Welcome to the Hilton Sandestin! If you’re reading this, you’ve checked into the hotel and →
By Drew Franklin on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 8:45pm
Welcome to the Hilton Sandestin!
If you’re reading this, you’ve checked into the hotel and made your way to your room to begin a four-day stay at our beautiful Northwest Florida resort. I hope you like the gift basket we left bedside… Golden Flakes, YUM!
Once again, we here at the Hilton Sandestin have the privilege of hosting you and the SEC Spring Meetings, and we’re thrilled to have you back! Last year was such an amazing event (aside from Frank Martin powerbombing a staff member through a glass table for dropping his luggage) and we expect another great week in 2015!
As always, we’re here to make your stay as pleasurable as possible, so don’t be afraid to ask for anything. If we don’t have it, we’ll get it; and if we can’t get it, one of Nick Saban’s booster friends can! (Kidding, Nick!)
Below you will find the official itinerary provided by the SEC for the week’s events. We’ll be seeing you around!
7:00 – 9:00 am: Complimentary Breakfast in the Sandcastles Restaurant
Located off the resort lobby, Sandcastles is the one restaurant at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa that will offer a full breakfast, free of charge. The menu will vary by day, ranging from fresh and cooked-to-order a la carte options to a wide spread on our breakfast buffet.
9:30 am: The New ‘Cost of Attendance’ Legislation And Its Impact On The League, Emerald Ballroom
The hottest topic at this year’s SEC Springs Meetings is the new ‘Cost of Attendance’ legislation passed by the Power 5 conferences back in January. Many of you have raised concerns with the discrepancies in COA payments and the implications it will have on recruiting balance, so we will address the method of calculation and its impact in our first symposium of the week.
11:00 am: Making The Case For Satellite Camps w/ Mark Richt, Coral Ballroom
Georgia head coach Mark Richt will make the case for change in the SEC’s hard stand against satellite football camps. Richt and many other league coaches have been very vocal about removing the ban against satellite camps, and this year we will open the discussion for change in the ruling.
12:00 pm: Lunch, Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood
Destin’s only – and Northwest Florida’s first – AAA Four-Diamond restaurant. Seagar’s presents fresh seafood dishes and steaks rated USDA Prime Black Diamond (the highest designation the U.S. government gives) in an elegant, romantic and intimate setting.
Or order it from your room!
1:00 pm: Kevin Stallings Complains About Things, Sandpiper Room
For the fifth consecutive year, Kevin Stallings will lead the Kevin Stallings Complains About Things workshop on the first afternoon at the SEC Spring Meetings. All coaches and league personnel are encouraged to attend the entire two-hour discussion, where Kevin Stallings complains about things from around the league.
As in years past, we ask everyone to remain silent while Kevin Stallings complains about things.
Also important to note: this year’s Kevin Stallings Complains About Things was moved to the Sandpiper Room after Stallings’ complaints about the aesthetics and inadequate podium lighting in the Pelican Room.
3:00 pm: Rookie Initiation, Basement
A mandatory event for Jim McElwain and Mike White (Florida), Ben Howland (Mississippi State), Rick Barnes (Tennessee) and Avery Johnson (Alabama), this year’s Rookie Initiation is going to be a blast!
As per usual, only returning SEC head coaches are permitted to lead the initiations, with the exception of Frank Martin, who we’ve repeatedly warned about waterboarding at official SEC events.
Also, hotel staff has prohibited the use of cattle prods and open flames this year after the Donnie Tyndall incident of 2014.
6:00 pm: Andy Kennedy’s SEC Spring Meetings Welcoming Party, Hooters Emerald Coast Pkwy
Andy Kennedy will be at Hooters on the first night of the SEC Spring Meetings for a 10th consecutive year. He’s asked that someone please join him this time. If he’s the only one who shows up, it will be the final Andy Kennedy’s SEC Spring Meetings Welcoming Party.
Transportation will be provided. (American drivers only.)
