WASHINGTON 17 SEATTLE 15
NFL SCHEDULE WEEK 13
THURSDAY, DEC. 2
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (FOX)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (FOX)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (CBS)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
DENVER BRONCOS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (FOX)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 6
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 14 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, DEC. 9
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
SUNDAY, DEC. 12
ATLANTA FALCONS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM CBS)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (FOX)
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)
DETROIT LIONS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
BUFFALO BILLS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
CHICAGO BEARS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2021
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 15 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, DEC. 16
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 8:20 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
SATURDAY, DEC. 18
TBD, 4:30 PM NFL NETWORK
TBD, 8:15 PM NFL NETWORK
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO BILLS, TBD
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, TBD
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, TBD
NEW YORK JETS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, TBD
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, TBD
SUNDAY, DEC. 19
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (FOX)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)
HOUSTON TEXANS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM (CBS)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)
TENNESSEE TITANS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 1 PM (CBS)
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
ATLANTA FALCONS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 20
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 16 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, DEC. 23
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 8:20 PM (NFL NETWORK)
SATURDAY, DEC. 25 (CHRISTMAS)
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 4:30 PM (FOX, NFL NETWORK, AMAZON)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 8:15 PM (NFL NETWORK)
SUNDAY, DEC. 26
DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1 PM (FOX)
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)
BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)
CHICAGO BEARS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:05 PM (FOX)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
DENVER BRONCOS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 8:20 PM (NBC)
MONDAY, DEC. 27
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 17 SCHEDULE
SUNDAY, JAN. 2
ATLANTA FALCONS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (FOX)
NEW YORK GIANTS AT CHICAGO BEARS, 1 PM (CBS)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1 PM (CBS)
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT DALLAS COWBOYS, 1 PM (FOX)
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, 1 PM (CBS)
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, 1 PM (CBS)
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, 1 PM (FOX)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT NEW YORK JETS, 1 PM (FOX)
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1 PM (CBS)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM, 1 PM (FOX)
DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
HOUSTON TEXANS AT SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, 4:05 PM (CBS)
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
DETROIT LIONS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS, 8:20 PM(NBC)
MONDAY, JAN. 3
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 8:15 PM (ESPN)
WEEK 18 SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, JAN. 8
TBD, 4:30 PM, ESPN, ABC
TBD, 8:15 PM, ESPN, ABC
SUNDAY, JAN. 9
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 1 PM (FOX)
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS, 1 PM (CBS)
NEW YORK JETS AT BUFFALO BILLS, 1 PM (CBS)
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS, 1 PM (CBS)DA
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT DETROIT LIONS, 1 PM (FOX)
TENNESSEE TITANS AT HOUSTON TEXANS, 1 PM (CBS)
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, 1 PM(CBS)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AT MIAMI DOLPHINS, 1 PM (CBS)
CHICAGO BEARS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS, 1 PM (FOX)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT NEW YORK GIANTS, 1 PM (FOX)
DALLAS COWBOYS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 1 PM (FOX)
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS, 1 PM (FOX)
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS AT DENVER BRONCOS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS, 4:25 PM (FOX)
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS, 4:25 PM (CBS)
TBD, 8:20 PM(NBC)
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
FRIDAY, DEC. 3
CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (ALAMODOME IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS) | 7 P.M. | CBSSN
PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (ALLEGIANT STADIUM IN LAS VEGAS, NEVADA) | 8 P.M. | ABC
SATURDAY, DEC. 4
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (AT&T STADIUM IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS) | 12 P.M. | ABC
MAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (FORD FIELD IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN) | 12 P.M. | ESPN
MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 3 P.M. | FOX
APPALACHIAN STATE AT LOUISIANA (SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
GEORGIA VS. ALABAMA (SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AT MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM IN ATLANTA) | 4 P.M. | CBS
AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME | 4 P.M. | ABC
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA) | 8 P.M. | ABC
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP GAME (LUCAS OIL STADIUM IN INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA) | 8 P.M. | FOX
USC AT CAL | 11 P.M. | FS1
SATURDAY, DEC. 11
ARMY VS. NAVY (METLIFE STADIUM IN EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY) | 3 P.M. | CBS
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL- TOP 25
#3 GONZAGA 64 TARLETON STATE 55
#7 TEXAS 73 SAM HOUSTON 57
#9 KENTUCKY 85 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 57
IOWA 75 VIRGINIA 74
ILLINOIS 82 NOTRE DAME 72
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL – TOP 25
#1 SOUTH CAROLINA 79 NORTH CAROLINA A&T 42
WESTERN MICHIGAN 69 VALPARAISO 54
MINNESOTA 100 INDIANA 98
PHILADELPHIA 101 ORLANDO 96
DENVER 120 MIAMI 111
CHICAGO 133 CHARLOTTE 119
HOUSTON 102 OKLAHOMA CITY 89
CLEVELAND 114 DALLAS 96
SAN ANTONIO 116 WASHINGTON 99
UTAH 129 PORTLAND 107
NEW ORLEANS 123 LA CLIPPERS 104
SEATTLE 7 BUFFALO 4
VANCOUVER 2 MONTRÉAL 1
ARIZONA 1 WINNIPEG 0
CALGARY 2 PITTSBURGH 1
INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 95 PORTLAND CHRISTIAN 67
INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL
ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY 41 CENTERVILLE 36
BELLMONT 68 MISSISSINEWA 32
CASTLE 66 OWENSBORO CATHOLIC KY 49
EVANSVILLE MATER DEI 39 BOONVILLE 27
FREMONT 57 EDON OH 44
HAMMOND NOLL 71 RIVER FOREST 23
INDIANA MATH AND SCIENCE 30 INDIANAPOLIS RIVERSIDE 27
JOHN GLENN 63 SOUTH BEND CLAY 21
CLAY STATION 58 N. NEWTON 56
MILFORD IL 50 S. NEWTON 36
NORTH KNOX 63 N. CENTRAL FARMERSBURG 52
NORTHVIEW 59 TERRE HAUTE SOUTH 35
SHAKAMAK 47 SHOALS 45
TAYLOR 61 PERU 53
TECUMSEH 69 S. SPENCER 45
WEST LAFAYETTE 61 WESTERN BOONE 18
WHITE RIVER VALLEY CLAY CITY 24
INDIANA SRN GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS
- CROWN POINT
- HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN
- SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON
- SILVER CREEK
- MISHAWAKA MARIAN
- TRITON CENTRAL
- FOREST PARK
- TRINITY LUTHERAN
- JAC CEN DEL
- MORGAN TWP.
INDIANA SRN BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS
- LAWRENCE NORTH
- INDIANAPOLIS TECH
- SILVER CREEK
- GUERIN CATHOLIC
- PARKE HERITAGE
- LINTON STOCKTON
- COVENANT CHRISTIAN
- SOUTH RIPLEY
- PARK TUDOR
- BARR REEVE
- INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN
- INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY
INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION POLL
- LAWRENCE NORTH
- INDIANAPOLIS TECH
- WARREN CENTRAL
- BLOOMINGTON NORTH
- BLOOMINGTON SOUTH
- NORTH CENTRAL
- MISHAWAKA MARIAN
- BEN DAVIS
- LAWRENCE CENTRAL
- MOUNT VERNON
INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION POLL
- Crown POINT
- South Bend Washington
- Bedford North Lawrence
- North Central
- Mishawaka Marian
12 Silver Creek
13. Columbus East
14. Lake Central
16. East Central
17. Benton Central
20. Hamilton Southeastern
ASSOCIATED PRESS MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL POLL
|1||DUKE 7-0||1513 (51)||5|
|2||PURDUE 6-0||1442 (9)||3|
|3||GONZAGA 7-1||1428 (1)||1|
|19||IOWA STATE 6-0||403||NR|
|22||MICHIGAN STATE 5-2||295||NR|
|25||SETON HALL 5-1||151||21|
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACHES POLL
|1||DUKE 7-0||761 (19)||6|
|2||PURDUE 6-0||742 (10)||4|
|4||BAYLOR 7-0||693 (2)||5|
|22||MICHIGAN STATE 5-2||138||NR|
|23||IOWA STATE 6-0||134||NR|
|25||ST. BONAVENTURE 5-1||96||16|
TOP NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS/PRESS RELEASES
LSU HIRES KELLY AWAY FROM NOTRE DAME TO BE TIGERS NEXT COACH
(AP) — LSU is hiring Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame, a stunning move by one of the most accomplished coaches in college football jumping from the sport’s most storied program to a Southeastern Conference powerhouse.
The move was confirmed Monday night by a person familiar with the decision who spoke to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity because neither school was prepared to make an official announcement. Yahoo! Sports first reported the hire.
It was the second bombshell in college football in as many days, coming a little more than 24 hours after Southern California pulled Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma. LSU might have topped it by luring Kelly from South Bend to Baton Rouge.
The 60-year-old Kelly became t he winningest coach in Notre Dame history earlier this season, surpassing Knute Rockne. In 12 seasons with the Fighting Irish, Kelly is 113-40, including the current run of five straight double-digit victory seasons.
Notre Dame completed an 11-1 season on Saturday and still is in contention to reach the College Football Playoff for the third time in the last four years.
Kelly, who did not return a text message sent by AP, was on the road recruiting for Notre Dame when the news broke.
No previous Notre Dame coach has left the Irish, winners of AP eight national championships, to take a job at another school since the AP poll started in 1936. Rockne’s successor, Hunk Anderson, went from Notre Dame to North Carolina State after going 3-5-1 in 1933.
LSU’s coaching search started in October, when it reached an agreement to part ways with coach Ed Orgeron at the end of the season. The change came less than two years after Coach O led the Tigers to a national championship.
LSU finished a 6-6 regular season on Saturday, upsetting Texas A&M at home in Orgeron’s last game.
Kelly is agreeing to take over the Tigers just a few weeks after he had publicly dismissed the idea of moving on when asked about possibly being a candidate at USC.
“No. I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin had the best line, right?” Kelly told reporters, referring to the Pittsburgh Steelers coach. “Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that $250 million check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her.”
LSU paid Orgeron about $9 million this season, among the highest paid coaches in college football along with Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher.
Orgeron was due to make an average of $7 million over the length of his contract but agreed to a $16.9 million buyout paid through 2025.
Kelly’s full salary at Notre Dame, a private school, is unknown but it is believed to be north of $5 million per year.
In the past month alone, Michigan State has given Mel Tucker a 10-year, $95 million deal and Penn State extended James Franklin’s contact to 10 years at $7.5 million per season. Those deals are similar to the 10-year guaranteed contract Fisher received from A&M when he was hired away from Florida State at the end of the 2017 season.
Kelly is likely to be next in line for a megadeal.
Fisher’s move – a national championship-winning coach leaving for another traditional power – was a rarity in college football.
Now there have have two similar shake ups in a matter of days. The coaching carousel, sped up by everything from impatient athletic directors seeking a winner to the early signing period for recruits and the always-busy transfer portal, won’t slow down any time soon. Oklahoma and Notre Dame are still among the top jobs in college football and filling them could tip more dominos around the country.
Kelly had brought stability and success to Notre Dame unlike the program had in almost two decades.
He has not been able to add a national championship, but the Fighting Irish have been winning at a clip they haven’t reached since Lou Holtz led the program in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Irish won their last national title in 1988 under Holtz.
Notre Dame ran through three coaches after Holtz, never coming close to sustained success.
Notre Dame hired Kelly away from Cincinnati to replace Charlie Weis after the 2009 season. It took a while for Kelly to find the right mix of coaching staff and recruiting strategy to turn the Irish into the perennial contenders. Since going 4-8 in 2016, the Irish are 54-9 under Kelly – virtually the same as the 55-10 record of Riley at Oklahoma.
At LSU, Kelly will follow Orgeron, who was a shooting star in Baton Rouge. The Cajun coach who grew up on the Bayou Lafourche and considered LSU his dream job won over skeptical fans and led one of the great college football teams in recent memory: The Tigers won the ’19 national title, going 15-0 behind Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
LSU is not a place where only coaches with Southern roots can thrive. Les Miles was a Michigan man who coached at Oklahoma State before leading the Tigers to a national title. Saban, a West Virginia native, came from Michigan State to win a national championship at LSU.
Kelly, an Irish-Catholic Bostonian, has won national titles, too – at Division II Grand Valley State. He worked his way up from there to Central Michigan and then to Cincinnati, always winning more than the coaches who preceded him.
He did the same thing at Notre Dame, but the national championship has eluded him. As good as the Fighting Irish have been, they have been outclassed in two playoff games and a BCS tilte game against Alabama in the 2012 season.
Kelly will now try to fill the last remaining hole on his Hall of Fame resume at LSU, a school that has turned its last three coaches into national champions.
BIG 10 FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offensive Player of the Week
Hassan Haskins, Michigan
RB – Sr. – St. Louis, Mo. – Eureka Senior (Mo.)
- Carried 28 times for 169 yards (6.04 avg.) and five touchdowns to help Michigan defeat No. 2 Ohio State, 42-27, capturing a share of the East Division title and earning a berth into the Big Ten Football Championship Game
- His five rushing touchdowns tied a Michigan single-game record. The only other Wolverine in program history to rush for five touchdowns was Ron Johnson vs. Wisconsin on Nov. 16, 1968
- Finished the regular season with 18 rushing touchdowns to tie Anthony Thomas (2000) and Chris Perry (2003) for the second-most rushing touchdowns in a season in Michigan history. Tied Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III for the most rushing touchdowns in the Big Ten in 2021 and finished the regular season tied for fifth among all FBS players
- Is one of just three players in the FBS to register five rushing touchdowns in a game this season, joining Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) and Tyler Allgeier (BYU)
- Earns the first Offensive Player of the Week accolade of his career
- Last Michigan Offensive Player of the Week: Blake Corum (Set. 13, 2021)
Defensive Player of the Week
Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
DE – Sr. – Plymouth, Mich. – Divine Child (Mich.)
- Registered three sacks and seven tackles (five solo) to lead Michigan to a 42-27 win over No. 2 Ohio State, capturing a share of the East Division title and earning a berth into the Big Ten Football Championship Game
- Helped the Wolverines’ defense hold Ohio State to just 64 rushing yards, marking the lowest rushing total by the Buckeyes in a game this season. Accounted for three of Michigan’s four sacks, which are the most sacks surrendered by Ohio State in a game in 2021
- Finished the regular season with 13 sacks to lead the Big Ten and rank third among all FBS players
- Passed David Bowens and LaMarr Woodley (12) to set a new single-season Michigan sack record
- Earns the third Defensive Player of the Week honor of his career and his second of the season
- Last Michigan Defensive Player of the Week: Aidan Hutchinson (Nov. 15, 2021)
Special Teams Player of the Week
Caleb Shudak, Iowa
K – Sr. – Council Bluffs, Iowa – Lewis Central (Iowa)
- Tied a single-game career high with four field goals in Iowa’s 28-21 victory over Nebraska to help the Hawkeyes secure the West Division title and earn a berth into the Big Ten Football Championship Game
- Made all four of his field goal attempts, connecting from 51, 48, 44 and 36 yards
- Tied his previous career long with a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter
- Hit a 44-yard field goal with 7:21 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 21-21 and erase a 12-point deficit
- Earns the first Special Teams Player of the Week honor of his career
- Last Iowa Special Teams Player of the Week: Tory Taylor (Sept. 13, 2021)
Freshman of the Week
Justin Walley, Minnesota
CB – D’Iberville, Miss. – D’Iberville
- Notched the first interception of his career and made a career-high five tackles (all solo) to help Minnesota defeat No. 14 Wisconsin, 23-13
- Intercepted Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz in the third quarter to flip momentum in the game. Gave Minnesota possession at the Wisconsin 28, setting up a Gophers touchdown just two plays later which gave them 13-10 lead
- Helped Minnesota defeat Wisconsin to capture Paul Bunyan’s Axe at home for the first time since 2003
- Earns the first Freshman of the Week honor of his career
- Last Minnesota Freshman of the Week: Mar’Keise Irving (Nov. 1, 2021)
EIGHT BIG TEN SCHOOLS SELECTED FOR NCAA VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT
ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten led all conferences with eight schools chosen to compete in the 2021 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship, it was announced Sunday evening. Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin earned berths to this year’s 64-team NCAA Tournament, which kicks off Thursday at campus sites around the country (some dates and times have been determined, with others to be announced in the coming days). The tournament culminates with the NCAA Final Four Dec. 16 and 18 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with Ohio State and the Columbus Sports Commission serving as co-hosts for the event.
At least one Big Ten school has reached the Final Four each year since 2007 (with two representatives in seven of the last nine Final Fours since 2012), including Wisconsin the past two seasons. Current Big Ten programs have won a total of 12 national championships (10 while competing as a member of the conference), with Nebraska the most recent Big Ten national champion in 2017.
Five Big Ten teams received top-16 national seeds for this year’s NCAA Tournament, earning the right to host first- and second-round matches on their respective campuses. As the No. 4 overall seed, Big Ten Champion Wisconsin is in position to play at home inside the UW Field House all the way to the Final Four. Purdue was seeded No. 6, followed by No. 9 seed Ohio State, No. 10 Nebraska and No. 12 Minnesota.
With Sunday’s announcement, Penn State has now been chosen for all 41 NCAA tournaments since the event debuted in 1981. The Nittany Lions remain the only program that has competed in every NCAA volleyball tournament to date.
The eight Big Ten teams selected for this year’s NCAA Tournament are tied for the second-most ever sent by the conference to a single tournament, trailing only its nine selections in 2015. This is the ninth time the Big Ten has sent eight teams to the NCAA Tournament and first since 2017, which capped a stretch from 2010-17 in which the conference had at least eight NCAA Tournament on six occasions.
Illinois (20-11, 12-8 Big Ten) will be making its 27th NCAA Tournament appearance and 11th in the past 14 seasons. The Fighting Illini have advanced to the Final Four on four occasions, most recently in 2018, and will open this year’s tournament in Lexington, Ky., taking on West Virginia in the first round. Subregional host and No. 7 seed Kentucky will meet Southeast Missouri in the other Lexington opener with the two victors matching up for a spot in the Sweet 16.
Michigan (18-11, 11-9) is set to make its 20th NCAA Tournament appearance, all in the past 25 seasons. The Wolverines, who made their first-ever trip to the Final Four in 2012, are slated to begin their 2021 postseason run against Ball State at 4 p.m. (ET) Friday in Louisville, Ky., with top-seeded Louisville facing UIC in the subregional’s other first-round match. The winners will square off at 6 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
Minnesota (19-8, 15-5) earned its 26th bid to the NCAA Tournament and 21st in the last 22 years. The No. 12 seed Golden Gophers have six Final Fours to their credit, most recently in 2019, and will begin their quest for another trip to college volleyball’s biggest stage by hosting a subregional at Maturi Pavilion this weekend. Minnesota, which tied for third in the Big Ten this season, will take on South Dakota at 8 p.m. (ET) Friday, following the other first-round match in Minneapolis between Stanford and Iowa State. The winners return for a second-round contest the following evening.
Nebraska (21-7, 16-4) is a five-time national champion and will be competing in the NCAA Tournament for the 40th time, appearing in every tournament except the inaugural event in 1981. The Huskers, who have reached the Final Four 15 times and were the Big Ten runner-up this year, led the nation in attendance this season and, as the No. 10 national seed, they will open at home in the Bob Devaney Sports Center with a first-round match against Campbell. The other two teams in the Lincoln subregional will be Florida State and Kansas State.
Ohio State (25-5, 15-5) tied for third in the Big Ten standings, its best conference finish since 2005. The Buckeyes subsequently earned their 26th NCAA Tournament berth and second in a row following a three-year hiatus, with the added benefit of the No. 9 national seed and the opening two rounds played at Covelli Center. OSU, which has advanced to the Final Four twice (1991 and 1994) will entertain Howard in the first round at 7 p.m. (ET) Friday, with the winner of the North Carolina-Tennessee match waiting in the second round at 6 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
Penn State (20-10, 13-7) is the true blueblood of the NCAA Tournament with its 41-year appearance streak continuing this weekend. The Nittany Lions have won a Big Ten-best seven national championships and reached 13 Final Fours, most recently in 2017. They will start their latest postseason journey with a first-round match at 4 p.m. (ET) Friday against Towson in Pittsburgh. The subregional host and No. 3 national seed Panthers or UMBC await for PSU in round two at 7 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
Purdue (23-6, 15-5) was part of the three-way tie for third place in this year’s Big Ten standings, the best conference showing for the Boilermakers since 2011. Purdue is appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time and the 16th in 18 seasons, starting this year’s event at home inside Holloway Gymnasium as the No. 6 national seed. The Boilermakers have drawn Illinois State for their tournament opener, with the other two squads in the subregional being Dayton and Marquette.
Three-time reigning Big Ten Champion Wisconsin (25-3, 17-3) earned the Big Ten’s automatic qualification into this year’s NCAA Tournament and captured the No. 4 national seed. The Badgers are making their 25th NCAA Tournament appearance and ninth in a row, with three of their four Final Four appearances (and two national championship match berths) coming during this current nine-year run. Wisconsin’s postseason run will begin at 8 p.m. (ET) Friday when the Badgers play host to Colgate, following the other first-round match at the UW Field House between Texas Tech and Florida Gulf Coast. The two first-round winners will return at 7 p.m. (ET) Saturday for a second-round contest.
Television coverage for NCAA Tournament matches prior to the semifinals will be announced at a later date. The NCAA Final Four semifinals will be televised live Dec. 16 on ESPN with the national championship match broadcast live on Dec. 18 on ESPN2.
MAC FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
MAC Football East Division Offensive Player of the Week
Xavier Williams, Kent State, RB
Graduate, Forestville, MD/Bishop McNamara
Xavier Williams had a career day to help Kent State capture the East division. Williams ran for a career high 168 yards on just 13 carries and two touchdowns. He busted two long runs of 78 and 50 on both touchdown runs. His 168 yards alone were more than Miami had allowed to any MAC opponent.
MAC Football East Division Defensive Player of the Week
Montre Miller, Kent State, CB
R-JR, Blythewood, S.C. Westwood
Miller had an impactful day to say the least for the Golden Flashes. Miller had a key second-half interception and was credited with three pass break-ups in addition to his four tackles. He made the biggest play of the game, and the season for Kent State, breaking up a Brett Gabbert pass on the game-winning two-point conversion in overtime.
MAC Football East Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Nate Needham , Bowling Green, PK
Senior, Chesterton, Ind. (Chesterton HS)
In windy northwestern Ohio conditions, Needham hit on 4-of-5 of his field goals, including going 3-of-3 in the second half to help break a 10-10 tie. His 43-yard field goal in the third quarter broke the 10-10 tie and put BGSU up for good. After a safety by the BGSU defense to put the Falcons up by five, 15-10, Needham hit on a 40-yard field goal with 7:03 left in the game to make it an 8-point game. After a BGSU interception, Needham sealed the victory with a 39-yard field goal with 1:19 left to play, making it an 11-point game. HIs only field goal miss on the season came in a windy second quarter. The attempt was 43 yards.
MAC Football West Division Offensive Player of the Week
Skyy Moore, Western Michigan, Wide Receiver
Sophomore, New Kensington, Pa. (Shady Side Academy)
Moore tied a program record with four receiving touchdown in Tuesday’s 42-21 win at Northern Illinois…He added 12 catches for the second week in a row and had a career-high 206 receiving yards.
MAC Football West Division Defensive Player of the Week
Jamal Hines, Toledo, OLB
Junior, Cincinnati, Ohio (Princeton)
Junior Jamal Hines was a disruptive force once again for the Rockets, tallying a team-high seven tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a QB hurry in Toledo’s 49-14 win against Akron last Saturday. Hines has been on a tear lately, registering seven sacks in his last four games. He ranks second in the MAC with 10 sacks this season
MAC Football West Division Special Teams Player of the Week
Jake Julien, Eastern Michigan, P
Senior, Barrie, Ontario-North Collegiate
Julien was outstanding yet again, this time against Central Michigan, Nov. 28. Julien punted four times for the Eagles with an average of 48.8 yards per punt while pinning the Chippewas inside their own 20 one time. He used his last regular-season game as an Eagle to boot the longest ball of his career. The Barrie, Ontario native blasted a 78-yarder with just over 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter. The longest kick of his career, it marked his third overall effort of 70+ yards since his arrival on campus. His previous long, 73 yards, came in a game against Western Michigan, Oct. 6, 2018.
HCAC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK
Athlete of the Week:
Lexi Dellinger (Berne, Ind.) Anderson University | Guard | Senior – Dellinger scored more than 30 points for the second game in a row as Anderson captured an 83-75 win against St. Mary’s (Ind.). Dellinger poured in 34 points to lead the Ravens, which ties for eighth for the most points scored in a single game in program history. She also collected 12 rebounds for Anderson. Dellinger converted 13-of-20 (65 percent) shots from the field and 8-of-9 (88.9 percent) attempts from the charity stripe.
- Brianna Gillig (New Riegel, Ohio) Bluffton University | Forward | Senior – Gillig hit 11-of-12 from the line en route to her first double-double of the season. She led everyone with 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds as Bluffton downed Heidelberg 64-51 for its second-straight victory on Tuesday night.
- Taylor Steinbrunner (Beavercreek, Ohio) Defiance College | Guard | Junior – Steinbrunner led the Yellow Jackets to an 83-70 win against HCAC foe Mount St. Joseph last Wednesday with a career-high 25 points, while adding seven rebounds. She went 8-of-11 from the field including 7-of-9 from the three-point line.
- CiCi Bailey (Milan, Ind.) Franklin College | Forward | Sophomore – Bailey played a season-high 25 minutes and had 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for Franklin in Tuesday night’s win over Principia, marking the second time this season that Bailey has recorded a double-double.
- Reese Sexton (Louisville, Ky.) Hanover College | Guard | Sophomore – Sexton helped lead the Panthers past Centre 69-65 after erasing a 12-point deficit. The sophomore turned in a balanced score sheet with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
- Miranda Bieghler (Plainfield, Ind.) Manchester University | Guard | Senior – Bieghler lined the stat sheet in Manchester’s come-from-behind 75-69 win at Beloit on Saturday. Bieghler finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and three assists. She also came up clutch at the free throw line, finishing 8-9 on the day. The Spartans are off to a 3-1 start this season.
- Rowan Hein (Fresno, Calif.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Guard | Sophomore – Hein averaged 20.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game as Rose-Hulman finished as runner-up at the nationally regarded Midwest Challenge. Hein scored a career-high 27 points on 9-of-18 from the field with eight rebounds and six assists in a 69-64 overtime win over Illinois Wesleyan. She scored 13 points with six rebounds in a narrow 64-54 loss to No. 10 ranked and unbeaten DePauw in the championship game.
- Laken Ball (Beckley, W.Va.) Transylvania University | Forward | Junior – Ball was a dominant force inside, leading the Pioneers to a 2-0 week with a pair of home wins at their Pat Deacon Classic, winning 67-47 against Berea on Saturday, and by 30 points against Piedmont in a 76-46 mastery on Sunday. In Saturday’s win against Berea, Ball set the tone with the first 11 points of the game for Transy to finish with a game-high and season-high 18 points on a season-best 8-of-14 shooting from the field along with a season-high nine rebounds, three assists, and a block. Ball followed up the performance with another near double-double in Sunday’s win against Piedmont, tallying 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor with eight rebounds, a block and a steal to boost the No. 17 nationally-ranked Pioneers (WBCA Top 25 poll) to a 5-0 start to the season. For the week, Ball averaged 14.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, and 57 percent field goal shooting (13-23 FG).
HCAC MEN’S BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK
Athlete of the Week:
Ty Wright (Mooresville, Ind.) Franklin College | Forward | Sophomore – Wright had a huge night for the Grizzlies in their Tuesday night win over Centre, going 9-for-12 from the field with three three-pointers en route to a career-high 25 points in a 75-64 win. He added seven rebounds, two assists and one steal while playing a career-high 37 minutes to help Franklin earn their first win over Centre since 2013.
- Jameel Cosby (Springfield, Ohio) Bluffton University | Guard | Senior – Cosby went 10-of-20 from the field for a game-high 25 points and he also led Bluffton with seven rebounds as the Beavers manhandled Hiram 73-57 for their first win of the season on Saturday.
- Ty Houston (Union, Ky.) Hanover College | Guard | Junior – Houston helped lead the Panthers past Wittenberg 76-69. The junior charted his first double-double of the season with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds (12 of which were defensive). He also added four assists and two blocks.
- Dillon Duff (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology | Forward | Sophomore – Duff finished 5-of-8 from the field with five rebounds to lead Rose-Hulman in a 72-66 loss to DePauw on Sunday. Duff had a 10-0 run of his own in the second half to turn a 59-54 deficit into a 64-59 lead before DePauw rallied to capture the win.
- Zach Larimore (La Grange, Ky.) Transylvania University | Forward | Senior – In their lone game of the week, Larimore led Transylvania to a 69-68 victory over Asbury at home on Saturday with a game-high 25 points. Larimore shot 67 percent from the field on 12 for 18 shooting, adding five rebounds in 37 minutes of play. The 25 points was a season-high for Larimore while the field goal figure was the best of his career with a minimum of 15 field goals attempted. Larimore scored four straight buckets down the stretch of an 18-point second half comeback to ignite a game-ending 14-6 run.
RIVER STATES CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS SELECTED FOR NOV. 22-28
RIO GRANDE’S JORDAN NAMED RSC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — University of Rio Grande (Ohio) junior Hailey Jordan powered the undefeated RedStorm to a pair of big wins to earn River States Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 22-28.
Jordan, a guard/forward from Columbus, Ohio, led Rio Grande to a big win inside and outside of conference. First, there was a victory over conference co-favorite WVU Tech, 80-63, then a win over NAIA No. 9-ranked Indiana Tech on the road, 85-79.
Jordan did her part averaging 14.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and a perfect 9 for 9 from the foul line. She battled foul trouble but still put up 12 points versus WVU Tech. Jordan then tallied 17 points before fouling out in 35 minutes versus Indiana Tech, Rio Grande’s first win over a Top-10 team.
Jordan is still perfect from the foul line on the year. Rio Grande has a perfect record as a team at 11-0, 3-0 RSC and will be home versus Ohio Christian on Nov. 30.
MIDWAY’S EVANS PULLS IN RSC MEN’S BASKETBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Midway (Ky.) University forward Raekwon Evans had a record-setting week to claim River States Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for Nov. 22-28.
The senior from Louisville, Ky., averaged 29.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game in a huge performance across three games. A big highlight was a school-record 45 points in a 157-135 win over Greenville (Ill.). It was the first of two wins at the Jim Reid Classic at Georgetown (Ky.) College.
The record-setting win also included 12 rebounds and seven assists. Evans had double-doubles in all three games to lead the Eagles to a 2-1 week. He also shot 64 percent (39 of 61) from the field. The Eagles lost to IU Southeast despite 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists from Evans. In a win over Wilberforce, he posted 20 points, 12 rebounds and a couple of steals.
Midway is 6-2 overall, 1-1 RSC and will play at Alice Lloyd (Ky.) on Nov. 30.
MLB Reportedly Proposes 14-Team Playoff Field In Collective Bargaining Negotiations
Major League Baseball has proposed expanding the postseason field to fourteen teams in collective bargaining discussions with the Players Association, reports Jesse Rogers of ESPN. That’s hardly a surprise, as Commissioner Rob Manfred has publicly advocated for expanding the playoffs (reportedly preferring a 14-team setup) going back to last year, when the league and MLBPA agreed to a 16-team playoff during the shortened 2020 season.
Under the proposed format, the top seed in each league would receive a bye — as is the case with the NFL’s current structure. However, Rogers adds that MLB’s proposal would allow the other two division winners in each league to choose which Wild Card team they’d prefer to face in the first round, which would take the form of a three-game series. The division winner with the second-best record in each league would have its pick of any of the four Wild Card clubs in its league; the final division winner would pick to face one of the other three Wild Card teams; the two Wild Card teams remaining would face one another.
The league has long been expected to prioritize an expanded playoff field in collective bargaining talks. An increased number of postseason games comes with an associated uptick in gate and television revenue, an obvious appeal for ownership groups. The effects for players could be more mixed. While some players could stand to benefit from increased playoff shares, Rogers notes that the MLBPA is concerned that an expanded playoff field could reduce the incentive for teams to aggressively try to bolster their roster.
A broader playoff field increases every team’s odds of getting into the postseason, and front offices may find the greater odds a disincentive to upgrading their roster via free agency or trade. Small-sample postseason series have an inherent high level of randomness. It seems the fear among some on the players’ side is that teams could be satisfied to build a slightly above-average roster (which would stand a much greater chance of making the postseason in a 14-team field than under the current 10-team system) and hope that a hot streak can carry them deep into the playoffs.
