John Clay's notes: Why college basketball's coaches sprinkle on the sugar coating

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistFebruary 19, 2014 

Random notes:

■ This is the time of year when college basketball coaches get all publicly gooey about their teams. They accentuate the positive. They skip over the negative. They paint everything about their team in the best light possible.

They do this (a) to build up their team's confidence heading into the post-season, and (b) to offer some food for thought to the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.

Case in point was John Calipari's reaction to the Florida loss, stressing the fact that the Cats played toe-to-toe with the now second-ranked Gators for 30 minutes.

Now couple that with Calipari's post-game comments Tuesday night in Oxford after the 84-70 win over Ole Miss when he shrugged off the way his team watched a 22-point lead dwindle all the way down to six with less than two minutes remaining.

It's that time of year.

■ As a selfish media member, I'm sorry to see UK special teams and safety coach Bradley Dale Peveto return to LSU. Peveto was an entertaining go-to guy for interviews.

■ I know Indiana was having a bad basketball season, but I didn't realize that the sky was falling — literally, as evidenced by the metal facing that fell from the ceiling Tuesday and forced postponement of the Hoosiers' game with Iowa.

I guess now we know why Calipari didn't want to play any more games in Bloomington.

■ Rex Chapman tweet from Wednesday: "Gotta love how a win skews perspective. We played better & smarter vs. a super Fla team & lost than we did vs. a bad Ole Miss squad & won."

■ If the Olympics awarded a gold medal for badgering, NBC's Christin Cooper would no doubt be on the podium for her over-the-top interview of skier Bode Miller on Sunday.

Cooper appeared determined to drive Miller to tears when asking about the death of his brother last year, and she succeeded.

Even worse, the interview was taped.

Not only did NBC show it past the breaking point, it repeated it the next day on the Today show.

 I am so tired of Mount Rushmores.

■ It was good to see Tubby Smith's Texas Tech team play Kansas down to the wire Tuesday night in Lubbock.

■ If Kentucky was not a good matchup for Ole Miss on Tuesday, LSU is not a good matchup for Kentucky on Saturday thanks to the Tigers' frontcourt duo of Johnny O'Bryant and Jordan Mickey.

It will be interesting to see how much the Cats have advanced since that Jan. 28 loss in Baton Rouge.

 How can a team that made 14 of 23 free throws at home Saturday, make 19 straight free throws on the road three days later?

 Steve Spurrier said Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic was just "OK."

That's the great thing about Spurrier. He just doesn't care.

 Kentucky does need to clean up its turnovers — 13 in a slow-paced game against Florida and 19 in a fast-paced game against Ole Miss.

 One of these games an unsuspecting official is going to crash into Calipari as the Kentucky coach is out on the floor yelling at his team.

■ Did you see where Alabama Coach Nick Saban is going to open a Mercedes dealership?

Nashville radio personality Clay Travis joked that when it comes to Alabama football players, Saban wants to cut out the middle man.

■ There is reportedly now a petition on WhiteHouse.gov to get President Obama to stop college football's 10-second substitution rule proposal.

■ Rick Pitino is trying to get his players off social media.

"I'm trying to get our players to read more, pay attention to important things."

Is Rick talking about the scouting report or one of his various books?

■ Back to Indiana, can we now say the IU program is crumbling?

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

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