Big Blue Links for Saturday:
Arizona State has huge opportunity at Rupp, reports Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic. “Winners of three in a row, ASU (6-2) is about to find out where it stands. Beating then-No. 18 Texas A&M at home – as the Sun Devils did last week – is one thing. Winning Saturday at Rupp Arena, among college basketball's toughest environments, is another. ‘(Growing up) as a kid, you want to play these types of games in this type of atmosphere,’ sophomore point guard Tra Holder said.”
Hurley’s visit to UK brings back Duke memories, reports Arizona Sports. “I remember coach (Mike Krzyzewski) drawing up that play in the huddle and I was the second option, luckily. I was gonna get the ball somewhere near half court and take a dribble or two and fire up kind of a desperation shot,” Bobby Hurley said. “But Christian (Laettner) was the first option. The ball sailed right over my head. I was over near halfcourt, he was obviously over by the free throw line, so I probably had the best look in the building of him catching it and hitting the shot.”
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John Calipari shoots down shooting as a big problem, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “It’s not often you hear a basketball coach suggest that making more shots would be a problem. But Kentucky Coach John Calipari gave it a try Friday. When asked about Kentucky’s poor perimeter shooting this season, he suggested that more swishes would obscure a potentially more threatening long-term problem.”
UK keeper Callum Irving named first-team All-American, reports H-L. “The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced that Kentucky’s Callum Irving was the nation’s top goalkeeper in 2015. The senior was the lone goalkeeper on the coaches’ All-America First Team, becoming the first UK men’s or women’s player named to the coaches’ first team.”
Kyvin Goodin-Rogers transferring to Western Kentucky, reports H-L. The former Marion County star asked for transfer from UK women’s basketball team recently and will play for the Hilltoppers. Goodin-Rogers and fellow transfer Linnae Harper were sitting behind the UK bench during the Cats’ win over Louisville on Thursday night at Rupp Arena.
Kentucky isn’t concerned about its three-point shooting troubles, reports Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal. “We’re thinking too much about our misses,” said freshman Jamal Murray, who was a good 3-point shooter in high school but has hit only 33.3 percent for the Cats. And that leads the team. “We’re focusing too much on it, putting too much pressure on ourselves to make the shot, I think.”
Briscoe and Murray are working to mesh at UK, reports Alex Forkner of the Cats Pause. “I mean, if we shot the ball better I think a lot of this stuff that we have would look a little different. We’re just not,” John Calipari said. :But I think defensively being active, being playmakers, all three of them can do that.”
Alabama hires Jeremy Pruitt as defensive coordinator, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. Pruitt will succeed Kirby Smart, who was named head coach at Georgia. Smart will continue with Alabama through the College Football Playoff. Alabama plays Michigan State in a national semifinal on Dec. 31. Pruitt was Georgia’s defensive coordinator. Before that, he replaced Mark Stoops as DC at Florida State.