INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

SHAWE MEMORIAL57CROTHERSVILLE52OT
WAYNE TRACE (OHIO)72WOODLAN54 
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
MILFORD (ILL.)69INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE56 
INDIANA MATH & SCIENCE61VILLA GROVE (ILL.)48 
LAPORTE COUNTY CLASSIC
MICHIGAN CITY73WESTVILLE66 
WABASH VALLEY TOURNAMENT
TERRE HAUTE NORTH50NORTHVIEW39 
PARKE HERITAGE43CASEY-WESTFIELD (ILL.)30 
SULLIVAN72TERRE HAUTE SOUTH56 
WEST VIGO52SHAKAMAK48 
CLOVERDALE36GREENCASTLE32 
EDGEWOOD60ROBINSON (ILL.)55 
BLOOMFIELD62SOUTH VERMILLION57 
LINTON-STOCKTON75MARSHALL (ILL.)52 

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

NOBLESVILLE80FORT WAYNE NORTHROP64 
PURDUE POLY ENGLEWOOD81INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY30 
BISMARCK-HENNING (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
UNITY (ILL.)46NORTH VERMILLION34 
BENTON CENTRAL59LEXINGTON (ILL.)16 
NORTH VERMILLION35SALT FORK (ILL.)34 
BENTON CENTRAL82VILLA GROVE (ILL.)15 
CARL SANDBURG (ILL.) TOURNAMENT
OAK LAWN (ILL.)68HAMMOND CENTRAL23 
GLENBARD EAST (ILL.)47HAMMOND CENTRAL33 
LEBANON TOURNAMENT
LEBANON48GREENFIELD-CENTRAL41 
LAFAYETTE JEFF43PERRY MERIDIAN40 
RICHMOND36LOWELL33 
MOORESVILLE59INDIAN CREEK35 
GREENFIELD-CENTRAL37PERRY MERIDIAN34 
LEBANON43LAFAYETTE JEFF24 
MONROVIA TOURNAMENT
UNIVERSITY63SOUTH PUTNAM44 
SULLIVAN65MONROVIA44 
SOUTH PUTNAM58MONROVIA49 
UNIVERSITY55SULLIVAN34 

NFL SCOREBOARD

MIAMI 20 NEW ORLEANS 3

NFL SCHEDULE

SUNDAY, JAN. 2

ATLANTA FALCONS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (FOX)

NEW YORK GIANTS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (CBS)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)

ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 1 PM (FOX)

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 PM (CBS)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)

CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 1 PM (FOX)

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)

MIAMI DOLPHINS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)

DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

HOUSTON TEXANS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)

LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

DETROIT LIONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:25 PM (FOX)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM(NBC)

MONDAY, JAN. 3

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCOREBOARD

WESTERN MICHIGAN 52 NEVADA 24

NBA SCOREBOARD

CHARLOTTE 123 HOUSTON 99

CHICAGO 130 ATLANTA 118

MINNESOTA 108 BOSTON 103

UTAH 110 SAN ANTONIO 104

MEMPHIS 114 PHOENIX 113

DALLAS 132 PORTLAND 117

BROOKLYN 124 LA CLIPPERS 108

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD

#7 TENNESSEE 91 CHATTANOOGA 41

#19 LSU 83 SAMFORD 47

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLLS

AP POLL

1 BAYLOR

2 DUKE

3 PURDUE

4 GONZAGA

5 UCLA

6 KANSAS

7 USC

8 IOWA STATE

9 ARIZONA

10 MICHIGAN STATE

11 AUBURN

12 HOUSTON

13 OHIO STATE

14 TENNESSEE

15 SETON HALL

16 LSU

17 TEXAS

18 KENTUCKY

19 ALABAMA

20 COLORADO STATE

21 PROVIDENCE

22 VILLANOVA

23 XAVIER

24 WISCONSIN

25 TEXAS TECH

OTHER’S RECEIVING VOTES: ILLINOIS, OKLAHOMA, WEST VIRGINIA, LOYOLA CHICAGO, UCONN, MICHIGAN, COLORADO, SAN FRANCISCO, WAKE FOREST, DAVIDSON, IOWA, CREIGHTON, MEMPHIS, MINNESOTA.

COACHES POLL

1 BAYLOR

2 DUKE

3 PURDUE

4 GONZAGA

5 UCLA

6 KANSAS

7 ARIZONA

8 IOWA STATE

9 USC

10 MICHIGAN STATE

11 AUBURN

12 OHIO STATE

13 SETON HALL

14 HOUSTON

15 TENNESSEE

16 LSU

17 KENTUCKY

18 TEXAS

19 ALABAMA

20 COLORADO STATE

21 PROVIDENCE

22 VILLANOVA

23 WISCONSIN

24 XAVIER

25 TEXAS TECH

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: ARKANSAS, WEST VIRGINIA, ILLINOIS, UCONN, OKLAHOMA, LOYOLA CHICAGO, WAKE FOREST, MINNESOTA, MICHIGAN, SAN FRANCISCO, ST. MARY’S, FLORIDA, INDIANA.

RPI RANKINGS

1 MICHIGAN STATE

2 OHIO STATE

3 ALABAMA

4 KANSAS

5 AUBURN

6 LSU

7 ARIZONA

8 USC

9 WISCONSIN

10 COLORADO STATE

11 PROVIDENCE

12 XAVIER

13 BELMONT

14 SAN FRANCISCO

15 MINNESOTA

16 MURRAY STATE

17 BYU

18 VILLANOVA

19 IONA

20 SETON HALL

21 NEW MEXICO STATE

22 UCLA

23 OAKLAND

24 BAYLOR

25 WEST VIRGINIA

ASSOCIATED PRESS WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL

1 SOUTH CAROLINA

2 STANFORD

3 LOUISVILLE

4 ARIZONA

5 NORTH CAROLINA STATE

6 MARYLAND

7 TENNESSEE

8 INDIANA

9 MICHIGAN

10 BAYLOR

11 UCONN

12 TEXAS

13 GEORGIA

14 IOWA STATE

15 DUKE

16 GEORGIA TECH

17 NOTRE DAME

18 BYU

19 LSU

20 KENTUCKY

21 IOWA

22 S. FLORIDA

23 TEXAS A&M

24 NORTH CAROLINA

25 OHIO STATE

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: OKLAHOMA, COLORADO, FLORIDA GULF COAST, NEBRASKA, DEPAUL, MISSOURI STATE.

WOMEN’S RPI RANKING

1 SOUTH CAROLINA

2 NORTH CAROLINA STATE

3 UCONN

4 STANFORD

5 TENNESSEE

6 OKLAHOMA

7 LOUISVILLE

8 MISSOURI STATE

9 ARIZONA

10 NOTRE DAME

11 MICHIGAN

12 BYU

13 INDIANA

14 CREIGHTON

15 IOWA STATE

16 FORDHAM

17 CENTRAL FLORIDA

18 SOUTH DAKOTA

19 KANSAS

20 KENT STATE

21 NORTH CAROLINA

22 MARYLAND

23 NEBRASKA

24 KANSAS STATE

25 S. FLORIDA

TOP NATIONAL HEADLINES

Waddle shines, Dolphins beat Saints 20-3 to win 7th straight

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A Dolphins defense that intercepted Saints rookie Ian Book twice and sacked him eight times was probably enough to push Miami’s winning streak to seven games.

Miami also got a big lift from rookie sensation Jaylen Waddle to outclass New Orleans on both sides of the ball.

Waddle caught 10 passes for 92 yards and touchdown in his return from the COVID-19 list, and the Dolphins beat the short-handed Saints 20-3 on Monday night, becoming the first NFL team to win seven straight after losing seven in a row.

“This team stuck together, really the entire year,” said third-year Miami coach Brian Flores, who improved to 19-7 in games played after October. “Obviously, we dealt with a lot of adversity early in the year. It revealed a lot – revealed the character of the guys in our locker room.

“Our guys kept fighting, they kept sticking together, they worked hard,” Flores added.

Nik Needham intercepted Book and returned the ball 28 yards for a touchdown to help Miami become one of four 8-7 teams – along with Baltimore, the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas – in contention for one of the final playoff spots in the AFC.

Book started for the Saints (7-8) because of a COVID-19 outbreak that took 16 players off the active roster, including starting QB Taysom Hill and veteran backup Trevor Siemian.

“Rookie quarterback – we mixed up some looks on him,” Needham said. “Had him a little confused out there and I think that played a big part.”

With the Saints’ offensive line missing three starters, including both tackles, Book completed 12 of 20 passes for 135 yards.

“Just keeping him upright tonight was a challenge,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “The first interception was a throw he’ll want back, but that’s a tough position for him to be in.”

The Saints’ defense helped keep the game within reach until Waddle scored on a 1-yard shovel pass from Tua Tagovailoa to make it 17-3 with 5:10 left in the third quarter.

Tagovailoa, who entered the game with an NFL best 69.9% completion rate, connected on 19 of 26 passes (73.1%) for 198 yards and the short TD. He also was intercepted by Marshon Lattimore.

THE WADDLE EFFECT

Waddle missed Miami’s previous game because of a positive COVID-19 test. He has 96 catches this season, eclipsing New Orleans’ Michael Thomas for the second-most receptions by a rookie, and leaving him five short of Anquan Boldin’s rookie record of 101 catches in 2003.

Waddle said “it’ll obviously be pretty cool” if he breaks the record.

“The NFL is a special league, so anything in this league, to have a record is always big,” he said.

BOOK’S OPENING

Book got a roar of encouragement from the crowd when he first took the field and and Saints fans were cheering again two plays later when he completed his first career pass. Then they let out a collective gasp on his second pass – Needham’s pick-6.

Needham said a “max blitz” helped set up his first interception for a score at any level of football.

“We knew the ball had to come out quick so I was just staring at the quarterback and right when he said, `Hut,’ he was looking at the slot,” Needham recalled. “I think the ball got tipped and it landed right in my hands.”

Book’s next two series also lasted three plays each and ended on sacks. New Orleans didn’t get a first down until the second quarter. That drive lasted five plays.

The Saints finally moved the ball on their fifth series, needing just four plays to pick up three first downs. A roughing-the-passer penalty on a 12-yard completion to Alvin Kamara moved New Orleans to the Miami 23, setting up Brett Maher’s field goal to make it 10-3.

“Personally I got a lot to get better at,” Book said. “There’s things in my mind already that I want back but it felt good to be out there.”

Cam Jordan’s second sack of the game in the final minute of the second quarter forced Miami to try a 59-yard field goal, which Jason Sanders missed, keeping the Saints’ deficit at one touchdown at halftime.

SUPERLATIVES

The Dolphins’ eight sacks tied a team record for a game. They became the first team in the Super Bowl era to have that many sacks, score a defensive TD and hold an opponent under 200 total yards while allowing no TDs or third-down conversions. The Saints went 0 for 12 on third down.

INJURIES/COVID-19

Dolphins: Miami went into the game missing seven players because of COVID-19.

Saints: In addition to having 16 players removed from the active roster by positive COVID-19 tests, New Orleans scratched starting left tackle Terron Armstead, who was not yet ready to return from a knee injury that also kept him out the previous week. Reserve right tackle Caleb Benenoch was treated on the field for an injury in the fourth quarter. Receiver Tre’Quan Smith left the game with a chest injury.

UP NEXT

Dolphins: Visit Tennessee on Sunday before closing out the regular season at home against AFC East rival New England.

Saints: Host NFC South foe Carolina on Sunday before traveling to Atlanta to end the regular season.

Jaguars set to start interview process for next head coach

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars are getting an earlier-than-usual start on their coaching search.

This time, owner Shad Khan doesn’t have his guy already lined up.

The Jaguars (2-13) will begin setting up and interviewing candidates this week – the NFL now allows teams to start the process during the final two weeks of the regular season – and Khan is expected to cast a wide net in search of his fifth head coach in the past decade.

Khan had preliminary discussions with (and essentially targeted) Urban Meyer a year before he fired Doug Marrone following the 2020 season. Khan never imagined Meyer, one of college football’s winningest coaches, would be such an NFL debacle.

Khan fired Meyer on Dec. 16, ending one of the most turbulent and toxic coaching tenures in league history, and clearly needs to completely tear down and rebuild a woeful franchise that’s endured double-digit losses nine times in his 10 years.

Jacksonville has dropped 34 of its past 39 games, including a 26-21 nail-biter at the New York Jets on Sunday.

“I’ve had a lot of failures; they were not on the sports page,” Khan said earlier this month. “You get up, like football, you dust yourself off and you have another go at it.”

The next go should include someone with NFL coaching experience. Former Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson, former Indianapolis and Detroit coach Jim Caldwell, former Minnesota coach and current Buffalo defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier are expected to get consideration.

Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Green Bay offensive coordinator Nate Hackett, Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and former Atlanta coach and current Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn also could be in the mix.

NFL teams who have fired their head coach can now interview potential replacements during the final two weeks of the regular season, with consent of the candidate’s employer. The proposal was passed in late October.

Khan is expected to request interviews with currently employed coaches Tuesday.

WHAT’S WORKING

Matt Wright has made all six of his field-goal attempts in the past two games. He connected three times at the Jets, including twice from beyond 40 yards, to give the Jaguars a chance down the stretch. He’s made 16 of 19 on the season, including nine in a row.

Although he doesn’t have enough leg to consistently reach the end zone on kickoffs – he has just two touchbacks on 21 kickoffs – his accuracy should make him an option to stick somewhere in the NFL, maybe even in Jacksonville, next season.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Jacksonville’s run defense was mostly nonexistent in New Jersey, partly because it was without linebacker Myles Jack (COVID-19) and safety Rayshawn Jenkins (ankle). The Jets ran 36 times for 273 yards, averaging 7.6 yards a carry. The low point for the Jags was when rookie quarterback Zach Wilson got loose for a 52-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

STOCK UP

Tavon Austin is starting to make plays in a variety of ways. Austin, a 2013 first-round draft pick by St. Louis, caught six passes for 68 yards against the Jets and ran three times for 21 more. All were season highs for a 31-year-old receiver who’s playing for his third team in as many years.

