INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SECTIONAL TITLE GAMES NOV. 3
LAKE CENTRAL (5-5) AT CROWN POINT (10-0)
WARSAW (9-1) AT PENN (9-1)
FISHERS (7-3) AT HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (8-2)
WESTFIELD (9-1) AT NOBLESVILLE (4-6)
BEN DAVIS (9-1) AT PIKE (3-7)
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (7-3) AT LAWRENCE NORTH (7-3)
WARREN CENTRAL (4-6) AT SOUTHPORT (2-8)
CENTER GROVE (9-1) AT COLUMBUS NORTH (5-5)
MERRILLVILLE (8-2) AT HAMMOND MORTON (5-4)
MICHIGAN CITY (6-4) AT VALPARAISO (8-2)
MISHAWAKA (8-2) AT CONCORD (6-4)
FORT WAYNE NORTH (3-6) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (9-1)
HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE) (9-1) AT DECATUR CENTRAL (8-2)
TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (5-5) AT WHITELAND (6-4)
BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (9-1) AT SEYMOUR (6-4)
EVANSVILLE NORTH (7-3) AT CASTLE (7-3)
NEW PRAIRIE (9-2) AT CULVER ACADEMY (5-6)
NORTHWOOD (9-2) AT NORTHRIDGE (9-2)
FORT WAYNE DWENGER (6-5) AT LEO (9-2)
KOKOMO (9-2) AT MISSISSINEWA (11-0)
MOORESVILLE (6-5) AT BREBEUF JESUIT (6-4)
NEW PALESTINE (9-2) AT MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE) (7-4)
GREENWOOD (6-5) AT EAST CENTRAL (11-0)
EVANSVILLE REITZ (11-0) AT EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (8-3)
HANOVER CENTRAL (11-0) AT WEST LAFAYETTE (8-3)
JOHN GLENN (7-4) AT KNOX (11-0)
DELTA (7-4) AT GARRETT (6-5)
INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD (11-0) AT HAMILTON HEIGHTS (11-0)
TRI-WEST (10-1) AT MONROVIA (9-2)
VINCENNES LINCOLN (8-3) AT GIBSON SOUTHERN (9-2)
BATESVILLE (10-1) AT INDIAN CREEK (8-3)
HERITAGE HILLS (10-1) AT SCOTTSBURG (7-4)
BREMEN (6-5) AT LAVILLE (10-1)
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (8-3) AT SEEGER (8-3)
FORT WAYNE LUERS (8-3) AT MANCHESTER (5-6)
EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (9-2) AT BLUFFTON (9-2)
SOUTHMONT (6-5) AT LINTON-STOCKTON (10-1)
WINCHESTER (8-2) AT EASTERN HANCOCK (7-4)
TRITON CENTRAL (10-1) AT EASTERN (PEKIN) (5-6)
PAOLI (10-1) AT NORTH POSEY (10-1)
NORTH JUDSON (7-4) AT TRITON (8-3)
PARK TUDOR (11-0) AT NORTH VERMILLION (8-3)
CARROLL (FLORA) (11-0) AT TRI-CENTRAL (5-6)
ADAMS CENTRAL (11-0) AT MADISON-GRANT (8-3)
SHERIDAN (8-3) AT MONROE CENTRAL (6-5)
NORTH DECATUR (8-3) AT MILAN (8-3)
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (9-0) AT COVENANT CHRISTIAN (7-3)
SPRINGS VALLEY (10-1) AT PROVIDENCE (11-0)
INDIANA VOLLEYBALL STATE FINALS
CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
11 AM ET | SOUTHWOOD (31-4) VS. TECUMSEH (32-4)
CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
1:30 PM ET | MUNCIE BURRIS (30-4) VS. BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (24-13)
CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
4:30 PM ET | BELLMONT (34-2) VS. PROVIDENCE (30-5)
CLASS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
7 PM ET | HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (32-0) VS. CASTLE (34-3)
|EAST CENTRAL||43||SOUTH DEARBORN||33|
|FLOYD CENTRAL||71||EVANSVILLE HARRISON||25|
|GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN||71||INDIANAPOLIS RIVERSIDE||0|
|HANOVER CENTRAL||73||HAMMOND MORTON||51|
|INDIANAPOLIS HERRON||60||IRVINGTON PREP ACADEMY||13|
|INDIANAPOLIS TECH||52||INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS||40|
|NORTH HARRISON||62||SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH)||55|
|UNION CITY||45||UNION (MODOC)||28|
|WARSAW||68||FORT WAYNE NORTH||28|
|WASHINGTON TWP.||36||CULVER ACADEMY||33|
|WESTFIELD||61||NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS)||41|
BOWLING GREEN 24 BALL STATE 21
AKRON 31 KENT STATE 27
THURSDAY, NOV. 2
TCU AT TEXAS TECH | 7 P.M. | FS1
WAKE FOREST AT DUKE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN
SOUTH ALABAMA AT TROY | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN2
MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE AT BETHUNE-COOKMAN | 7:30 P.M. | ESPNU
FRIDAY, NOV. 3
PRINCETON AT DARTMOUTH | 7 P.M. | ESPNU
BOSTON COLLEGE AT SYRACUSE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN2
COLORADO STATE AT WYOMING | 8 P.M. | CBSSN
SATURDAY, NOV. 4
OHIO STATE AT RUTGERS | 12 P.M. | CBS
KANSAS STATE AT TEXAS | 12 P.M. | FOX
TEXAS A&M AT OLE MISS | 12 P.M. | ESPN
NOTRE DAME AT CLEMSON | 12 P.M. | ABC
CAMPBELL AT NORTH CAROLINA | 12 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
UCONN AT TENNESSEE | 12 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
ARKANSAS AT FLORIDA | 12 P.M. | ESPN2
NEBRASKA AT MICHIGAN STATE | 12 P.M. | FS1
WISCONSIN AT INDIANA | 12 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
JACKSONVILLE STATE AT SOUTH CAROLINA | 12 P.M. | ESPNU
HOLY CROSS AT LEHIGH | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
YALE AT BROWN | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
DRAKE AT MARIST | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
SAN DIEGO AT PRESBYTERIAN | 12 P.M. | ESPN+
HARVARD AT COLUMBIA | 12:30 P.M. | ESPN+
KENNESAW STATE AT SAM HOUSTON | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
DELAWARE STATE AT MORGAN STATE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
BUCKNELL AT FORDHAM | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
YOUNGSTOWN STATE AT INDIANA STATE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
CORNELL AT PENN | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
GARDNER-WEBB AT BRYANT | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
VMI AT EAST TENNESSEE STATE | 1 P.M. | ESPN+
FURMAN AT CHATTANOOGA | 1:30 P.M. | ESPN+
NAVY AT TEMPLE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
ARMY AT AIR FORCE | 2 P.M. | CBSSN
ARIZONA STATE AT UTAH | 2 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORKS
GEORGIA TECH AT VIRGINIA | 2 P.M. | CW
FLORIDA A&M AT ALABAMA A&M | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
NORTH DAKOTA AT MURRAY STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTH DAKOTA AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
DAYTON AT VALPARAISO | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
ROBERT MORRIS AT SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
BUTLER AT MOREHEAD STATE | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
MERCER AT THE CITADEL | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
WESTERN ILLINOIS AT UNI | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
UT MARTIN AT TENNESSEE TECH | 2:30 P.M. | ESPN+
FLORIDA ATLANTIC AT UAB | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
UTSA AT NORTH TEXAS | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTH FLORIDA AT MEMPHIS | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
LOUISIANA AT ARKANSAS STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
ILLINOIS STATE AT MISSOURI STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHERN AT ALCORN STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
TEXAS SOUTHERN AT JACKSON STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
LINCOLN (CA) AT SOUTHERN UTAH | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
UTAH TECH AT ABILENE CHRISTIAN | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
IDAHO AT NORTHERN COLORADO | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
NORTH DAKOTA STATE AT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
EASTERN ILLINOIS AT LINDENWOOD | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
WESTERN CAROLINA AT WOFFORD | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
NORTH ARIZONA AT MONTANA STATE | 3 P.M. | ESPN+
MISSOURI AT GEORGIA | 3:30 P.M. | CBS SPORTS
FLORIDA STATE AT PITT | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
OKLAHOMA AT OKLAHOMA STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ABC
PENN STATE AT MARYLAND | 3:30 P.M. | FOX
VIRGINIA TECH AT LOUISVILLE | 3:30 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
TULANE AT EAST CAROLINA | 3:30 P.M. | ESPNU
IOWA AT NORTHWESTERN | 3:30 P.M. | PEACOCK
JAMES MADISON AT GEORGIA STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN2
MERRIMACK AT UMASS | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
ILLINOIS AT MINNESOTA | 3:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
UCF AT CINCINNATI | 3:30 P.M. | FS1
HOUSTON AT BAYLOR | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
COASTAL CAROLINA AT OLD DOMINION | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
HOWARD AT SOUTH CAROLINA STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
NORFOLK STATE AT NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
AUBURN AT VANDERBILT | 4 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
CHARLOTTE AT TULSA | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
UL MONROE AT SOUTHERN MISS | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
CAL POLY AT EASTERN WASHINGTON | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE AT LAMAR | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
MCNEESE AT SE LOUISIANA | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
TENNESSEE STATE AT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
NICHOLLS AT UIW | 4 P.M. | ESPN+
AUSTIN PEAY AT EASTERN KENTUCKY | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
CENTRAL ARKANSAS AT NORTH ALABAMA | 5 P.M. | ESPN+
CAL AT OREGON | 5:30 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
LOUISIANA TECH AT LIBERTY | 6 P.M. | CBSSN
MIDDLE TENNESSEE AT NEW MEXICO STATE | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
MARSHALL AT APPALACHIAN STATE | 6 P.M. | NFL NETWORK
WEBER STATE AT IDAHO STATE | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
KANSAS AT IOWA STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN
BYU AT WEST VIRGINIA | 7 P.M. | FS1
UTAH STATE AT SAN DIEGO STATE | 7 P.M. | FOX
GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT TEXAS STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN AT TARLETON STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
PORTLAND STATE AT UC DAVIS | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
PURDUE AT MICHIGAN | 7:30 P.M. | NBC
WASHINGTON AT USC | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
KENTUCKY AT MISSISSIPPI STATE | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
SMU AT RICE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPNU
LSU AT ALABAMA | 7:45 P.M. | CBS
MIAMI (FLA.) AT NC STATE | 8 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
SACRAMENTO STATE AT MONTANA | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
STANFORD AT WASHINGTON STATE | 9 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORKS
WESTERN KENTUCKY AT UTEP | 9 P.M. | ESPN+
OREGON STATE AT COLORADO | 10 P.M. | ESPN
BOISE STATE AT FRESNO STATE | 10 P.M. | CBSSN
UCLA AT ARIZONA | 10:30 P.M. | FS1
NFL WEEK 9
TENNESSEE TITANS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (THU) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P PRIME VIDEO
MIAMI DOLPHINS VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (FRANKFURT) 3:30P (CET) 9:30A NFLN
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT ATLANTA FALCONS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P FOX
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS 4:05P (ET) 4:05P CBS
NEW YORK GIANTS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX
DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 4:25P (ET) 4:25P FOX
BUFFALO BILLS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS 8:20P (ET) 8:20P NBC*
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT NEW YORK JETS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
TEXAS 5 ARIZONA 0 (TEXAS WINS SERIES 4-1)
PORTLAND 110 DETROIT 101
TORONTO 130 MILWAUKEE 111
ATLANTA 130 WASHINGTON 121
BOSTON 155 INDIANA 104
BROOKLYN 109 MIAMI 105
CLEVELAND 95 NEW YORK 89
NEW ORLEANS 110 OKLAHOMA CITY 106
HOUSTON 128 CHARLOTTE 119
MINNESOTA 110 DENVER 89
DALLAS 114 CHICAGO 105
UTAH 133 MEMPHIS 109
GOLDEN STATE 102 SACRAMENTO 101
LA LAKERS 130 LA CLIPPERS 125 OT
BUFFALO 5 PHILADELPHIA 2
DALLAS 4 CALGARY 3
COLORADO 4 ST. LOUIS 1
ANAHEIM 4 ARIZONA 3 OT
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
COLUMBUS 2 ATLANTA 0
NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES
TEXAS RANGERS WIN FIRST WORLD SERIES TITLE WITH 5-0 WIN OVER ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS IN GAME 5
PHOENIX (AP) Corey Seager took a mighty hack and barely connected, sending a dribbler through an open area on the left side of the infield for his team’s first hit in the seventh inning.
The Texas Rangers shortstop and World Series MVP provided plenty of power throughout a stellar October run. But it was a little good fortune that finally sparked the offense and sent the Rangers to their first World Series title.
Considering the heartache the team went through 12 years ago in one of the all-time Fall Classic gut punches, Texas was certainly due.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched six gritty innings, Mitch Garver broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the seventh and the Rangers won the first championship in their 63-season franchise history by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game 5 on Wednesday night.
Marcus Semien homered in a four-run ninth and the Rangers, held hitless for six innings by Zac Gallen, finished a record 11-0 on the road this postseason after capping the Fall Classic with three straight wins in the desert.
“Everything I’ve ever worked for is for this moment,” Semien said. “Gallen was unbelievable tonight. But we came through. Once Corey got the first hit, everybody kind of woke up. Pitching was unbelievable.”
In his first season with Texas, manager Bruce Bochy won his fourth title 13 years to the day after his first, which came in 2010 when the Giants beat the Rangers. He also won rings with San Francisco in 2012 and 2014.
“I was sitting in a recliner there in Nashville, just enjoying myself,” said the 68-year-old Bochy, who came out of retirement to take over the Rangers.
The win helped exorcise some unpleasant memories for Texas fans, who watched as their team came agonizingly close to a title in 2011, needing just one strike on two occasions before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals.
One night after the Rangers built a 10-run lead by the third inning in Game 4, they finished off baseball’s third all-wild card World Series by outlasting Arizona in a white-knuckle pitchers’ duel.
Gallen carried a no-hitter into the seventh before giving up an opposite-field single to Seager, whose weak grounder found a hole. Rangers rookie Evan Carter – all of 21 years old – followed with a double to right-center. Garver then delivered the first run, pumping his fist as a hard-hit grounder got through the middle of the infield to score Seager.
Garver was 1 for 17 at the plate in the Series before his huge hit.
With the Rangers clinging to that 1-0 lead, Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe singled off Paul Sewald to start the ninth. Jung scored on Jonah Heim’s single, and Lowe came all the way around from first base when center fielder Alek Thomas let the ball get past him for an error.
Two outs later, Semien’s two-run homer made it 5-0. It was the 13th time Texas scored at least three runs in an inning this postseason.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Eovaldi wriggled out of trouble all night before Aroldis Chapman and Josh Sborz finished it.
“I kind of joked around: I don’t know how many rabbits I have in my hat,” said Eovaldi, who improved to 5-0 with a 2.95 ERA this postseason. “I didn’t really do a great job tonight in attacking the zone. But our defense, incredible again.”
Sborz struck out four in 2 1/3 innings of one-hit relief for his first postseason save. He threw a called third strike past Ketel Marte to end it, making Texas the first team to win a World Series game despite having no hits or runs through six innings.
“We go into hostile territory everywhere we went,” Sborz said. “And we just stayed calm, did our job and played the way we played all year.”
It’s the first title for the Rangers, whose history dates back to 1961 when they were the expansion Washington Senators. They moved to Texas for the 1972 season.
Now, after five stadiums, roughly two dozen managers and 10,033 games, the Rangers are champions.
It wasn’t easy – at all.
Texas led the AL West for most of the year, but coughed up the division title on the final day of the regular season to rival Houston. The Rangers weathered an early season-ending injury to ace pitcher Jacob deGrom and a significant one during the year to Seager before red-hot slugger Adolis García and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer went down in Game 3 of the World Series.
Yet still, players like trade-deadline acquisition Jordan Montgomery, replacement closer José Leclerc and backup outfielder Travis Jankowski picked up the slack throughout for these resilient Rangers, capping a quick and impressive turnaround under general manager Chris Young after Texas lost 102 games in 2021 and went 68-94 last year for its sixth consecutive losing season.
A disheartening 1-0 defeat in the regular-season finale at Seattle left the Rangers with the No. 5 seed in the AL playoffs and sent them across the country to open the playoffs at Tampa Bay, part of a two-week trip that took them to four cities – two on each coast. But after sweeping the Rays and AL East champion Orioles, the AL’s two winningest teams, Texas got its revenge against Houston, winning a hard-fought AL Championship Series in which the road team won all seven games.
That sent the Rangers to their first World Series in 12 years.
“We’ve just got a group of winners,” Lowe said. “When the bus driver’s driving slow, we tell him, `Hey man, you know you’re driving a group of winners,’ so we believed it through and through. Maybe we struggled at home, but we got it done on the road, and we’ve got a special group.”
Finally, the Rangers had to get past the Diamondbacks, who won just 84 games during the regular season but beat the Brewers, Dodgers and Phillies in a remarkable postseason run that finally fizzled.
“I’m sorry I didn’t do my job to get us there,” manager Torey Lovullo said, pausing as his voice cracked with emotion. “But I will. We all will.”
Gallen was one of the best pitchers in the majors this season, starting for the National League in the All-Star Game. But the 28-year-old hadn’t been as sharp in the playoffs, with a 2-2 record and 5.27 ERA over five starts.
That changed on Wednesday. With some help from his defense, the bespectacled righty was at his best, mowing down the first 14 hitters he faced before walking Lowe.
Eovaldi wasn’t quite as sharp, but still matched Gallen’s zeros on the scoreboard despite walking five, his most in an outing since 2013.
The Diamondbacks had some juicy opportunities to score in the first five innings, but couldn’t convert, going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
Eovaldi made it through six, giving up four hits and striking out five on 97 pitches.
“He was a traffic cop tonight,” Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux said.
Seager, who also led the Los Angeles Dodgers to a championship in 2020, joined Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson as the only players to win two World Series MVP awards.
FOUR FOR BOCHY
Bochy is the sixth manager to win four titles, joining Casey Stengel (seven), Joe McCarthy (seven), Connie Mack (five), Walter Alston (four) and Joe Torre (four). All of them are in the Hall of Fame and when Bochy’s career is over, it seems a given he’ll be enshrined in Cooperstown as well.
MONEY WELL SPENT
The Rangers have been eyeing this moment since Dec. 1, 2021, when they committed more than a half-billion dollars to sign Seager, Semien and pitcher Jon Gray, who delivered a crucial three-inning relief performance in Game 3. Big spending doesn’t always lead to titles – just ask the Mets, Yankees and Padres this year – but for the Rangers, it worked.
Marte went 0 for 2, ending his postseason-record hitting streak at 20 games. He walked three times, though, and has reached base safely in all 21 career postseason games.
LONG AND WINDING ROAD
After baseball expanded its playoffs to 12 teams in 2022, the Rangers became the first team to win 13 postseason games en route to a World Series title. Texas also became the first club in any of the four major professional sports in North America to win 11 road games in a single postseason, according to OptaSTATS.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush – a one-time Rangers owner – sent a congratulatory message following the victory.
“I congratulate the owners, the managers and coaching staff, the front office, and the entire organization,” the statement said. “And of course, I congratulate the players of this awesome team on winning the first World Series in our club’s history. This was baseball at its finest, and Laura and I are proud of this team.”
THEN THERE WERE FIVE
Five major league franchises remain without a World Series championship: Colorado, Milwaukee, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay. The Diamondbacks won their only title in 2001.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PREVIEW: TENNESSEE TITANS (3-4) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (4-3)
DATE: Thursday, November 2, 2023 GAME TIME: 8:15 PM ET
Prime Video: Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit, Kaylee Hartung
Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Ross Tucker
SiriusXM (team name linked to SXM App) TEN: 81 or 226 PIT: 83 or 225 National: 88
ALL-TIME SERIES HISTORY
REG. SEASON: PIT leads series, 45-31 (won past 4)
POSTSEASON: PIT leads series, 3-1
THE LAST TIME …
REG. SEASON: 12/19/21: TEN 13 at PIT 19
POSTSEASON: 1/11/03 AFC-DIV: PIT 31 at TEN 34
QB WILL LEVIS (rookie) completed 19 of 29 atts. (65.5 pct.) for 238 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 130.5 rating last week, becoming 3rd player in NFL history with 4 TD passes in NFL debut (Marcus Mariota & HOFer Fran Tarkenton). Can join Steve McNair as only QBs in franchise history to win 1st 2 career starts. • RB DERRICK HENRY rushed for 101 yards last week, his 36thcareer game with 100+ rush yards, most in NFL since 2016. Aims for 3rd in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Rushed for 75 yards & TD in his last game vs. Pit. (10/25/20). Has 7 rush TDs in 6 career games on TNF, with 100+ scrimmage yards in each of past 2. Is only player in NFL with 500+ rush yards in each of past 7 seasons. • RB TYJAE SPEARS (rookie) has 55+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Ranks 5th among rookie RBs with 318 scrimmage yards. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS had 128 rec. yards & 3 rec. TDs last week, his 2nd-career 3-TD game & 13th-career game with 2+ rec. TDs. Has 125+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Has 7+ catches in 2 of 3 road games this season. Had TD catch in his last game vs. Pit. (12/25/17 w/ Hou.). Has 50+ rec. yards in 9 of 10 career games on Thursday, incl. each of his past 8. • WR NICK WESTBROOK-IKHINE had TD catch last week. • DT JEFFERY SIMMONS had 6 tackles, season-high 2 sacks & 1st FF of season in Week 8, his 4th-career game with 2+ sacks. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Pit. with PD. • DE DENICO AUTRY had 2 PD & sack last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL. • LB HAROLD LANDRY had 5 tackles & season-best 2 sacks last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ tackles, 2+ TFL & sack. • LB JACK GIBBENS had 1st-career sack in Week 8. Has 5+ tackles in each of 7 games this season.
WEEK DATE Opponent ET TV/RESULT RECORD
1 Sep. 10 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM L, 16-15 0-1
2 Sep. 17 Los Angeles Chargers 1:00 PM W, 27-24 (OT) 1-1
3 Sep. 24 at Cleveland Browns 1:00 PM L, 27-3 1-2
4 Oct. 1 Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM W, 27-3 2-2
5 Oct. 8 at Indianapolis Colts 1:00 PM L, 23-16 2-3
6 Oct. 15 Baltimore Ravens (Tottenham) 9:30 AM L, 24-16 2-4
8 Oct. 29 Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM W, 28-23 3-4
QB KENNY PICKETT aims for 4th in row with 0 INTs. Has 215+ pass yards in 3 of 4 home games this season. Has won each of his past 5 starts in primetime. • QB MITCH TRUBISKY passed for 138 yards & TD last week. Has 3 TD passes & 100+ rating in 2 of his past 3 starts on Thursday. • RB NAJEE HARRIS has 55+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5, incl. each of past 2. Has 3 TDs in 2 career games on TNF. • RB JAYLEN WARREN has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. • WR GEORGE PICKENS had 3rd TD catch of season in Week 8. Has 5+ catches & 100+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 4th in row at home with rec. TD. Aims for his 3rd in row in primetime with 75+ rec. yards. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON led team with season-high 8 catches for 85 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches & 75+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ten. with 5+ catches. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON has 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards in each of 6 career games vs. Ten. • TE CONNOR HEYWARD had career-high 5 catches last week. • LB T.J. WATT had PD & half sack in Week 8. Aims for 4th in row with PD. Has 6.5 sacks, 5 PD, 3 FR & 2 FFs in 4 home games this season. Had 1.5 sacks & FR in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ten. with sack. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 on TNF. • LB COLE HOLCOMB led team with season-high 11 tackles & had 1st FR of season last week. Aims for 4th in row with 8+ tackles. Has TFL in 2 of past 3. Had career-high 16 tackles in his last game vs. Ten. (10/9/22 w/ Was.) • S MINKAH FITZPATRICK has 9+ tackles in 4 of past 5. • S DAMONTAE KAZEE had 1st INT of season in Week 8.
WEEK DATE Opponent ET TV/RESULT RECORD
1 Sep. 10 San Francisco 49ers 1:00 PM L, 30-7 0-1
2 Sep. 18 Cleveland Browns (Mon) 8:15 PM W, 26-22 1-1
3 Sep. 24 at Las Vegas Raiders 8:20 PM W, 23-18 2-1
4 Oct. 1 at Houston Texans 1:00 PM L, 30-6 2-2
5 Oct. 8 Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM W, 17-10 3-2
7 Oct. 22 at Los Angeles Rams 4:05 PM W, 24-17 4-2
8 Oct. 29 Jacksonville Jaguars 1:00 PM L, 20-10 4-3
PITTSBURGH (AP) It took all of four quarters for Will Levis to offer a glimpse of why the Tennessee Titans were so high on him in the draft.
Throwing for four touchdowns in your debut – three of which came on the kind of downfield heaves that left scouts in awe – will do that.
Levis and the Titans (3-4) don’t have much time to prep for an encore. Tennessee visits Pittsburgh (4-3) on Thursday night with a chance to prove their electric win over Atlanta wasn’t a fluke but a sign of things to come.
It’s a game Levis circled when the schedule came out even though he was buried on the depth chart at the time. Not anymore. Ryan Tannehill is expected to miss a second straight game with a sprained right ankle, meaning Levis will run onto the Acrisure Stadium turf as the starter for now … and quite possibly for good.
“I know that their fans are going to come out, and it’s going to be a nice environment,” Levis said. “So I mean, we’re ready to handle it and just looking forward to going, taking it all in and then just do my thing.”
That “thing” is stretching the field with his arm. He’s certainly caught the attention of the Steelers, who have dominated rookie quarterbacks through the years, but also found themselves on the wrong side of a 30-6 blowout loss to Houston and second overall pick C.J. Stroud on Oct. 1.
“He throws that ball, it’s a pretty ball, gets there fast,” Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said of Levis, later adding, “he’s not afraid.”
Levis will be facing a secondary missing All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is out after injuring his hamstring in the first quarter of a loss to Jacksonville on Sunday.
The Steelers could experiment a bit with Fitzpatrick sidelined, though what happens on the back end of the defense likely depends on what happens up front, where Pittsburgh and the edge rush tandem of T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith will try to wreak their unique brand of havoc.
“You have to do something so (Levis) doesn’t feel comfortable,” Austin said.
Comfort – literally and figuratively – has been elusive for Steelers starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. The second-year starter left Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville late in the first half after taking a shot to the ribs and while he expects to play, he’s likely not close to 100%, though he stressed he doesn’t plan to use the injury as a “crutch” while the NFL’s 30th-ranked offense tries to find something – anything – to get going.
“It’s not about scripting (plays), it’s not about anything,” said Pickett, who has five touchdown passes in 200 attempts on the season, or one more than Levis had in 29 attempts against the Falcons. “It’s about us playing and being better than we’re doing right now. ”It’s not where it needs to be. It has to get better.”
TAPE ON LEVIS
While the Falcons had only tape of Levis from Tennessee’s preseason opener in the Titans’ offense, Pittsburgh has a full game to break down and study the rookie for anything to exploit. Levis knows that.
“Not that it’s going to change necessarily how I play, but just something to keep in mind,” Levis said.
Levis, matching Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (1961) and Marcus Mariota (2015 with Tennessee) by throwing four TDs for the most in a quarterback’s NFL debut, certainly gave the Titans a much-needed boost of confidence snapping a two-game skid.
Steelers rookie cornerback Joey Porter Jr. will make his second straight start and this time, it won’t be because of an injury to veteran Levi Wallace. Porter has perhaps been Pittsburgh’s best defensive back over the past month as his playing time has increased, one of the reasons he’s leapfrogged Wallace on the depth chart.
“He’s doing the things we want him to do,” Austin said. “We feel comfortable now that he’s able to handle everything. So that’s why he’s the guy moving forward.”
Porter and the rest of Pittsburgh’s secondary will have to deal with Levis and star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who hauled in three touchdown passes for the second time in his career against Atlanta.
The Titans are coming off their best performance this season after piling up six sacks. Two-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons had two, including a strip-sack, and outside linebacker Harold Landry had two as well in his best game since tearing his ACL just before the 2022 season.
Simmons credited the bye with helping the Titans’ defensive front to hit the reset button. The Titans now have 21 sacks this season. Denico Autry leads the team with five sacks followed by Simmons with 4 1/2. Landry now is up to four. Outside linebacker Arden Key has 2 1/2.
“I honestly feel like when we rushing together, no one can stop us up front,” Simmons said. “When we’re on the same page, we playing together … I honestly feel like this week we can just build off of last week.”
- Mike Vrabel is 0-2 as a head coach against the Steelers. They are one of four teams Vrabel has never defeated as head coach (also: Cardinals, Panthers and Titans). As a player, Vrabel was 3-2 against the team with whom he began his career (all with the Patriots).
- Derrick Henry has averaged 5.13 yards per carry during his career in the month of November. That is the seventh-highest average in NFL history (minimum 300 carries). Gale Sayers holds the top mark all-time (5.54).
- Will Levis’ four touchdown passes matched the NFL record for a player in his NFL debut. He matched Marcus Mariota (2015) and Fran Tarkenton (1961). The NFL record for TD passes through two games is six by Mariota in 2015.
- Mike Tomlin is 7-3 (.700) in his career against the Titans. That is tied for the second-highest winning percentage by any coach against the Titans/Oilers all-time behind Chuck Pagano (10-2, .833; minimum 10 games). Tomlin is tied with Marty Schottenheimer (14-6, .700).
