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SEC Headlines 4/27/2013

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1. What did we learn in spring practice about skill position players at Auburn?

2. Former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer on SEC domination and the teams he says that were better than the 1998 national champs:  “We had a national championship and we had three teams that were probably better than that team that didn’t win it — ’95, ’97 and 2001.”

SEC/NFL Draft

3. League source explaining Eddie Lacy’s fall to bottom of second round - injuries and a perceived lack of passion. Lacy “with the right team.”

4. New Kansas City coach Andy Reid on his new running back, former Razorback Knile Davis: “He knows his problem, the label he has out on him now, being a fumbler. He’ll work hard to fix that and we think we can help him with that.”

5. At one point, Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore was projected as the second overall pick of the draft.  He wasn’t even the second player taken from his team.

6. D.J. Swearinger heads to Houston where he’ll now be a teammate to a former rival – Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Will also play with his idol – Ed Reed.

7. Florida’s Jon Bostic headed to Chicago - “where middle linebacking is a religion.”

8. Missouri’s Zavier Gooden was the fastest linebacker at the combine - a big reason why he was drafted in the third round by the Titans.  ”You can’t teach speed.”

9. Former Auburn receiver Emory Blake may or may not hear his name called today.  ”I’m not too worried about it.”

10. What to watch for in Day Three of the draft.

SEC Basketball

11. Parents influenced Trevor Lacy’s decision to transfer from Alabama.

12. Alabama will play in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Extras

13. Two years after terror struck Tuscaloosa, author Lars Anderson discusses “The Storm and the Tide.”

14. Notre Dame and Arizona State will play in Cowboys Stadium in October.

15. ACC may consider playing some football and basketball games in Europe.

16. The Onion: Manti Te’o Informed He’ll Go First Overall To The Nebraska Pioneers.

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Report: Carolina Not Likely To Name An Interim AD; Don’t Expect A Quick Decision

South Carolina president Harris Pastides is heading out of town for a week of business in Europe.  Eric Hyman is still the acting athletic director in Columbia through the end of July.  And Pastides has said that because of his travels and Hyman’s lengthy notice, he won’t have to rush to find and name the school’s next AD.

According to GamecockCentral.com (behind a paywall) — the Rivals’ site covering South Carolina — the school’s board of trustees “would prefer not to name an interim AD.”

What that means is that the process of scouring the earth for the next guy has begun and that there are certain to be some informal connections made in the time while Pastides is out of the country.  If all goes to plan upon his return, you should expect the Gamecocks to have a new boss in place by the end of the month or the first of August without ever having named someone to the role of temporary fill-in.

That also means that while you’re sure to hear scuttlebutt and rumors and leaks regarding people who’re thisclose to being hired, it’s not likely that anyone will actually be hired for at least a few weeks.

(Famous last words.)

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Sidney Won’t Make Europe Trip With MSU

Less than two weeks after Renardo Sidney said he was ready to turn a corner — with the help of ex-NBA’er John Lucas — the Mississippi State big man is once again a large question mark.

Sidney will not travel with State to Europe for a five-game exhibition tour next month.  Instead he will spend more time working out with Lucas.

“Renardo Sidney has returned to Houston, Texas, to continue working out with John Lucas,” Rick Stansbury announced via statement.  “He will not accompany the team to Europe next month, but he is expected back on campus for the start of the fall semester in mid-August.”

A team spokesperson said the decision to skip out on the Europe trip was Sidney’s.  Stansbury gave him the go-ahead.

If Stansbury had only known the headaches that he would endure by signing the controversial big man.

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Three SEC’ers In New NBA Mock Draft (1st Round)

While a number of SEC basketballers fled the league early for a ride on the NBA draft carousel, only three ex-SEC players are projected to go in the first round, according to SI.com’s Sam Amick.

Former Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight is expected to land in Utah with the third overall pick.  Ex-UK big man — though he never played — Enes Kanter is projected to Cleveland with the fourth pick.

And then former Tennessee forward Tobias Harris — who was projected by some to be a top 15 pick — is slotted at #22 to Denver.

That’s it.  If Amick is correct, it means SEC early entrants Scotty Hopson (Tennessee), Travis Leslie (Georgia), DeAndre Liggins (Kentucky), and Trey Thompkins (Georgia) will have some work to do to make an NBA roster.  Considering the league’s current labor strife, it’s probably not a stretch to think some of those guys might hit the court in Europe long before they hit the court in the NBA.

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Hoopster Harris Says He Might Return To UT

Sophomore-to-be Tobias Harris says he might bypass the NBA draft and return to Tennessee next season.  That’s not a shock by any stretch as Harris’ draft stock has shifted back and forth from top 20 pick to early second round pick and back.  A probable lockout in the NBA — which faces a tougher labor battle than the NFL — will likely play a role in his thinking as well.

But according to The Knoxville News Sentinel, it also sounds as though Harris is connecting with new UT coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff.

“I think the coaching staff is really a great group of guys; they are pretty much amazing,” Harris said yesterday.  “I think people need to give them more respect.  Coach Martin, he’s tough, and a lot of people don’t know that.  He’s pushing me, not only in these workouts, but as a person, also.”

Harris plans to enter the draft and test the waters without signing with an agent.  Teammate Scotty Hopson plans on doing the same.  But Hopson is not on UT’s campus — though Martin says he’s somehow keeping up with his studies — and it’s believed he’ll likely leave for professional ball in Europe if the NBA doesn’t come calling.

As for Harris’ decision to go through workouts at Tennessee: “I’m just here because there’s a chance I could come back.  I’m just going to work out with the team and do everything with the team because the workouts we’re doing are pretty much like pro workouts.”

Harris made the SEC’s All-Freshman team and was a second-team All-SEC player overall last season.

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