MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 Baylor 52 Texas 45

#7 Duke 70 #8 Florida State 65

#24 Texas Tech 88 TCU 42

Colgate 70 Boston University 63

USC Upstate 66 Charleston Southern 52

Radford 81 Winthrop 77

Gardner Webb 86 High Point 55

Hampton 80 UNC Asheville 70

Longwood 57 Campbell 56

South Carolina State 100 Delaware State 86

North Carolina Central 58 Morgan State 57

Bethune Cookman 87 Howard 68

Coppin State 88 Maryland Eastern Shore 67 OT

Florida A&M 79 North Carolina A&T 60

Grambling 80 Alcorn State 71

Alabama State 57 Arkansas Pine Bluff 49

Jackson State 67 Southern 51

Mississippi Valley 67 Alabama A&M 61

Penn State 83 Northern Colorado 71

 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBAL TV SCHEDULE

Tuesday, Feb. 11

Penn State at Purdue | 6:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Kentucky at Vanderbilt | 7 p.m. | ESPN

Mississippi State at Ole Miss | 7 p.m. | ESPNU

Fordham at Davidson | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Bowling Green at Akron | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Miami (Ohio) at Toledo | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Western Michigan at Ohio | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

St. Bonaventure at Saint Joseph’s | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Arkansas at Tennessee | 7 p.m. | SEC Network

N.C. State at Syracuse | 7 p.m. | ESPN2

Northern Illinois at Ball State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Rhode Island at Dayton | 7:30 p.m. | CBSSN

North Carolina at Wake Forest | 8 p.m. | ACC Network

Nebraska at Maryland | 8:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Michigan State at Illinois | 9 p.m. | ESPN

Missouri at LSU | 9 p.m. | SEC Network

Notre Dame at Virginia | 9 p.m. | ESPN2

Oklahoma State at Kansas State | 9 p.m. | ESPNU

Utah State at Colorado State | 9:30 p.m. | CBSSN

New Mexico at San Diego State | 11 p.m. | ESPN2

 

Wednesday, Feb. 12

Creighton at Seton Hall | 6:30 p.m. | FS1

Xavier at Butler | 6:30 p.m. | CBSSN

South Carolina at Georgia | 6:30 p.m. | SEC Network

Kansas at West Virginia | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Alabama at Auburn | 7 p.m. | ESPN2

UConn at SMU | 7 p.m. | ESPNN

George Mason at VCU | 7 p.m. | ESPNU

Richmond at La Salle | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Albany at Hartford | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Rutgers at Ohio State | 7 p.m. | Big Ten Network

The Citadel at East Tennessee State | ESPN+

Western Carolina at UNC Greensboro | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Stony Brook at Binghamton | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

VMI at Chattanooga | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Mercer at Wofford | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Boston College at Miami | 7 p.m. | ACC Network Extra

Maine at UMass Lowell | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

New Hampshire at Vermont | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Canisius at Niagara | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Loyola Chicago at Evansville | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Furman at Samford | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Louisville at Georgia Tech | 8 p.m. | ACC Network

Indiana State at Bradley | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Drake at Missouri State | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Illinois State at UNI | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Southern Illinois at Valparaiso | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Western Illinois at South Dakota | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Temple at Tulane | 8 p.m. | ESPN3

East Carolina at Tulsa | 8 p.m. | ESPN3

Omaha at Oral Roberts | 8 p.m. | ESPN3

Middle Tennessee at UAB | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Marquette at Villanova | 8:30 p.m. | FS1

Houston Baptist at Abilene Christian | 8:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Providence at St. John’s | 8:30 p.m. | CBSSN

Florida at Texas A&M | 8:30 p.m. | SEC Network

Houston at South Florida | 9 p.m. | ESPNU

Clemson at Pitt | 9 p.m. | ACC Network Extra

Iowa State at Oklahoma | 9 p.m. | ESPN2

Michigan at Northwestern | 9 p.m. | Big Ten Network

Nevada at UNLV | 10 p.m. | ESPN3

UC Irvine at UC Riverside | 10 p.m. | ESPN3

 

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 South Carolina 70 #5 Connecticut 52

#19 Northwestern 85 Michigan State 55

Jackson State 60 Southern 57

Betheune Cookman Howard 59

Morgan State 86 North Carolina Central 79

Coppin State 66 Maryland Eastern Shore 63

Delaware State 76 South Carolina State 64

North Carolina A&T 66 Florida A&M 49

Alabama State 68 Arkansas Pine Bluff 65

Grambling 70 Alcorn State 59

Alabama A&M 75 Mississippi Valley 45

Merrimack 84 Fairleigh Dickinson 66

Mount St. Mary 77 Long Island 57

Liberty 65 Jacksonville 59

LSU 66 Missouri 58

Michigan 77 Minnesota 52

Robert Morris 77 Wagner 35

St. Francis PA 48 Sacred Heart 39

New Jersey Tech 60 N. Florida 56

Bryant 78 St. Francis NY 59

North Alabama 91 Lipscomb 58

Northern Colorado 78 Portland State 51

 

NBA SCOREBOARD

Charlotte 87 Detroit 76

Brooklyn 160 Indiana 105

Orlando 135 Atlanta 126

Toronto 137 Minnesota 126

Milwaukee 123 Sacramento 111

Utah 123 Dallas 119

Denver 127 San Antonio 120

Miami 113 Golden State 111

LA Lakers 125 Phoenix 100

 

NHL SCOREBOARD

Philadelphia 4 Florida 1

Arizona 3 Montréal 2

NY Islanders 5 Washington 3

Tampa Bay 2 Columbus 1

Vancouver 6 Nashville 2

Calgary 6 San Jose 2

 

WRESTLING: NEW CASTLE SEMI-STATE OPENING ROUND PAIRINGS

106

Bryce Lowery Roncalli, 32-0 vs. Bryson Hale Centerville, 22-2

 

113

Dylan Driver Westfield, 28-9,  vs. Jake Necessary Richmond, 33-7

Brac Hooper Carmel, 24-3 vs. Jackson Marker Centerville, 34-9

126

Luke Gonzalez Indianapolis Cathedral, 27-9 vs. Sekaye Maitland Richmond, 26-10

132

Devin Frazier Centerville, 41-1 vs. Luke Goodwin Southport, 35-4

138

Logan Bailey Indianapolis Cathedral, 33-1 vs. Josh Miles Cambridge City Lincoln, 27-4

145

Brady McKivitz Perry Meridian, 29-9 vs. Gabe Phillips Centerville, 21-1

152

Shane Bates Zionsville, 35-1 vs. Orlan Foster Connersville, 22-13

Eli Fox Lebanon, 21-14 vs. Tyler Vredeveld Centerville, 41-1

160

Luke Davis Zionsville, 30-5 vs. Javin Payne Hagerstown, 29-11

170

Leo Calderon Centerville, 36-6 vs. Bradley Harrington North Central (Indianapolis), 41-2

195

Jacob Huffman Indianapolis Cathedral, 26-10 vs. Guy Shaffer Hagerstown, 25-9

220

Evan Shafer Connersville, 27-4 vs. Dakota Arvin Westfield, 28-11

Blaine Pierce Richmond, 33-3 vs. Matt Schilling Clinton Prairie, 31-7

285

Josh Berger Northeastern, 43-2 vs. Kolt Keller Clinton Central, 15-7

Andrew Irick Hamilton Southeastern, 30-1 vs. Robby Pandoli Tri, 25-10

 

GIRLS REGIONAL PAIRINGS

CLASS 4A

LAPORTE

Crown Point [26-0] vs. Penn [25-2]

Munster [22-5] vs. LaPorte [18-7]

MARION

Fishers [23-1] vs. Northwestern [26-0]

Homestead [25-1] vs. Carroll (Fort Wayne) [17-6]

DECATUR CENTRAL

Ben Davis [13-11] vs. Lawrence North [22-4]

New Palestine [18-7] vs. Brownsburg [20-8]

COLUMBUS NORTH

Franklin Central [15-11] vs. East Central [22-5]

Bedford North Lawrence [19-5] vs. Evansville North [20-5]

 

CLASS 3A

JIMTOWN

Mishawaka Marian [22-5] vs. NorthWood [24-3]

Knox [24-1] vs. Lighthouse CPA [16-7]

BELLMONT

Norwell [21-4] vs. Winchester [23-3]

Benton Central [24-3] vs. Garrett [16-8]

GREENCASTLE

Indianapolis Ritter [16-9] vs. Brownstown Central [24-3]

Heritage Christian [18-7] vs. Danville [20-5]

CHARLESTOWN

Evansville Memorial [22-3] vs. Greensburg [23-3]

Washington [21-3] vs. Salem [22-3]

 

CLASS 2A

WINAMAC

Andrean [15-12] vs. Bremen [18-7]

South Central (Union Mills) [19-7] vs. Adams Central [19-7]

FRANKTON

Eastbrook [12-13] vs. Frankton [18-7]

Lafayette Central Catholic [19-7] vs. Rochester [18-7]

SOUTHMONT

Shenandoah [23-2] vs. South Putnam [18-6]

Triton Central [24-0] vs. Covenant Christian [17-8]

PAOLI

Evansville Mater Dei [10-14] vs. Linton-Stockton [21-5]

Eastern (Pekin) [18-8] vs. North Decatur [14-11]

 

CLASS 1A

CASTON

Fort Wayne Blackhawk [18-7] vs. Morgan Twp. [22-3]

Oregon-Davis [19-4] vs. Pioneer [22-2]

TRI-CENTRAL

North Vermillion [20-6] vs. Blue River [14-9]

Daleville [11-13] vs. Northfield [19-6]

SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)

North Central (Farmersburg) [18-7] vs. Bethesda Christian [18-6]

Greenwood Christian [21-5] vs. Jac-Cen-Del [21-4]

WEST WASHINGTON

Lanesville [23-3] vs. Trinity Lutheran [24-3]

Tecumseh [18-5] vs. Loogootee [23-2]

 

AREA BOWLERS RECEIVE POST SEASON HONORS

IHSB ALL TOURNAMENT

Boys

Dylan Mollo, Centerville

 

IHSB ALL REGIONAL

Girls

Ashley Crane, Richmond

Jordin Rosser, Richmond

 

Boys

Dylan Mollo, Centerville

 

IHSB ALL-STATE

GIRLS

Ashley Crane, Richmond (Honorable Mention)

 

BOYS

Dylan Mollo, Centerville (First Team)

 

AP MEN’S BASKETBALL POLL

Rank School Votes Prev
1 Baylor 21-1 1583 (48) 1
2 Gonzaga 25-1 1546 (15) 2
3 Kansas 20-3 1450 (1) 3
4 San Diego State 24-0 1422 4
5 Louisville 21-3 1331 5
6 Dayton 21-2 1255 6
7 Duke 20-3 1211 7
8 Florida State 20-3 1170 8
9 Maryland 19-4 1057 9
10 Seton Hall 18-5 1013 12
11 Auburn 21-2 998 11
12 Kentucky 18-5 853 15
13 Penn State 18-5 787 22
14 West Virginia 18-5 721 13
15 Villanova 17-6 581 10
16 Colorado 19-5 567 24
17 Oregon 18-6 497 14
18 Marquette 17-6 425 NR
19 Butler 18-6 414 19
20 Houston 19-5 402 25
21 Iowa 17-7 374 17
22 Illinois 16-7 235 20
23 Creighton 18-6 213 21
24 Texas Tech 15-8 169 NR
25 LSU 17-6 160 18

 

MEN’S COACHES POLL

Rank School Votes Prev
1 Baylor 21-1 786 (19) 1
2 Gonzaga 25-1 776 (13) 2
3 Kansas 20-3 715 3
4 San Diego State 24-0 712 4
5 Louisville 21-3 667 5
6 Dayton 21-2 640 6
7 Duke 20-3 611 7
8 Florida State 20-3 560 8
9 Maryland 19-4 548 9
10 Seton Hall 18-5 502 13
11 Auburn 21-2 498 10
12 Kentucky 18-5 404 16
13 Penn State 18-5 392 20
14 West Virginia 18-5 380 11
15 Colorado 19-5 277 24
16 Villanova 17-6 265 12
17 Iowa 17-7 218 17
18 Oregon 18-6 210 15
19 Houston 19-5 209 25
20 Butler 18-6 173 19
21 Creighton 18-6 170 22
22 Marquette 17-6 141 NR
23 Illinois 16-7 115 21
24 Texas Tech 15-8 92 NR
25 Michigan State 16-8 88 14

 

MEN’S RPI RANKINGS

Rank School RPI Prev
1 Kansas 20-3 0.6942 1
2 Auburn 21-2 0.6692 2
3 Maryland 19-4 0.6618 3
4 West Virginia 18-5 0.6589 4
5 Dayton 21-2 0.6536 5
6 Louisville 21-3 0.6519 7
7 Duke 20-3 0.6517 6
8 Baylor 21-1 0.6490 8
9 Florida State 20-3 0.6479 9
10 San Diego State 24-0 0.6411 10
11 Villanova 17-6 0.6357 11
12 Oregon 18-6 0.6352 12
13 Seton Hall 18-5 0.6333 13
14 Colorado 19-5 0.6312 14
15 Rhode Island 18-5 0.6287 15
16 Marquette 17-6 0.6286 18
17 LSU 17-6 0.6247 16
18 UNI 21-3 0.6230 17
19 Creighton 18-6 0.6204 19
20 Gonzaga 25-1 0.6199 20
21 BYU 19-7 0.6131 22
22 Butler 18-6 0.6128 21
23 Arizona 16-7 0.6126 23
24 East Tennessee State 21-4 0.6069 24
25 Kentucky 18-5 0.6035 NR

 

MEN’S NET RANKINGS

Rank School Votes Prev
1 San Diego State 24-0 () 1
2 Gonzaga 25-1 () 2
3 Baylor 21-1 () 3
4 Kansas 20-3 () 4
5 Dayton 21-2 () 5
6 Duke 20-3 () 6
7 Louisville 21-3 () 7
8 Maryland 19-4 () 8
9 West Virginia 18-5 () 9
10 Arizona 16-7 () 11
11 Michigan State 16-8 () 13
12 Seton Hall 18-5 () 12
13 Florida State 20-3 () 14
14 Butler 18-6 () 10
15 Auburn 21-2 () 15
16 Colorado 19-5 () 16
17 Marquette 17-6 () 24
18 Villanova 17-6 () 18
19 Penn State 18-5 () 19
20 Texas Tech 15-8 () 20
21 Ohio State 15-8 () 17
22 Kentucky 18-5 () 21
23 BYU 19-7 () 23
24 Creighton 18-6 () 22
25 Oregon 18-6 () 25

 

AP WOMEN’S POLL

Rank School Votes Prev
1 South Carolina 22-1 747 (27) 1
2 Baylor 21-1 716 (3) 2
3 Oregon 22-2 697 3
4 North Carolina State 22-1 624 7
5 UConn 20-2 622 4
6 Mississippi State 22-3 605 8
7 UCLA 21-2 576 10
8 Stanford 21-3 547 6
9 Louisville 21-3 506 5
10 Maryland 20-4 450 13
11 Oregon State 19-5 428 9
12 Arizona 19-4 426 12
13 DePaul 22-3 382 14
14 Florida State 20-4 368 17
15 Gonzaga 23-2 324 11
16 Texas A&M 18-5 251 16
17 Iowa 20-4 243 20
18 Kentucky 18-5 221 15
19 Northwestern 19-3 191 21
20 Indiana 19-6 176 18
21 South Dakota 22-2 146 22
22 Arizona State 16-8 128 19
23 Arkansas 19-5 118 25
24 Missouri State 20-3 106 24
25 Tennessee 17-6 47 23

 

WOMEN’S RPI RANKINGS

Rank School RPI Prev
1 Oregon 22-2 0.6981 1
2 South Carolina 22-1 0.6912 2
3 Maryland 20-4 0.6791 3
4 Missouri State 20-3 0.6723 5
5 UCLA 21-2 0.6644 4
6 Iowa 20-4 0.6624 10
7 UConn 20-2 0.6606 8
8 Baylor 21-1 0.6604 9
9 Mississippi State 22-3 0.6591 13
10 Stanford 21-3 0.6583 11
11 Gonzaga 23-2 0.6568 12
12 Louisville 21-3 0.6557 6
13 North Carolina State 22-1 0.6516 14
14 Oregon State 19-5 0.6511 7
15 Indiana 19-6 0.6476 15
16 Northwestern 19-3 0.6447 17
17 Texas A&M 18-5 0.6435 16
18 Central Michigan 18-4 0.6422 18
19 DePaul 22-3 0.6398 20
19 Princeton 17-1 0.6398 19
21 Arizona 19-4 0.6295 24
22 LSU 16-5 0.6275 21
23 TCU 17-4 0.6269 23
24 Florida State 20-4 0.6257 22
25 FGCU 23-2 0.6190 NR

 

AP source: MLB considering expanding playoffs to 14 teams

Major League Baseball is considering expanding the playoffs to nearly half the 30 teams and allowing higher-seeded wild-card teams to choose opponents.

The playoffs would grow from 10 clubs to 14 under the plan, first reported Monday by the New York Post. There would be four wild cards in each league, up from two.

Details were confirmed by a person familiar with the proposal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because MLB did not authorize any public comments. Another person, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said MLB has been looking at several plans.

Any proposal would have to be negotiated with the players’ association. The current collective bargaining agreement runs through the 2021 season.

“Expanding the playoffs in a sensible way is something worth discussing when part of a much more comprehensive conversation about the current state of our game,” union head Tony Clark said in a statement.

Only the division winner with the best regular-season record would advance directly to the Division Series under the plan. The two other division winners and wild-card teams would start in a best-of-three round.

The division winner with the second-best record would choose its opponent from among the three lowest-seeded wild-card teams. The division winner with the third-best record would then get to pick from among the remaining two wild cards. The top wild card would face whichever team is left over after the division winners make their choices.

The selections would be made on a televised show.

MLB long restricted its postseason to just the pennant winners facing each other in the World Series. Postseason teams doubled to four with the split of each league into two divisions in 1969, then to eight with the realignment to three divisions and the addition of a wild card in 1995, a year later than planned due to a players’ strike.

The postseason reached its current 10 with the addition of a second wild card and a wild-card round in 2012.

A postseason of 14 teams would mean 47% of franchises reach the playoffs, which could cause some clubs not to go into rebuilding mode. The players’ association has criticized teams for what it calls “tanking.”

Twelve of the 32 NFL teams (38%) reach the playoffs, along with 16 of 30 in the NBA (53%) and 16 of 31 in the NHL (52%), which expands to 32 franchises next season.

Expanded playoffs would create more content for broadcasters. MLB’s contracts with ESPN and Turner run through 2021 and its deal with Fox goes through 2028.

 

Trevor Bauer rips ‘joke’ Rob Manfred over proposed MLB playoff changes

MLB is considering some radical changes to its playoff format, and Trevor Bauer is no fan of the proposal.

The Cincinnati Reds pitcher tweeted on Monday night that the proposal was “absurd” for numerous reasons. Bauer directed his ire at Rob Manfred, calling the commissioner a “joke.”

The proposal would include expanding the playoff field to seven teams in each league; giving the top team in each league a bye into the divisional round; having a TV show where teams pick their opponents; and a 3-game series in the first round, where the higher-seeded team hosts all three games.

The good news is MLB is thinking of ways to modify its current system, which needs serious improvement. The problem is the proposal includes some bad ideas, such as a 3-game series (which is too short) where only one team hosts all three (which is unfair).

Bauer needs to share his extended thoughts on the subject, and his suggestion for how to be better. Bauer probably already has issues with Manfred over the way the Astros situation was handled, considering the pitcher has long taken issue with Houston’s methods.

 

Ex-MLB pitcher Mike Bolsinger files lawsuit against Astros over cheating scandal

The ramifications of the Houston Astros’ illegal sign stealing in 2017 are now headed for the legal system.

Former MLB pitcher Mike Bolsinger, who was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017, filed a civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday. He accuses the Astros of unfair business practices, negligence, and intentional interference with contractual and economic relations.

Bolsinger is not only seeking unspecified damages for himself, but is also seeking to force the Astros to donate the $31 million windfall from their 2017 World Series title to children’s charities and to start a fund benefiting retired players.

Bolsinger was not a high-profile victim of the Astros’ cheating, but his story is a sad one. He faced Houston on Aug. 4, 2017, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks in only a third of an inning. He was demoted after that game, and has not pitched in the majors since. Analysis by Astros fan Tony Adams indicates that there were 54 audible trash can bangs in that game, including on 12 of the 29 pitches Bolsinger threw.

“I don’t know if I’ve had a worse outing in my professional career,” Bolsinger told Nancy Armour of USA Today. “I remember saying, ‘It was like they knew what I was throwing. They’re laying off pitches they weren’t laying off before. It’s like they knew what was coming.’ That was the thought in my head.”

Bolsinger said he wants to send a message to youth that they can succeed without cheating, and added that he feels MLB’s punishment was far too lenient considering the benefits the organization received from their cheating.

“I don’t think the punishment has fit the crime,” Bolsinger said. “And let’s be honest, all these guys are going to get managing jobs again. … Guys like us that were cheated? I don’t have a job. I’m not playing.”

The Astros will likely argue that Bolsinger’s 4.92 career ERA indicates that his one outing against them was never going to make or break his career, but it’s easy to see why he feels like he got a raw deal. Had he been able to pitch against the Astros on a fair playing field, perhaps he would not have been demoted and had a chance to prove himself to the Blue Jays for the rest of that season. It’s also easy to see why he thinks the Astros got off easily. He’s surely not the only player whose career was negatively impacted by what the Astros were doing, though there is a reason that the players came away from the whole affair unscathed in terms of league punishment. Bolsinger’s legal action may be a longshot, but it will be interesting to see where it goes and if it leads to any new information coming out about what Houston did.

 

Angels’ Taylor Cole still upset over Astros cheating, possible buzzer usage

Los Angeles Angels reliever Taylor Cole is not satisfied with MLB’s handling of the Houston Astros cheating scandal.

Cole posted a note on Instagram Monday where he talked about former Astros manager A.J. Hinch’s interview with MLB Network that aired on Friday. Hinch, who was suspended a season as punishment for his role in the scandal, was later fired by the Astros.

The manager spoke with Tom Verducci and offered a troubling non-denial when asked about the electronic buzzers.

Cole addressed that matter in his Instagram post and said he wants more investigation by the league into that possibility.

“After listening to this interview with AJ Hinch, the former manager of the Astros, I couldn’t help but wonder why when asked about whether the team used buzzers this past season that he didn’t answer with a clear cut “no”. Instead he mentioned that Major League Baseball did an investigation and found nothing. I believe the MLB needs to further the investigation into the buzzers. Every player I’ve talked to believes they were using them, not to mention all the reports that have come out on it. In the interview, Hinch said he hit the monitors with a bat in two separate situations indicating he wasn’t okay with it, but never had a team meeting about it and never told the guys to stop when he heard the banging in the dugout of the relaying of signs. Doesn’t sound like someone that was wanting this to stop as he was benefiting in a major way while players jobs were being derailed and families lives affected. One year seems like a nice bargain if you ask me. I also have reason to believe it happened in the Astros minor league system as well which is never talked about”.

There were rumors about Astros players being signaled pitches via electronic buzzers, with some videos of Jose Altuve heightening the public’s suspicion. MLB said in response to the rumors that they investigated but did not find enough evidence to substantiate the claims. Clearly that’s not enough for Cole, especially after seeing Hinch’s non-denial.

Keep in mind this about Cole: the 30-year-old had a 5.92 ERA last season. He faced the Astros more than any team and allowed 8 runs and 14 hits over 9.2 innings against them — a 7.45 ERA. He’s angry because he struggled against them and now has to wonder whether they were cheating to have an edge against him. He’s not the only one who is rightfully going after Houston about this.

 

Ahmed, D-backs agree to $32.5 million, 4-year deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks capped a busy offseason by locking down their two-time Gold Glove shortstop, who has slowly turned into a solid offensive threat.

The D-backs announced Monday that they’ve agreed to a $32.5 million, four-year deal with Nick Ahmed that runs through the 2023 season. The 29-year-old Ahmed was eligible for salary arbitration and had his hearing scheduled for Wednesday, but that won’t be needed thanks to the deal.

Ahmed said his comfort in Arizona – along with the team’s offseason moves that included adding pitcher Madison Bumgarner and outfielder Kole Calhoun – made staying with the Diamondbacks very appealing.

“At the end of the day, I’d rather be here than anywhere else,” Ahmed said. “They presented me with an opportunity, I thought long and hard about it, and I took advantage of the opportunity.”

Ahmed has had a reputation as an elite defensive shortstop since his debut with the D-backs in 2014 and has steadily improved his hitting. He hit a career-high .254 last season with 19 homers and 82 RBIs in 158 games.

“We believe in him as an offensive player and a defensive player,” Arizona GM Mike Hazen said. “Sometimes he gets overshadowed as an offensive player because his defense is so elite, but we see the combination. He crushes lefties, he has power.”

The D-backs hope Ahmed can anchor the middle of the team’s defense along with Ketel Marte, who will likely split time between second base and center field. Ahmed won his Gold Gloves in each of the past two seasons.

Ahmed’s signing caps an active few months for the D-backs’ front office. The moves include signing Bumgarner (five years, $85 million) and Calhoun (two years, $16 million), re-signing outfielder David Peralta (three years, $22 million) and acquiring outfielder Starling Marte in a trade.

The Diamondbacks hope those moves can help them compete in the NL West, though they’re still chasing the Los Angeles Dodgers, who won 106 games last season and are adding star outfielder Mookie Betts. The Diamondbacks finished with an 85-77 record last year.

Hazen said the Dodgers have earned all the respect they get and remain a formidable opponent, but he’s pleased with the moves Arizona has made.

 

Report: Angels backed out of proposed Joc Pederson trade

The Los Angeles Angels seemingly had a chance to pull off a trade to land two solid pieces without giving up much, but were the ones who backed out of that opportunity.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Angels, not the Los Angeles Dodgers, were the team that pulled the plug on a proposed deal that would have seen them acquire Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling for infielder Luis Rengifo. This apparently happened because Angels owner Arte Moreno grew impatient over the delay in the Mookie Betts trade, and the Dodgers did not feel strongly enough about the deal to try to revive it.

It’s understandable why Moreno would have grown frustrated with how slowly things were going, but it seems rather pointless to have pulled out. If it’s true that he could have had the deal done by now had he just sat tight, it’s just a very strange series of decisions.

While Stripling may not mind what happened, it still makes sense for both him and Pederson to be shopped around. It would save the Dodgers money, and neither player has a clear role on the team in 2020. Don’t be surprised if Pederson’s name in particular is the subject of more trade rumors in the days to come.

 

Jones, Goldwire help No. 7 Duke beat No. 8 FSU 70-65

Seventh-ranked Duke had just followed a wild overtime win against its fiercest rival by battling through the final minutes of a close game to beat eighth-ranked Florida State when coach Mike Krzyzewski paused on his way off the court.

The Hall of Famer turned back in the direction of the “Cameron Crazies” and motioned for them to make even more noise, seeking even more of a tribute for his young team after Monday’s 70-65 win.

“This has been an incredible 48 hours for our team,” Krzyzewski said. “I’ve got good guys, man. I’ve got really good kids.”

It was only two days earlier that the Blue Devils (21-3, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) had rallied from 13 down late in regulation and earned an emotionally draining road win at North Carolina, a game that saw them rally from 13 down late in regulation and get buzzer-beating shots to force overtime and later to win.

They returned home to face a team tied with them for second in the ACC, one game back in the loss column of fifth-ranked Louisville. And despite a turnover-heavy performance, the Blue Devils did enough down the stretch – a key rebound here, a defensive stop there – to beat the Seminoles (20-4, 10-3).

“Not many teams would’ve won tonight after Saturday,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m so damn proud of them, man. I wish you could feel what I feel.”

Tre Jones had 13 points for the Blue Devils, who shot 45% and hit 7 of 17 3-pointers to overcome 21 turnovers. Their defense also gave FSU tough looks and forced Trent Forrest to carry the offensive burden for much of the night for the Seminoles.

Forrest finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight steals to lead the Seminoles (20-4, 10-3), who shot just 38% and misfired from both the arc and the foul line.

“You’re going to have games like this,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said, adding: “We don’t always hit on all cylinders. This is part of the journey and part of the process. You learn from it and you move on.”

 

Baylor beats Texas for 21st straight Big 12 victory

With No. 1 Baylor’s offense struggling, the team’s defense locked in and helped the Bears win again.

Baylor, producing its lowest point total of the season, beat Texas 52-45 Monday night for its 21st straight victory – one short of the Big 12 record set by Kansas in 1997.

Baylor leads the Big 12 in scoring defense and ranks third in field goal defense. The Bears rank fourth nationally in kenpom.com’s defensive efficiency ratings.

“Defensively, they are phenomenal,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “They have such a physicality about them.”

MaCio Teague scored 11 points, and Devonte Bandoo added 10 for the Bears.

Baylor (22-1, 11-0 Big 12) wrested control with a 13-0 push that put the Bears ahead 42-27 with 9:28 remaining.

“That was the difference in the game,” Smart said.

Five players scored for Baylor during that stretch.

“We share the ball,” Teague said.

Texas helped out with three turnovers and failed to score for a period of 5:06.

Matt Coleman led Texas with 11 points, and Andrew Jones scored 10. Texas shot a season low 30.5% from the field, missing 14 of 17 3-point attempts.

“We missed a lot of good shots,” Texas guard Courtney Ramey said.

Texas (14-10, 4-7), which is 0-11 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams, trailed by 16 with less than seven minutes left. Then Coleman and Jones hit consecutive 3-pointers, and Jones made a three-point play and suddenly the Longhorns found themselves down by seven.

But Jared Butler responded by making an open 3-pointer with 4:49 left after Baylor navigated through Texas’ defensive press. A big shot on a night when the Bears hit just 34 percent.

Defense might carry the Bears, but they made some critical plays on offense as well.

“Great chemistry, great leadership,” coach Scott Drew said. “They trust each the other. Each of them making plays for each other, because they know if they have good looks, they’ll knock them down.”

Baylor led 22-16 after a first half of inept offense. The Bears shot 34.5% from the field, including 2 for 8 on 3-pointers, and missed on their only free throw attempt.

Texas was even worse, converting 24 percent, missing 5 of 6 3-pointers and 3 of 4 free throws while. The Longhorns also committed seven turnovers while producing their lowest point total in a half this season and the fewest against Baylor.

“They deserve a lot of credit,” Smart said. “They defended.”

 

PURDUE MEN’S BB:Purdue Faces No. 13 Penn State on Tuesday in Mackey

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue (14-10, 7-6) looks for its fourth win in a row when a surging Penn State (18-5, 8-4) squad visits Mackey Arena. Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris will handle the broadcast on BTN, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. On the radio, Rob Blackman, Larry Clisby and Ralph Taylor will have the call courtside on the Purdue Radio Network and TuneIn.com, beginning with the Purdue Basketball Pregame Show at 5:30 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available on PurdueSports.com.
• Purdue owns a 39-12 series lead against Penn State, having won nine straight games against the Nittany Lions. Six of those nine wins have come by single-digits, including three wins in overtime.
• Penn State enters the game as one of the hottest teams in America, having won six straight games and jumping from No. 22 to No. 13 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll. This meeting will mark the first time in the 52 games all time that an unranked Purdue team will face a ranked PSU squad.
• With seven regular-season games left, five of Purdue’s seven opponents are either nationally-ranked or receiving votes. As it currently stands, four of the last seven opponents will be quad-1 opportunities with Michigan  (32) and Rutgers (31) just sitting outside the top-30 (home game).
• In Purdue victories, the Boilermakers have five players averaging at least 9.6 points per game and are shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from long range. In Purdue losses, Purdue has only four players averaging at least 7.0 points per game and are shooting 35.5 percent from the field and 27.2 percent from long distance.
• Purdue has had at least a four-game Big Ten winning streak in eight of the last 12 years. A win over Penn State would be Purdue’s fourth straight.
• Purdue is 13-0 this year and 33-1 since the start of last year when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponent. The lone loss came to Virginia in last year’s Elite Eight. The Boilermakers are 1-10 when shooting a lower field goal percentage than its opponent (win vs. VCU).
• Since the 2014-15 season, Purdue is 28-9 (.757) during the month of February. Since the 2016-17 campaign, the Boilermakers are 20-5 (.800) during the month of February. The Boilermakers have won seven straight games in the month by an average of 12.2 points per game.
• Purdue freshmen and sophomores have combined for 974 points this year (40.6 PPG), accounting for 58.8 percent of Purdue’s scoring this year.
• Purdue is 9-1 when scoring at least 70 points this year (loss to Michigan), but is just 5-9 when being held under 70 points.
• Over the last three games, Purdue is shooting 52.1 percent from the field and 48.6 percent from 3-point range. The Boilermakers have six players averaging at least 9.0 points per game.
• Purdue’s four wins over AP Top 25 programs this year are tied for the third most in the country.

 

BALL STATE MBB: Cardinals Welcome Both MAC Leaders This Week, Starting Tuesday with Red-Hot NIU

(BALL STATE RELEASE)

Game 24

Ball State (13-10, 6-4 MAC) vs. Northern Illinois (15-9, 8-3 MAC)

Tuesday, Feb. 11 (7 p.m. ET)

Muncie, Ind. (Worthen Arena)

Setting the Stage

  • Ball State will host both MAC division leaders this week at Worthen Arena, starting with Tuesday’s tilt against West frontrunner Northern Illinois. Bowling Green, which leads the East Division and the overall league race, comes to town Saturday. The Cardinals have played six of their past eight games on the road and will now play five of their next seven at home where they are 4-0 in conference play.
  • Northern Illinois is the only remaining MAC team Ball State has not yet seen this season. The Huskies are the hottest team in the MAC, having won six in a row. Last week, NIU won at Toledo and defeated Kent State at home. Ball State is coming off a 68-64 setback to a hot-shooting Western Michigan team Saturday on the road. The Cardinals had won two in a row before that.

The Matchup

  • Tuesday’s meeting is the first of two in the season’s final month between Ball State and Northern Illinois. The teams will close the regular season against each other March 6 in DeKalb, Illinois.
  • Ball State and Northern Illinois have split 10 meetings evenly over the past five seasons. Each team won on the other’s home court last year, with the Cardinals edging NIU 72-71 in DeKalb and the Huskies returning the favor with a 64-57 win in Muncie.
  • Ball State’s Tahjai Teague averaged 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in last season’s two meetings with NIU. He has scored at least 13 points in each of the past four contests against the Huskies.
  • Tuesday’s matchup pits the MAC’s top two scoring defenses in league play. The Cardinals are allowing 62.8 points per game, while the Huskies are surrendering 63.3. NIU is holding opponents to 38.7 percent shooting in conference play, the best of any MAC team.
  • Northern Illinois features the MAC’s top scorer in senior guard Eugene German at 20.1 points per game. He is the only NIU player averaging double figures. German, who recently surpassed 2,000 points for his career, ranks ninth among active D-I players in scoring.

What’s Trending

  • Ball State’s conference opponents were shooting 40.1 percent from the floor entering Saturday’s game at Western Michigan. The Broncos managed to shoot 61.9 percent (26-of-42), becoming the first BSU opponent since Ohio in 2015 (61.7 percent) to crack the 60 percent mark.
  • Ball State’s 12 3-pointers as a team at Western Michigan were the most the Cardinals have made in a MAC game this season.
  • Freshman guard Luke Bumbalough snapped out of a shooting slump at Western Michigan, hitting 5-of-8 from 3-point range. He had been 1-of-15 over the previous three games. Bumbalough has made at least four 3-pointers in a game five games this year.
  • Redshirt freshman Jarron Coleman has scored double figures in the past five games and ranks second on the team at 11.6 points per game during that stretch. During conference play, Coleman ranks second on the team at 5.0 rebounds per game from his point guard position.
  • Tahjai Teague has moved into fifth place on Ball State’s career rebounding chart with 892. Next up on the list is former teammate Trey Moses at 905. Teague also needs 21 more points to crack the top 10 on BSU’s all-time list. He also ranks third in blocks (124) and seventh in steals (151) in program history.

 

Preseason No. 1 Michigan St out of Top 25; Baylor atop poll

The NCAA initial rankings had little impact at the top of the AP Top 25, but a three-game losing streak knocked preseason No. 1 Michigan State out of the poll.

Baylor remained No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll released Monday, two days after being the top overall seed in the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee’s preliminary rankings. The Bears received 48 first-place votes from a 64-person media panel.

Gonzaga remained at No. 2 and received 15 first-place votes despite being the No. 3 overall seed behind Kansas in the NCAA rankings released Saturday.

The Jayhawks had one first-place vote and San Diego State, the lone remaining undefeated team in Division I, stayed at No. 4 after being slotted as the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.

Louisville remained No. 5 during a week in which No. 10 Seton Hall, which moved up two places, was the only addition to the top 10.

The biggest change: Preseason No. 1 Michigan State dropped out of the poll from No. 16, thanks to a three-game losing streak.

The Spartans have struggled with Joshua Langford out because of a foot injury and star Cassius Winston grieving after his brother was killed just before the season started.

Michigan State lost to rival Michigan on Saturday to become the first team since Kentucky in 2013-14 to drop out of the poll after being the preseason No. 1.

“We’ve been in every game but one,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “And yet, we get close like that, cut big leads … it’s almost like we go brain dead then, and that’s got to change.”

The NCAA created the initial rankings as a sneak peek into the selection process ahead of Selection Sunday on March 13.

The basketball committee had Baylor (21-1, 10-0 Big 12) as the No. 1 seed in the South Region based on games through Friday. The Bears beat Oklahoma State 78-70 on Saturday and became the first team in this season of parity to remain at No. 1 four straight weeks.

Baylor is the first Big 12 team since Kansas in 2008 to win 20 consecutive games and has its longest conference winning streak since opening 10-0 in 1948.

The NCAA slotted Kansas as the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region and the Jayhawks followed with a 14-point victory over TCU on Saturday.

Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West, turned its rivalry game against Saint Mary’s into a laugher, handing the Gaels their worst home loss in 19 years with a 90-60 victory in Moraga. The Zags have won 17 straight since losing to Michigan on Nov. 29.

San Diego State earned a No. 1 seed from the NCAA, but because the Aztecs were slotted behind Gonzaga, they were No. 1 in the East Region across the country in New York.

HALL RISING

No. 10 Seton Hall has matched its highest ranking since climbing to No. 7 in 2000-01.

Myles Powell and a huge win over then-No. 10 Villanova had something to do with it.

Powell, a senior, has lived up to the billing as one of college basketball’s best players this season, averaging 21.9 points and 4.8 assists. He had 19 points in the Pirates’ 70-64 victory over Villanova, snapping a 17-game road losing streak to the Wildcats.

Seton Hall moved up two spots to slide into the top 10 for the second time this season.

ROARING NITTANY LIONS

Penn State was given little chance in a loaded Big Ten before the season, picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll.

The Nittany Lions have proven the skeptics wrong so far, stretching their winning streak to six games with wins over then-No. 16 Michigan State and Minnesota.

Penn State had the week’s biggest climb in the AP Top 25, moving up nine spots to No. 13, its highest ranking since 1995-96.

MOVING IN/OUT

Marquette is ranked for the first time this season, climbing to No. 18 after routing No. 19 Butler.

Texas Tech returned to the AP Top 25 following a two-week absence, moving in at No. 24 following victories over Oklahoma and Texas.

Arizona dropped out from No. 23 after a home loss to UCLA on Saturday.

RISING/FALLING

Colorado had the biggest climb behind Penn State, moving up eight spots to No. 16 following wins over California and Stanford. Houston was up five places to No. 20.

LSU dropped eight places to No. 25 after losses to Vanderbilt and No. 11 Auburn. No. 15 Villanova fell five places.

 

NFL exploring possibility of using flex scheduling for ‘Monday Night Football’

The NFL has taken steps over the past several years to give fans a better chance of seeing meaningful games in primetime slots, and the league wants to be able to do that with games played on both Monday and Sunday nights.

In 2006, the NFL implemented flexible scheduling that allows for better matchups to be featured on “Sunday Night Football”. Games between Week 5-17 can be affected by flex scheduling, though only two matchups total can be flexed between Week 5 and Week 10. After that, the NFL tries assure that the Sunday night game has some sort of playoff implication.

According to Ben Fischer and John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, the NFL recently asked teams for feedback on the possibility of expanding flex scheduling to include Monday night games as well. That would mean games that are scheduled for Sunday could be moved to Monday, and vice versa. The goal would be for “Monday Night Football” to feature more meaningful matchups later in the season, though the issue is obviously more complicated than moving teams from one Sunday time slot to another Sunday time slot.

Flexing games from Sunday to Monday and vice versa would have travel implications, which would be a concern for teams. There would also likely be backlash from fans who planned to attend games, as that would greatly impact their schedules if they bought tickets in advance. That said, the NFL is obviously looking into the possibly of Monday night flexing because they believe ratings could improve, and the goal would be giving fans more primetime matchups that they want to see.

The NFL’s current media rights deal runs through the 2022 season, so any major change like Monday flex scheduling would not take effect for a few more years. However, SBJ reports that ESPN has been pushing to incorporate flex scheduling as part of its next “Monday Night Football” deal, and the network has offered to broadcast games on fellow Disney-owned station ABC again if it happens.

ESPN is reportedly preparing to make a massive contract offer to Tony Romo, and that number may even increase if flex scheduling is on the horizon for “Monday Night Football.” If the network believes it is going to happen, that would almost certainly mean better ratings down the road.

 

AP Source: Browns star Garrett meets with NFL about return

Suspended Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett met Monday with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his possible reinstatement, a person familiar with the meeting told The Associated Press.

Garrett, who was banned indefinitely for ripping off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hitting him over the head with it during the closing seconds of a Nov. 15 game, discussed his situation with Goodell and other league officials in New York, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the meeting.

There is no timetable for Garrett’s return. However, he has expressed remorse for his conduct, and his meeting with Goodell was a necessary step in order to get back on the field in 2020.

Garrett’s suspension ended the 24-year-old’s season and was a major blow for the Browns. They went 2-4 in the final six games without their sacks leader and finished 6-10.

Once Garrett is cleared, he’ll be able to take part in the Browns’ offseason program under new coach Kevin Stefanski. Garrett was allowed back at the Browns’ facility toward the end of the season to rehab an injury.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2017, Garrett has had an exemplary record since joining the league, and his actions toward Rudolph were uncharacteristic. He appealed his suspension, but it was upheld by independent officer James Thrash despite Garrett’s allegation that Rudolph used a racial slur.

Garrett’s attack on Rudolph came after the two wrestled on the field as the Browns were closing out a rare win over their AFC North rival, and it touched off a brawl involving several other players.

Steelers guard Maurkice Pouncey received a three-game suspension – it was later reduced to two – for hitting and kicking Garrett, and Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi got a one-game ban for shoving a helmet-less Rudolph to the ground.

The league also fined the Browns and Steelers $250,000 apiece and handed out penalties to players for leaving the bench area and coming onto the field.

 

Chargers QB Rivers will enter free agency after 16 seasons

Philip Rivers’ 16-year career with the Chargers has come to an end.

The franchise announced Monday that Rivers will enter free agency and won’t return to Los Angeles for the upcoming season. General manager Tom Telesco said in a statement that as they talked through various scenarios with Rivers, it became apparent it would be best for both “to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run.”

Rivers’ future in powder blue was the main storyline late in the season after the Chargers were eliminated from postseason consideration. He said during the final weeks that he intended to play in 2020, even if that meant going to another team.

The 38-year old Rivers was emotional and in a reflective mood after the Chargers’ 31-21 loss to Kansas City in the season finale. He acknowledged it would be weird to be in another uniform but didn’t think it would be much of an adjustment.

Los Angeles made the playoffs in 2018 but was 5-11 this season with nine losses by one score. The seven-win decline was the worst dropoff in the league in 2019 and the second biggest in franchise history. Rivers’ 4,615 passing yards were fourth in the league, but his 20 interceptions were third most and just one off tying a career high.

Rivers moved his family to Florida last month from their longtime home in San Diego. He commuted between the team’s Orange County headquarters and San Diego since the franchise moved in 2017.

“I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years,” Rivers said in a statement. “In anything you do, it’s the people you do it with that make it special. There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and teammates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in LA. I wish my teammates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward.”

Rivers was selected fourth overall by the New York Giants in the 2004 draft but was traded to the Chargers in a draft day deal for Eli Manning, who announced his retirement last month. Rivers went on to set 30 franchise records with the Chargers and was an eight-time selection to the Pro Bowl. He also led the Chargers to the playoffs six times but only twice since 2010.

His 224 consecutive regular-season starts are second-most among quarterbacks in NFL history and his 123 wins are ninth. He is one of six quarterbacks to eclipse 50,000 career yards and his 397 touchdowns are sixth.

“I’ve said before that Philip can still compete at a top-starter level and, in a perfect world, number 17 is your quarterback forever. Obviously, we live in an imperfect world where the only constant is change,” Telesco said. “I think Philip’s tremendous perspective, both when it comes to football and when it comes to life, helped lend clarity to a very complex situation.”

The Chargers have plenty of questions that need to be answered during the offseason as they prepare to move into SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. They have the sixth pick in the draft in what looks to be a deep quarterback class that includes LSU’s Joe Burrow, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert. The Rivers announcement comes two weeks before the NFL scouting combine begins in Indianapolis.

 

Ravens, safety Chuck Clark agree to 3-year extension

The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to a three-year contract extension with safety Chuck Clark, who had a career-high 12 starts in 2019 and led the team with 68 tackles.

“Chuck is a great story about hard work, patience, preparation and passion,” general manager Eric DeCosta said. “He waited for his chance and seized the opportunity. He’s the type of player we want on our defense for a long time.”

The 24-year-old Clark was set to enter the final season of his rookie contract in 2020. Selected in the sixth round of the 2017 draft out of Virginia Tech, he spent his first two NFL seasons playing on special teams and serving as backup on defense before enjoying a breakthrough year for a Ravens team that won the AFC North with a 14-2 record.

After becoming a fixture in the starting lineup, Clark took over the defensive communication helmet and played a key role in leading the unit.

Clark had 43 solo tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles and a sack in 2019.

 

Rams announce hiring of 3 new coordinators on McVay’s staff

The Los Angeles Rams have hired Denver outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley as their new defensive coordinator.

The Rams also announced the hirings of offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and special teams coordinator John Bonamego on Monday.

The three key members of Sean McVay’s coaching staff will be formally introduced Wednesday, nearly a month after Staley got the job.

The 37-year-old Staley is an unorthodox choice to replace NFL veteran Wade Phillips, who was fired by McVay last month after the Rams missed the playoffs despite finishing 9-7.

Staley has only three years of NFL experience and has never held a coaching position with nearly as much prominence as his new job with the Rams. Before he spent last season with the Broncos and the previous two seasons in the same job with the Chicago Bears, he was a defensive coordinator at Division III John Carroll and FCS school James Madison.

O’Connell is the Rams’ first offensive coordinator since McVay’s rookie season in 2017, when current Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur had the job. McVay calls Los Angeles’ plays himself, and he split the coordinator duties between assistants Shane Waldron and Aaron Kromer last season.

The 34-year-old O’Connell is a former journeyman NFL quarterback who spent the past three seasons on the Washington Redskins’ staff, including last season as their offensive coordinator. He has also been a quarterbacks coach for Cleveland and Washington.

Bonamego replaces John Fassell, who left the Rams’ staff after eight seasons to join the Dallas Cowboys.

Bonamego has been a special teams coordinator for 13 seasons during seven stints with five different NFL teams over the past two decades, most recently with the Detroit Lions last year. He also had a four-year stint as Central Michigan’s head coach from 2015-18.

 

NFL COMBINE INVITEES

Quarterbacks:
Name Position College Conference
Kelly Bryant QB Missouri SEC
Joe Burrow QB LSU SEC
Kevin Davidson QB Princeton Ivy League
Jacob Eason QB Washington Pac-12
Jake Fromm QB Georgia SEC
Anthony Gordon QB Washington St. Pac-12
Justin Herbert QB Oregon Pac-12
Jalen Hurts QB Oklahoma Big 12
Brian Lewerke QB Michigan St. Big Ten
Jordan Love QB Utah St. Mountain West
Jake Lyton QB Oregon St. Pac-12
Cole McDonald QB Hawaii Mountain West
Steven Montez QB Colorado Pac-12
James Morgan QB Florida International Conference USA
Shea Patterson QB Michigan Big Ten
Nate Stanley QB Iowa Big Ten
Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama SEC

 

Running backs:
Name Position College Conference
Salvon Ahmed RB Washington Pac-12
Cam Akers RB Florida St. ACC
Jet Anderson RB TCU Big 12
LeVante Bellamy RB Western Michigan Mid-American
Eno Benjamin RB Arizona State Pac-12
Raymond Calais RB Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt
DeeJay Dallas RB Miami ACC
AJ Dillon RB Boston College ACC
J.K. Dobbins RB Ohio St. Big Ten
Rico Dowdle RB South Carolina SEC
Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU SEC
Darrynton Evans RB Appalachian St. Sun Belt
JaMycal Hasty RB Baylor Big 12
Brian Herrien RB Georgia SEC
Tony Jones RB Notre Dame IA Independents
Joshua Kelley RB UCLA Pac-12
Javon Leake RB Maryland Big Ten
Benny LeMay RB Charlotte Conference USA
Anthony McFarland RB Maryland Big Ten
Zack Moss RB Utah Pac-12
Sewo Olonilua RB TCU Big 12
La-Mical Perine RB Florida SEC
Scottie Phillips RB Mississippi SEC
James Robinson RB Illinois St. Missouri Valley
D’Andre Swift RB Georgia SEC
J.J. Taylor RB Arizona Pac-12
Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin Big Ten
Patrick Taylor RB Memphis AAC
Ke’Shawn Vaughn RB Vanderbilt SEC
Mike Warren RB Cincinnati AAC

 

Wide receivers:
Name Position College Conference
Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State Pac-12
Omar Bayless WR Arkansas State Sun Belt
Lynn Bowden WR Kentucky SEC
Tony Brown WR Colorado Pac-12
Lawrence Cager WR Georgia SEC
Marquez Callaway WR Tennessee SEC
Quintez Cephus WR Wisconsin Big Ten
Chase Claypool WR Notre Dame IA Independents
Tyrie Cleveland WR Florida SEC
Isaiah Coulter WR Rhode Island CAA
Gabriel Davis WR Central Florida AAC
Quartney Davis WR Texas A&M SEC
Devin Duvernay WR Texas Big 12
Bryan Edwards WR South Carolina SEC
Chris Finke WR Notre Dame IA Independents
Aaron Fuller WR Washington Pac-12
Antonio Gandy-Golden WR Liberty Big South
Antonio Gibson WR Memphis AAC
Stephen Guildry WR Mississippi St. SEC
KJ Hamler WR Penn St. Big Ten
Tee Higgins WR Clemson ACC
John Hightower WR Boise St. Mountain West
K.J. Hill WR Ohio State Big Ten
Isaiah Hodgins WR Oregon St. Pac-12
Trishton Jackson WR Syracuse ACC
Justin Jefferson WR LSU SEC
Van Jefferson WR Florida SEC
Jauan Jennings WR Tennessee SEC
Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama SEC
Collin Johnson WR Texas Big 12
Juwan Johnson WR Oregon Pac-12
Tyler Johnson WR Minnesota Big Ten
CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma Big 12
Kalija Lipscomb WR Vanderbilt SEC
Austin Mack WR Ohio St. Big Ten
Denzel Mims WR Baylor Big 12
Darnell Mooney WR Tulane AAC
K.J. Osborn WR Miami ACC
Aaron Parker WR Rhode Island CAA
Dezmon Patmon WR Washington St. Pac-12
Donovan Peoples-Jones WR Michigan Big Ten
Malcolm Perry WR Navy AAC
Michael Pittman WR USC Pac-12
James Proche WR SMU AAC
Jalen Reagon WR TCU Big 12
Joe Reed WR Virginia ACC
Kendrick Rogers WR Texas A&M SEC
Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama SEC
Laviska Shenault Jr. WR Colorado Pac-12
Darrell Stewart WR Michigan St. Big Ten
Freddie Swain WR Florida SEC
Jeff Thomas WR MIami ACC
Ben Victor WR Ohio St. Big Ten
Quez Watkins WR Southern Miss Conference USA
Cody White WR Michigan St. Big Ten

 

Tight ends:
Name Position College Conference
Devin Asiasi TE UCLA Pac-12
Jacob Breeland TE Oregon Pac-12
Harrison Bryant TE Florida Atlantic Conference USA
Hunter Bryant TE Washington Pac-12
Josiah Deguara TE Cincinnati AAC
Brycen Hopkins TE Purdue Big Ten
Dalton Keene TE Virginia Tech ACC
Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame IA Independents
Sean McKeon TE Michigan Big Ten
Thaddeus Moss TE LSU SEC
C.J. O’Grady TE Arkansas SEC
Albert Okwuegbunam TE Missouri SEC
Colby Parkinson TE Stanford Pac-12
Jared Pinkney TE Vanderbilt SEC
Stephen Sullivan TE LSU SEC
Charlie Taumoepeau TE Portland St. Big Sky
Adam Trautman TE Dayton Pioneer
Mitchell Wilcox TE South Florida AAC
Charlie Woerner TE Georgia SEC
Dom Wood-Anderson TE Tennessee SEC

 

Offensive linemen:
Name Position College Conference
Trey Adams OL Washington Pac-12
Hakeem Adeniji OL Kansas Big 12
Tremayne Anchrum OL Clemson ACC
Ben Bartch OL St. Johns (MN) Minnesota Intercollegiate
Mekhi Becton OL Louisville ACC
Tyler Biadasz OL Wisconsin Big Ten
Ben Bredeson OL Michigan Big Ten
Cohl Cabral OL Arizona State Pac-12
Saahdiq Charles OL LSU SEC
Cameron Clark OL Charlotte Conference USA
Ezra Cleveland OL Boise St. Mountain West
Trystan Colon-Castillo OL Missouri SEC
Lloyd Cushenberry OL LSU SEC
Jack Driscoll OL Auburn SEC
Yasir Durant OL Missouri SEC
Jake Hanson OL Oregon Pac-12
Nick Harris OL Washington Pac-12
Charlie Heck OL North Carolina ACC
Matt Hennessy OL Temple AAC
Justin Herron OL Wake Forest ACC
Robert Hunt OL Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt
Keith Ismael OL San Diego St. Mountain West
Cordel Iwuagwu OL TCU Big 12
Austin Jackson OL USC Pac-12
Jonah Jackson OL Ohio St. Big Ten
Joshua Jones OL Houston AAC
Solomon Kindley OL Georgia SEC
Shane Lemieux OL Oregon Pac-12
Damien Lewis OL LSU SEC
Colton McKivitz OL West Virginia Big 12
John Molchon OL Boise St. Mountain West
Kyle Murphy OL Rhode Island CAA
Netane Muti OL Fresno St. Mountain West
Lucas Niang OL TCU Big 12
Mike Onwenu OL Michigan Big Ten
Matt Peart OL Connecticut AAC
Tyre Phillips OL Mississippi St. SEC
Danny Pinter OL Ball St. Mid-American
Cesar Ruiz OL Michigan Big Ten
Jon Runyan OL Michigan Big Ten
John Simpson OL Clemson ACC
Terence Steele OL Texas Tech Big 12
Logan Stenberg OL Kentucky SEC
Simon Stepaniak OL Indiana Big Ten
Alex Taylor OL South Carolina St. MEAC
Andrew Thomas OL Georgia SEC
Calvin Throckmorton OL Oregon Pac-12
Prince Tega Wanogho OL Auburn SEC
Darryl Williams OL Mississippi St. SEC
Jedrick Wills OL Alabama SEC
Isaiah Wilson OL Georgia SEC
Tristan Wirfs OL Iowa Big Ten

 

DEFENSE

Defensive linemen:

