Big Blue Links for Tuesday:
▪ Former UK receiver Randall Cobb spoke at the university on Monday night. Cobb is now a star wide out for the Green Bay Packers. “When I was here I had my day planned out for me,” Cobb said. “I knew I was going to be in class at this time, practice at this time ... but once you get to the level I’m at now, it’s more that you have to build that structure for yourself.”
▪ Rick Stansbury was officially introduced as the new head basketball coach at Western Kentucky. The former Mississippi State coach, who was an assistant at Texas A&M the past two seasons, said it was an easy decision to return to his native Kentucky.
▪ Mark Story of the Herald-Leader gives his winners and losers in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament so far. The head coach at Indiana, which knocked Kentucky out of the tourney, gets high marks. Others, not so much.
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▪ Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader is in Chicago covering the McDonald’s All-American games. He has written a host of stories already, including one about Bam Adebayo, one saying that UK is still in contact with Texas center Jarrett Allen, one on Kentucky’s high expectations next season, one on how De’Aaron Fox and John Calipari are trying to sell Marques Bolden on UK.
▪ Former Vanderbilt basketball coach Eddie Fogler has been enlisted to help the school find its next basketball. After 17 seasons in Nashville, Kevin Stallings has left the Commodores to be the new coach at Pittsburgh. Fogler was the coach at VU from 1989 to 1993 before leaving for South Carolina. He now helps operate a search firm.
▪ Herb Sendek has been hired as the new basketball coach at Santa Clara. The former Kentucky assistant was head coach at Miami (OH), North Carolina State and Arizona State before being fired after the 2014-15 season. Santa Clara went 11-20 last season.
▪ The overnight ratings for the Elite Eight games were down 25 percent from last season. Then again, you had an undefeated Kentucky in last season’s Elite Eight.
▪ The Connecticut women made their ninth straight Final Four by beating Texas 86-65 on Monday night. UConn is joined by Oregon State, Washington and Syracuse. Yes, the Syracuse men and women are both in the Final Four.
▪ The Boston Globe has an interesting story about the graduation rates for men’s and women’s basketball teams in their respective NCAA Tournaments. The numbers are actually improving.
▪ Former Louisville star Montrezl Harrell is some D-league trouble after shoving an official to the floor. A suspension is sure to follow.
▪ After losing to Villanova in the South Region final on Saturday, Kansas faces a lot of uncertainty about the 2016-17 basketball season. “We only start one senior,” head coach Bill Self said, “but the reality is, we’re not going to have our entire group back.”
▪ LSU basketball will have a much different look next season. Perhaps that is a good thing.
▪ South Carolina’s quarterback competition has become a two-man race. Perry Orth and freshman Brandon McIlwain are leading, says new head coach Will Muschamp.