UK prospects declare for 2012 draft during April vacation


UK prospects declare for 2012 draft during April vacation

By Mary Paoletti

LEXINGTON, KY -- Kentucky prospects Marquis Teague, Mike Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer are heading to the NBA. All are five-star prospects and three rank in the top 10 in the country. The school announced Wednesday all four high schoolers -- future Wildcats -- have declared for the 2012 draft.

"The time to declare just seemed right," said Teague. "I don't have much homework right now because of April vacation."

The news came just hours after freshmen Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and junior DeAndre Liggins threw their names into this year's draft. None have signed agents, so they can return to school next fall if they change their mind by May 8.

That will never happen; this is Kentucky. projects Jones and Knight as mid-to-high first-round picks. Liggins, a defensive specialist, could go in the first round.

The trio helped the Wildcats to their first Final Four appearance in 13 years this spring. It was an effort that some fans are calling "a tease."

"All season long coach has been tutoring me on the fine points of being a point guard," Knight said, "in the NBA."

Calipari encouraged all three players to test their prospects but added he would "would love the opportunity to continue to coach them again next season."

Nobody who has ever had contact with or has read anything about Calipari believes that.

Freshman guard Doron Lamb will come back next fall. Lamb commented that he hopes the incoming freshman class next season will help ease his loneliness. As for the fact that the four recruits have already declared for the 2012 draft: "I just try not to think about it," the less talented Lamb said before running out of the room.

The guard's return is a bright spot for he program. His status marks an increase in returning players after only one year. John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton all left for the pros last year after just one season on campus. So, yeah, one guy back is better than zero.

Hall of Fame coach Bobby Knight criticized Kentucky for promoting the "one-and-done" culture over the weekend. He released an apology via ESPN on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he described himself as "totally bullshit."

From a new statement: "This 'one-and-dones' stuff is out of control. I made it personal to Kentucky and its players the other day for a reason and everybody jumped on my ass. Well, look who's right after all. If you think I'm apologizing again, you're out of your goddamn mind. Somebody find me a chair. Or Neil Reed."

Top 10 prospect Anthony Davis exploded onto the national scene during the spring of his junior year. The 6'10", 22 lb power forward garnered immediate interest from Ohio State and Syracuse, but both teams randomly fell off the map after July's evaluation period.

Calipari and his assistants were seen dressed in all black at practically every game Davis played during the summer. They carried large sacks of money, as well as swords and crossbows.

The unlawful and painful recruiting effort paid off in August when Davis committed to Kentucky. Early reports suggested that Davis "felt really bad" about the bloodshed and "didn't want anyone else to get hurt" on his behalf.

Insinuations and rumors of recruiting violations were reported by the Chicago press, but nothing was proven. In a completely coincidental event, writer Michael O'Brien's body was recently found in The Chicago River.

Brady not concerned with Bills attempts at bullying this time around


Brady not concerned with Bills attempts at bullying this time around

FOXBORO -- The last time the Patriots and Bills met, things were feisty from the jump.

Patriots rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett was shoved by Bills defensive back Robert Blanton as Brissett jogged by Buffalo's warmups. That prompted Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell to stop and get in Blanton's face. From there, Patriots coaches did what they could to break it up, but there was continued shoving back and forth until the two sides could be separated. 

Days later, Blanton -- as well as corner Nickell Robey-Coleman and safety Aaron Williams -- were fined for unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct. 

Would that have occurred had Tom Brady not been suspended? Probably not. Brady was asked about that incident on Wednesday, and whether it spoke to the "bully" mentality that coach Rex Ryan has worked to foster during his tenure in Buffalo. 
"Yeah, I think it’s more so what we do when the game kicks off as opposed to what happens before the game or during the week," Brady replied. "You get into a bunch of trash talk and you know us, we’ve never got into that stuff because in the end, it’s just a big waste of energy.

"You focus on the things you need to do to help the team win, and that’s to play well and execute and spend your time on what’s going to happen from the point when the game kicks off to when it ends. That’s where our focus is, that’s where it always will be. We’ll go in there, we’ll be focused, we’ll be ready to go, and we’ll go out there and try to play a lot better than the last time we played them."

Brady's comments that the Patriots have "never got into" trash talk is a head-scratcher -- he's jawed back and forth with opponents on plenty of occasions during his career -- but his point stands: That stuff probably isn't helping anyone. 

Once the ball is kicked on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Brady will have to contend with a defense that shut out the shorthanded Patriots at Gillette Stadium for the first time in the building's history. He'll also have one of the more raucous crowds in the league buzzing in his earhole.
"They’re just into it," Brady said of Buffalo fans. "I mean, they’re into it from the first quarter all the way to the last; from pregame warmups to the end of the game. I think it challenges your communication, so we practice – and we played, last week was pretty loud. We’ve played in a lot of loud stadiums and Buffalo is definitely one of the tops.

"I think the thing that is most challenging is when they’re making plays and sacking the quarterback and turnovers like they’ve been getting a lot of this year. That’s what really kind of gets them amped up."


Lewis not at Patriots practice; Van Noy works out with linebackers


Lewis not at Patriots practice; Van Noy works out with linebackers

FOXBORO -- Though Dion Lewis is expected to practice this week, he was not on the field with teammates Wednesday.

Lewis was eligible to begin practicing last week but remained sidelined. On Wednesday morning, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported that the Patriots running back would be on the field this week. Once Lewis does begin practicing, the team will have three weeks to determine whether or not he is activated. 

Newly acquired Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy was present for his first practice in New England about 24 hours after being dealt by the Lions. The 6-foot-3, 243-pounder was working out with Patriots off-the-ball linebackers (Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts) to begin the session. 

The Patriots have parted ways with practice-squad offensive lineman Chase Farris, it appears. His spot on the 10-man practice-squad unit has been taken by defensive lineman Anthony Johnson.