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UK Roster Shuffle Begins As Goodwin Goes, Cauley-Stein & Wiltjer Stay

mrsec-breaking-newsYesterday, it was announced that sophomore point guard Ryan Harrow will transfer from Kentucky to Georgia State.   Today, UK has announced that freshman Archie Goodwin had declared himself eligible for the NBA draft while freshman Willie Cauley-Stein and sophomore Kyle Wiltjer have decided to stay put. 

With that, the reshuffling of Kentucky’s basketball roster has begun.  Today’s UK press release even added that “No announcement has been made by Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress, Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson regarding their future at Kentucky at this time.”  Noel has hinted that he will return to Lexington, but that’s doubtful.  Even after suffering a season-ending ACL tear, Noel is projected to be a top-five pick in the NBA draft if not the overall #1 pick.

In the release, Calipari said:

 

“’I’m excited that Willie and Kyle have decided to return for next season,’ John Calipari said. ‘When we talk about a players-first program, our goal is for each player to reach his dreams. Willie and Kyle believe it is in their best interest to return to Kentucky next season to achieve those dreams, and I fully support their decisions.

‘Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams. He has the drive and desire to be great and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds in life both on and off the court.

‘I believe, with another year of hard work and competition, they all can take their games to the next level. I look forward to seeing them all grow into young men.’”

 

Before next season the Wildcats will add what some are calling the greatest signing class in college basketball history.  As for where they’ll all fit, well, there are at least two new slots available with the departures of Harrow and Goodwin.

 

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SEC Headlines 2/20/2013

headlines-wedSEC Basketball

1. Florida forward Damontre Harris arrested . He failed to appear in court after being cited for driving without a license earlier this year.

2. Reason for concern in Gainesville? “Florida has played three close games this season. They’ve lost all three.” Gators have lost eight straight games decided by fewer than 10 points.

3. Missouri beat Florida Tuesday night despite going 5-of-22 from three-point range and turning the ball over 19 times.

4. Thanks to that Missouri win over Florida, Alabama will finish no worse than a first-place tie if it can win its six remaining SEC games.

5. Not only is Tennessee winning- they’re dominating. Won four in a row by an average margin of 14.3 points.

6. Due to a lingering ankle issue, Alabama’s Andrew Steele “doubtful” tonight against Mississippi State.

7. The current 10-game losing streak at Mississippi State is the longest for the Bulldogs since 1982. Suspended from the team for the last three games, Jalen Steele is making the trip to Tuscaloosa, indicating a likely return.

8. Ole Miss travels to South Carolina.  Gamecocks coach Frank Martin on the antics of Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson:  ”Heck, how many people ask you, ‘God, I can’t stand Frank and his sideline demeanor’? So who am I to form opinions of other people, whether I like it or not?”

9. Texas A&M travels to Auburn.  Aggies coach Billy Kennedy: “They have a really good player in Frankie Sullivan, who is kind of like their Elston Turner. They struggle with the same thing, getting consistent scoring from their other guys.”

10. Coach Tony Barbee on Auburn’s struggles - Tigers have lost nine of their last 10 games. “We’ve had more meetings than a White House cabinet.” Buyout of Barbee would cost roughly $3.25 million.

11. Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt tonight.  UK guard Jarrod Polson on playing without Nerlens Noel:  ”Maybe we were a little shocked. We didn’t realize how much (Noel’s absence) affected the defensive end.”

12. Vanderbilt center Josh Henderson on what to expect from a Kentucky team that lost by 30 points Saturday: “I think they’ll be mad and focused.”

13. This bracket tracker has Kentucky and Alabama on the first four out list.

14. Arkansas plays Georgia Thursday night.  If the Razorbacks win, it will be their first time they’ve won three straight SEC games under Mike Anderson.

15. Five years ago, Georgia was the only SEC team to not average at least 70 points.  This year – there are eight teams averaging under 70.

16. Ever wonder where “drop a dime” started?  The changing language of the game of basketball.

SEC/College Football

17. New LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron getting a three-year contract. Will receive $600,000 this year, escalating to $1.5 million in 2015.

18. Nick Saban is scheduled to speak at an event in Tennessee and some Vol fans are not happy.  But it’s sold 981 tickets.  Last year’s event featuring Phillip Fulmer and members of the 1998 national championship team sold 276.

19. With former Tennessee assistant John Palermo taking a job at Pittsburgh, only one member of Derek Dooley’s 2012 staff – special teams coordinator Charlie Coiner – has yet to find another job in the college or pro ranks.

20. AJ McCarron’s vehicle gets booted - Twitter spat ensues.

21. Buyer’s remorse at West Virginia?  Athletic department is $13 million in debt – all-time record of nearly $93 million in expenses.  ”With numbers like those, are Big 12 Conference athletics really worth the cost?”

NFL Scouting Combine

22. Draft experts project former Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner as a first-round pick, but where?  NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock thinks it comes down to his 40-yard dash time. “If he runs sub-4.5, I think he’s going to be a top-10 pick.” Teammate Nico Johnson won’t participate - recovering from hernia surgery.

23. Same questions face former Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks: “He’s going to have to run fast to go in the first round.”

24. Mayock on the 13 former LSU players in the draft – which includes 11 underclassmen.  “There are so many (LSU) kids, we could sit here and talk about them for an hour.”

25. Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is training with former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson to get ready for the combine. ”Patrick goes at him hard; he’ll push him on the ground or whatever he’s got to do to get Tyrann prepared.”

26. When it comes to the most interesting players at the combine - Bruce Feldman says Mathieu is No. 1 on the list. Three other SEC players make the list.

27. Former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson will be throwing in Indianapolis. “I think my advantage is throwing the football.”

28. Receptionist at Andrews Institute on Marcus Lattimore: “He’s just awesome. I’m telling you. We get a lot of good guys here (at Athletes’ Performance). He is … incredible.”

29. Lattimore on his progress: “I’m going to start running right after we get back from the combine.”

Extras

30. Stanford University becomes the first college to raise $1 billion in a single year.

31. ESPN confirms the hire of Ray Lewis.

32. Katherine Webb dons a purple swimsuit and Ndamukong Suh takes note.

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Kentucky Basketball: Blue/White Game Postmortem

Kentucky
Content provided by A Sea Of Blue.

Brandon Knight impressed once more.  I think it is likely to become a habit with him.

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James Crisp – AP

Brandon Knight impressed once more. I think it is likely to become a habit with him.

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A postmortem after a scrimmage?  Well, why not?  This is Kentucky, n’est ce pas?

It was good to see a fully healthy Terrance Jones, and what a factor he can be.  His arms are obscenely long, and he handles the ball like a young Magic Johnson.  The kid has size, he runs the floor, he is a difference-maker.

Brandon Knight was exactly what he has been for the last three years — terrific.  He was great before he came to Kentucky, and he continues to get better and better.  Tonight, he was terrific again, particularly from the outside, but he was almost equally amazing going to the rim.

More B/W game observations:

  • The game lacked cohesion and flow.  Not really surprising at this point.
  • Josh Harrellson had over 20 rebounds.  Wouldn’t it be nice if he could do that against SEC competition?
  • Darius Miller did less than I expected, but he shot the ball pretty well.
  • Free throw shooting stank, but I think that was a function of the pace, conditioning, and lack of subs.  It wasn’t all that, there are some form issues, but I am not convinced that is what we will see all year.
  • I loved the pace.  I’m not so sure I loved the sets, but I did see a number of pick and rolls.
  • DeAndre Liggins is just a defensive monster.  He has crazy long arms and an intensity that is currently unequaled.  If his offense ever catches up, look out.
  • The ballhandling was surprisingly good, overall.  It got sloppy in the second half, but I think fatigue was the major factor.
  • Doron Lamb is just amazing.  He doesn’t look like he’s that good, and then he’ll amaze you.  He plays the game in a mesmerizing way, he doesn’t look fast until he lays the ball in and his defender is two steps behind.
  • Eloy Vargas needs work.  All JUCOs seem to need work.
  • Jon Hood really had some good moments.  And some bad ones.  But I liked the way he improved as the game went on.
  • Stacey Poole is going to take a while to become effective.  He is just a cut below these guys at the moment.
  • Jarrod Polson is a really sound player.  I think he will play some this year.
  • Overall, I saw what I expected, but I am really encouraged by how good the defense was at times.  Yes, the scrimmage had a lot of ragged and head-shaking moments, but no more so than normal.  This is a talented group of players top to bottom, and every single player is capable of contributing something in games this year.

    Overall, I liked what I saw.  There is work to be done, but the skill is maybe better even than last year.  The physical ability maybe not so much, but the skill is surprisingly high.


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    Starters vs. subs in Blue-White Scrimmage?

    Kentucky
    Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

    Judging by the color shirts worn during warmups, it appears Kentucky Coach John Calipari wants to pit the would-be starters against the substitutes.

    At least at the start.

    Wearing blue in warmups are returning juniors Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins, both cited as team leaders. Joining them in blue are the team’s tallest player, transfer Eloy Vargas, heralded freshman point guard Brandon Knight and freshman forward Terrence Jones.

    Wearing white are Stacey Poole, Jon  Hood, Jarrod Polson, Doron Lamb and Josh Harrellson.

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