THOUGHTS OF THE DAY, JULY 4, 2019
STOKES ENTERS NCAA TRANSFER PORTAL
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Isaiah Stokes (6-8, 270, RSO) entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal Wednesday. Stokes, who averaged only 7.1 minutes per game last season, was likely to see his minutes squeezed even further by the arrival of grad transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. and freshman Omar Payne and the return to health by Gorjok Gak.
A fresh start is probably what Stokes needs most of all. His defensive limitations and his lack of a perimieter game made him a fairly one-dimensional post up player, a liability in a highly competitive league like the SEC. He is not a rim protector and lacks the quickness to go outside the paint to guard anyone. Offensively, opponents clogged the lane rather than guard him closely outside the paint because they didn’t respect his jump shot.
Stokes could be a very good player if he transfers to the right situation. He’s got a good enough inside game that will probably make him a better fit at a mid-major where 6-8 centers and power forwards are commonplace.
Stokes’ departure leaves the Gators with 12 scholarship players, which gives Mike White the option of adding another transfer or signing two freshmen in the fall. If the Gators go the transfer route, expect a hard push to land Cleveland State transfer Tyree Appleby (6-1, 165, JR), who averaged 17.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists last season. White is quite familiar with Tyree since older brother Raheem Appleby averaged double figures all four years he played for White at Louisiana Tech from 2011-15. Raheem scored 1,770 points and averaged 13.9 points per game. In addition to the Gators, Appleby has interest from Tennessee, Arkansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Tulane.
Basketball roster: July 4, 2019
Seniors/graduates (1): Kerry Blackshear Jr. (6-10, 250)
Redshirt juniors (3): Dontay Bassett (6-9, 237); Gorjok Gak (6-11, 254); * Anthony Durujii (6-7, 211)
* Transfer, will sit out 2019-20
Sophomores (3): Andrew Nembhard (6-5, 191); Noah Locke (6-3, 205); Keyontae Johnson (6-5, 225)
Freshmen (6): Scottie Lewis (6-5, 180); Tre Mann (6-4, 180); Omar Payne (6-10, 222); Ques Glover (5-11, 175); Jason Jitoboh (6-11, 300); ** Alex Klatsky (6-3, 193)
** Preferred walk-on
THE LIST FOR THURSDAY
The Mount Rushmore for each SEC team:
ALABAMA: Bear Bryant (player/coach), Nick Saban (coach), Lee Roy Jordan (C/LB), Derrick Thomas (LB)
Between Bear (6) and Saban (5) you have 11 national championships that count and Saban could add another 2-3 before he hangs up his whistle. In the 1961 Orange Bowl game, Lee Roy Jordan had 30 tackles and graded 100% as a blocker. Derrick Thomas had 52 sacks in his collegiate career.
If Alabama had a second Mount Rushmore: Frank Thomas (coach), Mark Ingram (RB), Derrick Henry (RB), John Hannah (OG)
ARKANSAS: Frank Broyles (coach), Ken Hatfield (S/coach), Darren McFadden (RB), Dan Hampton (DT)
Frank Broyles (former UF assistant) had a 144-58-5 record at Arkansas with seven Southwest Conference championships and a 1964 national title issued by the Football Writers Association of America. Hatfield (also a former UF assistant) was an All-American safety who was 55-17-1 as the Arkansas head coach. McFadden was a two-time Heisman runner-up. Hampton dominated the line of scrimmage with an unheard of 98 tackles for a DT as a senior (18 behind the line of scrimmage).
If Arkansas had a second Mount Rushmore: Lance Alworth (RB), Chuck Dicus (WR), Billy Ray Smith Jr. (DE), Jonathan Luigs (C)
AUBURN: Pat Sullivan (QB), Bo Jackson (RB), Cam Newton (QB), Shug Jordan (coach)
Sullivan, Bo and Cam Newton all won Heisman trophies. Shug Jordan compiled a 176-83-6 record with a 1957 national title as Auburn’s football coach, but he was also 136-103 as the basketball coach.
If Auburn had a second Mount Rushmore: Zeke Smith (OG), Tracy Rocker (DT), Terry Beasley (WR), Pat Dye (coach)
FLORIDA: Steve Spurrier (QB/coach), Danny Wuerffel (QB), Tim Tebow (QB), Wilber Marshall (LB)
Spurrier won the 1966 Heisman and came back to coach Florida (122-27-1 record) to six SEC titles and the 1966 national championship. Wuerffel and Tebow both won Heismans while Wilber was the two-time national defensive player of the year.