- This will be T.J. Watt’s 95th career regular season game. His 86.0 career sacks are already the second most by any player in his first 95 career games. Only Reggie White had more at that point in his career (99.5).
- DeAndre Hopkins matched his career high with three touchdown catches last week. At age 31, Hopkins is the second-oldest player in franchise history with three TD catches in a game behind Drew Hill (32 years old; Week 9, 1988). The only other NFL player 31 or older with three touchdown catches in a game in the last five seasons is Travis Kelce (twice last season).
BROWNS QB DESHAUN WATSON BACK AT PRACTICE FROM SHOULDER INJURY, STARTER FOR CARDINALS GAME UNCLEAR
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson returned to practice Wednesday after being sidelined for three starts and missing most of four games with an injured right shoulder.
It’s a significant
It’s a significant step for Watson, who didn’t practice at all last week because of the injury sustained on Sept. 24.
Coach Kevin Stefanski said Watson would be limited in practice as the Browns (4-3) begin preparing on the field for the Arizona Cardinals (1-7), who have their own quarterback carousel.
Stefanski isn’t ready to make a decision on his starting quarterback for this week. He said that if Watson, who is dealing with a strained rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, can’t play, backup P.J. Walker would face the Cardinals on Sunday.
Walker has made two starts in place of Watson, who has played in just 10 of a possible 24 games since being acquired by Cleveland in 2022. Walker threw three interceptions — the last with two minutes left — in last week’s 24-20 loss at Seattle.
Arizona’s QB situation also is in flux. Kyler Murray could return soon after being sidelined following knee surgery. Earlier this week, first-year coach Jonathan Gannon said rookie Clayton Tune would start, but nothing is concrete, as that came before the team traded backup Joshua Dobbs to Minnesota before Monday’s deadline.
BEARS FIRE RUNNING BACKS COACH DAVID WALKER, LEAVING EBERFLUS DOWN 2 ASSISTANTS
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears fired running backs coach David Walker on Wednesday, leaving coach Matt Eberflus down two assistants after defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned in September and raising more questions about the team’s culture.
Walker was in his second season with the Bears. He was hired after Eberflus replaced Matt Nagy following the 2021 season.
“As the head coach, we are building a program,” Eberflus said. “We have standards to uphold as a staff and organization both on and off the field. And those standards were not met.”
The Bears are last in the NFC North at 2-6 and 5-20 in two seasons under Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles.
They lost 14 consecutive games before winning at Washington in Week 5. They play this week in a stadium where they haven’t come out on top since 1991 when they visit New Orleans, though they did beat the Saints in Baton Rouge, La., in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina.
They’ll again have Tyson Bagent, an undrafted rookie from a Division II school, at quarterback with Justin Fields injured and they’ll be down two assistants.
As bad as all that looks, Eberflus was adamant about his team’s culture.
“The culture in our building is outstanding,” he said. “The guys work hard every single day. The relationship piece is there. We care about each other. We’re working diligently to get this thing turned. We’re 2-2 in our last four. One game was real close, we had a chance at that one. We really feel we’re turning the corner there, and we are excited about this week. But to answer your question, our culture is awesome.”
Eberflus offered few details about Walker’s situation, declining to say if his dismissal was for behavior reasons and if it had anything to do with his coaching ability. He also would not say if he felt blindsided by Walker’s situation or the one involving Williams, who resigned Sept. 20, saying he needed to “take care of my health and my family.”
Eberflus did say there were no red flags during the phone calls and interviews leading up to Walker’s hiring. He also said the Bears “take pride” in their vetting process.
As for whether this reflects poorly on his leadership?
“I would say that it where it is right now,” Eberflus said. “We took action with the situation that we’ve had and that’s where it is.”
The Bears led the NFL in rushing last season with a franchise-record 3,014 yards behind quarterback Justin Fields (1,143 yards) and running backs David Montgomery (801) and Khalil Herbert (731). They are sixth in the league this season even though Montgomery signed with Detroit in March and Herbert and rookie Roschon Johnson have dealt with injuries.
Eberflus took over defensive play-calling duties when Williams stepped down. The Bears eventually hired former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow as a defensive analyst in mid-October.
Assistant quarterbacks and wide receivers coach Omar Young takes over as running backs coach. He has worked with running backs in previous stops at the NFL and college levels.
Besides raising more questions about what exactly is going on at Halas Hall, Walker’s dismissal steered attention away from the trade Chicago made with Washington for pass rusher Montez Sweat on Tuesday. Throw in the Bears dealing receiver Chase Claypool to Miami on Oct. 6, and it has been a chaotic season.
“We’re all disappointed,” Eberflus said. “It’s never good when this has to happen. Certainly a disappointment. But I do know this, adversity does make you stronger in your personal life, in your team life, it does make you stronger. It’s just how you come through it. It’s how you respond to it.”
TYREEK HILL VOTED THE NO. 1 WIDE RECEIVER IN AP’S NFL TOP 5 RANKINGS
Tyreek Hill hasn’t looked back since leaving Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s still leaving cornerbacks in the dust in Miami.
The four-time All-Pro was voted No. 1 wide receiver at the midpoint of the season by The Associated Press.
A panel of nine AP Pro Football Writers ranked the top five players at wide receiver, making their selections based on current status through Week 8. First-place votes were worth 10 points. Second through fifth-place votes were worth 5, 3, 2 and 1 points.
Hill, who finished third behind Justin Jefferson and Davante Adams in the preseason poll, received six first-place votes. Jefferson got two first-place votes and Cooper Kupp got one.
Twelve receivers got votes, including rookie Puka Nacua, D.J. Moore, Ja’Marr Chase, CeeDee Lamb, Brandon Aiyuk, Mike Evans and Adams.
Hill has 1,014 yards receiving yards this season, becoming the first player in 62 years and fourth player in NFL history with more than 1,000 yards in his team’s first eight games.
Hill’s 2,724 yards receiving since joining the Dolphins last season are the most by any player in his first 25 games with a team.
1. TYREEK HILL, Miami Dolphins: After posting career highs in receptions (119) and yards receiving (1,710) in his first season with Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, Hill has 61 catches for 1,014 yards with eight TDs in only eight games. He’s now had six 1,000-yard receiving seasons in eight years, including four in a row.
2. JUSTIN JEFFERSON, Minnesota Vikings: Jefferson, the youngest player in NFL history to lead the league in yards and receptions last season, has missed the past three games with a hamstring injury. Still, he received two first-place votes. He has 36 catches for 571 yards and three TDs in five games.
3. A.J. BROWN, Philadelphia Eagles: Brown breaks into the top five after not making the preseason poll. He has 60 catches and is second to Hill with 939 yards with five TDs. Brown is the first player in NFL history with at least 125 yards receiving in six consecutive games. Brown got four second-place votes and was only selected on five of nine ballots.
4. STEFON DIGGS, Buffalo Bills: Diggs also breaks into the top five after not making the preseason poll. Diggs leads the NFL with 64 receptions and has 748 yards receiving and six TDs. He received two second-place votes.
5. COOPER KUPP, Los Angeles Rams: The 2021 AP Offensive Player of the Year missed the first four games with a hamstring injury but earned the fifth spot by receiving one first-place vote. He has 21 catches for 316 yards and one TD in four games since returning.
FALCONS BENCH RIDDER, ANNOUNCE HEINICKE AS STARTER AGAINST VIKINGS
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Taylor Heinicke has moved past turnover-plagued Desmond Ridder as the Atlanta Falcons’ starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Coach Arthur Smith said Wednesday the decision to start Heinicke was made “with all the variables considering everything.” Smith would not commit to Heinicke keeping the job past Sunday.
“Really our focus is short term and what gives us the best chance for Sunday,” he said.
The move comes with the Falcons (4-4) tied with New Orleans for first place in the NFC South.
Heinicke took over in the second half of last week’s 28-23 loss at Tennessee. At the time, Smith insisted that benching Ridder was not a performance-based move. Ridder was evaluated for a concussion and the second-year quarterback remained on the sideline after being cleared.
Smith said Wednesday that Ridder is “clear and available” and will be Heinicke’s top backup against the Vikings.
When asked if Heinicke could win the job for more than one week by playing well against Minnesota, Smith said, “right now we’re focused on Minnesota.”
Ridder continued to be plagued by turnovers and the offense struggled in the first half against Tennessee. He was sacked five times and lost another fumble — his 10th turnover in the past five games — against the Titans. The Falcons managed only 89 total yards, 35 net passing yards and five first downs in the first half with Ridder.
Heinicke led the Falcons on four scoring drives — two touchdowns and two field goals — while completing 12 of 21 passes for 171 yards.
“A lot of things we had seen in Taylor that we saw on Sunday,” Smith said, referring to Heinicke’s “unique ability to extend plays.”
“This isn’t his first rodeo,” Smith said.
Following Sunday’s game, Heinicke indicated he did not expect to be named the starter.
“This is Desmond’s team,” Heinicke said. “Obviously there were a couple of hiccups here and there, but he’s progressing every week.”
The announcement Wednesday proved the Falcons’ commitment to Ridder has changed, possibly for more than one week.
“Lot of positive qualities in Taylor,” Smith said. “He’s been a great fit here and that’s why we brought him in here.”
Ridder, a third-round draft pick from Cincinnati in 2022, has completed 65.4% of his passes, going 157 of 240 for 1,701 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions.
Heinicke, 30, signed a $20 million, two-year deal with the Falcons on March 14. It was a homecoming for Heinicke, who was born in Lawrenceville and played at Collins Hills High School in the Atlanta suburbs. He started 24 games the last two seasons with Washington.
Heinicke has experience taking over a starting job during a season. He started the 2020 season on Washington’s practice squad before being promoted to the active roster in late December and starting in the wild-card round of the playoffs, a loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay, after Alex Smith was ruled out with an injury.
In 2021, Heinicke began the season as a backup for Washington. He took over the top spot again after an injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Heinicke made nine starts, passing for 1,859 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.
For his career, Heinicke has completed 63.7% of his passes, with 35 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in 34 games, including 25 starts.
REPORT: RAIDERS BENCHING GAROPPOLO, MAKING O’CONNELL THEIR STARTER
The Las Vegas Raiders aren’t done making significant changes.
The Raiders will start rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell moving forward instead of veteran Jimmy Garoppolo, a source told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
The quarterback switch
The quarterback switch is just the latest major development to rock the organization. Head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were fired just after 12:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning after going 3-5 to start their second season with the team. Offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi was also reportedly terminated.
Garoppolo had ties to McDaniels and Ziegler dating back to their time with the New England Patriots. He signed a three-year, $72.8-million contract with Las Vegas as a free agent this past offseason, replacing longtime Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
However, Garoppolo has struggled mightily under center with his new team. He’s thrown seven touchdowns to a league-leading nine interceptions and has struggled with his accuracy.
His final start came in Monday night’s loss to the Detroit Lions where he missed multiple throws to star wide receiver Davante Adams. He completed just 47.6% of his passes in the defeat, his lowest mark in a game since 2020.
O’Connell was selected in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s appeared in two games this season, completing just over 65% of his throws for one touchdown to two interceptions.
COUSINS HAS SURGERY ON HIS TORN ACHILLES TENDON. VIKINGS HAVE YET TO REVEAL A RETURN TIMETABLE
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had surgery Wednesday to repair his torn right Achilles tendon.
The Vikings announced the procedure by Dr. Chris Coetzee at Twin Cities Orthopedics went as planned. They have not revealed a timetable for his return to full strength, but Cousins will miss the remainder of the season and his rehabilitation will certainly stretch well into next year. Cousins was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, when the Vikings acquired quarterback Joshua Dobbs in a trade with Arizona.
Rookie Jaren Hall will start Sunday at Atlanta in place of Cousins, whose first career injury came in the fourth quarter at Green Bay last week. His foot stuck in the grass after he planted it to move up in the pocket in attempt to avoid a sack.
Cousins is currently tied for the NFL lead in touchdown passes (18), second in passing yards (2,331) and third in passer rating (103.8).
PACKERS GM UNSURE IF JORDAN LOVE LONG-TERM FUTURE OF FRANCHISE
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Seven games into Aaron Rodgers’ first season as the Green Bay Packers starting quarterback back in 2008, they gave him a contract extension. At the same point in Jordan Love’s first season as QB1, they can’t say for sure whether he’s the long-term future of the franchise.
Love still has another year left on his deal, so it’s not paramount from a contractual situation. But they would rather it not take more than this season to know if he’s the answer.
“I hope not,” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said Wednesday during his annual mid-season press conference. “I think we’ve got 10 games left. These are going to be very important 10 games.”
The Packers started 2-1 under Love, and he had seven touchdowns and just one interception to that point. Since then, the Packers have lost four straight, and Love has thrown four touchdowns and seven interceptions.
“I think he’s done a lot of really good things,” Gutekunst said. “Really like the way he’s responded to the adversity, how he’s led the team. Again, we’ve got to be better as a unit and I expect that to happen over the next 10 games. And I think that we’re going through some things that we knew we would go through. We haven’t had the results that we want, but I do like the way guys are responding to things.”
The offense’s struggles in the first half have crippled the team. Opponents have outscored Green Bay 73-9 combined in the first halves of the last five games. Its minus-59 first-half point differential is tied for the second worst in the NFL. The Packers are plus 42 in the second half, which is second best in the league.
Gutekunst described Love’s play as “a little up and down.”
“Like our entire offense, right?” he said. “I think it’s been a work in progress for the entire offense. There’s been glimpses, particularly in the second halves of really good football. But we have not started very well. So, I think that group, that unit as a whole has a lot of work to do. But at the same time, they’re kind of committed to the process, believe in that group of guys and expect better results coming.”
Gutekunst surrounded Love with the youngest roster in the NFL and did not do anything to change that before Tuesday’s trade deadline. That’s no more evident than at the pass-catching positions, where between receivers and tight ends the Packers have nine players in either their first or second seasons in the NFL. Fourth-year tight end Josiah Deguara is the only receiver or tight end with more than two years of experience.
Love ranks last in completion rate (57.7%) among the 32 qualifying quarterbacks, just behind the Jets’ Zach Wilson (58.3%). The Packers rank 25th in total yards per game and 21st in passing yards per game.
“When the group as a whole is not functioning the way it should function, then it’s hard to evaluate anybody,” Gutekunst said. “At the same time, it’s on us to get that right so we can move forward and evaluate the guys we have in that room. But yeah, when we’re not clicking it’s tough to evaluate anything.”
Gutekunst’s comments came two days after coach Matt LaFleur said it’s been difficult to evaluate Love to this point.
“I think in order to do that, I think everybody’s got to play better around him, quite frankly,” LaFleur said Monday. “Are there some things he can do better? Absolutely. I think he’d be the first to tell you. Are there some things we can do as a staff to help our guys? Absolutely. And then, when there are plays there to be made, we’ve got to make the plays.”
While Love spent three seasons as Rodgers’ backup, Gutekunst said he has evaluated him as a first-year player.
Gutekunst in the offseason signed Love to a contract extension that is worth up to $22.5 million through the 2024 season. It was in place of exercising the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. Rodgers also took over in his fourth year, but at that time there was not a fifth-year option in contracts of first-round picks, so Rodgers entered his first season as the starter in the final year of his original contract.
The Packers appear headed for a top-10 draft pick this offseason unless they can turn things around beginning with Sunday’s game against the Rams. Tuesday’s trade of Rasul Douglas to the Bills along with a fifth-round pick got them a 2024 third-round pick in return. It means the Packers currently own five picks in the first three rounds, which gives them plenty of flexibility if they need to pick another quarterback.
“I really do believe in the group in that building and the coaching staff, and I think big things are ahead,” Gutekunst said. “It’s just going, we’ve got to get through these things. We’ve got to learn from ’em. We’ve got to stay grounded through the process and if we do that I think the results will come.”
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
BIG 12 UNVEILS 16-TEAM CONFERENCE FOOTBALL MATCHUPS THROUGH 2027
A new era began in the Big 12 on Wednesday with the unveiling of the 2024-2027 conference football matchups for its 16 teams.
Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah arrive in the wake of the Pac-12’s demise, joining 2023 arrivals BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston.
Gone to the SEC are Texas and Oklahoma, two cornerstones of the original Big 12 that formed in 1994 and formally began in 1996.
The Big 12 said this schedule, featuring nine conference games, prioritizes geography, historic matchups and rivalries as well as competitive balance. Each team will play every other at least once home and away — some over three seasons, others in all four.
Matchups in 2024 that were played in 2023 will not repeat at the same site.
The Big 12 joins the Big Ten in continuing to play nine conference games. The SEC and ACC both have adopted an eight-game league schedule for 2024.
The schedule brings new annual rivalries, an issue with the departure of Texas-OU, the league’s marquee matchup, while trying to make geographic sense — a challenge in a league that now spans the country.
Utah’s arrival means the Big 12 reunites a heated rivalry with BYU, marking the first time since 2010 that it’s a conference matchup for a game that has been played 101 times, last in 2021 as an early season matchup.
Arizona and Arizona State also import their Territorial Cup rivalry that dates to 1899, with those marking the only recurring game on each team’s league schedule for all four years of this slate.
Game dates will be announced by the Big 12 at a later date. Utah’s 2024 game against Baylor, which was previously scheduled, will remain a non-conference matchup on Sept. 9.
The Big 12 will compete as a 16-team conference for the first time in 2024. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah will become members in the summer of 2024 joining Baylor, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
Colorado, the Big 12’s prodigal son, was a charter member of the original league before helping to set off the first round of the league’s realignment, when the Buffaloes departed for the Pac-12 following the 2010 season.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW TOP 25: #7 MARQUETTE
|2022-23:||29-7, 17-3 (1st Big East)|
|Lost NCAA Second Round|
|Coach:||SHAKA SMART (3rd Season)|
|Homecourt:||FISERV FORUM (17,385)|
|Key Departures:||OLIVIER-MAXENCE PROSPER (12.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg)|
|Key Newcomers:||TRE NORMAN (freshman, Worcester Academy, MA)|
|AL AMADOU (freshman, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA)|
|ZAIDE LOWERY (freshman, La Lumiere, MO)|
|CAEDIN HAMILTON (freshman, St. Joseph HS, CA)|
FROM THE COACH
“I thought we had special relationships building. We could sense it in the spring. People were critical, we need to do this or that in the portal — even our own fans. But we did it our way and prioritized our guys.”
In the spring following the 2022 NCAA Tournament, Shaka Smart had a decision to make.
He would be losing three starters and four of his top seven players from a team that was one-and-done in both the Big East and NCAA tournaments and finished 19-13 overall — smack in the middle of the Big East standings.
Six players were coming back from that rotation. Three talented freshmen were joining the program. Should he dive into the transfer portal to recruit over the players that he had brought into the program and rebuild the way everyone else in America rebuilds? Or should he invest in the guys that were already on the roster, as players and as people, and trust his staff’s ability to identify and develop talent?
We all know what happened from there. Marquette didn’t bring in a single Division I transfer. They won the Big East regular-season title and the Big East Tournament. Tyler Kolek was named Big East Player of the Year. Olivier-Maxence Prosper went from an afterthought to a first-round pick. And Smart decided that he would do it all over again this offseason.
The Golden Eagles played with a nine-man rotation a season ago. Eight of those nine players return, and all three of the new additions are freshmen.
“It’s for our guys to feel like there is a genuine commitment to them, to their games and to their growth as people,” Smart said. “I think if our guys feel that, there are powerful downstream effects with winning.”
ROAD TO SUCCESS
If Marquette is going to repeat as Big East champions this season, it’s going to start with Kolek, arguably the best point guard in all of college basketball.
A former transfer from George Mason, Kolek went from being a slick passer that had moments in his first season with Marquette to the unquestioned leader of the program. “All the things that matter to us as coaches, he has,” Smart said. “Mental toughness, the willingness to sacrifice, communication, resiliency, who you are as a teammate.”
And, oh by the way, he also happens to be a basketball junkie that is one of the best passers in the country. He thrives in ball screens, he’s much improved as a shooter, and despite looking like he showed up at the Fiserv Forum because he got lost on his way to a frat party, he’s an underrated defender whose willingness to accept mismatches allows Smart’s defensive game plans to be successful.
Kolek will be joined in the backcourt by Kam Jones, an electrifying scorer that Smart is counting on to take a big step forward as a junior. “He had a really good season, but he’s capable of way more,” Smart said.
What does way more look like?
Maturing defensively. Defining his voice as a leader. Being a more consistent presence on defense. But, most importantly for an offensive savant, he needs to become an elite scorer, not just a good scorer — His 46/36/66 shooting line needs to be closer to 50/40/90.
Stevie Mitchell is the third member of last year’s perimeter trio, and he is one of the best on-ball defenders in the Big East. “His toughness is off the charts,” Smart said, adding that Mitchell has spent the summer “working his butt off” as a shooter and creator offensively. Smart is also excited about what Sean Jones can provide as a sophomore after playing the second half of last season with a wrist that required offseason surgery.
Up front, things start with Oso Ighodaro, who is to Marquette what Draymond Green was to the peak Warriors. At 6-9, Ighodaro is a terrific physical presence that allows Smart to run some creative defensive schemes. He’s also a superb passer that can make plays off the bounce. He’s the kind of point center that modernizes Marquette offensively. He has a chance to be a first round pick next June.
Behind him is Ben Gold, a talented Australian sophomore that showed flashes of brilliance last season. “Right now, I think he’s better than he thinks he is,” Smart said. But at 6-11 with 3-point range and the ability to put the ball on the floor and dunk on a weakside defender, he’s a boost of confidence away from being really good.
Marquette’s freshmen will push for playing time too. Tre Norman and Zaide Lowery are talented guards, while Al Amadou is an athletic 4-man that has a very high ceiling. Late commit Caedin Hamilton is a 6-9 forward.
It’s great that Marquette is bringing back eight of their nine rotation pieces.
What isn’t ideal is that the one player they lost was the most talented player on the roster in Prosper.
“He started every game and guarded the best guys in our league,” Smart said. “That void is not filled by one guy. That’s not how we go about things, and that void in college basketball is one of the most exciting things for a young player. You want more, you’re ready for more and now you have the chance to step into that.”
The two players that will be tasked, at least on paper, with competing for that final starting spot will be David Joplin and Chase Ross, both of whom have a chance to be really good and neither of whom do the things Prosper did so well.
Joplin is an absolute bucket-getter. He’s one of the most dangerous scorers in the Big East — the kind of guy that can rip off four or five straight 3s. “He had games where he was our best offensive weapon,” Smart said. But he’s a guy that needs to take a step forward on the defensive end of the floor.
Ross is on the other end of the spectrum. He’s built like a bulldozer and should be ready to accept the defensive assignments that are thrown his way. But he’s not the offensive threat that Joplin is — he probably isn’t even the same kind of offensive weapon that Prosper was — and while Prosper was 6-7 with a 7-1 wingspan, Ross is all of 6-4.
Point guard is the most important position in college basketball. Marquette has that covered. The 4-man is the second-most important position. Having a guy like Prosper — switchable and an offensive threat from the perimeter — is hugely valuable, and there just isn’t a guy like that on this roster.
Marquette’s season will hinge on what they can be on the defensive end of the floor.
There is no worry about their ability to score. According to KenPom, they finished last season seventh nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency and first in the Big East, a league with three top 10 and five top 25 offensive teams. The guys they bring back are going to improve, and they’re only going to get more lethal with Joplin playing more minutes.
But when thinking about Marquette in 2023-24, it’s hard not to remember Baylor in 2022-23. The Bears were elite offensively, as good as the team that won the title in 2021, but with three smaller guards and a 4-man that was anything but Mark Vital, they struggled to get stops and finished the season as a 3 seed that got bounced by Creighton in the second round of the Big Dance.
That Baylor team ranked outside the top 100 in adjusted defensive efficiency. If that’s what Marquette ends up being on the defensive end of the floor, it’s hard to see them being a real Final Four threat. If they’re right around the top 50 like they were last season, they could end up hanging three banners next spring.
Let’s put this all into context?
By saying “Marquette’s season will hinge on” this, that or the third, we’re talking about whether this is a top 15 team or a Final Four team. Is this a group that is a threat to win the Big East or is this a group that is a threat to win the national title?
Because the floor is incredibly high here.
To reiterate, they are bringing back eight guys from a team that won the Big East regular season title by two games and beat national champion UConn in the semifinals en route to a Big East tournament title.
And after getting upset in the second round of last year’s Big Dance, they have had a full offseason of bitter aftertaste. Don’t bet against them.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW TOP 25: #6 CREIGHTON
|2022-23:||24-13, 14-6 (3rd Big East)|
|Lost NCAA Elite Eight|
|Coach:||GREG MCDERMOTT (14th Season)|
|Homecourt:||CHI HEALTH CENTER (18,320)|
|Key Departures:||RYAN NEMBHARD (12.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.8 apg)|
|ARTHUR KALUMA (11.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg)|
|SHEREEF MITCHELL (1.8 ppg)|
|Key Newcomers:||STEVEN ASHWORTH (transfer, Utah State|
|ISAAC TRAUDT (transfer, Virginia)|
|JOHNATHAN LAWSON (transfer, Memphis)|
|JOSIAH DOTZLER (freshman, Bellevue West HS, NE)|
|STERLING KNOX (freshman, Red Rock Academy, NV)|
|BROCK VICE (freshman, Houston HS, TN)|
FROM THE COACH
“It’s been motivational for the returning guys because we were so close to the Final Four. We talk all the time about the importance of one possession, and a game like that, everyone remembers the last couple of possessions.”
The last five months have been a bit of a roller coaster for the Creighton basketball program.
It started with the way last season ended: a phantom foul with almost no time left on the clock in a tied game in the Elite Eight. It continued with two of Creighton’s best players entering the transfer portal and ultimately leaving the program. And it ended with the Bluejays unexpectedly getting all three of the players who tested the NBA Draft waters back, while adding two talented pieces from the portal.
“It was really important that we replace [Ryan Nembhard and Arthur Kaluma] with the right guys,” McDermott said, and he believes that they were successful.
This means that the Bluejays, who at one point looked like they were going to have to go through a full rebuild this season, will compete for the Big East title once again.
All things being equal, it’s hard to complain about that.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
The biggest reason that Creighton will enter the season as a team with a chance to win the Big East is the biggest player on their roster.
Ryan Kalkbrenner’s return to Omaha means that, for the third straight season, Creighton will have one of the most impactful defenders in the country. The Bluejays have been the best defensive team in the Big East over the past two seasons. They finished second in the league standings in 2021. Kalkbrenner is why. He’s an elite rim protector that allows Creighton to be able to get out and pressure on the perimeter without the fear of getting beaten to the rim for a layup, and he’s developed into a terrific ball-screen defender as well.
With Kalkbrenner in the middle, there are no easy buckets in Omaha. Trey Alexander is a solid defender as well, and arguably the best perimeter defender McDermott has ever coached. He is the guy on the roster with the highest ceiling, and is a terrific on-ball defender that has length and switchability at 6-4. He developed his 3-point shot quite a bit last season — from 28% to 41% — and is now working on his ability to get the shot off quicker, Alexander’s best skill is 1-on-1 shot creation and execution in the mid-range.
“I’m not a big believer in mid-range shots unless he’s shooting them,” McDermott said.
While there are some defensive concerns elsewhere on the roster, Kalkbrenner and Alexander will ensure that the culture of toughness and defensive intensity remains.
“Both Ryan and Trey went through the draft process,” McDermott said, “and would have stayed in for a guaranteed deal.”
The same can be said for Baylor Scheierman, who was not actually supposed to be back in college this season.
“The plan when recruiting him was to get him for one year and then he’s gone to the league,” McDermott said. “So [his return] was a nice surprise.”
Scheierman’s ability as a long-range shooter and creative passer makes him a really interesting weapon that can be schemed into being a threat offensively. “I thought he had a really good year last year, but he didn’t shoot it as well as I thought he would,” McDermott said. The shooting success will come. His ability to play on the ball, off the ball, and run off of screens is uncommon, and McDermott is excited about the prospect of having him on the floor alongside Alexander and Utah State transfer Steven Ashworth.
Creighton targeted Ashworth early in the process before landing his commitment in April. Just as Scheierman did last year, Ashworth arrives in Omaha on the heels of a season in which he averaged over 16.0 points and 4.0 assists while shooting better than 43% from 3.
“He was the best point guard in the portal for us in terms of how it fits our team,” McDermott said.
Ashworth’s fit comes down to his ability as a shooter, which will allow Alexander to play on or off the ball. The backcourt trio of Ashworth, Alexander and Scheierman is as versatile and as dangerous offensively as any that you’ll find in college basketball this season.
When you consider fit within a system and the way that a coaching staff can take advantage of the talent at their disposal, Creighton’s top four is as good as any top four in America.
That much is inarguable.
Where there are deserved question marks is with Creighton’s depth. Francisco Farabello is likely going to be the first guard off the bench for the Bluejays this season, and while he has four years of experience at the high-major level, he’s never been a guy that’s averaged more than a handful of points.
Behind Farabello, Creighton has a pair of freshmen in Josiah Dotzler and Sterling Knox, both of whom will take some time and some seasoning. They also added Johnathan Lawson (Memphis), a 6-7 wing with a 7-1 wingspan, who has the athleticism to be a defensive stopper. However, he’s coming off of a season where he averaged just 3.4 points in a lesser league than the Big East.
Up front, Kalkbrenner’s backup is Fredrick King, who McDermott feels did a “great job” in Kalkbrenner’s absence last year. He posted back-to-back double-doubles against Arizona State and Marquette, and he is athletic enough to cause real havoc with the pressure he puts on the rim. The big question is whether or not King is going to be good enough to force McDermott to play him 10-12 minutes. If he is, that could help save Kalkbrenner’s legs down the stretch of the season.
Creighton does have some depth at the 4, but part of that is a direct result of not having a clear-cut front-runner for the job — more on that in a minute.
When Kalkbrenner went down with mono last season, Creighton lost six straight games, and a single injury or illness to one of their top four players could do the same this year.
The most important position in college basketball is the point guard.
The second-most important position in college basketball is the 4-man. Finding a player that is skilled enough to score on the perimeter, tough enough to score in the paint and versatile enough to be a switchable defender is not an easy task, especially when the NBA is doling out eight figures in guaranteed cash for those guys.
That is what Arthur Kaluma was, at least on paper, and while it can be debated whether or not he was the right fit for this Creighton program, he filled the role well enough that the Jays won 24 games, finished third in a loaded Big East and came a possession away from their first ever Final Four.
Finding an answer there is going to be the most important part of McDermott’s team-building this season, and it looks like there are going to be three players that will fight for minutes: Mason Miller, Isaac Traudt and Jasen Green.
Traudt, a transfer that redshirted last season with Virginia, is “one of the best shooters we’ve had on our teams,” McDermott said, comparing him favorably to Creighton legend Ethan Wragge. “It’s a matter of getting him accustomed to our system, what we do is much different than UVA.”
Getting Traudt to defend at the level required in this new era of Creighton basketball will be important as well. That’s where redshirt freshman Green enters into the conversation. He’s the best defender of the group, and he spent last season learning the system.
Miller, however, may end up being the best fit. “He’s been the most consistent,” McDermott said. Known as a skinny, athletic shooter, the 6-9 Miller has “made a huge jump defensively and on the backboards.”
It may end up being 4-man-by-committee, but success for whoever ends up on the floor is going to determine Creighton’s ceiling.
There is an argument that last year’s Creighton team was the best Creighton team that Greg McDermott has had in his 13 seasons in Omaha.
It was elite defensively. It was very good offensively. And it was one ill-timed bout of mono away from being a 30-win team and top-three seed in the dance.
And here’s the crazy part: despite losing their starting point guard and their starting power forward, this year’s Creighton team has a chance to be better than last year. The pieces fit together very well, and the level of shooters that are on the roster will create the kind of space that McDermott coached teams thrive on.
The top of the Big East is a beast. Marquette and UConn will show up in preseason top five polls. Villanova looks like they’ll be a top 15 team. Providence and Xavier will show up in preseason top 25s. St. John’s has Rick Pitino. Georgetown has Ed Cooley.
It’s loaded with quality teams. And Creighton is as good as any of them.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW TOP 25: #5 HOUSTON
|2022-23:||33-4, 17-1 (1st American)|
|NCAA Tournament – Sweet 16|
|Coach:||KELVIN SAMPSON (10th season)|
|Homecourt:||FERTITTA CENTER (7,035)|
|Key Departures:||JARACE WALKER (11.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg)|
|MARCUS SASSER (16.8 ppg, 3.1 apg, 2.8 rpg)|
|TRAMON MARK (10.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg)|
|REGGIE CHANEY (3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg)|
|Key Newcomers:||LJ CRYER (transfer, Baylor)|
|DAMIAN DUNN (transfer, Temple)|
|JOSEPH TUGLER (freshman, Cypress Falls HS, TX)|
|JACOB MCFARLAND (freshman, Rancho Verde HS, CA)|
|3||Ramon Walker Jr.||G||6-4||Jr.||15.2||2.9||2.5||0.4||0.2||0.0||35.7||26.7|
FROM THE COACH
“It’s not like we’ve been playing in [a horrible] conference. We advanced in the NCAA Tournament. We’ve beaten Ohio State, Arkansas, LSU, Arizona, Illinois. Everyone has selective statistical memory. We’ve been a really good program.”
Kelvin Sampson is no stranger to the Big 12.
Before he landed at Indiana, the program that put him on the map for all the wrong reasons and sent him to NBA benches for a half-decade, Sampson spent a dozen years in the conference as the head coach of Oklahoma. He knows firsthand what Houston is getting into as they leave the American, and he knows how to win in the Big 12.
“When I got to Oklahoma, Norm Stewart was at Missouri, Eddie Sutton was at Oklahoma State. Roy Williams, Bobby Knight, Billy Gillispie,” Sampson recalled. “The difference isn’t at the top of the league. Oklahoma finished in last place [in 2023] and beat Alabama by 30.”
Sampson isn’t going to be caught off guard, and if we’ve learned anything about Houston basketball over the course of the last six years, it’s that the Cougars are never going to back down from a challenge. They’ve won six AAC regular season and tournament titles since 2018, and they’ve reached the second weekend of the past four NCAA Tournaments, including a Final Four run in 2021.
“Our kids are excited about coming in to compete,” he said. “There was a pop in their steps all summer, and our kids don’t back down from anybody.”
Sampson continued: “We know that we’re going into the best basketball conference in the nation, but we want to add to it. We’re not going to be asking for selfies and autographs.”
ROAD TO SUCCESS
At this point, we all know what Houston is as a basketball program, right?
They’re going to be tough, they’re going to be physical, they’re going to pound the offensive glass, and they’re going to be absolutely miserable to run offense against. This is who they are. It’s what they recruit to, and it’s what they are going to be again this season.
While the team’s potential All-Americans play in the backcourt, it would be wrong to begin a preview of the Houston Cougars anywhere other than the frontline. Sampson expects senior J’Wan Roberts to follow in the footsteps of Fabian White, Justin Gorham and Devin Davis.
“Every coach has favorites,” Sampson said of Roberts, who he called the most improved player in the American last season. “He doesn’t know he’s good — you have to remind him.”
Roberts is the typical Houston frontcourt piece. Clocking in at 6-7 and 230 pounds with a huge wingspan, he’s a relentless offensive rebounder and efficient around-the-rim scorer. A native of the Virgin Islands, Roberts didn’t grow up playing basketball the way that American kids do, so it took him time. But with Jarace Walker gone, Sampson is counting on Roberts for a big year.
The guy who Sampson hopes will take the biggest step forward is Ja’Vier Francis. A 6-8 sophomore with a 7-5 wingspan, Francis is an elite rim protector that has to learn how to play aggressively without fouling.
“With the way that the portal is trending, guys like Ja’Vier get lost,” Sampson said. “We have no idea how good the guys we already have are, because they need to play. At some point, he’s gotta get on the floor.”
He will this season, that’s for sure, and Sampson is counting on him to take a major leap.
The frontcourt minutes will be rounded out by a trio of freshmen: JoJo Tugler, Ced Lath and Jacob McFarland. Tugler is the most advanced, a 6-7, 215-pound big that has a 7-6 wingspan. He will be J’Wan Roberts after J’Wan Roberts is gone. He’ll play a lot.
Lath and McFarland are works in progress for different reasons. McFarland lost 17 pounds last winter due to an illness and is still getting his body into shape. Meanwhile, the 6-10, 260-pound Lath has a lot of potential but has only been playing basketball for five years after growing up in Ivory Coast.
It’s the first time since he’s been at Houston that Sampson has had three freshmen bigs competing for minutes — and given the relative inexperience of Francis, questions will be asked.
But if Kelvin Sampson believes he has enough talent to compete in the toughest league in America, hasn’t he earned the benefit of the doubt?
This is not the first time that Houston will be heading into a season having lost a significant number of starters, but it is the first time that it will be looking to replace a pair of first round picks in Jarace Walker and Marcus Sasser.
Houston is going to be reliant on its perimeter pieces to create a lot of offense this season. While there is quality available, there are valid reasons to be hesitant buying all the way in.
It starts with LJ Cryer, who averaged 15 points at Baylor this past season before transferring to Houston in an effort to play more point. Cryer is a known quantity offensively — he scored 3,488 points in high school, good for fifth all-time in Texas — but Sasser was even better on that end, and he was also an elite defender. Cryer does not come in with the same rep on defense, and defensive effort is non-negotiable at Houston.
“I’m hard-headed when it comes to coaching defense, I don’t negotiate effort and attitude,” Sampson said. “It’s where he has to be better, but he played for a great defensive coach. We played Baylor. They massacred us in the Final Four, and that team was better defensively than offensively. I’m optimistic L.J. is going to improve because he wants to.”
Jamal Shead will also be asked to play a bigger role as a senior. He was the MVP of Houston’s regional in 2022, when it was two possessions away from a second-straight Final Four, but “took a step back last year,” Sampson said. The coach believes Shead has the talent to be one of the best point guards in the country, but only if he stays engaged.
“He’s gotta take the game more seriously,” Sampson said. “If we are really good, it’s because Shead had a really good year.”
Houston only added two transfers this offseason: Cryer and Damian Dunn (Temple), who Sampson is counting on to have a big year, potentially off the bench. Dunn has an old man’s game and is a fourth-year player that, at 6-5, can get to the foul line and score in bunches. He went for 30 twice last season and had 16 in Temple’s win at Houston.
Mylik Wilson, Emanuel Sharp and Ramon Walker will round out Houston’s backcourt. Sharp played a key role off the bench for Houston last season having just come off a nearly two-year recovery from a nasty broken leg. Wilson and Walker are culture-setting players, gritty defenders that set a tone in practice and will see time in games because of it.
The frontcourt and backcourt look solid, but it’s 6-6 sophomore wing Terrance Arceneaux who is arguably the most talented player on the Houston roster. If someone from this program is going to hear their name called in the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft, it’ll be Arceneaux — assuming he can put it all together.
In an ideal world, Arceneaux is the kind of positionless wing that can play and guard anyone from the 2 through the 4. He arrived at Houston at just 183 pounds, and he’s creeping his way up towards 210 now. With the added size, the hope is that Arceneaux will better be able to handle the contact and physicality that comes with playing at this level.
“He bounced off contact,” Sampson said. “He couldn’t play through it, he played away from it.”
When a player’s strength is supposed to be versatility, but he shoots 25% from beyond the arc as a freshman, that’s a problem. So that part of Arceneaux’s game needs to develop as well.
But more than anything else, Sampson is looking for Arceneaux to handle the mental side of the game better.
“Terrance never faced any kind of adversity in basketball,” Sampson said. “He won two state titles and hit game-winners. He thinks like it’s Disney World, but there’s no Magic Kingdom in the Guy V. Lewis practice facility.”
There are no secrets when it comes to Houston basketball.
It’s ranked top 10 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency the past three seasons, according to KenPom. It’s ranked top four in the country in offensive rebounding rate. The Cougars guard hard, they crash the glass, and they win with a combination of out-toughing and out-efforting their opponent, all while adding just enough talent to be able to get the job done.
None of that is going to change in the Big 12. And all of that is going to work in the league.
Now, will the Cougars be winning 30 games, posting 18-2 conference records, and storming through the Big 12 the way they did in the American?
Of course not.
“We’re going to a league where one team usually wins and they’re picked No. 1 in the nation,” Sampson said.
But Houston will be right there in the mix — for league titles and Final Fours — for as long as Sampson is on the sideline.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW: INDIANA
|2022-23:||23-12, 12-8 (T-2nd, Big Ten)|
|NCAA Tournament – Second Round|
|Coach:||MIKE WOODSON (3rd Season)|
|Homecourt:||ASSEMBLY HALL (17,472)|
|Key Departures:||TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS (20.9 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 2.9 bpg)|
|JALEN HOOD-SCHIFINO (13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 apg)|
|RACE THOMPSON (8.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.9 bpg)|
|MILLER KOPP (8.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.2 apg)|
|TAMAR BATES (6.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 1.1 apg)|
|Key Newcomers:||KEL’EL WARE (transfer, Oregon)|
|MACKENZIE MGBAKO (freshman, Roselle Catholic)|
|ANTHONY WALKER (transfer, Miami FL)|
|PAYTON SPARKS (transfer, Ball St.)|
|GABE CUPPS (freshman, Centerville HS)|
|JAKAI NEWTON (freshman, Newton HS)|
FROM THE COACH
“When I look at young players, the only thing I look at is how hard they play. Energy level is how you play through the mistakes you make as a young player. No energy, no effort and you’re not going to play, it’s just that simple.”
Indiana had a strange run in the 2022-23 season.
The Hoosiers looked like a threat to win the Big Ten heading into the year. Then Xavier Johnson got injured, which many thought would torpedo those hopes. But instead of lighting the season on fire, it lit a fire underneath Trayce Jackson-Davis, who put together a memorable senior year. He was the best player in college basketball for a month-long run, finishing as a first team All-American and finding a way to the NBA.
Combine that with the emergence of Jalen Hood-Schifino, and the Hoosiers finished second in the Big Ten with the second-best player in the country. But they finished behind Purdue, and Jackson-Davis lost out to the Boilermakers’ Zach Edey in the Player of the Year race, both in the Big Ten and in the national vote.
Which leads us to this year.
The Hoosiers lost four of their top five players off last year’s roster, but they bring back Johnson and add some big-name transfers. In June, they scooped up one of the best recruits in the country.
There is enough talent on this roster for the Hoosiers to compete at the top of the conference. The question is: Just how well does that talent fit together?
ROAD TO SUCCESS
The top two teams in the Big Ten are very good. Purdue is arguably the No. 1 team in America, and Michigan State is going to end up as a consensus top-seven team in the sport. If Indiana is going to find a way to compete with them, the Hoosiers will need their frontcourt to play up to their talent level.
So, who takes a TJD-sized leap?
The answer that makes the most sense may be Malik Reneau, a 6-9 lefty who underwent quite a physical transformation this summer. He’s not the defensive presence nor the passer that Jackson-Davis was, but he doesn’t need to be. “This ain’t about Trayce Jackson-Davis,” Woodson said. “Malik is just a sophomore coming into his own. I would never put that kind of pressure on him.”
Reneau’s damage is done within 15 feet, and the biggest thing that stood between him and a spot on the All-Big Ten freshman team last year was who he had to play behind. If he can extend his range to the point where he has to be guarded at the 3-point line, it opens up everything for the Hoosiers offensively.
Don’t be surprised when Reneau pops up all over breakout players lists this preseason. He’ll be one of the better players in the Big Ten if he can avoid foul trouble defensively.
“He’s a skilled player that can score in a variety of ways, and he’s smart in his approach, but we gotta keep him on the floor,” Woodson said.
The pairing of Reneau and Oregon transfer Kel’El Ware on the frontline is something that would be terrifying for Big Ten teams to defend in theory. Ware was a top-10 prospect coming out of high school but lost out to a starting spot at Oregon last year to N’Faly Dante and Nate Bittle.
The third high-upside member of Indiana’s frontcourt is MacKenzie Mgbako, a top-10 recruit in the Class of 2023 who played his high school and AAU ball with Kentucky’s DJ Wagner and Aaron Bradshaw. There was a time he was considered by some to be the best prospect in the high school class. He was initially committed to Duke, but after Kyle Filipowski opted to return to school along with Mark Mitchell, Mgbako reopened his recruiting.
It will be interesting to see how Woodson opts to use Mgbako. He’s a natural 4 at the college level, big enough to overpower smaller guards but skilled enough to step out and make a 3-pointer. He’s listed at 6-7 and 185 pounds, but he’s built like a player with another 20 pounds of muscle. Maybe the 3 is his best position long-term, but the issues he could end up having in that role this year — both defensively and as a ball-handler — will not be ideal.
The key, however, is his shot-making. “That’s what he’s good at, he can shoot the basketball,” Woodson said, and floor-spacing will be at a premium for the Hoosiers this year.
Throw in Ball State transfer Payton Sparks, Miami (FL) transfer Anthony Walker and sophomore Kaleb Banks, who has had a great summer in his own right, and the Hoosiers have six guys that are all good enough to play rotation minutes and only three spots to play them — assuming that Woodson will be willing to playing three forwards all season long.
Banks has spent the offseason in a positional battle with Mgbako, and there will be times where they see the floor together. Woodson is hoping to get Walker back to the guy that was an impact scorer for Miami, while Sparks is, “a good solid piece that will be in there to grind when it’s time to grind,” Woodson said.
If Indiana is going to be as good as Hoosier fans want them to be, figuring out an answer here will be the difference maker.
At this point, everyone has an opinion on Xavier Johnson, the 24-year old sixth-year senior. He was the best point guard in the Big Ten for a good month down the stretch of the 2021-22 season, but he struggled a bit at the start of last year before breaking his foot.
“He’ll be huge if he can stay healthy for us,” Woodson said, adding that Johnson has been named co-captain this season. “I’m looking for leadership more than anything from him.”
He has the size, the physicality, the athleticism. He can shoot it, pass it and get to the rim. The talent is inarguable, but outside of a one-month stretch, he hasn’t thrived at the point for a winning team in his five previous seasons in college.
Part of that is where he was prior to coming to Indiana, and who knows what could have been last season had Johnson played on that team, but the doubters will be there until Johnson proves them wrong.
Freshman Gabe Cupps will see minutes in the backcourt for the Hoosiers, with Woodson saying how much he appreciates the confidence and calmness that Cupps can bring to the floor. “He just knows how to win,” Woodson said. Jakai Newton is a talented off-guard as well, but he underwent a procedure on his knee in August after missing his senior season in high school with injury. That will put even more pressure on CJ Gunn, a sophomore who Woodson said has “a big upside” because of his physical tools but needs the game to slow down for him.
The other intriguing aspect to all of this is the presence of Trey Galloway, a junior, one of the best glue guys in the country and Johnson’s co-captain. A smart passer, a good defender and a knockdown shooter, Galloway is another guy who would be playing out of position if asked to play the 2.
“He’s not underappreciated by us,” Woodson said. “All the intangible things that he does on the floor, it shows. This summer, he was one of the bright spots of our group, and I’m expecting big things from him.”
In an ideal world, with Johnson at the point, Indiana probably would want another playmaker alongside him with Galloway at the 3, and then two of Mgbako, Ware and Reneau in the frontcourt. Woodson can do that with Cupps, but it would mean that Indiana would not have its five best players on the floor at the same time.
The obvious x-factor is Kel’El Ware.
There aren’t five players in the Big Ten more talented than he is. There probably aren’t 10 players in all of college basketball with a higher ceiling. Ware is a 7-footer with length who moves on the perimeter like he’s a wing. He has the ability to protect the rim and to switch ball screens. He can catch lobs and make 3s. He can put the ball on the floor and score.
The tools at his disposal are utterly tantalizing, but the production has yet to match the potential. He earned about 16 minutes a game at Oregon last year, but he should be commanding much more floor time based on his talent.
“He’s gotta learn how to work,” Woodson said. “The only way to get better is to work through your mistakes. It’s just that simple. He’s gotta be more of an energy guy, give you more effort. That’s been the knock on him, and he has to prove it wrong.”
There are some that will tell you this is nothing more than an effort issue. But remember: The same talking point was brought up last season in regards to TJD. Jackson-Davis always had all the talent in the world, but he didn’t play with the level of effort that he needed for his first three years in college.
“If we’re gonna put him in the best position to be successful,” Woodson said, “he’s gotta work his ass off.”
Woodson got that buy-in out of TJD last season, and look what happened.
Can he do the same with Ware this season?
Indiana would be intriguing to take a swing on with a futures bet, whether for a Big Ten title or a national title.
The Hoosiers are going to be a relative longshot. They may not be a preseason Top 25 team, and that’s probably a fair assessment. But they are really talented with a couple of high-upside, game-changing players — and in Ware, they have a potential season-changing talent.
If it all comes together, there is a top-15 team here that can be a matchup nightmare in March.
But that’s a big ‘if,’ and the flip side is that there is a real concern that the bottom can fall out. Going .500 in the Big Ten and drawing a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament seems like a pretty realistic outcome.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW MAC: BUFFALO
|2022-23:||15-17, 9-9 (T-6th, MAC)|
|Coach:||GEORGE HALCOVAGE (1st Season)|
|Homecourt:||ALUMNI ARENA (6,100)|
|Key Departures:||LAQUILL HARDNETT (11.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.2 apg)|
|CURTIS JONES (15 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3 apg)|
|YAZID POWELL (13 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.7 apg)|
|ISAAC JACK (5.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 0.3 apg)|
|KIDTRELL BLOCKER (4.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.6 apg)|
|Key Newcomers:||SHAWN FULCHER (transfer, Ellsworth CC)|
|BRYSON WILSON (freshman, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes)|
|ANQUAN BOLDIN JR. (freshman, IMG Academy)|
|RYAN SABOL (freshman, Gonzaga College HS)|
|JAMES GRAHAM*** (transfer, Missouri State)|
|4||Anquan Boldin Jr.||G||6-3||Fr.||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
FROM THE COACH
“We want skilled players that can pass, dribble and shoot, but who also understand that they have to develop into tough, physical players on the defensive end. In the end, in order to win in March, you have to be able to defend.”
Is the Running of the Bulls no longer? Jim Whitesell’s vision to sustain the high-octane identities born under Nate Oats, frankly, didn’t go as planned. Buffalo was more than competitive during his four-year tenure — 45-27 in the league, to be exact — but Whitesell could never shake the perception of underachieving.
It’s clear the bar for this program is higher than ever — and George Halcovage will be the man to head up its rebirth as the new sheriff in town.
The longtime Villanova disciple sings a different tune than the one Buffalo fans have grown accustomed to. The word “gritty” is consistently uttered by Halcovage in all of his offseason press clippings, which underscores the new reign and the new era in Buffalo.
The Villanova Way is not known for hitting the portal hard. Halcovage made one key pickup off the transfer wire after taking over for the Bulls, but the bulk of his attention was focused on the incumbent roster and the class of 2023.
The first-year coach salvaged a few pivotal pieces from last year’s squad and inked a deep, coveted rookie class that could house a few of the program’s future staples in short order.
ROAD TO SUCCESS
A changing of the guard may imply an elongated rebuild — one with early growing pains attached — but the returning trio of Kanye Jones, Isaiah Adams and Jonnivius Smith will help Halcovage fast track his project.
Smith stood out last season as a warden of the restricted area. He brought some Jersey toughness with him from Seton Hall and instantly emerged as a stopgap at the rim. He returns to anchor the league’s fourth-best defense from last year, per KenPom.
Jones still has a lot to prove — but his talent doesn’t, as seen in brief flashes last season. He’ll be helped along by Adams, who’s bubbling with all-conference potential. Halcovage saw Adams flip a switch late down the stretch last year. Look for the former UCF transfer to dictate the offense with the ball in his hands, where he can create his own and set up others.
For a truer point guard option, Halcovage could turn to Shawn Fulcher, anNJCAA All-American from Brooklyn who can really fly. Fulcher’s jet-quick burst will be a weapon in the open floor. If he can make outside shots at a reasonable rate, he’s an instant asset on offense. Halcovage describes him as “New York City tough.” He’s a little shorter than his other backcourt peers, but his pace will push him to the front end of this rotation.
A major wild card at the time of this publication is Missouri State defector James Graham, who epitomizes the versatility Halcovage desires. He will need a waiver to suit up immediately, so the Bulls are crossing their fingers for a favorable NCAA verdict (and in a timely manner). Graham started at Maryland as a heralded prospect a few years back before detouring to Missouri State last season.
Though not technically a newcomer, Sy Chatman’s impending debut is a potential game-changer for Buffalo’s outlook. As a veteran, simply his presence alone will be enormous in the locker room for the young rookie class. On the floor, Chatman was a scoring machine at Illinois State before an injury ruined half of his 2022 campaign. His freakish length and athleticism will be a handful for MAC frontlines to deal with.
Halcovage will need a standout performance from his elder nucleus with all the unproven youth added to the equation. However, the rookies look ahead of the maturity curve and could prove impactful right off the bat. It’s a haul of guards, mainly, led by Bryson Wilson and Anquan Boldin Jr., who both fit that physical profile.
“Wilson and Boldin are two physical specimens,” Halcovage said. “That will help them hold their own right away. And they’re skilled enough offensively, too.”
Ryan Sabol and Diovion Famakinde are also set for high leverage minutes, and Australian signee Llyod McVeigh could join the party as well.
Will the Bulls have to endure the burden of youth all season? As the college game skews older than ever, Buffalo needs its freshmen to grow up in a hurry.
“I want to be as good as we can, as fast as we can — but we have a lot of work to do,” Halcovage said.
The new coach is looking to his tight-knit older nucleus, including Chatman, to usher in the youth. Remember, Chatman spent all of last year with the program, which should enable a smoother integration into live-game action.
Chatman’s health will be the uncomfortable variable to track. He’s been hurt multiple times over his collegiate career and has yet to stay fully healthy for an entire season. Halcovage is blessed to inherit a recouped Chatman, who should be ready for take off in 2023-24.
“He’s healthy, and he’s got a chance to have a great year. He’s really talented,” Halcovage said of the fifth-year senior.
Chatman’s length and interior activity will remedy many of the lingering rebounding and rim protection question marks. The Bulls excelled in the rebounding domain under Whitesell, especially on the offensive glass, where UB relentlessly pursued missed shots.
Halcovage has no intentions of completely abandoning the offensive glass this season. But he will proceed with caution, and for good reason.
“I think we’re going to be able to get on the glass, but if you have to rely on it, that’s not ideal,” the coach said. “Our hope is that we’re really efficient so we don’t have to rely on offensive rebounding. We still want to attack the glass with certain guys, but we want to have a balance.”
Zaakir Williamson, the unsung hero of this returning group, could be instrumental in fortifying the interior this year. He plays much bigger than his 6-7 listing implies, and he should be a factor under the new regime.
The destiny of the Bulls’ 2024 season lies with the core returners. Halcovage needs their production on the floor almost as much as he needs their leadership off it. The first-time head coach will also lean heavily on his assistants. One such name is Hamlet Tibbs, a well-regarded coach who was previously an understudy to John Becker at Vermont.
Adaptability is key in a year with such unknowns, and Halcovage will stay on his toes all year.
“On both ends of the ball, we’re going to play to our personnel,” the coach said. “In a year with more guards, we’ll reorganize our offense around that strength. If we have more forwards, we’ll tailor the offense that way.”
If the offensive talent can be matched on the defensive end, the Bulls may be in business. Halcovage touts the length and versatility of this group, especially on the perimeter.
“On defense, we want size and switchability so we can mix up our ball-screen coverage,” he noted.
Defending the pick-and-roll is paramount in today’s game, so Halcovage will keep a close pulse on this all year.
The resounding confidence Halcovage shows in his team leadership sets an optimistic tone for Buffalo’s 2024 outlook.
“We wanted to establish culture immediately in how we’re going to do things,” Halcovage explained. “There were a lot of talented guys on the previous roster, and the ones retained are older, experienced. Bringing those guys back was huge. I love our core.”
It’s easy to see Buffalo taking a step back this season, given the amount of production departing and a new staff stepping in. On the other hand, the MAC’s competitive landscape looks wide open coming into the year.
Behind the top three or four contenders in the league, nearly every other team in the MAC could sneak into the back end of the top five of conference standings. With Halcovage at the helm and looking to make a statement in Year 1, the Bulls will be running in the thick of that pack.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL PREVIEW BIG EAST: GEORGETOWN
|2022-23:||7-25, 2-18 (11th, Big East)|
|Coach:||ED COOLEY (1st Season)|
|Homecourt:||CAPITAL ONE ARENA (20,600)|
|Key Departures:||PRIMO SPEARS (16.0 ppg, 5.3 apg)|
|BRANDON MURRAY (13.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.2 apg)|
|QUDUS WAHAB (9.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg)|
|BRYSON MOZONE (6.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg)|
|AKOK AKOK (6.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg)|
|JORDAN RILEY (4.6 ppg)|
|BRADLEY EZEWIRO (4.3 ppg)|
|Key Newcomers:||JAYDEN EPPS (transfer, Illinois)|
|DONTREZ STYLES (transfer, North Carolina)|
|ISMAEL MASSOUD (transfer, Kansas State)|
|ROWAN BRUMBAUGH (transfer, Texas)|
|SUPREME COOK (transfer, Fairfield)|
|DREW FIELDER (freshman, SoCal Academy, ID)|
|31||Wayne Bristol Jr.||F||6-6||RJr.||13.8||3.3||1.9||0.5||0.6||0.3||41.8||31.1|
FROM THE COACH
“We’re gonna have to steal a couple at home, steal a few on the road. We should probably be picked 9th or 10th but that doesn’t mean [anything]. I’m not judging this season on wins and losses, but rather on building the infrastructure. Fan energy. Culture. Season tickets. Community engagement. The same formula from Providence in 2011.”
Ed Cooley isn’t afraid of a project. He isn’t scared to walk into a tough situation and build it from the ground up. It’s what he did when he took over Providence in 2011.
The tournament trips. The talent on the roster. The practice facility. The best home court advantage in the Big East. Looking at the Providence program in 2023 reveals the fruits of that effort, especially when you consider the state of things when Cooley took over.
“No one looks at 2011 and talks about how hard it was to build,” Cooley said.
Georgetown has a more storied history, but the rebuild may be more difficult than the Providence job ever was. Only three players return from last season, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The Hoyas went 13-50 over the past two seasons. Patrick Ewing led the Hoyas to just two wins against Big East opponents after winning the 2021 Big East Tournament. Capital One Arena is empty. Hoya Paranoia is a museum exhibit.
“It was time. Time for a change,” Cooley said. “I’m not trying to be John Thompson. I’m trying to be who we are, and the change is what’s exciting to me. That’s why, from a business standpoint, it was the best time in the history of Georgetown to take the job.”
ROAD TO SUCCESS
“We don’t have bums.”
That is Cooley’s message to the Big East.
He knows what he’s up against in the conference this season. Marquette, who won the Big East regular season and tournament titles last season, returns almost everybody. UConn won the national title. Creighton and Villanova are loaded. Providence returns two of the top five players in the league. Rick Pitino arrives at St. John’s. Xavier has Sean Miller running the show.
“Talent wise, the league is absurd. This is as good of a Big East as I’ve seen in 20 years in the league,” said Cooley.
The Hoyas will be picked by every outlet somewhere in the bottom four of the Big East standings, and while Cooley concedes that’s probably where they should be picked, he’s quick to add that preseason rankings “don’t mean [anything]. It could be a tough year, but my team will compete. Defensively, we’ll be good, and we’re really going to have to coach and get strategic.”
The strength of this year’s Georgetown roster is on the perimeter, specifically in the backcourt. Jay Heath is the leading returning scorer for this team, and he has played a lot of college basketball at a high level individually. This is his fifth season as a high-major player, and he’s never averaged single digits. Cooley’s best teams have all had a lead guard with the ability to make deep 3s and get to the rim — think Jared Bynum — and that’s the role that he envisions Heath, a crafty 6-3 guard, playing this year.
Heath will be joined in the backcourt by a pair of transfers heading into their second season in college: Jayden Epps (Illinois) and Rowan Brumbaugh (Texas).
Epps is the more proven of the two. He started at times for Illinois last season, and he’s the kind of tough, fearless competitor that Cooley loves. “He’s not backing down from anybody,” Cooley said. “He’s got that dawg in him.”
The key for Epps this summer has been developing his ability as a facilitator. He’s a natural scorer that thrives getting to his floater, and the Georgetown staff has been working with him to change his mindset from simply being a scorer to being a playmaker. Brumbaugh is already wired that way. A local kid — “He grew up a flip wedge from campus,” Cooley said — he is bigger than both Epps and Heath and brings a different dynamic to his game.
“He can beat you in a lot of different ways,” Cooley said of Brumbaugh. “He’s not overly fast, but he’s crafty. He can shoot, but he’s not a shooter. He’s like a Villanova type of guard.”
That trio will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting for Georgetown on the offensive end of the floor, but their job will be made easier by the presence of a pair of talented forwards in North Carolina transfer Dontrez Styles and Kansas State transfer Ishmael Massoud.
Massoud is the more proven of the two: a knockdown shooter and fifth-year senior that played two years at Wake Forest before transferring to Kansas State. At 6-9, Massoud is someone Cooley envisions being able to slide to the 5 to play full-on small ball. Styles, at 6-7, is the best athlete on the roster and one of the best athletes in the Big East, period. He can shoot it as well and understands how to get to his spots, but he’s never really played. In two seasons at UNC, he averaged under six minutes across 45 games.
“Where is his confidence level?” Cooley said. “He needs game experience.”
The lack of actual game time is a constant theme for this Georgetown team. Massoud played just 13 minutes a night for Kansas State last year. Brumbaugh redshirted at Texas. The bench is as young and green as any in the Big East.
That’s certainly an issue Cooley is concerned about heading into the season. The level of returning talent in the Big East is as good as any league in the country.
The other issue?
“We have two guys over 225 pounds,” Cooley said. That’s not ideal when the likes of Ryan Kalkbrenner, Donovan Clingan, Zach Freemantle, Eric Dixon and Joel Soriano exist.
The two big bodies on the Georgetown roster are Supreme Cook and Ryan Mutombo.
Cook will likely step into a starting role. At 6-9 and 225 pounds, the fourth-year player averaged better than 13 points and eight boards for Fairfield last season.
“You can tell he’s been coached well defensively,” Cooley said. Georgetown doesn’t need him to turn into Patrick Ewing as much as they need him to be a guy that can get somewhere around 10 points and seven boards a night, and Cooley fully believes that’s possible. “He’s better than people realize given how I’m going to use him,” said the head coach.
Mutombo, son of Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, is a 7-2 behemoth who will be a vital piece against some of the best bigs in the league.
Drew Fielder will be another interesting name to keep an eye on for the Hoyas. A 6-10 freshman, he weighs just 218 pounds and is 18 years old, but the potential is there for him. He has the shooting ability to be a floor-spacer and the athleticism to be a lob target. He’s also a freshman that will likely make freshman mistakes. It may take time, but if he is playing like a sophomore by the end of his freshman season, he will be a major difference-maker for the Hoyas.
Wayne Bristol, a veteran guard, rounds out the rotation. He averaged 12.5 points at Howard in 2019-20 before missing two straight seasons.
On paper, this Georgetown roster is not good enough to compete with the big boys in the Big East. They just aren’t. And that’s less of a knock on the roster’s talent than it is an acknowledgement of how good the rest of the league is.
But as the saying goes, you zig when everyone else zags. It’s easy to read the tea leaves and see how Cooley can get creative with his lineups.
“This is the best shooting team I’ve ever had,” Cooley said.
He will play Massoud at the 5. Fielder will see minutes there as well. Styles is a prototypical small-ball 4. When all three are making shots, Georgetown suddenly becomes a nightmare to deal with defensively.
Want to negate the impact that the monsters in this league have in the paint? Make them chase knockdown shooters on the perimeter.
Cooley’s strength has always been his ability to change what he does on a nightly basis and game-plan for specific teams, and if he can flex those muscles this season, it will be the difference-maker.
It will be a minor miracle if Ed Cooley can get Georgetown out of the bottom four in the Big East this year.
There are seven teams that have a very real chance at getting to the NCAA Tournament. That doesn’t include Seton Hall, whose backcourt is as talented as any in the league, or Butler, who is coached by a guy that once led Ohio State to a national title game. The league is an absolute buzzsaw, which is why Cooley is less concerned with his team’s record this year than he is with where the program is trending.
Can he build a groundswell of excitement for the program? Can he get students engaged and coming to games? Can he be competitive enough that the community buys into what the future can, and likely will, be?
Georgetown is the kind of team that will pick off a couple of the big boys on the nights their 3s are dropping, but at the end of the day, the talent discrepancy may be too much.
“They better get us now,” Cooley said, “because we’re coming.”
OKC GETS FIRST-ROUND SWAP AS HARDEN TRADE COMPLETED
The three-team trade sending James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers became official Wednesday, with Oklahoma City announced as the third team involved in the seven-player deal.
The official terms:
The Clippers acquired Harden, P.J. Tucker and Filip Petrusev from the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 76ers acquired Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, Robert Covington and Kenyon Martin Jr. from the Clippers. They also received an unprotected 2028 first-round pick, a 2026 first-round pick from Oklahoma City, a pair of second-round picks and a first-round protected pick swap with the Clippers in 2029. The Sixers also received cash considerations.
The Thunder acquired the rights to a 2027 unprotected first-round pick swap and cash considerations from the Clippers in exchange for the least favorable of Oklahoma City’s 2026 first-round draft picks to the 76ers.
But the centerpiece is Harden, who sat out the 76ers’ first three games of the season amid his feud with Philadelphia general manager Daryl Morey.
Harden did not make a secret of his desire to join the Clippers to partner with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as well as his former teammate, Russell Westbrook.
“James is one of the most prolific and efficient playmakers in the NBA,” Clippers president of operations Lawrence Frank said. “With his size and vision, he possesses an extraordinary ability to create for himself and others. The Los Angeles area has produced so many elite players in recent years. With Kawhi, Paul, Russ and James, we’re excited to bring four of them together, and eager to see what they can accomplish with the rest of our group.”
Harden, 34, led the NBA in assists last season at 10.7 per game while averaging 21 points and 6.1 rebounds for the 76ers. The three-time scoring champion is a 10-time All-Star and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2017-18.
The major hole in his resume is the lack of an NBA championship. Harden has also been criticized for forcing his way out of teams — three times now, with the 76ers joining a list that already included the Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets.
He began his NBA career with the Oklahoma City Thunder after they selected him with the third overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Arizona State.
The deal to Los Angeles will represent a homecoming for Harden, who went to Artesia High School in Lakewood, Calif., about 21 miles away from the Clippers’ home venue in Inglewood.
Batum, 34, is averaging 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds this season, down from his norms of 10.7 and 5.0, respectively.
Covington, 32, is putting up 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds. His career averages are 11.1 and 5.6, respectively.
Martin, 22, was acquired by the Clippers from the Rockets in July as part of a five-team trade. He managed just 5.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games off the bench for L.A. after posting career highs of 12.7 and 5.5, respectively, last season.
Morris, 34, has yet to play for the Clippers this season. His averages 12.3 points and 4.5 rebounds for his career.
Tucker, 38, has logged 2.0 points and 4.7 boards through three starts for Philadelphia this season. He has career marks of 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. He is also a career 36.6-percent shooter from 3-point range.
Petrusev, 23, is in his first NBA season after the 76ers drafted him in the second round in 2021. He appeared in just one game for Philadelphia, playing three scoreless minutes.
NBA ROUNDUP: MAVS BEST BULLS, IMPROVE TO 4-0
Grant Williams matched his career highs of 25 points and seven 3-pointers and the Dallas Mavericks improved to 4-0 for the first time since the 2004-05 season by notching a 114-105 victory over the visiting Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
Tim Hardaway Jr. recorded season highs of 24 points and seven 3-pointers for Dallas, which opened the season 4-0 for just the fourth time in franchise history. The Mavericks and Boston Celtics are the lone unbeaten teams in the NBA.
Luka Doncic contributed 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for Dallas. He leads the NBA in scoring at 33.8 points per game.
Zach LaVine scored 22 points and Nikola Vucevic added 21 points and a season-high 20 rebounds for the Bulls.
Warriors 102, Kings 101
Klay Thompson drilled a contested jumper from just beyond the free-throw line with two-tenths of a second remaining, delivering Golden State another victory over Sacramento in San Francisco.
Golden State improved to 2-0 in early-season games against Sacramento, rematches of last season’s first-round playoff matchup that the Warriors won in seven games.
The Kings’ Domantas Sabonis (23 points, 11 rebounds) banked in a 20-footer from just above the foul line to put Sacramento up 101-100 with 14.5 seconds remaining. The Warriors subsequently were unable to free Stephen Curry, their leading scorer with 21 points. Thompson, with time running out, made his way close enough to get off his game-winning shot.
Lakers 130, Clippers 125 (OT)
LeBron James scored 35 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied from an early 19-point deficit and ended an 11-game losing streak against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers with an overtime victory.
Anthony Davis produced 27 points and 10 rebounds and D’Angelo Russell also had 27 for the Lakers, who improved to 3-0 in home games this season. The Lakers defeated the Clippers for the first time since July 2020 in the NBA bubble near Orlando.
Kawhi Leonard scored 38 points and Paul George added 20 of his 35 in the fourth quarter as the Clippers lost on the same day James Harden’s trade to the team became official. Russell Westbrook contributed 24 points and 11 rebounds against his former team.
Celtics 155, Pacers 104
Jayson Tatum collected 30 points, 12 rebounds and four assists to lead host Boston to a victory against short-handed Indiana.
Boston stretched its winning streak to four games. It’s the first time the Celtics have started a season with more than three straight wins since 2009, when they won their first six games. Indiana trailed by as many as 53 points in the fourth quarter.
The Pacers played without point guard Tyrese Haliburton (ankle) and backup center Jalen Smith (knee). T.J. McConnell scored a team-high 18 points and had seven rebounds for the Pacers.
Raptors 130, Bucks 111
Pascal Siakam scored a season-best 26 points and Toronto defeated visiting Milwaukee.
Scottie Barnes added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who ended a three-game losing streak.
It was the second loss in four games this season for the Bucks under new coach Adrian Griffin, who was an assistant for the Raptors over the previous five seasons. Malik Beasley scored 20 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo was held to 16 points for Milwaukee, which was playing its first road game of the season.
Pelicans 110, Thunder 106
CJ McCollum scored a season-high 29 points to lead New Orleans to a come-from-behind victory over host Oklahoma City.
The Pelicans trailed by as many as 22 points in the first half, struggling in the absence of Brandon Ingram, who missed his second consecutive game due to right knee soreness. That early deficit turned into a 12-point advantage by the middle stages of the fourth quarter, and the Thunder missed their final five shots from the field.
Zion Williamson added 20 points and Jonas Valanciunas supplied 19 for the Pelicans. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 20 points, while Chet Holmgren added 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Nets 109, Heat 105
Armoni Brooks, who was recalled from the G League earlier in the day, scored 17 points off the bench in his Brooklyn debut as the Nets rallied from a 16-point deficit to defeat host Miami.
Brooklyn’s Cam Thomas, who entered the night ranked third in the NBA with a 33.0 scoring average, was held to 13 points. He made just 4 of 19 shots and had four turnovers with just one assist.
Miami, which has lost four straight games, was led by Tyler Herro’s 30 points. Bam Adebayo, who missed the Heat’s previous game with a bruised hip, had 21 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Trail Blazers 110, Pistons 101
Shaedon Sharpe had 29 points, seven rebounds and five assists as visiting Portland rallied from an 18-point deficit to defeat Detroit.
Jerami Grant supplied 24 points for Portland, while Deandre Ayton contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.
Cade Cunningham carried the Pistons with 30 points. Ausar Thompson had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Isaiah Stewart added 12 points.
Cavaliers 95, Knicks 89
Donovan Mitchell scored Cleveland’s first 13 points and then scored five key points in the fourth quarter to stave off a rally by host New York as the Cavaliers held on for a victory.
Mitchell finished with a game-high 30 points as the Cavaliers salvaged a split of the home-and-home set despite playing both games without Jarrett Allen (ankle) and Darius Garland (hamstring).
Caris LeVert, who missed Cleveland’s 109-91 loss Tuesday due to a hamstring injury, had 19 points off the bench. Jalen Brunson topped the Knicks with 24 points but shot just 8-for-23 from the floor.
Hawks 130, Wizards 121
Dejounte Murray continued his hot scoring with 24 points — one of three Atlanta players with 20-plus points — as the Hawks extended their winning streak to three games with a victory over visiting Washington.
Murray shot 10-for-15 from the field and 3-for-5 from 3-point range. He added eight assists. The Hawks also got 23 points and 10 assists from Trae Young, who had been listed as questionable due to right Achilles inflammation. De’Andre Hunter added 23 points and seven rebounds.
The Wizards were led by Kyle Kuzma with 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists, while Deni Avdija scored a season-high 22 points.
Rockets 128, Hornets 119
Fred VanVleet recorded a double-double to pace five starters in double figures as Houston secured its first victory of the season, defeating visiting Charlotte.
VanVleet paired 22 points with 11 assists and sank five 3-pointers to lead the Rockets’ barrage from behind the arc. Houston finished 21-for-37 from deep and hit seven treys in the fourth quarter to fend off the Hornets, who pulled to with five points late before their comeback stalled.
Jalen Green led the Rockets with 23 points, and Dillon Brooks added 20 points. P.J. Washington paced the Hornets with 23 points, hitting 5 of 6 3-point attempts. Terry Rozier added 21 points.
Timberwolves 110, Nuggets 89
Anthony Edwards scored 24 points, Karl-Anthony Towns added 21 points and eight rebounds and Minnesota cruised to a win over visiting Denver in Minneapolis.
Mike Conley contributed 17 points and a team-high six assists for the Timberwolves, who never trailed in the game. Naz Reid had 16 points in 19 minutes off the Minnesota bench.
The reigning NBA champion Nuggets sustained their first loss after winning their first four games of the season. Nikola Jokic finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Jamal Murray contributed 14 points, six assists and six rebounds.
Jazz 133, Grizzlies 109
Reserve Collin Sexton scored 23 points, Jordan Clarkson put up 20 points, Lauri Markkanen added 19 points and 11 rebounds and Utah rolled to a rout of Memphis at Salt Lake City.
Clarkson and Markkanen each went 4-for-4 from 3-point range in the decisive first half, combining for 35 points on 12-of-15 shooting as Utah went into the break up 79-46.
Desmond Bane scored 21 points in Memphis’ fifth straight loss to open the season. The Grizzlies, who won 51 games a season ago, are without suspended star Ja Morant for the first 25 games because of a suspension.
NHL ROUNDUP: AVALANCHE BREAK SCORING DROUGHT, SKATE PAST BLUES
Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist, Ross Colton, Bowen Byram and Artturi Lehkonen also scored, and the Colorado Avalanche finally broke their scoring drought to beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 in Denver on Wednesday night.
Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar had two assists each and Ivan Prosvetov turned away 27 shots in his first start with Colorado.
Rob Thomas scored and Jordan Binnington made 24 saves for the Blues, who lost for the second straight game after alternating losses and wins in their first seven games.
The Avalanche were shut out in their previous two games and went 129 minutes, 24 seconds without a goal before Colton ended the drought. He got the puck at the St. Louis blue line, got a step ahead of defenseman Tyler Tucker and beat Binnington to the far side at 8:53 of the first.
Ducks 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
Troy Terry scored a hat trick, including the game-winner with 1:33 to go in overtime, and also had an assist as Anaheim won its fifth consecutive game, beating visiting Arizona.
Terry took a crossing pass in the right circle from Mason McTavish at the end of a two-on-one rush and roofed a wrist shot to complete his second career hat trick and first four-point game. Leo Carlsson also scored for Anaheim, which improved to 3-0 in overtime. Lukas Dostal, named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October earlier in the day, made 32 saves to improve to 5-1-0 on the season with his fourth straight win.
Lawson Crouse scored a pair of goals, Logan Cooley scored the first goal of his NHL career and J.J. Moser added a pair of assists for Arizona. Karel Vejmelka finished with 25 saves.
Stars 4, Flames 3
Jamie Benn scored a goal and added an assist and Jake Oettinger made 43 saves as visiting Dallas claimed a victory over struggling Calgary.
Jason Robertson, Evgenii Dadonov and Mason Marchment also scored for the Stars, who have won five of their past six games. Oettinger made 21 of his saves in the third period, and Roope Hintz collected two assists.
MacKenzie Weegar produced a goal and an assist while Connor Zary, in his NHL debut, and Andrew Mangiapane also scored for the Flames, who have lost six consecutive games and sit 31st overall in the league. Goalie Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots. Nazem Kadri and Elias Lindholm both notched two assists.
Sabres 5, Flyers 2
Brandon Biro scored two goals, Tage Thompson added one goal and two assists and Buffalo handed host Philadelphia its third straight loss.
Joel Farabee and Cam Atkinson scored one goal apiece and Travis Sanheim got the lone assist on each for the Flyers.
Flyers goaltender Carter Hart made three saves on five shots in the opening 10 minutes before being replaced by Samuel Ersson due to a mid-body injury. Ersson finished with seven saves.
TOP INDIANA RELEASES/NEWS
INDIANA PACERS BASKETBALL
GAME REWIND: PACERS 104, CELTICS 155
The first game of November will be one the Indiana Pacers don’t want to remember.
Indiana (2-2) fell behind to the Boston Celtics (4-0) by double digits early, trailed by 21 points at halftime, and were outscored 80-50 in the second half in a 155-104 loss at TD Garden on Wednesday.
The Pacers have never lost by more points to the Celtics, and the 51-point loss is the second-worst margin ever for the Blue & Gold. The worst loss in Pacers history was by 59 points to Golden State in 1977.
The Pacers have now lost two straight games, while the Celtics remain the only undefeated team in the Eastern Conference.
“(Boston) played great, but we allowed them to play as great as they played,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’ll take the blame for this. This is on me. I didn’t have our guys ready to compete at the level they needed to compete at. This is an embarrassing result, obviously, and not acceptable for what we’re trying to do here.”
Indiana played without All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton in the matchup, who was a late scratch due to a right ankle sprain. Pacers backup center Jalen Smith also sat out, but with a left knee sprain.
Overall, Boston shot 56.8 percent from the field, including 57.1 percent from 3-point (20-for-35 shots from deep), and 27-for-28 from the free throw line. Indiana made 45.5 percent of its shots, struggling from 3-point (5-for-37), while making 7-of-12 free throws.
Seven Celtics players scored in double figures, and all 13 players that took the floor for Boston finished with points.
Boston’s starters played just three quarters, and were led by 30 points (9-for-15 field goal) and 12 rebounds from All-Star forward Jayson Tatum. Derrick White was next for Boston with 18 points, Jaylen Brown logged 16 points and seven boards, and point guard Jrue Holiday totaled 15 points and seven rebounds. Sam Hauser (17 points) and Payton Pritchard (15 points) both had big nights off the bench for the Celtics.
For the Pacers, T.J. McConnell led the way with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Andrew Nembhard had 14 points, and Obi Toppin scored 11 points.
In the first quarter, the Celtics shot an outstanding 16-for-21 (76.2 percent) from the field, including 8-for-11 from 3-point (72.7 percent), to go up 44-27. Indiana shot a solid 52 percent overall in the first quarter, but didn’t make any of their seven 3-point attempts.
Boston came out hot to start the game, making its first five shots.
Off the tip, the teams traded baskets until the Celtics strung together 13 straight unanswered points – which included consecutive 3-pointers from White, Tatum and Holiday – to go up 18-6 with 8:14 left in the first quarter.
Back-to-back baskets by Pacers center Myles Turner sparked a 12-6 Blue & Gold run midway through the frame to narrow the deficit to six points, but the Celtics closed the final 3:21 of the period on a 16-6 run.
Boston used a pair of 6-2 run to continue building onto its advantage to start the second quarter, and led 58-38 with 7:11 left in the half.
By halftime, the Celtics lead had grown to 75-54.
The Pacers missed their first six shots of the third quarter, and the Celtics took advantage again by going on a 12-2 spree go up by 32 with 8:53 left in the third quarter. In the final 3:16 of the frame the Celtics finished on a 9-2 run to lead 109-71 going into the fourth.
Boston played its bench the entirety of the fourth quarter, and the Pacers mostly did the same. The Celtics outscored the Pacers 46-33 in the final 12 minutes.
“They’re got a great roster,” Carlisle said of the Celtics. “They’ll be a team in the conversation for the championship, obviously. We just have to do better – It’s as simple as that.”
The Pacers kick off a five-game homestand Friday when they play their first-ever game of the inaugural In-Season Tournament. The game, against the Cleveland Cavaliers, will be played on a new court designed specifically for IST play.
Inside the Numbers
Pacers rookies Jarace Walker (8 points) and Ben Sheppard (6 points) both scored the first points of their NBA careers on Wednesday. Walker also had three assists and a rebound and Sheppard logged two points and two rebounds.
Indiana shot 5-for-37 from 3-point while Boston finished 20-for-35.
The Pacers outscored the Celtics in the paint 80-52.
Indiana was outrebounded 57-31.
The Pacers won the turnover margin 9-11.
Indiana matched a season-low 26 assists as a team and the Celtics had 27.
Stat of the Night
Indiana shot a season-worst 5-for-37 from 3-point.
Tyrese Haliburton missed his first game of the season due to injury. He’s currently averaging a double-double and leads the NBA in assists per game at 12.3.
Indiana has not beaten Boston in a season series since the 2015-16 season.
The Pacers have now trotted out two different starting lineups this season.
The Pacers will host Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Nov. 3 7:00 PM for Indiana’s first-ever In-Season Tournament game.
INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL
BOB KNIGHT, INDIANA’S COMBUSTIBLE COACHING GIANT, DIES AT AGE 83
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Bob Knight, the brilliant and combustible coach who won three NCAA titles at Indiana and for years was the scowling face of college basketball, has died. He was 83.
Knight’s family made the announcement on social media on Wednesday night. He was hospitalized with an illness in April and had been in poor health for several years.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family,” the statement said. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private family gathering, which is being honored.”
Knight was among the winningest and most controversial coaches in the sport, finishing his career with 902 victories in 42 seasons at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech while mentoring some of America’s best coaches.. He also coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1984.
The Hall of Famer cared little what others thought of him, choosing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” to celebrate his 880th win in 2007, then the record for a Division I men’s coach.
He was nicknamed “The General” and his trademark temper also cost him his job at Indiana in 2000. He once hit a police officer in Puerto Rico, threw a chair across the court and was accused of wrapping his hands around a player’s neck.
Critics fumed relentlessly about his conduct, but his defenders were legion. There was this side of Knight as well: He took pride in his players’ high graduation rates, and during a rule-breaking era he never was accused of a major NCAA violation.
At Indiana, he insisted his base salary not exceed that of other professors. At Texas Tech, he sometimes gave back his salary because he didn’t think he earned it.
Knight expected players to exceed expectations on the court and in the classroom. He abided by NCAA rules even when he disagreed with them, never backed down from a dust-up and promised to take his old-school principles to the grave.
While he was beloved by many of his players, his disposition and theatrics sometimes overshadowed his formidable record, tactical genius, innovation and dedication to and the game, leaving behind a singular resume..
“He changed basketball in this state, the way you compete, the way you win,” Steve Alford, the leader of Knight’s last national championship team in 1987, once said. “It started in Indiana, but he really changed college basketball. You look at the motion offense and people everywhere used it.”
Long esteemed for his strategy and often questioned for his methods, Knight reveled in constructing his best teams with overachievers. As a hard-to-please motivator, he clung to iron principles, and at 6-foot-5 was an intimidating presence for anyone who dared cross him.
When Knight retired in 2008, he left with four national championships (one as a player at Ohio State) and as the Division I men’s record-holder in wins. He coached everyone from Mike Krzyzewski to Isiah Thomas to Michael Jordan. His coaching tree included Krzyzewski, who broke Knight’s wins record; Alford; Lawrence Frank, Keith Smart, Randy Wittman and Mike Woodson, Indiana’s current coach, among others.
“We lost one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball today,” Krzyzewski said. “Clearly, he was one of a kind. He recruited me, coached me, mentored me and had a profound impact on my career and in my life. This is a tremendous loss for our sport and our family is deeply saddened.”
Robert Montgomery Knight was born Oct. 25, 1940, in Massillon, Ohio. His mother, whom Knight credited as his strongest childhood influence, was a schoolteacher and his father worked for the railroad.
Hazel Knight seemed to understand her son’s temperament. Once, when Indiana was set to play Kentucky on television, two of Knight’s high school classmates ran into her at a grocery store and asked if she was excited about the game, according to his biography, “Knight: My Story.”
“I just hope he behaves,” his mother remarked.
He played basketball at Ohio State, where he was a reserve on three Final Four teams (1960-62). He was on the 1960 title team that featured Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek, two future Basketball Hall of Famers.
After a year as a high school assistant, Knight joined the staff of Tates Locke at West Point. In 1965, he took over as head coach at age 24. In six seasons, coaching the likes of Krzyzewski and Mike Silliman, his teams won 102 games and it was off to Indiana in 1971.
Knight quickly restored the Hoosiers’ basketball tradition with a revolutionary offense and an almost exclusively man-to-man defense. Most opponents struggled against his early Indiana teams, with the Hoosiers going 125-20 and winning four Big Ten Conference crowns in his first five seasons.
The run concluded with Indiana’s first national championship in 23 years. That 1975-76 team went 32-0, ending a two-year span when the Hoosiers were 63-1 and captured back-to-back Big Ten championships with 18-0 records. It remains the last time a major college men’s team finished with a perfect record. That team was voted the greatest in college basketball history by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association in 2013.
“One of the things that he said to our 1976 team, which I was fortunate enough to be a part of, was that you may never see another team like this again,” Indiana Board of Trustees chair Quinn Buckner said. “Well, I don’t know that we will ever see another coach like him again.”
Knight won his second title in 1981, beating Dean Smith’s North Carolina team after NCAA officials decided to play the game hours after President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded earlier in the day. His third title at Indiana came in 1987 when Smart hit a baseline jumper in the closing seconds to beat Syracuse, one of the most famous shots in tournament history.
Knight spent five decades competing against and usually beating some of the game’s most revered names — Adolph Rupp, Smith and John Wooden in the early years; Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino and Roy Williams in later years.
“He was a guy I idolized when I got here (in 1983) because Bobby Knight was the man,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “He treated me great, and he helped me. I wish people knew what a great heart that he had. He was a different dude, but if you needed some help, he would answer the bell.”
The Olympic team Knight coached in Los Angeles in 1984 was the last amateur U.S. team to win gold in men’s basketball. And, to no surprise, it came with controversy. Knight kept Alford on his team while cutting the likes of future Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and John Stockton.
“I am so blessed that he saw something in me as a basketball player,” Woodson said in a statement. “He influenced my life in ways I could never repay. As he did with all of his players, he always challenged me to get the most out of myself as a player and more importantly, as a person. His record as a basketball coach speaks for itself. He will be remembered as one of the greatest ever.”
But winning and winning big was only part of Knight’s legacy.
Other big-time coaches might follow the gentlemanly, buttoned-up approach, but not Knight. He dressed in plaid sport coats and red sweaters, routinely berated referees and openly challenged decisions by NCAA and Big Ten leaders. His list of transgressions ran long:
– Knight was convicted in absentia of assaulting a Puerto Rican police officer during the 1979 Pan American Games.
– He forfeited an exhibition game to the Soviet Union in 1987 when he pulled his team off the court after being called for a third technical foul.
– He told NBC’s Connie Chung in a 1988 interview, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” Knight was answering a question about how he handled stress and later tried to explain he was talking about something beyond one’s control, not the act of rape.
– He was accused of head-butting one player and kicking his own son, Pat, during a timeout.
– At a 1980 news conference he fired a blank from a starter’s pistol at a reporter. During the 1992 NCAA Tournament, Knight playfully used a bull whip on star player Calbert Cheaney, who is Black.
His most famous outburst came Feb. 23, 1985, when Purdue’s Steve Reid was about to attempt a free throw. A furious Knight picked up a red plastic chair and heaved it across the court, where it landed behind the basket. Fans started throwing pennies on the court, one hitting the wife of Purdue coach Gene Keady. Reid missed three of his next six ensuing free throws.
“There are times I walk into a meeting or a friend calls to say, ‘I saw you on TV last night,’” Reid said on the 20th anniversary of the incident. “I know what they’re talking about.”
Knight apologized the next day, received a one-game suspension and was put on probation for two years by the Big Ten. Intent on preventing such a thing again, Indiana officials chained together the chairs for both benches.
The iconic black-and-white photo of the incident remains a classic for Hoosiers fans and even became fodder for a television commercial with one of his old coaching rivals, former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps. Knight for years joked he was merely attempting to toss the chair to a woman looking for a seat.
Fifteen years after the chair toss, Knight’s temper led to his downfall in Bloomington. Video surfaced of Knight allegedly putting his hands around the neck of player Neil Reed during a 1997 practice, a charge that prompted Indiana President Myles Brand to put Knight on a zero-tolerance policy following a university investigation.
Then, on Sept. 10, 2000, after winning a school-record 662 games and 11 Big Ten titles in 29 seasons, his time at Indiana came to a shocking end. While passing Knight in an Assembly Hall corridor, Indiana student Kent Harvey said, “Hey, what’s up, Knight?” Knight considered it disrespectful, grabbed Harvey’s arm and lectured him about manners. A few days later, Brand fired Knight.
Students protested by tearing down a goal post at the football stadium, ripping a dolphin statue off a fountain and hanging Brand in effigy outside his home. Knight publicly condemned Brand’s leadership. Brand became NCAA president in 2002 and died in 2009 at 67 while still on the job. Neil Reed died in 2012 after collapsing in his California home. He was 36.
In 2003, Knight lashed out profanely after an ESPN reporter asked about his relationship with Alford, then the Iowa coach. The following year Knight received a reprimand after a verbal dust-up with David Smith, then the Texas Tech chancellor, as the two men stood at a grocery store salad bar.
He still won, too. In his first six years in West Texas, Knight led the Red Raiders to five 20-plus win seasons, a feat never previously achieved at the school. On Jan. 1, 2007, Knight won his 880th career game, breaking Dean Smith’s record with a win over New Mexico. Krzyzewski topped Knight’s mark in 2011, with his mentor broadcasting the game for ESPN.
For nearly two decades, Indiana officials attempted to make peace. Knight refused, even skipping his induction into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
“I hope someday he will be honored at Indiana. That needs to happen. Somebody needs to make that happen,” Scott May, a starter on Knight’s 1976 championship team and an outspoken critic of Knight’s firing, pleaded as Knight stayed away. “I think they should name Assembly Hall after him.”
The ice finally broke in February 2020, a few months after Knight bought a new house in Bloomington. His first public appearance at Assembly Hall since the firing came at halftime of the Hoosiers’ game against rival Purdue.
Billed as a reunion between the coach and many of his former players, the halftime celebration became a sustained roar for The General. May and Buckner, who also played on Knight’s first title team, helped the aging coach – no longer steady on his feet — walk onto the court.
“When he moved back here, I knew he was in a good place,” said Wittman, who played on the 1981 national champs. “I knew he was happy here, living, and I told him you belong here.”
Knight didn’t speak to the crowd that day. It spoke to him.
“We love you, Bobby,” one fan shouted during a brief pause from the crowd, a scene that brought the steely Knight to tears.
Away from the court, Knight was an avid golfer who loved to read, especially history, and donated generously to school libraries at Indiana and Texas Tech. He would vacation in far-flung places to hunt and fish with family or friends such as baseball great Ted Williams or manager Tony La Russa.
Knight also made a cameo appearance in the 2003 movie “Anger Management” with Adam Sandler. In 2006, he starred in “Knight School,” an ESPN reality show in which 16 Texas Tech students vied for the chance to walk on to his team the following season.
A month after leaving Tech, Knight, who often lashed out at reporters, joined ESPN as a guest studio analyst during the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The next season, he expanded his role as a color commentator. The network parted with Knight in 2015.
He returned to public view in 2016, campaigning for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and kept a mostly low profile until returning to the campus where he became a household name and the state where his presence was so big, his death was announced in retail stores Wednesday night.
“I was standing there, and he was coach Knight,” Wittman said, referring to Knight’s pregame speech in February 2020. “It was like he hadn’t left that locker room. The words he gave to those players before they went out on the floor, it was fabulous.”
Survivors include wife Karen and sons Tim and Pat.
INDIANA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
NO. 9/9 INDIANA ROLLS PAST NORTHWOOD IN EXHIBITION
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 9/9 Indiana shot 63 percent from the field and knocked down 11 3-pointers as it got past Northwood, 111-68, in its only public exhibition on Wednesday night at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers started off the first quarter with a 17-0 scoring run led by graduate student forward Mackenzie Holmes who scored 10, along with four rebounds.
The lead was pushed to 37-10 by the end of the first with nine points put up by senior guard Sara Scalia and seven by sophomore guard Yarden Garzon.
Holmes came off the bench for the second quarter to add more 12 points to the team’s lead of 65-26 at the half. Sophomore forward Lily Meister made eight rebounds in the half adding to the second quarter success along with Scalia and Garzon who each added five to the score.
Senior Sydney Parrish lead the way in the third quarter, scoring 10 points by knocking down a pair of triples.
Meister made the difference in the fourth quarter scoring six points and pulling down six rebounds, to for a double-double, 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The Hoosiers shot 63 percent from the floor including 50 percent from beyond the arc (11-for-22).
Six players scored in double figures led by Holmes’ 28 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks as she also celebrated her 23rd birthday on Wednesday.
Scalia knocked down five of her eight 3-point attempts for 17 points while Parrish added 14 points.
Meister led the way on the boards as she pulled down 14, as the Hoosiers led on the glass 46-21.
IU dished out 30 assists on 46 made field goals, led by 10 assists from senior guard Chloe Moore-McNeil.
Indiana will host Eastern Illinois on Thursday, November 9 at 7 p.m.
WALKER NOMINATED FOR BURLSWORTH TROPHY
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – On Tuesday (Oct. 31), the Burlsworth Trophy announced its nominees for consideration of the 2023 award and Indiana football redshirt senior Trey Walker was among the 73 FBS nominees for the award that is given to the most outstanding football player in American who began his career as a walk-on.
Walker has appeared in 13 career games and garnered his first career start in Week 4 against Akron, where he also hauled in his first collegiate catch. The 20-yard grab was part of a two-catch game for Walker, who joined the program as a walk-on in 2019. He has appeared in seven games in 2023 with five receptions for 46 yards.
The Winnetka, Illinois, native owns his undergraduate degree in sport marketing and management. He spent four seasons as a walk-on but was awarded a scholarship during fall camp prior to the start of the 2023 season.
The Burlsworth Trophy was first awarded in 2010 and is presented each year to “college football’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.” The trophy is presented to a young man who embodies the values that Brandon Burlsworth stood for. Brandon was a walk on football player at the University of Arkansas and completed his college career as an All-American and the 63rd overall pick in the NFL draft.
He was the first Razorback football player in history to complete his master’s degree before playing his final college game. Tragically, he was killed in an auto accident just days after the draft. The Burlsworth Trophy is presented by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation at the annual award show each December.
“Once again, a tremendous group of former walk-on players are up for the Burlsworth Trophy”, said Marty Burlsworth, President and CEO of the Burlsworth Trophy and older brother of Brandon Burlsworth. “These young men have not only shown their diligence, but they had to work extra hard just for the opportunity to contribute to their teams. They did it the Burls Way, they earned it!”
Without one D1 scholarship offer, Brandon Burlsworth walked on at the University of Arkansas in 1994. He became a three-year starter and was eventually named an All-American in 1998. Burlsworth was selected as the 63rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 1999 NFL draft but was tragically killed in a car accident 11 days later. The Burlsworth Foundation was created in his memory and supports the physical and spiritual needs of children, in particular those children who have limited opportunities.
The Burlsworth Trophy award ceremony to honor the three finalists and to announce the 2023 winner will be on December 4, at 7:00pm CST at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.
GAME 9 PREP: BOILERMAKERS BATTLE #3 MICHIGAN IN PRIMETIME MATCHUP
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Football remains on the road, the team’s third time away from home in the past four games. The Boilermakers travel to Ann Arbor to face No. 3 Michigan in a rematch of the 2022 Big Ten Championship Game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Purdue has 17 victories against AP Top 5 opponents as an unranked team. No other school in the AP Poll era (since 1936) has more than 11 wins vs. Top 5 teams. The Boilermakers have seven wins over Top 25 opponents over the past five seasons, including three against Top 3 teams.
• With Halloween this week, it is spooky season, and Big Ten quarterbacks definitely need to beware of two Boilermakers on both sides of Ryan Walters’ defense.
• Outside linebackers Kydran Jenkins and Nic Scourton have wreaked havoc throughout the season, the only defenders in the conference to reach double digits in tackles-for-loss.
• Jenkins’ paces the Big Ten with 11.5 TFLs, while Scourton is close behind with 10 TFLs.
• The two Boilermakers have also combined for the most sacks (12.0) by a duo in the Big Ten.
• Jenkins leads the Big Ten in sacks (7.0), cracking the country’s Top 10. With all of them being solo, Jenkins sits sixth nationally in solo sacks.
• Scourton has 5.0 sacks of his own to rank third in the conference.
2022 B1G CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH
• The Boilermakers and Wolverines face off in a rematch of last season’s Big Ten Championship Game.
• Purdue won the Big Ten West outright, claiming a division title for the first time in program history, while Michigan captured the Big Ten East for the second straight season.
• Despite each team scoring six times, five by Purdue were field goals as the Wolverines used their six touchdowns to win the conference title 43-22.
• Purdue outgained Michigan 456 to 386 in total offense led by 366 passing yards from quarterback Aidan O’Connell (Las Vegas Raiders).
• Charles Jones (Cincinnati Bengals) caught 13 passes for 162 yards, setting Big Ten Championship Game records for both statistical categories.
• Mitchell Fineran went 5-for-5 on field goals to set a new Big Ten Championship Game record.
• Purdue trailed by one at halftime (14-13), the closest halftime margin in Big Ten title game history.
• Devin Mockobee paced the ground attack with 71 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown, while also hauling in six receptions for 31 yards.
• Sanoussi Kane led the Purdue defense with six tackles.
• The Boilermakers have beaten seven ranked teams over the past five seasons, going 7-8 against Top 25 opponents despite being the underdog in each one of those games.
• Three of those wins were against Top 3 teams, while Purdue handed five of those ranked teams their first loss of the season.
• In 2021, Purdue knocked off previously unbeaten No. 2 Iowa and No. 3 Michigan State, giving the Boilermakers two wins over Top 5 teams for the first time since 1960.
• Five of the seven wins have been by double digits, the biggest being a 29-point victory over No. 2 Ohio State in 2018.
• Three of the victories have been on the road, including a pair last season at Minnesota and Illinois; both teams were ranked No. 21 heading into their game against Purdue.
THIENEMAN EARNS THIRD B1G FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONOR
• Another week, another Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolade for Dillon Thieneman. The Purdue defensive back collected the weekly honor for the third time this season following his play at Nebraska.
• Thieneman forced two fumbles to tie a school record for a single game, the first two forced fumbles of his career.
• The Westfield, Indiana, native led Purdue in tackles for the fifth time in 2023, recording 12 for his most in a Big Ten game.
• It’s another first for Thieneman, as no Purdue defender was a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree.
• He became the first Boilermaker to earn the recognition at least three times since wide receiver David Bell was named B1G Freshman of the Week four times throughout the 2019 season. Bell went on to become the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
• No. 2 Michigan enters Saturday’s matchup a perfect 8-0, including 5-0 in conference play.
• The Wolverines’ defense leads the nation in defensive touchdowns (4), first downs allowed (92), passing yards allowed (141.0 ypg), red zone defense (33.3%), scoring defense (5.9 ppg) and total defense (226.8 ypg).
• Quarterback J.J. McCarthy leads the Michigan offense, throwing for 1,799 yards and ranking second nationally in completion percentage (.781). His favorite receiver is Roman Wilson, who paces the Wolverines in receptions (27), receiving yards (446) and receiving touchdowns (10).
• Running back Blake Corum has a nation-best 13 rushing touchdowns to go along with 605 yards on the ground.
• Jim Harbaugh is in his ninth season as Michigan’s head coach, returning to his alma mater after four years as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
HISTORY WITH MICHIGAN
• While the series history does not favor Purdue, the Boilermakers have been underdogs in the majority of the matchups against Michigan.
• • Saturday’s contest marks the 38th time Purdue faces a ranked Michigan, including the 13th game against a Top-5 Michigan team.
• Throughout history, Purdue has beaten the Wolverines five times when they were ranked in the Top 10.
• Several Boilermakers that have or would have made an impact on the field suffered season-ending injuries.
• Jahmal Edrine looked to be one of Purdue’s top receiving threats after transferring from FAU. Unfortunately, an injury during fall camp has forced him to miss the entire 2023 campaign.
• Max Klare got off to a hot start through the first four weeks of the season, ranking among the nation’s best tight ends and leading all freshman tight ends in several statistical categories. He started the first five games, but an injury in Purdue’s win over Illinois ended his season early (Sept. 30).
• Defensive back Marquis Wilson also suffered a season-ending injury in the Cannon Trophy victory (Sept. 30). Wilson was leading the Big Ten in pass breakups (6) at the time.
• Marcus Mbow made 20 consecutive starts dating back to his 2022 redshirt freshman season. An injury late in the Iowa game (Oct. 7) was season-ending for Purdue’s starting right tackle.
• Filling in for Mbow, Luke Griffin suffered a season-ending injury against Ohio State (Oct. 14).
• Kydran Jenkins has been a force in creating negative plays for opposing offenses.
• The senior outside linebacker is the Big Ten’s leader in both sacks (7.0) and tackles-for-loss (11.5). He ranks ninth nationally in sacks, while sitting 11th in TFLs.
• Jenkins had arguably the best game of his career at Nebraska (Oct. 28), recording career highs in TFLs (4.5) and sacks (2.0) while forcing a fumble and returning it 55 yards for his first career touchdown.
• The 4.5 TFLs against Nebraska were the most by a Boilermaker since Gelen Robinson recorded 5.5 TFLs against Nebraska exactly six years to the day (Oct. 28, 2017).
• Against Wisconsin (Sept. 22), paced Purdue with a career-high nine tackles.
B1G WINS AWAY FROM HOME
• The Boilermakers have won seven of their past 11 conference games away from home.
• Three of those victories were over ranked teams. Purdue beat No. 2 Iowa 24-7 in 2021 before knocking off No. 21 Minnesota and No. 21 Illinois a season ago.
• Purdue was 4-1 in conference road games in 2022, while going 3-1 in B1G matchups away from Ross-Ade Stadium in 2021.
DILLON THIENEMAN NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR SHAUN ALEXANDER FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Football defensive back Dillon Thieneman has been named a semifinalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced to kick off the month of November. The nation’s leading freshman in multiple defensive categories, Thieneman is one of 14 semifinalists and the only Big Ten freshman up for the award.
The Shaun Alexander Freshman Player of the Year Award is an honor given each year to the most outstanding freshman player in college football. Named after Shaun Alexander since 2018, this award recognizes the exceptional performance and impact made by these players on their respective teams throughout the season.
As a true freshman, Thieneman has already become a leader on the Boilermaker defense and one of the best defensive players in the country. The Westfield, Indiana, native ranks second nationally in solo tackles, averaging 6.5 per game. Thieneman’s 9.2 tackles per game not only lead Purdue but also are more than any other freshman in the country. He leads the nation in tackles (74), solo tackles (52) and interceptions (3) and forced fumbles (2).
Thieneman is no stranger to recognition in his first college football season. He received Midseason Freshman All-America honors from 247Sports, The Athletic, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and On3. A three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree (Sept. 4, Oct. 9, Oct. 30), Thienemen became the first defender in Purdue history to earn accolade three times.
Thienemen has made three interceptions this season, ranking 17th nationally and one of only three freshmen to record three INTs. He became the first freshman in school history to record an interception in each of his first two games, and his trio of INTs is tied for the third-most all-time by a Purdue freshman. His first career INT in the season opener marked just the third time since 1996 that a Purdue true freshman made an interception in their debut (1999 – James Dunnigan vs. UCF, 2016 – Josh Hayes vs. Eastern Kentucky).
The freshman has led Purdue in tackles in five games this season. Thieneman paced the Boilermakers in tackles in his first three games (10 vs. Fresno State, 7 at Virginia Tech, 14 vs. Syracuse), while becoming the first Purdue freshman to record multiple double-digit tackle games since Ja’Whaun Bentley (New England Patriots) in 2014. This past week against Nebraska, he made a team-high 12 tackles. While it was his most tackles in a conference contest, Thieneman forced two fumbles to tie a Purdue single-game record.
Finalists for the 6th annual Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year award will be released November 29, 2023, and the winner of the award will be announced on December 27, 2023. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards in March 2024.
2023 Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Semifinalists
Caleb Downs (S), Alabama
Javante Mackey (LB), Arkansas State
T.J. Parker (DE), Clemson
D’Angelo Ponds (CB), James Madison
Rueben Bain, (DE), Miami (FL)
Kevin Concepcion (WR), NC State
Nic Anderson (WR), Oklahoma
Peyton Bowen (S), Oklahoma
Dillon Thieneman (DB), Purdue
Jalon Kilgore (S), South Carolina
Anthony Hill (LB), Texas
Taurean York (LB), Texas A&M
Zachariah Branch (WR), USC
Parker Brailsford (OL), Washington
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL
#3 PURDUE CRUISES PAST GRACE COLLEGE IN EXHIBITION WIN
GAME NOTES (#3 Purdue 98, Grace College 51)
No. 3-ranked Purdue breezed past Grace College 98-51 in its final exhibition tuneup before Monday’s season opener against Samford.
Purdue is 29-0 at home under Matt Painter in exhibition games, winning by an average of 27.0 points.
Purdue recorded 47 points off the bench and had five players in double-figures.
Four of Purdue’s five starters had plus-minus numbers of +29 or better, all coming in 17 minutes or less.
Purdue had seven turnovers, including two in the second half. The two in the second half, came as Caleb Furst was falling out of bounds after a rebound and after being called for traveling while diving on the floor.
In two exhibition games (Arkansas and Grace College), Purdue allowed a total of five offensive rebounds.
Zach Edey attempted his first “unofficial” 3-point attempt tonight. He scored 19 points with 9 rebounds in 17 minutes of action and Purdue was +38 when he was on the floor.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 3-ranked Purdue men’s basketball team used a 42-9 run spanning halftime to blow the game open and breeze past NAIA power Grace College 98-51 at Mackey Arena on Wednesday night.
The Boilermakers led just 23-19 with 7:53 to play after back-to-back 3-pointers by the Lancers, but ended the half on a 27-9 spurt for a 50-28 halftime lead, then scored the first 15 points of the second half for a 65-28 lead with just under 16 minutes to play. The lead wouldn’t dip below 32 for the remainder of the game.
Zach Edey led Purdue with 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in just 17 minutes of action. Lance Jones contributed 13 points with three rebounds and two assists and Braden Smith had 11 points, six assists and five rebounds in 17 minutes.
Will Berg added 11 points and six rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench while Caleb Furst had 10 points and four rebounds.
Thirteen of Purdue’s 17 players scored in the contest and the Boilermakers outrebounded the Lancers 53-33. Purdue also had just seven turnovers and only two in the second half, while registering 19 assists, 10 steals and eight blocked shots.
The Boilermakers host Samford in Monday’s season opener, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET, on the Big Ten Network.
#19 PURDUE FALLS 1-3 AT #2 WISCONSIN
MADISON, Wis. – The No. 19 Purdue volleyball squad fell, 1-3 at No. 2 Wisconsin on Wednesday night (14-25, 25-16, 18-25, 14-25). The effort included a double-double by Eva Hudson (18 kills, 11 digs) and a 37-assist, six dig performance by freshman setter Taylor Anderson.
Purdue’s Set 2 victory (25-16) marked the lowest set score for the Badgers during a Big Ten match this season, and just the fourth set loss of Big Ten play this season.
With the result, Purdue falls to 14-8 (8-5 Big Ten) while Wisconsin improves to 21-1 (12-1 Big Ten).
Up next, the Boilermakers return home to Holloway Gymnasium, where they will take on No. 16 Penn State on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The match will be streamed live on B1G+.
Purdue handed Wisconsin a 25-16 Set 2 loss, holding the Badgers to their lowest set-score in Big Ten play this season.
The Boilermakers out-hit the Badgers .357% to -.029% in Set 2, while posting six team blocks and 15 digs in the set victory.
Eva Hudson was the first player for either team to reach double-digit kills, doing so in Set 2, before finishing the night with 18 kills. Hudson registered her seventh double-double of the season and first since her 13 kill, 11 dig performance vs. Iowa (10/7).
Maddie Schermerhorn led the team with 12 digs on the night.
The team posted eight blocks in the match, six of which came in Set 2.
BUTLER WOMEN’S SOCCER
JACOMEN TABBED BIG EAST FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR; SOMMER, DIAGNE, AND ISGER ALSO REPRESENT @BUTLERUWSOCCER
NEW YORK – Four Bulldogs earned All-BIG EAST honors for the 2023 women’s soccer season, as chosen by the BIG EAST coaches and announced by the conference office Wednesday, November 1. Norah Jacomen garnered one of the major awards, earning Freshman of the Year recognition, as she was also selected to the All-BIG EAST Third Team. Teammates Talia Sommer and Aliya Diagne were named for the first time to the All-BIG EAST First Team, while Abigail Isger joins Jacomen on the All-BIG EAST Third Team.
Butler posted a 6-8-6 record this season, qualifying for its ninth-consecutive postseason BIG EAST Tournament.
Jacomen, a freshman from Knoxville, Tennessee, becomes the fourth Butler player to be named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, following Sommer, who won in 2022. Jacomen started 19 of this season’s 20 matches and finished third in the BIG EAST with nine goals and 19 offensive points, leading her team in both categories. The forward won BIG EAST Freshman of the Week recognition on three different occasions this season.
Sommer, a sophomore midfielder from Tel Aviv, Israel, earns First Team recognition after being named to the Second Team last season. She started all twenty games this season for the Bulldogs, leading the team, and finishing tied for second in the BIG EAST, with six assists. The midfielder finished fifth in the conference, and second on the team, with 18 offensive points.
Diagne, a graduate student from Neunkirchen, Germany, started all 19 games in which she appeared this season, playing the role of an attacking outside defender and moving into forward positions on a regular basis. She tallied one goal and three assists, landing fifth on the team with five offensive points. Diagne was a three-time Second Team selection in past seasons.
Isger, a redshirt-senior from Indianapolis, started 19 of the 20 games in which she appeared this season. She finished third on the team with four goals and with 12 total points. The forward was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week the final week of the season after her brace vs. Creighton propelled the Bulldogs into the BIG EAST Tournament.
2023 BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Annual Awards
Offensive Player of the Year: Natalie Tavana, Seton Hall, Jr., M
Midfielder of the Year: Jessica Garziano, St. John’s, Gr., M
Defensive Player of the Year: Julia Leas, Georgetown, Gr., D
Goalkeeper of the Year: Kaitlyn Mahoney, UConn, Sr., GK
Freshman of the Year: Norah Jacomen, Butler, Fr., F
Coaching Staff of the Year: Xavier University (Nate Lie, Head Coach)
All-BIG EAST First Team *
Aliya Diagne, Butler, Gr., D
Talia Sommer, Butler, So., M
Jessica Mazo, UConn, Gr., M
Chioma Okafor, UConn, So., F
Allie Augur, Georgetown, Gr., GK
Julia Leas, Georgetown, Gr., D
Natalie Means, Georgetown, So., F
Eliza Turner, Georgetown, Jr., M
Meg Hughes, Providence, Sr., F ^
Jessica Garziano, St. John’s, Gr., M ^
Natalie Tavana, Seton Hall, Jr., M ^
Natalie Bain, Xavier, So., D
All-BIG EAST Second Team *
Lucy Cappadona, UConn, Sr., D
Cara Jordan, UConn, Gr., F
Kaitlyn Mahoney, UConn, Sr., GK
Azumi Manriki, Creighton, Jr., M
Brianne Riley, Georgetown, Gr., D
Kayla Briggs, Providence, Fr., F
Avery Snead, Providence, Sr., D
Jackie Richards, Villanova, Gr., F
Maria Galley, Xavier, So., GK
Maddie Reed, Xavier, Sr., D
Ella Rogers, Xavier, Jr., M
Samantha Wiehe, Xavier, Jr., M
All-BIG EAST Third Team
Abigail Isger, Butler, R-Sr., M
Norah Jacomen, Butler, Fr., F
Abbey Jones, UConn, Jr., M
Peighton Steffen, Creighton, Sr., D
Ellie Mink, DePaul, Sixth Yr., M
Allie Winstanley, Georgetown, Sr., F
Emma Bodmer, Providence, Sr., GK
Gillian Kenney, Providence, Jr., F/M
Chiara Pucci, Seton Hall, Jr., D
Makayla Stadler, Villanova, Gr., F/D
Sonia Vargas, Xavier, Sr., F
^ denotes unanimous selection
* due to ties in voting there is an extra member on the All-BIG EAST First and Second Team
BUTLER MEN’S BASKETBALL
FIVE BULLDOGS SCORE IN DOUBLE FIGURES IN BUTLER’S EXHIBITION WIN OVER FRANKLIN COLLEGE
Butler finished off the exhibition portion of its schedule with a decisive 91-54 win over visiting Franklin College Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Following the team’s two preseason wins, the Bulldogs will now turn their attention to the regular season, which opens Monday night.
Five Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by 16 points from Jahmyl Telfort, who made seven of his nine attempts from the field.
COACH THAD MATTA: “We eventually got our pressure going, some full-court stuff. That kind of ignited us. We had a great run going into halftime. And in the second half, we challenged shots better, we got rebounds, and we got out in transition to get some easy ones. That’s kind of how we have to play.”
Butler shot 55 percent from the field and had a 54-26 advantage in points in the paint.
Butler closed the first half on a 16-3 run, which gave the Bulldogs a 50-32 lead at intermission.
All 14 of Pierre Brooks’ points came in the first half.
Telfort and Brooks were joined in double figures by Posh Alexander (15), Connor Turnbull (12), and freshman Finley Bizjack (11).
Alexander (five) and Telfort (four) combined for nine of Butler’s 13 steals.
The Bulldogs handed out 22 assists on 35 made field goals, while committing only seven turnovers.
Landon Moore had a game-high five assists; Brooks and Turnbull led the Bulldogs with seven rebounds.
Butler center Jalen Thomas sat out Wednesday’s exhibition to rest a foot issue. He is expected to be available for the Bulldogs’ regular season opener Monday (Nov. 6). Andre Screen started in his place.
Butler was also without freshman Augusto Cassia, who sustained a strain to a muscle in his right leg more than a week ago. He is out indefinitely, and his status will be updated in the coming weeks.
Butler holds a 46-18 advantage over Franklin in regular season contests over the years; the teams first met during the 1904-05 season. The last of those regular-season match-ups came in the finale of the 1945-46 season. The teams last met in an exhibition contest Nov. 8, 2014 at Hinkle, a 98-43 Butler win.
The Butler and Franklin campuses are separated by about 30 miles.
UP NEXT: The Bulldogs officially open the 2023-24 season Monday, hosting Eastern Michigan at Hinkle Fieldhouse for an 8 p.m. tip. Tickets for that contest are available for as low as $9 in a special promotion for the regular season opener.
IUPUI MEN’S SOCCER
HORN’S FIRST TALLY OF THE SEASON EARNS DRAW AT PURDUE FORT WAYNE
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – In a decision day duel, the IUPUI men’s soccer team battled to a 1-1 draw against Purdue Fort Wayne Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 1). The Mastodons needed at least a point to earn a spot in the Horizon League Tournament, while the Jags’ placement had already been secured.
IUPUI (6-6-5, 4-2-3 HL) got on the board first on a free kick just outside the box. Set piece specialist, Lukas Hackaa, played in a dangerous ball to the near post that bobbled around just outside the six before falling to the feet of sophomore defender Brady Horn. Horn calmly slipped the ball passed the goalie and through a defender’s legs to find the back of the net and give his team the early lead. The sixth minute mark was not only Horn’s first of the campaign, but also the quickest of the year for IUPUI. The assist was Hackaa’s fifth of the season, propelling him inside the top five in the league in assists, goals and points.
Following the early goal, Purdue Fort Wayne (6-5-4, 3-3-3 HL) upped the pressure, needing a goal to secure a spot in the Horizon League Tournament. Despite the constant pressure, the Mastodons failed to generate any genuine scoring chances for the majority of the first half. The tides turned when the Dons were awarded a penalty after an attacker was taken down in the area. Seth Mahlenmeister, the Horizon League’s leading scorer, got just enough height on his shot from the spot to beat Lucas Morefield who searched for his second penalty save in as many matches.
