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
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.
Related link: Cincinnati Reds 2015 results and schedule in spreadsheet
Big Blue Links for Friday:
- Women’s teams saved Kentucky from being dominated in rivalry with Louisville, writes Mark Story of the Herald-Leader.
- When Bud Dupree graduates, he’ll fulfill promises to family and himself, reports Jennifer Smith of Herald-Leader.
- Towns not among UK players headed to NBA Combine, reports H-L.
- Class of 2017 basketball standout scores UK offer, reports Ben Roberts of NextCats.
- Five-star Caleb Sawanigan decommits from Michigan State, reports Roberts.
- Ranking best landing spots for Swanigan, by Brian Pedersen of Bleacher Report.
- Tyler Ulis is ready to take leading role, writes Brett Dawson of Cats Illustrated.
- Alex Poythress is healing and eager to return, reports Courier-Journal.
- Returnees will show newcomers the ropes, writes Metz Camfield of Coachcal.com.
- Suspension of budding star Epps shows importance of accountability, reports Ashley Scoby of KyForward.
- UK softball shifts focus to NCAAs after another tough loss, reports Guy Ramsey of Cat Scratches.
- Louisville football’s class of 2011 proving recruiting gurus wrong, writes Rick Bozich of WDRB.
SEC links for Friday
- Florida hires Louisiana Tech coach Mike White to replace Billy Donovan, reports Kevin Brockway of Gainesville Sun.
- White was 101-40 at Louisiana Tech, reports Jesse Simonton of the Miami Herald.
- White replaces the irreplaceable, writes Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun.
- New Alabama basketball coach Avery Johnson lists three things Alabama must improve before season starts, reports Michael Casagrande of AL.com.
- Former Alabama head coach Anthony Grant will join Donovan with the Oklahoma City Thunder, reports AL.com.
- Robinson’s two-out double leads Ole Miss past Mississippi State, reports Riley Blevins of the Clarion-Ledger.
- Vandy’s Fulmer shuts down Florida, reports SEC Sports.
- Auburn’s Anfernee Grier chosen for USA Baseball Team, reports Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
- LSU outfielders have been showing off their arms, reports Ross Dellenger of The Advocate.
- Vanderbilt pitcher strikes out his demons, reports David Ammenheuser of the Tennessean.
- Benes brings pop to Missouri lineup, reports Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Arkansas baseball chasing goals against Tennessee, reports Eric Bolin of Arkansas News.
- Tennessee women beat LSU at SEC Softball Tournament, reports News-Sentinel.
- Georgia football off to fast start in 2016 recruiting cycle, says Chris White of the Athens Banner-Herald.
- South Carolina mascot hanging up spurs, reports David Cloninger of The State.
Photo of new Florida coach Mike White by Ethan Hyman/McClatchy
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.
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.
Big Blue Links for Wednesday:
Kentucky baseball hosts No. 2 Louisville on Wednesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The Cats lost a 2-1 heartbreaker in 10 innings at U of L last week. A win over the Cardinals would certainly help Gary Henderson’s team in its quest for an NCAA bid.
My notes column leads with a discussion of the possible motivation behind John Calipari’s post on Coachcal.com in which he explains why he used the platoon system last season and why he probably will never use it again. The platoons have received a lot of scrutiny as possible reason why Kentucky has failed in its pursuit of top-notch recruits of late.
Skal Labissiere finishes No. 1 in the final Scout prospect rankings for 2015, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. So for all the hand-wringing over Kentucky’s recent recruiting whiffs, the Cats still have the top freshman signee in the nation.
John Gasaway of ESPN ranks Skal Labissiere as the ninth-best player in college basketball going into the 2015-16 season. It’s an insider (pay) article ranking the top 25. LSU freshman-to-be Ben Simmons ranks No. 1.
According to the Arizona Republic, Arizona State is in negotiations to play a basketball game at Rupp Arena against Kentucky in 2015-16.
The Sun Devils are now coached by Bobby Hurley, the former Duke guard who brought Buffalo to Rupp last season. Hurley’s club led Kentucky 38-33 before losing to the top-ranked Cats 71-52 on Nov. 16.
According to the Republic, after playing a 2015-16 game in Lexington, the two schools would each other on a neutral site in 2016-17. That site could be in the Bahamas.
“No contract has been signed, but the two sides appear close to making it happen,” the Republic reported.
With Kentucky unexpectedly losing out on some top previously undecided recruits of late, one of the most discussed topics is whether the platoon system used last season hurt the Cats in recruiting.
John Calipari doesn’t address that subject directly, but in a post on Coachcal.com, he says he will not platoon next season.
I’m also excited about who we have coming back and who we have joining us next season. I think how you will see us playing going forward will be closer to how we have always played. That won’t be platooning.
Calipari also appears to address possible concerns from future recruits about the number of shots UK players might be expected to get.
As it has always been in my career, I played the best players the most each game, and the best scorers shot the most. That has been my history, even with the platoon. This season, Aaron, Devin and Andrew were our leading shot takers, and as Karl improved, he moved into that group. Normally, we will average five guys in double figures, whether I’m playing five, six or seven. We will have four or five guys score 25 or more points in a game every year because if you have it going, we’re going to let you go. Those things didn’t change this past year, nor will they in the future.
Considering all the questions about recruiting, don’t think this post is a coincidence.
The NCAA has named J.D. Collins its new national coordinator for men’s basketball officiating. He replaces John Adams, who retired after the Final Four in Indianapolis. Adams had held the position since 2008.
Collins has been the coordinator of officials for the Mid-American Conference and the Summit League. He was an official himself for more than 20 years and worked two Final Fours.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected to fill this position,” said Collins, who is a 1992 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University. “Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with and being trained by some of the best officials, coordinators and leaders in the sport. That experience has prepared me for this exciting opportunity.”