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2015–16 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team

The 2015–16 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team represented the University of Kentucky in the 2015–16 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The team played its home games in Lexington, Kentucky for the 40th consecutive season at Rupp Arena, with a capacity of 23,500. The team was led by John Calipari, in his seventh season. They were a member of the Southeastern Conference. They finished the season 27–9, 13–5 in SEC play to win a share of the SEC regular season championship. They defeated Alabama, Georgia, and Texas A&M to be champions of the SEC Tournament. They received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated Stony Brook in the first round to advance to the second round where they lost to Indiana.

2015–16 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
Kentucky Wildcats logo.svg
SEC regular season co-champions
SEC Tournament champions
NCAA Tournament, Second Round
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 16
APNo. 10
2015–16 record27–9 (13–5 SEC)
Head coachJohn Calipari (7th season)
Assistant coachJohn Robic (7th season)
Assistant coachKenny Payne (6th season)
Assistant coachTony Barbee (2nd season)
Home arenaRupp Arena
Seasons
2015–16 SEC men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
#15 Texas A&M 13 5   .722     28 9   .757
#10 Kentucky 13 5   .722     27 9   .750
South Carolina 11 7   .611     25 9   .735
Vanderbilt 11 7   .611     19 14   .576
LSU 11 7   .611     19 14   .576
Ole Miss 10 8   .556     20 12   .625
Georgia 10 8   .556     20 14   .588
Florida 9 9   .500     21 15   .583
Arkansas 9 9   .500     16 16   .500
Alabama 8 10   .444     18 15   .545
Mississippi State 7 11   .389     14 17   .452
Tennessee 6 12   .333     15 19   .441
Auburn 5 13   .278     11 20   .355
Missouri* 3 15   .167     10 21   .323
*Ineligible for postseason play due to self-imposed postseason ban.
2016 SEC Tournament winner
Rankings from AP Poll

DeparturesEdit

Name Number Pos. Height Weight Year Hometown Notes
Devin Booker 1 Guard 6'6" 206 Freshman Grand Rapids, Michigan Entered 2015 NBA Draft
Aaron Harrison 2 Guard 6'6" 212 Sophomore Fort Bend, Texas Entered 2015 NBA Draft
Andrew Harrison 5 Guard 6'6" 212 Sophomore Fort Bend, Texas Entered 2015 NBA Draft
Karl-Anthony Towns 12 Forward 6'11" 250 Freshman Piscataway, New Jersey Entered 2015 NBA Draft
Sam Malone 13 Guard 5'11" 185 Senior Scituate, Massachusetts Graduated
Willie Cauley-Stein 15 Center 7'0" 240 Junior Olathe, Kansas Entered 2015 NBA Draft
Tod Lanter 21 Guard 6'2" 190 Senior Lexington, Kentucky Graduated
Brian Long 32 Guard 5'9" 155 Senior Dumont, New Jersey Graduated
Trey Lyles 41 Forward 6'10" 235 Freshman Indianapolis, Indiana Entered 2015 NBA Draft
Dakari Johnson 44 Center 7'0" 255 Sophomore Brooklyn, New York Entered 2015 NBA Draft

2015-16 newcomersEdit

Isaiah Briscoe, originally from Newark, New Jersey, was the third highest rated point guard that Calipari had signed at Kentucky. He committed to Kentucky on November 13, live on ESPNU.[1] He chose Kentucky over St. John's. He was the nation's consensus top point guard, was ranked the consensus No. 13 overall player by the four main recruiting services Rivals, ESPN, Scout, and 24/7 Sports. He helped lead Team USA at the 2014 FIBA Americans U18 Championships to a gold medal.[2] He was a McDonald's All-America and Jordan Brand Classic game selection.[3][4]

Skal Labissière, originally from Haiti, was a consensus top five player in the 2015 class.[5] He moved to Memphis, Tennessee from his home country after an earthquake disaster in January 2010.[6] Labissière and Briscoe committed on the same night, minutes apart, on ESPNU. Labissière chose Kentucky over Memphis.[1] Calipari has likened Labissière to former Wildcats Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel.[2]

Charles Matthews, originally from Chicago, Illinois, was the first commitment in the 2015 signing class on February 26, 2014.[7] Once considered a top-15 player in class, Matthews finished in the top-60 recruits on the four recruiting services.

