Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: Shannon Dawson to be offensive coordinator at Southern Miss

New University of Kentucky football offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson answered questions during an introductory news conference held this morning in the Memorial Coliseum media room on the UK campus in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, January 14, 2015.
New University of Kentucky football offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson answered questions during an introductory news conference held this morning in the Memorial Coliseum media room on the UK campus in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Lexington Herald-Leader

Big Blue Links for Friday:

Louisville’s post-season ban will not affect UK’s profile, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “Those games against any of the teams under consideration will be included in any and all matrix just like any other team that’s part of a team’s schedule,” Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione said on a teleconference. “So it’s valued just the same.”

Shannon Dawson to be offensive coordinator at Southern Miss, reports Dan Wolken of USA Today. Dawson was fired as Kentucky’s offensive coordinator after one year. And Kentucky opens the 2016 season at home against Southern Miss.

Derek Willis is a riches-to-rags story, reports Tipton. “I’m really proud of him,” UK Coach John Calipari said after Willis scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds against Georgia. “He’s rebounding the ball. He’s getting better defensively. Still not there. But this team believes in him, and he believes in himself more.”

NBA analyst breaks down UK draft stock, reports Ben Roberts of Herald-Leader. “He’s 7 feet tall. He’s extremely athletic,” Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony said of Skal Labissiere. “He has nice touch. I think he’s skilled. He’s a very good shot blocker, averaging four blocks per 40 minutes. It’s hard to find guys like him.”

South Carolina beats Ben Simmons and LSU, reports David Cloninger of The State. “South Carolina’s P.J. Dozier outshined likely No. 1 NBA Draft pick Ben Simmons in a 94-83 win over LSU on Wednesday, guiding the Gamecocks into a share of first place in the SEC. Dozier, like Simmons a McDonald’s All-American last year, scored 10 of his 12 points in a sizzling second-half spurt, turning a tie game with nine minutes to go into another Gamecock win.”

Alabama beats Texas A&M in a wild game, reports Michael Casagrande of AL.com. “It won’t show up on the stat sheet how loud the student section got and how loud the fans got,” said Alabama guard Retin Obasohan. “But I truly believe that was instrumental to this victory. Him missing those two free throws, it got louder in that last possession than it got all game.”

Vanderbilt beats Missouri for fifth straight home win, reports Adam Sparks of the Tennessean. “Wade Baldwin scored a team-high 17 points, along with seven assists and six rebounds. Luke Kornet had 13 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for his fourth double-double of the season. Vanderbilt (14-10, 6-5 SEC) improved to 11-2 at home to counter a 1-7 road mark (along with a 2-1 neutral site record).”

SEC commissioner fires back at Jim Harbaugh, reports Saturday Down South. “On Tuesday, it was reported that the SEC doesn’t want Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh to be able to hold spring practice in Florida and wants to take actions to prevent it from happening.”

For Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski, health is unknown variable, writes Luke DeCock of the Charlotte Observer. “These titans of college basketball have the kind of job security that anyone but Supreme Court justices would envy, and both will have the final say over how and when their tenure ends, but while they can control who they recruit and what defenses to play and when to call timeout, neither can exert total control over his own health.”

Kentucky put together its best effort of the year, writes Keith Taylor of KyForward. “I think they’re playing their very best basketball,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We thought they played very good against Florida and obviously today they were much better than us.”

SEC men’s basketball standings

Team

W

L

W

L

South Carolina

8

3

21

3

Kentucky

8

3

18

6

LSU

8

3

15

9

Texas A&M

7

4

18

6

Florida

7

4

16

8

Georgia

6

5

15

9

Vanderbilt

6

5

14

10

Ole Miss

5

6

15

9

Alabama

5

6

14

9

Arkansas

5

6

12

12

Tennessee

5

6

12

12

Miss State

3

8

10

13

Auburn

3

8

9

14

Missouri

1

10

9

17

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