BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA

NCC

Thursday, Jan. 23

Covenant Christian 102, Tech 90

 

Friday, Jan. 24

Anderson at Harrison , 8 pm

Lafayette Jeff at Marion, 8 pm

Central at Kokomo, 7:30 pm

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Central Catholic at Lafayette Jeff, 7:30 pm

Noblesville at Logansport, 7:30 pm

North Central at Central, 5:30 pm

 

TEC

Friday, Jan. 24

Blue River at Hagerstown, 7:30 pm

Centerville at South Decatur, 7:30 pm

Rushville at Northeastern, 7:30 pm

Tri at Union County , 7:30 pm

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Edinburgh at Lincoln, 7:30 pm

Hagerstown at Delta, 7:30 pm

Knightstown at Winchester , 7:30 pm

Northeastern at Blue River, 7:30 pm

 

MEC

Friday, Jan. 24

Blue River at Hagerstown, 7:30 pm

Cowan at Burris, 7:30 pm

Daleville at Southern Wells, 7:30 pm

Eastern Hancock at Monroe Central, 7:30 pm

Randolph Southern at Wapahani, 7:30 pm

Union (Modoc) at Colonial Christian, 7 pm

Wes-Del at Shenandoah, 7:30 pm

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Christel House at Union (Modoc), noon

Northeastern at Blue River, 7:30 pm

Shenandoah at Eastern Hancock © , 7:30 pm

Wes-Del at Anderson Prep, 7:30 pm

Yorktown at Monroe Central, 7:30 pm

 

EASTERN INDIANA

Friday, Jan. 24

Batesville at Franklin County , 7:30 pm

Conner (Ky.) at Lawrenceburg, 7:30 pm

Rushville at Northeastern, 7:30 pm

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Connersville at Batesville , 7:30 pm

East Central at Harrison (Ohio), 7:30 pm

Lawrenceburg at Jac-Cen-Del, 7:30 pm

North Decatur at Franklin County, 7:30 pm

South Dearborn at Jennings County, 7:30 pm

South Decatur at Greensburg, 7:30 pm

 

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA

NCC

Thursday, Jan. 23

Harrison 66, Seeger 27

Lapel 47, Central 44

 

Friday, Jan. 24

Kokomo at Richmond , 7:30 pm

Lafayette Jeff at Marion, 6:30 pm

Logansport at Tech, 7:30 pm

McCutcheon at Anderson, 7:30 pm

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Anderson at Logansport, 1:30 pm

Tech at Harrison, 7:30 pm

Central at Harrison, 1:30 pm

Richmond at Lafayette Jeff , noon

 

TEC

Thursday, Jan. 23

Blue River 50, Lincoln 12

Tri 81, Centerville 18

Union County 51, Knightstown 16

Winchester 93, Randolph Southern 47

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Burris at Hagerstown, noon

Union City at Wapahani, 7:30 pm

 

MEC

Thursday, Jan. 23

Blue River 50, Lincoln 12

Eastern Hancock 56, Daleville 36

Winchester 93, Randolph Southern 47

 

Friday, Jan. 24

Union at Colonial Christian, 5:30 pm

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Monroe Central at Cowan , 6:30 pm

Pendleton Heights at Shenandoah, 1:30 pm

Union City at Wapahani, 7:30 pm

 

EASTERN INDIANA

Thursday, Jan. 23

East Central 69, Franklin County 15

Pendleton Heights 69, Connersville 26

Rushville 76, Batesville 28

 

Friday, Jan. 24

Hauser at South Dearborn, 7:30 pm

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Batesville at Greensburg , 1:30 pm

Rushville at Connersville, 7:30 pm

 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Indiana 67 #11 Michigan State 63

#12 Oregon 79 USC 70 2OT

#23 Colorado 78 Washington State 56

#25 Houston 63 Connecticut 59

North Carolina Asheville 80 Radford 67

Delaware 73 Hofstra 71

Sacred Heart 82 Central Connecticut State 54

Minnesota 62 Ohio State 59

Green Bay 78 Cleveland State 74

Detroit 76 IUPUI 64

Long Island 86 St. Francis PA 81

Towson 72 Elon 61

Charlotte 70 Florida Atlantic 68

Murray State 85 Belmont 75

Northeastern 85 Drexel 52

North Florida 71 Liberty 70

Florida international 83 Old Dominion 80

Illinois Chicago 80 Oakland 50

St. Francis NY 78 Robert Morris 57

Stetson 65 New Jersey Tech 64

Winthrop 79 USC Upstate 53

William & Mary 88 James Madison 75

Hampton 83 Campbell 74

Milwaukee 75 Youngstown State 73 OT

North Alabama 78 Kennesaw State 58

Gardner Webb 79 High Point 76 OT

Bryant 79 Wagner 58

Merrimack 74 FDU 71 2OT

Louisiana Tech 80 Middle Tennessee 73

Charleston Southern 74 Presbyterian 66

Jacksonville 89 Lipscomb 85 OT

Alabama State 75 S. Alabama 71

North Texas 98 Texas San Antonio 78

Southern Mississippi 84 Alabama Birmingham 77

UTEP 72 Rice 64

Utah 67 Washington 66

Omaha 87 Western Illinois 82 OT

North Dakota 78 Denver 71

South Dakota 83 Fort Wayne 60

Austin Peay 99 Tennessee State 74

Eastern Illinois 95 Tennessee Martin 83

Eastern Kentucky 81 Jacksonville State 77

Missouri State 67 Valparaiso 60

Tennessee Tech 71 Morehead State 59

Southern Illinois Edwardsville 84 Southeast Missouri State 65

Grand Canyon 80 Seattle 77

Montana State 62 Weber State 61

Montana State 77 Idaho State 74

Loyola Marymount 77 Portland 65

Pepperdine 90 Santa Clara 86 OT

BYU 74 Pacific 60

Bakersfield 58 Utah Valley 57 OT

UC Riverside 97 Cal poly 64

St. Mary’s 58 San Francisco 48

Sacramento 66 Portland State 55

UCLA 62 Oregon State 58

 

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#3 Connecticut 60 #23 Tennessee 45

#5 Louisville 71 Virginia 56

#8 North Carolina State 88 Pittsburgh 44

#9 Mississippi State 68 Vanderbilt 52

#13 Gonzaga 70 Pepperdine 36

#14 Florida State 70 Wake Forest 65

#15 Texas A&M 79 Alabama 74

#17 Indiana 76 Penn State 60

#19 Iowa 77 Ohio State 68

#20 Maryland 79 Illinois 60

Georgia 64 #21 Arkansas 55

#22 Northwestern 76 Michigan State 48

Richmond 63 LaSalle 61

North Texas 79 Texas San Antonio 55

Bakersfield 55 Utah Valley 53

BYU 57 San Francisco 44

San Diego 50 Santa Clara 47

Belmont 86 Murray State 56

Miami Florida 68 Clemson 64

North Carolina 67 Georgia Tech 60 OT

Eastern Illinois 74 Tennessee Martin 70

Jackson State 68 Eastern Kentucky 58

Austin Peay 76 Tennessee State 58

Tennessee Tech 82 Morehead State 75

Southeast Missouri 66 Southern Illinois Edwardsville 56

Rider 70 Canisius 57

Auburn 59 Ole Miss 43

Fairfield 87 Manhattan 47

Fordham 66 St. Louis 54

Old Dominion 66 Florida International 39

North Carolina Greensboro 59 Furman 53

Florida Atlantic 65 Charlotte 44

Eastern Tennessee 72 Mercer 66

Marist 73 Quinnipiac 60

Little Rock 70 Louisiana Monroe 50

Niagara 97 St. Peter’s 89

Samford 60 Chattanooga 46

Siena 51 Monmouth 39

Alabama Birmingham 74 Southern Miss 68

Temple 76 Penn 72

Louisiana 83 Arkansas State 43

Virginia Tech 70 Boston College 49

Troy 84 Texas State 50

Wofford 76 Western Carolina 63

Northern Kentucky 69 Oakland 60

Wright State 67 Detroit 61

Louisiana Tech 78 Middle Tennessee 60

New Mexico State 76 Texas Pan-American 75 OT

Texas Arlington 68 S. Alabama 45

Duke 88 Syracuse 58

Idaho State 67 Montana 53

Montana State 81 Weaver State 52

Grand Canyon 56 Seattle 48

Rice 69 UTEP 61

Cal State Northridge 56 UC Irvine 51

Cal Poly 75 UC Riverside 70

Long Beach 62 Hawaii 55

Portland 74 Loyola Marymount 49

Sacramento 73 Portland State 70

UC Davis 56 Cal Santa Barbara 46

 

NBA SCOREBOARD

Washington 124 Cleveland 112

LA Lakers 128 Brooklyn 113

Dallas 133 Portland 125

 

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TV SCHEDULE

Friday, Jan. 24

Kent State at Buffalo | 6:30 p.m. | CBSSN

Wisconsin at Purdue | 7 p.m. | FS1

Canisius at Iona | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Fairfield at Quinnipiac | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Niagara at Monmouth | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Saint Peter’s at Rider | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Yale at Brown | 7 p.m. | ESPNU

Marist at Siena | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Marquette at No. 13 Butler | 9 p.m. | FS1

Northern Kentucky at Wright State | 9 p.m. | ESPNU

 

Saturday, Jan. 25

Iowa State at No. 16 Auburn | 12 p.m. | ESPNU

Missouri at No. 14 West Virginia | 12 p.m. | ESPN

No. 21 Illinois at Michigan | 12 p.m. | FS1

VCU at La Salle | 12 p.m. | NBCSN

Miami at North Carolina | 12 p.m. | ESPN2

Pitt at Syracuse | 12 p.m. | ACC Network

No. 9 Villanova at Providence | 1 p.m. | CBS

Furman at The Citadel | 1 p.m. | ESPN3

Mercer at VMI | 1 p.m. | ESPN3

UIC at Detroit Mercy | 1 p.m. | ESPN+

Maine at UMBC | 1 p.m. | ESPN3

Army at Navy | 1:30 p.m. | CBSSN

Clemson at No. 6 Louisville | 2 p.m. | ACC Network Extra

Presbyterian at Winthrop | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Nebraska at No. 24 Rutgers | 2 p.m. | Big Ten Network

LSU at Texas | 2 p.m. | ESPN

Temple at Penn | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Mississippi State at Oklahoma | 2 p.m. | ESPN2

Virginia Tech at Boston College | 2 p.m. | ESPNU

Duquesne at UMass | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

St. John’s at DePaul | 2 p.m. | FS1

Green Bay at Youngstown State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Eastern Michigan at Miami (Ohio) | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Bradley at Indiana State | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Appalachian State at Coastal Carolina | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Milwaukee at Cleveland State | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

Denver at North Dakota State | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

Hartford at Albany | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

Southern Illinois at Illinois State | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

UNC Greensboro at Samford | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

Louisiana Tech at UAB | 3 p.m. | ESPN+

IUPUI at Oakland | 3 p.m. | ESPN3

Akron at Ohio | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN3

Tennessee at No. 3 Kansas | 4 p.m. | ESPN

SMU at No. 20 Memphis | 4 p.m. | CBSSN

Columbia at Cornell | 4 p.m. | ESPN+

Hampton at Radford | 4 p.m. | ESPN3

UNC Asheville at South Carolina Upstate | 4 p.m. | ESPN+

N.C. State at Georgia Tech | 4 p.m. | ACC Network Extra

Oklahoma State at Texas A&M | 4 p.m. | ESPNU

TCU at Arkansas | 4 p.m. | ESPN2

Saint Joseph’s at George Washington | 4 p.m. | ESPN+

Liberty at Stetson | 4 p.m. | ESPN+

New Hampshire at Binghamton | 4 p.m. | ESPN3

FIU at Charlotte | 4 p.m. | ESPN+

Chattanooga at East Tennessee State | 4 p.m. | ESPN+

Western Michigan at Northern Illinois | 4 p.m. | ESPN3

SE Missouri State at Eastern Illinois | 4:15 p.m. | ESPN+

Charleston Southern at Gardner-Webb | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN+

SE Louisiana at Northwestern State | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3

Ball State at Central Michigan | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3

Jacksonville at Kennesaw State | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Oral Roberts at South Dakota | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3

Belmont at Austin Peay | 4:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Georgia State at Georgia Southern | 5 p.m. | ESPN+

North Florida at Lipscomb | 5 p.m. | ESPN+

Morehead State at Jacksonville State | 5 p.m. | ESPN+

UT Arlington at Texas State | 5 p.m. | ESPN+

Southern California at Oregon State | 5 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Arkansas State at Troy | 5:15 p.m. | ESPN+

UT Martin at SIU-Edwardsville | 5:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Stephen F. Austin at Lamar | 5:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Ole Miss at Georgia | 5:30 p.m. | SEC Network

No. 15 Kentucky at No. 18 Texas Tech | 6 p.m. | ESPN

No. 7 Dayton at Richmond | 6 p.m. | ESPN+

Kansas State at Alabama | 6 p.m. | ESPN2

George Mason at Davidson | 6 p.m. | CBSSN

Tulane at East Carolina | 6 p.m. | ESPNU

Southern Miss at Middle Tennessee | 6 p.m. | ESPN+

UTEP at North Texas | 6 p.m. | ESPN+

Bowling Green at Toledo | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Harvard at Dartmouth | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Wofford at Western Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN3

Longwood at High Point | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Florida Atlantic at Old Dominion | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

NJIT at Florida Gulf Coast | 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Washington State at Utah | 7 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

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

No. 1 Baylor at Florida | 8 p.m. | ESPN

Notre Dame at No. 5 Florida State | 8 p.m. | ACC Network

UCF at Wichita State | 8 p.m. | ESPNU

Tennessee State at Murray State | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Little Rock at South Alabama | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

UTSA at Rice | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Utah Valley at Grand Canyon | 8 p.m. | ESPN3

New Mexico at Nevada | 8 p.m. | CBSSN

UL Monroe at Louisiana | 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Vanderbilt at South Carolina | 8 p.m. | SEC Network

Eastern Kentucky at Tennessee Tech | 8:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Washington at No. 23 Colorado | 9 p.m. | FS1

No. 22 Arizona at Arizona State | 9:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network

Pacific at No. 2 Gonzaga | 10 p.m.

Colorado State at Utah State | 10 p.m. | ESPNU

Cal Poly at UC Irvine | 10 p.m. | ESPN3

Kansas City at California Baptist | 10 p.m. | ESPN+

Seattle at CSU Bakersfield | 10 p.m. | ESPN3

 

Sunday, Jan. 26

Rutgers-Camden at Princeton | 12 p.m. | ESPN+

Tulsa at UConn | 12 p.m. | CBSSN

Virginia at Wake Forest | 12 p.m. | ACC Network

No. 17 Maryland at Indiana | 1 p.m. | CBS

Monmouth at Iona | 1 p.m. | ESPN+

Canisius at Fairfield | 2 p.m. | ESPN3

South Florida at No. 25 Houston | 2 p.m. | CBSSN

Rider at Manhattan | 2 p.m. | ESPN+

Niagara at Saint Peter’s | 2 p.m. | ESPN3

Quinnipiac at Siena | 2 p.m. | ESPN3

No. 11 Michigan State at Minnesota | 3 p.m. | FOX

Fordham at Saint Louis | 3 p.m. | ESPN+

No. 4 San Diego State at UNLV | 4 p.m. | CBSSN

Xavier at Creighton | 4 p.m. | FS1

Missouri State at Drake | 4 p.m. | ESPN3

Loyola Chicago at UNI | 4 p.m. | ESPNU

UCLA at No. 12 Oregon | 5 p.m. | FOX

Evansville at Valparaiso | 5 p.m. | ESPN3

Stanford at California | 6 p.m. | ESPNU

Ohio State at Northwestern | 6:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network

 

NBA SCHEDULE

Fri Jan 24, 2020

Milwaukee @ Charlotte                3:00 pm               NBA TV

Memphis @ Detroit                        7:00 pm               FS-DET

Boston @ Orlando                           7:00 pm               FS-FL

Toronto @ New York                      7:30 pm               MSG

Sacramento @ Chicago                  8:00 pm               NBCS-CA

LA Clippers @ Miami                       8:00 pm               ESPN

Houston @ Minnesota                  8:00 pm               FS-N

Denver @ New Orleans                 8:00 pm               ALT

Atlanta @ Oklahoma City              8:00 pm               FS-OK

Phoenix @ San Antonio                 8:30 pm               FS-SW

Indiana @ Golden State                10:30 pm             NBA TV

 

Sat Jan 25, 2020

Dallas @ Utah                                    5:00 pm               SportsNet RM

Brooklyn @ Detroit                         7:00 pm               FS-DET

Chicago @ Cleveland                      8:00 pm               NBCS-CHI

Oklahoma City @ Minnesota      8:00 pm               FS-OK

LA Lakers @ Philadelphia              8:30 pm               ABC

 

Indiana uses late charge to beat No. 11 Michigan State 67-63

Joey Brunk made an immediate impact from the moment he arrived on Indiana’s campus.

