As of Thursday, here is a list of early entrants who have publicly declared for the 2015 NBA Draft. If you know of a player I have omitted from the list, please let me know.
Big Blue Links for Thursday:
- John Calipari is moving fast on juco guard Mychal Mulder
- Virginia Tech is also apparently recruiting Mulder
- Ben Roberts of NextCats breaks down Calipari’s efforts to reload
- Mark Stoops seems more comfortable at conclusion of his third spring
- Defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot talks about end of spring drills
- How Tyus Jones’ departure from Duke may affect UK’s recruiting
- C.J. Conrad promises to bring a turnaround to tight end position
- Kentucky makes progress in replacing its graduated defensive ends
- Stoops impressed with development during spring drills
- Stoops isn’t quite ready to name a starting quarterback
- WHAS is dropping its nightly sports talk show
- Sharp shooter Ryan McMahon signs with Louisville
- Coach K exposes the media hypocrites on Calipari
- Stoops sees signs Cats are on right track
- Anthony Davis leads Pelicans to NBA playoff berth
SEC links for Thursday:
- Michael Qualls joins Bobby Portis in leaving Arkansas
- Auburn’s Bruce Pearl lands a Top 15 recruiting class
- Tennessee’s Rick Barnes is not going to rush recruiting
- Ex-UK assistant Matt Insell agrees to four-year extension at Ole Miss
- Four-star quarterback picks Tennessee
- Alabama’s defensive backs working to improve
- Ole Miss baseball is looking to heat up
- What if Aaron Hernandez had been held accountable in college?
- Steve Spurrier tees off in the RBC Heritage Pro-Am
- Georgia football still tinkering with center position
- Brady Ball back at LSU with hiring of Treloar
- Terrence Phillips expects to add backcourt help at Missouri
We talk about UK’s three signees, plus prospects Malik Newman, Stephen Zimmerman, Jaylen Brown, Chieck Diallo, Brandon Ingram, Thon Maker, Mike Thorne, Jamal Murray, Dazon Ingram and Mychal Mulder. Ben also talks about the upcoming EBYL Classic in Lexington.
Kentucky wrapped up spring football drills Wednesday morning at the Nutter Training Center, and head coach Mark Stoops said he was pleased overall with this year’s drills.
In case you missed it, Duke’s Tyus Jones announced Wednesday morning that he will enter the 2015 NBA Draft. That makes three Blue Devils freshmen who are taking the one-and-done route. Jones follows Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow.
Duke is not a stranger to the one-and-done. Corey Maggette left Duke after the 1999 season. Luol Deng exited after the 2004 season. Kyrie Irving left after his freshman year in 2011. Austin Rivers left after his freshman season in 2012. Jabari Parker departed Duke after the 2014 season. Now, Coach Mike Krzyzewski has lost three freshmen in one season to the pros.
Jones was named most outstanding player in this year’s NCAA Final Four, leading the Blue Devils to a 68-63 win over Wisconsin. Draft Express has the Minnesota native going late in the first round.
Big Blue Links for Wednesday:
Richmond police released their findings and video from investigation into the fight between Eastern Kentucky and Kentucky football players. No charges were filed.
Meanwhile, at Western Kentucky, it’s everybody out of the pool. The school’s swimming program has been suspended for five years after investigation into hazing practices and other irregularities.
Willie Cauley-Stein will throw out the first pitch at the Lexington Legends’ home opener on Thursday night.
Ex-Lafayette star Anderson Miller’s home run helped visiting Western Kentucky beat the UK baseball team 5-4 on Tuesday night. It completed a season sweep for the Hilltoppers.
SEC Player of the Year Bobby Portis is headed to the NBA Draft. No word yet from fellow Razorback Michael Qualls on his plans.
UK offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was asked at Monday’s football opportunity what he likes best about quarterback Patrick Towles right now. “He’s listening,” Dawson said.
Jennifer Smith has the full Q&A with Dawson, who talks about Saturday’s scrimmage as a whole and other topics as spring practice winds down.
Anthony Grant is returning to Florida. Fired as head coach at Alabama after six seasons as the Crimson Tide’s head coach, Grant, 48, is returning to Gainesville, where he was Billy Donovan’s assistant from 1996 through 2006.
“I’m extremely appreciative of Coach Donovan extending the opportunity to me to return to the University of Florida,” Grant said in a news release issued by the university. “It’s a great chance to return a place I love and have fond memories of, and I look forward to helping the staff build on the tradition and success that Coach Donovan has created.”
Grant replaces Matt McCall, who is leaving to become head coach at Chattanooga. Grant had left the Gators to become head coach at Virginia Commonwealth, where he engineered an upset of Duke in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. After a 76-25 record in three seasons at VCU, he left for Tuscaloosa, where Grant was 117-85 overall and 54-48 in the SEC.
There were rumors at the Final Four that Donovan would be open to listening to NBA offers. Someone close to the Gators program told me that those were unfounded, however, and that Donovan has no intention of going anywhere.
If Mark Stoops was happy with the play of quarterback Patrick Towles during Saturday’s scrimmage, Stoops’ viewing of the video didn’t change the Kentucky coach’s mind. After Monday morning’s practice, Stoops talked about the scrimmage as a whole and the play of his junior quarterback.
Where has the former Highlands star made the most improvement? Accuracy, Stoops said. Towles has been more consistent in putting the football where it needs to go in a place where it can be caught. Last season, Towles completed 57.3 percent of his passes, which ranked ninth among the SEC’s 13 most frequent passers.
Is Stoops prepared to name a starter in the competition between Towles and redshirt freshman Drew Barker? Not yet. But with one spring practice remaining, it appears obvious which of the two will come out of spring drills with the No. 1 designation.