BBL: John Calipari talks hoops; UK football buys SI add


AP photo/James Crisp

Big Blue Links for Sunday:

John Calipari talked basketball at his Kentucky Speedway appearance last night. Mark Story reports that Calipari said if last season’s other two UK freshmen, Willie Cauley-Stein and Alex Poythress, had not decided to return to Kentucky for their sophomore years, ‘We’d have had four guys in the first round (of the draft) — off an NIT team. So how bad a coach am I?‘” Cal also said he had exchanged texts with Kyle Wiltjer but had no update on the junior’s potential transfer.

Ben Roberts reports that UK target Craig Victor is transferring to Findlay Prep. “Victor, one of the most recent players from the class of 2014 to land on UK’s recruiting list, previously attended St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, La. The 6-foot-8 power forward told the Herald-Leader earlier this month that the schools recruiting him the hardest are Arizona, Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma State and Kentucky. He has offers from all of those except UK.”

My Sunday column takes a look back at Neal Brown’s predecessors at offensive coordinator at Kentucky. Started off with Tommy Bowden, Bill Curry’s first OC, through Randy Sanders last season.

Mark Maloney of the H-L catches up with the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Famers. “It was amazing today, riding to the golf course,” said Irv Goode. “I was riding with (Howard) Schnellenberger and Babe (Parilli), and they were talking football. It was unbelievable. It was like a fantasy land. Two of the great people in sports.”

– – UK has bought add space in Sports Illustrated and TIME to plug its football ticket sales.

Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports says UK is interested in Class of 2015 guard Charles Matthews out of Chicago. “Charles Matthews was already a top-10 player in the class of 2015, one of the most explosive guards in the country. His ability to play both backcourt positions and score in a variety of ways put him near the top of most prospect lists. But when Kentucky offered, Matthews really put himself on the map.”

David Climer of the Tennessean says the perception of Vanderbilt has changed quickly thanks to the football team’s alleged sex scandal. “Note, please, this is not a rush to judgment. That’s not my place, nor is it yours. We’ll allow the authorities to do their jobs and the legal system to run its course, if it comes to that. But when four football players are dismissed from the team amid an investigation on campus by sex crimes detectives, the game has changed. So, too, have perceptions. There’s no avoiding it. Like it or not, Vanderbilt football has joined the long list of programs that are on trial in the court of public opinion.”

Seth Emerson of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer writes that former Centre president Michael Adams is leaving Georgia on his terms. “Michael Adams enjoyed the spotlight as much as any major university president, never caring if it meant controversy. And yet he is leaving his job quietly, cleaning out his office Friday without fanfare, and spending Sunday, his official final day, at his lake house. In a way, that is his final victory as UGA president. Adams never quieted or convinced his critics. He just outlasted them. He retired at a time of his choosing, and his replacement was his understudy.”

Mike Strange of the Knoxville News-Sentinel writes that much has changed heading into the college football season. “Bill Curry, meanwhile, has joined Phillip Fulmer and others in retirement. I thought Arkansas had retired John. L. Smith, but he turned up at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. The man still has bills to pay. On the other hand, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, 73, looks forward to hanging 50 on Charlie Weis and Kansas again.”

Chip Towers of the AJC reports that Georgia has lost safety Paris Bostick for the season after toe surgery.

Scott Rabalais reports that both LSU’s athletic budget and its ticket prices are about to rise.

The College Station-Bryan Eagle reports that New Orleans has signed Elston Turner, Jr. to a Summer League contract.

Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Phil Pressey will try to catch on with the rebuilding Boston Celtics. “Pressey, who had a pre-draft workout with the Celtics, is familiar with the organization. His father, Paul, was an assistant coach in Boston from 2004-06 and spent the 2006-07 as an advance scout for the franchise.”

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