Dec. 31, 2002
Alcorn State Braves (2-9)
No. 20/21 Kentucky Wildcats (7-3)
The Alcorn State Game
Rupp Arena (23,000)
Jan. 2, 2003
7:30 p.m. ET
UK Radio Network (80+ stations): Tom Leach, Mike Pratt, Dave Baker.
UKTV (Delay): Rob Bromley, Martin Newton and Dick Gabriel.
vs. Alcorn State
Web site: alcorn.edu/athletics
Series Record: 0-0
In Lexington: 0-0
This is the first series meeting.
Tubby Smith (High Point ’73)
Overall: 263-108 (.709) (12th)
at UK: 139-46 (.751) (6th)
vs. Alcorn State: 0-0
Davey Whitney (Kentucky St. ’53)
Overall: 553-346 (.615) (32nd)
at ASU: 498-283 (.638) (27th)
vs. Kentucky: 0-0
cats bravesRecord 7-3 2-9Scoring Offense 79.6 65.0Scoring Defense 72.0 74.7Scoring Margin +7.6 -9.7FG % 48.5 41.1FG % Defense 44.9 43.83FG % 36.6 32.23FG % Defense 38.8 34.0Free Throw % 69.4 60.5Rebound Average 36.8 38.7Opponent Reb. Avg. 32.0 36.0Rebound Margin +4.8 +2.7TO Average 14.4 22.9Opponent TO 15.5 17.6TO Margin +1.1 -5.4Blocks Average 4.9 3.3Steals Average 8.0 7.6
KentuckyNo. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Ppg Rpg Hometown '03 Note44 Chuck Hayes F 6-6 247 So. 8.4 5.6 Modesto, Calif. Shooting 78.4% from FT line14 Erik Daniels F 6-8 214 Jr. 8.8 6.0 Cincinnati, Ohio Career-high assists vs. TSU50 Marquis Estill C 6-9 236 Sr. 12.2 5.6 Richmond, Ky. Double-double vs. TSU10 Keith Bogans G 6-5 213 Sr. 19.2 2.8 Alexandria, Va. Season-high 26 pts. vs. TSU 4 Gerald Fitch G 6-3 188 Jr. 12.1 3.3 Macon, Ga. 5 assts, no turnovers vs. TSU
Alcorn StateNo. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Ppg Rpg Hometown ’03 Note20 Jason Cable G 6-2 195 Sr. 8.1 1.8 Huntsville, Ala. Has started seven of eight games10 Cory Jackson G 5-11 165 So. 3.2 2.5 Houston, Texas Leads team in steals 4 Tori Harris G 6-4 180 Sr. 10.5 4.7 Macon, Miss. Averaged 11.3 ppg in Hawaii44 Rhau-Chavis Landfair C 6-10 255 Jr. 3.8 2.3 Starkville, Miss. Has started the last two games21 Dion Callans F 6-8 195 Fr. 6.5 4.8 Chicago, Ill. 7 rb vs. Texas-Pan Am
Did you know……that UK’s 115-87 win over Tennessee State was the 186th 100-point game in UK’s 100-year history? The game was the 43rd century mark by the Cats in Rupp Arena. UK has only allowed opponents reach the mark 29 times and never in the Tubby Smith Era.
Wildcats Face Alcorn State for First Time
Kentucky plays its second consecutive home game for the first time this season when it plays host to Alcorn State. The Cats, who are coming off a 115-87 rout of Tennessee State, will meet the Braves for the first time in school history. ASU returned home from the Hawaii Rainbow Classic on Tuesday after going 1-2 with a win over Texas-Pan American in the tourney.
The game with the Braves is the third of four in an eight-day period for UK. UK will next head to Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday to play host to Ohio in its annual neutral-site game at U.S. Bank Arena.
The Wildcats are one-third of the way through their 29-game regular-season schedule. Just two non-conference games remain before UK begins Southeastern Conference play next week at Tennessee.
Legendary Alcorn State coach Davey Whitney is from Midway, Ky., just up the road from Lexington. Whitney attended old Dunbar High School in Lexington. The 1952 Kentucky State graduate used to sit in on Kentucky practices at Alumni Gym watching another legendary coach, Adolph Rupp.
Whitney is the oldest active African-American coach in NCAA hoops and is one of only a small group of active coaches to earn 500 career wins. Last summer, Whitney was honored with the inaugural NCAA Hall of Champions Journey Award, honoring him for his inspiration to student-athletes, maintaining an environment that encourages cultural diversity and championing the purpose of the NCAA.
As an athlete at KSU, Whitney lettered in basketball, baseball, football and track. He was a two-time All-Midwest Conference selection in hoops and was inducted into the KSU Hall of Fame in 1979. Whitney will coach his 900th game tonight.
This is the first meeting between Kentucky and Alcorn State.
