John Clay

Ex-Cat Jamal Murray is better than first thought, admits one NBA analyst

Former Kentucky guard Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets held up his trophy after winning Most Valuable Player honors in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans last year. Murray has been invited to play in the game again this year.
Former Kentucky guard Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets held up his trophy after winning Most Valuable Player honors in the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans last year. Murray has been invited to play in the game again this year. Associated Press

Random notes:

▪ On his podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said this about ex-UK and current Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray:

“I’m going to be wrong on Jamal Murray. I wasn’t high enough on Jamal Murray. I wrote earlier this year that ‘He may top out as a league average point guard; there are scenarios where he can be better than that.’ He’s going to be better than that. He’s going to be the second-best player on the Nuggets and better than I thought he was going to be, that’s very clear.”

▪ When it comes to men’s basketball, it has been a rough year for coaches Dan McHale at Eastern Kentucky and Preston Spradlin at Morehead State.

The two OVC schools are tied for last place in the conference standings at 2-10. Morehead State, 6-17 overall, has lost four straight games. Eastern Kentucky, 8-17 overall, has lost six straight.

Thursday night, EKU plays host to Tennessee-Martin while Morehead State entertains Southeast Missouri State. Then the Colonels and Eagles go at it Saturday at 7 p.m. in Richmond.

▪ Something to keep in mind on college football’s national signing day Wednesday, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles was a three-star prospect coming out of Austin, Texas. He was rated as the 30th best pro-style quarterback in the class of 2007 by Rivals and played one year at Michigan State before transferring to Arizona.

▪ Heading into Tuesday night’s games, Jeff Sagarin’s computer ranked eight SEC teams in his top 50 — Tennessee (15), Kentucky (18), Auburn (19), Texas A&M (28), Florida (36), Missouri (39), Arkansas (45) and Alabama (47).

▪ Ex-Dunbar star Taveion Hollingsworth broke his nose in Western Kentucky’s 74-63 loss at UT San Antonio last Saturday. No surgery, just a mask for the 6-foot-2 freshman, who scored 21 points in the loss. WKU is 16-7 overall and 8-2 in C-USA heading into Thursday’s game against Florida Atlantic.

▪ Last week, I wrote Louisville acting head coach David Padgett might lose the interim tag with a win at No. 2 Virginia. Now the Cards are on a three-game losing streak after losses to Virginia, Florida State and Syracuse.

▪ TV ratings for the Super Bowl were down 7 percent from last season. It was the lowest-rated Super Bowl since 2009. Tom Brady fatigue? National anthem protests? CTE fallout? Justin Timberlake? This year’s Super Bowl was still the 10th-most watched show in television history.

▪ There will be a reunion of sorts at Citi Field in New York this spring. After signing ex-Reds outfielder Jay Bruce to a three-year, $39 million deal, the New York Mets have an agreement with ex-Reds third baseman Todd Frazier on a two-year, $17 million deal.

▪ You would have to think that Texas Tech’s Chris Beard has to be in the running for National Coach of the Year. In just his second year as head coach in Lubbock, the 44-year-old Beard has the Red Raiders at 19-4 after going 18-14 last year. Texas Tech plays host to Iowa State on Wednesday night.

▪ There are nine teams in the current AP Top 25 that were not ranked in the initial preseason poll. Three of those are in the Top 10 — Virginia at No. 2, Texas Tech at No. 7 and Auburn at No. 8.

▪ Kentucky football went 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the SEC last season without a single player being invited to the 2018 NFL Combine.

▪ As Kevin Brockway of the Gainesville Sun points out, Florida basketball started the non-conference season 5-0, then slipped to 6-4. The Gators started the conference season 4-0 and are now 6-4 before playing host to LSU on Wednesday.

▪ Strange but true, the Washington Wizards have won five straight games without the injured John Wall.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments