John Clay's notes: Evidently, Issel didn't need a Final Four

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistDecember 11, 2012 

Random notes:

■ The NCAA named what it believes are the top 75 players in NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament history and four former Cats made the list: Anthony Davis, Dan Issel, Jack Givens and Tony Delk.

The odd part? Dan Issel never played in a Final Four.

■ Have no problem with Western Kentucky hiring Bobby Petrino. The disgraced Arkansas football coach did not deserve to bounce back quickly to a BCS conference. WKU's program is in a different situation, and Petrino deserves a second chance. Or is it his third/fourth? He can still coach.

■ After Western Kentucky opens against Kentucky in Nashville, the Hilltoppers travel to Tennessee. Two schools that bypassed Petrino when hiring new coaches.

■ The over/under on the number of passes thrown in that UK-WKU game has to be 100, right?

■ You would have to think that now-former UK assistant coaches Mike Summers, Greg Nord and Mike Cassity would have a chance of reuniting with Petrino in Bowling Green. All three coached with Petrino in Louisville.

■ What you have to like about the staff Mark Stoops appears to be assembling: It will be capable of recruiting in many different areas.

The prospective assistants have roots in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Ohio, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas junior colleges and even Big Sky country.

■ New UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown was at Louisville Trinity High School on Tuesday, presumably visiting coveted wide receiver James Quick.

■ Over its last four games, the UK basketball team has made just 40 of 72 free throws for 55.6 percent.

■ Duke is 9-0 under Mike Krzyzewski for the 14th time.

■ Lost in the early-week news was the Reds' re-signing of Ryan Ludwick. Key move.

■ Not sure what to think of the Reds' acquisition of Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who has played 83 innings of center field his entire career.

■ Kentucky's football program announced attendance dropped 17 percent in 2012, which turned out to be the largest decline among all BCS schools.

■ SEC football attendance, which averaged 75,444 a game, was at its lowest since 2007.

■ Speaking of attendance, did you see where T. Boone Pickens bought 4,000 tickets for the Oklahoma State-Gonzaga basketball game New Year's Eve?

Then again, Oklahoma State plays its football games in Boone Pickens Stadium.

■ Former UK assistant coach Tee Martin turned down an offer to return to Tennessee, his alma mater. "I made a commitment to my players at USC," said Martin, who apparently did not make a similar commitment when he left UK for Southern Cal in 2011.

■ In case you had not noticed, Eastern Kentucky basketball is 9-0. The Colonels play at No. 10 Illinois on Sunday, 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

■ Now that UK senior Larry Warford has become the first UK offensive lineman to be named All-American since 1989 — Warford was chosen to the third team by the Associated Press — hopefully he will be the first UK offensive lineman drafted since Todd Perry in 1993.

■ Who knew that in this state in December we would be talking so much football?

■ In case you haven't noticed, after losing that Sunday heartbreaker to Dallas, the 7-6 Bengals have a huge game at Philadelphia on Thursday.

■ The Atlantic 10 is open to taking seven Big East non-FBS schools into its basketball conference to form a 21-team league. Yes, this realignment stuff is jumping the shark.

■ On a similar note, the Pete Rose reality show has been given the green light for a January debut. Happy viewing.

John Clay: (859) 231-3226. Email: jclay@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com

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