INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

BELLMONT58GARRETT37 
LIGHTHOUSE CPA68MARQUETTE CATHOLIC62 
NEW HAVEN76FORT WAYNE WAYNE44 
PRAIRIE HEIGHTS41WHITKO35 
WINCHESTER77SOUTH ADAMS49 

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

ANDREAN41HANOVER CENTRAL24 
ANGOLA50LAKELAND35 
BOWMAN ACADEMY47EAST CHICAGO CENTRAL25 
EVANSVILLE CENTRAL48EVANSVILLE REITZ35 
GREENWOOD53BROWN COUNTY41 
HUNTINGTON NORTH55FORT WAYNE DWENGER28 
INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOL52NORTHWESTERN48 
LAVILLE51SOUTH BEND RILEY29 
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC61ROSSVILLE23 
NOBLESVILLE68TRI-WEST21 
NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG)47OWEN VALLEY42 
NORTHEASTERN33HAGERSTOWN27 
SOUTH CENTRAL (UNION MILLS)72WHEELER13 
TRI33UNION COUNTY23 
VINCENNES RIVET54NORTH DAVIESS29 
WARREN CENTRAL71INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS46 
WHITING51CALUMET25 
YORKTOWN63MISSISSINEWA58OT

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING SCOREBOARD

MERRILLVILLE 43 CHESTERTON 27

FORT WAYNE DWENGER 66 FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA 13

MUNCIE CENTRAL 46 RICHMOND 20

MOUNT VERNON 50 NEW PALESTINE 20

CENTERVILLE 57 MONROE CENTRAL 18

LAPORTE 36 VALPARAISO 33

LOWELL 39 HIGHLAND 32

ILLIANA CHRISTIAN 48 LAKE STATION EDISON 29

PENN 61. SOUTH BEND RILEY 12

TERRE HAUTE NORTH 68 SULLIVAN 9

ZIONSVILLE 43 AVON 32

BLUFFTON 64 MISSISSINEWA 16

NEW PRAIRIE 37 ELKHART 35

WARREN CENTRAL 44 YORKTOWN 36

WARSAW 65 TRITON 18

BREMEN 45 SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON 36

JOHN GLENN 66 SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH 18

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#8 ARIZONA 101 NORTHERN COLORADO 76

#10 USC 66 UC IRVINE 61

#22 XAVIER 86 MOREHEAD STATE 63

GEORGETOWN 85 HOWARD 73

BELMONT 76 CHATTANOOGA 68

GEORGIA SOUTHERN 69 CAMPBELL 66

COASTAL CAROLINA 102 METHODIST 42

ELON 63 WINTHROP 61

EASTERN KENTUCKY 121 MIDWAY 67

JACKSON STATE 66 FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL 50

FAIRFIELD 72 FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON 54

OHIO 75 MARSHALL 65

NORTH CAROLINA WILMINGTON 85 MOUNT OLIVE 55

MISSOURI STATE 75 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 63

CENTRAL FLORIDA 65, TEMPLE 48

AKRON 66 WRIGHT STATE 48

VCU 66 FLORIDA ATLANTIC 46

NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 72 GARDNER WEBB 71

BETHUNE COOKMAN 88 JOHNSON 41

OLE MISS 62 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 52

PRESBYTERIAN 98 CARVER COLLEGE 33

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 80 SE. MISSOURI STATE 55

TEXAS STATE 67 LAMAR 47

SOUTH DAKOTA 78 BELLARMINE 64

WISCONSIN 71 NICHOLLS 68

MURRAY STATE 118 TENNESSEE WESTERN 48

ABILENE CHRISTIAN 69 BAKERSFIELD 50

DENVER 64 UC SAN DIEGO 56

EASTERN WASHINGTON 95 MULTNOMAH 56

FLORIDA STATE 97 LIPSCOMB 60

OREGON 96 PORTLAND 71

UTAH STATE 95 WEBER STATE 80

DIXIE STATE 114 AMERICAN INDIAN COLLEGE 40

UNLV 84 OMAHA 71

NEW MEXICO STATE 64 WASHINGTON STATE 61

NEVADA 98 MINNESOTA DULUTH 62

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 SOUTH CAROLINA 55 #15 DUKE 46

#3 STANFORD 68 UC DAVIS 42

#16 S. FLORIDA 69 STETSON 50

#22 LSU 100 ALCORN STATE 36

#24 OHIO STATE 97 ALABAMA STATE 51

WESTERN KENTUCKY 60 MIAMI OHIO 58

WRIGHT STATE 91 LAKE ERIE COLLEGE 60

CINCINNATI 63 CHATTANOOGA 52

WAKE FOREST 94 SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 40

OKLAHOMA STATE 75 SOUTHERN 33

AUBURN 71 BELMONT 62

MINNESOTA 99 OHIO 93

NBA SCOREBOARD

CLEVELAND 124 HOUSTON 89

ATLANTA 111 ORLANDO 99

MIAMI 101 PHILADELPHIA 96

LA LAKERS 107 DALLAS 104 OT

MILWAUKEE 114 INDIANA 99

NEW ORLEANS 113 OKLAHOMA CITY 110

CHARLOTTE 131 SAN ANTONIO 115

MINNESOTA 124 DENVER 107

MEMPHIS 113 PORTLAND 103

SACRAMENTO 119 WASHINGTON 105

UTAH 124 LA CLIPPERS 103

DATETIME (ET) AWAY TEAM HOME TEAM
 THU DEC 168:20 PM KANSAS CITY CHIEFS LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
 SAT DEC 184:30 PM LAS VEGAS RAIDERS CLEVELAND BROWNS
 8:20 PM NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
 SUN DEC 191:00 PM ARIZONA CARDINALS DETROIT LIONS
 1:00 PM CAROLINA PANTHERS BUFFALO BILLS *
 1:00 PM DALLAS COWBOYS NEW YORK GIANTS
 1:00 PM HOUSTON TEXANS JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
 1:00 PM NEW YORK JETS MIAMI DOLPHINS *
 1:00 PM TENNESSEE TITANS PITTSBURGH STEELERS
 1:00 PM WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM PHILADELPHIA EAGLES *
 4:05 PM ATLANTA FALCONS SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
 4:05 PM CINCINNATI BENGALS DENVER BRONCOS
 4:25 PM GREEN BAY PACKERS BALTIMORE RAVENS
 4:25 PM SEATTLE SEAHAWKS LOS ANGELES RAMS
 8:20 PM NEW ORLEANS SAINTS TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
 MON DEC 208:15 PM MINNESOTA VIKINGS CHICAGO BEARS

THIS WEEK’S NFL SCHEDULE

Thursday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers, 6:20 p.m., Fox, NFL Network, Amazon

The Chiefs have won six straight games and sit a game ahead of the Chargers in the AFC West.

Saturday games

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns, 2:30 p.m., NFL Network

The Raiders are 6-7 and the Browns are 7-6, making this a pivotal game for both team’s playoff chances.

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts, 6:15 p.m., NFL Network

The Patriots currently hold the top seed in the AFC playoffs thanks to a tie breaker. The Colts are in right now, but they are fighting with several other teams for a berth.

Sunday early games

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, 11 a.m., Fox

The Cowboys got some breathing room in the NFC East with a win over Washington in Week 14.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars, 11 a.m., CBS

Both of these teams are 2-11 on the season and in the basement of the AFC standings.

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers, 11 a.m., CBS

The Titans are right in the race for the top seed in the AFC, while the Steelers are fighting just to make the postseason.

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins, 11 a.m., CBS

The Dolphins are 6-7, but they have won five straight games to get in the AFC playoff race.

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles, 11 a.m., Fox

Neither of these teams can afford a loss here if it wants to make the NFC playoffs.

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions, 11 a.m., Fox

The Lions are 1-11-1 entering this game. Can they play spoiler against the Cardinals, who are fighting for the top seed in the NFC?

Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills, 11 a.m., Fox

The Bills are really struggling. A loss to the Panthers would shatter their chances at the playoffs.

Sunday late games

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos, 2:05 p.m., CBS

These two AFC teams are battling for a playoff spot.

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers, 2:05 p.m., CBS

These two NFC teams are battling for a playoff spot.

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams, 2:25 p.m., Fox

Hard to believe, but the Seahawks are still in the NFC playoff race. A win against the Rams would really boost their cause.

Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens, 2:25 p.m., Fox

The Packers are on a roll. The Ravens are not. Bad news for the Ravens?

Sunday Night Football

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6:20 p.m., NBC

The Saints already beat the Buccaneers this season. They could really use another victory over their division rivals to help their playoff chances.

Monday Night Football

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, 6:15 p.m., ESPN

The Vikings are in the thick of the NFC playoff race, but can’t afford to slip up against the Bears.

COLLEGE BOWL SCHEDULE

Friday, Dec. 17

Bahamas Bowl
Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo
12 p.m. ET | ESPN
Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas

TV: Here’s the upcoming TV information for college football

Cure Bowl
Northern Illinois vs. Coastal Carolina
6 p.m. | ESPN2
Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida

Saturday, Dec. 18

Boca Raton Bowl
Appalachian State vs. Western Kentucky
11 a.m. | ESPN
FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida

Celebration Bowl
Jackson State vs. South Carolina State
12 p.m. | ABC
Mercedes-Benz in Atlanta, Georgia

New Mexico Bowl
Fresno State vs. UTEP
2:15 p.m. | ESPN
Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Independence Bowl
No. 13 BYU vs. UAB
3:30 p.m. | ABC
Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana

SCORES: Live scoreboard and stats for all college football games

LendingTree Bowl
Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty
5:45 p.m. | ESPN
Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama

LA Bowl
Oregon State vs. Utah State
7:30 p.m. | ABC
SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California

New Orleans Bowl
No. 23 Louisiana vs. Marshall
9:15 p.m. | ESPN
Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana

Monday, Dec. 20

Myrtle Beach Bowl
Tulsa vs. Old Dominion
2:30 p.m. | ESPN
Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina

Tuesday, Dec. 21

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Kent State vs. Wyoming
3:30 p.m. | ESPN
Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho

Frisco Bowl
No. 24 San Diego State vs. UTSA
7:30 p.m. | ESPN
Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas

POLLS: Check out the latest Top 25 rankings

Wednesday, Dec. 22

Armed Forces Bowl
Missouri vs. Army
8 p.m. | ESPN
Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas

Thursday, Dec. 23

Frisco Football Classic
Miami (Ohio) vs. North Texas
3:30 p.m. | ESPN
Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas

Gasparilla Bowl
Florida vs. UCF
7 p.m. | ESPN
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida

Friday, Dec. 24

Hawai’i Bowl
Memphis vs. Hawai’i
8 p.m. | ESPN
Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex in Honolulu, Hawai’i

Saturday, Dec. 25

Camellia Bowl
Ball State vs. Georgia State
2:30 p.m. | ESPN
Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama

Monday, Dec. 27

Quick Lane Bowl
Western Michigan vs. Nevada
11 a.m. | ESPN
Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan

Military Bowl
East Carolina vs. Boston College
2:30 p.m. | ESPN
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland

Tuesday, Dec. 28

Birmingham Bowl
No. 20 Houston vs. Auburn
12 p.m. | ESPN
Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama

First Responder Bowl
Air Force vs. Louisville
3:15 p.m. | ESPN
Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas

Liberty Bowl
Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State
6:45 p.m. | ESPN
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee

Holiday Bowl
No. 18 NC State vs. UCLA
8 p.m. | FOX
Petco Park in San Diego, California

Guaranteed Rate Bowl
Minnesota vs. West Virginia
10:15 p.m. | ESPN
Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona

Wednesday, Dec. 29

Fenway Bowl
Virginia vs. SMU
11 a.m. | ESPN
Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Pinstripe Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
2:15 p.m. | ESPN
Yankee Stadium in New York, New York

Cheez-It Bowl
No. 19 Clemson vs. Iowa State
5:45 p.m. | ESPN
Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida

Alamo Bowl
No. 14 Oregon vs. No. 16 Oklahoma
9:15 p.m. | ESPN
Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas

Thursday, Dec. 30

Duke’s Mayo Bowl
North Carolina vs. South Carolina
11:30 a.m. | ESPN
Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina

Music City Bowl
Tennessee vs. Purdue
3 p.m. | ESPN
Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee

Peach Bowl
No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 12 Pittsburgh
7 p.m. | ESPN
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia

Las Vegas Bowl
Wisconsin vs. Arizona State
10:30 p.m. | ESPN
Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, Dec. 31

Gator Bowl
No. 17 Wake Forest vs. No. 25 Texas A&M
11 a.m. | ESPN
TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida

Sun Bowl
Washington State vs. Miami (FL)
12 p.m. | CBS
Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas

Arizona Bowl
Central Michigan vs. Boise State
2 p.m. | Barstool Sports
Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona

Cotton Bowl Classic (College Football Playoff semifinal)
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati
3:30 p.m. | ESPN
AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

Orange Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal)
No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia
7:30 p.m. | ESPN
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida

Saturday, Jan. 1

Outback Bowl
No. 21 Arkansas vs. Penn State
12 p.m. | ESPN2
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida

Citrus Bowl
No. 15 Iowa vs. No. 22 Kentucky
1 p.m. | ABC
Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida

Fiesta Bowl
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State
1 p.m. | ESPN
State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona

Rose Bowl
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Utah
5 p.m. | ESPN
Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California

Sugar Bowl
No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss
8:45 p.m. | ESPN
Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tuesday, Jan. 4

Texas Bowl
Kansas State vs. LSU
9 p.m. | ESPN
NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas

Monday, Jan. 10

College Football Playoff National Championship Game
8 p.m. | ESPN
Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana

TOP NATIONAL NEWS/RELEASES

JAGUARS FIRE URBAN MEYER AFTER 13 GAMES, COUNTLESS MISSTEPS

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Urban Meyer never fit in the NFL.

His mottos. His methods. Even his moods seemed to go against what’s considered normal behavior in a league filled with professionals and grown men. He rubbed just about everyone the wrong way: assistants, players and eventually his bosses.

Meyer’s tumultuous tenure ended after just 13 games – and two victories – when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him early Thursday because of an accumulation of missteps.

Owner Shad Khan made the move hours after former Jaguars player Josh Lambo told a Florida newspaper Meyer kicked him during practice in August. It was the latest black eye – adding to an already lengthy list of embarrassments – for the three-time national championship-winning college coach who failed miserably to make the transition to the NFL.

“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone,” Khan said in a statement. “I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.”

Meyer joins former Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino as college coaches whose NFL careers flamed out in stunningly swift fashion. Petrino resigned in December 2007 to take over at Arkansas. He was 3-10 at the time.

Meyer went 2-11 in his partial season, and the Jaguars really started to unravel on the offensive side of the ball following the team’s bye week. They averaged a measly 9.1 points in Meyer’s final seven games, which ended with a five-game skid.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as Jacksonville’s interim head coach for the final four games, beginning Sunday against Houston (2-11).

Meyer’s biggest issues came off the field, where he tried to handle a professional team like he was on a college campus. He splashed slogans and catchphrases around the facility, instilled gimmicks in practice and repeated his misguided belief that coaches coach for players and players play for coaches. He brought in motivational speakers and kept blaming assistants for the team’s mounting losses instead of the guys actually on the field.

One of Meyer’s most damning decisions came following a Thursday night game at Cincinnati in late September. He chose to stay behind with family instead of flying home with his team and then got caught on video the following night behaving inappropriately with a woman at a bar in Columbus, Ohio. Khan publicly reprimanded Meyer then, saying he needed to regain the owner’s trust and respect.

Bailing on his players showed just how out of touch Meyer was with NFL norms. And it was just one of many head-scratching choices for the 57-year-old coach who found success at every college stop: Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04), Florida (2005-10) and Ohio State (2012-18).

Meyer simply never made the proper adjustments to the pro level.

Lambo’s claim seemingly proved too much for Khan, who two days earlier said he didn’t want to make an impulsive decision on the coach’s future.

“What’s different about this thing is you have losses and you have drama,” Khan said then.

The Jags had way more drama than victories.

Lambo provided the latest when he told the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked him while he was stretching at the start of a practice. Lambo, the team’s place-kicker to open the season, said he told Meyer “don’t you ever (expletive) kick me again” and said the coach responded, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the (expletive) I want.”

Meyer released a statement through the team denying the incident happened the way Lambo described it.

“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer said.

Lambo said he reported the kick to his agent, who contacted the Jaguars’ legal counsel the following day.

“Jaguars legal counsel indeed acknowledged and responded immediately to the query made by Josh Lambo’s agent Friday, August 27, 2021,” the Jaguars said in a statement. “Counsel offered to speak with Josh, or to assist Josh in speaking with coaching or any other football personnel, if he was comfortable with her sharing the information. Any suggestion otherwise is blatantly false.”

Lambo was released after he missed his first three field-goal attempts to start the season.

Lambo’s allegation came on the heels of an NFL Network report which said Meyer created tension with multiple run-ins with players as well as assistants he allegedly called “losers.” Citing unidentified sources, the report detailed a heated exchange between Meyer and veteran receiver Marvin Jones that stemmed from Meyer criticizing receivers by saying they weren’t winning enough one-on-one matchups or getting enough separation.

“I would just say this: There was something that was brought to my attention that I didn’t like too well,” Jones said Wednesday, his first public comments since the report was published Saturday. “I approached him about it and we talked and we handled it like grown men. And that’s all I have to say about that.”

Jones denied threatening to leave practice over the argument.

“I mean, shoot, when you lose, you’re always going to be the center of attention in a negative way,” Jones said. “That just is what it is. That’s all I have to say.”

Other issues for Meyer:

– He hired strength coach Chris Doyle in February despite accusations of racist behavior and then had to let him go a day later because of a pending lawsuit.

– Jacksonville was fined $200,000 and Meyer docked $100,000 on July 1, a punishment that stemmed from an early June practice in which the league deemed receivers and defensive backs had too much contact during 11-on-11 drills.

– Meyer signed 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow to play tight end, an experiment that ended with Tebow looking lost in the preseason opener against Cleveland.

– Meyer held a fake QB competition between Trevor Lawrence, a generational prospect, and Gardner Minshew in training camp. Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke traded Minshew to Philadelphia, where he’s a backup to Jalen Hurts.

– The NFL Players Association launched an investigation after Meyer said vaccination status factored into the team’s roster decisions.

– He repeatedly mishandled running back James Robinson, allowing the team’s most consistent offensive player to get benched twice following fumbles and botched trying to explain why Robinson got pulled and how long he remained on the sideline.

All the drama became too much for Lawrence.

“I do think that has to change and that’s something that we need to work on for sure,” Lawrence said Wednesday. “You can’t always be in the headlines. You just got to go play football, and that’s where we’re trying to get, and I have no doubt we’ll get there.”

FIRST PLACE ON LINE IN THREE DIVISIONS, SATURDAY GAMES ON TAP, RECORDS READY TO FALL IN WEEK 15

The journey is closing in on the destination, but the intrigue is especially exciting.

For only the third time since 1990, the league enters Week 15 without a team having clinched a playoff berth (also 1993 and 2014). With four weeks to play, 28 teams remain in playoff contention.

No question, the competitiveness of the NFL is as good as it’s ever been. The logjam of clubs with six, seven, eight or nine wins – 21 teams – is unprecedented. Previously, the most such teams through 14 weeks was 19 in 1995. The group of 24 teams with at least six wins is the largest entering Week 15 in NFL history.

MOST TEAMS WITH SIX-PLUS WINS THROUGH 14 WEEKS, NFL HISTORY
SEASONTEAMS
202124
200622
198322

STREAK SPEAK: Four NFL teams – NEW ENGLAND (seven consecutive wins), KANSAS CITY (six), MIAMI (five) and TAMPA BAY (four) – have winning streaks of four-or-more games. The last time the league entered Week 15 with as many winning streaks of that length was 2016.

  • The Dolphins (6-7), who host the NEW YORK JETS (3-10) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), are attempting to become the first team in NFL history to reach the playoffs after winning one of their first eight games. Miami is also just the second team in league annals to win five consecutive games following a seven-game losing streak, joining the 1994 NEW YORK GIANTS.
  • In Miami’s last game, wide receiver JAYLEN WADDLE registered nine receptions for 90 yards. Waddle has six games this season with at least eight receptions, tied with ODELL BECKHAM JR. (six in 2014) for the most games with at least eight by a rookie in NFL history. Waddle also has at least eight in three consecutive games, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (four consecutive games in 2014) and SAQUON BARKLEY (three consecutive games in 2018) as the only rookies with at least eight receptions in three consecutive games all-time.

A DOZEN BOUNCEBACK TEAMS AND COUNTING: With four weeks remaining, 12 teams already have improved their win totals from last season, including the CINCINNATI BENGALS (7-6), who have three more wins than all of 2020. Four of those teams – ATLANTA (6-7), CINCINNATI (7-6), DENVER (7-6) and SAN FRANCISCO (7-6) – have rebounded from last-place finishes in 2020 and enter Week 15 either in playoff position or well within reach.

  • Since 1990 – a streak of 31 consecutive seasons – at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before.
  • The DENVER BRONCOS (7-6) have already improved by two wins over their record from last year. They meet the Bengals on Sunday at Empower Field at Mile High (4:05 PM ET, CBS).
  • Sunday’s contest features a pair of top-10 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, Cincinnati wide receiver JA’MARR CHASE (selected fifth overall) and Denver cornerback PAT SURTAIN II (ninth).
  • Chase, who had five receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns last week, now has 1,035 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in 2021. He is the fifth rookie in the Super Bowl era with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (1998), ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2014), MIKE EVANS (2014) and JOHN JEFFERSON (1978).
  • Surtain, a key cog on a defense that ranks second in the NFL by allowing just 17.5 points per game, leads all rookies this season with four interceptions. Over his past three games, he has three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
  • In last week’s win, Denver running back MELVIN GORDON rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Gordon, who has seven rushing touchdowns this season, became the sixth player in league annals with at least seven rushing TDs in six consecutive seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (nine consecutive seasons), LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (nine) and EMMITT SMITH (seven), as well as ADRIAN PETERSON (seven) and SHAUN ALEXANDER (six).
  • Bengals defensive end TREY HENDRICKSON has a sack in nine straight games, joining CHRIS JONES (11 straight in 2018) as the only players with a sack in at least nine consecutive games within a season since 1982.

NINERS JOIN LAST-PLAY CLUB: This season in the NFL, a game-winning score on the final play has decided 28 games, the most through Week 14 all-time. Last week, the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (7-6) earned a last-play victory when JIMMY GAROPPOLO connected with BRANDON AIYUK on a game-winning 12-yard touchdown pass in overtime. This week, the 49ers host the ATLANTA FALCONS (6-7), who have won four of their past five on the road, on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, CBS).

  • In last week’s win, 49ers tight end GEORGE KITTLE recorded 13 receptions for 151 yards and one touchdown.
  • Kittle, who had 181 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in Week 13, is the first tight end in NFL history to record at least 150 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in consecutive games.
  • Kittle also became the fourth tight end ever with at least 13 receptions in three career games, joining ZACH ERTZ (four games), JASON WITTEN (four) and Pro Football Hall of Famer KELLEN WINSLOW SR. (three). Previously, Kittle had 15 receptions in Week 4 of the 2020 season and 13 receptions in Week 15 of 2019.
  • In Atlanta’s win last week, rookie tight end KYLE PITTS registered five receptions for 61 yards. Pitts now has 54 receptions for 770 yards this season and is the fifth rookie tight end all-time with at least 50 receptions and 750 receiving yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MIKE DITKA (1961), KEITH JACKSON (1988), JEREMY SHOCKEY (2002) and CHARLE YOUNG (1973).
  • Both San Francisco’s DEEBO SAMUEL (six rushing, five receiving) and Atlanta’s CORARRELLE PATTERSON (five rushing, five receiving) are among three NFL players this season with at least five rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns. The Chargers’ AUSTIN EKELER (nine rushing, seven receiving) is the other.

JONES, PATRIOTS IN RARIFIED AIR: On Saturday night, the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-4) will put the league’s longest active winning streak on the line in a key intraconference battle against the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (7-6) at Lucas Oil Stadium (8:20 PM ET, NFLN). Both teams are coming off Week 14 byes.

  • Over the past five games, the Patriots have surrendered only three second-half points. New England’s 15.4 points allowed per game this season leads the league. The Patriots also rank third with 310.0 yards allowed per game.
  • Patriots linebacker MATTHEW JUDON has 12.5 sacks this season, tied for fifth in the NFL. Under head coach BILL BELICHICK (2000-21), Judon’s 12.5-sack effort is also tied for the most in a single season, matching the 2007 total of MIKE VRABEL and the 2015 total of CHANDLER JONES.
  • New England quarterback MAC JONES can become the first rookie in NFL history to win his first seven road starts. With a 6-0 record on the road this season, Jones is tied with DAK PRESCOTT (six in 2016) and BEN ROETHLISBERGER (six in 2004). Both Prescott and Roethlisberger lost their seventh road starts.
  • Also, only three rookie quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era have led their teams on winning streaks of at least eight games, a group Jones can join on Saturday.

The rookie starting quarterbacks with the most consecutive wins in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONSTREAK
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh200413
Dak PrescottDallas201611
Kyle OrtonChicago20058
Mac JonesNew England20217*
*Active streak

In the Colts’ Week 13 win, Indianapolis running back JONATHAN TAYLOR rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns. He became the fifth player all-time with a rushing touchdown in at least 10 consecutive games within a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JOHN RIGGINS (12 consecutive games in 1983), LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (12 consecutive games in 2004) and EMMITT SMITH (11 consecutive games in 1995), as well as PRIEST HOLMES (11 consecutive games in 2002).

  • Taylor now has 30 touchdowns (27 rushing, three receiving) in 28 career games and has tied Pro Football Hall of Famer EARL CAMPBELL (28 games) and BILLY SIMS (28) as the third-fastest player to reach 30 touchdowns in the Super Bowl era. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers EDGERRIN JAMES (25) and CURTIS MARTIN (27) reached the mark in fewer games.

PARSONS AUTHORING PHENOMENAL ROOKIE CAMPAIGN: The DALLAS COWBOYS (9-4) are one of five teams that can reach 10 wins this week when they travel to meet the NEW YORK GIANTS (4-9) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

  • In the Cowboys’ win last week, rookie linebacker MICAH PARSONS had two sacks and a forced fumble. Parsons, who has recorded a sack in each of his past six games, is the third rookie with a sack in at least six straight games since 1982, joining JEVON KEARSE (eight-game streak in 1999) and MIKE CROEL (six in 1991).
  • Parsons, who has 12 sacks and three forced fumbles this season, is the fifth rookie with at least 12 sacks and three forced fumbles since 2000, joining MARK ANDERSON (2006), DWIGHT FREENEY (2002), JULIUS PEPPERS (2002) and TERRELL SUGGS (2003).
  • His 12 sacks are tied for the fourth-most by a player in his first 13 NFL games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Only JULIUS PEPPERS (13), Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (13) and LESLIE O’NEAL (12.5) had more over their first 13 league games.

PACKERS FACE TOUGH TEST IN CLASH OF DIVISION LEADERS: The GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-3) begin a stretch of two games in six days against AFC North opponents, beginning with the division-leading BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-5) on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX).

  • Green Bay’s MATT LAFLEUR aims to lead his team to 11-or-more wins in each of his first three seasons as an NFL head coach. Since the 1970 league merger, only JIM HARBAUGH (San Francisco, 2011-13) and former Ravens defensive coordinator CHUCK PAGANO (Indianapolis, 2012-14) have accomplished that.
  • Packers quarterback AARON RODGERS, who played in his second NFL game exactly 16 years ago Sunday at Baltimore, has now won 10-or-more starts in 10 seasons.

The starting quarterbacks with the most seasons of 10-or-more wins in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSSEASONS
Tom BradyNew England, Tampa Bay19
Peyton ManningHOFIndianapolis, Denver14
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay10
Brett FavreHOFGreen Bay, Minnesota10
  • Green Bay cornerback RASUL DOUGLAS returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown last week, after returning an interception 33 yards for another score in Week 13. Douglas is the first Packers player with interception-return TDs in consecutive games since Pro Football Hall of Famer HERB ADDERLEY in 1965.
  • Last week, Baltimore tight end MARK ANDREWS had 11 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. Andrews leads NFL tight ends and paces the Ravens in both receptions (75) and receiving yards (926).

MAN IN THE ARENATOM BRADY currently leads the NFL in completions (378), attempts (554), passing yards (4,134) and touchdown passes (36). He has never led the league in all four categories during any of his previous 21 seasons.

  • This week, Brady and the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (10-3) square off with their NFC South nemesis, the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6-7), on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC). Since Brady joined the team prior to the 2020 season, the Buccaneers are 0-3 in regular-season games against New Orleans and 21-5 (.808) against the rest of the NFL. Tampa Bay did defeat New Orleans in an NFC Divisional playoff game last season.
  • Last week, Brady passed for 363 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 105.6 rating and added a rushing touchdown in the Buccaneers’ overtime victory. Brady, the league’s all-time leader in passing yards (83,338) and passing touchdowns (617), now has 7,156 career completions and surpassed DREW BREES (7,142) for the most completions in NFL history.
  • Brady has 4,134 passing yards in 2021, his 13th career season with at least 4,000 passing yards. He surpassed DREW BREES (12 seasons) and PHILIP RIVERS (12) for the second-most such seasons all-time. Only Pro Football Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (14 seasons) has more.
  • Wide receiver BRESHAD PERRIMAN, who scored on a game-ending 58-yard touchdown reception in overtime last week, became the 91st individual to catch a touchdown pass from Brady, including the postseason. The touchdown pass also marked the 700th of Brady’s career, including the postseason.
  • Buccaneers wide receiver MIKE EVANS, who enters Sunday’s game with 885 receiving yards this season, needs 115 receiving yards to become the first player with 1,000 in each of his first eight NFL seasons in league history.
  • Tampa Bay tight end ROB GRONKOWSKI, who has 8,982 career receiving yards, needs 18 to become just the fifth tight end in NFL history with at least 9,000 career receiving yards.
  • New Orleans running back ALVIN KAMARA had four receptions, 145 scrimmage yards (120 rushing, 25 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Saints’ win last week.
  • Kamara, who has 362 receptions since entering the NFL in 2017, surpassed ROGER CRAIG (358) for the most receptions by a running back in his first five seasons in NFL history.
  • Kamara also has 67 career touchdowns (47 rushing, 19 receiving, one kickoff return), tied with ADRIAN PETERSON (67) for the fifth-most touchdowns by a running back in his first five seasons all-time. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (80) and EMMITT SMITH (75), as well as SHAUN ALEXANDER (72) and TODD GURLEY (70) have more.

RAMS WITHIN ONE GAME OF FIRST PLACE IN NFC WEST: Fresh off an impressive Monday night victory at Arizona, the LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4) need a win against another divisional foe, the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-8), to improve their NFC West record, a key tiebreaker. The Rams host the Seahawks on Sunday at SoFi Stadium (4:25 PM ET, FOX).

  • Since Week 13 of last season, NFL teams that win on Monday are a combined 16-0-1 in their following games.
  • Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP, who had 123 yards and a touchdown on a career-high 13 receptions last week, leads the NFL in receptions (113), receiving yards (1,489) and receiving touchdowns (12). Kupp also leads the league with eight 100-yard games. Kupp has at least 90 receiving yards in nine consecutive games, tied for the longest streak in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 90 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONGAMES
Odell Beckham Jr.New York Giants20149
Michael IrvinHOFDallas19959
Cooper KuppLos Angeles Rams20219*
*Active streak
  • Defensive lineman AARON DONALD had three sacks last week and became the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least eight sacks in each of his first eight seasons. Donald is the only player in the NFL with at least 10 sacks in each of the past five seasons.
  • Last week, Rams quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD completed 23 of 30 attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for a 139.2 rating. He ranks second in the NFL with a 108.4 passer rating.
  • Meanwhile, Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON passed for 260 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 115.2 rating in the Seahawks’ win last week. Wilson now has 89 career games with at least two touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (88 games) for the second-most such games by a quarterback in his first 10 seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING (92 games) has more.

HERBERT TARGETS NFL RECORD: Quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT and the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-5) have an opportunity to take first place in the AFC West when they host the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-4) on Thursday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon).

  • Herbert (8,158) needs 39 passing yards to break the NFL record held by ANDREW LUCK (8,196) for the most passing yards through a player’s first two seasons. Herbert also needs 178 passing yards to join JAMEIS WINSTON as one of two players ever to reach 4,000 in each of their first two seasons.
  • Kansas City can secure its seventh consecutive season with at least 10 wins and become the fifth team in NFL history with seven straight 10-win seasons, joining the 2003-19 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (17 consecutive 10- win seasons), 1983-98 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (16), 2002-10 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (nine) and 1975-81 DALLAS COWBOYS (seven).
  • PATRICK MAHOMES enters Week 15 ranking fourth in the league with 3,642 passing yards and can join Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING as the only players in NFL history with at least 4,000 passing yards in four of their first five seasons.

JEFFERSON ALSO AIMS FOR NFL RECORD The MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-7) travel to face the CHICAGO BEARS (4-9) on Monday Night Football this week (8:15 PM ET, ESPN).

  • Vikings wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON, who had seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown last week, needs 68 receiving yards to establish the most receiving yards ever by a player in his first two seasons. Jefferson enters Monday’s game with 2,688 career receiving yards and can surpass both Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (2,726) and ODELL BECKHAM JR. (2,755) this week.

The most receiving yards ever by a player in his first two seasons:

PLAYERTEAMYEARSREC. YARDS
Odell Beckham Jr.New York Giants2014-152,755
Randy MossHOFMinnesota1998-992,726
Justin JeffersonMinnesota2020-212,688*
Bill GromanHouston Oilers1960-612,648
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco1985-862,497
*Entering Week 15

BIG BEN CLIMBING LADDER: When the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-6-1) host the TENNESSEE TITANS (9-4) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER can reach another significant career milestone. Roethlisberger has 63,414 passing yards and needs 27 to surpass PHILIP RIVERS (63,440) for fifth in NFL history.

  • The Steelers’ T.J. WATT, who has a career-high 16 sacks this season, has joined Pro Football Hall of Famer REGGIE WHITE (1985-88; 1990-93) as the only players with at least 13 sacks in four consecutive seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Watt had 13 sacks in 2018, 14.5 sacks in 2019 and 15 sacks in 2020.

RAIDERS-BROWNS KICK OFF SATURDAY DOUBLEHEADER: The NFL occupies the Saturday television listings in three of the next four weekends, starting this week with a pair of AFC matchups exclusively on NFL Network.

  • On Saturday afternoon, the LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-7) visit the CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-6) at FirstEnergy Stadium (4:30 PM ET, NFLN).
  • The Browns, bidding for their first division title since 1989, sit just a game out of first in the AFC North.
  • Browns defensive end MYLES GARRETT, who returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown in last week’s win, ranks second in the NFL with a franchise-record 15 sacks this season.

ARIZONA CARRIES IMPRESSIVE ROAD STREAK INTO DETROIT: The ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-3) travel to meet the DETROIT LIONS (1-11-1) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX) with an opportunity to improve to 8-0 on the road. Should they win by at least 10 points, the Cardinals would become the second team in NFL history to win eight straight road games by 10-or-more points, joining the CHICAGO BEARS, who won nine straight road games by 10-or-more points from 1941-42.

THURSDAY NIGHT PREVIEW: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-4) AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-5)

Week 15 of the 2021 NFL season gets underway on Thursday, December 16 (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon) as the Kansas City Chiefs (9-4) visit the Los Angeles Chargers (8-5) in a key late-season matchup with first place in the AFC West on the line. Kansas City enters the week as the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoff picture, while Los Angeles currently holds the top Wild Card spot. The Chiefs lead the all-time regular-season series, 64-57-1, but the Chargers have won each of the past two games. In Week 3 of this season, Los Angeles quarterback JUSTIN HERBERT had four touchdown passes, including the game-winner to wide receiver MIKE WILLIAMS with 32 seconds remaining, as the Chargers defeated the Chiefs, 30-24.

The Chiefs enter Thursday as winners of each of their past six games, the second-longest active win streak in the league. They have a chance to secure their seventh-consecutive season with at least 10 wins and become the fifth team in NFL history with seven straight 10-win seasons. In last week’s 48-9 victory over Las Vegas, quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES completed 20 of 24 pass attempts (season-high 83.3 percent) for 258 yards and two touchdowns with a season-high 139.2 rating. It marked his 10th career game with a passer rating of 130-or-higher (minimum 20 attempts), the most such games by a quarterback in his first five seasons all-time. In three career starts on Thursday Night Football, Mahomes has passed for six touchdowns against no interceptions with a 119.5 rating. He enters Week 15 ranking fourth in the league with 3,642 passing yards and can join Pro Football Hall of Famer PEYTON MANNING as the only players in NFL history with at least 4,000 passing yards in four of their first five seasons.

Running back CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE rushed for a season-high two touchdowns last week and has a rushing touchdown in two of his past three games. In the teams’ Week 3 meeting, Edwards-Helaire had 100 rushing yards and a touchdown reception. Fellow running backs DERRICK GORE and DARREL WILLIAMS also each scored a touchdown in Week 14. Tight end TRAVIS KELCE has a touchdown catch in each of the past two road meetings against Los Angeles. He enters Thursday ranking second among tight ends with 73 receptions and 875 receiving yards and is the first tight end in league history with at least 850 receiving yards in eight consecutive seasons. Wide receiver TYREEK HILL aims for his third in a row against the Chargers with at least five catches and 50 receiving yards and has six receiving touchdowns in his past four road games. He ranks tied-third in the league with 90 catches and sixth with 1,030 receiving yards, his fourth-career 1,000-yard season.

The Kansas City defense, which allowed seven points in Week 9 and nine points in Weeks 11, 13 and 14, is the first team since the 2014 Seattle Seahawks to allow fewer than 10 points four times in a five-game span. Safety TYRANN MATHIEU recorded his team-high third interception of the season last week and added a fumble recovery. In four career games against the Chargers, he has four passes defensed and two interceptions. Cornerback MIKE HUGHES led the team with nine tackles and added two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in Week 14, becoming the first player in the league this season with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in a single game. Defensive tackle CHRIS JONES leads the team with seven sacks and is one of five players in the NFL with at least seven sacks in each of the past four seasons.

The Chargers have won each of their past two games, including a 37-21 victory last week over the New York Giants at SoFi Stadium. In the win, Herbert passed for three touchdowns with no interceptions and a season-high 133.1 rating. He aims for his fifth in a row with at least 275 passing yards and two touchdown passes. In three career starts against the Chiefs, he has 10 touchdowns (eight passing, two rushing) against one interception for a 117.9 rating. Herbert ranks tied for second in the league with 30 touchdown passes and is the first player ever with at least 30 touchdown passes in each of his first two seasons.  

Running back AUSTIN EKELER has scored a touchdown in each of the past five games, tied for the third-longest active streak in the league. He totaled 107 scrimmage yards (55 rushing, 52 receiving) in the Week 3 meeting in Kansas City and added a touchdown reception. Ekeler ranks second in the league with a career-high 16 touchdowns (nine rushing, seven receiving). Wide receiver KEENAN ALLEN has at least five catches in 11 of his 12 games this season and had a touchdown reception in the Week 3 meeting. He enters Week 15 with 929 receiving yards and is the only player in the NFL with at least 900 receiving yards in each of the past five seasons. Wide receiver MIKE WILLIAMS aims for his third in a row against the Chiefs with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown catch.

Linebacker JOEY BOSA had a sack and his career-high fifth forced fumble of the season last week. He has a sack in five of his past six games and a forced fumble in two of his past three. Bosa leads the team with 8.5 sacks and seeks his fourth-career 10-sack season. Safety DERWIN JAMES ranks second among defensive backs with 99 tackles this season and has a career-high three forced fumbles.  

FOX will broadcast 10 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 5-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). Thursday’s game is slated to be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes and streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

The game will feature Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink on the call for FOX. The Amazon broadcast features Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm, and the Amazon Scout’s feed is called by Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah and Joy Taylor.

AP SOURCE: NFL PLANS CHANGES TO COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

IRVING, Texas (AP) The NFL is planning “significant changes” to its COVID-19 protocols amid the worst three-day stretch for the league during the pandemic, a person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday night.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details haven’t been finalized, said the league and the NFL Players Association are discussing three main areas: testing protocols; return to play guidelines to allow asymptomatic players who’ve tested positive to return sooner; and encouraging booster shots.

On Monday, the league informed coaches, front-office staff and other team personnel to receive a COVID-19 booster by Dec. 27. Players weren’t included in the mandate because the league hasn’t mandated the vaccine.

The new coronavirus variant has been found among the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in the NFL in what the league’s chief medical officer is calling a new phase of the pandemic.

Dr. Allen Sills said NFL owners were told in meetings Wednesday that booster shots are the focus of efforts to minimize spread, with Sills saying the omicron variant is expected to become the dominant strain in the U.S.

The league said the number of positive cases Monday and Tuesday ended up at 88, but with players coming and going on the list, about 100 is more accurate.

Still, Commissioner Roger Goodell said there were no plans to cancel or postpone Cleveland’s home against the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday. The Browns have 18 players, including half their 22 starters, on the COVID-19 reserve list.

“Listen, we’ve raised this the last two years: It’s a challenge,” Goodell said. “I think the things that made us successful was keeping safety first. Second, being willing to adapt at all times. It’s clear even in the last couple of weeks that the changes are pretty significant and different than they were before, and I think it calls to modifications to our protocols in general, and we’re working with the players association on that.”

Sills said about two-thirds of the positive tests came from people with no symptoms. Asked if there was a chance the NFL would allow vaccinated players who tested positive to play if they didn’t have symptoms, Sills said discussions with the union were ongoing.

“It’s not about how soon we get them back,” Sills said. “We want to bring them back when it’s safe for them and when they are not at risk to others in terms of transmission.”

NFLPA President J.C. Tretter made another plea for daily testing amid the COVID-19 surge, but Sills said testing wasn’t the best way to address the league’s larger concern of spreading the virus.

Sills said players are testing positive more often than NFL staff, a change from early in the pandemic. In the past week or so, according to Sills, spread within team facilities has been a bigger concern than in the community.

Besides discussions with the union, Sills said he’s trying to use video to educate players about the extra shot.

“This is urgent for us, just as it always has been,” Sills said. “And I think we’ve adapted and changed our protocols at each stage, just based on what the data is telling us and where it’s driving us with that. That’s what we’ll continue to do here.”

In other news, league owners approved Las Vegas as the site of the Super Bowl to cap the 2023 season, a first for the gambling mecca in the Nevada desert.

The NFL’s biggest event will follow the Pro Bowl this season and the NFL draft next year, all within five years of the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas.

The 2024 Super Bowl was supposed to be in New Orleans, but a later date brought on by the new 17-game regular season created a conflict with that city’s annual Mardi Gras celebration.

“It’s a big day for the Raiders,” club owner Mark Davis said. “It’s a big day for the city of Las Vegas. I think it’s a marriage made in heaven, I’ll say. Some others may use a different word.”

The Super Bowl will be at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles for the first time this season. State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, will host its third Super Bowl after the 2022 season.

The NFL also announced marketing agreements for 18 teams with countries around the world, including Germany, China, Spain, Australia and Brazil. They join countries with longer ties to the NFL: the United Kingdom, Mexico and Canada.

The marketing deals are for at least five years and give clubs the ability to pursue in-person and digital marketing, merchandise sales and corporate sponsorships among other things.

The league is expanding the Rooney Rule requirement of at least two interviews with external minority candidates to general manager-level jobs along with the coordinators for offense, defense and special teams.

The two-candidate rule already applies to openings for head coaches. The window for virtual interviews will now open after Week 16 for clubs that have either fired their coach or informed him that he won’t return.

While the longer access for interviews isn’t limited to minority coaches, the NFL hopes it will allow more minority candidates to interview rather than wait for their current team’s playoff run to end.

LA RAMS ADD 3 PLAYERS TO RESERVE/COVID-19 LIST; NOW 16 TOTAL

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Rams had 16 players on their reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday after adding three more to the group.

Linebacker Justin Hollins and tight ends Johnny Mundt and Jared Pinkney were added one day after the Rams put nine players on the list following their 30-23 victory at Arizona on Monday night.

The Rams (9-4) are holding all of their activities virtually Wednesday under intensive protocols in preparation for their visit from the Seattle Seahawks (5-8) on Sunday. Their training facility in Thousand Oaks is closed.

Defensive back Jalen Ramsey, receiver Odell Beckham Jr., safety Jordan Fuller, running back Darrell Henderson and right tackle Rob Havenstein are the biggest contributors currently on the reserve list.

Hollins only returned to the Rams’ lineup last Monday after being sidelined for nearly three months by a torn pectoral muscle. He had two tackles in Los Angeles’ win.

Mundt has been out for the season since early October, and Pinkney didn’t play last Monday after being added to the roster from the practice squad because of the Rams’ previous COVID-19-related absences.

All 16 players on the list are vaccinated, according to the Rams. That means they have the chance to return for Sunday’s game with the proper sequence of negative tests.

BROWNS QB MAYFIELD, COACH STEFANSKI TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID

CLEVELAND (AP) The Browns’ COVID-19 outbreak has widened and worsened.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield and coach Kevin Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and will likely miss Saturday’s game against Las Vegas as Cleveland deals with a widespread outbreak during its playoff pursuit.

While this is on a larger scale, the Browns dealt with a similar outbreak late last season. Stefanski tested positive on the eve of Cleveland’s playoff appearance and watched the Browns beat rival Pittsburgh in an AFC wild-card game from his basement at home.

“We’ve been here before.” Stefanski said. “Next man up.”

Stefanski’s positive test was first announced by the team, which then put Mayfield, starting safety John Johnson III, nickel back Troy Hill, starting defensive tackle Malik McDowell and defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

It’s hardly an ideal situation heading into a crucial game for the Browns (7-6), who have been inconsistent all season and are preparing for their matchup with the Raiders (6-7) on a short week – and may not be able to have a full practice this week.

Despite the outbreak in Cleveland, an NFL spokesman tells AP there’s been “no discussion of changing the game’s status.”

The league said before the season that no games would be postponed because of COVID-19 outbreaks and that forfeits could be in play for an outbreak among unvaccinated players.

Stefanski said his focus is solely on getting his team ready and that he’s not concerned about a situation reaching an unworkable stage.

“I’m worried about today, having great meetings and our walk-through,” he said. “Really that is what our focus is and that’s what I told the team. We have to focus on our job and then we have to do our job.

“I understand that there’s distractions and I understand there’s a lot going on, but I really don’t care. What I care about is making sure we have our best week of preparation.”

The latest positive tests came one day after the team placed eight players, including top receiver Jarvis Landry and starting offensive linemen Wyatt Teller and Jedrick Wills Jr., on the COVID-19 list.

Last week, the Browns were missing three key players due to coronavirus positives: tight end David Njoku, linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. and punter Jamie Gillan. Their status for this week remains uncertain.

In all, Cleveland has 18 players and two coaches on the COVID-19 list.

To hopefully mitigate any more spread, the Browns are holding three separate walk-through practices outdoors – with players wearing masks – on Wednesday and closing them to the media.

“We’ll be outside, masked up, spread out, and the guys will go from the parking lot right onto the field,” said Stefanski.

The Browns are on the extreme end of what has been a major rise in COVID-19 cases across the league this week. There were 65 reported cases on Monday and Tuesday, the worst two-day outbreak since the pandemic started.

If there is one bright spot, it’s that the Browns have practice at this.

Last season, they were one of the league’s hardest hit teams by the coronavirus. The Browns were without star defensive end Myles Garrett down the stretch after he tested positive and Cleveland managed to make the playoffs.

Stefanski, though, missed the wild-card game – along with Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio – after testing positive days ahead of the game. Stefanski watched the Browns’ victory while isolating from home.

Mayfield, who has been contending with injuries all season, was one of the new positive cases on Wednesday. On Monday, he and and his wife, Emily, appeared at a Christmas event at a local Boys & Girls chapter, where they could have exposed themselves and others to the virus.

After learning of Mayfield’s positive test, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio said in a statement that it informed parents and family members of the 75 children who attended the event. The club is closing its facility in Elyria, Ohio for the rest of this week, “to do a deep cleaning and limit any further exposure.”

Stefanski said he supported Mayfield’s charity work, and that he has spoken to the team about using caution while in public places.

Mayfield has played most of this season with a fracture in his left shoulder, but following Sunday’s win over Baltimore said he’s feeling better than he had in months. If he can’t play Saturday, veteran backup Case Keenum will start.

Keenum filled in for an injured Mayfield earlier this season and led the Browns to a win over Denver.

The AP’s Coach of the Year in 2020, Stefanski and the other positive players will have to be asymptomatic and produce two negative tests to be eligible to participate in Saturday’s game.

If Stefanski is out, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as acting head coach for the game at Cleveland, just as he did in January’s game at Pittsburgh, and offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will handle play-calling.

“My confidence as you can imagine is incredibly high with all of our coaches,” Stefanski said. “And we have been through this before, so if I’m unavailable on Saturday, I have the utmost confidence in coach Prief and AVP.”

LAMAR JACKSON MISSES PRACTICE WITH INJURED ANKLE

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said Lamar Jackson would not practice Wednesday, although the star quarterback remains a possibility to play this weekend.

Jackson left last weekend’s loss at Cleveland with a sprained ankle. He was not available to reporters Wednesday the way he usually is. Harbaugh said Jackson is day to day.

The Ravens also were preparing for the arrival of another quarterback. Jets coach Robert Saleh announced that Josh Johnson was heading to Baltimore from New York’s practice squad.

Tyler Huntley relieved Jackson against Cleveland and led a comeback that fell short in a 24-22 defeat. Baltimore hosts Green Bay on Sunday.

BILLS QB ALLEN LIMITED IN PRACTICE WITH SPRAINED LEFT FOOT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Josh Allen will test his sprained left foot on a limited basis during a walk-through practice Wednesday, leaving the Buffalo Bills quarterback’s status uncertain for their game against the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

Speaking before practice, coach Sean McDermott said the team continues its day-to-day approach regarding Allen’s health. “He’s working through it. He’s a tough guy,” McDermott said, noting Allen is still experiencing soreness.

Backup Mitchell Trubisky was to take a majority of the snaps in a noncontact setting.

McDermott said he revised Buffalo’s practice schedule to provide players an extra day of rest. The Bills played games six days apart and are coming off a flight from Tampa Bay following a 33-27 overtime loss on Sunday.

During a normal seven-day week, Buffalo traditionally holds two full days of practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

Allen played through the injury after being hurt in the second half against the Buccaneers and finished with a team-leading 109 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also finished 36 of 54 for 308 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception in a game in which Buffalo rallied from a 24-3 halftime deficit.

The Bills (7-6) have lost three of four but still hold the AFC’s seventh and final playoff berth.

PANTHERS’ DARNOLD DESIGNATED TO RETURN FROM IR, PRACTICES

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Panthers’ quarterback situation took another turn on Wednesday as Sam Darnold was back at practice earlier than expected after being designated to return from injured reserve.

Darnold went on injured reserve Nov. 10 with a shoulder injury.

The Panthers have 21 days to decide whether to activate Darnold to the 53-man roster.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said Monday he planned to continue to play Cam Newton and P.J. Walker at quarterback against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, while adding that Darnold could return to practice in the next few weeks. Both Newton and Walker saw action Sunday when the Panthers lost to the Atlanta Falcons, their eighth defeat in the past 10 games.

Darnold was the team’s starter to open the season and won his first three games before things quickly went downhill after running back Christian McCaffrey injured his hamstring. The Panthers lost four of their next five games and Darnold was benched late in the fourth quarter of a lopsided road loss to the New York Giants.

He was later diagnosed with an incomplete fracture of his right shoulder blade, prompting the team to sign Newton to a one-year contract to finish out the season.

After Darnold went on IR, the Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals on the road with Walker as their starter and Newton playing in a backup role. But the Panthers have lost three straight games to fall to 5-8 since Newton took over as the starter.

The team also announced cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver was designated to return from IR after suffering a foot injury in Week 11.

GIANTS QB JONES NOT CLEARED FOR DALLAS, GLENNON TO START

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is likely to miss his third straight game because of a neck injury.

Coach Joe Judge said Wednesday the third-year quarterback still has not been cleared for contact and Mike Glennon will start Sunday against the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (9-4).

Jones was hurt Nov. 28 in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was seen by a specialist on the West Coast this past week as the Giants (4-9) prepared to play a game in Los Angeles against the Chargers. The sixth draft pick overall in 2019 got a second opinion about his injury in New York on Monday.

Judge said his status has not changed, which puts him on a week-to-week basis. He added Jones could develop his game by playing, but he will not be put on the field in a game unless healthy.

The Giants have lost to Miami and the Chargers in the games Jones missed. Jake Fromm will be the backup to Glennon. Fromm has never taken a snap in an NFL regular-season game.

NOTES: Rookie wide receiver Kadarius Toney was placed on the reserve/COVID 19 list on Monday. Judge said receiver John Ross and linebacker Oshane Ximines tested positive on Wednesday. Several players missed practice because they were isolated from the team due to close contacts.

TOP RECRUIT SPURNS FLORIDA ST TO PLAY FOR PRIME, JACKSON ST

(AP) — The No. 1 high school football recruit in the country pulled a signing day shocker Wednesday, deciding to attend Jackson State and play for coach Deion Sanders after being verbally committed to Florida State for months.

Travis Hunter, a cornerback from Suwanee, Georgia, made the unprecedented announcement at a ceremony at Collins Hill High School. Hunter was the top prospect in the country in 247 Sports’ composite rankings, which take into account its own ratings plus those of other major recruiting websites.

Sanders is a former Florida State star and Pro Football Hall of Famer who is in his second year coaching Jackson State, a historically black college in Jackson, Mississippi.

At his signing ceremony, Hunter had three baseball caps on the table in front of him as he prepared to make his announcement: Florida State, Auburn and Georgia.

He tossed them off the stage one-by-one and unzipped his sweatshirt to reveal a T-shirt that read Believe. He then caught a Jackson State cap – with a dark blue J on a white background – that was tossed to him from the crowd and put that on.

“I got a one in lifetime chance to play for one of the greats,” Hunter told WXIA-TV in Atlanta after making his announcement. “I got a chance to make a change in history.”

Since the evaluation and rating of high school recruits started to take off in the late 1990s and early 2000s, no player as highly regarded as Hunter has ever signed a scholarship out of high school with an HBCU such as Jackson State.

Top 100 players rarely sign outside the traditional college football power programs that play in the strongest conferences such as the Southeastern Conference and Big Ten.

Jackson State competes at a level several rungs down from those conferences in the second tier of Division I football, the Championship Subdivision. Schools like Jackson State rarely if ever sign three-star players. Hunter is one of several dozen five-star prospects in the 2022 recruiting class.

A longtime member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Jackson State won its first SWAC title since 2007 last month.

`We’re going to shock the country,” Sanders said Tuesday on Barstool Sports’ “Unnecessary Roughness” podcast.

Hunter had been expected to sign with Florida State as college football’s early signing period opened on Wednesday. He had given a non-binding verbal commitment to FSU in March and was considered the centerpiece of what the Seminoles hoped to be a recruiting class that would turn around the fortunes of a struggling superpower.

Florida State has won three national championships, most recently in 2013, but the program has fallen on hard times recently, with three straight losing seasons under two coaches.

MITCHELL, JAZZ BEAT CLIPPERS 124-103 FOR EIGHTH STRAIGHT WIN

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Donovan Mitchell scored 19 of his 27 points in the second half, Bojan Bogdanovic made six 3-pointers and the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 124-103 on Wednesday night for their eighth straight win.