After going into the break tied at one, both sides had large spells of possession in the second stanza, but neither was able to create any quality offense, with just three shots and one on goal coming in the second 45.
After a relatively calm second half, it was a nervy final five minutes for both squads. The Mastodons had multiple corner and free kicks in the offensive third and were also issued a red card, but the teams were content with the draw as the hosts held the ball at the corner flag for the final minute of play.
The Jaguars await the result of the Green Bay vs. Milwaukee match which will determine the final seeding for the tournament. Oakland, with a victory today, secured the regular season crown and will host the semi-finals and final next week.
NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER
SIX IRISH EARN ACC END OF THE YEAR AWARDS
CHARLOTTE – For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame senior Eva Gaetino is your ACC Defender of the Year. In addition, for the second year in a row, six Notre Dame women’s soccer players are taking home end-of-the-season ACC hardware.
The breakdown for ACC awards goes as follows:
First Team All-ACC: Eva Gaetino & Kiki Van Zanten
Second Team All-ACC: Maddie Mercado & Leah Klenke
All-Freshman Team: Charlie Codd & Morgan Roy
Gaetino becomes the third player to win Defensive Player of the Year honors twice since the award’s inception in 2004 and just the second to win it in back-to-back seasons (Malia Berkely, Florida State 2019-20). The Dexter, Michigan, native anchored a backline that has posted five clean sheets this season, including two shutouts to end the regular season that helped clinch a bye in the 2023 Ally ACC Women’s Soccer Championship.
Now a two-time First Team All-ACC selection, Gaetino has stepped up her game offensively as well and has recorded a career-best four goals and three assists for a career-high 11 points.
Fellow captain Kiki Van Zanten earned her first First-Team All-ACC honor and second ACC award overall (2020 Third Team). Van Zanten ranks second on the team in points (15) and goals (6), as the latter is one shy of her career high.
Mercado earns her highest ACC team honor of her career with her Second Team nod. She was a Third Team selection in 2022. This season, Mercado leads the team in both goals (7) and points (16). She also boasts the most game-winners with three.
An All-Freshman Team selection a year ago, Klenke elevated her game in year two and earned Second Team All-ACC honors because of it. Klenke leads the team with 10 assists, which ranks 11th nationally and second in the ACC. Her 0.6 assists per game rank 13th in the country and second in the league. She now has a career-best 14 points on the season.
Furthermore, Klenke has been dynamic down the stretch, registering points in 10 of the last 13 matches. She had seven assists in conference play.
Charlie Codd has made two starts and seen significant time in both the midfield and up top in all 17 games. She turned up the heat in October, in which she has scored all three of her goals.
Moran Roy has started in all but one game in the midfield at right-back and ranks third on the team in shots with 31. She has tallied one goal and four assists for six points.
NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL
IRISH SHOW OUT IN 96-62 EXHIBITION WIN
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The 2023-24 version of the Notre Dame men’s basketball team had its final preseason tune-up on Wednesday night, giving Irish fans their first glimpse of the new team under Glenn & Stacey Murphy Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry. With that said, Irish fans were treated to a dominant 96-62 win over D-III opponent Hanover College.
“I wanted to see our guys play hard and compete, just like in practice,” Coach Shrewsberry said. “I wanted people to come here and see us compete like that and play like that and know it’s going to be like that every single game. We might not come out on top, but we are going to compete every single game. I thought those guys poured their hearts out. I said empty your tank and let the next guy come in and do the same thing.”
What’s exciting about the Shrewsberry era is that three freshmen balled out tonight in their debut. Mr. Indiana Basketball, Markus Burton, led the way with 18 points. Then fellow freshmen Braeden Shrewsberry and Logan Imes followed suit with 14 points.
Other double-digit point scorers included J.R. Konieczny and Matt Zona with 12 points each.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish had a scoring run to remember in the first half. Notre Dame recorded a 24-0 scoring spree which spanned from 13:06 to 7:46. Markus Burton tallied exactly of the team’s points in said run with 12.
Another first-half highlight was Braeden Shrewsberry knocking down three triples in less than a two-minute span.
All-in-all, both Burton and Shrewsberry finished the half with 14 points each, Burton was 5-of-7 from the field while Shrewsberry was lighting it up beyond the arc with a 4-for-6 mark. Another freshman, Logan Imes, produced the third-highest halftime total with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting.
As a whole, the Irish connected on 14 of their final 18 shots of the half and ultimately shot 59.4 percent from the field. Notre Dame was 7-of-12 (.583) from three-point range. Also, how about this stat, just three turnovers, as they took a 55-27 lead into the half.
Imes got his double-digit points early in the second half though, knocking down back-to-back triples around the 16-minute mark.
The Irish went on to shoot over 50 percent in the second half as well. J.R. Konieczny led the way in the second with 10 points, followed by Matt Zona with eight. The final result, an Irish victory via the score 96-62.
The Fighting Irish will officially open their season on Monday, Nov. 6, when they host Niagara at 7 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion. The first 3,000 fans will receive a free green ‘Shrews Crew’ rally towel. Be there from the start and help us kick off the Shrewsberry era.
BALL STATE FOOTBALL
CARDINALS FALL 24-21 IN #MAC-TION HEARTBREAKER AT BOWLING GREEN
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Ball State and Bowling Green alternated touchdowns all night long Wednesday – until a made field goal and missed field goal settled the outcome in the game’s final moments. The 52-yard missed field goal on the game’s final play by Ball State’s Jackson Courville was short by roughly the length of the football – nearly grazing the crossbar as it fell to the ground.
Bowling Green’s game-winner came on Alan Anaya’s 22-yarder with 3:14 remaining, salvaging a nearly six-minute drive that stalled on a goal-line stand by Ball State. The Falcons got a fresh set of downs from the Ball State one-yard line, but Jack Sape and Drew Hughes made a goal-line stop on first down. Sidney Houston Jr., pulled down Harold Fannin Jr., for a 3-yard loss and the Cardinals forced an incompletion on third down.
For the fourth straight week, the Cardinals defense gave Ball State an avenue to victory.
Ball State went three-and-out on its ensuing possession, however, and the Falcons followed with another three-and-out series to set up BSU’s final drive. Moving from their own 33-yard line, the Cardinals got a pair of completions from Kiael Kelly to Malcolm Gillie to move the ball to midfield. A pair of Kelly runs earned another first down at the Bowling Green 35. Two incompletions later, with nine seconds left in the contest, Courville trotted onto the field for the 52-yard attempt.
Eight-of-eight from inside 40 yards this year as a true freshman, Courville was 0-of-2 from 50-plus yards. Into the night sky, this kick was on target but agonozingly close – and painfully short.
The Cardinals (2-7, 1-4 MAC) remained winless on the road this year while Bowling Green (5-4, 3-2 MAC) captured its third straight win.
The Falcons and Cardinals traded first half touchdowns, with Ball State matching Bowling Green on Kelly’s six-yard TD scramble early in the second period. Kelly’s run came on the 17th play of Ball State’s longest drive of the year, and the Cardinals got the ball back with the chance to take the lead before halftime. But after a lateral fumble on a backfield throw from Kelly to Marquez Cooper, Bowling Green scored on a 54-yard run by Terion Stewart just two plays later to go up 14-7 prior to intermission.
Cooper’s five-yard run capped a 13-play Cardinals’ drive to tie the score at 14 with 5:51 left in the third period. He helped key the drive with a five-yard run on a fourth-down conversion at the Bowling Green 32-yard line. But the next touchdown came from the Falcons again, with Ta’ron Keith collecting Connor Bazelak’s second touchdown pass of the night, from 10 yards out, to regain a 21-14 advantage.
The game of alternating touchdowns continued into the fourth quarter when Kelly’s 44-yard burst down the right sideline knotted the game at 21 with 9:07 left to play. It was Ball State’s longest run from scrimmage this season, and Kelly’s fourth rushing TD in the past two weeks.
Kelly and Cooper both finished with 90 rushing yards to anchor a 217-yard rushing performance by the Cardinals – but a minus-two turnover deficit dashed Ball State’s hopes of consecutive wins for the first time this season. Keionte Newson paced the Cardinal defense with ten tackles and three tackles for loss. Houston produced five tackles including three TFL of his own.
Ball State resumes #MAC-tion midweek play next Tuesday, Nov. 7 at Northern Illinois.
BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SCORES 100 POINTS IN EXHIBITION WIN OVER TRINE
MUNCIE, Ind. – It came to no surprise that the Cardinals opened the game with a defensive intensity which ultimately led to an impressive 100-41 victory over Trine University in exhibition action Wednesday night in Worthen Arena.
Ball State handled the ball well, made good passes, had a fast paced tempo and a lot of depth. All-in-all the Cardinals team chemistry seemed to carry over from last year which was a key to their successful offense tonight.
A total of 13 different players saw action for the Cardinals, with all 13 scoring at least two points or more. The high scorers for Ball State had 16, 14, 13 and 11, respectively.
But ultimately what jumped off the stat page the most was the Cardinals defense, holding the Thunder to six points the majority of the first half. Ball State also forced Trine to commit 32 turnovers with the Cardinals scoring 43 points off those miscues.
The Ball State women’s basketball team officially opens the 2023-24 season Monday, Nov. 6, when it hosts Tennessee Tech for the Cardinals’ annual “Field Trip Day”. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 11 a.m. ET.
BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL
VOLLEYBALL BATTLES WMU FOR MAC LEAD THIS WEEKEND
THIS WEEK IN BALL STATE VOLLEYBALL: It will be a battle of the top two teams in the Mid-American Conference this weekend as Ball State (11-2 MAC) travels to Western Michigan (13-0 MAC) for a key league series … The teams are slated to play at 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday at University Arena.
FOLLOW THE ACTION: Fans unable to make their way to WMU’s University Arena can still watch the action live, as both contests will be broadcast on ESPN+ … In addition, live stats will be provided by Western Michigan Athletics … Updates from the matches will also be provided on the team’s X feed and Instagram story: @BallStateWVB.
WHERE THINGS STAND: With five matches remaining in MAC play, Ball State (11-2 MAC) is currently two matches behind Western Michigan (13-0 MAC) for the top spot in the league standings … The regular season champion earns hosting rights to the six-team 2023 MAC Volleyball Championship slated to be played between Nov. 18-22 with dates set by the host institution … Buffalo (10-3) is currently third, while Ohio (8-5 MAC) and Toledo (8-5 MAC) are tied for fourth … The Bobcats hold the tiebreaker by virtue of a head-to-head victory last Friday … There is currently a four-team tie for the sixth and final spot, with Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Akron and Northern Illinois all holding 6-7 league records.
BALL STATE ALL-TIME: The Ball State enters Friday’s match at Western Michigan with a 1,009-643-2 (.611) all-time record in women’s volleyball … Thanks to its 3-0 sweep of Central Michigan on Sept. 22, Ball State became just the 44th program in NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball history to reach 1,000 wins … All-time, the Cardinals have captured 12 MAC West Division Championships, 10 MAC Regular Season Championships and eight MAC Volleyball Championship titles … Ball State has made 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including three of the last four seasons … BSU has also earned one bid into the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC).
IN #MACTION: With an 11-2 MAC record so far this season, Ball State maintains its status as the winningest program in league play with a 444-217 (.672) all-time Mid-American Conference mark … Western Michigan is second on the list, five matches behind the Cardinals at 439-222 (.664).
THE WORTHEN FACTOR: The Cardinals own an even better record when playing at home, boasting a 316-96 (.767) all-time mark inside Worthen Arena … Looking at just opponents from the MAC, Ball State is 233-58 (.801) when battling in Worthen Arena … Overall, no MAC opponent owns a winning record inside Worthen Arena, as the Cardinals have at least a .650 winning percentage against all league schools on its current home floor.
MORE FROM THE HOME FRONT: With last weekend’s wins over Kent State (Oct. 27) and Ohio (Oct. 28), Ball State improved to 35-3 in Worthen Arena over the past three seasons (Fall 2021-2023) … BSU has won its last 25 MAC regular season home matches, with its last regular season MAC home loss coming to Central Michigan on March 20, 2021.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES VS WESTERN MICHIGAN: Ball State holds a 55-48 lead in the all-time series with Western Michigan including five straight wins … The last three meetings have been 3-1 victories in Worthen Arena, with the latest played Oct. 22, 2022 … Ball State has also won the last two matches played in Kalamazoo, sweeping both meetings during the 2021 fall season played Oct. 22 and Oct. 23 … Overall, WMU does hold a slim 24-21 lead in matches played on its home court.
SCOUTING BALL STATE:
• Ball State enters the week with a 14-10 (11-2 MAC) record after sweeping Kent State (Oct. 27) and topping Ohio (Oct. 28) by a score of 3-1 last week … It was a solid rebound after seeing its 10-match losing streak snapped with a pair of five-set losses at Buffalo (Oct. 20 & 21) … The Cardinals played one of the league’s toughest non-conference slates, including three programs (No. 17 Creighton, No. 18 Dayton and No. 23 Western Kentucky) currently ranked inside the Top 25 of the AVCA/Taraflex Coaches Poll.
• Ball State enters the weekend as one of the nation’s top blocking programs, ranking first in the MAC and 74th nationally with a 2.36 blocks-per-set average … Freshman middle Camryn Wise has played a large role in those numbers over the last seven weeks, averaging a league-best 1.33 blocks per set … Wise, who has played in 59.8% (52 of 87) of Ball State’s sets this season, would rank 22nd nationally were she to reach the 66.7% of sets played threshold required to be included in the NCAA rankings.
• On the attacking front, redshirt freshman outside Aniya Kennedy leads the squad, is third in the league and ranks 43rd nationally with a 3.95 kills-per-set average … Fifth-year middle Marie Plitt is BSU’s top attacker by percentage, boasting a .393 hitting percentage which is second in the league and 32nd nationally.
SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN:
• The Broncos enter the weekend with a 23-2 (13-0 MAC) record and riding a 13-match winning streak … WMU has only dropped four sets in league play, including 3-1 home wins over Buffalo (Oct. 27) and Akron (Oct. 28) last weekend … Western Michigan was the fourth team in the Alyssa Cavanaugh Classic, which also featured Ball State, with their last loss of the season coming in the form of a 3-1 setback to host Western Kentucky (Sept. 16)
• Western Michigan features one of the nation’s top attacking units, with the squad ranking first in the MAC and 24th nationally with a .268 hitting percentage … The effort is led by setter Logan Case who is first in the MAC and third nationally with 11.77 assists per set.
• WMU also has one of the nation’s stingiest defenses, ranking first in the MAC and 66th nationally with a .179 opponent hitting percentage … The Broncos lead the league and are 43rd nationally at 15.98 dig per set … Andelyn Simkins leads the backcourt at 4.88 digs per set, which is second in the league and 27th among all NCAA Division I players.
BALL STATE QUICK HITS:
• Marie Plitt currently leads the squad and ranks 32nd nationally with a .393 (226-32-494) attack percentage … Her best effort came in the win over Purdue Fort Wayne (Aug. 26) when she smashed 10 kills on 12 swings with one error for a .750 attacking mark … Plitt also hit .722 (13-0-18) in last Friday’s win over Kent State (Oct. 27) and .688 (11-0-16) in the win over Central Michigan (Sept. 21) … She has hit .500-or-better in 34 career matches … In BSU’s first 13 MAC matches this season, Plitt is hitting a league-best .450 (143-16-282) and averaging 3.04 kills per set.
• Marie Plitt enters Friday’s match at Western Michigan tied with Julie Zilka (1998-2001) atop Ball State’s all-time list with a .360 career hitting percentage … Plitt has steadily improved each year, hitting .295 as a freshman, .316 as a sophomore, .360 as a junior and a Ball State single season record .404 last year … She is the first player in program history to hit .400-or-above in a single season.
• Marie Plitt, who became Ball State’s all-time leader in sets played at Eastern Michigan (Sept. 30), became the 13th player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills with her first of 10 markers in last season’s NCAA Tournament opening round match at No. 16 Marquette … With 1235 career kills, Plitt currently ranks eighth in program history and needs 12 more to pass Kelly Cochran’s (2003-2006) total of 1,246 for seventh.
• Marie Plitt has also made her presence felt at the net over her career, ranking fifth in program history with 406 career blocks … She is fifth on Ball State’s all-time charts with 326 career block assists, while ranking ninth with 80 solo blocks.
• Fifth-year defensive specialist Havyn Gates has served as starting libero in 23 of Ball State’s 24 matches this season, and has now started in the off-colored jersey 28 times in her Ball State career … She was credited with a season-high 26 digs in the near upset at then-No. 20 Creighton (Sept. 1) and followed with 22 versus UNI (Sept. 2) … Add 20 digs at Buffalo (Oct. 21) and Gates has 27 career matches with 20-or-more digs … Gates earned a Ball State career-high 33 digs in the five-set thriller at Central Michigan (Sept. 24, 2022), while registering 42 digs in a match as a freshman at Indiana Wesleyan in 2019 … She has 2,090 career digs including 966 in her three seasons at BSU and 1,124 over her two-year career at IWU.
• Megan Wielonski, who currently ranks sixth in program history with 3,646 career assists, has proven to be one of the nation’s elite setters … In fact, her 3,646 career assists currently rank 17th among all active NCAA Division I players … As a freshman, she finished the 2021 season ranked second nationally with 1,394 total assists … Her sophomore campaign ended with her ranked fourth nationally with 1,358 total assists in 2022 … 24 matches into the 2023 season and Wielonski is 31st nationally with 893 total assists.
• In addition to being one of the nation’s top setters, Megan Wielonski is one of the country’s top servers with 132 career aces … The total currently ranks seventh in program history … As a freshman, she ranked eighth among all NCAA Division I players with 58 aces, including a career-high seven vs. Ohio (Sept. 30, 2021) … Her 58 aces in 2021 tied as the sixth most in a single season in Ball State history and were a single season record for a BSU setter, topping Amber Seaman’s total of 51 in 2018 … Last season, she ranked 55th nationally with 46 service aces, while she has a team-leading 28 aces so far this season.
• Aniya Kennedy enters Friday’s match at Western Michigan ranked third in the MAC with her team-leading 3.95 kills-per-set average, while her 4.51 kills-per-set average in league play is tops in the conference … She has smashed double-digit kills in 18 matches, while leading the team in kills in 16 outings … In BSU’s four-set win over Akron (Oct. 13), Kennedy was credited with a career-high 25 kills, marking the third time in four matches she set a new career standard for kills.
• In fact, Aniya Kennedy’s 25 kills versus Akron (Oct. 13) were the most for a Ball State player in a match since Kia Holder (2017-20) logged 27 at Eastern Michigan on March 27, 2021 … In addition, the total ties as the fourth-most by a MAC player in a match this season and is the second-best total by a league attacker in a four-set match … Kennedy also owns the fourth-best total in a four-set match with her 21 kills at Bowling Green (Oct. 7) … Kennedy is the first Ball State player to register multiple 20+ kill matches in the same season since Natalie Risi (2019-22) had two as a freshman in 2019.
• Madison Buckley has also made a big impact, ranking third on the squad with a 2.47 kills-per-set average … Her biggest match came at then-No. 20 Creighton (Sept. 1) when she smashed a career-high 14 kills, a mark she tied versus UIC (Sept. 9) … Buckley has also made her presence felt at the net, ranking fifth in the MAC with a 0.91 blocks-per-set average … She has a team-best 79 total blocks this season, including five solo blocks and 74 block assists.
• Freshman Camryn Wise has found a home in the middle of the court over the last seven weeks, boasting a team and MAC-leading 1.33 blocks-per-set average … She has registered at least two blocks in 14 of the 15 matches she has played, while tallying a career-high nine total blocks in four-set wins over Akron (Oct. 14) and Ohio (Oct. 28) … Wise has also aided from the attack line, with 60 kills and a .379 hitting percentage, boasting a career-high 11 kills last at Buffalo (Oct. 21).
• Ball State currently ranks fourth in the MAC and 82nd nationally with a 15.16 digs-per-set average … Havyn Gates leads the squad and is seventh in the MAC with her 3.97 digs-per-set average … Megan Wielonski is not far behind, ranking second on the team at 2.53 digs per set.
• Also aiding in Ball State’s backcourt play has been sophomore defensive specialist Paige Busick who registered a career-high 21 digs in the four-set win over Akron (Oct. 13) … She currently ranks third on the team with 152 total digs and became the third Cardinal to register 20+ digs in a match this season, joining Havyn Gates and Megan Wielonski.
• Both Megan Wielonski and Havyn Gates are approaching 1,000 career digs as Cardinals, with Gates entering the weekend at 965 and Wielonski at 945 … Only 19 players in program history have reached 1,000 career digs, with the record being 2,273 set by Stephanie Keller (2001-04).
INDIANA STATE WOMEN’S SOCCER
HELLING NAMED TO 2023 MVC WOMEN’S SOCCER ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Indiana State’s Maddie Helling was named to the 2023 Missouri Valley Women’s Soccer All-Conference team as announced by the conference office on Wednesday evening.
Helling was named to the conference’s Third Team as voted on by the league’s head coaches following a standout junior season on the field. The Union, Mo. native led the Sycamores in goals scored, while sitting among the conference’s top defenders on the season.
Helling finished as Indiana State’s scoring leader on the season posting a team-high three goals over 11 shots with eight shots on goal. She also finished second among the Indiana State players finishing with 1604 minutes played while starting all 18 matches.
Helling started the year being named the MVC Defensive Player of the Week on August 29 helping the Sycamores to a pair of draws against both Marshall and Eastern Illinois. During the span, she was tasked with marking the opposing team’s top attacker in limiting Marshall to just one goal in the contest. She followed up helping the ISU defense limiting Eastern Illinois to just one shot, while scoring her first goal against EIU in the 1-1 draw.
She added goals against both Robert Morris on August 31, before posting her final goal of 2023 against Illinois State. Her goal in the 53rd minute against the Redbirds helped ISU secure the 2-0 win over Illinois State, while helping the Sycamores snap a seven-match scoreless streak.
Helling earns the postseason All-Conference recognition for the first time. She becomes the first Sycamore to earn postseason honors since Indiana State placed five on the 2021 All-MVC team including current ISU players Maddie Alexander, Sasha Thompson, and Mackenzie Kent.
PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S SOCCER
DRAW WITH IUPUI HELPS PUT ‘DONS IN THE #HLMSOC POSTSEASON
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Seth Mahlmeister’s first half penalty kick tied Wednesday’s (Nov. 1) match for Purdue Fort Wayne. The goal would end up being the difference in a 1-1 draw between the Mastodons and IUPUI.
Ali Nasser had the ball in the goal box in the 33rd minute and was fouled on a rough tackle. Mahlmeister converted on the PK chance and tied the match late in the first half.
The point the ‘Dons earned in the draw was crucial for the Mastodons as it, combined with other results on Wednesday, put the ‘Dons in the 2023 Horizon League Championship. The ‘Dons will be the No. 5 seed and go on the road to No. 4 Detroit Mercy on Sunday (Nov. 5). This will be Purdue Fort Wayne’s first conference tournament berth since 2018 in the Summit League.
IUPUI scored first in the match with a goal in the sixth minute. A set piece was delivered to Brady Horn who finished the goal to give the Jaguars an early lead.
Purdue Fort Wayne led in shots 9-5 over the match, but shots in the second half were just 2-1. Soshi Fujioka had a chance off a set piece in the 68th minute, but his shot went high.
Max Collingwood stopped three shots in goal. IUPUI’s Lucas Morefield had just two saves.
The Mastodons move to 6-5-4 and 3-3-3 in Horizon League play. IUPUI is now 6-6-5 and is also now 4-2-3 in conference play.
EVANSVILLE MEN’S SOCCER
ACES MEN’S SOCCER EARNS A RESULT IN 2023 SEASON FINALE AT BELMONT
NASHVILLE — The University of Evansville men’s soccer team ended its 2023 campaign with a hard-fought 2-2 draw against the Belmont Bruins.
Two goals, with one in the waning minutes of the match, made for an exciting conclusion to the Purple Aces season. Senior forward Kai Phillip and freshman winger Auden Engen Vik scored for UE in the 23rd and 89th minute respectively. Evansville had three separate players record assists on the two goals including midfielder Carlos Barcia, midfielder Jose Vivas, and defender Tobias Bak.
“We haven’t been leading at half very much this season. But I thought we played pretty well and got a nice goal early,” said Head Coach Robbe Tarver following the match. “With the way the results were in other games, we knew Belmont was going to come out and press to take the game to us to advance to the tournament.
“Those first 15 minutes of the second half they put us under a lot of pressure and it ended up with a goal. But we couldn’t have asked more from our guys to get us back into the game and make it 2-2. It was a good game overall, but unfortunately, the results didn’t go our way in other matches. And that’s on us for not taking care of business earlier in the season,”.
The Aces found the net early and often in the Music City on a chilly night. Engen Vik recorded the team’s first shot in the second minute. UE’s aggressive offensive attack netted the first goal in the 23rd minute from Phillip. Bak made a cross through the penalty box to Phillip who was right in front of the goal on the right side. Phillip was able to tap the ball past Belmont’s goalkeeper with his right foot into the center of the net. Evansville kept the one-goal lead through the first 45 minutes, not getting another opportunity in the half.
To start the second half, the Aces played a more conservative game looking to keep the ball away from the Bruins with the slim lead. But Belmont was able to capitalize in the 54th minute after a flurry of shots at UE goalkeeper Jacob Madden to make it a 1-1 game. Evansville continued to struggle to contain the Bruins as the third goal of the match was Belmont’s in the 85th minute. Staring down a loss that would take them out of Missouri Valley Conference Tournament contention, the Aces returned to its high-volume offense.
In the final 10 minutes of the match, UE had five shot attempts with two going on net. One of those included the game-tying goal from Engen Vik in the 89th minute. With a large group of players in the top of the penalty area, Barcia took advantage of a little space to find Engen Vik in front of the middle of the net. Challenging the Bruins keeper, Engen Vik won with a sliding right-footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Ending the game in a draw kept Evansville’s postseason hopes alive for a brief moment as they waited for the result of the Northern Illinois and Bowling Green game. But a win from NIU officially ended the Aces season as the Huskies moved two points ahead of UE for the final tournament spot. Evansville ends the season with an overall record of 4-8-4 and an MVC record of 2-4-2.
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S SOCCER
ROSBOROUGH NAMED TO ALL-MVC SECOND TEAM
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Evansville senior defender Rachel Rosborough (Mt. Brydges, Ontario/Strathroy District CI) earned a place on the Missouri Valley Conference’s all-conference second team on Wednesday evening, as the league announced the 2023 Women’s Soccer all-conference teams at the MVC Tournament banquet in Des Moines, Iowa.
Rosborough was voted to the league’s all-conference second team in a vote of the league’s head coaches. Rosborough started all 17 matches this year along UE’s backline, and helped the Purple Aces record five shutouts this season. She finished the year fourth on the team in shots and recorded an assist in 1,445 minutes played this year.
For Rosborough, it marked the fourth-straight year in which she was honored in the league’s post-season awards for her hard work in defense for UE. She earned MVC All-Freshman team honors in the COVID Spring season of 2021, before earning honorable mention all-Valley honors as a sophomore later that fall, and third-team all-MVC honors last season.
Drake forward Emma Nagel earned MVC Player of the Year honors, while Missouri State’s Carly Raunig captured Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Missouri State’s Camielle Day was named the MVC’s Goalkeeper of the Year, while Drake’s Angela Gutierrez was voted the Valley’s Freshman of the Year.
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
ACES WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GETS PRESEASON TEST AGAINST OAKLAND CITY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The University of Evansville women’s basketball will have its lone exhibition game against the Oakland City Mighty Oaks.
The Purple Aces women’s basketball team will host Oakland City on Thursday night in their first action before the 2023-24 season. It will be a new look team for UE in the 2023-24 women’s basketball season. With 10 new players on the roster for the upcoming season, the Aces have recruited talent with championship experience at all levels. Among UE’s 10 new players, three come from winning junior college programs, three from winning high school programs, and one with national team experience. Evansville will look to improve on their best season record in six years with their 2023-24 roster.
Along with several new players to the team, the Aces welcome back four returners in sophomore Kynidi Mason Striverson, graduate student Barbora Tomancova, redshirt senior Celine Dupont, and junior Lexie Sinclair. Tomancova and Mason Striverson return as the team’s points leaders after being in the 2022-23 Top 5 in scoring. A consistent starter, Tomancova brings experience in big situations to the young team, while Mason Striverson and Dupont were key bench players looking to make the move to the starting five.
Going into her third year leading the Aces, Head Coach Robyn Scherr-Wells has seen consistent improvement from her team and will continue that growth with a retooled staff, promoting two and bringing in three new faces to the bench. Assistant Coach Tori Jarosz was raised to the Aces recruiting coordinator while Caleb Poston was elevated from the Aces Director of Basketball Operations to an Assistant Coach. Former UIC assistant Dodie Dunson was named UE’s Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach in May while Van Klohmann was brought on as a new Assistant Coach and Director of Basketball Operations from Division II Missouri S&T. Rounding out Scherr-Wells coaching staff for the season is graduate assistant Dominique McBryde, returning to the states after three years playing abroad.
Oakland City is an NAIA school 40 minutes down Indiana 57 from Evansville. The Aces have played the Mighty Oaks 24 times in the team’s series since UE began sponsoring women’s basketball in 1971. In that time span, Evansville has won 19 games with their last loss coming in 1981. The Aces only recently resumed games with Oakland City in the mid 2010s including their last meeting in the winter of 2021.