6:00 – 7:30 am: Weight Training w/ Steve Spurrier, Fitness Center
The Ol’ Ball Coach is back for an 11th year with his Wednesday morning voluntary workout session at the SEC Spring Meetings. This year Spurrier will conduct a light-weight muscle-builder workout in the fitness center, followed by a brief photo opportunity and Bloody Marys.
Bandanas provided. Shirts prohibited.
7:00 – 9:00 am: Complimentary Breakfast in the Sandcastles Restaurant
9:30 – 11:30 am: Sand-tasting with Les Miles.
For those of you who aren’t too full after breakfast, Les Miles will host his annual sand-tasting event on the beach just outside the Hilton Sandestin. Miles, known for eating grass before LSU football games, will also defend his trophy in the sand-eating contest. He ate a record 16 lbs. of sand in just under five minutes in 2007.
12:00 pm: NCAA-sanctioned cookout with Bruce Pearl
Auburn’s head coach will host an outdoor barbecue at Barefoot’s Beachside Bar & Grill, overlooking the resort’s stunning beach and two outdoor pools.
Pearl will be serving his infamous Infraction Burgers and Aaron Craft Mac and Cheese.
1:00 – 5:00 pm: How To Beat John Calipari and Kentucky, Coral Ballroom
If anyone has any idea how to beat John Calipari and Kentucky, please be in the Coral Ballroom at 1:00 pm. All league basketball coaches will be in attendance to, hopefully, develop a game plan that could potentially take down the Cats. Our hope is that, together, we can come up with something. Anything.
John Calipari will not attend. He will fly to Drake’s “Jungle Tour” concert in Auburn Hills for the night.
6:00 pm: A Farewell Toast to Commissioner Mike Slive, Sandcastles Lounge
Join us for a cocktail party in honor of Mike Slive, who will step down in July after 13 years of service as league commissioner. As the seventh commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, Slive has overseen perhaps the greatest era of success since the league was founded in 1933.
6:30 – 7:00 am: Steve Spurrier’s 30-Minute Abs, Fitness Center
You came to the SEC Spring Meetings to talk conference improvement, but thanks to Steve Spurrier, you can leave with rock hard abs. Spurrier will teach his patented 30-Minute Abs class prior to breakfast Thursday morning.
Wash down that core work at the leftover Bloody Mary bar.
7:00 – 9:00 am: Complimentary Breakfast in the Sandcastles Restaurant
9:30 – 10:30 am: Ben Howland’s “How To Convince A Five-Star Recruit To Live In Starkville,” Emerald Ballroom
Mississippi State’s Ben Howland will give a financial lecture on how to sign an elite recruit in one of the worst college towns in America. Howland will not only teach his ways, he will explain how to convince people to believe it’s “because his dad played there.”
This event is sponsored by Adidas.
10:30 am – 12:00 pm: John Calipari Autograph Signing, Barefoot’s Deck
Calipari, back from Wednesday night’s Drake concert, will sign autographs for all SEC Spring Meeting attendees. Each attendee is allowed one signed 8×10 photo, provided in your registration packets. Due to time constraints, Calipari will not be able to sign any additional items, as he has to fly to Chicago for the Drake concert at the United Center. He will return Friday morning.
12:00 pm: Lunch, Hadashi Sushi
Hadashi Sushi Bar at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa allows our guests to sample authentic Japanese sushi in a warm and inviting setting, often with live piano music playing in the background.
1:00 – 3:00 pm: The Billy Donovan Memorial Beach Olympics
Competitive events include:
– Pool Volleyball
– Crab-Crawl Relay
– Gators’ Failed Drug Test/Pee Sample Toss
3:00 – 7:00 pm: Live taping of The Paul Finebaum Show
Only Nick Saban and Gus Mahlzan required to attend.
Optional for everyone else.
4:00 – 5:00 pm: Outkicking Your Coverage with Bret and Jen Bielema, Serenity Spa
Bret Bielema is back again to explain how to parlay your power as an SEC head coach into landing a smoking hot wife.
SERIOUSLY, MAN! TEACH US!!!
