Sidelines with John Clay

Rick Pitino as Scarface and more Big Blue Links

Louisville coach Rick Pitino shouts instructions to his team during the second half of U of L’s 85-80 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Louisville, Ky.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino shouts instructions to his team during the second half of U of L’s 85-80 win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Thursday:

Kentucky can make three-pointers, but John Calipari glad they don’t have to. The Cats were one-of-nine from behind the three-point line on Tuesday night, but still beat Vanderbilt 87-81. In fact, the Cats have won the last eight games in which they made just one three-point shot. They’ve also made at least one three-pointer in 991 consecutive games.

Kentucky officially announces the addition of Hamidou Diallo, who will not play this season. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Queens, New York has enrolled in classes. “What excited me was that Hamidou wanted more than anything else to train with our guys and to practice and wasn’t worried about playing games this year,” said John Calipari.

The Cats are still looking for disciplined play after the win at Vanderbilt. Calipari still not entirely pleased with that area. Foul trouble hampered the effort in the first half though no Cat ended up fouling out in Nashville.

One ESPN analyst says that De’Aaron Fox reminds him of the New York Knicks’ Brandon Jennings. Seth Greenberg, the former Virginia Tech coach, says the two guards share a similar game.

Kentucky football is focused on several recruits as national signing day nears. Mark Stoops and Company have 22 commitments coming off a 7-6 season and TaxSlayer Bowl appearance. Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader has a list of the most realistic targets remaining on UK’s big board.

The Kentucky women are hoping to rebound (literally) from a bad stretch. Matthew Mitchell’s squad, which is 10-6 overall and 1-2 in the SEC, travels to Tuscaloosa on Thursday night to play Alabama, which is 14-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference. Kentucky needs to improve on the boards to have a chance at a road win. Alabama is trying to realize its potential.

Louisville held off Pittsburgh 85-80 at the KFC Yum Center despite 43 points from Pitt’s Jamel Artis. Quentin Snider scored 22 points for the Cards, who evened their ACC record at 2-2. Pitt, now coached by ex-Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, is off to a 1-3 start in the conference. Louisville plays host to Duke on Saturday.

Louisville and Mississippi State have swapped defensive coordinators. Todd Grantham is leaving U of L to run Dan Mullen’s defense in Starkville. Meanwhile, Peter Sirmon, who was MSU’s defensive coordinator this past season, takes over the defense in Louisville. Sirmon is known as a good recruiter. Last year was his first as a defensive coordinator.

Tennessee booted Detrick Mostella off the team before losing 70-60 to South Carolina on Wednesday night. Mostella was cited to court for possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. He was the Vols’ second-leading scorer.

Sidarius Thornwell took over for South Carolina in Knoxville to keep the Gamecocks undefeated in SEC play. The game featured 22 turnovers by both teams. USC coach Frank Martin called the play “prehistoric.”

Georgia’s strong interior defense helped shut down Ole Miss on Wednesday. J.J. Frazier scored 17 points and Yante Maten scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Dogs, who rolled in Oxford.

LSU got smacked 92-62 by Texas A&M in College Station. LSU coach Johnny Jones tried three new starters but nothing worked for the Tigers. Texas A&M picked up its first win of the conference season.

SEC men’s basketball standings

Team

SEC

Overall

Kentucky

4-0

14-2

Florida

4-0

13-3

South Carolina

3-0

13-3

Georgia

3-1

11-5

Miss State

2-1

11-4

Alabama

2-1

9-6

Vanderbilt

2-2

8-8

Arkansas

1-3

12-4

Auburn

1-3

11-5

Ole Miss

1-3

10-6

Texas A&M

1-3

9-6

LSU

1-3

9-6

Tennessee

1-3

8-8

Missouri

0-3

5-10

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