Morning notes and Big Blue Links for Monday:
– You have to wonder about the future of UK baseball coach Gary Henderson. The Bat Cats were swept over the weekend by Auburn, dropping Kentucky’s record to 2-10 in the SEC. The Cats have lost nine straight, their longest conference losing streak since 2005. Unfortunately, Henderson hasn’t been able to keep the momentum going after John Cohen left for Mississippi State. Kentucky went 13-17 and missed the league tournament last year. It is tied for last in the East with Tennessee this year.
Ethan Levine of the Kentucky Kernel covered Auburn’s sweep of the Cats.
Eric Lindsey of Cat Scratches writes: “One of the beauties of baseball is its season’s longevity and opportunities. In most cases, a team can never get too high or too low because there is always another series to balance out everything with 56 regular-season games during the year. However, after the Kentucky baseball team’s 8-2 loss to Auburn on Sunday, the third time in as many weekends UK has been swept in Southeastern Conference play — this time by an opponent that was badly in need of a win like Kentucky — the team has to start wondering whether or not it has dug itself a hole to deep to climb out of. With Sunday’s loss, Kentucky dropped its ninth straight league game, the most consecutive losses since starting the 2005 SEC season 0-9.”
– Kentucky basketball target Sam Simpson did commit to Memphis, reports Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
– And another UK basketball target, Braden Anderson, committed to Kansas, reports Gary Bedore of the Lawrence Journal World.
– Nation of Blue reports that UK is still calling God’s Gift Achiuwa.
– Let’s just say it wasn’t a good weekend for Richie Farmer.
– Larry Vaught agrees with John Wall that John Calipari isn’t going anywhere. But personally, I liked the list Jerry Tipton compiled Sunday of the annual Calipari-to-somewhere rumors after every season which have only fattened the coach’s checkbook. An exceprt:
After becoming Memphis coach in March 2000, Calipari became the subject of such speculation in:
■ March 2001. Linked to South Carolina job. Receives 82-percent pay raise from Memphis.
■ April 2003. Linked to Pittsburgh, plus the Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA. Calipari says he’s removing himself from consideration for the 76ers job, although the Commercial Appeal in Memphis notes that no one from the 76ers ever said the team was interested in Calipari.
■ December 2003. Linked to St. John’s after the school fires Mike Jarvis. Receives contract extension and pay raise from Memphis.
■ May 2005. New Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert speaks to Jerry West and Calipari about leading and coaching the team. Calipari says he’s not a candidate.
■ March 2006. Linked to jobs at Indiana and then N.C. State. Receives pay raise and permission to be sole beneficiary of shoe deal he can negotiate on behalf of the Memphis program.
■ March 2007. The Kentucky job opens. Calipari acknowledges there might be better jobs than Memphis, but he notes the loaded roster he’s got at Memphis. “There may not be a better team than the one I’m going to have for the next couple years, and you don’t leave that unless the commitment changes, unless it’s not there,” he says. (Something to think about as UK appears to have a star-studded roster for next season.) Receives contract extension and pay raise from Memphis.
That doesn’t even include last year when there were the Calipari-LeBron package rumors.
– At the Nike Hoop Summit, UK signee Anthony Davis talks about handling the hype.
– Dan Hanner of the Real GM blog writes on Davis: “I mentioned after the McDonald’s All-American game that Davis was my favorite for freshman of the year, and that he has the mobility and athleticism of a young Kevin Garnett. Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds and shined again on Saturday. But I should add one qualifier. Davis is still very raw. With the wrong coach, I could see him stalling out. But after the way John Calipari stayed on Terrence Jones this season and demanded perfection, I expect Davis to get substantially better as the season progresses. One thing Davis may have to work on is how to better use his size in the post. He has to learn that he cannot block every shot, or reach on every ball that goes in the paint. He showed a little bit of inexperience picking up 5 fouls in 23 minutes.”
– Hanner on Michael Gilchrist: “The other Kentucky post player might be better from the start of the season. Gilchrist is a little more polished, and I suspect he is a little bit stronger right now. He doesn’t make quite as many “flashy” plays, but he always seems to be in the right position. Gilchrist also had 5 blocks on Saturday.”
– Hanner was not impressed with Kyle Wiltjer.
– Congrats to Steve Masiello. The former Cat and current U of L assistant will be named the new head coach at Manhattan.
– The Reds did not get off to the best road start, dropping two of three at Arizona. Nick Massett is off to an awful start, allowing eight hits and five runs in four innings pitched. He’s already 0-2, after giving up Chris Young’s three-run homer in Arizona’s 10-8 win yesterday.
– Looks like Johnny Cueto will start for Louisville on April 16, 21 and 26 before being called up to Cincinnati. Homer Bailey will pitch for the Bats on the 17th, 22nd and 27th.
– Kentucky softball loses three straight at Georgia.
– Bad news for Florida basketball, as two Gators were arrested on felony charges. Reports Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun: “Florida forwards Erik Murphy and Cody Larson were arrested late Saturday night in St. Augustine on felony burglary charges for allegedly trying to break into a car. Florida basketball student manager Joshua Adel also was charged with principal to burglary. Police said Adel was acting as a lookout. St. Augustine police sargent Jason Etheredge said that Larson and Murphy went into Scarlett O’Hara’s Bar and Restaurant around 2 a.m. Sunday and claimed to have lost a wallet. Etheredge said Larson and Murphy tried to get close to a female employee who was counting money from the night.”
– Terrible news for Georgia offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant, who tore his ACL for the third time.
– An Iowa point guard commits to new Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin.
– Now Auburn’s Tony Barbee is being mentioned as a possibility at Miami.