Austin is getting a chance to help the Jags deal with season-ending injuries to receiver Jamal Agnew (hip) and now running back James Robinson (torn Achilles tendon).

STOCK DOWN

Dare Ogunbowale replaced Robinson early and ran 17 times for 57 yards, averaging 3.4 yards a carry against a Jets defense that was playing without five starters. Ogunbowale also dropped a pass. No one would be surprised to see newly signed running back Ryquell Armstead to get touches in the final two games.

INJURIES

Robinson is headed to injured reserve and will have surgery that should affect his availability to start next season. … Punter Logan Cooke injured his right knee and will miss at least one game, maybe the final two.

KEY NUMBER

8 – number of losses the Jags have at New England. They have never won there.

NEXT STEPS

Finding the right coach who can help Jacksonville end its losing ways.

Panthers send players home after 6 more positive COVID tests

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) To Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich, it was just a matter of time before his team would be adding a few players to the NFL’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

The Colts placed safety Jahleel Addae, cornerback T.J. Carrie, linebacker Malik Jefferson, running back Marlon Mack and tackle Braden Smith on the list Monday. Smith has been a key member of the offensive line that has helped Jonathan Taylor lead the league in rushing. Cornerback Chris Wilcox went on the practice squad COVID-19 list.

“It’s interesting that since we had more unvaxed players than the average around the league that we were one of the last teams to (test) positive,” Reich said. “You kind of feel like it’s going to catch up with you at some point just because the virus is so rampant. But this is what you prepare for, hitting adversity you don’t expect, although this is something we probably could have expected to hit us at some point.”

As for changes in operations this week, Reich said “There are going to be some elements that are virtual this week. It could be all meetings are virtual and guys just come in for practice.”

The NFL mandated that all media covering playoff teams and games, and the Super Bowl, must have received a COVID-19 booster by Jan. 12. Exceptions are for:

-An individual who is not eligible for a booster pursuant to the CDC definition;

-An individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days;

-An individual who received monoclonal antibodies within the immediately preceding 90 days.

Also:

-The Carolina Panthers sent all of their players home from Bank of America Stadium after six more players tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.

That brings the total number of Carolina players on the COVID-19 reserve list to 13.

Defensive end Brian Burns, linebacker Shaq Thompson, defensive end Marquis Haynes, defensive tackle Phil Hoskins, center Matt Paradis and defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon all tested positive on Monday. Paradis and Nixon were already on injured reserve.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said the decision to send players home was made “to stem the tide” and get things under control. The team will conduct its meetings virtually until then, and Rhule is hoping to have players back in the building for practice on Wednesday.

The Panthers lost 32-6 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and have been eliminated from playoff contention. They visit the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

-The Jacksonville Jaguars placed 10 players on the COVID-19 list Monday, including five defensive linemen and two starting offensive linemen.

Because left guard Andrew Norwell is unvaccinated, he will be out at least 10 days under NFL protocols and will miss Sunday’s game at New England. The other nine players are vaccinated and have a chance to play against the Patriots.

The Jaguars already ruled out pass rusher Josh Allen, who also is unvaccinated and won’t be cleared in time to play. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday along with receiver Laviska Shenault and right guard Ben Bartch.

– The Tennessee Titans got left guard Rodger Saffold and rookie defensive back Elijah Molden back from the COVID-19 list. They still have two other offensive linemen still on the list, and they also put four players – including three starters -on the it, including outside linebacker Bud Dupree, wide receiver Julio Jones, defensive back Buster Skrine and receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. They also put cornerback Caleb Farley, who’s on injured reserve, on the COVID-19 list as well.

Tennessee can clinch the AFC South for a second straight year with one victory, or an Indianapolis loss. The Titans host Miami on Sunday.

-The Cleveland Browns, who have been hit as hard as any team by COVID-19 cases the past few weeks, activated eight players, including defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and versatile running back Kareem Hunt.

Clowney has missed the past two games — both losses — and his return will help a pass rush that hasn’t been the same without him. Starting left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. is also back. He’s been replaced the last two games by left guard Joel Bitoni, who can slide back to his usual spot.

– Tampa Bay, hard hit by injuries on offense, put star wideout Mike Evans on the COVID-19 list, but activated wide receiver Breshad Perriman from it. Evans missed Sunday’s game with an injury. Wide receivers coach Kevin Garver also went on the list.

-The Green Bay Packers placed G Ben Braden, LB Tipa Galeai, WR Amari Rodgers and LB Ty Summers on the list, and placed defensive lineman RJ McIntosh on the practice squad COVID-19 list.

–Houston added RB David Johnson, LB Neville Hewitt and practice squad fullback Paul Quessenberry on the list..

– The Cincinnati Bengals placed backup quarterback Brandon Allen and already-injured cornerback/kick returner Darius Phillips on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. Phillips (shoulder), who was the Bengals’ primary kick returner, has been on injured reserve since Dec. 9.

Allen has been the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Joe Burrow. The team will likely have to add a quarterback to the roster.

Starting defensive tackle D.J. Reader missed last Sunday’s game after going on the COVID-19 list on Dec. 20, the same day that starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie came off it.

Cincinnati hosts Kansas City on Sunday.

-The 49ers placed punter Mitch Wishnowsky on COVID-19 list.

-Las Vegas added CB Casey Hayward, LB Cory Littleton, LB Patrick Onwuasor, LB Denzel Perryman, DT Darius Philon and LB K.J. Wright to the list.

-Seattle added defensive end L.J. Collier to the list. Collier played 25 snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Bears. Seattle has six players from the 53-man roster on the virus list.

-Minnesota placed guard Olisaemeka Udoh on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo dealing with injured right thumb

(AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo injured his right thumb in San Francisco’s loss at Tennessee last week and his status for the 49ers’ game this week is in doubt.

Garoppolo missed practice Monday because of the injury suffered in the first half of last Thursday’s loss at Tennessee and coach Kyle Shanahan said the team would have a better idea about his availability later in the week for Sunday’s game against Houston.

The 49ers (8-7) currently hold a wild-card spot in the NFC.

“It’s a thumb sprain, so I think you guys know how those are,” Shanahan said. “It didn’t feel great today. He wasn’t able to throw today and we’ll see how it is on Wednesday. Hopefully it’ll get better.”

Shanahan said Garoppolo got hurt on a sack in the second quarter when he was driven to the ground but stayed in the game. Shanahan said he believed the injury played a role in the interception in the third quarter that set up Tennessee’s first touchdown.

Garoppolo was able to lead a game-tying drive, but San Francisco lost 20-17 to the Titans.

If Garoppolo is unable to play, rookie Trey Lance would get his second start of the season. The Niners traded three first-round picks to draft Lance third overall in April, but Lance has only played five snaps in garbage time since starting in Week 5 at Arizona.

Lance went 15 for 29 for 192 yards with an interception in that 17-10 loss and also ran 16 times for 89 yards. Lance hurt his knee in that game and has been showing positive signs in practice.

“I think this last month of Trey has been his best consecutive four weeks of practice since we’ve had him,” Shanahan said. “He’s had a number of good days and he’s had some bad days, like most guys do, but as far as his consistency, I feel this last month has been his best.”

NOTES: LB Azeez Al-Shaair (knee sprain) is expected to miss the final two regular-season games. … DT D.J. Jones (ankle) will be limited this week. … RB Elijah Mitchell (knee) could return this week. … The Niners also placed P Mitch Wishnowsky on the COVID-19 list. … San Francisco signed LB Tyrell Adams to the practice squad.

Rutgers keeps Wake Forest guessing on Gator Bowl roster

(AP) — With less than a week to prepare, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is going to keep No. 20 Wake Forest in the dark when it comes to who will be playing for the Scarlet Knights in the Gator Bowl on Friday.

Schiano declined on Monday to provide information on team testing for COVID-19 in the past 48 hours. He also refused to say whether any of his players who signed with an agent for the NFL draft and wanted to play in the bowl game got an exemption from the NCAA. He wouldn’t even say whether star punter Adam Korsak would be able to make it back from Australia in time for the game in Jacksonville, Florida.

“I’d rather show up Friday with our team and let it rip,” Schiano said Monday in a Zoom call. “Can we do that?”

When Schiano noticed a writer shaking his head, he laughed.

“Well, that’s what we’re going to do, guys,” he said.

It seems Schiano is just trying to level the playing field for Rutgers (5-7) in its first bowl appearance since 2014 and first as a member of the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights accepted a late bid on Thursday to play in the game after Texas A&M withdrew because of manpower issues associated with COVID-19, injuries, opt-outs and player transfers.

Schiano said Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson has probably seen enough tape of Rutgers to be ready. The Demon Deacons (10-3) also benefitted from prepapring for Texas A&M. The Aggies’ defense plays a very similar system to Rutgers.

Players started arriving back at school on Christmas night and slept in their own beds, Schiano said. They took part in a meeting on Sunday and had a walk-though workout.

Schiano is not going to work his players as hard as he would in a normal week leading to a game, having last played two days after Thanksgiving in a loss to Maryland.

“We’re built to do this. Let’s just roll with the punches,” he said. “Whatever comes down the pike we’ll adjust and let’s see if we can get down there and go play a game and have a lot of fun doing it and, you know, win the game. That’s why we’re going there, right?”

The only thing up in the air is how Rutgers is going to get from New Jersey to Florida. The team was having a tough time finding a charter flight and nothing was set on Monday. Schiano quipped there was a day the Scarlet Knights had two planes available and then lost both. He added that a train ride remains a possibility, even a bus. He promised the team will get there.

Schiano said his players have taken a great approach this week.

“They’ve been awesome,” he said. “I’ll tell you, they are so much fun to be around right now. They’re fired up. They thought they were done playing or they thought they were going to another league to play. And now they’re back with their buddies and they’re practicing. It’s really an exciting thing for us.”

Rutgers is going to be a big underdog. After opening the season with three straight wins, the Scarlet Knights went 2-7 the rest of the way.

They got a bowl bid with a losing record because NCAA rules allow teams with 5-7 records to be bowl-eligible if there are not enough six-win teams to fill all the spots. The 5-7 team with the highest Academic Progress Rate score has first crack at an open slot, and Rutgers was atop that list.

Schiano took Rutgers to six bowls in his first tenure at the school from 2001-11. He doesn’t see this game in the second year of his second tenure as a no-lose situation.

“If we’re going to play a game and they’re keeping score, we’re going there to win this,” he said. “There’s no such thing as no lose because if our numbers are smaller than their numbers, we definitely lose. And it’s going to hurt a lot.”

Western Michigan cruises past Nevada for 2nd bowl victory

DETROIT (AP) Kaleb Eleby threw two touchdowns and ran for another and Western Michigan recorded its second bowl victory in program history, rolling past Nevada 52-24 in the Quick Lane Bowl on Monday.

Sean Tyler rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries and returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown for Western Michigan (8-5). Jaxson Kincaide, a Nevada transfer, rushed for 105 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.

The Broncos’ only other bowl victory came in the 2015 Bahamas Bowl against Middle Tennessee. Compared with that one, the Quick Lane Bowl was practically a home game for them.

“Doing it in Detroit is really special,” coach Tim Lester said. “To have fans here, so many alumni here. … tons of people from Kalamazoo made the trip. It was awesome to see the hotel alive last night. And to play the way we did, in front of them with their support, it all came together. It’s a big deal.”

Nate Cox passed for 121 yards and a touchdown and Devonte Lee rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown for Nevada (8-5).

Cox got the start after Carson Strong, who threw a school-record 36 touchdown passes, chose not to play in order to prepare for the NFL draft. The Wolf Pack was coached by assistant Vai Taua after Jay Norvell accepted the Colorado State coaching job.

Western Michigan, which had 352 rushing yards, led 31-10 at halftime.

“That’s a really good football team,” Taua said. “They ran the ball well all season and they continued to do that.”

Tyler’s 100-yard return followed Brandon Talton’s 32-yard field goal. Western Michigan’s staff noticed the Wolf Pack coverage tended to slant toward the ball, leaving the sideline open.

“Once (Braden) Fiske made the block I needed, I took it all the way to the house,” said Tyler, who was named the game’s MVP. “I was actually quite surprised once I broke through and `Oh, there’s nobody left.'”

Taua said: “You never want your first kickoff to go like that. I wouldn’t call it a backbreaker. It was definitely another challenge the team would have to overcome right out of the gate.”

Midway through the first quarter, Eleby connected with Corey Crooms on a 74-yard scoring pass.

The Broncos’ other first-half touchdowns came on Eleby’s 20-yard pass to Brett Borske and Kincaide’s 7-yard run.

PERFECT SENDOFF

Kincaide, a Western Michigan sixth-year senior running back, had his biggest game of the season against his former team.

“It felt surreal,” he said. “It was a great feeling to leave with some of the guys I came in with in 2016 and to see a lot of familiar faces. It was great to go out this way.”

Kincaide played four seasons with the Wolf Pack before transferring before last season. He was the Broncos’ third-string running back most of the season, but his role expanded when La’Darius Jefferson tested positive for COVID over the weekend.

THE TAKEAWAY

A majority of Nevada’s offensive starters during the regular season opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft or transfer. The retooled unit had no chance to keep pace with the Broncos, who scored on two big plays in the opening quarter and then established a steady rushing attack.

UP NEXT

Western Michigan: The Broncos will open the 2022 season on the road against Big Ten powerhouse Michigan State on Sept. 3. They will face the Spartans’ bowl opponent, Atlantic Coast Conference champion Pitt, on Sept. 17.