Mychal Mulder, originally from Windsor, Ontario, was the first signee after the conclusion of the 2015 season. Mulder helped lead Vincennes University to a 33-2 record, earned JUCO All-America honors and was rated the 13th-best junior-college prospect in the country by 247Sports.com's composite ranking. He chose Kentucky over Creighton, Indiana, and Wichita State at a press conference on April 28.[8][9]

Jamal Murray, originally from Kitchener, Ontario, was the last signee for the 2016 season. Murray was originally a member of the 2016 recruiting class but reclassified to the 2015 class. Murray was rated a top-15 prospect by nearly every recruiting service and tabbed a consensus five-star recruit. Murray's stock began to soar following a breakout performance at the Nike Hoop Summit against the USA Basketball Team. He scored 30 points against the United States prior to a 29-point, 10-assist, eight-rebound effort in the BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game.[10][11]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Isaiah Briscoe
PG
Newark, New Jersey Roselle Catholic 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Nov 13, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Isaac Humphries
C
Sydney, Australia La Lumiere School 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 260 lb (120 kg) Aug 20, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Skal Labissière
C
Port-au-Prince, Haiti Lausanne Collegiate School 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Nov 13, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Charles Matthews
SG
Chicago, Illinois St. Rita 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Feb 26, 2014 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Mychal Mulder
SG
Windsor, Ontario Vincennes University (IN) 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Apr 28, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Jamal Murray
G
Kitchener, Ontario Athlete Institute 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 195 lb (88 kg) Jun 24, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 2   Rivals: 2  ESPN: 1
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "Kentucky 2015 Basketball Commitments". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  • "2015 Kentucky Basketball Commits". Scout.com. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved 2015-04-06.
  • "2015 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2015-04-06.

Pre-seasonEdit

RosterEdit

On April 9 the University of Kentucky held a press conference for all players that intended to declare for the 2015 NBA Draft. Seven players declared themselves eligible for the draft: Booker, Cauley-Stein, the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew), Johnson, Lyles, and Towns.[12][13] On April 13, assistant coach Barry Rohrssen left the team to join the St. John's staff under new head coach Chris Mullin.[14][15] On April 23 Poythress announced that he would return to Kentucky for his senior season.[16][17] On April 28 Mulder announced his decision to attend Kentucky at press conference.[8] On May 22 Tony Barbee, who served as special assistant to Calipari in 2015, was officially announced as Rohrssen's replacement on Calipari's staff.[18][19] On June 24 Murray announced his decision to Kentucky televised on Canada's TSN, donning a Canadian flag. He chose Kentucky over Oregon.[10][20] On August 20 it was announced that Humphries would reclassify from the 2016 class to the 2015 class to join the team for the season.

Off-season rankingsEdit

The earliest preseason predictions were made the day after the 2015 NCAA Tournament on April 7, before final decisions by college players about declaring for the 2015 NBA Draft and before many high-school players signed a National Letter of Intent about their 2015 seasons. Despite the speculation that most of the 2015 roster would declare for the NBA Draft, ESPN ranked Kentucky as its top ranked team for the 2015-16 season.[21] Sporting News projected that Kentucky would be one of the top five teams.[22] CBSSports.com ranked Kentucky as their number three team in their initial rankings.[23]

Accolades and rankingsEdit

The Southeastern Conference preseason media poll was released at the SEC Media Days in October, it predicted that Kentucky would win the championship.[24] Skal Labissière and Tyler Ulis were named to the All-SEC First Team.[24]

USA Today announced its initial coaches poll on October 15 with Kentucky ranked as No. 1 in the country, which was also shared with North Carolina.[25] The Associated Press announced on October 31 that Kentucky was ranked No. 2 to start the season in its initial poll of the season.[26]

EventsEdit

On May 21 Kentucky released the non-conference portion of its schedule.[27] The schedule is highlighted by marquee match-ups at Rupp Arena and across the country. Kentucky will travel to Chicago to play defending National Champion Duke in the annual Champions Classic, to Los Angeles to play UCLA for its first ever game at Pauley Pavilion, to Miami to play South Florida and former assistant Orlando Antigua, and to Brooklyn to play against Ohio State in the annual CBS Sports Classic. Kentucky will also host Arizona State and in-state rival Louisville. On August 19 the SEC released its schedule for the upcoming season.[28]

Tickets for Big Blue Madness, Kentucky's version of Midnight Madness went on sale and sold out on October 2.[29]

Big Blue Madness took place on October 16. The event debuted the team for the 2015-16 season. It included player introductions, a speech by Calipari, and a scrimmage.[30]

The Blue-White scrimmage was the first live game for the team. It occurred at Rupp Arena on October 27. Tyler Ulis scored 10 points and added 15 assists as the White squad defeated the Blue squad 74 to 66.[31]

2016–17 commitments and signeesEdit

Edrice Adebayo, nicknamed "Bam" and originally from Pinetown, North Carolina, was a consensus top 15 player in his class. He committed to Kentucky on November 17, live on ESPN's Mike & Mike simulcast radio show.[32] He chose Kentucky over NC State and Auburn. He is ranked in the top 10 by Rivals (No. 6) and ESPN (No. 6). 247Sports (No. 14) and Scout (No. 15) tab him as a top-15 prospect in the 2016 class. He has prior USA Basketball experience and was named a MaxPreps All-American in 2013.[5]

De'Aaron Fox, originally from Katy, Texas, was the second highest rated point guard that Calipari had signed at Kentucky. He committed to Kentucky on November 12, live on ESPNU.[33] He chose Kentucky over Kansas, Louisville, and LSU. He was the nation's consensus top point guard, was ranked the consensus No. 3 overall player by the four main recruiting services Rivals, ESPN, Scout, and 24/7 Sports.[5]

Wenyen Gabriel, originally from Manchester, New Hampshire, was the third commitment in the Kentucky class. He committed to Kentucky on October 1, live on the radio.[34] He chose Kentucky over Connecticut, Duke, and Maryland. He was a consensus five star prospect, and was ranked the consensus No. 17 overall player by the four main recruiting services Rivals, ESPN, Scout, and 24/7 Sports.[5]

Sacha Killeya-Jones, originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was the second commitment in the Kentucky class. He committed to Kentucky on October 1, live on the radio.[35] He chose Kentucky over Connecticut, North Carolina, and Virginia. He was a consensus four star prospect, and was ranked the consensus No. 36 overall player by the four main recruiting services Rivals, ESPN, Scout, and 24/7 Sports.[5]

Malik Monk, originally from Bentonville, Arkansas, was the second highest rated shooting guard that Calipari signed at Kentucky. He committed to Kentucky on November 18.[36] He chose Kentucky over Arkansas where his brother, Marcus Monk, played college basketball and football. He was a consensus five star prospect, and was ranked the consensus No. 5 overall player by the four main recruiting services Rivals, ESPN, Scout, and 24/7 Sports.[5]

Tai Wynyard, originally from Auckland, New Zealand, was the first commitment in the 2016 class. Wynyard committed to Kentucky on January 25.[37] He was a consensus four star prospect, and enrolled in December 2015 to join the team in the spring.[5]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Edrice Adebayo
PF
Pinetown, North Carolina High Point Christian Academy 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 230 lb (100 kg) Nov 17, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
De'Aaron Fox
PG
Katy, Texas Cypress Lakes 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Nov 12, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Wenyen Gabriel
PF
Manchester, New Hampshire Wilbraham & Monson 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 203 lb (92 kg) Oct 1, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Sacha Killeya-Jones
PF
Chapel Hill, North Carolina Virginia Episcopal 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Aug 19, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Malik Monk
SG
Bentonville, Arkansas Bentonville 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Nov 18, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Tai Wynyard
PF
Auckland, New Zealand Rangitoto College 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 230 lb (100 kg) Jan 25, 2015 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

RosterEdit

2015–16 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Previous school Hometown
F 00 Marcus Lee 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 224 lb (102 kg) Jr Deer Valley Antioch, California
C 1 Skal Labissière 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Fr Lausanne (TN) Port-au-Prince, Haiti
G 3 Tyler Ulis 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 160 lb (73 kg) So Marian Catholic Lima, Ohio
G 4 Charles Matthews 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 189 lb (86 kg) Fr St. Rita Chicago, Illinois
G 10 Jonny David (W) 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Fr Mt. Lebanon Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
G 11 Mychal Mulder 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Jr Vincennes Windsor, Ontario
G 13 Isaiah Briscoe 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 202 lb (92 kg) Fr Roselle Catholic Newark, New Jersey
F 14 Tai Wynyard   6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 255 lb (116 kg) Fr Rangitoto College Auckland, New Zealand
F 15 Isaac Humphries 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 260 lb (118 kg) Fr La Lumiere School Sydney, Australia
F 22 Alex Poythress 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Sr Northeast Clarksville, Tennessee
G 23 Jamal Murray 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 207 lb (94 kg) Fr Athlete Institute Kitchener, Ontario
G 24 E. J. Floréal 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 203 lb (92 kg) Jr Dunbar Palo Alto, California
G 25 Dominique Hawkins 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Jr Madison Central Richmond, Kentucky
G 32 Dillon Pulliam (W) 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 180 lb (82 kg) So Transylvania Cynthiana, Kentucky
F 35 Derek Willis 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Jr Bullitt East Mount Washington, Kentucky
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Roster
Last update: December 18, 2015

  • Roster is subject to change as/if players transfer or leave the program for other reasons.

Depth chartEdit

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2
C Marcus Lee Isaac Humphries
PF Alex Poythress Skal Labissiere
SF Jamal Murray Derek Willis E.J. Floreal
SG Isaiah Briscoe Charles Matthews Mychal Mulder
PG Tyler Ulis Dominique Hawkins Johnny David

ScheduleEdit

NovemberEdit

The season officially began on November 13 with a 78–65 victory over Albany in the first game of the HoopHall Invitational at Rupp Arena.[38][39] The following night Kentucky defeated NJIT 87–57 behind 26 points from Labissiere.[40][41] Three nights later the team traveled to Chicago for the Champions Classic to play No. 5 Duke. The Cats defeated the Blue Devils 74–63 which was Kentucky's first victory over Duke since the 1998 NCAA Tournament[42][43] Kentucky returned home on November 20 to defeat Wright State 78–63. Ulis led the team with 21 points and 5 assists.[44][45] Kentucky entered its game against Boston U. on November 24 ranked number one in the country for the first time this season. The Cats defeated the Terriers 82–62.[46][47] The night after Thanksgiving, on November 27, Kentucky traveled to Miami to play South Florida in the Hoops Hall Invitational. Kentucky defeated the Bulls 84–63 despite losing Ulis in the first half to a hyper-extended elbow.[48][49] On November 30 Kentucky returned home to defeat Illinois State 75–63 behind 16 points from Murray.[50][51]

DecemberEdit

On December 3 Kentucky traveled to Los Angeles to play UCLA for their first meeting ever in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA defeated Kentucky 87–77 which was Kentucky's first regular season loss since March 8, 2014 at Florida.[52][53] Kentucky returned home on December 9 to defeat Eastern Kentucky 88–67 behind 22 points and 13 rebounds from Poythress.[54][55] On December 12 Kentucky hosted Arizona State and defeated the Sun Devils 72–58 behind 14 points and 7 rebounds from Lee.[56][57] On December 19 Kentucky traveled to Brooklyn to play in the annual CBS Sports Classic against Ohio State. Despite 33 points from Murray, the Buckeyes defeated UK 67–74.[58][59] On December 26 Kentucky returned home to play in the annual Battle for the Bluegrass against Louisville. For the second consecutive year Ulis was named MVP of the game after a 21 points, 8 assist performance to lead Kentucky to a 75–73 victory. The win marked the seventh victory out of the last eight.[60][61]

JanuaryEdit

 
Calipari earned his first win in Bud Walton Arena in January

Kentucky opened conference play against Ole Miss on January 2 at Rupp Arena. Kentucky defeated the Rebels 83–61 behind 20 points and 10 assists from Ulis.[62][63] On January 5 Kentucky traveled to Baton Rouge to face LSU. LSU defeated Kentucky 61–83 giving Kentucky its first SEC regular season loss since March 2014.[64][65] Coming off the loss to LSU the team traveled to Tuscaloosa to face off against Alabama. Behind a career high from Poythress (25) Kentucky defeated the Tide 77–61.[66][67] On January 12 Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena defeat Mississippi State 80–74 behind 22 points from Murray.[68][69] On January 16 Kentucky traveled to Auburn to play Auburn. Despite a 12-point second half lead, Kentucky lost to the Tigers for the first time in the last nineteen games 70–75.[70][71] On January 21 Kentucky traveled to Fayetteville to play Arkansas. Behind a career-high 24 points from Ulis, Kentucky defeated Arkansas 80–66. The victory gave Calipari a victory in every SEC arena since becoming Kentucky's head coach in 2009–10.[72][73] Two days later Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena to defeat Vanderbilt 76–57 behind 21 points from Ulis.[74][75] On January 28 Kentucky hosted Missouri before their last non-conference game of the season. Kentucky defeated the Tigers 88–54 behind 20 points from Ulis and 18 points from Willis.[76][77] For their last non-conference regular season game of the season Kentucky traveled to Lawrence to face #4 Kansas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Wildcats came up short against the Jayhawks with an 84–90 overtime loss in one of the toughest venues in all of college basketball.[78][79]

FebruaryEdit

On February 2 Kentucky traveled to Knoxville to face Tennessee. Despite having a 21-point lead in the first half, the Wildcats fell to the Volunteers 77–84. This was the largest lead that was lost in the John Calipari era at Kentucky.[80][81] On February 6 Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena to host Florida. The Wildcats defeated the Gators 80–61 behind a career-high from Murray (35). Murray's 35 points ties for the most by a freshman in Kentucky history.[82][83] On February 6 Kentucky defeated Georgia 82–48 behind 24 points from Murray. Kentucky held the Bulldogs without a made field goal for over 17 minutes.[84][85] On February 13 Kentucky traveled to Columbia to face South Carolina. Despite Calipari being ejected with two technicals in the first minutes of the game, Kentucky dominated the Gamecocks 89–62.[86][87] On February 18 Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena for a rematch with Tennessee. The Wildcats got revenge over the Volunteers with an 80–70 victory, their fourth in a row.[88][89] On February 20 Kentucky traveled to College Station to face Texas A&M. The Wildcats fell to the Aggies in overtime 77–79 after a buzzer beating lay-up by A&M.[90][91] On February 23 Kentucky returned to Rupp Arena for their second contest with Alabama. The Wildcats defeated the Crimson Tide 78–53 behind 23 points from Murray.[92][93] On February 27 Kentucky traveled to Nashville to face Vanderbilt in their second contest of the season. The Commodores defeated Kentucky 62–74 despite 33 points from Murray.[94][95]

