1 » ESPN announced on Wednesday that it has reached a deal with Cox Communications for the cable operator to carry the SEC Network at its launch on Aug. 14, 2014. This is great news for Florida Gators fans, which can now be sure that they will be able to watch their team on the city’s biggest provider. Cox Cable is available to fans in five of the 11 states that host Southeastern Conference teams. With AT&T U-verse, DISH Network and Google Fiber on board, now Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS and DirecTV remain as the major operators not currently signed on with the SEC Network for launch. However, AT&T’s proposed purchase of DirecTV could make that agreement easier, and the merger between Comcast and Time Warner makes it likely that one of those dominoes will fall soon after the other as Comcast appears to be the next in line to make a deal with the World Wide Leader in Sports. Company spokesman John Demming claims that Comcast and ESPN are “working out final details” for the network with an agreement expected to be announced “in the near future.”
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) July 9, 2014
The addition of Cox brings the @SECNetwork to around 26 million homes. The Big Ten Network had 16 million the day it launched.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 9, 2014
2 » The Gainesville Sun spoke with a number of former Gators who had the opportunity to sit in on practice during the spring, each of which provided positive reviews about new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper’s system. “I definitely love the new offense,” former quarterback Shane Matthews said. “I really liked the way Coach Roper worked with his quarterbacks. He’s really big on fundamentals and the little things when it comes to playing the position, which I hadn’t seen around here basically since Coach [Steve] Spurrier left.” Added ex-wide receiver Chris Doering: “I think the thing more so than just the scheme is the energy level Coach Roper brings to not only the offense but the team. If you were out there during the spring, you saw the pace much quicker on the offensive field, but that was carrying over to the defense as well. I think there’s a buzz and an excitement around the team, something it hasn’t had before under Will Muschamp.”
3 » Defensive end Jeremy Mincey, the first former Florida player on the Dallas Cowboys since running back Emmitt Smith, may be used as a fill-in for DeMarcus Ware this season though he will not be doing so as a starter, according to The Dallas Morning News.
4 » Former Gators center Patric Young arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday to begin pre-NBA Summer League workouts with the New Orleans Pelicans. Below is a shot of Young (#4) from the Pelican’s team website [see more here] receiving instruction during minicamp.
5 » Memphis Grizzlies point guard Scottie Wilbekin and Orlando Magic center Vernon Macklin squared off in an Orlando, Florida, summer league game on Tuesday. Wilbekin came off the bench for the second time in three games, going 2-for-3 from the field and 3-for-4 from the line with seven points, five assists, three steals and three turnovers in 21 minutes. Macklin was on the court for 20 minutes and went 0-for-2 from the floor but drained all six of his free throw attempts, also adding two boards, two swipes and three blocks to his total.
Below is the rest of the Orlando schedule; all games air live nationally on NBA TV.
Thursday, July 10 at 5 p.m. – Orlando (Macklin) vs. Boston
Thursday, July 10 at 7 p.m. – Memphis (Wilbekin) vs. Houston
6 » A new suitor has emerged in the chase for the services of guard/forward Mike Miller and restricted free agent F Chandler Parsons. According to ESPN.com‘s Chris Broussard, the Cleveland Cavaliers have now contacted Miller after a trade put into play on Wednesday cleared up a bunch of salary cap space. Cleveland’s primary motivation is to sign LeBron James, and the team has reached out to Miller and G Ray Allen – two of his favorite teammates – in hopes of rekindling a relationship with the best player in basketball. Miller and Memphis have expressed mutual interest in coming to terms, though Miller is reportedly not pleased with the Grizzlies’ offered terms. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets lead his other suitors. Parsons looks to be a secondary target if the Cavaliers are unable to land James; however, the Dallas Mavericks are expected to give Parsons an impressive offer sheet, which will put the Houston Rockets in a tough position as the franchise will have to decide whether to match it.
LeBron James reached out to two vet free agents last week about joining him, IF he left Miami, sources tell Yahoo. Mike Miller was one.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 9, 2014
Hearing Cavs have strong interest in Rockets RFA Chandler Parsons if LeBron elects to stay to Miami. Parsons said to be next-in-line target
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 9, 2014