If Florida had a second Mount Rushmore: Emmitt Smith (RB), Jack Youngblood (DE/PK), Carlos Alvarez (WR), Wes Chandler (WR)
GEORGIA: Herschel Walker (RB), Frank Sinkwich (TB), Charley Trippi (TB), Vince Dooley (coach)
Herschel is widely regarded as the greatest college football player of all time. Sinkwich won a Heisman. Trippi should have won one, too. Dooley won the 1980 national title and six SEC titles while compiling a 201-77-10 record.
If Georgia had a second Mount Rushmore: Bill Stanfill (DE), Jake Scott (S), Champ Bailey (CB), Fran Tarkenton (QB)
KENTUCKY: Bear Bryant (coach), Bob Gain (OT/DT), Babe Parilli (QB), Art Still (DE)
Bear left Kentucky in 1953 but he’s still the all-time winningest coach in school history (60-23-6). Bob Gain was a two-way All-American. Parilli was maybe the best passing QB of his era. Art Still was an absolute beast who could dominate a game defensively.
If Kentucky had a second Mount Rushmore: Warren Bryant (OT), Sonny Collins (RB), Tim Couch (QB), Lou Michaels (OT/PK)
LSU: Billy Cannon (TB/LB), Bert Jones (QB), Tommy Casanova (S), Jerry Stovall (CB/RB/coach)
Cannon won the Heisman and was also the SEC sprint champion (sub-10 100 yards). Jones was the 1972 national player of the year by Sporting News. Casanova was a 3-time All-American and regarded by many the best safety in SEC history. Stovall was the 1962 Heisman runner-up and was 22-21-2 as the LSU coach.
If LSU had a second Mount Rushmore: Paul Dietzel (coach), Patrick Peterson (CB), Charles Alexander (RB), Kevin Faulk (RB)
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Dak Prescott (QB), Dan Mullen (coach), Johnie Cooks (LB), Eric Moulds (WR)
Prescott led MSU to its first #1 national ranking in 2014. Mullen did the unthinkable and led MSU to eight consecutive bowl games. Cooks was a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who made All-American in 1980. Moulds was a great receiver and a brilliant kick returner who led the NCAA in 1994.
If Mississippi State had a second Mount Rushmore: Jackie Sherrill (coach), Fletcher Cox (DT), Allyn McKeen (coach), Wayne Madkin (QB)
MISSOURI: Dan Devine (coach), Kellen Winslow (TE), Johnny Roland (CB/RB), Roger Wehrli (CB)
Devine compiled a 92-38-7 record and won two Big Eight titles. Winslow made All-American in 1978. Roland was a two-way player who was the first African-American captain of a Mizzou team. Wehrli was a brilliant safety who led the country in punt returns in 1968.
If Missouri had a second Mount Rushmore: Paul Christman (QB), Gary Pinkel (coach), Shane Ray (DE), Jeremy Maclin (WR)
OLE MISS: Johnny Vaught (coach), Archie Manning (QB), Jake Gibbs (QB), Bruiser Kinard (DL)
Johnny Vaught went 190-61-12 as the Ole Miss head coach with six SEC titles and a share of the 1960 national title. Archie would have won the Heisman if he had played with any kind of talent. Jake Gibbs led Ole Miss to the 1960 national title and the1959 SEC baseball title. Bruiser Kinard was a two-way All-American.
If Ole Miss had a second Mount Rushmore: Eli Manning (QB), Charley Conerly (QB), Patrick Willis (LB), Barney Poole (E)
SOUTH CAROLINA: George Rogers (RB), Steve Spurrier (coach), Jadaveon Clowney (DE), Sterling Sharpe (WR)
Rogers won the Heisman in 1980. Spurrier is the winningest coach in SC history and had four consecutive seasons with 10 or more wins. Clowney was a 2-time All-American remembered best for his hit on a Michigan running back at the Outback Bowl. Sharpe was a 2-time All-American.