UK vs. Southwestern Athletic Conference
Kentucky has never faced a Southwestern Athletic Conference opponent. The conference, which is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., along with the SEC offices, is comprised of 10 teams. Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Grambling State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, Prairie View A&M, Southern and Texas Southern join ASU in the league.
New Year’s Cats
Throughout the 100-year history of the basketball program, Kentucky has enjoyed success in the month of January. UK owns a 510-176 overall record in the year’s first month for a .743 winning percentage.
Last year the Cats were 6-3 in January with all three losses coming at the hands of ranked SEC opponents. The Alcorn State game is the first of eight contests in the month this year.
Kentucky ended the 2002 calender year with a bang, earning a 115-87 win over Tennessee State on Monday. The victory included many season highs, including: points (115), three-pointers (11), rebounds (52), rebounding margin (+31), steals (12) and margin of victory (+32).
The Wildcats were 21-11 overall in 2002.
UK assistant coach Reggie Hanson aims to dress for success, and apparently, people are taking notice. Collegeinsider.com’s Angela Lento annually tracks the nation’s best dressed head and assistant coaches. In the most recent Fashion Power Index (FPI), Hanson is ranked the top dresser among assistants this season.
Lento’s Runway to the Fashionable Four is in its sixth year.
Cliff Hawkins, who returned to the court just 12 days ago after missing the fall semester with academic troubles, has made a solid return to the court as a reserve point guard.
In the three games versus Indiana, Louisville and Tennessee State, the junior has totaled 14 assists with just three turnovers. “The Hawk” averaged 4.3 assists per game in 2002, starting 29 of 32 games at the point.
Kentucky is in its 27th season at Rupp Arena, where the Wildcats own a 342-40 (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.
Kentucky got its second double-double performance of the season after a 15-point, 11-rebound effort by Marquis Estill against Tennessee State on Dec. 30. It was Estill’s second career double-double.
Earlier this year, Jules Camara totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds in relief against Virginia. It marked his fifth career double-double.
Kentucky has already appeared on national television in eight of the 10 games this 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.
Cats in Stats
Marquis Estill, who ranks second in the SEC in field-goal percentage, also ranks fifth in the nation in the most recent NCAA stats (Dec. 16). He’s currently shooting 65.0% from the field. As a team, UK ranked 13th nationally in field goal percentage (51.0%).
In this week’s SEC stats, Keith Bogans ranked third in scoring, first in threes made per game and 10th in 3FG percentage.
As a team, UK was third in the league in scoring, third in field-goal percentage, fifth in blocks and third in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Estill Holds Record Mark
Senior Marquis Estill 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 52-of-80 from the field (65.0%). For his career he’s shooting 62.2%.
Estill ranks ahead of the school’s previous record holder, Charles Hurt (1980-83), who shot 59.3 percent. Estill will 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)
62.2 Marquis Estill (248-399) 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
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 last week.
After the loss to Louisville on Dec. 28, the Cats dropped to 20th in the AP poll and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25.
Kentucky will close out a busy week on Saturday when the Wildcats face Ohio in Cincinnati, Ohio for its annual neutral-site battle at U.S. Bank Arena. The game marks UK’s final tune-up before opening Southeastern Conference play at Tennessee on Jan. 8.
Last Time Out
A three-pointer by Chuck Hayes late in the first half gave UK its first lead of the game and the Cats never looked back, cruising to a 115-87 win over Tennessee State.
Keith Bogans led the team with a season-high 26 points, while Erik Daniels contributed a career-high seven assists to UK’s season-high 31-asssist effort. It was UK’s first 100-point game since Jan. 2, 2002, a 101-67 win over Tulane.
Keith Bogans’ season-high 26 points against Tennessee State moved him past Mike Casey into 12th place on UK’s all-time scoring list. In the past five games Bogans has surpassed a pack of UK legends — Johnny Cox, Pat Riley, Cliff Hagan, Melvin Turpin, Ralph Beard and Casey. He has 1,551 points and needs 24 more to catch Louie Dampier.
Bogans’ four made 3FGs against TSU made him just the third player in school history to record 200 treys in his career. He has 200 career threes and needs four 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 two blocks.
Kentucky ranks third nationally in consecutive games with a made three-pointer. The Wildcats have hit a three-pointer in 483 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.
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 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.
The Wildcats completed a rugged December schedule, which included three road games and games against three ranked opponents, with a 5-2 record .
All-time, UK holds a 431-103 mark (.807) in the month of December. Last season, the Cats went 5-1 in the year’s final month with their only loss coming at the hands of then-No. 1 Duke in the Jimmy V Classic.
The Hawk Returns
Point guard Cliff Hawkins returned to the court against IU on Dec. 21 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
BIG BLUE MANIA
Keightley’s Seen Half of UK’s Games Incredible.
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 1,273 games, owning a 972-301 record.
The Wildcats, who are celebrating their 100th season of basketball, have played 2,395 games, meaning Keightley has played a role in 53.2% 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 1,231 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 217 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 ukauthentic.com to purchase items.
— Go Cats —