Big Blue Links for the final day of 2013:
– Anthony Davis had another huge night for the New Orleans Pelicans. The former Kentucky center had 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots in New Orleans’ 110-108 win over Portland. It was just New Orleans second win in 14 tries against teams with winning records.
– Chad Bishop of the Bowling Green News reports that a crowd of 7,523 packed Diddle Arena last night to see Western Kentucky take Ole Miss to the wire before losing 79-74. Jarvis Summers scored 24 and Marshall Henderson 22 for the Rebels, who snapped WKU’s seven-game home win streak.
– UK’s Mr. Baseball Brent Ingram points out that former Kentucky pitcher Alex Meyer, currently of the Minnesota Twins, who is doing some substitute teaching.
– Tennessee jumped up and spanked Virginia 87-52 in a big surprise at Thompson-Boling last night. The Vols made eight of 11 threes in the first half and finished 11-of-18 for the game. “When you make shots, that’s what you look like,” said UT coach Cuonzo Martin.
– Vanderbilt led visiting Saint Louis 44-41 with 5:06 remaining, then went cold and lost to the Billikins 57-49. It was the lowest point total at home for Vandy since 2002.
– Kansas handed Toledo its first loss of the year, 93-83. Naadir Tharpe scored a career-high 20 points for the Jayhawks.
– Our friend Jamie Vaught of the Middlesboro Daily News caught up with CBS’ Tracy Wolfson at the UK-U of L game on Saturday at Rupp.
Interestingly, it was Wolfson’s first-ever trip to Rupp Arena even though she’s been to Lexington previously for her college football assignments. The pleasant and friendly reporter — who grew up in Rockland County, which is a part of the New York City metropolitan area — came home really impressed with the game atmosphere. “I was in awe of the scene,” she told this columnist. “To me it felt like a March Madness game, not a regular season basketball game. (It) showed how important this rivalry is to this state.”
– Keith Taylor of the Winchester Sun writes on Alex Poythress.
Poythress also is getting used to the speed of the game, a switch from past habits that have proven to be beneficial to the Wildcats. The efforts by Poythress are what Calipari has been waiting for since Poythress arrived in campus. “He’s only now becoming comfortable playing at a high pace, high rate, with unbelievable intensity and sustaining it, first time in his life, so he’s just getting used to it,” the Kentucky coach said. “But, I really believe he’s going to get better and better, because he’s now, no excuse, he’s buying in, he knows he has to do it.”
– More on Chane Behanan being shown the door, this time from Mark Story of the Herald-Leader.
Over his U of L career, the forward often stepped up big under the brightest lights. He had 17 points when U of L rallied past Florida to earn a spot in the 2012 Final Four. Last season, the Bowling Green High School product had 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in the Louisville victory over archrival Kentucky.
– Rick Bozich of WDRB talked to Peyton Siva about his former teammate. Siva thinks Behanan can overcome his missteps. “He just can’t hang out with the wrong people,” Siva said. “He needs to deal with that and he’s going to be all right. I’ve seen people deal with chaos before. He can do it. He knows I’ll help him. All of his teammates will help him.”
– Louisville plays at Central Florida today at 5 p.m. on ESPN2.
– Here’s another of Davis from last night:
– Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Ole Miss’ win over Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl.
It finally overcame Jared Duke as his Ole Miss teammates began to celebrate Monday evening’s Music City Bowl win over Georgia Tech. Rebels co-offensive coordinator Matt Luke whispered something in the mammoth offensive guard’s left ear and the tears formed, briefly running over his goatee, though not quite drowning out his smile. “I lost my grandfather this morning,” Duke, the former Walker Valley High star, said after playing his final game as a Rebel.
– Remaining bowl schedule:
– Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph reports that Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo may be in the mix for the head coach opening at Georgia Southern.
– Jeff Barlis of ESPN looks at what Florida needs to do to fix its offense in 2014. In case you hadn’t heard, the Gators hired former Duke OC Kurt Roper as its new offensive coordinator. Roper was Rich Brooks’ quarterbacks coach at Kentucky in 2005 before re-uniting with his mentor, David Cutcliffe, at Duke.
– Archie Goodwin goes dancing.
Ayeeee lol https://t.co/qLmkbeQXkY
— Archie Goodwin (@A1Laflare10) December 31, 2013
– If you are Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown, can you sell recruits on fact that you helped bring in many of the players that helped Texas Tech to its 37-23 bowl win over Arizona State last night?
– The Houston Texans are first in line for Teddy Bridgewater.
– Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News on the Texas coaching search.
Two industry sources indicated Saturday that Texas athletic director Steve Patterson has begun to focus on at least a handful of candidates including Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher and Baylor’s Art Briles. Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Louisville’s Charlie Strong are also considered to be in the mix. One source still refused to rule out Alabama’s Nick Saban as a possibility, although that may be a long shot.
– Saw “American Hustle” last night — can highly-recommend it — which featured a great soundtrack including this little-known gem from ELO. I was never a big ELO fan, but appreciate Jeff Lynn, especially his producing duties on Tom Petty’s Free Falling.
Links of interest