Andrean 64 Illiana Christian 54
Hammond Science & Tech 85 Portage Christian 36
Horizon Christian 59 Mooresville Christian 44
Indiana Deaf 76 MTI Knowledge 41

Argos at North Miami 7:30 pm
Barr-Reeve at Washington Catholic 7:30 pm
Bethany Christian at South Bend Career 7:30 pm
Blue River at Union (Modoc) 7:30 pm
Bowman Academy at South Bend Adams 8:00 pm
Cannelton at Cloverport (Ky.) 8:00 pm
Carroll (Fort Wayne) at DeKalb 7:30 pm
Community Baptist at Culver 6:30 pm
Crosspointe Christian at Mooresville Christian 7:15 pm
Dugger Union at Clay City 7:30 pm
Evansville Central at Castle 8:00 pm
Evansville Reitz at Boonville 8:00 pm
Fort Wayne North at Fort Wayne Canterbury 7:30 pm
Hammond Central at Portage 8:00 pm
Hanover Central at Griffith 8:00 pm
Homestead at Fort Wayne Blackhawk 7:30 pm
Indiana Math & Science at Victory College Prep 6:00 pm
Irvington Prep at Central Christian 6:00 pm
Knox at Lowell 8:00 pm
Lake Central at Highland 8:00 pm
LaLumiere Regional at Elkhart Christian 7:30 pm
LaVille at Tippecanoe Valley 7:30 pm
Leo at Fort Wayne Concordia 7:30 pm
Lighthouse Christian at Eminence 7:30 pm
Louisville Collegiate (Ky.) at Rock Creek Academy 7:30 pm
New Haven at Fort Wayne Dwenger 7:30 pm
Northfield at Winamac 7:30 pm
Norwell at Fort Wayne Wayne 7:30 pm
Purdue Poly Englewood at Indianapolis Washington 7:30 pm
Purdue Poly North at GEO Next Generation 7:30 pm
Seymour at Salem 7:30 pm
Shelbyville at Columbus East 7:30 pm
Silver Creek at Christian Academy 7:30 pm
South Bend Clay at Oregon-Davis 7:30 pm
South Bend Riley at Michigan City 8:00 pm
Southwood at Oak Hill 7:30 pm
Tell City at Hancock County (Ky.) 8:00 pm
Triton at John Glenn 7:30 pm
Victory Christian at Gary West 8:00 pm
Wabash at Tipton 7:30 pm
Warsaw at Penn 7:45 pm
Washington Twp. at Westville 8:00 pm

Allen County Conference Tournament
South Adams at Adams Central 7:30 pm R1
Bluffton at Southern Wells 7:30 pm R1
Heritage at Woodlan 7:30 pm R1

Johnson County Tournament
Franklin at Whiteland 7:30 pm R1
Indian Creek at Greenwood Christian 7:30 pm R1
Greenwood at Edinburgh 7:30 pm R1

Marion County Tournament
North Central (Indianapolis) at Indianapolis Lutheran 6:30 pm R1
Beech Grove at Park Tudor 6:30 pm R1
Lawrence North at Lawrence Central 6:30 pm R1
Perry Meridian at Pike 6:30 pm R1
Brebeuf Jesuit at Ben Davis 6:30 pm R1
Southport at Franklin Central 6:30 pm R1
Decatur Central at Warren Central 6:30 pm R1
Indianapolis Roncalli at Speedway 6:30 pm R1

Northeast Corner Conference Tournament
Churubusco at Fairfield 7:30 pm R1
Fremont at Prairie Heights 7:30 pm R1
Eastside at Hamilton 7:30 pm R1
Central Noble at West Noble 7:30 pm R1


Brownstown Central 53 New Albany 28
Homestead 69 Fort Wayne Concordia 38
Illiana Christian 66 Hammond Noll 30
Indiana Math & Science 40 Horizon Christian 36
Indianapolis Lutheran 58 Indiana Deaf 40
Lake Station 74 Gary West 31
North Posey 60 Evansville Christian 41
Princeton 52 Evansville Reitz 49
Rock Creek Academy 48 West Washington 46
Salem 59 South Central (Elizabeth) 44
South Putnam 60 Riverton Parke 31

Indianapolis City Tournament
Indianapolis Herron 56 Indianapolis Ritter 53 OT
Covenant Christian 63 Indianapolis Washington 24
Purdue Poly Englewood 57 Christel House 24
Indianapolis Scecina 58 Indianapolis Attucks 34
Indianapolis Tindley 61 Indianapolis Tech 59


Attica at North Vermillion 7:30 pm
Barr-Reeve at Washington Catholic 6:00 pm
Benton Central at Lafayette Jeff 7:30 pm
Bethesda Christian at Park Tudor 6:00 pm
Blue River at Union (Modoc) 6:00 pm
Boone Grove at Calumet 7:00 pm
Boonville at South Spencer 7:00 pm
Brebeuf Jesuit at Tri-West 7:30 pm
Cambridge City Lincoln at National Trail (Ohio) 7:30 pm
Cannelton at Cloverport (Ky.) 7:00 pm
Carmel at Columbus North 7:30 pm
Carroll (Flora) at McCutcheon 7:30 pm
Charlestown at Eastern (Pekin) 7:30 pm
Christian Academy at Clarksville 7:30 pm
Columbus East at Bedford North Lawrence 6:00 pm
Culver Academy at Twin Lakes 7:30 pm
Delphi at Faith Christian 7:30 pm
Demotte Christian at Marquette Catholic 7:30 pm
Dixie Heights (Ky.) at East Central 7:00 pm
Eastern Hancock at New Castle 7:30 pm
Elkhart Christian at South Bend Clay 7:30 pm
Evansville Mater Dei at Evansville Memorial 8:00 pm
Forest Park at Corydon Central 7:30 pm
Fort Wayne Northrop at Bellmont 7:30 pm
Fountain Central at Covington 6:30 pm
Frankfort at Rossville 7:30 pm
Goshen at South Bend St. Joseph 7:30 pm
Greensburg at Brown County 7:30 pm
Henryville at Austin 7:30 pm
Highland at Hammond Noll 8:00 pm
Hobart at Chesterton 8:00 pm
Indianapolis Roncalli at Guerin Catholic 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Shortridge at Horizon Christian 6:00 pm
Jennings County at Floyd Central 7:30 pm
Jimtown at Concord 7:45 pm
Kokomo at Harrison (West Lafayette) 7:30 pm
Lakewood Park at Clinton Christian 7:30 pm
Lanesville at Trinity Lutheran 7:30 pm
Lapel at Blackford 7:30 pm
LaPorte at Plymouth 8:00 pm
LaPorte LaLumiere at South Bend Washington 7:00 pm
LaVille at North Judson 8:00 pm
Lighthouse Christian at Eminence 6:00 pm
Maconaquah at Pioneer 7:30 pm
Madison at Silver Creek 7:30 pm
Madison-Grant at Taylor 6:00 pm
Marion at Mississinewa 7:30 pm
Marshall (Ill.) at Terre Haute North 8:00 pm
Martinsville at Terre Haute South 7:30 pm
Medora at Columbus Christian 6:00 pm
Milan at Rising Sun 7:30 pm
Mitchell at Bloomington North 7:30 pm
Monrovia at Edgewood 7:30 pm
Morgan Twp. at Washington Twp. 7:00 pm
Mount Vernon (Fortville) at Noblesville 7:30 pm
Munster at Crown Point 8:00 pm
New Haven at Fort Wayne Luers 7:30 pm
North Central (Farmersburg) at Sullivan 7:30 pm
North Decatur at Morristown 7:30 pm
North Montgomery at Greencastle 7:30 pm
North Newton at Frontier 6:30 pm
North Posey at Heritage Hills 7:00 pm
North White at Clinton Prairie 7:30 pm
Northeast Dubois at Southridge 7:30 pm
Northview at Cascade 7:30 pm
Oldenburg Academy at Hauser 7:30 pm
Oregon-Davis at Victory Christian 6:30 pm
Paoli at Scottsburg 7:30 pm
Parke Heritage at South Vermillion 7:30 pm
Peru at Manchester 7:45 pm
Pike Central at Loogootee 7:30 pm
Portage at East Chicago Central 8:00 pm
Providence at New Washington 7:30 pm
Richmond at Connersville 7:30 pm
Rushville at Shelbyville 7:30 pm
Shakamak at North Daviess 6:00 pm
South Bend Career at Bethany Christian 6:00 pm
South Decatur at Crothersville 6:00 pm
South Knox at Wood Memorial 7:30 pm
Southwood at Lakeland Christian 6:00 pm
Springs Valley at Crawford County 7:30 pm
Tecumseh at Mount Vernon (Posey) 8:00 pm
Thrival Indy Academy at MTI Knowledge 6:00 pm
Tipton at Eastern (Greentown) 7:30 pm
Tri at Northeastern 7:30 pm
Tri-County at Seeger 7:30 pm
Triton Central at New Palestine 7:30 pm
Tri-Township at Kouts 8:00 pm
Wawasee at Columbia City 7:30 pm
West Lafayette at Lafayette Central Catholic 7:30 pm
West Vigo at Cloverdale 6:30 pm
Western at Hamilton Heights 7:30 pm
Western Boone at Crawfordsville 7:30 pm
White River Valley at Orleans 7:30 pm
Whiting at Hammond Central 8:00 pm
Winamac at Triton 6:00 pm
Zionsville at North Central (Indianapolis) 6:00 pm

Allen County Conference Tournament
South Adams at Adams Central 6:00 pm R1
Bluffton at Southern Wells 6:00 pm R1
Heritage at Woodlan 6:00 pm R1

Delaware County Tournament
Daleville vs. Wapahani 6:00 pm R1
Cowan at Yorktown 8:00 pm R1

Indianapolis City Tournament
Indianapolis Herron at Indianapolis Cathedral 7:30 pm QF
Purdue Poly Englewood at Covenant Christian 7:30 pm QF
Indianapolis Scecina at Indianapolis Chatard 7:30 pm QF
Indianapolis Tindley at Winner Game 5 7:30 pm QF

Northeast Corner Tournament
Churubusco at Fairfield 6:00 pm R1
Fremont at Prairie Heights 6:00 pm R1
Eastside at Hamilton 6:00 pm R1
Central Noble at West Noble 6:00 pm R1





AFC:    4:30 P.M.                      5 CLEVELAND AT 4 HOUSTON (NBC, PEACOCK, TELEMUNDO)

AFC:    8:00 P.M.                     6 MIAMI AT 3 KANSAS CITY (PEACOCK)


AFC:    1:00 P.M.                      7 PITTSBURGH AT 2 BUFFALO (CBS, PARAMOUNT+)

NFC:    4:30 P.M.                       7 GREEN BAY AT 2 DALLAS (FOX, FOX DEPORTES)

NFC:    8:00 P.M.                       6 LOS ANGELES RAMS AT 3 DETROIT (NBC, PEACOCK, UNIVERSO)




  4. UCONN
  12. DUKE
  14. BAYLOR
  16. AUBURN
  18. BYU
  25. TEXAS




  2. UCLA
  3. IOWA
  7. LSU
  9. USC
  10. TEXAS
  13. UCONN
  19. UTAH
  25. UNLV


















HOUSTON (AP) — Jim Harbaugh raised the championship trophy as gold and white confetti sprayed over his team and “We Are the Champions” blared.

Nine years after he took over at Michigan, Harbaugh delivered on the lofty expectations that he brought with him to his beloved alma mater.

Blake Corum ran for 134 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns as Harbaugh and the top-ranked Wolverines — undeterred by suspensions and a sign-stealing case that shadowed the program — completed a three-year surge to a national title by beating No. 2 Washington 34-13 Monday night in the College Football Playoff.

“We’re innocent and we stood strong and tall because we knew we were innocent. And I’d like to point that out,” Harbaugh said when asked about off-field issues, jumping in to answer a question posed to his players. “And these guys are innocent. And overcome that? It wasn’t that hard because we knew we were innocent.

“(The season) went exactly how we wanted it to go. It went exactly how we wanted it to go.”

The Wolverines (15-0) sealed their first national title since 1997 when Corum, who scored the winning touchdown in overtime against Alabama in the Rose Bowl semifinal, blasted in from the 1-yard line with 3:37 left to put Michigan up by 21 and set off another rousing rendition of “The Victors.”

After nine seasons coaching his alma mater and in his third consecutive playoff appearance, Harbaugh delivered the title so many expected when he took over a struggling powerhouse in 2015 — despite missing six regular-season games this season while serving separate suspensions.

“That man, he’s the reason we’re here today,” Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy said of his coach.

And Harbaugh did it with a team his old coach, Bo Schembechler, would have adored. The Wolverines ran for 303 yards against Washington (14-1), and their rugged defense held Michael Penix Jr. and the Huskies’ prolific passing game to just one touchdown while intercepting the Heisman Trophy runner-up twice.

“There are more than 100 Michigan men who are on this team,” Harbaugh said. “What they’ve done is amazing. They will forever be known as national champions.”

Penix’s remarkable six-year college career ended with maybe his worst performance of the season. Usually unfazed by pressure, Penix was not nearly as precise against a Michigan defense that took away his signature deep throws.

“That was a spectacular game by our defense,” Harbaugh said.

The Indiana transfer who came back from two knee surgeries and two shoulder injuries was roughed up by the Wolverines, limping at times, stepped on another time.

Asked how he was feeling, Penix said, still undaunted: “Better than I was three years ago.”

Penix finished 27 for 51 for 255 yards and a touchdown as the Huskies had their 21-game winning streak snapped.

“They’ve given me everything they possible can,” coach Kalen DeBoer said of a group of players who went 4-8 just two seasons ago and 25-3 since he took over in 2022.

McCarthy had a modest game, throwing for 140 yards and running for 31. But it was enough for him to improve to 27-1 as a starter for the Wolverines.

Michigan gave Washington

Michigan gave Washington a taste of life in the Big Ten, where the Pac-12 champions are heading next season, and the Huskies were up for the grind for a while.

Two long touchdown runs by Donovan Edwards and 229 yards rushing in the first quarter put the Wolverines up 17-3 early in the second and conjured up memories of last year’s historic Georgia blowout of TCU.

Washington stabilized and didn’t allow the Wolverines another point in the first half. After the Huskies stopped Michigan on a fourth-and-2 from the UW 38 with 4:46 left in the second quarter, Penix went to work.

He found Jalen McMillan on a fourth-and-goal with 42 seconds left for a 3-yard touchdown. After being on the verge of getting buried by the Wolverines, the Huskies fans sang along to “Who Let the Dogs Out,” happily down 17-10 at half.

Will Johnson’s interception of Penix on the first play of the second half gave Michigan another opportunity to open up a two-touchdown lead, but the Huskies forced another field goal by James Turner to make it 20-10.

“Today was a complete, complete team effort,” Corum said.

Michigan nursed a touchdown lead until halfway through the fourth quarter, when it put together 71-yard drive, capped by Corum’s tackle-breaking 12-yard touchdown that finally gave the Wolverines some room with a 27-13 lead and 7:09 left.

Corum, the engine of ground-and-pound offense and heart and soul of a team loaded with fourth-, fifth- and even sixth-year players, missed the CFP last year with a knee injury. He was named offensive player of the national title game in the final four-team College Football Playoff before it expands to 12 teams next year.

“Michigan, this is for you,” Corum told the Wolverines fans.

Michigan seemed to be steaming toward a third consecutive Big Ten championship and playoff appearance when in October it was revealed the NCAA was investigating the program for potentially breaking rules that prohibit in-person scouting of opponents and using video equipment to attempt decode opponents’ play signals.

The scandal turned Connor Stalions, the low-level Michigan recruiting staffer accused of orchestrating the scheme, into a household name and threatened to derail the Wolverines’ season.

The NCAA process will linger well into 2024 and it is unknown what penalties Michigan could face. The Big Ten, though, decided to act quickly and punished Michigan by suspending Harbaugh for the final three games of the regular season, including matchups with Penn State and rival Ohio State.

With offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore taking Harbaugh’s place, it became Michigan vs. Everybody and nobody could stop the Wolverines.

Harbaugh returned for the postseason, completed the mission and got to celebrate with his father, Jack — himself a former college football coach — as he accepted the trophy.

Michigan became the first college football program to record 1,000 victories in November and won its third national title in January.

“Who has it better than us?” Jack Harbaugh asked the fans during the trophy ceremony. They replied with a boisterous: “Nobody!”

Now the question is whether Harbaugh has coached the team he once quarterbacked for the last time, with the NFL seemingly beckoning again.

Harbaugh said it felt good to no longer be the only coach in the family without a national championship. His father won a Division I-AA title with Western Kentucky and brother John won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens by beating Jim’s San Francisco 49ers 11 years ago.

“I can now sit at the big person’s table in the family,” Harbaugh said.

As for what’s next?

“I just want to enjoy this,” he said. “I hope you give me that. Can I have that? Does it always have to be what’s next, what’s the future?



Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys made sure they’ll start the playoffs at home, where they’re undefeated. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are going home with a division title instead of heading back to Miami for a rematch.

The NFL playoff field is set. Fourteen teams will compete for a trip to Super Bowl 58 in Las Vegas next month. The postseason starts with six games across three days over wild-card weekend.

The Bills rallied for a 21-14 win over the Dolphins on Sunday night to clinch their fourth straight AFC East title and the No. 2 seed. The Packers and Buccaneers got in with wins earlier in the day. The Steelers secured their spot when the Jaguars collapsed in Tennessee. Jacksonville’s loss gave the Texans a division title, completing their last-to-first turnaround.

No. 1 seeds Baltimore and San Francisco rested several starters in Week 18. The Lions and Eagles didn’t because they had a shot at the NFC’s No. 2 seed and both teams suffered potentially significant injuries.

Patrick Mahomes sat while backup Blaine Gabbert guided the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs to victory with the AFC’s No. 3 seed already locked up. Matthew Stafford watched Carson Wentz lead the Rams to a comeback win over the 49ers to clinch the NFC’s sixth seed. Joe Flacco and other starters didn’t play for the Browns in a meaningless loss as Cleveland prepared for just its second playoff appearance in 21 seasons.

Six teams are in the playoffs — Browns, Lions, Packers, Texans, Rams, Steelers — after missing out last season. At least four teams who failed to qualify one season have reached the playoffs the next every year since 1990.

A few reunions highlight the opening round.

Stafford, who was 0-3 in the playoffs with the Lions, goes back to Detroit with the Rams (10-7). The Lions (12-5) tied a franchise record for wins in a regular season and will seek their first playoff victory since beating Dallas on Jan. 5, 1992. They will play on Sunday night.

Detroit lost rookie tight end Sam LaPorta to a knee injury in a 30-20 win over Minnesota. Lions coach Dan Campbell said “it’s not good news ” but not as bad as it seemed when LaPorta was carted to the locker room.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy will face his former team when Jordan Love leads the Packers (9-8) to Dallas on Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys (12-5) routed Washington 38-10 to clinch the NFC East title and will host Green Bay aiming to stay unbeaten at home this season.

“They’ve had a good year,” McCarthy said of the Packers. “I haven’t watched them a whole lot. The drama of it, I’m sure you all will love. I will not participate this year. It’s playoff time. It doesn’t matter who we play, to be honest with you.”

Miami’s loss dropped the Dolphins (11-6) to the sixth seed. Instead of hosting Buffalo again next week, they have to visit Kansas City (11-6) on Saturday night. Dolphins superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill plays against the team he helped win a Super Bowl four years ago. The Chiefs beat the Dolphins 21-14 in Germany in Week 9.

The Buccaneers (9-8) secured their third straight NFC South title with a 9-0 win at Carolina and they’ll host struggling Philadelphia on Monday night. The Eagles (11-6) played like a team that already quit in a 27-10 loss to the Giants. The defending NFC champions limp to the playoffs after a late-season collapse, having lost five of the last six games.

Star wide receiver A.J. Brown left the game with a knee injury, though coach Nick Sirianni is hopeful he won’t miss time.

The Buccaneers beat the Eagles in a wild-card playoff game two years ago in the last of Tom Brady’s 35 career playoff wins. Baker Mayfield and a tough Tampa Bay defense led by safety Antoine Winfield Jr. stand in Philly’s way now.

“We have a lot to fix; we have a lot to do better,” Eagles center Jason Kelce said. “This is our worst stretch of football since Nick has been here and it is very, very frustrating, but we are in the playoffs and it’s one-and-done and you’re out. We have the Buccaneers next week and we are going to focus and prepare to try and go win the game.”

The Browns-Texans matchup kicks off the postseason on Saturday afternoon. The teams met in Week 16 with Cleveland routing Houston 36-22 but C.J. Stroud didn’t play in that game. The sensational rookie quarterback finished off an impressive regular season with an outstanding performance in a 23-19 do-or-die win at Indianapolis on Saturday night.

Buffalo (11-6) finished off a dramatic turnaround by defeating Miami for its fifth straight win to close out the regular season. The Bills will host the Steelers (10-7) on Sunday afternoon.

“If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year, 11-6, AFC East champions, No. 2 seed, sign me up,” Allen said. “It may have been ugly. We’ll take it.”

Thirteen games to go. Thirteen teams will go home with a loss. One team will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 11.


ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — The Washington Commanders fired coach Ron Rivera on Monday, the first move of many expected by new owners as they put their stamp on the NFL franchise they bought last year.

The decision came a day after the Commanders’ season-ending 38-10 home loss to division-rival Dallas.

“As we look ahead, we recognize the results this season were not good enough and a strategic shift in leadership and approach is necessary,” controlling owner Josh Harris said in a statement.

Harris said he has asked co-owners Mitch Rales, Magic Johnson and David Blitzer as well as former NBA executive Bob Myers and ex-Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman to work with him in the searches for a head of football personnel and coach. After Dan Snyder hired Rivera four years ago to do both jobs, ownership is now splitting those responsibilities.

Myers served as president of basketball operations and GM of the Golden State Warriors as they won four championships, and he was selected as the league’s executive of the year twice.

General manager Martin Mayhew and a majority of the front office and coaching staff are also expected to go, as Harris and his fellow owners begin shaping the organization less than six months after buying the team from Snyder.

Washington made one playoff appearance, winning an uncharacteristically weak NFC East at 7-9 in 2020, during Rivera’s four seasons in charge of Washington’s football operations. He never had a winning season.

“We did win an NFC East title in 2020, but we fell short since then, and for that, I am truly disappointed,” Rivera said in a statement released by the team. “It wasn’t easy and there is a lot more to be done, but I believe we began to change the culture of this organization in meaningful ways.”

If Rivera does not get another head job in the league, he’ll finish exactly one game under .500 at 102-103-2 in the regular season. Washington was 26-40-1 with Rivera in charge.

“Things kind of didn’t go as we planned,” said Sam Howell, who started every game this season at quarterback. “We didn’t have a great year. It’s always tough. At the end of the day, he’s a good man, a good coach.”

Rivera was hired by Snyder on New Year’s Day 2020, less than a month after the veteran coach was fired by the Carolina Panthers, who he coached to the Super Bowl in the 2015 season. He was handed control in the aftermath of a chaotic era led by president Bruce Allen, which also included plenty of off-field misconduct that Rivera was forced to answer for as the voice of the organization.

“Ron helped navigate this organization through some challenging times,” Harris said. “He is a good man and a thoughtful leader who has positively contributed to this organization and the NFL.”

Tumultuous times were the norm, from two team name changes to the allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace before Rivera’s arrival coming to light in the summer of 2020. Rivera was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer before that season started, and the well-respected former linebacker working through treatment became a source of inspiration for Washington when it made the playoffs.

Away from the practice facility, Snyder became the subject of multiple investigations before selling the team last year to Harris’ group for a record $6.05 billion.

Harris, Rales, Johnson and others buying the team put the focus back on football, to Rivera’s delight. Early in the season, he reveled in a debate about the team’s long snapper as a turning point after years of talk about the sagging attendance, off-field chaos and the ownership change.

Along the way, the play on the field went south after a 2-0 start: a 37-3 drubbing by Buffalo beginning a three-game skid capped by an embarrassing prime-time home loss to previously winless Chicago. The season snowballed to several new low points: a 31-19 defeat at the hands of undrafted rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito and the New York Giants, a 45-10 drubbing at Dallas and an embarrassing home loss to Miami that was fittingly followed by fire alarms going off around the stadium.

It became clear the Commanders were playing out the string. They lost their final eight games to finish 4-13 and are set to pick second in the NFL draft, a spot they could get a franchise quarterback.

Someone other than Rivera will make that selection, with Harris expected to split personnel and head-coaching duties. According to NFL Network, the team already asked the Detroit Lions for permission to speak with offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, though contact is not permitted until their season is over.

Asked what he’s proudest of from his time in Washington, Rivera cited team culture and otherwise tried to block out talk about his uncertain future.

“To me it’s always been exciting, a thrill and a honor to be on the field in the NFL,” Rivera said last week. “There’s only 32 of these jobs, there’s only 32 of these teams and you always appreciate that opportunity.”

Players lauded his conduct throughout his final season, with receiver Terry McLaurin saying Rivera never brought a bad attitude and defensive tackle Daron Payne praising the coach’s optimism.

“Everybody in this building loves Ron Rivera as a person and all that,” left tackle Charles Leno said. “But when you’re the leader of a ship, somebody has to go down with it.”


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Arthur Smith was back at the Atlanta Falcons’ practice facility on Monday morning for a final meeting with his players after he was fired late Sunday night.

Smith had the support of the players but that was not enough to overcome a third consecutive 7-10 finish. The coaching change was announced at midnight, so Monday’s meeting was an opportunity to say goodbye.

“Most of us already knew,” rookie defensive lineman Zach Harrison said Monday. “Just having the chance for him to get up there and address us and tell us the last couple of things he wanted to say before he left. It meant a lot to me that he stood up there and looked us all in the eye and told us some things.”

Added Harrison: “He’s a guy you know is going to have your back.”

Said offensive tackle Kaleb McGary: “I’m just bummed for him.”

While Harrison acknowledged

While Harrison acknowledged he was not prepared for the firing, most veterans were not surprised after back-to-back lopsided losses to Chicago and New Orleans capped a disappointing finish and left Atlanta with six consecutive losing seasons.

“I’ve been in this game a long time so I knew it was a possibility, but I was hopeful,” said Calais Campbell, 37, following his 16th NFL season. “I really respect Coach Smith. He’s such a good guy.”

Another veteran defensive lineman, Grady Jarrett, said he was “a little bit” surprised to learn Smith had been fired. “Only because it was like midnight or whatever,” Jarrett said. “You never know what to expect.”

Falcons owner Arthur Blank was expected to discuss the firing at a news conference later Monday.

Smith’s firing was announced a few hours after a 48-17 loss at New Orleans. It was the second-worst loss of Smith’s three seasons, following a 43-3 rout at Dallas in 2021. The Falcons dropped four of their last five games and were blown out in Smith’s final two contests, losing 37-17 at Chicago a week ago.

“I wish I could have won some more games for him and we’d be playing this week,” Campbell said. “You try your hardest.”

Campbell said he hasn’t made a decision about returning for another season in 2024. He said he is “leaning toward playing again.”

Smith was hired by the Falcons in 2021 after a decade-long stint as an assistant with the Tennessee Titans in which he moved up to become their offensive coordinator.

Tight end Jonnu Smith, who played for Arthur Smith in Tennessee and Atlanta, appeared to be especially shaken by the firing. Jonnu Smith said the coach talked to players about “his appreciation and love for us.

“He’d be there for anybody,” Jonnu Smith said as players around him cleaned out their lockers. “He’d bend over backward for the people he loves. Unfortunately in this league that’s not always returned.

“We didn’t have the season we wanted. Collectively as a team we did not do enough.”

Arthur Smith’s efforts to establish consistency on offense were derailed by instability at quarterback.

Second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder finished with 12 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and 12 fumbles and couldn’t keep the starting job. Backup Taylor Heinicke missed Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.

“It happened too much this year,” Smith said Sunday. “The job is to consistently do it, and we didn’t do it.”


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts underwent X-rays on his right middle finger that showed no fracture, sources told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Hurts suffered a dislocated finger in a 27-10 loss to the New York Giants in Week 18.

Hurts hit his hand on a Giants pass-rusher on a fourth-down pass attempt in the second quarter. He re-entered the game for two drives before head coach Nick Sirianni pulled many of the team’s starters before halftime.

“It popped out,” Hurts said postgame, according to Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports. “Taking it day by day at this point. Very unfortunate, crazy thing. Never experienced anything like that.”

Hurts added that his finger felt “OK” when throwing the ball.

The 25-year-old finished the contest with seven completions on 16 attempts for 55 yards with one interception. It’s the fewest passing yards he’s thrown for in a start over his four-year career.

Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown also left the contest due to a knee injury, and the team is waiting on MRI results. However, initial tests showed the ACL is intact, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. After the game, he greeted his teammates in front of the locker room with no crutches, cast, or brace.

Philadelphia fell to 11-6 on the season, its fifth loss in six contests. The Eagles joined the 1986 New York Jets as the only clubs to start a campaign 10-1 and not finish with 12-plus wins. They will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild-Card round Monday.


“Flush the bullshit” is what Aaron Rodgers thinks is the way for the New York Jets to build a winning culture in 2024, he told reporters Monday, including ESPN’s Rich Cimini.

“Anything in this building that we’re doing individually or collectively that has nothing to do with real winning needs to be assessed,” Rodgers said.

He continued: “If you want to be a winning organization and put yourself in position to win championships and be competitive, everything that you do matters. And the bullshit that has nothing to do with winning needs to get out of the building. So that’ll be the focus moving forward.”

The offseason acquisition of Rodgers, his Achilles injury, and his ongoing recovery brought a lot of attention to a Jets franchise that hasn’t made the postseason in 13 years. The veteran quarterback previously aired his feelings on the team’s culture, calling it “chickenshit” that a rumor emerged that Zach Wilson was hesitant to retake the starting job in December.

The 40-year-old has also been in the headlines recently after Jimmy Kimmel threatened to take legal action against Rodgers after he said Kimmel was one of the people hoping the sealed Jeffrey Epstein court documents weren’t released. Rodgers said Monday he would address the incident this week on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

The Jets wrapped up their disappointing 7-10 campaign Sunday with a win over the New England Patriots. New York came into the year with playoff aspirations, but those hopes were quickly dashed when Rodgers tore his Achilles in the regular-season opener.


The New Orleans Saints are considering hiring former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden as a member of their staff, sources told Jeff Duncan of

The interest between

The interest between the two sides is mutual so long as Gruden does not fetch a head coaching offer this offseason, Duncan adds. However, Gruden would likely not replace offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael.

Gruden reportedly attended a team meeting prior to the Week 17 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and met with officials, including general manager Mickey Loomis.

It’s not the first time the former Super Bowl champion coach has been around the Saints. Gruden visited the team in May 2023 to help with the transition to Derek Carr under center. Carr and Gruden spent three-plus years together with the Raiders.

Gruden resigned as the Raiders’ head coach during the 2021 season after leaked reports showed that he sent emails using racist, homophobic, and misogynistic language while working as an ESPN football analyst from 2009-17. He then sued the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, claiming that the leaks ruined his career.

The Saints went 9-8 in 2023 but missed the playoffs for the third straight year.


Dennis Allen expects to return as head coach of the New Orleans Saints next season.

Allen guided the Saints to a 9-8 record and missed out on the playoffs in a tiebreaker with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8) for the NFC South division title. New Orleans beat the Buccaneers and Falcons in consecutive games to keep its playoff chances alive until the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears to eliminate the Saints.

Asked Monday if he would be back as Saints’ head coach for a third season, Allen said: “That is my expectation — yes.”

“What I said to the team: I was proud of the way our guys continued to fight. I was proud of the way we finished the season,” Allen said. “But I was pissed we put ourselves in that position.”

“9-8, 7-10, 9-8 (the past three seasons), it’s not good enough. Everyone in the building is part of the culpability of that. And so we have to look at, what do we need to change? There’s things that have to be different. That’s part of what we have to do this offseason as an organization. We have to look at, what are we going to do differently? We’re all part of the problem. Now how are we going to figure out how are we going to be part of the solution. That’s what this offseason is going to be about.”

Allen, 51, was the Saints’ defensive coordinator from 2015-21 and followed Sean Payton as head coach in 2022.

Two teams in the division are searching for new coaches.

The Panthers relieved Frank Reich midway through his first season in Carolina and finished with the worst record in the NFL. The Falcons fired Arthur Smith as head coach at the end of his third 7-10 season.


Don “Wink” Martindale is resigning as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator after two seasons, a source told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

One of the league’s most respected defensive minds, Martindale will reportedly pursue other opportunities this offseason and is expected to generate significant interest. The 60-year-old has had multiple head coaching interviews in the past.

The Giants’ defense

The Giants’ defense struggled for most of the 2023 campaign. Though the team led the league in takeaways, its defensive unit ranked only 22nd in EPA/per allowed and 26th in points surrendered, down from 17th in 2022.

No other club blitzed opposing passers more than the Giants under Martindale, who’s known for having an aggressive defensive scheme. However, New York ranked only 29th with 34 sacks in 2023.

Martindale joined the Giants in 2022 after serving as the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator for four seasons.

A November report indicated that the relationship between Martindale and head coach Brian Daboll was deteriorating. New York beat the Philadelphia Eagles in its season finale to finish the campaign with a 6-11 record.

The Giants are expected to retain Daboll – the 2022 NFL Coach of the Year – in 2024. However, they parted ways with multiple assistants Monday, including outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins and defensive assistant Kevin Wilkins. The Wilkins brothers are expected to follow Martindale in the upcoming season, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.


Mending Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is two months from another foray into free agency, but his priorities look different as a 35-year-old coming back from a torn right Achilles tendon.

Cousins said Monday he is focused mostly on “structure,” and not salary when his contract automatically voids in March.

“Everything that isn’t the dollars,” Cousins said when asked to elaborate. “That stuff you also work through.”

At an average of $35 million per season on his existing contract, Cousins ranked 15th in the NFL among quarterbacks in annual salary last season.

Cousins understands the reality and business elements in play this spring. He could be the top available quarterback in free agency with a few of the richest — in terms of salary cap available — teams possibly looking for help at the position.

So for the first time since he joined the Vikings on a fully guaranteed contract in 2018, Cousins did a full cleanout of this locker on Monday.

“I’m not going to try to sell myself, if you will. I kind of like to let people make their own decisions, because I do think the league needs quarterbacks, and if you’re trying to talk yourself out of a quarterback, then I can’t help you much,” Cousins said.

“The Achilles is going to heal. And it’s on track, and I’m a pocket passer and there’s a lot of time before next season. For a lot of reasons, it doesn’t concern me, but if I can’t convince other people of that, then that’s OK.”

Cousins will be 36 before playing his next regular-season snap. A fourth-round pick in 2012, he was tied for the NFL lead with 18 touchdown passes when he suffered the Achilles injury eight weeks into the 2023 season.

Wide receiver Justin Jefferson and defensive end Danielle Hunter are two other high-priority offseason negotiations the Vikings must address. Jefferson said Sunday after a loss to the Detroit Lions he wants Cousins back. But contract talks last summer weren’t fruitful, and a long-term deal with Jefferson will impact what else the Vikings can afford in free agency.

Hunter set a career-high with 16.5 sacks in 2023 after relenting on plans to sit out in a contract standoff. He said Sunday that staying with the Vikings is his preference.

“It’s all I know. I came into this league, I don’t know any better. Purple, ever since middle school I’ve always been wearing purple so I’m here now,” Hunter said.

Among teams who could be in the market for a quarterback this offseason are the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and a few contenders that might consider a move. One team in that category is the Detroit Lions, who won the NFC North. Cousins grew up in Holland, Mich., and played at Michigan State.

Current Detroit starter Jared Goff has one year remaining on his current contract.



Purdue held its place atop the AP Top 25 on Monday following its win over Illinois in a top-10 showdown, while Houston jumped Kansas into second place as the last unbeaten team in Division I men’s college basketball.

The Boilermakers, who beat the No. 9 Illini 83-78 last week, picked up five more first-place votes and had 54 of the 63 possible to remain at No. 1 for the fourth straight week. The Cougars received seven first-place votes and were second, while the Jayhawks had the other two first-place votes but fell a spot to third after their down-to-the-wire win over TCU.

Houston is 14-0 for the third time in school history after beginning its Big 12 tenure with a romp past West Virginia. Losses by James Madison and Ole Miss left the Cougars with the only unblemished record.

“I think our kids have always had a bit of a chip on their shoulders here,” Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said. “We’ve had to get some of our own fans to understand that we’re pretty good. They were so bad for so long. Some of them still have not figured it out. Our kids have, and our coaches have, and we know who we are. And what we’re capable of doing.”

In truth, the Cougars have been doing it for a while now. They went to the Final Four three years ago, the Elite Eight two years ago and the Sweet 16 last season, when they spent seven week atop the AP poll.

“Every team is different,” said Cougars guard Jamal Shead. “I think with this team, just like all the other teams, we’re bonded off the court. I think that plays a big part in being able to get onto each other in game and be able to say anything to each other. We know we aren’t going to take it the wrong way, so we’re able to get on each other and keep pushing.”

Defending national champion UConn remained at No. 4, Tennessee was fifth and Kentucky sixth. North Carolina moved up one spot to seventh, Arizona and Oklahoma each bumped up two, and Illinois fell one spot to round out the top 10.

Marquette dropped four spots into a tie at No. 11 with Duke following its loss to Seton Hall, which made quite a statement last week and nearly entered the poll after a pair of wins over ranked teams; the Pirates also defeated Providence.

The Golden Eagles and Blue Devils were followed by Memphis, Baylor and Wisconsin, which jumped six spots after wins over Iowa and Nebraska. Auburn made the biggest move after beating Pennsylvania and blowing out Arkansas, climbing nine spots to No. 16, and was followed by Colorado State and BYU, which lost to Cincinnati in the Big 12 debut for those two schools.

San Diego State returned to the poll at No. 19 and Utah State entered at No. 20, the first time the Aggies have been ranked since the first five weeks of the 2019-20 season. Clemson, Creighton, Gonzaga, FAU and Texas rounded out the Top 25.


Auburn is up to No. 16 on the strength of seven consecutive wins, the second-longest streak in the SEC behind Georgia’s nine-game run. The Tigers are just behind the Badgers, whose only loss since mid-November came at No. 8 Arizona.

No. 24 FAU’s fall continued with a loss to Charlotte. The Owls were seventh two weeks ago before losing to Florida Gulf Coast.


San Diego State and Creighton are ranked again, while Utah State’s debut at No. 20 comes amid a 13-game winning streak that is tied with Samford for the second-longest nationally behind unbeaten Houston.

Those three replaced Ole Miss and James Madison, who each lost for the first time, and Providence, which lost twice last week.


The Big 12 had two of the top three teams and six in the Top 25, double the total of any other conference. The Mountain West added San Diego State and Utah State to Colorado State and is tied with the Big Ten, Big East, ACC and SEC with three apiece.


Illinois guard Terrence Shannon Jr. filed a temporary restraining order Monday, demanding immediate reinstatement from a suspension levied by the university because of a rape charge.

Attorney Mark Sutter filed the temporary restraining order centered on Shannon not being afforded due process.

The TRO filing comes in response to an indefinite suspension from team activities instituted by Illinois after a warrant for Shannon’s arrest and charges from an alleged incident in Lawrence, Kan., on Sept. 8.

Illinois told Shannon he wouldn’t be eligible for reinstatement until his legal matter is resolved, according to the suit, which claims Shannon would suffer “irreparable harm without injunctive relief” and his career would “certainly be ruined.”

“We will review the filing and defend our student-athlete misconduct process, which was developed for situations like this one,” Illinois’ athletic department said Monday in a statement.

Documents in Douglas County, where Shannon is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 18, state Shannon was charged with “unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly engaged in sexual intercourse with a person … who did not consent to the sexual intercourse under circumstances when she was overcome by force or fear, a severity level 1 person felony.”

The alleged incident occurred while Shannon was at Kansas University to attend the Illinois-Kansas football game.

Shannon traveled to Lawrence and turned himself in shortly after learning of the warrant, and he posted a $50,000 bond to satisfy the terms of his release.

Shannon would face a “minimum of 147 months to a maximum of 653 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $300,000 and 36 months post-release supervision,” if convicted, according to charging documents.

Sutter said last month that Shannon intends to take the case to trial.

“Since September, when these allegations surfaced, Terrence has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation, declaring his innocence from the beginning,” Sutter said in a statement in December. “Now, several months later, my office learned that formal charges were filed against him yesterday in Lawrence, KS. In less than 24 hours, my client responded, and he voluntarily surrendered to local authorities for processing and release. Terrence is innocent of these charges, and he intends to take his case to trial.”

Illinois immediately suspended Shannon from all team activities.

“The University and DIA (Division of Intercollegiate Athletics) take allegations of sexual misconduct seriously while respecting due process and the presumption of innocence afforded through the legal system.

“DIA and Urbana campus officials have been aware of a Lawrence police investigation into Shannon since late September but, until Wednesday, had yet to receive actionable information. Shannon’s arrest triggers the DIA student-athlete misconduct policy. Under that policy, Shannon has been immediately suspended from all team activities. Any change to Shannon’s status will be communicated in a timely manner.”

Shannon was having an All-American-caliber season, averaging 21.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 11 starts.


ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference has announced its Men’s Basketball Players of the Week presented by Air National Guard for the week of Jan. 2-7.

Player of the Week

Marcus Domask, Illinois

G/F – Grad. – 6-6 – Waupun, Wis. – Waupun – Major: Recreation, Sport, and Tourism (Master’s Program)

•    Averaged 29 points on 59.3 percent shooting (19-32) and 5.5 assists as Illinois split a pair of games

•    Shot 11-15 from the floor and 9-10 from the free throw line for 32 points in a victory over Northwestern

•    Scored a game-high 26 points while playing all 40 minutes in a loss at No. 1 Purdue

•    Connected on 18-20 from the free throw line and grabbed eight rebounds on the week

•    Garners his first career Player of the Week award

•    Last Illinois Player of the Week: Terrence Shannon Jr. (Nov. 21, 2022)

Freshman of the Week

Owen Freeman, Iowa

F – 6-10 – Moline, Ill. – Moline – Major: Sport and Recreation Management

•    Averaged 14.5 point, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks as the Hawkeyes went 1-1 on the week

•    Shot 7-9 and paired 14 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, and three blocks in a loss at No. 21 Wisconsin

•    Scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting en route to 15 points, four rebounds and two blocks in a win over Rutgers

•    Shot 75 percent (12-16) from the floor and 83.3 percent (5-6) from the free throw line

•    Earns his fifth Freshman of the Week award

•    Last Iowa Freshman of the Week: Owen Freeman (Dec. 18, 2023)


MAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week

Enrique Freeman, Senior,

Enrique Freeman, Senior, Forward, Akron

Cleveland, Ohio (St. Martin De Porres)

Enrique Freeman recorded a pair of double-doubles and 20+ point, 10+ rebound performances this past week as he helped lead the Zips to a pair of victories to begin the conference schedule and moved into ninth for all-time scoring in Akron history. Freeman scored 22.5 points per game with a 12-of-23 shooting week while going 21-of-24 (.875) from the free throw line. He also recorded his 11th and 12th double-double in the pair of wins.

The walking double-double also recorded a pair of 20+ point, 10+ rebound performances and has eight total on the season. Starting MAC play on the road against Northern Illinois, Freeman had a 21-point, 10-rebound performance against the Huskies. Freeman was tied for scoring among all scorers after going 6-of-9 (.667) from the field and 9-of-11 (.818) from the charity stripe. He followed that up with a 24-point, 11-rebound effort against Bowling Green at home. Freeman’s 24 points led all scorers after he went an almost perfect 12-of-13 (.923) from the free throw line. Freeman also added four assists and three blocks in the home victory over the Falcons.

He is no. 1 in the country in double-doubles (12) and rebounds per game (13.0) while also ranking no. 3 for total rebounds (182), 4th in def rebound per game (9.29), 15th in offensive rebound per game (3.71), 45th in field goal percentage (.582) and 36th in made free throws (73).



South Carolina remained No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 women’s basketball poll and is now one of three unbeaten teams left.

The New Year began with seven undefeated teams, but only South Carolina, No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Baylor remain.

The Gamecocks (14-0) received 34 of the 35 first-place ballots Monday after beating Florida and Mississippi State last week. UCLA (14-0) garnered the other No. 1 vote and was second in the Top 25 once again. Iowa moved up to third after previously unbeaten N.C. State lost in the last second to Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack fell to sixth.

Baylor (14-0) jumped up two spots after topping previously undefeated TCU and Houston.

Colorado was fifth. LSU, which won at Mississippi on Sunday in front of a program-record crowd of 9,074 for the Rebels, was No. 7 behind N.C. State and Stanford, USC and Texas rounded out the top 10.

Virginia Tech moved up two spots to 11th, leapfrogging Kansas State and UConn. The Hokies’ two losses this season have come to Iowa on a neutral court and at LSU.


After wins over Syracuse and Notre Dame, North Carolina re-entered the Top 25 one week after dropping out. The Tar Heels, who were the only team to beat two ranked opponents last week, came in at No. 20. UNLV also returned to the poll at No. 25.

Syracuse and TCU fell out. The Horned Frogs also lost star Sedona Prince indefinitely to a hand injury. TCU had won its first 14 games, the best start in school history, before losing to Baylor.


West Virginia and Oregon State were the other two undefeated teams heading into 2024. The 24th-ranked Mountaineers fell to Texas last week and the Beavers were swept by USC and UCLA.


No. 18 Notre Dame got a lift from the return of Sonia Citron from a nine-game absence due to a knee injury. She had 18 points in a loss to North Carolina on Sunday. Notre Dame is still without guard Olivia Miles, who tore her ACL last season.


Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer won her 1,200th game on Sunday, a victory over Washington. In 44 years as a head coach, VanDerveer has won three NCAA titles. She surpassed former Tennessee coach Pat Summit in 2021 as the women’s career victories leader and sits two behind former Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski for most all-time in college basketball.


Player of the Week

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Sr. – G – West Des Moines, Iowa – Dowling Catholic – Major: Business

• Put up 34.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals during Iowa’s 2-0 week

• Hit a game-winning three-pointer from the logo to push the Hawkeyes past Michigan State

• Tallied 40 points, five assists and three steals against the Spartans, her 10th career game with at least 40 points

• Had her 14th career triple-double on 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Rutgers

• Earns her 24th career Big Ten Player of the Week award to become the all-time leader in conference history

• Last Iowa Player of the Week: Caitlin Clark (Jan. 2, 2024)

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll

Alexis Markowski, NEB: Averaged 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds with a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) as Nebraska split a pair of games last week

Sydney Parrish, IND: Shot 70.6 percent from the floor and a blistering 81.8 percent from beyond the arc for 17.0 points over two victories for Indiana

Serah Williams, WIS: Added 21.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks while connecting on 11-of-13 free throws during Wisconsin’s 1-1 week

Freshman of the Week

Natalie Potts, Nebraska

F – O’Fallon, Mo. – Incarnate Word Academy – Major: Business Administration

• Contributed 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in Nebraska’s outings against Wisconsin and Indiana

• Shot 70 percent from the field on her way to 16 points, while adding five rebounds and a career-high three steals versus the Badgers

• Notched nine points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal against the Hoosiers

• Earns her fourth Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor

• Last Nebraska Freshman of the Week: Natalie Potts (Dec. 11, 2023)



Bennedict Mathurin made two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Indiana Pacers a 133-131 victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night in Indianapolis.

The game was tied with two seconds to play when Indiana inbounded the ball to Mathurin, and he was fouled by Kristaps Porzingis during a 3-point attempt. After making two free throws, Mathurin — who led the Pacers with 26 points — intentionally missed the third. Boston rebounded the miss and called timeout with 0.3 seconds to play. Luke Kornet’s tip-in at the buzzer would have tied the game, but the ball hit the rim and bounced out.

It may have been a costly victory for Indiana, however. Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton slipped during a drive to the basket in the second quarter and had to be helped off the court with a hamstring injury. He did not return to the game. Haliburton had seven points, two rebounds and six assists in 13 minutes before he was injured.

The Celtics lost despite a season-high 40 points from Jaylen Brown. Jrue Holiday had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Jayson Tatum sat to rest a sore ankle.

Bulls 119, Hornets 112 (OT)

Playing in his home state, Coby White scored 27 points, and Chicago recovered after a shaky late stretch to defeat host Charlotte.

The Bulls scored the first eight points of overtime, with two baskets coming from Nikola Vucevic.

Hornets guard Terry Rozier poured in 39 points to go along with eight assists, but he didn’t score in overtime. Miles Bridges had 24 points, Nick Smith Jr. racked up 15 points in a reserve role and Nick Richards had 10 points for the Hornets, who have lost 13 of their past 14 games.

Jazz 132, Bucks 116

Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen each scored 21 points and Utah won for the 11th time in 15 games by beating host Milwaukee.

The Jazz led by as many as 33 points in the first half — and held a 77-46 halftime lead — before Milwaukee rallied to within seven just over 6 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter. But the Jazz quickly went on a 9-0 run to pull away for good.

Giannis Antetokounmpo registered a triple-double of 25 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to lead Milwaukee. The Bucks were without Damian Lillard, who missed the game for personal reasons. Milwaukee has lost four of its past five.

Thunder 136, Wizards 128

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points while rookie Chet Holmgren added 31 to lift Oklahoma over host Washington.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Thunder while Washington’s losing streak stretched to five.

Jordan Poole led the Wizards with 24 points. Kyle Kuzma added 22 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.

Heat 120, Rockets 113

Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo combined for 50 points as host Miami defeated Houston.

Adebayo scored 22 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds as the Heat returned home after a five-game road trip. Herro added 28 points on 10-for-20 shooting. It was a bounce-back game for Herro, who shot 4-for-17 in his previous game at Phoenix on Friday.

Houston got a game-high 32 points and seven assists from Fred VanVleet. Teammate Alperen Sengun added 22 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.


The Memphis Grizzlies said star guard Ja Morant will undergo surgery on his right shoulder and will miss the rest of the season.

Morant suffered a shoulder subluxation at practice Saturday, the Grizzlies said in a release. After Morant felt “ongoing soreness and instability” in the shoulder, an MRI revealed a labral tear.

Morant is “expected to make a full recovery ahead of the 2024-25 season,” per the team.

It will go down as a lost season for the two-time All-Star, who played just nine games in 2023-24. He began the season by serving a 25-game suspension for a repeated instance of “conduct detrimental to the league.” Morant had posed with a gun during a livestreamed video for the second time in a short span.

When Morant returned to game action Dec. 19, he made his season debut count. He tallied 34 points, eight assists and six rebounds and made the game-winning shot for Memphis to beat New Orleans at the buzzer.

Morant sat out Sunday’s game at the Phoenix Suns. The Grizzlies went 6-3 with Morant in the lineup this season and are 7-20 without him.

In five NBA seasons, the former No. 2 overall pick has career averages of 22.5 points, 7.4 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.



Valeri Nichushkin scored in a shootout, Sam Malinski, Mikko Rantanen and Logan O’Connor had goals and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 in Denver on Monday night.

Nathan MacKinnon had an assist to extend his home point streak to 22 games to begin the season and Alexandar Georgiev had 23 saves through overtime and three in the shootout for Colorado.

Brad Marchand scored

Brad Marchand scored two goals, John Beecher also had a goal and Jeremy Swayman turned away 33 shots for Boston.

After the three shooters for the Bruins couldn’t score and MacKinnon and Rantanen came up empty, Nichushkin ended the game with a wrister under Swayman’s glove to win it for the Avalanche.

Stars 4, Wild 0

Matt Murray made 23 saves in his season debut and recorded his first NHL shutout in his fourth career start to help Dallas to a win over Minnesota in Saint Paul, Minn.

Tyler Seguin and Roope Hintz each had a goal and an assist for the Stars, who ended a season-long three-game losing streak. Radek Faksa and Jason Robertson also scored for Dallas.

Minnesota goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was denied the 552nd victory of his NHL career, which would have moved him past Patrick Roy for sole possession of second place for the most wins by a goalie in league history. Fleury made 16 saves.

Canucks 6, Rangers 3

Elias Pettersson and Nils Hoglander each had two goals as visiting Vancouver earned a victory over New York.

The Canucks improved to 10-2-2 in their past 14 games thanks to the big performance by the duo. Pettersson registered his ninth career four-point showing, while Hoglander notched his fourth career two-goal game. Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko made 39 stops.

New York’s Vincent Trocheck scored twice, including an early power-play goal to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead, while Artemi Panarin also tallied. Igor Shesterkin allowed five goals on 25 shots as the Rangers lost for the third time in four games and dropped to 8-7-1 since Dec. 5.

Penguins 4, Flyers 1

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist and Chad Ruhwedel scored his first goal of the season as Pittsburgh skated past host Philadelphia.

Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 36 saves while Carter Hart stopped 35 of the season-high 39 allowed by the Flyers.

After Malkin scored with 15:31 left in the third to make it 4-1, the Penguins tightened defensively to the point Flyers coach John Tortorella never pulled Hart for an extra skater.


TORONTO (AP) — William Nylander will wear a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater for years to come.

Nylander has agreed to a $92 million, eight-year contract extension with the Maple Leafs, the team said Monday.

It is the largest contract in franchise history by total value and includes a no-movement clause.

The 27-year-old right wing has 21 goals and 33 assists through 37 games this season.

Toronto drafted Nylander eighth overall in the 2014 draft. He has 198 goals and 286 assists over 558 career games with the Maple Leafs with a plus-28 defensive rating.

Nylander was set to become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

Toronto now has approximately $45.75 million locked up in Nylander, center Auston Matthews, captain John Tavares and star wing Mitch Marner next season.

Defenseman Morgan Rielly is also is in the second year of an eight-year contract worth $7.5 million a season. Those five players account for more than 60 percent of the Maple Leafs’ salary cap space.

All five have no-movement clauses in their deals.

Nylander was named an All-Star for the first time last season and went on to reach career highs with 40 goals and 47 assists.

The two sides came to an agreement before his current deal, signed in 2018, came to an end.

That deal was the result of a testy negotiation that saw Nylander skip training camp and refuse to play for the team until coming to terms on a $45 million, six-year contract on Dec. 1, the deadline for restricted free agents to come to terms with the team holding their NHL rights.



The New York Yankees are signing free agent infielder Kevin Smith.

Smith announced his

Smith announced his next team on social media by posting a photo of himself as a Little League player in a Yankees uniform. “Headed Home for 2024,” wrote the native of East Greenbush, N.Y.

The New York Post confirmed Smith and the Yankees had agreed to a deal.

Smith, 27, has spent parts of three major league seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays (2021) and Oakland Athletics (2022-23). In 49 games for the A’s in 2023, Smith batted .185 with five homers, four doubles and 11 RBIs.

In 222 games at the Triple-A level across three seasons, Smith has batted .286 with 50 homers, 51 doubles and 164 RBIs.

Smith has played mostly third base and shortstop during his time in the majors.




Indianapolis –The Indianapolis Colts today signed nine players to reserve/future contracts, signed four players to one-year contract extensions and waived cornerback Tony Brown.

Reserve/Future contract:

  • Austin Ajiake
  • Liam Anderson
  • Tyrie Cleveland
  • Marcel Dabo
  • Ethan Fernea
  • Arlington Hambright
  • Jordan Murray
  • Zavier Scott
  • Eric Tomlinson

One-year contract extensions:

  • Darrell Baker Jr.
  • Trevor Denbow
  • Cameron McGrone
  • Segun Olubi


  • Tony Brown


Following Jonathan Taylor’s Week 18 performance against the Houston Texans, he was nominated for the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week. Fans can vote for Taylor on FedEx Players Air and Ground players of the week |

Against the Texans, he rushed for a season-high 188 yards on 30 carries. He also had a 49-yard rushing touchdown. This was his first game with 100-plus rushing yards since Week 10 of the 2022 season.

He joins Derrick Henry (Tennessee Titans) and Breece Hall (New York Jets) as nominees for the distinction.

For the 2023-24 season, the longest-running NFL sponsor-driven awards will once again proudly work with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to make donations of $2,000 in the name of the winning quarterback and running back ($4,000 total) to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country.

Over the course of the entire season, select HBCUs will receive grants totaling more than $100,000 to support needs-based scholarships through the 2024-25 school year.



In a fiery battle between two teams missing All-Star talent, the deepest bench in the NBA came out with a wild, grind-it-out win over the No. 1-ranked team in the Eastern Conference.

In an electrifying game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse that featured 26 total lead changes, the Indiana Pacers (21-15) outlasted the Boston Celtics (28-8) 133-131 in a Monday night matchup.

While second-year Pacers guard Bennedict Mathurin has numerous memorable moments already in his young career, Monday night’s performance will be one he will remember for a long time.

Tied at 131 with 0.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter, after Indiana won a challenged foul call on the opposite end, Mathurin was fouled by Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis on a 3-point attempt. Mathurin then made two of three at the charity stripe, and the Pacers got a stop on a lob attempt with 0.3 seconds remaining to get one back against Boston.

“I was excited. It was the first time I really got a chance with an even game,” Mathurin said of his game-winning free throws. “It was a pretty good thing to be a part of.”

Both the Pacers and Celtics were without some of their top talent on Monday. With 3:10 left in the first half, Pacers All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton was carried off the floor by his teammates after a fall – later determined to be a left hamstring strain – and didn’t return. On the other side, Boston was without an All-Star as All-Star Jayson Tatum didn’t suit up due to sprained ankle management.

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said postgame that Haliburton will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

Seven players scored in double digits for the Pacers, led by 26 from Mathurin, 17 by Aaron Nesmith and 16 from Myles Turner.

Indiana’s bench outscored Boston’s reserves 75-27 in the game.

Without Tatum, Jaylen Brown stepped up for the Celtics by scoring a game-high 40 points. After Brown, Jrue Holiday logged 21 points, and Porzingis had 19.

“I just felt that if we played really solid and really hard, and got the fans going and the building going, we were right there,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “Boston is a great team. They’re almost impossible to guard, even without (Jayson) Tatum. … In order to beat them, you’ve got to outlast them somehow. You need a really strong collective will, and our guys demonstrated that. That’s what we did – we outlasted them.”

With the win, the regular-season series between the Pacers and Celtics is tied 2-2, with one game remaining in Boston on Jan. 30.

Overall, the Pacers shot 52.7 percent to the Celtics’ 52.2 percent, but the Blue & Gold made 19 3-pointers to the visitors’ 17 treys.

After trading the lead 19 times in the first half, the Celtics led the Pacers 68-59 at intermission by using a 20-7 run in the second quarter. Brown supplied 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting while Mathurin scored 15 points to lead the Pacers at the break.

Despite shooting 54 percent in the first 12 minutes, the Pacers trailed by a point at the end of the first quarter.

Boston and Indiana traded the lead 15 times in the opening frame, but the Celtics maintained the edge at 34-33 after Payton Pritchard drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the visitors. Neither team led by more than five points in the period.

Mathurin played 5 minutes 42 seconds off the bench in the first quarter, and made all five of his shot attempts (3-for-3 3-point) for 13 points, while Brown did the heavy lifting for the Celtics with 12 points (6-for-7 3-point).

Following Pritchard’s buzzer-beater, the teams stayed close until a 15-4 run, where Brown scored seven points, gave the Celtics a 63-54 advantage with 2:25 left in the half.

Brown then got his second 3-pointer of the night to fall before Holiday scored on back-to-back layups to help the Celtics to the nine-point halftime lead.

Indiana dropped 44 points in the third quarter, behind nine different scorers, to retake the lead at 103-101.

Out of halftime, the Pacers strung together a 14-4 run – on five points by Nesmith and four from T.J. McConnell – to cut it to 78-77 with 8:33 left in the third quarter. While the Pacers were then able to pull back in front a trio of times after tying the game at 80, Indiana struggled to build a lead because of 3-pointers made by Al Horford, Brown and Pritchard.

However, in the final 1:24 of the frame, Indiana finished on a 9-2 run – which featured a block by Jalen Smith and forced turnover by McConnell to fire the crowd up – to go back up by a possession.

Back-to-back baskets by Hield and a 3-pointer from Obi Toppin gave the Pacers a seven-point buffer with just under 10 minutes left, but the Celtics continued to keep it close thanks to a trio of baskets by Derrick White.

Tied at 124, Mathurin drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the game before Nesmith scored a basket through contact against his former team to put the Pacers up 129-124 with 2:23 left in the game. Back-to-back baskets by Brown and a 3-pointer by Porzingis propelled theCeltics ahead 131-129 with 1:05 left, but McConnell tied the game at 131 with a crafty shot from close range with 44 ticks remaining.

With 3.2 seconds remaining, Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield was called for a foul on Brown, but after a challenge by Carlisle the call was reversed, determined a block, and the Pacers got the ball with the game tied at 131. From there, the Blue & Gold came up clutch.

The Pacers will conclude their five-game homestand on Wednesday against the Washington Wizards before going on a six-game road trip.

Inside the Numbers

Indiana was outrebounded 42-39, and outscored in the paint 52-44.

From the free throw line, the Pacers finished 18-for-22 while the Celtics went 20-for-29.

The Pacers are 10-2 when seven or more players score in double figures

Indiana has 13 Pacers to Boston’s 15 giveaways.

Bennedict Mathurin finished with 26 points for the Pacers. He has scored 20+ in four of the last six games.

Mathurin has led the Pacers in scoring four times this season.

Six players scored in double figures for the Celtics.

Stat of the Night

The Pacers bench outscored Boston’s reserves 75-27 in the game. The Pacers are 20-10 this season when they win the bench-scoring margin.

You Can Quote Me on That

“It’s a good team win. It’s good for morale, it’s good for us moving forward. ” – Aaron Nesmith on the win

“We have the next-man-up mentality, especially because we’re so deep. Everybody on this team works hard and deserves to play.” – Nesmith on the team’s depth and responding to injuries

“I was pretty much just trying to make the right plays, reading what the defense was giving me. I feel like the rest took care of itself.” – Bennedict Mathurin on his performance

“Having T.J., just him being a dog, having big plays like that brings the energy not only for the fans but the whole team. It was great seeing T.J. out there being T.J.” – Mathurin on T.J. McConnell

“It’s sad to see him go down. He’s my brother, we love him a lot.” ” – Buddy Hield on Haliburton’s injury

“Everyone (was) just contributing in the right way.” – Hield on the win

“Angels were with me I feel like. I hit ball. I felt like I touched him, but it wasn’t a lot of contact. … But that’s why they have the replay center.” – Hield on his late block

“Just keep playing Pacers basketball. Staying connected, having fun.” – Hield

“I feel like we’re better this year. This is a good test for our team to see how we respond. We’re battle-tested now. We have a six-game (road trip). We’ll see what we’re made of.” – Hield on preparing to possibly play without Haliburton like they did last year

“I think he’s one of the guys that brings a different type of energy, style of play that nobody (else) plays in the NBA, on offense and defense. He’s tough, man. He’s tough as nails. I love being his teammate.” – Hield on McConnell

“I think we have a team full of leaders, which actually makes my job easier. But of course being one of the longest-tenured guys, of course I’m going to be that level-headed guy that speaks when necessary. I think we all did a good job of just banding together tonight.” – Myles Turner on the win and team leadership

“Big ups to Benn. Stepping up and hitting those free throws is huge in that type of pressure moment. But I think someone like him lives for those moments. He did an incredible job.” – Turner on Mathurin making the free throws at the end

“It’s hoops at the end of the day. We all have one goal. We’re not like a team that’s going to put our heads down and be like ‘aw man, it’s over.’ It’s just not really the makeup of our team.” – Turner on bouncing back in the second half

“Really amazing effort from our team. A lot of emotions in this game for a lot of reasons.” – Pacers head coach Rick Calrisle on the win

“Drew Nembhard, T.J. McConnell in his stead did an amazing job just keeping speed in the game, rim pressure in the game, defense, loose ball plays.” – Carilsle on Nembhard and McConnell stepping up without Haliburton

“Every game that we play has the ability to be a season-defining game.” – Carlisle on the win

“He’s one guy on our team that has a special ability to go get a shot anytime he wants to.” – Carlisle on Mathurin

“We had no one else on our team that can create that kind of a look in that kind of a foul situation. His abilities are special. He’s growing more and more into the role, really. He’s a starter, let’s be honest. But with him we have the luxury of having a starter off the bench.” – Carlisle on Mathurin

“T.J. McConnell is a great backup point guard. He’s one of the very best. You just run out of things to list as intangibles with him. Whether it’s his sixth sense to get a passing lane, or the courage to get a loose ball, whether it’s getting the fans going after he’s made an and-one. The guy has an internal motor and intrinsic exuberance for that game that gets people into it. He’s irreplaceable.” – Carlisle on McConnell

“It was timely. It was on-point because he made a percentage play on the ball from the angle he was at. He was confident that it wasn’t a foul and he was right. He came up with a couple big rebounds in the fourth quarter as well. He’s become a two-way weapon, and that’s saying a lot.” – Carlisle on Hield


Bruce Brown (right knee bone bruise) and Andrew Nembhard (mid-back sprain) both returned to the floor Monday for the Pacers after missing Saturday’s game against Boston.

Jayson Tatum missed just his third game of the season for the Celtics.

Indiana has a 12-8 record at Gainbridge Fieldhouse this season.


The Pacers conclude their five-game homestand on Wednesday when they host Kyle Kuzma and the Washington Wizards at 7:00 PM at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.



Opening Tip

• Indiana University hits the road for a Big Ten Conference matchup at Rutgers as the program carries on during its 124th season of competition in men’s basketball. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Peacock.

• The Scarlet Knights (12-2, 2-1) have three players averaging at least 10 points per game in senior forward Aundre Hyatt (11.9 points per game), senior center Clifford Omoruyi (10.7), and senior forward Mawot Mag (10.3).

• The game will feature two of the six players in the Big Ten that collect at least 8.5 rebounds per game. Omoruyi pulls down 8.9 rebounds per outing for Rutgers, the fourth-highest figure in the B1G. Sophomore center Kel’el Ware is fifth at 8.8 boards per night.

Game Information

Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024 • 7:00 PM ET

Jersey Mike’s Arena (8,000) • Piscataway, N.J.

TV: Peacock (Noah Eagle, Stephen Bardo)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, John Herrick)

Series History: Series tied, 8-8

Last Meeting: IU 66, RUT 60 on Feb. 7, 2023 in Bloomington

Series History

• The two programs have met 16 total times on the hardwood with each team earning eight wins in the series. Both teams protected home court last season with Rutgers winning 63-48 on Dec. 3 before Indiana won 66-60 on Feb. 7.

• The Hoosiers are looking to secures its first win in Piscataway since Feb. 5, 2018. Juwan Morgan scored a game-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field in IU’s 65-43 win at The RAC.

Last Time Out

• Sophomore forward Malik Reneau paced the Hoosiers with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds in a 71-65 victory over Ohio State at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Jan. 6. The game marked the third 20-point game for Reneau in his last four outings. He is averaging 24.0 points per game during that stretch.

• Sixth-year guard Xavier Johnson, playing his first extended minutes since returning from his seven-game absence, posted 18 points, three rebounds, and three assists in 33 minutes.

• Off the bench, sophomore guard CJ Gunn provided 10 points and his team-leading 19th steal of the season.

Sophomore Jump for Reneau

• Sophomore forward Malik Reneau has posted double digits in the scoring column in 14 games this season, including 11 efforts of at least 14 points. He notched a career-high 34 points against Kennesaw State (Dec. 29).

• Over the final two non-conference games, Reneau averaged 29.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 23-of-33 (69.7%) shooting from the floor, 5-of-7 (71.4%) from the 3-point line, and 8-of-12 (66.7%) from the charity stripe.

• Reneau is averaging a team-best 16.5 points per game to go along with 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 0.9 blocks in 29 minutes per game. He is shooting 59.1% (97-of-164) from the floor, 47.8% (11-of-23) from the 3-point line, and 68.3% (43-of-63) from the free throw line.

B1G on Peacock

• You can watch Big Ten basketball games by first subscribing to Peacock. Then, either go to in your web browser or download the Peacock app on your phone, tablet, or streaming device and navigate to the Sports section. Find the LIVE game you want to watch and start streaming.

• Indiana will appear on Peacock three more times this season with games against Purdue (Jan. 16), at Ohio State (Feb. 6), and Wisconsin (Feb. 27).

Twenty Piece (CAREER)

Xavier Johnson: 21; last vs. North Carolina, 11/30/22

Payton Sparks: 9; last vs. Ohio, 3/9/23

Kel’el Ware: 4; last at Nebraska, 1/3/24

Malik Reneau: 3; last vs. Ohio State, 1/6/24

Trey Galloway: 2; last vs. Kansas, 12/16/23

Hoosiers in the NBA

OG Anunoby – New York Knicks

Thomas Bryant – Miami Heat

Eric Gordon – Phoenix Suns

Jalen Hood-Schifino – Los Angeles Lakers

Trayce Jackson-Davis – Golden State Warriors

Victor Oladipo – Houston Rockets

Cody Zeller – New Orleans Pelicans

Paint Production

• Indiana averages 38.6 points per game in the paint and shoots 54.2% (333-of-614) from inside the arc. The Hoosiers hold opponents to 26.8 points per night in the key.

• IU scored a season-best 56 points in the paint against Wright State (Nov. 16). The Hoosiers also tallied 50 paint points against Harvard (Nov. 26) and 52 against Kennesaw State (Dec. 29).

Hoosiers Beat Buckeyes in Bloomington

• Indiana dominated the painted area (40-24) in a 71-65 win over Ohio State on Jan. 6. Sophomore forward Malik Reneau led the way for the Hoosiers with 23 points and seven rebounds.

• Sixth-year senior guard Xavier Johnson posted 18 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while sophomore guard CJ Gunn added 10 points and a steal off the bench.

• The Hoosier defense held Ohio State to 7-of-27 (25.9%) shooting from the 3-point line. The Buckeyes entered the game making 8.5 3-pointers per game at a 38.0% clip.




The award, which celebrates the nation’s top high school athletes for excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community, distinguishes Hazelton as Pennsylvania’s best high school volleyball player. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport, touting an all-star group of alumni that includes Harper Murray (2022-23, Skyline High School, Mich.), Kerri Walsh Jennings (1995- 96, Archbishop Mitty High School, Calif.) and April Ross (1999-00, Newport Harbor High School, Calif.). The 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter led the Mountaineers to a 26-0 record and the Class 2A state championship this past season. Hazelton amassed 692 kills and 385 digs, including a 40-kill, 23-dig effort in her team’s 3-1 win over Trinity High in the state final. A four-time Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association First Team All-State selection, Hazelton also tallied 63 service aces, 40 assists and 37 blocks while posting a .503 kill percentage and a .400 hitting percentage. She concluded her prep volleyball career with 2,497 kills and 1,444 digs. An active member of the YMCA of Centre County, Hazelton has volunteered locally as a Mountie Mentor to help freshmen students during their first year of high school. She has also donated her time to multiple community service initiatives through her church youth group. “Reese had a large impact on her team and is the most dangerous player out there,” said Laurie Corcoran, head coach of Allentown Central Catholic High School. “She is dynamic on the court. That team would have never had the success it had the past several years if she were not there.” Hazelton has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Indiana University this fall.



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Five transfer student-athletes joined the Indiana football program prior to the beginning of the 2024 spring semester on Monday (Jan. 8) announced head football coach Curt Cignetti.

Along with the 17 transfers announced in December, the five transfer newcomers include Shawn Asbury II (Stafford, Va./North Stafford/Old Dominion), Elijah Green (Roswell, Ga./Blessed Trinity/North Carolina), Terry Jones Jr. (Baltimore, Md./Mergenthaler Voc Tech/Old Dominion), Jayden McDonald (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett/Troy) and Elijah Sarratt (Stafford, Va./St. Frances Academy/James Madison).

With the five January signees, Indiana has added 38 student-athletes for the 2024 season with 29 of those arriving on campus for the spring semester. Along with the 22 transfer student-athletes enrolling in classes, six true freshmen will enroll early and participate in spring practice: freshmen Tyler Cherry (Greenwood, Ind.), Dontrae Henderson (Charlotte, N.C.), Brody Kosin (Davisburg, Mich.), Mario Landino (Macungie, Pa.), Daniel Ndukwe (Lithonia, Ga.) and Josh Philostin (Palm Beach, Fla.).

Overall, IU signed 22 players on offense, 14 on defense and two specialists. Indiana’s defense added five defensive linemen, five defensive backs and four linebackers, while the Hoosier offense on-boarded seven offensive linemen, five running backs, five wide receivers, three quarterbacks and two tight ends. The special teams unit added one long snapper and one kicker.

The signees arrive in Bloomington from 13 different states and one from Canada. In all, 10 from Virginia signed with the Hoosiers and five more came from the state of Georgia. Four signees are from Indiana and three each arrive from Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. IU then signed one each from Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, and Texas. Kurtis Rourke joins the program from Oakville, Ontario, via Ohio University.




[1] Purdue (14-1, 3-1) vs. Nebraska (12-3, 2-2)

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

9 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CT | Lincoln, Neb.

Pinnacle Bank Arena (15,500)

ONLINE: Peacock (Jac Collinsworth, Robbie Hummel)

RADIO: Purdue Global Radio Network (Rob Blackman, Bobby Riddell)


• The No. 1-ranked Purdue Boilermakers head to snowy Lincoln for a big road contest on Tuesday night, facing a surging Nebraska squad in Pinnacle Bank Arena at 9 p.m. ET. The Boilermakers put a seven-game winning streak on the line with hopes of staying near the top of the early Big Ten standings.

• A win would give Purdue a 15-1 record through 16 games for the fifth time in school history (previously: 2022-23, 2010-11, 1993-94, 1987-88).

• Purdue leads the country in quad-1 wins (6) with another opportunity on Tuesday against Nebraska. Only one team (Arizona) has even five quad-1 victories. Eleven of Purdue’s 14 wins have come against quads 1, 2 and 3, including wins over teams ranked 3, 5, 6, 9 and 16 (NET).

• Since the start of last season, Purdue is 43-7 — the best 50-game stretch in school history. The 43 wins are the fifth most nationally, while the seven losses are the second fewest behind Houston (4). The seven losses during that span have come by 1, 5, 6, 14, 8, 5 and 4 (OT) points. Thirty-one of the 43 wins have come against teams ranked in the KenPom top-100, including 24 against teams ranked in the top-50.

• Purdue has won 10 straight games in the month of January, the longest streak for a major-conference team and fourth-longest nationally.

• Purdue owns a 44-35 record in Big Ten road games since the start of the 2015-16 season, the league’s best record and the fifth-best record among all major-conference teams (Virginia, Kansas, Baylor, Kentucky).

• Matt Painter now needs two wins to tie Lou Henson for fifth place on the all-time wins list for Big Ten Conference games only. Painter enters the Nebraska game with 212 league victories. Henson is fifth with 214 wins.

• Turnovers tell the story… Purdue has won 19 straight games when having 15 or fewer turnovers, dating to last year. When forcing 10 or more turnovers, the Boilermakers have won 17 straight games in a row.

• During Purdue’s seven-game win streak, the Boilermakers are averaging just 10.6 turnovers per game (13.1 in first 8 games of season), while shooting 50.0 percent from the field with an offensive efficiency of 130.6 — the best mark in America during that span.

• Purdue was voted No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll on Monday for the fourth straight week and for the fifth time during the 2023-24 season. With its No. 1 ranking this week, Purdue has now been ranked in the top 5 of the AP poll for 26 straight weeks, the longest-active streak in America by 11 weeks (Kansas – 15). It has been ranked in the top 3 in 20 of those 26 weeks.

• Purdue started last calendar year ranked No. 1 (first poll of 2023) and ended the year ranked No. 1 (final poll of 2023). The Boilermakers are the only team in the country to be ranked No. 1 in each of the last three seasons (2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24), and have now been ranked No. 1 in four different calendar years (2021, 2022, 2023, 2024).

• The 26 straight weeks ranked in the top 5 is the fifth-longest streak in Big Ten history, but the second-longest streak in the last 45 years.

• Purdue’s starting lineup of Braden Smith, Lance Jones, Fletcher Loyer, Trey Kaufman-Renn and Zach Edey have started all 15 games. It’s the longest stretch for a starting group to start the season since the 2017-18 season (28 games).

• Zach Edey became the second player in school history with 1,000 rebounds (against Illinois) and has moved into second on the school’s career rebounding chart (1,006). He is also now ninth in points (1,867) and 5th in blocks (182). He needs 133 points and 18 blocks to become the third player in NCAA history (Patrick Ewing, David Robinson) to have scored 2,000 career points with 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocks while shooting at least 60.0 percent from the field.

• Purdue is in search for its 26th Big Ten Championship, already owning the most Big Ten titles in league history. Should Purdue win the Big Ten title in 2024, it will mark its fourth title in the last eight seasons and back-to-back titles for the first time since 1994-95-96.



WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team will head back out to College Park, Md., for a rescheduled game against Maryland on Sunday, Jan. 14, at noon. The game will be streamed on B1G+.

The Boilermakers were originally slated to play the Terrapins last Saturday, but a facility issue forced the postponement for a week.

The 2023-24 Purdue women’s basketball season is presented by Purdue Global, Purdue University’s online educational solution for working adults.



WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – As the spring semester begins at Purdue University, head coach Ryan Walters and the Boilermaker football team have added 14 transfers to the squad for the 2024 season. The class of transfers, currently ranked No. 7 nationally by Rivals, features 11 players from Power 5 schools.

The newest Boilermakers make up a consensus Top 10 class according to multiple national transfer rankings. Along with being ranked seventh by Rivals, 247Sports ranks Purdue’s class eighth, while the Boilermakers are 10th in ESPN’s rankings.

“We are always looking at ways to improve our team. Using the transfer portal to do that is vital in today’s landscape,” said Walters. “I am proud of the work our staff put in to assemble a group of guys that can potentially make an immediate impact on the field. We are excited that they are joining our Purdue Football family.”

The incoming transfers consist of eight offensive players and six defensive players. A trio of wide receivers joins Purdue in Kam Brown (UCLA), De’Nylon Morrissette (Georgia) and C.J. Smith (Georgia). Running back Reggie Love III made a similar move as his new head coach, heading east to West Lafayette from Illinois. Rounding out the offensive side of the ball, the Boilermakers add four linemen, a position Walters emphasized as a need for depth heading into the offseason. Joshua Sales Jr. (Indiana), Corey Stewart (Ball State), Joey Tanona (Notre Dame) and DJ Wingfield (New Mexico) add depth and experience to the offensive line room.

Purdue brings in two defensive linemen, two linebackers and two defensive backs, including the No. 7 rated transfer and highest ranked cornerback in the portal in Nyland Green (Georgia). Kyndrich Breedlove (Colorado) joins Green as the newest Boilermakers in the Purdue secondary. CJ Madden (Georgia) and Shitta Sillah (Boston College) bolster the outside linebacker group, looking to play on the edge of Walters’ defense. For the interior of the line, Jamarius Dinkins (Kentucky) and Jireh Ojata (Franklin) make the move to the Old Gold and Black for the 2024 campaign.

All 14 Boilermakers have enrolled in classes as Purdue begins offseason workouts ahead of spring practice, which will start in March. Additional information on each transfer can be found below.

Name    Cl.          Pos.        Ht.          Wt.        Hometown (Previous School)

Kyndrich Breedlove          R-Jr.       DB          5-11       180        Nashville, Tenn. (Colorado)

Kam Brown         6th         WR         6-1         190        Colleyville, Texas (UCLA)

Jamarius Dinkins              R-Jr.       DL          6-5         280        Columbus, Ohio (Kentucky)

Nyland Green     R-Jr.       DB          6-1         185        Covington, Ga. (Georgia)

Reggie Love III   R-Sr.       RB          5-11       205        St. Louis, Mo. (Illinois)

CJ Madden          R-So.      OLB        6-4         230        Ellenwood, Ga. (Georgia)

De’Nylon Morrissette     R-So.      WR         6-1         200        Stone Mountain, Ga. (Georgia)

Jireh Ojata           5th         DL          6-4         260        Carmel, Ind. (Franklin)

Joshua Sales Jr.  R-Jr.       OL          6-6         305        South Bend, Ind. (Indiana)

Shitta Sillah         6th         OLB        6-4         255        Somerset, N.J. (Boston College)

C.J. Smith             R-So.      WR         6-3         190        Apopka, Fla. (Georgia)

Corey Stewart    R-Sr.       OL          6-6         305        Nashville, Tenn. (Ball State)

Joey Tanona        R-So.      OL          6-5         285        Zionsville, Ind. (Notre Dame)

DJ Wingfield        R-Sr.       OL          6-4         290        Los Angeles, Calif. (New Mexico)

Kyndrich Breedlove      

Played in nine games for Colorado in 2023

Returned a fumble on a two-point conversion against Oregon State for a defensive conversion, the first for the Buffs since 1991 and only the second in school history

Spent two seasons at Ole Miss

Kam Brown

Spent the past three seasons at UCLA, starting 26 games for the Bruins

Recorded 54 receptions for 772 yards and six touchdowns for UCLA

Began collegiate career at Texas A&M (2019-20)

Jamarius Dinkins

Spent the past three seasons at Kentucky, playing in 24 games as a Wildcat

Played in 11 games last season

Appeared in nine games as a redshirt freshman and made the SEC Academic Honor Roll

Nyland Green

No. 7 rated transfer and highest ranked cornerback in the portal according to 247Sports

Spent the past three seasons at Georgia

Played in 23 games over the past two seasons, including 13 during the 2023 campaign

Reggie Love III 

Spent the past four seasons at Illinois, playing in 37 games for the Illini

Rushed for 1,054 yards over the past three years

Led Illinois in carries (116), rushing yards (567), rushing yards per game (70.9), and rushing touchdowns (4) during the 2023 campaign

CJ Madden

Rated No. 107 in Rivals’ portal rankings, Purdue’s third highest-ranked transfer

Began his college career at Georgia, spending two seasons with the Bulldogs

Played in seven games during the 2023 campaign as a redshirt freshman

De’Nylon Morrissette 

Began his college career at Georgia, spending two seasons with the Bulldogs

Appeared in 14 games for Georgia, including 11 during the 2022 season to help the team win the national championship

4-star prospect out of high school according to 247Sports

Jireh Ojata

Rated the No. 22 edge rusher in the transfer portal according to 247Sports

Spent the past four seasons at Franklin College, playing in 46 games

Three-time First Team All-HCAC, including being named the 2023 HCAC Defensive Player of the Year

Joshua Sales Jr.