Jerome Hunter needed to be more patient.

On Thursday night, the graduate transfer from Butler and the redshirt freshman teamed up for the Hoosiers’ final flurry. Brunk scored 14 points including a layup with 1 minute to go, Hunter grabbed a rebound with 0.2 seconds left and made two free throws to seal Indiana’s 67-63 victory over No. 11 Michigan State.

“He had 14 and six (rebounds) tonight and he earned them all,” coach Archie Miller said when asked about Brunk. “It’s not measurable what Joey has meant to us. He’s giving his absolute max on everything he does. He’s improved as much as any player I’ve been around from month to month.”

Without Brunk – or Hunter – the Hoosiers may not have salvaged this one.

The Hoosiers (15-4, 5-3 Big Ten) have won two straight, four of their last five and now trail conference co-leaders Michigan State and Illinois by just one game.

Cassius Winston, the league’s preseason player of the year, could have forced overtime when he drove through the lane in the waning seconds. But when Hoosiers forward Trayce Jackson-Davis slid toward Winston, he flipped the ball to Xavier Tillman for a layup that rolled off the rim and into the hands of Hunter.

Winston scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half as the Spartans (14-5, 6-2) lost their third straight in the series.

“We just didn’t play good enough to win on the road,” coach Tom Izzo said. “I think he tried to get it up on the rim and I thought he had a wide open layup. He just missed it.”

The Hoosiers started fast and still led 37-30 at the half.

But Michigan State made its first six 3s of the second half and finally took the lead, 51-48, on Rocket Watts’ 3 with 11:06 remaining.

It stayed a one-possession game the rest of the way, but the momentum finally swung when Aljami Durham ‘s 3 with 1:52 to go broke a 60-60 tie. Brunk’s layup made it 65-62 and Hunter sealed Indiana’s biggest win of the season with his only points of the game.

“Jerome sort of took the anxiety out of the building with making two free throws – the most important two of the game,” said Miller, who picked up his 50th win at at Indiana.

 

Purdue Hosts Wisconsin For Hammer Down Cancer Game

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue (10-9, 3-5) ends a brief two-game homestand when Wisconsin visits Mackey Arena for a Friday night battle. Brandon Gaudin and Stephen Bardo will handle the broadcast on FS1, beginning at 7 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 6 p.m. ET. Live stats will be available on PurdueSports.com.
• Purdue owns a 109-71 series advantage with Wisconsin, including a 13-9 record under Coach Painter. This is the first of two meetings between the teams as Purdue will return a trip to Madison Feb. 18.
• As part of Coaches vs. Cancer week by the NABC, Purdue will be wearing special Hammer Down Cancer jerseys that will be auctioned off. Proceeds will go to the Tyler Trent Endowment Fund, associated with the Purdue Center for Cancer Research.
• With 12 regular-season games left, 11 of Purdue’s 12 opponents are either nationally-ranked or receiving votes.
• SOMETHING TO WATCH: Two very similar teams will face off Friday night in Mackey Arena. Purdue has scored five more points (1,284 to 1,279) on the season and allowed three fewer points (1,149 to 1,152), both coming in 19 games. KenPom predicts a mere 58 possessions in the contest, the same number of possessions that Purdue and Virginia had on Dec. 4.
• Purdue is hoping to return to its form at Mackey Arena from its previous 15-game Big Ten winning streak before Illinois snapped it. The Boilermakers are averaging 75.9 points per game at Mackey Arena, and have shot at least 41.0 percent in nine of 10 home games. In nine games away from Mackey Arena, the Boilermakers have shot over 41.0 percent just once (Ohio).
• In Purdue’s three Big Ten wins, the Boilermakers average 70.7 points per game and shoot 42.4 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from deep. In five losses, Purdue is averaging 56.6 points and shoot 34.5 percent from the field and 21.9 percent from deep. In the losses, the Boilermakers average just 8.0 assists per game.
• Purdue is 9-0 this year and 29-1 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.

A BOILERMAKER WIN OVER WISCONSIN WOULD… … improve Purdue to 11-9 on the season. … improve Purdue to 4-5 in Big Ten Conference play this season. … be Purdue’s fourth straight home win over Wisconsin. … improve Purdue to 9-2 at Mackey Arena. … improve Purdue to 30-2 in its last 32 home games vs. Big Ten foes. SELLING OUT THE SEASON • Now in its 53rd season of calling Mackey Arena its home, Purdue is close to doing something only done eight previous times — selling out every game. • Purdue has announced sellouts for all of its game this year with merely single tickets remaining for Penn State and Rutgers. A grand total of about 60 tickets remain for the season. • Purdue has sold out Mackey Arena in the following seasons: 1969-70, 1986-87, 1988-89, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, 1997-98 and 1998-99. • This year’s average attendance will set a school record for the second straight season (14,467 a year ago). • Purdue has sold out 18 straight games dating to last year, the longest streak since 39 straight games from Jan. 7, 1997, to Feb. 28, 1999. • It will likely end the year with 24 straight sellouts entering the 2020- 21 season.

PAINTING NO. 500 • Friday’s game will be the 500th game coached by head coach Matt Painter at Purdue, becoming the third Purdue mentor to reach that mark (Ward “Piggy” Lambert, Gene Keady). Only age 49, Painter is entering his prime as a basketball coach. … 11 NCAA Tourneys as a Big Ten coach are the sixth most in league history. … 331 career wins in the Big Ten are the 10th most in league history. … 161 Big Ten Conference wins are the 10th most in league history. … 4 Big Ten Coach of the Year honors are the third most in league history. … his 356 wins are the second most nationally of any coach under the age of 50 (Mick Cronin – 374; age 48). They are the 10th most of any coach under the age of 55. … of coaches under the age of 55 on the above-mentioned wins list, Painter is one of six to reach an Elite Eight and his fi ve Sweet 16 appearances are the second most.

BIG TEN BEAST • Purdue and Michigan State are the cream of the crop in the Big Ten over the last few years. Consider the following: … Since 2014-15, only two league teams have won more than 72 league games (MSU and Purdue). No other team has more than 66. … Since 2015-16, just two league teams have won more than 60 league games (MSU and Purdue). No other team has more than 50. … Since 2016-17, just two league teams have won more than 48 league games (MSU and Purdue). No other team has more than 40. … Since 2017-18, just two league teams have won more than 34 league games (MSU and Purdue). No other team has more than 30.

#TRENDING / THE NOTES YOU NEED TO KNOW • Purdue is 154-16 under Matt Painter when shooting 48.0 percent or better from the field. • Purdue is 33-5 since the start of the 2017-18 season when making 10 or more 3-pointers in a game. • Purdue is 29-1 since the start of last year when shooting a higher percentage from the field than its opponent. The lone loss was to Virginia in the 2019 Elite Eight. • Purdue is 26-5 when Matt Haarms scores in double figures. • Purdue is 109-11 since the start of the 2014-15 season when attempting more free throws than its opponent, including 24-4 since the start last season. • Purdue is 121-12 under Painter when scoring at least 80 points, including 35-2 since the start of 2017-18. • Purdue is 152-6 when holding foes to 59 or fewer points during the Matt Painter era. • Purdue has won 100 straight games and is 38-0 under Coach Painter when scoring 90 or more points. • Purdue hasn’t lost when scoring 90 points since Nov. 24, 1987 (104- 96 vs. Iowa State), a span of 11,747 days. • Purdue is 8-2 this year 124-13 under Coach Painter when winning both the rebound and turnover battles in the same game. • Purdue’s nine defensive rebounds against Illinois were its second fewest in a game in school history. • Purdue’s minus-18 rebound margin against Illinois was its lowest since being outrebounded by 18 rebounds (53-35) against Indiana on Feb. 4, 2012. • During Purdue’s last two games against Maryland and Illinois, Purdue has led for just 3:48 of 80 possible minutes. • Purdue has outscored 14 of 19 opponents in the paint (9-5 record). • When Purdue makes more 3-pointers than its opponent this year, the Boilermakers own a 7-2 record.

  • When Purdue forces at least 16 turnovers in a game, the Boilermakers are 8-1. When forcing 15 or fewer turnovers, Purdue is 2-8. • Purdue has used five different starting lineups this season, with just one player (Eric Hunter Jr.) starting every game. A year ago, Purdue used four different lineups and had four players start every game. • Purdue has held five teams to 50 or fewer points this year, tied for the fourth-highest total in the country (Liberty, Virginia, Akron). • Purdue is 8-2 at home this year. During the two previous seasons, the Boilermakers were 31-1 at Mackey Arena.

 

Big Ten suspends Illinois’ Griffin 2 games

The Big Ten suspended Illinois guard Alan Griffin two games Thursday for stepping on Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic.

Griffin was called for a flagrant foul 2 and ejected with 12:21 left in the first half Tuesday at Purdue when he stomped on Stefanovic’s midsection after the guard drove for a layup and drew a crescendo of boos. No. 21 Illinois went on to win 79-62.

Griffin, averaging 8.4 points, will miss games against Michigan on Saturday and Minnesota on Jan. 30. He apologized Wednesday to Stefanovic and Purdue as well as Illinois and its fans on social media.

“After a thoughtful and thorough review of this incident, we are all extremely fortunate this did not create a hostile and unsafe environment for the players, coaches, game officials and fans,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said Thursday in a statement. “It is important for me to emphasize and make it crystal clear that such behavior will not be tolerated, period. We place the utmost importance on the safety and well-being of our players, coaches, game officials and fans. The situation provides a teachable moment for all parties involved, especially our student-athletes as they use their time in the Big Ten to grow as individuals both on and off the field of competition.”

 

BUTLER MBB: Butler Looks to Halt Skid, Hosts Marquette Friday Night at Hinkle

Friday, Jan. 24;  9PM
Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.
TV:  FS1 – @VinceWelch & @NickBahe
RADIO:  93.1FM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)
TuneIn Radio App, Sirius 84, XM 84, SiriusXM Internet 84
The Bulldogs start a stretch that will have the team at home for five of its next seven games, beginning with a Friday night match-up with Marquette. Butler (15-4, 3-3 BIG EAST) is ranked in the Top 15 of both national polls this week and looking to rebound from a three-game losing streak. Marquette (14-5, 4-3 BIG EAST) has won three straight games.
The game is the annual Project 44 game, which celebrates the legacy of the late Andrew Smith, who passed away Jan. 12, 2016 after a two-year battle with cancer. Smith played on Butler’s basketball teams from the 2009-10 through 2012-13 seasons. He was a member of both national championship game teams (2010, 2011) and an Academic All-American. Project 44 was created in collaboration with Be The Match to add names to the national bone marrow registry.
THE SERIES: Butler Leads, 22-19
Streak: Marquette, W2
In Indianapolis: Butler Leads, 11-6
First Meeting: Marquette, 18-17, 12/16/1922 (Milwaukee)
Last Meeting: Marquette, 79-69; 2/20/19 (Milwaukee)
• After playing three of its last four games on the road, Butler starts a seven-game stretch that features five contests at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
• Butler is 9-1 this season at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
• Butler’s nine NET Quad 1 and Quad 2 victories are tied for second nationally (Kansas and West Virginia have 10).
• Butler has out-rebounded 15 of its 19 opponents this season after out-rebounding only 10 of 33 in 2018-19.
• The Bulldogs are fifth in the nation, allowing only 58.1 points per game.
• Butler had not allowed an opponent 70 points in its first 16 games of the season (15-1); the Bulldogs’ last three opponents have each eclipsed that number (0-3).
• Butler and Marquette will meet twice over the next 17 days.
• Butler leads the BIG EAST in rebounding margin in all games (+5.9) and in conference games (+7.3).
• Butler’s field goal percentage defense (.377; 14th) and three-point percentage defense (.284; 17th) are both among the national leaders.
• Kamar Baldwin is averaging 18.7 points per game in BIG EAST play, which is fourth in the conference; he has led the team in scoring in six consecutive games.
• Butler committed a season-low five turnovers at Villanova Tuesday; the Bulldogs are 27th nationally, averaging only 11.4 turnovers per game.
• Bryce Nze (11 points and a season-high 12 rebounds) registered his third double-double of the season at Villanova.
• Baldwin has moved into eighth on Butler’s career scoring list with 1,746 points.
• With 316 assists, Baldwin is now tied for tenth on Butler’s career list; Aaron Thompson is currently eighth on that list.
• Jordan Tucker (50 percent) is second in the BIG EAST in three-point percentage during conference play; he has hit multiple three-pointers in nine straight games.
• Butler is 9-1 this season when scoring 70 or more points; the Bulldogs are a perfect 13-0 when shooting 45 percent or better from the field.
• Sean McDermott is averaging 13.0 points and shooting 47 percent from behind the arc at Hinkle.
SENIOR STEPPING UP: Kamar Baldwin is averaging 18.7 points per game in the team’s BIG EAST contests, leading the team in scoring in all six conference games. This stretch has also seen Baldwin climb to eighth on Butler’s career scoring chart and into a tie for tenth in career assists.
ON THE BOARDS: What was one of Butler’s most glaring weaknesses a season ago has become a strength in 2019-20. The Bulldogs have out-rebounded 15 of its 19 opponents this season after out-rebounding only 10 of 33 in 2018-19. Butler has taken that up a level in BIG EAST play, out-rebounding opponents by an average margin of +7.9. Butler held a 46-24 rebounding advantage at St. John’s in the BIG EAST opener on New Year’s Eve, its largest margin since 63-28 vs. The Citadel Nov. 14, 2015. The Bulldogs also out-rebounded Providence, 44-26, in the Jan. 10 win in Rhode Island.
TOUGH LOSS: Butler suffered a major blow Tuesday night when junior forward Christian David tore is left ACL in the loss at Villanova. David was one of the Bulldogs’ best defenders, averaging 14 minutes per game. Junior walk-on guard Campbell Donovan also tore an ACL in the season opener vs. IUPUI.
HANDLE WITH CARE: The Bulldogs committed a season-low five turnovers at Villanova Tuesday night. For Butler, it was the team’s ninth game this season with 10 or fewer turnovers.
AT THE LINE: Butler has allowed its last three opponents to score in the 70s, the first times that has happened this season. The Bulldogs’ stellar defense, which is still fifth nationally allowing only 58.1 points per game, has been done in by opponents getting to the line. In 13 non-conference games, including seven against power conference opponents, Butler’s foes got to the line a total of 180 times (an average of 13.8 per game). Through six BIG EAST games, Butler’s opponents have attempted 132 free throws (22 per game). Conversely, Butler averaged 16.5 free throw attempts in non-conference play, and has held steady at 16 attempts per BIG EAST contest.
ON THE DEFENSIVE: 
• Only seven Butler opponents have scored 60 or more points; Butler has also limited four opponents to 50 or fewer points.
• Only seven of Butler’s opponents have registered more assists than turnovers.
• Only three of Butler’s opponents have shot better than 44 percent from the field (Missouri, Stanford, DePaul); 12 have been held to less than 40 percent shooting.
• Butler has limited 12 of its opponents to less than 30-percent shooting from three-point range this season.
ONE YEAR AGO: Marquette won both match-ups between the teams last season. Markus Howard scored a game-high 32 in a 76-58 win over Butler Jan. 30 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Marquette also won Feb. 20 in Milwaukee as Howard had 28 in a 79-69 decision. Sean McDermott had a career-high 27 in the loss for Butler.

