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SEC Headlines – 11/3/11 Part Two

1.  Florida’s four-game losing streak has some in the Sunshine State diving for the record books.

2.  A number of factors have lead to the recent decline in Gator football fortunes.

3.  It will be Billy Donovan the father versus Billy Donovan the son when Florida hosts Catholic University in a hoops exhibition.

4.  Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones is “a very relentless player.”

5.  As bad as UGA’s special teams have been this year, Mark Richt still doesn’t believe in using an assistant’s spot on a full-time special teams coach.

6.  Joker Phillips named true freshman Max Smith as his starter for Saturday (due in part to an ankle sprain for Morgan Newton).

7.  Randy Sanders says Smith has as strong an arm as any quarterback he’s ever coached.

8.  UK wasn’t perfect but the Cats did get an exhibition win over Transylvania last night.

9.  To get its offense rolling again, South Carolina needs to get Alshon Jeffery the ball.

10.  Darrin Horn says his latest team “has been incredibly fun” to coach because of their work ethic.

11.  Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers might apply for a medical redshirt.

12.  Vol receiver Da’Rick Rogers wants to make up for a big drop last week against South Carolina.

13.  Cuonzo Martin will debut as UT’s new hoops coach in an exhibition game tonight.

14.  Vandy kicker Carey Spear won’t say what went wrong on his last second missed field goal against Arkansas, but he has said he and the coaches have figured it out.

15.  The Commodores might not have needed a last-second kick from Spear had their DBs simply hung on to a number of possible picks.

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SEC Headlines – 10/28/11

Between expansion news, multiple radio shows and phone calls and texts buzzing back and forth with sources… our headlines will be short and sweet today:

1.  This writer wants no more talk of a potential Alabama-LSU rematch.

2.  JaMychal Green is Bama’s basketball leader.

3.  Auburn’s Gene Chizik asks “Who are we going to be?”

4.  Tony Barbee expects more improvement and more wins in Year Two.

5.  Arkansas needs good first-down production against Vanderbilt.

6.  Mike Anderson wants to restore the Hogs’ “40 Minutes of Hell” style.

7.  Jarrett Lee and the LSU O-line are ready for Bama’s defense.

8.  Trent Johnson isn’t over the games that got away last season.

9.  Ole Miss is prepping for Auburn’s run-heavy attack.

10.  The goal for the Rebel basketball team?  Reach the NCAA tourney.

11.  If Dan Mullen wants to get his team to a bowl game, he’ll need to steer them past Kentucky tomorrow.

12.  MSU’s hoops team is past the chemistry issues and trials of last season.

13.  Looking for a 19th win over Georgia in 22 tries, here are five reasons Florida has dominated the Dawgs.

14.  Sworn complaints now reveal what defensive lineman Dominique Easley did during a fight after the UF-Alabama football game.

15.  Rutgers transfer Mike Rosario gives Florida another scoring option.

16.  Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray will get his second shot at his homestate school tomorrow… and he’ll be looking for redemption.

17.  It’ll be a rebuilding year for the basketball Dawgs.

18.  Kentucky’s big defensive line will try to slow Mississippi State’s rushing attack tomorrow.

19.  John Calipari says nothing will come easy for his Cats.

20.  Here are the keys for South Carolina as they travel to Tennessee tomorrow.

21.  The closest you’ll get to hoops coverage in the Palmetto State is the fact that Bruce Ellington will be healthy enough to play football tomorrow night.

22.  The Vols and Gamecocks will be relying on young players.

23.  Cuonzo Martin kept his cool when peppered with Bruce Pearl questions at media day yesterday.

24.  Vandy hopes Arkansas will get off to another slow start tomorrow.

25.  The Commodore basketball squad is one of the favorites in the SEC this year.

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SEC Headlines – 10/13/11 Part Two

1.  Florida still hasn’t named a starting quarterback for Saturday.

2.  Was the Gators’ defense given too much hype?

3.  Hoops coach Billy Donovan is close to signing a contract extension that would take him through his 20th season in Gainesville.  (This year will be his 16th.)

4.  Georgia’s offensive line is the heaviest in American football — college or NFL.

5.  Highly-recruited backup quarterback Hutson Mason says he’ll have to decide what’s best for his future at the end of the season.

6.  There’s a lot of negativity surrounding Kentucky’s football team… and it’s not just in the press.

7.  During the introduction at Kentucky’s tip-off luncheon yesterday, Matt Jones of passed on proper decorum and took a cheap shot at the personal life of Rick Pitino.  (Personally, I get a kick out of and I share the same hometown in Kentucky with Jones, but this one went a foot or two over the line.  Best to leave a man’s personal life out of it.)

8.  John Calipari says winning a national championship without having any players drafted into the NBA would be a disappointment.

9.  Carolina’s Steve Spurrier wants Connor Shaw to keep wearing a glove on his throwing hand.  (If he’s looking for a glove, this beats this.)

10.  With no clear #2 quarterback the Gamecocks will be walking a tightrope the rest of the way.

11.  Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is frustrated by his squad’s struggles.

12.  Cuonzo Martin will have to turn Bruce Pearl’s guys into his guys this season.

13.  Jordan Rodgers took most of the first-team snaps yesterday, but he’s not been named Vandy’s starting quarterback yet.

14.  Whoever starts for VU, he may want to be careful.  Georgia’s defense has banged up three straight opposing quarterbacks.

