Big Blue Links for Sunday:
Coached by John Calipari, the USA U19 team rolled over Iran 108-48 in the FIBA U19 World Cup on Saturday. UK’s Hamidou Diallo led the winners with 17 points. PJ Washington, a Kentucky signee, scored 13 points and grabbed four assists.
Watch games on the FIBA YouTube channel. USA plays Angola at 12:15 p.m.
Tai Wynyard had big game in New Zealand’s win, reports Kyle Tucker of SEC Country. “While Big Blue Nation’s eyes have been on John Calipari, Hamidou Diallo, P.J. Washington and a slew of Kentucky basketball recruits representing USA Basketball at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Egypt, Wildcats sophomore Tai Wynyard delivered quite an opening statement of his own Saturday morning.”
Jerry Tipton’s Sunday notebook leads with recent reports and rumors involving Calipari and the New York Knicks. “When it comes to speculation about a coach leaving for another job, John Calipari is the boy who cried Wolves! And Nets! And Kings! And Cavs! Last week saw the New York Knicks join the long, long line of career options supposedly threatening to lure Calipari away. And as in the past, he denied any interest. In this latest case, the job was succeeding Phil Jackson as the Knicks’ president.”
Bam Adebayo produced a double-double in his Orlando Summer League debut for the Miami Heat. “I felt like I had a motor today,” Adebayo told the Miami Herald. “After not competing five-on-five for I don’t know how long, it’s good to get out there, get back into the flow.”
NCAA appeals are an uphill battle, reports Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal. “The NCAA’s infractions appeals process can be lengthy, challenging and frustrating for the individuals and schools involved. That will sound familiar to coach Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville and its supporters. The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions issued its original ruling in U of L’s case on June 15, eight months after the NCAA enforcement staff sent its notice of allegations and 20 months after the school acknowledged an investigation had started.”
Three ex-Cats jumpstart NBA career, reports KyForward. “Isaac Humphries inked a summer-league deal with the Washington Wizards, while Mychal Mulder will join the Toronto Raptors summer team. The Kings, Raptors and Wizards are not set to begin summer league action until the Las Vegas League opens on July 7. Joining Briscoe in the 76ers mini-camp are former Wildcats Aaron Harrison (2014-15) and Alex Poythress (2013-16). The 76ers are expected to announce their summer league roster following the conclusion of mini-camp.”
The college clock is ticking on Billy Donovan, says Rick Bozich of WDRB. “Not everything that happens in the NBA features the Warriors and Cavaliers. Friday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis to Indiana for free-agent-in-waiting Paul George. In Indianapolis, the move is viewed as a homecoming for Oladipo, whose three-season career at Indiana University ended in 2013. As the Pacers rebuild, Oladipo becomes the face of the franchise.”
The top 10 SEC football games for 2017, according to Hugh Kellenberger of the Clarion-Ledger. “10. Kentucky at Georgia, Nov. 18 . I’m bullish on Kentucky this season as the weird “How is this team near the top of the division standings in November?”-team. A 5-1 or even 6-0 start (requiring an upset of Florida at home) is totally in play, and UK draws Mississippi State (which it beat last season) and Ole Miss as the SEC West games. Georgia, meanwhile, is the likely pick by everyone to win the East. So this SEC regular season finale for both teams has an outside shot at mattering a great deal.”
Cecil Hurt off the Tuscaloosa News is looking ahead to the Alabama-Florida State opener. “Let’s start at the very beginning. No, this isn’t a summer stock rehearsal for “The Sound of Music,” despite the lyrics. It’s a recognition that July has arrived which, at least in Alabama, means that college football is transitioning from the “offseason” to the “preseason.” If you believe that the actual date is July 4, sharing time with our nation’s birthday, or that the off-season ends at an equinox defined by the precise moment that Nick Saban steps into the lobby at SEC Media Days in about 10 days, that’s fine as well. But in general terms, July means it is time to start giving the season some serious thought.”
Vanderbilt is pulling off a summer surge in recruiting, reports Adam Sparks of the Tennessean. “Vanderbilt football pulled off its best recruiting month in recent memory in June, landing nine highly ranked commitments in an early summer surge. The players came in bunches, and they carried high marks from scouting services. And now the Commodores sit fourth in the SEC’s 2018 recruiting rankings and 26th nationally in the 247Sports composite ratings.”
Cuonzo Martin expected to have instant impact on SEC, reports David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free-Press. “The Tigers have their third coach since joining the SEC before the 2012-13 season, with Frank Haith having steered the program straight into NCAA sanctions and with Kim Anderson having failed to pick up the pieces with his three-year record of 27-68. Grabbing the reins now is Cuonzo Martin, the former Tennessee coach who has assembled a top-10 signing class headlined by top overall prospect Michael Porter Jr., a 6-foot-10, 215-pound forward from Seattle.”