Sidelines with John Clay

Spring football games, NBA draft defections, Romeo Langford and more links

New Albany, Indiana star Romeo Langford says he will make his college choice on April 30. Langford’s finalists are Indiana, Kansas and Vanderbilt.
New Albany, Indiana star Romeo Langford says he will make his college choice on April 30. Langford’s finalists are Indiana, Kansas and Vanderbilt. Adidas

Big Blue Links:

▪ Kentucky’s quarterbacks ready to take competition into the spotlight, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. “After improved practices and much-improved scrimmages the past few days, Eddie Gran was a tad more playful than he usually is with the media. When asked how much performances in Kentucky’s upcoming Blue-White Spring Game would be a factor in the race for starting quarterback, Gran paused.”

▪ Storylines in Louisville’s spring game, reports Jake Lourim of the Courier-Journal. “Louisville has been quiet about injuries for the duration of spring camp, declining to confirm or deny any absences. The only two big names who have been absent from discussion are Jaylen Smith and Dae Williams. Those are significant. Smith is Louisville’s No. 1 wide receiver, Williams the team’s No. 1 running back.”

▪ Is Tyrus Maxey next to commit to UK basketball? asks Kyle Tucker of SEC Country. “OK, now John Calipari is just getting greedy. On the heels of Kentucky commitments from 5-star forward E.J. Montgomery on Monday and 5-star guard Ashton Hagans on Tuesday comes news Wednesday that 5-star guard Tyrese Maxey might also be interested in joining the Wildcats’ stacked roster (and backcourt) for the upcoming season.”

[UK basketball and football recruiting news and links]

▪ Louisville basketball scheduling grad transfer visits, reports Jeff Greer of the Courier-Journal. “Joseph Chartouny will host Louisville’s coaches on an in-home visit on Friday, and Zach Johnson will visit Louisville’s campus on Sunday, according to multiple reports. Louisville scheduled Mike Cunningham’s campus visit for April 25-27.”

▪ Romeo Langford will make his college choice on April 30, reports Gary Bedore of the Kansas City Star. “Langford, who is ranked No. 6 in the recruiting class of 2018 by, has a final list of KU, Indiana and Vanderbilt. At one time he also had Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Louisville on his list of schools.”

▪ Emmitt Williams makes it official for LSU, reports Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate. “Williams joins three other highly rated prospects from the early signing period in November — five-star power forward Nazreon Reid and two four-stars, combo guard Ja’Vonte Smart and power forward Darius Days — to form the nation’s fifth-ranked class, according to 247Sports.”

▪ Auburn’s Bryce Brown will test NBA waters, reports Jordan Hill of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “Auburn junior guard Bryce Brown will go through the NBA Draft process, according to a release from Auburn. Brown will not hire an agent, leaving the door open for a return to the Tigers for his senior season. Brown has until 5 p.m. on June 11 to withdraw his name from the draft.”

[Why a Duke departure will affect Kentucky more than a Louisville arrival]

▪ Daniel Gafford will stay at Arkansas, reports Bob Holt of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “It’s big,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “You’ve got a centerpiece with a guy like that. Can you imagine? He had a really outstanding freshman year. Now he can build on that and obviously be a cornerstone for our basketball team.”

▪ Kentucky baseball beat Western Carolina on Wednesday, reports Josh Sullivan of the Herald-Leader. “Behind a newcomer’s breakout performance the University of Kentucky baseball team began a five-game road trip in fine fashion on Wednesday, knocking off Western Carolina 7-5. Junior college transfer Alex Rodriguez had his best game at the plate so far this season, going 4-for-5 with three doubles and two RBI.”

▪ Was Butch Jones’ recruiting overrated? asks John Adams of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “After all, if the recruiting services were right — and he signed top-15 classes on the average — shouldn’t there be plenty of talent left over for the new staff? But when you match up UT’s depth chart against the rest of the SEC East, there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of talent.”

▪ Mike White’s top recruit is already in the Florida program, says Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun. “After all, he has a full roster of players ready for the next basketball season. That is, if guard Jalen Hudson decides to return. Hudson declared for the NBA draft, but has not hired an agent, so he could decide to play one more year with the Gators.”

▪ South Carolina women’s basketball losing player as grad transfer, reports Ben Breiner of The State. “One of the key pieces of South Carolina’s women’s basketball national championship team is moving on. West Virginia announced Bianca Cuevas-Moore will be joining the team as a graduate transfer. She missed the 2017-18 season with an injury.”

▪ Missouri adds a Chicago point guard, reports Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Missouri has officially made a much-needed addition to its backcourt. Chicago point guard Xavier Pinson, committed to the Tigers since February, signed his national letter of intent Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA’s spring signing period.”

[This year’s Kentucky Derby promises plenty of brilliance]

▪ Even with longest NBA playoff drought Sacramento is optimistic, reports Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee. “The Kings remain high on the potential of rookie guard De’Aaron Fox and are also optimistic Harry Giles, who sat out the season recovering from knee injuries, can be a boost to the team. Rookie Justin Jackson finished the season as the starting small forward, and Bogdan Bogdanovic showed he could be a versatile offensive threat.”

Rivals top 20 basketball recruits Class of 2018





R.J. Barrett



Cameron Reddish



Zion Williamson



Bol Bol



Nassir Little

North Carolina


Romeo Langford



Simisola Shittu



Tre Jones



Darius Bazley



Quentin Grimes



E.J. Montgomery



Jordan Brown



Anfernee Simons

(NBA draft)


Keldon Johnson



Immanuel Quickley



Andrew Nembhard



Devon Dotson



Darius Garland



Nazreon Reid



Moses Brown


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