KSR Today: HoopHall Classic begins, Kentucky prepares for Tennessee
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KSR Today: HoopHall Classic begins, Kentucky prepares for Tennessee

Article written by:Jack PilgrimJack Pilgrim
HoopHall Classic

One of the biggest high school basketball events of the season is underway, as the HoopHall Classic tipped off Thursday, Jan. 13 and is set to last through Monday, Jan. 17. It’s an event loaded with the nation’s top recruits, including six top-10 prospects in the 2022 class and seven top-10 prospects in the 2023 class.

Among them? You guessed it, Kentucky’s top signees and targets in the senior and junior classes. Local games made up the first night, but high-profile names are set to take the floor starting this evening and play throughout the entire weekend.

The headliners of Kentucky interest include five-star signees Chris Livingston and Skyy Clark, both rated as top-15 prospects in the On3 Consensus. They will both take the floor for the first time starting Saturday. From there, major UK targets such as Dajuan Wagner Jr., KJ Evans Jr., Mackenzie Mgabko and Mookie Cook will all suit up throughout the weekend, as well.

It won’t all be pro-Kentucky names, though. Other players who turned down the Wildcats in favor of other programs such as Dereck Lively, Keyonte George, Adem Bona and Kyle Filipowski will also be in attendance.

KSR will be in attendance from Friday to Monday, with all the recruiting coverage you need coming on the site throughout. Expect stats, highlights, quotes and recruiting updates from start to finish.

Skyy Clark vs. DJ Wagner

Before Clark and Wagner made their way to Springfield for the HoopHall Classic, they faced off in the Metro Classic in Trenton, New Jersey on Thursday evening.

In a rock fight of the nation’s best, Montverde defeated Camden 52-40 to end the latter’s 44-game winning streak, the team’s first loss since 2019.

Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua was in attendance for the head-to-head matchup.

Individually, Wagner — the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2023 class — was held to just four points, the lowest single-game total of his career. He also added three rebounds, three steals and one assist in the loss.

Clark, playing in his fourth game back after undergoing ACL surgery this summer, finished with four points, three assists, two rebounds, one block and one steal in the win.

Both players will be back in action on Saturday.

John Calipari and players preview Tennessee

Kentucky’s got itself a pretty important game on Saturday, as well, as the Wildcats are set to take on the Tennessee Volunteers at Rupp Arena at 1 p.m. ET.

What does John Calipari think of the matchup? The UK head coach will speak to the media starting at 11 a.m. ET, with select players set to join, as well.

KSR will have all the coverage you need right here throughout the day.

Former UK Commit to UTSA

Junior college cornerback Zah Frazier committed to Kentucky during the Early Signing Period. Over the holiday break he had second thoughts. Instead of attending UK, he flipped to the runner-up in his recruitment, the Roadrunners of UTSA.

Excite Night for UK Gymnastics

It’s not the date or opponent Kentucky gymnastics expected to open its 2022 season, but Excite Night is here.

Originally scheduled to open the season at Arizona State on Jan. 5, the meet was ultimately canceled due to health and safety protocols within the Sun Devils’ gymnastics program. From there, Kentucky was set to take on Georgia to open the season in Lexington, but that matchup was also postponed due to health and safety protocols within the Bulldogs’ program.

Two setbacks later, the Wildcats will now take on the Ball State Cardinals at 7 p.m. ET this evening inside Rupp Arena. The meet will be broadcast live on SEC Network with Sam Gore and Ashley Miles on the call. 

Kentucky returns all 24 routines from last year’s season finale that tied the program’s all-time scoring record with a 197.600 performance in the 2021 NCAA Salt Lake City Regional final.

Kentucky cheerleading competes for another title

Kentucky Cheer will compete for yet another title this weekend, as the squad will compete in the Universal Cheer Association national championships beginning today in Orlando.

The Wildcats are taking two squads to the championship this year, with one competing in the game day division — they won in 2021 — and another competing in the traditional coed division. Kentucky has won that division 24 times.

Competition starts today, with Kentucky competing in the game day division starting at 2:05 p.m. ET. Finals are scheduled for later in the evening, with a champion determined to close out the day.

Coed competition will then begin Saturday, followed by the finals on Sunday. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of Sunday’s competition.

UK Dance will also compete for a championship

Cheer won’t be the only UK sport fighting for a title this weekend, as the Kentucky dance team will also compete in the Universal Dance Association national championships starting today in Orlando.

The Wildcats will perform in the game day division on Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET, with finals scheduled later in the evening. A champion will be announced at the conclusion of the day.

From there, Kentucky will perform in the hip hop part of the competition at 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday. Finals will take place on Sunday evening, with final awards scheduled immediately afterward.

Kentucky finished second in both game day and hip hop last year, the best finishes in program history.

KSR in an hour

Matt Jones and the crew will be live from 10 a.m. to noon ET this morning to discuss the latest in the world of UK Athletics.

Tune in.

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