Florida offers Timmons, Rick Minter’s new job, more notes

Some mid-afternoon notes on a Monday:

RYAN TIMMONS GETS OFFER FROM FLORIDA — With Joker Phillips now the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida, word is the Gators have offered Franklin County star Ryan Timmons a scholarship, and Phillips is scheduled to visit Timmons soon. Looks like Timmons will visit Florida on Feb. 1.

Of course, Timmons is high on the list for new UK coach Mark Stoops. When Neal Brown was named offensive coordinator at Kentucky, Brown’s first trip was to visit Timmons, the speedy wide receiver.

And word is that Ohio State, which has recruited Timmons but not offered, might now be in a position to offer a scholarship.

NOEL NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK — SEC office announce: “Freshman Nerlens Noel became the fourth Kentucky freshman to earn a Southeastern Conference weekly award when he was tabbed the league’s top performing freshman, it was announced on Monday morning.

“With Noel’s honor today, all four of UK’s freshmen have been tabbed the league’s freshman of the week recipient at least once this season.

“Noel averaged 11 points, nine rebounds, 6.5 blocks and two steals in a pair of wins for the Wildcats this week. Against Tennessee, the Everett, Mass., native posted 12 points, nine boards, six blocks and four steals. He followed that performance with a 10-point, nine rebound and seven-block performance at Auburn on Saturday.

“The 6-10 freshman has registered at least six rebounds in every game this season and has reached double-figure scoring in all four Southeastern Conference games. Over his last three games, Noel has swatted 20 opponent attempts, including matching a career high of seven rejections against the Tigers.

“Noel has recorded 69 blocks on the year, which ranks as the fifth-most in a single-season for a freshman in school history. He’s one shy of cracking the single-season top-10 chart in UK’s record books. Furthermore, he’s the only player in the country to rank among the top 30 nationally in rebounds, blocks and steals.

“The SEC honor is the first of Noel’s career. He joins teammates Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress as other Freshman of the Week honorees. Sophomore Kyle Wiltjer has also earned SEC Player of the Week accolades this season.”

MATHIES NAMED SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK — From UK sports info: “Kentucky women’s basketball senior guard A’dia Mathies was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week, the league office in Birmingham, Ala., announced Monday.

“Mathies, a 5-foot-9 guard from Louisville,  earned the honor after averaging 22.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and shooting .600 percent (15-of-25 from the floor), including an impressive .727 percent (8-of-11) from the 3-point line.

“The reigning SEC Player of the Year and preseason favorite scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds in 24 minutes vs. Mississippi State. UK defeated the Bulldogs 100-47, marking the largest margin of victory over an SEC team in school history.

“Mathies followed that performance with a season-high 24 points vs. Auburn, scoring a game-high 16 points in the first half. She recorded a near perfect game against the Tigers, hitting 8-of-9 (.889) from the field, 5-of-6 (.833) from beyond the arc and 3-of-4 (.750) from the free-throw line. She also charted two assists and two steals in the 97-53 win. The five 3-pointers tied her career high.

“This is Mathies’ first SEC Player of the Week honor this season.

DUKE NO. 1 IN AP POLL — Louisville’s loss to Syracuse on Saturday returned Duke to the spot in the AP poll after just a one-week absence. The Blue Devils jumped over Indiana to move to No. 1. Michigan is now No. 2, Kansas and Syracuse are tied for No. 3. Louisville fell to fifth.

Indiana is seventh, just in front of No. 8 Florida. Mississippi made its way into the poll at No. 23 after the Rebels are off to a 4-0 start in the SEC.


RICK MINTER JOINING PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — Former UK defensive coordinator Rick Minter is joining Chip Kelly’s first staff with the Philadelphia Eagles. Minter was defensive boss for Joker Phillips at UK the last two seasons. He had been head coach at Cincinnati and had various defensive coordinator jobs, including at Notre Dame and South Carolina, before being hired by Phillips.

Minter’s hire follows news that former UK offensive coordinator Randy Sanders is joining Florida State’s staff as an offensive assistant, probably running backs coach.

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