6:00 pm: A Farewell Toast to LSU head coach Johnny Jones, Sandcastles Lounge
Join us for a cocktail party in honor of Johnny Jones, who will undoubtedly be fired at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season when his team is eliminated in the first round of the NIT. With a talented roster that includes Ben Simmons, the best player in college basketball, Jones will underachieve once again in his final season in Baton Rouge, and the league.
So join us in his final SEC Spring Meetings! Turn up!
6:30 am: Steve Spurrier’s Full-Body Exercise-Ball Workout, Fitness Center
Steve Spurrier will be in the Fitness Center one last time for attendees interested in a workout before heading home.
Or what’s left of the Bloody Mary bar.
7:00 – 9:00 am: Complimentary Breakfast in the Sandcastles Restaurant
9:30 am: Final Send-Off, Grand Ballroom
We will gather in the Hilton Sandestin’s Grand Ballroom for our final meeting at the 2015 SEC Spring Meetings. Commissioner Slive will review the progress throughout the week and the mission ahead as everyone returns to their respective schools around the south to prepare for the 2015-16 academic year.
Enjoy your stay and GO SEC!!!
By Drew Franklin on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 8:00pm
The NCAA rules committee hopes to reduce physicality in college basketball next season by encouraging officials to call more fouls, but at least one person, John Calipari, wonders if the officials will follow through in the moment.
When speaking at the SEC Spring Meetings today, Calipari said, “Here’s what the question will be: How long will they keep calling the fouls?”
“Two years ago, we started this and then no one had the stomach for it. The teams that advanced in the NCAA Tournament that year fouled on every possession. So then we all — me included — went back to football practice. ‘That’s it. Put helmets on. Let’s go. That stuff was a bunch of BS.’ And by the end of the year, that’s how we played and basically made it to the Final Four playing football.”
Get ‘em, Cal!!!
(But really, Julius Randle got gang-tackled every time he touched the ball.)
By Drew Franklin on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 7:00pm
Darrell Bird from The Cats Pause is in Sandestin for the SEC Spring Meetings this week and he has quite the quote from John Calipari regarding the likelihood Cal leaves UK for the NBA.
“It took me 20 years to get the job,” Calipari said. “For me to leave something like this, you’re going to have to uproot me. That’s how I feel.”
The opportunity to help young kids achieve their dreams remains Calipari’s No. 1 reason for staying put in Lexington. When he spoke to Cleveland last year about taking over the Cavs, he wanted to how he could keep making a difference, because winning a title or making the Cavs money “doesn’t move his boat.”
Read a lot more here, including quotes on Cal’s future from Mitch Barnhart.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 6:45pm
Usually Kentucky has Tennessee beat when it comes to bizarre news stories, but this one made me turn around and actually listen to the Channel 5 news this evening.
Police in Franklin, Tennessee charged 28-year-old Anna Thomas with a DUI after she crashed her SUV into a mailbox. Sounds like your run of the mill DUI story right? Until you find out that Thomas had 13 empty cans of whipped cream scattered across her vehicle. Putting two and two together, police allege Thomas, who was disoriented at the scene, was high off the gasses she inhaled from the cans. She was hospitalized after the wreck and has been charged with DUI and failure to report a crash.
Here’s her SUV and the broken brick mailbox:
And all 13 empty cans of whipped cream:
At least she spiced it up with some M&Ms and chocolate milk?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 6:00pm
The latest mock drafts have Willie Cauley-Stein going anywhere from 5th to 13th, but in his Draft Chat this afternoon, ESPN’s Chad Ford says the New York Knicks may be targeting Willie with the fourth pick:
And two different sources today told me the Knicks are also looking strongly at Willie Cauley-Stein. They want a strong defender in New York which explains the Winslow and Cauley-Stein interest. Of course, I also think there’s a good chance they just trade this pick if the right veteran comes around. But for me, I think they really should keep it. Lots of talent with long-term potential where they are drafting.
A character like Willie in NYC? That makes way too much sense.
Meanwhile, Ford says there is still no resolution on whether the Minnesota Timberwolves will take Jahlil Okafor or Karl Towns with the first pick; in fact, he says D’Angelo Russell may now be in the mix. Ugh.
To read more of Ford’s scoop, head on over to the Worldwide Leader.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 5:00pm
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a future Louisville player is going to trial for criminal charges. This time around, it’s defensive end signee Devonte Fields, who will go to trial for misdemeanor assault in June. Fields, a former TCU player who was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, was charged with assault last July after he allegedly hit his ex-girlfriend.
TCU dismissed fields after his arrest and he spent a year at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas before signing with Louisville. He took anger management classes in hopes the charge would be dismissed, but will now go to trial on June 17. The Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 4:31pm
Earlier today, I shared Draft Express’ scouting report on Andrew Harrison and now, Jeff Goodman is reporting that Andrew will work out for the Indiana Pacers tomorrow, along with Terry Rozier, Dez Wells, Terran Petteway, JP Tokoto, and Rashad Vaughn.
The Pacers have the 11th and 43rd picks in the draft. Andrew is projected to go anywhere from 30th to undrafted in the latest mocks.
Make us proud, Andrew.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Do you love John Calipari, basketball, and Las Vegas? How could you not? Well, get out your checkbooks because from August 12-14, Calipari will coach in the third annual USA Basketball Fantasy Camp.
PJ Carlesimo will serve as the camp director, while Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery will be camp commissioners. Other coaches joining Cal this year include Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Lon Kruger (Oklahoma), Danny Manning (Wake Forest), Matt Painter (Purdue), Jay Wright (Villanova) and former Georgia Tech and Charleston coach Bobby Cremins.
According to the release, campers get to stay at the Wynn and will have access to USA National Team practices during its training camp. Participants must be at least 35 years or older. For more information, visit www.USABFantasyCamp.com.
Finally, a reason to look forward to turning 35.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 3:00pm
Last night, LeBron James and the Cavs advanced to the NBA Finals, giving Cleveland a chance to end its 51-year championship drought. The news was obviously huge for Cavs fans, but there were plenty of sighs of relief across the Bluegrass as well. After putting the Cavs in the finals in his first season, David Blatt appears to be in Cleveland to stay, meaning LeBron and the front office won’t be coming after John Calipari again for the foreseeable future.
On today’s show, Matt and Ryan discussed Cal’s NBA prospects, and Matt said he believes that Cleveland sticking with Blatt makes Calipari retiring at Kentucky more and more likely. Matt argued that as the years go by and Cal gets older–he’s 56 right now–his NBA appeal will decline because teams will go after younger coaches.
Meanwhile, in an interview with SNY.tv, Cal’s former assistant Slice Rohrssen said he thinks Cal will always be courted by NBA teams:
“My feelings are that he will always be in demand for an NBA job because he’s a players’ coach and he’s coached as many NBA players as there are out there now except he got them before they hit the NBA,” Rohrssen told SNY.tv.
Slice also said he thinks coaching at the next level will always appeal to Cal:
“He lives for challenges,” he said. “He creates his own and he sets his bar high. There’s a confidence in him that allows him to strive for the goals and the bar that he sets.”
My opinion falls somewhere in between. I think Cal is totally engrossed in his mission to change families’ lives in his position as Kentucky’s coach; however, if the right team with the right players and the right amount of control came calling at the right time, I think he would consider it. Cal being Cal, he couldn’t help himself.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 2:21pm
Last week, Kentucky and Duke were recognized by the NCAA for finishing among the top 10 percent of men’s basketball teams in the academic progress ratings (APR). This afternoon, the scores were released and UK’s four-year composite is 995, only five points shy of perfect. (The four-year composite covers the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.) In fact, the men’s basketball team was one of 14 UK sports teams to get a perfect score for the 2013-2014 season.
Meanwhile, UK football’s four-year composite is 945, well above the NCAA cut of 930. All 22 of UK’s sports teams surpassed the NCAA cut score, 18 of the 22 squads exceeded the national average, and 19 of the 22 Wildcat teams improved or maintained their scores from a year ago. In 2013-2014, the football team had an APR of 980, a big improvement over previous years.
Scoring a near perfect APR and putting 14 players in the NBA over four years? What do you think, Bobby?