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SEC Headlines – 8/26/11 Part Two

1.  Kentucky coaches believe Collins Ukwu can become a great defensive end.

2.  If quarterback Morgan Newton doesn’t improve, UK and Joker Phillips “are in trouble.”

3.  Freshman receiver Nile Daniel has returned to high school in an effort to gain his eligibility for the Cats.

4.  South Carolina will use both Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw against East Carolina.

5.  This writer says Tennessee got rid of a potential distraction by booting safety Janzen Jackson.

6.  Cuonzo Martin can now get to work with no fear of further NCAA punishment.

7.  Vandy’s strength coach has been working over his new team.

8.  Nick Saban hints at progress in Duron Carter’s eligibility case.

9.  Bama has still not decided how it will use its quarterbacks.

10.  Auburn’s Gus Malzahn wants to run 80 plays per game this year.

11.  Gene Chizik set up a 6am practice this morning.

12.  In the worst kept secret department: Tyler Wilson has finally been named Arkansas’ starting quarterback.

13.  Injured tailback Knile Davis says he’ll be back faster and stronger than ever.

14.  Now under arrest, Jordan Jefferson and Josh Johns have also been suspended from the LSU football team.

15.  With all the mess in play in Baton Rouge, Les Miles’ new contract actually offers him more security.

16.  Held back in practice, Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden is ready for game action.

17.  The grind of camp is taking its toll on the Rebels.

18.  MSU’s Vick Ballard says he’ll top the 1,000-yard mark this fall.

19.  Rick Stansbury is now saying he made the decision for Renardo Sidney to go to Houston rather than travel to Europe with the rest of the team.

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UT’s Washpun Hasn’t Qualified Yet

Iowa point guard Wes Washpun was the first player to commit to new Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin.  But it looks like he’s the last man from Martin’s first signing class to qualify.

According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Washpun is on campus and taking classes at UT, but he’s yet to receive academic clearance from the NCAA.

Martin said last week that Washpun took summer course to insure his eligibility.  The school is hoping to get an NCAA verdict “by the middle of next week.”

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UT Hoops Family Praising New Coach

Tennessee basketball players know what’s expected of them — not much in 2011-12.

“Even the fans around here think we’re going to be sorry,” guard Jordan McRae told’s Jeff Goodman.  But the Volunteers believe they’ll surprise some folks.  And they seem to believe in new coach Cuonzo Martin.

According to Goodman’s piece:

“McRae raves about his new coach despite the fact that Martin’s personality and approach couldn’t be more different than that of his predecessor (Bruce Pearl), the guy who recruited McRae to Knoxville.

(Tobias) Harris spent a few weeks with Martin immediately following the change and echoes the vote of confidence.

‘He works people to the limit,’ Harris said.  “He’s going to make people better.  I would have loved to have played for him.”

Instead, Harris will be in the NBA next season.  Considering the players Martin has returning and the fact that Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt — all Top 15 projected teams — are in his division, maintaining his players’ buy-in might be the biggest challenge UT’s new coach faces this winter.

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SEC Headlines – 7/1/11 Part Three



Hogs’ Anderson Has Good Things To Say About UT’s Martin

It’s a lovefest in the SEC these days.  Andy Kennedy and Billy Donovan are praising Kentucky and John Calipari.  Mike Anderson is tossing verbal bouquets at Cuonzo Martin.

Arkansas’ new hoops coach got to know Tennessee’s new coach when they were both coaching in the Show Me State — Anderson at Missouri, Martin at Missouri State.  Anderson was impressed:

“He’s a quality young guy working hard.  He’ll do a great job at Tennessee.  I say that because he’s like me, a character guy.  His kids are going to do all the right things on and off the floor.  They’ll play as a team.

All you’ve got to do is look at his background, where he’s from, to find out a lot more about what Cuonzo Martin is all about.  Nothing’s been given to him.”

In addition to meeting each other on the court each season, Anderson and Martin will probably cross paths often while recruiting the talent-rich Memphis area as well.

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Dooley Took Lessons From NCAA Hearings

A couple of weekends ago, Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley was summoned to Indianapolis.  Even though he had no hand in the football violations under Lane Kiffin’s watch or the basketball violations under Bruce Pearl’s, the NCAA wanted Dooley (and UT basketball coach Cuonzo Martin) in the house for educational purposes.

And Dooley says he did do some learnin’:

“I do think when you see how one bad choice or one bad decision can impact so many different lives, it resonates with you.  I think it was also sort of a good reminder of how the landscape is changing.  It really is — moving away and putting more and more responsibility on the head coach to really have comment of the whole shop.  It’s challenging to be able to do that, but that’s the landscape right now…

(After the hearing) I had a long meeting with the coaches and I wanted them to kind of get a feel for what I felt in Indianapolis.  They’re the ones in the field more than me.  You’re constantly trying to promote an atmosphere of compliance.  You want to balance the — I don’t want to use the word pressure — but you’re pushing your coaches to perform and pushing them to get results in recruiting.  But at the same time, you’ve got to make sure they understand it’s never at the expense of the rules.  That’s just something you’ve go to constantly do.”

Tougher, harsher NCAA sanctions against programs and individual coaches — head or assistant — might help fend off the lure to cut corners and cheat.

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Pearl Doesn’t Want To Be A Distraction For UT

Ex-Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl is still living in Knoxville.  For that reason, some in the media will continue to turn to him for information.  Like why he didn’t attend the opening night of Knoxville’s much-hyped summer basketball league:

“I care about the guys and I respect them, but I don’t want to be a distraction and I have to respect the new coaching staff.  I’ve stayed in touch with Scotty (Hopson) and Tobias (Harris), and Tobias invited me to attend the (NBA) draft with him, which I consider an honor.”

Pearl is also having to abide by a clause in his separation agreement with UT that prevents him from interfering with Cuonzo Martin’s team or serving as a distraction to the players.

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