Jordan Clarkson scored 21, Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Bogdanovic added 20 points. Utah shot 53% from the field.

Marcus Morris had 24 points and Eric Bledsoe added 21 for the Clippers, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

The last time the Clippers and the Jazz met on the court, Los Angeles came back from a 2-0 deficit in the Western Conference semifinals and eliminated the Jazz with an unprecedented comeback from 25 points down in the series-ending game.

While Kawhi Leonard also missed that memorable playoff clincher and is still out recovering from right knee surgery, the Clippers did have Paul George and Nicolas Batum. This time around, L.A. was also short those two primary players.

Mitchell scored 13 in the third quarter and powered a 9-0 burst that gave the Jazz their largest lead of the game at 87-70 on his 3-pointer.

The Clippers battled back to within single digits several times but never could get closer than seven. The Jazz, usually Mitchell, had an answer each time as they were able to penetrate for inside baskets or dish out to an open perimeter shooter.

The Jazz put the game out of reach when Bogdanovic hit two corners 3s around Gobert’s block of Morris. Clarkson hit another 3-pointer and Gobert had an emphatic follow dunk to make it 119-97 for the Jazz with 3:49 remaining.

The Jazz are playing as well as they have all season, including winning all four on their recently completed road trip. Mitchell has led Utah in scoring during all eight games of the current streak, averaging 29 points and five assists during that span and shooting 54% from the field.

Jackson sparked a 12-0 Clippers run in the second quarter with a 3-pointer, but the Jazz lead 65-59 at the half thanks to Bogdanovic’s 4-for-4 from 3-point range and Clarkson’s 14 points.

TIP-INS

Clippers: Bledsoe made all six of his shots in the first half along with five assists and five rebounds. He hasn’t scored more than 21 points since the season-opening game against Golden State . The Clippers had 16 turnovers which the Jazz converted into 18 points. Los Angeles only got two points off Utah’s nine giveaways.

Jazz: Earlier Wednesday, Utah introduced former Boston Celtic President Danny Ainge as alternate governor and CEO of Jazz Basketball and the Smith Entertainment Group. . Ingles got a technical foul in the second quarter. . Mitchell hit his last seven shots.

UP NEXT

Clippers: Visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.

Jazz: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.

DESMOND BANE SCORES 23, MEMPHIS BEATS TRAIL BLAZERS 113-103

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Desmond Bane scored 23 points and the Memphis Grizzlies stretched their winning streak to four games with a 113-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Dillon Brooks scored 22 points and Steven Adams had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Grizzlies, winners of nine of their last 10 games.

Norman Powell scored 25 points in Portland’s seventh straight loss.

“We’ve got guys that want to win, guys that make winning plays, and we find a way to win,” Brooks said. “Portland had a couple of runs and we withstood them and made our own runs, and we made enough plays to win the game. That win right there comes down to the top guy down to the bottom guy, one through 12.”

The teams meet again on Sunday in Memphis.

The Blazers led by as many as 10 points after taking the lead in the third quarter, but Memphis closed within 82-80 going into the final period and then went on a 14-0 run to go up 94-82.

Brooks’ 3-pointer made it 108-96 with 3:44 left and all but sealed the win.

“Kept it pretty close in the third quarter and then we just hit our stride in the fourth quarter,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said.

The Blazers were playing the second of a back-to-back after a 111-107 overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns a night earlier.

Portland has dealt with a spate of injuries. Damian Lillard missed five games with abdomen tendinopathy earlier this month.

His backcourt partner, CJ McCollum, is currently out with a collapsed lung, but the Blazers reported earlier Wednesday that McCollum had a CT scan on Tuesday and is showing improvement.

However, he won’t travel with the team for an upcoming two-game trip.

“McCollum will continue his recovery protocol, which includes light conditioning, and will be reevaluated next week, ” the team said in a statement.

Ja Morant missed his 10th game for the Grizzlies because of a left knee sprain and the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Morant posted to Twitter following the game, writing: “Way to stay locked in & battle back gang. Great team win.”

The Grizzlies went on a 16-3 run to wrap up the opening quarter with an early 24-19 lead. Memphis stretched it to as many as 16 points before going into the half ahead 55-47.

Lillard’s deep 3-pointer tied it at 59, then Powell added another 3 and a free throw to put the Blazers in front. Bane’s basket briefly gave a 66-65 lead back to the Grizzlies, but it was short-lived.

Powell’s two-handed dunk made it 72-66 for the Blazers, but they couldn’t maintain the momentum.

“I just felt like at the start of that fourth quarter, they just turned it on, man, from a physicality standpoint,” Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said. “We ran a few plays, we couldn’t get the ball, we couldn’t catch it where we wanted to catch it. A lot of that – give them credit.”

JENKINS’ LOSS

Jenkins said after the game that Wednesday was rough because his father-in-law had passed away. The coach said the team’s win was for him.

“Today was a game with a heavy heart for me. I lost my father-in-law today. I know he’s in a better place,” Jenkins said. “It was a rough afternoon for me, but being around this group means a lot to me. They infused a very positive, joyful spirit in me.”

TIP INS

Grizzlies: Memphis had won four straight on the road going into their short two-game West Coast trip. … Dillon Brooks, who played for the Oregon Ducks, was greeted with warm applause when he was introduced as a starter. … Memphis had six players in double figures.

Trail Blazers: Portland won the first of the four-game series against the Grizzlies this year. … Portland had 10 first-quarter turnovers for 12 Memphis points. … Norman Powell briefly left for the locker room after a hard hit in the first half, but he returned.

UP NEXT

The Grizzlies visit the Sacramento Kings on Friday.

The Trail Blazers host Charlotte on Friday.

AUSTIN REAVES’ 3 GIVES LAKERS 107-104 WIN OVER MAVS IN OT

DALLAS (AP) Rookie Austin Reaves swished a 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left in overtime to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 107-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

Reaves’ basket, his fifth from behind the arc on six tries, came from 25 feet on a kickout from Russell Westbrook. He had the Lakers’ only overtime points scored by someone other than the team’s Big Three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook.

“There was about one second left, and I didn’t have anything to do but shoot it,” said Reaves, who played two seasons each at Wichita State and Oklahoma, signing a two-way contract with the Lakers in August that was converted to a regular contract in September. “Great pass, and I made a shot.”

James scored 24 points, Westbrook added 23 and Davis had his sixth double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds after missing two games with a sore left knee.

But it was the undrafted player who made sure they left with a victory.

“We’ve got a lot of trust in whoever’s on the floor, including the rook,” James said. “Obviously, it showed on that last possession.”

Jalen Brunson scored 25 points and Kristaps Porzingis had his eighth double-double this season with 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, who played their third straight game without All-Star guard Luka Doncic.

“Man, it sucks,” Porzingis said, rubbing his face. “Oh, my god. We should have got this one.”

Brunson said he’d seen Reaves play in college.

“He has game,” Brunson said. “You’ve got to respect him, and he was able to make shots.”

A 3-pointer by Westbrook gave the Lakers a 104-101 lead with 23.5 seconds left in overtime. Maxi Kleber tied the score with 15.2 left when he banked in a shot from 25 feet.

Los Angeles’ final possession didn’t follow Dallas’ defensive plan.

“We were going to foul with 10 seconds, make them reset and gives us a chance to reset, too,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, who was a Lakers assistant during the past two seasons. “And we just didn’t get to the foul.”

James for 4 of 9 on 3-pointers, including a 35-foot swish near the midcourt logo in the third period.

Three Lakers were missing after entering the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol: center Dwight Howard, forward Talen Horton-Tucker and guard Malik Monk. Two of the 36-year-old Howard’s three starts this season came in the last two games with Davis out. Horton-Tucker scored a career-high 19 points in Sunday’s win over Orlando.

LA STAFFING ISSUES

Other members of the Lakers’ traveling party who entered the virus protocol included assistant coach Phil Handy and TV play-by-play announcer Bill Macdonald. Assistant coach David Fizdale missed the game for what the team called personal reasons unrelated to COVID.

“It’s the same thing you tell your players – next man up,” coach Frank Vogel said of filling in for two assistants. “Everybody’s prepared to the job of the guy in front of him.”

TIP-INS

Lakers: Wayne Ellington made his third start of the season and scored nine points in 38 minutes, including the 3-pointer from the left corner that sent the game into overtime. . Davis played 14 first-half minutes with four points, five rebounds, five turnovers and three fouls.

Mavericks: They’re 2-5 without Doncic, who will also miss Dallas’ next game on Sunday at Minnesota. . The Mavericks outscored the Lakers 14-0 on second-quarter points in the paint with Brunson going 6 for 7. . Willie Cauley-Stein missed his 10th consecutive game for personal reasons. Sterling Brown missed his sixth straight game with a foot injury.

UP NEXT

Lakers: At Minnesota on Friday.

Mavericks: Sunday’s game at Target Center will begin a home-and-home with the Timberwolves.

JAZZ HIRING DANNY AINGE TO OVERSEE BASKETBALL OPERATIONS

Danny Ainge is making his way back to an NBA front office, as the Utah Jazz hired the longtime Boston Celtics executive to oversee their basketball operations, the team announced Wednesday.

Ainge will be an alternate governor and CEO for the Jazz, while current Utah general manager Justin Zanik will remain in that position.

A former BYU star, Ainge joined the Celtics’ front office in 2003 and retired from his role as president of basketball operations in June. Brad Stevens, previously Boston’s head coach, moved into the position.

Ainge, a one-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, also played for the Celtics and had stints with the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns. He spent three full seasons coaching in Phoenix.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS AND RELEASES

INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL

Game Recap

The Pacers and Bucks traded punches for much of Wednesday’s Central Division clash in Milwaukee. But the Bucks blew the game open with a 21-0 run in the fourth quarter as the Pacers endured an untimely drought.

In the end, it was a 114-99 victory for the Pacers (19-11), even though the reigning NBA champions had only 10 available players due to injuries and the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

It was the seventh straight road loss by double digits for the Pacers (12-18) in Milwaukee. Indiana was playing its first road game in over two weeks after a six-game homestand.

Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists in the loss. Caris LeVert also scored 16 for Indiana, though only two of those points came over the final three quarters.

Playing without All-Star forwards Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, the Bucks got off to a strong start thanks to their third-leading scorer, Jrue Holiday. Holiday scored the first five points and then added two assists as Milwaukee jumped out to an early 15-6 lead.

But LeVert took over to bring the Pacers back into the game. The Indiana swingman scored 14 of Indiana’s first 20 points, hitting his first five shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, the second of which tied the game at 20. A Malcolm Brogdon three and Sabonis hook shot subsequently capped a 19-5 run by the Blue & Gold.

The Bucks retook the lead briefly on Rodney Hood’s 3-pointer with 48.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but Oshae Brissett’s layup on the other end knotted the game at 33 entering the second quarter.

Milwaukee surged back ahead with a 7-0 burst midway through the ensuing frame and remained in front up until halftime, taking a 58-53 lead into the intermission.

The two teams went back-and-forth in a third quarter that featured 13 lead changes and six ties. The quarter was essentially a duel between Sabonis and Holiday, as each was the catalyst to their respective offenses.

Sabonis tallied 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the frame alone, while Holiday scored or assisted on eight of Milwaukee’s first 11 field goals before subbing out at the two-minute mark.

Brissett’s steal and slam gave Indiana an 87-85 lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter before Rodney Hood’s layup ensured the game would be tied once again at the quarter break.

Indiana took a 92-91 lead on Justin Holiday’s 3-pointer with 9:41 remaining in the fourth. But that would be their last basket for over seven minutes, as the Blue & Gold missed nine straight shots and committed five turnovers over that span.

The Bucks took full advantage of Indiana’s cold spell, reeling off 21 unanswered points to put the game away. Kelan Martin’s layup with 1:55 remaining broke a 7:46 scoring drought, but by then it was too late for any hope of a comeback.

Holiday had 26 points on 12-of-18 shooting and 14 assists to lead Milwaukee to victory. The Bucks were without three players, including Antetokounmpo, due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Middleton, meanwhile, missed the game after his hyperextending his left knee in Monday’s loss in Boston.

Myles Turner had 13 points, five rebounds, and five blocks for the Pacers. Fellow starters Brogdon (12 points, five rebounds, and five assists) and Chris Duarte (10 points) joined him in double figures.

Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton scored 20 points apiece for Milwaukee, while Jordan Nwora added 15 points and six boards.

The Pacers will return to Indianapolis to host Detroit on Thursday on the second night of a back-to-back. After that contest, the Blue & Gold will have four days off before returning to action next Tuesday in Miami.

Inside the Numbers

Sabonis recorded his eighth straight double-double and his 23rd this season, tied with New Orleans’ Jonas Valanciunas for the most in the NBA.

Wednesday’s game was Turner’s fifth this season with five or more blocks.

The Bucks shot lights out from beyond the arc, making 14-of-29 3-point attempts. Connaughton led the way, going 4-for-5.

Holiday recorded his second double-double of the season for Milwaukee. His 14 assists were his most in a regular season game since he had the same number in a win at Indiana on May 13.

Stat of the Night

Wednesday’s game featured 22 lead changes and 14 ties over the first 39 minutes, only for the Bucks to pull away down the stretch with their 21-0 run.

Noteworthy

The Pacers have dropped seven straight games overall against the Bucks. They are also 0-7 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

Justin Holiday returned to action for Indiana for the first time since Nov. 29. The eldest Holiday brother, who had missed the past six games due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, had five points and two assists in just under 20 minutes off the bench.

Pacers forward Torrey Craig was inactive due to a non-COVID illness.

The Pacers are 0-6 so far this season when playing on the first night of a back-to-back.

Up Next

The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7:00 PM ET.

INDIANA EARLY FOOTBALL SIGNINGS

JAMES MONDS III

POSITION DB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Vero Beach, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL Vero Beach

Biography

Prep/Personal: Defensive back for head coach Lenny Jankowski at Vero Beach High School … spent his junior season at Fort Pierce Westwood High School and his sophomore season at Port St. Lucie High School … Class 6A first-team all-state … garnered first-team all-area as a sophomore …logged nine pass breakups as a junior … returned one punt and one kickoff for a touchdown … piled up 31 tackles as a sophomore … returned three punts for TDs … also lettered in soccer … named all-area after a 21-goal junior season … parents are Erica and James Monds … James; cousin, Mario Monds; and uncle, Wonder Monds; all played college football … Mario was a sixth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2001 NFL Draft … Wonder was a fourth-round selection in the 1976 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers … born on Nov. 10, 2003.

GI’BRAN PAYNE

POSITION RB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Cincinnati, Ohio

HIGH SCHOOL La Salle

Biography

Prep/Personal: Running back for head coach Patrick McLaughlin at La Salle High School … consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, 247Sports, Rivals) … rated as the No. 260 prospect nationally, the No. 24 running back nationally, and the No. 9 prospect in Ohio by ESPN… ranked as the No. 262 prospect nationally and the No. 24 running back nationally by 247Sports … rushed for 1,299 yards and 17 touchdowns … also lettered in track … parents are Greg Gaither and Dannon Payne.

JOSH HENDERSON

POSITION RB

YEAR Senior

HOMETOWN Pennington, N.J.

HIGH SCHOOL The Hun School

Biography

Henderson rushed for 209 yards on 41 attempts (5.1 average) in 23 games at the University of North Carolina (2019-21). He also caught three passes for 10 yards.

2021 (Junior): Appeared in three games … totaled 21 yards on five attempts … carried twice for five yards in the Georgia State win (9/11) … gained 16 yards on three rushes in the Virginia victory (9/18).

2020 (Sophomore): Appeared in all 12 games … saw time at running back and on special teams … totaled 18 carries for 61 yards and three catches for 10 yards … had 27 yards on five rushes in the win over No. 23 North Carolina State (10/24) … carried six times for 15 yards vs. No. 5 Texas A&M in the Orange Bowl (1/2) … added one reception for 2 yards.

2019 (Freshman): Played in eight games … saw time at running back and on special teams … carried 18 times for 127 yards  (7.1 average) … gained a career-high 98 yards on 13 totes (7.5) in the Mercer win (11/23) … rushed five times for 29 yards in the victory at North Carolina State (11/30).

Prep/Personal: Wide receiver for head coach Todd Smith at The Hun School named New Jersey Prep Player of the Year as a senior … three-time all-area and first-team All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League selection … tabbed MAPL co-Offensive Player of the Year … helped the Raiders to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Prep A championship as a sophomore and senior … Rivals four-star prospect … consensus Top-20 prospect in New Jersey (ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports) … rated the No. 17 running back nationally by Rivals … finished with 4,294 career total yards with 41 total touchdowns … rushed for 3,524 yards with 770 receiving yards … posted 833 yards rushing on just 80 carries as a senior with nine total TDs … rushed for 1,383 yards and 13 scores as a junior … ran for 886 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore … parents are Kay and Rob Henderson … born on June 8, 2002.

RICHARD THOMAS JR.

POSITION DL

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL American Heritage

Biography

Prep/Personal: Defensive lineman for head coach Patrick Surtain Sr. at American Heritage High School … ESPN four-star prospect … rated the No. 27 defensive end nationally and the No. 42 prospect in Florida by ESPN … closed his career with 232 tackles, 28 sacks, and 48 tackles for loss … two-time all-county selection … posted career-highs with 10 sacks and 16 TFLs his senior campaign … led American Heritage to the 2020 5A state championship … earned first-team all-state honors his junior campaign … recorded a pick-6 … selected to the 2018 MaxPreps High School Freshman All-American Team … four-year letterwinner … carries a 4.0 grade point average … parents are Juditte and Pierre Thomas … born on Dec. 2, 2002.

DASAN MCCULLOUGH

POSITION LB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Bloomington, Ind.

HIGH SCHOOL Bloomington South

Biography

Prep/Personal: Linebacker for head coach Gabe Johnson at Bloomington South High School … consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, 247Sports, Rivals) … rated as the 40th prospect nationally, the No. 4 outside linebacker nationally, and the No. 1 prospect in Indiana by ESPN … McCullough is the highest ranked prospect to ever commit to Indiana … four-time MaxPreps All-American … Under Armour All-American … first-team all-conference selection … totaled 55 tackles, 45 solo, three sacks, six for loss, and two interceptions in 2021 … starred at Blue Valley North High School in Kansas from 2018-20, where he was named the 2020 MaxPreps Kansas High School Player of the Year … parents are Darnell and Deland McCullough … Deland is IU’s associate head coach/running backs … brother, Deland II, is an IU defensive back … grandfather Sherman Smith played quarterback at Miami (Ohio) from 1972-75 … born on March 7, 2003.

SHAUN SHIVERS

POSITION RB

YEAR Senior +

HOMETOWN Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL Chaminade-Madonna

Biography

Shivers appeared in 43 games (9 starts) at Auburn University (2018-21). He owns 1,020 rushing yards on 201 attempts (5.1 average) with eight touchdowns. Shivers has 38 receptions for 211 yards and one TD in addition to 233 kick return yards on 14 kickoffs.

2021 (Senior): Collected 87 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown … made 22 receptions for 163 yards and one TD … added 52 returns yards on three kickoffs … appeared in 10 games … reached the end zone on the ground and through the air in the season-opening Akron win (9/4) … added five grabs for 38 yards in the victory at LSU (10/2) … caught a career-high six balls for a career-best 40 yards at No. 13 Texas A&M (11/6).

2020 (Junior): Team captain rushed for 276 yards on 62 attempts (4.5 average) with one touchdown … caught 10 passes for 55 yards … returned six kicks for 102 yards … played in eight games … netted 60 yards on 11 carries (5.5) with the TD in the win at Ole Miss (10/24) … carded 65 yards on 14 rushes (4.6) in the Tennessee victory … totaled 68 yards on nine attempts (7.6) and pulled in four balls for 24 yards at No. 5 Texas A&M (12/5).

2019 (Sophomore): Tallied 286 yards on 55 rushes (5.2 average) with three touchdowns … returned four kicks for 72 yards … appeared in 12 games … recorded his first 100-yard game with 102 yards on 12 carries (8.5) in the Kent State win (9/14) … gained 55 yards on nine attempts (6.1) with one TD in the Samford victory (11/23).

2018 (Freshman): Netted 371 yards on 70 carries (5.3) with three touchdowns … reached the century mark for the first time with 117 yards on 13 rushes (9.0) and one TD in the Alabama State win (9/8) … made his collegiate debut in the season-opening Bethune-Cookman win (9/2) … carried the ball 10 times for 45 yards in the victory at Ole Miss (10/20) … added 43 yards on four attempts (10.8) at No. 5 Georgia (11/10) … scored from 25 yards out and rushed for 45 yards on six carries (7.5) in the Liberty victory (11/17).

Prep/Personal: All-purpose back for head coach Dameon Jones at Chaminade-Madonna Prep … consensus four-star prospect (ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports) … rushed for 6,000-plus yards in his career … led Chaminade-Madonna to the Florida Class 3A state championship … ran the 100-meter in 10.29 and the 200-meter in 20.81 … mother is Joy McIntrye … cousin, Harry Adams, was an All-America sprinter at Auburn … studied in the Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts.

TREVELL MULLEN

POSITION DB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL Coconut Creek

Biography

Prep/Personal: Cornerback for head coach Gerald Cox at Coconut Creek High School … ESPN and Rivals four-star prospect … ranked as the No. 177 prospect nationally and the No. 19 cornerback nationally by Rivals … rated as the No. 183 prospect nationally and the No. 22 prospect in Florida by ESPN … will become the third Mullen to play in the All-American Bowl … Under Armour All-American … parents are Lucretia Peterman and Trayvon Mullen Sr. … brother, Tiawan, is an IU All-America cornerback … brother, Trayvon, played cornerback at Clemson University (2016-18) and is currently with the Las Vegas Raiders … cousin (mother’s side), Lamar Jackson, played at Louisville (2015-17) and is currently the Baltimore Ravens quarterback … also ran track … born on Nov. 24, 2002.

ISAIAH JONES

POSITION LB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN London, Ohio

HIGH SCHOOL London

 Biography

Prep/Personal: Linebacker for head coach Kyle Cutler at London High School … ranked the No. 28 player in Ohio by 247Sports …  tabbed first-team All-Ohio Division II-III by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association as a senior … named all-district and All-Central Buckeye Conference … two-time Central Buckeye Conference Defensive Player of the Year … totaled 99 tackles with 2.5 sacks … returned his lone interception for a touchdown … earned second-team All-Ohio, first-team all-district, and first-team All-CBC as a junior … collected 63 tackles and 5.5 sacks … also lettered in track & field … parents are Jen and Darrell Jones … Darrell played tight end at Ohio State University from 1992-94 … born on July 21, 2003.

PHILLIP DUNNAM

POSITION DB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Miami, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL North Miami Beach

Biography

Prep/Personal: Safety for head coach Jeff Bertani at North Miami Beach Senior High School … ranked the No. 40 safety nationally by ESPN … named first-team All-Dade County by the Miami Herald … helped NMBSHS to the South Florida 6A-1A Tri-County title as a junior … caught 42 passes for 710 yards and 10 touchdowns … added three interceptions … parents are Phillip Dunnam Jr. and Sheana Haslem … cousins E.J. Biggers (cornerback) and Louis Delmas (safety) played in the NFL … uncle is Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem … born on Aug. 6, 2004.

RADLEY JENNINGS JR.

POSITION LB

YEAR Redshirt Senior +

HOMETOWN Jacksonville, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL Sandalwood

Biography

Jennings Jr. totaled 68 tackles, 29 solo, three sacks, nine for loss, one fumble recovery, three quarterback hurries, and one pass breakup in 35 games (11 starts) at the University of Miami (2017-21).

2021 (Senior): Made 14 tackles with two quarterback hurries in eight games … opened the year with six stops vs. No. 1 Alabama (9/4).

2020 (Junior): Started all 11 games at middle linebacker … posted 39 tackles, 21 solo, three sacks, 7.5 for loss, one quarterback hurry, and one pass breakup … led the team with six stops, two for loss, in the season-opening win against UAB (9/10) … delivered a career-high seven tackles, one for loss, at No. 1 Clemson (10/10) … collected three stops and a sack in the Virginia victory (10/24) … added four tackles and a sack against No. 21 Oklahoma State in the Cheez-It Bowl (12/29).

2019: Did not see any game action while recovering from offseason surgery.

2018 (Sophomore): Appeared in four games and carded eight tackles, 1.5 for loss, and one fumble recovery … made five stops, one for loss, and his first career recovery in the Savannah State win (9/8).

2017 (Freshman): Played in 12 games, primarily on special teams … totaled seven tackles … made his collegiate debut in the season-opening Bethune-Cookman win (9/2).

Prep/Personal: Linebacker for head coach Adam Geis at Sandalwood High School … rated the No. 35 outside linebacker nationally by Rivals … all-conference selection … tallied 146 tackles, 10 for loss, two sacks, and three forced fumbles in 2015 … chose Miami over Florida State, Louisville, Michigan, and North Carolina.

RYAN MILLER

POSITION TE

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Chagrin Falls, Ohio

HIGH SCHOOL Kenston

 Biography

Prep/Personal: Tight end for head coach Jeff Grubich at Kenston High School … ranked the No. 23 tight end nationally by ESPN … rated a Top-20 prospect in Ohio by Rivals and 247Sports … missed most of his senior season with an injury … all-conference and all-district selection as a junior … caught 23 passes for 204 yards and five touchdowns … all-conference scholar-athlete … also lettered in baseball … parents are Lori and David Miller … born on Nov. 17, 2003.

VENSON SNEED

POSITION DL

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Winter Park, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL Winter Park

 Biography

Prep/Personal: Defensive end for head coach Tim Shifflet at Winter Park High School … Rivals four-star prospect … rated the No. 28 defensive end nationally by Rivals … ranked No. 11 in the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida Super60 … logged 28 tackles with three sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and five quarterback hurries as a senior … also played basketball and was a member of the weightlifting team … born on Sept. 5, 2003.

PATRICK LUCAS JR.

POSITION DL

YEAR Redshirt Junior

HOMETOWN Prattville, Ala.

HIGH SCHOOL Wetumpka

Biography

Lucas Jr. appeared in 11 games at defensive tackle at Ole Miss from 2019-21. He was a three-time member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, the 2020 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, and the 2019-20 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll. Lucas was a teammate of IU transfer defensive tackle LeDarrius Cox (2019-21) and IU safety Jonathan Haynes (2020).

2021 (Sophomore): Made his lone appearance at tackle in the Tulane win (9/18).

2020 (Freshman): Played in all seven games at tackle and made three stops.

2019: Redshirted the 2019 season after he suffered an Achilles injury at No. 2 Alabama (9/28) … appeared in four games at tackle … tallied three stops against Cal (9/21) … made his collegiate debut in the Arkansas win (9/7).

Prep/Personal: Defensive lineman for head coach Danny Morris at Wetumpka High School … rated the No. 25 defensive tackle nationally and the No. 15 prospect in Alabama by 247Sports … all-state honoree … selected to the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game … chose Ole Miss over Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas A&M … parents are Carmen and Patrick Lucas … integrated marketing major … born on Dec. 12, 2000.

LEDARRIUS COX

POSITION DL

YEAR Redshirt Junior

HOMETOWN Mobile, Ala.

HIGH SCHOOL McGill-Toolen

Biography

Cox appeared in 13 games at defensive tackle at Ole Miss (2019-21). He was a teammate of IU transfer defensive tackle Patrick Lucas Jr. (2019-21) and IU safety Jonathan Haynes (2020).

2021 (Sophomore): Moved to offensive line and did not see any game action.

2020 (Freshman): Played in all 10 games at tackle … posted three stops, one fumble recovery, and two quarterback hurries … recovered his first career fumble at Arkansas (10/17) … recorded the two QBHs in the win at Vanderbilt (10/31).

2019: Redshirted the 2019 season … appeared in three games at tackle and collected two stops … made his collegiate debut in the Arkansas win (9/7) … also played in the New Mexico State victory (11/9) and against No. 1 LSU (11/16).

Prep/Personal: Defensive lineman for head coach Bill Griffin at McGill-Toolen High School … rated the No. 39 defensive tackle nationally by Rivals … ranked the No. 19 prospect in Alabama by Rivals and 247Sports … named first-team all-state and all-coastal as a senior … totaled 42 solo tackles, including five sacks and eight tackles for loss … posted five stops with one TFL in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game … mother is Lisa Cox … multi-disciplinary studies major … born on Jan. 30, 2001.

JH TEVIS

POSITION DL

YEAR Redshirt Senior

HOMETOWN Piedmont, Calif.

HIGH SCHOOL Menlo School

Biography

Tevis totaled 60 tackles, 29 solo, three sacks, 8.5 stops for loss, and three pass breakups in 20 games (15 starts) at the University of California (2018-21).

2021 Honors: Honorable-mention All-Pac-12 … first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District 8.

2021 (Junior): Started all 12 games … one of six Bears to start 12 times … logged 37 tackles, one sack, 5.5 tackles for loss, and three pass breakups … collected six stops, a career-high 2.5 for loss, against Nevada (9/4) … made six tackles, four solo, at TCU (9/11) … added five stops, one for loss, one pass breakup, and one hurry against Washington State (10/2) … posted three tackles, the sack, and two for loss in the Colorado win (10/23)  … piled up six stops, four solo, at Arizona (11/6).

2020 Honors: Selected to the Pac-12 Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2020 (Sophomore): Appeared in four games with three starts … Cal had four of its eight scheduled games canceled in the abbreviated season during the COVID-19 pandemic … made 18 tackles with two sacks and three stops for loss … opened the year with a career-high 10 tackles at UCLA (11/15) … delivered a career-high two sacks and four stops overall against Stanford (11/27).

2019 Honors: Selected to the Pac-12 Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2019 (Freshman): Played in four games and recorded five tackles … had three stops at Utah (10/26) … made two tackles vs. USC (11/16) … also appeared at Stanford (11/23) and vs. Illinois in the Redbox Bowl (12/30).

2018: Redshirted the 2018 season.

Prep/Personal: Defensive end for head coach Mark Newton at The Menlo School … also played offensive guard … named the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division Player of the Year as a senior … tabbed PAL Ocean Division Defensive Player of the Year as a junior … selected PAL Ocean Division Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore … three-time PAL Ocean Division first-team all-league pick … totaled 283 tackles, 105 tackles for loss, 51 sacks, four fumble recoveries, and six forced fumbles in three prep seasons … had 79 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, and 14 sacks as a senior … made 125 tackles, 50 tackles for loss, and a school-record 22.5 sacks as a junior … sack total led all players in California and ranked No. 5 nationally … added five forced fumbles and two fumbles recovered … posted 79 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, and 14.5 sacks as a sophomore … also lettered three times in basketball … parents are Amanda and Michael Tevis … born on Jan. 6, 1999.

KAIDEN TURNER

POSITION LB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Fayetteville, Ark.

HIGH SCHOOL Fayetteville

 Biography

Prep/Personal: Linebacker for head coach Casey Dick at Fayetteville High School … ranked the No. 31 linebacker nationally by ESPN … rated a Top-20 prospect in Arkansas by ESPN and 247Sports … all-state selection as a senior … helped the Bulldogs to the Arkansas Activities Association Class 7A state championship game … two-time all-conference honoree … totaled 83 tackles with eight sacks and 23 tackles for loss in 2021 … added two interceptions, one forced fumble, and one defensive touchdown … made 69 stops with 5.5 sacks and 12 TFLs his junior campaign … also picked off three passes and recovered three fumbles … scored a pair of defensive TDs … piled up 87 tackles with 5.5 sacks as a sophomore … also lettered in basketball … parents are Naomi and Joe Turner.

BRODY FOLEY

POSITION TE

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Cincinnati, Ohio

HIGH SCHOOL Anderson

 Biography

Prep/Personal: Tight end for and defensive lineman head coach Evan Dreyer at Anderson High School … ranked the No. 26 tight end nationally and the No. 16 prospect in Ohio by 247Sports … 2021 first-team All-Ohio on defense … hauled in five touchdowns in just nine games … caught 25 passes for 233 yards and one TD as a junior … recorded one interception and one fumble recovery.

DJ MOORE

POSITION OL

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Fort Wayne, Ind.

HIGH SCHOOL Snider

Biography

Prep/Personal: Offensive guard and tackle for head coach Kurt Tippmann at Snider High School … ESPN and Rivals four-star prospect … ranked the No. 11 offensive guard nationally by ESPN and Rivals … rated the No. 8 prospect in Indiana by Rivals … Moore is the highest ranked offensive lineman to ever commit to Indiana … 2021 Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 all-state selection …  teammate of IU offensive lineman Randy Holtz … parents are LaRonda Newsome and Demon Moore Sr. … intends to study sports medicine … born on May 23, 2004.

JAMARI SHARPE

POSITION DB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Miami, Fla.

HIGH SCHOOL Northwestern

Biography

Prep/Personal: Defensive back and wide receiver for head coach Max Edwards at Northwestern Senior High School … starred at wideout for three years and cornerback for one season … selected to play in the Dade-Broward All-Star Game … Northwestern captured the 2019 state title … finished sixth in the 100-meter dash at the 3A state meet with a 10.69 as a junior … 4×100 team finished second … won the district title in the 200-meter with a 21.47 … three-year football and two-year track and field letterwinner … parents are Jeremiah Sharpe and Marissa Romeo … intends to study engineering … born on Sept. 22, 2003.

CARTER SMITH

POSITION OL

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Powell, Ohio

HIGH SCHOOL Olentangy Liberty

Biography

Prep/Personal: Offensive tackle for head coach Steve Hale at Olentangy Liberty High School … ranked the No. 18 prospect in Ohio by 247Sports … named first-team All-Ohio, all-district, and All-Ohio Capital Conference as a senior … garnered second-team All-Ohio and All-OCC as a junior … also lettered in volleyball … parents are Carlyn and Andy Smith.

JAYLIN LUCAS

POSITION RB

YEAR Freshman

HOMETOWN Houma, La.

HIGH SCHOOL Edna Karr

Biography

Prep/Personal: All-purpose back for head coach Brice Brown at Edna Karr High School … spent his first three high school seasons at Terrebonne High School before relocating following Hurricane Ida … ranked the No. 12 all-purpose back nationally by Rivals … first-team all-state selection … averaged 125.5 all-purpose yards … totaled 1,883 all-purpose yards with 958 rushing, 705 receiving, 135 kick return, and 85 punt return … rushed for 712 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior … tallied over 1,000 all-purpose yards with a pair of kick return TDs … also lettered in track and field … finished No. 6 at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association 5A 100-meter dash … brother, Ja’Khi, is a running back at Florida State University … mother is Natoya Harris … born on Sept. 28, 2004.

EMERY SIMMONS

POSITION WR

YEAR Senior

HOMETOWN Parkton, N.C.

HIGH SCHOOL South View

Biography

Simmons collected 30 receptions for 516 yards and three touchdowns in 30 games (14 starts) at the University of North Carolina (2019-21).

2021 (Junior): Caught 11 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown in eight games (6 starts) … made three catches for 73 yards with a 30-yard TD in the Georgia State win (9/11) … recorded his first career 100-yard game with 110 on three receptions at Georgia Tech (9/25).

2020 (Sophomore): Totaled 15 receptions for 201 yards and one touchdown … appeared in 11 games with eight starts … added a career-high five catches for 38 yards in his first collegiate start and win over North Carolina State (10/24) … hauled in three balls for 48 yards at Virginia (10/31) … netted 67 yards, with a career-long 51-yarder, in the victory at Duke (11/7).

2019 (Freshman): Played in 11 games … posted four catches for 72 yards and one touchdown … made his first reception at Wake Forest (9/13) … reached the end zone from 33 yards out in the Mercer win (11/23).

Prep/Personal: Wide receiver for head coach Rodney Brewington at South View High School … 247Sports four-star prospect … rated the No. 35 wide receiver nationally and the No. 13 prospect in North Carolina by 247Sports … played in the 2018 Shrine Bowl of the Carolina … collected 122 receptions for 2,333 yards and 30 touchdowns over his final two campaigns … added 627 kick return and 273 punt return yards … all-state selection as a returner … parents are Tamika and Dale Simmons.

PURDUE EARLY FOOTBALL SIGNINGS

Terence Thomas

Height:

5-11

Weight:

185

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Youngstown, Ohio

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star athlete

Rated as the No. 14 prospect from the state of Ohio according to ESPN

Saw snaps at wide receiver, quarterback, defensive back and kick returner

Totaled 1,162 all-purpose yards with 17 touchdowns

Roman Pitre

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Baton Rouge, La.

High School:

University Lab

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star athlete

Ranked the No. 29 prospect in the state of Louisiana according to ESPN

Earned all-district accolades during his junior season as an outside linebacker

Helped lead his team to a pair of district titles, including a state championship in 2018

Kentrell Marks

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Parma Heights, Ohio

High School:

Valley Forge

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star running back

Rated as the No. 13 prospect from the state of Ohio according to ESPN

Rushed for 1,470 yards and scored 23 touchdowns his junior year.

Jordan Buchanan

Height:

6-0

Weight:

175

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Suwanee, Ga.

High School:

North Gwinnett

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star safety

Earned first team all-region accolades as a senior

Recorded four interceptions, 38 tackles and 13 pass breakups in his final year of high school

Was a standout track and field athlete

Andre Oben

Height:

6-5

Weight:

310

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Jersey City, NJ

High School:

St. Peter’s Prep

HIGH SCHOOL

Rated as a consensus 3-star offensive lineman

Ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the state of New Jersey according to Rivals

Named Super Football Conference First Team All-Division as a senior

Helped lead St. Peter’s Prep to the NJSIAA Group IV State Championship as a sophomore

Domanick Moon

Height:

6-2

Weight:

225

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Fort Wayne, In.

High School:

R. Nelson Snider

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star linebacker and Top 25 prospect in the state of Indiana

Rated the No. 20 player in the state according to Rivals

Recorded 198 tackles over his career, including a pair of interceptions

Earned the Mr. Football Award at linebacker by the Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA), staking claim as the best linebacker in the state

Recorded 86 tackles, including eight tackles for loss, as a senior to help lead the Panthers to a SAC title

Named to the IFCA All-State Top 50 twice

Two-time First Team All-SAC

Also played baseball

Vince Carpenter

Height:

6-5

Weight:

288

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Red Bank, NJ

High School:

Red Bank Catholic

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star offensive lineman

Ranked the No. 16 prospect in the state of New Jersey according to Rivals

Helped his team post a 24-7 record throughout his high school career, which includes a New Jersey Non-Public Group B State Championship and a Shore Conference Championship in 2021

Earned Jersey Sports Zone First Team All-New Jersey Non-Public, Asbury Park Press First Team All-Shore Conference, Shore Sports Report First Team All-Monmouth County as a senior

Selected as a 2021 Rivals Camp Series Northeast Top 5 Offensive Lineman

Named second team all-division as a sophomore and junior

Also was a member of the track and field team

Cross Watson

Height:

6-5

Weight:

270

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Portage, Michigan

High School:

Portage Central

HIGH SCHOOL

Rated as a consensus 3-star offensive lineman

Ranked the No. 20 prospect in the state of Michigan according to ESPN

Primarily played tackle throughout high school

Earned Associated Press First Team All-State (Divisions 1 and 2) as a senior

Named to the 2021 Detroit Free Press Dream Team and the 2021 Detroit News Dream Team

Two-time First Team All-SMAC, including all-conference accolades from Michigan Sports Radio

Helped lead Portage Central to a conference championship, district title and an appearance in the state’s elite eight

Named to the Kalamazoo Dream Team his junior and senior seasons

Earned four varsity letters, which included getting named MVP of the offensive line following three of those seasons (2019-21)

Shined in the classroom, earning all-state all-academic and Portage Central All-Academic honors as a senior

Also played baseball, helping his team finish state runner-up in 2020

Was a member of the school ski club

Joe Strickland

Height:

6-4

Weight:

220

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Indianapolis, In.

High School:

Brebeuf Jesuit

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 4-star defensive lineman

Ranked in the ESPN 300 as the No. 227 prospect in the nation

Also tabbed the fifth-best player in the state of Indiana by ESPN

Named to the Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 All-State team as a junior and senior

Recorded 70 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and three fumble recoveries as a senior to help lead his team to a state runner-up finish

Three-time all-conference and all-county honoree, helping lead his team to a pair of league titles

Registered 50 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks as a junior to earn MaxPreps All-Defense accolades

Also landed on the MaxPreps All-Defense team after tallying 45 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks during his sophomore campaign

Named MaxPreps Freshman All-American with 36 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and four sacks

Tabbed academic all-state

Max Klare

Height:

6-4

Weight:

225

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Cincinnati, Ohio

High School:

St. Xavier

Charlie Kenrich

Height:

6-4

Weight:

220

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Middletown, Ohio

High School:

Lakota East

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star tight end

Listed at the No. 21 prospect in the state of Ohio according to 247Sports Composite rankings

Earned all-league honors three times throughout his high school career

Two-year team captain

Also played basketball

Mo Omonode

Height:

6-1

Weight:

263

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

West Lafayette, In.

High School:

West Lafayette

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star defensive lineman

Ranked as the No. 19 prospect in the state of Indiana according to Rivals

Three-time all-state honoree

Tallied 200 tackles over 30 career high school games, including 23.5 sacks

Recorded 67 tackles, including 23 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in eight games as a junior

His 11 sacks as a junior led the state

Helped lead West Lafayette High School to three conference titles during his career as well as a state championship as a freshman

Also competed in wrestling, becoming the state runner-up in 2021, and was a member of the track and field team

Malachi Preciado

Height:

6-3

Weight:

284

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

New Orleans, La.

High School:

Warren Easton

HIGH SCHOOL

Rated as a consensus 3-star offensive lineman

Ranked the No. 10 center in the country according to ESPN

Earned all-state honors as a senior

Two-time first team all-district honoree

Selected as a team captain his senior season

Named a WGNO Friday Night Football Scholar-Athlete with a 3.8 GPA

J.P. Deeter

Height:

6-4

Weight:

265

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Manvel, Tx.

High School:

Manvel

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star defensive lineman

Earned all-state accolades all four years of high school, spending his first two seasons in Kansas and the final two seasons in Texas

Racked up 120 over two seasons at Manval High School, including five sacks each year

Played at Topeka High School in Kansas as a sophomore and freshman, collecting all-state and all-district honors each year

Recorded 133 tackles, seven sacks and four touchdowns as a sophomore

Tallied 121 tackles and three sacks during his freshman campaign

Also played basketball and golf

Member of the academic team all four years of high school

Nic Caraway

Height:

6-3

Weight:

240

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Bryan, Tx.

High School:

Bryan

HIGH SCHOOL

Invited to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl (Jan. 8, 2022), an annual bowl featuring the nation’s top 100 high school football players

Consensus 3-star prospect

Two-time first team all-district (Texas District 12-6A)

Recorded 136 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, eight sacks and five forced fumbles over his final two seasons of high school

Also played basketball

Brady Allen

Height:

6-5

Weight:

215

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Fort Branch, Ind.

High School:

Gibson Southern

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 4-star quarterback

Tabbed No. 165 in the country and the fifth-best player in Indiana according to Rivals

Second-highest rated quarterback prospect in Purdue history by 247Sports, behind Kyle Orton

Threw for 11,918 yards, ranking second all-time in the state of Indiana, and 149 touchdowns throughout his high school career

His 4,253 passing yards his senior season marked the third-most in Indiana high school history

Also threw 58 touchdown passes as a senior, helping him become MaxPreps Indiana Player of the Year as well a finalist for Indiana’s Mr. Football

Led Gibson Southern High School to the 2021 3A State Championship, tossing five touchdowns as part of his state championship record 28 completions

Named 2021 MaxPreps All-American and MVP of the Pocket Athletic Conference

Zion Steptoe

Height:

6-0

Weight:

180

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Frisco, Tx.

High School:

Memorial

HIGH SCHOOL

Tabbed a 4-star wide receiver by ESPN

Broke the school record for receiving yards as junior, making 37 catches for 800 yards through seven games

Named team MVP as a senior

Joseph Jefferson II

Height:

6-1

Weight:

187

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Indianapolis, In.

High School:

Pike

HIGH SCHOOL

Named a 3-star prospect and No. 16 player in the state of Indiana according to 247Sports

Three-time all-state honoree

Recorded 75 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four interceptions and one forced fumble on his way to first team all-state honors as a senior

Also was a member of the wrestling team as well as the track and field team

Curtis Deville

Height:

6-1

Weight:

180

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Iowa, La

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star wide receiver

Ranked the No. 20 prospect in the state of Louisiana according to Rivals

Placed third in the high jump at the 2021 Louisiana 3A State Track and Field meet,  and also ran the second leg of Iowa High School’s 4×100-meter relay team

Also played basketball

Jordan Buchanan

Height:

6-0

Weight:

175

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Suwanee, Ga.

High School:

North Gwinnett

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star safety

Earned first team all-region accolades as a senior

Recorded four interceptions, 38 tackles and 13 pass breakups in his final year of high school

Was a standout track and field athlete

Terence Thomas

Height:

5-11

Weight:

185

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Youngstown, Ohio

High School:

Boardman

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star athlete

Rated as the No. 14 prospect from the state of Ohio according to ESPN

Saw snaps at wide receiver, quarterback, defensive back and kick returner

Totaled 1,162 all-purpose yards with 17 touchdowns

Kentrell Marks

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Parma Heights, Ohio

High School:

Valley Forge

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star running back

Rated as the No. 13 prospect from the state of Ohio according to ESPN

Rushed for 1,470 yards and scored 23 touchdowns his junior year

Roman Pitre

Class:

Freshman

Hometown:

Baton Rouge, La.

High School:

University Lab

HIGH SCHOOL

Consensus 3-star athlete

Ranked the No. 29 prospect in the state of Louisiana according to ESPN

Earned all-district accolades during his junior season as an outside linebacker

Helped lead his team to a pair of district titles, including a state championship in 2018

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL EARLY SIGNINGS

LB JAYLEN SNEED

HILTON HEAD (HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC)

6-2 210

5-STAR

LB JOSHUA BURNHAM

CENTRAL (TRAVERSE CITY, MI)

6-4 225

4-STAR

WR TOBIAS MERRIWEATHER

UNION (CAMAS, WA)

6-4 185

4-STAR

OT AAMIL WAGNER

WAYNE (DAYTON, OH)

6-6 265

4-STAR

OT TY CHAN

LAWRENCE ACADEMY (GROTON, MA)

6-6 330

4-STAR

DL TYSON FORD

JOHN BURROUGHS SCHOOL (SAINT LOUIS, MO)

6-5 260

4-STAR

LB NIUAFE TUIHALAMAKA

BISHOP ALEMANY (MISSION HILLS, CA)

6-2 235

4-STAR

OL JOEY TANONA

ZIONSVILLE (ZIONSVILLE, IN)

6-5 300

4-STAR

OL BILLY SCHRAUTH

ST. MARY’S SPRINGS (FOND DU LAC, WI)

6-5 300

4-STAR

TE ELI RARIDON

VALLEY (WEST DES MOINES, IA)

6-6 228

4-STAR

RB JADARIAN PRICE

DENISON (DENISON, TX)

5-11 180

4-STAR

CB JADEN MICKEY

CENTENNIAL (CORONA, CA)

6-0 175

4-STAR

DL AIDEN GOBAIRA

CHANTILLY (CHANTILLY, VA)

6-6 235

4-STAR

QB STEVE ANGELI

BERGEN CATHOLIC (ORADELL, NJ)

6-3 215

4-STAR

LB NOLAN ZIEGLER

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (GRAND RAPIDS, MI)

6-4 210

4-STAR

TE HOLDEN STAES

WESTMINSTER SCHOOL (ATLANTA, GA)

6-4 230

4-STAR

CB BENJAMIN MORRISON

BROPHY COLLEGE PREPARATORY (PHOENIX, AZ)

6-1 175

4-STAR

CB JAYDEN BELLAMY

BERGEN CATHOLIC (ORADELL, NJ)

5-11 175

3-STAR

DL DONOVAN HINISH

CENTRAL CATHOLIC (PITTSBURGH, PA)

6-2 275

3-STAR

OT ASHTON CRAIG

LAWRENCEBURG (LAWRENCEBURG, IN)

6-5 283

3-STAR

P BRYCE MCFERSON

METROLINA CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (INDIAN TRAIL, NC)

6-1 175

2-STAR

BALL STATE EARLY FOOTBALL SIGNINGS

TE Max Sullivan

Hometown (High School): Whiteland, Ind. (Whiteland Community)

Height/Weight: 6-6/235

Rating: 2 stars; No. 33 in state; No. 113 at position

DL Dylan Graber

Hometown (High School): Powell, Ohio (Olentangy Liberty)

Height/Weight: 6-3/270

ILB Maximus Webster

Hometown (High School): Sheridan, Ind. (Westfield)

Height/Weight: 6-2/225

Rating (at QB): 2 star; No. 36 in state; No. 124 at position

BUC Danny Royster

Hometown (High School): Indianapolis (Lawrence North)

Height/Weight: 6-4/210

Rating (at LB): 3 star; No. 29 in state, No. 195 at position

OL Sam Buras

Hometown (High School): Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove)

Height/Weight: 6-7/315

Rating: 2 star; No. 34 in state, No. 201 at position

ILB Caden Johnson

Hometown (High School): Lexington, Ky. (Frederick Douglass)

Height/Weight: 6-2/230

Rating: 3 star; No. 15 in state, No. 184 at position

DL Dakari Frazier

Hometown (High School): Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington Central)

Height/Weight: 6-4/245

Rating: 3 star; No. 63 in state, No. 189 at position

ILB Ashton Carroll

Hometown (High School): Roanoke, Va. (Hidden Valley)

Height/Weight: 6-3/212

Rating: No. 46 in state; No. 194 at position

S Blair Schonhorst

Hometown (High School): St. Louis (Christian Brothers College)

Height/Weight: 6-0/180

Rating: NA

BUC DeJaun Echoles

Hometown (High School): Indianapolis (Warren Central)

Height/Weight: 6-0/205

Rating: 2-star; No. 37 in state, No. 202 at position

WR Cameron Pickett

Hometown (High School): Chicago (Brooks College Prep)

Height/Weight: 6-0/180

Rating: 3-star; No. 34 in state, No. 210 at position

DL Karl Odrick Jr.

Hometown (High School): New Orleans (Edna Karr)

Height/Weight: 6-4/230

Rating: 2-star; No. 67 in state, No. 299 at position

CB Jordan Coleman

Hometown (High School): St. Louis (DeSmet)

Height/Weight: 6-1/175

Rating: 3-star; No. 30 in state, No. 136 at position

QB Kaden Cobb

Hometown (High School): Oak Park, Ill. (Fenwick)

Height/Weight: 6-3/180

Rating: 3-star; No. 19 in state, No. 45 at position

OL Taran Tyo

Hometown (High School): Versailles, Ohio (Versailles)

Height/Weight: 6-3.5/295

Rating: 3-star; No. 66 in state, No. 101 at position

OL Chris Hood

Hometown (High School): Kendallville, Ind. (East Noble)

Height/Weight: 6-8/320

Rating: 2-star; No. 33 in state, No. 113 at position

INDIANA STATE EARLY FOOTBALL SIGNINGS

Kevin Barnett WR 6-4 195 R-So. Hattiesburg, Miss./Oak Grove HS East Mississippi C.C.

Logan Bartley OL 6-4 300 Fr. Paris, Ill./Paris HS

Shane Bennett DL 6-4 240 Fr. Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove HS

Matt Brown DL 6-4 240 Fr. New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine HS

Payton Edwards DB 6-0 185 Jr. Port St. Joe, Fla./Amos P. Godby HS Monroe College/Dodge C.C.

DJ Griffith LB 5-11 230 Fr. Louisville, Ky./DeSales HS

Bilhal Kone DB 6-2 190 So. Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley HS Iowa Central C.C.

Michael Lufile LB 6-2 225 R-Jr. Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie HS Monroe College/Cisco College

Evan Massey DL 6-3 225 Fr. Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore HS

Seth Mills DB 6-2 180 Fr. Corbin, Ky./Corbin HS

Garret Ollendieck LB 6-2 230 So. Cresco, Iowa/Crestwood HS Iowa Central C.C.

Kai Rios TE 6-6 250 Fr. Rock Island, Ill./Rock Island HS

Tony Roberts DB 5-10 165 Fr. Elgin, Ill./Batavia HS

Gavin Screws QB 6-1 220 R-So. Jacksonville, Fla./Baldwin HS Butler C.C./Troy University

Alex Todt OL 6-4 260 Fr. St. Louis, Mo./Chaminade College Prep

Caleb VanHooser DB 6-2 180 Fr. Liberty Township, Ohio/Lakota East HS

Amon Walker DB 6-1` 165 Fr. Chicago, Ill./Bolingbrook HS

Dallas Westhoff LB 6-1 225 Fr. Cedar Falls, Iowa/Columbus Catholic HS

NOTES: INDIANA CLOSES OUT CROSSROADS CLASSIC AGAINST NOTRE DAME

OPENING TIP

Indiana University is in its 122nd season of competition in men’s basketball and will play Notre Dame in the 11th and final Crossroads Classic. IU is coming off an 81-49 win over Merrimack on Sunday while Notre Dame topped No. 10 Kentucky, 66-62, in South Bend. The Hoosiers have the best record in the event at 7-3 and are 4-1 against the Irish. The last three games against Notre Dame have all been decided in the final minute. The Hoosiers have a four-game winning streak in the Crossroads Classic and have won six of its last seven games in the event.

GAME INFORMATION

2021 Crossroads Classic

Indiana (8-2, 1-1 B1G) vs Notre Dame (4-4, 0-1 ACC)

Saturday, December 18 • 2:30 p.m. ET

Gainbridge Fieldhouse (20,000) • Indianapolis

TV: FOX (Tim Brando and Jim Jackson)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | TuneIn App

Series History: IU leads 51-22

Last Meeting: IU 62, ND 60 (Dec. 21, 2019 in Indianapolis)

ON THE SIDELINES

IU Hall of Famer, All-American, Big Ten MVP and Indiana native Mike Woodson is the first Hoosier graduate to lead the program at the start of the season since Lou Watson in 1965. Woodson brings nine years of NBA head coaching experience (Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks) back to his alma mater and worked for seven franchises as an assistant coach and won an NBA title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons. He played 11 seasons in the NBA as a player and is the fifth all-time leading scorer in program history with 2,061 points.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is in his 22nd season at Notre Dame.

SOME NUMBERS

IU leads the Big Ten and is third nationally in defensive field goal percentage (34.9%). In the league, IU is third in Big Ten in scoring (78.3), third in defense (62.3), fourth in 3FG defense (28.6), second in blocked shots (6.1), second in rebound margin (+10.3), and first in defensive rebounds per game (32.1).

ALL-AMERICAN TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS

Junior/sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is living up to his preseason accolades, averaging 19.3 points (4th in B1G), 8.4 rebounds (5th), shooting 61.2% from the floor (2nd) and contributing 3.1 blocked shots per game (1st; 7th nationally).

He had 31 points and 16 boards at Syracuse. He set a Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall record by scoring 43 points against Marshall, breaking the previous mark (42) set by Steve Alford against Michigan State. He made a career-high 18-of-24 field goal attempts. For his efforts, he was named National Player of the Week by Dick Vitale on ESPN.com.

The leading returning scorer in the Big Ten has been named a first-team 2021-22 Preseason All-American by the Associated Press, and selected to the watch list for the Karl Malone Watch, the NABC Player of the Year, Wooden Award and Naismith Award.

The Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 15 has had three double-doubles this season and 25 in his career with IU posting a 19-6 record in those games.

Jackson-Davis became the 54th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark against St. John’s and now has scored 1,142 points as a Hoosier, rating 41st all-time in IU lore.

In the last game against Notre Dame, he scored the tying basket with 1:00 left and blocked and rebounded a game-tying shot by John Mooney to seal the win.

ODDS AND TRENDS

IU’s starting lineup of Jackson-Davis (69), Sr./Jr’s. Xavier Johnson (91), Miller Kopp (84), Parker Stewart (84) and Race Thompson (37) have combined for 360 career Division I starts. Off the bench, Sr./Jr’s. Michael Durr (85) and Rob Phinisee (69) have started 154 games.

Stewart leads the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage at 47.1%. Thompson is fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding at 8.7 per game. Johnson is fifth in the Big Ten in assists at 4.3 per game.

So./Fr. Jordan Geronimo is coming off his first career double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds against Merrimack.

IU and Kansas will begin a two-game home and home series starting next season. IU will travel to Allen Fieldhouse on December 17, 2022, while the Jayhawks visit Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on December 16, 2023.

NEWTON SELECTED AVCA SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICA

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Graduate student Caitlyn Newton completes her collegiate campaign with the highest honor of her career, a Second Team All-America nod, announced today by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

Also receiving nods were setter Hayley Bush, opposite Grace Cleveland and libero Jena Otec, who were named All-America Honorable Mention following their All-Northeast Region honors.

Newton, who was an AVCA Third Team All-America selection last season and Honorable Mention the year prior (2019), played in every match this season. Ranking third in the Big Ten with 4.58 points per set, the six-rotation outside hitter averaged 3.94 kills per set and 1.81 digs per set while hitting double-digit kills in all but four matches.

Playing the best volleyball of her career, Newton’s efficiency led to a .204 attack %, up from last season’s .169 clip which helped to land her AVCA Third Team honors in 2020. Moreover, not only did she enter the 2021 season just outside the Purdue career top-10 lists, but rose the ranks and will close out her career ranked fourth all-time with 1,703 kills while becoming just the third Boilermaker in program history to register at least 1,421 attempts in a single season.

Bush, one of the most dynamic setters in the nation, ranked 11th in the nation with 1,278 assists this season and became just the second setter in program history to reach 1,000 digs (joins Ashley Evans, 2014-17). The Union, Kentucky, native set career match-highs in blocks (6 vs. No. 5 BYU), attack % (1.00 twice, last at Northwestern) and attacks (matched 14, last: at Illinois). Moreover, the setter more than doubled her efficiency in blocks, totaling seven block solos and 57 assists (64 total blocks), despite totaling 28 in 2020. Bush closed out her redshirt senior season with 4,900 assists, third all-time in program history for her second consecutive year named an All-America Honorable Mention.

Cleveland, who was named an All-Big Ten First Team honoree this season was an AVCA First Team All-American in 2020. Cleveland went errorless not once but twice during the regular season and posted just one error in Purdue’s five set comeback victory vs. Dayton in the NCAA Second Round (17 kills, 1 error, 34 swings for a .471 attack %). Not only has the Bloomington, Illinois, native hit over.400 nine times this year and five times above .500, but recorded three or fewer errors in 22 matches. Cleveland closes out her senior campaign with 127 block assists, tying her own record book mark, set in 2019, as the 10th-most in a single Purdue season (also joined by Fay Adelaja, 2013). Meanwhile, Cleveland’s 423 career block assists are third-most by a Boilermaker and her 469 total blocks are sixth in Purdue history.

The two-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honoree Otec returned for a fifth year to average 4.59 digs per set and 578 total digs, career-highs and third-most in school history for a single season in each respective category. Notching two 30-dig performances this fall, Otec set a career-high 33 digs in the victory vs. Michigan – the most by a Power Five player in a match during the regular season and the most by a Boilermaker in 12 years. Only five have ever posted as many in a match while wearing the Old Gold & Black. Moreover, Otec, a 2021 All-Big Ten Second team selection, closes her Purdue career ranked second all-time with 1,850 digs.

All four Boilermakers were integral parts of Purdue’s historic season which saw 26 wins, the most since 2011 and its fifth NCAA Regional Finals appearance. Along the way, these Boilermakers guided Purdue to five victories over top-8 opponents, including a 4-1 record against top-5 opponents. In total, Purdue set program-highs in victories over top-25 programs, including seven during the regular season, its highest AVCA coaches poll ranking (No. 4 on Sept. 27) and achieved 21 straight weeks ranked among the top-15, a program-best.

WHITE TO BE INDUCTED IN INDIANA BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Already a Purdue Hall of Famer, Stephanie White will be enshrined into another prestigious establishment in April, as the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame announced its 2022 induction class.

White will be the 15th Boilermaker from the women’s basketball team to be inducted into IBHOF.

The 1995 Indiana Miss Basketball from Seeger High School set the state record for most points in a career with 2,869 and currently sits fourth all-time. Her 886 points as a senior in 1994-95 are sixth in single-season history, just 13 above Katie Gearlds’ mark in 2002-03. White also has the second most points in a game in state history with 66 from Jan. 9, 1995, against Attica.

White’s high school award list also included Gatorade National Player of the Year, USA Today National Player of the Year, WBCA All-America, MVP of the WBCA All-American Game and a three-time Associate Press Indiana All-State selection.

During her four-year career at Purdue, White averaged 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. She still ranks in the top five in over 20 career, season and single-game categories across the Purdue record book, including third in career points with 2,182 and tied for first with 707 points in a season, alongside Gearlds.

White was an integral part in leading the Boilermakers to a 34-1 record and the 1999 NCAA National Championship, still the only team from the Big Ten to win a national title. The Boilermakers won two Big Ten Tournament championships and two regular season titles during White’s tenure.

In her senior season alone in 1998-99, White was named an All-American by the Associate Press and the WBCA, a member of the NCAA Final Four Team, NCAA All-Regional Team, Honda Award Winner, All-Big Ten Tournament Team and its Most Outstanding Player, the Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year, Big Ten Player of the Year, All-Big Ten, a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year, CoSIDA and GTE Academic All-American and Academic All-Big Ten.

The Charlotte Sting drafted White in the second round of the 1999 WNBA Draft, the first pick in program history. Following a six-year career in the WNBA, White moved into the coaching ranks, eventually winning a WNBA title as an assistant for the Indiana Fever in 2012 and reaching the finals in 2015 as the Fever’s head coach. She also spent five seasons as the head coach at Vanderbilt.

NOTRE DAME HOCKEY: SLAGGERT NAMED TO USA’S NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Sophomore forward Landon Slaggert has been named to the U.S. National Junior Team, USA Hockey announced (Dec. 16).

The 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship will take place from Dec. 26, 2021 – Jan. 5, 2022 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. Team USA will face Slovakia in its first preliminary matchup at 9:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 26 at WP Centrium and broadcast on NHL Network.

Slaggert is one of six players from the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team that won a gold medal in Edmonton. He also becomes the seventh Notre Dame player to take part in two World Junior Championships..

At last season’s World Junior Tournament, Slaggert skated in all seven games for Team USA and became the first Fighting Irish player to medal at the event since 2018 – when current Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke helped the U.S. secure the bronze in Buffalo. Slaggert’s gold marked the eighth medal by a Notre Dame player at the event as he also joined Anders Bjork (bronze in 2016), Mario Lucia (gold in 2013), Kyle Palmieri (gold in 2010 and bronze in 2011), Kyle Lawson (bronze in 2007) and Ben Simon (silver in 1997).

Last season, Slaggert became the 23rd Notre Dame player to take part in the World Junior Championship and the South Bend, Indiana native has joined Palmieri (2010/11), Ian Cole (2008/09), Rob Globke (2001/02), Connor Dunlop (2000/01), Simon (1997/98) and Jack Brownschidle (1977/79) as two-time Irish participants.

This season, Slaggert has five goals and five assists for 10 points in 17 games for the Irish. His five goals rank third on the team, while he has a power-play goal to go along with 14 penalty minutes.

During his freshman season, Slaggert played 25 games and was Notre Dame’s third-leading scorer with 22 points on eight goals and 14 assists. His eight goals tied for second on the team, while his 14 assists ranked third. He finished the season with seven multi-point games, each coming in the second semester and was on a seven-game point streak when the season came to an end.

MASTODON BASEBALL ANNOUNCES 2022 SCHEDULE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Get ready to plan your spring, the 2022 Purdue Fort Wayne baseball schedule has been released.

The Mastodons will open the 2022 slate Feb. 18-20 with four games at Georgia State. The last time the ‘Dons played Georgia State was 2008. The series is the start of four consecutive non-league road trips to open the season. Visits to Cal Baptist, Tennessee Tech and Saint Louis follow. The ‘Dons have never played Cal Baptist and last played Tennessee Tech in 2002 and Saint Louis in 2008. Cal Baptist won 40 games in 2021 and earned a share of the regular season title.

The ‘Dons will play their first game in Fort Wayne on Wednesday, March 16 when the Dayton Flyers come to Mastodon Field. Two days later the ‘Dons will open Horizon League play with a three-game series with Youngstown State March 18-20. It is the second consecutive season the ‘Dons will open league play with a home series with Youngstown State.

Other home league games on the schedule include a three-game series with Wright State (April 1-3) and a doubleheader with Northern Kentucky (April 22) followed by a doubleheader with Oakland (April 24) two days later. The ‘Dons will host UIC in a three-games series April 29-May 1 before closing out league play at home on May 13 in a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Panthers.

The Purdue Fort Wayne schedule features non-league midweek games at Michigan State (March 23), Valparaiso (March 29), Michigan (April 6), Purdue (April 12), Notre Dame (April 20) and Dayton (May 10). Notre Dame and Michigan were both NCAA regional qualifiers last season.

The ‘Dons have a bye in Horizon League play during the final week of the regular season. So instead the ‘Dons will host Butler on Wednesday, May 17 and then travel to Akron for a non-league series May 20-21.

The Horizon League Champion will be held May 25-28 at the site of the top seed.

ANDERSON WELCOMES BURLETON AS BASEBALL PITCHING COACH

The Anderson University baseball team and head coach Mathew Bair welcomes Matt Burleton as the pitching coach on the Anderson baseball coaching staff, which was announced on Wednesday.

“Coach Burleton brings several key benefits to our program, including his passion for Christ, his success on the mound at a high level, and his ability to communicate effectively the language and programs to develop today’s pitchers,” Mathew Bair said.

While at Marian University, Burleton earned two All-Crossroad League First Team honors, was awarded the Crossroads League Pitcher of the Year in 2017, and was named to the NAIA All-American Team. In addition, Burleton set several school records including 63 career appearances, and in one season finished in the top 10 of all NAIA pitchers in ERA, total runs allowed, innings pitched, hits allowed per nine innings, and opponent batting average.

“I am excited to be a part of the Anderson University Baseball Program,” Matt Burleton said. “I look forward to the opportunity to help grow and develop these young men to have success on and off the field.”

After graduating from Marian with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 2019, Burleton pitched professionally in the Frontier League for the Joliet Slammers and the Evansville Otters. After his playing career, Burleton joined the Wes Whisler Baseball Academy in February of 2021 to help train and develop young pitchers, and most recently was serving as the pitching coach on staff at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

TERRY, VANLANDINGHAM SCORE 20+ IN WIN OVER BEREA

RICHMOND – After 20+ point performances from Kolden Vanlandingham and Jaden Terry, the Earlham College men’s basketball team defeated Berea College 86-65 in Druley Performance Gym on Wednesday evening.

The Quakers improved to 2-6 (0-3 HCAC) while the Mountaineers dropped to 4-6 (0-1 USA South).

Vanlandingham led the way with 23 points, six rebounds and one steal while Terry recorded a career-high 20 points with six boards and two steals. Josh Ozanne also hit double digit points with 13 while pacing the Quakers in rebounds with eight.

It was not all smooth sailing for Earlham, as the Quakers struggled with accuracy in the first half. Trailing 10-9 with 14:08 remaining in the first frame, the Quakers gave up a 7-0 run to trail 17-9. The Quakers found some footing after the run as Terry scored 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for Earlham.

While the Mountaineers led for the remainder of the half, Earlham kept the lead within seven points for the duration, and ended the frame with a 5-0 run in the final two minutes.

After a 35-33 deficit going into halftime, the Quakers went to work in the second half. A layup by Chase Younts gave the home squad a 37-36 lead with 18:38 remaining in the contest.

Earlham led by as many as four points, but the Mountaineers tied the score again at 49 at the 13:19 mark of the second half. After another Terry 3-pointer, the Quaker offense exploded for a 14-2 run with 3-pointers made on four consecutive possessions.

A 3-pointer from Vanlandingham with 5:43 remaining in the game kicked off a 15-4 run for Earlham. Leading 82-63 with just under two minutes left, the Quakers rotated players in and garnered valuable experience for the future of the program.

The Quakers shot 21-of-32 in the second half and made 8-of-11 3-point attempts in the period. Earlham dominated the turnover battle, scoring 15 of its points off of possession changes. Despite the two high-scoring performances, the Quakers spread the ball around well and saw 21 points come from non-starters on the evening.

Earlham will be back in action on Saturday when Kenyon College comes for a visit in Druley Performance Gym as the HCAC winter break continues.

WOMEN’S HOOPS TOPS HANOVER FOR 3RD STRAIGHT HCAC WIN

HANOVER, Ind. — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s basketball improved to 5-4 overall and 3-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 74-53 win at Hanover College.  Hanover fell to 4-4 on the season and 1-2 in HCAC play.

The women’s basketball team used a balanced attack en route to their third-straight win.  Nola Wilson finished with a career-high 19 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field.  She added three assists and three steals.

Rowan Hein recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 assists, including eight assists in the first half.  Hein added eight rebounds to her efforts.

Other notable performers of the night include Jamie Baum, Ashley Black, and Allie Fults.  Baum finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, Black scored 10 points (5-for-7 from the floor), and Fults recorded 10 rebounds.

Jordan Barlow pitched in with nine points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.  Kahlan Jester also contributed five points, five rebounds and three blocked shots to the effort.

After the opening four minutes of the contest, Rose-Hulman never trailed.  The Engineers built their lead to as many as 19 points in the second quarter, credited to their 64.71% shooting in the quarter.

In the second half, Rose-Hulman shot their way to a 28-point lead, and in the fourth quarter the lead never fell below 20 points.

For the game, the Fightin’ Engineers finished shooting 31-for-64, good for a 48.4% clip from the floor.  The RHIT defense held Hanover to 32.2% shooting, tied for their second-lowest shooting percentage of the season.

Rose-Hulman halts their season for the holidays and will return to action in 2022.  The Fightin’ Engineers open the New Year at home on January 5 against Franklin College.

MEN’S BASKETBALL NARROWLY FALLS AT HOME TO HANOVER

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Hanover College relied on 25 points from Ty Houston and 21 points from Matt Munoz to hold off Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and earn a 73-66 men’s basketball victory in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night.

Houston hit 5 three-point shots and added 10 rebounds for a double-double.  Munoz was 9-12 from the field to provide an inside scoring threat.

Dillon Duff led the Rose-Hulman offense with 15 points on 7-13 from the field.  Samvit Ram and Max Chaplin also reached double figures with 11 points each.

Simon Blair came off the bench for a career-high 9 points on 4-7 shooting.  Jackson Kabrick added 7 points and a team-high 7 rebounds.

Hanover relied on 50% shooting in both halves to move into a second place tie in the HCAC standings with Rose-Hulman.  The Fightin’ Engineers led by as many as 9 points early in the second half, but Hanover scored 7 straight points to move within 47-45 with 14:20 remaining.

Houston buried a 3-pointer with 5:49 left to give Hanover a 61-57 advantage, but two free throws from Isaac Farnsworth brought the Fightin’ Engineers within 61-59 at the 4:43 mark.

Hanover held a narrow 65-64 lead after a score by Duff at the 1:25 mark.  Max Greenamoyer answered with a 3-pointer on the next possession to give the Panthers a 68-64 advantage.  Hanover made 5 free throws in the final minute to secure the win.

Rose-Hulman stands 6-3 overall and 3-1 in HCAC play, while Hanover improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in league games.  The Fightin’ Engineers return to action at the Webster University Invitational, facing the host Gorloks on December 30.

PILOTS STAND UP REINHARDT

WALESKA, Ga. – Bethel Men’s Basketball jumped all over Reinhardt to a 22-7 lead in the first seven minutes and held serve the remainder of the game on their way to a 90-76 victory on Wednesday evening. Jake Johnson rattled off a career-high 26 points, including a stretch of 19 of 23 Pilot points, for the game-high honors.

GAME VITALS

Score: Bethel def. Reinhardt 90-76

Records: Bethel (8-6) | Reinhardt (8-6)

NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll: Bethel – NR | Reinhardt – NR

Location: Brown Athletic Center | Reinhart University | Waleska, Ga.

STAT TRACKER

Jake Johnson: 26 pts, 6-9 3-pt, 6 reb

Zac Owens: 19 pts, 3 ast, 6-12 fg

Jared DeHart: 14 pts, 4 ast, 4-7 3-pt

Brandon Hunt: 11 pts, 6 reb, 3-6 fg

INSIDE THE BOXSCORE

Jake Johnson scored 19 of 23 Pilot points during a nine-minute stretch in the second half, including 14 consecutive points for his squad on his way to a career-high 26 points.

The Pilots tied a season-high with 15 made three-pointers. The Pilots have shot 36-of-77 (.467) from the three-point line as a team over their last three games.

The Pilots ended Reinhardt’s six-game winning streak.

The Pilots led by as many as 26 points in the second half.

NEXT TIME OUT

The Pilots finish their pre-Christmas action with an exhibition against Belmont (Tenn.) on Saturday at 3:00 pm.

HOUSTON CHARTS DOUBLE-DOUBLE TO LEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL PAST ROSE-HULMAN

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The Hanover men’s basketball team claimed a key Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory on Wednesday evening as they defeated Rose-Hulman 73-66.

With the win, Hanover moves to 6-1 overall and 3-1 HCAC.

The Panthers were paced in the contest by junior Ty Houston (Union, Ky.) with a double-double netting a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Matt Munoz (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 21 points for the Blue and Red.

The opening half would see Hanover jump ahead as Munoz used a 6-0 run to help propel HC out front 14-5 with 14:36 to play. However, the Fightin’ Engineers remained poise as they were able to chisel at the lead before over taking the Panthers, 17-15, midway through the stanza.

Houston responded pulling HC within a jumper when Rose-Hulman dealt the final blow for the 35-32 halftime lead.

The second half opened with hot shooting by Rose-Hulman pushing the lead to 47-38 before  senior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) went to work netting back-to-back strikes that cut the difference to just two points at the 14:20 mark.

Hanover continued to rally as Munoz put HC in front minutes later when Houston secured the rest at the charity stripe to propel HC to the HCAC victory.

Hanover returns to action on Monday, Dec. 20 when they travel to Kalamazoo. Game time is set for 5:00 PM. 

SHOOTING WOES SINK WOMEN’S BASKETBALL IN CONTEST WITH ROSE-HULMAN

HANOVER, Ind. – The Rose-Hulman offense deemed to much as they used outstanding shooting to sink  the Panthers in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Wednesday evening inside Collier Arena. Hanover fell in the contest 74-53.

The Blue and Red move to 4-4 overall and 1-2 HCAC.

Rose-Hulman used hot shooting to open the contest as they soared to the 19-10 first quarter lead when the Panther pressure began to set in. Hanover was able to force a pair of turnovers early in the second frame that led to a sophomore Skylar Sahatjian (Prospect, Ky.) layup followed be a pair of sophomore Reese Sexton (Louisville, Ky.) free throws that pulled HC within 23-12.

However, the Rose-Hulman offense continued to fire on all cylinders as they claimed their largest lead to date at the 2:57 mark, 39-22. The Fightin’ Engineers finished the half shooting 57.6 percent from the field en route to the 43-28 advantage.

The second half would see the Fightin’ Engineers extend their lead following a double digit run that was halted by a layup from junior Keaton Chastain (Paoli, Ind.). The Panthers continued to climb the mountain as junior Anna Bauer (Indianapolis, Ind.) connected late in the frame to pull HC within 63-40.

The final quarter would see a pair of Panther back-to-back blows force a Rose-Hulman timeout at the 8:13 mark with Hanover trailing 63-43. The timeout appeared affective as Rose-Hulman secured the 74-53 HCAC victory.

The Panthers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 18 when they travel to Anderson. Tip-off is set for 2:00 PM.

ALFORD ADDS DAVIS TO HIS 2022-23 ROSTER

HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Forester men’s basketball program has added one of the state’s finest to its 2022-23 roster with the recent signing of Zionsville standout Isaiah Davis.

According to PrepHoops, Davis is currently ranked as the 35th best player in the state for the 2022 class. As a senior for the Eagles, Indiana’s top 4A school, he is averaging 11 points and four rebounds through the first six games. He’s shooting over 50.0 percent from the field and 78.0 percent from the charity stripe.

After playing the first two seasons of his prep career at ZHS, Davis spent last season at Greenwood Christian Academy where he averaged 13.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He has a sectional championship and pair of conference championships to his name. His bragging rights also include a Top 20 ranking by the Indy Star. 

“We are extremely excited to have Isaiah joining the Forester family,” said Coach Kory Alford. “He is a great fit for our basketball program but also for Huntington University as a whole.

“He has great shooting ability and is versatile on both ends of the floor. Isaiah will make an immediate impact here and we cannot wait for him to arrive on campus.”

Davis is a 6-9 stretch forward with a high ceiling to impact the game at both ends of the court.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY RANKS THIRD FOR FINAL POLL OF 2021

TROY, Mich. – The Indiana Tech women’s ice hockey team was ranked third in the latest edition of the ACHA Women’s Division I National Rankings, the association announced Tuesday.

Tech moved up three spots in the fifth regular season edition of the rankings and have been ranked for all polls since the program has begun play.

The ACHA uses two computer rankings, Ranking A (Wins with goal differential of 7) and Ranking B (Wins with maximum goal differential of 1) and come up with an average of the two rankings. This is the first year the ACHA is only using computer rankings. The computer ranking will determine the 8 teams that qualify for the 2022 ACHA Women’s Division 1 National Championships,

The sixth edition of the polls will be released on January 11, 2022.

WARRIORS FINISH 2021 AT NO. 8 IN ACHA POLLS

UNION LAKE, Mich. – The Indiana Tech men’s ice hockey team was ranked 8th in the ACHA Men’s Division I National Rankings, the association announced Wednesday.

The Warriors (16-2-0, 13-1-0 WHAC) moved up three spots in the 11th regular season edition of the rankings and have now been ranked for 34 straight editions of the rankings.

The ACHA uses two computer rankings generated by USHSHO.com, Ranking A (Wins with Maximum Goal Differential of 7) and Ranking B (Wins with Maximum Goal Differential of 1), and comes up with an average of the two rankings.  The ACHA will then use the list generated from the average for its weekly ranking.  Ties will be broken using the higher ranked team from Ranking B until the Top 25 teams are listed.  All games that go to overtime will be scored as ties in the computer ranking.

The twelfth ranking of the regular season will be released on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.

LANCERS SOAR TO NO. 7 IN NAIA POLL

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s men’s basketball team continued its climb up the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

The Lancers jumped up six spots to No. 7 in Wednesday’s poll. It marks the highest ranking for Grace since the 2012-13 season (ranked No. 5 in the postseason poll).

Grace has a sterling 13-1 record, winning its first 13 games of the season to tie for the best start in team history.

The Lancers are receiving 466 points from the national voters, 11 points away from the top 10.

Grace is the highest ranking team in the Crossroads League, which includes No. 9 Indiana Wesleyan, No. 22 Marian and No. 25 St. Francis.

To see the complete NAIA poll, click here.

The Lancers’ next game is at home on Dec. 30 against Cornerstone at 5 p.m. On Dec. 31 Grace will travel to Great Lakes Christian to conclude nonconference play.

Crossroads League play resumes for Grace on Jan. 4 with a matchup at home with No. 9 IWU.

Women’s Basketball Signs Haley Thomas to ’22 Squad

SAINT MARY-OF-THE-WOODS, Ind. – Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) head women’s basketball coach Scot MacAllister announced the signing of Haley Thomas, a 6’1″ forward/center from Battle Ground, Indiana today. Haley will join the team next fall from William Henry Harrison High School. She signed her national letter-of-intent to play for the Pomeroys.

TRAILBLAZERS END LOSING STREAK WITH DOUBLE OVERTIME WIN AS THREE PLAYERS RECORD DOUBLE-DOUBLES

MATTOON, Ill. – The Vincennes University Trailblazers ended their six game losing streak Wednesday night when the Blazers picked up a double overtime win at Lake Land College, 87-79.

Freshmen Darrius Davis (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Shilo Jackson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Thow James Biel (Calgary, Alberta) each recorded double-doubles in the VU win.

Vincennes got off to a quick start against the Lakers, scoring eight of the first 10 points of the game before Lake Land responded with a 12-2 scoring run of their own to take a four point lead.

The Trailblazers played from behind for most of the first half, only able to grab a small 19-18 advantage before the Lakers finished out the first half to take a 30-25 lead heading into the break.

VU began the second half strong, battling to keep the game close and slowly erase the deficit.

Vincennes took the lead back from Lake Land just under the 10-minute mark, to take a 47-46 lead on the scoreboard.

The Trailblazers would build a six point lead before the Lakers answered back to even the score at 60-60 with under 25 seconds to play.

VU ran an inbounds play to get an open shot at the end of regulation but the shot fell off, forcing overtime.

Lake Land came out as the aggressor in the first overtime period, holding a four point lead at 68-64.

Vincennes responded with an 8-4 scoring run, capped off by a Thow James Biel three-point basket to even the score at 72-72, sending this game into a second overtime.

The Trailblazers rode this momentum into the second overtime and took complete control of the game early, building an 80-74 lead.

The Lakers tried to answer back but the Trailblazers closed out the game strong at the free throw line to get their first win in Region 24 play and snap their six game losing streak with an 87-79 win in double overtime.

“I thought we played better,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Todd Franklin said. “We played spotty at times, but we’re getting there. It was a good effort. I’m proud of our guys. We gutted it out. I thought we should have won it in regulation, I thought we let the game slide on us when we had control in the last minute. But we didn’t and they had us down in overtime and we had to show some guts to get it in the second overtime.”

“I thought we controlled the second overtime and I thought we earned this win tonight,” Franklin added. “I thought we have practiced better. I think we’re getting better. If you look at our last 90 minutes of basketball we’ve played Logan, who is the best team in the Region and third in the country and we went toe-to-toe with them and had every chance to win the game. Then we played Lake Land tonight, who is in the top-third of the Region. They are old and talented and have been winning and we won here on the road.”

“These are two upper-third of the Region teams that we have played these last two games and I think we look like we belong. That shows you how far we’ve come in the last three weeks. Now that we’ve gotten to this point, it shows you what we can do and I think there is a whole lot left in the tank to dip into. We’re going to see if we can put two good days of practice together and have a good game Saturday against Wabash. If we can do that and put three good performances together in these eight days against top teams going into the break and show where we are, we’ll know where we’re at when we come back and I think we’ve got a chance to do some good things in the second half of the season.”

Vincennes was led offensively by freshman Brevin Jefferson (Indianapolis, Ind.) who finished with 23 points on a perfect 11 of 11 shooting from the free throw line.

Jefferson fell just short of being the fourth VU starter to finish with a double-double, ending the game with a team-high nine assists on the night.

Darrius Davis finished off his first double-double of the season with 18 points and a team-high 15 rebounds, including five offensive rebounds and a team-high three blocks.

Thow James Biel ended his night with his first double-double of his collegiate career with 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, including hitting four three-pointers while dishing out a pair of assists.

Shilo Jackson finished off his seventh double-double this season with a 15-point, 12-rebound performance for the Trailblazers.

Vincennes as a team hit 23 of 27 free throw attempts, nearly doubling the previous season high for free throws made of 13.

“I just think Brevin has to believe in his offense,” Franklin said. “He’s always been a passive, secondary but solid kind of guy but I think he has to be more than that with this team and I think he can be. I think if we get him where his confidence really goes over that edge where he’s going to be aggressive, then I think that will really help our team.”

“Shilo is a freshman, raw, thrown into a deal, has ability and can be a good player someday and we’re just trying to make someday now,” Franklin added. “Thow is the same way. Thow is in the exact same situation. They have been thrown into a situation where they really have to get a lot done but we’re seeing them grow up.”

“We just have to keep growing up. If we keep growing up, our record isn’t going to be real pretty because of what we’ve gone through and who we’ve played but that has nothing to do when how good of a team we are. I think this week we’ve been an upper-third of the district team. So now we have to stay there and keep moving up. There is nothing fluky about it. We’ve learning some things. We’ve gotten a little bit better. We’ve worked a little bit harder. We could have gotten two wins out of this week or we could have been 0-2. But I think what we did show is that we belong. Hopefully our guys have learned that and they have learned the beauty of hard work. When you work, focus and you fight, a lot of things can happen for you.”

“We’ve gotten better. But now we’ve got to want more. There was no fluke to these last two games and we didn’t get it by luck. We finally worked hard enough to earn it. I’m proud of them. I’m happy for them and now it’s time for us to take off and grind this thing out. We’re not worrying about our record. We’re worrying about getting right and playing well the rest of the year. I think we’ve got plenty of wins in us if we do and we’re determined enough that come March we’re going to be awful hard to beat in the tournament. I think you’ve seen for the first time in these last two games, maybe don’t count these guys out just yet.”

VU will close out the first half of their season Saturday Dec. 18 at the P.E. Complex when the Trailblazers host Wabash Valley. Tip-off time Saturday is set for 7 p.m. eastern.

“I’m going to be a broken record for the rest of the year, it’s never going to be any different, we just have to go to work,” Franklin said about getting ready for Wabash Valley. “We’ve got to work and get better each day. We started out the youngest team in the country and we’ve played probably the toughest schedule in the country. We’ve had very little things go right for us but we also really didn’t do the work to earn those things and now we are. As the youngest team in the country, obviously there is a lot more that we can get out of this. The fact that right now we can go toe-to-toe with the top teams in the Region before the holidays with a couple more months of work to go, that’s what it’s going to be these next two days.”

“We come from this and say, ‘what did we learn from this’, now let’s go back, go to work. Hopefully this helps their confidence. I thought we were suffering from some confidence issues, which are understandable. But the season is still really young and we’re really young. I think we’re beginning to see that there is something pretty solid under our feet here for the first time. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and all I want to see is us keep digging toward it. That is going to be what we’re preaching every day and then compete on gameday and see where we get to. We’re determined, I’m determined, that everybody trying to kick sand on us right now, it’s fine, get your shots in now, because there is a lot of season left and we’ll see where we are in March.”

NFL STANDINGS
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS940.6920.03502003-4-06-0-07-1-03-1-07 W
BUFFALO BILLS760.5382.03632293-3-04-3-05-5-03-1-02 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS670.4623.02542884-3-02-4-04-5-02-2-05 W
NEW YORK JETS3100.2316.02263972-5-01-5-03-6-00-4-02 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS940.6920.03512686-2-03-2-04-4-03-1-06 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS850.6151.03513364-3-04-2-05-3-02-1-02 W
DENVER BRONCOS760.5382.02752284-3-03-3-03-5-01-2-01 W
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS670.4623.02833603-4-03-3-04-4-01-3-02 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
BALTIMORE RAVENS850.6150.03042845-1-03-4-05-5-01-3-02 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS760.5381.02782895-2-02-4-04-5-02-2-01 W
CINCINNATI BENGALS760.5381.03542933-4-04-2-05-3-03-1-02 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS661.5001.52723224-2-12-4-04-4-02-2-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TENNESSEE TITANS940.6920.03242905-2-04-2-06-3-04-1-01 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS760.5382.03712833-4-04-2-06-3-03-2-01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS2110.1547.01773561-6-01-5-02-7-02-2-03 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2110.1547.01803402-5-00-6-02-6-00-4-05 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
DALLAS COWBOYS940.6920.03802874-2-05-2-07-1-03-0-02 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM670.4623.02663243-4-03-3-05-3-01-1-01 L
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES670.4623.03372911-4-05-3-04-4-00-2-01 W
NEW YORK GIANTS490.3085.02323103-3-01-6-03-5-01-2-02 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
ARIZONA CARDINALS1030.7690.03662543-3-07-0-06-3-04-1-01 L
LOS ANGELES RAMS940.6921.03662934-2-05-2-06-3-02-2-02 W
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS760.5383.03293012-4-05-2-05-5-01-4-01 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS580.3855.02722622-4-03-4-02-6-02-2-02 W
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
GREEN BAY PACKERS1030.7690.03282726-0-04-3-08-2-03-1-02 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS670.4624.03443334-2-02-5-04-4-02-1-01 W
CHICAGO BEARS490.3086.02313322-4-02-5-02-6-02-2-02 L
DETROIT LIONS1111.1158.52133541-5-00-6-11-7-01-4-01 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS1030.7690.04102976-0-04-3-06-3-02-1-04 W
ATLANTA FALCONS670.4624.02453531-5-05-2-03-6-02-3-01 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS670.4624.03042852-4-04-3-04-5-01-2-01 W
CAROLINA PANTHERS580.3855.02572822-5-03-3-03-6-02-1-03 L

NBA DIVISION STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN208.7149-511-35-016-57-33 W
PHILADELPHIA1514.5175.56-79-70-59-85-52 L
BOSTON1414.5006.07-47-103-39-84-61 W
TORONTO1315.4647.06-97-64-410-95-51 L
NEW YORK1216.4298.05-107-63-38-132-84 L
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MILWAUKEE1911.63310-49-76-014-87-31 W
CHICAGO1710.6300.58-49-62-210-75-52 L
CLEVELAND1812.6001.09-79-52-111-68-25 W
INDIANA1218.4007.09-73-111-47-134-62 L
DETROIT422.15413.02-112-111-53-130-1012 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI1712.5868-49-83-111-65-51 W
CHARLOTTE1614.5331.58-48-105-210-84-61 W
WASHINGTON1514.5172.08-47-103-410-93-73 L
ATLANTA1414.5002.58-66-84-28-85-51 W
ORLANDO524.17212.02-93-150-62-171-96 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH207.74110-410-35-011-29-18 W
DENVER1414.5006.58-56-92-38-85-51 L
MINNESOTA1315.4647.57-96-62-29-94-62 W
PORTLAND1118.37910.010-71-111-36-141-97 L
OKLAHOMA CITY819.29612.04-104-90-26-122-83 L
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE235.82114-29-35-112-37-32 W
PHOENIX225.8150.512-210-33-315-58-21 W
LA CLIPPERS1613.5527.512-74-62-411-115-51 L
LA LAKERS1613.5527.510-76-61-48-97-33 W
SACRAMENTO1217.41411.56-86-94-38-115-51 W
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MEMPHIS1811.62111-67-53-214-69-14 W
DALLAS1414.5003.57-77-77-211-74-61 L
SAN ANTONIO1017.3707.06-94-81-35-126-41 L
HOUSTON919.3218.57-62-131-34-137-31 L
NEW ORLEANS921.3009.54-95-122-47-135-51 W

NHL CONFERENCE STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS3020824220987612-4-18-4-17-2-1
NEW YORK RANGERS291973411884748-3-111-4-27-3-0
WASHINGTON CAPITALS2917574115101769-2-48-3-36-2-2
FLORIDA PANTHERS28186440171038314-2-04-4-45-4-1
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING281864401692769-3-29-3-27-2-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES271971391985587-3-012-4-15-5-0
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS281585351485727-5-28-3-37-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS29141233113809710-3-24-9-16-3-1
BOSTON BRUINS251492301370667-5-17-4-15-3-2
10 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2714121291289909-3-15-9-03-6-1
11 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS2711124261171895-6-26-6-23-6-1
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS271012525975927-5-33-7-22-7-1
13 BUFFALO SABRES28915422877996-8-23-7-22-6-2
14 NEW YORK ISLANDERS24712519751721-5-26-7-32-5-3
15 OTTAWA SENATORS26916119875955-9-04-7-15-5-0
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS306213156641074-10-12-11-21-8-1
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD28198139161068210-2-09-6-18-2-0
ANAHEIM DUCKS3117953915988310-4-27-5-36-2-2
ST. LOUIS BLUES29168537141008010-3-26-5-36-1-3
COLORADO AVALANCHE26177236161138610-2-17-5-17-2-1
CALGARY FLAMES281576361387624-3-411-4-25-4-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS28171103416998610-6-07-5-06-4-0
NASHVILLE PREDATORS2817101351681758-5-09-5-17-3-0
EDMONTON OILERS2716110321491859-6-07-5-03-7-0
WINNIPEG JETS2813105311284809-5-14-5-44-5-1
10 SAN JOSE SHARKS2915131311576807-6-18-7-05-5-0
11 LOS ANGELES KINGS2712105291172718-6-24-4-34-3-3
12 DALLAS STARS2613112281270749-3-14-8-16-4-0
13 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3013152281076888-7-15-8-17-3-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS281115224867906-6-15-9-15-5-0
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN29101632310811036-8-14-8-24-4-2
16 ARIZONA COYOTES285212125501042-10-13-11-12-8-0