Wednesday Afternoon Link Dump

Basketball

Devan Downey Enters the Draft. This isn't much of a surprise; as Seth Emerson says, whether he takes off or not, Downey would be making a mistake not to gauge his stock by declaring and talking to teams. Moreover, Gamecocks fans shouldn't panic quite yet. Based on what I've seen from the draft boards, Downey will not get a favorable prognosis from the NBA scouts he talks to. While I think he has what it takes to make it eventually, most scouts will probably tell him right now that, due to his height, he needs to work on his long-range jumper and transition to becoming more of a pass first, shoot second point guard.

This isn't to say, though, that Downey won't leave. As Emerson points out, if Downey gets enough interest from scouts, he may just stay in and bank on the fact that he can go to Europe and make six figures if he doesn't get drafted. I think this is a somewhat likely scenario, and I wouldn't blame Downey if he chooses to take this path. I would, of course, love to see him come back. We have a chance to be good next year if he does, and I think he has a good chance to improve his draft stock and his memories of college glory. However, he's a grown man and I think he probably wants to move on. If he thinks he can feasibly do so, I wish him luck.

Darrin Horn a Candidate at Xavier? Before you say that it would be crazy for Horn to jump ship for a mid-major program, I'd urge you to think for a minute about how this may be a possibility. Xavier, whose former coach Sean Miller recently left for Arizona, is one of the top mid majors in the country. A good coach can conceivably compete for good recruits and national rankings there. As author Dustin Dow says, that means that Horn could come in and face an easier path to success than he has in Columbia. Xavier is also in Cincinnati, close to Horn's home state of Kentucky. Finally, Xavier could conceivably offer Horn a raise.

All of that said, I don't really see this happening. While it's true that Xavier is in a better position right now, it's also true that the long-term prospects for Carolina are better if Horn proves he can win here, as an SEC team will trump Xavier once it gets the ball rolling. Horn has said he's committed to building a winner here, and this year he showed us he might be capable of it. My thinking is that he really wants to win at the highest level and won't leave unless offerred a job with a good major conference school. I also think that if it comes down to a bidding war, Eric Hyman will pay up to keep Horn in Columbia. If he can't outpay Xavier for Horn's services after Horn managed to fill the seats this year, then we don't deserve Horn, in my opinion.

Baseball

Carolina Beats Clemson 7-6. DeAnglelo Mack was the hero of the day with a game-winning two RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. That makes six in a row and nine out of the last ten against the Purple Tigers. Too bad we can't run up these kinds of streaks on the gridiron, huh?

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