Big Blue Links for Friday:
Defensive potential apparent in summer workout, reports Metz Camfield of CoachCal.com. “Derek Willis made a really nice defensive play on a drive by Monk to the hoop by blocking his shot. One possession later, Wenyen Gabriel blocked Willis’ baseline jumper. Willis, because of his great 3-point shooting, was able to do a simple shot fake and drive in for an uncontested (and emphatic) one-hand slam later in practice. Like other returners, Willis looked particularly comfortable on the floor.”
Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic writes about the reinvention of Eric Bledsoe. “Enlightenment comes in a variety of hues and textures. How appropriate that evidence of Eric Bledsoe’s journey took the shape of a yoga pose on a San Diego beach with the soundtrack of crashing waves. The Suns guard has reinvented himself. Not in a publicity-monger kind of way but in an ‘I’m tired of unmet expectations’ one.”
Donnie Tyndall has filed an appeal with the NCAA, reports Patrick Magee of the Biloxi Sun-Herald. “Former Southern Miss men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall has filed an appeal with the NCAA to overturn his 10-year show-cause penalty, according to CBSsports.com. Tyndall is accused of arranging impermissible financial aid for players and fraudulent academic credit for recruits during his two seasons at USM from 2012 to 2014. Tennessee fired Tyndall following the 2014-15 season after the school was informed of the NCAA’s allegations.”
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Sylvia Hatchell mourns for her friend Pat Summitt, reports Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer. “Sylvia Hatchell went to sleep on Monday night knowing that one of her dearest friends, Pat Summitt, likely wouldn’t survive the night. Hatchell awoke to the news on Tuesday morning: Summitt was gone, dead at 64 after suffering for years from dementia. Hatchell, the women’s basketball coach at North Carolina, spent the morning in reflection, and mourning.”
Kansas is preparing to re-load again, writes Jeff Goodman for ESPN Insider. “Coach Bill Self and the Jayhawks don’t rebuild. They just reload. This year will be no different despite losing their top two scorers -- Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden Jr. -- as well as three more players in Brannen Greene, Jamari Traylor and Cheick Diallo. Self brings back his starting backcourt in senior Frank Mason III and junior Devonte’ Graham -- and then adds a likely high-lottery pick in 6-foot-7 athletic, tough wing Josh Jackson.”
Kentucky’s 2014-15 team was one of the 10 best ever that couldn’t get the job done, says Bleacher Report. “While the aforementioned UNLV Runnin’ Rebels team of 1990-91 had a chance to become the first team to match the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers and go undefeated through a season, the 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats had a bigger goal in mind: 40-0.”
Magic acquires Jodie Meeks from Pistons, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. ““We just saw it as a worthwhile opportunity for us to add a player of Jodie’s caliber,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. “We’re excited to add him to the team. He’s a hard-playing veteran and a proven shot-maker. We feel he helps address a need while allowing us to remain flexible in future seasons. He’s someone we’ve targeted for a while, and we’re excited to have him here.”
Rajon Rondo and one-year deals, from Zach Lowe of ESPN. “Normally teams don’t get much upside from one-year deals; the Kings purchased six months of stat-hoggery from Rajon Rondo, and can now either let him walk or overpay him based on inflated numbers. It’s like choosing between cauliflower and lima beans. You don’t even get a player’s Bird rights, meaning that once he hits free agency again, you don’t have the right to go over the cap in re-signing him; you have to use precious cap room instead.”
The Kings purchased six months of stat-hoggery from Rajon Rondo, and can now either let him walk or overpay him based on inflated numbers. It’s like choosing between cauliflower and lima beans.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe
Russ Yeast explains his decision to decommit from UK, reports Josh Edwards of the Cats Pause. “Nothing happened between me and the coaching staff that forced me to make my decision nor did any in my family force me to make that decision; unlike what some reporters and people may think. I just need to take some time to back off and fully evaluate some of these other programs and make a proper decision.”
An early Nick Chubb return would be big for Georgia, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. “Georgia hasn’t had a problem running the football in recent years. The Bulldogs have been blessed at the position, with Isaiah Crowell, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall among those contributing at the position the past five seasons. Nick Chubb is the latest running back to contribute in a major way, but he’s coming off a major knee injury, which included three ligament tears (his ACL did stay intact) and cartilage damage.”
Jodie Meeks NBA Career