MarchEdit

On March 1 Kentucky traveled to Gainesville for their second contest against Florida. In their last road game of the season Kentucky defeated the Gators 88–79 behind 20 points from Murray, his seventh straight game of 20 or more points. The game also saw the reemergence of Labissiere, who made the most of his first start since December 12 by chipping in 11 points and eight rebounds.[96][97] On March 5 Kentucky hosted LSU for their second contest against the Tigers. In their last regular season game of the season Kentucky defeated the Bayou Bengals 94–77 to claim a share of their 47th SEC regular-season title. Willis returned for his first game since February 20 due to a sprained right ankle. Murray scored 22 points, Labissiere added 18 and Poythress scored 12 in his last game at Rupp Arena.[98][99]

SEC TournamentEdit

ScheduleEdit

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record High points High rebounds High assists Site (attendance)
city, state
Exhibition
November 2, 2015*
7:00 pm, SECN
No. 2 Ottawa W 117–58 
 22  Murray   12  Murray   10  Ulis  Rupp Arena (20,743)
Lexington, KY
November 6, 2015*
6:00 pm, ESPNU
No. 2 Kentucky State W 111–58 
 22  Labissière   11  Lee   5  Willis  Rupp Arena (21,328)
Lexington, KY
Regular season
November 13, 2015*
7:00 pm, SECN
No. 2 Albany W 78–65  1–0
 19  Murray   8  Lee   8  Murray  Rupp Arena (22,080)
Lexington, KY
November 14, 2015*
7:00 pm, SECN
No. 2 NJIT W 87–57  2–0
 26  Labissière   12  Briscoe   5  Ulis  Rupp Arena (22,671)
Lexington, KY
November 17, 2015*
7:30 pm, ESPN
No. 2 vs. No. 5 Duke
Champions Classic
W 74–63  3–0
 18  Ulis   10  Lee   6  Ulis  United Center (21,461)
Chicago, IL
November 20, 2015*
8:00 pm, SECN
No. 2 Wright State W 78–63  4–0
 21  Ulis   10  Poythress   5  Ulis  Rupp Arena (22,563)
Lexington, KY
November 24, 2015*
9:00 pm, SECN
No. 1 Boston University
Hoophall Miami Invitational
W 82–62  5–0
 16  Labissière   10  Poythress   6  Ulis  Rupp Arena (22,623)
Lexington, KY
November 27, 2015*
5:00 pm, ESPN
No. 1 vs. South Florida
Hoophall Miami Invitational
W 84–63  6–0
 21  Murray   6  Tied   7  Briscoe  American Airlines Arena (10,023)
Miami, FL
November 30, 2015*
7:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 1 Illinois State W 75–63  7–0
 16  Murray   12  Lee   3  Briscoe  Rupp Arena (21,894)
Lexington, KY
December 3, 2015*
9:00 pm, ESPN
No. 1 at UCLA L 77–87  7–1
 20  Briscoe   6  Tied   9  Ulis  Pauley Pavilion (12,202)
Los Angeles, CA
December 9, 2015*
7:00 pm, ESPN2
No. 5 Eastern Kentucky W 88–67  8–1
 22  Poythress   13  Poythress   8  Ulis  Rupp Arena (22,544)
Lexington, KY
December 12, 2015*
3:15 pm, ESPN
No. 5 Arizona State W 72–58  9–1
 17  Murray   7  Lee   6  Ulis  Rupp Arena (23,665)
Lexington, KY
December 19, 2015*
3:30 pm, CBS
No. 4 vs. Ohio State
CBS Sports Classic
L 67–74  9–2
 33  Murray   9  Lee   7  Briscoe  Barclays Center (16,311)
Brooklyn, NY
December 26, 2015*
12:00 pm, CBS
No. 12 No. 16 Louisville
The Battle for the Bluegrass
W 75–73  10–2
 21  Ulis   7  Lee   8  Ulis  Rupp Arena (24,412)
Lexington, KY
January 2, 2016
7:00 pm, SECN
No. 10 Ole Miss W 83–61  11–2
(1–0)
 20  Ulis   9  Poythress   10  Ulis  Rupp Arena (24,399)
Lexington, KY
January 5, 2016
9:00 pm, ESPN
No. 9 at LSU L 67–85  11–3
(1–1)
 23  Ulis   8  Mulder   6  Ulis  Maravich Center (13,573)
Baton Rouge, LA
January 9, 2016
6:00 pm, SECN
No. 9 at Alabama W 77–61  12–3
(2–1)
 25  Poythress   11  Lee   8  Ulis  Coleman Coliseum (15,383)
Tuscaloosa, AL
January 12, 2016