 

No. 12 Oregon downs USC 79-70 in double OT

Paying close attention paid off for Oregon’s Chris Duarte.

The junior guard had 30 points, 11 rebounds and eight steals, and the No. 12 Ducks outlasted Southern California 79-70 in double overtime Thursday night.

“I was watching the point guard’s eyes. I was watching everybody’s eyes. So I knew where they were going to pass the ball,” Duarte said. “So I took that as an advantage.”

Oregon teammate Payton Pritchard added 24 points and seven assists, becoming the first Pac-12 player to reach 1,500 career points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds. When the achievement was noted on the video scoreboard at Matthew Knight Arena in the second half, the crowd gave the senior guard a standing ovation.

Pritchard is the sixth player in Pac-12 history with 1,500 points and 600 assists, joining Oregon State’s Gary Payton, Arizona’s Damon Stoudamire and Jason Gardner, USC’s Jordan McLaughlin and UCLA’s Tyus Edney.

Oregon (16-4, 5-2) led by 11 in the second half but USC rallied with a 17-2 run to take a 62-58 lead, capped by Jonah Mathews‘ 3-pointer with 1:24 left.

C.J. Walker and Pritchard hit consecutive layups to tie it at 62 and send the game to overtime.

Pritchard’s 3-pointer in the first extra period gave the Ducks a 65-64 lead, but Ethan Anderson’s layup and free throw put the Trojans up by two. Duarte made free throws for the Ducks to tie it again, and Mathews and Pritchard both missed shots down the stretch.

Duarte and Pritchard each hit a pair of free throws that gave Oregon a four-point advantage to open the second overtime. Duarte’s 3-pointer put the Ducks up 74-68, and USC couldn’t catch up.

Duarte’s eight steals were one shy of the school record.

“He was the difference in the game,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “No doubt about it.”

Onyeka Okongwu had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Trojans (15-4, 4-2).

 

Carr’s late 3-pointer powers Minnesota past Ohio State 62-59

Marcus Carr’s 3-pointer with three seconds left in the game secured the season’s first Big Ten road win for Minnesota and had slumping Ohio State continuing to search for answers.

Carr, who made 3-of-5 from distance, drained the long shot on the possession after Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson missed a wide open 3 to give the Golden Gophers a 62-59 win on Thursday night, their first in Columbus in 15 years.

Carr had 21 points as the Gophers (11-8, 5-4) rallied to stay with the Buckeyes in the second half, tying the game twice in last 1:37.

“It felt great to finally put it all together,” Carr said. “We’ve been tested on the road a lot, we just haven’t responded in the right ways. We haven’t really been able to finish it down the stretch. Having a chance to do that tonight and seeing my guys really come and especially put it together on the defensive end and for us to be in that position was huge.”

The Gophers have won three out of the last four and had won just once on the road, a neutral site game at Tulsa, Oklahoma, over Oklahoma State on Dec. 21. They beat Ohio State at home on Dec. 15.

“It feels awesome,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “It doesn’t matter where you play in this league, if you get a win it’s cause for celebration and it’s a cause for feeling good. We’ll feel good tonight then we’ll get over it. It’s very, very hard to win in this league, and we’re getting some quality wins. We’ve got some great opportunities coming up.”

Ohio State (12-7, 2-6) is going in the other direction. The Buckeyes have lost two in a row and five of the last six since Dec. 29. They climbed up to No. 2 in the AP Top 25 before the bottom dropped out. Now the season seems to be circling the drain.

“I think we in some ways took a step forward, but right now we’re just not good enough in enough areas to win in this league,” coach Chris Holtmann said.

 

INDIANA WBB: Second Half Helps No. 17 Indiana Power Past Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.  – Indiana put three players in double figures and used a strong second half to power past Penn State, 76-60, on Thursday night at Bryce Jordan Center. Freshman forward Mackenzie Holmes and redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg each paced the Hoosiers with 18 points apiece.

KEY MOMENTS

  • The Hoosiers. (15-5, 5-3 B1G) pulled ahead by as many as five with back-to-back buckets from Holmes and Berger with a minute to play in the first quarter. They would hold on to a 22-18 advantage after the first behind 6 points from Holmes in the frame.
  • In the second, Penn State (7-12, 1-7 B1G) would take its largest lead midway through the quarter as the two teams went back-and-forth until the break. Sophomore forward Aleksa Gulbe’s little floater in the lane in transition on the dish from Patberg gave IU the 39-38 lead at the break.
  • Indiana opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run that helped separated the game early in the period with 6:23 to go. The Lady Lions came within as few as seven with just under a minute to go but a nifty offensive rebound and tip-in from freshman forward Jorie Allen.
  • Indiana’s lead never dipped under double digits in the fourth quarter as it held Penn State without a field goal for the final 6:57 of the game.

NOTABLE

  • Freshman forward Mackenzie Holmes tied a team-high 18 points as she went 9-for-11 from the floor in the victory. It was her 13th game in double figures this season and sixth time in conference play.
  • Redshirt junior guard Ali Patberg also added 18 points and tied a season-high nine assists. She had eight of her 18 points at the line and also added five rebounds and a steal.
  • Junior guard Jaelynn Penn also notched double figures with 11 points on two made 3-pointers and had seven boards.
  • Senior forward Brenna Wise collected a game-high 10 rebounds, her second double figure rebounding game this season. She also added 7 points from the floor.
  • The Hoosiers combined to shoot 54.4 percent in the win, shooting a game-high 63.6 percent in the second quarter. On the flipside, Indiana held Penn State to just 36.7 percent from the floor on the evening.
  • They also won the rebounding margin, 41-23, and had 12 offensive boards in the contest.
  • Indiana secures its first win at Penn State since 2016 and wins for double-digits in Bryce Jordan Center for the second time in three tries.
  • Sophomores Aleksa Gulbe and Grace Berger each chipped in nine points each in the effort. Gulbe added five rebounds and a game-high three blocks.

QUOTABLE

Indiana head coach Teri Moren

“That was a great win for the Hoosiers tonight. It has been a while, so it’s nice to get back in the win column. Happy for our kids and happy that in the second half, defensively, we were much better. I thought we got to 50-50 balls tonight and made a lot of hustle plays. Brenna Wise, Jorie Allen stand out. I thought Mack (Mackenzie Holmes) was terrific. Ali was super aggressive as well as JJ (Jaelynn Penn) being a threat out there as well and Aleksa (Gulbe). As I said to the group, the more aggressive Ali Patberg plays the more aggressive I think everybody plays. She will need to continue to do that as we continue to grow in our program and grow as a team.”

UP NEXT

Indiana returns home for a pair of games next week when it hosts Minnesota on Monday (6 p.m.) and Wisconsin on Thursday (7 p.m.).

 

OHIO STATE WBB: Buckeyes Come up Just Short at No. 19

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sophomore forward Dorka Juhasz scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high tying 16 rebounds but the Buckeyes couldn’t get a shot to fall in the closing minutes and fell on the road to No. 19 Iowa Thursday 77-68.

Janai Crooms made a driving lay-up to knife the Iowa (16-3, 7-1) lead to 68-64 with 2:12 to play. Iowa answered with a pair of free throws and the Buckeyes (11-8, 4-4) had four three-point attempts rattle in and out in the final two minutes. Iowa took advantage and made 12-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter.

The double-double for Juhasz was her third of the season and the 15th of her career. She was 7-of-15 from the floor and also tied a career-high with three three-pointers.

Sophomore guard Janai Crooms had her best offensive game of the season, scoring a season-high 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. This was also the first game of her career that she had zero turnovers.

Freshman Jacy Sheldon got the Buckeyes started early with a three and a couple of nice finishes around the rim. She ended up with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Fellow freshman Kierstan Bell was the fourth Buckeye in double figures as she scored 10 points to go along with three assists and three rebounds. Bell and Sheldon have each scored in double figures in five of the last seven games.

Iowa was led by Kathleen Doyle with a game-high 26 points. She was 9-for-9 from the free throw line and as a team, the Hawkeyes were 19-of-21 from the stripe.

The first half was a back and forth tussle. Iowa started hot and took a 13-6 lead but the Buckeyes came back and led 23-21 at the end of an eventful first quarter. Madison Greene and Juhasz hit late threes in the second quarter to give the Buckeyes their largest lead of the half at 39-32. But Iowa closed the half with a three and the OSU advantage was 39-35 at the break.

The Buckeyes pushed the lead back out to six points early in the third quarter. Iowa then countered with a 12-3 run over six minute span to take a 53-49 lead late in the third. The Hawkeyes held that lead until a couple of Juhasz lay-ins at the start of the fourth quarter evened the game at 56-56. The final tie was 58-58 as Iowa then scored six quick points to grab a 64-58 lead with 4:03. The Hawkeyes wouldn’t relinquish the advantage the rest of the way as they executed down the stretch for their seventh consecutive victory.

The Buckeyes will now have a week off to prepare for a big game with No. 20 Maryland at home next Thursday. The Terrapins erased a seven-point deficit to go on to a 72-62 victory in the team’s first meeting this season on Jan. 6.

 

Rematch! James, Antetokounmpo are All-Star captains again

It’ll be an All-Star rematch: Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will be the captains for the NBA All-Star Game, just as they were last season. They earned the captaincies by being the top overall votegetters from the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively.

The other starters for the Feb. 16 game in Chicago: Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, Kemba Walker of the Boston Celtics and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks.

James, as the leading overall vote-getter, will have the top pick when he and Antetokounmpo pick their teams; Antetokounmpo will pick first in the second round, when the reserves are chosen.

James is a starter for the 16th time, an NBA record. Being a 16-time All-Star also puts him third on the all-time appearance list, behind 19-time selection Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and 18-time selection Kobe Bryant.

James received 6,275,459 fan votes, edging Doncic for the West captain’s spot by 163,724 votes. James has been a captain all three years of this format being in place by the NBA; Team LeBron beat Team Giannis last year, and Team LeBron beat Team Stephen Curry in 2018.

Antetokounmpo received 5,902,286 votes, easily the most in the race to be the captain from the East. Embiid got the second-most votes in the East, at 3.1 million and barely half of Antetokounmpo’s total.

Fan voting, the NBA said, was up 7% from last year.

Having the 21-year-old Young and the 20-year-old Doncic starting gives the NBA two starters those ages or younger for only the second time. The other was in 1998, when a 19-year-old Bryant and a 21-year-old Kevin Garnett got starter nods.

“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Young said in a statement released by the Hawks. “After watching and admiring all these guys in the league growing up, I am truly humbled to be in this position.”

The reserves will be announced Jan. 31, with NBA head coaches doing the voting for those. James and Antetokounmpo will pick their teams on Feb. 6, first splitting up the eight remaining starters and then choosing from the pool of 14 reserves.

The starters were chosen through a formula that gave 50% of the weight to fan votes, 25% to player votes and 25% to voting done by a panel of 100 media members.

 

Mavericks make 22 3-pointers, beat Trail Blazers 133-125

Damian Lillard had another big performance, scoring a game-high 47 points. But a tough loss and issues with the officiating had the Portland Trail Blazers star in a foul mood.

Luka Doncic scored 27 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks made 22 3-pointers in a 133-125 victory Thursday night with a complete team performance that overcame Lillard’s hot shooting.

After picking up a technical foul in the final seconds, Lillard voiced his frustrations with the officiating.

“We’re down by 13 with four minutes left, I was driving for a reverse layup and I got smacked on the head,” Lillard said. “I asked (the referee) why he didn’t call it and he said, all three of us agreed you leaned into him.

“That’s an insult, man.”

One game after scoring a career-high 61 points, Lillard became the first player in franchise history to score 100 points over two games.

“Before the game, I tried to pass a note down to their locker room to tell Lillard that he had my All-Star vote,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Obviously, he didn’t get the note, but he had my vote before he went for 47 against us. What an amazing player. He’s virtually impossible to stop. He’s got an iron will. He’s obviously a great leader.

“When he’s on the floor they’re hard to beat no matter what.”

The Mavericks needed Doncic, who scored 20 of his points in the first half, and plenty of help in the win.

Dallas had six players make at least three 3-pointers, and it was the sixth time this season the Mavericks made 20 3s, with Seth Curry and Jalen Brunson leading the way with four each.

The 43 combined 3-pointers made by Dallas and Portland tied an NBA record.

Trevor Ariza, recently acquired in a trade from Sacramento, scored a season-high 21 in his Portland debut.

“I thought he was terrific,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts.

 

LeBron has triple-double, Lakers pull away to beat Nets

LeBron James is on his way to Philadelphia, set to pass Kobe Bryant on the NBA’s career scoring list in the former Lakers star’s hometown.

It’ll be another milestone achievement, but scoring has never been the most important thing to James. He prefers winning, and it looks like he’ll do plenty more of that with these Lakers.

James had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in his 10th triple-double of the season and Los Angeles made a season-high 19 3-pointers to pull away and beat the Brooklyn Nets 128-113 on Thursday night.

James closed within 17 points of Bryant for No. 3 with a flurry in the fourth quarter. He can pass Bryant on Saturday at Philadelphia, where the five-time champion was born.

“Any time I am linked with the greats or I am able to do something in my career where I’m mentioned with the greats is a pretty cool thing,” James said. “But as far as looking at the scoring, I don’t know. That doesn’t mean much to me.

“Just the overall point of my game is what means more to me: being an all-around player, being able to be successful on the floor and being able to contribute to the franchises that I played for, the three franchises I played for so far in my career.”

James has 33,626 points. Bryant finished with 33,643.

A back-and-forth game for nearly three quarters turned into a rout after the Lakers broke the Nets’ spirits with four straight 3-pointers spanning the third and fourth quarters, extending a one-point lead to 107-94, and Los Angeles coasted from there.

Anthony Davis had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Dwight Howard finished with 14 points and 12 boards in his first start of the season.

Kyrie Irving scored 20 points after missing a game with right hamstring tightness, but the Nets lost their fifth straight. Brooklyn has won just two of its last 14 games.

 

Report: Some Clippers have struggled with superstar treatment of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George

The LA Clippers instantly became title contenders when they traded for Paul George and signed Kawhi Leonard over the summer. Leonard had just led the Toronto Raptors to the championship and was named NBA Finals MVP. George was having an MVP-type season until he was derailed by shoulder injuries. Adding to the two players was a huge, franchise-changing coup for the Clippers.

But as great as the addition of both players has been for the organization, it has also brought new problems to the team.

Leonard and George are superstars, and superstars often receive star treatment. That is definitely the case with Kawhi, who adheres to a load/injury management schedule and often misses games even when the perception is that he is healthy.

Last season’s Clippers won 48 games and took two games off a vastly superior Warriors team in the playoffs. Many attributed the team’s success last season to their tough attitude and hard-nosed style of play. The load-management style is in contrast with the hard and grinding style the team had the season before.

That change in ethos, coupled with some of the star treatment Leonard and George receive, has been a difficult adjustment for some Clippers players, according to a report published Thursday by The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick.

