Monday Night Roundup: Larry Warford is a Lion, Point Guard Battle

04/29/2013 08:25 PM

2014 Point Guard Battle

The summer AAU schedule is off and running. Already, there is potential drama for John Calipari on the recruiting trail.

Jahlil Okafor, a center from Chicago and the number one recruit according to rankings, said he 99 percent likely to go to the same school as Tyus Jones, a point guard out of Minnesota and the number two player in the country.

The package deal would be great for Kentucky, but John Calipari also has his sights set on point guard Emmanuel Mudaiy out of Dallas. Is there enough room at Kentucky for two top-tier point guards? John Wall and Eric Bledsoe shared the court four years ago. It’s all about the shared sacrifice. I’m sure Coach Cal has already told them all about that.

Detroit Lions Draft Larry Warford

Larry Warford is now a Detroit Lion. The former UK offensive lineman was picked up by Detroit with the third pick of the third round, 65th overall. Warford becomes the first offensive lineman drafted from Kentucky since 1993. In a pre-draft interview, Warford said that distinction is an honor.

“I just want to represent my university,” Warford said. “It’s a great place I’ve had so much fun and I have gotten a lot out of it and to represent UK in the draft it means everything to me. This is something that I really have been wanting to do and take a lot of pride in.”

The 1993 NFL draft saw two UK offensive linemen picked, Todd Perry and Chuck Bradley. Warford is a three-time All-SEC team member and was a bright spot during last year’s bad season.

SEC Breaks 30-Year-Old Draft Record

The Southeastern Conference broke a 30-year record over the weekend. NFL teams drafted a total of 63 players from the SEC. The old record was set by the Pac-Ten in 1983 at 55 players.

In this year’s draft, the ACC came in second with 31 players drafted, but even if you divided the SEC into divisions, both the East and West would still have been top three. The East division produced 32 draft picks, and the West had 31.

Alabama and LSU tied for the most draft picks this year, with a nine a piece. Even though Warford was the only Kentucky player drafted, UK did not rank last in the SEC. Ole Miss did not have a single player selected in this year’s draft.

Florida State was the top school this year. Mark Stoops’s former stomping grounds produced 11 draft picks, six of which were from the defensive side.

No Wildcats In Maui

No sandy beaches for the Wildcats on Thanksgiving weekend. John Calipari reportedly turned down an offer to play in the Maui Invitational in 2015.

It’s not a secret that Coach Cal doesn’t like long trips, and the plane ride alone would be 8 hours 47 minutes from Lexington to Maui on a non-stop charter flight for the team. (Fans traveling commercial could expect to spend at least 13 hours in transit with a minimum of one layover. Bring a pillow and snacks, because airport food leaves something to be desired.)

The last time UK played in the Maui Invitational was in 2010, and NCAA rules allow schools to participate every four years. The 2014 invitees were already announced and there was no Kentucky, suggesting Cal already turned down the Maui Invitational once.

The director of the Maui Invitation, Dave Odom, told the Herald-Leader, “I certainly don’t want Kentucky fans to feel anything less than they’re wanted… Wherever Kentucky goes, Kentucky has a presence. We’d like that presence every four years to be in Maui.”

I, for one, am a little sad John Calipari is denying the media a work trip to Maui.

Not A Blue Demon

A couple weeks ago it looked like Rod Strickland may leave UK for his alma mater, but now Kentucky won’t be losing an assistant coach after all. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweeted over the weekend that Rod Strickland will not be going to DePaul as an assistant coach.

Strickland was a star point guard at DePaul from 1985 to 1988. He led the Blue Demons to four straight NCAA appearances, including two Sweet Sixteens. Strickland joined Coach Cal’s staff at Memphis in 2006 as director of student-athlete development and moved to Director of Basketball Operations in 2008.

T. Swift Commits To The Cats

Alright, so Taylor Swift will not be suiting up for Matthew Mitchell next fall, but Mitchell along with his wife Jenna Mitchell, Director of Rupp Arena Management Carl Hall, and Senior Event Manager Cathy Derr gave the country-pop star an honorary, personalized jersey after she performed at Rupp this weekend. Taylor, join Drake as musical celebrity fans of the Wildcats. I will be at her concert in Louisville next Tuesday. Then, we’ll see if she turned her concert “The Red Tour” a little Kentucky blue.

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