Luol Deng is mistaken for Eric Bledsoe

There were reports last night that former UK guard and current NBA free agent Eric Bledsoe was seen having dinner with Miami Heat president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra.

Turns out, it wasn’t Bledsoe in the blurry picture. It was Luol Deng, who was celebrating his free agent signing with the Heat.


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Spurrier says Saban “greatest recruiter” in history

Those following along this summer might remember that Steve Spurrier, being Steve Spurrier, has taken advantage of the warm weather by throwing a few playful jabs at Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

The SEC Football Media Days are currently happening in Hoover, Ala. Spurrier was a featured speaker this morning. He used the opportunity to explain his comments about the Tide leader.

Michael Casagrande of reports:

“I think they’ve done extremely well,” Spurrier said. “There’s no question about that. I just made a statement that I think they’ve had five No. 1 recruiting classes out of the last six years, which has got to make him the greatest recruiter in the history of college football.”

“Arguably they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team. If the recruiting services are correct, and they’re pretty much correct.”

In fact, the Ol’ Ball Coach was setting Saban up, saying that it’s not always the best talent that wins titles, it’s the best team.

Related link: SEC football year-by-year standings since 1992 expansion

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SEC denies Tennessee grad transfer request

New Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall announced today that former Florida Gulf Coast star Eric McKnight has been denied a graduate transfer waiver to play for the Vols.

“We have been informed that Eric McKnight has been denied the graduate transfer waiver by the SEC,” Tyndall said in a statement released by the school. “We pursued this issue through the proper protocol, and I respect the process. Although we are disappointed that Eric will not be joining our program, we are focused on moving forward.”

McKnight was granted a graduate transfer waiver by the NCAA, but the SEC had to sign off on the waiver given that McKnight had some disciplinary issues at FGCU. The SEC denied the waiver.

Tyndall has been scrambling to fill a roster depleted by multiple departures when Cuonzo Martin left to become head coach at California.

Related link: Tyndall’s stubborn nature will serve him well at Tennessee

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Detroit Pistons cut Josh Harrellson, Peyton Siva

The Detroit Pistons have officially waived former Kentucky center Josh Harrellson and former Louisville point guard Peyton Siva.

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Big Blue Links for Tuesday

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Georgia dismisses Brandon Morris from basketball team

As you might have read earlier, Georgia basketball starter Brandon Morris was arrested on a felony charge of possessing marijuana with the intent to sell.

Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph reports that Morris has been dismissed from the Georgia basketball team.

A 6-foot-7 junior-to-be from Lithonia, Ga., Morris averaged 8.6 points a game last season for the Bulldogs, averaging 25.4 minutes a game. Morris started 25 games.

“This program has a strong expectation of citizenship, and every one of our players understands this,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said in a statement released by the school. “This expectation does not mean that mistakes will not happen. When they do, I always deal with them appropriately. Brandon had a very clear understanding of our expectation. Unfortunately, I’ve had to dismiss him from our team.”

“We’ve offered Brandon as much help as we can as he leaves, in hope that he can continue his career somewhere else.”

Morris scored 15 points in Georgia’s 79-54 loss at Kentucky on Jan. 25. He scored just five points and grabbed just two rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 70-54 loss to UK in the SEC Tournament.

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SEC review: Florida football last four years

Our SEC football review resumes with a look at Florida’s last four years.

Winner of two national crowns, Urban Meyer’s final campaign as the Florida head coach concluded with an 8-5 record in 2010. After a 2-0 SEC start, the Gators suffered consecutive losses to Alabama, LSU and Mississippi State, and wound up 4-4 in conference play. Meyer decided it was time to “retire.”

Will “Coach Boom” Muschamp took over in 2011 and went 7-6 in his Gators debut. After another 2-0 league start, the Gators dropped four in a row and finished 3-5 in the SEC. They did beat Ohio State in the Gator Bowl, the final Ohio State game before Meyer took over as coach of the Buckeyes.

Muschamp appeared to have it rolling, guiding the Gators to an 11-1 regular-season record in 2012. Florida’s only loss was 17-9 to Georgia, costing the Gators the SEC East title and a berth in the league championship game. The wheels came off in the Sugar Bowl, however, when Florida was stunned 33-23 by Louisville.

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Big Blue Links for Monday


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