New Eastern Kentucky basketball coach Dan McHale threw out the first pitch at the Lexington Legends game on Thursday night.
After practice on Thursday, Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops was asked which true freshmen might see playing time in 2015.
Still battling a shoulder injury, Kentucky linebacker Ryan Flannigan hasn’t returned to contract drills but says he is confident he will be ready for next Saturday’s opener.
Big Blue Links for Friday:
- As Kobi Simmons visits UK, recruiting landscape has shifted, reports Ben Roberts of Next Cats.
- UK defensive tackle Melvin Lewis found himself at Kentucky after volatile upbringing in Compton, reports Jennifer Smith of Herald-Leader.
- Walk-on wide receiver Cameron Fogle leaving football team, reports Smith.
- Kentucky’s Kendra Harrison advances to 100 hurdles semis at World Track and Field Championships, reports Herald-Leader.
- Eastern Kentucky to FBS? New athletic director Steve Lochmueller expects to hear decision soon, writes Mark Story of the Herald-Leader.
- Training camp complete, Kentucky turns its focus to UL-Lafayette, reports Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal.
- Kentucky looking to develop all of its inside linebackers, reports Jon Hale of the Cats Pause.
- Mark Stoops expects plenty of true freshmen contributions, reports Brett Dawson of Cats Illustrated.
- Boom Williams expecting another big season in Kentucky backfield, writes Keith Taylor of KyForward.
- Marcus Monk close to trimming his list, reports Arkansas Online.
SEC links for Friday:
- Auburn could have potential NCAA issue after athletics tried to keep athlete-friendly major alive, reports Wesley Sinor of AL.com.
- Mark Richt says that if Georgia opened play today, multiple quarterbacks would play in first game, reports Jason Butt of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
- Florida’s defensive line could be a menace to opposing quarterbacks, reports Jesse Simonton of Miami Herald.
- Gators will go with two quarterbacks in opener, reports Edgar Thompson of Orlando Sentinel. Treon Harris and Will Grier will play.
- No reason for Nick Saban to name Alabama’s starting quarterback if he doesn’t have to, says Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News.
- Volunteers suspend Pig Howard for opening game with Bowling Green, reports Matt Slovin of the Tennessean.
- Freshman wide receiver Preston Williams cleared to play at Tennessee, reports Dustin Dopirak of the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
- Missouri’s defense bounces back with strong showing in scrimmage, reports Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star.
- Jonathan Williams’ spirits high despite injury to Arkansas running back, reports Eric Bolin of Arkansas News.
- Tony Bridges could be Ole Miss’ Next Big Thing, writes Parrish Alford of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal.
Random notes for lunch:
Louisville will wear alternative black uniforms for its Thursday night ESPN game with Clemson on Sept. 17. First, however, the Cardinals open with Auburn at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 5.
Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook has named its All-American team. It includes Kentucky freshman Skal Labissiere, LSU freshman Ben Simmons, Providence guard Kris Dunn, Virginia guard Malcolm Brogdon and Iowa State forward Georges Niang.
Big Blue Links for Thursday:
SEC Network picks Kentucky to go 8-4, reports the Cats Pause. “The analysts, which included former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy, Matt Stinchcomb and host Peter Burns, predicted the Cats will snap its 28-game losing streak to Florida, record road wins over South Carolina and Mississippi State, and upset archrival Louisville in the season finale in addition to wins over Lafayette, Eastern Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Charlotte.”
Kentucky’s secondary should be a strength, reports Jennifer Smith of Herald-Leader. More depth and more emphasis by head coach Mark Stoops should help the Cats in the defensive backfield. “I’m excited to get in there and give as much as I can,” Stoops said. “You have your obligations as a head coach that I’m more comfortable with at this point in time. But I am excited to get back into the room.”
ESPN has released schedule for the SEC/Big 12 Basketball Challenge set for January 30, 2016 on its family of networks.
- 12:00 – West Virginia at Florida (ESPN/2)
- 12:00 – Vanderbilt at Texas (ESPN/2)
- 2:00 – Tennessee at TCU (ESPN2)
- 2:00 – Ole Miss at Kansas State (ESPNU)
- 4:00 – Texas Tech at Arkansas (ESPNU)
- 6:00 – Georgia at Baylor (ESPN2)
- 8:00 – Oklahoma State at Auburn (ESPN2)
Here are the three games that will start no earlier than 2 p.m. but no later than 7 p.m.
- Kentucky at Kansas (ESPN)
- Oklahoma at LSU (ESPN)
- Iowa State at Texas A&M (ESPN)
In his basketball notebook a couple of weeks back, Jerry Tipton wrote about the issue of schools selling jerseys with numbers that often correlate to the most recognizable players on the team. The players themselves receive no money from the sales. The story included UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart saying, “I think there are very few iconic players anymore … Our coaches have sort of been our icons, if you will.”
Jay Bilas, a longtime critic of the practice, tweeted out a link to a story Tuesday from The Lantern in which Ohio State will sell only jerseys with two numbers this season. The Buckeyes will limit sales to No. 1 and No. 15. The school said past sales show that No. 1 is the most popular jersey number. And No. 15 is being sold because this is the 2015 season.
Ohio State said any other inference is just a “coincidence” according to the article.
Rick Van Brimmer, assistant vice president for Affinity Trademark Management, said that it is merely a coincidence that two team standouts in redshirt senior quarterback/H-back Braxton Miller (1) and junior running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) sport the two number choices that are represented.
Big Blue Links for Wednesday:
- Mumme Bowl II plays out in Tuscaloosa, reports Football Scoop.
- UK seeks to reap benefits of Josh Forrest’s transition, reports Jen Smith of H-L.
- Plenty of SEC teams still searching for quarterback, says my notes column.
- Fox rising quickly in Class of 2016, reports Ben Roberts of Next Cats.
- Nation’s No. 1 center sets recruiting visit to UK, reports Next Cats.
- Jon Toth gives UK physical mental edge, reports Brett Dawson of Cats Illustrated.
- Za’Darius Smith showing pass rush potential, reports Ravens.com.
- Davis, Cousins, Towns part of “Legends Camp,” reports Herald-Leader.
- Kentucky football’s top 10 players for 2015, from Kyle Tucker of C-J.
- Dawson pleased with progress in fall camp, reports Jordan Ondrof of Kernel.
- Jedrick Wills got a boost from Dennis Johnson, reports Larry Vaught of VV.
- UK defensive line preview, from Jon Hale of the Cats Pause.
- Three Cats earn All-SEC mentions from coaches, reports UK Athletics.
- Seven wins within reach for these Cats, says Keith Taylor of KyForward.
- Looking at Kentucky’s secondary, from Nick Roush of KSR.
- Cobb says he won’t try to replace Nelson, reports AP.
- Ex-UK pitcher extends scoreless streak, reports H-L.
- Rajon Rondo will be worst NBA newcomer, says ESPN projections.
- Louisville football is a fashionable darkhorse, writes Eric Crawford of WDRB.