Sidelines with John Clay

CBS experts not picking Kentucky basketball to win the SEC

Links for Thursday:

No one at CBS Sports picks UK to win the SEC - Four of their five experts give the nod to Tennessee. The fifth picks Auburn. No mention of the Cats. Of the Vols: “They’re not unbeatable, but they will not beat themselves.”

PJ Washington is expanding his game - My Thursday column says that Kentucky’s sophomore forward has followed in the footsteps of his friend Josh Allen, who returned to school and improved his draft stock.

Louisville’s rebuild running ahead of schedule - That was my Wednesday column on new U of L coach Chris Mack, who has the Cardinals off to a 9-3 start. Mack has also reeled in an excellent recruiting class for 2019.

John Calipari pumps the brakes - After the big win last weekend over North Carolina, the Kentucky coach tried to remind Big Blue Nation it was just one game. Still, it was a big game and a big win.

Christen Cunningham returns to practice - U of L’s starting point guard missed last Friday’s win over Robert Morris with a concussion. But the former Henry Clay and Cordia star is now back at practice for the Cards.

Kentucky’s pass rush dramatically improved in 2018 - One reason is new outside linebackers coach Brad White, who came to the Cats from the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. White likes to mix it up with his players in practice.

UK’s coaches like future running attack - With Benny Snell moving on to the pro ranks, the Cats will turn to A.J. Rose and a stable of young backs in 2019.

Reds and Yankees reportedly working on a deal - Cincinnati is reportedly still trying to acquire starting pitcher Sonny Gray from New York.

Head of Outback Bowl makes $1 million a year - Will Hobson of the Washington Post reports on Jim McVay, who runs the annual Tampa New Year’s Day bowl and makes a big salary doing so. One game a season.

They’re still replaying a game from 25 years ago - If you missed it, this is Chuck Culpepper’s story about the Prestonsburg Blackcats and the 1993 Kentucky 2A state football championship game.

Notre Dame is embracing its underdog role - The Fighting Irish play Clemson in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday. The winner faces the Orange Bowl winner between Alabama and Oklahoma.

Royals prospect pays off parents’ debt for Christmas - Ex-Florida pitcher Brady Singer gave his parents a terrific gift. Singer was picked 18th overall by Kansas City in the MLB Draft and received a $4.25 million signing bonus.

Sheldon Rankins is having a breakout season - The former Louisville defensive tackle has come into his own with the New Orleans Saints, who have clinched the top seed in the NFC for the playoffs.

Vanderbilt meets Baylor in Texas Bowl - The Commodores look for their seventh win as they take on the Bears at 8 p.m. on Thursday on ESPN. It’s the ninth bowl game in the history of Vanderbilt football.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader