Big Blue Links for Sunday

Big Blue Links for Sunday:

UK women land commitment from No. 1 junior college player, reports Jennifer Smith of Herald-Leader. “Evelyn Akhator, a 6-foot-3 forward from Lagos, Nigeria, picked the Cats over Tennessee, Texas and Florida State. In her two seasons at Chipola, in Marianna, Fla., Akhator led the Indians in scoring and rebounding. Last season, she averaged 21.2 points, 16.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.9 blocked shots.”

Georgia pounds Kentucky 12-3 in baseball, reports Mark Maloney of the Herald-Leader. The win by the Bulldogs sets up Sunday’s rubber match at Cliff Hagan Stadium. “We didn’t play well today,” UK Coach Gary Henderson said. “We certainly didn’t pitch well enough to win. We didn’t really hit well enough to win. We didn’t take advantage of six walks. And we’ve got to make sure we did a good job of showing up tomorrow to win a series.”

Will cost-of-attendance stipends create a recruiting advantage? asks Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph. Some call it the latest “massive issue” facing college sports these days. How much is too much?

Those expecting Florida basketball to dip might be disappointed, says my column. Florida AD Jeremy Foley went for an up-and-comer in Louisiana Tech coach Michael White, just as he did when he hired Billy Donovan from Marshall years ago. Continue reading

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Big Blue Links: John Calipari award season


Big Blue Links for Saturday:

Three double plays help Kentucky past Georgia, reports Mark Maloney of the Herald-Leader. “Dorian Hairston hit a three-run shot and Ka’ai Tom added a solo blast as the Wildcats won the opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Cliff Hagan Stadium.”

Hairston’s shot helps Cats get needed win, reports Charlie Healy of Cat Scratches.

Current NCAA college baseball rankings

John Calipari to receive Alletch Humanitarian Award, reports H-L.

Calipari receives Distinguished Achievement Award at UMass, reports Metz Camfield of “The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes individuals for their exceptional achievements in a chosen profession, for demonstrated leadership and for other exemplary accomplishments that merit the special recognition of the university.”

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SEC links: Mike White or Rick Barnes?

SEC links for Saturday:

Coaching is in the bloodlines of new Florida basketball coach Michael White, reports Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun. “He wasn’t afraid to challenge me,” says White’s head coach at Ole Miss, Rob Evans.

Is Rick Barnes’ past or Michael White’s future a better fit? asks Mike Strange of the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Former Florida defensive lineman Dante Fowler injures knee and will miss rookie season, reports Miami Herald. Fowler was the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Mississippi State baseball’s comeback at Ole Miss falls short as the Bulldogs lose 13-10, reports Michael Bonner of the Clarion-Ledger. John Cohen’s team is now 8-18 in conference play.

Vanderbilt baseball struggles in loss to Florida, reports David Ammenheuser of the Tennessean. Vandy is now 18-8 in SEC play. Florida improved to 16-10.

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Video: Max Godby on his time, work at UK

Former Kentucky football player Max Godby will be among the thousands graduating from UK this weekend. Godby distinguished himself through his charity work and off-the-field contributions. Here he talks about his career at Kentucky.

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Report: Bill Simmons leaving ESPN

This should get interesting. Not a big fan of Bill Simmons on the air, but love Grantland and his devotion to pro basketball. He changed the game. Where will he land?

Update: Here’s a statement from ESPN

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Anthony DeSclafani experiencing control problems

In Cincinnati’s 7-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Thursday night, Reds’ starter Anthony DeSclafani walked four batters in five innings, which continued an alarming trend.

After exhibiting good control over his first three starts, DeScalfani has been wild in his last two. Acquired from Miami in the Matt Latos trade, the right-hander walked six batters in his first four starts, covering 26 innings. In his last two starts, the 25-year-old DeSclafani has walked nine in 10 innings.

“I put myself in a lot of jams,” said DeSclafani after Thursday night’s loss. “Definitely wasn’t happy with this outing. I kind of felt like I was fighting myself mechanically and I wasn’t getting ahead of hitters at all.”

Here is a look at the former Florida star’s starts this season.

desclafani starts

Related link: Cincinnati Reds 2015 results and schedule in spreadsheet

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BBL: Caleb Swanigan back on open market

Big Blue Links for Friday:

Posted in U of L football, UK basketball, UK football, UK hoops | Comments

SEC: Florida hires Mike White as basketball coach


SEC links for Friday

Photo of new Florida coach Mike White by Ethan Hyman/McClatchy

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Big Blue Links: Kentucky baseball, softball both fall


Big Blue Links for Thursday:

Mistakes made the difference as UK baseball lost 5-2 to No. 2 Louisville on Wednesday night, reports Mark Maloney of the Herald-Leader.  “We had plenty of opportunity to score some runs,” UK Coach Gary Henderson said. “But we weren’t able to take advantage of it.”

Kentucky softball loses in walk-off fashion to Tennessee in the first round of the SEC Tournament. It was Kentucky’s third walk-off loss to the Vols in the span of a week. Kentucky dropped to 29-24 for the season.

Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell provided an off-season update on Wednesday, reports Jennifer Smith of Herald-Leader. Makalya Epps has been suspended after her alcohol-related charge. Janee Thompson is progressing well in her rehab from leg surgery.

My column says coaches who want to change the graduation transfer rule are upset they’ve lost control over players. And, of course, the coaches are being hypocritical.

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Two encouraging signs for the Reds


Cincinnati’s 7-1 win at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night pulled the Reds back to 13-13 for the season. It also provided Bryan Price’s club a couple of positive signs for the immediate future.

One was starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen. Making his second start since Homer Bailey was placed on the disabled list and then had Tommy John surgery, the No. 38 pick in the 2013 major league draft allowed just three hits and one run over six innings to get the win. In two starts, Lorenzen has allowed 11 hits and four runs over 11 innings. He has walked four and fanned nine.

Tuesday’s second bright spot was left fielder Marlon Byrd. The free agent signee hit his fourth homer of the season, his third in the past six games. The 37-year-old veteran got off to an excruciatingly slow start, hitting .115 through April 22. Since then, Byrd is 11 of 36 (.306) with two doubles, four homers and nine RBI.

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