John Clay's notes: Two-platoon system? Calipari has the depth to do it

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistJuly 29, 2014 

UK Coach John Calipari talked to guards Aaron (2) and Andrew Harrison (5) in February, before the twins found a winning rhythm in the NCAA Tournament en route to a runner-up finish. Aaron made three game-winners then, perhaps because he doesn't worry.

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Random notes:

■ John Calipari's old friend Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News stopped by practice on Monday.

Cal told DeCourcy that he will have some "non-negotiables" this season that will earn a player the infamous Calipari you're-out thumb to the bench.

Not allowed: A preponderance of pouting. A lack of hustle. A situation in which keeping your skin is more important than diving for a loose ball. All of those mean pine time.

Of course, Calipari possesses depth ridiculous enough to back up such pronouncements. In fact, Cal told DeCourcy that he is seriously considering starting the season with a two-platoon system. Dean Smith would approve.

■ CBS Sports basketball "insider" Jon Rothstein was granted access to Monday's UK basketball practice and posted a parade of positives on Twitter. Such preseason enthusiasm only heightens the hype that this team will be crazy good.

■ I had no problem with Mark Stoops skipping last week's Governor's Cup luncheon/golf outing. I did have a problem with it being announced two days before the event took place. That's a public relations fumble.

■ If you were surprised that Ravens fans cheered Ray Rice at Baltimore's training camp on Tuesday, you know nothing about the modern fan.

■ If I'm Walt Jocketty, I sell. No Votto. No Phillips. No chance in 2014. The Reds' general manager — who takes far more flak than he deserves — should play for 2015 by unloading spare parts in favor of prospects.

■ If you don't think the Reds have been snakebit this season, top outfield prospect Jesse Winker might miss the rest of the minor-league season after injuring his wrist in a car accident in early July.

■ Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said this week that the conference will soon stop playing football games against FCS opponents. The circle narrows.

■ Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby recently said "cheating pays" these days with regard to the NCAA, and NCAA President Mark Emmert got so mad he placed Henderson State on two years' probation. Somewhere, Jerry Tarkanian smiled.

■ Kentucky football will open against a Favre — UT-Martin quarterback is Dylan Favre, Brett's nephew. Dylan started out at Ole Miss before dropping down to FCS.

■ Steve Spurrier jabs at Nick Saban. Bob Stoops jabs at Nick Saban. Considering Alabama owns a two-game losing streak, seems mean to kick a man when he's down.

■ No one likes a losing coach. Former Tennessee linebacker Al Wilson told the Chattanooga Times Free Press over the weekend that Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley "don't deserve to be mentioned" in the history of UT football. They are not forgiven or forgotten, apparently.

■ Florida's Will Muschamp mistakenly tweeted to the public a couple of messages intended for recruits Monday. Direct messaging is a tricky thing.

■ Interesting idea by SMU Coach June Jones, who floated the trial balloon that the non-power conference schools should play football in the spring. Otherwise, Jones said, no one will pay attention.

■ The one thing that worries me about the Bengals isn't Andy Dalton. It's the men protecting Andy Dalton. It's early in camp, but the offensive line seems a mishmash.

■ After Monday's practice by the U.S. men's national basketball team, Mike Krzyzewski couldn't stop saying enough good things about Anthony Davis, who reportedly stayed late to work on his three-point shooting.

■ Urban Meyer's wife admits that she still reads the Florida message boards even though her husband is no longer the coach there. She says Gators fans who hate her husband for (a) leaving or (b) going 8-5 his final season should "get over it." Just goes to show you that behind every successful coach is a wife keeping a list of the critics.

■ By the way, was Derek Jeter in the All-Star Game? I must have missed that.

■ Happy birthday to Marty Brennaman, the Hall of Fame Reds broadcaster, who turned 72 on Monday. In this age of vanilla, corporate broadcasters, Brennaman remains the real deal.

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

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