Thursday evening’s game will not be broadcast on ESPN+. Aces fans who can’t make it to Meeks Family Fieldhouse can follow along online with live stats at gopurpleaces.com
SOUTHERN INDIANA VOLLEYBALL
USI’S WEEKEND MATCHUP FEATURES SENIOR DAY
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Volleyball (10-13, 6-6 OVC) has a big week upon them as the Screaming Eagles look to secure an Ohio Valley Conference Championship bid but will need to get past Tennessee Tech University (8-16, 4-9 OVC) in a pair of matches this weekend at Screaming Eagles Arena. USI’s Senior Day will be Saturday with festivities following the match.
Information about USI Volleyball, including live stats, video, and audio broadcasts, is available on USIScreamingEagles.com.
Admission to the USI Volleyball matches this weekend is free.
Screaming Eagles Headlines:
Eagles Split Against Leathernecks. The Screaming Eagles took down Western Illinois in an offensive showdown on Friday before falling five sets on Saturday. After the weekend slate, USI went 2-4 in the month of October.
You Have To #OVCit. After a much needed bye week, the Eagles prepare for Tennessee Tech. USI dropped both matches last year to the Golden Eagles on the road. This season could be different as USI boasts a 5-3 home record with Senior Day highlighting Saturday’s match.
Senior Day. USI will honor four seniors who have went above and beyond in their careers as Screaming Eagles: Leah Anderson, Abby Bednar, Audrey Crowder, and Evie Duncan.
Party Like It’s 2005. In last Saturday’s match, junior Carly Sobieralski put up 62 assists and 22 digs which marks the first time since Stephanie Wilson in 2005 that a USI setter has earned at least 60 assists and 20 digs in a single match.
Killer Instinct. Sophomore Bianca Anderson threw down a career-high 25 kills in the win against Western Illinois. Anderson’s 25 kills were the most by an Eagle and fourth most by any OVC player all season.
Assisting the Nation. Junior Carly Sobieralski nabbed a career-high 65 assists in the win against Western Illinois. Sobieralski’s 65 assists were the most in a single match in the OVC and NCAA DI. With 127 total assists over a two-match span, Sobieralski was named rightfully named OVC Setter of the Week on October 23.
Anderson On The Rise. Senior Leah Anderson is the fourth Screaming Eagle to rank in the top five in three categories in USI Volleyball history. She currently ranks second in aces and kills while being fifth in digs all-time at USI. Anderson joins an elite group that includes Leeanne Gross, Sheri Kaiser, and Shannon Wells.
The Moore, The Merrier. Sophomore Keira Moore has been electric lately for USI, posting 20 or more digs in four of the last five matches. Her last outing resulted in a career-high 31 digs, second most in a five-set match within the conference.
Blocking The Haters. Junior Paris Downing has excelled at the net this season, securing a league and team-leading 98 blocks. She has already surpassed her season-high after earning 92 blocks last season.
OVC Leaderboard. USI ranks third in service aces per set (1.65) and blocks per set (2.17) while being fourth in opponent hitting percentage (.191) and fifth in opponent digs (16.07) and digs (15.81). The Eagles are tied for fifth in the OVC standings.
OVC Leaders. Senior Leah Anderson has her name in three categories, nabbing second in points/set (4.29), third in kills/set (3.58), and seventh in aces/set (0.39). Senior Abby Bednar sits in third in points/set (4.09), fifth in aces/set (0.41), and eighth in kills/ set (3.32). Junior Carly Sobieralski ranks fourth in assists/set (9.49) while junior Paris Downing and sophomore Keira Moore round out the leaders with Downing being second in blocks/set (1.10) and Moore in eighth in digs/set (4.00).
USI By The Set. The Eagles are 10-13 in the first and third sets of all matches this season. However, USI has boasted a 15-8 record in the second frame along with going 9-6 in the fourth. The Eagles have yet to win a fifth set, dropping all five opportunities.
Double-Doubles. Three Eagles have secured double-doubles this season. Junior Carly Sobieralski leads the team with 12 double-doubles while senior Leah Anderson has totaled eight with senior Abby Bednar securing six.
About Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles come to Evansville with an 8-16 overall record, going 4-9 in conference play. Last weekend, TTU swept Western Illinois and has also stolen wins from Lindenwood and Little Rock. The Eagles’ defense has been productive, allowing the second-fewest opponent digs/set (14.52), and fourth-fewest opponent aces/set (1.39) and opponent kills/set (11.97). TTU has played 94 total sets thus far, the most in the OVC.
Leading the Golden Eagles. Madolyn Isringhausen leads the charge on offense for TTU, posting 315 kills and 36 aces, both being in the top 10 in the conference. Jordan Karlen has secured a team-leading 799 assists with an OVC-third-best 9.51 assists/set. Karlen has also been named OVC Setter of the Week twice this season. Skylar Boom has totaled 88 blocks with McKenna Young earning 318 digs. Boom has also earned OVC Defensive Player of the Week with Jillian Shaneyfelt winning co-Newcomer of the Week.
SOUTHERN INDIANA WOMEN’S SOCCER
MARKLAND AND GRAFTON EARN ALL-OVC HONORS; MARKLAND NAMED GOALKEEPER OF THE YEAR
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Women’s Soccer had two Screaming Eagles receive Ohio Valley Conference postseason honors on Wednesday. The league’s head coaches and communication directors voted upon the postseason accolades.
It was announced that redshirt freshman goalkeeper Anna Markland (Hoover, Alabama) and sophomore defender Charli Grafton (Sunriver, Oregon) were recognized by the conference for their performances in 2023.
Between the posts, Markland was named the OVC’s Goalkeeper of the Year along with being on the All-OVC First Team and All-Newcomer Team. In taking over the reins in goal, Markland started all 19 matches, posting a 1.11 GAA with 68 saves and six clean sheets in the regular season. Her six shutouts and 1.11 GAA ranked second in the OVC, while her saves total was top five. She also had a .782 save percentage. In conference play, Markland had a sub-1.00 GAA, 32 saves, and an OVC-best five shutouts, including three straight between October 5-12. Markland was a three-time OVC Goalkeeper of the Week during the season.
Commanding the defensive unit, Grafton earned All-OVC Second Team accolades. Grafton shifted from a holding midfield position in 2022 to the left centerback spot in 2023, leading an entirely new backline for USI this season. The sophomore helped USI to six shutouts in 2023 with five coming in OVC play. Grafton started every match, playing all but 21 minutes this season. Getting involved offensively, Grafton also tallied an assist in USI’s 3-0 win against Lindenwood University on October 8. Grafton was named OVC Defender of the Week twice during the 2023 campaign.
Southern Indiana concluded its 2023 season with a top-four seed and a quarterfinal appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament. USI earned its second consecutive OVC tournament berth in the second year of the transition to Division I. The Screaming Eagles seek to continue to build and take another step forward in 2024.
VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL
STAFFORD LEADS VALPO TO EXHIBITION WIN
The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team took the court in a game environment for a final tune-up prior to the regular season on Wednesday night at the Athletics-Recreation Center, pulling away late for an 82-71 victory over Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Isaiah Stafford (Bolingbrook, Ill. / Crispus Attucks) paced the team with 26 points, leading a group of four Beacons in double figures.
How It Happened
Freshman Cooper Schwieger (Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley Southwest [Link Year]) drilled an early 3 at the 16:08 mark of the first half to give the hosts their first lead of the game at 9-7. Valpo went back in front on a Stafford triple with 13:55 on the first-half clock.
Valpo faced a seven-point deficit at the midway mark of the first half, but a 12-0 run for the hosts turned a 27-20 deficit into a 32-27 lead. Stafford accounted for seven of the 12 points on the run.
A fastbreak dunk by Jaxon Edwards (Indianapolis, Ind. / Cathedral [Murray State]) on a Stafford assist stretched the lead to seven at 40-33 with 1:50 left in the first half, but Saint Mary-of-the-Woods closed to within two by the halftime horn. The Beacons led 42-40 at the break behind 14 first-half points from Stafford.
Valpo led by seven with 14:20 remaining, but the Pomeroys battled back to take a 53-52 lead with 11:55 left. Edwards had back-to-back buckets to put Valpo back in front, but it was a seesaw battle until the Brown & Gold grabbed the lead for good on a Schwieger putback with 8:02 on the clock that turned into a traditional 3-point play to make it 61-59.
The Beacons used a 6-0 run including four more points from Schwieger to bolster the lead to 10 at 71-61 with 4:13 to play.
A fastbreak dunk by Jerome Palm (Almere, The Netherlands / Echnaton [Hillsborough CC]) with 2:31 on the clock provided an exclamation mark on the victory.
Inside the Game
Stafford was joined in double figures by Schwieger and Sherman Weatherspoon IV (Bowie, Md. / Bethesda-Chevy Chase [Golden State Prep]), who tallied 13 points apiece. The fourth double-figure scorer was Edwards with a dozen.
Junior Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep) dished out eight assists with no turnovers, while Stafford added five helpers to his 26-point performance.
The team’s top two performers in the plus-minus category were Stafford and Schwieger. Valpo outscored the opponent by 20 when Stafford was on the court and the team went +18 with Schwieger in action.
Edwards paced the team with eight rebounds including five offensive caroms.
The team grabbed 16 offensive rebounds leading to 23 second-chance points.
Valpo held a 42-24 advantage in the paint.
Schwieger started his first collegiate contest, one of nine players who made their unofficial (exhibition) Valpo debuts on Wednesday.
Valpo dished out 17 assists against just nine turnovers.
Postgame Press Conference
The Beacons will open the regular season on Monday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Athletics-Recreation Center against Trinity Christian. It’s “Powell Party of 5,000” as Valpo celebrates Roger Powell Jr.’s first official game as a collegiate head coach.
VALPO WOMEN’S SOCCER
SIX SOCCER PLAYERS EARN MVC POSTSEASON RECOGNITION
The Valpo soccer program had six players recognized on Wednesday evening at the Missouri Valley Conference’s tournament banquet with MVC postseason awards, highlighted by the selection of fifth-year center back Nicole Norfolk (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels) to the All-MVC First Team.
Senior goalkeeper Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) picked up Second Team All-MVC honors. The Beacons posted a trio of players on the All-MVC Third Team as well: fifth-year midfielder Allie Anderson (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South [Xavier]), senior forward Lindsey DuSatko (Plainfield, Ill./North) and junior forward Addy Joiner (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton). Freshman center back Anna Cup (Bartlett, Ill./South Elgin) rounded out Valpo’s honorees as she was an MVC All-Freshman Team selection.
Norfolk led the way for the Valpo honorees, earning All-MVC honors for a third consecutive season and First Team accolades for the second straight campaign. She played every minute of the regular season at center back for one of the Valley’s top defensive sides, in the process setting program career records for both matches played and matches started. Norfolk got involved on the attack as well this year with three goals and four assists, including match-winning goals against Northern Illinois and in Valley play versus UNI.
Coryell has received All-MVC recognition in each of her four seasons, with her Second Team spot this year joining her three First Team awards. Coryell is just the fourth player in program history to earn All-Conference accolades four times, joining Lori Moore, Emily King and Jackie Thomas. She has played every minute of the season in goal and owns a 0.90 GAA and an .813 save percentage entering the MVC Tournament semifinals. With seven clean sheets this season, Coryell has tallied 26 shutouts for her career — tied for second in MVC history and just one shy of the conference record.
Anderson earned postseason honors for a second straight season, picking up the Third Team award this year after being a Second Team recipient last season. A stalwart in the midfield since coming to campus, Anderson has played all 90 minutes in 17 fixtures this year. She has a pair of goals and two assists this season, including a match-winning goal versus Eastern Illinois.
It’s three straight seasons of postseason honors for DuSatko, as she was a Second Team honoree in 2021 and a First Team honoree in 2022 prior to this season’s Third Team recognition. DuSatko has paced the Beacons and is tied for third among all Valley players with five assists this year. She has also scored a quartet of goals, most recently finding the back of the net for the match-winner in the first-round MVC Tournament win over Belmont.
Joiner has picked up MVC postseason awards in back-to-back seasons, as she was a First Team choice last year and a Third Team choice this season. She is likely to lead the Beacons in goals for a second straight season, finding the back of the net eight times this year — tied for ninth-most in a single season in program history and just one off the MVC high. Joiner scored match-winning goals at Youngstown State and in Valley play at Southern Illinois.
Cup slotted in immediately at center back from the whistle of the very first regular season match, as she has started all 19 matches to date and has played all but 13 minutes. She’s helped anchor a defensive unit which boasts a 0.90 GAA and has registered seven shutouts on the season.
VOLLEYBALL HEADS TO BRADLEY, ILLINOIS STATE
Valparaiso (16-10, 8-5 MVC)
Friday, Nov. 3 – at Bradley (9-17, 2-11 MVC) – 6 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 4 – at Illinois State (11-14, 9-4 MVC) – 5 p.m.
Next Up For Valpo Volleyball: For the third time in the last four weekends, the Valpo volleyball team hits the road this weekend, but this time a shorter trip awaits the Beacons, as they head to central Illinois to face Bradley Friday night and Illinois State Saturday evening.
Previously: Valpo split a pair of matches at the ARC last weekend, sweeping Belmont to extend its winning streak to six straight matches before having the streak snapped on Saturday in a five-set loss to Murray State.
Looking Ahead: Valpo closes out the home slate next weekend, welcoming Drake and UNI to the ARC.
Following the Beacons: Both of this weekend’s matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Links for the live video and stats are available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Carin Avery: In her 22nd season as head coach at Valparaiso, Carin Avery is the all-time winningest head coach across all sports in the history of Valpo Athletics. She has won 487 matches (487-238, .672) at the helm of the program and has led Valpo to three league regular season and tournament titles. The program has made six postseason appearances under Avery, including three NCAA Tournament appearances, and advanced to the championship match of the 2021 NIVC. Avery has coached 60 All-League recipients over her tenure at Valpo, which has spanned three different conferences. She is Valpo’s all-time leader in both victories and winning percentage, and owns a 542-262 (.674) record overall as a head coach.
Series History: Illinois State – The Redbirds own a 14-4 advantage in the all-time series, including a 12-2 mark since Valpo joined the MVC. Earlier this season, ISU emerged victorious in three tight sets at the ARC to earn a 3-0 win over the Beacons. Elise Swistek had a team-high 11 kills in that matchup, while Emma Hickey posted 18 digs.
Bradley – Valpo holds a 16-12 edge in the all-time series against the Braves, including an 8-5 mark since joining the Valley. Earlier this year at the ARC, the two squads played their third consecutive five-set match, and for the third time, it was the Beacons coming out victorious. Five Valpo players had between nine and 12 kills in that win, led by 12 kills apiece from Swistek and Miranda Strongman, who had a match-best eight blocks as well.
Scouting the Opposition: Illinois State – The Redbirds enter the week in third place in the Valley standings at 9-4, and own an 11-14 overall record. Aida Shadewald leads the ISU attack with 3.45 kills/set, while Hannah Reichensperger averages 2.63 kills/set on .306 hitting and has a team-best average of 0.94 blocks/set as well.
Bradley – The Braves are 9-17 overall and 2-11 in MVC play entering the weekend, most recently falling in straight sets at both Drake and UNI last weekend. Kendall Minta recently hit triple digits in blocks for the season and averages a team-high 1.05 rejections/set, while in the back row, Dru Kuck posts 4.51 digs/set.
Valpo Picked Sixth in Preseason Poll: Valpo has been picked to finish in sixth place in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2023, according to preseason polling of the conference’s head coaches. The Beacons accumulated 73 points in the polling to come in at sixth position, outpacing Illinois State by two points. UNI claimed seven of 12 first-place votes and nipped Drake by two points for the top spot in the poll.
Looking Back at Last Season: The Beacons enjoyed another successful season in 2022, finishing the campaign with a 22-11 overall record. Valpo posted a 9-9 mark in MVC play to finish in sixth place in the newly-expanded 12-team conference and won a match at the MVC Tournament for its fourth straight appearance. The Beacons earned an at-large bid to the 2022 NIVC, their third showing in the tournament in the last five seasons. After a record-setting rookie campaign, freshman libero Emma Hickey was named a Second Team All-MVC and MVC All-Freshman Team honoree.
What’s Back: Valpo returns plenty of experience from last year’s squad, as 11 letterwinners are back this year, including four starters plus the libero. In all, 98% of the assists, 89.3% of the digs, 62.7% of the blocks and 60.9% of the kills from last season are back in 2023.
Who’s New: Joining the 11 returnees on this year’s team are six players looking to make an impact in their first season as Valpo. The sextet includes four true freshmen and two transfers – one fifth-year grad transfer and one sophomore.
Top of the Charts: With Valpo’s win over Purdue Fort Wayne to close out nonconference action, head coach Carin Avery surpassed Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame member Emory Bauer for the most wins by a Valpo head coach across all sports in department history.
Bauer amassed his victories over three different sports, collecting 361 wins in 28 seasons as head coach of the baseball program, 109 victories in 22 years guiding the football team and eight wins in one season as men’s basketball head coach.
Avery’s record total, meanwhile, has obviously come all at the helm of the Valpo volleyball program. In her 22nd season as head coach, Avery’s teams have averaged better than 22 wins per year in her first 21 years guiding the program. Valpo has finished with a winning record 19 times and has posted 20 or more victories 17 times. Under Avery, Valpo has posted the six winningest seasons in program history, including a program-best 29 wins in 2004.
Six in a Row: While Valpo’s winning streak came to an end on Saturday versus Murray State, the Beacons still put together six consecutive victories for their season-long streak, all of which came in Valley play. It is just the fourth time Valpo has won six or more league matches in a row since leaving the Mid-Continent Conference following the 2006 season. The 2009 and 2013 teams both won six Horizon League matches in a row, while the 2008 team claimed nine consecutive Horizon League wins.
Winning Season on the Horizon: The win over Belmont on Friday moved the Beacons to 16 wins on the year, leaving them just one victory shy of assuring themselves of a winning season. It would be the program’s 20th winning season in 22 seasons under head coach Carin Avery.
Road Warriors: Four of the six victories in the winning streak came over a two-weekend stretch away from home, as the Beacons won at Indiana State, Evansville, SIU and Missouri State. This was the first time Valpo has played four consecutive true road matches since playing five in a row on the road in the spring 2021 season, and the first time in a “normal” season since 2017. It was the first time Valpo has played four or more true road matches in a row and won all of them since a six-match winning streak in 2008 which featured wins at Youngstown State, Cleveland State, DePaul, Loyola, UIC and Chicago State.
Road Sweeps: Two of Valpo’s four road wins in that stretch came in straight sets, as the Beacons swept both Indiana State and Missouri State. The 3-0 win at Missouri State was especially notable, as it was the first time in program history Valpo swept the Bears on their home court and it was MSU’s first time getting swept at home since Oct. 30, 2021. Prior to those two weekends, Valpo’s last 3-0 road win in MVC play came at Indiana State on Oct. 5, 2019.
Reaching 1,000: Senior setter Victoria Bulmahn hit another milestone last weekend, as with her first dig on Saturday versus Murray State, she reached the 1,000-dig mark for her career. Bulmahn became the 25th player in Valpo volleyball history to tally at least 1,000 career digs and the third active player, joining Bella Ravotto and Emma Hickey.
Stepping Up the Attack: Junior outside Elise Swistek has been Valpo’s leader in the kills department since the onset of MVC play, going from 2.18 kills/set in nonconference action to 2.80 kills/set within Valley matches. She has been in double figures in kills in 7 of Valpo’s last 11 contests, highlighted by a career-best 17 kills last time out against Murray State. Defensively, Swistek is also appraoching four figures in digs as well, entering the weekend with 946 career digs to her credit.
Efficient With Their Swings: Prior to the start of last season, just four players in program history had posted a hitting percentage of .300 or better for a full season. But last season, both Mallory Januski – who set the program single-season record at a .353 clip – and Miranda Strongman – who hit .308 – did just that. And this season, both halves of the middle duo are on pace to hit that mark yet again – Strongman currently ranks fourth in the Valley, hitting .333, while Januski ranks sixth, hitting .327.
Climbing the Digs Chart: Both fifth-year outside Bella Ravotto and sophomore libero Emma Hickey continue to climb the program’s career digs chart. Ravotto, who moved into the top-10 in program history for career digs last month, enters this weekend with 1,568 career digs – just 85 shy of Sarah Dooms in seventh position. Meanwhile, Hickey – who became the fastest player in program history and MVC history to 1,000 career digs earlier this season – now owns 1,215 career digs, is already up to 19th in program history in the category and is just 74 digs away from the top-15 in Valpo history.
All-Tournament Team Honorees: Six different Valpo players made nine All-Tournament Teams in the season’s first four weekends:
Purdue Fort Wayne Invitational – Emma Hickey, Mallory Januski
Stacheville Challenge – Januski, Miranda Strongman
Popcorn Classic – Bella Ravotto (MVP), Olivia Blackketter, Januski
EIU Volleyball Invitational – Strongman, Sam Warren
Three Times the Fun: Parse the previous list and you’ll see senior middle Mallory Januski picking up a trio of All-Tournament Team honors this season. It is the first time a Valpo player has earned spots on three All-Tournament teams in the same season since Allison Ketcham did so in 2018. But, one of Ketcham’s honors came in the postseason at the MVC Tournament – Januski is the first Valpo player in the Carin Avery era to receive three All-Tournament Team spots from solely early-season, preconference tournaments.
A Balanced Attack: Last year’s Valpo team was notable for its balance on the attack, and this year’s squad has been no different. Elise Swistek’s 2.51 kills/set leads the Beacons, but ranks just 22nd overall among Valley players. Five regulars are averaging between 1.86 and 2.51 kills/set.
Capturing Crowns: The Beacons’ triumph in the Popcorn Classic added yet another crown to the program’s trophy case. Valpo has now won 34 in-season tournament titles in head coach Carin Avery’s time at the helm of the program. The team has won at least one tournament in 17 of her seasons, and multiple tournaments 11 times. Those tournament titles have come in 14 different states.
Another 20-Win Campaign: It’s a milestone that has become routine for the program, yet still impressive in its totality – Valpo finished with 22 wins in 2022 and has now won 20 or more matches in 17 of Carin Avery’s 21 seasons as head coach. Even more remarkably, one of the four seasons Valpo didn’t reach 20 wins was the shortened spring 2021 campaign, when the program played just 20 matches total. The Beacons also secured their 19th winning season in Avery’s 21 seasons at the helm.
Top Half Finishes: In addition to the 20-win season, the Beacons also secured a top-half finish in the MVC standings as they finished in sixth place in the 12-team conference. Valpo has now finished in the top-half of the Valley standings in each of its six years in the conference, the only MVC program to accomplish that feat – Illinois State had finished top-half each of the last five years, but dropped out of the top-six in 2022. Going back further, Valpo has posted top-half conference finishes in 20 of Avery’s 21 seasons – as well as qualifying for the conference tournament in each of her 21 seasons – and 29 of the last 30 years overall.
Digging Deep: Valpo continued its long tradition of strong back row play last fall, finishing 10th nationally and leading the MVC with 17.27 digs/set. The program has ranked among the top-30 nationally in digs/set in each of the last 12 seasons, highlighted by the 2017 campaign in which it led the nation with 20.03 digs/set. Other top finishes include third nationally in the spring 2021 season (20.37/set), a fourth-place rank in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in 2015. Since the move to 25-point scoring, only seven teams have averaged more than 20 digs/set over the course of a season, and Valpo is the only program to have done it twice. 2018 saw Valpo lead the nation with 2,613 total digs – a mark which set a program single-season record and a Division I record in the 25-point era.
Hickey Sets New Standards: Emma Hickey made an immediate impact on Valpo’s backcourt and the record books in her rookie season. She set Valpo and MVC freshman record for digs in a season, finishing with 735 total digs, and led the Valley and ranked fourth nationally with 5.70 digs/set. No D-I freshman was within 200 digs of her season total, while it was tied for the second-most digs by a D-I freshman in the last 12 seasons. Her 735 digs are tied for fourth overall on Valpo’s single-season chart and rank sixth in MVC history as well.
Januski Runs the Middle: Senior middle Mallory Januski bided her time behind a pair of All-Conference middles in her first two seasons at Valpo, but given the opportunity in 2022 to run with a starting role, Januski took full advantage. She led Valpo and ranked fourth in the Valley with a .353 hitting percentage, a mark which smashed the program’s single-season record. Januski also ranked seventh in the Valley with 0.98 blocks/set, tallying 122 total blocks — seventh-most by a Valpo player in the 25-point era. That total includes a monster 13-block performance at Murray State, a program record for the 25-point era.
MARIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
NO. 5 MARIAN SCORES SEASON-OPENING WIN OVER ROCHESTER
INDIANAPOLIS – The No. 5 Marian women’s basketball team opened up the 2023-24 season in convincing fashion with a 76-61 win over Rochester (Mich.) Wednesday night at the PE Center, as the Knights start the year with a 1-0 record.
Marian took no time to get the offensive wheels flowing as Ella Collier knocked down the first basket of the season, sparking a 13-2 run to force the Rochester timeout. After the timeout, it took Rochester a minute later before scoring their second bucket of the game to end the run. The Knights continued their explosive offense as Tamia Perryman hit Aliyah Evans on the fast break, before Abbey McNally grabbed a pair of shots in the paint to extend Marian’s lead to 22-6. The Warriors ended their 3:36 scoring drought with a two pointer with 24 ticks remaining to end the first quarter at 22-8 score.
The second quarter was a slower start for both teams, with neither team scoring until the 8:32 mark when a jumper by Rochester got the scoring started. Marian got a free throw from Perryman for their first basket of the quarter, before McNally’s jumper ignited a 10-0 spurt to give her team the 33-13 advantage. Rochester was able to put a stop to the run, but once again it was the Knights answering back with an Allison Bosse layup on the feed from Perryman. The two teams traded points the remainder of the quarter until it was Collier connecting with Evans on the fast break who then completed the and one to give the Knights the 40-19 favor at the break.
After a hot start in the first half, Marian had a bit of a slow start to begin the third quarter as turnovers plagued the Knights. Rochester started to find their momentum in the quarter as they put together a 7-0 run with a little under 6:30 to play. Marian started to find their flow again after Josie Trabel found Collier in the paint for the layup, before the duo scored the next six points and Perryman added two after her steal. The twin duo teamed up as Abbey McNally hit Kiley McNally with 46 seconds left, extending the Knight lead to 56-34.
The fourth quarter proved to be a closer matchup with both teams going back and forth through the first couple minutes. Marian grew their lead to 70-45 after Taylor Double knocked down the triple, but it was Rochester clawing back at their deficit with 12 consecutive points to cut Marian’s lead down to 70-56. The Knights responded a pair of freebies from Double and Sara Majorosova to pull ahead 18. The Warriors never let up as they scored five of the last seven points, but it would not be enough as Marian picked up the 76-61 win to start the season.
Abbey McNally led Marian with 17 points to go along with four rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while Collier added 15 points. Perryman did a little bit of everything, scoring 12 points, dishing out seven assists, and pulling down a team-high six rebounds.
Marian will be back in action on Friday as they travel to Seward, Nebraska for Concordai (Neb.) Cattle Classic. The Knights will take on No. 8 Dakota State at 2 p.m. est.
MARIAN MEN’S BASKETBALL
GAMEDAY GUIDE: MARIAN BASKETBALL TAKES ON INDIANA HOOSIERS FRIDAY NIGHT
INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian men’s basketball team is set to take on Indiana University on Friday November 3, as the Knights are gearing up for their final exhibition of the season when they take on the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall.
INSIDE THE GAME
The Knights are playing the Hoosiers for the third time in the Scott Heady era, and are lining up for the second consecutive season against Indiana. Marian enters the game coming off a 90-76 win in their season opener last Saturday against IU-Southeast, getting 58-combined points between Brody Whitaker and Gus Etchison in the victory. Indiana University is playing in their second exhibition game of the season, having defeated the University of Indianapolis 74-52 on Sunday afternoon.
SOMETHING ABOUT THE CRIMSON
Marian’s matchup against the Indiana Hoosiers will be one of four games this season the Knights play against a branch of Indiana University. The Knights have already defeated IU-Southeast and played IU-East in a scrimmage this season, and later on in the month of November will play against IU-Northwest. The two Indiana branch schools the Knights will not see in the regular season are IU-South Bend and IU-Kokomo.
WATCH AND FOLLOW ALONG
Friday’s game will be aired on the Big 10 Plus network, and will be available online only. Links to watch the game and follow live stats are posted above. Live posts will be made to the Marian University X (Twitter) and Instagram accounts throughout the game on Friday night.
Marian and Indiana will tip off at 6:31 p.m. on Friday night from Bloomington.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|New York||2||3||.400||2.5||0-2||2-1||0-1||2-2||2-3||1 L|
|Oklahoma City||3||2||.600||1.0||1-2||2-0||0-1||0-2||3-2||1 L|
|Golden State||4||1||.800||—||1-1||3-0||2-1||4-1||4-1||4 W|
|LA Lakers||3||2||.600||1.0||3-0||0-2||2-1||2-2||3-2||2 W|
|LA Clippers||3||2||.600||1.0||3-0||0-2||0-1||2-2||3-2||1 L|
|New Orleans||3||1||.750||1.0||1-1||2-0||1-0||2-1||3-1||1 W|
|San Antonio||2||2||.500||2.0||1-1||1-1||1-1||2-2||2-2||1 W|
|American Football Conference|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Miami Dolphins||6||2||0||.750||0.0||271||204||4-0-0||2-2-0||4-1-0||2-1-0||1 W|
|Buffalo Bills||5||3||0||.625||1.0||222||136||4-1-0||1-2-0||2-3-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|New York Jets||4||3||0||.571||1.5||126||129||2-2-0||2-1-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||3 W|
|New England Patriots||2||6||0||.250||4.0||118||208||1-3-0||1-3-0||2-3-0||2-2-0||1 L|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||2||0||.750||0.0||187||129||3-1-0||3-1-0||4-1-0||2-1-0||1 L|
|Los Angeles Chargers||3||4||0||.429||2.5||174||168||2-2-0||1-2-0||1-3-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|Las Vegas Raiders||3||5||0||.375||3.0||126||187||2-1-0||1-4-0||2-3-0||1-1-0||2 L|
|Denver Broncos||3||5||0||.375||3.0||172||226||2-3-0||1-2-0||1-4-0||1-2-0||2 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Baltimore Ravens||6||2||0||.750||0.0||202||121||2-1-0||4-1-0||4-2-0||2-1-0||3 W|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||4||3||0||.571||1.5||113||147||2-2-0||2-1-0||3-2-0||2-0-0||1 L|
|Cleveland Browns||4||3||0||.571||1.5||154||139||3-1-0||1-2-0||3-2-0||1-2-0||1 L|
|Cincinnati Bengals||4||3||0||.571||1.5||131||144||2-1-0||2-2-0||0-3-0||0-2-0||3 W|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||6||2||0||.750||0.0||193||156||2-2-0||4-0-0||4-2-0||2-1-0||5 W|
|Houston Texans||3||4||0||.429||2.5||148||128||2-1-0||1-3-0||2-2-0||1-1-0||1 L|
|Tennessee Titans||3||4||0||.429||2.5||132||140||3-1-0||0-3-0||2-3-0||0-1-0||1 W|
|Indianapolis Colts||3||5||0||.375||3.0||205||229||1-4-0||2-1-0||3-3-0||2-2-0||3 L|
|National Football Conference|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Philadelphia Eagles||7||1||0||.875||0.0||224||172||3-0-0||4-1-0||5-0-0||2-0-0||2 W|
|Dallas Cowboys||5||2||0||.714||1.5||197||120||3-0-0||2-2-0||2-2-0||1-0-0||2 W|
|Washington Commanders||3||5||0||.375||4.0||171||228||1-3-0||2-2-0||2-4-0||0-3-0||2 L|
|New York Giants||2||6||0||.250||5.0||95||187||1-3-0||1-3-0||2-3-0||1-1-0||1 L|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Seattle Seahawks||5||2||0||.714||0.0||168||138||3-1-0||2-1-0||4-1-0||1-1-0||2 W|
|San Francisco 49ers||5||3||0||.625||0.5||218||140||3-1-0||2-2-0||4-1-0||2-0-0||3 L|
|Los Angeles Rams||3||5||0||.375||2.5||175||184||1-3-0||2-2-0||2-3-0||2-1-0||2 L|
|Arizona Cardinals||1||7||0||.125||4.5||151||213||1-3-0||0-4-0||1-5-0||0-3-0||5 L|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Detroit Lions||6||2||0||.750||0.0||200||165||3-1-0||3-1-0||4-1-0||1-0-0||1 W|
|Minnesota Vikings||4||4||0||.500||2.0||175||162||1-3-0||3-1-0||4-2-0||2-0-0||3 W|
|Green Bay Packers||2||5||0||.286||3.5||140||156||1-2-0||1-3-0||2-3-0||1-2-0||4 L|
|Chicago Bears||2||6||0||.250||4.0||171||218||1-3-0||1-3-0||1-3-0||0-2-0||1 L|
|W||L||T||Pct||GB||PF||PA||Home||Road||vs. Conf||vs. Div||Streak|
|Atlanta Falcons||4||4||0||.500||0.0||138||161||3-1-0||1-3-0||3-2-0||2-0-0||1 L|
|New Orleans Saints||4||4||0||.500||0.0||171||154||1-2-0||3-2-0||1-2-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||4||0||.429||0.5||121||128||1-3-0||2-1-0||3-3-0||1-1-0||3 L|
|Carolina Panthers||1||6||0||.143||2.5||127||199||1-2-0||0-4-0||0-5-0||0-2-0||1 W|
|Detroit Red Wings||10||6||3||1||13||6||40||31||3-1-1||3-2-0||6-3-1|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||9||4||2||3||11||4||32||28||4-0-2||0-2-1||4-2-3|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||9||5||3||1||11||4||30||28||2-2-0||3-1-1||5-3-1|
|New York Rangers||9||7||2||0||14||7||28||18||1-1-0||6-1-0||7-2-0|
|New Jersey Devils||8||5||2||1||11||5||33||30||3-2-1||2-0-0||5-2-1|
|New York Islanders||8||4||2||2||10||4||21||23||3-1-2||1-1-0||4-2-2|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||9||3||4||2||8||3||23||30||2-3-1||1-1-1||3-4-2|
|St. Louis Blues||8||3||4||1||7||2||15||24||2-1-0||1-3-1||3-4-1|
|Vegas Golden Knights||10||9||0||1||19||6||38||22||5-0-1||4-0-0||9-0-1|
|Los Angeles Kings||9||5||2||2||12||5||39||31||1-2-2||4-0-0||5-2-2|
|San Jose Sharks||9||0||8||1||1||0||9||35||0-3-1||0-5-0||0-8-1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1926 The Tigers release Ty Cobb, ending his 22-year association with the team. The Georgia Peach, as Detroit’s player-manager for the past six seasons, compiled a 479-444 (.509) winning record, but the club never finished closer than 16 games from first place.
1938 Red Sox’s first baseman Jimmie Foxx (.349, 50, 175), receiving 19 of 22 first-place votes, becomes the first player to win the Most Valuable Player Award three times. The 31-year-old slugger was also the recipient in 1932 and ’33, playing for the Philadelphia A’s.
1950 Jim Konstanty (16-7, 2.66, 22 saves) is selected as the National League’s Most Valuable Player by the BBWAA. The 33-year-old Philadelphia reliever joins Chuck Klein as the only Phillies to have won the MVP award.
1964 The Columbia Broadcasting System becomes the first corporate owner of a major league team by buying eighty percent of the Yankees from Dan Topping and Del Webb for $11.2 million. During the first year under CBS, the Bronx Bombers will come in sixth place with a 77-85 record, finishing in the second division for the first time in 40 years.
1971 Pat Dobson, one of four 20-game winners for the Orioles this season, becomes the first player to throw a no-hitter in a Japanese-American baseball contest. The 29-year-old right-hander’s gem, a 2‐0 victory over Japan’s champion Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, occurs on the American League champs’ 17‐game exhibition tour of the Asian island as guests of today’s opponent.
1972 Freddy Parent, who hit the first grand slam in Red Sox history, dies at 96. The former shortstop had been the last surviving participant from the first-ever World Series, played in 1903 between Boston and the Pirates.
1972 Leading the league in victories (27), ERA (1.97), starts (41), complete games (30), and strikeouts (310), Steve Carlton wins the NL’s Cy Young Award, becoming the first pitcher to cop the prestigious honor while toiling for a last-place team. ‘Lefty’s’ 27 victories account for nearly half (45.8%) of the last-place Phillies’ wins.
1972 The Braves trade southpaw George Stone and second baseman Felix Milan to the Mets for hurlers Danny Frisella and Gary Gentry, who will combine to win just nine games for Atlanta over the next three seasons. New York’s acquisitions will play key roles in the team’s success next season when their recently acquired infielder hits .290, and their new left-hander posts a 12-3 record along with an ERA of 2.80 for the National League champions.
1974 The Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Brewers for Dave May and Roger Alexander. The move allows the all-time career home run champ to finish his career in Milwaukee, where he started in the majors.
1976 San Diego left-hander Randy Jones (22-14, 2.74) captures the National League’s Cy Young Award, capturing 15 of the 24 first-place votes cast by the writers. Two seasons ago, the 26-year-old southpaw lost 22 games for the last-place Padres.
1983 John Denny garners 20 of 24 of the writers’ first-place votes to win the National League’s Cy Young Award, easily outdistancing runners-up Mario Soto and Jessie Orosco. The Prescott (AZ) native posted a 19-6 record with a 2.37 ERA for the National League Champion Phillies.
1995 The expansion Devil Rays unveil their official game uniforms during a special fashion show staged at the Florida Aquarium. The black, green, and blue jersey, which the team will start wearing in 1998, features a manta ray as its logo.
1999 Ken Griffey Jr., wanting to be nearer his family in Orlando, asks the Mariners to move him to a team closer to Florida. In February, the superstar outfielder will get his wish when Seattle trades him to the Reds for Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez, Brett Tomko, and minor leaguer Jake Meyer.
2000 After a 15-year big league career, first baseman Will Clark announces his retirement. ‘The Thrill’ ends his playing days with the McGwire-less Cardinals, supplying the Redbirds with a much-needed offense (.345, 12, 42) after being traded from Baltimore at the end of July.
2000 Former Blue Jay catcher (1981-86) and the team’s present TV color analyst, Buck Martinez, is hired as the Toronto manager, replacing recently-fired Jim Fregosi. The 51-year-old ESPN commentator joins Astros’ Larry Dierker and Diamondbacks’ Bob Brenly as first-time major league skippers hired from the broadcast booth.
2000 The Commission grants Wrigley Field preliminary landmark status on Chicago Landmarks. Any plans to refurbish or tear down the Cubs’ home since 1916 will have to be reviewed by this panel.
2004 “It’s a dud, just like the Cubs were,” – PAT CAMDEN, a Chicago police spokesman comparing the team’s season and the discovery of a potentially explosive device. After a groundskeeper finds a grenade in the Wrigley Field turf, bomb and arson investigators evaluate the right field discovery. The rusty, hollowed-out shell proves harmless, with its origins remaining a mystery.
2005 Pat Gillick signs a three-year deal, becoming the Phillies’ general manager. The 68-year-old, who has held the same position with the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Mariners, has led his teams to two World Series titles and nine playoff appearances.
2009 At Citizens Bank Park, Chase Utley ties Reggie Jackson’s 1977 record with his fifth home run of the World Series, going deep twice in the Phillies’ 8-6 victory over the Yankees in Game 5. The Philadelphia second baseman becomes the second player to have two multi-homer games in the Fall Classic, joining Royals’ outfielder Willie Aikens, who accomplished the feat against the Phillies in 1980.
2011 Matt Wieters becomes the first Baltimore backstop to win the Rawlings Gold Glove Award. The 25-year-old All-Star catcher, who appeared in 132 games behind the plate for the Orioles, gets the nod from the American League managers and coaches as the best defensive player in his position.
2012 The Astros reveal a new look to coincide with the franchise’s shift to the American League next season, having their brick red jerseys replaced by orange and navy blue, the club’s color scheme from 1962-93. A redesigned Orbit, the green space creature that was Houston’s mascot from 1990-99, is also coming out of retirement after 12 years to replace a rabbit character named Junction Jack, the team’s current good luck charm.
2016 “A little bouncer slowly toward Bryant. He will glove it and throw to Rizzo. It’s in time. And the Chicago Cubs win the World Series! The Cubs come pouring out of the dugout, jumping up and down like a bunch of delirious 10-year-olds. The Cubs have done it! The longest drought in the history of American sports is over, and the celebration begins.” – PAT HUGHES, Cubs’ announcer call of the final out in Game 7. After a 108-year drought, the Cubs capture the World Series, needing ten innings in Game 7 to defeat the Indians at Progressive Field, 8-7. Cleveland, who had a 3-1 game advantage in the Fall Classic, now owns the longest span between World Championships, with their last title coming in 1948.
WORLD SERIES HISTORY
Once again, the St. Louis Cardinals returned to the big show after edging out the defending champion New York Giants (in the final 3 1/2 weeks of the season) and winning the National League pennant by two games. Solid pitching had enabled them to hustle their way into the post-season thanks in a big way to Dizzy Dean, who had won an amazing thirty games for the senior circuit champions. Dean was a dynamic and outspoken player who was quoted in the press as stating “it-ain’t-bragging-if-you-can-do-it”. Dean wasn’t the only standout as Manager Frankie Frisch had assembled a line-up of mutli-talented players that would come to be known as “The Gas House Gang”. Many felt that their “all-out” style of play was a decided advantage over the American League’s Detroit Tigers, who were 0-3 to date in World Series appearances.
Dizzy Dean took the mound in Game 1 and was backed up by a solid performance at the plate by Joe Medwick who collected four hits including a home run. Detroit made their own contributions as well by tallying five errors in the first three innings in an 8-3 opening loss to the Redbirds. The Tigers struck back the following day with an outstanding outing by Schoolboy Rowe, who held the Cards to a single hit in the twelve-inning, 3-2 victory. Rowe had won sixteen consecutive games from June to August and showed no signs of slowing down as he dominated the St. Louis line-up. Apparently, the Cards weren’t they only team with tenacity and resolve.
Game 3 tipped the scales again as Pepper Martin, the center fielder-turned-third baseman who had boasted a staggering .500 batting average during the ’31 Series, shined with a double, triple and two scored runs. Dizzy’s brother Paul (who had thrown a no-hitter against Brooklyn late in the season) shut out the Tigers for 8 2/3 innings for a 4-1 triumph and the Series lead. Detroit battled back with two crucial 10-4 and 3-1 victories that featured Billy Rogell and Hank Greenberg combining for seven runs batted in, with Eldon Auker and Tommy Bridges both going the distance.
Schoolboy Rowe returned for a repeat appearance (and possible clincher) in Game 6 against Paul Dean who was coming off of a great debut outing in Game 3. The St. Louis rookie prevailed over the second-year man on both sides of the plate as he held the Tigers to seven hits and, with the score 3-3 in the seventh inning, delivered a game-winning single. As both teams had battled back and forth throughout the contest, tensions ran high in “The Motor City”. The atmosphere around Game 7 was electric as Dizzy Dean went up against Eldon Auker for the grand finale.
St. Louis came out swinging with seven runs by the third inning and a 9-0 lead in the sixth. Detroit’s fans were visibly upset (with the score) and a play involving a hard slide by Joe Medwick that momentarily injured third baseman Marv Owen. They erupted after he apparently made eye contact with the left-field bleachers and retaliated by throwing empty bottles, fruit and other debris. In an effort to avoid a possible riot, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis stepped in and removed Medwick from the game (who was replaced by Chick Fullis). Understandably, the Cardinals argued the call, but the controversial decision had little impact on the outcome as St. Louis went on to an 11-0 victory and another World Series title.
The unpopular Medwick batted .379 against Detroit and drove in five runs, while Collins hit .367 and Martin finished at .355. Ernie Orsatti contributed a .318 mark, and Jack Rothrock led St. Louis with six RBIs. Charlie Gehringer led Detroit with a .379 average and Greenberg hit .321 with a Series leading seven runs batted in. Despite quality hitting on both sides, pitching was the deciding factor in the 1934 Series. Dizzy and Paul Dean were standouts after winning forty-nine games in the regular season and both had combined for all four St. Louis victories in the 1934 Series.
First scoreless tie
November 2, 1872 -American football had not had a game played in over a year, and only four games had been played since the initial 1869 game, dubbed the first-ever American football game. But in 1872, Princeton Rutgers was joined by Columbia University in participating in the new game. Rutgers traveled to New York City to challenge Columbia on this November 2, 1872, autumn day to play what would be the very first American football game played outside of the state of New Jersey. The game would have another first, too, as the Rutgers vs. Columbia contest would be the first scoreless tie in the history of American football. Saturdayblitz.com has a full story on the topic that I highly recommend you read at this link: Saturday Blitz Story.
South Carolina’s First Victory
November 2, 1885 – University of South Carolina has its first-ever Win in their game versus Columbia AA (20-0) in Columbia, SC. The very first game for the University of South Carolina football program occurred on December 24, 1892, in a contest against Furman College in Charleston, S.C., where the early Gamecocks were blanked 44-0 by the Paladins. Special thanks to the University of South Carolina’s Athletic Department for furnishing this information to us!
First football endorsement
November 2, 1925 – A.G. Spalding Brothers company sends a letter to Coach Knute Rockne to propose an endorsement of Spalding’s Double-lined football. This made Rockne one of the first people in football to get a lucrative endorsement contract.
HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAYS FOR NOVEMBER 2
Leon, the Detroit Lion, Hart
November 2, 1928 – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Marked the birth of Leon Hart, who later played end for the University of Notre Dame. While Hart was a member of the Irish squad, the team went an astounding 36-0-2 and won three national Championships from 1946 to 1949, according to the NFF’s website. Leon Hart may be best remembered in college for his heroics in 1948 against USC. Hart took a 25-yard pass from Frank Tripucka and escaped eight would-be Southern Cal tacklers on his way to a score that helped the Irish stay unbeaten in 22 straight games as they tied the Trojans at 14 points a piece. As a member of the Fighting Irish football program, Hart won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award in 1949 as a reward for his outstanding play. The College Football Hall of Fame in 1973. Leon, after school, played in the National Football League for eight seasons in the 1950s with the Detroit Lions, where he was the franchise’s number-one pick in the 1950 NFL Draft.
Larry Little, a Big time player
November 2, 1945 – Groveland, Georgia – Larry Little the great NFL offensive tackle was born. Larry played football for Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida where he was an All-Conference player. The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website bio reports that Little was an unheralded undrafted free against pick up by the San Diego Chargers in 1967. After a couple seasons with the Chargers, they traded his rights to the Miami Dolphins and that is when Larry’s career really turned to the positive. With Miami he became a dominant blocker for the powerful Dolphin teams of the early 1970’s including the undefeated Super Bowl Champion team of 1972 where the Phins rushed for 2960 yards! Larry Little earned the award of being the NFL Player’s Association’s AFC Lineman of the Year in 3 consecutive seasons of 1970, 1971 & 1972. The great blocker played a total of 14 NFL seasons and made the Pro Bowl 6 times and was an NFL All-Pro 6 times too. The Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined Larry Little in 1993.
November 2, 1959 -Oneonta, New York – Mark May the guard from the University of Pittsburgh was born. Per the NFF website, Mark May was A unanimous All-America selection and Outland Trophy recipient in 1980, May captained a team that went 11-1 and finished second in the final AP rankings. The 1980 squad featured College Football Hall of Fame teammates Dan Marino, Jimbo Covert and Hugh Green. The National Football Foundation voters selected Mark May to enter into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. After college, May was selected by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 1981 NFL Draft. Mark was a member of the great Washington offensive line groups nicknamed the “Hogs.” May played 12 years in the NFL and started in three Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XVII and XXII.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
4 – 9 – 7 – 17 – 12 – 32 – 44 – 11 – 37 – 45 – 25 – 99 – 42 – 48 – 33 – 21 – 24 – 18
November 2, 1913 – St. Louis Browns player-manager George Stovall, fired the previous summer, is the first MLB player to jump to the Federal League, signing to manage the Kansas City Packers
November 2, 1938 – Boston Red Sox first baseman Number 4, Jimmie Foxx is voted Most Valuable Player of the American League for the third time
November 2, 1947 – After just 6 games of the season, Chicago Blackhawks trade NHL scoring leader Max Bentley along with Cy Thomas to Toronto Maple Leafs for Gus Bodnar, Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart, Bob Goldham, and Ernie Dickens.
November 2, 1960 – New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris, Number 9 beats teammate Number 7, Mickey Mantle for American League MVP Award, 225-222; second-closest vote ever
November 2, 1969 – 41-year old Detroit right wing Number 9, Gordie Howe picks up his 19th and final NHL hat trick as the Red Wings beat Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3; Howe is the oldest player to score an NHL hat-trick
November 2, 1969 – Quarterbacks Number 17, Billy Kilmer of New Orleans and St Louis Cardinal’s Number 12, Charlie Johnson each pass for 6 touchdowns for combined NFL record of 12 passing TDs in a game; Saints beat Cardinals, 51-42 at Busch Memorial Stadium
November 2, 1971 – Baltimore Orioles pitcher Pat Dobson, Number 37, threw a no-hitter against the Yomiuri Giants, 2 – 0; first no-hitter in history of exhibition play between American and Japanese teams
November 2, 1972 – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Number 32, Steve Carlton was unanimously selected National League Cy Young Award winner; wins 27 games for Phillies, who as a team win only 59 games
November 2, 1974 – Atlanta Braves trade then MLB home run king Number 44, Hank Aaron to Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Number 11, Dave May
November 2, 1975 – First sports event at The Summit arena in Houston – NBA’s Houston Rockets beat Milwaukee Bucks, 104-89; future Rockets coach Number 45, Rudy Tomjanovich was the leading scorer in the contest with 24 points
November 2, 1977 – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton (Number 32) won his second Cy Young Award, scoring just a tad higher than Number 25, Tommy John of the LA Dodgers; Carlton leads National League with 23 wins and posts 2.64 ERA
November 2, 1978 – Number 99, Wayne Gretzky’s rights were sold to the Edmonton Oilers after just 8 games with the Indianapolis Racers of the WHA (scoring 6 points); scores 104 points in 72 games (both teams combined) and is named WHA rookie of the year
November 2, 1985 – Tulsa’s Gordon Brown (Number 42) (214 yards) and Steve Gage (Number 48) (206 yards) set NCAA football record for combined rushing yards in one game for 2 teammates who gained more than 200 yards each in 42-26 win at Wichita State
November 2, 1988 – A’s shortstop Walt Weiss, Number 17 won the American League rookie of year. It was the 3rd straight for Oakland; Jose Canseco (Number 33) 1986, Mark McGwire (Number 25) 1987
November 2, 1997 – Eric Metcalf, Number 21 of the San Diego Chargers returns punts for touchdowns of 85 & 67 yards in 38-31 loss at Cincinnati; joins Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen, Number 24 as only players in NFL history to return punts for TDs twice in a game
November 2, 2002 – Mark Messier, Number 11 plays his 1,616th NHL game, a 3-2 Rangers loss against the St. Blues, to move into 2nd place on the all-time games played list; passes Larry Murphy and ends career with 1,756 games, just 11 shy of Gordie Howe ( Number 9)
November 2, 2011 – Portuguese striker Number 7, Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 100th goal for Real Madrid in his 105th game for the club in a 2-0 Champions League win over Olympique Lyon
November 2, 2016 – World Series: Chicago Cubs beat Cleveland Indians, 8-7 in Game 7 at Progressive Field, Cleveland; first Cubs’ title in 108 years; MVP: Chicago utility Number 18, Ben Zobrist
November 2, 2021 – World Series: Atlanta Braves win 4th title in franchise history; beat Houston Astros, 7-0 in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park, Houston for 4-2 series victory; MVP: Braves outfielder Number 12, Jorge Soler
TV SPORTS THURSDAY
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|TCU at Texas Tech||7:00pm||FS1|
|Wake Forest at Duke||7:30pm||ESPN|
|South Alabama at Troy||7:30pm||ESPN2|
|Rolex Challenge Tour||7:00am||GOLF|
|PGA: World Wide Technologies Championship||4:30pm||GOLF|
|LPGA: Toto Japan Classic||11:00pm||GOLF|
|NBA REGULAR SEASON||TIME ET||TV|
|Toronto at Philadelphia||7:00pm||NBATV|
|Detroit at New Orleans||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Orlando at Utah||8:00pm||ATTSN-RM|
|San Antonio at Phoenix||10:00pm||NBATV|
|NFL REGULAR SEASON||TIME ET||TV|
|Tennessee at Pittsburgh||8:15pm||AMZN|
|NHL REGULAR SEASON||TIME ET||TV|
|Tampa Bay at Columbus||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Florida at Detroit||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Carolina at NY Rangers||7:00pm||MSG|
|Los Angeles at Ottawa||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
|NY Rangers at Washington||7:00pm||MSGSN|
|Toronto at Boston||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|New Jersey at Minnesota||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Dallas at Edmonton||9:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Montreal at Arizona||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Nashville at Seattle||10:00pm||Bally Sports|
|Winnipeg at Vegas||10:00pm||Scripps|
|Vancouver at San Jose||10:30pm||NBCS-CA|
|Coppa Italia: Sassuolo vs Spezia||1:00pm||Paramount+|
|Coppa Italia: Torino vs Frosinone||4:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Cuiabá vs Vasco da Gama||4:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: Goiás vs RB Bragantino||5:00pm||Paramount+|
|Brasileirão: São Paulo vs Cruzeiro||7:00pm||Paramount+|
|SOCCER – MEN’S COLLEGE||TIME ET||TV|
|UCLA vs Califronia||6:30pm||PAC12N|
|San Diego State vs Stanford||10:00pm||PAC12N|
|SOCCER – WOMEN’S COLLEGE||TIME ET||TV|
|Big South Championship Semifinals||4:00pm||ESPN+|
|ACC Championship Semifinals||5:30pm||ACCN|
|SECN Tournament Semifinals||6:00pm||SECN|
|Big South Championship Semifinals||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|San Diego vs Santa Clara||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|ACC Championship Semifinals||8:00pm||ACCN|
|SECN Tournament Semifinals||8:30pm||SECN|
|WTA Finals Round Robin|
Paris-ATP Early Rounds
|WTA Finals Round Robin|
Paris-ATP Early Rounds
|WTA Finals Round Robin|
Paris-ATP Early Rounds
|WOMEN’S COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|Texas vs West Virginia||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Louisiana Tech vs Liberty||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|SIU Edwardsville vs Morehead State||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|The Citadel vs Wofford||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|UC Irvine vs UC Davis||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|South Florida vs Temple||6:00pm||ESPN+|
|Georgia State vs Old Dominion||6:30pm||ESPN+|
|Seattle U vs Stephen F. Austin||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Grand Canyon vs Tarleton||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Utah Valley vs UT Arlington||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|California Baptist vs Abilene Christian||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Louisiana vs Southern Miss||7:00pm||ESPN+|
|Purdue vs Wisconsin||7:00pm||BTN|
|Houston Christian vs Northwestern State||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Incarnate Word vs New Orleans||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Nicholls vs Texas A&M-Commerce||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|Texas A&M-CC vs SE Louisiana||7:30pm||ESPN+|
|LSU vs Mississippi||8:00pm||SECN|
|Marquette vs DePaul||8:00pm||FloSports|
|UT Rio Grande Valley vs Utah Tech||8:00pm||ESPN+|
|Northern Arizona vs Montana||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Northern Colorado vs Montana State||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Cal State Fullerton vs UC Riverside||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|San Diego vs Santa Clara||9:00pm||ESPN+|
|Northwestern vs Illinois||9:00pm||BTN|
|Eastern Washington vs Sacramento State||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|Idaho vs Portland State||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|Portland vs Loyola Marymount||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|Pacific vs San Francisco||10:00pm||ESPN+|
|Gonzaga vs Pepperdine||10:00pm||ESPN+|
What to Watch: Thursday, 11/2/23
|COLLEGE FOOTBALL||TIME ET||TV|
|TCU at Texas Tech||7:00pm||FS1|
Since 1926 Texas Tech Red Raiders leads all time series 32-30-3 versus TCU Horned Frogs. Last season TCU won 34-24 at home versus Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are 16-10-3 at home all time versus the Horned Frogs. Since 2012 TCU is 7-4 overall and 4-1 on the road versus Texas Tech.
|Wake Forest at Duke||7:30pm||ESPN|
Since 1889 Duke Blue Devils leads all time series 59-41-2 versus Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Last season the Blue Devils won 34-31 at home versus Wake Forest. The Blue Devils are 32-24 at home all time versus the Demon Deacons. Since 2016 Wake Forest is 4-2 overall and 2-0 on the road versus Duke.
|Toronto at Philadelphia||7:00pm||NBATV|
The Toronto Raptors finished tenth in the Eastern Conference last season with a record of 41-41. The Philadelphia 76ers finished third in the Eastern Conference in the 2022-23 season with a record of 54-28. The 76ers lead 2022-23 regular season series 3-1 versus the Raptors. Last season Toronto was 14-27 on the road and Philadelphia was 25-16 at home.
|Orlando at Utah||8:00pm||Bally Sports|
The Orlando Magic finished 13th in the Eastern Conference last season with a record of 34-48. The Utah Jazz finished 12th in the Western Conference in the 2022-23 season with a record of 37-45. The Jazz lead 2022-23 regular season series 2-0 versus the Magic. Last season Magic was 14-27 on the road and Jazz was 23-18 at home.
|Tennessee at Pittsburgh||8:15pm||AMZN|
Pittsburgh Steelers leads all time series 48-32 versus the Tennesse Titans. The Steelers and Titans last met in 2021 which the Steelers won 19-13 at home versus the Titans. The Titans last win at Pittsburgh was in 2013. Since 2003 the Steelers 5-2 at home against the Titans.
|Carolina at NY Rangers||7:00pm||Bally Sports|
Last season the Carolina Hurricanes finished first place in the Metropolitan divsion with 113pts. The New York Rangers finished third place in the Metropolitan divsion with 107pts. The Rangers lead 2022-23 regular season series 3-1 versus the Rangers. Last season the Rangers was 23-13-5 at home and Hurricanes was 24-11-6 on the road.
|Toronto at Boston||7:30pm||ESPN+|
The Toronto Maple Leafs finished second in the Atlantic division last season with 111pts. The Boston Bruins finished first in the Atlantic division in the 2022-23 season with 135pts. The Bruins lead 2022-23 regular season series 3-1 versus the Maple Leafs. Last season Toronto was 23-13-5 on the road and Boston was 34-4-3 at home.