- We all know Patric Young is a star, but you might not know that his stardom isn’t just confined to the basketball court. Young recently appeared in a commercial for the Providence School, the private high school he attended in Jacksonville, Florida. But don’t worry about NCAA sanctions for his involvement. The University of Florida compliance office has cleared him to participate under an exception allowing student-athletes to promote educational services as long as any payments for his services are donated to a non-profit agency. Young passed up entering the NBA Draft (and likely an opportunity to endorse products for money… that he can keep AND spend) for another chance to lead in his junior year with the Gators.
- Frank Martin struck again with another big commitment for the class of 2013. Justin McKie, the son of former South Carolina guard BJ McKie, committed to Martin on Monday after a visit to watch the Gamecock football team beat up on Georgia on Saturday. “The visit went real well, just the atmosphere, just watching the football game and seeing those fans so excited about football, I feel like it can be that way for basketball,” McKie said. “I know coach Martin is a winner and is going to come in and get that winning tradition going. I have a lot of pride at South Carolina I want to be part of that.” McKie’s father, BJ, averaged 17.2 points per game over his career with USC, and is the Gamecocks’ leading scorer with 2,119 points.
- McKie was not Martin’s only commitment over the last couple of days. First, 6’9″ forward Desmond Ringer chose Martin’s Gamecocks over a host of other SEC and Big East schools. Then, Sindarius Thornwell, one of the top guards in the country, chose South Carolina over North Carolina State last week. “I feel comfortable with Coach Frank and I believe in him,” Thornwell said. “I feel closer to them than I do to North Carolina State.” If Martin continues to recruit like this, he’ll have South Carolina back in the hunt in the SEC far quicker than expected.
- Kentucky fans are seeking the second coming of last year’s super-human freshman center Anthony Davis, and many expect rookie Nerlens Noel to step into that role immediately. But don’t mention the comparisons to coach John Calipari. “He shouldn’t be compared,” said coach Cal. “They’re totally different. They’re not even the same. Nerlens is going to give us a different type of game. Anthony understood how to compete on possessions. Nerlens is still learning. Like, he’ll take possessions off. Well, you can’t do that. What he is, is a normal freshman.” Didn’t Calipari assure us that his Wildcats were not very good last year? We aren’t falling for your mind games again, John.
- Kentucky has its fair share of celebrity followers, and Calipari knows how to treat a star. Drake snagged a national championship ring after pledging his allegiances to the Cats a couple of years ago. Ashley Judd can be found in Rupp Arena during big home games throughout the year. And she sure doesn’t sit in the nosebleed section. Now rapper Henry Ogirri recorded a song just about the Big Blue’s trek for a ninth championship. Somebody get this guy a gig at Big Blue Madness. A spot on the bench as a celebrity coach? Or at least some front row seats. What does a guy have to do to be the “Y” at halftime around here? Come on.
Brian Joyce is a writer for the SEC microsite and regular contributor for Rush The Court. Follow him on Twitter for more about SEC basketball at bjoyce_hoops.