A team needing to make this kind of an adjustment to having superstars is part of the process when you acquire players like Leonard and George. It’s not an easy transition, and that’s what makes it challenging for superteams to win in their first season together. But if anyone knows what it takes to win it all, it’s Leonard. And while it’s frustrating to see the preferential treatment at times, the Clippers should trust that things will work out overall.

 

Report: Clippers looking for frontcourt help ahead of trade deadline

The Los Angeles Clippers have not quite been able to keep pace with the Los Angeles Lakers through this point in the season, and that could lead to a significant move being made at the trade deadline.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reports that the Clippers are concerned with how their frontcourt matches up with that of the Lakers. Because of that, the Clippers have been exploring the trade market for dependable big men in addition to wing depth behind Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Stein mentions Andre Drummond and Steven Adams as as the big names available, but he says teams are also keeping an eye on Aron Baynes.

The Clippers obviously had a massive offseason, but true contending teams look for ways to improve even when they are in a solid position. That is the case with the Clippers, who entered Thursday with the third-best record in the Western Conference at 31-14. They have gone with a smaller lineup the majority of the time this year, and they don’t really have anyone who can match up well against Anthony Davis.

As expected, the Clippers have been managing the workloads of Leonard and George. The goal with that is to have them fresh for the postseason, but George recently admitted he has a long way to go. If the Clippers can acquire some wing help at the deadline, it would put them in a good position to continue with their load management approach.

 

Report: Lakers were bothered by Doc Rivers’ comments on LeBron James

Doc Rivers took a humorous dig a few months ago at the Los Angeles Lakers over the team’s handling of LeBron James, but apparently the rival team did not find the remarks so funny.

Back on December 17, Rivers was talking about the Clippers’ philosophy on load management. He said of the Lakers’ philosophy that it was probably “whatever LeBron says it is.”

While possibly accurate, that joke didn’t sit well with the Lakers, according to a story from The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Sam Amick.

The two wrote in a story: “The irony was not lost on the Lakers, who sources say weren’t happy with the comment, in part, because of the perceived hypocrisy regarding the Clippers’ style with Leonard.”

It’s true; both teams are somewhat at the mercy of their respective superstars. Both teams were grateful that their stars chose them and don’t have a ton of leverage. Of course, both Kawhi and LeBron want to win championships, which in the end makes their goals aligned with their teams’ goals. But that does not mean everything will always be smooth. The same report even says the superstar treatment has bothered some Clippers players.

 

Patriots want answer from Tom Brady before start of free agency?

Tom Brady is set to become a free agent for the first time in his career in less than two months, but the New England Patriots may not be willing to let him take his time making a decision.

In an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Thursday morning, Adam Schefter said he believes the Patriots will want an answer from Brady regarding whether or not the quarterback plans to return before free agency begins on March 16.

“I don’t believe the New England Patriots are waiting until March 16 to get an answer from Tom Brady,” Schefter said, as transcribed by Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “Last year, Rob Gronkowski wound up retiring in late March. I don’t know the conversations they did and didn’t have before, but New England missed the window on free-agent tight ends. So I don’t think they’re going to let Tom Brady go to free agency, all of a sudden, sign with Team X, and then on March 20, say ‘Well, what do we do at quarterback now?’ That’s not the way that organization operates.”

Gronkowski dragged out his retirement decision for several weeks last year, and one of the reasons Jared Cook chose the New Orleans Saints over New England was because the then-free agent was unsure if Gronk would still be around. However, not allowing Brady to test free agency could complicate things.

Brady is reportedly looking forward to meeting with other teams and wants to see what else is out there, which makes since considering he has never experienced free agency. That said, he would almost certainly be open to the Patriots giving him a new contract before March 16, but the question is whether the team is willing to commit multiple years. Brady probably wants at least a two-year deal, while the Patriots would likely prefer to take it year by year.

If Brady is planning to gather offers from other teams and bring them back to the Patriots, Bill Belichick may simply decide to go in another direction. It would be a shock if New England winds up being the highest bidder for Brady, anyway.

Brady has never taken top dollar in his career, and he probably doesn’t care that much if he gets it now. What he wants is a supporting cast that will allow him to contend for another title. The Patriots, obviously, did not give him that this season.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft may have given a hint about the team’s intentions with Brady this week, but the situation will become more complicated the longer it drags out.

 

NFL player Antonio Brown turns himself in at Florida jail

NFL free agent Antonio Brown turned himself in at a Florida jail on Thursday night following accusations that he and his trainer attacked another man.

Brown arrived at Broward County Jail around 10 p.m., as first reported by TMZ. The wide receiver, wearing turquoise pants and a matching blazer buttoned over a green jacket, initially walked out of the jail a few minutes after arriving, but then returned after conferring with his lawyer, WFOR-TV reported.

In a Wednesday news release, Hollywood police said Brown’s arrest warrant included charges of burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief. Officials responded Tuesday afternoon to a disturbance call where the alleged victim said Brown and his trainer, Glenn Holt, hit him near Brown’s Hollywood home.

Holt was arrested and charged with one count of burglary with battery, but officials couldn’t make contact with Brown at the time.

Brown didn’t respond to WFOR-TV’s request for on-camera comment, but his lawyer, Eric Schwartzreich, indicated that Brown would spend the night in jail.

“He’s innocent of these charges. Hopefully we’ll get bond tomorrow and he’ll be acquitted of all charges,” Schwartzreich said.

Brown, who is a free agent, played nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders last year but released before ever playing a regular season game following several off-the-field incidents. He was then signed by the New England Patriots, who released Brown in September after a second woman in 10 days accused him of sexual misconduct.

 

AP source: Vikings make Gary Kubiak offensive coordinator

The Minnesota Vikings have chosen Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator, filling the vacancy created by Kevin Stefanski’s departure to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

The widely expected move was confirmed Thursday by a person with knowledge of the decision who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club had not yet made the announcement. Kubiak was as an offensive adviser and assistant to head coach Mike Zimmer this season, as the Vikings reached the divisional round of the playoffs.

Kubiak’s playbook, as directed by Stefanski in his first full season on the job, provided a clear boost for quarterback Kirk Cousins and the offense. The Vikings were eighth in the league with an average of 25.4 points a game, after ranking 19th in 2018.

“I like the scheme,” Zimmer said last week. “I like the continuity that we have offensively with the coaches, and I feel like if we add a couple more pieces and continue to work on the execution of staying with the same play calls, the same system, the same motions and formations and things like that, it’ll definitely help the offensive players.”

Kubiak’s arrival in 2019 gave Zimmer – who is 57-38-1 in the regular season and 2-3 in the playoffs in six years with the Vikings – a trusted veteran voice and a valuable offensive perspective to complement his defensive acumen. The 58-year-old Kubiak was an NFL head coach for 10 seasons, his time with both the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos shortened by health problems. He has also been an offensive coordinator for 12 years.

The Vikings a year ago hired his son, Klint Kubiak, as quarterbacks coach and two longtime colleagues – Rick Dennison (offensive line coach and running game coordinator) and Brian Pariani (tight ends coach).

Their zone blocking scheme was a good fit for a mobile offensive line in front of running back Dalvin Cook, who stayed healthy enough to make his first Pro Bowl. The emphasis on play-action and rollout passes and frequent use of two-tight end formations helped Cousins play to his strengths and produce a career-best season. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was frustrated at times by a decreased number of throws that came his way. But he set career highs in yards per game (75.3) and yards per catch (17.9), the latter tied for fourth in the league.

 

Raiders sign Nevin Lawson to 1-year extension

The Las Vegas Raiders signed cornerback Nevin Lawson to a one-year contract extension Thursday.

Lawson is the first player to sign with the Raiders since they officially added Las Vegas to their name Wednesday. The Raiders are set to play next season in Las Vegas after spending the past 25 seasons in Oakland.

Lawson first joined the Raiders as an unrestricted free agent last season after playing five years with the Detroit Lions. He played 11 games with five starts for the Raiders, recording 23 tackles and five passes defensed.

Lawson has 217 tackles, one sack, 30 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 74 career games.

Lawson’s 3,272 defensive snaps since entering the league are the most for any defensive back in that span without a career interception.

 

The top underclassmen to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft

The early rounds of recent NFL drafts have been laden with underclassmen, and the 2020 draft will certainly have its fair share of talent that opted to leave college early. These are the top underclassmen who have declared for the 2020 draft.

Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Becton has ample size, listed at 6-foot-7, 369 pounds, and the departing junior has a chance to crack the first round of this year’s NFL draft with a strong combine.

Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

Likely the top interior lineman in the 2020 pool, Biadasz opted for the NFL draft following his junior season. He could sneak into the first round with a strong combine.

Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State

With a coaching change at Mississippi State, it’s hard to blame Dantzler for departing after his junior season. He has a small chance to go on Day 1 of the draft after three productive seasons in college, including two picks and eight passes defended in nine contests last season. At 6-foot-2, he has the size that most teams desire in a corner.

Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF

The 2020 wide receiver class is one of the deepest in years, which will likely make David drop to Day 2 of the draft. However, the 6-foot-3 wideout certainly has an accomplished resume, peaking last season with 72 catches for 1,241 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games.

Grant Delpit, S, LSU

A big safety at 6-foot-3, Delpit has been near the top of the defensive back watch list all season. After a strong 2019 season that included a national championship and with 65 tackles and two interceptions, he has a chance to be a top 10 pick in the draft.

J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

Dobbins reached 2,000 yards rushing in 2019, hitting that mark in the College Football Playoff semifinal while also gutting it out through a foot injury that he suffered during the game. There is a lot of tread on his tires with nearly 800 touches in three seasons at Ohio State, but Dobbins has the speed, power and versatility to be a first-round pick.

Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

The strong-armed Eason can “make all the throws,” but it remains to be seen if he’s accurate enough for the next level. The former Georgia and Washington signal-caller finished last season with 3,132 yards passing and 23 touchdowns but completed only 64.2 percent of his passes. The raw tools still might allow him to go in the first round.

Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

Despite a subpar junior season, Fromm opted to depart Georgia for the draft. Fromm has been a winner in all three seasons in Athens with 78/18 TD/INT, but his 60.8 percent completion rate in 2019 was, by far, the worst of his career. He will likely need to impress at the combine and in his workouts to get first-round consideration.

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

An impressive deep and red zone threat at 6-foot-4, Higgins scored 26 touchdowns over his last two seasons at Clemson. He should still be a first-round pick in one of the deepest wide receiver classes in recent memory.

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Jefferson has developed into quite the prospect after finishing 2019 with 111 receptions for 1,540 yard and 18 touchdowns in LSU’s incredible offense. He has a chance to crack the first round of the draft.

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Jeudy is likely the first wideout off the board in 2020, with talent that compares well to former elite Bama wide receivers like Julio Jones and Amari Cooper. He had consecutive 1,100-plus yard seasons and really didn’t have much more to show with his exodus from Alabama following his junior season.

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

Pass rushing talent is at a premium in the draft, and Gross-Matos has the talent and size to be an excellent 4-3 edge rusher. He had eight sacks in 2018 and nine sacks in 11 games in 2019, his junior season.

C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

Henderson has an opportunity to be a Day 1 pick in the draft after showing well in three seasons at Florida. He had six picks in his first two seasons but failed to get an interception in nine games during 2019. Henderson did have 11 passes defensed.

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Lamb should be able to follow in the footsteps of former Oklahoma teammate Marquise Brown as a first-round pick and possibly a top 10 selection. He’s been an electric playmaker in three seasons with the Sooners, capping off his career with 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2019.

Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Coming off a phenomenal junior season, McKinney has late first-round/early second-round stock early in the process. He finished the 2019 season with 95 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions in 13 games for the Crimson Tide.

Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Murray was a tackling machine during his career at Oklahoma and departs following his junior season as one of the top middle linebackers available. He had 155 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 13 games in 2018 and had 102 tackles and four sacks in 2019.

Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Currently projected as the top cornerback in the 2020 class, Okudah has a chance to be a top 10 draft choice. He had 34 tackles and three interceptions in 13 games during his junior season for the Buckeyes.

Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri

“Albert O.” has all the ability in the world as a receiving tight end, but there are major questions about his durability. He played 27 games in three seasons for Mizzou, finishing with 98 receptions for 1,187 yards and 23 touchdowns. The injury issues will likely push him to Day 2.

Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Slightly undersized at 5-foot-11, Reagor’s stats plummeted in his junior season with TCU’s struggles on offense. He had 72 receptions for 1,061 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018 before a season in which he finished with only 43 catches for 611 yards and five scores. Despite the down year, Reager has a chance to make it into the first round with a strong combine.

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Ruggs hasn’t put up the big numbers of teammate Jerry Jeudy in three seasons at Alabama, but his blazing speed should make him a first-round selection. He had 25 touchdowns in three seasons for the Crimson Tide and finished last season with 40 catches for 746 yards while also contributing as a kick returner.

Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Shenault saw his numbers drop slightly in 2019, but it probably wasn’t enough for him to fall out of the first round. After finishing 2018 with 86 receptions for 1,011 yards and 11 total scores in only nine games, he had 56 catches for 764 yards and six total touchdowns in 2019. His ability to run after the catch makes him an enticing prospect.

Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

A dynamic player who could line up at either linebacker or safety at the next level, Simmons is a dream defensive prospect at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. He had 104 tackles, eight sacks and three interceptions in his terrific junior season and is nearly a lock to be a top 10 pick in the draft.

D’Andre Swift, WR, Georgia

Swift could be the next great Georgia back drafted early, following the recent examples of Todd Gurley, Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. He averaged 6.6 yards per carry for his career and has shown excellent versatility and speed. Relative to J.K. Dobbins, Swift has also seen a more limited workload with 513 touches in three seasons.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The list of injuries for Tagovailoa is long and has likely eliminated any shot of him going first overall in this year’s draft. Most notably, his 2019 season ended with a fractured hip, but Tagovailoa has also had surgery on both ankles. If a team can get past the injuries, it will get an outstanding prospect who threw 76 touchdowns in 24 games over the last two seasons and completed nearly 70 percent of his passes. He’s likely to still go among the top 10 picks.

Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Taylor is a possible first-round pick after back-to-back 2,000 yard rushing seasons. He follows a long line of productive Badgers runners.

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Likely the first offensive lineman off the board, Thomas sat out the Sugar Bowl. He could step in immediately at left tackle as a top 10 pick in the draft for what has become an offensive lineman factory at Georgia.

Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Wills leaves a talented Bama offensive line following his junior season. Standing at 6-foot-5, he decided to forego his senior season but should get first-round consideration with a good combine performance.

Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

Like teammate Andrew Thomas, Wilson has some first-round buzz after leaving college early. He also sat out the Sugar Bowl, and the redshirt sophomore has a strong future at tackle at a stout 6-foot-7, 340 pounds.

Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Coming out of the offensive line hotbed that is Iowa, Wirfs has emerged as an elite offensive line prospect following his junior season. He could easily slot into the first round in a class that’s flush with impressive tackles.

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Young’s departure from Ohio State after the 2019 season seemed like only a formality as one of the top pass rushing prospects in years. He was fourth in the Heisman vote and finished his junior season with 16.5 sacks in 12 games. He’s likely to be a top three pick in the draft.

 

Giants’ Eli Manning retires after 16 seasons, 2 Super Bowls

Eli Manning is ending a 16-year NFL career that saw him recognized as a great quarterback, a leader, a solid citizen and the man who led the New York Giants back into prominence with two Super Bowl titles.

Manning, who set almost every Giants passing record in career solely based in New Jersey’s Meadowlands, has retired, the Giants said Wednesday. He will formally announce his retirement on Friday and there is little doubt the team will retire his No. 10 jersey.

“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer said in a statement.

“Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”

The recently turned 39-year-old’s future had been in doubt since the end of the season. Manning’s contract with the Giants expired after the 4-12 season and there was little chance he would be returning after losing his long-time starting job to rookie Daniel Jones.

Manning said he wanted to think about his future after the season and roughly three weeks after the season ended he decided his career was over.

He leaves the NFL with as many Super Bowl titles as his brother, Peyton, who retired after leading the Denver Broncos to a title after the 2015 season.

The Giants acquired Manning from San Diego on draft day in 2004 after the Ole Miss quarterback told the Chargers he did not want to play for them and forced the deal that general manager Ernie Accorsi gladly accepted.

It started a major turnaround for a team that was 4-12 the previous season.

Manning replaced Hall of Famer Kurt Warner as the starter for then-new coach Tom Coughlin after nine games. They won the NFC East the following season.

 

TOP NFL FREE AGENTS-TOP 15 FROM PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

Drew Brees

PROJECTED CONTRACT

2 yrs — $28m avg/yr

$30m guaranteed, $56m total

The season ended in disappointing fashion for the Saints, and Brees played his worst football over the last three weeks of the season. He still finished with a 90.6 overall grade and the lowest percentage of negatively graded throws in the league, both signs that there’s more left in the tank for Brees. However, the downfield passing attack struggled, as Brees ranked just 31th in big-time throw percentage and he had seven turnover-worthy plays in his last three games, including the Wild Card loss to the Vikings. The Saints have built a strong roster around Brees dating back to 2017, and it’s still likely worth another shot with the Hall of Famer, but like the Patriots, New Orleans must have contingency in mind as Brees heads into his age-41 season.

 

Dak Prescott

CONTRACT

$681k avg/yr

$383k guaranteed

Prescott’s contract status was one of the biggest questions of the offseason, and he paired with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to produce his most efficient season as a passer and one of the league’s best passing attacks. He finished with the No. 11 overall grade in the league at 80.3, his best mark since his rookie season, and Prescott ranked sixth in the league in positively graded throws. It’s not hindsight to ask if the increase in production should be attributed more to Prescott or Moore, as it’s a question I posed at the start of the season. Given Prescott’s PFF rankings of eighth, 18th, 19th, and now 11th, it’s fair to place him in the middle tier of NFL quarterbacks who can have valuable seasons in the right ecosystem (playmakers, play calling, and some luck). That’s exactly where Prescott landed this season and with a strong supporting cast, Prescott is capable of leading a high-end offense.

 

Tom Brady

CONTRACT

$23m avg/yr

$22m guaranteed

It was an unfamiliar feeling in New England this season as the Patriots offense struggled and Brady finally shown signs of regression. When combined with a subpar group of playmakers, the Patriots offense trudged through the 2019 season and their marriage with Brady is entering uncharted territory. He’ll hit the open market for at least a minute in March and questions abound about whether his best fit is back in New England or is Brady ready for a fresh start as he heads into his age-43 season? He finished the year with a 79.0 overall grade and the second half of the season was a struggle as Brady ranked just 27th in positively graded throws. That’s a number that can increase with an improved supporting cast, and Brady’s No. 12 ranking shows that he’s still capable of quality production, but he appears to be past the point of elevating any group of playmakers to one of the best offenses in the league.

 

Philip Rivers

CONTRACT

$20.81m avg/yr

$37.5m guaranteed

Despite periods in Rivers’ career where it looks like his arm is shot and the shotput motion no longer throws with zip, he’s still been one of the league’s most productive quarterbacks over the last few years. He did post the fifth-highest percentage of turnover-worthy plays this year while dropping to 18th in positives, but there’s enough left in the tank to remain productive, especially if he can play behind an offensive line that will provide pass protection that ranks better than the bottom-five units he’s had in each of the last three seasons. Look for Rivers to land in a win-now situation, where he’s capable of attacking the short and intermediate level effectively.

 

Ryan Tannehill

CONTRACT

$7m avg/yr

$6.75m guaranteed

In one of the biggest outlier seasons in the PFF era, Tannehill finished with the top overall grade during the regular season after taking over as the Titans starter in Week 6. He more than doubled his percentage of positively graded throws on his way to leading the league in that category, a sign that the scheme and supporting cast meshed well with Tannehill in 2019. The question is duplication, as Tannehill had never graded above 80.4 in a season, generally hovering in the high 60s or low 70s (2018 was an outlier as well as he graded at a miserable 45.3). It’s likely worth one more roll of the dice for the Titans, especially since they can ensure a level of stability in an attempt to maintain Tannehill’s high-end performance, but a backup plan should also be in the works as it’s difficult to see Tannehill settling in as a 90-plus graded quarterback after seven years of mediocrity.

 

Amari Cooper

PROJECTED CONTRACT

5 yrs — $20m avg/yr

$68m guaranteed, $100m total

There was a clear increase in production in the Dallas Cowboys’ offense once Cooper arrived in the middle of 2018, and he finished the 2019 regular season with the seventh-highest overall grade among receivers (84.1). Cooper set a career-high with 503 yards on deep (20-plus yard) passes, the third-highest mark in the league, and he caught 62.5% of the deep passes that were thrown his way (tied for fifth). The Cowboys’ passing offense has been one of the league’s best with Cooper on the field, netting 122.0 EPA on his 907 plays compared to just 2.95 EPA on 425 plays without him. That massive difference is the best explanation for quarterback Dak Prescott’s increase in production and Cooper’s spot atop the offensive free agent list.

 

Chris Jones

CONTRACT

$1.56m avg/yr

$3.89m guaranteed

Heading into his age-26 season, Jones is one of the best young defensive linemen in the game. He graded at 84.9 overall during the regular season, good for sixth among interior defensive linemen; it marks his third consecutive year in which he’s ranked in the top eight at the position, and this year saw him move around the defensive front more than ever. Jones’ 58 total pressures were the fourth-most among interior defenders this year, and he’s proven to be a capable, disruptive run defender.

 

Anthony Harris

CONTRACT

$3.1m avg/yr

0 guaranteed

One of the league’s most underrated players, Harris has been a playmaker on the back end of the Minnesota defense since seeing extended playing time in 2018. Harris has the top regular-season coverage grade among safeties at 91.6 after ranking sixth last season. He’s played the majority of his snaps at free safety, but this season has seen him play about 40% of his snaps in the box or over the slot, showing that he can play a more versatile role in a defense. Harris has nine interceptions and seven pass breakups over the last two years, all while missing just four of his 100 tackle attempts. Playmaking, sure-tackling safeties are of immense value in the NFL, and Harris has shown both traits as much as any safety in the league over the last two seasons.

 

Byron Jones

CONTRACT

$2.15m avg/yr

$6.99m guaranteed

A move to cornerback rejuvenated Jones’ career in 2018, as he showed that he could play single coverage on the outside at a high level. He finished with the 14th-best coverage grade among corners in 2018 (80.4) before dropping to 21st in 2019 (74.8), but those are extremely valuable numbers as he hits the open market. Many will point to Jones not picking off a pass over the last two years, but his 74.1 coverage grade in single coverage is 11th-best during that time, and he has also shown the ability to match up against tight ends when called upon. Jones brings youth and coverage ability to the open market, making him the top defensive free agent heading into the offseason.

 

Chris Harris Jr.

CONTRACT

$12.05m avg/yr

$1.63m guaranteed

Another top coverage player, Harris has an extended track record of success, but he’s going to be 31 at the start of the 2020 season. He’s also coming off his worst season, finishing with a slightly above-average coverage grade of 66.8. However, this was the first season of Harris’ career that saw him play exclusively on the outside after he spent the majority of his career cementing his standing as the best slot corner of the decade with more than enough talent to hold his own on the outside when needed. Harris is an intriguing candidate for teams looking to put him back in the slot, where he excels in both man and zone coverage.

 

A.J. Green

CONTRACT

$15m avg/yr

$26.75m guaranteed

While he’ll be 32 years old on opening day of the 2020 season, Green’s consistent track record of production makes him an intriguing offseason possibility for many passing attacks. Green missed all of 2019 after playing only 458 snaps in 2018, so injuries and age are certainly a risky proposition. But when healthy, Green wins at all levels of the field. He finished the decade with the sixth-highest grade among all receivers and 3,273 yards on deep passes, which ranked third. Green is worth a look for teams in need of a downfield threat on the outside.

 

Jameis Winston

CONTRACT

$6.34m avg/yr

$25.35m guaranteed

We went into detail regarding Winston and the roller coaster of emotions he elicits, and it doesn’t take advanced numbers to tell the story of his 2019 season and career. He finished with over 5,000 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and 30 interceptions, all perfect descriptors of Winston’s game that moves the chains as well as any quarterback in the league while also putting the ball into the defense’s hands more than any signal-caller in the NFL. The bottom line with Winston is that he may never change as he annually ranks near the top of the league in both positively and negatively graded throws, but that high-end volatility could lead to a wide range of outcomes from high-end starter with some interception luck to benchwarmer if the ball bounces the other way. A team with strong offensive weapons and a good coverage unit may want to see if they can extract the high-end season out of Winston, as he’s capable of putting points on the board in the right situation.

 

Jadeveon Clowney

CONTRACT

$15m avg/yr

$15m guaranteed

Clowney put up an 88.0 overall grade in 2018 ### the highest mark of his career ### and he followed up with an 87.3 grade after a trade to the Seahawks despite seeing his sack total drop from nine to three. Clowney has the 11th-best overall grade among all edge defenders since 2017, including the third-best mark against the run (91.3), but his pass-rush grade of 83.9 ranks just 25th among that same group. Pass-rushers earn massive contracts for their ability to get after the quarterback, but Clowney has always been good, not great, in that department. The price tag may be too high for many teams, but Clowney brings top run defense and solid pass-rush to the table, though his game has never really lived up to his draft hype and he’s never matched the production of other dominant edge defenders.

 

Marcus Mariota

CONTRACT

$6.05m avg/yr

$24.21m guaranteed

We’re just five years removed from debating Mariota and Winston at the top of the 2015 draft, and now both quarterbacks are ready for a reset on the open market. Mariota has shown flashes of solid play throughout his career, but he’s taken far too many sacks (sacked on 35.2% of pressured dropbacks in 2019, highest in the league). On the bright side, the copycat NFL will look to teammate Tannehill’s random breakout and hope to extract the same from Mariota as both quarterbacks possess a similar skillset of intermediate accuracy, obliviousness to pressure, and a revolving door of playmakers and play callers throughout their respective careers.

 

Hunter Henry

CONTRACT

$1.6m avg/yr

$4.03m guaranteed

Since entering the league in 2016, there have been two constants in Henry’s career: injuries and production. When healthy, he’s one of the best receiving tight ends in the game, and his 90.5 receiving grade against single coverage is eighth-best in the league since 2016. Henry is also a solid run blocker, posting above-average seasons in two out of his three full years. Any team looking for his services is going to get a mismatch weapon who can win in-line, in the slot or on the outside. That versatility is extremely valuable in today’s NFL.

 

Jarren Williams tells Miami he will enter transfer portal

Jarren Williams informed Miami on Thursday that he is entering the transfer portal, a move that comes three days after former Houston quarterback D’Eriq King decided to join the Hurricanes.

Williams started 10 of Miami’s 13 games this past season, after beating out N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell for the first-string job. But with King — the presumed starter for 2020 — arriving this week, it was presumed that some of Miami’s incumbent quarterbacks would look elsewhere.

Atlanta-based attorney Thomas Mars, who represents Williams, said the quarterback was going to fill out his paperwork to make the entry into the portal official on Thursday before he was delayed by his class schedule. Mars said Williams will finish the paperwork Friday.

“Because college football fans are prone to fill this vacuum of information on social media with nothing but speculation, we’ve entered an era where high-profile student-athletes are often unfairly judged and criticized based on misperceptions about why they transferred,” Mars said. “What’s more, this uninformed criticism leads to unfair comparisons about whether one student-athlete versus another should have received a waiver. It’s a horrible situation.”

It’s believed that Williams will remain at Miami for the remainder of the spring semester, which started earlier this month. He will remain on scholarship for that semester.

There were times when Williams showed great promise. He broke a school record with a six-touchdown game against Louisville, threw for 313 yards in a win over Florida State and threw for 309 more on 30-for-39 passing in a loss to North Carolina.

But he battled inconsistency, such as three first-quarter interceptions in what became a loss to Virginia Tech and a three-interception outing in a humbling loss by crosstown rival FIU. Williams was only 39 for 82 in Miami’s final three games combined, all losses.

If Williams is granted a waiver, he could play elsewhere in 2020. The NCAA typically requires undergraduate transfers to sit a season before becoming eligible at a new school.

Mars is an advocate of changing that rule.

 

PURDUE FOOTBALL: Brohm Adds Terrance Jamison to Purdue Coaching Staff

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue head football coach Jeff Brohm has announced Terrance Jamison as the Boilermakers’ defensive line coach.

“Terrance is a talented coach with a great background in defensive line technique and skill development,” Brohm said. “He is an outstanding addition to our staff.”

Jamison joins the Boilermakers after spending the previous season at Air Force in a similar role. The Falcons went 11-2 in 2019, including a 31-21 victory over Washington State in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Jamison worked with an Air Force unit that finished in the top 20 in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision in a number of categories, including rushing defense (7th, 100.5), defensive touchdowns (12th, 3), total defense (17th, 319.6) and scoring defense (20th, 19.8).

Individually, senior defensive lineman Mosese Fifita was a 2019 first-team All-Mountain West selection for Jamison after finishing the season with 48 total tackles, including 7.5 for loss with 6.0 sacks. Junior defensive lineman Jordan Jacks was an honorable mention All-Mountain West honoree.

Jamison spent two seasons at Texas Tech (2017-18) prior to his stint at Air Force.

In 2018, Tech finished the season with 70 tackles for loss with 28 sacks. Defensive linemen Eli Howard, Joseph Wallace and Broderick Washington Jr. garnered honorable mention All-Big 12 honors after season.

In 2017, the Red Raiders finished sixth in the FBS with 29 takeaways, including 15 fumbles recovered. Tech’s plus-11 turnover margin for the season was the top mark in the Big 12 and 13th in the nation. Howard, Kolin Hill, Tony Jones, Mychealon Thomas and Washington Jr. were honorable mention All-Big 12 selections.

Prior to Texas Tech, Jamison spent three seasons at Florida Atlantic (2014-16). In 2015, the Owls set a school record with 35 sacks to finish 13th nationally and first in Conference USA.

Under Jamison’s guide, FAU’s Trey Hendrickson was named the 2016 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-C-USA selection. As a junior, Hendrickson tied for second in the FBS for total sacks (13.5) and forced fumbles (5). He wrapped up his senior season in 2016 with 9.5 sacks to rank 21st nationally and second in C-USA.

Hendrickson became the first FAU defensive lineman in school history selected in the National Football League Draft when he was picked by the New Orleans Saints in the third round in 2017.

Jamsion has also served on the defensive staffs at Wisconsin and Cal. With the Badgers, Jamison combined to serve four seasons as a student assistant (2008-09), quality control assistant (2011) and a graduate assistant (2012). He spent the 2010 season as the defensive line coach at Edgewood High School (Wisc.). Jamison was a defensive lineman for the Badgers.

He earned his first full-time position at Florida Atlantic after spending the 2013 season in a quality control role at the California.

Jamison has two degrees from Wisconsin – a bachelor’s in agricultural business management (2009) and a master’s in educational leadership and policy analysis (2011). He and his wife, Ashley, have two daughters, Ava and Mackenzie.

 

Whit Merrifield has harsh comments about Jose Altuve, Astros

Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield made the first All-Star appearance of his career last year, but he feels it would have been the second had it not been for all of the cheating that went on in Houston.

Merrifield spoke openly about how disappointed he was when he was not selected to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. Jose Altuve was one of the players who was voted in over Merrifield, and the Royals infielder did not hold back when asked about that this week in an interview with Dave O for Clubhouse Conversation.

Altuve made the All-Star Game every year from 2014-2018, and he also won the Silver Slugger Award in each of those seasons. Merrifield said he’s going to consider himself the Silver Slugger winner for 2018 in addition to an All-Star. Merrifield batted .302 last year with 16 home runs and 74 RBI. Altuve hit .298 with 31 homers and 74 RBI.

If that makes Merrifield feel better, more power to him. However, it’s worth noting that Major League Baseball determined the Astros were guilty of using electronics to steal signs during the 2017 season, but there has been no hard evidence that they did anything in 2018. There were allegations that Houston players took things to the next level last season, but they have already denied that.

Merrifield certainly isn’t the only player who feels cheated by what the Astros did. Heck, city officials in Los Angeles are trying to have the 2017 World Series trophy awarded to the Dodgers. Merrifield can take a number and get in line.

 

Scott Boras says Astros players should not have to apologize

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane said this week that the team’s players are planning to apologize with a “strong statement” as a group when spring training begins next month, but Scott Boras does not believe that is necessary.

Boras, who is the most powerful agent in baseball, said this week that Astros players do not owe anyone an apology because they were simply following a system their superiors had implemented.

“I’m doing what my organization is telling me to do,” Boras told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic while speaking from the perspective of a player. “You installed this. You put this in front of us. Coaches and managers encourage you to use the information. It is not coming from the player individually. It is coming from the team. In my stadium. Installed. With authority.”

Boras feels MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was justified in not punishing any players involved in the sign-stealing scheme. The agent compared what Astros players did to speeding by driving 55 mph in a 35-mph zone without a posted speed limit. Boras says players were not properly informed of the latest rules about stealing signs and blamed former Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow for not forwarding the 2017 sign-stealing memo to players.

“Luhnow did not forward the memoranda and did not confirm that the players and field staff were in compliance with MLB rules and the memoranda,” Manfred wrote. “Had Luhnow taken those steps in September 2017, it is clear to me that the Astros would have ceased (their illegal sign stealing).”

As far as Boras is concerned, the issue with sign-stealing is similar to how MLB and teams handled performance-enhancing drug use.

“This is no different than PEDs,” he said. “The minute we legislated a compendium of specificity, players were on notice. And then the accountability went directly to them. And it should.”

Boras had a lot more to say on the topic, and it’s really no surprise that an agent who represents the biggest superstars in the sport would take that stance. He also currently reps Houston’s José Altuve, Lance McCullers and Aaron Sanchez. Boras defended Altuve when new allegations surfaced that Altuve and others took the cheating a step further in 2019.

To say that Astros players had no idea they were breaking rules simply because Alex Cora may have been the mastermind behind the operation is absurd. We already know there was a different reason MLB chose not to punish players, but that in no way means they were innocent.

 

‘I’m better than that’: Serena stunned at Australian Open

Down to what sure felt like her last chance, Serena Williams came through with a cross-court forehand winner to close a 24-stroke point, then raised her arms, held that celebratory pose and looked over toward her guest box.

Finally, on her sixth try, after 1 1/2 hours of action, she had managed to convert a break point against 27th-seeded Wang Qiang in the Australian Open’s third round.

Right then, it appeared that the comeback was on, the bid for a 24th Grand Slam singles title could continue. It turned out that Williams only was delaying a surprising defeat.

So tough at the toughest moments for so many years, Williams just could not quite do enough to put aside some shaky serving and all manner of other miscues, instead making her earliest exit at Melbourne Park in 14 years, a 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5 loss to Wang on Friday.

“I was optimistic that I would be able to win. I thought, `OK, now finish this off.’ I honestly didn’t think I was going to lose that match,” Williams said about her mindset after forcing a third set.

She began by crediting Wang but eventually shifted to criticizing herself for not playing well enough to win.

“I didn’t return like Serena. Honestly, if we were just honest with ourselves, I lost that match,” Williams said. “I can’t play like that. I literally can’t do that again. It’s unprofessional. It’s not cool.”

Williams was broken in the final game after more than 2 1/2 hours, fittingly ending things with a backhand into the net. That was her 27th unforced error on the backhand side, part of a total of 56 miscues. Wang made only 20.

“I’m better than that,” said Williams, who trudged through the long walkway that leads to the locker room, carrying two bags, while Wang was doing the winner’s interview in Rod Laver Arena.

Later, at her news conference, Wang laughed as she said: “I always believed I could do this one day. I didn’t know which day.”

Since grabbing major championship No. 23 at the 2017 Australian Open, while she was pregnant, Williams hasn’t added to her total.

She appeared in four major finals over the past two seasons, losing each one.

 

Bracketology: Will ACC get more than 3 teams in NCAA Tournament?

It’s time to get familiar with bracketology and how it’ll affect the NCAA Tournament, specifically the ACC.

While the Big 12 gets respect for being the toughest conference top-to-bottom in college basketball, the ACC annually jockeys with the Big Ten for the crown of the best league in America. Just a year ago, the ACC sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament, with Virginia cutting down the nets to claim the league’s third championship of the past decade.

That success has not carried over to this season, with the league as a whole in the midst of a nasty down cycle much like the ones the Pac-12 has experienced in recent years. As of right now, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology update has just five ACC schools in the field of 68, with one (Virginia Tech) in a First Four game with another (NC State) barely avoiding that fate as one of the last four teams with a bye to the Round of 64.

Notably absent from Lunardi’s field is Virginia, which is just 12-6 and floundering in a subpar league thanks to a pathetic offense, averaging 55.1 points per game, the third-worst output in the country. That has set the Cavaliers, who still have the country’s best scoring defense, back significantly.

Virginia’s best win this season came against North Carolina in December, and that victory has significantly lost its luster with the Tar Heels going in the tank after the injury to freshman point guard Cole Anthony.

UNC coach Roy Williams has said this is the least talented Tar Heels team he has ever coached and that he deserved to be fired after North Carolina lost to Clemson earlier this season.

Another traditional tournament team from the ACC that is having a down year is Syracuse, whose best win is over that mediocre Virginia team and hasn’t done much else. NC State is in mostly by taking care of business with a home win over Wisconsin, but they haven’t exactly done much more than avoid bad losses at the moment.

The other team Lunardi has on the bubble at the moment is Virginia Tech, which can offer up a five-point neutral floor win over Michigan State in Maui and a win over fellow bubbler NC State, but a poor non-league schedule could come back to haunt them in the eyes of the selection committee.

At this point, there are only three sure-fire locks to get to the NCAA Tournament out of the ACC: Duke, Louisville and Florida State.

That means the rest of the ACC hopefuls won’t get many shots at the type of Quadrant I wins that will make the difference between being picked for the dance or being left to stew in the NIT.

It is an unfamiliar position for the ACC, which is simply in a down cycle thanks to Anthony’s ill-timed injury sinking the Tar Heels and Virginia’s anemic offense ruining another potential contender.

Five teams seem like the absolute most the ACC can get right now barring a dramatic reversal in fortune for one of those two or seeing a team like Virginia Tech run through conference play with only a handful of losses.

This doesn’t mean the ACC is done for good, especially as the Pac-12 has shown this year by rebounding after a brutal season. The ACC will see better days, but the league’s representation in the NCAA Tournament figures to be perilously thin this season.

 

Woods opens with 69 at Torrey North to start new year

Tiger Woods had his lowest opening round of the year since 2011. It wasn’t enough to be among the leaders Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open, but it was fine with him.

Coming off his record-tying 82nd victory in his last PGA Tour start three months ago in Japan, Woods handled the par 5s on the easier North Course at Torrey Pines and limited mistakes for a 3-under 69.

Sebastian Cappelen and Keegan Bradley had the low scores of the opening round, which was not the same as sharing the lead. Cappelen had eight birdies for a 66 on the South Course, which played about three shots tougher than the North, where Bradley shot his 66.

Rory McIlroy, who played in the group in front of Woods, was among those at 67. Jon Rahm, playing alongside Woods, was in the large group at 68.

Woods hasn’t broken 70 in his first round of the year since a 69 on the North at Torrey in 2011. His health, his game and even his momentum are in much better shape now. His game wasn’t all that far off.

“It was nice to kind of keep the round going a little bit,” Woods said. “Overall, pleased to shoot something in the 60s today.”

It took a little time to get going. He left himself in a bad shot right of the green on the par-5 10th to start his round and failed to make birdie. His flop shot from 50 yards short of the green on the next hole came up short and into a bunker, leading to a bogey. He was even par at the turn on a course where lower scores are expected.

Even so, there was little drama. The best views were of the still waters of the Pacific below on a magnificent day. The biggest roars, as usual, belonged to the Navy jets above.

Woods kept it simple, with a nifty wedge to short range on his 10th hole, a two-putt birdie from 18 feet on the par-5 fifth and an easy up-and-down for birdie on the final hole.

“I could probably, maybe could have gotten one or two more out of my round today,” Woods said. “But overall, I felt like it was a good start, especially going into the South Course. I don’t know what the guys did on the South Course in relation to the North, but I felt like the golf course was certainly gettable today.”

 

THIS WEEK IN BIG 10 HOCKEY

  • Seven teams take the ice this week in a trio of conference series, highlighted by a top-20 matchup between No. 19/- Michigan State and No. 9/9 Penn State. Five games will be carried on linear networks, including a doubleheader on BTN on Saturday night. The remaining contests will be streamed on BTN+.
  • Three Big Ten teams appear in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week. Ohio State leads the conference at No. 6 in both polls, followed by Penn State at No. 9/9. Michigan State appears in the USCHO.com poll at No. 19 and is receiving votes in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. Michigan and Notre Dame both received votes in the USCHO.com poll.
  • Ohio State owns an 8-4-2-0 Big Ten record, compiling 26 points to stand in first place through 14 games in the race for the Big Ten Championship and the accompanying first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan State and Penn State enter the weekend tied for second place with 25 points on an 8-5-1-0 record in 14 games, with six possible points on the table as they face off in this weekend’s series.
  • Notre Dame is in fourth place and holds the final home ice spot for the first-round, best-of-three series in the Big Ten Tournament. The Irish have 20 points, two more than Michigan (5th), four more than Minnesota (6th) and six more than Wisconsin (7th).
  • The Headway Foundation’s fourth annual Concussion Awareness Week begins this weekend and runs until Sunday, Feb. 2. The goal of the Concussion Awareness Week is to promote a safer sports culture surrounding concussions through Headway’s ‘New Tough’ Campaign, spread awareness, and provide educational resources for student-athletes. Since 2016, more than 9,000 professional, college, high school, and youth athletes across the U.S. and Canada have taken part in Concussion Awareness games to challenge the stigma around concussions in sports.
  • Nine standouts representing five Big Ten programs are among the 79 nominees for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given annually to the top NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey player in the nation. The list of nominees includes Michigan State’s Patrick Khodorenko, Notre Dame’s Cal Burke, Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski and Tommy Nappier, Penn State’s Cole Hults and Peyton Jones, and Wisconsin’s Cole Caufield, Wyatt Kalynuk and Linus Weissbach. The Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be presented to the winner on April 10 during the NCAA Frozen Four in Detroit.
  • Four Big Ten goalies find themselves among the top 20 nationally in save percentage this season. Michigan State’s John Lethemon leads the conference and ranks second nationally with a .943 save percentage, followed by Michigan’s Strauss Mann (6th, .937), Ohio State’s Tommy Nappier (10th, .933) and Penn State’s Peyton Jones (18th, .922).
  • Any regular-season conference game that remains tied after regulation will play the NCAA-mandated five-minute, 5-on-5 sudden-death overtime period. If the game remains tied, the two teams will then play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime period. If the game is still tied following both overtime periods, then the game will move to a sudden-death shootout.
  • Teams will be awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation or the 5-on-5 overtime period. If the game is tied following the 5-on-5 overtime, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout.
  • The 2019-20 Big Ten hockey regular season will feature the most extensive slate of television coverage in college hockey, with more than 70 total games. The lineup is highlighted by a package of 27 national broadcasts to be carried on BTN, seven broadcasts on NBCSN, three broadcasts on NHL Network, two on ESPNU, and a game on FS1.
  • Every televised game on BTN can be streamed on the FOX Sports app. All games broadcast by FOX Sports Regional Networks can also be streamed on the FOX Sports GO app for authenticated subscribers to the broadcasting regional network, or on BTN+. All games televised on an ESPN network will also be available to stream on the ESPN App.

 

OHIO STATE HOCKEY: No. 6 Buckeyes Travel for Two Games vs. the Gophers

Teams to face off in Big Ten series Friday and Saturday 

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 6 Ohio State men’s hockey team heads to Minnesota for a Big Ten series. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET Friday and at 7:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. ET Saturday.

Game one will be televised by FS North+, with the game also carried by FS Ohio and TSN and on the Fox Sports app. Saturday’s contest will be on BTN and the Fox Sports app. Both games can be heard on Ohio State radio.

Buckeye Notes to Know

  • All-American Tanner Laczynski is second among active NCAA skaters in career points and is tied for third among non-freshmen with 1.06 points per game. The B1G Second Star of the Week has a team-best 18 assists and 25 points this year.
  • Five of the last seven games between Ohio State and Minnesota have gone to overtime. Ohio State is 1-0-4 in those games. The other two games in the last seven ended in 4-3 wins for the Gophers.
  • The Buckeyes and Gophers met in Columbus Dec. 6-7. Ohio State prevailed in overtime in the first game, before a 1-1 overtime tie (Minnesota 3×3 goal) in game two.
  • A Big Ten best four Ohio State defensemen rank in the Top 15 in points among league blueliners. Notre Dame has three, while Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan each have two and Penn State and Minnesota each have one. For the Buckeyes, Wyatt Ege (3g, 8a, 11p) and Grant Gabriele (3, 8a, 11p) are tied for sixth and Matt Miller (3g, 7a, 10p) and Gordi Myer (4g, 6a, 10p) are all tied for 11th. Nationally, the Buckeye blueliners combine to rank 15th (tied) in points with 51 (2.12 ppg).
  • Ohio State has played in 12 one-goal games this season, with an 8-4 mark in those contests. Just four games this year have been decided by more than two goals.
  • Ohio State opens a stretch of four road games in a row this weekend.  The Buckeyes are 4-4-0 on the road and 6-5-1 in road/neutral games combined this season.
  • The Buckeyes, 15-6-3 this season, are scoring 2.75 goals a game, while allowing 2.08 a night rank eighth (tied) nationally in team defense. The power play is tied for eighth in the nation, converting 25 percent (24-for-96) and Ohio State has stopped 63-of-76 (.829) opponent power play chances. The squad is eighth nationally with 14.00 blocked shots per game.
  • The Buckeyes are in first place in the Big Ten with 26 points, one point ahead of Michigan State and Penn State. Ohio State is 8-4-2-0 in league games, with the Spartans and Nittany Lions 8-5-1-0.

Buckeyes vs. Gophers

  • The series between Ohio State and Minnesota dates to 1968 but 36 of the 42 games have been since 1999.
  • In Minneapolis, the Gophers have the edge, 15-2-3, and Minnesota leads in Big Ten regular season games, 15-6-5.
  • Five of the last seven games between the teams have gone to overtime.
  • The teams met in Columbus Dec. 6-7 to close out the first half. Ohio State won in overtime in game one before the teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in game two.
  • In the last series on the Gophers’ home ice (Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2018), the teams skated to back-to-back 2-2 OT ties, with Ohio State scoring both nights in 3×3 overtime for the extra Big Ten point.
  • In 12 games vs. the Gophers, Tanner Laczynski leads the current Buckeyes with four goals, nine assists and 13 points. Gordi Myer has played a team-high 14 games vs. Minnesota, with three assists. Matt Miller has a 3-3-6 line in 11 outings and Ronnie Hein has 2-2-4 totals in 10 games. In six games, Carson Meyer has two goals and three assists for five points vs. Minnesota.
  • Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik is a native of St. Paul, Minn., while three Buckeyes – senior Wyatt Ege (Elk River), redshirt senior Miguel Fidler (Edina) and freshman James Marooney (Chaska) – are all from Minnesota.
  • Marooney’s brother, Joey, is a senior for the Gophers. Their brother, Cody, played college hockey at Alabama Huntsville.

The Schedule Ahead

  • The Buckeyes will head to Ann Arbor for a pair of 7:30 p.m. games against Michigan Jan. 31-Feb. 1.
  • The next home games are vs. Penn State Feb. 7-8. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. for game one and 5 p.m. for game two. A snow globe ticket package is available for the first game, which is also $1 dog night, has Hockey Hour on the concourse pregame and features postgame goals for youth. During game two, Script Ohio on Ice will be performed during intermission and there will be a postgame meet and greet with select student-athletes (Nos. 19-72).

 

NASCAR makes yet another totally unnecessary, baffling change

After the first four seasons of NASCAR Truck Series playoffs, NASCAR decided to alter the playoff format ahead of the 23-race 2020 season.

The playoffs are still slated to feature seven races over the course of three rounds, with three races in the first two rounds prior to the season finale, but instead of eight drivers, 10 drivers are slated to compete in them.

Two drivers will still be eliminated after the opening round, which is now the round of 10, but four will be eliminated after the second round, which is now the round of 8, leading up to the Championship 4. The round of 6 has effectively been removed.

With all things considered when it comes to the playoffs, could there have been a more unnecessary and baffling change to the NASCAR playoffs at any level at this point?

Here is what managing director Brad Moran had to say about why this change was implemented ahead of the 2020 season, according to NASCAR.

“The way the format was structured in the Gander Truck Series with the Round of 8, Round of 6, Round of 4, we were leaving some excitement on the table. Maybe three or four years ago, not so much, but certainly the last couple of years with the series strengthening to the position it’s in right now, we really felt putting 10 teams into the playoffs for a Round of 10 is just going to make it that much more exciting and interesting, and will put a lot of emphasis on winning races, which is what we try to do.”

Now let’s take a look at the statistics from the beginning of the Truck Series playoffs in 2016 to now and analyze how, exactly, this statement relates to any of this.

Full-time drivers (all 23 races)…

2016: 14

2017: 12

2018: 11

2019: 11

…factoring in full-time drivers who missed races

2016: 17

2017: 16

2018: 15

2019: 16

Regular season race winners (among playoff drivers)

2016: 6

2017: 6

2018: 5

2019: 6

A total of eight drivers is more than half of the full-time field to begin with, even without the extra two. Additionally, three or four years ago, this change would have actually made more sense since more drivers tended to compete throughout the entire season.

And where, exactly, is the emphasis on winning races? This expansion puts a clear emphasis on points over anything and everything else.

These two extra playoff spots will not be occupied by winners. They simply will not be, period. Never before has more than 75% of the eight-driver playoff field been occupied by regular season winners. In a 10-driver format, that percentage shrinks to just over half at 60%.

There aren’t suddenly going to be 10 different winners in 16 races to leave out a potential driver from the playoffs who otherwise would have qualified well up the order on points. And as long as Kyle Busch is around competing in his five regular season races per year, that really amounts to 10 different winners in fewer than 16 races — 11 if he wins all five like he did in 2019.

If anything, having a more limited number of playoff spots open in a win-and-in playoff format puts an emphasis on winning races.

But this is the exact opposite. Winning might as well be optional now, because that’s what it amounts to. And the regular season might as well be billed as useless, because aside of the few playoff points that drivers can pick up here and there, the meaning of it has shrunk.

Fighting hard for 16 races over the course of six months just to get a few playoffs points ahead of the rest of the field for two make-or-break three-race playoff rounds is not what NASCAR is about, nor what it should be about.

These points, not the playoff berths themselves, are what they’ll be fighting for, as many drivers will basically be playoff locks. The regular season is effectively now a 16-race opening playoff round that will eliminate two or three drivers.

We already had a driver win the title without winning a single race throughout the entire season, as Matt Crafton pulled it off this past season, and the odds of it happening again just shot up.

What an amazing “emphasis on winning races”!

The NFL expanding to 24 playoff teams would make more sense than this. The 6-10 Cleveland Browns clearly deserve just as much of a chance to win the Super Bowl as the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers, right?

By moving from eight playoff drivers to 10 ahead of the 2020 NASCAR Truck Series season, did the sanctioning body make the right move, or is this an aspect of the sport that should have been left alone?

 

Kyrgios barks, mocks his way to Australian Open’s 3rd round

Love him or hate him — and make no mistake, there are plenty in each camp — Nick Kyrgios never allows for a dull moment when he’s on a tennis court, whether it’s shot selection, showmanship, momentum swings, barking at his entourage or mocking another player not even involved in the match at hand.

All of the above happened during his ever-eventful 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Gilles Simon in the Australian Open’s second round Thursday night.

That included a moment when Kyrgios – currently on six months’ probation from the ATP for verbally abusing tennis officials – poked fun at the man he might meet in the fourth round, Rafael Nadal. After being warned for taking more than the allotted 25 seconds between serves, Kyrgios mimicked how Nadal fidgets before a point, as if to remind the chair umpire that there are folks who more egregiously waste time.

When a reporter asked Nadal about Kyrgios’ imitation of the 19-time major champion, the Spaniard replied: “I really don’t care. I’m here to play tennis.”

About the only boring segment of the proceedings came during the in-stadium interview, when an allusion was made to later rounds and Kyrgios, an Australian seeded 23rd, told the Melbourne Arena crowd, “I’m not thinking ahead. … I’m just taking it one match at a time at the moment.”

Zzzzzzzz.

After Kyrgios wrapped up, the No. 1-seeded Nadal was still in the early stages of what became a 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-1 win against Federico Delbonis over at Rod Laver Arena.

Those results were the most intriguing of Day 4 at the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, especially given the distaste Kyrgios and Nadal have for each other in a raucous rivalry that provided one of the highlights of Wimbledon in 2019.

Never too early to begin pondering a meeting with a quarterfinal berth at stake during Week 2 in Melbourne, with the popular Nadal facing the home-backed Kyrgios.

For that to materialize, Kyrgios first needs to beat No. 16 Karen Khachanov of Russia on Saturday, when Nadal plays No. 27 Pablo Carreno Busta in an all-Spanish matchup.

 

Omaha Beach, Spun to Run scratched from Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational took two major hits Thursday, with the top choices for the race being scratched over health concerns.

Heavily favored Omaha Beach was scratched because of concerns over swelling in his right hind leg, and that means his career is now over since Saturday was going to be his final race before retiring to stud. Spun to Run, the second favorite after the post-position draw earlier this week, was pulled out earlier Thursday after his connections noticed he was warm and dealing with some soreness.

Spun to Run, the Breeders’ Cup dirt winner, had 7-2 odds after Wednesday’s draw; Omaha Beach was initially installed as the 7-5 favorite, and his odds fell to even money after Spun to Run was scratched.

“Omaha Beach’s safety and well-being comes first and we wanted to do what was best for him,” trainer Richard Mandella said in a statement distributed by Gulfstream Park, which will play host to Saturday’s Pegasus dirt and turf races. “He has been a great pleasure to have around the barn and we are grateful for the opportunity to train such a magnificent horse.”

Omaha Beach retires with five wins, four seconds and a third in 10 career starts, with $1.65 million in earnings. He was the morning-line favorite for last year’s Kentucky Derby as well, before getting scratched in the final days before the race because of a throat issue that necessitated surgery and kept him out of the entire Triple Crown series.

“We appreciate the willingness of Mr. Mandella to put the safety of Omaha Beach above all else,” said Belinda Stronach, the chairman and president of The Stronach Group – the operator of Gulfstream. “His decision was the right thing to do.”

The morning-line odds were not readjusted a second time after Omaha Beach was scratched, meaning Mucho Gusto is now the new favorite at 9-2 in a field of 10 horses that will vie for a $3 million purse in the Pegasus dirt race. Higher Power is the 6-1 second choice, followed by Tax at 8-1.

 

Purdue Track & Field: Rod McCravy Memorial Up Next for Boilermakers

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue track & field team travels to Lexington, Kentucky, for the Rod McCravy Memorial on Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25, at Nutter Field House.

The meet begins on Friday, with field events at 1 p.m. ET, and running events at 4 p.m. Saturday’s action commences with field events at 9:30 a.m., while running events start at noon. A complete schedule of events can be found on UKathletics.com.

Live stats will be available at PTTiming.com, while fans can watch a live video stream on SEC Network+, with broadcast times set for 5:08-7 p.m. on Friday and 12:38-4 p.m. on Saturday. Updates and behind-the-scenes updates on the Boilermakers throughout the weekend can be found on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Purdue will face 16 teams this weekend. Along with host-Kentucky, the field features Big Ten foes Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State, along with Alabama State, Arizona State, Ashland, Cincinnati, Coppin State, Georgia State, Grambling State, Ole Miss, UCF and USF.

In the Rankings

In the Preseason Indoor Track & Field National Rating Index, the Purdue men are ranked No. 36 and the women are No. 58 nationally. Individually, 10 Boilermakers earned national rankings, with seven in the top-18 and three in the top-10.

Senior Janae’ Moffitt is No. 6 in the country in the women’s high jump, while junior Jalil Brewer comes in at No. 8 in the men’s shot put. Also in the preseason top-18 national rankings are senior Jah Strange (No. 10) and junior Tamar Greene (No. 13) in the men’s triple jump, junior Waseem Williams (No. 11) and senior Samson Colebrooke (No. 18) in the 60-meter dash and senior Jaret Carpenter (No. 14) in the 5000-meter.

Ten of this weekend’s men’s opponents appeared in the preseason poll, with four in the top-30. No. 16 Iowa leads the way, followed by No. 26 Penn State, No. 28 Kentucky, No. 29 Minnesota, No. 44 Michigan, No. 47 Ole Miss, No. 68 Coppin State, No. 73 Arizona State, No. 74 Cincinnati and No. 125 Grambling State. For the women, 11 teams are ranked, four in the top-14. No. 7 Minnesota is the highest-ranked team, followed by No. 10 Kentucky, No. 13 Iowa, No. 14 Penn State, No. 26 Arizona State, No. 68 Ole Miss, No. 81 Cincinnati, No. 82 Michigan, No. 101 Maryland, No. 115 UCF and No. 119 USF.

Last Time Out: Larry Wieczorek Invitational

At the Larry Wieczorek Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa, Purdue broke a school record, won eight events, helped set three meet records and notched 15 personal-best times at the two-day meet that featured eight top-25-ranked teams. The Boilermaker men placed fourth out of eight teams, with 78 points, and the women were fifth, with 53 points. The men finished ahead of three top-15 squads, while the women bested one top-25 opponent.

Senior Brody Smith and Carpenter broke the school record in the mile on Saturday. Smith placed second overall in the event with a time of 4:01.92, while Carpenter was fourth, in 4:02.65. Both eclipsed the previous record of 4:03.64, set by Tate Schienbein in 2016.

The Boilermakers also set meet records in the high jump, thanks to a win by Moffitt (1.81m), in the women’s 400-meter dash, courtesy of freshman Saran Kouyeth (55.89), who placed fifth, and in the premier shot put, as Brewer placed sixth overall and second among collegiate competitors (19.13m). Additionally, Colebrooke won two events, the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter run.

Looking Back at the 2018 Rod McCravy Memorial

Purdue last competed at the Rod McCravy Memorial in 2018, when the Boilermakers won four events, in the weight throw, the men’s and women’s 3,000-meter runs and the women’s 4×400-meter relay. The highlight victory was then-sophomore Sarah Loesch, who threw the nation’s No. 8 mark in the weight throw at the time.

Up Next: Razorback Invitational

The Boilermakers head south to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for the Razorback Invitational, from Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Competition at the Randal Tyson Track Center is slated to begin at 1:25 p.m. ET/12:25 p.m. CT on Friday and 12:25 p.m. ET/11:25 a.m.

 

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-1995

MELBOURNE, Australia-Long before he won this tortured passion play that masqueraded as a quarter- final match at the Australian Open, Pete Sampras, the event’s defending champion and the world’s No. 1 player, had already done the unthinkable. He broke down in tears under the spotlight on stadium court. And the instant this 3-hour-58- minute tear-jerker ended in a 6‚7 (4‚7), 6‚7 (3‚7), 6‚3, 6‚4, 6‚3 post-midnight comeback against the ninth-seeded Jim Courier, the traditionally stoic Sampras was again overcome by sobs.

“I think we were both just playing our hearts out,” said Courier, who suspected that his opponent’s uncharacteristic histrionics might have something to do with his unease over going on with a title defense while his coach had been sent back to the United States for further treatment of a serious heart ailment.

Long before Sampras had resurrected himself from the ultimate in Grand Slam predicaments -a two-sets-to-none deficit-for the second match in a row, his opponent was coping in secret with a body-racking case of leg cramps. “I just physically gave out,” said Courier, this Grand Slam event’s champion in 1992 and 1993. “At 4‚3 in the fifth, either one of us could have collapsed, but he was the one left standing. Pete’s pretty determined, and certainly at a Grand Slam he’s going to do whatever’s in his power to win.”

Sampras had worn himself into an emotional frazzle worrying about the health of his coach and best friend, Tim Gullikson, who spent the weekend undergoing tests in a private hospital after apparently suffering the latest in a series of strokes linked to a congenital heart ailment, which was first diagnosed in December.

Sampras was unable to talk about his crying jag, which began after he held serve in the opening game of the final set and then resumed intermittently throughout the set. “Hopefully I can recover from this whole experience,” said Sampras, whose composure had reached the cracking point even before a spectator incited him to “win this one” for his coach. “I was really happy that I fought back; I didn’t quit,” said Sampras, who hurled 23 aces at Courier, two of them between sobs as he took a 2‚1 lead in the final set.

It wasn’t until Sampras took his first lead of the match by holding serve to start the fifth set that his emotions floored him. He sat down for the change-over and, with his shoulders heaving and his face buried in his towel, he burst into uncontrollable tears. He struggled through the next two games, then called the trainer over to help talk him through his distress.

Sampras had appeared on the verge of giving up the match, but instead he soldiered on, broke Courier in the eighth game, and converted his first match point when Courier’s forehand return soared long. Up at the net, Sampras apologized to Courier and embraced him; Courier had, after all, been part of a group that, on the eve of this match, shared dinner with Gullikson before he flew home. Gullikson learned the results of the match while changing planes in Los Angeles en route to a doctor’s appointment in Chicago.

Pete Sampras defeated Michael Chang in the semifinals and lost to Andre Agassi in the final. Tim Gullikson died of brain cancer in May 1996 at Wheaton, Ill. He was 44.

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1939       Needing an additional player to reach the initial goal of having at least ten inductees before the dedication ceremonies this summer, members of the BBWAA elect ‘Wee’ Willie Keeler, George Sisler, and Eddie Collins to be in the inaugural class of the Hall of Fame. They join the 1936 selection of Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson, as well as Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, and Cy Young, who were honored by the writers a year later.

1955       Cubs business manager Jim Gallagher, chairman of the nine-man rules committee, announces the two leagues will implement an existing rule during spring training that requires a hurler to throw the ball when the bases are empty within 20 seconds after taking a pitching position. The edict, which results in the umpire calling a ball when the tosses are tardy, will not be in effect during the season.

1961       The A’s trade Whitey Herzog and Russ Snyder to the Orioles for Wayne Causey, Jim Archer, Bob Boyd, and Al Pilarcik. The deal will not improve either club when both teams finish in the second division next season.

1962       The Southern Association, established in 1901, suspends operation due to decreasing yearly attendance. Except for 27 year-old outfielder Nat Peeples, who became the only black player in the league’s history when he appeared in two games with the 1954 Atlanta Crackers, the circuit remained racially segregated until the end of its existence.

1973       Warren Spahn becomes only the sixth player elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, receiving 316 of the 380 (83.2%) votes cast by the BBWAA scribes. The Buffalo (NY) native, who recorded thirteen 20-win seasons with the Braves, retired as the winningest left-handed pitcher in big league history with 363 victories, a remarkable feat given he recorded his first victory at the age of 26.

1980       The Payson family sells the controlling interest of the Mets to book publisher Doubleday and Company, with Fred Wilpon of Sterling Equities and a group from City Investing becoming minority owners. The estimated $21.1 million price tag, twice as much as the sale of the Yankees to George Steinbrenner seven years ago, is the highest amount ever paid for a baseball franchise, far surpassing the $12 million needed to purchase the Orioles and Astros last season.

2001       Believed to be a historical first, sixty-eight major league umpires participate in a preseason session to practice calling strikes as defined by the rule book. With the help of minor leaguers wearing tapes nine inches above their belts, the men in blue get a good look at pitches, commonly called balls, but are strikes as the correct enforcement of the zone is put into place for this upcoming season.

2006       Jay Gibbons (.277, 26, 79) and the Orioles agree to a $21.1 million, four-year deal. The 28 year-old outfielder, who is getting married this weekend, could have taken his chances on the free-agent market next season.

2007       Cliff Floyd, coming off an injured Achilles tendon, signs a very flexible deal with the Cubs, beginning with a one-year guaranteed contract for $3 million to one which could be worth as much as $17.5 million over two years. The Chicago native, expected to platoon with Matt Murton, will give the Northsiders left-handed power off the bench.

2008       The Braves, avoiding arbitration, sign Rafael Soriano (3-3, 3.00) to a two-year deal worth $9 million. Atlanta plans to use the 29 year-old right-handed reliever, who recorded nine saves last year, as their closer this season.

 

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
  W L Pct Conf GB Home Road Div Conf Last 10 Streak
Milwaukee 39 6 .867 21-2 18-4 11-0 24-3 9-1 7 W
Miami 31 13 .705 7.5 20-1 11-12 6-2 20-6 6-4 2 W
Toronto 30 14 .682 8.5 16-7 14-7 6-3 21-7 7-3 5 W
Boston 29 14 .674 9.0 18-5 11-9 6-5 19-9 4-6 2 W
Indiana 29 16 .644 10.0 17-5 12-11 4-6 18-11 7-3 1 W
Philadelphia 29 17 .630 10.5 20-2 9-15 9-3 21-10 6-4 1 L
Orlando 21 24 .467 18.0 13-9 8-15 6-2 14-11 5-5 1 L
Brooklyn 18 25 .419 20.0 11-12 7-13 4-6 12-13 2-8 5 L
Detroit 17 28 .378 22.0 9-13 8-15 5-8 12-21 5-5 1 W
10 Chicago 17 29 .370 22.5 10-14 7-15 5-7 12-19 4-6 1 W
11 Washington 15 29 .341 23.5 9-11 6-18 3-7 10-17 5-5 1 W
12 Charlotte 15 30 .333 24.0 7-14 8-16 1-4 10-17 2-8 7 L
13 New York 12 33 .267 27.0 6-16 6-17 1-9 7-20 2-8 1 L
14 Cleveland 12 33 .267 27.0 6-16 6-17 3-7 7-25 2-8 6 L
15 Atlanta 11 34 .244 28.0 6-16 5-18 3-4 5-23 4-6 1 W
 
Western Conference
  W L Pct Conf GB Home Road Div Conf Last 10 Streak
LA Lakers 36 9 .800 16-5 20-4 4-2 23-4 8-2 2 W
Utah 31 13 .705 4.5 17-3 14-10 4-2 17-8 9-1 3 W
LA Clippers 31 14 .689 5.0 19-4 12-10 6-1 19-10 7-3 1 L
Denver 30 14 .682 5.5 17-6 13-8 6-0 18-7 6-4 1 L
Dallas 28 16 .636 7.5 13-11 15-5 7-0 17-9 6-4 1 W
Houston 27 16 .628 8.0 15-7 12-9 4-4 16-12 5-5 1 W
Oklahoma City 26 19 .578 10.0 14-9 12-10 5-4 18-12 6-4 3 W
San Antonio 20 23 .465 15.0 12-10 8-13 3-5 11-13 6-4 3 W
Memphis 20 24 .455 15.5 12-13 8-11 3-4 14-15 7-3 2 L
10 Portland 19 27 .413 17.5 10-11 9-16 3-6 11-19 4-6 1 L
11 Phoenix 18 26 .409 17.5 9-16 9-10 4-6 9-20 5-5 2 L
12 New Orleans 17 28 .378 19.0 8-14 9-14 2-6 12-18 6-4 1 L
13 Minnesota 15 29 .341 20.5 6-15 9-14 2-8 7-20 2-8 7 L
14 Sacramento 15 29 .341 20.5 8-13 7-16 4-4 11-16 3-7 6 L
15 Golden State 10 36 .217 26.5 7-16 3-20 1-6 7-27 1-9 2 L

 

NHL STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
  GP W L OTL Pts ROW GF GA Home Road L10
Washington Capitals 49 33 11 5 71 30 177 144 15-5-4 18-6-1 6-4-0
Boston Bruins 51 29 10 12 70 29 169 135 17-2-9 12-8-3 5-3-2
Pittsburgh Penguins 50 31 14 5 67 28 168 136 18-5-3 13-9-2 7-3-0
New York Islanders 49 29 15 5 63 26 143 132 15-7-3 14-8-2 4-4-2
Tampa Bay Lightning 48 29 15 4 62 27 175 137 15-7-2 14-8-2 8-2-0
Florida Panthers 49 28 16 5 61 25 183 163 16-8-2 12-8-3 8-2-0
Columbus Blue Jackets 51 27 16 8 62 27 138 130 16-9-2 11-7-6 8-2-0
Carolina Hurricanes 50 29 18 3 61 26 159 132 17-8-1 12-10-2 5-4-1
Philadelphia Flyers 50 27 17 6 60 22 158 150 17-4-4 10-13-2 5-4-1
10 Toronto Maple Leafs 49 25 17 7 57 24 176 165 12-6-7 13-11-0 4-3-3
11 Buffalo Sabres 49 22 20 7 51 21 145 152 14-6-3 8-14-4 5-5-0
12 Montreal Canadiens 50 22 21 7 51 19 155 157 10-12-4 12-9-3 4-5-1
13 New York Rangers 48 23 21 4 50 23 158 159 13-10-2 10-11-2 4-6-0
14 Ottawa Senators 48 17 23 8 42 17 130 163 12-8-4 5-15-4 1-5-4
15 New Jersey Devils 48 17 24 7 41 15 126 173 7-9-7 10-15-0 4-5-1
16 Detroit Red Wings 51 12 35 4 28 11 109 199 8-16-2 4-19-2 2-7-1
 
Western Conference
  GP W L OTL Pts ROW GF GA Home Road L10
St. Louis Blues 49 30 11 8 68 30 158 134 17-4-4 13-7-4 5-3-2
Vancouver Canucks 49 27 18 4 58 24 162 149 16-5-3 11-13-1 7-3-0
Colorado Avalanche 49 28 15 6 62 28 179 143 14-7-4 14-8-2 5-3-2
Dallas Stars 48 27 17 4 58 25 125 120 15-7-2 12-10-2 7-3-0
Edmonton Oilers 49 26 18 5 57 24 155 153 12-8-3 14-10-2 6-3-1
Calgary Flames 50 26 19 5 57 21 135 147 13-7-3 13-12-2 6-4-0
Arizona Coyotes 51 26 20 5 57 21 146 138 12-10-2 14-10-3 5-4-1
Vegas Golden Knights 52 25 20 7 57 22 161 159 14-10-3 11-10-4 4-5-1
Chicago Blackhawks 51 24 21 6 54 22 155 161 12-12-3 12-9-3 6-4-0
10 Winnipeg Jets 51 25 22 4 54 22 152 160 11-11-2 14-11-2 3-6-1
11 Minnesota Wild 50 23 21 6 52 22 156 166 14-6-4 9-15-2 4-5-1
12 Nashville Predators 47 22 18 7 51 21 156 154 11-9-4 11-9-3 4-5-1
13 San Jose Sharks 50 21 25 4 46 19 130 167 13-11-1 8-14-3 4-5-1
14 Anaheim Ducks 48 19 24 5 43 15 122 150 11-9-3 8-15-2 3-6-1
15 Los Angeles Kings 50 18 27 5 41 18 125 158 11-10-1 7-17-4 2-7-1

 

BIG 10 MEN

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
11 Michigan State 6-2 .750 5-0 1-2 14-5 .737 9-1 2-2 3-2 2-2
21 Illinois 6-2 .750 4-0 2-2 14-5 .737 11-1 3-3 0-1 1-3
Indiana 5-3 .625 4-0 1-3 15-4 .789 12-1 1-3 2-0 3-1
17 Maryland 5-3 .625 4-0 1-3 15-4 .789 11-0 1-4 3-0 1-0
19 Iowa 5-3 .625 4-0 1-2 14-5 .737 9-1 3-2 2-2 4-2
24 Rutgers 5-3 .625 4-0 1-3 14-5 .737 13-0 1-4 0-1 2-2
Wisconsin 5-3 .625 3-1 2-2 12-7 .632 9-1 3-3 0-3 3-2
Minnesota 5-4 .556 4-0 1-4 11-8 .579 9-1 1-6 1-1 2-1
Penn State 4-4 .500 2-1 1-3 14-5 .737 10-1 2-3 2-1 3-1
Purdue 3-5 .375 3-1 0-4 10-9 .526 8-2 1-5 1-2 3-4
Michigan 2-5 .286 2-1 0-4 11-7 .611 8-2 0-5 3-0 2-3
Ohio State 2-6 .250 2-2 0-4 12-7 .632 10-2 1-4 1-1 3-2
Nebraska 2-6 .250 2-2 0-4 7-12 .368 5-5 0-6 2-1 0-1
Northwestern 1-7 .125 1-3 0-4 6-12 .333 4-6 1-5 1-1 0-3

 

MAC MEN

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
East
Akron 5-1 .833 2-1 3-0 15-4 .789 10-1 4-2 1-1 0-1
Bowling Green 5-1 .833 3-1 2-0 14-5 .737 9-1 3-1 2-3 0-1
Buffalo 4-2 .667 2-1 2-1 13-6 .684 7-3 3-2 3-1 0-0
Kent State 3-3 .500 2-1 1-2 13-6 .684 9-1 3-4 1-1 0-1
Ohio 2-4 .333 1-2 1-2 10-9 .526 6-4 3-3 1-2 0-2
Miami (OH) 1-5 .167 1-2 0-3 8-11 .421 6-4 1-5 1-2 0-1
West
Ball State 4-1 .800 3-0 1-1 11-7 .611 6-3 3-2 2-2 0-1
Central Michigan 3-2 .600 2-1 1-1 10-8 .556 9-1 1-7 0-0 0-0
Toledo 3-3 .500 1-1 2-2 11-8 .579 6-2 5-6 0-0 0-0
Northern Illinois 3-3 .500 1-1 2-2 10-9 .526 5-3 5-6 0-0 0-0
Western Michigan 2-4 .333 2-1 0-3 9-10 .474 7-2 2-6 0-2 0-1
Eastern Michigan 0-6 .000 0-3 0-3 10-9 .526 6-3 2-6 2-0 0-1

 

BIG EAST MEN

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
10 Seton Hall 7-0 1.000 3-0 4-0 15-4 .789 8-1 5-2 2-1 2-2
Villanova 5-1 .833 4-0 1-1 15-3 .833 10-0 2-2 3-1 2-2
Creighton 4-3 .571 2-1 2-2 15-5 .750 11-1 3-3 1-1 1-2
Marquette 4-3 .571 3-1 1-2 14-5 .737 10-1 2-3 2-1 1-1
Providence 4-3 .571 2-1 2-2 11-9 .550 8-2 2-4 1-3 0-3
13 Butler 3-3 .500 1-1 2-2 15-4 .789 9-1 3-3 3-0 0-3
Xavier 2-4 .333 2-2 0-2 13-6 .684 10-2 1-3 2-1 0-1
Georgetown 2-5 .286 2-1 0-4 12-8 .600 9-3 2-4 1-1 2-2
DePaul 1-5 .167 1-3 0-2 13-6 .684 9-4 4-2 0-0 1-1
St. John’s 1-6 .143 1-2 0-4 12-8 .600 10-3 0-4 2-1 1-2

 

BIG 10 WOMEN

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
22 Northwestern 7-1 .875 3-1 4-0 17-2 .895 9-2 6-0 2-0 2-1
19 Iowa 7-1 .875 4-0 3-1 16-3 .842 10-0 4-2 2-1 2-0
20 Maryland 6-2 .750 4-0 2-2 15-4 .789 9-1 4-3 2-0 3-2
Rutgers 5-2 .714 1-2 4-0 15-3 .833 8-2 5-1 2-0 0-1
17 Indiana 5-3 .625 3-1 2-2 15-5 .750 8-2 5-2 2-1 2-3
Nebraska 4-4 .500 4-1 0-3 14-5 .737 11-2 1-3 2-0 1-1
Purdue 4-4 .500 2-2 2-2 13-7 .650 8-2 3-4 2-1 0-3
Ohio State 4-4 .500 3-1 1-3 11-8 .579 5-3 4-4 2-1 3-4
Michigan State 4-4 .500 3-1 1-3 11-8 .579 8-1 2-4 1-3 1-4
Michigan 3-4 .429 2-1 1-3 12-6 .667 8-2 3-3 1-1 0-3
Minnesota 2-6 .250 0-4 2-2 12-7 .632 7-5 5-2 0-0 1-1
Wisconsin 2-6 .250 1-3 1-3 10-9 .526 7-3 2-5 1-1 0-2
Illinois 1-7 .125 1-3 0-4 10-9 .526 9-4 1-5 0-0 0-2
Penn State 1-7 .125 1-3 0-4 7-12 .368 5-6 1-5 1-1 0-1

 

MAC WOMEN

Conference Overall vs
  W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt  Top 25
East
Ohio 4-2 .667 2-1 2-1 11-6 .647 6-1 4-4 1-1 0-1
Kent State 3-2 .600 1-1 2-1 10-6 .625 4-2 4-2 2-2 0-1
Buffalo 3-3 .500 2-1 1-2 12-5 .706 7-1 3-4 2-0 0-1
Akron 2-4 .333 1-3 1-1 9-8 .529 4-5 3-3 2-0 0-1
Bowling Green 1-5 .167 1-2 0-3 8-10 .444 5-2 2-6 1-2 0-0
Miami (OH) 1-5 .167 1-2 0-3 8-10 .444 4-2 3-7 1-1 0-2
West
Central Michigan 6-0 1.000 2-0 4-0 13-4 .765 6-1 7-3 0-0 0-1
Toledo 4-1 .800 3-0 1-1 9-7 .563 5-3 3-3 1-1 0-0
Ball State 4-2 .667 3-0 1-2 12-6 .667 6-1 3-4 3-1 0-0
Western Michigan 3-3 .500 2-1 1-2 10-7 .588 5-2 3-4 2-1 0-1
Eastern Michigan 3-3 .500 2-1 1-2 8-9 .471 5-3 3-6 0-0 0-1
Northern Illinois 1-5 .167 0-3 1-2 5-12 .294 1-6 3-5 1-1 0-0