Big Blue Links for Thursday:
UK sports news
▪ Josh Moore of the Herald-Leader reports that the title games will be played at Kroger Field in 2017 and 2018. It will be the first time since 1976 that the games will be played in Lexington.
▪ Lexington wins when Louisville abstains, writes Tim Sullivan of the Courier-Journal.
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▪ Abbey Cheek hit two homers as UK beat South Carolina 7-3 on Wednesday in the SEC Softball Tournament, reports the Herald-Leader. The Cats play Auburn at 5 p.m. Thursday on the SEC Network.
▪ Kentucky baseball drops in the polls, reports Josh Edwards of the Cats Pause.
▪ UK track is ranked and ready for the SEC championships, reports Jared Peck of the Herald-Leader.
▪ Lynn Bowden is among incoming SEC football freshmen who could have an impact on division races, reports Saturday Down South.
▪ Shehan Jeyarajah of SEC Country goes over what each SEC basketball player must do at the NBA Combine this week.
▪ If you missed it, here’s what ESPN analysts Fran Fraschilla and Jeff Goodman said in a teleconference about the UK players and others headed to the NBA Combine.
▪ Tough decision awaits Hamidou Diallo and the draft, writes Fletcher Page of the Courier-Journal.
▪ What is Romeo Langford looking for in a school? asks Kyle Williams of the Courier-Journal. The New Albany, Ind., guard is ranked No. 3 overall on ESPN’s 2018 prospect list.
▪ Kevin Flaherty of 247Sports writes on how Kentucky could handle a logjam of frontcourt basketball talent.
▪ John Calipari was hanging out with Bill Clinton this week, reports Nation of Blue.
Louisville sports news
▪ How about Rick Pitino vs. John Calipari in a game for charity? asks Rick Bozich of WDRB.
▪ At age 64, Pitino showed he can still shoot the ball. Here’s the video.
▪ Dwayne Sutton has been put on a Louisville basketball scholarship for next season, reports Jody Demling of Scout.com.
▪ Louisville not likely to add another player if Deng Adel returns, reports Mike Rutherford of Card Chronicle.
▪ Russ Smith is still looking for a second basketball home, reports Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal.
▪ Louisville baseball looks ready for success after a win over Vanderbilt, reports Card Chronicle.
Reds travel to West Coast
▪ My random notes column for print leads with the way the Reds have unexpectedly made things interesting so far. Joey Votto is heating up.
▪ The Reds open a four-game series in San Francisco, who beat the Mets on Wednesday, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
▪ The Reds demoted starting pitcher Rookie Davis on Wednesday, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
▪ In a mailbox post, MLB Reds’ reporter Mark Sheldon is asked whether Tyler Mahle is an option for the Reds rotation.
▪ The Boston Celtics dominated the Washington Wizards to take a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal, reports the Boston Globe.
▪ Our old friend Jerry Brewer writes for the Washington Post that the Wizards’ lackluster effort might have cost them the series.
▪ Boston’s Isaiah Thomas is fined $25,000 for using “inappropriate language” with a fan, reports ESPN.
▪ Kawhi Leonard’s status for Game 6 of the Spurs-Rockets series is in doubt, reports Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio News-Express. The Spurs can close out the Rockets at 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.
▪ Mike Reader of the Charlotte Observer explains why Golden State’s Stephen Curry is sporting a new look.
▪ The Celtics never got over Ray Allen joining the Miami Heat, reports George Richards of the Miami Herald.
▪ Always Dreaming got his first feel of the Pimlico surface before the May 20 Preakness, reports the Blood-Horse.
▪ Debra McLaughlin of the New York Daily News writes why “always dreaming” leads to the winner’s circle of life.
▪ Steve Haskin of the Blood-Horse writes on Always Dreaming’s journey on the Derby Dozen.
▪ Joel Rosario will ride Illinois Derby winner Multiplier in the Preakness, reports the Paulick Report.
College basketball news
▪ Jonathan M. Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer explains why Duke and North Carolina State could still land top recruits before the May 17 deadline.
▪ Arkansas got a double dose of good news when guards Daryl Macon and Jaylen Barford announced that they would both return for their senior seasons, reports Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
▪ Vanderbilt picked up a 6-foot-10 transfer in Yanni Wetzel, reports Adam Sparks of the Tennessean. Wetzel played the last two years at Division II St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He is from New Zealand.
▪ Justin Minaya, a 6-6 guard, commits to South Carolina for 2017, reports David Cloninger of The State.
▪ Oregon picks up a five-star recruit from the class of 2018, reports Travis Hines of NBC Sports. Mike Norris from San Diego has committed to the Ducks.
▪ LSU guard Branden Jenkins becomes the second player in a week to transfer out of the program, reports Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate.
▪ Alabama’s Brandon Austin, a 6-5 guard, is staying in-state and transferring to Samford, reports Matt Zenitz of the Birmingham News.
▪ Tennessee guard Shembari Phillips will transfer from the program, reports Mike Strange of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Phillips averaged 6.2 points in 31 games last season.
▪ Ole Miss assistant Bill Armstrong is leaving to join Will Wade’s staff at LSU, reports Antonio Morales of the Shreveport Times.
SEC football news
▪ Three Georgia standouts are heading into the summer on a high note, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. No. 1 on the list is sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason.
▪ South Carolina coach Will Muschamp is not happy with the local media, reports Chip Patterson of CBS Sports.
▪ Ex-Texas Tech receiver Jonathan Giles will visit LSU, reports Amos Morale of NOLA.com.
▪ Auburn quarterback Woody Barrett announces that he is transferring, reports Jordan D. Hill of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. The four-star recruit never got into a game with the Tigers.
▪ Retired Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley will be a professor, reports Graham Hall of the Gainesville Sun.