Sidelines with John Clay

Notes: Lonzo Ball’s dud debut; Bobby Knight’s behavior investigated

Former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight, shown here speaking at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Indianapolis last year, was reportedly investigated by the FBI for groping allegations.
Former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight, shown here speaking at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Indianapolis last year, was reportedly investigated by the FBI for groping allegations. Associated Press

Some random notes for Saturday:

▪ I’m not one to read too much into the NBA’s Summer League, but Lonzo Ball’s two-for-15 showing in his debut on Friday night garnered plenty of attention and snark on the World Wide Web. The ex-UCLA star scored just five points with five assists and three turnovers in 32 minutes as the Los Angeles Lakers blew a double-digit lead and lost 96-93 to the Los Angeles Clippers in overtime.

If Ball did some things well, shooting was not one of them. He was 1 of 11 from three-point range. Until he starts knocking down shots, the No. 2 overall pick’s funky shooting motion is going to be a giant question mark.

So how did dad LaVar react? “His worst game ever,” the father said.

▪ Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee was in Las Vegas for the games and documented ex-UK guard De’Aaron Fox’s debut with the Kings. Fox scored 18 points, tying Phoenix’s Justin Jackson for game-high honors in the Kings’ 89-85 loss.

“I was really comfortable out there,” Fox said. “Nothing really came as a surprise to me: the way they played, the way they defended. I feel like I was really ready. People gave me really good advice coming in, and I went out prepared.”

▪ Here’s the Summer League schedule. ESPNU has four games, starting at 4 p.m. ESPN has Boston vs. the Los Angeles Lakers at 8:30 p.m., and Philadelphia vs. Golden State at 10:30 p.m.

▪ In a truly bizarre story, the Washington Post reports that the FBI investigated a complaint that legendary ex-Indiana coach Bobby Knight groped women at a U.S. spy agency. This dates back to a Knight appearance on July 10, 2015, that included a pre-speech protest from agency members about Knight’s invitation, cursing from the podium, and four women alleging that Knight groped or touched them inappropriately. Ultimately, no charges were brought against Knight, who is now 76.

▪ Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader has a great feature on longtime UK football equipment manager Tom Kalinowski. And we do mean longtime. Kalinowski arrived during the Fran Curci era and has continued through Jerry Caliborne, Hal Mumme, Guy Morriss, Rich Brooks, Joker Phillips and now Mark Stoops.

Jen also had some notes that wouldn’t fit in the main story on Tom.

▪ Highly touted wide receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith will visit Kentucky next weekend. The 6-foot-5 star from Huber Heights, Ohio, was at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., with UK quarterback commitment Jarren Williams. Smith’s high school teammate, Alex Reigelsperger, also has committed to the Cats. Ohio State is hot on Smith’s trail as well.

▪ John Calipari’s USA team struggled early but eventually pulled away from Germany for an 81-59 quarterfinal victory Friday. The U.S. trailed 37-35 in the third quarter but got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Auburn center Austin Wiley, who has been a standout for Calipari’s club. Purdue’s Carsen Edwards scored 12 points.

Spain plays Italy in Saturday’s first semifinal game at noon ET. The U.S. takes on Canada in the second semifinal at 2:30. Both games are being streamed on ESPN3 and can also be seen on the FIBA site.

▪ Follow Mark Story for updates from Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400 on Saturday night. He has some story lines for the seventh running of the commonwealth’s taste of NASCAR. Storms postponed the Xfinity Series truck race from Friday night to Saturday at noon in Sparta.

▪ The Reds lost 6-3 at Arizona on Friday night, managing four hits in seven innings off Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke. There were two bits of good news for Cincinnati, however. Joey Votto hit his 25th homer. And the team signed its top pick, pitcher Hunter Greene. The No. 2 overall pick in June’s MLB Draft, Greene signed for a record $7.2 million bonus.

Related link: Hunter Greene gives Reds fans a reason to follow and hope

▪ Matt Norlander of CBS Sports compiles the 10 most intriguing stories from college basketball this off-season. So far, anyway. The possibility of Louisville being forced to yank down its 2013 NCAA title banner leads the way. I did a search. Kentucky doesn’t show up in the entire story. Now that is intriguing.

▪ Vanderbilt football player Sam Dobbs, a junior tight end from Douglasville, Ga., was charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment when he landed a drone in the middle of a Fourth of July crowd in Nashville on Tuesday night. There were an estimated 240,000 people at the event. Dobbs has made headlines with his drone before. No word yet whether Jeff Bezos has contacted Dobbs about working at Amazon.

▪ Lexington’s Shelvin Mack has landed with the NBA’s Orlando Magic. The 27-year-old former Bryan Station star has signed a two-year, $12 million deal with Orlando after playing for Utah last season, averaging 7.8 points and 2.8 assists in 55 games. His jersey was retired at Bryan Station earlier this year.

▪ SEC Football Media Days commence next week in Hoover, Ala. Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun argues that there is only one way for the conference to reclaim its spot on top of the college football mountain: Better play at quarterback.

“The play at that position simply has not been very good.,” he writes. “It was an indication last June, when the league’s teams only brought three quarterbacks to SEC Media Days, and one of them -- A&M’s Trevor Knight -- had yet to play an SEC game.

“There is a feeling that it will be different this year at the position because a majority of the league will bring back some experience at quarterback. Even though Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M and possibly LSU are up in the air about who their quarterbacks will be, the other 10 teams feel pretty good about who will be taking the snaps.”

▪ Ben Roberts’ favorite horse, Hence, closed from last to first to win the $250,000 Iowa Derby on Friday at Prairie Meadows. The Calumet Farm homebred finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby and ninth in the Preakness, but he rebounded nicely to rally from last of eight to beat McCormick by a length and a half.

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