Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: South Carolina basketball rising as Kentucky visits Columbia

Kentucky head coach John Calipari jaws at the officials as they run up the court in the first half of Tuesday night’s game against Georgia.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari jaws at the officials as they run up the court in the first half of Tuesday night’s game against Georgia. Lexington Herald-Leader

Big Blue Links for Friday:

▪ Kentucky is next obstacle in South Carolina’s long journey to relevance, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. In his fourth year as the Carolina coach, Frank Martin has produced a breakthrough season.

▪ SEC basketball is getting interesting, writes Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. Kentucky-South Carolina on Saturday shapes up to be a pivotal game in the league race.

▪ South Carolina is more than a basketball opportunist, writes Gene Sapakoff of the Charleston Post and Courier. South Carolina hasn’t been to an NCAA Tournament since 2004.

▪ New NBA Draft rules could have opposite effect to what NCAA intended, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. Ben talked to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express.

▪ This top recruit really wants an offer from Kentucky, reports Ben Rohrbach of USA Today. Advanced Prep International junior forward Billy Preston is waiting on an offer from UK.

▪ Kentucky needs a stronger inside attack, writes Dick Gabriel of Big Blue Insider. The Cats need more from the post to make a deep tournament run.

▪ Kentucky still has unfinished business, writes Josh Ellis of the Kentucky Kernel. Big Blue Nation is still anxious about this team.

▪ Billy Gillispie keeping mum about his juco success, writes Jamie Vaught of KyForward. The former Kentucky coach has a 21-4 record at Ranger Junior College.

▪ Shannon Dawson to join Jay Hopson’s staff, reports Patrick Magee of the Biloxi Sun-Herald. The former Kentucky offensive coordinator is one of three new hires at Southern Miss. And, yes, Southern Miss opens its 2016 season at UK.

▪ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a torn labrum for the second time, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. The former Kentucky star, now playing with the Charlotte Hornets, was injured Wednesday night.

▪ LSU mulls missed opportunities in loss to South Carolina, reports Sheldon Mickles of The Advocate.

John Clay: 859-231-3226, jclay@herald-leader.com, @johnclayiv

Kentucky at South Carolina

When: Noon, Saturday

Where: Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC

TV: ESPN with Tom Hart, Kara Lawson and Kaylee Hartung

Radio: UK Network with Tom Leach and Mike Pratt

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