Sidelines with John Clay

BBL: Has a committed Kentucky football recruit changed his mind?

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops smiles at a question during the Governor’s Cup Luncheon at Frankfort Country Club in Frankfort, Ky, on June 6, 2017.
Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops smiles at a question during the Governor’s Cup Luncheon at Frankfort Country Club in Frankfort, Ky, on June 6, 2017.

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After commitment to UK, Xavier Peters might have changed his mind, reports David Clark of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Xavier Peters, a Lakota West High School linebacker considered a four-star recruit by several top recruiting websites and among the best in the country at outside linebacker in the class of 2018, committed via Twitter on Tuesday to play for the Kentucky Wildcats -- but has since deleted the tweet.”

UK football and basketball recruiting news and links at NextCats

PJ Washington helps USA into FIBA quarterfinals, reports the Herald-Leader. “I just felt like I had to be a little bit aggressive.” said Washington, who contributed eight rebounds and three assists. “I felt like I could get by my man every time, so I just tried to do that and make plays for my team.”

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Kentucky football ticket sales are up, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. “With two months left before the home opener at Kroger Field, Kentucky already is nearing its season ticket sales total from last season. As of last week, UK had sold 32,000 season tickets, an athletics department spokesman said. That number is about 2,000 shy of the Cats’ total sold last season (33,658).”

Dakari Johnson gaining confidence in pursuit of a roster spot with the NBA's Oklahoma Thunder, reports Greg Auman for the Herald-Leader. “Johnson has played for the Thunder’s Summer League team and has played well: Entering Wednesday’s games, he was second in the eight-team league in scoring at 19.5 points per game, and third in rebounding at 8.0 per game. Johnson’s play in the NBA D-League — now called the G League after a sponsorship deal with Gatorade — improved greatly in his second season.”

News on ex-UK athletes at Ex-Cats

Darius Miller is returning to New Orleans, reports the Herald-Leader. “Former UK and Mason County High School standout Darius Miller is coming home. A report by David Pick, who covers overseas pro basketball, said Wednesday that Miller is finalizing a contract with the New Orleans Pelicans that would reunite him with former UK teammates Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. A fourth former Wildcat, James Young, will be playing for New Orleans’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League that starts Friday.”

Could 2017 be Danica Patrick’s final race at Kentucky Speedway? asks Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. “Twice this year, the most fervent wishes of NASCAR marketers have come true: Danica Patrick has gone to victory lane. Alas, she’s been there to congratulate her boyfriend, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., after his victories at Talladega and Daytona.”

How much will Louisville have to repay the NCAA? asks Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal. “The University of Louisville athletics department may have to repay more than $5 million for four of its NCAA Tournament appearances as part of the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ ruling against the men’s basketball program. U of L is appealing the proposed financial penalty in addition to the suggested vacation of records that could remove the Cardinals’ 2013 national championship banner.”

Louisville’s claim of NCAA victim status rings hollow

Reds fall to Rockies 5-3, reports the AP. “Jon Gray’s power was impressive. His hop out of the batter’s box and home run trot, too. For a pitcher who’d never hit a major league homer before, he sure had the routine down. Gray launched his drive an estimated 467 feet — the farthest by any Rockies player this season — and pitched effectively into the sixth inning as Colorado beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on a sweltering Wednesday night.”

Ex-Michigan State point guard to spend a year in jail, reports Elisha Anderson of the Detroit Free Press. “Former Michigan State University basketball star Keith Appling accepted a plea deal Monday requiring him to spend a year in jail in connection with an incident last August involving a gun. It was the third case in which he faced charges over a four-month period last year.” Appling, 25, was a point guard with the Orlando Magic.

Luke and Cole Maye share more than titles, reports Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer. “Three months. Two national championships. One family. It is going to be hard for Mark and Aimée Maye’s testosterone-heavy brood to ever top what has happened in the first half of 2017 – an NCAA basketball championship for Luke at North Carolina and an NCAA baseball championship for Cole at Florida.”

Five-star basketball forward Reggie Perry decommits from Arkansas, reports Jeff Borzello of ESPN. “There have been rumors surrounding Perry’s commitment to Arkansas over the past few weeks, with his family releasing a statement last week expressing disappointment in the rumors. Perry committed to Arkansas last August, during a four-week stretch in which the Razorbacks landed four prospects in the 2018 class.”

Kentucky football 2017 schedule





Southern Miss



Eastern Kentucky



South Carolina






Eastern Michigan






Mississippi State






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