Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: Basketball wizardry on display in the Windy City

UK signee Malik Monk, left, Duke signee Frank Jackson, center and Marques Bolden helped lead the West team to a victory in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago on Wednesday night. Bolden is expected to pick either UK or Duke in the next couple of weeks.
UK signee Malik Monk, left, Duke signee Frank Jackson, center and Marques Bolden helped lead the West team to a victory in the McDonald’s All-American Game in Chicago on Wednesday night. Bolden is expected to pick either UK or Duke in the next couple of weeks. The Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Thursday:

Monk, Adebayo stand out in McDonald’s All-American game, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader from Chicago. “Malik Monk threw down several impressive dunks, Bam Adebayo was a beast on the boards, and De’Aaron Fox and Sacha Killeya-Jones had their moments in Wednesday’s night’s game at United Center. Monk scored 11 points and dished out four assists, and it was his West team that defeated the UK-heavy East squad, 114-107. “

Boley, Corsaro solid in girls’ All-American game, reports Roberts. “Miss Basketball Erin Boley had a couple of clutch baskets, and University of Kentucky signee Lindsey Corsaro was one of the East’s leading rebounders, but their team fell to the West, 97-88, in overtime in the McDonald’s All-American Game on Wednesday night.”

Mitch Barnhart is asked if its bowl or bust, reports Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal. “It is a real important part of the growth of this program. It’s extra practice for our guys. It’s our young guys getting reps. It’s being able to see your physical effort rewarded in other areas off the field,” Barnhart said. “Those pieces are really, really important to us. Getting to a bowl, it’s absolutely important. So is it bust (if not)? No. But we’ve got to find our way through.”

Kentucky baseball bounces back to beat Xavier, reports UKAA. “Southpaws Zach Logue and Logan Salow combined to hold Xavier to just a hit over the first six innings and No. 12 Kentucky used a six-run sixth inning to post a 6-2 win over the Musketeers, on Wednesday night at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Kentucky (18-7) broke open a scoreless game with a six-run sixth inning, getting RBI hits from Riley Mahan, Gunnar McNeill and Tristan Pompey in the frame. Logue worked three shutout innings in the start, before Logan Salow (1-0) earned the win with three hitless.”

Darin Hinshaw working with UK quarterbacks on fundamentals, reports Keith Taylor of KyForward. ““I’ve studied motion for a long time,” he said. “Looking at the NFL guys, the ones that have success, (that’s) what they all have in common. The ones that didn’t have success didn’t have it in common. Through the process, I’ve been able to recruit really good quarterbacks.”

Ex-Florida coach Lon Kruger deserves to see Oklahoma first, writes David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel. “Such is life for Lon. He’s always been the drummer in the band, keeping the rhythm going while guys like John Calipari make like Mick Jagger. If anything, Kruger is the anti-Calipari. He comes in, cleans up programs, preaches old-school values and turns middling’ recruits into winners. The problem is there’s not much sex appeal when you’re humble, unassuming and bland enough to proudly admit you love ABBA songs.”

He’s always been the drummer in the band, keeping the rhythm going while guys like John Calipari make like Mick Jagger.

David Whitley on Lon Kruger

Alabama losing two basketball players, reports Michael Casagrande of AL.com. Justin Coleman and Michael Kessens announced, and head coach Avery Johnson, that they are leaving the Crimson Tide program.

Auburn has its version of the odd couple, reports Michael Niziolek of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. “Gus Malzahn probably doesn’t know the difference between old school and new school hip-hop. He’s probably the last person on earth who would lay down a freestyle rap or have interest in appearing on a Food Network show. Herb Hand is far more eccentric. “

Professor says Louisville no-confidence vote skewed against Ramsey, reports Joe Sonka of Louisville Insider. “College of Arts and Sciences faculty were asked to complete an online survey asking how they wanted their representative to vote on a motion expressing no confidence in Ramsey’s leadership at the trustees’ April 20 meeting. The results of the survey were announced at their faculty assembly last week, showing that 45 percent of all A&S faculty filled out the survey, with 75 percent indicating they want a vote of no confidence. Sixty-seven percent of full-time faculty in the college completed the survey, 74 percent of which also supported the no-confidence vote.”

Georgia AD pleased with Mark Fox, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. “Even as Georgia struggled through a slump in February, athletics director Greg McGarity never lost faith in head coach Mark Fox and the basketball program. While the slide included with a loss at Auburn on Feb. 24, which was a devastating blow for Georgia’s NCAA Tournament chances, McGarity said he continued to look at the big picture with where Fox has the basketball program headed.”

Arkansas basketball losing player, reports Eric Bolin of Arkansas News. “Arkansas guard Jimmy Whitt will leave to program to seek a transfer, a press release from the university confirmed Wednesday afternoon. The Arkansas News Bureau initially reported Whitt was seeking the transfer on March 18. Whitt played in 32 games as a freshman, averaging 6.1 points in 17.2 minutes per game. Sources previously told ANB the use combined with the expected injection of three guards to the roster next season was the impetus for the decision.”

Kansas’ top women’s scorer transferring to Missouri, reports Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star. Lauren Aldridge, who averaged 11.1 points per game, is moving from Lawrence to Columbia. Missouri was 22-10 last season.

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