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 14 Mississippi State W 80–74  13–3
(3–1)
 22  Murray   9  Lee   5  Ulis, Briscoe  Rupp Arena (23,897)
Lexington, KY
January 16, 2016
4:00 pm, ESPN
No. 14 at Auburn L 70–75  13–4
(3–2)
 20  Murray   12  Willis   8  Ulis  Auburn Arena (9,121)
Auburn, AL
January 21, 2016
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 23 at Arkansas W 80–66  14–4
(4–2)
 24  Ulis   7  Tied   5  Ulis  Bud Walton Arena (18,588)
Fayetteville, AR
January 23, 2016
4:00 pm, ESPN
No. 23 Vanderbilt W 76–57  15–4
(5–2)
 21  Ulis   10  Willis   5  Ulis  Rupp Arena (22,975)
Lexington, KY
January 27, 2016
9:00 pm, SECN
No. 20 Missouri W 88–54  16–4
(6–2)
 20  Ulis   12  Willis   8  Ulis  Rupp Arena (23,933)
Lexington, KY
January 30, 2016*
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 20 at No. 4 Kansas
Big 12/SEC Challenge/ESPN College GameDay
L 84–90 OT 16–5
 26  Ulis   8  Poythress   8  Ulis  Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)
Lawrence, Kansas
February 2, 2016
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 20 at Tennessee
Rivalry
L 77–84  16–6
(6–3)
 20  Ulis   8  Tied   5  Tied  Thompson-Boling Arena (19,295)
Knoxville, TN
February 6, 2016
4:00 pm, CBS
No. 20 Florida
Rivalry
W 80–61  17–6
(7–3)
 35  Murray   6  Tied   11  Ulis  Rupp Arena (24,406)
Lexington, KY
February 9, 2016
9:00 pm, ESPN
No. 22 Georgia W 82–48  18–6
(8–3)
 24  Murray   7  Labissiere   8  Ulis  Rupp Arena (22,136)
Lexington, KY
February 13, 2016
12:00 pm, ESPN
No. 22 at South Carolina W 89–62  19–6
(9–3)
 27  Ulis   13  Lee   12  Ulis  Colonial Life Arena (18,000)
Columbia, SC
February 18, 2016
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 14 Tennessee
Rivalry
W 80–70  20–6
(10–3)
 28  Murray   10  Briscoe   9  Ulis  Rupp Arena (24,274)
Lexington, KY
February 20, 2016
6:30 pm, ESPN
No. 14 at Texas A&M
ESPN College GameDay
L 77–79 OT 20–7
(10–4)
 22  Ulis   12  Humphries   11  Ulis  Reed Arena (12,029)
College Station, TX
February 23, 2016
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 16 Alabama W 78–53  21–7
(11–4)
 23  Murray   12  Lee   10  Ulis  Rupp Arena (24,262)
Lexington, KY
February 27, 2016
4:00 pm, CBS
No. 16 at Vanderbilt L 62–74  21–8
(11–5)
 33  Murray   9  Murray   6  Ulis  Memorial Gym (14,326)
Nashville, TN
March 1, 2016
7:00 pm, ESPN
No. 22 at Florida
Rivalry
W 88–79  22–8
(12–5)
 21  Murray   10  Poythress   11  Ulis  O'Connell Center (10,684)
Gainesville, FL
March 5, 2016
2:00 pm, CBS
No. 22 LSU W 94–77  23–8
(13–5)
 22  Murray   10  Lee   14  Ulis  Rupp Arena (24,414)
Lexington, KY
SEC Tournament
March 11, 2016
8:00 pm, SECN
No. 16 vs. Alabama
Quarterfinals
W 85–59  24–8
 23  Murray   7  Poythress   6  Briscoe  Bridgestone Arena (18,049)
Nashville, TN
March 12, 2016
3:30 pm, ESPN
No. 16 vs. Georgia
Semifinals
W 93–80  25–8
 26  Murray   7  Tied   2  Tied  Bridgestone Arena (19,108)
Nashville, TN
March 13, 2016
1:00 pm, ESPN
No. 16 vs. No. 17 Texas A&M
Championship game
W 82–77 OT 26–8
 30  Ulis   6  Poythress   6  Briscoe  Bridgestone Arena (19,613)
Nashville, TN
NCAA Tournament
March 17, 2016*
9:40 pm, CBS
(4 E) No. 10 vs. (13 E) Stony Brook
First round
W 85–57  27–8
 19  Murray   11  Briscoe   7  Ulis  Wells Fargo Arena (16,774)
Des Moines, IA
March 19, 2016*
5:15 pm, CBS
(4 E) No. 10 vs. (5 E) No. 14 Indiana
Second round/Rivalry
L 67–73  27–9
 27  Ulis   7  Murray   4  Murray  Wells Fargo Arena (16,824)
Des Moines, IA
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses. E=East Region.
All times are in Eastern Time.

