John Clay: Offseason turnover in college basketball includes Anthony Hickey at LSU

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistMay 13, 2014 

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LSU Tigers guard Anthony Hickey (1) reacted to nailing a big three pointer as #18 Kentucky defeated LSU 77-76 in overtime on Saturday February 22, 2014. Photo by Mark Cornelison | Staff

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Random notes:

■ You think it's tough keeping up with college basketball during the season, it's darn near impossible during the offseason with all the comings, goings, transfers, suspensions, rumors, etc.

Surprising news out of Baton Rouge concerning point guard Anthony Hickey, a three-year starter and former Kentucky Mr. Basketball, who will not be coming back for his senior season.

Hickey's father told the Baton Rouge Advocate that LSU Coach Johnny Jones did not renew Hickey's scholarship.

So before you lament the dozens of college players that are transferring these days, remember that separation cuts both ways.

There was some online clamor for UK to go after Hickey, but the guess here is that the former Christian County star ends up a Hilltopper.

Down at Tennessee where new coach Donnie Tyndall is trying to fill out a roster, they should just put a big, orange revolving door at the city limits.

When Tyndall took over, the Vols had lost four of previous coach Cuonzo Martin's signees and were down to five scholarship players.

So the former Morehead State coach has been busy refilling the coffers with rookies and transfers.

The latest is Devon Baulkman, a former signee at Southern Miss, where Tyndall was head coach before taking over the Vols. Baulkman follows Eric McKnight, a 6-foot-9 power forward who played at Florida Gulf Coast.

Oops, no sooner had I typed that last paragraph when news came that Tyndall has IUPUI transfer Ian Chiles. He is the fifth player Tennessee has added in the past week.

Speaking of revolving doors, it's apparently a one-way exit from Morgantown. After losing three more players off his West Virginia basketball roster, Bob Huggins held a Saturday news conference to say everything is fine.

(One of those departures is sophomore guard Eron Harris, in whom UK reportedly has an interest.)

Longtime Cal pal and new UK assistant coach Barry Rohrssen made a good impression at his introductory news conference on Tuesday at Memorial Coliseum.

The New York native, who worked the Joe B. Hall Basketball Camp years ago, showed a self-deprecating wit and a genuine gratefulness to be here in this spot at this program with his old friend, John Calipari.

The ACC did a smart thing Tuesday, voting to switch the final of its conference basketball tournament from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night.

That gives the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee more time to consider the conference's possible invitees and place them in the correct seed.

The SEC, which holds its tournament final on Sunday afternoon, should follow the ACC's lead.

We are not making this up: Charlie Strong went from a Louisville football program with three first-round draft picks to a Texas program that did not have a single player drafted.

Memphis high school coach Keelon Lawson, father of three terrific prep basketball prospects, says that his sons will "automatically" go to one school under one condition: The school hires Lawson as an assistant coach.

Word is NFL scouts were put off by the fact former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron is doing a reality show with his fiancé Katherine Webb.

Maybe that's why the Bengals, who have been on HBO's Hard Knocks not once but twice, selected McCarron.

I know he was a one-and-done guy — er, succeed-and-proceed guy — but isn't Archie Goodwin a little old to be at a skating rink?

In the Buffalo News story on the Bills trading former UK wide receiver Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers for a fourth-round pick, Tim Graham wrote, "Stevie Johnson started out as a lovable overachiever. Then he became one of Buffalo's most polarizing athletes."

John Clay: 859-231-3226.E-mail: jclay@herald-leader.com. Blog: johnclay.bloginky.com. Twitter: @johnclayiv.

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