Nevada: Under new head coach Ken Wilson, Oregon’s former co-defensive coordinator, the Wolf Pack will travel to New Mexico State for their 2022 opener on Aug. 27.

Peach provides Pitt’s Patti first start since ‘forever ago’

ATLANTA (AP) Nick Patti’s long wait for a second chance as Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback is finally ending.

“Seems like forever ago,” Patti said Monday.

In the life of a college career, the gap between Patti’s starts is indeed immense.

Following the decision by Kenny Pickett to opt out and prepare for the NFL draft, Patti has been named No. 13 Pitt’s starter in Thursday night’s Peach Bowl against No. 11 Michigan State.

It will be the first start for Patti since Sept. 28, 2019 when, as a redshirt freshman, he led the Panthers to a 17-14 win over Delaware when Pickett sat out with an injury. Since then, Patti has been mostly an observer as Pickett became one of the nation’s top quarterbacks.

Finally, Patti’s patience will be rewarded. The junior will be in the spotlight as he attempts to prove he deserves to be Pitt’s starter in 2022.

“I don’t have many reps but I’m still a little bit battle-tested,” Patti said. “And I’m excited to get out there and play again.”

Patti’s limited exposure, especially this season, has made it difficult for Michigan State to prepare a defensive plan.

“It was a real deal to be able to say, OK, who is this guy?” Spartans defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton said Monday.

Hazelton’s conclusion: “I think that you see a lot of the same things out of him that you saw out of Kenny.”

There’s another important change for Pitt on offense against Michigan State. Tight ends coach Tim Salem is serving as interim offensive coordinator after Mark Whipple left for the same job at Nebraska.

Whipple conferred directly with Pickett on the sideline during games. Salem will call the plays from the press box.

Patti’s performance will be the most important factor in determining if the Panthers realize their goal of a smooth transition on offense. Salem said he has confidence Patti is prepared for the opportunity.

“Yes, we’ve got a new quarterback, but he’s been involved, he’s been around,” Salem said. “We’re going to go full speed, 100 miles an hour. It’s life without Kenny. That’s just the way it is. We’re still going to show up and play. And I think our players are very excited about that.”

Patti completed 23 of 37 passes for 271 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against Delaware in his only previous start. That tops his combined passing totals from 2020 and 2021, when he threw only a combined 19 passes.

Pitt still has Jordan Addison, an AP All-America first-team selection who won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver. Addison, who led the nation with 17 touchdown catches, said “I don’t think it will be too difficult” to adjust to Patti’s passes.

“I would say he knows where to put the ball at on any route and he has great touch,” said Addison of Patti.

Patti’s bowl start will open the competition to determine Pitt’s starter next season. Former Southern Cal starter Kedon Slovis announced last week he is transferring to Pitt.

Patti says he’s determined to take advantage of lessons learned from his three seasons as Pickett’s understudy.

“I think just the reps I’ve got in practice and being able to watch Kenny is a good advantage,” Patti said. “… I’m just ready to go with whatever they throw at us.”

Ohio State WR Wilson will skip Rose Bowl, enter NFL draft

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson is skipping the Rose Bowl to enter the NFL draft.

Wilson made the announcement Monday in a statement on Twitter at the same time the Buckeyes were at Disneyland to celebrate their New Year’s Day game against Pac-12 champion Utah.

“This journey has been a lifetime in the making and after careful consideration, today, I am excited to start the next chapter by declaring for the NFL Draft,” Wilson wrote.

Wilson, a 6-foot, 192-pound junior, is regarded as a potential first-round selection. He had 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns, ranking second on the team in each category for the potent Buckeyes passing attack. He caught 23 touchdowns in his three seasons at Ohio State.

Wilson is the first of several notable underclassmen for No. 7 Ohio State (No. 6 CFP) to make his future plans public. That group includes defensive end Zach Harrison and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere.

Other seniors, including wide receiver Chris Olave and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, could also decide to bypass the game, which marks Ohio State’s second trip to Pasadena in the past four seasons.

COVID-19 issues wreak havoc with college basketball schedule

(AP) — College basketball is returning from the Christmas break with a notably lighter schedule after the pandemic caused several games to get canceled or postponed.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Big East each announced Monday they were scrapping three games scheduled to take place over the next several days.

That included No. 2 Duke’s game Wednesday night at Clemson. Other ACC matchups that won’t take place as scheduled Wednesday include Florida State at Boston College and Virginia Tech at North Carolina. The Georgia Tech-Syracuse game scheduled for Wednesday was postponed earlier.

Illinois also had its game on Wednesday against Florida A&M wiped out because of positive tests within the Illini’s program.

The Big East cited COVID-19 issues within the Georgetown and St. John’s programs in canceling their game scheduled for Saturday. Marquette’s game at St. John’s on Wednesday and Xavier’s Jan. 4 game at Georgetown also have been called off.

Big East officials said they would attempt to reschedule the games in accordance with the conference’s game cancellation policy.

It wasn’t just on the men’s side that the Big East had to cancel games. Four women’s games were wiped out over the next week as well, with Providence losing its contests at Xavier and Butler. Georgetown lost games against St. John’s and Seton Hall.

Other women’s games canceled this week include No. 21 Iowa scheduled Thursday game at Penn State, which was called off due to positive COVID-19 tests within Penn State’s program. Fourth-ranked Arizona also saw both its games get wiped out this weekend because of COVID-19 issues at Southern Cal and UCLA.

Arizona had been dealing with its own coronavirus problems and hasn’t played since Dec. 17.

Baylor stays No. 1 in AP Top 25, Michigan State up to No. 10

(AP) — A combination of cancellations and the holidays made for a quiet week in college basketball.

The latest Associated Press poll reflected the light week.

Baylor remained No. 1 for the third straight week in the poll released Monday, receiving all 61 first-place votes from a national media panel. The Bears (11-0) had 60 first-place votes a week ago and were a unanimous selection this week with a blowout win over Alcorn State and Arizona’s loss to Tennessee.

The top five remained the same from last week, with Duke, Purdue, Gonzaga and UCLA behind Baylor.

The Blue Devils were among several ACC teams to postpone games this week due to COVID-19 protocols, shelving games against Clemson on Wednesday and Notre Dame on Saturday.

Arizona dropped three spots to No. 9 after losing for the first time this season, 77-73 at Tennessee last Wednesday. The Wildcats had been one of the nation’s best offensive teams during their undefeated start but were smothered by the Vols, scoring 11 points below their season average.

“We weren’t able to get a lot of post touches,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “At the end of the day, there’s usually one recipe. The recipe is, toughen up.”

Tennessee (9-2) hasn’t had much trouble with toughness this season.

The Vols’ only two losses were to then-No. 5 Villanova and No. 25 Texas Tech in overtime. Tennessee is 21st nationally in scoring defense, holding teams to 59.3 points, and is forcing nearly 18 turnovers a game.

The Vols jumped on Arizona with an opening 16-2 run and withstood a late run to pull out their biggest win of the season.

“We talked about it being a heavyweight fight, which it was,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “It was a hard-fought win. We knew they would make a push to get back in it.”

The Vols have another test coming out of the Christmas break, playing at No. 19 Alabama on Wednesday.

RISING SPARTANS

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was irritated when his team wasn’t ranked in the AP preseason poll.

Look at the Spartans now.

Michigan State moved into the top 10 for the first time since Week 5 of last season, climbing a spot to No. 10 after beating Oakland 90-78 last Tuesday. The Spartans moved into the poll at No. 22 on Nov. 29 and have made a steady climb since.

Michigan State (10-2) has won five straight since a loss to top-ranked Baylor and its other loss was to No. 6 Kansas early in the season.

“I still think we have a tremendous upside,” Izzo said.

UP AND DOWN

Tennessee had the biggest rise in a week where no other team climbed more than two places.

No. 19 Alabama had the biggest fall, tumbling nine places after losing 79-78 to Davidson at home last Tuesday. No. 23 Xavier fell five places following at 13-point loss to No. 22 Villanova.

No teams dropped out of this week’s poll.

CONFERENCE WATCH

Big Ten – 5 (Nos. 3, 8, 10, 13, 24)

SEC – 5 (Nos. 11, 14, 16, 18, 19)

Big East – 4 (Nos. 15, 21, 22, 23)

Big 12 – 4 (Nos. 1, 6, 17, 25)

Pac-12 – 3 (Nos. 5, 7, 9)

ACC – 1 (No. 2)

AAC – 1 (No. 12)

Mountain West – 1 (No. 20)

WCC – 1 (No. 4)

Illinois and Michigan State Receive Weekly Men’s Basketball Awards

Player of the Week
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
C – Jr. – 7-0 – Kingston, Jamaica – Oak Hill Academy (Va.)

  • Scored 25 points to go along with 14 rebounds, two steals, and an assist in an 88-63 win over Missouri for the annual Braggin’ Rights trophy
  • Registered his fourth 20-point, 10-rebound game this season
  • Earns his second Player of the Week accolade of his career
  • Last Illinois Player of the Week: Ayo Dosunmu (Feb. 8, 2021)


Freshman of the Week
Max Christie, Michigan State
G – 6-6 – Arlington Heights, Ill. – Rolling Meadows

  • Scored 17 points and added four rebounds, an assist, and a block in a 90-78 win over Oakland
  • Finished 6-of-8 from the field, including 4-of-6 from behind the arc
  • Earns his third career Freshman of the Week honor
  • Last Michigan State Freshman of the Week: Max Christie (Dec. 13, 2021)

Maryland and Michigan State Earn Weekly Women’s Basketball Awards

Player of the Week
Nia Clouden, Michigan State
Sr. – G – Owings Mills, Md. – St. Frances Academy – Major: Advertising and Public Relations
• Averaged 36.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in a pair of contests last week
• Broke the program record with 50 points against FGCU on Dec. 20, matching the most points in a single game by any Michigan State men’s or women’s basketball player (Terry Furlow of the men’s program scored 50 in 1976)
• Added 22 points, two rebounds and two steals against West Virginia on Dec. 21
• Earns her second career Big Ten Player of the Week award and first of the season
• Last Michigan State Player of the Week: Nia Clouden (Nov. 18, 2019)
 
Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll
Mackenzie Holmes, Jr., F, IND: Led with a team-high 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting in Indiana’s non-conference finale against Southern Illinois on Dec. 23, adding seven rebounds
Katie Benzan, Gr., G, Maryland: Went 6-for-9 from outside the arc and 8-for-12 from the field to lead the Terrapins with 22 points, six assists and no turnovers at Coppin State on Dec. 21
Annika Stewart, So., C/F, Nebraska: Erupted for career highs of 21 points and three blocked shots in just 15 minutes of action to help Nebraska head to the holidays with a perfect 12-0 record with a 72-61 win over defending Mountain West Conference champion Wyoming on Dec. 22
 
Freshman of the Week
Shyanne Sellers, Maryland
G – Aurora, Ohio – Aurora – Major: Undeclared
• Scored nine points with five assists and zero turnovers off the bench in the Terps’ dominant 98-52 win at Coppin State on Dec. 21
• Went 4-for-9 from the field and grabbed two rebounds as well
• Scored five of her points in the first quarter as the Terps built a 15-point lead and never looked back
• Collects her second Big Ten Freshman of the Week award
• Last Maryland Freshman of the Week: Shyanne Sellers (Nov. 22, 2021)

Harden scores 39, Nets beat Clippers 124-108 for LA sweep

LOS ANGELES (AP) So much for feeling his way back after being out two weeks in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. James Harden sure looks all the way back.

Harden tied his season high with 39 points and had a season-best 15 assists in the second game of his return, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 124-108 on Monday night in a matchup of short-handed teams.

He had eight rebounds, just missing a second straight triple-double.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “Against the Lakers and tonight, he was just clinical. If he plays like that, we’ll be very difficult to beat.”

Harden had 36 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 122-115 win against LeBron James and the Lakers on Christmas in the Nets’ first game after three straight postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He used his down time to lift weights and do cardio at home.

“That protocol could have went two ways and I just overly locked into my body and my eating,” Harden said. “When you prepare yourself to be great, there’s no surprise.”

The Nets improved their NBA-best road mark to 13-3 with a sweep in Los Angeles.

“Confidence is through the roof,” Harden said.

A combined 15 players were missing from both teams due to health and safety protocols as well as injuries. The Nets have seven players in protocols, including NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, both of whom weren’t with the team.

Turns out, Harden was plenty on his own and his supporting cast backed him up. Four other Nets scored in double figures, including Patty Mills, who had 18 points and made six 3-pointers. Nic Claxton tied his career high with 18 points.

“Our confidence level for our bench is high,” Harden said. “They can come in and impact the game. We can find different ways to win.”

With Harden leading drives inside, the Nets completely dominated the Clippers in the paint with a 74-38 edge.

“He picked us apart, everything we did,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said.

The Clippers were without their two superstars. Paul George is expected to be out up to a month with a torn ligament in his right elbow and Kawhi Leonard has yet to play this season as he works his way back from ACL reconstruction surgery.

Marcus Morris led the Clippers with a season high-tying 24 points in his first game in nearly two weeks after being in the protocols. Eric Bledsoe added 15 points.

Harden joined some exclusive company while engineering the easy win. His 10th assist was the 6,000th of his career, making him the 10th player in NBA history with 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists. Among others on the list are the late Kobe Bryant, James, Chris Paul, Oscar Robertson and current Clippers executive Jerry West.

Harden downplayed the accomplishment, saying, “Just want to win, try to find ways to impact the game. That’s it.”

The Nets ran away for good in the second quarter.

That’s when they scored 33 points while holding the Clippers to 22. DeAndre’ Bembry had six points, including a dunk that drew a technical for hanging on the rim, and Mills hit two 3-pointers in helping the Nets lead 71-55 at the break – their largest halftime lead on the road this season.

The Nets scored 30 points in the third, when they extended their lead to 22 points.

The Clippers hit five 3-pointers in rushing to an eight-point lead to open the game.

Then, Blake Griffin came off the bench to haunt his old team.

Griffin scored back-to-back on a dunk and layup that tied and then gave the Nets their first lead of the game as part of an 11-0 run. Harden scored next on Griffin’s steal and later Harden assisted on Griffin’s one-handed jam that recalled his old Lob City days with the Clippers. Griffin finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

TIP-INS

Nets: Bembry was called for a flagrant-1 foul on Brandon Boston Jr. under the basket in the fourth. He got a second tech for unsportsmanlike behavior in the third. … Harden recorded his fifth 30-point game of the season and second straight. … Their 71 points were a season-high for either half. … Their 38 points tied their highest total in a first quarter on the road this season. … They won their fourth in a row over the Clippers. … Signed guard Langston Galloway to a second 10-day contract.

Clippers: Starter Reggie Jackson remained in protocols, along with reserve Jay Scrubb. … Nicolas Batum sat out a night after playing because of pain from a right ankle sprain.

GOING HOME

Harden spent “a special day” between games going back to Artesia High in nearby Lakewood, where he led his alma mater to two state championships. He had his No. 13 retired.

“That was where I fell in love with the game of basketball,” he said. “High school is where I learned how to work hard and actually train and stay in the gym and find things I can get better at in basketball.”

UP NEXT

Nets: Host Philadelphia on Thursday to open a three-game homestand that includes a visit from the Clippers.

Clippers: At Boston on Wednesday in the opener of a three-game Eastern trip.

DeRozan, LaVine, Vucevic power Bulls past Hawks 130-118

ATLANTA (AP) DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, Zach LaVine added 30 and the Chicago Bulls won their fourth straight game, beating the short-handed Atlanta Hawks 130-118 on Monday night.

Cam Reddish finished with 33 points and Trae Young, cleared from health and safety protocols about 90 minutes before tipoff, returned to the starting lineup and scored 29 for Atlanta in the first game of a home-and-home set with the Bulls.

DeRozan was 14 for 20 from the field. LaVine, in his second game back after missing 15 days in protocols, went 11 for 21, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Nikola Vucevic got his 14th double-double with 24 points and 17 rebounds.

“We’re the veteran leaders of this team,” DeRozan said. “That’s our job. We’ve got a couple of key guys out, and it was up to us to step up and play big, especially against an Atlanta Hawks team that was going to come out and play hard. The three main guys did what they were supposed to do and everybody else fell in line.”

Vucevic banked in a 3 with 3:15 remaining to make it a 10-point lead and essentially put the game out of reach after DeRozan’s 15-foot fadeaway jumper padded the lead at 126-116. Coby White’s 3 from the left corner ended it with 1:19 left.

Matt Thomas’ 3 gave the Bulls their biggest lead at 16 points in the closing minutes of the third, and the Hawks never really threatened the rest of the way, though two 3s by Reddish twice cut it to five early in the fourth. Reddish buried a 3 from the left wing to make it 108-105 before Vucevic hit consecutive 3s to push the lead to seven.

“Their big three, it seemed like everything they threw up went in,” Hawks coach Nate McMillan said. “They do a good job of executing, spacing the floor out and making plays. It seemed like every time we would get close they would stop that momentum with a made bucket.”

Young, who ranks fourth in the NBA with a 27.3 scoring average and third with 9.3 assists per game, returned two negative tests to be eligible to return. He missed the last three games after a positive COVID-19 test, and the Hawks went 1-2 without him.

The Bulls improved to 21-10, second-best in the Eastern Conference. They began the day 10 games over .500 for the first time since January 2016.

The Hawks began the day tied for 10th in the East and dropped to 15-18, losing their eighth in a row at home.

White’s straightaway 3 gave the Bulls their first double-digit lead with 9:10 to go in the third. Vucevic’s lay-in against Clint Capela made it 80-70, and Atlanta called a full timeout.

Young and Reddish combined for 23 points as Atlanta led 36-31 at the end of the first. DeRozan scored 15 in the period on 5-for-6 shooting.

The Bulls came back from an eight-point deficit to tie it at 46-all on Ayo Dosunmu’s dunk midway through the second before LaVine hit a free throw to give Chicago a 55-54 lead. LaVine’s 3 made it 58-56 and caused the Hawks to call timeout.

The lead swelled to 11 on LaVine’s 3 and DeRozan’s finger-roll in the closing minute before halftime. LaVine beat the second-quarter buzzer with a jumper that put the Bulls up 69-63 entering the third.

Chicago went 9 for 18 beyond the arc, and DeRozan and LaVine combined for 44 points in the first half. Vucevic got hot in the second half with 19 points.

“I think Vuc has found a way to fit with those other two guys and it’s been nice to watch,” acting Bulls head coach Chris Fleming said. “It’s been a big part of our success these last two games.”

TIP-INS

Bulls: Chicago had 22 assists and 10 turnovers. … DeRozan had 10 assists and Vucevic chipped in six assists and four blocked shots. … Fleming was pleased to hear that Young had been cleared to return. “You want to play against the best,” Fleming said. “That’s how we get better.”. … Coach Billy Donovan missed his second straight game in the protocols. “He had some mild symptoms at the beginning,” Fleming said. “He sounds like himself now.”… Minutes leader Lonzo Ball, Tony Bradley and Alfonzo McKinnie are in the protocols. … G Alex Caruso (left hamstring strain) and F Derrick Jones Jr. (left hamstring strain) were sidelined, too.

Hawks: Reddish went 8 for 12 on 3s. … Atlanta had 12 players absent, including John Collins, forward Danilo Gallinari, guard Kevin Huerter, guard Lou Williams, swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarot and reserve center Onyeka Okongwu in the protocols. … The Hawks won the series with Chicago 3-0 last season.

UP NEXT

Bulls: Host Atlanta on Wednesday.

Hawks: At Chicago on Wednesday.

Short-handed T-Wolves snap 2-game skid, beat Celtics 108-103

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Jaylen Nowell scored 29 points and Nathan Knight added 20 points and 11 rebounds, leading the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves to a 108-103 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night.

Jaden McDaniels scored 17 points and Malik Beasley added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Wolves, who were playing without all five of their regular starters due to COVID-19 protocols.

Veteran center Greg Monroe, signed to a 10-day contract earlier in the day, had 11 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes for the Wolves, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 26 points. Payton Pritchard scored 22 points and Al Horford added 16 points and nine rebounds.

COVID-19 played a huge role in the game, as both teams’ lineups were decimated. The Timberwolves played without their top three scorers – center Karl-Anthony Towns and guards Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell. But the success of his reserves didn’t surprise Timberwolves coach Chris Finch.

“Sometimes there’s not a lot of separation between a guy who’s in your rotation and a guy who’s out,” Fich said. “And in some situations, some guys who are out of the rotation are actually better, more experienced players than the guys who are in.”

Meanwhile, Celtics leading scorer Jayson Tatum missed his first game this year after he was added to the league’s health and safety protocols list on Monday. But Celtics coach Ime Udoka wasn’t using Tatum’s absence as an excuse.

“One of the poorest losses of the year,” Udoka said. “A team as depleted as we are just out-hustled us. Very undisciplined effort overall.”

Nowell and Knight took advantage of their opportunities to post career highs in scoring.

A 13-0 run to end the second quarter gave Boston a 56-45 halftime lead. But the Timberwolves chipped away, with Knight scoring their first eight points of the third quarter. A three-point play by McDaniels cut Boston’s lead to five at the end of the period.

Nowell’s fifth 3-pointer of the game tied the score 79-all early in the fourth quarter. Then, after the Celtics missed a pair of free throws, Nowell brought the fans to their feet with a ferocious one-handed dunk in traffic.

“As I was going to the rim, I was going to lay it up for real,” Nowell said. “But with the time and the score, I knew that I had to do something crazy and get everybody rocking. Because once that crowd got behind us, I knew that we were going to have a way better chance of pulling this one out.”

Knight and Beasley followed with consecutive 3-pointers to give the Wolves an 87-81 lead, forcing a Celtics timeout with 8:32 to go.

After a 3-pointer by Horford, Nowell hit another 3 and Monroe added a tip-in to put Minnesota up by nine. The Wolves held Boston at a distance the rest of the way.

The Timberwolves got consecutive baskets from Beasley and Nowell late in the second quarter to take a 45-43 lead. However, two Pritchard 3-pointers bookended three straight jumpers by Brown as the Celtics rattled off the final 13 points of the quarter.

NICE TO MEET YOU

Monroe returned to an NBA roster for the first time since 2019. The No. 1 pick of the Pistons in the 2010 draft played with six NBA teams over the next 10 seasons. After stints in Germany and Russia, he signed with the G League’s Capital City Go-Go, where he played 12 games before the Timberwolves came calling.

His odyssey on Monday typified the life of a basketball journeyman.

“I woke up at about 4 a.m. First flight was canceled,” Monroe said. “I left DC about 7 a.m. roughly, had to connect in Chicago, got here around 11, had COVID testing, got a chance to rest, came to the gym around 4.”

After meeting with Finch and shaking hands with his new teammates, Monroe wasn’t sure what his role would be against the Celtics, but the 31-year-old said he was prepared for anything.

“(Finch) did a good job – even though I didn’t have any time with him, he put me in positions where I was comfortable,” Monroe said. “I was just doing things I’ve been doing all season with the Go-Go, so that kind of made it easy for me.”

He was comfortable enough that as the Wolves were closing out the game, they began running their offense through Monroe in the high post.

“He’s so experienced. He gives us a different look, some legit size and beef,” Finch said. “His rebounding was great. Again, you can just throw it to him and things kind of calm down.”

The whole experience has left Monroe little time to process what he’s been through.

“It has been a whirlwind,” Monroe said. “I was just so focused on being ready when my number was called, I haven’t gotten a chance to digest it honestly, but in this league, you don’t have much time to digest anything. We’ve got another game tomorrow, and the Knicks are playing well. Right now, that’s what I’m focusing on.”

Well, that and learning his teammates’ names.

“I’m not gonna lie: Jaylen Nowell played awesome tonight. I didn’t know who he was,” Monroe admitted. “I think he played awesome, but that was my first time seeing him. The game is the same, the people change. Tonight, it’s a young guy taking advantage of an opportunity.”

TIP INS

Celtics: G Marcus Smart also missed the game due to a cut on his hand. . Besides Tatum, Boston’s COVID-19 restricted list also included C Bruno Fernando, C Enes Freedom, F Justin Jackson, G C.J. Miles, F Aaron Nesmith, G Josh Richardson and G Dennis Schroder.

Timberwolves: Russell was the Wolves’ latest addition to the health and safety protocol list, where he joined starting forwards Patrick Beverly and Jarred Vanderbilt, as well as reserve F Taurean Prince and C Naz Reid. . G Josh Okogie returned after missing three games on the restricted list.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host the Clippers on Wednesday.

Timberwolves: Host the Knicks on Tuesday.

Porzingis powers Mavericks past Trail Blazers 132-117

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Kristaps Porzingis had a season-high 34 points and nine rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 132-117 on Monday night.

Both teams were short-handed. The Mavericks were missing six players, including star Luka Doncic, in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Portland had seven players in the protocols, as well as head coach Chauncey Billups.

Dwight Powell scored a season-high 22 points for Dallas, and Brandon Knight came off the bench to score 18 points in his third game with Dallas after signing as a hardship exemption on Dec. 23.

“In the paint, we had almost 70 points,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “I thought (Porzingis) let the ball come to him tonight, he didn’t force anything. If they didn’t double, he went to score and if they did he found the open guy. I thought his rhythm was great from start to finish.”

Acting Blazers coach Scott Brooks said of Porzingis: “He’s an All-Star player who played at a high level tonight.”

Kidd believes the way the Mavericks have played lately may lead to some “tough decisions” when they have their full roster available.

“We’ve kept things simple,” Kidd said. “They’re playing hard, and in this league if you play hard it puts you in a position to win. We’re going to have hard decisions to make when this team gets healthy.”

Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 26 points. Nassir Little had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

After the Blazers briefly tied the game at 41-all on a dunk by Little, the Mavericks seized control behind the play of Porzingis, who scored 24 of his points in the first half and spurred the Mavericks to a 72-53 halftime lead.

In his first game back after being in health and safety protocols, Mavericks guard Josh Green provided a spark off the bench by handing out a team-high 10 assists.

“All his passes were impressive, but his intent to attack picked up where he left off,” Kidd said of Green. “Even after COVID, he was driving the ball and finding teammates. He made some incredible passes tonight.”

With 9:49 left and the Mavericks up 112-89, Porzingis received a technical foul. He promptly made up for the technical with a three-point play on a slam dunk a few seconds later.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Kidd said the team expects guard Reggie Bullock to meet them in Sacramento for their upcoming two-game set against the Kings. … While Kidd is still waiting on other players, he believes the Mavericks and the rest of the league will have to navigate the virus for the rest of the season. “Once we get everybody back, it’s just going to stop and COVID is going to leave us. It’s just part of life right now. It’s part of the fabric.”

Trail Blazers: The Blazers are going through their own issues in the health and safety protocols. After previously not having any players miss time in the protocols, the Blazers had seven players and two coaches, Billups and assistant coach Roy Rogers, on Monday night. Brooks said Billups and all players are feeling “fine.” … Starting guard CJ McCollum remains out, although he is not in the protocols. The team says he has fully healed from a collapsed right lung. … Portland had not played since Dec. 21, with their scheduled game on Dec. 23 against the Brooklyn Nets being postponed due to the Nets not having enough available players.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: At the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

Trail Blazers: Host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

NBA changes COVID protocols, shortens path to return to play

(AP) — NBA players who test positive for COVID-19 now have a quicker path to return to play, after the league completed a significant update to its health and safety protocols on Monday.

