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Thursday night notes: Cal to coach Dominican Republic national team

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- Men's basketball coach John Calipari has officially accepted the head coaching position with the Dominican Republic national team. Calipari made the announcement Thursday on his website,

Calipari's role with the Dominican Republic team is not expected to affect his job with UK. Most of the practices will be at the Joe Craft Center and Calipari will hold a mini-camp in Lexington with some of the top Dominican Republic players, including UK forward Eloy Vargas.

Calipari will be on the sideline when the Domincan Republic competes in the Jenaro "Tuto" Marchand Continental Cup on Aug. 24-26 and the FIBA Americas Championship from Aug. 30 to Sept. 11.


- We should know by 10:30 a.m. Friday what Brandon Knight is going to do. Knight will hold a news conference on Friday at 10:15 a.m. to announce his decision on the NBA Draft. We'll have coverage of that Friday afternoon.


- Speaking of NBA Draft decisions, Terrence Jones took to Twitter Thursday night to say that he is still "50/50" on his decision to stay in the draft or come back. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is Sunday. 


- Football coach Joker Phillips and men's basketball senior Josh Harrellson are helping Bourbon n' Toulouse sponsor a "Bama and Toulouse" day on Friady to raise support for the Alabama tornado victims.

Harrellson will be there from noon to 1 p.m. to sign autographs and Phillips will be there to lend a hand.

Boubon n' Toulouse will donate 20 percent of their total sales for the day to the Red Cross and will be accepting non-perishable items.


- If you've never had the chance to watch junior pitcher Alex Meyer in person, I'd recommend heading out to Cliff Hagan Stadium on Friday when UK baseball hosts No. 1 Vanderbilt.

Meyer has yet to announce his intentions for next year, but chances are Friday will be one of his final starts in a Kentucky uniform. Meyer is basically a first-round lock for this year's MLB Draft as one of the top pitchers in college baseball.

Over his last three starts he is 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA and 27 strikeouts. Hitters are batting a meager .179 against him in those three starts. Meyers also leads the Southeastern Conference in strikeouts (91), strikeouts per game (10.41) and complete games (three).

Not only will Meyer face the top team in the country, he'll also face arguably the best pitcher in baseball in Sonny Gray (9-2, 1.91 ERA). If you come out Friday, chances are you'll be watching two future big-league ballplayers.


- UK softball will finally return to action Friday after a near two-week layoff. Inclement weather last week, including the horrific tornadoes in Alabama, forced the cancelation of two series, and the Cats were off during the middle of this week because of final exams.

In talking with head coach Rachel Lawson on Wednesday for a feature story, I asked her if she was worried about the layoff. Lawson said she did not think about scheduling any extra games and doesn't anticipate the break having an adverse effect.

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