GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SECTIONAL SCORES

CLASS 4A
Merrillville
Merrillville56Hammond Morton14 
Gary West58East Chicago Central24 
CLASS 3A
South Bend St. Joseph
South Bend St. Joseph83South Bend Clay27 
Mishawaka Marian79Jimtown7 
Norwell
Heritage56Mississinewa42 
Norwell49Fort Wayne Luers34 
New Castle
Hamilton Heights64Winchester42 
New Castle58Muncie Burris45 
Tri-West
Tri-West61Greencastle35 
Danville80Crawfordsville24 
Edgewood
Brownstown Central62Owen Valley38 
Edgewood47Northview36 
Rushville
Greensburg70Franklin County55 
Rushville78South Dearborn28 
Madison
Silver Creek60Charlestown41 
Madison50North Harrison46 
CLASS 2A
North Judson
North Judson51Winamac24 
South Central (Union Mills)67North Newton47 
Eastside
Adams Central63Fort Wayne Canterbury15 
Eastside52South Adams35 
North Knox
North Knox40Paoli35 
South Knox41Eastern Greene30 
Forest Park
Forest Park47North Posey30 
Perry Central49Tell City22 
CLASS 1A
Bloomfield
White River Valley66Bloomington Lighthouse33 
Waldron
Southwestern (Shelbyville)52Waldron50 
Rising Sun61Hauser49 

GIRLS SECTIONAL BASKETBALL-FRIDAY SEMI-FINALS

CLASS 4A
Merrillville
Gary WestatMerrillville6:30 pm
Chesterton
ValparaisoatChesterton6:30 pm
Hobartvs.Crown Point8:30 pm
Mishawaka
Michigan Cityvs.LaPorte6:30 pm
South Bend AdamsatMishawaka8:00 pm
Goshen
Elkhartvs.Penn5:30 pm
Northridgevs.Warsaw7:30 pm
Fort Wayne Snider
Carroll (Fort Wayne)vs.East Noble6:00 pm
Fort Wayne NorthropatFort Wayne Snider7:30 pm
Columbia City
HomesteadatColumbia City6:00 pm
Fort Wayne Southvs.Huntington North7:30 pm
Harrison (West Lafayette)
NorthwesternatHarrison (West Lafayette)6:00 pm
Kokomovs.McCutcheon7:30 pm
Zionsville
NoblesvilleatZionsville6:00 pm
Carmelvs.Fishers7:30 pm
Muncie Central
Richmondvs.Mount Vernon (Fortville)6:00 pm
New PalestineatMuncie Central7:30 pm
North Central (Indianapolis)
Lawrence CentralatNorth Central (Indianapolis)6:00 pm
Lawrence Northvs.Indianapolis Cathedral8:00 pm
Ben Davis
Southportvs.Perry Meridian5:30 pm
Indianapolis RoncalliatBen Davis7:30 pm
Terre Haute North
Terre Haute Southvs.Brownsburg6:00 pm
PlainfieldatTerre Haute North7:30 pm
Franklin
Franklin Centralvs.Center Grove6:00 pm
GreenwoodatFranklin7:30 pm
East Central
MartinsvilleatEast Central6:00 pm
Bloomington Northvs.Columbus North7:30 pm
New Albany
Floyd Centralvs.Jennings County6:00 pm
Jeffersonvillevs.Bedford North Lawrence7:30 pm
Evansville Harrison
CastleatEvansville Harrison6:30 pm
Jaspervs.Evansville North8:00 pm
CLASS 3A
Griffith
HammondatGriffith7:00 pm
Hammond Gavitvs.Calumet8:30 pm
Kankakee Valley
Culver Academyvs.Knox7:00 pm
Hanover CentralatKankakee Valley8:30 pm
South Bend St. Joseph
John Glennvs.South Bend Washington6:00 pm
Mishawaka MarianatSouth Bend St. Joseph7:30 pm
Wawasee
West Noblevs.Lakeland6:00 pm
Tippecanoe Valleyvs.NorthWood7:30 pm
Garrett
WoodlanatGarrett6:00 pm
Fort Wayne Dwengervs.Angola7:30 pm
Twin Lakes
WesternatTwin Lakes6:00 pm
West Lafayettevs.Benton Central7:30 pm
Norwell
Eastern (Greentown)vs.Bellmont6:00 pm
HeritageatNorwell7:30 pm
New Castle
Yorktownvs.Jay County6:00 pm
Hamilton HeightsatNew Castle7:30 pm
Tri-West
North Montgomeryvs.Monrovia6:00 pm
DanvilleatTri-West7:30 pm
Edgewood
South Vermillionvs.Brown County6:00 pm
Brownstown CentralatEdgewood7:30 pm
Heritage Christian
Guerin CatholicatHeritage Christian6:00 pm
Indianapolis Chatardvs.Lebanon7:30 pm
Speedway
Indian CreekatSpeedway6:00 pm
Beech Grovevs.Indianapolis Herron7:30 pm
Rushville
Batesvillevs.Lawrenceburg6:00 pm
GreensburgatRushville7:30 pm
Madison
Scottsburgvs.Salem6:00 pm
Silver CreekatMadison7:30 pm
Vincennes Lincoln
PrincetonatVincennes Lincoln6:30 pm
Pike Centralvs.Washington8:00 pm
Mount Vernon (Posey)
Evansville Memorialvs.Heritage Hills7:00 pm
Boonvillevs.Gibson Southern8:15 pm
CLASS 2A
Lake Station
Hammond NollatLake Station7:00 pm
Bowman Academyvs.Andrean8:30 pm
North Judson
Westvillevs.Rensselaer Central6:30 pm
South Central (Union Mills)atNorth Judson8:00 pm
Fairfield
LaVillevs.Prairie Heights6:00 pm
BremenatFairfield7:30 pm
Eastside
Blufftonvs.Churubusco6:00 pm
Adams CentralatEastside7:30 pm
Manchester
Lewis CassatManchester6:00 pm
Delphivs.Rochester7:30 pm
Fountain Central
Clinton Prairievs.Lafayette Central Catholic6:00 pm
Sheridanvs.Seeger7:30 pm
Taylor
Madison-Grantvs.Tipton6:00 pm
Eastbrookvs.Blackford7:30 pm
Alexandria
LapelatAlexandria6:00 pm
Elwoodvs.Frankton7:30 pm
Union County
Hagerstownvs.Northeastern6:00 pm
ShenandoahatUnion County7:30 pm
Triton Central
Irvington Prep Academyvs.Indianapolis Scecina6:00 pm
Eastern HancockatTriton Central7:30 pm
Cascade
Universityvs.Western Boone6:00 pm
Covenant Christianvs.Park Tudor7:30 pm
South Putnam
North Putnamvs.Parke Heritage6:00 pm
SouthmontatSouth Putnam7:30 pm
South Ripley
Switzerland Countyvs.Southwestern (Hanover)6:00 pm
South DecaturatSouth Ripley7:30 pm
Eastern (Pekin)
ClarksvilleatEastern (Pekin)6:00 pm
Henryvillevs.Crawford County7:30 pm
North Knox
Vincennes Rivetvs.Linton-Stockton6:00 pm
South KnoxatNorth Knox7:30 pm
Forest Park
South Spencervs.Evansville Mater Dei6:30 pm
Perry CentralatForest Park8:00 pm
CLASS 1A
Kouts
Washington Twp.atKouts7:00 pm
Covenant Christian (DeMotte)vs.Morgan Twp.8:30 pm
Oregon-Davis
LaCrossevs.Triton6:00 pm
Argosvs.Culver7:30 pm
Fremont
Bethany ChristianatFremont6:00 pm
Hamiltonvs.Fort Wayne Blackhawk7:30 pm
Tri-County
Frontiervs.Pioneer6:00 pm
South Newtonvs.North White7:30 pm
Northfield
Southern Wellsvs.North Miami6:00 pm
Lakeland ChristianatNorthfield7:30 pm
Attica
Clinton CentralatAttica6:00 pm
Faith Christianvs.North Vermillion7:30 pm
Tri-Central
Liberty ChristianatTri-Central6:00 pm
Anderson Prep Academyvs.Cowan7:30 pm
Tri
Randolph Southernvs.Blue River6:00 pm
Cambridge City Lincolnvs.Union (Modoc)7:30 pm
Bloomfield
North Central (Farmersburg)vs.Shakamak6:00 pm
White River ValleyatBloomfield7:30 pm
Bethesda Christian
Indiana DeafatBethesda Christian6:00 pm
Indianapolis Riversidevs.Traders Point Christian7:30 pm
Indianapolis Lutheran
Providence Cristo Reyvs.Greenwood Christian6:00 pm
Waldron
Morristownvs.Jac-Cen-Del6:00 pm
Southwestern (Shelbyville)vs.Rising Sun7:30 pm
New Washington
Lanesvillevs.Christian Academy6:00 pm
BordenatNew Washington7:30 pm
Edinburgh
Shawe Memorialvs.Trinity Lutheran6:00 pm
Crothersvillevs.West Washington7:30 pm
Loogootee
Orleansvs.Barr-Reeve6:00 pm
North DaviessatLoogootee7:30 pm
Tecumseh
Springs Valleyvs.Wood Memorial6:30 pm
Northeast DuboisatTecumseh8:00 pm

BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Bellmont38East Noble36 
Bluffton63Eastbrook55 
Brebeuf Jesuit67Indianapolis Tech54 
Calumet83Whiting45 
Columbus North82South Decatur50 
Evansville Bosse82Owensboro Catholic (Ky.)803OT
Guerin Catholic41Lebanon38 
Indianapolis Herron92Providence Cristo Rey57 
Monroe Central104Union (Modoc)16 
Perry Meridian47Southport37 
Plainfield79Martinsville49 
Sheridan66Clinton Central52 
Westview60West Noble56OT

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – TOP 25

St. John’s 70 #3 Villanova 59

East Carolina 82 #5 Houston 73

#10 Alabama 78 LSU 60

#14 Virginia 64 North Carolina State 57

Georgetown 86 #15 Creighton 79

Pittsburgh 83 #16 Virginia Tech 72

#18 Missouri 75 Kentucky 70

South Carolina 72 #22 Florida 66

ELSEWHERE

Western Michigan 76 Bowling Green 70

LaSalle 82 St. Louis 75

Seton Hall 60 Providence 43

Memphis 75 Central Florida 61

Wichita State 75 Tulane 67

TCU 81 Oklahoma State 78

SMU 65 Tulsa 63

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – TOP 25

#3 Connecticut 94 St. John’s 62

#21 West Virginia 65, Iowa State 56

ELSEWHERE

Houston 64 Tulsa 56

Villanova 67 Providence 53

Marquette 55 Georgetown 48

Ball State 69 Central Michigan 66

Tulane 57 Wichita State 55

Temple 69 Cincinnati 53

Miami Ohio 73 Western Michigan 64

Ohio 85 Kent State 70

Buffalo 77 Akron 55

Northern Illinois 79 Bowling Green 78

Texas Tech 83 Kansas State 75 OT

Texas 69 Oklahoma 58

New Mexico 84 San Diego State 48

NBA SCOREBOARD

Milwaukee 130 Indiana 110

Philadelphia 118 Charlotte 111

Dallas 122 Atlanta 116

New York 107 Chicago 103

LA Clippers 121 Cleveland 99

Washington 103 Miami 100

Oklahoma City 104 Houston 87

San Antonio 111 Minnesota 108

New Orleans 123 Phoenix 101

Sacramento 116 Boston 111

NHL SCOREBOARD

Tampa Bay 5 Detroit 1

Boston 4 Philadelphia 3

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL SIGNING DAY-TOP 100

The 5-stars

RANKPLAYERPOSITION RANKSCHOOL
1Jack SawyerNo. 1 DEOhio State
2Tommy BrockermeyerNo. 1 OTAlabama
3Korey ForemanNo. 2 DEUSC
4J.T. TuimoloauNo. 1 DT
5J.C. LathamNo. 2 OTAlabama
6Leonard TaylorNo. 2 DTMiami
7Jeremiah Trotter Jr.No. 1 OLBClemson
8Keeshawn SilverNo. 3 DENorth Carolina
9TreVeyon HendersonNo. 1 RBOhio State
10Terrence LewisNo. 2 OLBMaryland
11Smael MondonNo. 1 ATHGeorgia
12Dallas TurnerNo. 3 OLBAlabama
13Ja’Tavion SandersNo. 2 ATHTexas
14Shemar TurnerNo. 4 DETexas A&M

Nos. 15-49

RANKPLAYERPOSITION RANKSCHOOL
15Sam HuardNo. 1 QB-PPWashington
16Caleb WilliamsNo. 1 QB-DTOklahoma
17Mario Williams Jr.No. 1 WROklahoma
18Dylan BrooksNo. 5 DETennessee
19Jaxson DartNo. 2 QB-PPUSC
20Amarius MimsNo. 3 OTGeorgia
21Xavian SoreyNo. 3 ATHGeorgia
22Will ShipleyNo. 2 RBClemson
23Jake GarciaNo. 3 QB-PPMiami
24Tristan LeighNo. 4 OTClemson
25J.J. McCarthyNo. 2 QB-DTMichigan
26Damon PayneNo. 3 DTAlabama
27Jake RubleyNo. 4 QB-PPKansas State
28Derrick Davis Jr.No. 1 SLSU
29Savion ByrdNo. 5 OTOklahoma
30Emeka EgbukaNo. 2 WROhio State
31Kyle McCordNo. 5 QB-PPOhio State
32Payton PageNo. 4 DTClemson
33Garrett DellingerNo. 6 OTLSU
34Agiye HallNo. 3 WRAlabama
35James WilliamsNo. 4 OLBMiami
36Nolan RucciNo. 7 OTWisconsin
37Brock VandagriffNo. 6 QB-PPGeorgia
38Demeioun RobinsonNo. 5 OLBMaryland
39Miller MossNo. 7 QB-PPUSC
40Ga’Quincy McKinstryNo. 4 ATHAlabama
41Tyler BuchnerNo. 8 QB-PPNotre Dame
42Tunmise AdeleyeNo. 6 DETexas A&M
43Camar WheatonNo. 3 RBAlabama
44Jason MarshallNo. 1 CBFlorida
45Tywone MaloneNo. 5 DT
46Raesjon DavisNo. 6 OLBUSC
47Drake MayeNo. 9 QB-PPNorth Carolina
48Beaux CollinsNo. 4 WRClemson
49Avante DickersonNo. 2 CBOregon

Nos. 50-100

RANKPLAYERPOSITION RANKSCHOOL
50Jayden BallardNo. 5 WROhio State
51Cane BerrongNo. 1 TENotre Dame
52Jacorey BrooksNo. 6 WRAlabama
53Aaron McLaughlinNo. 10 QB-PPNC State
54David DanielNo. 2 SGeorgia
55Ethan CalvertNo. 7 OLBUtah
56Sawyer RobertsonNo. 11 QB-PPMississippi State
57Maason SmithNo. 6 DTLSU
58Carlos Del RioNo. 12 QB-PPFlorida
59Isaiah BrevardNo. 7 WROregon
60Lee HunterNo. 7 DTAuburn
61Shedeur SandersNo. 13 QB-PPJackson State
62Xavier WorthyNo. 8 WRMichigan
63Garrett NussmeierNo. 14 QB-PPLSU
64Sage RyanNo. 5 ATHLSU
65Bryce LangstonNo. 7 DELSU
66Rocco SpindlerNo. 1 OGNotre Dame
67Ty ThompsonNo. 15 QB-PPOregon
68Donovan EdwardsNo. 4 RBMichigan
69Branden JenningsNo. 8 OLBMaryland
70Donovan JacksonNo. 2 OGOhio State
71Troy FranklinNo. 9 WROregon
72Shadrach BanksNo. 6 ATHTexas A&M
73JoJo EarleNo. 10 WRAlabama
74Jake BriningstoolNo. 2 TEClemson
75Deion ColzieNo. 11 WRNotre Dame
76Clinton Burton Jr.No. 3 CBBoston College
77Christian LearyNo. 7 ATHAlabama
78Landon JacksonNo. 8 DELSU
79Billy Bowman Jr.No. 12 WROklahoma
80Terrence FergusonNo. 8 OTAlabama
81Mike HallNo. 8 DTOhio State
82Marvin Harrison Jr.No. 13 WROhio State
83Elliot DonaldNo. 9 DEPitt
84Clayton SmithNo. 9 OLBOklahoma
85Cade DenhoffNo. 10 DEClemson
86L.J. JohnsonNo. 5 RBTexas A&M
87Raneiria DillworthNo. 10 OLBNorth Carolina
88Jakailin JohnsonNo. 4 CBOhio State
89Destyn HillNo. 14 WRFlorida State
90Landon TengwallNo. 9 OTPenn State
91Bryce CarterNo. 11 DEVirginia
92Dont’e ThorntonNo. 15 WROregon
93Corey CollierNo. 3 SFlorida
94Micah MorrisNo. 10 OTGeorgia
95Jeremiah WilliamsNo. 12 DEFlorida
96Ma’a GaoteoteNo. 11 OLBMichigan State
97Kingsley SuamataiaNo. 11 OTOregon
98Jaeden RobertsNo. 3 OGAlabama
99James BrockermeyerNo. 1 OCAlabama
100Wyatt MilumNo. 12 OTWest Virginia

INDIANA FOOTBALL: Indiana Adds Holt-Bennett to Round Out 2021 Signing Class

(INDIANA RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head football coach Tom Allen announced on Wednesday the signing of wide receiver Malachi Holt-Bennett (Birmingham, Ala./Fairfield High Preparatory School) to a National Letter of Intent to play for the Hoosiers in 2021. IU welcomed 14 players during the early signing period.

