UK prospects declare for 2012 draft during April vacation

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UK prospects declare for 2012 draft during April vacation

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

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.

SI.com 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.

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

MLB may make rule changes for '18 season

PHOENIX - Major League Baseball intends to push forward with the process that could lead to possible rule changes involving the strike zone, installation of pitch clocks and limits on trips to the pitcher's mound. While baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope the ongoing process would lead to an agreement, he said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Union head Tony Clark said last weekend he did not foresee players agreeing to proposed changes for 2017. Under baseball's collective bargaining agreement, management can alter playing rules only with agreement from the union - unless it gives one year notice. With the one year of notice, management can make changes on its own.

"Unfortunately it now appears that there really won't be any meaningful change for the 2017 season due to a lack of cooperation from the MLBPA," Manfred said Tuesday during a news conference. "I've tried to be clear that our game is fundamentally sound, that it does not need to be fixed as some people have suggested, and I think last season was the kind of demonstration of the potential of our league to captivate the nation and of the game's unique place in American culture."

Yet, he also added: "I believe it's a mistake to stick our head in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed and continues to change."

Manfred said while he prefers an agreement, "I'm also not willing to walk away." He said he will send a letter to the union in the coming days and plans to continue dialogue with Clark and others in hopes of reaching agreement.

Clark met with Cactus League teams last week, five at a time over Thursday, Friday and Saturday, before departing Monday for Florida to visit each Grapefruit League club - and proposed rules changes were a topic.

"I have great respect for the labor relations process, and I have a pretty good track record for getting things done with the MLBPA," Manfred said. "I have to admit, however, that I am disappointed that we could not even get the MLBPA to agree to modest rule changes like limits on trips to the mound that have little effect on the competitive character of the game."

Clark saw talks differently.

"Unless your definition of `cooperation' is blanket approval, I don't agree that we've failed to cooperate with the commissioner's office on these issues," he wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this offseason we've been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened. I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don't continue, notwithstanding today's comments about implementation. As I've said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open."

Clark added "my understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2-minute limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of game warning/fine adjustments."

Manfred said he didn't want to share specifics of his priorities for alterations.

"There's a variety of changes that can be undertaken," Manfred said. "I'm committed to the idea that we have a set of proposals out there and we continue to discuss those proposals in private."

MLB has studied whether to restore the lower edge of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level - at the top of the kneecap. Management would like to install 20-second pitch clocks in an attempt to speed the pace of play - they have been used at Triple-A and Double-A for the past two seasons.

Players also have been against limiting mound meetings. The least controversial change appears to be allowing a team to call for an intentional walk without the pitcher having to throw pitches. In addition, MLB likely can alter some video review rules without the union's agreement- such as shortening the time a manager has to call for a review.

"Most of this stuff that they were talking about I don't think it would have been a major adjustment for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Manfred said starting runners on second base in extra innings sounds unlikely to be implemented in the majors. The change will be experimented with during the World Baseball Classic and perhaps at some short-season Class A leagues. Manfred said it was a special-purpose rule "beneficial in developmental leagues."

Manfred also said Tuesday that a renovated Wrigley Field would be a great choice to host an All-Star Game and Las Vegas could be a "viable market for us."

"I don't think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city," Manfred said.

Bulpett: Ainge 'really protective' of ability to go to free agency this summer

Bulpett: Ainge 'really protective' of ability to go to free agency this summer

Steve Bulpett joins Mike Felger to weigh in on the NBA trade deadline and the lack of moves made by Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics thus far.