LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Notes Completed Before the Trading Deadline:
*Russ Smith was annoyed when he was taken in the second round of the NBA Draft last month. One reason Smith was annoyed is that he was selected after Elfrid Payton of Louisiana-Lafayette, a player Smith dominated during a regular season game.
Payton is a name to bounce around today because the Orlando Magic drafted him in June. The Magic just signed Smith’s former teammate, Peyton Siva, to a non-guaranteed contract. Both guys play point guard.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic have signed Siva to a non-guaranteed contract and asked him to spend a developmental season with Erie (Pa.) in the NBA Developmental League.
To eventually earn a spot with Orlando, Siva will have to play his way past Payton, veteran Luke Ridenour and perhaps former Purdue star E’Twaun Moore. Victor Oladipo, the guy the Magic took with the No. 2 pick from Indiana in 2013, also dabbles in point guard play.
It won’t be easy for Siva to make it to Orlando, considering the Magic took Payton with the 10th overall pick. But it’s not supposed to be easy.
*Speaking of Oladipo, reports from the Team USA workouts in Las Vegas this week have been packed with praise for the former Hoosier. Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose called Oladipo a “big-time talent.”
“I know how serious he takes it,” Rose told John Denton from the Magic’s web site. “I love how he plays and he plays with so much confidence. He totally deserves to be up here (with Team USA) and I’m already a big fan of his. I love how he takes the game so serious.”
*Former Louisville football coach Howard Schnellenberger asked me to share this nugget with Cardinals’ fans: His book, “Passing The Torch: Building Winning Football Programs … with a Dose of Swagger Along The Way,” is available for pre-order at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com(click here).
Schnellenberger will visit Louisville Labor Day weekend for multiple book-signings as well as to attend U of L’s first Atlantic Coast Conference football game against Miami on Sept. 1. Schnellenberger coached both the Hurricanes and the Cards.
Schnellenberger and his co-author Ron Smith worked on the book for nearly two years. He says it is packed with information about how he built the U of L football program – and why he left for Oklahoma after the 1994 season.
Twenty years later, Schnellenberger still has harsh words for former U of L president Dr. Donald Swain because of his decision to move the football program from independent to Conference USA.
“Writing the book saved my life,” Schnellenberger said.
Coach, that sounds like more Howard hyperbole.
“Absolutely not,” Schnellenberger said. “I was going to going to die if I didn’t have something to do after coaching football.
“After all those years of being commander-in-chief, now you don’t really have as much to do. Now you’re just like everybody else. That’s hard to take. Have you ever been commander-in-chief?”
Only commander-in-chief of my column.
“Well, it’s lonely up there, but it sure is fun,” he said.
He’d like you to buy his book.
*Word among Southeastern Conference basketball coaches last week was that Sean Farnham is the leading candidate to replace Jimmy Dykes as ESPN’s top analyst for SEC basketball games.
Seems like a strange choice. Farnham is a former UCLA walk-on who lives in California. He’s been at ESPN for four seasons, working primarily Big Ten and ACC games, although he’s also been featured on Pac-12 telecasts.
Look for former South Carolina and Western Kentucky coach Darrin Horn to get his share of SEC telecasts, too. Horn is based in Lexington.
*Is this the end of the line for former Male High and U of L running back Michael Bush, who turned 30 in June?
The Bears cut Bush after he averaged 3.1 yards per carry last season. He visited New England last spring but was not offered a contract.
Chris Shumate, one of Bush’s friends at Male, said Bush was married in May and that his wife, Emily Tribe-Simmons, has an interesting basketball connection. She is the older sister of Ben Simmons, who is ranked the top high school junior basketball player in the nation and is committed to Louisiana State.