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Around The SEC East – 3/18/09

Here are the East Division quickies on this post-St. Patrick’s Day morn:

UT:  Oklahoma State point guard Byron Eaton could be a tougher matchup for Tennessee than Nick Calathes and Devan Downey were.

UT:  Athletic director Mike Hamilton thinks Tennessee is “going through this window in time where (Lane Kiffin) is getting more attention than he probably wanted.”  But he says it hasn’t hurt recruiting or his fanbase’s excitement.

UT:  The Vol coaching staff is the highest paid group of assistants in the conference, and with built-in raises, that will probably be the case in 2010, too.

UT:  If Bryce Brown works out as well as’s previous top-rated recruits, Vol fans will be awfully happy.

USC:  Senior Zam Frederick doesn’t want last night’s loss to Davidson to be blamed on Carolina not being ready to play.

USC:  Frederick also said, “We didn’t play our best basketball at the end of the year.  That’s the wrong time to do it.”

USC:  In a battle of high-profile guards, Stephen Curry out-played Devan Downey.

USC:  Downey refused to answer questions regarding the possibility of him leaving early for the NBA.

USC:  In football news… is Stephen Garcia becoming a leader?  “He’s more serious, more dedicated — a lot more,” said offensive tackle Jarriel King.

USC:  Steve Spurrier is creating “gun runs” that spread the field (linemen in wider splits) and allow Garcia to run from the shotgun.

USC:  Joe Person of The State provides several observations from Day Two of Carolina’s spring practice.

UK:  The crowd at Memorial Coliseum was firmly behind the Wildcats in their 70-60 win over UNLV last night: “I think they had the right attitude and the right approach to try to help us.  We need the help,” Billy Gillispie said.

UK:  The return to Memorial, the hard play of the team, even Gillispie in an Adolph Rupp-inspired brown suit and blue tie made UK’s first NIT game in 30 years rather special.

UK:  With the win, the Wildcats will now host Bowling Green or head to Omaha to play Creighton, depending on those two schools’ game tonight.

UK:  ESPN says Jeannine Edwards absence from last night’s game had nothing to do with her two run-ins with Gillispie.

UGA:  It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Caleb King has dibs on the starting tailback job vacated by Knowshon Moreno.

UGA:  At quarterback, Joe Cox’s patience is finally being rewarded: “I wouldn’t take anything back or change anything I’ve done.  I’m glad to be where I am.”

UGA:  O-line coach Stacy Searels lit into freshman center Dallas Lee on Tuesday.

UGA:  More than 20 Bulldogs did not practice yesterday… due to injuries… again.

UGA:  According to AJ Green, the groin injury that bothered him last year is feeling fine now.

UGA:  Mark Richt isn’t talking about the release of highly-touted linebacker signee Dexter Moody.

UGA:  Rumors are swirling about what Moody did to warrant a yanked scholarship, but the principal at his school says he’s “not a trouble-maker and he’s going to have some other great opportunities.”

UF:  Florida’s coaches have had to play more matchup zone than they’d wanted due to injuries and the departure of Jai Lucas.

UF:  Billy Donovan hasn’t seen an NIT hangover in this team’s practice effort this week.

UF:  ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla believes the Gators can get back to the Sweet 16 next year IF Nick Calathes and Kenny Boynton return.

UF:  Jeremy Fowler of The Orlando Sentinel explains what went wrong with Florida’s basketball team this year.  (For one, they lost Jai Lucas.)

UF:  There’s not a lot of talk about tonight’s game with Jacksonville, is there?


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