The biggest change: Isolation periods for players who test positive may now be significantly shortened – down to six days from what has been the customary 10 – provided those players are asymptomatic and meet other testing standards. Teams were told of the new protocols Monday in a memo sent by the league, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

That memo was sent on the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days. CDC officials made that move saying that evidence shows people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.

The NBA also relied on data, telling teams the updated protocols “reflects analysis of testing data that the league and its infectious disease experts and epidemiologists have gathered throughout the pandemic.” The changes were made in agreement with the National Basketball Players Association.

The NBA has seen coronavirus numbers soar in recent days, even with 97% of players vaccinated and at least 65% of eligible players boosted against the virus. A pair of coaches – Phoenix’s Monty Williams and Portland’s Chauncey Billups – entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols Monday.

The Blazers said the team will be coached by assistant Scott Brooks, a longtime head coach, during Billups’ absence.

Phoenix plays host to Memphis on Monday, while Portland – with seven players in the protocols as well – hosts Dallas. It will be the Trail Blazers’ first game since Dec. 21; their game that had been scheduled for Dec. 23 against Brooklyn was postponed because of virus issues decimating the Nets’ roster. That was one of nine games postponed by the NBA so far this season.

Williams and Billups being off the sideline raises the total of head coaches in the NBA currently sidelined by virus issues to four, including the Los Angeles Lakers’ Frank Vogel and Chicago’s Billy Donovan. Vogel has missed the Lakers’ last four games, and Donovan is missing his second consecutive game when the Bulls visit Atlanta on Monday.

“With Frank right now, it’s a matter of testing and getting those negative tests in,” said Lakers assistant coach David Fizdale, who is running the team in Vogel’s absence. “But he’s doing well health-wise. His spirit’s right. Obviously, he’s chomping at the bit to get back and start competing.”

The count of players in the NBA’s protocols remained around 120 on Monday afternoon, with no fewer than 63 players ruled out from among the seven games on the day’s schedule because of virus-related issues. Among the new notable additions to the list: Olympic gold medalist Jayson Tatum, placed into protocols by the Boston Celtics.

Atlanta listed 12 players as out – 10 for virus reasons, two for injuries – for its game against Chicago, but the Hawks said guard Trae Young was cleared to return, making that announcement about 90 minutes before tip-off.

Teams that have been hit particularly hard by virus-related issues have been able to cobble together rosters over the last couple weeks primarily by signing players to 10-day hardship deals.

Tatum was one of 15 players – eight Celtics, seven Timberwolves – ruled out of the Boston-Minnesota game for virus-related reasons alone.

‘Stay focused’: CFP games arrive with pandemic raging, again

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) They are trying to have as many fun events as they can at the Orange Bowl for Georgia and Michigan, as always taking advantage of the tropical lifestyle that the Miami area has to offer. Dinner cruises. Beach days. Water toys.

It’s just like normal.

Or, more accurately, the new normal.

College Football Playoff week is here with a pair of semifinal games on Friday: Alabama vs. Cincinnati at the Cotton Bowl followed by Georgia vs. Michigan at the Orange Bowl. For the second consecutive season, college football is going to try to get across the finish line amid a raging pandemic, with numbers soaring all over the country and some other bowl games getting canceled after teams determined they simply aren’t healthy enough to play.

“The key is just to make sure that we put every protocol in place that focuses on their health and safety,” said Jack Seiler, the president and chairman of the Orange Bowl Committee. “We’ve been able to do that. We’re just focusing on the health and safety of the players and making sure we have an incredible game on Friday night.”

The people facilitating the games in both areas – the Orange Bowl in South Florida, the Cotton Bowl in North Texas – are doing all they can to ensure the four teams are healthy and able to play. Staffs are constantly reminded about all the best practices that have become part of everyday life since March 2020, such as mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing.

The calendars for all four teams have been pared down a bit. Media sessions are virtual, and events where in pre-pandemic times there might have been some fan interaction are basically nonexistent.

“We’ve got to constantly remind ourselves we’re here for a reason,” Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis said. “This is purely a business trip. We’re afforded the luxury of being in Miami in such a great hotel and have all the hospitality around us, but it doesn’t matter if we’re playing this game in Ann Arbor, Athens or Miami, we’re here for a reason, and the College Football Playoffs is that reason.”

Gattis played in the Orange Bowl for Wake Forest 15 years ago. It was a big game, but not one that was sending the winner into the national championship game so he thinks players understand why they might have to curb the fun and frolic a bit this week.

And yes, it seems that understanding does exist.

“It’s getting really crazy out here,” Georgia safety Chris Smith said, when asked about virus numbers rising just about everywhere. “They’re just reiterating the fact that you need to be safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, stuff like that, to make sure we don’t have a breakout or anything like that.”

Bowl games tend to have some sort of element of community involvement, and the Cotton Bowl is no exception. Alabama and Cincinnati were both assigned a hospital to visit in an effort to boost spirits for patients.

This week, those visits are happening virtually. Just in case.

“I think that everybody’s ability to stay focused on the task and manage their business the right way and do everything that they can from a protocol standpoint to not put themselves at risk so that they can stay safe,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said.

Teams are also acutely aware that an outbreak right now would all but doom their title chances. If a team has an outbreak and cannot play Friday in their semifinal game, its opponent – assuming that team has enough players available – gets a bye to the national title game Jan. 10 in Indianapolis. A handful of games in the NBA, NHL and NFL have been postponed in recent weeks, but the CFP schedule doesn’t allow for that.

“You’ve worked so hard to provide yourself this opportunity,” Cincinnati offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock said, discussing his message to players right now. “The last thing we need to do is compromise that by doing something out of character.”

And no plan is perfect. No anti-virus plan is completely unbeatable. All the Crimson Tide, Bearcats, Wolverines and Bulldogs can do is make smart decisions and hope for the best.

“We’ve never lost sight of the fact that health and safety is important, and bringing people back together is important,” Seiler said. “When the lights go on Friday night, on New Year’s Eve, tens of millions of people are going to go, `Wow, that college football game was done right.'”

NHL set to resume after 6-day break; 3 more games postponed

(AP) — After shutting down for a week, the NHL resumes play Tuesday with three games on the schedule amid hopes that its extended holiday break caused by a rash of positive COVID-19 test results will set the stage for the league to complete an already upended season.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning won’t have either of its top goaltenders or their coach for its game against Montreal. Coach Peter DeBoer is out for the Vegas Golden Knights’ game at Los Angeles. And there are more disquieting signs.

The league on Monday postponed three more games slated for later this week to bring the total to 70 this season. Chicago’s game at Winnipeg scheduled for Wednesday and a home-and-home series Wednesday and Friday between Dallas and Colorado are the latest to be moved because of coronavirus concerns.

As of now, the Winter Classic between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild is still scheduled to be played at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday night in keeping with the league’s New Year’s Day tradition.

“We’re just happy to be playing hockey,” Blues defenseman Justin Faulk said. “I think we should be playing.”

In an effort to do just that, the league brought back “taxi squads,” a feature from the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Each team will be able to keep up to six player on the taxi squad and can make more emergency recalls from the minors to make sure there are 18 skaters and two goaltenders available for every game.

“It’s what needed to happen,” Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “With obviously what’s going on, you’re going to have a lot of these issues, so that’s one way to take care of it have enough players around that you can keep playing. I think at the end of the day that’s what we’re trying to do: have a system in place that you can get guys into the lineup quickly.”

The league shut down for the annual Christmas break two days earlier than usual and extended it through Monday given the COVID-19 cases and spread of the delta and omicron variants.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS

NOTES: IU Closes Non-Conference Schedule Against UNC Asheville

OPENING TIP

Indiana University is in its 122nd season of competition in men’s basketball and will conclude the non-conference portion of its schedule as hosts UNC Asheville on Wednesday. IU is coming off a 79-61 win over Northern Kentucky while UNC Asheville defeated Milligan, 114-54, prior to Christmas. IU is 9-0 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall this season and 10-0 when the staff wears suits. IU is 3-0 all-time against teams currently in the Big South with wins over Liberty, Longwood and Gardner-Webb.

GAME INFORMATION

Indiana (10-2, 1-1 B1G) vs UNC Asheville (8-5)

Wednesday, December 29 • 7 p.m. ET

Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (17,222) • Bloomington, Ind.

TV: BTN (Matt Schumacker and Andy Katz)

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

Series History: First Meeting

Last Meeting: First Meeting

Rankings: KenPom (28th), NET (45th)

ON THE SIDELINES

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

UNCA Coach Mike Morrell is in his fourth season with the Bulldogs.

SOME NUMBERS

IU leads the Big Ten and is second nationally in defensive field goal percentage (35.0%) and is third in the B1G in scoring defense (61.7 ppg). The Hoosiers also hold opponents to 28.0% shooting from long distance (4th) and average 5.92 blocked shots (2nd).

Recent Top IU Non-Conference Records

2007-08: 12-1 

2011-12: 13-0

2012-13: 12-1

2019-20: 10-1

2021-22: 9-1

ALL-AMERICAN TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS

Junior/sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is living up to his preseason accolades averaging 19.3 points (5th in B1G), 8.5 rebounds (5th), shooting 61.8% from the floor (3rd) and contributing 3.2 blocked shots per game (1st).

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

The leading returning scorer in the Big Ten has been named a first-team 2021-22 Preseason All-American by the Associated Press, and selected to the watch list for the Karl Malone Watch, the NABC Player of the Year, Wooden Award and Naismith Award. The Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 15 has posted four double-doubles this season and 26 in his career with IU posting a 20-6 record in those games.

Jackson-Davis became the 54th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark against St. John’s and now has scored 1,180 points as a Hoosier, rating 40th all-time in IU lore. He had 21 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots against NKU.

ODDS AND TRENDS

IU’s starting lineup of Jackson-Davis (71), Sr./Jr’s. Xavier Johnson (93), Miller Kopp (86), Parker Stewart (85) and Race Thompson (39) have combined for 369 career Division I starts. Off the bench, Sr./Jr’s. Michael Durr (85) and Rob Phinisee (69) have started 154 games.

Stewart leads the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage at 49.1%.

Thompson is 10th in the Big Ten in rebounding at 7.8 per game. He is averaging 12.3 points and shot 76.2% from the floor in the last three games and has scored in double figures in six-straight games.

Johnson is seventh in the Big Ten in assists at 4.3 per game. Durr has averaged 5.5 points in his last two home games, including a season-high six points against NKU.

So./Fr. Anthony Leal made his first career start against the Norse.

Six Hoosiers Selected to TDS Top 100 Lists

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Six Indiana men’s soccer student-athletes graced Top Drawer Soccer’s Postseason Top 100 lists, the publication announced.

Four Hoosiers, Roman Celentano, Daniel Munie, Victor Bezerra and Spencer Glass, were picked for the TDS Postseason Top 100 list, while two rookies, Tommy Mihalic and Samuel Sarver, earned Top 100 Freshmen selections.

Indiana’s All-America duo of Celentano and Munie each placed in the top 15 at No. 11 and No. 13, respectively, on the upperclassman list. The pair led Indiana to 13 team shutouts, including a streak of seven straight in October, the second-longest single-season streak in program history.

Bezerra followed at No. 40 after leading the Hoosiers in scoring for the second straight season with eight goals, five of them coming as match-winners. On December 22, Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire FC announced its signing of Bezerra to a homegrown contract, allowing him to continue his career at the professional level.

Rounding out the upperclassman list, Spencer Glass ranked No. 62 following his final season in cream and crimson. Glass contributed three assists and two goals, with both scores coming in the NCAA Tournament.

Forwards Mihalic and Sarver ranked No. 14 and No. 60 on the freshman list after combining for 12 goals during their rookie seasons. Mihalic, a TDS Freshman Best XI second team honoree, tallied five goals and one assist, while Sarver collected seven goals and four assists.

Indiana Ends Calendar Season with MatMen Open

MatMen Open:

The Hoosiers will travel 17 wrestlers to the competition. Three of them will wrestle unattached.

Brackets will be released ahead of the competition with individuals seeded in their respective weight classes.

Roughly 25 schools will send squads to the competition including Big Ten opposition Iowa, Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue and Wisconsin.

Other potential opponents include ranked teams Pittsburgh and Princeton.

Derek Gilcher (157) and Jonathan Kervin (157) will enter the starting lineup. Garrett Hoffman joins Nick Willham in the 197-lb. class.

Andrew Irick (285) and Isiah Levitz (165) also join the travel squad.

Last Time Out: Cleveland State Open:

Jacob Moran (125), Derek Gilcher (157), D.J. Washington (184) and Nick Willham (197) gave IU four individual champions at the Open.

D.J. Washington pinned his first three opponents before grinding out a hard-fought win in the final.

Jacob Bullock (285) finished 2nd and Cayden Rooks (141) came all the way through the consolation bracket to take 5th on the afternoon.

Right in the Rankings:

Five IU wrestlers have featured in either InterMat or FloWrestling rankings this season.

Four of them are ranked by both outlets.

D.J. Washington (184) claims IU’s highest rankings at No. 9 in InterMat’s Top-33.

Travel Roster:

No. 27 Jacob Moran (125), No. 19 Brock Hudkins (133), No. 17 Cayden Rooks (141), No. 33 Graham Rooks (149), Derek Gilcher (157), Jonathan Kervin (157), Zack Rotkvich (157, Unattached), Matt Ortiz (165), Isiah Levitz (165), Robert Major (165, Unattached), Nick South (174), No. 9 Donnell Washington (184), Jake Evans (184, Unattached), Nick Willham (197), Garrett Hoffman (197), Jacob Bullock (285), Andrew Irick (285)

Bowl Prep: Boilermakers Back Bowling in Music City

NASHVILLE – With its best season in 15 years, Purdue Football (8-4, 6-3 B1G) closes out the 2021 campaign with a trip to the TransPerfect Music City Bowl. The Boilermakers will battle the Tennessee Volunteers (7-5, 4-4 SEC), Dec. 30, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The bowl bid marks the 20th bowl game in Purdue history, including the third in five seasons under head coach Jeff Brohm. Purdue has an all-time record of 10-9 in bowl games. The Boilermakers are making their second appearance in the Music City Bowl, having played in the 2018 version against Auburn.