Malachi Holt-Bennett (Mal-uh-kahy)

WR • 6-2, 180

Birmingham, Ala./Fairfield High Preparatory School

Prep/Personal: Played for head coach Keon Handley at Fairfield High Preparatory School … 247Sports four-star prospect … 2020 ASWA 5A first-team all-state selection and first-team all-region honoree … holds the school record for special teams touchdown returns … totaled 793 all-purpose yards his senior campaign … starred at wide receiver, running back, defensive back and punter … caught 45 passes for 821 yards (18.2 average) and nine touchdowns as a junior … returned nine kickoffs for 209 yards (23.2 average) … added three interceptions … ranked the No. 12 prospect in Alabama and the No. 46 wide receiver nationally by 247Sports … averaged 11.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists on the basketball court … parents are Eddie Holt and Shana Bennett … his uncle, Vanderbilt University Hall of Fame wide receiver Earl Bennett (2005-07), played six seasons with the Chicago Bears (2008-13) … intends to study communications and journalism … born on Dec. 10, 2002.

Coach Allen on Holt-Bennett:

“Malachi is a gifted athlete who brings tremendous value to our football team. He is smooth and fluid, can play offense and defense, and we believe he will make an immediate impact.”

Overall, the class features five four-star prospects: Holt-Bennett (247Sports), quarterback Donaven McCulley (Rivals, 247Sports), wide receiver Jaquez Smith (ESPN, 247Sports), defensive back Larry Smith III (Rivals) and wide receiver Jordyn Williams (ESPN).

IU signed 10 offensive players, four defensive players and one punter. Indiana added four wide receivers, two offensive linemen, two running backs, one quarterback and one tight end on offense, and three defensive backs and one defensive lineman on defense.

Players signed from New Zealand and seven different states, including five from Indiana, three from Georgia, two from Florida, and one each from Alabama, Illinois, Michigan and Virginia.

Five of the Top 11 prospects in the state of Indiana will play in Bloomington in 2021.

Punter James Evans, offensive lineman Vinny Fiacable, wide receiver D.J. Matthews, offensive lineman Joshua Sales Jr. and Williams are enrolled in spring semester classes and will participate in practice.

The Hoosiers also welcomed a pair of transfers to campus in January: defensive lineman Ryder Anderson (Ole Miss) and offensive lineman Zach Carpenter (Michigan).

Ball State Football Adds Three to Bring ’21 Signing Class to 21

(BALL STATE RELEASE)

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State football program added to its 2021 signing class Wednesday with three more high school standouts. Along with the recruits signed during the early period in December, BSU’s class now stands at 21.

The Cardinals’ latest additions feature Indiana’s Mr. Football in Center Grove running back Carson Steele, one of Florida’s top quarterbacks in Colin Blazek of Venice, and one of Missouri’s top wide receivers in Chevalier Brenson of St. Louis.

“Our program got better again today with these three phenomenal student-athletes, all of whom were among the top players in their states,” Ball State head coach Mike Neu said. “They are tremendous additions to this well-rounded and versatile signing class of 2021. We are excited about what the future holds for each guy in this class.”

The full class comes from across the Midwest and beyond, now with five from Illinois, four from Indiana, three from Missouri and Ohio, two from Florida and Michigan, and one each from Maryland and Virginia. The Cardinals filled positions all over the field in this class, signing four running backs, three tight ends, three linebackers, three defensive backs, three quarterbacks, two offensive linemen, two receivers and one defensive lineman.

The 2021 class will join a Ball State program riding high. The MAC champion Cardinals went 7-1 last fall, winning the Offerpad Arizona Bowl and finishing No. 23 nationally in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll.

For the most up-to-date news on the Ball State football team, please follow @BallStateSports, @BallStateFB and @BSUCoachNeu.

February Signees

Colin Blazek, QB, 6-3, 205, Fr., Venice, Fla. (Venice HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: Played his senior season at Venice for coach John Peacock … 3-star recruit via 247Sports … a first-team all-area selection, team offensive MVP and team captain … threw for 2,646 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior … ranked among the state’s passing leaders … quarterbacked Venice to a top-10 ranking in Florida’s Class 7A … selected to compete in the Florida vs. Georgia All-Star Game … played previously at Neuqua Valley High School in Illinois … an academic all-conference selection at Neuqua Valley … high honor roll member … also played high school baseball … PERSONAL: Son of Chuck and Julie Blazek … has one brother, Justin, who plays football at Wisconsin-Platteville … father played football at Ohio … born July 17, 2002 … full name is Colin Smith Blazek.

Chevalier Brenson, WR, 6-4, 200, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: A three-year letterwinner at Christian Brothers College High … played for head coach Scott Pingel …. 3-star recruit via 247Sports … the No. 17 prospect in Missouri … caught 32 passes for 545 yards and six touchdowns in only six games in 2020 … had 44 catches for 676 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior in 2019 … a team captain … also plays high school basketball … PERSONAL: Son of Anthony Brenson and Javda Wilson … born April 28, 2003 … full name is Chevalier Brenson.

Carson Steele, RB, 6-1, 215, Fr., Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove HS)

HIGH SCHOOL: A four-year letterwinner at Center Grove … played for head coach Eric Moore … named Indiana’s Mr. Football in 2020 … also the MaxPreps Indiana Player of the Year … an all-state selection … ran for 1,659 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior … helped Center Grove to a 14-0 record and the Class 6A state championship in his final season … finished his high school career with 5,907 yards and 82 touchdowns on the ground … broke 16 Center Grove single-season or career records … earned all-conference and Johnson County Player of the Year honors multiple times … a team captain … PERSONAL: Son of Joseph and Angela Steele … has one sister … born Oct. 21, 2002 … full name is Carson Joseph Steele.

2021 Ball State University Football Signing Class
Thailand Baldwin*, CB, 6-0, 170, Fr., Hampton, Va. (Life Christian Academy)
Rico Barfield, RB, 6-1, 210, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (DeSmet Jesuit HS)
Colin Blazek, QB, 6-3, 205, Fr., Venice, Fla. (Venice HS)
Chevalier Brenson, WR, 6-4, 200, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS)

Drayton Charlton-Perrin, TE, 6-4, 235, Fr., Northbrook, Ill. (Glenbrook North HS)
Jaret Frantz, TE, 6-3, 210, Fr., Elyria, Ohio (Elyria Catholic HS)
Phyllip Gunn, OL, 6-3 , 315, Fr., Hammond, Ind. (Merrillville HS)
Drew Hughes, DL, 6-2, 260, Fr., Willow Springs, Ill. (Nazareth Academy)
Brady Hunt, QB, 6-6, 215, Fr., Muncie, Ind. (Delta HS)
Jalen Johnson, OL, 6-3, 330, Fr., River Rouge, Mich. (River Rouge HS)
Kiael Kelly, QB, 6-2, 210, Fr., Tampa, Fla. (Gaither HS)
Tanner Koziol, TE, 6-6, 215, Fr., Bloomingdale, Ind. (Mt. Vernon HS)
Rae’Quin Lee, RB, 5-10, 180, Fr., Southfield, Mich. (Southfield A&T)
Jordan Marshall, SAF, 6-1, 205, Fr., St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers College HS)
Justin Morris, LB, 6-4, 220, Fr., Vernon Hills, Ill. (Vernon Hills HS)
Vaughn Pemberton, RB, 5-11, 210, Fr., Lake Forest, Ill. (Loyola Academy)
Nick Presley, WR, 6-0, 180, Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio (Walnut Hills HS)
Jordan Riley-Scott*, CB, 6-1, 195, Fr., Clinton, Md. (National Christian Academy)
Carson Steele, RB, 6-1, 215, Fr., Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove HS)
Joey Stemler, LB, 6-2, 230, Fr., Cleves, Ohio (Elder HS)
Jackson Wiegold, LB, 6-2, 220, Fr., Vernon Hills, Ill. (Vernon Hills HS)

February signees in bold italics

Asterisk (*) denotes joining team in 2021 spring semester

INDIANA STATE FOOTBALL: Sycamore Football Adds to 2021 Class on National Signing Day

(ISU RELEASE)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Indiana State head football coach Curt Mallory and his staff added six student-athletes during the February 3 National Signing Day, bringing the total to 18 for the recruiting period. Several student-athletes have already enrolled in classes and will participate in spring football while the majority will join the program in the fall.

Student-athletes signing with the Sycamores February 3 include: Maddix Blackwell (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South HS), Kyle Franklin (Elmhurst, Ill./Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep HS), Brayden Johnson (Warsaw, Ind./Wawasee HS/Ball State), Jace Russell (Terre Haute, Ind./Terre Haute North HS), Joey Shew (Clinton, Ind./South Vermillion HS) and Blake Surface (Middletown, Ind./Shenandoah HS).

FULL CLASS BREAKDOWN

By State: Indiana (13), Illinois (4), Florida (1)

By Position: Wide Receiver (5), Defensive Line (3), Athletes (2), Defensive Back (2), Linebacker (2), Offensive Line (1), Punter (1), Tight End (1), Running Back (1)

Signees listed in alphabetical order.

Loic Amouzouvi, OL, 6-2, 290, Fr., Indianapolis, Ind. / Pike HS

Prior to Indiana State

A multisport student-athlete at Pike High School … Began his high school career at Arlington High School and was the starting left tackle, helping the team to a sectional championship as a freshman … A three-year starter on the offensive line at Pike HS under head coach Patric Echeverria … Earned All-MIC honorable mention accolades … Also lettered in track & field … Plans to major in computer science.

Maddix Blackwell, ATH, 5-10, 175, Fr., Bloomington, Ind. / Bloomington South HS

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year letterwinner at Bloomington South High School … Played on both sides of the ball at wide receiver and defensive back under head coach Gabe Johnson … Helped the Panthers to three 5A sectional championships as well as a regional championship and a final four appearance … Named AP First Team All-State in 2019 and 2020 … Earned First Team Junior All-State in 2019 … Named First Team All-Conference Indiana in 2019 and 2020 … A Top 22 Underclassmen his junior season as well as a Top 22 2020 Preseason All-State honoree … Holds single game records for interceptions (3), receptions (11) and tackles (18) … Earned National Play of the Month from Max-Preps … An honor roll recipient in 11 consecutive trimesters … Also played basketball, baseball and hockey … Was named team captain of basketball team in 2020-21.

Ike Branson, DL, 6-1, 255, R-So., South Bend, Ind. / Riley HS, UTSA / Phoenix College

Prior to Indiana State

Spent one seasons at UTSA in San Antonio where he redshirted.

Prior to UTSA

Transferred to UTSA from Phoenix Community College … Recorded 19 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, one sack and a pass breakup for the Bears in 2018 … Posted five stops against Scottsdale CC … Registered four tackles, including two for a loss, versus Mesa CC … Posted 2.5 tackles for loss against Arizona Western … Had three stops, including a TFL, at Snow College … Finished as the sack leader at Riley High School … Was a four-year honor roll student.

Kenny Butler III, DL, 6-2, 280, Fr., Evansville, Ind. / Castle HS      

Prior to Indiana State

Played four years at Castle High School under head coach Doug Hurt … Helped the Knights to regionals in 2018 as well as regional and sectionals in 2020 … Was named Second Team SIAC and All-State in 2019 … Earned First Team SIAC and All-Metro accolades in 2020 … Also lettered in track & field in 2018 in the shot put.

Ethan Chambers, WR, 6-1, 185, Fr., Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead HS

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year letterwinner at Homestead High School under head coach Chad Zolman … Played at wide receiver, tight end and at safety … Helped the Spartans to back-to-back sectional and SAC Championships … Earned First Team All-SAC accolades … Plans to major in clinical psychology at Indiana State.

Rylan Cole, DB, 6-0, 190, Fr., McCordsville, Ind. / Mt. Vernon HS

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year letterwinner at Mt. Vernon High School … Played defensive back, running back and wide receiver for head coach Mike Kirschner … An IFCA Top 50 player … Named 4A All-State, All-Conference and All-Country his sophomore and junior seasons … Earned Preseason All-State accolades prior to his senior season … A 4A All-State, Indiana Football Digest Top-25 and Max Preps First Team All-State honoree his senior season … Helped the Marauders to a sectional and regional championship in 2019, and a conference and sectional championship in 2020 … Holds the single season record for most interceptions and all-purpose years … Holds the record for most interceptions and all-purpose yards in a career … Also ran track.

Gavin Dineen, DL, 6-2, 285, Gr., Algonquin, Ill. / Marian Central Catholic / Drake

Prior to Indiana State

Played the last four seasons at Drake … A two-time team captain … In 2019, was selected to the All-PFL First Team … Totaled a career-high eight tackles with five solo tackles and two tackles for loss against Valparaiso … Totaled 2.5 sacks for 21 yards … Named First Team All-PFL in 2018 … Recorded 35 tackles and 5.0 tackles for loss … totaled three sacks for 25 yards … had seven tackles against San Diego … Despite battling an injury in 2017, saw significant playing time in six games … totaled eight tackles … Recorded four tackles against Butler … Had two tackles against South Dakota State … Redshirted in 2016.

Kyle Franklin, RB, 5-8, 180, Fr., Elmhurst, Ill. / Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep HS

Prior to Indiana State

Played the last four seasons at Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep under the direction of head coach Bill Krefft … Helped his team to three state championships from the running back position … Earned all-conference and all-area accolades … Rushed for over 5,000 yards and scored 75 touchdowns while averaging 9.5 yards per carry … Also participated in wrestling and track and field.

