Sidelines with John Clay

Big Blue Links: Devin Booker "the face" of the Suns; Tubby Smith takes Memphis job

Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Oakland, Calif.
Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. The Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Thursday:

Tubby Smith agrees to be Memphis coach, reports ESPN. “Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith has agreed to be the men’s basketball coach at Memphis, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Memphis is replacing Josh Pastner, who left to be the head coach at Georgia Tech last week.”

Devin Booker ready to be be the face of the Suns, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. “'It’s like a dream come true, especially at this young of an age,' Booker said. “I always dreamed at one point in my life that I’d be that guy. Never knew it’d be this soon. Here in Phoenix, I love it here, so it’s exactly what I want to be. It comes with a lot of pressure but it’s a good pressure to have. It’s something I always wanted.”

Marques Bolden likes the way UK develops players, reports Jim Halley of USA Today. “I see myself fitting in perfectly with both teams. I try not to look at the other guys coming in. There’s going to be competition everywhere. You’re not going to be the only guy there. I know I’m going to get better wherever I go, but the way Kentucky develops their guys is unbelievable and then the way Duke guys come out and are so successful. They’re both positives.”

Terrance Ferguson commits to Arizona, reports Jeff Borzello of ESPN. “Ferguson, who decommitted from Alabama on March 1, chose the Wildcats over Kansas, Baylor, N.C. State and North Carolina. Since reopening his recruitment, Ferguson had taken only one official visit, to Arizona. He also went to a Baylor vs. Kansas game in Waco, and sources told ESPN he met with N.C. State this past weekend.”

Kentucky baseball’s rally falls short against Louisville, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. “In a matchup of two top-10 teams, the Cardinals looked like the clear winners after four and a half innings. They did indeed pull out the victory, but UK made things interesting down the stretch. Louisville’s early seven-run lead held up for a 9-6 win over the Wildcats in front of a nearly packed Cliff Hagan Stadium.”

Brad Calipari wants to prove he belongs, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. ““A lot of people think a lot of things are handed to me because my dad is who he is,” he said Wednesday. “But he doesn’t treat me like that at all. He makes me earn everything. All the things he’s given me, I’ve had to earn from him.”

Zach Lowe throws some love at Patrick Patterson, reports the lead to my notes column. “Some of his stats are at their lowest as far as counting stats ever, but every good Toronto lineup has Patrick Patterson in it because of the way he stretches the floor, moves the ball on offense and can switch to a lot of positions on defense. I think he’s a really interesting candidate.”

Peyton Manning will speak at Kentuckiana Sports Award Banquet, reports Chris White of the Courier-Journal. “The red-carpet Kentuckiana Sports Awards Banquet is set for June 14 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, where The Courier-Journal will honor the best athletes in Metro Louisville and Southern Indiana and name high school athletes of the year, coaches of the year and recognize other special athletes.”

UK softball beats EKU 2-1, reports UKAA. “Freshman Abbey Cheek’s two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth was enough to power the No. 12 Kentucky softball team past Eastern Kentucky, 2-1 on Staff Appreciation Night at John Cropp Stadium on Wednesday night. Cheek stepped to the plate with one out and a runner on first, trailing the Colonels by a run in the bottom of the sixth inning and deposited her sixth bomb of the season over the wall in right center to score two and put the Wildcats ahead for the rest of the game.”

Upcoming UK baseball

Friday, April 15 - @Vanderbilt, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 16 - @Vanderbilt, 3 p.m.

Sunday, April 17 - @Vanderbilt, 2:30 p.m.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader