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Combine still has value even if top NBA prospects skip it

em>By Andrew Seligman, Associated Press /em> CHICAGO (AP) — Creighton forward Justin Patton has been fielding all kinds of questions at the NBA draft combine. For example, does he slow down or speed up at a yellow light? The Minnesota Timberwolves wanted to know. “I said, ‘It depends on where I’m going,’” he said. That’s a big unknown for a seven-footer who went from having one Division I scholarship offer to turning pro after his redshirt freshman season. He’s projected as a middle or late first-round pick, and the combine sure is a big deal for him as he tries to boost his draft stock. It just doesn’t have quite the shine it did in the past, with the stars skipping it altogether, participating on a limited basis or showing up only to interview with teams. Eight-time All-Star and 2014 MVP Kevin Durant even told ESPN on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) that the top prospects should take a pass on the combine. He recalled a rough experience in 2007 when he was 19 and turning pro after one year at Texas. Durant remembered strength coaches laughing when he couldn’t bench press 185 pounds. He didn’t do great in the vertical leap or sprint even though he was known for his superior athleticism. Durant told ESPN all he wanted to do was pick up a basketball and show his skills on the court. If the combine hurt his stock, it didn’t drop too far. Durant was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the No. 2 pick after Portland took Greg Oden and went on to become one of his generation’s best players. But the combine isn’t quite the star-studded showcase it used to be. Likely lottery picks Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum and Malik Monk are not attending. “The league has done everything it can to try promote all the players to be here, but the agents have control over the player,” said John Paxson, the Chicago Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations. “As long as that’s the situation, they can dictate what the player does or doesn’t do in these settings.” Top players need to weigh the risks and rewards, of course. And along those lines, Kentucky coach John Calipari believes Durant has a point. “If you think there’s anything here that would hurt you, don’t come,” he said. “If you think there’s anything here that would help you, come. If you have to play to help yourself, come. If it doesn’t help you — playing— then don’t play. This is for these kids. My job is to protect my guys. The job of these NBA teams is to get as much information as they can to make a great pick. They would like to see every one of them play five-on-five, do all the [drills]. It’s not the way it is for these kids.” Calipari said he has never advised a player to skip the event. But he has told them not to play, for example, if they have nothing to gain. Paxson said he can understand top prospects skipping certain aspects of the combine. But he doesn’t understand missing it entirely. “To not go through medical and some of the athletic testing, you don’t have that in football,” he said. Even so, there still is value in the combine even if the top prospects are skipping it. Teams get to see players in an intense setting that can’t necessarily be replicated in workouts at their practice facilities. They’re getting face time with prospects. And players looking to move up in the draft or into it are getting a showcase. “I know that the league does a good job of evaluating (the combine),” Paxson said. “Every time we have a combine, they look at ways to improve it. They want it to be a valuable tool for us as well.” North Carolina’s Justin Jackson isn’t playing. But he’s getting a chance to convey just who he is, to make connections and show just how important basketball is to him. He ranks it right behind his faith and family. “I’m able to show myself, show who I really am and kind of start building relationships around the league,” he said. “You walk into the lobby and you have no idea who might be in there.” UCLA’s TJ Leaf felt he had some things to prove through the tests. And some teams had a big question for him — a $495 question. Would he buy Ball’s basketball shoes? “I’m not going to be buying one,” he said. “If Lonzo would send me one, I’d definitely try it on and I’d wear it a little bit. But I’m not gonna be buying one.” .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 12th, 2017Related News

LOOK: Early entry candidates for 2017 NBA Draft

em>NBA press release /em> NEW YORK -- The National Basketball Association announced today that 182 players -- 137 players from colleges and 45 international players -- have filed as early entry candidates for the 2017 NBA Draft presented by State Farm. Players wishing to enter the 2017 NBA Draft were required to submit a letter to the NBA to be received no later than Sunday, April 23.  Players who have applied for early entry have the right to withdraw their names from consideration for the Draft by notifying the NBA of their decision in writing no later than 5 p.m. ET on Monday, June 12 (June 13, PHL time). Under NCAA rules, in order to retain college basketball eligibility, underclassmen that have entered the 2017 Draft must withdraw by Wednesday, May 24 (May 25, PHL time). Following is the list of players from colleges who have applied for early entry into the 2017 NBA Draft, which will be held Thursday, June 22 (June 23, PHL time). strong>Player | School | Height | Status /strong> Shaqquan Aaron | USC | 6-7 | Sophomore br /> Jaylen Adams | St. Bonaventure | 6-2 | Junior br /> Edrice Adebayo | Kentucky | 6-10 | Freshman br /> Deng Adel | Louisville | 6-7 | Sophomore br /> Jashaun Agosto | LIU | 5-11 | Freshman br /> Bashir Ahmed | St. John’s | 6-7 | Junior br /> Rawle Alkins | Arizona | 6-5 | Freshman br /> Jarrett Allen | Texas | 6-11 | Freshman br /> Mark Alstork | Wright State | 6-5 | Junior br /> Ike Anigbogu | UCLA | 6-10 | Freshman br /> OG Anunoby | Indiana | 6-8 | Sophomore br /> Dwayne Bacon | Florida State | 6-7 | Sophomore br /> Lonzo Ball | UCLA | 6-6 | Freshman br /> Jaylen Barford | Arkansas | 6-3 | Junior br /> Jordan Bell | Oregon | 6-9 | Junior br /> Trae Bell-Haynes | Vermont | 6-2 | Junior br /> Joel Berry II | North Carolina | 6-0 | Junior br /> James Blackmon Jr. | Indiana | 6-4 | Junior br /> Antonio Blakeney | LSU | 6-4 | Sophomore br /> Trevon Bluiett | Xavier | 6-6 | Junior br /> Bennie Boatwright | USC | 6-10 | Sophomore br /> Jacobi Boykins | Louisiana Tech | 6-6 | Junior br /> Tony Bradley | North Carolina | 6-10 | Freshman br /> Isaiah Briscoe | Kentucky | 6-2 | Sophomore br /> Dillon Brooks | Oregon | 6-7 | Junior br /> Thomas Bryant | Indiana | 6-10 | Sophomore br /> Rodney Bullock | Providence | 6-8 | Junior br /> Jevon Carter | West Virginia | 6-2 | Junior br /> Clandell Cetoute | Thiel College (PA) | 6-8 | Junior br /> Joseph Chartouny | Fordham | 6-3 | Sophomore br /> Donte’ Clark | Massachusetts | 6-4 | Junior br /> Chris Clemons | Campbell | 5-9 | Sophomore br /> David Collette | Utah | 6-10 | Junior br /> John Collins | Wake Forest | 6-10 | Sophomore br /> Zach Collins | Gonzaga | 7-0 | Freshman br /> Chance Comanche | Arizona | 6-11 | Sophomore br /> Angel Delgado | Seton Hall | 6-10 | Junior br /> Hamidou Diallo | Kentucky | 6-6 | Freshman br /> Tyler Dorsey | Oregon | 6-4 | Sophomore br /> PJ Dozier | South Carolina | 6-6 | Sophomore br /> Vince Edwards | Purdue | 6-8 | Junior br /> John Egbunu | Florida | 6-11 | Junior br /> Jon Elmore | Marshall | 6-3 | Junior br /> Obi Enechionyia | Temple | 6-10 | Junior br /> Drew Eubanks | Oregon State | 6-10 | Sophomore br /> Jawun Evans | Oklahoma State  | 6-1 | Sophomore br /> Tacko Fall | Central Florida | 7-6 | Sophomore br /> Tony Farmer | Lee College (TX) | 6-7 | Sophomore br /> De’Aaron Fox | Kentucky | 6-4 | Freshman br /> Markelle Fultz | Washington | 6-4 | Freshman br /> Harry Giles | Duke | 6-10 | Freshman br /> Brandon Goodwin | FGCU | 6-2 | Junior br /> Donte Grantham | Clemson | 6-8 | Junior br /> Isaac Haas | Purdue | 7-2 | Junior br /> Aaron Holiday | UCLA | 6-1 | Sophomore br /> Isaac Humphries | Kentucky | 7-0 | Sophomore br /> Chandler Hutchison | Boise State | 6-7 | Junior br /> Jonathan Isaac | Florida State | 6-10 | Freshman br /> Frank Jackson | Duke | 6-3 | Freshman br /> Josh Jackson | Kansas | 6-8 | Freshman br /> Justin Jackson | Maryland | 6-7 | Freshman br /> Justin Jackson | North Carolina | 6-8 | Junior br /> Alize Johnson | Missouri State | 6-9 | Junior br /> B.J. Johnson | La Salle | 6-7 | Junior br /> Darin Johnson | CSU-Northridge | 6-5 | Junior br /> Jaylen Johnson | Louisville | 6-9 | Junior br /> Robert Johnson | Indiana | 6-3 | Junior br /> Andrew Jones | Texas | 6-4 | Freshman br /> Kerem Kanter | Green Bay | 6-10 | Junior br /> Ted Kapita | North Carolina State | 6-8 | Freshman br /> Marcus Keene | Central Michigan | 5-9 | Junior br /> Luke Kennard | Duke | 6-6 | Sophomore br /> Braxton Key | Alabama | 6-8 | Freshman br /> George King | Colorado | 6-6 | Junior br /> Kyle Kuzma | Utah | 6-9 | Junior br /> Khadeem Lattin | Oklahoma | 6-9 | Junior br /> TJ Leaf  | UCLA | 6-10 | Freshman br /> William Lee | UAB | 6-9 | Junior br /> Zach Lofton | Texas Southern | 6-3 | Junior br /> Tyler Lydon | Syracuse | 6-9 | Sophomore br /> Daryl Macon | Arkansas | 6-3 | Junior br /> Marin Maric | Northern Illinois | 6-11 | Junior br /> Lauri Markkanen | Arizona | 7-0 | Freshman br /> Yante Maten | Georgia | 6-8 | Junior br /> Markis McDuffie | Wichita State | 6-8 | Sophomore br /> MiKyle McIntosh | Illinois State | 6-7 | Junior br /> Eric Mika | BYU | 6-10 | Sophomore br /> Donovan Mitchell | Louisville | 6-3 | Sophomore br /> Malik Monk | Kentucky | 6-3 | Freshman br /> Matthew Morgan | Cornell | 6-3 | Sophomore br /> Shaquille Morris | Wichita State | 6-8 | Junior br /> Johnathan Motley  | Baylor | 6-10 | Junior br /> Svi Mykhailiuk | Kansas | 6-8 | Junior br /> Divine Myles | Stetson | 5-11 | Junior br /> Derick Newton | Stetson | 6-6 | Sophomore br /> Austin Nichols | Virginia | 6-8 | Junior br /> Semi Ojeleye | SMU | 6-7 | Junior br /> Cameron Oliver | Nevada | 6-8 | Sophomore br /> Randy Onwuasor | Southern Utah | 6-3 | Junior br /> Justin Patton  | Creighton | 7-0 | Freshman br /> L.J. Peak | Georgetown | 6-5 | Junior br /> Theo Pinson | North Carolina | 6-6 | Junior br /> Ivan Rabb | California | 6-11 | Sophomore br /> Xavier Rathan-Mayes | Florida State | 6-4 | Junior br /> Devin Robinson | Florida | 6-8 | Junior br /> Josh Robinson | Austin Peay | 6-2 | Junior br /> Martavius Robinson | Lewis & Clark CC (Illinois) | 6-10 | Sophomore          br /> Maverick Rowan | North Carolina State | 6-7 | Sophomore br /> Corey Sanders | Rutgers | 6-2 | Sophomore br /> Victor Sanders | Idaho | 6-5 | Junior br /> Jaaron Simmons | Ohio | 6-1 | Junior br /> Kobi Simmons | Arizona | 6-5 | Freshman br /> Fred Sims Jr. | Chicago State | 6-4 | Sophomore br /> Dennis Smith Jr. | North Carolina State | 6-3 | Freshman br /> Zach Smith | Texas Tech | 6-8 | Junior br /> Kamau Stokes | Kansas State | 6-0 | Sophomore br /> Edmond Sumner | Xavier | 6-6 | Sophomore br /> Caleb Swanigan | Purdue | 6-9 | Sophomore br /> Jayson Tatum | Duke | 6-8 | Freshman br /> Matt Taylor | New Mexico State | 6-4 | Junior br /> James Thompson IV | Eastern Michigan | 6-10 | Sophomore br /> Stephen Thompson Jr. | Oregon State | 6-4 | Sophomore br /> Trevor Thompson | Ohio State | 7-0 | Junior br /> Melo Trimble | Maryland | 6-3 | Junior br /> Craig Victor II | LSU | 6-9 | Junior                    br /> Moritz Wagner | Michigan | 6-11 | Sophomore br /> Tevonn Walker | Valparaiso | 6-2 | Junior br /> Antone Warren | Antelope Valley CC (CA) | 6-10 | Sophomore br /> Thomas Welsh | UCLA | 7-0 | Junior br /> Thomas Wilder | Western Michigan | 6-3 | Junior br /> Cecil Williams | Central Michigan | 6-6 | Junior br /> Johnathan Williams | Gonzaga | 6-9 | Junior br /> Kam Williams | Ohio State | 6-2 | Junior br /> Nigel Williams-Goss | Gonzaga | 6-3 | Junior br /> Christian Wilson | Texas-San Antonio | 6-2 | Junior br /> D.J. Wilson | Michigan | 6-10 | Junior br /> Omer Yurtseven | North Carolina State | 7-0 | Freshman The following is the list of international players who have applied for early entry into the 2017 NBA Draft: strong>Player | Team/Country of Team | Height | Status /strong> Ege Arar | Galatasaray (Turkey) | 6-10 | 1996 DOB br /> Laurynas Beliauskas | Neptunas (Lithuania) | 6-3 | 1997 DOB            br /> Terrence Bieshaar | Joventut (Spain)  | 6-10 | 1997 DOB br /> Simon Birgander | Clavijo (Spain) | 6-10 | 1997 DOB br /> Laurynas Birutis | Vytautas (Lithuania) | 7-1 | 1997 DOB br /> Luka Bozic | Zagreb (Croatia) | 6-7 | 1996 DOB br /> Vlatko Cancar  | Mega Leks (Serbia)  | 6-8 | 1997 DOB br /> Leo Cizmic | Sevilla (Spain) | 6-8 | 1998 DOB            br /> Wesley Alves da Silva | Paulistano (Brazil) | 6-6 | 1996 DOB br /> George de Paula | Paulistano (Brazil) | 6-6 | 1996 DOB br /> Berkan Durmaz | Tofas (Turkey) | 6-8 | 1997 DOB br /> Martynas Echodas | Siauliai (Lithuania) | 6-9 | 1997 DOB br /> Cyrille Eliezer-Vanerot | Levallois (France) | 6-8  | 1996 DOB br /> Aquiles Ferreira | Pinheiros (Brazil) | 6-5 | 1998 DOB br /> Diego Flaccadori | Trento (Italy) | 6-5 | 1996 DOB br /> Tolga Gecim | Banvit (Turkey) | 6-8 | 1996 DOB br /> Yoan Granvorka | Nancy (France) | 6-4 | 1997 DOB br /> Egemen Guven | Karsiyaka (Turkey) | 6-10 | 1996 DOB br /> Isaiah Hartenstein | Zalgiris (Lithuania) | 7-0 | 1998 DOB br /> Karlis Helmanis | RTU Riga (Latvia) | 6-7 | 1997 DOB br /> Aleksa Ilic | Buducnost (Montenegro) | 6-9 | 1996 DOB br /> Jonathan Jeanne | Nancy (France) | 7-2 | 1997 DOB br /> Alpha Kaba | Mega Leks (Serbia) | 6-10 | 1996 DOB br /> Verners Kohs | GBA Sparta (Czech Republic) | 6-8 | 1997 DOB br /> Antonios Koniaris | PAOK (Greece) | 6-4 | 1997 DOB br /> Arnoldas Kulboka | Baunach (Germany) | 6-9 | 1998 DOB br /> Rodions Kurucs  | Barcelona (Spain) | 6-8 | 1998 DOB br /> Axel Louissaint | Lugano (Switzerland) | 6-6 | 1996 DOB br /> Michail Lountzis | Panathinaikos (Greece) | 6-5 | 1998 DOB br /> Gytis Masiulis | Zalgiris (Lithuania) | 6-9 | 1998 DOB br /> Lovro Mazalin | Zadar (Croatia) | 6-9 | 1997 DOB br /> Regimantas Miniotas | Vytautas (Lithuania) | 6-9 | 1996 DOB br /> Kostja Mushidi | Mega Leks (Serbia) | 6-5 | 1998 DOB br /> Margiris Normantas | Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania) | 6-4 | 1996 DOB br /> Frank Ntilikina | Strasbourg (France) | 6-5 | 1998 DOB br /> Elie Okobo | Pau Orthez (France) | 6-2 | 1997 DOB br /> Viny Okouo | Unicaja (Spain) | 7-2 | 1997 DOB br /> Ayberk Olmaz | Istanbul BSB (Turkey) | 6-10 | 1996 DOB br /> Lucas Pereira | Pinheiros (Brazil) | 6-8 | 1998 DOB br /> Martynas Sajus | Starogard (Poland) | 6-10 | 1996 DOB br /> Borisa Simanic | Crvena Zvezda (Serbia) | 6-10 | 1998 DOB br /> Nik Slavica | Cibona (Croatia) | 6-8 | 1997 DOB br /> Berk Ugurlu | Fenerbahce (Turkey) | 6-3 | 1996 DOB br /> Kristupas Zemaitis | Vytautas (Lithuania) | 6-4 | 1996 DOB br /> Zou Yuchen | Bayi Fubang (China) | 6-10 | 1996 DOB             .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 25th, 2017Related News

