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SEC Hoops Roundup 11/26/2013

gfx-hoops-round-up1. California 85 – Arkansas 77.  Razorbacks open the Maui Invitational with their first loss of the year.  Arkansas gets career-high 21 points from Michael Qualls.

2. Vanderbilt 77 – Loyola Marymount 68. Vanderbilt finishes in fourth place at the Paradise Jam.  Kyle Fuller led Vandy with 19 points.

3. Kentucky 68 – Cleveland State 61. Late rally puts UK over the top. Cats trailed by 10 points with seven minutes left in the game. Video Highlights

4. Florida 86 – Jacksonville 60. Scottie Wilbekin returns to the lineup for the Gators.  Dorian Finney-Smith posts his first double-double for Florida. Video Highlights

5. Missouri 78 – IUPUI 64Career-high 24 points for Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson adds 22.  Antlers ejected for second straight game. Video Highlights

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SEC Headlines 12/20/2012

NFL Draft Prospects

1. Arkansas offensive guard Alvin Bailey will forego his final season and enter the NFL draft. Listed by one service as sixth-best offensive guard in draft.

2. Tennessee coach Butch Jones on wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson - “definitely going to the NFL.”

3. Will LSU linebacker Kevin Minter make the jump early to the pros? “It’s kind of up in the air right now.”

4. With brother Alec rumored to be jumping early to the NFL, the Ogletree twins’ time as teammates at Georgia looks to be coming to an end.

5. Five Florida juniors may depart early for the NFL - but they’re not talking about it. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and safety Matt Elam projected as first-round picks

Coaching News

***Update*** Alabama’s Jeremy Pruitt announced as Florida State defensive coordinator.

6. New Kentucky coach Mark Stoops on the first 18 days of his new job: “It definitely has been overwhelming at times. I don’t think there’s any way around that for anybody, whether you’ve been a head coach or not.” Transcript & Video of Press Conference.

7. Rated as one of the top 25 recruiters in the country, former Miami Hurricanes assistant George McDonald is joining Bret Bielema’s staff at Arkansas.

8. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has known Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin for a long time: “Heck, Kevin and I used to run around South Florida together recruiting when he was at Purdue and I was at Kansas State. We were chasing the same kids all the time.”

9. J.B. Grimes will coach the offensive line at Auburn.  He coached with Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State.

10. Butch Jones is a prolific Tweeter, Mark Richt not so much: “I don’t feel like you have to Twitter to recruit or to promote your program.”

SEC/College News

11. Texas A&M freshman wide receiver Thomas Johnson has withdrawn from school. Coach Kevin Sumlin says Johnson may re-enroll or transfer.

12. With the offensive coordinator position vacant, A&M running backs coach Clarence McKinney will call plays in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

13. Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and Damion Square Alabama team captains. Jones: “That’s probably the biggest award I’ve ever gotten, is being a team captain, because it’s elected by your teammates.”

14. Alabama defensive backs coach Jeremy Pruitt not at practice Wednesday - believed to be for personal reasons, not because he’s accepted a rumored job at Florida State. (see update above)

15. Alabama and Notre Dame - just five years ago, neither team finished the regular season was above .500.

16. Although Florida is a double-digit favorite over Louisville, don’t expect Gator veterans to take the Cardinals lightly – they’re familiar with coach Charlie Strong.

17. Only four true freshman – out of 22 -played this year at Vanderbilt.  All four contributed to Vanderbilt’s  best regular season in 30 years.

18. What will Jadeveon Clowney need to do to get more Heisman attention next year? “I’m going to go for more forced fumbles next year. And just more big plays – interceptions. Everything I did in high school.”

19. Marcus Lattimore’s advice to South Carolina freshman running back Mike Davis. 

20. With Bo Wallace resting his injured shoulder, quarterback Maikhail Miller is getting more practice reps this week. 

21. Thanks in part to a new practice routine, LSU receivers picked up the pace late in the season.

22. The economic impact of recent Mississippi State bowl games.

23. Five more players from the SEC accept invitations to the Senior Bowl - SEC contingent now up to 10.

24. Does college football need more bowl games?

25. Associated Press on steroids in college football: College football players are packing on significant weight — 30 pounds or more in a single year, sometimes — without drawing much attention from their schools or the NCAA in a sport that earns tens of billions of dollars for teams.

SEC Basketball

26. Alabama 66 – Texas Tech 62.  Crimson Tide nearly blow a 20-point lead but hang on to win.

27. South Carolina 74 – Appalachian State 69. One-possession game with 20 seconds left to play. Video highlights.

28. Ole Miss 73 – Loyola-Marymount 70. 16 points and 14 rebounds for Murphy Holloway.

29. Florida 82 – Southeastern Louisiana 43.  20 points for Mike Rosario – fourth straight game in double figures. Video highlights.

30. Arkansas faces Robert Morris tonight and coach Mike Anderson doesn’t want the Razorbacks to take them lightly. “They’re a very explosive team.”

31. Missouri forward Alex Oriakhi on learning about what to expect Saturday in St. Louis – 20,000 fans evenly divided between Missouri and Illinois. “I didn’t know it was like that. Daaaanng!”

