Sidelines with John Clay

Pushback on my PJ Washington concern

Kentucky forward PJ Washington joked with teammates during practice on March 21 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta before the Cats' game against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky forward PJ Washington joked with teammates during practice on March 21 at Phillips Arena in Atlanta before the Cats' game against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament. aslitz@herald-leader.com

My Wednesday post expressing concern about Kentucky forward PJ Washington’s announcement that he will test the NBA draft waters drew quite a bit of response. And most of it was a pushback.

The 6-foot-7 sophomore-to-be will not hire an agent as he seeks evaluations concerning his draft status. The NCAA deadline to withdraw from the draft is May 30. Washington averaged 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds this past season for the Cats.

From my in-box:

“I would be surprised if Vanderbilt and Diallo don’t enter their name and maybe even Gabriel. Find out where you stand and where you need to improve next year. The only player of these that wouldn’t surprise me if he did not come back is Diallo.

“Knox will either be back or if he enters the draft it will not to test the waters like Washington. If he does enter the draft there will be no guessing he will not be back. I only worry about players like Washington if he hires a agent.”

From Twitter:

I would argue it’s every other post/story. Truth be told, I’m concerned about everything.

To the links:

▪ Kentucky baseball coach Nick Mingione says he likes it if fans are grumbling about the team’s 3-6 SEC record. Mingione said that means fans care about UK baseball. After beating Louisville 8-5 on Tuesday, the Cats welcome South Carolina to Cliff Hagan for a three-game weekend series, starting Friday. Weather permitting.

▪ Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal spent two days in San Antonio tracking new Louisville basketball coach Chris Mack. Mack commanded attention at the Final Four at the coaches’ convention, where plenty asked about his new position. There’s also plenty of good stuff about Mack’s family, which made the trip.

▪ Could Lamar Jackson be the heir apparent to New England’s Tom Brady? That’s the question asked by Yahoo Sports NFL columnist Charles Robinson. The Pats’ trade of Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams may have put Bill Belichick in position to pick Jackson, whose outrageous athleticism could make him an appealing target.

▪ New Tennessee football coach Jeremy Pruitt has cut out music at the Vols’ practices. “I don’t think they play music during football games,” Pruitt said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’ve never heard it.”

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