ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla likes Murray’s NBA ceiling

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray (Vicky Graff Photo)

Q. Celtics have a potential obviously to land one of the top two picks, which I guess the first two picks are pretty obvious. But if they land three, that kind of puts them in a predicament of, do you take a guy like Bender, or maybe Buddy Hield, who is maybe most NBA-ready. That third player outside of the top two, what kind of prospects — who is on that list, do you think, which might be the third guy that we like and what do you think of Buddy Hield and his NBA potential?


Jake Buerger gave me a memory to cherish

Mark and Michelle Buerger are both friends but their son, Jake, showed us all how to handle disappointment Friday.

Mark and Michelle Buerger are both friends but their son, Jake, showed us all how to handle disappointment Friday.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Every Sunday  morning I get to share time with host Mark Buerger on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports Talk.

Sure, he can be cranky. Sure, he can get irritated with callers. Last week he even hit an all-time high — I think that is the right evaluation — when he got into an argument with himself.

But there is a sweeter, softer side to Buerger that listeners might not know but a his friends do.

Ole Miss completes sweep of Kentucky

OXFORD, Miss. – Tristan Pompey and JaVon Shelby each hit home runs, but the Kentucky baseball team lost at No. 6 Ole Miss, 7-5 on Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field.

With Kentucky leading 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Rebel catcher Henri Lartigue hit a three-run homer off of Kentucky closer Sean Hjelle (4-1) to provide the winning runs. Will Stokes (1-0) got the win in relief for Ole Miss.

Kentucky (29-23, 13-14 SEC) scored first when Pompey, a freshman outfielder, hit a two-run shot to right field in the second inning to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. The homer was Pompey’s seventh of the season.

Niya Butts officially added to Matthew Mitchell’s staff

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Niya Butts (pronounced NIGH-ya), the former head coach at the University of Arizona, who prior to that stint served on Mickie DeMoss’ and Matthew Mitchell’s coaching staffs at Kentucky, will return to UK as an assistant coach, Mitchell announced Saturday.

“I have thought a lot the last few weeks about chemistry within our coaching staff and one name that I kept coming back to was Niya Butts,” Mitchell said. “I have worked with Niya as an assistant and was fortunate enough to have her on staff in my first year at Kentucky. I have said this before and still have complete confidence that Niya helps balance me out in a way that will positively impact our program. I love the way our staff is starting to take shape and I am excited about our future.”

Are UK-Duke battling more in recruiting now than ever before?

Vicky Graff Photo

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

As the Duke-Kentucky recruiting battle for five-star center Marques Bolden continues to drag on, it made me wonder if the two schools are really recruiting against each other that more often than they were 10 years ago or if the emergence of social media has just made it seem that way.

I asked Evan Daniels, Scout.com national director of recruiting, what he thought.

“Duke and Kentucky certainly seem to be targeting a lot of the players year in and year out. At this point, they both have had quite a bit of success with one and done prospects, but also with winning and I’m sure the players see that,” Daniels said.

“I think it’s safe to say they’ve been recruiting more of the same players in recent years, but also I think social media and the extensive coverage of recruiting and visibility of recruiting information also makes it more obvious.”

Calipari says Barnhart on selection committee “good for everybody”

Cal refBy LARRY VAUGHT

Remember after last year’s NCAA Tournament seedings were made how Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart voiced his displeasure with Kentucky’s seeding and being shipped to Iowa to play.

Now Barnhart has been added to the NCAA selection committee, a move that certainly will give UK coach John Calipari a friendly ear to voice opinions about the tourney.

On being in Mitch Barnhart’s ear now that he’s on the NCAA selection committee …

Matthew Mitchell: What I Have Learned

-1By MATTHEW MITCHELL

Since the last time I spoke publicly on April 27, much has happened in our program. I have to be honest, there have been some very, very difficult moments these past two weeks. Players transferring, recruits decommitting and a complete turnover of our coaching staff was not what I had hoped for nor expected at the end of the 2015-16 season. All of that happening put our remaining players, our remaining staff, the media and our loyal and devoted fans in a state of confusion.

UK intro video wins Ultimate SAVVY Award

CINCINNATI – The Kentucky men’s basketball intro video that was introduced for the Wildcats’ home game vs. Florida on Feb. 6 was picked for the Ultimate SAVVY Award in the basketball category as the best video of the year at the College Sports Video Association’s annual SAVVY Awards on Thursday. The video was produced and edited by the UK Sports Video department.

The annual Ultimate SAVVY Award category includes motivational videos, highlights, intros and recruiting videos. UK Sports Video’s intro that was unveiled at the Florida home game, which can be seen at youtu.be/xFlVTmbZSdk, was tabbed the best of the best. 

Calipari all in with new NBA draft rules

How much has the new NBA draft rule helped players make better decisions about whether to stay in the draft or return to college:

Kentucky coach John Calipari: “Unbelievable. Unbelievable. This whole combine thing – and understand the combine wasn’t for first-round draft picks. The combine was for the second-round picks, borderline first-rounders, or people not getting drafted so when you go to the combine they tell you go back to school.

Former UK star Samari Walker honored for play overseas

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Former University of Kentucky women’s basketball star Samarie Walker has been honored for her strong play overseas this season in Sweden and Lithuania as she has been named the Eurobasket.com All-Swedish Damligan Forward of the Year, it was announced recently.

On top of being named the best forward in the league, Walker was also named to the Eurobasket.com All-Swedish Damligan First Team as a forward. She was one of only five players to earn first-team honors.