John Clay: Get hyped about next season's Cats at your own risk

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistApril 23, 2014 

Kentucky forward Alex Poythress, right, celebrated with center Dakari Johnson during Kentucky's win over Louisville on March 28 in the NCAA Regional semifinal game in Indianapolis. Poythress announced Wednesday that he will remain at UK for his junior year.

PHOTO BY CHARLES BERTRAM | STAFF — Herald-Leader Buy Photo

Random notes:

■ Alex Poythress made a wise decision to return for his junior season.

■ Dakari Johnson made a wise decision to return for his sophomore season.

■ On the growing enthusiasm for next season, based on these decisions, it would be wise for UK basketball fans to remember last (regular) season before getting too hyped about 2014-15, but then again we all have short memories.

■ Still think the Harrison twins are headed to play-for-pay, but we shall see.

■ With UK's incredible depth of low-post players next season, Poythress will need to develop his perimeter game.

■ It is true you can't teach size.

■ SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has indicated the league will decide before the league's spring meetings next month whether to go to a nine-game football schedule. The guess here is that it's time for nine.

■ Mike Slive on Bruce Pearl: "We've had our moments."

■ Like Tennessee's hire of former Morehead State basketball coach Donnie Tyndall, who knows how to sell a program.

■ Let's defend Tennessee basketball fans a little bit. True, their pining for the return of Bruce Pearl probably helped drive Cuonzo Martin away. But Martin's grind-it-out style of basketball wasn't the most appealing to watch. It is still about putting the customers in the seats.

■ In 20 years as a college head coach, Tim Floyd has taken his teams to two Sweet 16s. His tenure at Southern Cal ended in a mess. Not sure why Missouri would be interested in the UTEP coach.

■ Speaking of Mizzou, former Missouri coach Frank Haith has added former Georgia and former Western Kentucky coach Dennis Felton to Haith's first staff at Tulsa.

■ It's easy to forget Johnny Cueto made just 11 starts for the Reds last season. He's already made five with back-to-back complete games this year.

■ You have to love the enthusiasm of Reds backup catcher Brayan Pena. Not to mention the hitting.

■ Think Billy Hamilton is going to be able to hit enough, after all.

■ WDRB's Rick Bozich wrote that Colin Cowherd owed John Wall an apology after the ESPN radio host ripped Wall as a rookie. Cowherd responded by ripping Bozich. Some ESPN guys sure are sensitive.

■ Last summer, Neal Brown joked that the UK football team would hold tryouts for wide receivers. Given the injuries and transfers during spring practice, that might not be a bad idea this summer.

■ NCAA President Mark Emmert's biggest problem is that he has to defend the indefensible. The so-called "student-athletes" are going to get paid. It's not a matter of if; it's more a matter of when.

■ Reports say Chane Behanan will enter the NBA Draft. Where else did he have to go?

■ John Calipari sure isn't acting like a guy who's headed to the Los Angeles Lakers.

■ With one job open, did you know that, at age 55, Calipari is the oldest head basketball coach in the SEC?

■ Despite the Minnesota Timberwolves rumors, I don't see Billy Donovan going to the NBA, either.

■ If former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel becomes the new president at Akron — Tressel is one of three finalists — free tattoos for all students.

■ ESPN reported that Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, a UK graduate, is "coaching for his job." Aren't all coaches coaching for their jobs?

■ Did you see where Google reported that Andrew Wiggins is the most searched athlete name in Kansas (figures) and Kentucky (go figure)?

■ Fans are the same anywhere: With Washington taking a surprising 2-0 lead on Chicago in the NBA playoffs, fans on D.C. sports talk shows Wednesday were predicting the Wizards would take down the Heat.

■ Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with this one: The SEC produced school-specific commercials to promote the SEC Network and Alabama's commercial is one second shorter than the other 13 commercials.

There was one second left on the clock when Auburn returned that missed field goal to beat Bama in the Iron Bowl.

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

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