John Clay

John Clay's notes: Wife holds Pearl in high esteem

Morehead State's Kenneth Faried (35) was called a "next-level guy" by Florida Coach Billy Donovan.
Morehead State's Kenneth Faried (35) was called a "next-level guy" by Florida Coach Billy Donovan. AP

Random notes:

■ Talk about stand by your man.

Bruce Pearl's wife, Brandy, has taken to Facebook to compare her embattled husband to (yes) Jesus.

After the SEC suspended the Tennessee basketball coach for eight league games, Brandy Pearl posted: "Now I know of two Jewish men who have been crucified. Lord be with my hubby's spirit. We will get through this."

Like her husband, that seems a little over the top.

■ Remember, Pearl's first wife, Kim, complained to Milwaukee Magazine in 2004 that when Bruce was coach at Southern Indiana in Evansville, it was a little too close to Kentucky for a Jewish family.

Said Kim, "It was way too close. I didn't care for it. It was a little too redneck. Very redneck. ... My kids were the only Jews in their school. So when we had Jewish holidays, they had to go to school because school wasn't closed."

■ You have to love this from the National League's newest MVP, Joey Votto: "When I heard, I couldn't help but cry. This meant so much to me and would have meant so much to my father."

■ The distressing news is that Votto said Monday he and the Reds have not yet discussed a long-term contract. Votto is eligible for arbitration.

■ When asked Monday if he would have suspended Stevie Johnson for his "Why So Serious?" T-shirt, Joker Phillips, his former position coach, said, "I'd say don't do that again. Now go score me another touchdown."

■ I like the idea of the 5-1-7 T-shirts being worn by Kentucky football players. Twitter follower Aaron Adams (@tripleaaaron) figured out that it stands for the total number of points that Tennessee has outscored UK by over the 25-year streak.

If it was the 24-game losing streak to Florida, the T-shirts would read 5-8-9.

■ As a longtime Marvin Lewis supporter, I now lean toward sacking the Bengals' head coach at the end of the season.

That's after the Bengals show Ochostinko and T.O. the door first.

■ I try not to be too hard on announcers — seriously — but during UK's win over Oklahoma on Monday, play-by-play man Carter Blackburn and the usually likable color man Jimmy Dykes talked about everything but the game.

■ Billy Donovan on Morehead State's Kenneth Faried after the Eagle soared for 20 points and 18 rebounds against the Gators on Sunday: "That's what a next-level guy looks like."

■ Evidence you should really see a kid play in college before making him a first-team college All-American: North Carolina's Harrison Barnes made four of 24 shots in the Heels' two San Juan losses.

■ Speaking of which, this has to be Tubby Smith's best team at Minnesota. The Gophers won the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament, beating North Carolina and West Virginia. Marquette transfer Trevor Mbakwe, a banger underneath, is just the boost Smith needed.

■ As ESPN announcers Jon Sciambi and Hubert Davis were on camera setting up the North Carolina-Vanderbilt consolation game Sunday, there was a man wearing a UK T-shirt, holding up his index finger in the "No. 1" sign, right behind them.

Was he lost?

■ Georgia's win at Saint Louis on Saturday was the Bulldogs' first road win in 11 games. Georgia's last victory away from home? Why that 90-85 win at Rupp Arena on March 4, 2009, which all but sealed Billy Gillispie's fate.

■ Speaking of SEC basketball, Alabama's trip to Paradise, as in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, was no paradise. The Crimson Tide lost all three games.

■ Judging by Louisville's win over Butler and its 106-point total against Chattanooga, looks like Rick Pitino is going to stick to his back-to-the-future promise.

■ Count me against baseball adding more teams to its post-season. It's a 162-game season, guys. More does not equal better.