A HISTORIC SEASON

• Purdue has won eight games for the first time since 2007 and has eight regular-season victories for the first time since 2006.

• Two of those victories were over previously unbeaten No. 2 Iowa (Oct. 16) and No. 3 Michigan State (Nov. 6), giving the Boilermakers two wins over Top 5 teams for the first time since 1960.

• Purdue has won four games away from home this season. To find a Purdue squad with more road wins, one must search back to 1943, when Elmer Burnham’s band of Boilermakers went 9-0 on the season with a 5-0 away record.

• The Boilermakers now have five eight-win seasons since 2000, with the previous four, in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2007, all coming under coach Joe Tiller.

• Purdue finished with a record of 6-3 in Big Ten play, the most conference wins in a season since the 2003 team went 6-2.

• The Boilermakers tied for second in the Big Ten West, finishing in the division’s top three for the third time in five seasons under head coach Jeff Brohm (2017, 2018, 2021).

• Purdue quarterbacks have completed a school-record 381 passes this season, surpassing the previous program mark of 377 set in 1998 led by Drew Brees (361).

• The Boilermakers have held four opponents to fewer than 10 points this season, the first time it has achieved the feat since 1978, when six opponents were held to single-digit point totals.

WHAT A WIN WOULD DO

• Purdue would end the season with a 9-4 record, the most wins in a season since 2003.

• The 2021 Boilermakers would tie for the second-most wins in program history, while becoming the 12th team in the program’s 134-year history to record nine wins in a season.

• Purdue would win its fifth game away from home, accomplishing the feat for the first time since 1943.

• A victory would be Purdue’s first in a bowl since a 38-35 win over Arizona in the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl, Jeff Brohm’s first season guiding the Boilermakers.

ONE PREVIOUS MATCHUP

• The Boilermakers and Volunteers have only met once on the gridiron, and it occurred in a bowl game (1979 Bluebonnet Bowl).

• A 17-yard touchdown pass from Mark Herrmann to tight end Dave Young, a pair of consensus All-Americans, with less than a minute to play lifted Purdue to a 27-22 win over Tennessee in the final college football game of the decade

• Herrmann, who currently serves as the director of leadership and alumni engagement for the John Purdue Club, threw for 303 yards and was named the game’s MVP.

• The win gave Purdue its 10th victory of the year (10-2), which still remains the most wins in a single season in program history.

BOWL HISTORY 24 YEARS AGO

• On this date 24 years ago (Dec. 30, 1997), No. 16 Purdue used a 20-point third quarter to capture a 33-20 victory over No. 24 Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl.

• Purdue quarterback Billy Dicken threw for 325 yards, an Alamo Bowl record at the time, and rushed for a team-high 43 yards to earn offensive MVP honors.

• Backup quarterback Drew Brees, who would be named Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP one season later as part of a memorable Purdue career, attempted one pass in the game.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

• The Boilermakers have made their presence known all across the college football landscape this season. The following numbers are the most important to remember:

1: QB Aidan O’Connell is No. 1 in Big Ten in comp. pct. at 73.5.

2: Purdue has two Top-5 wins for the first time since 1960.

3: Bowl-eligible for third time under head coach Jeff Brohm.

4: Purdue has four wins away from home, the most in a

season since 1943.

7: O’Connell with 74.0+ pct. comp. in seven straight games.

10: S Cam Allen, #10, tied for third in Big Ten for INTs (4).

14: Past 7 games: 14 takeaways. Two total in first 5 games.

21: WR David Bell became the 21st consensus All-American

in Purdue history.

48: Bell and DE George Karlaftis earned All-America

accolades, giving Purdue 48 All-Americans all-time.

381: Purdue quarterbacks have completed a school-record

381 passes this season, surpassing the 1998 mark of 377.

1,286: Bell had 1,286 rec. yards in 2021, 2nd in Purdue history and just 21 yards away from the program record.

PURDUE ALL-AMERICANS

• Purdue junior WR David Bell and junior DE George Karlaftis were popular names on All-America teams from various outlets, becoming the 47th and 48th Boilermakers to earn All-America status.

• Bell was named First Team All-America from four (AFCA, AP, FWAA, Walter Camp Football Foundation) of the five outlets recognized by the NCAA to just miss out on being a unanimous selection; however, the Purdue wide receiver became the 21st consensus All-American in Purdue history and the first Boilermaker since Rondale Moore in 2018.

• Bell is the only Purdue wide receiver to be named AFCA All-America throughout the program’s 134-year history.

• Karlaftis also earned AFCA First Team All-America accolades, joining Bell as the first Boilermaker teammates to earn AFCA All-America honors since 1980 (Mark Herrmann, Dave Young).

• Karlaftis became the first defensive Boilermaker to earn All-America honors since Ryan Kerrigan (2010).

• Both Bell and Karlaftis announced earlier this month that they will forego the bowl game and their senior seasons, declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.

SINGLE-SEASON RECORD WATCH

• The Boilermakers have completed 381 passes on the season, snapping the previous school record (377) set in 1998.

• Purdue is 123 yards away from the school record of passing yards in a single season (4,208-1998).

• The Boilermakers are two passing first downs away from setting a new program best, eclisping the 204 first downs by passing in 1998.

• Purdue is averaging 340.4 passing yards per game, second in school history behind the 341.8 mark set in 1985; to set a new single-season record, the Boilermakers will have to throw for 360 yards against Tennessee.

• Fifth-year senior QB Aidan O’Connell is currently on pace to destroy the school record for completion percentage by a Purdue quarterback; the fifth-year senior has completed 73.5 percent of his passes (263-362), well above David Blough’s record of 66.0 percent (305-462) in 2018.

• O’Connell’s completion percentage is currently tied for the best in Big Ten history (Dan Persa, Northwestern – 2010)

• O’Connell is also on pace to set a new Purdue record for passing efficiency (156.7), surpassing Kyle Orton’s 2004 season (151.1).

TENNESSEE BOILERMAKERS

• Three Boilermakers hail from the state of Tennessee and near the Music City area: WR TJ Sheffield (Thompson’s Station), S Antonio Stevens (Nashville) and DE Joe Anderson (Murfreesboro).

AIR IT OUT, AIDAN

• The most accurate passer, currently, in the Big Ten Conference is Purdue signal caller Aidan O’Connell. The fifth-year senior QB is completing 73.5 percent of his throws (289-393), while averaging 26.3 completions per game. His completion percentage ranks third nationally, while his completions per game sit fifth among quarterbacks.

• O’Connell earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors from the conference coaches and media, the first Purdue quarterback to be named to one of the first two All-Big Ten teams since Kyle Orton in 2004.

• Despite splitting time at points of the season, O’Connell has thrown for 3,177 yards (17th nationally) and 23 touchdowns (25th nationally).

• Over his last seven games, O’Connell is completing more than 75.0 percent of his pass attempts (.761, 223-293). Since the 2000 season, O’Connell is the only Purdue quarterback to string together three consecutive games above the 74.0-percent mark, let alone the current seven-game span.

• In games against Top 5 competition (at No. 2 Iowa, No. 3 Michigan State, and at No. 4 Ohio State), O’Connell threw for 1,301 passing yards (433.7 avg.) and completed 110-of-146 pass attempts (.753). For those three games, O’Connell has a 9-0 TD-INT ratio.

• O’Connell passed for 423 yards in the win over Northwestern, Nov. 20, becoming just the sixth Purdue quarterback to have multiple 400-yard games in a single season. He joined Drew Brees, who accomplished the feat three times in his historic career (1998-2000), as well as Boilermaker quarterbacks Jim Everett (1985), Curtis Painter (2006), David Blough (2016) and Elijah Sindelar (2019).

• The gunslinger has produced five 300-yard games, the first Purdue quarterback to accomplish the feat since Blough in 2016.

NATIONAL LEADERS

• Completing 72.2 percent of passes, Purdue leads the Big Ten and ranks second in the country.

• The Boilermakers limit making penalties, committing a conference-low 53 (4.4 per game) that is the seventh-fewest nationwide.

• Purdue’s passing offense ranks eighth in the country and second in the Big Ten with 340.4 yards per game.

• Opponents have only been able to convert 5 of 16 fourth down attempts for a .312 conversion rate, putting the Boilermakers sixth nationally in defending fourth downs.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT DEFENSE

• While Jeff Brohm’s offense gets the majority of the attention, the Purdue defense has stepped up during the first season under co-defensive coordinators Brad Lambert, Ron English and Mark Hagen.

• The Boilermakers have allowed only 20.5 points per game to rank 19th nationally, holding four opponents to single digits.

• Purdue also ranks 13th in first down defense (207), 16th in red zone defense (.744) and 21st in passing yards allowed (194.6 ypg).

• The Boilermakers defense has scored a pair of touchdowns this season as well with a Jalen Graham’s pick-six at Nebraska (Oct. 30) and a George Karlaftis scoop-and-score against Wisconsin (Oct. 23).

• Allen has four interceptions on the season, ranking third in the Big Ten and 11th nationally.

CONSISTENT STARTERS

• One credit to Purdue’s success can be attributed to the consistencies in the starting lineups. On the offensive side of the ball, five Boilermakers have started every game.

• Milton Wright has started every game at wide receiver, hauling in 57 catches for 732 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.

• Spencer Holstege (LG), Gus Hartwig (C) and Tyler Witt (RG) have started all 12 games at their respective positions. Eric Miller has 12 starts as well, with 11 of them coming at right tackle and the other at left tackle for Greg Long. Meanwhile, Long has made 11 starts protecting the quarterback’s blind side.

• The Boilermakers will miss George Karlaftis, who started all 12 contests, but six other Purdue defenders have started every game: DT Lawrence Johnson, LB Jaylan Alexander, LB Jalen Graham, CB Dedrick Mackey, SS Cam Allen and FS Marvin Grant.

• DT Branson Deen and LB Kieren Douglas have 11 starts under their belts this season, while CB Jamari Brown and DE Kydran Jenkins have 10 apiece.

BOILER GRADS

• Five Boilermakers earned their diplomas this month: LB Jaylan Alexander (Selling & Sales Management), TE Payne Durham (Selling & Sales Management), DE George Karlaftis (Retail Management), OL Eric Miller (General Management) and CB Cory Trice (Communication).

BOILERMAKER BLOOD

• With several members of his family graduating as Boilermakers, Purdue WR Jackson Anthrop bleeds the Old Gold and Black and the bowl game will be his final game in a Purdue uniform.

• The West Lafayette, Indiana, native ranks third on the team in catches (48), receiving yards (496) and receiving TDs (5).

• His parents (John and Jana) are Purdue graduates as well as two brothers, two aunts and two uncles.

• His father played basketball at Purdue from 1977-80, his brother Danny played football for the Boilermakers from 2012-15, and his brother Jade played basketball for Purdue (2010-13).

No. 16 Wrestling Off to Matmen Open

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue wrestling team heads into its final matches of 2021 this week, set to compete in inaugural Matmen Open, hosted Wednesday and Thursday by Illinois Matmen at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The loaded tournament field features several Big Ten Conference and top-25, tournament-ranked squads.

The event will stream live via Illinois Matmen’s Rokfin page, requiring a site subscription and pay per view charge.

PURDUE LINEUP & RANKINGS

The Boilermakers continue to hold a variety of national team and individual rankings, including a No. 15 mark in the NWCA Coaches Poll, and top-10 individual rankings for Devin Schroder, Kendall Coleman and Thomas Penola. While Schroder and Penola are not scheduled to compete at Midlands, Coleman, Parker Filius and Gerrit Nijenhuis will be among the ranked entries at their respective weights. In addition to its nine varsity entries, Purdue will field a trio of unattached wrestlers, the Boilermakers’ first since 2018.

LAST TIME OUT

Purdue took its first dual lost before the holiday break, suffering a 23-13 defeat at the hands of No. 13 Iowa State. The dual was held at Humboldt High School in Iowa, the hometown of Purdue head coach Tony Ersland and Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser. The Boilermakers earned wins at four weights, including 125, 133 and 141 for the seventh straight time this season, and sophomore Hayden Lohrey earned a win at 165 in his first career varsity start.

PURDUE NOTES

• Head coach Tony Ersland is in his eighth season at Purdue and is 63-51 in dual competition with the Boilermakers.

• Ersland wrestled for the University of Iowa from 1992-97, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament at 177, and competing on the highest scoring team at the NCAA Championships in history (170).

• Purdue’s season-opening win at Drexel marks eight straight seasons that the Boilermakers have won their first dual of the year under Ersland.

• Purdue opened 6-0 in dual competition for the first time since 2008-09

• Devin Schroder and Max Lyon capitalized on the NCAA’s COVID extension waiver, returning for an extra year of eligibility in 2021-22.

• Schroder ranks second in program history in back points, surpassing the 500-point mark at CKLV, and is tied for 15th all-time at Purdue with a .733 win percentage (88-32).

• 47 of Schroder’s 88 career wins have come via bonus points (.534), including 26 technical falls, while 37 of his career victories are shutouts (.420).

• Matt Ramos won the 2018 Cadet Freestyle World Championship for the U.S., capturing the 51 kg title in Zagreb, Croatia.

• Ramos’s two wins to open the season were his first official folkstyle matches since his senior year of high school at Lockport HS (Illinois) in 2019, winning by technical fall and fall in the two bouts.

• The Boilermakers’ lower weights are undefeated at 21-0 in duals so far this season, including 10 wins via bonus points.

• Kendall Coleman surpassed the 60-career match at CKLV, and earned a spot on Purdue’s career win- percentage record list, coming in at No. 11 (.762, 48-15).

• Thomas Penola is off to a 13-2 start on the season, leading the team in wins, matches, takedowns (52) and total points (151).

• Nearly half of Penola’s scoring this season has come in the third-period, where he’s outscoring opponents 73-26.

• Michael Woulfe is wrestling his first collegiate season since 2016 after serving in the United States Navy for the last five years and has picked up right where he left off, adding a team-high four falls to his career total (28) after posting 17 falls in his final year at Navy.

• Sophomore Hayden Lohrey made his first career dual start last time out, earning a 5-3 decision over Iowa State’s Austin Kraisser.

• The Boilermakers will have three unattached entries at Midlands (Stoney Buell, Dustin Norris, Tristan Ruhlman), marking the first true freshman to enter the tournament for the Boilermakers since Kendall Coleman, Thomas Penola and Emil Soehnlen competed unattached in 2018.  

TOURNAMENT FIELD

Army

Bloomsburg*

Brown

Bucknell

Cal Poly

Campbell

Franklin & Marshall

Harvard

Illinois

Indiana

Michigan*

N. Carolina*

N. Illinois

Northern Iowa

Oregon St.*

Penn

Pitt

Princeton

Purdue*

Rider*

SIUE*

Rutgers

Virginia*

Wisconsin

* – sending a partial roster to tournament

Mike Uremovich Named Butler Football Head Coach

Mike Uremovich, who has orchestrated impressive offenses as an FBS coordinator and had a successful seven-year stretch as a head coach, has been named the head football coach at Butler University.

Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier made the announcement Monday, Dec. 27.

“Among a very talented and deep applicant pool, Mike stood out throughout every phase of our process,” said Collier. “He built a strong program at the NAIA level as a head coach and has been a successful coordinator and coach at several FBS programs. Above all, Mike was able to articulate his vision for our program and his plan for Butler to be consistently competitive at the top of the Pioneer Football League. We are excited to welcome Mike and his family to Butler.”

“Katie, the kids and I could not be more excited to be a part of the Butler family,” said Uremovich. “The academic reputation and resources available to the student-athletes at Butler and in Indianapolis is almost unmatched in college football. I can’t wait to get work.”

Uremovich (pronounced you-REM-OH-vitch) is only the ninth head coach of Butler’s football program since 1935 when Tony Hinkle first led the Bulldogs. The program started in 1887. Uremovich replaces Jeff Voris, who resigned from the position a month ago after leading the Butler program for the past 16 seasons.

Uremovich arrives in Indianapolis after serving as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Temple for the past three seasons (2019-21). That followed three seasons in the same role at Northern Illinois (2016-18).

During the 2019 season, Jadan Blue became the first receiver in Temple program history to top the century mark with school records of 1,067 receiving yards and 95 receptions. In addition, running back Re’Mahn Davis rushed for 936 yards and eight touchdowns to rank second all-time on those respective freshman lists. In his first game calling offensive plays for Temple, Uremovich’s unit set new school marks with 695 total yards and 507 passing yards against Bucknell (2019).

Prior to Temple, Uremovich coached at Northern Illinois during three separate stints. He returned to the Huskies program in 2016 as the offensive coordinator. NIU won the 2018 Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship and earned bowl appearances in both 2017 and 2018. The 2016 edition of the Huskies was 16th nationally in rushing yards.

He previously served as the Huskies’ running backs coach and special teams coordinator in 2012 under Dave Doeren, and as a graduate assistant for Joe Novak from 2001-02.

Uremovich coached the offensive line at North Carolina State from 2013-15, where he helped lead the Wolfpack to a pair of bowl appearances. Behind his offensive line, the 2014 Wolfpack posted the fourth-best rushing total in school history and the best per game average since 1992.

Uremovich had a successful seven-year tenure as head coach at the University of St. Francis, the Joliet, Ill.-based NAIA program (2005-11). In 2011, he led the Fighting Saints to their most successful season in school history as they won a school-record 10 games and claimed their first win over an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team when they defeated Georgia State. The team was ranked as high as No. 8 in the NAIA National Coaches Poll and also registered the first NAIA national playoff victory in program history. Uremovich led the Fighting Saints to a 17-7 record over his final two seasons. Overall he posted a 33-45 record, rebuilding a program that had won a total of four games in the three seasons prior to his arrival.

In addition to serving as a graduate assistant at Northern Illinois, Uremovich’s early coaching career also included stints at Waynesburg College (Pa.), Benedictine University (Ill.), Providence Catholic (Ill.) High School, and McCutcheon (Ind.) High School.

Uremovich is a 2000 graduate of Purdue. He received his masters degree from Northern Illinois in 2002. He and his wife, Katie, have a daughter, Ella, and two sons, Michael and Drew.

DODSON NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Notre Dame’s Maya Dodson has been named Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, for her outstanding play in the road win over DePaul on Dec. 22. The achievement marks the first for Dodson in her career, including her Pac-12 days. It’s also the first Player of the Week honor for the Irish this season, as Sonia Citron has claimed four Freshman of the Week honors.

Dodson scored a career-high 28 points to lead the now 17th-ranked Fighting Irish to a 91-86 win at (RV) DePaul. The 6-3 forward turned in a stellar second-half performance, scoring 20 of her points after the break. In fact, Dodson was instrumental down the stretch, scoring 10 straight points from 4:46-0:26, maintaining a lead that didn’t stretch more than two possessions in length.

All-in-all Dodson scored 12 of the Irish’s 19 points in the fourth quarter and even got a clutch offensive board in the final 10 seconds after a Maddy Westbeld free-throw which iced the game. Dodson finished the game with eight rebounds, including seven offensive boards.

Dodson and the rest of the Irish return to action on Dec. 30 in a road matchup at Virginia. That contest will tip at 7 pm ET on ACCNX.

DANE GOODWIN EARNS ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONOR

Senior Dane Goodwin has been named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week on Monday, December 27, 2021, after leading the Irish through a 2-0 week in Purcell Pavilion.

Goodwin averaged 19.5 points per game last week, while pulling down 5.5 rebounds per contest and shooting .692 (9-13) from three-point range. He shares the ACC award with Femi Odukale from Pittsburgh who scored 28 points against Jacksonville.

Against Western Michigan, the Upper Arlington, Ohio, native scored 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting with five rebounds and four three pointers. Two days later against Texas A&M Corpus Christi Goodwin logged his first 20-point game of the season, scoring a game-high 21 points and 7-of-14 shooting with five three pointers, six rebounds and three steals.

The honor is the first conference weekly award of Goodwin’s career. He is the first Irish player to earn ACC player of the week accolades since John Mooney on February 6, 2020. Teammate and freshman Blake Wesely was named ACC Rookie of the Week on December 13 of this season.

IRISH WILL FINISH CALENDAR YEAR AT PITTSBURGH

2021-22 FIGHTING IRISH – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (6-5) begins the bulk of the 2021-22 ACC schedule with a road trip to Pittsburgh (5-7) on Tuesday, December 28 (8 p.m. ET, ACC Network). The Irish will be looking to even up their conference record and earn their fifth victory in their seven most recent trips to the Petersen Events Center.  

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

#20 | PAUL ATKINSON JR. | Graduate Student | 6-9 | 230 | West Palm Beach, FL

A tone setter for the Irish in the post, has hit double-digit scoring in last four games, including 31 points (17 and 14) in last two victories • 2019-20 Ivy League Player of the Year at Yale • did not participate in 2020-21, as the Ivy League cancelled all intercollegiate athletics • ranked by ESPN+ as the fourth-best transfer prospect in  2020-21 • boasts a .661 career field goal percentage – top for any returning NCAA Division I player this year – and led Ivy League in FG% all three seasons in which he competed.

#23 DANE GOODWIN | Senior | 6-4 | 202 | Upper Arlington, OH

Hit 20 points (21) for the first time this season against Texas A&M Corpus Christi • led the Irish with 18 points against Western Michigan while becoming the 66th Notre Dame player – and 25th recruited by Mike Brey – to reach 1,000 points in a career • has scored in double figures in all 11 games (a career-best streak) this season and leads the team with 15.3 ppg • averaging 15.3 ppg and 5.5 rpg this season • one of the best free throw shooters on the team, boasting a .834 career average from the stripe (24-26 this season).

#0 BLAKE WESLEY | Freshman | 6-5 | 185 | South Bend, IN

Dealt with pressure defense versus Texas A&M Corpus Christi to play a career-high 37 minutes, dishing out a career-best nine assists with 15 points • scored 15 points against Western Michigan, reaching double-digit scoring in eight of his first 10 career games – only other true freshmen of the Brey era to do the same are Chris Thomas and Luke Harangody • ACC Rookie of the Week (Dec. 13, 2021) • in first career start at home in Purcell Pavilion, hit the game-winning jumper with :12 seconds remaining to upset No. 10/12 Kentucky • third in the ACC in freshman scoring (13.5 ppg) and eighth among all major conference true freshmen in ppg • exploded for 24 points, 18 in the second half at Illinois in the first true road game of his career • first Mike Brey freshman to score 20 points in a career debut (vs. CSUN) since Chris Thomas in 2001 • first South Bend, IN, public school MBB prospect to sign with Notre Dame since 1985.

#14 NATE LASZEWSKI | Senior | 6-10 | 235 | Jupiter, FL

(pronounced La-SHEH-skee) Ninth in the ACC in rebounding (7.3 per game) • scored eight points with six rebounds against Western Michigan • improved FG% 19 percent, 3FG% 11% and RPG by 3.1 last season • scored over 20 points four times last season and has five 20-point games in his career.

#3 PRENTISS HUBB | Senior | 6-3 | 176 | Upper Marlboro, MD

Preseason All-ACC Second Team • returned to starting lineup against Western Michigan and played possibly best all-around game of the season with 9 points, four assists and three rebounds • led the team with 15 points against Boston College, coming off the bench for the first time since the victory at Miami last season • led the Irish in  scoring (14.6) and three-point field goals made (65) last season • one of five major conference players to reach 100 assists in league play last season.

OFF THE BENCH

#5 CORMAC RYAN | Senior | 6-5 | 195 | New York, NY

Has scored 22 points in the second half of Notre Dame’s last two victories, shooting 7-9 from the floor and 5-5 from three-point range • scored 13 points off the bench against Western Michigan • filled up the stat line against No. 10/12 Kentucky with seven points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal • started 16 of 25 games in his first year with the Irish last season • scored 21 points in the first half in the victory at Duke last year, eventually scoring career-best 28 points • shot .344 from 3FG range last season.

#2 TREY WERTZ | Senior | 6-5 | 192 | Charlotte, NC

Missed the game vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi with a sprained right ankle, hopes to return to action at Pittsburgh • hit double figures for the first time this season in the victory over No. 10/12 Kentucky with 12 points, two three-point field goals, two rebounds and two assists • planned to sit out 2020-21 season after transferring from Santa Clara until all underclassmen transfers were given immediate eligibility in December of 2020 • appeared in 21 games making 14 starts, shooting .429 from three-point range • hit the game-winning 3FG at the buzzer vs. WF in 2021 ACC tournament.

#1 J.R. KONIECZNY | Freshman | 6-6 | 195 | South Bend, IN

(pronounced Ko-NEZZ-knee) Saw action in first career game vs. CSUN, scored first career points vs. Chaminade • all-time leading scorer in St. Joseph County history (1,996) • joins classmate Blake Wesley as the first Northern Indiana Conference players to sign with Notre Dame since 2012 (D. Jackson, A. Torres).

IRISH ITEMS – BY THE NUMBERS

1

There are nine players in the country averaging 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and shooting over 47 percent from three point range. There is only one player, however, that is accomplishing those number and shooting over 90 percent from the free throw line – senior Dane Goodwin.

6

Notre Dame has won six straight games in Purcell Pavilion dating back to last season. In those six victories are wins over No. 11/11 Florida State last March and a 66-62 win over No. 10/12 Kentucky on December 11.

7

Notre Dame will confer an NCAA Division I men’s basketball-best seven degrees in the spring of 2022 – undergraduate degrees to R. Carmody, D. Goodwin, P. Hubb, N. Laszewski, C. Ryan and T. Wertz, along with a graduate degree to P. Atkinson Jr.

7.3

Rebounds-per-game average for senior Nate Laszewski, which leads the team and is ranked ninth in the ACC.

11

Career-best streak of double-digit scoring games for Dane Goodwin – all 11 games this season – who leads the Irish at 15.3 ppg.

13.5

Points-per-game average for freshman Blake Wesley, which is the third-best average in the ACC and eighth-best among major conference true freshman (see page 4 for more details).

16.6

Points-per-game average for Dane Goodwin in Purcell Pavilion this season (five games). Goodwin is shooting .529 from the field, .586 from 3FG range, .857 from the line while pulling down 6.4 rebounds per game at home this season.

22

Senior Cormac Ryan has scored 22 points in the second half of Notre Dame’s last two victories, going 7-for-9 from the field, 5-5 from three-point range and pulling down eight rebounds.

30

The adjusted offensive efficiency rating ranking for the Irish on KenPom.com (110.0). It is the sixth-best in the ACC.

47.3

Three-point field goal percentage for Dane Goodwin, which leads the team and is fourth in the ACC. That is tied for 12th among all major conference players this season.

66

Dane Goodwin became the 66th Notre Dame player – and 25th student-athlete recruited by Mike Brey – to reach 1,000 points in their Irish career with 18 points against Western Michigan on Monday night.

