Sidelines with John Clay

John Calipari sees future of Kentucky basketball, plus more links

Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari spoke during an afternoon press conference held at FedExForum in Memphis, Tn., Saturday, March 25, 2017. Calipari is in Colorado Springs this week as coach of the USA U19 team.
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari spoke during an afternoon press conference held at FedExForum in Memphis, Tn., Saturday, March 25, 2017. Calipari is in Colorado Springs this week as coach of the USA U19 team.

Big Blue Links and notes for Monday:

▪ Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader reports from Colorado where John Calipari is coaching the USA U19 team. This week is the team camp portion of the experience.

Ben reports: “For most of his first training camp session at the Team USA Basketball facility here Sunday night, John Calipari was relegated to the role of spectator. UK’s coach stood between courts, wearing his new navy blue Team USA polo, and watched as more than two dozen of the top young basketball players in the country ran three-man transition drills to kick off his U19 training camp.”

Ben’s twitter account has plenty of video highlights from the camp.

▪ Kyle Tucker of SEC Country reports that Hamidou Diallo is using camp to lead young Cats.

Kyle writes: “The three Wildcats are rooming together in a dorm here at Team USA camp — Knox and Washington are roommates back at school, too — and say there is already a deep bond forming among the key pieces of this year’s Kentucky squad. After eight of the top nine scorers from last season’s team departed, Diallo sees himself as one of the old heads who can help explain what to expect from Calipari.”

▪ Garrett Kroeger of the Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Calipari is trying to pick and mold his team.

Garrett writes: “The future stars of basketball are in Colorado Springs trying to earn the right to wear U.S.A. across their chest. The U.S. under-19 men’s basketball team, coached by Kentucky’s John Calipari, are having tryouts this week to determine the 12 members of this year’s team. The list of talent that has been a part of this squad in year’s past is phenomenal.”

▪ Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that Bam Adebayo’s three-point shooting impressed the Charlotte Hornets during a workout Sunday morning.

Rick writes: “Three-point shooting range isn’t required of NBA centers, but in these days when spacing and versatility are at premium, it can only help Bam Adebayo. Adebayo, who played his final high school season in High Point, N.C., before going to Kentucky, was one of six draft candidates at a Charlotte Hornets workout Sunday. At the end of each pre-draft workout, the Hornets have all players take five NBA three-pointers from each of five semi-circle spots.”

▪ Olgan Uluc of Fox Sports reports that Isaac Humphries made a strong showing in a Pro Day workout on Sunday in California.

Uluc writes: “In a gym filled with Australians — NBL star, Chris Goulding, was among the spectators, while former NBL standout, Josh Childress, was also among those on the bleachers — it was Humphries who managed to make the most of the day. While the event was centred around Bolden, Humphries made the most of his opportunity, shooting the ball well from the perimeter, while showing his soft touch inside the paint.”

The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 22, starting at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

▪ Eric Crawford of WDRB reports on Louisville’s 8-4 win over Texas A&M in the Cards’ opening game of the College World Series on Sunday. Louisville will play Florida on Tuesday. Florida beat TCU 3-0 on Sunday night.

“We’re very happy to be 1-0,” Louisville coach Dan McDonnell said. “It’s the first time in the history of our program even though it’s something we talk about often. . . . It wasn’t the best game of the year, but we understand now as we’ve seen two games on TV and played in one, these games aren’t always the cleanest. There’s too much competition. Everybody is playing too hard. It’s not supposed to be smooth and easy. You’ve just got to grind it out.”

McDonnell also said he knew that Texas A&M wasn’t going to fold. The Aggies play TCU in an elimination game on Monday.

Carlos Mendez of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports on Florida’s blanking of TCU.

He writes: “TCU had a plan against Florida right-hander Alex Faedo. It just didn’t get very far against the first-round Major League draft pick in a 3-0 loss to the Gators on Sunday night at the College World Series.”

Here is the College World Series bracket.

▪ Fletcher Page of the Courier-Journal reports that top recruit Romeo Langford wasn’t surprised by the NCAA sanctions levied against Louisville.

Fletcher writes: “Romeo Langford was at a Louisville barber shop when the NCAA ruling on the Louisville basketball program was announced last week. Everybody in Changing Image at Bardstown Square yelled at the television.”

Reaction to NCAA ruling on Louisville

▪ C. Jackson Cowart of the Charlotte Observer reports that NCAA critic Jay Bilas says that the body is breaking its own rules to punish North Carolina.

Cowart reports: “Jay Bilas says the NCAA is so determined to punish North Carolina that it’s breaking its own rules to do so. Bilas – a former Duke basketball player who now works with ESPN – said there’s never been a situation like the one at UNC, where university officials allegedly used fraudulent classes to keep players eligible. But Bilas thinks the NCAA has stepped out of line.”

▪ Father’s Day may be over, but you make sure you have read Jennifer Smith’s story on Mark Stoops’ father and family.

Jen writes: “If the Stoops brothers hadn’t learned that life was about more than wins and losses by the time they reached college, they witnessed it on the day they buried their dad. Ron Stoops Sr. died in an ambulance from a massive heart attack suffered just after a three-overtime victory over crosstown rival Boardman. He meant so much to so many people.”

Kentucky football’s 2017 schedule




@Southern Miss


Eastern Kentucky


@South Carolina




Eastern Michigan




@Miss State




Ole Miss







Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader