On This Date In UK History
Special Thanks To Big Blue Booyah
Cawood Ledford called his first game as “The Voice of the Wildcats”. Coach Adolph Rupp led Kentucky to a 86-59 rout of Temple. The game was played in Memorial Coliseum. All-time great Cliff Hagan led the Wildcats that day with memorable performance of 51 points. Frank Ramsey (10 points) was the only other player in double figures. Cawood had to be smiling from ear-to-ear after witnessing Hagan score that many in his debut. The 27-year-old Ledford wouldn’t leave the radio broadcast for the next 39 years, as impressive a run as we’ve ever seen. Radio broadcasts would start off by Cawood signing in, “Hello everybody, this is Cawood Ledford.” He is also one of, if not the first, radio personality to announce which way the game would be played on the radio dial. His last game was in 1992. I’ll leave it at that.
your University of Kentucky announced plans to celebrate the life of long time equipment manager Bill Keighley during a December 7th game vs. Mississippi Valley State. Mr. Wildcat’s jersey would be retired into Rupp’s rafters for the final time during halftime. The University wanted to mark Keightley’s legacy in a multitude of ways. Among them were: a permanent spot on the Arena floor in front of Mr. Wildcat’s seat at the head of the bench; a black “K” on the uniforms; a silk ribbon on the shoulder of the uniform that read “Mr. Wildcat”; a Mr. Wildcat Catspy Award; an annual golf tournament; and a scholarship fund set up for future UK men’s basketball managers. The most visible difference on December 7th would be the black uniforms with each player’s number, but with Keightley’s name on the back. A very classy tribute for an all-time Wildcat legend.
your University of Kentucky Wildcats accepted its first bowl bid in seven years after they were invited to the 2006 Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN. The seven year bowl drought, along with the fact Nashville is a morning drive away for most people, all but guaranteed Big Blue Nation would come out in full force for the December 29th showdown with Clemson. Big Blue finished the season on a strong note, after getting blasted by LSU 49-0 in Baton Rouge, winning four of their final five games. Those four wins gave UK a 7-5 overall record, and a 4-4 mark in the toughest division in college football. That record was good enough for a third place SEC East finish, but still not good enough to beat Tennessee or Florida. It was good enough, though, to beat any trash coming over from the ACC.
Kentucky great Joe B. Hall coached his first game as the head basketball coach for the University. The #8 Wildcats faced Michigan State at Jenison Fieldhouse in East Lansing, with the good guys winning 75-66. Jim Andrews led the way for UK, scoring 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The honeymoon was over after game one, though, as Hall lost his next three games. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the rabid Kentucky fan base took these three losses with a grain of salt and moved on with their lives. What, you don’t think that’s how it went down? Joe B and kids rebounded nicely and ended the season 20-8, including a 10-game win streak from February-March. The last loss of the season was Regional Finals loss to Indiana. Hall went on to coach 13 seasons at the University and compiled 297 wins, losing only 100.
your University of Kentucky Wildcats played its first basketball game in Memorial Coliseum, beating West Texas State. Bill Spivey led the Cats that day with 18 points, hitting seven field goals and making four free throws. The official attendance was 8,000 to see Adolph Rupp usher in what would become an overwhelmingly difficult place to play for Kentucky opponents. The Wildcats hold an all-time winning percentage of (.890) in Memorial, with a 307-38 record. The most recent win coming in the Spring of 2009 as there was a conflict between Kentucky’s NIT game vs. UNLV and the KHSAA Sweet Sixteen. It was a raucous atmosphere, as the tickets were given out in a first come-first served basis, virtually guaranteeing no one sleeping during the game, like most Rupp Arena crowds. Memorial Coliseum cost $3.9 million to build, roughly equivalent to how much John Calipari makes per win.
Kelenna Azubuike went 7-12 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc to lead your University of Kentucky Wildcats past Tennessee Tech, 92-63. Buike had a coming out party and finished with 21 points after starting the season in a horrible shooting slump. Tubby Smith said the biggest reason for the turnaround was Kelenna finally started attacking the rim, opening up everything else. Everyone in the starting lineup (Azubuike, Hayes, Morris, Rondo, Sparks) had at least one steal, as Tech ended the game with 23 turnovers. Chuck Hayes dominated the inside with 17 points and 11 rebounds, going 5-5 from the field. A 19-3 run early in the second half (started by a Buike three point play) made a six point lead balloon to 22 points and Big Blue never looked back.
your #13 University of Kentucky Wildcats were shocked by Dayton, 68-66, in Cincinnati. Tayshaun Prince missed an uncontested three-pointer at the buzzer for the win; but it wasn’t to be, as the Flyers got their first win vs. Kentucky since 1955. Prince ended the contest just 1-8 from the field. Jules Camara led Kentucky with 12 points and Saul Smith added 11. Big Blue went 2-13 overall from behind the arc, committed 20 turnovers, and blew a 10 point lead. The good news from the night was that UK went 24-29 from the free throw line! This was Tubby’s Cats second straight loss and the team would actually lose four games in a five game span to ignite a spark in the rabid UK fan base. Many fans never let go of this as this was Tubby Smith’s first “10 loss” team.
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Cawood Ledford called his first game as “The Voice of the Wildcats”. Coach...
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