John Clay's notes: It's all about hope in football, potential in basketball

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistApril 16, 2013 

Random notes:

■ The best explanation for the crowd of 50,831 at Commonwealth Stadium for the Blue-White Game: Hope.

■ Fran Fraschilla tweet: "With more and more guys declaring early for the NBA Draft, the D-League should be loaded next season."

■ Remember Tony Mitchell, former Alabama forward? He was named the D-League's 2013 Rookie of the Year.

■ Nerlens Noel can say he "enjoyed his time at UK" but the truth is we barely got to know him.

■ Noel is the 11th one-and-done player in John Calipari's four years at UK.

■ In regard to the draft, women's basketball is no different than men's basketball. It helps for a program to turn out high draft picks. Thus A'dia Mathies going 10th in the WNBA Draft on Monday is another feather in Matthew Mitchell's recruiting cap.

■ Entrepreneurial tip. Go to Huntington, W.Va., airport. Find baggage claim. Hold up a sign saying, "Coach meeting Andrew Wiggins." Business will be brisk.

■ Kentucky basketball needs to schedule Loyola of Maryland (where G.G. Smith, son of Tubby, was just named coach) and Minnesota (where Richard Pitino, son of Rick, was just named coach).

■ Johnny Cueto's injury is the perfect time to try Aroldis Chapman as a starting pitcher.

■ Reader comment from a Reds blog: "Considering how much the manager likes to bunt, you'd think the Reds would be better at it."

■ The best part of the Masters was Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera leaving the final playoff hole arm-in-arm.

■ If Tiger Woods intentionally broke the "drop" rule, would he have told ESPN's Tom Rinaldi?

■ If viewers could call in when they spotted violations not caught by officials, the phone lines would have been jammed the night of the NCAA Tournament finals.

■ Leftover Final Four question: Which team had the better season — Big Ten champion Indiana or national runner-up Michigan?

■ Good move by Mark Stoops, who will be at the NFL Draft on April 25 to support his former Florida State players.

■ Wonder what the bashers of last year's coaching staff will think if this year's coaching staff picks Jalen Whitlow to be the starting UK quarterback.

■ The sirens notwithstanding, the Neal Brown Air Raid is not a carbon copy of the Hal Mumme Air Raid. Nor should it be.

■ Florida International will have a new basketball floor design next season that resembles a beach. Hope that doesn't include real sand.

■ Can Nike save Oregon football, which admitted Tuesday to a major violation, from the NCAA?

■ Now maybe we know why Chip Kelly is in Philadelphia.

■ Saw where Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said he is in favor of lowering the time on the 35-second shot clock in college basketball.

■ There will be a full field of 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby. And about five trainers. Or so it will seem.

■ Thanks to his national championships, Alabama Coach Nick Saban has visited the White House more times than (fill in the blank).

■ Onion headline: "D-Battery Elected to Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame."

■ Totally agree with the KHSAA's decision to hold basketball tournament finals on Sunday. The boys' finals was enhanced by its Sunday start this season. That should continue in the future.

■ Did you see where Peyton Manning sent wide receiver and teammate Erik Decker a fake bill for $3,000 from Duke for using the school's facilities for workouts with the Denver quarterback?

■ Congrats to old friend and class guy John Cropp, retired former coach and administrator whose name now adorns the UK softball stadium.

■ RIP Pat Summerall, who was to the NFL what Cawood Ledford was to Kentucky basketball.

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

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