Big Blue Links for Thursday:
Mike Krzyzewsky calls North Carolina’s HB2 “embarrassing.” Katherine Peralta of the Charlotte Observer reports, “Days after learning that North Carolina’s controversial LGBT law is leaving a hole in his team’s schedule this season, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski shared his thoughts on House Bill 2 with the media. “
Kentucky gives softball coach Rachel Lawson a new contract and a raise. Herald-Leader reports, “Under the new contract, Lawson receives a raise averaging $84,500 per year. The contract also offers incentive bonuses for winning SEC regular-season and tournament championships, advancing to NCAA Tournament regionals, super regionals and the College World Series, and for achieving team academic goals.”
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NCAA investigating Orlando Antigua’s USF basketball program. H-L reports, “ESPN reporter Jeff Goodman, citing sources, reported that Antigua’s brother, assistant coach Oliver Antigua, is the focus of the investigation and has resigned. Goodman said Oliver Antigua had not been allowed to recruit on the road this month as a result of the investigation. Goodman Former Calipari special assistant Rod Strickland is also a member of Orlando Antigua’s staff. Antigua is 17-48 in two seasons at South Florida after going 8-25 last season.”
Oliver Antigua resigns amid investigation. Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times reports, “The USF men’s basketball program is under NCAA investigation for possible academic fraud issues, a probe that could put third-year coach Orlando Antigua’s tenure in jeopardy, and already has forced the resignation of his younger brother.”
Kentucky soccer will play host to first Fan Day. H-L reports, “The University of Kentucky men’s and women’s soccer teams will host their first-ever Fan Day to celebrate the start of the 2016 season, the school announced Wednesday. Fan Day is scheduled for Aug. 13. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. at the Wendell and Vickie Bell Soccer Complex on Alumni Drive.”
Kentucky basketball’s non-conference schedule is hard to knock. So says the lead on my notes column. Also notes about the Reds, Eastern Kentucky University football, the Bengals and more.
Jackson Davis is working toward a fresh start at EKU. Anthony Crawford of the H-L reports, “For every success story about players entering college basketball and fitting in immediately, there are almost as many situations that aren’t as positive. Whether it’s being recruited over or placed on the back-burner at a school full of upperclassmen, sometimes a fresh start can be the best thing for a player. That is exactly what former Lafayette High School star Jackson Davis hopes to find with his transfer from Butler University to Eastern Kentucky University. “
Western Kentucky dynamic duo ready to shock the world. Rick Bozich of WDRB reports, “This is how many scholarship offers Taylor had at Pleasure Ridge Park High School before he committed to Western Kentucky in 2013: Two – Tennessee-Martin and Colorado State.”
Alabama’s road to repeating is challenging. Duane Rankin of the Montgomery Advertiser writes, “The loss of Bo Davis and Mel Tucker can’t be overlooked, either. Davis lit the fire in d-line and got those guys to buy into rotating in and out for the greater good. Tucker came on board last year and maximized the talent of a secondary that intercepted 17 passes and returned four for touchdowns.”
Fred Ross new leader of MSU offense. Michael Bonner of Clarion-Ledger reports, “Fred Ross returned to the sideline at Razorback Stadium not fully aware of what he just accomplished. Mississippi State’s players greeted the wide receiver after a 55-yard touchdown reception where he reached behind his body and snagged the pass with one hand. He then made two Razorbacks miss and scored.”
Mississippi State will have four quarterback competing for job. “I was really pleased with how Brian [Johnson, Mississippi State’s quarterbacks coach] handled the spring because I met with all four guys individually,” Mullen said Monday during his appearance at the SEC “car wash” media tour at ESPN headquarters. “The first question I asked them: ‘Do you feel you were given a fair opportunity at winning the job this spring?’ All of them said yes, so I think he did a great job of managing the different reps that way, which is not easy to do with four guys.”
Jalen Hurd and Josh Dobbs are trying to break records at Tennesse. Mike Strange of the Knoxville News-Sentinel writes, “Jalen Hurd is on pace to surpass Travis Henry’s career rushing yardage and Arian Foster’s career record for carries. If Hurd, a sophomore, stayed four years there would be no drama as to whether he’d become Tennessee’s career rushing leader. Even assuming he leaves for the NFL after his junior year, he’s in pretty good shape to put his name in the record book.”
Kentucky receivers 50-or-more catches last 10 years
Dicky Lyons, Jr.
Dicky Lyons, Jr.