Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: Kentucky basketball takes on Ohio State; UK football news

Thad Matta has won at least 20 games in all 15 of his seasons as a head coach and made the NCAA Tournament in all but one season during which Ohio State was eligible.
Thad Matta has won at least 20 games in all 15 of his seasons as a head coach and made the NCAA Tournament in all but one season during which Ohio State was eligible. The Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Saturday:

Youth will be served in Kentucky-Ohio State game, writes Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “A team dependent on freshmen and sophomores. A team trying to move on after losing last season’s star freshman to the NBA Draft lottery. A team searching for the best way to reinvent itself. But enough about Ohio State. Yes, Kentucky’s game against Ohio State on Saturday will feature two teams with striking similarities.”

Freshman Mickey Mitchell will be eligible for Ohio State, reports Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch. “Ohio State will have a full roster when it faces No. 4 Kentucky today at the Barclays Center. After months of waiting, freshman forward Mickey Mitchell was declared eligible by the NCAA Eligibility Center on Friday and can suit up against the Wildcats. No official reason has been given for Mitchell’s limbo, and earlier this month, coach Thad Matta questioned whether the NCAA had the freshman’s best interests in mind. Matta has said it was not an academic issue, saying only that it’s a “real long story.” Sources indicated to The Dispatch that the reason involved compensation related to Mitchell’s AAU basketball play in Texas.”

Tai Wynyard might play against Buckeyes, reports Metz Camfield of coachcal.com. “”Humphries will be a familiar face for Wynyard. The Aussie once played against Wynyard in a tournament a few years ago. The 17-year-old Humphries has averaged 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in the six games he’s played in thus far with UK, but is still adjusting to the American, less physical style of basketball, which he said should be an adjustment for Wynyard as well.”

Patrick Towles is headed to Boston College, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. The former Highlands star, who started 22 games for the Cats, will be eligible to play immediately as a graduate transfer for the ACC school. He graduated from UK on Friday with a political science degree.

UK fires wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord, reports Smith. “The Mainord news had been rumored for a few days. A UK official confirmed it Friday. Mainord’s contract, which was renewed in February, runs through June 30, 2017, paying him $275,000 a year until he has gainful employment again.”

North Carolina’s Isaiah Hicks aims to conquer the mental game, reports Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer. Hicks will be filling in for the injured Kennedy Meeks when North Carolina plays UCLA in the first game of the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Kentucky plays Ohio State in the second game.

Todd Grantham rumored for Auburn job, reports Rick Bozich of WDRB. Louisville's defensive coordinator is reportedly in the mix to replace Will Muschamp at the SEC school, but sources say Grantham is likely to stay at U of L.

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