Name Position College Conference
McTelvin Agim DL Arkansas SEC
Bradlee Anae DL Utah Pac-12
Ross Blacklock DL TCU Big 12
Derrick Brown DL Auburn SEC
Josiah Coatney DL Mississippi SEC
Kendall Coleman DL Syracuse ACC
Darrion Daniels DL Nebraska Big Ten
Marloon Davidson DL Auburn SEC
Carlos Davis DL Nebraska Big Ten
Khalil Davis DL Nebraska Big Ten
Raekwon Davis DL Alabama SEC
Jordan Elliott DL Missouri SEC
A.J. Epenesa DL Iowa Big Ten
Leki Fotu DL Utah Pac-12
Neville Gallimore DL Oklahoma Big 12
Jonathan Garvin DL Miami ACC
Trevis Gipson DL Tulsa AAC
Jonathan Greenard DL Florida SEC
Yetur Gross-Matos DL Penn St. Big Ten
DaVon Hamilton DL Ohio St. Big Ten
LaDarius Hamilton DL North Texas Conference USA
Alex Highsmith DL Charlotte Conference USA
Trevon Hill DL Miami ACC
Benito Jones DL Mississippi SEC
Khalid Kareem DL Notre Dame IA Independents
Javon Kinlaw DL South Carolina SEC
Rashard Lawrence II DL LSU SEC
James Lynch DL Baylor Big 12
Justin Madubuike DL Texas A&M SEC
Larrell Murchison DL N.C. State ACC
Julian Okwara DL Notre Dame IA Independents
John Penisini DL Utah Pac-12
Chauncey Rivers DL Mississippi St. SEC
Malcolm Roach DL Texas Big 12
Alton Robinson DL Syracuse ACC
Qaadir Sheppard DL Mississippi SEC
James Smith-Williams DL N.C. State ACC
Jason Strowbridge DL North Carolina ACC
Derrek Tuszka DL North Dakota St. Missouri Valley
Broderick Washington DL Texas Tech Big 12
Kenny Willekes DL Michigan St. Big Ten
Raequan Williams DL Michigan St. Big Ten
Rob Windsor DL Penn St. Big Ten
D.J. Wonnum DL South Carolina SEC
Chase Young DL Ohio St. Big Ten
Jabari Zuniga DL Florida SEC

 

Linebackers:
Name Position College Conference
Joe Bachie LB Michigan St. Big Ten
Markus Bailey LB Purdue Big Ten
Zack Baun LB Wisconsin Big Ten
Francis Bernard LB Utah Pac-12
Daniel Bituli LB Tennessee SEC
Shaun Bradley LB Temple AAC
Jordan Brooks LB Texas Tech Big 12
Cameron Brown LB Penn St. Big Ten
K’Lavon Chaisson LB LSU SEC
Nick Coe LB Auburn SEC
Carter Coughlin LB Minnesota Big Ten
Akeem Davis-Gaither LB Appalachian St. Sun Belt
Michael Divinity LB LSU SEC
Troy Dye LB Oregon Pac-12
Tipa Galeai LB Utah St. Mountain West
Cale Garrett LB Missouri SEC
Willie Gay Jr. LB Mississippi St. SEC
Scoota Harris LB Arkansas SEC
Malik Harrison LB Ohio St. Big Ten
Khaleke Hudson LB Michigan Big Ten
Anfernee Jennings LB Alabama SEC
Clay Johnston LB Baylor Big 12
Azur Kamara LB Kansas Big 12
Terrell Lewis LB Alabama SEC
Jordan Mack LB Virginia ACC
Jamal Martin LB Minnesota Big Ten
Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma Big 12
Dante Olson LB Montana Big Sky
Jacob Phillips LB LSU SEC
Michael Pinckney LB Miami ACC
Shaquille Quarterman LB Miami ACC
Patrick Queen LB LSU SEC
Chapelle Russell LB Temple AAC
Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson ACC
Justin Strnad LB Wake Forest ACC
Darrell Taylor LB Tennessee SEC
Davion Taylor LB Colorado Pac-12
Casey Toohill LB Stanford Pac-12
Josh Uche LB Michigan Big Ten
Mykal Walker LB Fresno St. Mountain West
Curtis Weaver LB Boise St. Mountain West
Evan Weaver LB California Pac-12
Logan Wilson LB Wyoming Mountain West
David Woodward LB Utah St. Mountain West

 

Cornerbacks:

Name Position College Conference
Damon Arnette CB Ohio St. Big Ten
Grayland Arnold CB Baylor Big 12
Trajan Bandy CB Miami ACC
Essang Bassey CB Wake Forest ACC
Myles Bryant CB Washington Pac-12
Nevelle Clarke CB Central Florida AAC
Cameron Dantzler CB Mississippi St. SEC
Javaris Davis CB Auburn SEC
Trevon Diggs CB Alabama SEC
Kristian Fulton CB LSU SEC
Jeff Gladney CB TCU Big 12
A.J. Green CB Oklahoma St. Big 12
Javelin K. Guidry CB Utah Pac-12
Bryce Hall CB Virginia ACC
Harrison Hand CB Temple AAC
C.J. Henderson CB Florida SEC
Lavert Hill CB Michigan Big Ten
Darnay Holmes CB UCLA Pac-12
Noah Igbinoghene CB Auburn SEC
Dane Jackson CB Pittsburgh ACC
Lamar Jackson CB Nebraska Big Ten
Jaylon Johnson CB Utah Pac-12
BoPete Keyes CB Tulane AAC
Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa Big Ten
Jeff Okudah CB Ohio St. Big Ten
James Pierre CB Florida Atlantic Conference USA
Troy Pride CB Notre Dame IA Independents
John Reid CB Penn St. Big Ten
Amik Roberston CB Louisiana Tech Conference USA
Reggie Robinson II CB Tulsa AAC
Stanford Samuels CB Florida St. ACC
Josiah Scott CB Michigan St. Big Ten
A.J. Terrell CB Clemson Acc
Stantley Thomas-Oliver CB Florida International Conference USA
Kindle Vildor CB Georgia Southern Sun Belt

 

Safeties:
Name Position College Conference
Julian Blackmon S Utah Pac-12
Antoine Brooks Jr. S Maryland Big Ten
Terrell Burgess S Utah Pac-12
Shyheim Carter S Alabama SEC
Jeremy Chinn S Southern Illinois Missouri Valley
Rodney Clemons S SMU AAC
Brian Cole II S Mississippi St. SEC
Kamren Curl S Arkansas SEC
Ashtyn Davis S California Pac-12
Grant Delpit S LSU SEC
Kyle Dugger S Lenoir-Rhyne South Atlantic
Jalen Elliott S Notre Dame IA Independents
Jordan Fuller S Ohio St. Big Ten
Alohi Gilman S Notre Dame IA Independents
Jaylinn Hawkins S California Pac-12
Brandon Jones S Texas Big 12
Xavier McKinney S Alabama SEC
Josh Metellus S Michigan Big Ten
Chris Miller S Baylor Big 12
Tanner Muse S Clemson ACC
J.R. Reed S Georgia SEC
L’Jarius Sneed S Louisiana Tech Conference USA
Geno Stone S Iowa Big Ten
Daniel Thomas S Auburn SEC
K’Von Wallace S Clemson ACC
Antoine Winfield Jr. S Minnesota Big Ten

 

SPECIALISTS
Name Position College Conference
Tyler Bass K Georgia Southern Sun Belt
Rodrigo Blankenship K Georgia SEC
JJ Molson K UCLA Pac-12
Blake Ferguson LS LSU SEC
Steven Wirtel LS Iowa St. Big 12
Joseph Charlton P South Carolina SEC
Sterling Hofrichter P Syracuse ACC
Braden Mann P Texas A&M SEC
Alex Pechin P Bucknell Patriot League
Arryn Siposs P Auburn SEC
Tommy Townsend P Florida SEC
Michael Turk P Arizona State Pac-12

 

Luke Fickell tells Michigan State he’s staying at Cincinnati

Coach Luke Fickell informed Michigan State on Monday that he’s decided to stay at Cincinnati, leaving the Spartans to resume their search to find Mark Dantonio’s replacement.

Fickell has rebuilt Cincinnati into a Top 25 program in his three seasons. Dantonio, who stepped down from the job this month, also coached at Cincinnati.

After considering the Michigan State job over the weekend, Fickell announced he was staying because his family is comfortable in Cincinnati.

“I know at some point in time things always come to an end, whether they get rid of you, kids leave – there’s all kinds of things,” Fickell said in a video posted on the team’s website. “But the bottom line is first and foremost family. Obviously my family loves it here.”

Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman focused on Fickell with the advice of Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo, who was also part of the search that landed Dantonio from Cincinnati.

Fickell has led the Bearcats back into the national spotlight. They were in the Top 25 most of last season, going 11-3 with a 38-6 victory over Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl.

The Bearcats lost their final game of the regular season at Memphis 34-24, then returned to Memphis for the American Athletic championship game and lost again, 29-24.

Replacing Dantonio is the biggest decision so far for Beekman. He replaced Mark Hollis, who retired early in 2018 amid the fallout from the sexual abuse scandal involving Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State sports doctor who also worked for USA Gymnastics.

The Spartans lost their all-time winningest coach when Dantonio unexpectedly announced his retirement on Feb. 4. He went 114-57 over 13 years, with three Big Ten titles and a College Football Playoff in a six-season span from 2010 to 2015. Michigan State slipped to 7-6 each of the past two seasons.

 

Dinwiddie’s basket gives Nets win, Pacers 6th straight loss

Spencer Dinwiddie struggled to find his shooting touch Monday night.

He rediscovered it in the nick of time for Brooklyn.

Dinwiddie calmly knocked down the go-ahead 21-footer with 5.2 seconds left, then watched as Indiana’s final shot come up well short to give the Nets a 106-105 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

“I kept thinking I was going to blow the game because we were playing so well collectively,” he said. “I was like, `Come on, man! You can’t be the one that blows this thing.’ That last shot was different.”

It was a strange game for Dinwiddie.

He finished 4 of 15 from the field and 0 for 7 on 3-pointers yet made 13 of 15 from the free throw line, scoring 21 points and dishing out 11 assists.

But the only thing that really mattered was Dinwiddie delivering on his last chance in a game Brooklyn controlled for almost the entire first three quarters.

The result: Brooklyn earned a rare road victory, beat the Pacers for the first time in three tries this season and now, thanks to Dinwiddie, has back-to-back wins at Indiana for the first time in seven seasons.

“I thought our defense was great in the fourth quarter. We only turned it over twice,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Guys made plays. That’s what it all comes down to in the NBA, at the end of the game, you make plays.”

For the Pacers, the fourth-quarter breakdowns are becoming a familiar tale.

The lead changed hands three times in the final 27 seconds – with the Nets taking a 104-103 lead, their first of the quarter, on Joe Harris’ 3-pointer.

Indiana answered with a layup from Domantas Sabonis with 10 seconds left to make it 105-104.

But Dinwiddie’s basket put the Nets back in front, and Malcolm Brogdon’s errant 3 at the buzzer sealed the Pacers’ fate, ruining Sabonis’ fourth triple-double of the season.

Sabonis finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. T.J. Warren added 19 points as the Pacers lost their sixth in a row – matching their longest skid since February 2017.

 

Anunoby has 25, Raptors beat Wolves for 15th straight win

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam keeps telling teammate OG Anunoby to improve his offense output by thinking less on the court.

Anunoby must not have thought much during Monday’s game against Minnesota.

Anunoby scored a career-high 25 points and matched his career best with 12 rebounds, Kyle Lowry had 27 points and 11 assists, and the Raptors extended their franchise-record winning streak to 15 by beating the Timberwolves 137-126.

“Most of the time you can kind of see that he’s thinking too much and he’s not just playing freely,” Siakam said of Anunoby. “Every time he just goes out and plays – once you’re open shoot it, you’re not open drive it – he always has a good game.

“You’ve got to keep it simple, and he did tonight.”

Anunoby connected on 10 of 13 attempts, going 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and picked up his fifth double-double of the season.

Toronto is 4-0 when Anunoby scores 20 or more.

“I thought his decisions were really, really good tonight,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said.

Siakam scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a season-high 21 and Fred VanVleet added 16 as the Raptors won their 16th straight home meeting with Minnesota.

Lowry returned after missing Saturday’s win over Brooklyn because of whiplash, but center Serge Ibaka sat because of flu-like symptoms. Hollis-Jefferson started for Ibaka.

D’Angelo Russell scored 22 points in his Minnesota debut and Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the Timberwolves couldn’t build on Saturday’s surprise victory over the Clippers that snapped a 13-game losing streak.

 

Clarkson, perfect Gobert help Jazz beat Mavericks 123-119

Another perfect night for Rudy Gobert against Dallas didn’t feel much like one with a lead slipping away in the third quarter.

The Utah Jazz and their 7-foot-1 center found a way to hang on for the win.

Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points before fouling out, helping Gobert and the Jazz beat the Mavericks 123-119 on Monday night.

Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points apiece, with each hitting key baskets late in the fourth quarter after the Jazz’s 21-point halftime lead was whittled to three in the third.

“It’s never all going to be perfect,” said Gobert, who was 7 of 7 from the field after making all eight attempts in Utah’s home victory over Dallas last month.

“Some days there’s a storm and we got to all come together and finish the game as a team. I think we did a pretty good job doing that when they made a big run.”

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 33 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 28 for the Mavericks in their seventh straight game without injured All-Star point guard Luka Doncic.

The second-year sensation, who has a sprained right ankle, could return for the final game before the All-Star break. The Mavericks are 3-4 in their second stint without Doncic, both because of a right ankle sprain.

Utah shot 61% in the first half and a season-high 59% for the game, just shy of the highest percentage Dallas has allowed this season.

The Mavericks have one of the best road records in the league at 18-8 but dropped to 14-14 at home. They’ve lost four of their past five at home.

 

Rondo, Davis lead Lakers to 125-100 rout of Suns

Rajon Rondo’s Los Angeles Lakers teammates have been encouraging him to be more aggressive and shoot the ball instead of trying to distribute it to everyone. On Monday night, he took the advice to heart.

The 13-year veteran point guard scored a season-high 23 points, including 15 in the second quarter, as the Lakers rolled to a 125-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

“He’s always had that confidence but he wants to get everyone involved. We’ve been on him to shoot those shots and he showed you all what he can do. He does it in practice all the time,” Anthony Davis said.

Los Angeles put the game away in the second, which was only the fifth time in Rondo’s 13-year career he has scored 15 or more in a period.

“We dared Rondo to shoot from the perimeter and he made us pay,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.

The Lakers had dropped three of their last four at Staples Center but didn’t have any problems against the undersized Suns. They outrebounded Phoenix by 30 (59-29) along with a 58-38 advantage in points in the paint.

The Suns had only one big man suit up after Deandre Ayton injured his left ankle in Saturday’s loss to Denver. Dario Saric and Aron Baynes have also missed extended time due to injuries.

Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds but it was a big game for the bench. Besides Rondo, Dwight Howard had 14 points and 15 rebounds. It is the Lakers’ 40th win of the season, the first time since 2010 they have reached that before the All-Star break.

 

LeBron James among 44 US Olympic basketball team finalists

LeBron James is considering a return to the Olympics.

James – a two-time gold medalist and three-time Olympian – is among 44 players announced by USA Basketball on Monday as finalists for the team that will play in the Tokyo Games this summer. James played in 2004, 2008 and 2012, helping the U.S. win gold in his most recent two appearances.

The pool includes 19 players who have won a total of 31 gold medals in either Olympic or World Cup competition for the Americans – including nine players who captured the Olympic title for USA Basketball in Rio de Janeiro four years ago.

“I’ve always maintained that equity is important,” USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo told The Associated Press. “And you earn equity by participating. So, we think they’ve earned the right to be named to the overall roster for USA Basketball. It’s pretty elite. It’s a tremendous pot and the good news is they’ve all said they want to play.”

James has played in 68 games for the U.S. national team and has said several times over the past year or so that he is thinking about another Olympics – after sitting out the Rio Games for a variety of reasons. Part of the interest in participating this summer is to have the chance to play for U.S. coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.

“It’s a possibility,” James said in December.

There will be no tryouts. USA Basketball will pare the list down to a 12-person Olympic team by early June, those decisions to be made by a selection committee – and to be based in part on player availability and health. Training camp will start in early July, potentially as little as two weeks after the end of the NBA Finals. The Olympics start July 24.

USA Basketball officials, including Colangelo and Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, have met with players in a variety of ways over the past several weeks. Some talks have been directly with players, some with their agents, some with their NBA clubs, sometimes a combination thereof – and, Colangelo noted, there were some instances where players reached out directly to express interest.

If they’re on the list, that means USA Basketball is convinced they want to play.

“I feel very good about the response,” Colangelo said.

Also included in the pool: 15 of the 16 players from the U.S. who are scheduled to play in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, and all 12 members of the team that represented the U.S. at last summer’s Basketball World Cup in China – where the Americans managed only a seventh-place finish after roughly three dozen players who were on the list at some point dropped out along the way.

The nine players still in the mix from the 2016 Olympic team: Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes, Miami’s Jimmy Butler, San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan, Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Golden State’s Draymond Green, Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Golden State’s Klay Thompson.

Back from the 2012 Olympic champion roster: the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, Durant, Houston’s James Harden, the Lakers’ James, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul and Houston’s Russell Westbrook. Back from the 2008 gold-medal squad: the Lakers’ Dwight Howard.

And those with World Cup or world championship gold medals for USA Basketball, but no Olympic gold to this point: Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Cleveland’s Andre Drummond and Denver’s Mason Plumlee.

James and Paul won Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008, and James was part of the team that won bronze at Athens in 2004. If James joins this team, he will become the second four-time men’s basketball Olympian for the U.S. – joining Carmelo Anthony.

“I’m looking forward to coaching the U.S. Olympic Team, and I’m excited about the potential and possibilities this team has,” Popovich said.

The Olympics could be a return to the court for players like Durant and Thompson, who have missed the entirety of this NBA season with injuries. Durant’s recovery from Achilles’ surgery is at the point where he’s doing some on-court work and Thompson has said he would like to play if his surgically repaired knee is up to the challenge.

The 25 other players who are finalists for this summer’s team but do not yet have Olympic or World Cup gold for the U.S.: Miami’s Bam Adebayo, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Washington’s Bradley Beal, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon, Boston’s Jaylen Brown, Utah’s Mike Conley, the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell, Brooklyn’s Joe Harris, Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris, Boston’s Gordon Hayward, New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram, the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Milwaukee’s Brook Lopez, the Lakers’ JaVale McGee, Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Boston’s Marcus Smart and Jayson Tatum, Indiana’s Myles Turner, Boston’s Kemba Walker and San Antonio’s Derrick White.

“The reason we have this big roster is a lot of things happen, a lot of variables,” Colangelo said. “And what’s to say what’s going to happen from an injury standpoint between now and June. We don’t know. So we have the rest of the season to monitor, to watch. But when we select our 12, they will be 12 who are absolutely in with all fours.”

 

AP source: Mavs adding Kidd-Gilchrist after Charlotte buyout

The Dallas Mavericks are set to add veteran Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to their young core as they close in on the franchise’s first trip to the playoffs in four years.

Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft, has agreed to sign with the Mavericks after taking a buyout from the Charlotte Hornets, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said Monday night.

The Mavericks plan to waive Ryan Broekhoff to make room for Kidd-Gilchrist, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the moves are not yet official.

The 26-year-old Kidd-Gilchrist, drafted by Charlotte behind former Kentucky teammate Anthony Davis, had fallen out of the rotation with the Hornets. The agreement with the Mavericks came two days after Kidd-Gilchrist was waived.

At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds in his eighth season, Kidd-Gilchrist gives Dallas the size and experience to help defend some of the elite forwards in the Western Conference.

Offense will be the bigger question in a scheme that relies heavily on 3-point shooting even from most of Dallas’ frontcourt players, including 7-foot-3 forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Kidd-Gilchrist struggled with his shooting despite efforts to improve his form. He is shooting 47.5% from the field and 28% from 3-point range for his career.

After playing in just 12 games with Charlotte this season, Kidd-Gilchrist has career averages of 8.6 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Led by 20-year-old sensation Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are in strong position to end their longest stretch without making the playoffs in 20 years.

Dallas has a realistic shot at finishing as high as fourth in the West and is seven games clear of ninth with 28 games remaining.

Broekhoff was in his second season with the Mavericks after the Australian joined them as a 28-year-old rookie. Broekhoff averaged 4.0 points in 59 career games while shooting 40% from 3 for Dallas. He missed a month this season with a broken left fibula.

 

Columbus star defenseman Seth Jones out with ankle injury

Columbus Blue Jackets star defenseman Seth Jones has been sidelined indefinitely with an ankle injury.

The team said Monday that Jones was injured in Saturday night’s game loss to Colorado. The announcement came hours before the Blue Jackets face the surging Tampa Bay Lightning.

The three-time All-Star has six goals and 24 assists this season while leading the club in ice time.

Gabriel Carlsson was recalled from Cleveland (AHL) to take Jones’ place.

The Blue Jackets also announced that they brought up prospect Liam Foudy on emergency recall from the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights. The 20-year-old Foudy will play center to replace the injured Alexander Wennberg.

Columbus has been plagued by injuries this season but has still managed to play its way into contention in the tough Metropolitan Division.

 

PURDUE TRACK AND FIELD: Purdue Maintains National Rankings

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The latest Track & Field National Rating Index features nine ranked Purdue track & field athletes along with the team event rankings, where the Boilermakers are in the top-25 in eight events.

The Purdue men are ranked No. 61 nationally, No. 2 in the Great Lakes Region and No. 5 in the Big Ten Conference, while the women check in at No. 60 in the country, No. 7 in the region and No. 10 in the Big Ten. The third week of rankings were announced today by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

A total of nine Boilermakers are ranked in the individual event rankings, with three based on marks earned through the first six meets of the 2019-20 campaign.

Junior Tamar Greene is ranked No. 20 in the triple jump thanks to a jump of 15.90 meters on Jan. 17 at the Larry Wieczorek Invite.

In the 200-meter run, senior Samson Colebrooke checks in at No. 21 nationally. On Jan. 24, he finished in 20.88 seconds, the third-fastest time in school history and the fastest by a Boilermaker in the event since 2014.

Senior Rebecca Coan is No. 35 nationally in the pentathlon after she earned a mark of 3,851 on Jan. 10, at home at the Gene Edmonds Memorial Invite. It is the fifth-best pentathlon score in program history, as Coan became the fifth Boilermaker to eclipse 3,800 points in the event in team history and the first since 2001.

Five more Purdue student-athletes appear in this week’s rankings thanks to scores earned in previous seasons, as the Boilermakers are represented nine total times:

Senior Janae’ Moffitt: No. 8, High Jump

Junior Jalil Brewer: No. 12, Shot Put

Junior Waseem Williams: No. 14, 60m

Senior Jah Strange: No. 15, Triple Jump

Senior Jaret Carpenter: No. 16, 5000m

Greene: No. 20, Triple Jump

Colebrooke: No. 21, 200m

Colebrooke: No. 25, 60m

Coan: No. 35 Pentathlon

In the team event rankings, the men and women are both ranked in 10 total events. The men lead the way with a No. 3 ranking in the 60-meter dash and are in the top-25 in the mile (No. 11), 3,000-meter run (No. 12), 200-meter dash (No. 14) and long jump (No. 19). The women are led by a No. 13-ranking in the high jump and also are in the top-25 in the 400-meters (No. 23) and 60-meters (No. 25).

Men

Team: No. 61

Great Lakes Region: No. 2

Big Ten Conference: No. 5

60 Meters: No. 3

Mile: No. 11

3,000 Meters: No. 12

200 Meters: No. 14

Long Jump: No. 19

Shot Put: No. 45

60-Meter Hurdles: No. 60

High Jump: No. 68

400 Meters: No. 80

800 Meters: No. 93

Women

Team: No. 60

Great Lakes Region: No. 7

Big Ten Conference: No. 10

High Jump: No. 13

400 Meters: No. 23

60 Meters: No. 25

200 Meters: No. 26

60-Meter Hurdles: No. 26

Long Jump: No. 27

Shot Put: No. 68

Mile: No. 72

3,000 Meters: No. 98

800 Meters: No. 119

Up next, Purdue travels to Nashville for the Music City Invitational, from Feb. 14-15. Competition at Vanderbilt begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14, and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. Additionally, the Boilermaker distance runners will travel to the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa. The meet is set to begin at noon ET/11 a.m. CT, both days.

Last weekend, junior Brian Faust broke a pair of program records and two more top-10 marks in program history were set as Purdue competed at the Meyo Invite in Notre Dame, Indiana, from Feb. 7-8. Faust broke his own school record in both the 600-meter (1:17.20) and 400-meter (46.68), placing first and third in each event, respectively. Additionally, sophomore Jessica Bray recorded the fifth-best pole vault mark (4.11m) in school history and freshman Johnny Vanos notched the No. 6-ranked weight throw mark in Purdue history (20.26m). In total at the two-day meet, the Boilermakers notched 14 personal-record times and had 12 top-10 finishes.

 

Indiana and Penn State Earn Weekly Men’s Basketball Honors

Indiana’s Jackson-Davis and Penn State’s Stevens claim weekly awards

Player of the Week

Lamar Stevens, Penn State

F – Sr. – 6-8 – Philadelphia, Pa. – Roman Catholic – Major: Sociology

  • Led No. 22 Penn State to a 2-0 week with a 75-70 road win at No. 16 Michigan State, scoring a team-high 24-points, and followed with a career- and game-best 33 points in a win over Minnesota
  • Averaged 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 38.0 minutes in the two contests
  • Against the Spartans, scored 13 points in the second half, including 4-for-4 from the foul line in the game’s final 16 seconds; also grabbed seven rebounds, six in the second half, and handed out three assists to help the Nittany Lions to their fifth-straight conference win and third consecutive Big Ten road win
  • Posted a career-high 33 points versus Minnesota with 16 coming in the second half as Penn State held off a Minnesota comeback attempt for their sixth-straight Big Ten Conference win, the longest Big Ten win streak in program history
  • Scored 30 or more points for the third time in his career, tying him for sixth on Penn State’s career list for 30-point games
  • Took over Penn State’s career field goal record from Jesse Arnelle (1951-55) against Michigan State and now has 745 career field goals
  • Earns the second Player of the Week accolade of his career
  • Last Penn State Player of the Week: Lamar Stevens (Dec. 16, 2019)

Freshman of the Week

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
F – 6-9 – Greenwood, Ind. – Center Grove High School – Major: Sport Marketing

  • Recorded 16 points, eight rebounds and shot .444 from the field for Indiana in front of 17,222 fans at Assembly Hall on Saturday
  • Also added four assists and three blocks against Purdue
  • Earns the fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor of his career
  • Last Indiana Freshman of the Week: Armaan Franklin (Dec. 23, 2019)

 

Maryland Sweeps Big Ten Weekly Women’s Basketball Awards

Terrapins’ Kaila Charles and Ashley Owusu are this week’s honorees

Player of the Week

Kaila Charles, Maryland

G – Sr. – Glenn Dale, Md. – Riverdale Baptist – Major: Communications

  • Averaged 18.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game with a .719 field-goal percentage and a double-double to help No. 13/12 Maryland to three Big Ten wins last week
  • Posted a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the Terrapins’ Feb. 6 win at No. 18/22 Indiana
  • Registered game highs of 16 points and eight rebounds in Sunday’s victory over Rutgers
  • Added 17 points and four assists in a Feb. 3 win over Michigan State
  • Earns her fourth Big Ten Player of the Week award and second this season
  • Last Maryland Player of the Week: Kaila Charles (Dec. 30, 2019)

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll

Kathleen Doyle, Sr., G, IOWA: Tallied 18.5 ppg. and 10.5 apg. in Iowa’s two wins last week, including 22 points at Purdue on Sunday and a school-record 15 assists on Feb. 6 against Nebraska

Naz Hillmon, So., F, MICH: Posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds in Michigan’s win over Purdue on Feb. 6

Abby Laszewski, Sr., F, WIS: Averaged 25.5 ppg. and 7.0 rpg. with a .643 field-goal percentage last week, registering career-high scoring totals in consecutive games (25 vs. Minnesota, 26 at Ohio State)

Freshman of the Week

Ashley Owusu, Maryland

G – Woodbridge, Va. – Paul XI – Major: Letters & Sciences

  • Averaged 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game with a .528 field-goal percentage as No. 13/12 Maryland stretched its current winning streak to nine games with three Big Ten victories last week
  • Scored a career-high 22 points and added eight assists and six rebounds in the Terrapins’ Feb. 3 win over Michigan State
  • Had 19 points and five assists in a Feb. 6 win at No. 18/22 Indiana
  • Capped the week with a near double-double (14 points/nine assists) in Sunday’s win over Rutgers
  • Collects her third Freshman of the Week award
  • Last Maryland Freshman of the Week: Ashley Owusu (Nov. 25, 2019)

 

Ali Patberg A Top 10 Finalist For Nancy Lieberman Award

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.  – Indiana redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2020 Nancy Lieberman Award announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. She is the first finalist for the award in IU women’s basketball history.

Patberg has played and started in all 25 games this season and leads the way in scoring with 13.6 points per game, 5.3 assists per contest and a +2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Columbus, Ind. native is also averaging 4.7 rebounds per game and shooting 48.2 percent from the floor. She has scored in double figures 19 times this season, two times with 20 or more points and has one double-double. Patberg is also shooting 77.5 percent at the free throw line and averages 1.2 steals per game. Her preseason honors this season also included an All-Big Ten selection, Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, Ann Meyers Drysdale watch list and Naismith Trophy watch list.

Now in its twenty-first year, the award recognizes the top point guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. To be considered for this prestigious award, candidates must exhibit the floor leadership, playmaking and ball-handling skills of Class of 1996 Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.

In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Lieberman and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2020 Lieberman Award will be presented at The College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 10, along with the other four members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five.

Previous winners of the Nancy Lieberman Award include Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (2018-19), Kelsey Plum, Washington (2017), Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut (2015-16), Odyssey Sims, Baylor (2014), Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame (2012-13), Courtney Vandersloot, Gonzaga (2011), Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State (2010), Renee Montgomery, Connecticut (2009), Kristi Toliver, Maryland (2008), Lindsey Harding, Duke (2007), Ivory Latta, North Carolina (2006), Temeka Johnson, LSU (2005), Diana Taurasi, Connecticut (2003-04), and Sue Bird, Connecticut (2000-02).

 

Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio State Earn Big Ten Weekly Softball Awards

Fighting Illini’s Sydney Sickles, Huskers’ Tristen Edwards and Buckeyes’ Avery Clark are first Big Ten weekly honorees of the season

Player of the Week

Tristen Edwards

OF – Sr. – Murrieta, Calif. – Vista Murrieta – Major: Management

  • Batted .438 with four home runs, five RBI and nine runs scored, as well as a .550 on-base percentage and a 1.313 slugging percentage last week, helping Nebraska open with three wins in five games at the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces, N.M.
  • Hit home runs in four of the Huskers’ five tournament games, moving into a tie for sixth in school history with 35 career home runs
  • Had at least one hit and one run scored in all five tournament games as Nebraska averaged 8.8 runs per game during the event
  • A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2018 and 2019)
  • Earns her fourth career Player of the Week honor
  • Last Nebraska Player of the Week: Tristen Edwards (Feb. 18, 2019)

Pitcher of the Week

Sydney Sickels, Illinois

RHP – So. – Indianola, Iowa – Indianola – Major: Kinesiology

  • Factored into all four of Illinois’ wins at last weekend’s NFCA Leadoff Classic, going 2-0 with two saves and a 0.00 ERA, striking out 14 while walking just three in 15.2 innings pitched
  • Recorded a complete-game two-hit shutout over No. 23 Auburn in the tournament finale on Sunday
  • Picked up four-out saves in both Illinois wins on Feb. 8 against No. 21 Ole Miss and South Alabama
  • Earns her first career Player of the Week honor
  • Last Illinois Player of the Week: Bella Loya (Feb. 25, 2019)

Freshman of the Week

Avery Clark, Ohio State

DP – Fr. – Prospect, Ohio – North Union – Major: Undeclared

  • Batted .545 with a .615 on-base percentage and .818 slugging percentage, plus a home run and three RBI last weekend, helping the Buckeyes take three of four games at the Carolina Classic in Columbia, S.C.
  • Hit a two-run home run to put OSU ahead to stay in its Feb. 8 win over North Dakota State
  • Also had two hits against No. 19/21 South Carolina on Feb. 7 and in Sunday’s 10-inning win over UNCG
  • Earns her first career Freshman of the Week honor
  • Last Ohio State Freshman of the Week: Kaitlyn Coffman (Feb. 25, 2019)

 

PURDUE BASEBALL: Hofstra on Stopper of the Year Watch List

(PURDUE RELEASE)

GREENVILLE, N.C. – After an All-Big Ten campaign as Purdue baseball’s closer last season, Bo Hofstra has been recognized among the top pitchers nationally with a place on the preseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award.

Hofstra recorded a 1.62 ERA and 7 saves in his 24 appearances last year. With 47 strikeouts vs. 30 hits allowed in 39 innings, he helped the Boilermakers set team records for strikeouts (477) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.10).

The Stopper of the Year Award is awarded annually by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, recognizing the top NCAA Division I reliever pitcher. Nick Wittgren (2011-12) and Ross Learnard (2017-18) are among Purdue’s other closers to appear on the watch list in recent seasons.

Hofstra was tabbed as the No. 8 prospect in the Big Ten for the 2020 MLB Draft by D1Baseball.com. He’s a leading candidate to move into the weekend rotation for his junior campaign. The organizational leadership major was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree as a sophomore.

Hofstra has pitched in a team-high 52 games over the last two seasons. The right-hander set a Purdue freshman record with 28 appearances during the program’s successful 38-win campaign in 2018. For his career, he has racked up 96 strikeouts vs. 74 hits allowed in 91 1/3 innings. Among pitchers with a minimum 75 innings, his 2.76 career ERA ranks fifth best in Purdue history. He also ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in strikeouts per nine innings (9.46), fewest hits allowed per nine (7.29) and WHIP (1.23) – all among those with a minimum 75 innings.

The Schererville native pitched in every Big Ten victory as a sophomore, earning a win and five saves in conference play. He closed out all three shutouts on the season, finishing off wins vs. Texas, Penn State and Michigan State. Hofstra allowed only one of 12 inherited base runners to score and really saw his season take off after fixing the command issues that plagued him early in 2019. He registered 35 strikeouts vs. 11 walks (3.18 K/BB ratio) over the final two months after giving up 13 walks vs. 12 Ks (0.92 K/BB) in his first 11 2/3 innings.

Over the summer, Matt Moore and Hofstra teamed up to help the Cotuit Kettleers win the Cape Cod League title.

An imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Big Bo has been able overpower hitters with a fastball-slider combination. He’ll likely have an opportunity to face his namesake – Hofstra University – as Purdue opens its season with a four-game series against the Pride this weekend in Sanford, Florida. Friday’s season opener is set for 3 p.m. ET.

 

OP/ED

NBA Needs To Go All In On Replay Reviews

By Rafael Thomas

The NBA has a replay problem. The problem is not that the system doesn’t work, but that it is not used enough to fix issues that it’s designed to correct. Case in point is Friday night’s Portland Trailblazer game against the Utah Jazz, when, in the waning seconds, Damian Lillard went in for a layup, with the ball being tipped after it hit the glass by Rudy Gobert. The missed call was easy to see on replay; however, because of the rule being written that only goaltending calls that are made can be reviewed, the mistake was allowed to stand, giving the Jazz the win.

This proves that sports leagues need to go all in with the use of replay or get rid of it all together, because going halfway is still allowing the human element to effect games when it doesn’t have to.

The clause in the rule that doesn’t allow a missed call to be reviewed cannot longer be allowed to exist; because if everyone with a phone, television or eyes can see that a call was missed and is not corrected, there is no reason to have a full blown replay system that will stop the game for five minutes to see if someone’s shoelaces were on the three point line during a shot attempt.

It is clear that no matter what system is used in sports, the dreaded “human element” will always play a part, with the Portland/Utah game proving that in spades.  People are always going to make mistakes, and in the fast paced NBA game where both players and officials are always on the move, missing calls because of bad angels or the speed of the play is always going to happen. If the game is not going to allow an “eye in the sky” to fix calls clearly missed that directly affect the outcome of a game, then the replay monitors should be unplugged and the entire system should be dismantled because it is not doing everything that it should to improve the game of basketball.

With the NBA embracing daily fantasy sports as well as the sports wagering, getting every call right is more important than ever since every day is being watched by people with a financial interest, with those who feel like a call was missed wondering if there was another agenda in play causing a mistake.

Adam Silver is a very proactive commissioner, and he will hear the voices crying out for change; so I don’t think that replay is going away anytime soon. Silver does, however, need to find a way to fix the mistakes of non-calls and not let a bad clause in the rules to prevent a game’s outcome to be altered one way or the other.

The time has come for an eye in the sky to oversee what happens on the court regardless of what is or isn’t called on the court, even if that means overruling the officials on the court. The integrity of the league is on the line, and Adam Silver knows that, which is why change will need to come as soon as next season. Because the voices calling for change are only growing, and won’t be silenced any other way.

 

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-2002

SALT LAKE CITY – There was outrage at the apparent sympathy vote tonight as the Olympic domination of the Russians went unbroken, with the calamitous journey of Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze ending with a pairs gold medal, the 11th consecutive for the country. Few understood how 42 years of history was kept intact, though. The instant Jamie Salé drifted away from David Pelletier on the emotional final notes of the Canadian pair’s “Love Story” routine, their reaction was that of winners. Pelletier kissed the ice, and Salé wiped happy tears from her eyes. The crowd inside the Salt Lake Ice Center chanted “Six! Six!” trying to coax the judges into delivering perfect scores for what appeared to be a flawless performance, or at least one better than that of Sikharulidze and Berezhnaya.

After all, Sikharulidze stumbled out of his double axel on the pair’s second element. Even so, the international judges split their vote, 5-4. Russia, China, Ukraine, Poland and France still felt the presentation of the Russians deserved first place. Judges from the United States, Canada, Germany and Japan awarded first place to the Canadians. One official said there may have been politics within the sport that swayed the French judge to side with Russia. “What we can’t control, we can’t control,” Pelletier said, choking with emotion. “It’s tough.”

One skating official privately called the result an embarrassment, and the choreographer for the Canadian pair, Lori Nichol, said Salé and Pelletier had clearly won, adding that the questionable scoring “hurt the sport.” The Russians’ coach, Tamara Moskvina, defended her team. “What decision? What controversy?” said Moskvina, who has coached four Russian teams to gold in her career. “There was applause for silver, gold and bronze.”

It was not equal, though. The Canadians transfixed the audience, pulling off the polish of a Hollywood love scene. No clumsiness, just one clean line. “Our silver is worth gold to us,” Salé said.

Two days later, Didier Gailhaguet, head of the French Olympic team, said that the figure-skating judge from his country, Marie Reine Le Gougne, was pressured to “act in a certain way” before she voted to award the gold medal to the Russian team.

On Feb. 15, the International Skating Union, in an unprecedented move made under pressure from the International Olympic Committee, awarded a second set of gold medals to the Canadian team and suspended Le Gougne for misconduct. Le Gougne and Gailhaguet were suspended from any involvement in international skating on April 30 after the I.S.U. ruled that they had colluded to fix the event. They were also excluded from any skating participation in the 2006 Turin Games.

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1915       New York Giants president Harry Hempstead rejects the International League’s request for permission to put a team in the Bronx. The shift of the IL’s Jersey City to the nearby borough, already the home to the Yankees, was conceived as a way to prop up the failing minor league franchise and perhaps as an opportunity to thwart the invasion of the Federal League into the Big Apple.

1962       Before the start of spring training, Don Zimmer and right-hander Bob Miller, both who reside in the St. Pete area, become the first players to don a Mets jersey when they model the club’s away uniform tops for a photoshoot at Huggins Field. The expansion team’s inaugural third baseman, who will be traded to the Reds in May for southpaw Bob Miller, poses with his nine year-old son Tommy on his shoulders.

1974       The first arbitration ruling in baseball history is decided in favor of Dick Woodson, who posted a 10-8 record along with a 3.95 ERA for the Twins last season. The 27 year-old right-hander, the first player to invoke the new free agency clause, is awarded the $29,000 he asked for, rather than having to take Minnesota’s offer, which was six thousand dollars less.

1977       The Cubs trade two-time NL batting champ Bill Madlock along with Rod Sperring to the Giants for Bobby Murcer, Steve Ontiveros, and a minor leaguer. During the 1979 season, San Francisco will trade the fiercely competitive ‘Mad Dog’ to the Pirates, where he will play a major role in the team’s world championship that season and will win two more batting crowns during his seven-year tenure in Pittsburgh.

1982       Ozzie Smith agrees to go to the Cardinals to complete the December deal that finally sends Gary Templeton to the Padres. An outside arbitrator, Tom Roberts, will determine ‘the Wizard of Oz’s’ Cardinal salary before the season starts, awarding the light-hitting Gold Glove shortstop $450,000, rather than the $750,000 he requested.

1985       Kent Hrbek signs a new contract, making him the Twins’ first million-dollar player. The Minnesota first baseman was the runner-up for the American League Most Valuable Player last season, finishing second to Tiger closer Willie Hernandez, after batting .311 along with 27 homers and 107 RBIs for the second-place club.

1987       After turning down the Mets’ $800,000 one-year offer and being granted free agency by the team, World Series MVP Ray Knight signs a two-year deal with the Orioles for $600,000. The 34 year-old third baseman, who won the 1986 NL Comeback Player of the Year Award, will play one season in Baltimore before being traded to the Tigers for Mark Thurmond.

1997       General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, unveils three new Jackie Robinson cereal boxes to be sold in stores nationwide. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame infielder will be the first athlete to be honored on all three varieties of Wheaties: Original Wheaties, Honey Frosted Wheaties, and Crispy Wheaties ‘n’ Raisins.

2001       As thousands cheer, Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh’s 30 year-old sports venue, is imploded when electricity surges through a detonating cord connected to more than 4,800 pounds of dynamite in 2,500 spots in the former home of the Pirates and NFL’s Steelers. Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th hit, as well as Mike Schmidt’s 500th career home run, are part of the historic park’s legacy.

2005       Jose Canseco’s controversial book, Juiced, is made available in selected markets in anticipation of his appearance on CBS’s Sixty Minutes. The self-proclaimed godfather of the steroids in baseball alleges Mark McGwire, Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Ivan Rodriguez all used illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

2005       The Mets announce their former slugging All-Star Darryl Strawberry, will rejoin the team as an outfield instructor during spring training. The often-troubled Rookie of the Year will also join former 1986 World Champion teammates Gary Carter, Lenny Dykstra, Howard Johnson, and Tim Teufel at Shea Stadium on Feb. 27 when single-game tickets go on sale.

2006       Avoiding an arbitration hearing, starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano (14-6, 3.26) and the Cubs agree to a one-year deal worth $6.5 million. After earning $3.76 million last season, the emotional right-hander had asked for $7.2 million, with Chicago offering $6 million.

2007       Avoiding salary arbitration, AL’s reigning batting champ Joe Mauer (.347, 13, 84) and the Twins come to terms on a $33 million, four-year contract. The hometown 23 year-old All-Star backstop is the first catcher to lead the majors in batting average and the first to win the batting title in the American League.

2008       Craig Biggio, following in the footsteps of fan favorites Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, and Jeff Bagwell, agrees to a three-year personal services contract with the Astros. The 42 year-old retired ballplayer spent his entire 20-year career with Houston, leading the franchise in games, at-bats, hits, doubles, and total bases.

2009       The Nationals sign slugger Adam Dunn to a two-year, $20 million deal. The 29 year-old left-handed free-agent, who played for Arizona last season, will bat cleanup for Washington, replacing Nick Johnson at first base.

2010       Ernie Harwell, the long-time voice of the Tigers, will receive the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting during WFUV Radio’s Spring Gala at Fordham University. The 92 year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster is the third recipient of the VSLA, named for the former alum and Dodger broadcast icon, joining inaugural honoree Vin Scully (2008) and Dick Enberg (2009).

 

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
  W L Pct Conf GB Home Road Div Conf Last 10 Streak
Milwaukee 46 7 .868 25-3 21-4 11-0 28-3 9-1 5 W
Toronto 40 14 .741 6.5 21-7 19-7 8-3 29-7 10-0 15 W
Boston 37 15 .712 8.5 22-5 15-10 7-5 25-9 9-1 7 W
Miami 35 18 .660 11.0 22-3 13-15 8-2 23-7 5-5 1 W
Philadelphia 33 21 .611 13.5 24-2 9-19 9-4 22-14 5-5 2 W
Indiana 31 23 .574 15.5 18-10 13-13 5-6 19-15 3-7 6 L
Brooklyn 24 28 .462 21.5 15-12 9-16 4-8 16-16 6-4 1 W
Orlando 23 31 .426 23.5 14-13 9-18 8-4 16-17 2-8 1 W
Washington 18 33 .353 27.0 12-13 6-20 4-8 12-19 5-5 1 L
10 Chicago 19 35 .352 27.5 11-16 8-19 6-8 13-23 3-7 5 L
11 Detroit 19 37 .339 28.5 11-19 8-18 5-9 12-27 2-8 3 L
12 Charlotte 17 36 .321 29.0 8-17 9-19 1-6 12-20 2-8 1 W
13 New York 17 37 .315 29.5 8-18 9-19 2-10 12-23 5-5 1 L
14 Atlanta 15 40 .273 32.0 9-17 6-23 4-5 8-27 4-6 1 L
15 Cleveland 13 40 .245 33.0 6-22 7-18 4-8 8-28 1-9 6 L
Western Conference
  W L Pct Conf GB Home Road Div Conf Last 10 Streak
LA Lakers 40 12 .769 18-7 22-5 7-2 27-6 6-4 2 W
Denver 38 16 .704 3.0 21-6 17-10 9-0 25-8 8-2 4 W
LA Clippers 37 16 .698 3.5 22-5 15-11 6-2 21-12 7-3 1 W
Utah 35 18 .660 5.5 19-5 16-13 5-5 21-13 5-5 3 W
Houston 33 20 .623 7.5 18-8 15-12 6-4 21-16 6-4 2 L
Oklahoma City 32 21 .604 8.5 17-11 15-10 6-4 21-13 8-2 1 L
Dallas 32 22 .593 9.0 14-14 18-8 7-2 18-14 4-6 1 L
Memphis 27 26 .509 13.5 15-13 12-13 4-5 17-16 7-3 1 W
Portland 25 29 .463 16.0 15-11 10-18 4-8 15-21 7-3 1 W
10 San Antonio 22 31 .415 18.5 14-12 8-19 3-5 12-19 2-8 5 L
11 New Orleans 22 31 .415 18.5 10-16 12-15 3-7 13-20 6-4 2 W
12 Sacramento 21 32 .396 19.5 11-15 10-17 5-5 15-18 6-4 1 L
13 Phoenix 21 33 .389 20.0 10-18 11-15 4-7 12-24 3-7 2 L
14 Minnesota 16 36 .308 24.0 7-19 9-17 2-9 8-25 1-9 1 L
15 Golden State 12 42 .222 29.0 7-19 5-23 1-7 7-28 2-8 3 L

 

NHL STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
  GP W L OTL Pts ROW GF GA Home Road L10
Boston Bruins 57 34 11 12 80 34 188 143 19-2-9 15-9-3 7-3-0
Washington Capitals 56 36 15 5 77 33 202 172 16-9-4 20-6-1 6-4-0
Tampa Bay Lightning 56 36 15 5 77 34 201 151 18-7-2 18-8-3 8-1-1
Pittsburgh Penguins 54 34 15 5 73 31 181 148 19-5-3 15-10-2 7-3-0
New York Islanders 54 32 16 6 70 29 161 148 17-7-4 15-9-2 5-3-2
Toronto Maple Leafs 56 29 19 8 66 28 200 187 14-7-7 15-12-1 5-3-2
Columbus Blue Jackets 57 30 17 10 70 30 148 139 18-10-3 12-7-7 7-1-2
Philadelphia Flyers 56 31 18 7 69 26 181 165 19-5-4 12-13-3 7-2-1
Carolina Hurricanes 55 32 20 3 67 27 180 153 18-9-1 14-11-2 5-4-1
10 Florida Panthers 55 29 20 6 64 26 193 185 16-10-2 13-10-4 5-4-1
11 Montreal Canadiens 58 27 24 7 61 23 179 176 13-15-4 14-9-3 7-3-0
12 New York Rangers 54 27 23 4 58 27 177 173 16-12-2 11-11-2 6-4-0
13 Buffalo Sabres 56 24 24 8 56 23 159 176 15-10-4 9-14-4 4-5-1
14 New Jersey Devils 54 20 24 10 50 17 149 190 8-9-10 12-15-0 4-3-3
15 Ottawa Senators 55 18 26 11 47 18 147 188 12-10-6 6-16-5 2-4-4
16 Detroit Red Wings 57 14 39 4 32 12 118 213 9-18-2 5-21-2 2-7-1
Western Conference
  GP W L OTL Pts ROW GF GA Home Road L10
St. Louis Blues 56 32 15 9 73 31 178 160 18-5-5 14-10-4 3-5-2
Vancouver Canucks 57 31 21 5 67 28 187 175 18-6-3 13-15-2 6-3-1
Colorado Avalanche 54 32 16 6 70 32 197 154 14-7-4 18-9-2 7-1-2
Dallas Stars 55 31 19 5 67 29 147 141 16-9-2 15-10-3 5-4-1
Edmonton Oilers 55 29 20 6 64 27 176 173 14-9-4 15-11-2 6-3-1
Vegas Golden Knights 57 28 21 8 64 25 182 174 14-10-4 14-11-4 4-4-2
Calgary Flames 57 29 22 6 64 23 161 173 13-10-4 16-12-2 4-5-1
Winnipeg Jets 57 29 23 5 63 26 173 172 14-12-3 15-11-2 4-5-1
Arizona Coyotes 58 28 23 7 63 23 163 159 13-11-4 15-12-3 3-5-2
10 Nashville Predators 55 26 22 7 59 24 178 183 11-11-4 15-11-3 5-5-0
11 Minnesota Wild 55 26 23 6 58 25 169 181 16-8-4 10-15-2 6-4-0
12 Chicago Blackhawks 55 25 22 8 58 22 163 173 12-12-4 13-10-4 6-2-2
13 Anaheim Ducks 56 23 26 7 53 18 146 173 12-10-3 11-16-4 6-2-2
14 San Jose Sharks 56 24 28 4 52 22 147 187 14-14-1 10-14-3 4-6-0
15 Los Angeles Kings 57 19 33 5 43 19 137 183 11-12-1 8-21-4 1-8-1

 

MEN’S BIG 10

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
Maryland 9-3 .750 6-0 3-3 19-4 .826 13-0 3-4 3-0 3-0
13 Penn State 8-4 .667 4-1 3-3 18-5 .783 12-1 4-3 2-1 4-1
22 Illinois 8-4 .667 5-1 3-3 16-7 .696 12-2 4-4 0-1 1-5
21 Iowa 8-5 .615 7-0 1-4 17-7 .708 12-1 3-4 2-2 5-3
Rutgers 8-5 .615 7-0 1-4 17-7 .708 16-0 1-5 0-2 2-3
Michigan State 8-5 .615 6-1 2-4 16-8 .667 10-2 3-4 3-2 2-3
Purdue 7-6 .538 5-1 2-5 14-10 .583 10-2 3-6 1-2 4-5
Wisconsin 7-6 .538 5-1 2-5 14-10 .583 11-1 3-6 0-3 4-3
Minnesota 6-7 .462 5-1 1-6 12-11 .522 10-2 1-8 1-1 2-4
Ohio State 5-7 .417 3-2 2-5 15-8 .652 11-2 3-5 1-1 3-2
Indiana 5-7 .417 4-2 1-5 15-8 .652 12-3 1-5 2-0 3-3
Michigan 5-7 .417 3-3 1-4 14-9 .609 9-4 1-5 4-0 4-4
Nebraska 2-10 .167 2-4 0-6 7-16 .304 5-7 0-8 2-1 0-4
Northwestern 1-11 .083 1-5 0-6 6-16 .273 4-8 1-7 1-1 0-4

 

MEN’S BIG EAST

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
10 Seton Hall 10-1 .909 4-1 6-0 18-5 .783 9-2 7-2 2-1 3-2
23 Creighton 7-4 .636 4-1 3-3 18-6 .750 13-1 4-4 1-1 2-2
18 Marquette 7-4 .636 5-1 2-3 17-6 .739 12-1 3-4 2-1 2-2
15 Villanova 7-4 .636 4-2 3-2 17-6 .739 10-2 4-3 3-1 2-4
19 Butler 6-5 .545 3-2 3-3 18-6 .750 11-2 4-4 3-0 1-3
Providence 6-5 .545 3-2 3-3 13-11 .542 9-3 3-5 1-3 2-4
Xavier 5-6 .455 3-3 2-3 16-8 .667 11-3 3-4 2-1 1-1
Georgetown 4-7 .364 3-3 1-4 14-10 .583 10-5 3-4 1-1 2-4
St. John’s 2-9 .182 1-4 1-5 13-11 .542 10-5 1-5 2-1 1-4
DePaul 1-10 .091 1-5 0-5 13-11 .542 9-6 4-5 0-0 1-2

 

MEN’S MAC

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
East
Bowling Green 9-2 .818 5-1 4-1 18-6 .750 11-1 4-2 3-3 0-1
Akron 7-3 .700 3-2 4-1 17-6 .739 11-2 5-3 1-1 0-1
Kent State 6-5 .545 3-2 3-3 16-8 .667 10-2 5-5 1-1 0-1
Buffalo 6-5 .545 3-3 3-2 15-9 .625 8-5 4-3 3-1 0-0
Ohio 3-7 .300 2-3 1-4 11-12 .478 7-5 3-5 1-2 0-2
Miami (OH) 2-8 .200 2-3 0-5 9-14 .391 7-5 1-7 1-2 0-1
West
Northern Illinois 8-3 .727 5-1 3-2 15-9 .625 9-3 6-6 0-0 0-0
Central Michigan 6-3 .667 4-1 2-2 13-9 .591 11-1 2-8 0-0 0-0
Ball State 6-4 .600 4-0 2-4 13-10 .565 7-3 4-5 2-2 0-1
Western Michigan 4-6 .400 3-2 1-4 11-12 .478 8-3 3-7 0-2 0-1
Toledo 3-8 .273 1-4 2-4 11-13 .458 6-5 5-8 0-0 0-0
Eastern Michigan 2-8 .200 2-3 0-5 12-11 .522 8-3 2-8 2-0 0-1

 

WOMEN’S BIG 10

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
17 Iowa 11-2 .846 6-0 5-2 20-4 .833 12-0 6-3 2-1 2-0
10 Maryland 11-2 .846 7-0 4-2 20-4 .833 12-1 6-3 2-0 5-2
19 Northwestern 10-2 .833 5-1 5-1 20-3 .870 11-2 7-1 2-0 2-2
20 Indiana 9-4 .692 5-2 4-2 19-6 .760 10-3 7-2 2-1 2-4
Rutgers 7-5 .583 3-2 4-3 17-6 .739 10-2 5-4 2-0 0-2
Michigan 7-5 .583 5-1 2-4 16-7 .696 11-2 4-4 1-1 1-4
Ohio State 7-5 .583 4-2 3-3 14-9 .609 6-4 6-4 2-1 3-5
Purdue 6-7 .462 3-4 3-3 15-10 .600 9-4 4-5 2-1 0-5
Nebraska 5-8 .385 4-3 1-5 15-9 .625 11-4 2-5 2-0 1-3
Minnesota 5-8 .385 2-5 3-3 15-9 .625 9-6 6-3 0-0 1-2
Michigan State 4-8 .333 3-2 1-6 11-12 .478 8-2 2-7 1-3 1-7
Wisconsin 3-10 .231 1-5 2-5 11-13 .458 7-5 3-7 1-1 0-3
Illinois 2-10 .167 1-5 1-5 11-12 .478 9-6 2-6 0-0 0-2
Penn State 1-12 .077 1-6 0-6 7-17 .292 5-9 1-7 1-1 0-3

 

MAC WOMEN’S

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
East
Ohio 8-3 .727 5-1 3-2 15-7 .682 9-1 5-5 1-1 0-1
Kent State 5-5 .500 3-2 2-3 12-9 .571 6-3 4-4 2-2 0-1
Buffalo 4-6 .400 2-3 2-3 13-8 .619 7-3 4-5 2-0 0-1
Miami (OH) 4-7 .364 3-3 1-4 11-12 .478 6-3 4-8 1-1 0-2
Akron 3-7 .300 2-3 1-4 10-11 .476 5-5 3-6 2-0 0-1
Bowling Green 1-9 .100 1-4 0-5 8-14 .364 5-4 2-8 1-2 0-0
West
Central Michigan 11-0 1.000 5-0 6-0 18-4 .818 9-1 9-3 0-0 0-1
Ball State 7-3 .700 6-0 1-3 15-7 .682 9-1 3-5 3-1 0-0
Toledo 6-4 .600 4-1 2-3 11-10 .524 6-4 4-5 1-1 0-0
Eastern Michigan 6-5 .545 3-2 3-3 11-11 .500 6-4 5-7 0-0 0-1
Western Michigan 4-6 .400 3-2 1-4 11-10 .524 6-3 3-6 2-1 0-1
Northern Illinois 3-7 .300 1-3 2-4 7-14 .333 2-6 4-7 1-1 0-0