Spent the first three years of his collegiate career at Indiana

Played in 15 games over the past two seasons after redshirting during the 2021 season

Started four times as a redshirt freshman in 2022

Shitta Sillah

Spent the past five seasons at Boston College before deciding to play his final year for the Boilermakers

Appeared in 39 games for the Eagles, recording 79 tackles and 12.0 tackles-for-loss

Bounced back to play in eight contests during the 2023 season after missing most of the 2022 campaign due to injury

C.J. Smith

Began his college career at Georgia, spending two seasons with the Bulldogs

Played in 11 games over the past two years

Recorded 57 receiving yards in the 2023 season opener

Corey Stewart

Spent the past four seasons at Ball State

After redshirting the 2020 season, played in 33 games over three seasons which included 28 straight starts

First Team All-MAC in 2023, while also earning a 98 percent pass blocking efficiency grade by Pro Football Focus

Joey Tanona

Rated No. 32 nationally in Rivals’ transfer portal rankings

Ranked the No. 10 offensive tackle in the portal according to 247Sports

Spent the past two seasons at Notre Dame, but did not see action due to initial medical retirement

DJ Wingfield

Spent the past two seasons at New Mexico

Played in nine games during the 2023 campaign after missing most of the 2022 season due to injury

Appeared in all 22 games over two seasons at El Camino Junior College (2020-21), earning SCFA National Division Central League All-Second Team honors



CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Make that a program record seven conference rookie weekly honors for Hannah Hidalgo.

On Monday, the Irish point guard earned another ACC Rookie of the Week award, topping the former Notre Dame record of six set by Jacqueline Batteast (Big East), Alicia Ratay (Big East), Brianna Turner (ACC) and Sonia Citron (ACC). All four of those players went on to earn their respective conference’s Rookie of the Year honors. The ACC record for rookie awards is 10 and was set last year by Florida State’s Ta’Niya Latson.

As Notre Dame moves into conference play, and despite a 1-1 record this week, Hidalgo continues to shine on both ends of the court. In a 71-66 victory at Pittsburgh on Thursday, the South Jersey native posted 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. The 24 points was the most by any ACC rookie this week. It also marked the 11th time this year that Hidalgo has posted 20+ points, which ranks third in Notre Dame freshman history. The record is 13 and is held by Beth Morgan.

The Irish lost a heartbreaker to North Carolina on Sunday, but Hidalgo had 17 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. The 17-11 combination marked her fourth double-double of the season and her third in the last five games.

On the whole, Hidalgo continues to lead the ACC with 23.9 points per game and lead the nation with 5.7 swipes per contest. Hidalgo’s 74 steals on the year amounts to 24 more than the next-highest ACC player and is just 16 shy of the Notre Dame freshman record (Skylar Diggins).

Hidalgo and the Irish will be back in action on Thursday as Purcell Pavilion hosts Boston College.



ATLANTA – The long six-game homestand is over and the Notre Dame men’s basketball team will hit the road for the first time since Dec. 9. With that though means a new opportunity. The Fighting Irish (6-9, 1-3) and Coach Shrewsberry can earn their first true road win of the season when they travel to Atlanta to battle Georgia Tech (8-6, 1-2). It’ll be a late tip inside McCamish Pavilion on Tuesday night, with the game starting at 9 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.


The all-time series between Notre Dame and Georgia Tech has always been a battle. The Irish own a slight 15-13 advantage but every game (outside of one outlier) since joining the ACC in 2013, has been a tight decision. Case in point, Notre Dame and Georgia Tech have squared off a total of 20 times since 2013, 18 of those games have been decided by single digits, with 13 of them being 5 points or less. The average margin of victory in that span (if you take out the 34-point win on 2/26/22) – 4.7 points.  Three times the rivalry since 2013 has gone to overtime, with the Irish winning all three. Last year, Notre Dame dropped a 70-68 decision in Atlanta on 2/8/23.

This season’s Georgia Tech squad enters with an 8-6 overall mark and 1-2 record in league play. The Yellow Jackets defeated Duke at home back on Dec. 2, then lost back-to-back games against Florida State and Boston College. They are led by a trio of double-digit scorers in Miles Kelly (14.9 ppg), Kowacie Reeves (12.5) and Baye Ndongo (12.3), as the latter has been a three-time ACC Rookie of the Week.


It was three straight ACC games at home to essentially kick off league play. After a big win over Virginia to start the homestand, the Irish know they left two on the table and could easily be sitting at 3-1. A slight difference maker in both those losses were missed opportunities at the free-throw line.

First, it was NC State. The Wolfpack shot 28.8 percent from the field and finished with 54 points – just two more than their season low. On the flip side, Notre Dame had a six-point lead with 2:10 left on the clock. Then adversity hit. The next four possessions consisted of two turnovers and two misses on the front end of a one-and-one from the free-throw line. It all resulted in a Wolfpack 8-0 run to end the game to escape with the win.

Then there was No. 14/13 Duke. The Fighting Irish held the Blue Devils to a season low in both points and shooting percentage but ultimately fell by the slim margin of 67-59. The Irish had a lead as large as nine in the first half, but the Blue Devils stormed into halftime on a 14-3 scoring run, which was extended to 19-3 at the start of the second half. The Irish would continue to fight hard throughout, rallying down eight points to cut the deficit to just two with 2:44 remaining. Notre Dame and Duke took the same amount of shots (59) with the Irish converting two more (23). ND also won the rebounding battle 42-40. A difference maker came on the free-throw line in which Duke went 17-of-21 to Notre Dame’s 8-of-16.


If you are looking for an early Coach Shrewsberry stamp on the program, look no further than the defensive effort by this young Irish squad.

Despite the 1-3 ACC record, the Notre Dame defense has done its part in all four games. The Irish held Miami, Virginia, NC State and Duke to under their season averages, all by double-digit points. In fact, Miami and Duke both posted season lows at the time. For more details please reference the full chart below.

Furthermore, in 10 of the last 12 games, the Irish have allowed 65 points or fewer in regulation. In fact, an Irish opponent has not recorded 70 points or more since Georgetown on Dec. 16 (five game streak).   

With that said, Notre Dame’s scoring defense of 64.9 now ranks 2nd in the ACC and 45th in the country. According to KenPom, our defensive efficiency ranks 57th.


Point guard Markus Burton has put his name amongst the top freshmen in the country with his stellar play thus far. For those who aren’t acquainted with the local standout from Mishawaka, here are some quick hitters:

His 16.2 ppg leads all ACC freshmen and ranks 4th nationally amongst DI freshmen.

He is 1-of-2 freshmen in the country averaging over 15 points and 3.5 assists. 1-of-4 players in the ACC of any class.

If the season ended today, Burton’s 16.2 ppg would rank 3rd all-time in the ND freshman record book. The two in front of him – Adrian Dantley (18.3) and Troy Murphy (19.2).

Burton leads the team with 13 double-digit scoring games.

Ranks 11th in the ACC in scoring, 8th in Assists (3.9), 14th in steals (1.4) and 9th in FT% (.833).

Averaging 5.5 assists in ACC play only which ranks 3rd.


It took just the second ACC game of his career but Coach Shrewsberry delivered that first signature win in Notre Dame’s 76-54 victory over Virginia. What Shrews’ crew accomplished had never been done by an Irish crew against Virginia .. ever. It was the largest margin of victory against the Cavaliers in the all-time series. In addition, the 76 points were the most scored by an Irish squad against the Cavaliers in regulation in program history. Furthermore, the Irish handed Virginia its biggest loss to an ACC opponent since 2017 (65-41 loss to No. 10 UNC on Feb. 18, 2017).


Burton has produced 8 straight games in double figures, totaling 139 points (17.4 ppg).  He’s also averaging 4.3 assists in that span.

Braeden Shrewsberry was back in double figures with a 12-point performance against Duke. Shrewsberry tied his season high with four made threes, going 3-for-4 in the second half.


Carey Booth has started 4 straight games and the Irish have gone 2-2 with a near 4-0 record. The freshman is averaging the second most points in that short span at 9.0 ppg. He’s also averaging 6.5 rpg.

Booth was a man possessed in the second half of the Virginia contest. The 6-10 forward scored 14 points from the 11:11 mark to 4:54 on the clock. He finished with a team-high 17.



INDIANAPOLIS – Katie Davidson was named #HLWBB Player of the Week for her efforts in the Jaguar’s overtime win over Detroit Mercy. This marks the first Player of the Week award for Davidson and the first for a Jaguar this season.

The junior from right here in Indianapolis led the Jaguars to a conference win over Detroit Mercy with her second 30-point game of the season. She totaled 30 points, four rebounds, one assist and one steal in the overtime win. The guard/forward shot 66.7 percent (12-for-18) from the floor and 60 percent (3-for-5) from behind the arc.

Davidson leads the Horizon League in scoring with 19.2 points per game. This marks the first Player of the Week award for both Davidson and the women’s basketball team this season. The Jaguars will next host Wright State on Thursday, January 11 for a 7:00 PM tipoff.



The Ball State men’s basketball team hosts Mid-American Conference preseason favorite Akron at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night in Worthen Arena for its second MAC home game on the schedule.

The game will be streamed on ESPN+, with Mick Tidrow and David Eha on the call. Jack McMullen and Scot Bunnell handle the radio broadcast on WMUN 1340AM – 92.5FM.

The Cardinals (8-6, 0-2 MAC) and Zips (10-4, 2-0 MAC) meet for the 49th time in series history. Last season, both teams won on their home court, with Ball State prevailing 70-63 on Jan. 6 before Akron

claimed an 87-83 decision on Feb. 28 in Northern Ohio.

Playing in its first game at Worthen in almost a month on Saturday, the Cardinals had a pair of late opportunities against Central Michigan to tie or take the lead, but fell 71-65. Davion Bailey posted season bests in scoring (21 points) and rebounding (five) in the setback.

Akron breezed by Northern Illinois 73-51 last Tuesday and Bowling Green 83-67 on Saturday to sweep the first week on the conference calendar. Three of the Zips’ four losses have come by a combined six points, with the other being a 79-59 defeat at the hands of Drake in the Cayman Islands.

SCOUTING AKRON: The Zips went 22-11 (13-5 MAC) last season in head coach John Groce’s 6th leading the program. Akron finished third in the MAC regular season standings, bowing out in the semifinals after losing 79-73 to No. 2 seed Kent State.

The Zips lead the MAC in field goal percentage (47.4), effective field goal percentage (55.5), rebounding margin (+6.2), scoring defense (65.4 points per game), scoring margin (+11.6) and 3-pointers made per game (9.3).

Senior forward Enrique Freeman, already claiming five MAC Player of the Week honors so far this season, leads NCAA Division I in rebounds per game (13.0) and double-doubles (12). The Cleveland native also leads the MAC in field goal shooting (58.2) and free throw attempts (105).


Jihad leads the Cardinals in scoring (18.5 points per game) and rebounding (7.4) averages. The junior forward out of Detroit has led the Cardinals in scoring eight games so far, scoring in double-figures 13 times, including six games with 20+ points. The big man’s total points (259) and scoring average both rank fourth in the Mid-American Conference, while his rebounding average is fifth.

The Cardinals lead the MAC and rank No. 33 nationally in fewest fouls committed per game (14.5), while being second in the league in rebounding margin (+3.4) and 3-point shooting (36.5 percent).

Ball State’s 20 wins last year were its most since 2016-17 when that team won 21. This season’s Cardinals will look for back-to-back 20-win schedules for the first time since that 2016-17 season.

The Cardinals are a young group, as the roster includes only one senior or graduate student (Ethan Brittain-Watts). Ball State returns only 21.5 percent of minutes played and 19.6 percent of points scored from last year’s team.

Brittain-Watts (Boston University), Jalin Anderson (Loyola Marymount) and Davion Bailey (Southeastern CC) form Ball State’s trio of transfers.

Joey Brown (Indianapolis), Zane Doughty (Indianapolis), Mason Jones (Valparaiso, Ind.), Trent Middleton Jr. (Philadelphia) and Jurica Zagorsak (Zadar, Croatia) are the Cardinals’ quintet of true freshmen.

Ball State recently signed forward Jai Anthoni Bearden (Phoenix, Ariz.) and guard Jermarhi “Fatt” Hill (Bessemer, Ala.) to national letters of intent to form the Cardinals’ 2024 recruiting class.

TOP OF THE MAC: Ball State’s first four games on its Mid-American Conference schedule include three matchups against the teams who finished at the top of the MAC in 2022-23.

The Cardinals played at Kent State, who was voted second in the MAC preseason coaches poll, on Jan. 2. Tuesday night’s game against preseason league favorite Akron precedes another tough road game on Saturday at Toledo, who won the MAC regular season crown in 2022-23.

BANKING ON BASHEER: Junior forward Basheer Jihad leads the team in scoring (18.5 points per game), rebounding (7.4 per game) and field goal percentage (49.1) among Cardinals averaging at least four field goal attempts this season. Jihad has established or tied career highs in scoring five times already this season, including in the Dec. 10 win vs SIUE (27 points).

The Detroit native’s scoring average has nearly tripled over last year (7.1), while his rebounding average has doubled (3.6). Jihad started only one game in his first two seasons at Ball State, but has been a mainstay in the starting lineup as an upperclassman now.

JALIN JAMS: Anderson, a transfer out of Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, leads the Ball State backcourt in scoring (15.4 points per game) and the team in assists (4.5 per game) as the Cardinals’ lead guard.

The Jackson, Tenn., native boasts Ball State’s highest offensive output (29 points against Old Dominion) so far and is on pace to set career bests for points, assists and steals while already establishing his career high for single season rebounds. Anderson has shown a penchant for explosive offensive performances, posting four 20+ point games so far in the nonconference season.

EMERGENCE OF BIG BEN: Redshirt junior center Ben Hendriks had started each of the last six games before missing the Dec. 21 game at Minnesota, totaling career-highs of 11 points and seven rebounds in the Dec. 2 win over Bellarmine and 32 minutes played in the Dec. 10 win against SIUE.

Hendriks already surpassed his career-bests for points (60), rebounds (41), assists (12), blocks (10) and steals (four) in a season through the schedule’s first 14 games while shooting an impressive 84.2 percent at the free throw line. The big man has seen increased playing time over his last nine contests, averaging 19.6 minutes per game after playing 6.8 per in the first four games.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK X2: Jihad was named the Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Co-Player of the Week on both Dec. 4 and Dec. 11.