By C.M. Tomlin on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 1:47pm
Remember last week when you were drunk and you were going on and on about how awesome Point Break was and how someone should remake it, only make it not about surfing and more about wing suits and base jumping, and how it shouldn’t be about bank robberies but more about international jewel and money heists, and also it should look a lot like a Fast & Furious movie?
Then you were all “I bet they could even find an Australian actor with the same dead eyes and monotonous delivery as Keanu Reeves.”
And I was like “They should make Body an Australian guy too. With a thicker beard.”
Looks like our prayers have been answered. What do you think of this, gang? Does it have legs?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 1:30pm
Andrew Harrison’s stock has seen a slight bump in recent weeks after strong performances in the NBA Draft Combine and workouts in Santa Barbara. Harrison has gone on record saying he believes he’s the best point guard in the draft, and while Draft Express doesn’t go that far in their new scouting report, Josh Riddell and Mike Schmitz have plenty of praise for Andrew:
Harrison has great size for a point guard, measured at 6’4 ½ without shoes, with a 6’9 wingspan at the NBA Combine. He combines that with a strong frame, with overall measurements more like that of your typical NBA shooting guard than a point guard, which will benefit his cause greatly during the draft process. However, his athleticism doesn’t leap off the page, as he lacks great quickness or explosiveness, which really hampered his transition from the high school to the college game, particularly inside the paint. With that said, his superior size and strength allows him to get to different spots on the floor when combined with his strong ball-handling skills and ability to operate at different speeds, helping him draw fouls a great rate (6.5 free throw attempts per-40 minutes, ranked #2 among DX-100 PGs).
As we learned this past season, that size also helps on defense, an area in which Andrew really improved over his sophomore season; however, one criticism Draft Express has of Andrew is his lack of offense, which Riddell and Schmitz say is the biggest question mark surrounding him right now. More often than not, Andrew was able to cover up his offensive struggles by drawing fouls. To continue to get his stock moving in the right direction, he’ll need to show off more offense in his workouts over the next month.
Draft Express has Andrew going 32nd to the Houston Rockets in their latest mock, and even if he doesn’t make big strides with his offensive game, Riddell and Schmitz say there’s a place for him on the next level:
Harrison’s size, playmaking ability and defensive prowess gives him a tailor-made role in the NBA even without being a prolific scorer, as long as he’s willing to accept his role and buy into being someone who is willing to do the little things. Improving his leadership skills and body language on and off the court will go a long way in that.
Check out Schmitz’s video breakdown of Andrew’s strengths:
Read more and watch a video about his weaknesses at the link below:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 1:00pm
You haven’t seen women go crazy until you’ve walked into a Victoria’s Secret during the Semi-Annual Sale. I’m still scarred from the experience a few years back. Ladies love their intimates, so much so that a ring of thieves in the Bluegrass is targeting the Victoria’s Secret stores in the Lexington, Louisville, and Southern Indiana area.
According to Bluegrass Crime Stoppers, a group of two to four females have robbed several stores over the past two months, bringing in large bags and clearing out thousands of dollars of merchandise in under a minute. The speed with which they pull off the heists is kind of ridiculous. Watch them in action:
Do you recognize the panty thieves? Click here to help solve the crime.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
Charles Matthews is sometimes the forgotten 2015 recruit, but it’s time to get reacquainted with the four-star shooting guard. Most pundits agree that Kentucky needs to add Jamal Murray to be a national title contender next season, and while landing Murray would certainly be a coup, Matthews may surprise us all at the three spot.
Matthews’ latest mixtape hit the web yesterday and it’s definitely worth two minutes and forty-one seconds of your day:
Don’t forget that Ulis and Matthews used to be teammates on the Meanstreets AAU team back in the day. As we’ve learned with Antoine Walker, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis and Ulis, players from a Chicago have a way of exceeding expectations…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 27th, 2015 @ 11:15am
Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith are settling into their new homes in Pittsburgh and Baltimore, but now, they’ll always have a spot in the Nutter Training Center. Check out the new additions to the Nutter Training Facility “Cats in the NFL” wall, courtesy of graduate assistant Max Drisko.
Something tells me we’re going to need a bigger wall here in a few years.