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Kentucky Takes Down Arkansas 111-102 in Rupp Arena Track Meet

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Aaron Bradshaw

Kentucky won their third consecutive game on Saturday as the Wildcats downed the Hogs 111-102 in Rupp Arena. It was a back-and-forth affair from the tip to the final horn, but it was the good guys who came away with the win.

Aaron Bradshaw, back from the dead

For six consecutive games, Aaron Bradshaw failed to get into double-digits in the scoring column. His minutes were being heavily reduced, and it seemed like he was slipping further and further down the rotation.

However, against Arkansas, Bradshaw shook off his cold spell with a 15-point performance. The 7-1 freshman shot 4-4 from the field while going 6-8 from the charity stripe. Even in just 12 minutes of game time, he made sure to leave his impression on the game.

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Rob Dillingham is just too shifty

Well, well, well, if it isn’t Mr. Shifty himself, Rob Dillingham. The former OTE up-and-comer has been a very pleasant surprise for John Calipari and Kentucky this season, and that was no different against the Razorbacks.

Dillingham scored 15 points while racking up five assists against Arkansas. It seemed like this was going to be one of his off days, but he channeled his inner Allen Iverson, upping his game in the clutch.

Tre Mitchell struggles in his return

Now, for the not-so-great stuff.

The good news is that Tre Mitchell made his long-awaited return to the hardwood after suffering a shoulder injury against Ole Miss. Unfortunately, the bad news is that it wasn’t a great outing for him.

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Mitchell went 0-5 (0-3 3PT) as his only two points came from the free throw line. Perhaps one redeeming part about his effort against Arkansas were his three rebounds during his 16-minute run on the floor. He hasn’t scored 10+ points in a game since Kentucky’s first matchup with the Razorbacks back on January 27th.


Next up are the Vanderbilt Commodores who sit at 8-20 (3-12 SEC). Kentucky will be back home for the last time this season on Wednesday in a late 9:00 p.m. EST tip.

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Men's Basketball

Rick Pitino Endorses Mark Pope, “He Will Lead The Kentucky Wildcats To Another Championship”

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Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports/ Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The captain of Rick Pitino’s 1996 “Untouchables”, Mark Pope, is “coming home” to lead the Kentucky Wildcats as the program’s next head coach, officially announced on Friday. While there has been some criticism of the hire, Pitino says he “couldn’t be any prouder to see Mark Pope lead the Kentucky Wildcats.”

While Pope has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game in two appearances, Pitino points out that several top coaches had their trials early in their careers. It took Jay Wright 11 seasons to win his first NCAA Tournament, and Billy Donovan was hired at Florida without an NCAA Tournament appearance. However, he heralds Pope as one of the “premier young coaches” in college basketball.

“Offensively, no one does it better,” Pitino said. “The way his teams move. The way his teams shoot the three. The ball movement. It’s outstanding.”

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It’s just the X’s and O’s though, Pitino “guarantees” that Pope loves and understands the program as well as anyone. “I can guarantee to you one thing, that nobody epitomizes the name on the front of the jersey more than Mark Pope.”

“Mark Pope will go on to greatness. You can put it down,” Pitino said. “He will do you proud. “He will lead the Kentucky Wildcats to another championship”

If his endorsement isn’t enough, Rick Pitino says he will “write the check himself” for NIL to help Pope be successful.

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Mark Pope Releases Statement As He Is Announced As Kentucky Basketball Coach

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Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Per UK Athletics

When his alma mater came calling, Mark Pope knew there was no place like home.

Pope, a captain of the University of Kentucky’s 1996 National Championship team, has returned to Lexington as the 23rd head coach of Kentucky’s storied men’s basketball program, announced Friday.

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“The University of Kentucky is the pinnacle of coaching in college basketball,” Pope said. “It’s the definition of a blueblood program where hanging a banner is the expectation every year. Equally as important, UK changed my life forever as a human being. The love and passion I have for this program, this University and the people of the Commonwealth goes to the depth of my soul.”

“I’m thankful to Dr. (Eli) Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart for this opportunity. I’m proud to be your next head coach and I can’t wait to do this together!”

Pope is a nine-year head coaching veteran with stops at BYU and Utah Valley, amassing a 187-108 career record. His squads won 20 or more games in six of the last seven seasons and he has made six postseason appearances.

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Men's Basketball

REPORT: Mark Pope Set Sign Five-Year Deal to Become Next Kentucky Basketball Coach

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Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky has found their guy. Former Wildcat and NCAA Champion, Mark Pope, is now expected to be named the next Kentucky basketball coach on a five-year contract worth $5.5 million annually, first reported by CBS Sports. For perspective, based on last season’s salaries, that is more than Dan Hurley (UConn), Scott Drew (Baylor), and Nate Oats (Alabama).

Pope comes to Kentucky with nine seasons of head coaching experience, after serving as an assistant for six seasons, from 2009-2015. In 2015, he was hired by Utah Valley where he coached for four seasons. In 2019, Pope was hired at BYU where he has taken them to two NCAA Tournaments, but has been upset by a double-digit seed in both appearances.

Pope has proven himself as a good X-and-O coach in his nine-year career, running one of the most innovative offenses in the country, but recruiting will be a real test as he has never signed a four-star recruit. Who he hires on to his staff and collecting NIL support will be critical.

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The move has been met with much fan criticism, as fans have been quick to point out that Pope has never won a conference title or an NCAA Tournament game. However, Mitch Barnhart is confident in the move, with some reporting that he is “excited” with the hire.

Just three days into the coaching search, this is an interesting hire with several big names like Billy Donovan and Bruce Pearl potentially available. Barnhart made the decision not to wait for Donovan, who is currently coaching the Chicago Bulls, and Pearl was not considered due to his “baggage”.

A new era of Kentucky basketball has begun.

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