If South Carolina had a second Mount Rushmore: Jim Carlen (coach), Stephon Gilmore (DB), Marcus Lattimore (RB), Conner Shaw (QB)
TENNESSEE: General Bob Neyland (coach), Johnny Majors (TB/coach), Peyton Manning (QB), Reggie White (DT)
General Neyland coached the Vols to a 173-31-12 record with four national titles, two Southern Conference titles and five SEC titles. His 1939 team went the entire 1939 season without giving up a point. Johnny Majors finished second in the Heisman race and won three SEC titles as the Vols coach. Peyton should have won the 1997 Heisman. Reggie White was scary good.
If Tennessee had a second Mount Rushmore: Bobby Dodd (QB), Steve Kiner (LB), Doug Atkins (DE), Tee Martin (QB)
TEXAS A&M: John David Crow (RB), Johnny Manziel (QB), Dat Nguyen (LB), Jack Pardee (FB/LB)
Crow and Manziel both won the Heisman. Nguyen was in on 517 career tackles. Pardee was a two-way All-American.
If Texas A&M had a second Mount Rushmore: Tony Franklin (PK), Dana X. Bible (coach), R.C. Slocum (coach), Charlie Kreuger (OT/DT)
VANDERBILT: Dan McGugin (coach), Earl Bennett (WR), Jamie Duncan (LB), James Franklin (coach), Ralph Webb (RB)
McGugin was 197-55-19 with nine SIAA and two Southern Conference championships. Bennett caught 236 passes in his Vandy career. Franklin went to three straight bowl games and had back-to-back 9-win seasons. Webb is Vandy’s all-time leading rusher.
If Vanderbilt had a second Mount Rushmore: Bill Wade (QB), John J. Tigert (HB), Bob Asher (OT), Jay Cutler (QB)
Friday: Ranking the best quarterbacks in Florida football history.
SOME GOOD QUOTES FOR THURSDAY
From Tom Reed of The Athletic, writing about former NFL tight end Gary Barnidge, who walked away from the game after the two best seasons of his career:
“I don’t need to have football in my life,” Barnidge said. “I’m more than a football player. I’m an actual person who has a lot of interests. Football was my job. I loved game days. But football wasn’t something that I had to play to define who I am. I wasn’t that desperate to get back in the game.”
Jon Tayler of Sports Illustrated on the reaction of Justin Upton to the death of Tyler Skaggs, his Los Angeles Angels teammate:
“There was nobody happier to win a ballgame than Skaggs,” said Justin Upton. “Every time he came off the mound and he’d just got done pitching, he’d stay in the dugout and pump the guys up. There was no more energy than what he brought.” And then Upton hung his head, overcome with emotion, his voice thick as he held back a sob.”
SEC FOOTBALL/BASKETBALL STUFF
Former Kentucky QB Jared Lorenzen passed away Wednesday after fighting heart, kidney and obesity problems. He was 38 years old. Lorenzen threw for 10,354 yards and 78 TDs in his collegiate career and is the all-time leader in Kentucky football history in passing yards.
Eight SEC players were named Sporting News first team preseason All-Americans: WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama), TE Jared Pinkney (Vanderbilt), OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia), DL Derrick Brown (Auburn), LB Dylan Moses (Alabama), CB CJ Henderson (Florida), S Grant Delpit (LSU) and P Braden Mann (Texas A&M).
Former Auburn basketball coach Sonny Smith submitted a letter to the judge asking for leniency for Chuck Person, the former Auburn great and assistant coach who was sentenced to prison in the college basketball corruption trial.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: The Memphis Grizzlies have traded former Gator Chandler Parsons to the Atlanta Hawks for Solomon Hill and Miles Plumlee. Since he had microfracture surgery on his knee, Parsons, once one of the rising young stars in the NBA, has been limited to 95 games over the past three seasons … 15-year-old American moved into the third round of Wimbledon Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-3 straight sets win over Magdalena Rybarikova … Nine games into his professional baseball career, former Gator Brady McConnell is off to a roaring start, hitting .389 with two homers and 14 RBI … Alex Faedo is 5-5 with Erie in the AA Eastern League with a 3.36 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 83 innings … Jackson Kowar has been promoted to Northwest Arkansas in the AA Texas League. He is 0-1 in two starts with a 1.64 ERA and 15 Ks in 11 innings … Taylor Gushue is having an outstanding year at AAA Fresno in the Pacific Coast League where he’s hitting .299 with six homers and 24 RBI … Scott Moss is 5-3 at AA Chattanooga of the Southern League with a 3.51 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 74-1/3 innings.