—ESPN Analytics’ draft model says Ray Spalding is actually the 24th-best player available in this year’s draft.
—The U of L women’s basketball team will host Kentucky at the KFC Yum Center on Sunday, Dec. 9.
—The New York Times has a really good feature on Brendan McKay, “the next Shohei Ohtani.”
“Even for a guy with the ability he has and the confidence he has, it’s still tough if you were just working on one aspect of the game,” Szekely said. “But both aspects, and also jumping levels — you want to be competitive on both sides of it. You don’t want to be here on one and there on the other.”
McKay, 22, is quiet but well-mannered; he made no demands before the draft last June, he said, because it was not his place to tell a potential employer how to use him. Three teams passed on him, including the Cincinnati Reds, who took the two-way high school star Hunter Greene with the No. 2 pick, but now use him only as a pitcher.
The Rays, though, saw no reason to hold back McKay. Nothing had stopped him yet, they reasoned, so why deny themselves a chance at such a rare talent?
“It’s not common, certainly in the modern era of baseball, but it’s also not common for someone, through his junior year in college, to be evaluated the way he was on both sides of the ball,” said Erik Neander, the Rays’ general manager. “Our feeling was: Why cut it off now, when we had him evaluated as a top talent both ways? Why take that away from him? He’s made it this far; let the game dictate how this plays out.”
—The Sporting News ranks every coach in the FBS, and has Bobby Petrino at No. 26.
—The imaginary dividing line right down the middle of the country is pretty nuts.
This map is fascinating to me. pic.twitter.com/mDwtqTGaZt— Howie Lindsey (@howielindsey) June 11, 2018
—Jeff Goodman is leaving ESPN to join upstart Stadium.
—Jerry Palm has Louisville as a No. 8 seed in his latest Bracketology for CBS.
—This Lamar to the Ravens hype video is pretty fantastic.
—Never Nervous serves up its 10 favorite songs of 2018 at the year’s halfway point.
—The 2026 World Cup is coming to the United States (and friends).
—TNIAAM plays “ACC programs as World Cup teams.”
Both teams are fundamentally solid, if often overrated locally and underrated nationally, but carry plenty of baggage. Louisville’s got bagman scandals and municipal scams, while Mexico can’t hold onto a coach, make it past the quarterfinals of ANY tournament, and both have their issues with supposed mobs.
—People always say “what if America’s best athletes played soccer?” Ok, but what if our worst athletes played soccer?
—My new updated early college hoops top 25 for SB Nation can be checked out here. Kansas is still No. 1, but the teams immediately behind the Jayhawks have changed.
—This audio is tremendous.
—Seven years after leaving Ohio State, Jim Tressel is still going in on Michigan.
—Eric Crawford writes about the contract extensions for Dan McDonnell and Jeff Walz.
—I’m not afraid to admit it; I spent a significant chunk of my Tuesday night following the trials and tribulations of a raccoon that somehow wound up scaling a tall building in St. Paul, Minnesota. I’m sure anyone else who got sucked in can relate.
Thankfully, the “MPR Raccoon” is safe.
—Purdue is adding a train horn to its stadium. Sure. Take it all, guys.
—There is some panic amongst those who run the Pac-12, as the conference has fallen far behind its rivals financially.
—Man, guy just can’t catch a break.
You put ‘em on the tee, I swing away.
—Jeff Greer catches up with Anas Mahmoud in the latest installment of the Cards HQ Podcast.
—While Lamar Jackson has primarily been playing quarterback so far for the Ravens, John Harbaugh is already using him at different positions.
“Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us,” coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson. “If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”
This has been an unexpected wrinkle because of the previous stances by the Ravens and Jackson.
After Baltimore selected Jackson with the No. 32 overall pick in this year’s draft, Ravens officials insisted they viewed the Heisman Trophy winner as a quarterback. Leading up to the draft, Jackson shot down notions of any potential position switch, saying he is a quarterback.
Harbaugh expects Jackson to be active on game days because of his ability to help the offense immediately in these special packages.
”There’s a lot of considerations that go into that,” Harbaugh said of using two quarterbacks at the same time. “Everybody has an opinion. I’ve read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys.”
—Jackson’s new teammates in Baltimore have already been blown away by his running ability.
—Chris Mack is still looking to add a few pieces to his roster before the 2018-19 season starts.
—Congrats to Sam.
Though the season didn’t go as what I had planned with injury popping up. I want to thank the @Marlins for the opportunity to pursue my dream. Surgery went swiftly and successfully today and I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. Minor setback for a major comeback. pic.twitter.com/ZDldq5vEyJ— Sam Bordner⚾ (@BigSammyB_13) June 12, 2018
—Montrezl Harrell, who will be a free agent this summer, was just the second player in NBA history to average more than 10 points in fewer than 18 minutes a game. Someone pay the man.
—Churchill Downs has announced that Triple Crown winner Justify will be paraded at “Downs After Dark” this Saturday. The first 5,000 fans through the gates will receive a commemorative Justify print.
You won’t want to miss a special We Need To Talk tomorrow at 7:00PM, ET. @TheRealLailaAli travels to Muhammad Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where she reads a letter she wrote to her father commemorating his life two years after his passing. pic.twitter.com/fwu0WBOMt6— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) June 11, 2018
—Congrats to U of L women’s golf standout Lauren Hartlage for being named an honorable mention All-American.
—Manual High running back Aidan Robbins will announce his college decision this afternoon at 1:45. Louisville is a finalist.
—The King can still light it up.
—Talked NBA Draft, LeBron’s new HBO series on the NCAA, and some early 2018-19 college basketball on the Hersh on Hoops podcast. You can listen here.
—Bill Self says coaching Team USA is both a recruiting advantage and disadvantage for Kansas, which doesn’t make any sense, but it’s Bill Self so basketball writers are cool with it.
—Hansbrough graduated like 10 years ago, guys. Get over it.
What does God look like? Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that Americans generally think God looks like a young, Caucasian man. https://t.co/TjrxeMrtGm pic.twitter.com/K40kMVD4MC— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 12, 2018
—Brian Bowen has now pulled his name out of the NBA Draft.
—According to multiple reports, Quentin Snider is scheduled to work out for the Indiana Pacers today.
—Louisville football hosted some impressive local and national talent at its camp earlier this week, a group headlined by three high caliber 2020 QB prospects.
—Love you, Bilal.
—ESPN has announced its high school football schedule for the upcoming season, and the first game on ESPNU on Aug. 24 is Warren Central at Trinity (6 p.m.). The Shamrocks won 42-41 last season.
—The NCAA’s investigation of Baylor is nearing its end, and nobody expects the hammer to drop on the Bears. Of course not.
—And finally, a busy week on R&R continues this afternoon from 3-6 on 790-KRD. Listen here.