JJ Henderson, DB, 5-11, 180, Gr., Tampa, Fla. / T.R. Robinson HS / Stetson

Prior to Indiana State

Spent the last four seasons at Stetson … Was a first team All-PFL selection in 2019 after recording 52 tackles in 10 games played, all starts … He did not play in the game against Butler … Had a season-high eight tackles in the win at Jacksonville (11/2) … Was credited with a forced fumble in the game at Marist (9/14) … Had interceptions in the games against San Diego (11/9) and Morehead State (11/23) … Led the PFL with 18 total passes defended … Had three kickoff returns for 60 yards … Earned team defensive player of the week honors three times, was named special teams player of the week once and was recognized for his physical play in the Morehead State game … Earned Second team All-PFL selection in 2018 … Started all 10 games at cornerback … Was selected as team defensive player of the week for his performance against Morehead State … Earn the nod for his physical play in win over Davidson … Recorded the first two interceptions of his career against MSU, the first of which he returned 43 yards for a touchdown … Finished the season with 33 tackles, including four tackles for losses of 1 yard … Had a sack, strip and fumble recovery in the win over Davidson … Was credited with eight pass breakups … Had 11 kickoff returns for 184 yards and five punt returns for 34 yards … Named Pioneer Football League Freshman Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 … Named Defensive Second Team All-PFL … Named PFL Special Teams Player of the Week (10/15) … Saw action in all 11 games … Made 71 total tackles, including 47 solo and 24 assists … Led team with 11 pass breakups … Became first Stetson player in modern era to return a non-blocked punt for a touchdown by returning a punt 81 yards in win against Davidson (10/14) … Had a season-high 10 tackles and two pass breakups against San Diego (10/28) … Had nine tackles at Marist (9/9) … Recorded eight tackles and a pass breakup against Butler (11/4) … Made seven tackles in three other games, including at Sacred Heart (9/2), at Valparaiso (9/30) and at Jacksonville (11/11) … Had a season-high four pass breakups against Davidson (10/14) … Returned 10 punts for 127 total yards … Returned one kickoff for 17 yards … Redshirted in 2016, did not see playing time … Was named the scout team defensive player of the week for the Jacksonville game … Was named to the PFL Academic Honor Roll.

Prior to Stetson

Was a four-year football and basketball letterwinner in high school … Spent two years at Yokota HS in Japan and two years at Robinson HS in Tampa … Played for coach Shawn Taylor at Robinson HS … Served as a defensive back, receiver and kick returner … Played point guard on the basketball team … Was an Academic Champion.

Brayden Johnson, P, 6-3, 190, R-Fr., Warsaw, Ind. / Wawasee HS / Ball State

Prior to Indiana State

Spent one season at Ball State where he redshirted.

Prior to Ball State

Played at Wawasee High School … Led the state of Indiana in kickoff yardage and punting yardage … Was ranked the 12th-best punter in the nation coming out of high school … Earned First Team All-American honors as a punter from ESPN Kohl’s … Played in the North/South All-Star game in Indiana.

Jared Kistler, WR, 6-3, 210, Fr., Fort Wayne, Ind. / Homestead HS           

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year letterwinner at Homestead High School … Helped the Spartans to a 10-2 overall record and an 8-1 conference record … Played wide receiver for head coach Chad Zolman … Finished his senior season with 687 receiving yards on 44 receptions … Averaged 57.3 yards per game and 15.6 yards per catch … Recorded 10 touchdowns on the season … Also ran track and played basketball.

James Mallory, WR, 6-1, 180, Fr., Terre Haute, Ind. / Terre Haute South HS       

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year letterwinner at Terre Haute South High School under head coach Tim Herrin … Earned 5A All-State accolades his senior season … Named AP All-State honorable mention his junior season … Was a three-time All-Conference honoree … Named Most Valuable Player in Vigo County … Finished his senior season with 677 receiving yards and six total touchdowns … Averaged 15.4 yards per catch over 44 receptions … Averaged 75.2 receiving yards per game … Also ran track … Earned Academic All-State and was named valedictorian … Son of Indiana State head coach Curt Mallory.

Phazione McClurge, WR, 6-2, 200, Gr., Chicago, Ill. / Mount Carmel HS / Cornell

Prior to Indiana State

Spent the last three seasons at Cornell … Moved from cornerback to wide receiver in the spring of 2019 … A 2020 Preseason All-Ivy League selection … Led the team with 41 receptions and 677 yards to go along with three touchdowns in 10 games … Finished fourth in the Ivy League with 16.5 yards per catch … Posted 24 tackles (20 solo) and six pass breakups in 10 games in 2018 … Ranked seventh in the Ivy League with six passes defended … Played in all 10 games as a freshman, finishing with nine tackles and three pass breakups.

Prior to Cornell

An All-Conference selection as a senior defensive back at Mount Carmel High School … Helped his team to a pair of Prep Bowl championships, including as a senior captain … Recorded 33 tackles and racked up a team-high 513 receiving yards while earning Daily Southtown All-Area honors in his final season … Earned the League’s Wide Receiver of the Year award … Captained the basketball team and was a four-year letter winner … Also competed in track and field for one season.

Bailen Murphy, WR, 6-3, 190, Fr., Bloomington, Ind. / Bloomington North HS    

Prior to Indiana State

Played both sides of the ball at Bloomington North High School under head coach Scott Bless … Helped the Cougars to a 2020 Conference Indiana championship … Earned 5A All-State accolades his senior season … Named an AP All-State Offense honorable mention … Earned First Team Offense All-Conference accolades … Named First Team All-Area … Also competed in track and field … Set both single season and career records for receptions at Bloomington North HS … Finished his senior season with 408 yards receiving on 39 receptions for four touchdowns … Averaged 58.3 yards per game and 10.5 yards per catch … Earned Academic All-Conference honors … Plans to major in architectural engineering at ISU.

Lance Rees, TE, 6-4, 220, Fr., Marshall, Ill. / Marshall HS

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year varsity letterwinner at Marshall High School … Played at both tight end and defensive end under head coach Jared Boyll … Helped the Lions to a 2017 state playoff appearance … Named First Team All-Conference and All-Area … Also lettered in basketball, track and soccer … Earned All-Conference honorable mention in basketball … Earned a fifth-place finish in the discus in eighth grade … Holds four track records … Plans to major in biology at ISU.

Jace Russell, ATH, 5-10, 175, Fr., Terre Haute, Ind. / Terre Haute North HS

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year player at Terre Haute North HS under the leadership of head coach Chris Barrett … Saw action at quarterback, wide receiver, punter and as a return specialist … Helped the Patriots to a 2017 sectional championship … Earned all-conference two years and was a two-time gold medal award winner … Was named offensive MVP twice and as well as garnered special team MVP accolades … Finished his career with 3,400 all-purpose yards and 34 touchdowns … Holds singe game records for rushing attempts (26), yards (200), touchdowns (4) at quarterback … Holds single season records for rushing yards (969, touchdowns (12), and rushing attempts (202) at the quarterback position … Also participated in track.

Joey Shew, LB, 6-2, 210, Fr., Clinton, Ind. / South Vermillion HS

Prior to Indiana State

A four seasons at South Vermillion High School for head coach Greg Barrett …. Played on both sides of the ball for the Wildcats at linebacker and tight end … Helped the Wildcats to a conference championship in 2020 and a co-conference championship in 2017 … Named an all-conference linebacker in 2018 and 2020 as well as a 2A all-state award at tight end in 2020 … Also participated in wrestling and track … Was a sectional champion as well as a semi-state qualifier at 195 pounds in 2018 … Was an all-conference champion and a sectional champion at 220 pounds in 2021.

Blake Surface, LB, 6-2, 200, Fr., Middletown, Ind. / Shenandoah HS

Prior to Indiana State

A four-year letterwinner at Shenandoah High School under head coach Jordan McCaslin … Played linebacker, safety and running back … Named team MVP … Helped the Raiders to a 2018 conference championship and three sectional championship runner-up finishes … A two-time all-conference and all-county honoree Recorded 65+ tackles in three consecutive seasons … Gained over 1,000 all-purpose yards as a junior … Recorded four interceptions, two sacks, two forced fumbles and seven pass breakups his senior season … An academic all-state honoree … Earned honor roll recognition each semester at Shenandoah HS … Also played baseball and basketball.

INDIANAPOLIS GREYHOUNDS FOOTBALL: UIndy Football Annonces 2021 Recruiting Class

(U OF I RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – It’s National Signing Day and the UIndy football team is joining programs all over the country in proudly announcing its newest additions. With the help of his assistants, Head Coach Chris Keevers welcomed his newest recruiting class on Wednesday, with 26 newcomers joining the program this fall.

2021 UINDY FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS

NAMEPOSHTWTHOMETOWNHIGH SCHOOL
Vinny AmbroseDB/OLB5-10180Elkhart, INElkhart
Marcel AttisoRB5-9178West Lafayette, INHarrison
Blake AustinWR6-1185Indianapolis, INNew Palestine
Matt BiloOL6-4295Mason, OHMason
Luke BlessLB6-2195Columbus, INColumbus North
Collin BrownDB6-0204Evansville, INF. J. Reitz
Wyatt BullockDT6-0267Cincinnati, OHMoeller
Leyton CzarneckiK/P6-0175Plymouth, INLaVille
Graham ElliDB5-10170Bristol, INElkhart
San FlowersOLB5-9183Hazel Crest, ILMarist
Ethan HandTE/H6-0239Lewis Center, OHOlentangy
De’Shaun HarewoodDB5-11160Clayton, OHNorthmont
Jax HutchinsonDB/OLB5-11182Mason, OHMason
Tucker KeeversDL6-2254New Palestine, INNew Palestine
Luke LaceyWR6-0178Brownburg, INBrownsburg
Jeremiah LeeWR5-7156Union, KYRandall K. Cooper
Arieon McCarterDB6-0170Fort Wayne, INNorth Side
Gabe OgdanDE6-3220Loveland, OHLoveland
J.C. ReeseWR6-0175Lebanon, INLebanon
Tyler RhodeOL6-5235Brookfield, WIBrookfield East
Liam ShepherdK/P5-11185Valparaiso, INValparaiso
Brandon SmithDE6-0243Cincinnati, OHFairfield Senior
Kole VielLB6-0203Lawrenceburg, INEast Central
Amarius WeatherspoonRB5-10195Chicago, ILSolorio
Jalen WilsonILB5-11209Indianapolis, INBrownsburg
Mi’Chale WingfieldQB6-0215Cincinnati, OHWinton Woods

BUTLER FOOTBALL: Butler Football Unleashes 2021 Recruiting Class on National Signing Day

(BUTLER RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler football coaching staff is excited about the future of the program after adding several talented student-athletes to the 2021 fall roster on National Signing Day. Head Coach Jeff Voris will welcome this recruiting class to campus in August to prep for the 132nd season of Butler Football.

 “As we all understand, 2020 presented many unique challenges and this year’s recruiting process was no different,” Voris explained. “We truly appreciate the hard work and virtual communication from our staff, team, support personnel, and Butler community to secure what we believe is an outstanding recruiting class. National Signing Day is always an exciting time of year, but we will be more excited when this signing class joins us in August for the 2021 football season.”

High school standouts from all over the country will be making their decisions official on Feb. 3 for National Signing Day. For Butler, the Bulldogs were able to add depth to many position groups with their 2021 recruiting class. Those young men will blend with a strong core of returners that are currently on campus preparing for a spring season against PFL competition.

“We will be releasing information on the signees in this year’s class as a group at a later date, so we can collect and process all the needed information and paperwork to publicize our incoming student-athletes,” Voris added. “The majority of our class again comes from our historically strong recruiting areas of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, but also includes many outstanding players from strong high school football programs located in nine other states.”

The Pioneer Football League put the 2020 season on pause, but recently announced a six-game conference schedule set to begin in March. Butler will play a home-and-home series vs. both Valparaiso and Morehead State. BU will also play at San Diego on March 20 and host Drake on Senior Day (April 10).

“Every year our staff sets out to sign a class that will fit seamlessly with the Butler Way,” Voris said. “We truly believe that has been accomplished with this class. Our class fills our program needs by position and will from day one provide continued depth and competition across the roster. The quality of student-athlete in this class is outstanding. They are excited about the opportunity to pursue a Butler Degree while also being a part of a FCS Division I football program.”

The 2021 commits will head to training camp this fall surrounded by talented returners. Sam Brown and Nick Orlando are each capable of commanding a huddle and running back Kavon Samuels is set for a big role running behind the likes of Trevor Scott and Skyler Spetter. On the other side of the ball, Mickey Kane and Bradley Magee highlight the front seven. The leader of the secondary will once again be cornerback Devin Aguilar.

 “This was truly a team effort,” Recruiting Coordinator BJ Coad stated. “Our staff has done a great job of securing a class that we are thrilled will represent Butler on and off the field. The class of 2021 reflects ideal academic, athletic and geographical fits to Butler University. I am very excited about the future success of the class of 2021.”

Day says Ohio St will have ‘somewhat normal’ spring practice

Ohio State football is planning for a “somewhat normal” string of spring practices starting next month and culminating in the return of the spring game in mid-April, coach Ryan Day said Wednesday.

“It’s kind of a soft schedule based on a lot of things, but we’re hoping we can play the spring game possibly the April 17th weekend, and probably start the middle of March (with) four weeks of spring ball,” Day said. “That’s not set in stone right now, but that’s what we’re targeting.”

Spring practice was cut short last year as the pandemic worsened. The Buckeyes practiced three times before spring break and didn’t return to the field as a group until the fall ahead of a delayed and truncated season.

Ohio State is striving for the return of the annual Scarlet and Gray game at Ohio Stadium, although the number of fans allowed to watch – if any – remains to be determined. The event typically draws a big crowd – nearly 100,000 in 2015 – but it’s also critical for coaches in evaluating young players under game conditions.

“We’re planning on having a somewhat normal spring,” Day said. “We have six weeks of lead-up working in the facility, and then having a normal spring practice schedule. The thing that isn’t different is that we’re still under COVID protocols, so we can’t have a lot of group things together. We’re still following all those things, we’re still being tested and all that, but we’re hoping to be all together and not be broken up like we were last year.”

Last season was tumultuous for all of college football and for Ohio State in particular, with all the Big Ten stops and starts, canceled games and players missing because of positive tests or contact tracing. But the Buckeyes won the Big Ten and handled Clemson in a College Football Playoff semifinal before being routed in the championship game by Alabama.

Day said the 52-24 loss to the Tide didn’t lead to any football soul-searching on his part. Despite having to replace some key players, including two-year starting quarterback Justin Fields, Day doesn’t see the need for major shakeups based on the only loss of the season.

“What I think I’ve come to grips with after stepping away, is that final game was hard to evaluate with all the different dynamics at play,” he said. “Do we overreact? No, I’m not going to do that and not right now. I think that with a whole offseason, spring ball, a preseason, we’re going to get the right personnel in place, we’re going to make some adjustments schematically and then we’re going to do an unbelievable job coaching.”

SUPER BOWL PREVIEW

On Sunday, February 7, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet in Super Bowl LV (6:30 PM ET, CBS) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Buccaneers are the first team ever to appear in a Super Bowl played in its home stadium. 

Including the postseason, Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES (44-9, .830) and Buccaneers quarterback TOM BRADY (263-80, .767) have the highest and third-highest winning percentages among starting quarterbacks (minimum 50 starts) since 1950.

Super Bowl LV is the first Super Bowl between the starting quarterbacks who won each of the two most recent Super Bowls [Mahomes won SB LIV with Kansas City; Brady won SB LIII with New England] and the first Super Bowl between starting quarterbacks who have each won at least one Associated Press Most Valuable Player Award and one Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award prior to the matchup.

Brady (43 years, 188 days old on Super Bowl Sunday) and Mahomes (25 years, 143 days old on Super Bowl Sunday) are set to have the largest age differential (18 years, 45 days) between opposing starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.

The Chiefs and Buccaneers previously met at Raymond James Stadium in Week 12, with Kansas City earning a 27-24 win. Mahomes (462 passing yards) and Brady (345) combined for 807 passing yards, the most combined passing yards between two opposing quarterbacks in a single game in 2020. Chiefs wide receiver TYREEK HILL registered 269 receiving yards and three touchdown catches in the contest and became the third player with at least 200 receiving yards in a single quarter since 1980. The Buccaneers have won each of their past seven games, including the postseason, since Week 12 while Kansas City enters Super Bowl LV having won 12 straight games started by Mahomes, including the postseason.

Here’s what’s at stake in Super Bowl LV:

With a Kansas City win…

  • The Chiefs would record their third Super Bowl victory and become the first team to earn consecutive Super Bowl titles since the 2003-04 New England Patriots (Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX). Kansas City previously won Super Bowls IV and LIV.
  • Head coach ANDY REID would win his second Super Bowl and at age 62, become the oldest head coach to win back-to-back Super Bowl championships, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer VINCE LOMBARDI (age 54 in Super Bowl II). Reid would have 18 career postseason victories, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer JOE GIBBS (17 postseason victories) for the fourth-most in NFL history.
  • At age 25, quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES would become the youngest starting quarterback to win multiple Super Bowl titles and would join TOM BRADY as the only starting quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl in two of their first four career seasons.

With a Tampa Bay victory…

  • The Buccaneers would win their second Super Bowl (XXXVII) and become the seventh club to win the Super Bowl as a Wild Card team.
  • Head coach BRUCE ARIANS would win his first Super Bowl and at age 68, would become the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl, surpassing BILL BELICHICK (age 66 in Super Bowl LIII).
  • Quarterback TOM BRADY would win his seventh Super Bowl, extending the mark for the most by any player ever, and would join PEYTON MANNING as the only starting quarterbacks to win Super Bowls with multiple franchises.

Kansas City won its second consecutive AFC Championship with a 38-24 win over Buffalo. Quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, in leading the Chiefs back from an early 9-0 deficit, passed for 325 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 127.6 rating. He now has 17 career postseason touchdown passes, surpassing RUSSELL WILSON (16) for the most postseason touchdown passes by a quarterback in his first four seasons in NFL history.

In seven career postseason starts, Mahomes has a 109.8 passer rating, the highest mark by a quarterback in postseason history (minimum 200 attempts). Mahomes is expected to become the youngest quarterback in NFL history (25 years and 143 days old on date of Super Bowl LV) to start two Super Bowls, surpassing RUSSELL WILSON, who was 26 years and 64 days old at the time of his second Super Bowl start (SB XLIX). 

Tight end TRAVIS KELCE recorded 13 receptions, the most in a single Championship Game in league history, for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the win and tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers SHANNON SHARPE (13 receptions on Jan. 9, 1994) and KELLEN WINSLOW SR. (13 receptions on Jan. 2, 1982) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single postseason game in NFL history. It also marked his fifth career postseason game with at least 100 receiving yards, the most by a tight end in postseason history.

Kelce ranks second among tight ends in postseason annals in receptions (73), receiving yards (859) and touchdown receptions (nine), trailing only Tampa Bay’s ROB GRONKOWSKI (83 receptions for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns) in each category.

Wide receiver TYREEK HILL had a postseason franchise record 172 receiving yards in the AFC Championship Game. Hill and Kelce, who each had at least 100 receiving yards in the AFC Divisional Playoffs against Cleveland, are the first pair of teammates to register 100-or-more receiving yards in consecutive games within the same postseason in league annals.

Since 2018, Hill and Kelce have combined for 8,770 receiving yards, including the postseason, and surpassed the Pro Football Hall of Fame duo of CRIS CARTER and RANDY MOSS (8,695 combined receiving yards from 1998-2000) for the most receiving yards by a pair of teammates over a three-season span, including the playoffs, in NFL history.

Defensive end FRANK CLARK registered two sacks against Buffalo and became the 14th player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least 10 career postseason sacks. Clark has recorded a sack in four of his five postseason games with Kansas City, including a sack in Super Bowl LIV last season. Safety TYRANN MATHIEU has four passes defensed in his past five postseason games and recorded an interception against the Buccaneers in Week 12. Rookie cornerback LA’JARIUS SNEED has registered a sack in each of Kansas City’s two postseason games this year and is the first rookie defensive back with two postseason sacks since 1982. The Chiefs have allowed 24-or-fewer points in four consecutive postseason games.

Tampa Bay earned a trip back home for Super Bowl LV with a 31-26 win at Green Bay. The Buccaneers have scored at least 30 points in each of their first three games this postseason and can become the first team in NFL history to score 30 points in four consecutive playoff games within a single postseason.

Tampa Bay, which missed the postseason in 2019, is the fourth team in the past five years to appear in the Super Bowl the season after missing the playoffs. The Buccaneers, with victories over No. 1-seeded Green Bay and No. 2-seeded New Orleans, are the 11th team since 1990 and first since the 2012 Baltimore Ravens to defeat the top two seeds from their own conference in the same postseason.

Quarterback TOM BRADY threw three touchdown passes against the Packers and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to lead multiple franchises to Super Bowl appearances in league history. He is appearing in an NFL-record 10th Super Bowl and holds Super Bowl records for career passing yards (2,838), single-game passing yards (505 in Super Bowl LII), career passing touchdowns (18) and Super Bowl titles (six). Brady is the postseason all-time leader in completions (1,085), passing yards (12,248), passing touchdowns (80) and wins (33).

Running back LEONARD FOURNETTE recorded a 20-yard touchdown run in the NFC Championship and has seven total touchdowns (six rushing, one receiving) in six career postseason games. He can join Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRELL DAVIS (1997) and LARRY FITZGERALD (2008) as the only players with a touchdown in four consecutive playoff games within the same postseason in NFL history. Wide receiver MIKE EVANS has a touchdown reception in each of the Buccaneers’ past two postseason games and recorded two touchdown catches in Week 12 against Kansas City. Wide receiver CHRIS GODWIN led the team with 110 receiving yards in the NFC Championship and registered eight receptions for 97 yards in the last meeting against Kansas City. Gronkowski had 106 receiving yards in Week 12 against the Chiefs and has 23 receptions for 297 yards and three touchdowns in four career Super Bowl appearances.

Tampa Bay led the league in rushing defense (80.6 rushing yards allowed per game) for the second consecutive season while recording the most sacks (48) by a Buccaneers defense since 2000 (55 sacks). Linebacker DEVIN WHITE became the first player since at least 2000 with at least 140 tackles (140) and nine sacks (nine) in a single season. He recorded 11 tackles with an interception and fumble recovery in his playoff debut in the Divisional round against New Orleans and then totaled a postseason franchise record 15 tackles with a fumble recovery at Green Bay in the NFC Championship. Since entering the league in 2012, linebacker LAVONTE DAVID ranks second in tackles (1,123), third in tackles for loss (128) and fourth in forced fumbles (24). Linebacker JASON PIERRE-PAUL had his first career multi-sack postseason game against Green Bay and has seven tackles for loss with six passes defensed in seven career playoff games.

The Buccaneers defense has recorded seven takeaways (five interceptions, two fumble recoveries) and five sacks this postseason, both the most among playoff teams. Linebacker SHAQUIL BARRETT registered three sacks in the NFC Championship and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer WARREN SAPP (Jan. 4, 1998) as the only Buccaneers with three sacks in a single postseason game since 1982. Cornerback SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING has recorded an interception in all three of Tampa Bay’s games this postseason, becoming the fourth player to record an interception in each of his first three career postseason games in the Super Bowl era, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers AENEAS WILLIAMS (first four postseason games) and ED REED (three), as well as JASON SEHORN (three).

2021 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: QB TREVOR LAWRENCE, CLEMSON

2. HOUSTON TEXANS (FROM NEW YORK): ZACH WILSON, BYU

3. CAROLINA PANTHERS (FROM MIAMI VIA HOUSTON): QB JUSTIN FIELDS, OHIO STATE

4. ATLANTA FALCONS: T PENEI SEWELL, OREGON

5. CINCINNATI BENGALS: WR JA’MARR CHASE, LSU

6. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: TE KYLE PITTS, FLORIDA

7. DETROIT LIONS: QB TREY LANCE, NORTH DAKOTA STATE

8. MIAMI DOLPHINS (FROM CAROLINA): LB MICAH PARSONS, PENN STATE

9. DENVER BRONCOS: CB CALEB FARLEY, VIRGINIA TECH

10. DALLAS COWBOYS: T RASHAWN SLATER, NORTHWESTERN

11. NEW YORK GIANTS: WR DEVONTA SMITH, ALABAMA

12. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: CB PATRICK SURTAIN II, ALABAMA

13. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: T CHRISTIAN DARRISAW, VIRGINIA TECH

14. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: EDGE KWITY PAYE, MICHIGAN

15. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: WR JAYLEN WADDLE, ALABAMA

16. ARIZONA CARDINALS: DI CHRISTIAN BARMORE, ALABAMA

17. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: EDGE GREGORY ROUSSEAU, MIAMI

18. MIAMI DOLPHINS: WR RASHOD BATEMAN, MINNESOTA

19. WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM: QB MAC JONES, ALABAMA

20. CHICAGO BEARS: T SAM COSMI, TEXAS

21. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: WR KADARIUS TONEY, FLORIDA

22. TENNESSEE TITANS: EDGE AZEEZ OJULARI, GEORGIA

23. HOUSTON TEXANS (FROM NEW YORK VIA SEATTLE): TYSON CAMPBELL, GEORGIA

24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: T TEVEN JENKINS, OKLAHOMA STATE

25. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (FROM L.A. RAMS): JAYCEE HORN, SOUTH CAROLINA

26. CLEVELAND BROWNS: LB JEREMIAH OWUSU-KOROMOAH, NOTRE DAME

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS: G/T ALIJAH VERA-TUCKER, USC

28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: WR RONDALE MOORE, PURDUE

29. GREEN BAY PACKERS: LB NICK BOLTON, MISSOURI

30. BUFFALO BILLS: EDGE JAYSON OWEH, PENN STATE

31. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: T ALEX LEATHERWOOD, ALABAMA

32. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: S TREVON MOEHRIG, TCU

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL-St. John’s shuts down No. 3 Villanova in 70-59 upset

Freshman guard Posh Alexander and his pumped-up teammates doused Mike Anderson with water after their biggest win yet under the second-year St. John’s coach.

Just outside Carnesecca Arena, students cheered so loudly from their dorms that jubilant players could hear them in the locker room.

It was that kind of night for the suddenly surging Red Storm.

“I let them see another side of me,” a smiling Anderson said.

Alexander scored 16 points and St. John’s smothered No. 3 Villanova, upsetting the ice-cold Wildcats 70-59 on Wednesday to halt their nine-game winning streak.

Julian Champagnie had 14 points – all in the second half – and a career-high 13 rebounds for the rising Red Storm (12-7, 6-6 Big East), who have won five straight games and six of seven.

This one, Champagnie said, showed they are “a legit team.”

And now, maybe one with a legit shot at an NCAA Tournament push.

Flashing quick and active hands all over the court, St. John’s turned up its pressure defense and hounded the experienced Wildcats (11-2, 6-1) into 17 turnovers and 32% shooting in an ugly performance.

“I thought our defense was the catalyst,” Anderson said. “It was the Johnnies’ night.”

Villanova was held 12 points below its previous season low for its first loss since Nov. 28 to Virginia Tech in overtime. The Wildcats went nearly four weeks between games because of coronavirus issues before returning with a Jan. 19 win over Seton Hall.

“I think the press was what we expected. I think our response was what I didn’t expect,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “They really took us out of what we wanted to do.”

St. John’s has been a surprising thorn in Villanova’s side recently, with wins over a top-ranked Wildcats team in February 2018 and against the defending national champions in 2019.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Gardner, East Carolina upset No. 5 Houston 82-73

 Jayden Gardner and East Carolina didn’t get to savor a sea of court-storming home fans after claiming a huge upset. Instead, the Pirates left the court in a somewhat subdued celebration – until letting loose in the locker room, that is.

“I’m out of breath,” Gardner said with a smile.

Gardner had 21 points and 15 rebounds to help ECU stun fifth-ranked Houston 82-73 on Wednesday night, securing the Pirates’ first win against a ranked opponent in nearly two decades. It was the Cougars’ first loss of 2021, a performance that befuddled coach Kelvin Sampson.

“We just didn’t look like we were playing Cougar basketball tonight,” Sampson said, “in no form or fashion.”

Tremont Robinson-White added 17 points for East Carolina, which defied season-long offensive struggles against one of the nation’s top defensive teams. East Carolina shot 47% and made 11 of 24 3-pointers – and more impressively, the Pirates led for the last 12-plus minutes against a Houston team that struggled to make much of anything after halftime.

East Carolina (8-6, 2-6 American Athletic Conference) hadn’t won a game in more than a month between five straight losses and three postponements. The Pirates were also down starting swingman Brandon Suggs to injury and lost reserve guard Tyrie Jackson during the game to an apparent leg injury.

The Pirates still found an unforgettable way to end a 33-game losing streak against AP Top 25 teams, though it came with a limited number of attendees in Minges Coliseum due to the coronavirus pandemic.

OHIO STATE MBB: BUCKEYES SET FOR TOP 10 CLASH IN IOWA CITY

(OHIO STATE RELEASE)

7 Ohio State at 8 Iowa  • When: 7 p.m. • Date: Thursday, Feb. 4

Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena • TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman/Jay Bilas)

Radio: 97.1 The Fan (Paul Keels/Ron Stokes)

Satellite Radio: Sirius (OSU-81/Iowa-138), XM (81/195), Internet (81/957)

Game Basics

  • No. 7 Ohio State and No. 8 Iowa play at 7 p.m. Thursday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. ESPN will televise.
  • The teams will meet twice this season with the Hawkeyes traveling to Columbus Feb. 28 (4 p.m.). CBS will televise.
  • Ohio State is 8-4 in the Big Ten after defeating Michigan State 79-62 Sunday.
  • Chris Holtmann’s teams are 3-3 vs. Iowa. The Hawkeyes lead the overall series 79-76. Iowa is 51-25 in Iowa City and 21-10 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Buckeyes 49-27 in Columbus and 10-5 at Value City Arena.
  • When ranked among the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll, Ohio State is 24-14 vs. the Hawkeyes. Iowa is 19-14 as a ranked team vs. Ohio State. The Buckeyes are 5-4 in series when both teams are ranked. Junior Justin Ahrens leads the Buckeyes vs. Iowa with 12.7 points per game over three career meetings.
  • Ohio State has been ranked among the AP Top 10 22 times vs. Iowa with a record of 14-8. Both teams have been ranked in the Top 10 in the same game just once, a 62-61 OSU win at Iowa Feb. 18, 1961. The No. 1 Buckeyes downed the No. 9 Hawkeyes.
  • Kyle Young will be playing in his 100th game as a Buckeye when Ohio State and Iowa tip Thursday.

VALPO MEN’S BASKETBALL: Valpo to Host Nationally-Ranked Drake This Weekend

(VALPO RELEASE)

No. 25/25 Drake (17-0, 8-0 MVC)
at Valparaiso (6-11, 3-5 MVC)

Game No. 18 – Saturday, Feb. 6 – 1 p.m. CT
Game No. 19 – Sunday, Feb. 7 – 1 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind. 

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will host a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time since an upset victory over Rhode Island in November 2016 as Missouri Valley Conference leading Drake makes its way to the Athletics-Recreation Center for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday. The Bulldogs, one of three undefeated teams in the nation, moved into the Associated Press and Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll Top 25 this week.

Last Time Out: Valpo received a game-high 14 points from Donovan Clay and led by as many as 16, but host Evansville stormed from behind for a 58-51 victory at the Ford Center on Monday to sweep the two-game MVC series. Valpo shot a sizzling 54.2 percent in the opening half, but couldn’t sustain that clip in the second stanza and didn’t hit a 3 after halftime.

Following Valpo Basketball: Television/Streaming – ESPN3 (Saturday only) and ESPN+ (Sunday only) – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Dave Huseman (analyst) 

Radio – WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso) – Zach Collins (play-by-play Saturday; analyst Sunday), Garrett Willis (play-by-play Sunday) and Noah Godsell (analyst Saturday)  

Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball

Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (79-71) is in his eighth season overall at Valpo and fifth as head coach in 2020-21. Just two years removed from finishing in last place and being knocked out in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a first-year Valley member, Lottich’s team did more than hold its own in 2019-2020, ascending into a tie for sixth in the league standings before finishing as the conference tournament runner-up. Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to reach the title game after playing in the opening round. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.

Valpo Versus Ranked Opponents

  • Saturday marks Valpo’s first matchup with a nationally-ranked foe since Dec. 7, 2017 at No. 21/21 Purdue.
  • This will mark Valpo’s first home game against a Top 25 team since a 65-62 upset of No. 21/25 Rhode Island on Nov. 29, 2016, Matt Lottich’s first season as head coach. Lottich is 1-0 in home games against Top 25 teams entering this weekend.
  • The win over Rhode Island was historic as it accounted for Valpo’s lone victory over a nationally-ranked opponent since the famous 1998 NCAA Tournament win over Ole Miss. Valpo enters the weekend 1-42 against nationally-ranked opponents since the end of the 1997-98 season.
  • The victory against the Rams also represented the team’s first home win over a Top 25 opponent since the “Lutheran Miracle” victory over Notre Dame in December 1988.
  • This weekend’s matchups with Drake will be Valpo’s first conference games against a nationally-ranked team since Feb. 26, 2010, a 74-69 loss to No. 15/10 Butler at the ARC.

Valpo versus ranked opponents since start of 1997-98 — full list available in PDF game notes. 

Valpo Versus Unbeatens

  • This is the first time Valpo has played a team with a record of 17-0 or better in the last 20 years.
  • Previously, the team with the best record that Valpo had faced over the last two decades was 12-0 North Carolina on Dec. 20, 2008 at the United Center.
  • This marks the first time Valpo will face a team with an unbeaten mark of 5-0 or better since topping 5-0 Portland 70-55 in Nashville on Nov. 13, 2014.
  • Valpo is 2-9 against undefeated teams that had played five or more games since the start of the 1999-2000 season. In addition, Valpo is seeking its first win over a team with an unblemished mark of 7-0 or better in that span as Valpo is 0-7 against those opponents.

*Full list of Valpo vs. undefeated teams available in PDF Game Notes. Includes all games vs. teams that had played at least one game since the start of the 1999-2000 season.

Both Sides of the Same Coin

  • In the last three games, Valpo has experienced both sides of a double-figure comeback.
  • The team added to its recent history of coming from behind under head coach Matt Lottich with its 16th double-figure rally in his tenure (fifth season) to beat Bradley 91-85 in double overtime after trailing by as many as 14 on Thursday, Jan. 28. That marked the seventh time since the start of the 2019-20 season that Valpo surged from double-figures down to win.
  • However, Valpo coughed up a 16-point lead in a loss at Evansville on Monday, Feb. 1, just the third time Valpo has lost after leading by double figures under Lottich (second time this season). The 16-point Evansville rally was the largest against Valpo since Dec. 17, 2011, when Oakland came from 17 down with 13:39 remaining. 
  • The 14-point comeback to beat Bradley in double overtime was the second straight year Valpo erased a double-figure deficit to beat the Braves at the ARC, while the 16-point lost lead at Evansville was Valpo’s largest since leading by 17 points in a two-point loss to Oakland on Dec. 17, 2011.

Individual Player Trends

  • After having a DNP (CD) on his stat line for three straight games, Goodnews Kpegeol earned his way back onto the court for both games at Evansville (Jan. 31 and Feb. 1) and made contributions, totaling nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes over the two outings.
  • Donovan Clay has scored 14 points or more in three of the last five games and shot 50 percent or better for the fifth time this season in his last outing (Feb. 1 at Evansville).
  • Eron Gordon snapped a streak of seven straight games with nine points or more on Feb. 1 at Evansville as he was held scoreless for the first time this season. He attempted just two shots.
  • Sheldon Edwards has knocked in six triples over his last three games and now has four games with multiple made 3s this season.
  • Ben Krikke has shot 50 percent or better in four straight games and 11 out of 17 this season.
  • Connor Barrett has made at least one 3 in five straight contests including two games that featured four made triples during that stretch.

Wrapping Up Feb. 1 (Evansville 58, Valpo 51)

  • Donovan Clay bounced back after a quiet performance the day prior with a game-high 14 points, scoring in double figures for the ninth time this season and 28th time in his career. It was the sixth time this season that he paced the team in scoring and his 11th time doing so in a Valpo uniform.
  • Clay made his 50th consecutive start on Monday.
  • Daniel Sackey contributed nine points and Sheldon Edwards had eight, while both players registered a pair of steals.
  • Much of Valpo’s success offensively came in transition, where the guests outscored Evansville 10-2. However, the Aces owned a 10-2 edge on second-chance points as Valpo pulled down just one offensive rebound.
  • Prior to Monday’s setback, Valpo owned a 22-4 record under Lottich when holding opponents under 60 points.
  • Valpo fell to just 6-43 all-time at Evansville and has now dropped 24 of the last 25 when visiting the Aces with the lone victory in that stretch coming last season in overtime.

Wrapping Up Jan. 31 (Evansville 70, Valpo 52)

  • Evansville’s ability to create easy looks was the biggest factor in the game’s outcome as the Purple Aces shot 60.4 percent from the field, the first time Valpo has permitted an opponent to shoot over 60 percent since Dec. 3, 2019 at Eastern Michigan. The Aces were 23-of-30 (76.7 percent) on two-point shots.
  • Sophomore Ben Krikke scored 18 points or more for a third straight game, hitting 18 points exactly for the second straight contest. He did so on 7-of-9 shooting with 16 of his 18 points coming in the first half. The sophomore forward reached double figures for the 12th time this season while leading the team in scoring for the fourth time this year.
  • Nine of Eron Gordon’s 13 points came after halftime as the fifth-year senior scored nine points or more for the seventh straight contest and enjoyed his sixth double-figure output in that stretch. Gordon went 4-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line.
  • The defeat snapped a three-game winning streak and saw Valpo incur its first road loss in Missouri Valley Conference play this season.
  • Evansville outscored Valpo on points in the paint 44-24.
  • Valpo’s second leading scorer Donovan Clay was held to a season-low three points, his lowest output in his last 33 games dating back to last season.

Series Notes: Drake

  • Valpo possesses a 7-5 edge in the all-time series.
  • The Brown & Gold erased a 19-point hole to force overtime, but fell 77-75 on Feb. 19 in Des Moines last season. Valpo earned a 66-61 win in last season’s ARC matchup.
  • The two squads have split the first six matchups since Valpo joined the Missouri Valley Conference.

Inside the Bulldogs

  • Drake is in pretty good company on the three-team list of undefeated squads in the nation, joining Baylor and Gonzaga.
  • The team cracked the Top 25 nationally in both the AP and Coaches’ polls this week. This marks the first time in 13 years that Drake is nationally ranked.
  • The Bulldogs, picked seventh in the MVC Preseason Poll, are loaded with Northwest Indiana natives – D.J. Wilkins (Merrillville, Ind. / Merrillville), Tremell Murphy (Griffith, Ind. / Griffith), ShanQuan Hemphill (Gary, Ind. / Michigan City), Jonah Jackson (Merrillville, Ind. / Merrillville) and Roman Penn (Calumet City, Ill. / Bishop Noll).
  • Hemphill leads the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game, while Penn (12.5) and Wilkins (10.1) join him in double figures. The top four scorers for the Bulldogs are all Northwest Indiana natives.
  • Jackson and Wilkins both attended Merrillville High School along with Valpo’s Mileek McMillan.
  • Drake is coming off back-to-back 20-win seasons for just the third time in program history.

WRIGHT STATE MBB: Men’s Basketball travels to UIC for a weekend pair

(WRIGHT STATE RELEASE)

The Wright State men’s basketball team hits the road for a pair of games at UIC this weekend, taking a five-game winning streak into the weekend, while the host Flames have lost three in a row. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

Raider fans can follow the action on ESPN+ on Friday and Saturday or can tune into Chris Collins and Jim Brown calling the play-by-play on WRZX 106.5 FM both days.

Last time out, Wright State swept Robert Morris, winning Friday’s opener 79-70 before a 86-56 victory on Saturday. Friday’s win saw Grant Basile finish with 29 points, including 19 in the second half, on the way to a double-double in his third consecutive 20-plus point game. Jaylon Hall was the third Raider in double figures, finishing with 10 points off the bench in 27 minutes of action. On Saturday, Loudon Love tallied a career-best 34 points to pace four Raiders in double figures. Love tallied 15 points and eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes alone. Holden finished with 16 points of his own, including eight in the opening 12 minutes. Tim Finke recorded 12 points on four three-point baskets while grabbing eight rebounds, and Grant Basile followed up his 29-point Friday with 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

FLAMING HOT

UIC has lost its last three contests, all on the road, including a pair at Northern Kentucky last weekend. The Flames have been good at home, posting a 6-1 mark, and are only 2-6 on the road. UIC has won all four of its home HL contests this season. Wright State and UIC have previously met 60 times entering this weekend’s action, with each team winning at home last year. UIC had a four-point win the first meeting in mid-January before a 17-point Raider home win in February. The first matchup came on Jan. 11, 1993, an 85-82 UIC victory in Chicago.

UIC-YOU

Teyvion Kirk collected the third triple-double in UIC history in the Flames’ win over Oakland on Dec. 20. The junior scored a career-high 22 points and brought in a career-best 11 rebounds to go along with 11 assists. He became the third player in program history to record a triple-double, joining Godwin Boahen (Dec. 22, 2016) and Tarkus Ferguson (Dec. 5, 2018). UIC has done its job at maintaining a lead, as the Flames are 5-0 when winning at halftime this year.  The Flames have won games against Central Michigan, Valparaiso, Oakland and Robert Morris twice when leading after 20 minutes. Eight of UIC’s 15 games this year have been decided by five or fewer points, including both contests against Northern Kentucky last week, with the Flames having  a 5-3 record in close contests this year. UIC has played a pair of overtime games, defeating Robert Morris on Jan. 16 and falling to Purdue Fort Wayne on Jan. 8.

SHARING THE BOARDS

Wright State leads the Horizon League and is 10th nationally in rebounding margin at +9.8 and also leads the HL in total rebounds with 730 (Oakland is second with 707 total rebounds in 4 additional games). The Raiders lead the HL in total defensive rebounds by over 100 boards (527) and defensive rebounds per game average (31.0). It’s been a team effort on the glass, with Loudon Love leading the way with a team-best 10.1 rebounds per game, while Tanner Holden averages 7.2/per, Grant Basile 7.1/per and Tim Finke 6.2/per.

Grace Berger Named To Cheryl Miller Award Top 10 Watchlist 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.  – Junior guard Grace Berger has been named to the Cheryl Miller Award Top 10 watchlist, announced on Wednesday by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

The Louisville, Ky. native averages 15.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, a team-high 5.8 assists, shoots 45.8 percent from the floor, 76.7 percent from the free throw line and holds an assist-to-turnover ratio of +2.9. She currently leads the nation in triple doubles this season, recording the first two in Indiana women’s basketball history along with one double-double. In the nation, Berger’s 81 total assists ranks 11th in NCAA Division I and her+2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks 22nd. She has scored in double figures in 11 games and set a new career-high 26 points on two occasions this season (at No. 14 Maryland, vs. No. 14 Ohio State).

She joins Ali Patberg (Nancy Lieberman Award) as IU’s two nominees on the Hoops Hall candidates for the “Naismith Starting Five.” Berger also earns the program’s first ever top 10 appearance on the Cheryl Miller Award.

In March, five finalists will be presented to Ms. Miller and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The Selection Committee for the Cheryl Miller Award is composed of top women’s college basketball personnel including media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Famers.

The winner of the 2021 Cheryl Miller Small Forward Award will be presented April 9, 2021, along with the four other members of the Women’s Starting Five. Additional awards being presented include the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award, the Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard Award, the Katrina McClain Power Forward Award, and the Lisa Leslie Center Award, in addition to the Men’s Starting Five. College basketball fans can support their favorite players by participating in Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies.

Previous winners of the Cheryl Miller Small Forward of the Year Award include Satou Sabally, Oregon (2020), Bridget Carleton, Iowa State (2019) and Gabby Williams, Connecticut (2018).

INDIANA WBB

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – No. 17 Indiana concludes a three-game homestand when it hosts Rutgers on Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network.

#17/17 INDIANA (10-4, 8-2 B1G) VS. RUTGERS (5-3, 1-3 B1G)

Thursday, February 4, 2021 • 8 p.m. ET
Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall • Bloomington, Ind.

Broadcast: BTN (Connor Onion, Meghan McKeown)
Radio: WHCC 105.1 FM (Greg Murray)

ABOUT THE SCARLET KNIGHTS

Coming off a month long COVID-19 pause, Rutgers will play just its ninth game of the 2020-21 season on Thursday night – last playing On Jan. 3 at Nebraska. They are led by preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Arella Guirantes who averages 22.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. Nancy Lieberman Top 10 watchlist candidate freshman guard Diamond Johnson adds 17.5 points per game. The Scarlet Knights are averaging 81.3 points per game.

SERIES HISTORY

Rutgers leads 6-5

LAST MEETING

3/6/20 – W, 78-60 (Indianapolis)

NOTES

  • Indiana is coming off a 79-67 win over Michigan State on Sunday night. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes led the way with 17 points as four players scored in double figures as a big second-half surge led the Hoosiers to victory.
  • Senior guard Ali Patberg and junior guard Grace Berger have each been named to respective Top 10 watch lists by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. Patberg returns on the nation’s best point guard list from last season on the Nancy Lieberman Award Top 10 while Berger earns the program’s first ever Top 10 honoree on the Cheryl Miller Award for nation’s top small forward.
  • IU comes in at No. 10 in the latest NET rankings, which replaced the previously used RPI system. They are the second highest Big Ten team in the NET rankings this season.
  • Holmes is leading the way for the Hoosiers this season with her 17.8 points per game, ties a team-high 6.9 rebounds, 2.8 blocks per game while shooting 59.7 percent from the floor. Berger adds 15.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game.
  • Thursday’s game against the Scarlet Knights is a rescheduled game from a previous postponement between the two teams on Jan. 18. IU and Rutgers will only meet once in the regular season in 2020-21.

UP NEXT

The Hoosiers will travel to Iowa on Sunday afternoon in another nationally televised game. Tipoff on ESPN2 is set for 2 p.m. ET at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

OHIO STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Buckeyes Eye Season Sweep of Hawkeyes
Ohio State hasn’t swept a home-and-home season series with Iowa since 2008 

11/13 Ohio State vs. Iowa
Date: 
Feb. 4, 2021
Time: 
6:00 p.m.
Venue: 
Columbus, Ohio – Value City Arena
Watch: BTN
Listen: OhioStateBuckeyes.com
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Game Notes: Ohio State | Iowa


COLUMBUS, Ohio – 
Ohio State returns home for the next two games and will start on Thursday evening with a 6 p.m. tilt against Iowa. The Hawkeyes come in looking for revenge as the Buckeyes erased a 14-point second half deficit and won the season’s first meeting, 84-82, in overtime on Jan. 13 in Iowa City. Ohio State hasn’t swept a home-and-home season series with Iowa since 2008. BTN will have the television coverage.

  • Ohio State and Iowa are meeting for the 72nd time on Thursday evening.
  • The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 37-34 and both teams have dominated on their home floors. OSU is 21-9 in Columbus while Iowa holds a 22-10 edge in Iowa City.
  • This game was originally supposed to be played on Dec. 19 but Ohio State had to postpone to due COVID 19 protocols.
  • The first meeting this season between the two teams was a good one. The Buckeyes overcame a 14-point second half deficit to force overtime, where they would pull out an 84-82 victory. Madison Greene led the way with 20 points while Jacy Sheldon and Braxtin Miller each added 18 points. The win snapped Iowa’s 42-game home win streak.
  • Ohio State is coming off a four-game stretch against all ranked opponents where it went 3-1. The Buckeyes are 10-2 on the season and 6-2 in the conference.
  • Iowa lost a tough one at home to Northwestern last Thursday but rebounded with a thumping of Minnesota in Minneapolis on Sunday. Monica Czinano averaged 28.5 points on .848 shooting in those two games and is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week. Caitlin Clark is the reigning B1G Freshman of the Week, an honor she has now won eight times.
  • After allowing a season-high in three-point makes (10) and percentage (.385) to Maryland, the Buckeyes have made an effort defensively on the perimeter in the last two games. Indiana and Northwestern were limited to just 2-of-26 combined from distance.
  • All five Buckeye starters are averaging 11.8 points per game or higher. Ohio State and Maryland are the only two teams in the country with five players averaging better than 11.5 ppg.
  • Junior Dorka Juhasz has notched double-doubles in each of the last two games and now has 28 for her career. She has grabbed 42 rebounds over the last three games and is currently second in the Big Ten at 11.4 rebounds per game.
  • Juhasz is also just 139 points away from 1,000 in her career.
  • Jacy Sheldon had a streak of 16 consecutive games of scoring in double figures snapped at Indiana. She hasn’t scored in double-figures in either of the last two games but still leads the team at 16.0 ppg. A “get-right” game feels like it is coming.
  • Forward Rebeka Mikulasikova played well against Northwestern. She scored eight-straight OSU points in the third quarter which helped the Buckeyes close the gap.

WRIGHT STATE WBB: Raiders welcome Panthers to Nutter Center

(RAIDERS RELEASE)

The Wright State women’s basketball team welcomes Milwaukee to the Nutter Center for a weekend matchup. The Raiders and Panthers will face off Friday and Saturday, with both contests set to tip at 2 p.m.

Saturday’s contest will be the Raiders’ annual #Play4Kay game, a game that raises awareness for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Fans can follow both games on ESPN+ or via live stats both days.

Wright State tallied a pair of road victories against the newest Horizon League member, Purdue Fort Wayne on January 29-30. On Friday, The Raiders defeated the Mastodons 77-50 as Angel Baker tallied her 100th career point in a Raiders’ uniform in the process. An Angel Baker jump shot started the scoring efforts for Wright State who went on an 18-0 run over nearly seven minutes before Fort Wayne’s Aubrey Stupp’s three-pointer gave the Mastodons their first points of the contest. The Raiders outscored the Mastodons 22-7 at the end of the first quarter. PFW looked to inch their way back into the contest, as the third quarter was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Raiders tally just one more point, 18-17, for the quarter. Wright State used a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter over four-minutes to secure the lead.

Saturday saw a hard fought battle, with Wright State walking away 69-59 victors. Tyler Frierson’s layup after nearly two minutes of scoreless action put the Raiders on the board first. Fort Wayne answered shortly after tying the contest at 2-all before going on a 9-0 run over three minutes. The Mastodons’ went on to outscore the Raiders 12-8 at the end of the first quarter. Wright State went on a 10-2 run to close out the first half to head into the locker room down just three, 26-29. Angel Baker tallied a season-and-game high 24 points, while Shamarre Hale added 14 points and Tyler Frierson collected her third double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS

Milwaukee dropped just their second and third contests of the 2020-2021 season against Northern Kentucky, as the Panthers are now 15-3 overall and 12-2 in HL play. Notably, the Panthers were picked seventh in the #HLWBB preseason poll.

Megan Walstad leads Milwaukee averaging 13.4 points per game on the year, she is also tallying a team-leading 9.7 rpg. Brandi Bisping is pacing the Panters with 11.0ppg and 8.2 rpg.

The Panthers finished the 2019-2020 season with an overall record of 15-16 and an 11-7 mark in HL play before falling to Northern Kentucky in the second round of the Horizon League tournament, 58-78.

BUTLER VB: Butler VB Home Opener Set for Thursday

(BUTLER RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – The 2021 spring home opener will feature Butler hosting Indiana State this Thursday night at 6 PM. The first volleyball match inside Hinkle Fieldhouse since Nov. 23, 2019 will stream for free on the Butler Athletics YouTube page. It will also reignite an in-state rivalry between two teams that have not met since the 2016 campaign.

Scouting Indiana State

The Sycamores are off to a 1-1 start to the spring season. They split a pair of home matches to Evansville to end the month of January. Indiana State lost 3-0 (20-25, 23-25, 25-27) in the first match and came back with a 3-1 win four days later (25-22, 19-25, 25-14, 25-22). Madeline Williams and Mallory Keller each average over three kills per set for head coach Lindsay Allman. Chloe Mason and Mary Hannah Lewis will each help set up the action. Defensively, Melina Tedrow is the team leader in digs (27) and Williams has a team-best five blocks.

Last Match vs. the Sycamores

Butler recorded a 3-1 win over Indiana State on Sept. 13, 2016 (25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 25-18). Anna Logan led all players with 18 kills. Makayla Ferguson and Brooke Gregory were each credited with double-doubles.

All-Time Series vs. Indiana State

Butler leads the all-time series 17-7. The Bulldogs won the last meeting in 2016, but the Sycamores won the 2012 season opener vs. BU at the DePaul Invite 3-1.

Davidson Tabbed BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week

Davidson played a big role at the net for Butler averaging 1.46 blocks per set over three matches for a total of 19. In the Bulldogs’ 3-2 win over Bellarmine, Davidson blocked nine attempts against the Knights. Davidson and the Butler defense held opponents to .116 hitting percentage, a league-best.

Robinson Lands on BIG EAST Honor Roll

Last Friday, Robinson became the first Bulldog to notch 20 kills in a match since Oct. 27, 2018. She posted 20 in the setback at Loyola and would wrap up the weekend with 19 in the five-set win at Bellarmine. She averaged league best 3.67 kills per set, hit at a .181 clip and added three service aces.

Double-Double Tracker

Madison Friebel (2)

– 30 Assists, 14 Digs vs. Valpo (1/29)

– 55 Assists, 19 Digs at Loyola (1/29)

Brittany Robinson (2)

– 20 Kills, 14 Digs at Loyola (1/29)

– 19 Kills, 10 Digs at Bellarmine (1/31)

13-for-13

Five Bulldogs played in all 13 sets last week. Madison Friebel, Jaymeson Kinley, Caroline Cleveland, Amina Shackelford, and Melody Davidson. Of those five student-athletes, only Davidson was on the roster last year.

Home Matches

Butler will have five home matches remaining on the spring schedule after the completion of the Indiana State game. BU will host Cincinnati on Saturday, Feb. 20 to wrap up their non-conference slate. That match will begin at 2 PM inside Hinkle Fieldhouse. Nationally-ranked BIG EAST opponents will also visit Indianapolis in March. #25 Marquette and #19 Creighton will each play two matches vs. BU. The Golden Eagles head to Hinkle on March 5. The Bluejays will visit March 12. 

Up Next

Butler added a mid-week match for next week. The team will now travel to Saint Louis on Tuesday, Feb. 9 to face the Billikens at 5 PM.

INDIANA PACERS: Antetokounmpo gets triple-double as Bucks top Pacers 130-110

Giannis Antetokounmpo didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter and still had a triple-double while helping the Milwaukee Bucks roll to a lopsided victory.

The reigning two-time MVP had 21 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in the Bucks’ 130-110 rout of the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night. Antetokounmpo shot 7 of 8 from the floor and 7 of 8 from the line.

“He’s playing really, really unselfishly,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “He’s seeing things and making the right read and the right passes. I just think he’s in a great place mindset-wise. He’s aggressive and attacking when it’s needed. He’s finding his teammates and finding opportunities for everybody else when it’s needed.”

Over his last two games, Antetokounmpo has shot a combined 15 of 19 from the floor and hasn’t attempted a 3-pointer. Antetokounmpo is making just 28% of his 3-point attempts this season.

Antetokounmpo completed his third triple-double of the season in the final minute of the third quarter when he got his 10th assist, setting up Bobby Portis for a corner 3-pointer that capped a 10-0 run and gave the Bucks a 34-point advantage.

Milwaukee led by as many as 40 in the fourth quarter over a Pacers team that had beaten the Memphis Grizzlies 134-116 one night earlier.

“We just didn’t come out with enough urgency on both ends,” Pacers forward Doug McDermott said. “It’s something we’ve got to clean up. We’ve got to come out with that mindset that just because we played the night before doesn’t give us an excuse to kind of lay an egg.”

Milwaukee never trailed and shot 21 of 48 from 3-point range in its last home contest before beginning a six-game trip. The Bucks have gone 42 of 90 on 3-point attempts over their last two games.

The Bucks have made at least 20 3-pointers in five of their 21 games this season. Before this season, the Bucks had made as many as 20 3-pointers in a game just four times in franchise history.

Bryn Forbes, who scored 20 points and shot 4 of 7 from beyond the arc, said the Bucks’ exceptional long-range production is a credit to their passing abilities.

NBA NEWS: Embiid, 76ers continue dominance of Hornets, win 118-111

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers overpowered the Charlotte Hornets – again.

Embiid had 34 points and 11 rebounds, and the 76ers beat the Hornets 118-111 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight win.

Tobias Harris scored 26 points and Ben Simmons added 15 points and nine assists for the 76ers, who stretched their winning streak against the Hornets to 14 games, tied for the longest active streak in the NBA. The Clippers have also won 14 straight against the Magic.

Almost every time the 76ers needed a bucket, they went to Embiid – and more often than not, he responded with mid-range jumpers or by getting to the foul line. The Eastern Conference player of the month finished 11 of 18 from the field and was 9 of 10 from the foul line.

Hornets forward Miles Bridges said Embiid is “unguardable” right now.

“I don’t think there is anybody in this league that can guard him when he’s hitting shots from 3 and especially when he’s in the post,” Bridges said. “We tried to send double teams and he was hitting turnaround fadeaways. It’s tough, that’s why he’s the top MVP candidate right now, and he’s playing at a very high level. It’s tough to stop him.”

Gordon Hayward and LaMelo Ball each had 22 points for the Hornets, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Hornets coach James Borrego said earlier in the day on local sports talk radio that he expected his team to come out with plenty of energy knowing their history against the 76ers.

Instead, Charlotte shot 22.7% from field in the first quarter and fell behind 30-13.

The 76ers stretched the lead to 26 in the third quarter before the Hornets started to get hot from beyond the arc and battled back to cut the deficit to seven with two minutes left. But Danny Green knocked down a 3 from the right corner and Simmons added a driving layup to keep the Hornets at bay.

“You’ve got to give them credit, they’re a heck of a defense,” Borrego said. “Obviously, they’ve given us trouble over the years defensively with their length and size. . They give us nothing easy at the rim, they take away a lot of our pick-and-roll game, our spread game.”

NBA NEWS: Williams scores 19; Thunder win rematch with Rockets 104-87

Kenrich Williams scored 19 points Wednesday night, and the Oklahoma City Thunder bounced back from a 30-point loss to Houston two days earlier and beat the Rockets 104-87.

Darius Bazley had 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, Al Horford scored 17 points and Hamidou Diallo added 16 for the Thunder. Oklahoma City had allowed 147 and 136 points in its previous two games – both losses. On Wednesday, the Thunder allowed a season-low point total.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said his team had the right approach heading into the rematch.

“I give our guys credit not getting too emotional after that last game,” he said. “No one likes losing by 30 and giving up 130. But I don’t think we got too low after that one, just like we won’t get too high after this one. But they really came in with a clean slate and wanted to learn.”

The Rockets scored a season high for points on Monday and a season low on Wednesday. Houston made a franchise record 28 3-pointers on 52 attempts on Monday, but connected on just 12 of 46 in the rematch.

Eric Gordon scored 22 points and Victor Oladipo added 19 for the Rockets, whose win streak ended at six games. Christian Wood, who entered the night averaging 23.3 points and 10.7 rebounds, finished with eight points and six rebounds in 22 minutes,

“When you’re not making shots, you’ve got to play a little bit harder on defense and figure out ways to create a little bit easier opportunities on offense,” Gordon said. “The energy just wasn’t there. We missed a ton of shots to where we just couldn’t really get in a groove.”

Rockets guard John Wall and Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed Wednesday’s rematch. Wall, who averages 17.8 points and 5.8 assists, rested on the first half of a back-to-back with the Memphis Grizzlies on tap on Thursday. Gilgeous-Alexander, who leads the Thunder with 21.8 points and 6.3 assists, sat out with a left knee sprain. Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said it wasn’t too serious and the team was being cautious.

NBA NEWS: George scores 36, Clippers use 3-pointers to drill Cavaliers

Paul George missed the first two games of the Los Angeles Clippers’ long road trip. He barely missed anything in the finale.

George drained 8 of 9 3-pointers and scored 36 points, Kawhi Leonard added 24 and Los Angeles found enough energy on tired legs to end a six-game road swing with a 121-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Just 24 hours after dropping a tight game in Brooklyn that had an NBA Finals vibe, the Clippers bounced back by making 20 3-pointers to avoid losing two straight for the first time this season. They are the only team in the league not to drop two in a row.

George said the 124-120 loss to the Nets – he scored 26, but missed 13 shots and took just one free throw – inspired his performance against the Cavs.

“I had some good looks, and I just told myself that if I got the same open shots, I would knock them down,” George said.

The Clippers started the trip down two All-Stars as both George and Leonard were sidelined by COVID-19 protocols. They sat out games in Atlanta and Miami, but now that they’re back, a team with title aspirations is gaining confidence.

“We’re getting better,” coach Tyronn Lue said after his team’s 4-2 trip. “We’ve got some things we’ve still got to get better at. We’ve still got a long way to go.”

George went 13 of 20 from the field and Los Angeles made 20 of 34 on 3s, outscoring Cleveland 60-12 from behind the arc.

George banked in a 32-footer at the horn to end the third, capping his 16-point quarter that gave the Clippers a 14-point cushion heading into the fourth.

“I didn’t know he was 8 of 9 from 3,” Lue said. “But I knew he was shooting the rock.”

INDIANA STATE VOLLEYBALL: Short Trip to Butler Up Next for Sycamore Volleyball

(ISU RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana State volleyball will make the short trip on I-70 to Indianapolis for a Thursday match with the Butler Bulldogs. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. ET.

VALLEY LEADERS

In the young spring 2021 season, the Sycamores find themselves atop the Valley in four categories currently. Offensively, ISU is first in the MVC in assists per set at 14.29 (fourth nationally), hitting percentage at .230 (56th nationally), kills per set at 15.29 (fifth nationally) and team attacks per set at 41.00 (fifth nationally).

OFFENSIVE EXCELLENCE

Friday’s contest at Evansville featured the best Sycamore offensive performance in nearly three years. Led by freshman Mallory Keller with 16 kills, Indiana State hit .324 for the match, the best hitting percentage in a match since Aug. 31, 2018 when they hit .310 against North Florida. Madeline Williams contributed 12 kills while hitting .524 and Keller hit .367.

STREAK EXTENDED

With 12 digs on Friday evening against Evansville, Melina Tedrow increased her streak of recording 10+ digs to 15 games. The junior is now just 183 digs away from entering the Sycamore top-10 for most career digs. She’s chasing Kylee Osborne who tallied 1005 career digs from 2000-2003.

GETTING DEFENSIVE

After finishing up the series matchups with Evansville, the Sycamores find themselves at second in the Valley in digs per set, registering 18.43 which is 17th in the nation. Melina Tedrow is ninth in the Valley, recording 3.86 digs per set through the first two matches.

BUTLER BASEBALL: Two @Butler Baseball Players Receive Preseason Accolades

(BUTLER RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – Senior Connor Schultz was named Preseason BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year by Baseball America and Perfect Game. Freshman infielder Kennan Taylor also received recognition from Perfect Game, being named Preseason BIG EAST Freshman of the Year.

This is not the first conference accolade for Schultz, as a sophomore in 2019 he was awarded BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week twice and was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection. Before the 2020 season was cut short, Schultz was putting up good numbers in what looked like was going to be a very productive junior year.

He was the weekend starter for the Bulldogs and posted a 3.04 ERA in four starts. Over his career at Butler, Schultz has a 2.99 ERA in 138.2 innings with 140 strikeouts. The Iowa native will be looking to build on previous success this upcoming season.

Freshman Keenan Taylor will be a versatile piece added to the Butler roster. The Guerin Catholic product from Westfield has the ability to play multiple infield positions and can get on base.

In high school, Taylor was a three-year starter and as a junior in 2019 he set the school record for hits in a season with 36. He was named to the All-County and All-Conference teams and coming out of high school he was the 10th-ranked overall player and the second ranked shortstop in Indiana.

EVANSVILLE BASEBALL: Aces add Stuart to 2021 signing class

(EVANSVILLE RELEASE)

EVANSVILLE – University of Evansville head baseball coach Wes Carroll has announced the signing of Ben Stuart to add to the Aces 2021 signing class.

A native of Mason, Ohio, Stuart heads to the River City after competing for Mason High School, just north of Cincinnati. The 17th-ranked shortstop in the state of Ohio per Prep Baseball Report, Stuart helped lead the Comets to a 25-4 record as a sophomore during the 2019 season.

“We are happy to add Ben to this recruiting class. He is a dynamic player that will make an impact to our roster,” said Wes Carroll. “Ben is an athletic infielder that flashes a great glove with a strong arm. He also has great bat speed with power potential. I can’t wait to see him on campus next fall.”

At the 2020 Ohio Unsigned Senior Showcase, Stuart showcased a 76.5 MPH max bat speed and a max exit velocity of 97.1 MPH.

Stuart becomes the ninth signee for Evansville in the 2021 class after the Aces announced eight previous signees in December.

CINCINNATI BASEBALL: Baseball Announces 2021 Schedule

(BEARCATS RELEASE)

CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati baseball team announced a 53-game 2021 schedule with the season set to open on Friday, Feb. 19 at Clemson.

Prior to a pandemic-shortened 2020, fourth-year Head Coach Scott Googins led the Bearcats to one of the most successful seasons in program history in 2019. The Bearcats won the Anerican Athletic Conference Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time in 45 years.

UC enters 2021 led by three preseason All-AAC selections in DH Wyatt Stapp, 3B Eric Santiago and LHP Evan Shawver were named preseason All-AAC. Stapp is a two-time preseason all-conference honoree while Santiago and Shawver were tabbed for the first time. The league’s preseason poll, released on Dec. 30, 2020, tabbed the Bearcats to finish sixth in the AAC behind top choice ECU.

UC will open the season at Clemson on Friday, Feb. 14 with the home opener at UC Baseball Stadium set for Friday, March 12 against Western Michigan.

Per conference policy, AAC weekend series will be four games with a doubleheader on Friday’s starting at 1 p.m. ET.

PURDUE FW MEN’S SOCCER: Thursday’s Men’s Soccer Opener With Milwaukee Moved Indoors

(PFW RELEASE)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne men’s soccer opens the season on Thursday against Milwaukee.

NOTE: The game has been moved indoors to the Plex South and the start time has been changed to 3 p.m. due to predicted inclement weather.

Game Day Information

Who: Milwaukee Panthers (0-0-0, 0-0-0 Horizon) at Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (0-0-0, 0-0-0 Horizon)

When: Thursday, February 4 | 3 p.m.

Where: Plex South | Fort Wayne, Ind.

Video: None

Live Stats: Link

Twitter Updates: @mastodonmsoccer

Series History: Series tied 2-2-0

Weather: Indoors

Fan Policy: No spectators allowed

KNOW YOUR FOE:

• The Panthers went 10-6-4 (3-3-2 Horizon) last season. Milwaukee advanced to the Horizon League title game. They tied Wright State 1-1 but the Raiders advanced on penalty kicks.

• Milwaukee’s Joshua Kidder had 11 points last season and returns this year for his sophomore campaign.

SERIES HISTORY:

• The ‘Dons have won two straight in the series.

• The last meeting, a 4-1 win over Milwaukee in 2011, saw Max Touloute record a hat trick.

09/21/2002         L              6-1          Milwaukee, Wis.

09/01/2006         L              3-0          Milwaukee, Wis.

09/14/2010         W            1-0          Fort Wayne, Ind.

08/26/2011         W            4-1          Milwaukee, Wis.

THURSDAY’S MATCH WILL BE THE FIRST…:

• ever Horizon League contest for the ‘Dons.

• contest for Mastodon head coach Stephen Gorton.

• ever men’s soccer match in February.

GREAT INDOORS:

Thursday’s match will be the Mastodons’ first indoors since August 26, 2016 when the ‘Dons defeated Saint Joseph’s 4-0 indoors at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.

INDIANAPOLIS WOMEN’S TENNIS: Women’s Tennis Picked to Win GLVC East

(U OF I RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis and Drury University women’s tennis teams have been selected to win the East and West Divisions, respectively, for the upcoming 2021 Great Lakes Valley Conference season, it was announced by the Conference office Wednesday.

The GLVC Women’s Tennis Preseason Poll was voted on by the league head coaches and ranks seven teams in both the East and the West, as 14 of the 15 member schools sponsor the sport. After the 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 season will feature a six-match divisional schedule in which every school plays every divisional opponent in a standard round-robin format.

UIndy earned 91 points in the poll for the top spot in the East Division with all 13 possible first-place votes, as league policy prohibits coaches from casting a vote for their own team. The Greyhounds have also been ranked fourth nationally in the ITA/Oracle Division II Preseason Poll. Four-time GLVC Coach of the Year, Malik Tabet, enters his eighth season at the helm, returning many of the team’s top players, including senior Alina Kislitskaya, as well as a trio of juniors in Nikol Alekseeva, Anna Novikova, and Anna Valiaeva.

Maryville University was the next highest vote getter in the East, garnering 71 points and the other first-place vote, while Lewis University followed in third with 60 points. Behind the Flyers were the University of Illinois Springfield (55) in fourth and Lindenwood University (47) at No. 5. Sixth went to the University of Southern Indiana (37), while McKendree University (24) rounded out the seven-team field.

Drury is the West Division’s top pick, garnering eight first-place votes for 86 points. The 16th-year head coach, Jarrod Smith, will guide his squad in 2021 with key returners in senior Viktoriya Zheleva and sophomore Alma Abazi. The Panthers are also receiving votes nationally in the ITA poll.

Southwest Baptist University collected the other six first-place votes in the West and was just four points shy of the top spot with 82 points. The Bearcats are also ranked in the ITA poll at No. 14. The University of Missouri-St. Louis garnered 67 points and the No. 3 spot in the preseason, while Rockhurst University picked up 55 points for fourth. Quincy University (37) was fifth with William Jewell College (33) and Truman State University (18) completing the seven-team division in sixth and seventh, respectively.

The 2021 GLVC Women’s Tennis Championship Tournament will be held at the Oremus Tennis Complex in Romeoville, Ill., from April 30-May 2.

The complete 2021 GLVC Women’s Tennis Preseason Coaches’ Poll follows below.

EAST DIVISION

RK           SCHOOL               PTS (1st-place votes)

1.            UIndy    91 (13)

2.            Maryville             71 (1)

3.            Lewis     60

4.            Illinois Springfield            55

5.            Lindenwood       47

6.            Southern Indiana             37

7.            McKendree        24

 WEST DIVISION

RK           SCHOOL               PTS (1st-place votes)

1.            Drury     86 (8)

2.            Southwest Baptist           82 (6)

3.            Missouri-St. Louis             67

4.            Rockhurst            55

5.            Quincy  37

6.            William Jewell   33

7.            Truman State     18

PURDUE XC: Boilermakers Ranked No. 20 in Latest USTFCCCA Coaches’ Poll

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s cross country team is ranked No. 20 in the latest NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, unveiled today by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

The Boilermakers are coming off a third-place finish at the 2020-21 Big Ten Cross Country Championships on Jan. 30. The team debuted at No. 22 in the season’s first USTFCCCA poll on Oct. 27, and rose two spots in this week’s rankings after they opened the season Saturday at the conference championship meet.

Purdue has been ranked in all four national polls this season.

The men also check in at No. 4 in the Great Lakes Region, while the women’s team is No. 9. Five Big Ten men’s programs appear in the top-30 nationally, led by No. 11 Wisconsin, which won the league title. No. 17 Michigan, No. 18 Indiana and No. 26 Michigan State join Purdue in the poll. Seven women’s teams are in the top-30.

Additionally, senior Brody Smith and junior Rachel Anderson were named Purdue’s men’s and women’s recipients of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The duo were honored for distinguishing themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior.

At the Big Ten Championships at the Blue River Cross Country Course in Shelbyville, Indiana, the Boilermakers earned their third consecutive top-four team finish, a first for the program since 1948. Purdue has recorded a top-five conference finish four years in a row after it did not finish in the top-five from 1987-2016.

Senior Curt Eckstein came in fifth overall to pace the squad. It is the third year in a row a Boilermaker has finished fifth in the conference championship race, and he was recognized with All-Big Ten First Team accolades.

The Big Ten Network will air the championship four times on television. The first broadcast is set for Feb. 6 at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by Feb. 7 at 8 a.m., Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. and Feb. 9 at 3 p.m.

Up next, qualifying Boilermakers will compete at the NCAA men’s and women’s cross country championships, set for March 15 at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

INDIANAPOLIS MEN’S TENNIS: Men’s Tennis Tabbed GLVC East Division Favorite

( U OF I RELEASE)

INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Indianapolis and Drury University men’s tennis teams have once again been selected to win the East and West Divisions, respectively, for the upcoming 2021 Great Lakes Valley Conference season, it was announced by the Conference office Wednesday.

The GLVC Men’s Tennis Preseason Poll was voted on by the league head coaches and ranks seven teams in the East and six squads in the West, as just 13 of the 15 member schools sponsor the sport. After the 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 season will feature a six-match divisional schedule in which every school plays every divisional opponent in a standard round-robin format.

Indianapolis was chosen as the favorite in the East with 84 total points, earning all 12 possible first-place votes, as league policy prohibits coaches from casting a vote for their own team. The Greyhounds enter 2021 also ranked 10th nationally by the ITA/Oracle Preseason Poll. The five-time GLVC Coach of the Year Malik Tabet will mentor the Hounds for his eighth season with a pair of seniors returning to his lineup in Renato Lima and Agustin Gascia, as well as junior Maximilian Witthaus.

Maryville University was the next closest vote getter behind UIndy in the East, garnering 60 points and the other first-place vote. The University of Illinois Springfield was next with 50 points in third, while Lewis University and the University of Southern Indiana tied for fourth with 49 points. Lindenwood University earned 41 points to be picked sixth, while McKendree University (24) rounded out the seven-team field.

Drury earned eight first-place votes and 80 points for its seventh-straight No. 1 selection in the West preseason. The Panthers begin the season also ranked seventh in the ITA preseason. In his 16th-year as head coach, Jarrod Smith will again guide the team in this new year, returning a pair of top performers in Nico Hadeler and Sylvain Garin-Michaud.

Southwest Baptist University earned the other five first-place votes in the West and 77 points – just three behind Drury – for second place in the poll. The University of Missouri-St. Louis tallied 60 points and third position, followed by Rockhurst University in fourth with 53 points. William Jewell College (35) claimed fifth, which was just one point ahead of Quincy University (34) at No. 6.

The 2021 GLVC Men’s Tennis Championship Tournament will be held at the Oremus Tennis Complex in Romeoville, Illinois, from April 30-May 2.

The complete 2021 GLVC Men’s Tennis Preseason Coaches’ Poll follows below.

EAST DIVISION

RK           SCHOOL               PTS (1st-place votes)

1.            UIndy    84 (12)

2.            Maryville             60 (1)

3.            Illinois Springfield            50

4.            Lewis     49

Southern Indiana             49

6.            Lindenwood       41

7.            McKendree        24

WEST DIVISION

RK           SCHOOL               PTS (1st-place votes)

1.            Drury     80 (8)

2.            Southwest Baptist           77 (5)

3.            Missouri-St. Louis             60

4.            Rockhurst            53

5.            William Jewell   35

6.            Quincy  34

WRIGHT STATE MEN’S SOCCER: Men’s Soccer kicks off 2021 against UIC Thursday

(WRIGHT STATE RELEASE)

After 437 the Wright State men’s soccer team returns to the pitch and welcomes UIC to Alumni Field Thursday for an afternoon matchup with kickoff set for 1p.m.

LAST TIME OUT
WRIGHT STATE – The 2019 season will forever be one that Raider fans near and far won’t soon forget, as that squad etched their name in the history book. Wright State finished the season with an overall record of 11-8-4 and a 4-4-0 mark in conference play. The Raiders made history clenching the programs first ever tournament championship and advancing to the NCAA Men’s Division I Championship where they would go on to defeat Notre Dame 3-2 in the opening round and pushing the No. 13 seeded Michigan Wolverines to a scoreless 110 minutes before falling 5-4 in penalty kicks.

UIC – UIC who was picked second in the 2019 preseason poll, ended the season with an overall record of 12-5-1 and 6-2-0 in Horizon League play. The Flames fell to the No. 6 seeded Milwaukee Panthers in the Semifinals of the HL Championship, 3-0 via penalty kicks.

LOOKING AHEAD
WRIGHT STATE – Wright State was picked to third in the #HLMSOC preseason poll earlier this week, receiving 88 total points. The Raiders lost several key members to their starting combination, but welcome back a trio of players who made an impact last season. Harvey Slade started all 23 games during the 2019 season, Ids Hannema recorded seven goals, two helpers and 16 points, and Brayden McNitt who recorded two goals, one helper and five points for the Raiders. During the off season, Wright State added 10 freshman and four transfer to the roster.

UIC – The defending Horizon League regular season champs were picked a top the preseason poll, tallying 109 total votes (11 first-place) – tying with Oakland. The Flames welcome back three key members to the starting XI, as Lyes Ghezli, Jacob Graiber and Sokratis Vasilas all return for the Flames this season.

FOLLOW THE RAIDERS
Fans are encouraged to follow the Wright State men’s soccer program all season long via Live Stats on social media. Select matches will be featured on the ESPN family of networks, check wsuraiders.com for more info.  

AP source: Twins reach 1-year, $13M deal with DH Nelson Cruz

The Minnesota Twins are bringing back designated hitter Nelson Cruz on a one-year, $13 million contract, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.

The agreement was reached late Tuesday and confirmed Wednesday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending completion of a physical exam.

Cruz turned 40 last season and batted .303 with 16 home runs, 33 RBIs and a .992 OPS in 53 games during the pandemic-shortened schedule.

He has led the team in homers in each of his two years with the Twins while ranking second and fourth, respectively, in the AL in OPS. The six-time All-Star won Silver Slugger awards in 2019 and 2020, when the Twins won the AL Central both seasons.

Just as valuable to the club has been Cruz’s leadership, with his laid-back demeanor and hard-working attitude and an ability to mentor players like first baseman Miguel Sano, a fellow native of the Dominican Republic. Cruz played through a ruptured tendon in his wrist in 2019. He won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award in 2020 on a vote by his major league peers, earning respect around the game for his efforts to donate a fire engine and an ambulance and help build a police station in his hometown of Las Matas De Santa Cruz.

No player in the major leagues has more home runs over the last seven seasons than Cruz (260), who also has the third-most RBIs (663) during that span, according to Sportradar data.

Cruz served a 50-game suspension in 2013, his last of eight seasons with the Texas Rangers, for violating the major league drug agreement in relation to the sport’s investigation of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. At the time, he said he erred in judgment in the wake of a gastrointestinal infection that wasn’t accurately diagnosed at first and caused him to lose 40 pounds before getting proper treatment.

Minnesota dropped from second in the majors in runs in 2019 to 19th in 2020, with several position players in and out of the lineup because of injuries. Cruz was about the only constant, despite being at least 10 years older than most of the regulars.

The Twins have added shortstop Andrelton Simmons in free agency, which will shift Jorge Polanco to second base and put Luis Arraez in the role as the primary backup position player.

COVID case at Australian Open hotel cancels play at tuneups

All competition at six Australian Open tuneup events scheduled for Thursday was called off after a worker at one of the tournaments’ Melbourne quarantine hotels tested positive for COVID-19.

Players preparing for the year’s first Grand Slam tournament, which is supposed to begin Monday, must isolate at their hotels until they test negative for the illness caused by the coronavirus.

“We will work with everyone involved to facilitate testing as quickly as possible,” Tennis Australia said in a statement announcing the postponement of all matches that were to be played Thursday at Melbourne Park.

Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said he called a late-night news conference Wednesday to announce the case “through an abundance of caution,” although he did acknowledge new restrictions could impact hundreds of people associated with the Australian Open.

Andrews spoke before all of Thursday’s play was postponed, which he acknowledged was a possibility. But as for the Australian Open, Andrews said: “At this stage, no impact on the tournament proper.”

Any players, coaches or officials who quarantined at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Melbourne were deemed to be casual contacts of the 26-year-old infected man and required to remain in their hotels until they test negative.

Everyone in the city will be required to wear masks while indoors.

The hotel advertises it has 550 rooms, including 25 premium suites, so potentially hundreds of people associated with the tournament could be forced back into isolation. That could test the resolve of players who have recently come out of two weeks in quarantine, and give ammunition to critics of the decision to allow people to fly in from all over the world for the year’s first major.

Australian Open organizers didn’t immediately have details of how many players would have to isolate.

Under the current plans, up to 30,000 spectators are expected daily at Melbourne Park for the two-week Grand Slam event and there was no immediate indication of a change.

Everyone who arrives in Australia must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine under the COVID-19 pandemic regulations. The Australian Open used three hotels in Melbourne for the bulk of the players to quarantine and had other secure accommodation and facilities in Adelaide, South Australia state, for some of the biggest stars, including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Notre Dame Hockey: Irish Continue Road Swing At Ohio State

FOR STARTERS

  • The Fighting Irish continue a stretch of eight of 10 games on the road this weekend with a two-game series at Ohio State on Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday Feb. 6.
  • Notre Dame is 5-1-0 on the road this season, including series sweeps at then third-ranked Michigan (Nov. 27-28) and at then first-ranked Minnesota (Jan. 15-16).
  • The Irish penalty kill is 12-for-12 on the road this season as well.
  • Notre Dame is coming off a series split at Penn State in which the Nittany Lions took game one 2-1 in overtime (Jan. 28), while the Irish rallied to take game two 3-2 in overtime (Jan. 29).
  • Colin Theisen had the third period, game-tying goal while Spencer Stastney had the overtime game winner.
  • Last weekend (Jan. 28-29), Ohio State was swept at home by Minnesota by scores of 5-1 and 5-2 with Tommy Nappier (game one) and Evan Moyse (game two) splitting the starts in the Buckeye goal.
  • Notre Dame (21 points) and Ohio State (16 points) sit in fourth and sixth, respectively in the Big Ten standings heading into this weekend’s series.
  • Since joining the Big Ten, the series has been evenly played with Notre Dame holding the slight edge, 8-6-1 (the teams split a weekend series earlier this season/see series history note).
  • Notre Dame’s eight game-winning goals this season have been scored by seven players: Jesse Lansdell, Alex Steeves, Grant Silianoff, Graham Slaggert (2), Nick Leivermann, Max Ellis and Spencer Stastney.
  • Fighting Irish leading scorer Alex Steeves (9-6-15) has at least one point in 13 of Notre Dame’s 18 games and he has a three-game goal scoring streak (3-0-3).
  • Graham Slaggert has a three-game point streak (0-3-3)

THE NOTRE DAME-OHIO STATE SERIES

  • Ohio State owns a 39-38-11 edge in the all-time series after splitting a weekend series at the Compton Family Ice Arena earlier this season (Dec. 12-13).
  • The Fighting Irish took game one of that series 3-0 behind goals from Graham Slaggert, Michael Graham and Alex Steeves.
  • Ohio State rallied to post a 3-2 game two victory, despite Irish goals from Nate Clurman and Steeves.
  • Dylan St. Cyr played both games in the Notre Dame net, stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced for a .927 save percentage and the game one victory marked his third career shutout.
  • Notre Dame went 2-1-1 against the Buckeyes last season, including a home sweep of Ohio State on Nov. 8-9, 2019 inside Compton Family Ice Arena.
  • In that home sweep over then #8 Ohio State, the Irish took game one in overtime, 3-2, before earning a 2-1 victory in game two.
  • Pierce Crawford provided the OT game winner in game one while then-freshman Solag Bakich scored his first career goal in that contest.

STEEVES ON HOBEY WATCH

  • Junior forward Alex Steeves has been selected to Phase One of the Hobey Baker Award’s fan ballot (www.hobeybaker.com).
  • Steeves has scored nine goals and added six assists for 15 points in 18 contests this season for the Irish, including a six-game point streak from Dec. 4 – Jan. 9. Steeves’ nine markers lead the team and are currently tied for the third most in the Big Ten.
  • The Eden Prairie, Minnesota, native has earned at least one point in 13 of 18 games in the 2020-21 campaign.
  • The Fan Balloting (Phase I) of the Hobey Baker award calendar will continue until March 7. On March 17, the Top 10 Finalists will be announced, at which time Phase II Fan Balloting will begin and run through March 28, 2021.
  • The Hobey Hat Trick Finalist Announcement will be made on April 1.
  • The 2021 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 9, 2021 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championship in Pittsburgh.

BIG 10 HOCKEY THIS WEEK

• Four teams take the ice this week in a pair of conference series, with all four games on live television.

• Three Big Ten teams appear in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls this week. Minnesota leads the conference at No. 2 in both polls, followed by Michigan at No. 7/7 and Wisconsin at No. 11/12. Notre Dame and Penn State are receiving votes in both the USCHO poll and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll.

• The 2021 Big Ten Hockey Tournament will be held March 18-20 at Compton Family Ice Arena in Notre Dame, Ind. The tournament will return to the one-weekend, single-elimination format used during the first four years of Big Ten hockey and will feature all seven conference teams – Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The tournament will consist of six games, with three games on Thursday, two games on Friday and the championship game on Saturday. Game times and television designations, as well as further details regarding the 2021 Big Ten Hockey Tournament, will be announced at a later date.

• Minnesota owns an 11-3-0-0 Big Ten record, compiling 33 points to stand in first place through 14 games in the race for the Big Ten Championship and the accompanying first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament. Wisconsin is in second place with 28 points on a 9-5-0-0 record in 14 games, while Michigan sits in third with 23 points and an 8-6-0-1 mark.

• Michigan’s Strauss Mann, Michigan State’s Drew DeRidder, Minnesota’s Jack LaFontaine, Ohio State’s Tommy Nappier and Wisconsin’s Cameron Rowe were among the 35 players named to the watch list for the 2021 Mike Richter Award, which annually honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA Division I men’s hockey and is named after former Wisconsin netminder Mike Richter. This year’s honoree will be announced at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.

• Six Big Ten goalies find themselves among the top 25 nationally in save percentage among those netminders who have played at least seven games. Minnesota’s Jack LaFontaine leads the conference and ranks third nationally with a .948 save percentage, followed by Wisconsin’s Cameron Rowe (4th, .946), Michigan State’s Drew DeRidder (9th, .932), Michigan’s Strauss Mann (14th, .927), Ohio State’s Tommy Nappier (23rd, .912) and the Badgers’ Robbie Beydoun (24th, .912).

• Wisconsin teammates Cole Caufield and Dylan Holloway were named First and Second Stars of the Week, respectively, following their performances in a series sweep of Michigan State. Caufield extended his point streak to 10 games (10 goals, 10 assists) and his goal streak to five contests (seven goals) with a seven-point effort last weekend, while Holloway now has 11 assists and 14 points in his last six games and is riding a five-game multi-point streak.

• Minnesota’s Jackson LaCombe was named the Big Ten Third Star of the Week after recording four points on two shorthanded goals and two assists from the blue line as the Gophers swept Ohio State on the road. LaCombe matched his career high with three points on one shorthanded goal and two assists in Minnesota’s 5-2 win on Saturday after scoring a shorthanded goal in Friday’s 5-1 win. The sophomore is riding a career-long four-game point streak, with three multi-point games over that stretch, and has points in six of the last seven games.

• Four Big Ten teams currently rank within the top 25 nationally in scoring. Minnesota leads the nation and the conference with 4.22 goals per game, followed by Wisconsin (9th, 3.72), Michigan (11th, 3.62) and Penn State ranking 21st and averaging 2.94 goals per contest.

• Thirty-one Big Ten standouts headline a group of 106 NCAA players and recruits featured in NHL Central Scouting’s updated “Players to Watch” list for the 2021 NHL Draft. Michigan and Wisconsin tied for the lead among all schools with eight players listed, while Notre Dame followed in fifth with six. Michigan’s trio of freshmen – Matty Beniers, Kent Johnson and Owen Power – all earned “A” ratings as first-round candidates and lead a group of 11 current NCAA freshmen featured on the list.

• This season, teams will be awarded three points in the conference standings for a win in regulation. If the game is tied following regulation, both teams will receive one point, with a second point being awarded to the team that wins in either the 3-on-3 overtime period or the shootout.

• Every televised game on BTN can be streamed on the FOX Sports app. All games broadcast by FOX Sports Regional Networks can also be streamed on the FOX Sports GO app for authenticated subscribers to the broadcasting regional network, or on Big Ten Network+. All games televised on an ESPN network will be streamed on the ESPN App.

BIG 10 CROSS COUNTRY

Michigan State’s Breznau, Wisconsin’s Byrne Named Big Ten Cross Country Coaches of the Year
Sportsmanship Award Honorees Announced

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced the first of its postseason cross country awards Wednesday afternoon. Michigan State’s Lisa Breznau was named the women’s Big Ten Coach of the Year, while Wisconsin’s Mick Byrne was tabbed the men’s Big Ten Coach of the Year, with both honors selected through a unanimous vote by the conference’s head coaches.

Breznau guided the Michigan State women’s cross country program to its eighth Big Ten Championship and its second in as many years, registering 48 points after all five of its scoring runners finished in the top 16 on January 30 at Blue River Memorial Park in Shelbyville, Ind. Breznau earns her first Big Ten Coach of the Year honor and the seventh for Michigan State.

Byrne helped Wisconsin to its 10th Big Ten title since he became the Badgers’ head coach in 2008, leading Wisconsin to the 51st Big Ten Championship in program history and third in as many years last weekend. Byrne is now a 10-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, with all 10 of those honors coming in the past 13 seasons.

Also on Wednesday, the Big Ten recognized its 26 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can be found below.

The Big Ten Athletes and Freshmen of the Year will be announced following the NCAA Championships, which will be contested March 15 at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Okla.

Men’s Coach of the Year:
MICK BYRNE, WISCONSIN

Women’s Coach of the Year:
LISA BREZNAU, MICHIGAN STATE

Sportsmanship Award Honorees:

Men’s:
Irwin Loud, Illinois
Jake Gebhardt, Indiana
Aidan King, Iowa
Jacob Branch, Michigan
Joe Riordan, Michigan State
Owen Hoeft, Minnesota
Sadio Fenner, Nebraska
Jake Wickert, Ohio State
Evan Dorenkamp, Penn State
Brody Smith, Purdue
Patrick Walsh, Rutgers
Seth Hirsch, Wisconsin

Women’s:
Emma Milburn, Illinois
Maddie Dalton, Indiana
Kelli Tosic, Iowa
Sarah Daniels, Maryland
Kathryn House, Michigan
Courtney Krupp, Michigan State
Tate Sweeney, Minnesota
Emma Bresser, Nebraska
Hannah Hall, Northwestern
Hannah Moulton, Ohio State
Jordan Williams, Penn State
Rachel Anderson, Purdue
Olympia Martin, Rutgers
Lexi Westley, Wisconsin

Unanimous selections listed in ALL CAPS

BIG 10 WOMEN’S GOLF

Nebraska Earns Women’s Golfer of the Week Honor

Huskers’ Smith earns weekly award after third-place finish at SMU Trinity Forest Invitational

Golfer of the Week

Kate Smith, Nebraska
Sr. – Detroit Lakes, Minn. – Detroit Lakes (Minn.) – Major: Graphic Design

  • Tied for third place with a score of 219 (+3; 75-76-68) at the SMU Trinity Forest Invitational in Dallas
  • Recorded five birdies and an eagle for a score of 68 (-4) in the final round to move 15 spots up the leaderboard
  • Smith’s individual performance in the final round helped the Huskers move up three places in the team standings and finish ninth in the 14-team field
  • Earns the fourth Golfer of the Week accolade of her career and first since 2017-18
  • Last Nebraska Golfer of the Week: Vanessa Bouvet (Nov. 11, 2018)