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SEC Headlines 12/20/2013

headlines-fri1. The “what-if” game at Alabama.  Quarterback AJ McCarron’s No. 2 school was Oklahoma.

2. Nick Saban has suspended linebacker Xzavier Dickson and running back Alvin Kamara for the Sugar Bowl.

3. Alabama is bringing in two more JUCO transfers for the defensive line.  That’s been a common occurrence in the Saban era.

4. Florida has a new special teams coordinator. Coleman Hutzler replaces Jeff Choate - who’s joining Chris Peterson’s staff at Washington. Just four coaches remain from Will Muschamp’s original staff.

5. How does Florida’s offensive line look heading into 2014?

6. Recognition for Georgia’s Mike Bobo - named Offensive Coordinator of the Year.

7. Georgia A.D. Greg McGarity thinks the school will end up selling about 7,500 of its 15,000 ticket allotment for the Gator Bowl.

8. The “what-if” game of Georgia’s secondary includes Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall.

9. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on his team: “I think if you look at our entire schedule, I would like to think we are battle-tested.”

10. Auburn t-shirt “censors” loss to LSU.

11. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on threats his wife received after tweeting “#Karma” after Wisconsin lost to Arizona State:  ”The only thing I was concerned about her was just her safety. … People are today a little off. ”

12. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on recruiting efforts and expectations for 2014.  ”We cannot fix all of our deficiencies in a recruiting class. It takes time. ”

13. Running back Tom Smith, defensive back Tino Thomas and wide receiver Paul Harris leaving the Tennessee program.

14. Mississippi State defensive line coach David Turner on freshman Chris Jones: “He’s a freak. He can be as good as he wants to be.”

15. Ole Miss scout team doing cut-block drills to get the Rebels ready to face Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.

16. Depth issues in the secondary at LSU have cornerback Jalen Mills ready to play safety.

17 There may be some title changes, but Kentucky coach Mark Stoops thinks his staff will stay intact. 

18. Missouri agrees to a home-and-home series with Purdue starting in 2017.

19. Mizzou wide receiver L’Damian Washington’s treatment for turf toe includes time in the cold tub, hot tub and five daily massages.

20. SEC Heisman sleeper candidates for 2014?  Here are five names to consider.

SEC Basketball

21. Florida coach Billy Donovan on expectations for freshman Chris Walker: “Chris is going to be a very, very good player. But he has not played competitive basketball since February.”

22. More Donovan: “Scottie Wilbekin is as good as there is a defender on the perimeter in the country.”

23. It’s Missouri vs. Illinois Saturday in St. Louis Saturday - an annual game with a raucous atmosphere.

24. David Climer on Bruce Pearl and Tennessee: “Forget about him. He’s not coming back. Get over it.” MrSEC: “Coach Cunzo Martin is in trouble.”

25. Kentucky point guard Andrew Harrison on the team’s less-than-stellar start.  “I think now we have a chip on our shoulder.”

26. Stephen Covey: “Begin with the end in mind.”  John Calipari: “You can change how you approach the end.”

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MSU Hires Townsend To Coach Cornerbacks

mrsec-breaking-newsMississippi native and former Alabama player Deshea Townsend has been hired as Mississippi State’s new cornerbacks coach.  Townsend has been an assistant defensive backs coach with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals the past two years.

Townsend is the second new coach to join Dan Mullen’s staff this week, joining new D-line coach David Turner.

Townsend tweeted a message this morning: “Go Dawgs!!!! It’s Official!!!”

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SEC Coaches Have MSU In Their Thoughts

Wednesday is SEC coaches’ teleconference day and with the death of Nick Bell still fresh in the news, many of the league’s head coaches offered their support and prayers to the Mississippi State program and Bell’s family.

Florida’s Urban Meyer said that he and Dan Mullen texted briefly about the situation.  Tennessee’s Derek Dooley said that his team was affected because one of his Vols played with Bell in high school.  Joker Phillips’ assistant David Turner actually helped recruit Bell to MSU.  And Houston Nutt recalled dealing with two deaths on his football teams.

Kudos to Brandon Marcello of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger for gathering so many of the coaches’ comments in one spot.

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BBL: Tamme shines for Colts; UK’s uneven exhibition

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

(AP photo/James Crisp)

(AP photo/James Crisp)

Big Blue Links for Tuesday:

Paul Kuharsky of Tamme is not Dallas Clark, but six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown is a pretty good tight end contribution. (He’s the 27th player to catch his first-career touchdown from Peyton Manning.) . . . Said Manning of Tamme: “It was nice to see a guy that had a calm, cool look to him the entire night. That is encouraging to see.”

Phillip B. Wilson of the Indianapolis Star:Tamme, who entered with six career catches for 47 yards in his two-plus seasons, had six catches for 64 yards. Both were personal bests, and that TD was the first score of his NFL career. “That’s kind of the neat thing about being a part of this team,” Tamme said. “Whether you’re on the second team, third team, fourth team, you feel like you can go out there and make a play.”

Herald-Leader photo gallery from Kentucky-Pikeville basketball.

Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader:John Calipari tried to see a 97-66 exhibition victory over Pikeville College on Monday night as the metaphorical glass as half full. And if his team had tried that hard in the game, the Kentucky coach might have been happier with the result. “We really had no fight or viciousness to our game,” he said.  ”We didn’t really rebound. We couldn’t make a three. ”Other than that, I thought we showed some good signs.”

Chip Cosby of the Herald-Leader: “The prospect of facing FCS opponent Charleston Southern wouldn’t appear to bring UK out of the doldrums. CSU is 2-6 on the year, 0-4 in the Big South, and was smashed 66-7 by Hawaii in its only matchup with an FBS program. Despite all that, assistant head coach David Turner said Kentucky better be prepared to take the Buccaneers seriously.”

Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal: “UK ripped Pikeville College 97-66 in an exhibition game at Rupp Arena on Monday night before a crowd of 21,127. Coach John Calipari is attempting to build a contender on the fly with several new additions for the second consecutive season. The most high-profile newcomer, Brandon Knight, played as well as advertised.”

Video of Pikeville coach Kelly Wells’ post-game comments.

Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal: “But with three games left in the season, UK (4-5, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) still has plenty to play for, and first on its revised list of goals is extending its streak of four straight bowls. “The kids have mentioned (the streak),” said defensive line coach David Turner, who filled in for head coach Joker Phillips at Monday’s weekly news conference because of a death in Phillips’ family. “Obviously it’s something that’s on their mind. They don’t want to be the group that ends that.”

Matt May of the Cats Pause:Josh Harrellson got in hot water with his coach last week after some ill-advised comments on Twitter about the perceived lack of public kudos from Calipari. Coincidentally or not, Harrellson quietly went about his business in this one, hauling in seven rebounds, while adding three points and two blocks in 16 productive minutes.”

Eric Lindsey of Cat Scratches: “With few veterans to count on, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins in the NBA, and relatively no go-to, established players on the inside without Enes Kanter for the time being, Kentucky is going to need Knight to continue to play like he has in Canada, the Blue-White Scrimmage and Monday’s exhibition game. Knight scored 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting Monday night, but it was his steadying influence that proved to be the most important against the Bears.”

(AP photo)

(AP photo)

Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate-Messenger:Wells was not thrilled that his team was called for 37 fouls – to Kentucky’s 16 – that allowed UK to go 44-for-56 from the foul line. “Kentucky puts that kind of pressure on you. They’re not a set-oriented team, or run and go take perimeter shots. They’re going to force you to guard them and they want to live at the free-throw line,” Wells said. “He (UK coach John Calipari) wants you to get that ball to the basket and he does a great job of it. It’s hard to defend.”

Matt Murray of the Kentucky Kernel: “Another ailment yet to be cured is UK’s three-point shooting. Abysmal shooting from behind the arc led to elimination from the NCAA tournament last year, and this squad doesn’t seem to have an answer, shooting a measly 1-11 from behind the line. Supposed sharpshooter Stacey Poole didn’t enter the game until midway through the second half, however, his four-minute appearance didn’t lead to any productivity from behind the line.”

Glenn Logan of A Sea of Blue: “One thing’s for sure — this Kentucky team loves to run the floor, and they do it very well, even late in the game. When they finally all get into game shape, it will be interesting to see what happens to opponents in the second half. The other side of that coin is that this isn’t a deep team, and to play at this frenetic pace, the team needs a bit of depth. Calipari is going to have to find more minutes for guys like Jon Hood.”

Ira Combs of Kentucky Sports Network: “This UK football team looked like a 7-5 team all along to me, they’re just going to take a little different road. The Cats are a classic example of “you are what you are” (please refer back to my preseason column). However, that leap into the middle of the road pack UK was to take in SEC football may take longer and be more frustrating at times than even those ugly years when UK couldn’t compete or beat virtually anyone. Even this new weekly routine has to be getting frustrating for those long time loyal UK football fans, the same ole script game after game, fall behind in the first quarter hold serve until halftime then make a run in the second half and come up short at the end (except for South Carolina).”

Thomas Beisner of KSR: “It was not the finest evening for Terrence Jones, who struggled with early foul trouble and appeared to be out of sync on offense, only attempting three shots in an abysmal first half that saw him score two points and turn the ball over five times. To Jones’ credit, he played better after the intermission and finished with nine and seven, but shot only 2-9 from the field in the process. Too often, he seemed to fall in love with playing outside on offense and had the ball ripped out of his hands after grabbing a rebound.”

Wildcat Blue Nation: “I know that it was just against Pikeville, but at times, Liggins was the best player on the court. The DDMO is obviously an offense that benefits his style of play and he was a player born-anew with 18 points with 7-10 shooting. Liggins also had 7 rebounds and did quite a good job of creating his own shots. This was definitely the most polished that Liggins has looked as a Wildcat.”

Keith Taylor of Wildcat-Den: “Despite the seemingly easy victory over the Bears, John Calipari still doesn’t know what to expect from his team. Calipari’s starting lineup featured four guards - Darius Miller, Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb and DeAndre Liggins – and forward Terrence Jones. It took a few minutes for the Cats to adjust and match Pikeville’s aggressiveness.”


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David Turner News Conference Quotes and Video

Defensive line coach David Turner looks back on the Mississippi State game and ahead to the Charleston Southern game on Saturday.

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Phillips has death in family

Content provided by Chip Cosby on UK football.

UK Coach Joker Phillips returned to his hometown of Franklin, Ky. due to a death in his family on Monday morning. Assistant head coach David Turner will take Phillips’ place at his Monday news conference. Phillips was tentatively scheduled to return to Lexington late Monday afternoon.


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