Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky basketball’s three-point parade and more Big Blue Links

Big Blue Links for Wednesday:

▪ After tight games in the past -- the last three meetings went to overtime -- Tuesday night’s Kentucky-Texas A&M matchup turned into a laugher at Rupp Arena. UK jumped on the Aggies early and often and ran off with a 100-58 victory.

▪ Getting in the gym and getting up shots has helped Isaiah Briscoe improve his perimeter shooting. The sophomore made a career-high three three-point shots on Tuesday.

▪ Kentucky made 13 of 25 three-pointers in torching Texas A&M. Briscoe’s three-pointers open the floor for the rest of the team, Malik Monk said.

▪ The late 9 p.m. tip didn’t bother Kentucky, which again got off to a hot start and just kept going.

▪ The Cats served notice to SEC visitors. John Calipari’s club has won its first two league games by a combined 65 points. It scored 99 points at Ole Miss and 100 points at home against A&M.

▪ Defense has been a point of emphasis during Camp Cal, and the Cats smothered Texas A&M on Tuesday night. The Aggies committed 25 turnovers.

▪ John Calipari said afterward that this is starting to look like one of his teams on the defensive end of the floor. It’s all about discipline.

▪ Some people are saying Tuesday was Kentucky’s best overall performance of the year. Texas A&M entered the game with four losses, but three of those were to Pac-12 teams UCLA, Arizona and Southern Cal.

▪ Arkansas answered Tennessee’s rally to hold off the Vols 82-78 on Monday night in Knoxville. Arkansas is at Rupp Arena on Saturday night to play Kentucky in an 8:30 p.m. SEC Network game.

▪ Tennessee is still learning how to win, says Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

▪ Florida forced 21 turnovers to beat Ole Miss in Gainesville on Tuesday night. It was the fourth straight win for the Gators, who are now 2-0 in SEC play.

▪ Canyon Barry, the grad transfer and son of former NBA star Rick Barry, had put in extra practice time for the Gators. It paid off as Barry scored 20 points in the Florida win.

▪ Alabama contained Quentin Weatherspoon and beat Mississippi State 68-58 in Starkville on Monday night. Tide coach Avery Johnson said the defensive game plan was simple: Deny the ball.

▪ As LSU gets set to play Missouri, Johnny Jones’ team is looking to play better defense. Much better defense.

▪ Missouri is eager to hit the reset button as conference play arrives for the Tigers. Kim Anderson’s club went 5-7 in non-conference play. Mizzou has lost four straight games.

▪ With Mike DeBord leaving Tennessee for Oregon, will Butch Jones hire ex-Oregon coach Mark Helfrich as his offensive coordinator?

▪ Duane Rankin of the Montgomery Advertiser writes that the drama over Lane Kiffin’s abrupt departure from Alabama could have been avoided. The Tide's now ex-offensive coordinator went on ESPN’s "Mike and Mike" on Tuesday to say it was his decision to leave the week before the national title game. That’s a hard sell, however.

▪ An ugly Sugar Bowl shows Auburn no longer belongs on the national stage, writes Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News. Auburn lost 35-19 to Oklahoma on Monday night in the Sugar Bowl.

▪ Auburn receiver Stanton Truitt announced on social media that he’s leaving the Tigers with two years of eligibility remaining.

▪ After beating Iowa 30-3 in the Outback Bowl, Florida coach Jim McElwain says his offensive line needs to be more physical in 2017. Florida’s offensive line coach is former UK assistant Mike Summers, who is the son-in-law of ex-UK basketball coach Joe B. Hall.

▪ Georgia’s defense will encounter high expectations in 2017, considering the number of players the Bulldogs return on that side of the ball. Georgia went 8-5 under Kirby Smart in his first season as UGA’s head coach.

▪ South Carolina’s top football commitment is now taking an official visit to Georgia. Jamyest Williams committed to the Gamecocks in August, but Georgia is trying to pry him away from Will Muschamp.

SEC men’s basketball standings

Team

SEC

Overall

Kentucky

2-0

12-2

Florida

2-0

11-3

Georgia

1-0

9-4

Alabama

1-0

8-5

Vanderbilt

1-0

7-6

Arkansas

1-1

12-2

Tennessee

1-1

8-6

South Carolina

0-0

10-3

Missouri

0-0

5-7

Auburn

0-1

10-3

Miss. State

0-1

9-4

LSU

0-1

8-4

Ole Miss

0-2

9-5

Texas A&M

0-2

8-5

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