Morning notes and links for a Saturday:
– Tonight is the Jordan Brand Classic in Charlotte, which features Kentucky signees Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Kyle Wiltjer and Marquis Teague. In fact, Ron Green, Jr. of the Charlotte Observer writes, “The Jordan Brand Classic All-American game Saturday night could almost be mistaken for a Kentucky Wildcats intrasquad game.”
My old buddy Scott Fowler of the Observer writes that the game will also give a peek into North Carolina’s future, thanks to participants James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston. Scott was covering UK for the Courier-Journal back when I first started covering UK football. That’s a side note.
Harry Pickett of the Observer has some more Jordan Brand notes.
And Ron Green, Jr. again, this time on Austin Rivers.
– The game will be televised by ESPN2 at 8 p.m.
– Here are the Jordan Brand rosters:
- Khem Birch, 6-9, 210, Notre Dame Prep (Fitchburg, Mass.) – Pittsburgh
- Michael Carter-Williams, 6-5, 175, St. Andrew’s School (Providence, RI) – Syracuse
- Rakeem Christmas, 6-9, 222, Academy of New Church (Bryn Athyn, Pa.) – Syracuse
- Mike Gbinije, 6-6, 194, Benedictine High (Richmond, Va.) – Duke
- Michael Gilchrist, 6-7, 210, St. Patrick High (Elizabeth, N.J.) – Kentucky
- P.J. Hairston, 6-6, 220, Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, Va.) – North Carolina
- James McAdoo, 6-8, 216, Norfolk Christian School (Norfolk, Va.) – North Carolina
- Quincy Miller, 6-9, 210, Westchester Country Day (High Point) – Baylor
- Austin Rivers, 6-4, 189, Winter Park High (Winter Park, Fla.) – Duke
- Shannon Scott, 6-2, 170, Milton High (Alpharetta, GA) – Ohio State
- Marquis Teague, 6-2, 175, Pike High (Indianapolis) – Kentucky
- Bradley Beal, 6-4, 177, Chaminade College Prep (St. Louis) – Florida
- Jabari Brown, 6-3, 200, Oakland High (Oakland, CA) – Oregon
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 6-4, 190, Greenville High (Greenville, Ga.) – Georgia
- Anthony Davis, 6-10, 200, Perspectives Charter School (Chicago) – Kentucky
- Myck Kabongo, 6-2, 170, Findlay College Prep (Henderson, Nev.) – Texas
- Johnny O’Bryant, 6-10, 245, East Side High (Cleveland, Miss.) – LSU
- Sir’Dominic Pointer, 6-6, 195, Quality Education (Winston-Salem) – St. John’s
- Otto Porter Jr., 6-9, 200, Scott County Central (Sikeston, Mo.) – Undecided
- Adonis Thomas, 6-6, 210, Melrose High (Memphis, Tenn.) – Memphis
- Kyle Wiltjer, 6-9, 221, Jesuit High (Portland, Ore.) – Kentucky
- Tony Wroten Jr., 6-4, 206, Garfield High (Seattle) – Washington
– My column for the print product deals with the task force studying the possibility of a new Lexington arena. Actually, it deals more with Mitch Barnhart’s comments to the task force that UK basketball needs a “gold standard” arena. After all, how can Kentucky get to the Final Four without a new arena? Oops. OK, well then how can it recruit without a new arena? Oops.
It reminds me of a few years ago when USA Today published a study showing that the amount of money donated to an athletic program had little to do with the success of that program. I wrote a column about the study, and quickly received a call from then associate AD Greg Byrne, now the athletic director at Arizona. Greg didn’t like the column. But he was nice about it. We debated the topic, and have remained friends over the years. He’s a good guy and did a great job at Mississippi State. But he didn’t like the idea of people thinking that the money they donate to athletics makes little to no difference.
– From Kent Spencer’s twitter feed over at WTVQ: “Josh Harrellson tells ABC 36.. Terrence Jones went home to Portland this weekend to think about his upcoming decision with family members.”
– Ole Miss sends Kentucky baseball to its 10th straight SEC loss. Reports Kyle Veazey of the Clarion-Ledger on the 3-2 win: In front of an announced 8,676 at Oxford-University Stadium on a chillier than normal night for mid-April, the Rebels summoned the good late-inning mojo that hadn’t been around much lately. Ole Miss (21-14, 6-7 SEC) found good fortune in the eighth after a leadoff double from Newalu and, two batters later, a walk by Matt Smith. Kentucky (17-18, 2-11) then pulled its starting pitcher, Alex Meyer, in favor of Mike Kaczmarek. His first pitch, a slider, was sent back into center field by Matt Tracy, driving in the go-ahead run in the person of Newalu. Will Allen then singled home Smith.”
– Chip Cosby reports that UK offensive lineman David Ulinski has been told to give up football.
– Eric Lindsey of Cat Scratches on the race for the tight end spot.
– Jody Demling of the C-J on the Cats picking up a walk-on running back from Louisville.
– I’ll be out at Keeneland for the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes today. Here are a few links to get you ready:
- Alicia Wincze Hughes of the H-L writes on the favorite, Santiva.
- Jennie Rees of the C-J writes on jockey Rosie Napravnik, who rides Willcox Inn.
- Steve Haskin of the Bloodhorse says win or you’re out.
- Santiva appears fresh and ready, writes Marty McGee for the Racing Form.
– The Pirates knocked out around Bronson Arroyo and beat the Reds 6-1 on Friday night. Arroyo told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I felt stronger tonight than I did the first two times out,” Arroyo said. “I felt a little funny on the mound the first inning with command. I was off a pinch. But that happen a lot in the first inning. If you can get through the first, you can get more comfortable as the game goes on. I thought that would happen. It just didn’t happen.”
Kevin Goheen covered the Reds-Pirates game for MLB.com.
– The Big Lead says that if Jones and Knight stay, John Calipari may have the greatest collection of talent, ever. Or one of the greatest collections.
– I have a new Facebook page that will contain all my UK and sports info. You can find it here.