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Sprints Was Drafted in the NBA's 5th Round. There Isn't One? // 06.26.09

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Draftin'. As expected, the SEC didn't hear a lot of league names called in the NBA Draft. The total, in fact, was three. All the players in question went in the second round -- (41) Jodie Meeks of Kentucky to the Milwaukee Bucks, (43) Marcus Thornton of LSU to the New Orleans Hornets (via the Miami Heat) and (45) Nick Calathes of Florida to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Calathes, of course, is already bound for the team from Greece with the absurdly long name.

SEC wins yet another championship. Naysayers: Still not the best conference. LSU fans were understandably giddy Thursday after their national baseball title. And the first without a certain coach.

It's our first title post-Skip, and it demonstrates that LSU can win a title without the greatest college coach ever prowling the dugout.

But Mainieri has not just faced the pressure, he has embraced it. While Smoke seemed to resent the pressure and the all-powerful Eye that is Skip Bertman, Mainieri has thrived.

Mainieri is giving some of the credit to Les Miles, which seems reasonable, since the baseball team did lose at least two games.

At least one LSU fan, though, looks at it with the kind of soberness that one expects not to find from fans of a winning team. Not that one expects soberness of LSU fans in general, but I digress.

Great baseball teams are able to capitalize on mistakes, and we did that last night.  But I am still wondering today, what if Texas had not melted down?  What if the game had continued at "best baseball versus best baseball" for the rest of the game?  Could we have still pulled out the win?

The Mayor would take it.

As for the SEC, this is national title No. 5 on the year. So not the best conference in the country, you know.

That red flashing light you see is Kiffin's RECRUITING at work. It wouldn't be Sprints without at least one Boy Wonder item, this one related to the world-class RECRUITer's inability to RECRUIT a quarterback. To say Tennessee has all its eggs in Jesse Scroggins' basket is something of an understatement; the Vols have the whole family farm crammed in there. So why is Kiffin saying "never" to one thing that could make it so much easier?

"We’ve got to sign great players," he said. "It’s too valuable at this stage right now to waste something just to get somebody. We have too many good things to sell and too many things going on. We don’t need to sign somebody else to get somebody."

Kiffin could eventually face such a dilemma. Standout prospect Jesse Scroggins from Lakewood (Calif.) High School has said he’d love to play with cousin, receiver Jerry Anderson from Houston High School in Germantown (Tenn.)

As of last weekend, Anderson hadn’t received a scholarship offer from UT.

You could try to persuade Mitch Mustain to transfer, I suppose.

It's not 'obstruction of justice' if the NCAA is involved. Renardo Sidney's attorney says the NCAA's postponement of a July 1 interview with his client shows the Association's got nothing.

"It doesn't worry me," he said. "Almost, I kind of view it in the exact opposite way, because if they had evidence of a violation of any type I would believe that they would right now to walk in and start asking questions about it."

There might be a reason for that.

Bob Williams, the NCAA’s managing director of public and media relations, disputed that in an e-mail response to a question from The Clarion-Ledger.

"Mr. Jackson has mischaracterized the facts related to the Renardo Sidney case," Williams wrote. "The NCAA postponed the meeting with Mr. Jackson and Mississippi State officials next week due to Mr. Jackson's failure to provide all requested documents. The request was made on May 7, 2009 with the stipulation that the documents be received in ample time to review prior to any meeting. As of today, the requested documents have not been received."

It does sometimes prove difficult to build a case when evidence is being withheld.

We really have to get that two-game losing streak to Louisiana-Monroe off the books. Alabama says it will appeal the vacated wins portion of its punishment for Textbookgate.

UA officials have opted not to appeal any specific findings of violations or penalties beyond the vacating of past victories. The three-year probationary period through June 2012 and a $43,900 fine to be paid to the NCAA would stand as originally handed down by the Committee on Infractions.

Which is odd, because they could really use that $43,900 to help pay some of Nick Saban's contract extension through the year 2016.

Sources familiar with the negotiations told The News the discussions are in the preliminary stages and centered more on increasing the length of Saban's contract than on giving him a large raise. ...

It is not clear how much of a raise Saban would receive.

The post includes a handy calculator so that you can see how much more than you Saban makes in an hour, day or week.

Meanwhile, Nick Saban is busy making players cry and mommas unhappy.

Comings and goings. Colorado TE Ryan Wallace is transferring to Kentucky, which is going to be in need of tight ends next season after they lose three of this year's players at the position.

Auburn is apparently losing Christian Thompson, Philip Pierre-Louis, Jomarcus Savage and Cameron Henderson. Jerry is concerned.

On one level, it's not that bad, I guess. None of the four were projected starters, none of the four has made any kind of legitimate impact on the field for Auburn, none of the four is a veteran leader or even (Henderson mostly excepted) all that particularly hyped a recruit. ...

But man, that's not to say this isn't a big deal. It's no secret that pretty much everywhere but running back, Auburn is a thin, thin team, and this is four players, all of whom were young and still had more than a chance to become contributors or maybe even something better. It's a blow, and a big one.

This would be worse if Auburn had a bad year last sea -- oh, never mind.

SEC players in the pros -- real and Canadian. South Carolina's Jamon Meredith is signed by the Green Bay Packers, with a contract rumored to be about $1.75 million, four years. Meanwhile, the Montreal Alouettes bid adieu to Chris Nickson.

Meyer: Chris Leak proves offenses don't matter. That's actually not a far cry from what he actually said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel.

Offenses are overrated. People are not. The NFL will take a quarterback and put him on a very bad team and call him a bust. Never mind that the defense ranks last in the league and there's no offensive line. Chris Leak [in 2005] had about as bad a three-game [stretch] as we've had at Florida that I've ever had as a coach and it just so happened that Bubba Caldwell broke his leg, Jermaine Cornelius sprained his ankle, Chad Jackson had a bad hamstring and Dallas Baker broke his ribs. And so Chris Leak struggled the next three games when we're playing LSU, Georgia.

It's actually one of the more in-depth and fascinating interviews with Meyer I've seen in a long time. Worth a read. (HT: Blutarsky)

Previews and history. CFN has an interesting preview of South Carolina that both lays out one of the best cases that this year won't be a disaster for the Gamecocks and asks a very good question the school has to confront if it is.

So now the program has some strange and tough questions it'll have to answer if this isn't the big turnaround year the patient Gamecock fans have been waiting so long for. How much more time does South Carolina give Spurrier if he's not getting the job done, and more to the point, how does the program fire Steve Spurrier if it's time to move on? He's Steve Spurrier. ... USC hasn't been bad under Spurrier; it just hasn't been great.

No, this isn't going an SEC East title season, but it could be the type of year that shows that there might be some life in Spurrier and the program going forward. At the very least, South Carolina football will be more interesting than last year, and it'll likely be far more relevant.

"Far more relevant" isn't exactly a high bar there, fellas.

Meanwhile, Track Em Tigers takes a look at the 2009 Arkansas game. Bottom line: A one-point heartbreaker for the Tigers. Or Eagles. Or whatever they are.

Finally, in the just plain interesting category, Rocky Top Talk has a Pittsburgh Steelers scout's notes on the 1963 Vols.