32. The SEC is beating up on bad teams in non-conference play – not nearly as successful against the good ones.  No guarantees of a fourth NCAA Tournament bid?

33. Redshirt possible for Tennessee’s Jeronne Maymon?


34. 2012 Studs and Duds from the sports media universe

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Romar says Washington can be ’special’ team

Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

In beating Virginia 106-63 in the Maui Invitational Monday night, Washington matched the point total of the Cavaliers’ first two opponents.

The 106 points also marked the most points given up by a Tony Bennett team in his two seasons as Virginia coach.

Washington also tied a school record with 17 three-pointers, which were also two shy of the Maui Invitational record set in 1991 by Loyola Marymount.

“So focused, so dialed in,” Coach Lorenzo Romar said of Washington’s sharp-shooting. “If this team comes out and is so focused, they can be a special team.”

Romar said the Huskies can be special because of added size, added depth (10 players averaging 16 or more minutes) and added experience (only two scholarship freshmen play a lot).

“An experienced, explosive team,” Bennett said of Washington. “We are very inexperienced and it shows.”

Of course, Kentucky is a freshman-oriented team.


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Big Blue Bric-a-Brac: National Signing Day Edition

Content provided by A Sea Of Blue.

Terrance Jones thinks he can win a championship.

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James Crisp – AP

Terrance Jones thinks he can win a championship.

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Today is the beginning of the early signing period for college basketball.  There is lots of sturm und drang about national letters of intent going on in the college basketball world today, and the beginning of the early signing period seems to always draw laments about the NLI and college basketball recruiting in general. Matt Norlander of College Basketball Journal has a rundown of good links for signing day, and I particularly like this piece by Marc Eisenberg at Money Players.  I don’t necessarily agree with all the points he makes, but none of them seem specious to me.

Meanwhile, Scout’s Evan Daniels gets a write-up from Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier-Journal.  It’s a bit of an inside baseball look at the high school talent scouting game.  Daniels and his mentor Dave Telep get more press in this C-J article by Jodie Demling looking at the recruiting classes of Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, Western Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky.

For the record, I have heard that Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer will be inking during the early period, but I don’t know about Marquis Teague and Michael Gilchrist.


Dick Vitale debates Calipari’s strategy of reloading with “one and done” talent every year with Larry Vaught, and is taking the popular position that you really can’t win national championships that way.  Obviously, Calipari disagrees, and I am no so sure myself.  For a fact, it has never really been tried on a consistent basis, so I think it makes sense to revisit this question after a few years.

I am extremely pleased to see one of my favorite basketball blogs, the Bylaw Blog, reappear on the Internet, and in the most surprising (or, well, maybe not so surprising) place — on, the NCAA’s official website.

Back in the summer, some enterprising and unethical LSU blogger was able to discover the identity of the anonymous compliance officer (not so anonymous now, as he is John Infante of Loyola Marymount) and outed him publicly on his blog.  Infante immediately shut down the Bylaw Blog, which had been providing invaluable insight into NCAA compliance from an insider’s perspective, something most of the college sports world applauded, but a juvenile dweeb with whois and Google forced into silence.

Well, the Bylaw Blog is silent no more.  Check out one of Infante’s more recent posts in response to articles by John Gasaway of Basketball Prospectus and Jay Bilas of (subscriptions required for both).

I found this a very cogent point:

It’s not that allowing agents and outside compensation just ruins the amateurism ideal. Whether student-athletes are truly amateurs still is a point on which reasonable people can differ. The same goes for a debate about the degree to which welcoming third parties into the structure of the NCAA would further damage efforts to promote the amateur ideal.

It’s that allowing, even legitimizing third parties who seek to make a quick buck by getting an athlete to leave school early, the ability of the NCAA and its member institutions to promote a college education is also harmed. And while paternalistic arguments are tougher to defend, its important to note that many times the student-athlete leaving based on the advice of those people is to their detriment.

Without having read either Gasaway or Bilas’ articles, and therefore being incapable of accurately refuting their points, I will simply say that I agree with the above two paragraphs.  I do believe that the ideal of amateurism that the NCAA promotes is an antebellum version, and should be updated, but I do not believe the best way to do that is to allow third parties with money on their minds unfetter access to wheel and deal during college.

I have always opposed paying players, because I don’t think it will help.  The stars will always contend that they aren’t paid enough, and seek supplemental income.  They fact that they are getting paid at all would merely allow them to easily rationalize rules violations to bring their compensation up to what they think they are worth, and that would make the situation even worse than it is now.  But detailed discussion of this subject will have to wait for another article.

UPDATE:  Mike Miller has thoughts.


John Feinstein has a new WaPo article out, and for once he doesn’t dump on Kentucky or elevate Duke to a pedestal.  I think Feinstein makes some good points about Duke, and I am somewhat skeptical of the Blue Devils even as I acknowledge that picking them as the top team in the pre-season makes plenty of sense.


The Cam Newton thing just keeps getting more and more horrible.  Do consider the source for this latest report of FBI involvement.  MSNBC reports that the NCAA is still actively investigating the matter, and there are now allegations that Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen leaked the Newton claims, and finger-pointing is also turning south to Gainsville.

Will Auburn and Newton come to a bad end?  Stay tuned.

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