Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: Former Kentucky football assistant wins bowl game; SEC strives for hoops improvement

San Jose State head coach Ron Caragher celebrates after defeating Georgia State in the Cure Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 in Orlando, Fla.
San Jose State head coach Ron Caragher celebrates after defeating Georgia State in the Cure Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 in Orlando, Fla. Orlando Sentinel/The Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Monday:

Kentucky women improve to 10-0 with win over Duke, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. Evelyn Ahkahor scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the way as the Cats beat the Blue Devils 71-61. Janee Thompson hit three three-pointers as part of her 17 points.

The “No-Quit Nine” has flipped the narrative on UK’s season, writes Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. After all the defections both before and during the early part of the season, Matthew Mitchell has his top-10 team off to a very fast start.

The Kentucky men are No. 20 in Gary Parrish’s rankings over at CBS Sports. Gary has Michigan State at No. 1, followed by Kansas and Maryland. He has Louisville at No. 8.

A young Kentucky is still learning what it takes to win, writes Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal. Ohio State played determined basketball on Saturday at the Barclays Center, but Kentucky didn’t do the little things required to give itself a chance to pull out the win.

Mangok Mathiang will be out 6-8 weeks after foot surgery, reports David Schuh of WDRB. The Louisville center fractured his foot in the second half of U of L’s romp over Western Kentucky on Saturday.

Thad Matta remembered Ohio State’s 2011 loss to Kentucky, reports David Gardner of The Buckeyes’ 74-67 win over UK on Saturday was Matta’s first crack at the Cats after the Buckeyes, as the No. 1 seed, lost to No. 4 seed Kentucky in the semifinals of the East Region. Brandon Knight hit a big shot for John Calipari’s Cats in that win, which helped Kentucky to the Final Four.

The SEC is putting money into basketball, reports Marc Tracy of the New York Times. Tracy traveled to Tuscaloosa where former NBA coach Avery Johnson has taken of the Crimson Tide program. Johnson and Mississippi State’s Ben Howland have added some marquee names to the conference.

LSU starting to show what preseason excitement was about, says Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate. The Tigers whipped Oral Roberts 100-77 over the weekend as Johnny Jones’ team starts to look like maybe it can shake off its four losses and live up to its potential.

Shake-up for Florida over the weekend, reports the Gainesville Sun. Suspended quarterback Will Grier told his teammates Friday night that he will transfer. Meanwhile, standout defensive end Anthony McCalister was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.

Former UK assistant Ron Caragher won the Cure Bowl, reports AP. Kentucky’s running backs coach under Rich Brooks, Caragher is now the head coach at San Jose State, which beat Georgia State 27-16 in the Orlando bowl game.

J.J. Frazier led Georgia to win over Georgia Tech on Saturday, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. Frazier scored 35 points as the Bulldogs rolled to a 75-61 win in Athens.

Tennessee stumbled out of the gate and lost at Gonzaga, reports Grant Ramey of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. The Vols trailed by as many as 19 before rallying to take the lead in the second half only to give it back again. Domantas Sabonis scored 36 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for Gonzaga.

Anton Beard’s return can’t save Arkansas from losing to Mercer, reports Jeremy Peppas of the Arkansas News. Beard played in his first game after being suspended but the Razorbacks fell to 5-5 after losing 69-66 in overtime to Mercer.

SEC bowl schedule

  • Dec. 29 - Texas Bowl: LSU vs. Texas Tech (9:00/ESPN)
  • Dec. 30 - Birmingham Bowl: Auburn vs. Memphis (12:00/ESPN)
  • Dec. 30 - Belk Bowl: Mississippi State vs. N.C. State (3:30/ESPN)
  • Dec. 30 - Music City Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Louisville (7:00/ESPN)
  • Dec. 31 - Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Michigan State (8:00/ESPN)
  • Jan. 1 - Outback Bowl: Tennessee vs. Northwestern (12:00/ESPN2)
  • Jan. 1 - Citrus Bowl: Florida vs. Michigan (1:00/ABC)
  • Jan. 1 - Sugar Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma State (8:30/ESPN)
  • Jan. 2 - TaxSlayer Bowl: Georgia vs. Penn State (12:00/ESPN)
  • Jan. 2 - Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. Kansas State (3:20/ESPN)
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