Jihad averaged 24.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, setting career highs in scoring three times over the four-game stretch to lead Ball State to a 3-1 record.

WINNING IN WORTHEN: The Cardinals clinched an undefeated home nonconference slate for the fourth straight season with the Dec. 10 decision over the Cougars.

Ball State has won 19 consecutive nonconference contests at Worthen Arena, with its last loss being on Dec. 3, 2019 to Loyola (Chicago).

1,300 WINS: The Ball State men’s basketball team recorded win No. 1,300 in program history with the Dec. 2 decision against Bellarmine. The Cardinals are the tenth current MAC men’s basketball team to reach that milestone.

MAC Program Wins (as of Dec. 4, 2023)

Akron – 1,697

Ball State – 1,300

Buffalo – 1,279

Bowling Green – 1,452

Central Michigan – 1,356

Eastern Michigan – 1,292

Kent State – 1,332

Miami (OH) – 1,436

Northern Illinois – 1,315

Ohio – 1,614

Toledo – 1,551

Western Michigan – 1,372

MILESTONE WATCH: Jihad and Pearson Jr. both scored their 500th career points in the second half on Saturday against Indiana St, with Jihad hitting the figure with a 3-pointer and Pearson Jr. getting to the total on a layup.

Pearson Jr. tallied 23 of those points playing at TCU, while Anderson (820) boasts the most career points in NCAA Division I on the current roster.

HOME HEROES: Ball State boasts a 7-1 record in the friendly confines of Worthen Arena, beating visitors by an average of 19.6 points per game (81.0-61.4).

The success includes significant advantages in rebounding margin (+7.1), turnover margin (+4.0), field goal shooting (.480 to .418) and 3-point shooting (.381 to .302).

Up Next

The Cardinals hit the road to take on reigning MAC regular season champion Toledo at 7 p.m. on Saturday.



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne’s Corey Hadnot II has been named the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Freshman of the Week, the league announced on Monday (Jan. 8). It is the fifth such honor of the season for Hadnot. No other player in the league has more than one.

Hadnot scored 11 points while grabbing four rebounds on Saturday vs. Wright State. He finished 5-of-9 from the floor.

Hadnot is averaging 8.1 points per game and has 28 assists this season. 

The ‘Dons are 13-3 on the season and in first place in the Horizon League at 4-1. The Mastodons are back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at Youngstown State.



After enjoying a memorable season in his lone year donning the brown and gold in 2022, former Valparaiso University football standout running Aaron Dawson has reached the professional ranks as he was recently added to the roster for the Jacksonville Sharks of the Indoor Football League (IFL).

“It’s a blessing,” Dawson said. “I’ve had this goal in mind since I was a kid. Hard work and dedication are the top keys to getting there; it’s all about being disciplined and doing what other people won’t do. It’s surreal right now.”

Dawson compiled 1,274 rushing yards in 2022, the second most in a single season in program history. The Westbury, N.Y. native who came to Valpo as a transfer from Central Connecticut earned First Team All-PFL accolades in addition to achieving the team’s Offensive Player of the Year Award and garnering a spot in the FCS Bowl.

“Valpo helped me a lot in my career,” Dawson said. “That was the school that gave me an opportunity. Shout out to Coach (Landon) Fox, Coach (Will) Johnson and every coach on staff. It was a blessing, and it’s all about what you do with the opportunity when you get it.”

Dawson will leave for training camp at the beginning of March with the first practice set for March 8. The first game of the season is slated for March 23. This continues a recent trend of Valpo running backs receiving playing opportunities beyond college, as Robert Washington earned an NFL Rookie Minicamp invite with the Philadelphia Eagles at the conclusion of his collegiate career.

“I was chilling at home one night, and I got a message from a random number,” Dawson said. “I thought someone was trying to hack into my phone. I opened it, and it said, ‘Hey Aaron, this is Coach (Jason) Gibson from the Jacksonville Sharks. Are you playing anywhere?’ He called me the next morning and said he wanted to give me an opportunity to make my dream come true. He liked that I’m a big back and I’m fast. I signed a few weeks after that. Now, I have to keep grinding and never stop.”



INDIANAPOLIS – After going 4-0 at the NWCA National Duals and helping Marian to a 2-2 record, junior wrestler Logan Wagner has been named the WHAC Wrestler of the Week. Wagner’s honor is the second of his career as a Knight, and the third for the Marian wrestling team this season, joining two-time winner Andrew Just.

Logan Wagner, second-ranked wrestler in the NAIA at the 141 weight class, dominated at the NWCA National Duals last weekend, posting Marian’s only 4-0 record for the weekend. Wagner had two wins over ranked wrestlers including a 2-1 win over No. 13 Kael Brisker of No. 4 Southeastern and a one-sided 22-5 tech fall victory over No. 7 Jackson Wenberg of (RV) Graceland. Wagner had two tech fall wins and a win by fall overall on the weekend, and scored one of Marian’s win in their dual against No. 5 Doane.

Wagner will next wrestle on Sunday afternoon, as the Knights begin dual competition in their WHAC schedule. The Knights will compete on Saturday as well, with the members of the team competing at the annual Manchester Spartan Mat Classic.
























HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS:                                                                                                                                                                            









January 9, 1962 – The NFL issued a rule that prohibited the grasping of face masks on any player. According to the website a head protector became mandatory in 1943 in the NFL. Face masks were optional until 1955 when the NFL rules makers could still petition the NFL commish to be allowed to go without one. In 1956 the rule arrived where grasping the face mask of anyone except for the runner was illegal. This 1962 face mask rule brought the revision to pretty close what we see today that if a face mask is grasped on any player it is a 15-yard penalty and if flagrant, the offending player is disqualified.

January 9, 1967 – The Pro Football Hall of Fame tells us that New Orleans’ franchise officially adopted the name of the “Saints”. The NFL awarded the 16th franchise to the City of New Orleans on November 1, 1966, “All Saints Day.” We have more on the start of this franchise on our November 1 post.

January 9, 1977 – Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California – Super Bowl XI was played. This is the earliest date of the year that any Super Bowl was played and judging by the current format of playing in February, it will probably always remain the earliest played one. The matchup was the Minnesota Vikings and the Oakland Raiders who both advanced through their respective Conference Championships that we discussed back on our December 26 post. After a scoreless first quarter the Raiders opened up the scoring by rattling off 16 unanswered points before the half. That was really all they needed according to as the Raider defense stepped up and limited the Vikings to a mere 14 points. Oakland running back Pete Banaszak scored twice on short dives and DB Willie Brown registered a 75 yard pick six to seal the deal as the  Oakland Raiders beat  the Minnesota Vikings, 32-14 to capture the Lombardi.  The game MVP was Raiders Wide Receiver Fred Biletnikoff, who hails from Erie, PA and attended Florida State, had four catches for 79 yards in the game.

January 9, 2000 – Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino has his final NFL victory in the AFC Wildcard game. The Dolphins defeated the Seattle Seahawks by the score of 20-17 according to the website. The last game for Marino was the following week when the Jacksonville Jaguars steamrolled the Fins 62-7.  

January 9, 2012 – Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans – At the14th BCS National Championship  #2 Alabama upended their SEC rival #1 LSU, 21-0 per the

January 9, 2017 – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa – The College Football National Championship Game. The College Football Playoff website called the game the “unprecedented rematch.”  The Clemson Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide would battle for the second consecutive year in the Title game. The year prior was an exciting one as Alabama eked past Clemson 45-40.  According to this game in 2017 had all the build up and more that the original matchup had and it lived up to its billing.  Clemson rallied from a two score deficit early to get back in the game and then played sound defense to limit Bama to a season low 376 yards of offense. The Tigers also got Alabama off the field as Nick Saban’s crew went only 2-15 on third downs. 21 points in the final stanza by Clemson in a quarter that saw  three lead changes brought the college season finale to a climax. With one second remaining  Clemson Quarterback Deshaun Watson  flicked a two yard pass to Hunter Renfrow to move #2 Clemson past #1 Alabama, 35-31!

Hall of Fame Birthdays for January 9

January 9, 1909 – Canton, Massachusetts – The fine center from Harvard University Ben Ticknor who played for the Crimson in the late 1920’s.

January 9, 1916 – Auburn, New York – Jerome “Brud” Holland, the great end from Cornell, was born. This guy’s bio on earns my respect. Brud came from a big family that had 12 kids. Money was tight, and as an African-American wanting to attend Cornell and play football, he had to work hard. Brud is said to have worked his way through college by tending furnaces and working as a dishwasher, and yet he still found time to do his studies and achieve straight As! Oh yeah, he played a mean game of football, too! He made the All-America team twice in his collegiate career. His most productive game had to be the 1937 contest against Colgate, where he caught a touchdown pass and scored on two end-around plays! The NFF placed the name of Brud Holland into their College Football Hall of Fame in 1965. You just know that a fella as ambitious as Brud was going to do something great in his life. Well, in fact, he did as he was the president of Hampton Institute, president of Delaware State, U.S. ambassador to Sweden from 1970 through 1972, charmed the American Red Cross, was the chairman of Salvation Army, as well as the chairman of Planned Parenthood, and was the first African American director of the New York Stock Exchange! Wow! That is an accomplished life!

January 9, 1934 – Montgomery, Alabama – The stellar quarterback from the University of Alabama, Bart Starr was born.

January 9, 1956 -Satanta, Kansas – Kansas State Linebacker Gary Spani celebrated his birth. Gary may very well be considered the greatest college football player ever from Kansas State according to the National Football Foundation. Spani was an All-America selection in 1977 and was voted the MVP of the Japan Bowl as well as the East -West Shrine game and was even a finalist in the Heisman voting! Gary was all over the field especially in his senior year when he averaged an amazing 17 tackles per game! The doors were open wide at the College Football Hall of Fame to welcome Gary Spani in 2002. After his career at K State Gary was selected in the third round  of the NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a Chiefs defensive star for nine seasons and retired as the leading tackler in KC franchise history. Spani was selected as the Miller/NFL “Man of the Year” Award in 1983.


4 – 32 – 12 – 33 – 13 – 99 – 8 – 15 – 5 – 25 – 22 – 10

Number 4 in your program for January 9 is early NBA player Dino Martin who on this day in 1947 became the first player to score 40 points while with the Providence Steamroller as they won a 91-68 win over Cleveland Rebels at Rhode Island Auditorium.

Jersey Number 32 belongs to Freshman Bevo Francis of the 1953 Rio Grande College basketball team, who scored 116 pts in a single basketball game! Bevo did the same feat again that season too. You can learn more about Bevo Francis on the Sports History Network’s very own Basketball History 101 Podcast, Episode 44 with host Rick Loayza.

January 9, 1954 – Bert Olmstead, Number 15 of the Montreal Canadiens, tied the NHL record of 8 points in a single game

Cincinnati Bearcats first year, varsity guard, the great Oscar Robertson wearing the Number 12, scored 56 point is a game while his opponent’s entire team,Seton Hall, only scored 54 points on January 9, 1958.

January 9, 1972 – Led by future Lakers star Number 33, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks beat LA Lakers, 120-104, ending LA’s consecutive win streak at 33, the longest winning streak in major league sports history

January 9, 1977 – Super Bowl XI, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA: Oakland Raiders beat Minnesota Vikings, 32-14; MVP was Number 25, Fred Biletnikoff, Oakland, WR

Number 4 also represents the sweater number on one Bobby Orr that was retired by the Boston Bruins on January 9, 1979.

January 9, 1989 – Catcher Johnny Bench (Number 5) and Carl Yastrzemski (Number 8) were elected to become Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

January 9, 1990 – MLB legends Jim Palmer (Number 22) and Joe Morgan (Number 8) were selected to enter into the Baseball Hall of Fame

January 9, 1991 – Chicago Bulls, Number 23, Michael Jordan scores a game-high 40 points to lead the Bulls to a 107-99 win over Philadelphia at the Spectrum; reaches the 15,000 point mark of his career

January 9, 1998 – Hockey News Magazine selected Number 99, Wayne Gretzky as the best NHL player ever

January 9, 2000 – Miami Dolphin QB, Number 13, Dan Marino won his last career NFL game (20-17 vs Seattle)

January 9, 2012 – FIFA Ballon d’Or: Barcelona forward, Number 10, Lionel Messi wins award for a record 3rd consecutive year; Japanese midfielder Number 10, Homare Sawa wins women’s award



12 p.m.

NHLN — Vítkovice Ridera vs. Skellefteå AIK

2:30 p.m.

NHLN — Genève-Servette vs. Lukko Rauma


6:30 p.m.

FS1 — Seton Hall at Georgetown

7 p.m.

ACCN — Wake Forest at Florida St.

CBSSN — Toledo at Kent St.

ESPN — Missouri at Kentucky

ESPN2 — Houston at Iowa St.

ESPNU — Yale at Brown

SECN — South Carolina at Alabama

9 p.m.

ACCN — Notre Dame at Georgia Tech

CBSSN — Creighton at DePaul

ESPN — Duke at Pittsburgh

ESPN2 — Texas A&M at Auburn

SECN — Vanderbilt at LSU

10:30 p.m.

FS1 — New Mexico at UNLV

11 p.m.

CBSSN — San Diego St. at San Jose St.


6 p.m.

BTN — Maryland at Michigan St.

8 p.m.

BTN — Minnesota at Michigan

8:30 p.m.

FS1 — Marquette at Seton Hall


6 a.m. (Wednesday)

NHLN — Under-18 World Championship Group Stage: Sweden vs. U.S., Group B, Zug, Switzerland


8:30 p.m.

NBATV — Memphis at Dallas


6 a.m.

TENNIS — Adelaide-ATP/WTA, Auckland-ATP, Hobart-WTA Early Rounds

6 p.m.

TENNIS — Adelaide-ATP/WTA, Auckland-ATP & Hobart-WTA Early Rounds; Kooyong Classic Day 1

6 a.m. (Wednesday)

TENNIS — Adelaide-ATP/WTA, TENNIS — Adelaide-ATP/WTA, Auckland-ATP & Hobart-WTA Early Rounds; Kooyong Classic Day 1