Catching up on random notes:
▪ Dave Joerger is now the sixth head coach the Sacramento Kings have hired since former University of Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins’ rookie season in 2010-11. Cousins is the constant here. He needs to grow up, take coaching and do the things you need to do to win in the locker room and off the court.
Not all believe he can. David Thorpe of ESPN.com advises the Kings to “Trade DeMarcus Cousins for a solid veteran, some young prospects and picks. Forget about ‘equal value’ and move on.”
▪ John Calipari’s not-so-veiled shot at Duke’s “set for life” approach with basketball recruits, calling it “preposterous,” twists the case on a couple of points.
No. 1, one of Duke’s overall selling points is that if you earn a degree from the school you will be, if not set for life, at least a step ahead thanks to the academic institution’s reputation. In the real world, that’s not “preposterous.”
No. 2, doesn’t part of Calipari’s pitch to recruits have to do with “set for life,” in that helping them realize their dream of playing in the NBA will set them up financially for life?
▪ On Monday night, Duke assistant Jeff Capel tweeted out congratulations to new WNBA president and Duke grad Lisa Borders, saying, “The value of a Duke education can never be overstated!”
▪ This year’s Kentucky Derby averaged 15.5 million viewers Saturday. The Final Four’s two national semifinals, also on a Saturday afternoon/night, back in April, averaged 11.7 million viewers.
▪ Before you bet Exaggerator in the Preakness Stakes, the last Derby runner-up to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown was Prairie Bayou in 1993.
▪ The first thing I saw when I got to the backside at Churchill Downs early last Thursday was U of L football coach Bobby Petrino talking to former U of L football coach John L. Smith. Remember, Petrino was on Smith’s staff at Louisville. Then Smith was on Petrino’s staff at Arkansas. Then Smith served as interim coach at Arkansas when Petrino was fired. Now Smith is head coach at Kentucky State.
▪ One good thing about no Lexington radio stations carrying Cincinnati Reds games this year, you have an excuse to ignore that awful bullpen. Through 33 games, the Reds’ bullpen ERA was 6.43, worst in the majors by a wide margin. Texas’ bullpen, 29th in ERA, was at 4.89.
▪ Reds starting pitchers rank 16th in all of baseball with an ERA of 4.37. And that’s without Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani and with Raisel Iglesias currently on the disabled list.
▪ One Reds player who has made the most of his opportunity is left fielder Adam Duvall, who is hitting .253 with six homers and 11 RBI. The Louisville native who played his high school baseball at Butler began the year platooning with Scott Schebler. Now Schebler is back at AAA Louisville and Duvall appears to have the job full-time.
▪ More trouble for Richard Pitino at Minnesota as 6-foot-9 forward Reggie Lynch was arrested over the weekend and charged with suspicion of sexual misconduct. In three years at Minnesota, Pitino has had two players arrested, two dismissed from the program for violation of team rules and three suspended after the release of a sex tape. And, oh yeah, Minnesota went 8-23 last season.
▪ Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, speaking in Chicago last weekend: “If you’d say that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president, I would have said, ‘Oh, right, and the Cubs would be in first place, yeah.’”
▪ Count me among those surprised Marcus Lee was invited while Isaiah Briscoe was not invited to the NBA Draft Combine this week in Chicago. Hope Lee makes the most of the opportunity. Also think this is a sure sign Lee will not be back next year.
▪ Congrats to Sean McDonough, one of the top play-by-play guys out there, on his new gig taking over for the departed Mike Tirico (NBC) on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this fall.