Nuggets spoil Romo day for Mavericks, topping Dallas 109-91

em>By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press /em> DALLAS (AP) -- Gary Harris scored 20 points and the Denver Nuggets beat Dallas 109-91 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) with the Mavericks honoring retiring Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo as a ceremonial player. With nothing at stake in a lost season that will be the worst for Dallas (32-49) since going 20-62 in 1997-98, the Mavericks followed through with an idea hatched in part by star Dirk Nowitzki weeks ago when it was clear Romo wasn't returning to the Cowboys. Romo was honored exactly a week after announcing he was leaving football to become the No. 1 NFL analyst at CBS. The soon-to-be-37-year-old had the crowd on its feet in the final minute hoping he could play, but Romo wasn't on the roster or under contract. After breaking a bone in his back last preseason, the career passing leader for the storied Cowboys franchise lost the starting job he held for 10 years to rookie Dak Prescott and decided not to play for another team. Mason Plumlee and Malik Beasley scored 16 apiece in the first game for the Nuggets (39-42) since getting eliminated from the postseason. Nowitzki scored 21 for Dallas. As coach Rick Carlisle put his arm around Romo while the crowd roared in the final minutes, Mark Cuban pulled Romo back to the seat he had next to the Mavericks owner. The Mavericks let Romo go through shootaround and pregame warmups before introducing him with the starters, the only time he showed his white jersey with 'Dallas' across the front with his football No. 9. Cuban had discussed with Commissioner Adam Silver the possibility of Romo actually playing. Instead, Dallas ended up filling an available roster spot by claiming DeAndre Liggins on waivers from Cleveland. At least a dozen of his former teammates attended, including Ezekiel Elliott, the standout rookie running back who never got to play with Romo because of the 14-year veteran's injury. The NFL rushing leader for the NFC East champs was there in Romo's No. 9 football jersey. So were plenty of fans. Longtime friend and tight end Jason Witten had a seat in the first half behind the Dallas bench near Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and Romo's last offensive coordinator in Dallas, Scott Linehan. Romo said it was a 'no-brainer' to accept the offer of a tribute from Nowitzki, who discussed the idea with Cuban at the party to celebrate the 19-year veteran reaching 30,000 career points last month. Cuban said if the Mavericks were eliminated from the playoffs, he would do it. On the court, Romo played with his youngest son, Rivers. A long line of media members followed Romo off the court, then filled the room where Carlisle does his game-day interviews for Romo's only chat with reporters. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em> Coach Michael Malone said four regulars wouldn't play in the final two games: Kenneth Faried (low back pain), Jameer Nelson (right calf strain), and Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton (rest). em> strong>Mavericks: /strong> /em> Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews both were sidelined for rest. It's likely several regulars will miss the finale as well. Carlisle said Liggins would play in the finale. J.J. Barea had 13 points and nine assists. strong>UP /strong> strong>NEXT /strong> em> strong>Nuggets: /strong> /em> Finale at Oklahoma City on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). em> strong>Mavericks: /strong> /em> Finale at Memphis on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 12th, 2017Related News

Resurgent Hawks rout Hornets 103-76 for 4th straight victory

em>By Paul Newberry, Associated Press /em> ATLANTA (AP) -- Dwight Howard had 19 points and 12 rebounds as the resurgent Atlanta Hawks won their fourth straight game, routing the listless Charlotte Hornets 103-76 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time) to wrap up the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks will face the Washington Wizards in the opening round of the playoffs. A week ago, Atlanta's playoff hopes were in jeopardy after a dismal stretch that included two losses to Brooklyn, the worst team in the NBA. Then, in a sudden turnaround that epitomized the team's maddening inconsistency this season, the Hawks knocked off East-leading Boston and recorded two straight stunning victories over the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, including Sunday's (Monday, PHL time) comeback from a 26-point deficit. This one was never in doubt. Charlotte played its regular-season finale already eliminated from the playoffs and without its best player, Kemba Walker. It showed. Atlanta raced out to a 63-44 lead by halftime, shooting 71 percent (24 of 34) over the first two quarters. All 13 players scored for the Hawks, who were able to rest their starters in the second half. Paul Millsap and Ersan Ilyasova added 10 points apiece. Jeremy Lamb led the Hornets with 21 points. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Hornets: /strong> /em>Michael Kidd-Gilchrist became the third Charlotte player in the last four seasons to start at least 81 games in a season. Walker and Marvin Williams did it last season. Lamb is a native of suburban Norcross. The Hornets shot just 33 percent from the field. em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em>Howard posted his 53rd double-double of the season. Thabo Sefolosha scored four points in 15 minutes after missing eight games with a right groin strain. Atlanta announced before the game that manager of basketball operations Malik Rose will serve as general manager of their new D-League team beginning next season. How long had it been since the Hawks defeated the defending NBA champion in back-to-back games? It last happened in February 1984, when Atlanta beat Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers on consecutive nights. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Hornets: /strong> /em> Summer vacation. Closed a disappointing regular season at 36-46, a significant drop-off from the 48-34 mark posted by last year's playoff team. em> strong>Hawks: /strong> /em>Close the regular season at Indiana on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). The game means nothing to Atlanta, but the Pacers are still trying to lock up a playoff berth. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 12th, 2017Related News

Atlanta Hawks appoint Malik Rose as GM of new D-League team

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have appointed Malik Rose as general manager of their NBA Development League affiliate in Erie, Pennsylvania, beginning next season. Rose also will maintain his duties as manager of basketball operations for the Hawks, who made the announcement Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). The Hawks' new D-League franchise will play in Erie the next two seasons before relocating in 2019 to a 3,500-seat arena that will be built in College Park, adjacent to Atlanta's airport and only about 10 miles from Philips Arena. Rose was in the NBA for 13 years, playing with Charlotte, San Antonio, New York and Oklahoma City. He won a pair of NBA titles with the Spurs in 1999 and 2003. The 42-year-old Rose has worked in Atlanta's front office the last two seasons. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 11th, 2017Related News

Mason of Kansas, Plum of Washington win Wooden Awards

BETH HARRIS, AP Sports Writer br /> LOS ANGELES (AP) — Frank Mason III of Kansas and Kelsey Plum of Washington won the John R. Wooden Award as national players of the year Friday night. They received their trophies during the third annual College Basketball Awards in a nationally televised show from The Novo in downtown Los Angeles. Mason also claimed the Bob Cousey point guard of the year award. The senior became the first player in Big 12 history to average 20 points and 5 assists in a season. 'When you step out on court you have to play with toughness. You can't be a punk out there, you have to play with pride,' Mason said. 'It's been a good year. I wouldn't say great because a great year to me is winning it all.' The Jayhawks were eliminated by Oregon in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament Plum became the NCAA Division I career scoring leader (3,527 points). She also set marks for single-season points (1,109) and career free throws made (912). Mason won the Wooden Award over UCLA's Lonzo Ball, Villanova's Josh Hart, Caleb Swanigan of Purdue and Nigel Williams-Goss of national runner-up Gonzaga. Mason had already earned player of the year honors from The Associated Press and Atlanta Tipoff Club. 'I want to thank John R. Wooden,' Mason said, referring to the late UCLA coaching great. 'I want to thank my parents, coaches and teammates. Nothing would have meant more to me than the national championship, but I really appreciate it.' Plum claimed the women's Wooden Award over Connecticut teammates Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson, Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell, and A'ja Wilson of national champion South Carolina. Hall of Famer Ann Myers Drysdale presented Plum with the trophy as Wooden's daughter, Nan, looked on. Plum set the career scoring record with a 57-point effort in one game. 'I'm grateful to the University of Washington, my coaches and my teammates. Something like that doesn't happen without great people,' said Plum, adding that she ate a few packets of applesauce on the sideline that night. 'That was what got me through,' he said. Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw received the Wooden Legends of Coaching award. Other winners were: — Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski earned the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar center of the year for averaging 12.2 points on 59 percent shooting and 5.8 rebounds. Abdul-Jabbar was on hand to present to the 7-footer from Poland. — Kentucky's Malik Monk won the Jerry West shooting guard of the year for his SEC-leading field goal percentage of 37.3 and SEC second-best 19.8 scoring average. West presented his namesake trophy. — Villanova's Josh Hart took home the Julius Erving small forward of the year after leading the Big East with 18.7 points per game. Erving handed out the trophy. — Johnathan Motley of Baylor accepted the Karl Malone power forward of the year award from the Hall of Famer. He led the Big 12 with 9.9 rebounds. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsApr 8th, 2017Related News

Murray eases to 1st round victory in Dubai

SANDRA HARWITT, Associated Press br /> DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Andy Murray may be coming off a bout of shingles, but he looked in good shape during a 6-4, 6-1 first round victory over Malik Jaziri at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday. The top-ranked Murray was playing his first match since being upset by Mischa Zverev in the Australian Open fourth round last month. Murray said that his mother-in-law was the first to suggest he had shingles, which a doctor confirmed the next day. 'I had a little bit of a rash basically like on my bum 'round to kind of my stomach, and it wasn't, like, terrible,' Murray said. 'I didn't think much of it at the beginning, and then it was actually my wife's mum, we were having dinner, and I was, like, 'This is really irritating. She was, like, 'Pull your pants down. Show me. It might be shingles.' Jaziri took a brief 2-1 lead with a service break in the first set, but that would be the only time the Tunisian had any control over Tuesday's match. 'Obviously, the second set was obviously a bit easier,' Murray said. 'First set, especially the beginning, was tough. 'I have never hit with him or played against him before. It took a little bit of time to get used to his game.' The only other unexpected moment in the match came when Murray was leading 6-4, 3-1, 0-40. Jaziri said he was feeling light-headed and asked for the physiotherapist to come to the court. After his pulse was checked, Jaziri returned to the court and played out the match. Unlike Murray, defending champion Stan Wawrinka didn't survive the first round, falling to Damir Dzhumur 7-6 (4), 6-3. It was third-ranked Wawrinka's first match since bowing out of the Australian Open to Swiss countryman Roger Federer in the semifinals. 'I think I start well, but it was tough match,' Wawrinka said. 'I think after coming back one month out, I had to recover from the injury. Wawrinka was nursing a right knee injury when he left the Australian Open and only started to have regular practice sessions a week ago. 'The positive of the tournament here is that the knee is feeling good now,' Wawrinka said. 'I don't have any pain. I need to still be really careful, but that was the only positive of today.' Wawrinka started the match very quickly, racing to a 4-1 lead in the first set. 'Three games in, like, six, seven minutes, he was playing outstanding there,' Dzhumur said. 'Was just hitting every ball. I couldn't even touch the ball.' That was the point when Wawrinka slowed down and showed signs of becoming tentative as the Bosnian settled into the match. 'I was hoping that he's gonna go down with his level of game, and that's what happened,' Dzhumur said. 'I started to fight, to grind, and I found some way to play, to stay in the game.' Dzhumur raced into a 5-1 lead in the second set, but became nervous when serving for the match at that point. In the 10-point seventh game, Dzhumur served three double faults, including to lose the third break point he faced. He kept his composure when serving for the match two games later, setting up the match point with a forehand crosscourt volley, and then watching Wawrinka sail a forehand long. Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych advanced to the second round when fellow Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol retired with a knee injury. Berdych was leading 6-3, 2-1 at the time. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMar 1st, 2017Related News

US college basketball: Gonzaga loses 1st game of season

The Associated Press br /> SPOKANE, Washington (AP) — Eric Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds to help BYU upset No. 1 Gonzaga 79-71 on Saturday, ending the Bulldogs' bid to go undefeated in the final game of the U.S. men's college basketball regular season. Nigel Williams-Goss scored 19 points for Gonzaga (29-1, 17-1 West Coast Conference), which was seeking to become the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to finish the regular season without a loss. Mika's basket with a minute left gave BYU (21-10, 12-6) a 73-71 lead. Gonzaga lost the ball on its next two possessions, and Corbin Kaufusi had a putback and Mika hit two free throws to put it out of reach. The last team to finish the entire season undefeated was Indiana in 1975-76. ___ No. 5 UCLA 77, No. 4 ARIZONA 72 TUCSON, Arizona (AP) — Thomas Welsh scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half and No. 5 UCLA dominated the offensive boards to beat Arizona in a Pac-12 showdown. The Bruins (26-3, 13-3) snapped Arizona's 21-game home court winning streak and dropped the Wildcats (26-4, 15-2) into a tie with Oregon for first place in the Pac-12 heading into the final week of the regular season. The Ducks hold the tiebreaker by beating Arizona in the teams' only meeting. UCLA, avenging a 96-85 home loss to Arizona on Jan. 21, trailed 53-49 at the half but took control with a 19-4 second-half run. Allonzo Trier scored a career-high 28 for the Wildcats. UCLA had 19 second-chance points to Arizona's four. ___ No. 2 VILLANOVA 79, No. 23 CREIGHTON 63 VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Eric Paschall scored a season-high 19 points and Josh Hart added 16 to help Villanova wrap up its fourth straight Big East regular-season title. Kris Jenkins scored 15 points and Mikal Bridges had 11 for the defending national champion Wildcats (27-3, 14-3). Marcus Foster scored 25 points and Khyri Thomas had 17 for Creighton (22-7, 9-7). It has lost six of 10 after an 18-1 start. ___ No. 3 KANSAS 77, TEXAS 67. AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Josh Jackson scored 18 points and Frank Mason III added 16 to help Kansas beat Texas and win its 13th consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship outright. Devonte Graham and Dwight Coleby added points 12 apiece for the Jayhawks (26-3, 14-2 Big 12). Jarrett Allen led Texas (10-19, 4-12) with 20 points, and Andrew Jones added 18. ___ No. 5 OREGON 75, STANFORD 73 STANFORD, California (AP) — Jordan Bell scored on a putback with 14 seconds left to give Oregon a rare Bay Area sweep. Bell's game-winner followed Dillon Brooks' last-second, tiebreaking 3-pointer three nights earlier at California to give Oregon (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12) its second sweep of its conference Bay Area rivals since 1976. Tyler Dorsey scored 15 points to lead Oregon, while Brooks added 14. Reid Travis had 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead the way for the Cardinal (14-14, 6-10). ___ No. 8 NORTH CAROLINA 85, PITTSBURGH 67 PITTSBURGH (AP) — Justin Jackson scored 23 points, Joel Berry added 19 and North Carolina continued its march to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title. The Tar Heels (25-5, 13-3) have won four straight following a loss to arch rival Duke two weeks ago. North Carolina can clinch its second straight ACC regular season crown and 31st overall with a win at No. 18 Virginia on Monday. Michael Young and fellow senior Jamel Artis finished with 17 points each for the Panthers (15-14, 4-12). ___ IOWA ST. 72, No. 9 BAYLOR 69 AMES, Iowa (AP) — Deonte Burton scored 22 points, including a crucial 3 with 1:17 left, and Iowa State won its fifth straight. Monte Morris had 17 points with seven assists for the Cyclones (19-9, 11-5 Big 12), who have their longest winning streak in league play since a seven-game stretch in 2005. Johnathan Motley had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor (23-6, 10-6). ___ MIAMI 55, No. 10 DUKE 50 CORAL GABLES, Florida. (AP) — Bruce Brown scored 25 points, and Miami held Duke a staggering 32 points below its season average. Brown shot 11 for 18 and had four assists, while his teammates shot just 11 for 40 with four assists combined. Yet it was enough for the Hurricanes (20-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who dominated inside and outscored Duke 40-20 in the paint. Frank Jackson and Luke Kennard each scored 16 points for Duke (22-7, 10-6), which lost its second straight to an unranked opponent. ___ No. 11 KENTUCKY 76, No. 13 FLORIDA 66 LEXINGTON, Kentucky (AP) — Malik Monk scored 30 of his 33 points in the second half and Bam Adebayo added 18 points with 15 rebounds as Kentucky took over the Southeastern Conference lead. While another week remains in SEC play for both teams, the Wildcats (24-5, 14-2) took an important step by twice rallying from eight points down to win the pivotal matchup. And they can thank Monk for making it happen as he scored 14 points during an 18-10 run that tied the game at 55 with 9:54 remaining. KeVaughn Allen had 24 points and Justin Leon added 13 for Florida (23-6, 13-3), which had won nine straight. ___ No. 12 WEST VIRGINIA 61, TCU 60 FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Daxter Miles Jr. made a free throw with 4.8 seconds left for West Virginia. Miles went to the free throw line after a questionable foul against Jaylen Fisher, who never left the ground and appeared to make only slight incidental contact with the Miles. TCU (17-12, 6-10 Big 12), which had tied the game on Alex Robinson's free throw with 9.1 seconds left, had one more chance but Desmond Bane's 3-pointer at the buzzer was well short. Jevon Carter had 15 points for West Virginia (23-6, 11-5), while Nathan Adrian added 13. Fisher had 18 points to lead TCU, which lost its fifth straight. ___ MICHIGAN 82, No. 14 PURDUE 70 ANN ARBOR, Michigan. (AP) — Moe Wagner scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half for Michigan. Derrick Walton added 17 points and 11 rebounds and the Wolverines (19-10, 9-7 Big Ten), who have won five of six. Caleb Swanigan scored 18 points for the Boilermakers (23-6, 12-4), who had their six-game winning streak snapped. ___ No. 17 SMU 69, UCONN 61 HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — Shake Milton had 20 points and seven rebounds to lead SMU. The Mustangs (25-4, 15-1 American Athletic Conference) won their 11th straight. Semi Ojeleye added 16 points. The Huskies (14-14, 9-7), who have dropped two straight after a four-game winning streak, were led by Kentan Facey's 15 points. ___ No. 18 VIRGINIA 70, N.C. STATE 55 RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — Freshman Kyle Guy scored 19 points to help Virginia end a four-game losing streak. Devon Hall added 18 points for the Cavaliers (19-9, 9-7 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 49 percent and made 11 of 16 3-pointers. Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. scored 13 points for the Wolfpack (15-15, 4-13). ___ No. 19 FLORIDA ST. 76, CLEMSON 74 CLEMSON, South Carolina (AP) — Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, including the go-ahead basket with 1:22 left, to lift Florida State. Jonathan Isaac of Florida State (23-6, 11-5) blocked Shelton Mitchell's drive with 11 seconds left and, after Trent Forrest made a free throw for the Seminoles, Marcquise Reed came up short on a mid-range jumper with 5 seconds to go. Jaron Blossomgame had 24 points for Clemson (14-14, 4-12). ___ No. 20 SAINT MARY'S 70, SANTA CLARA 56 MORAGA, California (AP) — Jock Landale scored 17 points and Saint Mary's beat Santa Clara in the West Coast Conference regular-season finale for both teams. Emmett Naar and Calvin Hermanson scored 13 points apiece for the Gaels (26-3, 15-3). Jared Brownridge and Matt Hauser scored 15 points apiece for Santa Clara (16-15, 10-8). ___ IOWA 83, No. 24 MARYLAND 69 COLLEGE PARK, Maryland. (AP) — Freshman Jordan Bohannon scored a career-high 24 points, hitting 8 of 10 3-pointers, to help Iowa breeze past fading Maryland. Tyler Cook had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (16-13, 8-8 Big Ten). Kevin Huerter scored 13 points for Maryland (22-7, 10-6). Since opening 20-2, the Terrapins have lost five of seven and three in a row. ___ No. 25 WICHITA ST. 86, MISSOURI ST. 67 SPRINGFIELD, Missouri (AP) — Landry Shamet scored a career-best 23 points as Wichita State clinched at least a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title for a fourth straight season. The title is the fifth in six seasons for the Shockers (27-4, 17-1), who have won 12 straight games and appear well on their way to a sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Dequon Miller had 19 points for the Bears (16-15, 7-11). .....»»

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