to purchase items.

— Go Cats —

Related Stories

View all