John Clay

John Clay: Basketball, bowl games and NFL playoffs

Random notes:

■ Dating back to last season, Kentucky has held its last 48 basketball opponents under 50 percent shooting.

■ It's sad to see the neglected Freedom Hall these days. It is a crumbling shadow of its former self.

■ Looking for an early candidate for college basketball's Coach of the Year? Seton Hall's Kevin Willard, son of former UK assistant Ralph Willard, should be in the mix. The Pirates are 13-2 after whipping Connecticut on Tuesday night.

■ NFL playoffs: I like the Saints over the Lions, the Giants over the Falcons, the Steelers over the Broncos, and the Bengals over the Texans.

■ It's interesting that the Bengals are in the playoffs, while Carson Palmer is not.

■ Darius Miller has made eight of 14 three-pointers in his last three games.

■ Terrence Jones posted 13 double-doubles last year. He's looking for his first this season.

■ Kentucky fans will remember the late Gene Bartow for his UAB Blazers beating the Cats in Tuscaloosa in the 1981 NCAA Tournament.

■ If I'm the Colts, I release Peyton Manning before I have to pay him that March bonus, and I draft Andrew Luck.

■ This is how badly UCLA's basketball season is going: A marriage proposal was made on the video board at a recent Bruins game. Upon seeing the ring, the man's girlfriend ran in the other direction.

■ I love the way Michigan Coach Brady Hoke refers to his team as 132, meaning it is the 132nd team to play football for the University of Michigan.

■ Speaking of the Sugar Bowl, did you see ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe all but forearm a fellow female reporter out of the way to get to Hoke after the Wolverines beat Virginia Tech? It could have been 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, but that's the way John Calipari wants his guys going after 50-50 balls.

■ My friend Mike Bianchi referred to the Gator Bowl between Urban Meyer's old team and Urban Meyer's new team as "The Traitor Bowl."

■ Missouri basketball now has just seven players on scholarship. And the Tigers are 14-0.

■ All Joker Phillips needs is Bobby and Paul Petrino and he'll have just about reunited the former Louisville coaching staff.

■ Have to admit I thought those helmets Oregon wore in the Rose Bowl were pretty cool.

■ SEC note: Auburn's Kenny Gabriel recorded the school's first triple-double on Monday, scoring 24 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking 10 shots in the Tigers' 67-41 win over Bethune-Cookman.

■ DeMarcus Cousins had 20 double-doubles in his freshman year at Kentucky. Through 15 games of his freshman season, Anthony Davis has eight.

■ Who has more conflicts with his employer — Cousins or Keith Olbermann?

■ Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley at first refused to allow transferring receiver DeAnthony Arnett to enroll at either Michigan or Michigan State to be closer to his ill father. Dooley said that the Vols recruited against those schools.

How is it a coach can keep a player from transferring to where he or she wishes, but a coach can leave at any time to where he or she wishes?

■ Says here the Reds should re-sign Francisco Cordero as their closer for 2012.

■ I don't have an NFL MVP vote, but if I did, Aaron Rodgers would get it. Drew Brees has had a tremendous season. But the Packers are 15-1.

■ That said, I still think New Orleans will beat Green Bay in the NFC title game. Don't like that Packers defense.

■ I still think LSU will beat Alabama in the BCS title game.

■ Headline from The Onion, "New Decoy Website Launched To Lure Away All Moronic Internet Commenters."