HonorsEdit

Watch listsEdit

On January 13 Murray and Ulis were two of three SEC players (with Ben Simmons) named to the 25-man John R. Wooden Award midseason watchlist.[100][101] On February 29 Ulis was named one of eleven finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy by the USBWA. Also on February 29 Murray was named one of five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award by the USBWA.[102][103] On March 5 Ulis was one of fourteen players named as a Wooden Award finalist by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.[104]

Weekly awardsEdit

On November 16 Labissiere was named SEC Freshman of the Week following a 26-point career-high against NJIT.[105] On November 23 Ulis was named SEC Player of the Week following a victory over Duke.[106] On December 7 Briscoe was named SEC Freshman of the Week after scoring 19 points in games against Illinois State and UCLA.[107] On December 14 Murray was named SEC Freshman of the Week after 16.5 points, a guard-best 5.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists in wins over Eastern Kentucky and Arizona State.[108] On December 28 Ulis was named the SEC Player of the Week after his performance against Louisville.[109]

SEC AwardsEdit

Ulis was named SEC Player of the Year, the first Kentucky players since Anthony Davis in 2012. Ulis was also named SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Murray and Ulis were unanimous first-team All-SEC selections by coaches and the media. Murray was also named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.[110][111] Following the victory over Texas A&M in the SEC Championship, Ulis was named MVP of the SEC Tournament.[112]

National district awardsEdit

All-American and national awardsEdit

Ulis was a consensus first-team All-American. The Associated Press named Ulis as a first-team All-American, and Murray as a third-team All-American.[113] The USBWA named Ulis a second-team All-American.[114] The NABC named Ulis a second-team All-American.[115] The Sporting News named Ulis a first-team All-American.[116]

2016 NBA DraftEdit

On April 1 the University of Kentucky held a press conference for Murray as he declared himself eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft, and would forgo his remaining eligibility by signing with an agent.[117][118] On April 5 Labissiere declared himself eligible for the draft, and would forgo his remaining eligibility by signing with an agent.[119][120] On April 6 the University of Kentucky held a press conference for Ulis as he declared himself eligible for the draft, and would forgo his remaining eligibility by signing with an agent.[121][122]

In the draft Murray was selected No. 7 by Denver. He was followed by Labissiere, who went to the Phoenix Suns at No. 28 and traded to the Sacramento Kings; In the second round Ulis was taken No. 34 by the Suns.[123]

NBA draft selectionsEdit

Year Round Pick Overall Player NBA Club
2016 1 7 7 Jamal Murray Denver Nuggets
2016 1 28 28 Skal Labissiere Phoenix Suns
2016 2 4 34 Tyler Ulis Phoenix Suns

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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