67

Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will be meeting for the 67th time. The Irish lead the series 35-31, Pitt is 19-14 at home. Notre Dame has won 10 of the 14 most recent meetings.

Sycamore Basketball to Host Midway University December 29

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State men’s basketball head coach Josh Schertz announced Wednesday that his squad will host Midway University December 29 at Hulman Center. Tipoff with the Eagles is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

The contest will replace ISU’s previously scheduled game with Coppin State after CSU paused all basketball activities due to COVID-19 protocols within the program.

COLLIER CLAIMS SECOND CAREER CL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jackson, Mich. – The Marian women’s basketball team claimed their second Crossroads League Player of the Week honor on Monday afternoon, as the league recognized Ella Collier as the weekly winner. For Collier this is her first honor of the season, and second in her career, joining teammate Imani Guy as 2021-22 winners.

Collier highlighted No. 7 Marian’s 18-point win over Rochester, scoring 22 points on seven-of-11 shooting and adding five rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Knights. Collier did all of her scoring in the first three quarters, pacing her night with nine in the first 10 minutes of play.

Marian will play both Midland and Saint Ambrose this week at the SAU Christmas Classic, taking on the Warriors on December 29.

MALEK EDMONDS NAMED CROSSROADS LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jackson, Mich. – The Marian men’s basketball team earned their first Crossroads League Player of the Week on Monday afternoon, as the league recognized Malek Edmonds as the Player of the Week. This is the first award in Edmonds career, and first for Marian since Cameron Wolter claimed the honor in February of 2021.

Edmonds and the No. 22 Marian squad rolled to a 96-45 win over Penn State Allegheny, as the sophomore forward posted 15 points in 22 minutes and added seven rebounds and three steals.

Marian will take on Cardinal Stritch and IU-East this week before returning to Crossroads League play.

Men’s Basketball Travels to Webster Invitational on Thursday & Friday

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men’s basketball team travels to the Webster University Invitational on Thursday and Friday.  The Fightin’ Engineers face Webster on Thursday Dec. 30 at 8 pm Central Time, then square off with Fontbonne in a neutral site game on Friday Dec. 31 at 2 pm Central Time.  Both games will be played at Webster.

ROSE-HULMAN GAME NOTES:

* Rose-Hulman stands 6-3 overall heading into the Webster Invitational.  The Fightin’ Engineers have a pair of 3-game winning streaks so far this season.

* Max Chaplin leads the Fightin’ Engineers in scoring while coming off the bench as the team’s sixth man.  Chaplin is averaging 13.4 points per game and has eight double-figure scoring games this season.

* Terry Hicks was named HCAC Player of the Week and Marymount Tournament Most Valuable Player for his efforts in helping Rose-Hulman win the Marymount Invitational in November. 

* Hicks averaged 16.5 points and 14.0 rebounds per game over the two games in the Invitational.

* Rose-Hulman has a roster featuring players from across the nation. The 18-player team comes to Terre Haute from nine states.

* Rusty Loyd has an NCAA record of 111-71 with one regular season title and three HCAC title game appearances at Rose-Hulman.

* After Wednesday’s game, Rose-Hulman returns to action on Dec. 30-31 in the Webster Gorlok Holiday Invitational.

THE OPPOSITION:

* Webster stands 1-8 overall with a win over perennial national power Washington University.

SERIES HISTORY vs. WEBSTER:

* Overall Record: Rose-Hulman leads 5-0

* Current Streak: Rose-Hulman won 5

* Last Meeting: RHIT 103, WU 64 on 12/15/1991

SPORTS ON TV TUESDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
SIENA AT AMERICAN2:00PMESPN+
ALABAMA STATE AT TEXAS TECH2:00PMESPN+
SACRAMENTO STATE AT OREGON STATE5:30PMPAC12N
NEW ORLEANS AT OHIO STATE6:30PMBTN
UCONN AT XAVIER7:00PMFS1
CINCINNATI AT HOUSTON8:00PMESPN2
NOTRE DAME AT PITT8:00PMACCN
NORTHWESTERN STATE AT BAYLOR8:00PMESPN+
LOYOLA (MD) AT MARYLAND8:30PMBTN
GEORGETOWN AT CREIGHTON9:00PMFS1
HOPE INTERNATIONAL AT LONG BEACH STATE9:00PMESPN+
COLLEGE FOOTBALLTIME ETTV
TICKETSMARTER BIRMINGHAM BOWL: 20 HOUSTON VS. AUBURN12:00PMESPN
SERVPRO FIRST RESPONDER BOWL: AIR FORCE VS. LOUISVILLE3:15PMESPN
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL: TEXAS TECH VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE6:45PMESPN
SDCCU HOLIDAY BOWL: UCLA VS. 18 NC STATE8:00PMFOX
GUARANTEED RATE BOWL: WEST VIRGINIA VS. MINNESOTA10:15PMESPN
NBATIME ETTV
MILWAUKEE AT ORLANDO7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
WASHINGTON AT MIAMI7:30PMNBATV
NBCS-WSH
BALLY SPORTS
PHILADELPHIA AT TORONTO7:30PMNBCS-PHI
SPORTSNET
LA LAKERS AT HOUSTON8:00PMSPORTSNET
ATTSN-SW
CLEVALAND AT NEW ORLEANS8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NEW YORK AT MINNESOTA8:00PMMSG
BALLY SPORTS
DENVER AT GOLDEN STATE10:00PMNBATV
ALT
NBCS-BAY
OKLAHOMA CITY AT SACRAMENTO10:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-CA
NHLTIME ETTV
MONTREAL AT TAMPA BAY7:00PMESPN+
HULU
COLUMBUS AT CHICAGO8:30PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-CHI
VEGAS AT LOS ANGELES10:30PMATTSN-RM
BALLY SPORTS
ARIZONA AT PITTSBURGH10:30PMATTSN-PIT
BALLY SPORTS

NFL STANDINGS DIVISION | CONFERENCE
AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS1140.7330.04213067 – 2 – 04 – 2 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 08 W
TENNESSEE TITANS1050.6670.03573266 – 2 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 01 W
CINCINNATI BENGALS960.6000.04103244 – 4 – 05 – 2 – 07 – 3 – 04 – 1 – 02 W
BUFFALO BILLS960.6000.04272644 – 3 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 04 – 1 – 02 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS960.6000.04203164 – 4 – 05 – 2 – 07 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 03 W
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS960.6000.03882603 – 5 – 06 – 1 – 07 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 02 L
MIAMI DOLPHINS870.5331.03053155 – 3 – 03 – 4 – 05 – 5 – 03 – 2 – 07 W
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS870.5331.04084114 – 4 – 04 – 3 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 02 L
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS870.5331.03163874 – 4 – 04 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 02 – 3 – 02 W
BALTIMORE RAVENS870.5331.03553565 – 2 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 6 – 01 – 4 – 04 L
PITTSBURGH STEELERS771.5001.53013715 – 2 – 12 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 01 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS780.4672.03143295 – 3 – 02 – 5 – 04 – 6 – 02 – 2 – 02 L
DENVER BRONCOS780.4672.02982604 – 4 – 03 – 4 – 03 – 7 – 01 – 3 – 02 L
NEW YORK JETS4110.2675.02764493 – 5 – 01 – 6 – 04 – 7 – 00 – 5 – 01 W
HOUSTON TEXANS4110.2675.02484012 – 6 – 02 – 5 – 04 – 7 – 03 – 2 – 02 W
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2130.1337.02173962 – 6 – 00 – 7 – 02 – 8 – 00 – 5 – 07 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-GREEN BAY PACKERS1230.8000.03833247 – 0 – 05 – 3 – 08 – 2 – 03 – 1 – 04 W
XY-DALLAS COWBOYS1140.7330.04573075 – 2 – 06 – 2 – 09 – 1 – 05 – 0 – 04 W
X-LOS ANGELES RAMS1140.7330.04163265 – 2 – 06 – 2 – 08 – 3 – 03 – 2 – 04 W
XY-TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS1140.7330.04423126 – 1 – 05 – 3 – 07 – 4 – 03 – 2 – 01 W
X-ARIZONA CARDINALS1050.6670.03943063 – 4 – 07 – 1 – 06 – 4 – 04 – 1 – 03 L
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS870.5330.03773343 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 5 – 01 – 4 – 01 L
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES870.5330.03983183 – 4 – 05 – 3 – 06 – 4 – 02 – 2 – 03 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS780.4671.03843724 – 3 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 03 – 1 – 01 L
ATLANTA FALCONS780.4671.02784002 – 5 – 05 – 3 – 04 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 01 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS780.4671.03163052 – 5 – 05 – 3 – 05 – 5 – 02 – 2 – 01 L
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM690.4002.02974073 – 4 – 03 – 5 – 05 – 5 – 01 – 3 – 03 L
CAROLINA PANTHERS5100.3333.02773452 – 6 – 03 – 4 – 03 – 7 – 02 – 2 – 05 L
CHICAGO BEARS5100.3333.02653732 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 03 – 7 – 02 – 3 – 01 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS5100.3333.03063072 – 5 – 03 – 5 – 02 – 8 – 02 – 3 – 02 L
NEW YORK GIANTS4110.2674.02483653 – 4 – 01 – 7 – 03 – 7 – 01 – 4 – 04 L
DETROIT LIONS2121.1675.52593862 – 5 – 00 – 7 – 12 – 8 – 01 – 4 – 01 L
 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE

LAST UPDATED DEC. 28, 1:22 A.M. ET

NBA CONFERENCE STANDINGS DIVISION STANDINGS | CONFERENCE STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN239.71910-613-36-017-67-32 W
CHICAGO2110.6771.511-410-63-212-78-24 W
MILWAUKEE2213.6292.512-510-86-115-96-43 W
MIAMI2113.6183.011-410-95-115-77-33 W
CLEVELAND2013.6063.510-710-63-113-77-31 W
PHILADELPHIA1716.5156.56-811-81-611-105-51 W
WASHINGTON1716.5156.58-59-113-411-103-71 L
CHARLOTTE1817.5146.59-49-135-210-84-62 W
BOSTON1618.4718.09-67-124-411-103-72 L
10 TORONTO1416.4678.07-97-74-410-105-51 L
11 NEW YORK1518.4558.57-118-73-410-154-61 W
12 ATLANTA1518.4558.58-97-94-39-113-72 L
13 INDIANA1420.41210.011-73-132-58-155-51 L
14 ORLANDO727.20617.02-115-161-84-192-82 L
15 DETROIT527.15618.03-122-151-64-161-93 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 WLPCTCONF GBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
GOLDEN STATE276.81816-211-47-115-38-23 W
PHOENIX267.7881.015-411-34-417-77-32 L
UTAH249.7273.013-611-36-014-38-24 W
MEMPHIS2114.6007.011-810-63-217-97-32 W
DENVER1616.50010.58-68-102-49-95-51 W
LA CLIPPERS1717.50010.512-105-73-412-145-52 L
DALLAS1617.48511.08-88-97-213-95-51 W
MINNESOTA1617.48511.010-96-82-311-115-51 W
LA LAKERS1618.47111.510-106-81-58-124-65 L
10 SAN ANTONIO1419.42413.07-107-91-38-146-41 L
11 PORTLAND1320.39414.011-82-121-37-162-82 L
12 SACRAMENTO1321.38214.57-116-104-59-153-73 L
13 OKLAHOMA CITY1220.37514.57-105-101-210-136-41 W
14 NEW ORLEANS1222.35315.56-96-132-48-146-41 L
15 HOUSTON1024.29417.57-73-171-34-132-84 L
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE PLAYOFFS. 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL CONFERENCE STANDINGS DIVISION | CONFERENCE | WILDCARD
EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING3020644418988010-3-210-3-28-1-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES292171432195629-3-012-4-16-4-0
WASHINGTON CAPITALS3118674316108819-3-49-3-35-3-2
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS3020824220987612-4-18-4-17-2-1
NEW YORK RANGERS301974421886778-3-211-4-26-3-1
FLORIDA PANTHERS29187440171048714-3-04-4-44-5-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS301785391691768-5-29-3-37-2-1
DETROIT RED WINGS311513333148810411-3-24-10-16-4-0
BOSTON BRUINS2614102301371697-5-17-5-14-4-2
10 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS2814131291291959-3-15-10-02-7-1
11 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS2912125291277956-6-26-6-34-5-1
12 NEW JERSEY DEVILS3010155259821057-7-33-8-21-8-1
13 BUFFALO SABRES3010155258821046-8-24-7-32-5-3
14 NEW YORK ISLANDERS26812622857772-5-36-7-33-3-4
15 OTTAWA SENATORS289172208791015-9-04-8-25-4-1
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS317213176671095-10-12-11-22-7-1
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
MINNESOTA WILD30199240161129210-2-19-7-16-3-1
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS322012040171149810-7-010-5-08-2-0
ANAHEIM DUCKS32179640151038910-4-37-5-36-1-3
NASHVILLE PREDATORS3019101391889799-5-010-5-18-2-0
ST. LOUIS BLUES31179539151068511-3-26-6-36-2-2
CALGARY FLAMES281576361387624-3-411-4-25-4-1
COLORADO AVALANCHE27178236161159110-2-17-6-17-2-1
EDMONTON OILERS291811036161019010-6-08-5-04-6-0
WINNIPEG JETS30141153313908710-6-14-5-45-4-1
10 LOS ANGELES KINGS3014115331380798-6-26-5-35-3-2
11 DALLAS STARS29151223214828511-3-14-9-15-5-0
12 SAN JOSE SHARKS3015141311578857-7-18-7-05-5-0
13 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3114152301181908-7-16-8-18-2-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS301115426872976-6-25-9-24-4-2
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN30101732310841086-9-14-8-24-4-2
16 ARIZONA COYOTES296212146561092-10-14-11-12-8-0
 

LAST UPDATED DEC. 28, 1:22 ET

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE