▪ An NBA free agent name you don’t hear much about is former Kentucky forward Terrence Jones, who was not tendered an offer by the Rockets. There is little to no news out there about where Jones might end up. Then again, Jones’ scoring average dropped from 11.7 points to 8.7 with Houston last year. He started just 11 of 50 games. A fresh start (somewhere) could do him good.
▪ Make judgments off the NBA Summer League at your own risk, but I’m not surprised Trey Lyles has played well for the Utah Jazz this week. Still think the former UK forward can be an NBA star.
▪ In a definite sign of the times, Syracuse replaced departed athletics director Mark Coyle, a former Mitch Barnhart aide at UK, not with a former star athlete, or a local businessman, or an athletic director from another school, but with an ESPN executive. John Wildhack, a Syracuse alumnus, is moving from Bristol to the ’Cuse. It’s all about the television money.
▪ No offense to any athlete on an award’s “watch list” but there are too many of such lists. And too many on the list. As Brian Bennett of ESPN pointed out, there are 62 centers on the Rimington Trophy watch list for the country’s best center. There are 128 FBS teams. “Way to narrow it down, guys,” Bennett tweeted.
▪ Congrats to Adam Duvall, Reds left fielder and now National League All-Star reserve. In a nightmare Cincinnati season, the ex-Louisville Butler and ex-U of L star is enjoying a dream ride.
▪ Another rare piece of joy in this Reds season: Seeing Billy Hamilton score from second base on a passed ball Tuesday against the Cubs.
▪ At 34 years of age, the incomparable Roger Federer fought from two sets down on Wednesday to prevail over Marin Cilic — Federer won an 11-9 tiebreaker to force a fifth set — and reach the Wimbledon semifinals. Meanwhile, back in the States, I have to sit down to make sure I don’t fall while putting on my shoes.
▪ The University of Tennessee paid $2.48 million to settle a Title IX lawsuit brought by women who said the culture was biased against sexual assault victims. This was after Tennessee had said there was nothing wrong with the culture surrounding the athletic program.
▪ UK basketball fans won’t be seeing as much of sideline reporter Shannon Spake. A staple at SEC games the last couple of years, Spake is moving from ESPN to Fox Sports. She’ll be doing more NASCAR there.
▪ Contrary to rumor, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will not appear at the Republican National Convention with his good friend Donald Trump. No doubt the GOP is deflated by the news.
▪ Don’t agree with Charles Barkley that Kevin Durant is trying to “cheat” his way to a title by joining the Warriors. Durant is just taking a shortcut. And Charles never won a ring.
▪ SEC Football Media Days are next week in Hoover, Ala., which will become the spin capital of the world.
▪ Word of warning, according to Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report, the media who attend SEC Media Days have predicted the SEC champion just five times in the last 24 years. The experts (cough) picked Auburn last year. Auburn finished last in the SEC West.
▪ What is it with Alabama quarterbacks? Ex-Tide quarterback AJ McCarron, now of the Bengals, married Miss Alabama and model Katherine Webb. (Brent Musburger remembers.) Now redshirt freshman Bama quarterback Blake Barnett is engaged to pro surfer Maddie Peterson.
▪ The more you read on Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens the more you are convinced he’ll be a real problem in Kentucky’s opener against the Golden Eagles, 9-5 last year. Pro Football Focus rated Mullens the 55th best player in college football for 2016.
▪ Of the 17 All-Star starters announced Tuesday, nine were acquired by Theo Epstein, either when he was with the Boston Red Sox (four) or now with the Chicago Cubs (five). By the way, Epstein never played the game professionally. And he’s a numbers guy. Also, a very smart guy.