MLB, on the other hand, contends that the first-round bye would offer such a significant advantage to the teams with the best record in each league that very good clubs would remain motivated to improve. Meanwhile, the expanded field could offer a greater incentive for teams with mediocre rosters to add short-term impact, since the proposal would significantly increase those teams’ chances of getting to the postseason at all.
Rogers notes that the expanded playoff proposal has been on the table for months, but he reports that MLB recently put forward a new suggestion: a lottery for the top three amateur draft choices. Rather than setting the draft order as the inverse of the league standings — as is the current setup — this proposal would introduce a weighted system that injects more randomness into the process. Teams with the worst records would still have a greater chance of securing higher picks, but any non-playoff team would have a chance at a top three selection.
That offer is in response to players’ concerns that the current system rewards teams that orchestrate long-term rebuilds with perennially high draft choices. Of course, it’s not entirely clear that a weighted lottery would serve as much of a disincentive for tanking, since teams would still have higher probabilities of top picks with worse records.
Rogers’ colleague at ESPN, Jeff Passan, shed some further light on CBA talks this afternoon. Passan reports that the league recently offered a slight raise over the luxury tax thresholds set in the 2016-21 CBA. That’s a turnaround from the league’s earlier efforts to tie a lowered tax threshold to a soft salary floor, an offer the MLBPA rejected. It’s not clear how high the league is willing to set the thresholds, though, and Passan adds that the league’s willingness to raise them might come with associated stiffer penalties for exceeding them. Unsurprisingly, the MLBPA expressed concern that’d counterbalance high-spending teams’ willingness to surpass those thresholds.
Passan further reports that MLB has expressed openness to a “minimal” bump on the league minimum salary, which sat at $570.5K in 2021. MLB’s offer also included the introduction of the designated hitter to the National League, an on-field alteration widely expected to ultimately be put into place. Passan offers an in-depth breakdown of the labor dynamics that is well worth a full read for those interested in the topic.
The current CBA expires on Wednesday at 11:59 pm EST. It’s widely expected that the league will lock out the players if no deal is agreed upon at that point, a move that would come with an accompanying freeze on major league transactions. (Players who were not on a major league roster last season could still sign minor league contracts with clubs, Passan notes). Jon Heyman of the MLB Network tweeted this afternoon that while there’s been “incremental” progress between the two sides of late, there’s “basically no hope” of a deal getting done within the next 48 hours. That reality has been reflected in the flurry of free agent activity we’ve seen in recent days, as many players and teams have been highly motivated to lock in deals before the expected MLB transaction prohibition.
TIGERS NEARING DEAL WITH JAVIER BAEZ
The Tigers are closing in on a multi-year agreement with free-agent shortstop Javier Baez, reports MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (Twitter links). The Wasserman client is expected to sign for a six-year term if the contract indeed crosses the finish line, Morosi adds.
Shortstop has been a glaring need for the Tigers since the onset of free agency, with general manager Al Avila plainly stating his intentions to improve at the position not long after the season’s conclusion. While many speculated that Carlos Correa, who knows Detroit skipper AJ Hinch quite well from the pair’s time in Houston, would be the likeliest candidate to step into that role, Avila & Co. have preached a more measured approach since the offseason commenced. The Tigers already inked lefty Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77MM contract early in free agency, and adding Baez to the fold would effectively satisfy multiple needs at what figures to be a fair bit less than the cost of Correa on his own.
Detroit shortstops were quite nearly the worst in Major League Baseball from an offensive standpoint in 2021, hitting a combined .201/.275/.321. The resulting 62 wRC+ (i.e. 38 percent worse than league-average production) was the second-lowest mark in the sport, leading only a tanking Pirates club in overall offensive output at the position.
The Tigers have already moved on from their leader in shortstop innings over the past few seasons, bidding adieu to Niko Goodrum after passing him through waivers unclaimed and watching him elect free agency. Baez would represent an across-the-board improvement over Goodrum, providing lights-out, frequently highlight-reel defense in addition to considerable power and baserunning skills for his position.
The 2020 campaign was a season to forget for Baez, but the end result of a roller-coaster 2021 season was a .265/.319/.494 batting line with 31 homers and 18 steals (in 23 tries) for the two-time All-Star and 2018 NL MVP runner-up. Generally speaking, Baez (who’ll turn 29 tomorrow) is a power-hitting but free-swinging shortstop whose penchant for putting the ball over the fence is at least somewhat mitigated by an anemic walk rate that typically lands him near the bottom of the league in on-base percentage. This year’s .319 OBP was actually the second-highest single-season career mark for Baez, who has drawn a free pass in just 4.8% of his 3255 MLB plate appearances.
That said, it’s worth pointing out that there were some positive strides shown by Baez following a trade from the Cubs to the Mets at the July 30 deadline. After whiffing in a whopping 36.3% of his plate appearances in Chicago, Baez cut that figure to a more tolerable (albeit still too lofty) 28.5% in Queens. He also walked at a 7% clip with the Mets — a mark that’s a good bit shy of the 8.8% league average but also well north of 4.7% mark he carried throughout his years with the Cubs. After a rocky run with the Cubs in 2021, Baez finished the season on a heater and posted a composite .299/.371/.515 batting line as a Met.
Inconsistent as Baez may be at the plate, it’s hard to argue with the bottom-line results at the end of the day. Even including 2020’s woeful season, Baez is a .270/.311/.508 hitter (113 wRC+) with 102 home runs over his past 1988 plate appearances, dating back to 2018. He’s one of baseball’s premier defenders — regardless of position.
Since Opening Day 2018, Baez ranks third among all Major League players with 52 Outs Above Average, per Statcast, and his 44 Defensive Runs Saved place him ninth among 4053 defenders who’ve taken the field. While the now-former incumbent Goodrum was a solid defender in hiss own right, Baez is a game-changer with the glove who’ll serve as a pronounced improvement to the Detroit defense.
The Mets were reportedly interested in retaining Baez, who is close friends with New York shortstop Francisco Lindor, but it now seems he’ll instead head to the Motor City and serve as one of the faces of a team looking to emerge from a rebuilding cocoon and announce its return to contention in the American League Central.
Detroit has spent most of the past five years in a prolonged rebuilding effort but has managed to stockpile an enviable farm system that now leaves the team on the precipice of turning the corner. Young starters Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning will be expected to team with Rodriguez in leading the starting staff, while 2020 No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson and 2019 No. 5 overall pick Riley Greene are both viewed as top-10 leaguewide prospects and potential lineup anchors.
That blossoming young core makes it easy for Detroit, a team that has previously trotted out Opening Day payrolls north of $200MM, to spend heavily in free agency this winter. Miguel Cabrera is signed through the 2023 season, but the only player on the books beyond that point is the aforementioned Rodriguez. Roster Resource’s Jason Martinez projects a $104MM payroll without Baez next season, and that’s before the likely non-tender of Matthew Boyd and his $7.3MM projected salary (courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz).
With that in mind, even if this is the last marquee move of the offseason for the Tigers — and, to be clear, there’s no indication that’s the case — the additions of Baez and Rodriguez clearly set the stage for a return to aggressive adding in Detroit. The Tigers will have one more high-end draft pick in 2022, but the goal for the team is clearly to shift into win-now mode, and the additions of both Baez and Rodriguez are notable steps in that direction. Baez has averaged a hefty 4.6 wins above replacement (per Baseball-Reference) per season over the past four years, even including that ugly 2020 campaign, and the Tigers will count on him for more of the same as a linchpin both in the lineup and on defense as they turn the page from a rebuild the fans are all too ready to leave in the rear-view mirror.
AP SOURCE: SCHERZER AND METS AGREE TO $130M, 3-YEAR CONTRACT
NEW YORK (AP) Max Scherzer has shattered baseball’s record for highest average salary, agreeing Monday to a $130 million, three-year contract with the New York Mets, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement is subject to a successful physical.
The $43.33 million average salary is 20% higher than the previous mark, the $36 million Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole is averaging in his $324 million, nine-year contract with New York.
Scherzer would have the right to opt out after the 2023 season to become a free agent once again. Scherzer also receives a full no-trade provision, requiring his approval for any deals. The agreement also includes award bonuses.
Scherzer lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, about an hour’s drive from the Mets spring training complex in Port St. Lucie. He was planning to take a physical Monday that is needed for the deal to be completed.
A three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time All-Star, the 37-year-old right-hander was 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA last season for the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him on July 30. He struck out 236 and walked 36 in 179 1/3 innings, averaging 94.4 mph with his fastball in the final season of a $210 million, seven-year contract that included $105 million in deferred money payable from 2022-28.
He is 190-97 with a 3.16 ERA in 14 major league seasons for Arizona (2008-09), Detroit (2010-14), Washington and the Dodgers. He has distinctive eyes, blue on the right, brown on the left, a condition known as Heterochromia Iridis.
A workhorse who helped the Nationals win the 2019 World Series title, Scherzer won the AL Cy Young in 2013 and consecutive NL Cy Youngs in 2016 and 2017. He finished third in this year’s voting behind Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes and Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler.
He has pitched a pair of no-hitters, in 2015 against Pittsburgh and at the Mets.
Scherzer gets $43,333,333 annually. The Mets deal will raise his career earnings to more than $370 million.
He joins a rotation headed by two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who didn’t pitch after July 7 because of right forearm tightness. Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker also return under club control.
Noah Syndergaard, returning from Tommy John surgery, left for a $21 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels. The Mets lost out on left-hander Steven Matz, whose $44 million, four-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals was to be finalized Monday.
New York also has pending deals with center fielder Starling Marte ($78 million for four years), outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar, all contingent on successful physicals.
The Mets had baseball’s third-highest payroll on Aug. 31 at $196 million, trailing the Dodgers ($261 million) and Yankees ($204 million), They could emerge as the top spender following their first full offseason under owner Steven Cohen, who bought the team in November 2020 from the Wilpon and Katz families in a deal that valued the Mets at a baseball-record $2.42 billion.
As baseball heads to a likely lockout when the collective bargaining agreement expires Wednesday night, Scherzer is a member of the union’s eight-player executive subcommittee.
His agreement, like Cole’s, was negotiated by agent Scott Boras.
AP SOURCE: RANGERS LAND SS SEAGER ON $325M, 10-YEAR DEAL
(AP) — The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a $325 million, 10-year deal with shortstop Corey Seager, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal was pending a physical and wasn’t finalized.
Seager was the NL MVP in 2020 and a two-time All-Star in his seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .306 with 16 homers and 57 RBIs in 95 games this year, when he broke a finger on his right hand after getting hit by a pitch May 15 and missed 2 1/2 months.
The deal for Seager is the biggest in Rangers history, and matches Giancarlo Stanton for the fifth largest in overall value in baseball. The $325 million trails only the deals of Mike Trout ($426.5 million), Mookie Betts ($365 million), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($340 million) and Bryce Harper ($330 million).
Seager’s deal with the Rangers came a day after Texas reached an agreement on a seven-year, $175 million contract with Gold Glove second baseman Marucus Semien, according a person familiar with that deal that was also pending a successful physical.
AP SOURCE: MARINERS FINALIZING DEAL WITH CY YOUNG WINNER RAY
SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Mariners are finalizing a contract with American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on the condition of anonymity because Ray still must undergo a physical and the deal has not been signed. ESPN.com first reported the sides were finalizing an agreement, expected to be for $115 million over five years.
Ray is coming off the best season of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, going 13-7 with a 2.84 ERA and 248 strikeouts in 193 1/3 innings. A left-handed power pitcher, Ray led the American League in ERA, games started, innings pitched and led all of baseball in strikeouts.
He immediately becomes the ace of the Seattle staff. Marco Gonzales, Chris Flexen and Logan Gilbert are also under contract for the 2022 season for an ascending Mariners team that went 90-72 last season and barely missed snapping the club’s 20-year playoff drought.
It’s the second major move of the offseason by the Mariners and probably not the last one. Seattle acquired second baseman Adam Frazier in a trade with San Diego on Saturday, the first in a series of moves the Mariners believe will make them a contender in the American League.
A chunk of what Seattle had available to spend on free agents is going to Ray.
Ray wasn’t even an All-Star in his first full season with the Blue Jays, which speaks to how dominant he was the second half of the year. Beginning with his start on July 11 against Tampa Bay, where he threw seven shutout innings, Ray had a 2.35 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 99 2/3 innings over his final 16 starts of the season. Ray pitched at least six innings in 12 of the 16 and allowed more than three earned runs only twice.
Ray was the clear choice for the Cy Young, earning 29 of 30 first-place votes to easily outpace New York’s Gerrit Cole.
It was a rebound season for Ray, who went a combined 2-5 with a 6.62 ERA for Arizona and the Blue Jays and issued the most walks in the majors during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Ray’s power arm always drew attention. He ranks No. 1 in major league history with 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings (minimum: 1,000 innings), and he was an All-Star with Arizona in 2017.
But controlling his heat and sharp breaking pitches often was a problem, and Ray bottomed out in 2020. The dip caused his base salary to drop from $9.43 million to $8 million this year. He earned some of that back with a $125,000 bonus for winning the Cy Young, in part because Ray rediscovered his control. Ray walked just 52 batters with the Blue Jays.
Ray, who turned 30 on Oct. 1, made his major league debut with Detroit in 2014 and grew into a top starter during five full seasons in Arizona. Ray was an All-Star in 2017 when he went 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts.
So far, Ray has been durable. He’s made at least 28 starts in four of the past five 162-game seasons. The only season he didn’t make at least 28 starts came in 2018 with the Diamondbacks.
MLB IMPOSES RETROACTIVE 20-GAME SUSPENSION ON MARCELL OZUNA FOR VIOLATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE POLICY
Major League Baseball announced a retroactive 20-game suspension without pay for Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna, as per the terms of the MLB – MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Ozuna’s suspension was retroactively served during his time on Administrative Leave at the end of this past season; he’ll be eligible to return to the field starting in 2022. He will forfeit twenty games’ salary, as his previous Administrative Leave placement had been paid pending the results of the league’s investigation.
Ozuna was arrested on May 29 after police responded to a domestic disturbance at his residence. Court filings at the time indicated that the responding officers saw Ozuna place his hands around his wife’s neck, throw her against a wall and strike her with a cast that was on his left hand. (He had fractured two fingers in a game the week before and was on the injured list at the time).
Felony charges originally brought against Ozuna were dropped in early August, but prosecutors moved forward with a pair of misdemeanor charges. In early September, Ozuna agreed to enter into a three-to-six month domestic violence intervention program that could see those charges dropped if he completes all the required measures. The domestic violence policy allows the league to impose discipline even in the absence of criminal charges.
Ozuna signed a four-year, $65MM contract with the Braves last offseason. He remains under contract through 2024.
WASHINGTON BEATS WILSON, SEAHAWKS 17-15 FOR 3RD WIN IN A ROW
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Ron Rivera was left adrift without a kicker and felt like he had to go for it in every situation.
The final roll of the dice by “Riverboat Ron” on fourth and goal opened the door for some heroics by Russell Wilson, but Kendall Fuller’s interception on Seattle’s 2-point conversion attempt allowed Washington to hold on and beat the Seahawks 17-15 Monday night for the team’s third consecutive victory.
“It meant a lot just because of the way these guys fight,” said Rivera, who pointed at and encouraged fans while walking off the field. “In spite of everything that’s gone on during the game with the injuries, we were able to come out on top, so good for these guys.”
After Taylor Heinicke’s fourth-down pass to Logan Thomas at the goal line was ruled incomplete on video review, Wilson led the Seahawks on a 10-play, 96-yard touchdown drive in just over two minutes. He connected with Freddy Swain on a 32-yard TD pass with 15 seconds left, but his 2-point throw to Swain was picked off by Fuller, preventing Wilson from leading a memorable comeback on his 33rd birthday.
“You’ve seen Russell do that for the last 10 years, and you never count him out,” Heinicke said.
He almost got another chance when it looked like Seattle (3-8) had recovered an onside kick. But the Seahawks were penalized for illegal formation on the first attempt and failed to recover the second.
“The last few minutes of the game shows that we have the right character of guys,” Wilson said. “That’s what’s special about this team just to believe that something great’s going to happen.”
The loss likely ended Seattle’s hopes for any longshot playoff bid.
Wilson was 20 of 31 for 247 yards and two TD passes, but he missed several throws and lost three consecutive games for the first time as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback.
“The film doesn’t lie, you know,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He missed some stuff.”
Washington (5-6) moved into the final NFC wild-card spot with the win. “We got some momentum right now,” receiver Terry McLaurin said.
J.D. McKissic caught a touchdown pass from Heinicke, ran for another and accounted for 56 yards from scrimmage against the team he broke into the NFL with before being carted off with an undisclosed injury late in the game.
“He’s one of the most versatile guys in the league,” Rivera said of McKissic. “He’s a threat on first, second and third down.”
Heinicke and Co. had to do everything in the second half without the possibility of a field goal after kicker Joey Slye injured a hamstring late in the second quarter on an extra point attempt that was blocked and returned for two points. Heinicke evaded a couple of potential sacks and outdueled Wilson in a matchup of mobile QBs, going 27 of 35 for 223 yards with the TD throw to McKissic and an interception.
A departure from each team’s typical results in prime time, Washington won at home on Monday night for the third time in 20 tries since FedEx Field opened in 1997. Seattle, which entered with the NFL’s best winning percentage on Monday night, fell to 11-4 in these situations in Carroll’s 11 seasons as coach.
Carroll’s Seahawks have fallen out of playoff contention over the past three weeks. They were right in it against Washington when Rasheem Green blocked, recovered and returned the extra point attempt late in the first half to tie the score at 9, but the offense went cold after halftime.
Washington outrushed Seattle 152-34 and held a 41:40-18:20 edge in time of possession. The Seahawks were 4 of 12 on third down.
“It’s just such an obviously issue for us not converting,” Carroll said. “We didn’t run the ball well at all tonight, but there just so few plays that every single play counts so much in the end.”
Since the NFL allowed the defense to return a PAT for points in 2015, Green became the first player to block, recover and score on the same play, according to SportRadar. It was the first defensive conversion in the league since 2019 and the 11th over the past seven seasons, with seven coming on extra points.
A sprinkler burst in a suite during the first half, the second public water malfunction at Washington’s home stadium this season. A pipe burst over fans in the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 12.
LEAP OF FAIL
Everett attempted a “Lambeau Leap” style jump into the stands after his TD catch in the first quarter. A fan in a burgundy No. 52 Washington jersey pushed Everett off to continue to celebration on the field.
REPORT IN SPOTLIGHT
Two former Washington employees used the occasion of the NFL’s “Inspire Change” night to shine a spotlight on their efforts to get the league to release the findings of an investigation into the team’s workplace misconduct. Owner Dan Snyder was fined $10 million last summer upon the completion of the investigation, but a written report was never produced.
“We deserve to have the findings be shown to the public so there’s actual accountability,” said Megan Imbert, who was wearing a (hash)ReleaseTheReport sweatshirt in the team’s colors.
Seahawks: Starting LG Damien Lewis was out with an elbow injury. Kyle Fuller started in his place.
Washington: C Wes Schweitzer left in the second quarter with an ankle injury, pushing fourth-stringer Keith Ismael into action. … Thomas returned after missing six games with a hamstring injury. … WR Curtis Samuel made his first catch since Week 4, playing in just his third game this season because of a groin injury that has lingered for months.
Seahawks: Host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Washington: Visit the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
STEELERS PLACE STAR LINEBACKER T.J. WATT ON COVID-19 LIST
PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed star outside linebacker T.J. Watt on the COVID-19 list.
The team made the announcement on Monday, a day after the Steelers were embarrassed 41-10 on the road in Cincinnati.
Watt is the third high-profile member of the Steelers to go on the COVID-19 list in recent weeks. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick went into the COVID-19 protocol earlier this month.
Roethlisberger sat out practice after going onto the list on Oct. 13 and missed a tie with Detroit. He participated virtually the following week and returned to play in a loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.
Fitzpatrick did not play against the Chargers after going onto the list on Oct. 15.
Watt’s 12 1/2 sacks rank second in the NFL, but he was limited to just two tackles against Cincinnati while dealing with hip and knee injuries suffered against the Lions.
Watt’s potential absence is the latest setback for Pittsburgh’s reeling defense. Veteran defensive linemen Tyson Alualu and Stephon Tuitt are out with injuries and inside linebacker Robert Spillane left on Sunday with a knee injury and did not return.
The Steelers host AFC North-leading Baltimore (8-3) next Sunday.
PANTHERS RB MCCAFFREY OUT FOR THE SEASON WITH ANKLE INJURY
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The injury bug has gotten Christian McCaffrey yet again.
The Carolina Panthers often-injured running back will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury, the team announced Monday.
McCaffrey had an MRI that revealed the injury was severe enough to put him on injured reserve. Because of his anticipated recovery time and given that it would be his second time on IR, the news means McCaffrey will miss out on Carolina’s final five regular-season games following its bye week.
McCaffrey missed five games earlier this season with a hamstring injury.
He missed 13 games last season with various injuries, including seven with a high ankle sprain.
The 2017 first-round draft pick was injured in the first half of Carolina’s 33-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins and played only sparingly after that.
It’s the second straight year McCaffrey has ended the season on injured reserve. He played in just three games last season.
Since becoming the NFL’s highest-paid running back with a four-year, $64 million contract after an All-Pro season in 2019, McCaffrey will have missed 23 of 33 games in the last two seasons due to injuries.
McCaffrey had 421 yards on 68 carries and a touchdown the past four weeks after returning from a lingering hamstring issue. He finished the season with 442 yards and a touchdown and 37 catches for 343 yards and a score.
The Panthers started the season 3-0, but lost McCaffrey to a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Houston Texans. McCaffrey was outspoken at the time about the dangers of playing Thursday night games, saying he wasn’t a big fan.
The Panthers’ season spiraled out of control after that, going 1-4 with their best offensive player on the bench.
McCaffrey returned on Nov. 7 against New England, but the team lost. However, the following week the Panthers went to Arizona and upset the Cardinals, the NFC’s top team. Since then Carolina has lost to Washington and Miami to fall to 5-7, leaving them outside the playoff chase entering this week’s bye.
Chuba Hubbard is expected to start for the Panthers the rest of the way, with Ameer Abdullah seeing additional action. Hubbard’s best game came Oct. 10 against Philadelphia when he ran 24 times for 101 yards and caught six passes for 33 yards.
COWBOYS’ MCCARTHY IN COVID PROTOCOLS, WON’T COACH VS. SAINTS
(AP) — Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy has entered COVID-19 protocols and won’t be on the sideline for Thursday night’s game in New Orleans.
McCarthy, who has said he is vaccinated, will be involved in all meetings virtually and will direct game preparations, the team said Monday. McCarthy is the sixth Dallas coach or staff member to be sidelined for the game against the Saints.
A virtual news conference scheduled for Monday morning with McCarthy was canceled. The team is conducting meetings virtually while holding in-person practices. There was no immediate word who would serve as interim coach on the sideline in New Orleans.
“Although he will not be on the field for the Saints game, McCarthy will continue to direct, and be in involved in, all meetings and game preparations on a virtual basis for the remainder of the week, including Thursday’s meetings in New Orleans,” the team said.
The Cowboys had a COVID-19 outbreak in the preseason and early part of the regular season. There was a lull for about a month before cases ticked up again, starting with kicker Greg Zuerlein in early November.
Right tackle Terence Steele won’t play against the Saints after testing positive for COVID-19. Offensive line coach Joe Philbin and his assistant, Jeff Blasko, are out along with offensive assistant Scott Tolzien.
Two members of the strength and conditioning staff won’t make the trip: coordinator Harold Nash Jr. and assistant Kendall Smith. Another assistant, Cedric Smith, is expected to be cleared to return.
“COVID is always something we’re going to have think about this year, and we’re having a little outbreak right now,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said Sunday, when the club announced positive tests for Steele, Blasko, Tolzien and Nash. “Guys just to make sure we’re taking that extra precaution and making sure we’re keeping ourselves, our families and our teammates safe.”
BROWNS’ CONKLIN SUFFERS SEASON-ENDING KNEE INJURY VS RAVENS
CLEVELAND (AP) Browns right tackle Jack Conklin will undergo surgery after suffering a season-ending right knee injury on Sunday night at Baltimore, a crushing blow to a Cleveland offense struggling to score.
Conklin ruptured his patellar tendon while pass blocking in the first quarter against the Ravens, who held the Browns to a season-low 40 yards rushing. An MRI taken Monday confirmed the diagnosis of a tear.
Coach Kevin Stefanski said he was “sick” over Conklin’s injury.
“Obviously, Jack’s a big part of what we do,” Stefanski said Monday. “He’s a good man, good teammate.”
Stefanski wouldn’t speculate whether Conklin would be back in time for training camp next year.
“It’s a serious injury. It’s unfortunate,” Browns guard Joel Bitonio said. “I know he has the right makeup to come back from this, but it’s one of those things where you never want to see a guy seriously hurt.
“We know we play a dangerous game, but that was a tough one. He’s in our thoughts right now. We’re hoping surgery goes well and he can come back from that.”
Conklin’s injury only complicates matters for Cleveland’s offense, which has scored 17 points or fewer in six of the past seven games.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Conklin was only activated from injured reserve Saturday after missing three games with a dislocated elbow. He got hurt while pass blocking on the Browns’ second possession against the Ravens.
Conklin’s knee collapsed under him as he back-pedaled and he struggled just walking to the sideline before being carted to the locker room.
Conklin missed two games earlier this season with a knee injury.
Stefanski said tight end Harrison Bryant sustained a high ankle sprain in the 16-10 loss. Also, he said running back Kareem Hunt should be fine after being kept out late in the game after his calf tightened.
Hunt just returned after missing five games with a calf injury.
Without Conklin, the Browns’ high-powered running game sputtered as the Ravens crammed the line of scrimmage with extra defenders and held Cleveland to 116 yards below the team’s average coming into the game.
The 27-year-old Conklin is in his second season with the Browns, who signed him to a three-year, $42 million contract after he played four seasons with Tennessee. He helped Cleveland make the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season.
Backup Blake Hance replaced Conklin on Sunday night and filled in for him earlier this year. Hance has had some issues at tackle after playing mostly guard.
“He’s going to compete and he’s going to fight and he’s going to do everything he can to give us the best opportunity out there,” Bitonio said of Hance. “He has experience now. We know we have James (Hudson III) and Michael Dunn, guys who could potentially play that position as well, but Blake has the most experience.
“He’s going to fight, and he’s going to try to find a way to be the best he can be out there. That’s really all we can ask of him.”
The Browns have their bye this week before hosting the AFC North-leading Ravens on Dec. 12.
OKLAHOMA QB SPENCER RATTLER TO ENTER TRANSFER PORTAL
(AP) — Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, a preseason All-American who lost the starting job early in the season, announced on social media Monday that he will enter the transfer portal.
The decision came a day after coach Lincoln Riley’s decision to leave for Southern California.
Rattler was a five-star prospect and the top high school quarterback in the class of 2019. After a successful 2020 season, he entered this season as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. But he struggled at times to move the team and was booed by the home fans during a close call against West Virginia.
He was benched after a slow start against Texas, and Caleb Williams took over and rallied the team to victory. Williams kept the starting job, though Rattler eventually regained favor with the fans. For the season, the Phoenix native completed 75% of his passes for 1,483 yards with 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.
In 11 games last season, Rattler passed for 3,031 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He led the Sooners to a 55-20 win over Florida in the Cotton Bowl, setting up all the hype heading into this season.
Rattler’s decision also comes as a number of Oklahoma recruits have chosen to decommit. Five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson, one of the top prospects in the class of 2023, is just one of those to open up his options.
NUGGETS’ PORTER NEEDS BACK SURGERY, RETURN TIMETABLE UNCLEAR
MIAMI (AP) Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets needs surgery to address his latest back injury, and there’s no known timetable yet for his return.
Porter’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said the surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. Porter – who dealt with a serious back problem in college, so severe that some wondered if he would ever be an effective NBA player – has been limited to nine games this season.
ESPN first reported that Porter will need the surgery. Doctors will then be able to determine a likely course of recovery and how much time Porter may need before he can return.
The Nuggets start a seven-game road trip in Miami on Monday night. They enter that game on a six-game slide, with five of those losses by double digits.
Denver has had seven players miss time with injuries already this season, including reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and All-Star guard Jamal Murray. Jokic has been dealing with a wrist issue, and Murray hasn’t played since tearing the ACL in his left knee last season.
Porter was limited to three games in his lone college season at Missouri because of back issues, then fell to 14th in the 2018 NBA draft after once being considered a serious candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick.
He missed his entire rookie season with the Nuggets after back surgery, but has blossomed in a big way since.
Porter has averaged 14 points in 125 NBA regular-season games, averaged 17.4 points in last season’s playoffs and was rewarded back in September with a five-year extension that will be worth at least $173 million. The extension that begins next season.
MAGIC ROOKIE JALEN SUGGS SUFFERS FRACTURED THUMB
Magic guard Jalen Suggs has suffered a fractured right thumb, according to the team’s PR department (Twitter link). He’ll be out for an extended period of time.
Suggs was averaging 12.1 PPG, 3.5 APG and 3.4 RPG in his rookie campaign. The former Gonzaga All-American was the No. 5 pick in the draft. Suggs suffered the injury at Philadelphia on Monday, a game in which he scored 17 points and handed out five assists in 29 minutes. The injury occurred during the fourth quarter.
He’ll return to Orlando to be reevaluated before a clear timetable can be determined, but he’s expected to miss several weeks, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.
Orlando’s other starting guard, Cole Anthony, has been sidelined since November 19 due to an ankle injury. Michael Carter-Williams has also been dealing with an ankle injury. That leaves R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris and Mychal Mulder as the remaining backcourt options.
Suggs suffered an injury to his left thumb during Summer League action. It’s been a rough start for many of the league’s top rookies, as Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jonathan Kuminga have all missed games due to various injuries.
JOKIC GETS 24, NUGGETS TOP HEAT 120-111 TO SNAP 6-GAME SLIDE
MIAMI (AP) The Miami Heat said 19,600 fans attended their home game Monday night.
At least two of them left happy.
Nikola Jokic – with his two brothers behind the Denver bench – returned and scored 24 points, Aaron Gordon added 20 and the Nuggets snapped their longest losing streak in nearly six years by beating the short-handed Heat 120-111 on Monday night.
“That’s behind us,” Jokic said. “We need to move on to the future. We won the game and that’s the most important thing.”
Bones Hyland returned from injury to score 19 and Will Barton added 14 for the Nuggets, who had dropped six straight. Jokic hadn’t played in the last four of those because of a wrist injury but finished with 15 rebounds and seven assists.
“I shot the lights out of the ball,” Hyland said after going 5 for 8 from 3-point range.
Denver shot 58% on the day that it was revealed Michael Porter Jr. will need back surgery. Porter has been limited to only nine games this season.
Bam Adebayo finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, which was without its two leading scorers – Jimmy Butler was out with a bruised tailbone, and Tyler Herro missed the game with what the Heat called general body soreness. Adebayo had 15 of his points in the third quarter.
“Our defense is better than that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I think they played extremely well. And in those pivotal moments in the course of the game, it seemed like they made every shot, every play.”
Max Strus scored 19 points and Caleb Martin added 18 for the Heat, which got 17 points and 14 assists from Kyle Lowry.
It was the first meeting of the teams since the dustup between Jokic and Miami’s Markieff Morris on Nov. 8. Morris committed a hard take foul that the Nuggets felt was overzealous; Jokic responded with a shove into Morris’ back. Morris has now missed 11 games with what the Heat have described as a neck injury.
Jokic said he hasn’t talked to Morris since. Heat fans booed Jokic every time he touched the ball, and the reigning MVP didn’t seem to mind.
“I played in Serbia, brother,” Jokic said.
Jokic’s brothers – Strahinja and Nemanja – got into a Twitter jousting with Markieff Morris’ twin brother, Marcus Morris. The Jokic brothers, who have drawn attention for their reactions to certain plays in the past, were in Miami for Monday’s game, seated just behind the Denver bench.
“They’re coming down here because this is Miami and I know for a fact every year they’ve been able to come, non-COVID, they’ve been here,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “And that’s not to cause trouble. That’s just to support their brother, which they always do.”
There was no fight in this one. It was only basketball, and fairly one-sided for most of the night.
A 12-0 run by the Nuggets in the second quarter – with Miami missing 10 consecutive shots – put Denver up 50-35. The lead was 63-43 by halftime, the biggest deficit that the Heat faced at intermission so far this season.
The only time Denver’s lead dipped into single figures after halftime came when 0.9 seconds left, when Gabe Vincent made a 3-pointer on the game’s final shot.
LEE ELDER, 1ST BLACK GOLFER TO PLAY MASTERS, DIES AT AGE 87
(AP) — Lee Elder played through the scourge of racism. He broke down enormous barriers. He carved a path for Tiger Woods and others to follow.
Finally, in the waning months of his life, he took his rightful place at Augusta National.
Alongside the greats.
Elder, who fought through numerous obstacles to become the first Black golfer to play in the Masters, died at the age of 87, the PGA Tour announced Monday.
“The game of golf lost a hero,” 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus said.
His death was first reported by Debert Cook of African American Golfer’s Digest. No cause was given, but Elder had been in poor health and wore an oxygen tube when he attended the Masters in April.
The tour said he died early Sunday in Escondido, California.
At this year’s Masters, Elder was given the honor of hitting a ceremonial opening tee shot alongside Nicklaus, a six-time Masters champion, and Gary Player, who won the green jacket three times.
Sadly, Elder was not well enough to take a swing at a ball he once hit with so much power.
But he stood briefly to acknowledge the cheers of the gallery, holding up his driver, and watched proudly from a chair at the first tee as Nicklaus and Player hit the shots that traditionally open the first major championship of the year.
“For me and my family, I think it was one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever witnessed or been involved in,” Elder said.
“That morning, you could see the joy in Lee’s face,” Nicklaus said Monday. “Gary Player and I were honored to enjoy that moment with him.”
A Texan who developed his game during segregated times while caddying and hustling for rounds, Elder made history in 1975 at Augusta National, which had held an all-white tournament until he received an invitation after winning the Monsanto Open the previous year.
Elder missed the cut at his first Masters but forever stamped himself as a groundbreaking figure in a sport that had never been known for racial tolerance.
Twenty-two years later, Woods became the first Black golfer to capture the green jacket, launching one of the greatest careers in golf history.
“Lee Elder was a pioneer, and in so many ways,” Nicklaus wrote on his Twitter account. “Yes, he was the first Black golfer to play in the Masters Tournament, but that simply underlined the hard work Lee put in to further the cause of everyone who has a dream to play on the PGA Tour and perhaps thinks there were too many barriers before them.”
After Woods’ record 12-stroke victory in 1997 – the first of his five Masters titles and 15 major championships overall – he reflected on the contributions of Black golfers such as Elder and Charlie Sifford, the tour’s first Black player.
“I thought about those guys coming up 18,” Woods said that evening. “I said a little prayer and said thanks. I wasn’t the first. I wasn’t the pioneer. I thank them. I think that’s why this victory is even more special. Lee, because of what he did, I was able to play here. Because of Charlie, I was able to play on the PGA Tour. I lived my dream because of those guys.”
Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National and the Masters, called Elder “a true pioneer in the game of golf.”
“Lee was an inspiration to so many young men and women of color not only through his play, but also through his commitment to education and community,” Ridley said in a statement. “His presence will be sorely missed, but his legacy will continue to be celebrated.”
Elder got into golf as a caddie, since that essentially was the only conduit Black players had to be permitted on the course. He was able to polish his game while serving in the Army and, after his discharge, joined the United Golf Association Tour for Black players in the early 1960s.
He developed into one of the UGA’s best players, winning 18 of 22 tournaments in one dominating stretch, but meager prize money made it tough to earn a living. Finally, at the age of 33, Elder had saved up enough to afford PGA qualifying school, where he earned his first tour card for the 1968 season.
The highlight of his rookie year was a memorable loss to Nicklaus on the fifth hole of a sudden-death playoff at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Elder would go on to capture four PGA Tour victories and eight more wins on the PGA Tour Champions for 50-and-over players. He played in all four major championships, tying for 11th at both the 1974 PGA Championship and the 1979 U.S. Open.
His best finish in six Masters appearances was a tie for 17th in 1979. That same year, he was a member of the winning U.S. team at the Ryder Cup.
But Elder’s impact on the game went far beyond wins and losses, even if it took decades for his legacy to be fully appreciated.
“It always amazed me that presidents of the United States would be giving these different awards to athletes for their athletic prowess, and here was a man that … was never given the awards that he actually duly deserved,” Player said.
Elder was 40 when he played in his first Masters, so many of his prime years already stolen from him by racism and prejudice.
The PGA had a Caucasian-only rule until 1961 – 14 years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.
It took another 14 years before the Masters finally accepted a Black player, though Elder’s appearance was reportedly accompanied by death threats that shook him so badly he rented two houses in Augusta so no one would be quite sure where he was staying for the week.
Last November, after racial protests roiled the nation and the pandemic-delayed Masters was finally played, Augusta National formally recognized Elder’s enormous contributions by setting up two scholarships in his name at Paine College, a historically Black school in the east Georgia city.
The club also planned for him to take part in the ceremonial tee shot with Nicklaus and Player at this year’s Masters.
“That is one thing that’s going to be significant to me, because 1975 was just an ordinary shot playing a golf tournament, even though it was the Masters,” Elder said at the time. “It’s not as significant as this shot will be come April 8, 2021. Because my heart and soul will be into this shot.”
His health didn’t cooperate, but it was clear that Elder was deeply moved just to be in the company of Nicklaus and Player at such a hallowed spot.
Past Masters champions Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, both in their green jackets, made sure they were there for the ceremony. So was Cameron Champ, one of four players of Black heritage on the PGA Tour.
“It’s a great honor, and I cherish it very much, and I will always cherish it,” Elder said.
Added Nicklaus, “It was long overdue.”
Robert Lee Elder was born on July 14, 1934, in Dallas, Texas, the youngest of 10 children.
His father was killed in action during World War II when Elder was 9, and his mother died three months later. He was taken in by an aunt, Sarah, when he was 11 and lived for a time in Los Angeles before returning to Texas.
“My aunt was an incredible person,” Elder wrote in Golf Digest in 2019. “She gave me love and discipline, didn’t let me get too far out of line. Her resources were limited, but she carried herself with great dignity, communicated well with people and taught me right from wrong. I was on my own after about age 16, but she got me to a point where I could care for myself.”
That was about the time Elder played a full 18-hole round for the first time, stoking his love for golf even more.
He caddied, hustled games whenever he could and further developed his skills in the Army while serving under a golf-loving colonel who assigned him to a special unit where he could play regularly.
“It’s remarkable to look back on Lee’s life and career and realize the hardships he endured and the sacrifices he made to reach golf’s highest level,” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “To have the success he had, while paving the way for others to dream big and achieve, is a testament to the type of man he was and how much talent he possessed.”
Elder knew Robinson, who died in 1972, and was close with Hank Aaron, who endured racist threats throughout his stellar baseball career, particularly as he approached Babe Ruth’s home run mark.
Aaron hit his record-breaking 715th homer on April 8, 1974.
Twelve days later, Elder won the Monsanto Open to qualify for the following year’s Masters.
Elder visited with Aaron shortly before the Hammer died in January.
“We talked about several things … our sports, our particular sport and the involvement that we felt that we could help other young Blacks that was coming up behind us,” Elder said. “And I certainly hope that the things that I have done have inspired a lot of young Black players and they will continue on with it.”
Elder, who is survived by his wife, Sharon, was at Augusta National for Woods’ historic win in 1997. He wasn’t about to miss seeing a Black golfer win the tournament for the first time.
After all, it was Elder who paved the way.
TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS AND RELEASES
TOWNS, EDWARDS PUSH TIMBERWOLVES TO 100-98 WIN OVER PACERS
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Karl-Anthony Towns scored 16 of his 32 points in the third quarter and Anthony Edwards added 21 as the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied for a 100-98 win against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
The Timberwolves trailed by 12 early in the third before Towns willed them back into the game. Michael Beasley’s 3-pointer for Minnesota with 51.5 seconds left in the fourth broke a 94-all tie.
D’Angelo Russell had 21 points and a season-high 11 assists for the Timberwolves, who have won seven of eight.
“I think the biggest thing for me is through all the good things that we did do, I don’t think it was overall a great performance by us and we still managed to win,” coach Chris Finch said. “We did enough of the right things at the right times and overall in the second half our defense was on point.”
Minnesota held Indiana to 41 points and 29.3% shooting in the second half.
Domantas Sabonis had 16 points, a career-high 25 rebounds and 10 assists for the Pacers. Malcolm Brogdon added 25 points but Indiana lost for the third time in four games.
“I think it’s a game we should have won,” Brogdon said. “We had some breakdowns. We had Myles (Turner) out, which is our defensive anchor around the basket. Despite all that, we still had a chance to win this game.”
With the Wolves clinging to a 94-91 lead, Towns fouled out with 1:34 remaining. Sabonis made three free throws to tie the game, but Beasley hit a corner 3 in the final minute to put Minnesota back in front.
Josh Okogie blocked a jumper from Caris Levert and Minnesota was able to close it out from the foul line.
“The more adversity we have throughout these games versus beating the hell out of teams, I think it prepares us for the next one, prepares us for those moments,” Russell said. “So, I liked this one for us; good defensive game all the way around.”
Frustration with the officials got the Wolves crowd into the game and seemed to energize Towns and the team. Indiana then became frustrated with the calls as Minnesota took control.
The Wolves went on a 22-9 run, with Towns scoring 15 points, to take the lead late in the third.
“I tried to go out and do it myself,” Towns said. “Just being aggressive, getting downhill. You know, making plays, trying to score, keep us, give us energy.”
Edwards scored 11 points in the third. He brought the crowd to its feet with a soaring dunk on a breakaway and again when he finished an alley-oop on the break from Taurean Prince.
On the ensuing possession, Edwards poked the ball away from Brogdon for a steal and hit a long 3-pointer at the other end to again take the lead after Indiana had come back.
“It brings a smile to my face knowing that as soon as I get going, everybody just starts standing up, gets super loud,” Edwards said. “Once I hit that step-back 3, it was so loud in there, bro. Like damn, it’s crazy. I love it. I love the fans, man.”
Rookie guard Chris Duarte hit a 3 early in the fourth to bring the Pacers within one but then missed a layup on the next possession. He followed with a turnover and barked at the official, getting a technical foul.
While Sabonis tried to intervene and move Duarte away, the rookie kept complaining and was ejected with his second technical.
“I just thought, in that situation, that what you want to see is a veteran official defuse the situation, not stare at the guy and dare him to keep talking,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “I thought that Chris was wrong. But officials can walk away in certain situations and I would have loved to see that right there.”
A minute later during a Minnesota timeout, Indiana’s T.J. McConnell and Carlisle were called for technical fouls.
Pacers: Turner missed the game with a non-COVID-19 illness. McConnell joined the starting lineup as Indiana went small. He had eight points. . Duarte had 14 points off the bench before his ejection, going 3 of 5 from 3-point distance.
Timberwolves: Forwards Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels were held out with flu-like symptoms. Okogie started in place of Vanderbilt. … G Patrick Beverley missed his third straight game with a left adductor strain. . Naz Reid had 13 points off the bench and made several key plays in the third-quarter run. . Minnesota has made going inside more of a focus in recent games and had 46 points in the paint, its third straight game with at least that many inside.
Pacers: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Timberwolves: Start a two-game road trip Wednesday at Washington.
JACKSON-DAVIS NAMED NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Junior/sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, set a Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall record by scoring 43 points against Marshall, breaking the previous mark (42) set by Steve Alford against Michigan State.
For his efforts, he was named National Player of the Week by Dick Vitale on ESPN.com.
He made a career-high 18-of-24 field goal attempts and 7-of-9 from the line.
The leading returning scorer in the Big Ten, has been named a first-team 2021-22 Preseason All-American by the Associated Press, and selected to the watch list for the Karl Malone Watch, the NABC Player of the Year, Wooden Award and Naismith Award. He was a third-team All-American (Sporting News) last season.
He started all 27 games in 2020-21 and was the only high major player to average at least 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. The Big Ten Player of the Week on 11/15 is averaging 20.5 points and 7.7 rebounds, while shooting 66.2% from the floor. He leads the Big Ten with 3.8 blocks per game. He has had two double-doubles this season and 24 in his career with IU posting a 19-5 record in those games.
Jackson-Davis became the 54th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark against St. John’s and now has scored 1,072 points as a Hoosier, rating 50th all-time in IU lore.
The Hoosiers will be back in action at Syracuse on Tuesday night. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME PREVIEW: VS. FLORIDA STATE
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 • 7:31 p.m. ET • West Lafayette, Ind. • Mackey Arena (14,804 / SOLD OUT) TELEVISION: ESPN (Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla on the call.) | Satellite Radio (SIRIUS 83, XM 83, SXM App 83) RADIO: 22 stations on the Purdue Radio Network and on Varsity Sports Network (online); Rob Blackman and Bobby Riddell. LIVE STATS: PurdueStats.com // SOCIAL MEDIA: @BoilerBall on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 2-ranked Boilermakers host Florida State in the second of a three-game homestand, this contest being Purdue’s annual appearance in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge. The Boilermakers are looking for their first series win against Florida State as three of Purdue’s four losses to the Seminoles have come by three or fewer points.
The Boilermakers are 6-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season, while Florida State enters with a 5-1 overall record.
The contest will be televised on ESPN with Jon Sciambi and Fran Fraschilla on the call. On the radio waves, Rob Blackman and Bobby Riddell will be courtside on the 22-station Purdue Radio Network and online on the Varsity Sports Network (app). Live stats will be provided on PurdueStats.com and updates will be provided on Purdue’s official Twitter account (@BoilerBall).
The Notes to Know
1) Purdue is 6-0 for just the third time under head coach Matt Painter. A win over Florida State would give Purdue just its seventh 7-0 start since 1940, joining the 1983-84, 1986-87, 1992-93, 1993-94, 2009-10 and 2015-16 seasons.
2) Purdue is ranked No. 2 this week, matching the highest AP ranking in school history and first time ranked in top two since March 7, 1988.
3) Purdue owns a Big Ten-best 55.0 winning percentage (11-9) in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge. The Boilermakers have won six straight home games in the Big Ten / ACC Challenge by a combined 86 points (14.3 PPG).
4) Purdue recorded a school-record 29-0 run in the first half of the win over Omaha. The Boilermakers have had 13 runs of 10-0 or better.
5) Purdue has won 11 straight non-conference home games by a combined 357 points (32.5 PPG). Just two games decided by less than 25 points.
6) Purdue ranks 2nd nationally in scoring offense, 3rd in field goal percentage and 7th in 3-point field goal percentage.
7) Purdue is one-of-three teams nationally to shoot at least 50.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from 3-point range and 75.0 percent from the free throw line (Santa Clara, Colorado State).
8) Trevion Williams is one of five active players nationally to have 1,000 points, 675 rebounds and 140 assists in his career.
9) Sasha Stefanovic (158) needs three 3-pointers to tie P.J. Thompson (161) for 15th on Purdue’s career 3-pointers made list.
10) Matt Painter (361) needs three wins to tie Branch McCracken and Bo Ryan for seventh on the Big Ten’s all-time wins list (364), and 10 to tie Ward “Piggy” Lambert for fifth. Since 1980, just two Purdue coaches have won 873 games (Gene Keady – 512; Matt Painter – 361).
BUTLER MBB RETURNS TO HINKLE, HOSTS SAGINAW VALLEY STATE TUESDAY
Butler (4-3) vs. Saginaw Valley State (4-2)
Tuesday, Nov. 30; 5PM ET
Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: FS1 – Matt Schumacker & Dickey Simpkins
Radio: 1430AM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)
Varsity Network Radio App
The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a Tuesday afternoon match-up with Saginaw Valley State. The game tips at 5 p.m.
Butler is 4-3 on the young season and Tuesday’s game serves as the Bulldogs’ lone home game in a span of almost a month (between the Nov. 17 Michigan State game and the Dec. 11 Eastern Illinois game).
THE SERIES: This will be the first meeting between Butler and Saginaw Valley State during the regular season. The teams last met in an exhibition contest Nov. 5, 2016; Butler won that match-up, 77-50.
• Butler is allowing only 58.6 points per game so far this season, a mark that is 31st nationally.
• Butler’s opponents are shooting only 27.1 percent from three-point range this season, which is 44th nationally.
• 49.7 percent of Butler’s attempts from the field this season have been from behind the arc.
• Chuck Harris (foot) is questionable for Tuesday’s game. He missed Butler’s most recent game vs. Chaminade. Bryce Nze (left shoulder), Bo Hodges (knee) and Myles Tate (knee) will miss Tuesday’s game due to injury.
• Butler’s nine blocks vs. Chaminade Wednesday were the most by the Bulldogs since a Dec. 21, 2017 win over Western Illinois (nine).
• Jair Bolden’s 20 made three-pointers are second in the BIG EAST and 37th nationally.
• Jayden Taylor scored a career-best 21 points in Wednesday’s win over Chaminade.
• Taylor is averaging 5.4 free throw attempts per game so far during his freshman campaign.
• Ty Groce scored 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the win over Chaminade; the eight made field goals tied a career-high.
• Bryce Golden set season-highs with 16 points and seven rebounds in the win over Chaminade.
• Butler made 12 three-pointers Nov. 13 vs. Troy, the most by the team since hitting 12 against Nebraska in the 2019 NIT.
• Butler was picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST Preseason Poll by the conference’s head coaches.
• Sophomore Chuck Harris was an honorable mention selection to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team by the conference’s head coaches.
• Butler’s 2021-22 roster includes six players who are entering their fifth or sixth season of college basketball.
• The Bulldogs return 10 of their 11 top scorers from a season ago.
• Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of its minutes played from last season.
END ON A HIGH NOTE: After two losses to open the Maui Invitational in Las Vegas, Butler cruised to an 84-51 win over Chaminade in the final game of the event. Butler shot 63 percent from the field, the Bulldogs’ first shooting performance better than 60 percent since a win over Northern Illinois Dec. 8, 2018.
Butler went 9-of-18 from three-point range against Chaminade; the Bulldogs have made nine or more three-pointers in five of their seven games this season.
ON THE DEFENSIVE: Butler is allowing its opponents only 58.6 points per game so far this season, a mark that is 31st nationally. The Bulldogs’ opponents have combined to shoot only 27 percent from three-point range, which is 44th nationally.
BEHIND THE LINE: Butler is shooting 37 percent from three-point range, averaging 8.7 makes per game. Butler shot only 32 percent from behind the arc a season ago.
HOME SWEET HINKLE: Butler is 51-15 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in LaVall Jordan’s five seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs.
YOUNG GUNS: Both Jayden Taylor and Simas Lukosius got the start in the regular season opener against IUPUI Tuesday night. Freshmen starting in their first Butler game is a rarity. Multiple freshmen starting their first collegiate game at Butler was last done in 2008 (Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ron Nored). The only other freshman to start his first Butler game between 2008 and 2021 was Myles Tate in 2020.
TOUGH SLATE: In addition to a true round-robin format that has Butler playing all 10 BIG EAST foes both on the road and at home, the Bulldogs challenged themselves significantly with this season’s non-conference schedule. The slate included Michigan State Nov. 17 in the annual Gavitt Games. The Maui Invitational (in Las Vegas) featured an opening-round match-up with 2021 Final Four team Houston. The Bulldogs travel to Oklahoma Dec. 7 in the annual BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. Butler and Purdue, which is No. 2 in this week’s AP poll, will meet Dec. 18 in the Crossroads Classic.
HAPPY RETURNS: Butler returns 10 of its top 11 scorers from last season. In all, Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of minutes played from the 2020-21 season. Butler returns five double-digit scorers from a season ago and adds Ty Groce, a graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan. Groce led the Eagles in scoring last season, the sixth player on the Butler roster to average double figures in 2020-21. Butler has six players who will play their fifth season of college basketball during the upcoming campaign — Aaron Thompson, Bryce Nze, Jair Bolden, Christian David, Bo Hodges, and Ty Groce. Of that group, Nze, Bolden and Groce are in their sixth year of college after previously redshirting and now taking advantage of the additional season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PRESEASON PICKS: The BIG EAST head coaches picked the Bulldogs to finish sixth in the league standings in the preseason poll that was announced as part of BIG EAST Media Day in New York City in October.
WHAT WILL HE DO FOR AN ENCORE?: Butler’s Chuck Harris was recognized as an honorable mention selection to the 2021-22 All-BIG EAST preseason team. Harris was one of three unanimous picks on the 2020-21 All-BIG EAST Freshman Team, joining Posh Alexander of St. John’s and Marquette’s Dawson Garcia (Garcia has since transferred to North Carolina). Harris led the Bulldogs in scoring during the 2020-21 season, becoming the first freshman to lead the team in scoring since the 1979-80 season (Tony Warren). Harris led the team in scoring in 17 of his 24 games played, scoring 20 or more points six times.
Harris became the third Bulldog to earn a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team since Butler joined the BIG EAST prior to the 2013-14 season. Kamar Baldwin was also a unanimous selection in 2016-17 and Andrew Chrabascz earned a spot on the 2013-14 team.
TOP 10 WINS: The Bulldogs posted a pair of wins last season over Top 10 opponents. Butler defeated No. 8 Villanova, 73-61, Feb. 28 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in the Bulldogs’ Senior Day. The Bulldogs also defeated No. 8/6 Creighton on Jan. 16.
ON THE WAY: Connor Turnbull, a 6-10 forward/center from Missouri, has signed a national letter of intent to join the Bulldogs beginning with the 2022-23 season.
Turnbull, from Saint Paul, Mo., stars for Fort Zumwalt North High School, where he earned Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors for Class 6. As a junior, Turnbull averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game, leading the team to a 27-4 record and the Class 6 state semifinals. He shot 34 percent from three-point range. Turnbull helped Brad Beal Elite to a runner-up finish at the 2021 Peach Jam as part of the Nike EYBL circuit.
BULLDOGS ANNOUNCED AS PART OF 2022 BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS FIELD: The Bulldogs will participate in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis for the third time as the 2022 bracket has been announced. Celebrating its 11th year of elite collegiate tournament play, the 2022 field will include Butler, BYU, Dayton, Kansas, North Carolina State, USC, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Butler was previously part of the Battle 4 Atlantis field in both 2014 and 2018. The Bulldogs went 2-1 in each event.
BUTLER VB SELECTED TO PLAY IN NIVC TOURNAMENT
The Butler volleyball team has been selected to play in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) Tournament.
The Bulldogs (16-15, 10-8 BIG EAST) will travel north to Valparaiso, Ind., to take on Valpo (22-9) Thursday night at 8 p.m. in the first round. The winner of that matchup will advance to the second round on Friday at 7 p.m. to play the winner of the match between Indiana State (18-12) and Toledo (19-12).
The Women’s NIVC consists of a 31-team field with first and second round matches being played around the country.
Butler had three student-athletes earn All-BIG EAST recognition, which was announced by the conference office last week. Melody Davidson and Jaymeson Kinley earned unanimous selections to the All-BIG EAST Team while Kinley was named the conference’s Libero of the Year. Mariah Grunze was selected to the All-BIG EAST Freshman Team.
BUTLER FOOTBALL COACH JEFF VORIS ANNOUNCES HIS RESIGNATION
Butler football coach Jeff Voris has resigned following his 16th season leading the program. His 80 victories rank third all-time at Butler, trailing only Tony Hinkle (165) and Bill Sylvester (84).
Voris made the announcement Monday, Nov. 29.
Voris led the Bulldogs to Pioneer Football League championships in 2009, 2012 and 2013. In two of those seasons, Butler represented the PFL in postseason play.
“We are extremely grateful to Jeff for his strong leadership of our football program over the past 16 seasons. Since his first day on the Butler campus, he has been a positive mentor for every student-athlete and coach who has been part of our program,” said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “In addition to preparing young men to be successful on the football field, he also prepared them to be graduates of Butler University and contributing members of our community. We wish Jeff, Julie, and their family all the best in their future endeavors.”
“It has truly been an honor to have been the head football coach at Butler University,” said Voris. “There is nothing quite like walking into Hinkle Fieldhouse every day, and after 32 years in coaching including 16 at Butler, our family is ready to open a new chapter. Wherever this new path takes us, our family will always cherish having been a part of the Butler Community.
“Thank you to our administration for their help and guidance over the last 16 years. Thank you to our alumni. Your enthusiasm for Butler is contagious. Your support was truly felt and appreciated. For 16 years I was blessed to be surrounded by a football staff of outstanding coaches, teachers and mentors. I am grateful for them professionally and personally. Their work ethic and commitment to our players was exceptional and I learned something every day being around them. Finally, and most importantly, the players. It has truly been an honor to have been your coach. I am grateful for every one of you that have walked out that tunnel. The trust you placed in me was a privilege. Your investment and attitude on a daily basis were inspiring and what made coming to Hinkle every day so memorable and enjoyable.”
In 2013, Voris guided the Bulldogs to a 9-4 record, a share of the Pioneer Football League crown and Butler’s first ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Football Championship in 2013. It was Butler’s fourth title as a Division I football program.
Voris earned his second PFL Coach of the Year Award in 2012 as quarterback Matt Lancaster was voted PFL Offensive Player of the Year. The Bulldogs went 7-1 in PFL play, sharing the conference championship.
The 2009 campaign is widely-regarded as the most successful football season in school history. Voris guided the Bulldogs to an 11-1 campaign, a tie for the PFL championship and Butler’s first postseason victory. The 11 wins set a Butler single-season record and tied the PFL single-season mark, and the league title was Butler’s first since 1994. Butler also tied the existing PFL record for league wins (7), while setting a record for home wins (7). The Bulldogs picked up a 28-23 victory over Central Connecticut State in the 2009 Gridiron Classic, a postseason game matching the champions of the PFL and the Northeast Conference. Voris was named PFL Coach of the Year following the campaign.
In recent seasons, Voris led the Bulldogs to an upset win over No. 24 Youngstown State to open the 2018 campaign. Voris also mentored quarterback Matt Shiltz to 2015 PFL Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year honors. Shiltz has been a strong contributor for Montreal in the Canadian Football League over the past few seasons.
Defensive coordinator Joe Cheshire has been named interim head coach for the Bulldogs program. Butler will begin a national search for the next leader of its football program.
IRISH FALL IN ACC/BIG TEN BATTLE 82-72 AT ILLINOIS
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team suffered its third loss of the season (3-3) 82-72 at Illinois (5-2) in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Monday night.
The Irish were led by freshman Blake Wesley, who scored 18 of his 24 points for the Irish in the second half, while Dane Goodwin added 15. Kofi Cockburn led the Illini with 28 points.
The Irish took a 10-9 lead at the first media timeout behind the strength of two three point field goals from Nate Laszewski and a run out rebound goal after a turnover from Cormac Ryan.
Illinois answered with a 7-0 run while hitting five of six shots before a Trey Wertz runner in the lane cut the Illini lead to 16-14 with 11:31 left.
Before half Notre Dame put together their own 7-0 run behind a turnaround jumper from Wesley, then a Laszewski three pointer after an offensive rebound from Wesley.
Illinois earned a 41-34 lead at halftime behind nine three point field goals and 53 percent shooting from the floor.
To begin the second half, Notre Dame missed five of its first seven shots, while Illinois put together a 7-0 run to build a 52-39 lead with 16 minutes left. The Illini eventually connected on seven of their first nine shots of the second half.
Wesley started to take over the offensive duties for the Irish, scoring 11 straight points as Notre Dame attempted to chip into the Illinois lead. The home team still held a 10 point lead with 7:54 left as Wesley moved to 20 points in the game and 14 in the second half.
A Cormac Ryan three pointer cut the lead to five with 5:37 left while Notre Dame held Illinois without a field goal for over five minutes. The Illini offense became Kofi Cockburn, who scored five consecutive points at the free throw line to keep the Illini in the lead.
Notre Dame was able to get it to five points once again with a rebound three pointer from Goodwin, but the Illini answered with two free throws and the Irish suffered two empty offensive possessions to allow the home team to seal the game.
NIEGO EARNS VOLLEYBALL ALL-ACC HONORS
OTRE DAME, In. – Charley Niego earned All-ACC honors for the 2021 season as she was named Second Team All-ACC, announced by the conference Monday afternoon (November 29). This marks Niego’s fourth consecutive ACC honor in her career.
In her senior year (2021-22), Niego tallied 272 kills and 264 digs in 90 sets during the regular season. She finished the season with 11 double-doubles and 48 in her career, which stands third-most in program history. Niego’s season performance included six matches racking up 15 or more kills. The Chicago, Illinois, native had season high with 23 digs against Florida State (Sept. 24), and 19 kills against Oakland (Aug. 28), and leads the team with 27 service aces.
Niego previously earned First Team All-ACC in 2020 and 2019, as well as a Second Team All-ACC honor in 2018.
The Irish concluded their season on Friday, November 26 at Louisville. They finished 13-15 overall and 10-8 in conference play.
VOLLEYBALL OPENS NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY FRIDAY VS. MICHIGAN
MUNCIE, Ind. – – During the annual NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship selection show Sunday night, the Ball State women’s volleyball team learned it will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to take on Michigan in the opening round of the tournament.
The Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament champions, the Cardinals (29-3) enter Friday’s 4 p.m. matchup versus the Wolverines (18-11) second among all 340 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball programs with 29 wins.
In addition, BSU’s 19-match winning streak its tied as the fourth-longest active streak nationally and is one shy of the program record.
Ball State will be making its 10th appearance in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship, owning a 2-9 all-time record in the event. The Cardinals last appearance came in 2019 when it suffered a 3-0 setback at fifth-seeded Nebraska.
Ball State’s tournament wins came at Illinois in 1994 and at home over Loyola Chicago in 1995.
The winner of Friday’s match will advance to the second round to face either top-seeded Louisville (28-0) or UIC (20-11). The second round contest is currently scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday (Dec. 4).
MOALA NAMED TO FIRST TEAM, FOUR SYCAMORES RECOGNIZED ON ALL-MVFC POSTSEASON SQUAD
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Inoke Moala’s First Team selection on the defensive line highlighted four Indiana State players that were honored on the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s postseason All-Conference team on Monday morning.
Moala (First Team), Dante Hendrix (WR, Honorable Mention), JJ Henderson (DB, Honorable Mention), and Wyatt Harwood (LS, Honorable Mention) were all honored on the team as voted on by the conference’s head coaches, SID, and media members.
Moala put together one of the best seasons by an Indiana State defensive lineman in program history as the Mishawaka, Ind. native tied for the Missouri Valley Football lead in both sacks (8.0) and tackles for loss (13.0), while adding six quarterback hurries and a pair of forced fumbles. The redshirt senior had a stretch where he recorded a tackle for loss in seven of eight games at one point, while posting at least four tackles in four different games.
Moala put his mark on the season early as the Mishawaka, Ind. native came out of the gates with a 2.0 sack performance in the season opener against Eastern Illinois. He added to his totals tying a career-high with a 3.5 sack game with a forced fumble against Western Illinois to earn Defensive Player of the Week honors on October 10. Moala continued his onslaught on opposing backfields the following weekend with two more sacks and another forced fumble against Missouri State to highlight his 2021 season.
Hendrix earned Honorable Mention honors after bouncing back from an early season injury that saw the redshirt junior miss five games in the regular season. The Florence, Ky. native immediately made an impact in the lineup upon his returning posting 37 catches for 395 yards and three touchdowns over the final five games of the season with a pair of 10-catch contests coming against Missouri State and Southern Illinois. Hendrix added his first 100-yard game of the season in the contest against the Bears with 10 catches for 121 yards and a score.
Henderson put together a solid campaign in his lone season with the Sycamores as the Stetson transfer took on a starting cornerback role and leadership role in the defensive backs room. Henderson earned October 24 Defensive Player of the Week recognition after a two-interception game against Youngstown State and added a key pick against Illinois State in the season-finale win. He finished third in the conference with 12 pass breakups and fifth with three interceptions.
Harwood earned Honorable Mention honors for the first time in his collegiate career as the long-time long snapper closed out his time at Indiana State. He lined up 44 career games with the Sycamores and added a key two-point conversion in ISU’s 2021 season finale win over Illinois State, while taking all the snaps on special teams.
Missouri State QB Jason Shelley has been named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the league’s Newcomer of the Year; UNI’s Jared Brinkman has been tabbed the league’s Defensive Player of the Year; Youngstown State’s QB Demeatric Crenshaw is the conference Freshman of the Year; and coach Matt Entz has been tabbed the MVFC Coach of the Year. The league’s specialty award winners highlight the 2021 MVFC all-league first-, second- and honorable-mention team units, announced Monday, Nov. 29.
MEN’S BASKETBALL OPENS GLVC PLAY WITH RIVALRY WIN AT USI
EVANSVILLE – It came down to the final minutes but the University of Indianapolis men’s basketball team opened GLVC play with a statement win on Monday night, taking down in-state rival University of Southern Indiana 68-62. In this year’s preseason coaches poll, USI was selected as the GLVC East Division favorite with three first-place votes.
The road win puts the Hounds at 4-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play. UIndy has won four of the last five match ups with the Screaming Eagles. Head coach Paul Corsaro picked up his second win in three tries against his former mentor and USI headman Stan Gouard.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After taking a 28-28 to the break, the Hounds pulled away midway thru the second half with a 10-0 run which was capped off with a Dee Montgomery three. The Screagles pulled within two at the 7:48 mark but the Hounds went a perfect four-for-four at charity stripe to regain a six-point lead. Free throws proved to be the difference as the Hounds shot 16-of-23 from the free throw line in the second half alone.
Momentum swung in USI’s favor as they notched jumpers on back-to-back possessions to make it a one-point game with 2:15 left on the clock. On their third possession, recently named GLVC Player of the Week Kendrick Tchoua grabbed a defensive rebound in the paint to freeze USI’s offense. Jesse Bingham silenced the crowd with a left-wing three, giving the Hounds a 62-58 lead with 1:11 remaining. UIndy made six free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– For the second straight game, five players scored in double figures. Cory Miller Jr. paced the team with 14 points followed by Jesse Bingham with 12. Kendrick Tchoua scored 11 while Dee Montgomery and Josiah Tynes recorded 10.
– Bingham led UIndy with six rebounds while five players grabbed five.
– Of the Hounds 20 made shots, 11 of them had an assist.
– UIndy’s defense shined, forcing 16 turnovers and holding the Screagles to 33.9% shooting on the night.
The Hounds continue GLVC opening week play this weekend. UIndy heads to Lewis on Thursday before returning home on Saturday to host Illinois Springfield.
WELLS SCORES 16 IN USI LOSS
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Indianapolis dropped its first conference matchup of the season to GLVC Rival, Southern Indiana, on Monday night. The 77-62 loss marked the Hounds fifth loss of the season, bringing UIndy’s overall record to 1-5.
After contributing 10 points during her first game of her career in the Hounds most recent home win to Lake Erie, Elana Wells has continued to put her foot on the gas and prove that she is a force to be reconned by shooting 100 percent from three while contributing 16 points, along with four rebounds, and three assists.
Taylor Drury posted 14 points and Sadie Hill hit 11. The Greyhounds earned 30 points in the paint, and were out rebounded 41-28.
Southern Indiana was led by Hannah Haithcock with 17 points, five rebounds, and three steals.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
-The Eagles scored 27 points off turnovers.
-UIndy made 64.3 percent of its free throws, while USI made 82.1%
-The Hounds scored 30 points off the bench.
The Hounds will continue conferene play on Thursday afternoon where they will travel to Romeoville, Ill. And face the Lewis Flyers at 6:30 p.m. ET.
UE PROGRAM TAKES MAJOR STEP FORWARD WITH POSTSEASON BERTH
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – When Fernando Morales was named the permanent head coach of the University of Evansville volleyball team in 2019, he established goals for the program that ranged from short term to long term. On Sunday evening, one of those goals was accomplished when the Purple Aces received a bid to participate in the Women’s National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
Click here to support the Aces
This season marks the fourth NIVC since its reboot in 2017 (the tournament was not played in 2020 due to COVID-19). Previously played from 1989 through 1995, the tournament has provided postseason opportunities for multiple programs at all levels. Tournament champions since 2017 include Georgia Tech, Iowa State and Ole Miss.
For a program that is on the rise in the fashion that Evansville has been, this is an opportunity to provide an experience that may lead to even bigger success in the future. With over 87% of the roster set to return in the fall of 2022, the NIVC will allow UE to play in a true postseason atmosphere.
Set for its first postseason trip since joining the Missouri Valley Conference, the Aces are working to raise funds to cover travel and operational expenses that come with the tournament experience. The primary goal of the program is to give student-athletes the best experience possible while providing them with the opportunity to maximize what they do on and off the floor.
The experience gained from participating in the NIVC checks those boxes. Tying for the most wins that the program has enjoyed in the last 33 years while gaining unprecedented postseason conference recognition has warranted this opportunity for our student-athletes. To support that cause and the future of the program, please click on the link above.
Evansville is one of just 31 teams to earn a bid to the tournament and will open the event on Thursday evening with a trip to Chicago to take on Sam Houston State.
THREE SOCCER PLAYERS EARN ALL-REGION ACCOLADES
The Valpo women’s soccer program was well-represented as United Soccer Coaches released its All-Midwest Region Teams on Monday afternoon. Junior Kiley Dugan (Irwin, Pa./Penn-Trafford) and sophomore Kelsie James (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) were Second Team All-Region honorees, while sophomore Nikki Coryell (Aurora, Ill./Metea Valley) was a Third Team All-Region selection.
Dugan earns All-Region accolades for the second consecutive season, as she was a Third Team All-Region choice in the spring. A two-time All-MVC honoree as well, Dugan played 1,258 minutes this fall, the most of any Valpo forward. A key connecting piece up front for the Beacons, Dugan registered a pair of assists on the season, including an assist on the match-winning goal in the regular season matchup with Evansville.
James earns the first All-Region award of her Valpo career after picking up First Team All-MVC honors for her work up top for the Beacons this season. James became the first Valpo player in program history to lead the conference in goals, scoring an MVC-high nine goals on the season to go with 22 points, tied for the MVC high. She moved into Valpo’s single-season top-10 in both goals and points as well. James scored match-winning goals in conference play against Missouri State, Drake and Evansville, making her the only MVC player with three match-winners within conference play. In addition, two of her four assists came on match-winning goals as well.
Coryell repeated as MVC Goalkeeper of the Year and has earned the conference’s top goalkeeping honor in each of her first two seasons. Coryell posted an MVC-best .865 save percentage within conference matches and tied for the MVC lead with five clean sheets in conference play. She surrendered just two goals over Valpo’s first seven matches of the MVC slate to help the Beacons secure second place in the regular-season standings and the corresponding bye to the tournament semifinals. Overall on the season, Coryell posted a 1.15 GAA and an .819 save percentage, both good for spots on Valpo’s single-season top-10 charts.
This marks just the second time in program history Valpo has boasted at least three All-Region selections in one season. Only the 2014 side, which had four All-Region choices, had more athletes honored by United Soccer Coaches than this year’s squad.
Volleyball Earns Bid to 2021 NIVC; Set to Host First Two Rounds at the ARC
For the first time in program history, the Valpo volleyball team will host postseason tournament action, as it was announced that Valpo has earned a bid to the 2021 National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) and will be a host for the first two rounds of tournament play. The Beacons will welcome Toledo, Indiana State and Butler to the ARC and will face Butler in the first round on Thursday night, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.
Toledo and Indiana State will face off in the initial first-round matchup on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. The winners of the two first-round matches will meet on Friday evening, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. with a berth in the tournament quarterfinals on the line.
This marks Valpo’s eighth postseason appearance all-time and first since advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2018 NIVC. The 1994, 1995 and 1996 Valpo squads appeared in the NCAA Tournament play-in match, while the 2003, 2004 and 2005 teams all earned spots in the NCAA Tournament.
The 2021 Valpo squad enters the 32-team NIVC with a 22-9 overall record and posted a 12-6 mark in Missouri Valley Conference play, tying for third place in the regular season — the program’s best finish since joining the Valley. Valpo came in at 65 in Sunday’s release of the latest NCAA volleyball RPI.
Butler ended the regular season with a 16-15 overall record and went 10-8 in Big East play, good for a fifth-place finish in the conference standings. The Bulldogs and the Beacons shared two mutual opponents – Valpo earned a 3-2 win over Milwaukee while Butler fell 3-0 to the Panthers, and both squads beat Youngstown State: Valpo in three sets, Butler in four. Butler’s RPI currently sits at 161.
Toledo comes into postseason competition with a 19-12 record and a 10-8 mark in the MAC, tying for third in the West division. The Rockets’ RPI entering the tournament is 150. Indiana State owns an 18-12 overall mark and went 9-9 in MVC play to tie for fifth place. The Sycamores’ RPI sits at 126.
Tickets for the two days of action at the ARC will go on sale Monday at noon, and will be available online at ValpoAthletics.com/tickets, over the phone at 219-464-5233 or in person at the Valpo Ticket Office inside the main entrance of the ARC.
VALPO TO OPEN MVC PLAY AT PRESEASON FAVORITE DRAKE ON ESPNU
Valparaiso (3-4, 0-0 MVC)
at Drake (3-3, 0-0 MVC)
Game No. 8 – Thursday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m.
Knapp Center (7,152) – Des Moines, Iowa
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference play begins on Thursday night as the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will make its way to Des Moines, Iowa for a nationally-televised showdown with Drake on ESPNU. Valpo’s lone conference outing prior to Jan. 2 will pit the Beacons against a Bulldogs squad that earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid last season and won a first-round game against Wichita State. Each Valley team will play one conference game this week as the opener was moved up from the first window after Christmas (Dec. 28-29) in an effort to create a nonconference scheduling opportunity.
Last Time Out: All 13 Valpo players who saw action in Saturday’s home rout of Trinity Christian scored as the Beacons blitzed the Trolls 106-69 in the final tune-up before tipping off the league slate. Ben Krikke’s career-high 26 points led four Beacons in double figures as Valpo hit the century mark for the first time since 2018 and captured its third win in the last four games. The hosts drained 11 3s and threw down five dunks in the contest.
Following the Beacons: Television – ESPNU – Robert Lee (play-by-play) and Kevin Lehman (analyst)
Valpo Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR, ValpoAthletics.com, TuneIn Radio App – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (analyst)
Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball
Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (86-82) is in his ninth season overall at Valparaiso University and sixth as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2021-2022. The 2020-2021 season saw Valpo improve its Arch Madness seeding for the fourth straight year as the program continued to make positive strides in each season as a Missouri Valley Conference member. The team earned a first-round bye in the State Farm MVC Tournament for the first time since joining the prestigious league. Valpo upset previously-undefeated Drake, the nation’s No. 25 team, 74-57 on Feb. 7, 2021 at the ARC, the fourth win over an AP Top 25 team in program history and second under Lottich. The Bulldogs were one of three undefeated teams in the nation prior to that setback, joining Gonzaga and Baylor. Just two years removed from finishing in last place and being knocked out in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a first-year Valley member, Lottich’s team did more than hold its own in 2019-2020, ascending into a tie for sixth in the league standings before finishing as the conference tournament runner-up. Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to reach the title game after playing in the opening round. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.
Early Opener: This will mark the earliest Valpo has started conference competition since Dec. 2, 2010, when the team tipped off Horizon League action with a 68-66 overtime victory at UIC. This snaps a streak of Valpo opening Missouri Valley Conference play at home in three straight seasons. Valpo is 1-3 in league lidlifters since joining The Valley and 2-3 in conference openers under Matt Lottich. The early opener comes a year after Valpo tipped off league play on Jan. 9 vs. Missouri State, the team’s latest start to the conference docket since 2003. Valpo has won its first league road game in each of the last three seasons, a streak it hopes to extend to four on Thursday. The team won at Missouri State in 2019, at Evansville in 2020 and at Illinois State in 2021.
Series Notes: The most recent matchup between these two teams was a memorable one as Valpo upset No. 25 Drake 74-57 on Feb. 7, 2021 at the Athletics-Recreation Center, handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the season. At the time, Drake was one of just three undefeated teams in the nation, joining Baylor and Gonzaga. That victory, the fifth in program history against a ranked opponent and the second during the Matt Lottich Era, came a day after giving the Bulldogs a scare in an 80-77 setback. Due to last year’s unique scheduling format during the COVID-19 pandemic, this will represent Valpo’s first trip to Des Moines since Feb. 19, 2020, a game that saw the guests rally from 19 down to force overtime in an eventual 77-75 setback. Valpo is 8-6 in the all-time series. The two teams have split the eight meetings since Valpo joined the Missouri Valley Conference prior to the 2017-18 campaign.
Notes Wrapping Up Nov. 27: Valpo 106, Trinity Christian 69
- Ben Krikke scored 25 points or more for the third time in his collegiate career and the second time in his first four games this season. After matching a career-high with 25 points on Nov. 22 vs. Jacksonville State, the 6-foot-9 junior surpassed that mark with 26 points on 12-of-15 shooting.
- Krikke turned in that performance despite playing only 15 minutes. He also tied his career high for made field goals, which was previously reached on Jan. 24, 2021 at Illinois State. Krikke added a career-high three steals and a blocked shot.
- Keyondre Young reached double figures for the first time in his young collegiate career with 13 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
- Sheldon Edwards dished out a career-high five assists while scoring in double figures for the eighth consecutive game dating back to last year, including all seven this season.
- Freshman Darius DeAveiro squeezed six rebounds, the high watermark for his rookie season thus far. He also swiped three steals and gave out eight assists, both personal bests. The eight assists were the most by a Valpo player in a single game since Daniel Sackey had eight on Jan. 24, 2021 at Illinois State. DeAveiro became the third player in The Valley with an eight-assist game this season.
- Walk-ons Brock Pappas and Luke Morrill made their season debuts, and for Morrill it represented his first game action since Feb. 25, 2020. Morrill boosted his career point total to seven, while Pappas tallied the first point of his collegiate career.
- Joe Hedstrom had nine points, three rebounds and four made field goals – all career highs for the Wisconsin transfer.
- The 106 points accounted for Valpo’s highest total since 121 on Nov. 6, 2018 vs. Concordia Chicago. The 37-point margin of victory was Valpo’s largest since beating Judson by 40 (85-45) on Dec. 6, 2020.
- The Beacons set season highs in field goal percentage (56.2), rebounding margin (+22), assists (28) and steals (11). The rebounding margin was the team’s best since also going +22 vs. SIUE last season. The field-goal percentage was the squad’s highest since shooting 58.6 percent on Feb. 25, 2020 vs. Missouri State. The assist total was the team’s highest since racking up 29 on Nov. 27, 2019 vs. Trinity Christian.
- The 28 assists are tied for the 27th-most in a single game nationally this year.
- After being outrebounded in each of the first five games of the season, Valpo won the battle on the boards for a second straight contest, going +22 vs. Trinity Christian after outrebounding Tulane by two in the third-place game of the Nassau Championship.
Inside the Bulldogs
- Preseason favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference for the first time ever.
- Enjoyed the most successful season in program history a year ago, making the team’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years after taking second in the league race (26-5, 15-3).
- Drake is loaded with players who attended high school in Northwest Indiana, near Valpo’s campus – D.J Wilkins (Merrillville), Roman Penn (Bishop Noll), Tremell Murphy (Griffith), Shanquan Hemphill (Michigan City) and Jonah Jackson (Merrillville).
- Started the season 3-0 including wins over South Dakota and Richmond before losses to Belmont, Alabama and North Texas at the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando.
- Penn was a member of the Preseason All-MVC First Team, while Hemphill grabbed a spot on the Second Team.
- Received votes nationally in the Nov. 22 AP and USA Today Coaches’ polls.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: IU EAST AT POINT PARK PREVIEW
The Indiana University East women’s basketball team returns to Lingle Court on Nov. 30 for a River States Conference contest against Point Park University.
Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.
IU East is 7-2 overall and 1-0 in the conference. Point Park is 4-2 overall and 0-2 in the league.
FOLLOW THE GAME
General admission for IU East basketball is $7. IU East students, faculty and staff are admitted free with their university ID.
With guidance from the university’s medical and public health leaders as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indiana Department of Health, all students, faculty, staff and visitors on all IU campuses are instructed to wear a mask indoors, including at IU East basketball home games on Lingle Court. This guidance will allow IU campuses to keep in-person classes, events and activities while also maintaining health and safety.
The GPS address for Lingle Court is 2325 Chester Boulevard in Richmond.
Live video, produced by Whitewater Education Television (WETV), Comcast Channel 20, is scheduled to be available.
Live stats also are scheduled to be available.
IU East students can pick up a free t-shirt in the Howl Crowd student section and then stick around for a chance to win a full-size heated blanket, a bowl full of popcorn, and candy in the Howl Crowd halftime contest.
Monitor iueredwolves.com for the game recaps and results.
YOU OUGHT TO KNOW
* IU East has enjoyed a 10-day break since starting RSC play with an 84-50 win at Ohio Valley University on Nov. 20.
* This is IU East’s first home game since Nov. 9. The Red Wolves are 3-0 at home this season.
* IU East is 5-0 when it gets to the free throw line more than 20 times and 5-0 when it makes 30 or more field goals. IU East is 24th in the nation with 16.3 made free throws per game.
* IU East is 8-4 all-time against Point Park. The teams have split the last four meetings. The teams did not play last season due to the COVID-affected schedule.
* Addie Brown (15.3 points per game), Bethany Mackin (13.8), Kami McEldwoney (12.6) and Kennedy Griffin (12.1) all average double digits in scoring for IU East.
* Tia Tolbert (5.6 rebounds per game), Bethany Mackin (3.3 assists per game), Marissa Quiroz (0.9 blocks per game) and Paige Gregory (2.5 steals per game) are IU East’s leaders in the other standard statistical categories.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: DELLINGER NAMED HCAC ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Anderson University women’s basketball senior Lexi Dellinger (Berne, Ind. / South Adams) has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Athlete of the Week, which was announced by the conference on Monday.
Dellinger garnered her second career HCAC Athlete-of-the-Week selection. Anderson received the program’s first HCAC Athlete-of-the-Week selection since Dellinger earned the same honor in her freshman year three years ago.
Anderson (1-4) rallied past St. Mary’s College (Ind.) (1-5) with an 83-75 victory last Tuesday in Notre Dame. Dellinger scored more than 30 points for the second game in a row as she poured in 34 points to lead the Ravens. Her 34 points ties for eighth for the most points scored in a single game in program history. Dellinger also collected 12 rebounds for Anderson. She converted 13-of-20 (65 percent) shots from the field and 8-of-9 (88.9 percent) attempts from the charity stripe.
Anderson takes on Mount St. Joseph University (2-3, 0-1) to kick off the HCAC season on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Cincinnati.
RHIT MEN’S SOCCER DUO NAMED ALL-REGION
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Two Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology men’s soccer players have been named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-Region VII Team, in results released on Monday by the national organization.
Takezo Kelly earned first-team all-region honors, while Evan Hofer captured second-team all-region accolades.
Kelly and Hofer increase the number of all-region selections in Rose-Hulman men’s soccer history to 35. Kelly is just the fourth first-team selection in program history and the first since forward Clint Vatterrodt earned the honor in 2011.
A two-time HCAC Most Valuable Offensive Player selection, Kelly led the Fightin’ Engineers with nine goals and 23 points this season. He ranks No. 11 in school history with 26 career goals and stands No. 10 all-time in Fightin’ Engineer history with 63 points.
Kelly also led the HCAC with 71 shots this season. This marks Kelly’s third first-team all-HCAC selection and second straight Player of the Year honor.
Hofer finished 12-4-1 as the team’s primary goalkeeper this season with six shutouts. He compiled a 0.94 goals against average and has 42 saves this season. Hofer career stats stand at 21-4-2 with a 0.77 goals against average and 57 career saves.
Rose-Hulman finished its first perfect HCAC regular season since 2009 with a perfect 9-0 league record. The Fightin’ Engineers finished 12-5-1 overall before suffering an upset in the semifinal round of the HCAC Tournament.
Over the past two seasons, the Rose-Hulman men’s soccer program has a record of 20-5-2 under the direction of head coach Sean Helliwell. In HCAC regular season action, Helliwell has a career record of 103-9-12 since taking over at Rose-Hulman in 2008.
RHIT WOMEN’S SOCCER DUO EARNS ALL-REGION HONORS
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Two Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology women’s soccer players have been named to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-Region VII Team, in results released on Monday by the national organization.
Sarah Shoemaker earned first-team all-region honors, while Lane Lawrence earned second-team all-region accolades.
Shoemaker and Lawrence increase the number of all-region selections in Rose-Hulman women’s soccer history to 15. Shoemaker is just the third first-team selection in program history and the first since goalkeeper Lucinda Combs earned the honor in 2015.
Shoemaker scored six goals and added seven assists for a Rose-Hulman team that finished 12-3-2 this season. She ranks No. 5 in Rose-Hulman history with 21 career assists and also has 14 career goals for 49 total points. This season, Shoemaker was also a first-team all-HCAC selection.
Lawrence led Rose-Hulman’s offense with 10 assists and added seven goals for 24 points. The three-time all-HCAC honoree previously earned first-team all-conference recognition in the 2020-21 spring season. She stands No. 8 in Rose-Hulman with 18 career goals and is 8th in program history with 54 career points. This season, Lawrence was also a second-team all-HCAC selection.
Rose-Hulman has tallied a record of 34-10-3 over the past three seasons under the direction of head coach Amy Helliwell, highlighted by a trip to the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament.
ALEMAN, JOHNSON RECEIVE UNITED SOCCER COACHES ALL-REGION HONORS
Two members of the Wabash College soccer team have been selected as members of the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division III All-Region Team. Senior defender Cristian Aleman earned All-Region VII First Team honors while Coledon Johnson was an All-Region VII Second Team selection as a junior forward.
Aleman played in 16 games for the Little Giants and scored one game-winning goal against Hiram. He played in a total of 55 games in his career and scored four goals with two assists. Aleman was a First Team All-North Coast Athletic Conference honoree in 2021 and an Honorable Mention All-NCAC selection in 2018.
Johnson led the North Coast Athletic Conference in scoring with 12 goals while starting all 19 games for Wabash. The junior produced three game-winning goals for the Little Giants and also handed out five assists for a total of 29 points for the season. He ranked 50th among Division III players in total goals scored and was 55th in total point scored with 29. Johnson’s game winners came against Principia and Anderson University. He was a First Team All-NCAC selection in 2021.
Wabash finished the 2021 fall campaign with an overall record of 11-6-2 with a 4-3-2 record in NCAC matches. The Little Giants earned a berth in the conference tournament for the fourth consecutive season.
LADY TRAILBLAZERS DROP REMATCH WITH NO. 4 THREE RIVERS COLLEGE MONDAY NIGHT
VINCENNES, Ind. – The Vincennes University Lady Trailblazers hosted No. 4-ranked Three Rivers College Monday night with the Lady Blazers looking to get some payback from an 82-67 loss to the Lady Raiders earlier this year.
Vincennes held their own against the top-ranked Raiders in the first period, with Vincennes holding a 10-8 lead late in the first period before Three Rivers began a 9-0 scoring run that stretched into the second quarter to take a seven-point lead.
Three Rivers would continue to build on this lead throughout the second quarter, with their largest lead of the first half being 14 before Vincennes closed the gap to 30-18 at the break.
The two teams went shot-for-shot in the third quarter until freshman Cherrelle Newsom (Indianapolis, Ind.) began a barrage of three-point baskets to cut the deficit back down to just 10 points.
Newsom would score 12 of VU’s 21 third quarter points on four made shots from behind the arc.
VU would look to build on this momentum in the fourth quarter, but Three Rivers began to expand their lead again.
The Lady Raiders led by as many as 20 early in the fourth quarter, before Vincennes rallied late to cut the deficit to the eventual 15-point margin as Three Rivers came away with the 72-57 win.
“Three Rivers made a lot of shots, we turned the ball over early and gave them easy shots and I think Three Rivers won the game in the first eight minutes because we played uphill the rest of the game,” VU Hall of Fame Head Coach Harry Meeks said. “I believe that if you can win the first five minutes and the last five minutes of both halves you are going to have a winning team. Today we didn’t fair too well going by that.”
“We started off shooting air balls and we let them rush us into taking bad shots,” Meeks added. “There is no doubt that Three Rivers plays a good zone, but our problem was we didn’t run our zone offense and we didn’t do anything that would help us. This is a good learning point for us that we have to be more precise when we start the game and be more precise at the end of the game. Where we can handle the ball and get the shots that we’re supposed to get and don’t get rushed and have to make a bunch of three’s to get back into the game.”
“We just have to go to work, I told our team that I could scream and yell, but that’s not going to help anything. That’s not going to help us win the next game. I don’t want to dwell on anything that we can’t do something about. I want to look forward and go after Lincoln Trail Wednesday night. I think if we do that, we are eventually going to be where I want this team to be. We did compete with Three Rivers tonight and I think by the end of the season, we may have another two to three losses, but we will be able to play against them and do a better job than what we did tonight.”
Vincennes was led offensively by Cherrelle Newsom who finished with a game-high 23 points, with seven made three-pointers on the night. Newsom also added three assists and a pair of rebounds to her totals.
Sophomore Laila Grant (Derwood, Md.) also finishing with double-digits in the score column, ending with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Sophomore Macy Michels (Teutopolis, Ill.) nearly came away with a double-double, ending her night with eight points and seven rebounds.
Sophomore Nina Blade (Milwaukee, Wis.) led the Blazers with eight rebounds and freshman Trinitee Harris (Elkhart, Ind.) finished with a team-high five steals as well as four rebounds and three assists.
Freshman Day’Lynn Thornton (Lafayette, Ind.) provided the scoring for the Blazers off the bench, ending with seven points on the game.
“I thought Cherrelle was just awesome shooting the ball,” Meeks said. “She can play. She does a really good job for us and I’m glad she’s on our side. We’ve just got to get Cherrelle to play like she did in the third quarter the whole game.”
“I thought Macy did a good job rebounding for us, but Macy is going to have to get stronger and block out with a little more authority,” Meeks added. “I don’t know where we would be without Macy, she’s done a really good job for us and I’m happy to coach her.”
“Laila had a slow start. She came out and played better in the second half. We would not be as good of a basketball team as we are if we didn’t have Laila on our team. I think the zone tonight gave her some problems. Trinitee did a good job handling the ball for us. Nina got hit in the eye and still did a good job for us getting after it and getting eight rebounds.”
“I can’t fault the effort of every one of these girls,” Meeks said. “They all gave good effort and that’s what I’m looking for and I thought we competed pretty well tonight.”
VU will look to start their Region 24 schedule on a high-note Wednesday night when Vincennes hosts Lincoln Trail College from Robinson, Ill. Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the P.E. Complex. This game will be the first half of a men’s-women’s double-header, with the tip-off of the women’s game set for 5 p.m. eastern.
“We have played a good schedule to get ready for our Region 24 schedule this year,” Meeks said. “We have played a really tough schedule and I think that is going to help our team. We have to remember to keep playing hard. We’ve got some things that we’re going to work on to help us speed the game up a little more and we’re going to work on playing a little better defense too.”
“I wasn’t pleased with how we played defensively tonight, both in the zone and man-to-man,” Meeks added. “We’re going to have to put more pressure on the ball and we’ve got to pay more attention to detail. We’ve got some things to learn and I’m sure we will learn them in the next week or two. I look forward to coaching this team and I look forward to them winning a bunch of games this year.”
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS||8||4||0||.667||0.0||336||190||3-4-0||5-0-0||6-1-0||2-1-0||6 W|
|BUFFALO BILLS||7||4||0||.636||0.5||326||182||3-2-0||4-2-0||5-4-0||3-0-0||1 W|
|MIAMI DOLPHINS||5||7||0||.417||3.0||234||279||3-3-0||2-4-0||4-5-0||2-2-0||4 W|
|NEW YORK JETS||3||8||0||.273||4.5||199||334||2-3-0||1-5-0||3-6-0||0-4-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|KANSAS CITY CHIEFS||7||4||0||.636||0.0||281||250||4-2-0||3-2-0||2-4-0||1-1-0||4 W|
|LOS ANGELES CHARGERS||6||5||0||.545||1.0||273||293||3-3-0||3-2-0||4-3-0||2-1-0||1 L|
|LAS VEGAS RAIDERS||6||5||0||.545||1.0||259||295||3-3-0||3-2-0||4-3-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|DENVER BRONCOS||6||5||0||.545||1.0||228||196||3-3-0||3-2-0||3-4-0||1-1-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|BALTIMORE RAVENS||8||3||0||.727||0.0||263||240||5-1-0||3-2-0||5-3-0||1-1-0||2 W|
|CINCINNATI BENGALS||7||4||0||.636||1.0||309||226||3-2-0||4-2-0||5-2-0||3-1-0||2 W|
|PITTSBURGH STEELERS||5||5||1||.500||2.5||224||267||3-2-1||2-3-0||3-4-0||1-2-0||2 L|
|CLEVELAND BROWNS||6||6||0||.500||2.5||254||267||4-2-0||2-4-0||3-5-0||1-2-0||1 L|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|TENNESSEE TITANS||8||4||0||.667||0.0||304||290||4-2-0||4-2-0||5-3-0||3-1-0||2 L|
|INDIANAPOLIS COLTS||6||6||0||.500||2.0||340||283||3-4-0||3-2-0||5-3-0||2-2-0||1 L|
|HOUSTON TEXANS||2||9||0||.182||5.5||164||292||1-4-0||1-5-0||2-6-0||2-1-0||1 L|
|JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS||2||9||0||.182||5.5||173||283||2-5-0||0-4-0||2-5-0||0-3-0||3 L|
|NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|DALLAS COWBOYS||7||4||0||.636||0.0||326||250||4-2-0||3-2-0||5-1-0||2-0-0||2 L|
|WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM||5||6||0||.455||2.0||229||282||3-3-0||2-3-0||5-2-0||1-0-0||3 W|
|PHILADELPHIA EAGLES||5||7||0||.417||2.5||304||273||1-4-0||4-3-0||4-4-0||0-2-0||1 L|
|NEW YORK GIANTS||4||7||0||.364||3.0||202||253||3-3-0||1-4-0||3-5-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|ARIZONA CARDINALS||9||2||0||.818||0.0||310||202||3-2-0||6-0-0||5-2-0||4-0-0||1 W|
|LOS ANGELES RAMS||7||4||0||.636||2.0||299||263||3-2-0||4-2-0||5-3-0||1-2-0||3 L|
|SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS||6||5||0||.545||3.0||280||248||2-4-0||4-1-0||5-4-0||1-3-0||3 W|
|SEATTLE SEAHAWKS||3||8||0||.273||6.0||209||226||1-4-0||2-4-0||1-6-0||1-2-0||3 L|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|GREEN BAY PACKERS||9||3||0||.750||0.0||283||242||5-0-0||4-3-0||7-2-0||2-1-0||1 W|
|MINNESOTA VIKINGS||5||6||0||.455||3.5||281||276||3-2-0||2-4-0||4-3-0||2-0-0||1 L|
|CHICAGO BEARS||4||7||0||.364||4.5||179||254||2-3-0||2-4-0||2-4-0||2-1-0||1 W|
|DETROIT LIONS||0||10||1||.045||8.0||174||289||0-5-0||0-5-1||0-7-0||0-4-0||2 L|
|W||L||T||PCT||GB||PF||PA||HOME||ROAD||VS. CONF||VS. DIV||STREAK|
|TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS||8||3||0||.727||0.0||347||253||5-0-0||3-3-0||5-3-0||1-1-0||2 W|
|ATLANTA FALCONS||5||6||0||.455||3.0||199||302||1-4-0||4-2-0||2-5-0||1-2-0||1 W|
|NEW ORLEANS SAINTS||5||6||0||.455||3.0||257||249||2-3-0||3-3-0||4-4-0||1-2-0||4 L|
|CAROLINA PANTHERS||5||7||0||.417||3.5||236||253||2-4-0||3-3-0||3-5-0||2-0-0||2 L|
|NEW YORK||11||9||.550||3.0||5-6||6-3||3-1||8-8||5-5||1 W|
|OKLAHOMA CITY||6||14||.300||7.5||4-6||2-8||0-2||6-7||2-8||6 L|
|GOLDEN STATE||18||2||.900||—||11-1||7-1||4-0||10-1||9-1||7 W|
|LA CLIPPERS||11||10||.524||7.5||9-6||2-4||0-2||8-8||4-6||2 L|
|LA LAKERS||11||11||.500||8.0||8-6||3-5||0-3||5-7||4-6||1 W|
|SAN ANTONIO||6||13||.316||4.0||4-6||2-7||0-3||1-10||3-7||2 W|
|NEW ORLEANS||6||17||.261||6.0||3-7||3-10||1-1||5-9||5-5||1 W|
|TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS||23||16||6||1||33||16||66||49||9-3-1||7-3-0||9-1-0|
|TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING||20||12||5||3||27||10||64||56||7-3-2||5-2-1||7-2-1|
|DETROIT RED WINGS||22||10||9||3||23||10||61||71||7-2-2||3-7-1||5-4-1|
|NEW YORK RANGERS||20||13||4||3||29||12||60||54||5-1-1||8-3-2||7-2-1|
|COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS||19||12||7||0||24||10||67||59||8-3-0||4-4-0||6-4-0|
|NEW JERSEY DEVILS||19||9||6||4||22||8||57||58||6-3-2||3-3-2||5-3-2|
|NEW YORK ISLANDERS||17||5||10||2||12||5||32||52||0-4-0||5-6-2||2-8-0|
|ST. LOUIS BLUES||21||11||7||3||25||10||71||59||6-3-1||5-4-2||3-5-2|
|VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS||21||12||9||0||24||11||66||64||7-5-0||5-4-0||6-4-0|
|SAN JOSE SHARKS||21||11||9||1||23||11||55||58||5-4-1||6-5-0||5-5-0|
|LOS ANGELES KINGS||20||9||8||3||21||8||53||54||6-5-1||3-3-2||5-3-2|