THE INDIANA SRN “SPORTSPAGE” THURSDAY JUNE 27, 2024 (2024)

“THE SCOREBOARD”

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

SEATTLE 5 TAMPA BAY 2

PITTSBURGH 6 CINCINNATI 1

PHILADELPHIA 6 DETROIT 2

ATLANTA 6 ST. LOUIS 2

ST. LOUIS 4 ATLANTA 1

HOUSTON 7 COLORADO 1

KANSAS CITY 5 MIAMI 1

MILWAUKEE 6 TEXAS 5

LA ANGELS 5 OAKLAND 2

SAN DIEGO 8 WASHINGTON 5

BALTIMORE 4 CLEVELAND 2

NY METS 12 NY YANKEES 2

LA DODGERS 4 CHICAGO WHITE SOX 0

MINNESOTA 8 ARIZONA 3

SAN FRANCISCO 4 CHICAGO CUBS 3

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SCORES

INDIANAPOLIS AT ROCHESTER PPD

SOUTH BEND 5 WISCONSIN 4

DAYTON AT FT. WAYNE PPD

WNBA SCORES

NO GAMES SCHEDULED

MLS

NO GAMES SCHEDULED

TOP NATIONAL SPORTS HEADLINES

NBA NEWS

HAWKS TAKE ZACCHARIE RISACHER WITH NO. 1 PICK IN NBA DRAFT

2024 NBA Draft grades, Round 1

by Adam Finkelstein (CBS SPORTS)

1. Atlanta Hawks: SF Zaccharie Risacher, France

It’s solid but unspectacular, but that’s what you expect in this draft. Risacher is a 3-and-D prototype, which you’d hope for more from a No. 1 overall pick, but that’s what you’re getting in this class. The better course of action would have been to trade down, but that option didn’t seem to present itself to the Hawks.Grade: B

2.Washington Wizards: C Alex Sarr, France

This is what Sarr wanted. He wanted to be with the Wizards, and the Wizards wanted him. Many thought he was the best prospect in this draft because he’s an exceptionally mobile 7-footer who can play on the perimeter. But the worry is his lack of physicality. He’s going to need to put on 20-plus pounds of muscle to do what he wants on the floor. And I also don’t fully trust the shooting from 3, which will be a key skill for him to hit on.Grade: B+

3.Houston Rockets(viaNets): PG Reed Sheppard, Kentucky

Sheppard exceeded all expectations at Kentucky and became one of the most efficient freshmen in the country. Now he goes to the Rockets, a team that was seen as having interest in several players but chooses to add to their young backcourt with much-needed marksman shooting. At worst, he’s an extraordinary role player, but you’d hope for a higher ceiling at third overall. I worry about the extreme shooting being an outlier since he wasn’t as good in high school, and I worry about his size on defense. …But I’ve been wrong about him before.Grade: B

4.San Antonio Spurs: SG Stephon Castle, Connecticut

Castle was an outstanding multi-positional defender for the national champion Huskies and flashed offensive skills as a creator. I have questions about the fit in San Antonio. He’s 6-6, and while some believe he could be a point guard, he played the 3 at UConn and was better off on the weak side slashing. The shooting is the real issue, and the Spurs need shooting around Wembanyama. He’s ultra-versatile, but if he’s not a shooter, does it work?Grade: B-

5.Detroit Pistons: SF Ron Holland, G League Ignite

Holland was the No. 1 recruit in the country last year but had an up-and-down season with the Ignite. His talent is obvious because of his defensive ability on the perimeter and his motor. He does a lot of great things and was my favorite prospect in the class. The issue is the fit: The Pistons desperately need shooting, and Holland’s shot is not where it needs to be to help there.Grade: B

6.Charlotte Hornets: PF Tidjane Salaun, France

Salaun is 18 years old, has a terrific build, a high motor and shooting potential on top of it, especially on a Charlotte team that needs a 4 man more than anything else. It’s contrary to a lot of people’s takes, but he has terrific potential with his physical tools.Grade: B+

7.Portland Trail Blazers: C Donovan Clingan, Connecticut

This is a best-case scenario for Portland. There was real talk that he could go No. 1. There were teams trying to trade up for him. But the Blazers always wanted him, and he fell to them at 7. He’s a defensive monster with his size, rebounding and shot-blocking, but we don’t talk enough about the offensive potential with his slip passes and ability to put it on the floor. And I believe that shooting could be around the corner.Grade: A

8. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Spurs andRaptors): PG Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

This is a really high-risk, high-reward pick for Minnesota, which traded for the pick during the draft from the Spurs. Dillingham is a dynamic offensive talent but comes with questions, particularly about his size and defense. He was rated in the bottom 1% for most of the season as a defender — until he fell to the 0% by the end of it. The things he can do with a basketball cannot be taught, but he needs to get his body to an NBA level. But it’s worth noting that he makes a lot of sense as a secondary creator next to Anthony Edwards, one of the true rising stars of the league.Grade: B

9.Memphis Grizzlies: C Zach Edey, Purdue

This is a pick where beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Nobody cares what Edey did in college in terms of Edey’s decorated trophy case. But they do care about your rate of improvement — and Edey improved every single year. He’s massive, so big that it can actually hurt him on defense because he will be attacked on ball screens. But he’s massive, he’s a worker and he’s improving every single day. And he fits: Edey is the best screener in the draft, and Ja Morant loves running a pick-and-roll.Grade: B

10.Utah Jazz: SF Cody Williams, Colorado

Williams is one of the more notable high-risk/high-reward prospects in this draft. He missed some time during his one college season but showed a versatile skill set as a big, fluid wing who can shoot. Older brother Jalen Williams is a rising star for the Thunder, and the Jazz hope Cody can produce at a similar level. But he hasn’t turned the potential into production in the way his brother has. If he does, this is a great pick.Grade: B

11.Chicago Bulls: PF Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

He is a player with a wide range of outcomes, but there was a high probability that he would be off the board before this because of his size and skill. He has playmaking ability off the dribble at 6-9, and he can do a lot of things across the court. The shooting is a work in progress, as a senior year of high school hot streak doesn’t reflect his otherwise lesser numbers. If he locks in on defense at a level we haven’t seen before, he has the skill set to be good on that end with his wingspan.Grade: B+

12.Oklahoma City Thunder(via Rockets): PG Nikola Topic, Serbia

I had this in my mock drafts because the fit makes so much sense. Topic is coming off a knee injury that could cost him his rookie season. But he had a breakout season before that injury and emerged as a top-five prospect. He is a great passer who gets the ball into the paint, and he goes to a young team that can afford to be patient because of the Thunder’s depth.Grade: A-

13.Sacramento Kings: SG Devin Carter, Providence

This is a straight A. Carter was one of my three favorite prospects in this class relative to expectations. He’s an elite competitor going to a team where he can help right away. You don’t bet against elite competitors. He stepped up big-time when Bryce Hopkins went down. He has an NBA pedigree, and he is ready to go.Grade: A

14. Washington Wizards (via Blazers,Warriors): PG Carlton Carrington, Pittsburgh

“Bub” had some huge fans in the draft process after a very productive freshman season saw him turn himself into a one-and-done unexpectedly. He’s a late-blooming guard who grew 8 inches since beginning high school. Even the Pittsburgh staff was surprised how good he was because of his high IQ. He needs to develop that body now to make it work at the NBA level, but this is the player they wanted in trading back and now they get him.Grade: B

15.Miami Heat: C Kel’el Ware, Indiana

Ware is the most polarizing prospect in this class. There are a lot of those guys, but he’s the most extreme. He’s been that way since high school. He has every single tool in the book: size, speed, hands, touch out to the perimeter. But he’s said out loud he’s not sure how much he loves basketball. There have been questions about motor, physicality, etc. But going to the Heat and Heat culture will be great for him — unless he can’t fit in. Grade: B-

16.Philadelphia 76ers: SG Jared McCain, Duke

If Dalton Knecht weren’t on the board, I’d bump this up a grade. But I love what McCain brings as a shooter and scorer and personality. Defensively, he and Tyrese Maxey may not be ideal as two smaller guards who focus on offense. But there’s a lot to like, and adding shooting around Joel Embiid makes sense. And his competitive spirit is worth betting on.Grade: B+

17.Los Angeles Lakers: SG Dalton Knecht, Tennessee

This is an absolute no-brainer, someone whom I would have taken in the top seven. Big time scorer, big time shot-maker. He’s not just a shooter, but he can run off screens and be a primary domino and unlock playbooks. For JJ Redick, a shooter himself, I like the coach-player fit because Redick will know how to use him.Grade: A+

18.Orlando Magic: SF Tristan da Silva, Colorado

He’s a plug-and-play wing who has good size and makes shots and good decisions. If he bulks up his size, he can play small-ball 4 but now is a 3. He does a lot of things well including helping with creation and 3-pointers.Grade: B

19. Toronto Raptors (viaPacers): SG Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor

It’s slightly redundant with them taking Gradey Dick last year because Walter’s upside comes as a shooter — even though he did not shoot as well as hoped this past season as a freshman. This is a team that has historically prioritized length and athleticism, but Walter doesn’t fit that description.Grade: B

20.Cleveland Cavaliers: SG Jaylon Tyson, California

If you saw him this year at Cal, you’re going to be excited about this pick. If you saw him the year before at Texas Tech, not so much. He really took advantage of a need for ball dominance at Cal and made it work for him. He’s a big facilitating guard, but the question is whether he can be an off-ball shooter when he doesn’t get the ball as often.Grade: B-

21.New Orleans Pelicans(viaBucks): C Yves Missi, Baylor

New Orleans has a young asset at every position except center, and this solves that. Missi has the same potential as Dereck Lively to be an early achiever because he’s a natural rim protector and defensive presence. He should have been off the board in terms of his upside, but now he goes to a really good fit.Grade: A-

22. Denver Nuggets (viaPhoenix Suns): C Da’Ron Holmes, Dayton

The Nuggets traded up here for a versatile big man who really fits well. Holmes bet on himself, returned to school, developed his shooting range and built himself into a first-round pick. The shooting was a real difference maker and puts him in a place to help Denver, which had really liked him through the process but knew it couldn’t wait until 28.Grade: B-

23. Milwaukee Bucks (via Pelicans): SG AJ Johnson, NBL Austraila

This is a stretch even though Johnson is a potential first-round talent. In Milwaukee, they need players who can come in and play right now. Johnson was a five-star recruit who decided to go overseas instead of Texas. He’s a big-time talent who is smooth but a ways away.Grade: C+

24. Washington Wizards (via Knicks andMavericks): SG Kyshawn George, Miami

The Wizards traded up for George, who was born and raised in Europe before playing a season for the Hurricanes. This shows that their plan is clear: They’re taking upside plays with all three of their picks. George has high-upside outcomes because of the things he is capable of doing, but there’s a problem: He’s never produced. George averaged 7 points per game last season. The Wizards have time to give him a shot, but he’s going to have to make a big leap.Grade: C+

25. New York Knicks: SF Pacome Dadiet, France

Big wing with a big moon-ball shot and a soft, natural touch. This is a long-term play. If he does come over, he’ll be a G Leaguer, but he more than likely will stay in Europe after playing in Germany last season.Grade: C+

26. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Knicks, Wizards andClippers): SF Dillon Jones, Weber State

This is classic OKC. They take a flier on a guy who has versatility and potential with low risk by trading into this position. He fits their profile of a paint-touch guy who can do a lot of things. If he can figure out defense and shoot well, there’s some real potential here.Grade: B

27.Minnesota Timberwolves: SF Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois

He was one of the best players in college basketball last year but will need to adapt to a big change in role after all his freedom. But the offensive burst he brings to the table is real, and he is an NBA player right now. The shot will need to hold up, but the talent is there and so is the polish.Grade: B+

28. Phoenix Suns (viaDenver Nuggets): PF Ryan Dunn, Virginia

One of the best defensive players in college basketball, he is an explosive athlete who didn’t get to show it much because of Virginia’s pace. He’s also a great cutter who can show it with the Suns’ spacing. If he can get to the point where defenses have to show him even a little respect as a shooter, he will be a long-term NBA player. But he’s not there at all as a shooter yet.Grade: B

29. Utah Jazz (via Thunder): PG Isaiah Collier, USC

His passing is his best asset, and when he plays to that skill, he’s got the most upside. He is a big power guard who can get downhill and see the field. The first issue is turnovers, which are normal. Secondly, he didn’t defend last year even though he has the physical gifts. But the biggest one is the shooting. If he pulls that up, he’ll be strong.Grade: B

30.Boston Celtics: SF Baylor Scheierman, Creighton

I am a believer in Scheierman and this is a great fit. It seems like it might have been between him and Duke center Kyle Filipowski. When you have a primary domino like Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, Scheierman will be able to play off them and create for them. Plus he can shoot and rebound.Grade: A-

2024 NBA Draft grades, Round 2

by Kyle Boone on Thursday, June 27

31. Toronto Raptors (via Pistons)

32. Utah Jazz (via Wizards)

33. Milwaukee Bucks (via Trail Blazers)

34. Portland Trail Blazers (via Hornets)

35. San Antonio Spurs

36. Indiana Pacers (via Raptors)

37. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Grizzlies)

38. New York Knicks (via Jazz)

39. Memphis Grizzlies (via Nets)

40. Portland Trail Blazers (via Hawks)

41. Philadelphia 76ers (via Bulls)

42. Charlotte Hornets (via Rockets)

43. Miami Heat

44. Houston Rockets (via Warriors)

45. Sacramento Kings

46. Los Angeles Clippers (via Pacers)

47. Orlando Magic

48. San Antonio Spurs (via Lakers)

49. Indiana Pacers (via Cavaliers)

50. Indiana Pacers (via Pelicans)

51. New York Knicks (via Wizards and Suns)

52. Golden State Warriors (via Bucks)

53. Detroit Pistons (via Knicks)

54. Boston Celtics (via Mavericks)

55. Los Angeles Lakers (via Clippers)

56. Phoenix Suns (via Nuggets and Timberwolves)

57. Memphis Grizzlies (via Thunder)

58. Dallas Mavericks (via Celtics)

BEST PLAYERS STILL AVAILABLE IN 2024 NBA DRAFT

The second round of the 2024 NBA Draft kicks off Thursday night with the No. 31 pick, held by the Toronto Raptors.

With well-known names and unknown talents vying to be selected before the draft ends with the 58th pick, here are the prospects viewed as the top available players:

  1. SG Johnny Furphy, Kansas
    Australian late bloomer lacks pure strength but has the traits to be an-off-the-bench shooter at 6-foot-9 while he grows into his frame at age 19.
    2. PG Tyler Kolek, Marquette
    Not explosive enough to run by NBA on-ball defense but crafty with the vision to lead the second unit and dominate in pick-and-roll sets.
    3. Kyle Filipowski, Duke
    Fundamentally sound with the touch as a shooter to be a mismatch problem. NBA teams fear he’ll be in chase mode too often on defense.
    4. SG Cam Christie, Minnesota
    Lead guard with room for growth at 18, he’s more of a project than most shooting guards in this class but patience could be richly rewarded.
    5. PF Bobi Klintman, Sweden
    More mobile than given credit for, Klintman has size (6-9, 212) and the range to space the floor.
    6. SG Justin Edwards, Kentucky
    All the tools to take off in the right role, Edwards has a nearly 7-foot wingspan, giving him a foothold as a defensive stopper until his 3-point shot becomes more consistent.
    7. Tyler Smith, G League Ignite
    Southpaw shoots it well and at age 19 has enough upside to earn a spot because of his potent finishing skills.
    8. PG Juan Nunez, Spain
    From the Ricky Rubio mold of pass-first point guards with slick handles and creativity, Nunez lacks the mid-range game and jump shot to be more than a backup for now.
    9. SF Kevin McCullar Jr., Kansas
    Competitive and experienced, McCullar isn’t elite in any single area. His value is versatility, particularly consistent rebounding and defense for his 6-7, 212-pound frame.
    10. SG Pelle Larsson, Arizona
    A gamer who makes winning basketball plays and decisions. Size and savvy are Larsson’s calling cards, even if he didn’t test exceptionally well or finish with ease against NBA bigs.

KNICKS KEEP OG ANUNOBY WITH FIVE-YEAR, $212.5M DEAL

OG Anunoby and the New York Knicks agreed to a five-year, $212.5 million deal on Wednesday, two days after he opted out of the final year of his existing deal.

Contract terms were reported by The Athletic and ESPN less than an hour before the NBA draft began on Wednesday.

Rather than hit free agency when the NBA market opens Sunday, Anunoby remains in the fold even after the Knicks acquired Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets for multiple draft picks.

Anunoby signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Toronto Raptors in 2020 with a player option for the 2024-25 season, but he declined the $19.9 million salary for next season to set up the massive contract agreement Wednesday.

Results were indisputable with Anunoby on the court in New York: the Knicks were 20-3 in games he played after the trade from Toronto that sent RJ Barrett to the Raptors.

Health is the biggest question mark on Anunoby’s resume. He missed 76 total games the past three seasons due to injuries and did not play during Toronto’s NBA title run in 2019 following an emergency appendectomy.

Anunoby turns 27 next month. He averaged 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game last season in 50 total regular-season games with the Raptors (27 games) and Knicks.

During the 2024 playoffs, Anunoby went from an essential cog in beating the Philadelphia 76ers to attempting to fight through a hamstring injury in the seven-game series with the Indiana Pacers.

In 418 career games, Anunoby has averaged 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals during his first seven NBA seasons.

REPORT: TRAIL BLAZERS OBTAIN DENI AVDIJA FROM WIZARDS FOR MALCOLM BROGDON, PICKS

The Portland Trail Blazers are acquiring forward Deni Avdija from the Washington Wizards for veteran guard Malcolm Brogdon, the No. 14 overall pick in Wednesday’s draft, a first-round draft choice in 2029 and future second-round pick, ESPN reported.

Avdija, 23, is coming off the best of his four NBA seasons. He averaged career highs of 14.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists and also shot a career-best 50.6 percent from the field while playing 75 games (all starts).

Avdija, who is from Israel, has career averages of 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 287 games (155 starts).

Brogdon played just one season with Portland and averaged 15.7 points, 5.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 39 games (25 starts). He shot 41.2 percent from 3-point range and missed time due to multiple injuries.

Brogdon, 31, has played eight NBA seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks (2016-19), Indiana Pacers (2019-22), Boston Celtics (2022-23) and Trail Blazers. He was Rookie of the Year in 2016-17 for Milwaukee and Sixth Man of the Year for the Celtics in his lone season in Boston.

REPORT: WARRIORS WOULD OFFER PAUL GEORGE MAX CONTRACT

The Golden State Warriors are aggressively pursuing trade options for Los Angeles Clippers superstar Paul George and would offer him the four-year max extension he’s seeking, ESPN reported Wednesday.

George reportedly is in a staredown with the Clippers, who are offering the nine-time All-Star a three-year extension at less than max value. The Clippers are betting that George, a Palmdale, Calif., native, wouldn’t leave his hometown team, per the report.

“Golden State is big-fish hunting. Remember, last trade deadline, they put a call in about LeBron James. They are sniffing around big deals. If Paul George is willing to leave, they would like to be an option for him,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported Wednesday.

George has until Saturday, the day before free agency begins, to decide whether to exercise his $48.8 million player option for the 2024-25 season.

NBA insider Marc Stein said the Warriors would make point guard Chris Paul the centerpiece of a trade to the Clippers for George.

George just completed his fifth season with the Clippers. He’s averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 867 career games (819 starts) with the Indiana Pacers (2010-17), Oklahoma City Thunder (2017-19) and Clippers.

REPORT: NETS WILLING TO DEAL CAMERON JOHNSON IN FULL REBUILD

After seeing teammate Mikal Bridges get shipped to the New York Knicks on Tuesday night, Nets forward Cameron Johnson could be among those who are the next to go as Brooklyn works toward a complete rebuild, HoopsHype reported Wednesday.

Ben Simmons, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dennis Schroder and Day’Ron Sharpe are also on the trade block, per the report. The Nets could also look to move Bojan Bogdanovic, who was just acquired from New York in the Bridges deal.

Johnson had been playing alongside Bridges for his entire career, as the two spent three full seasons together in Phoenix before the Suns traded them to Brooklyn in exchange for Kevin Durant during the 2022-23 campaign.

But the Nets went 32-50 last season, missing out on the playoffs for the first time in six years. They’ve started their rebuild with a massive haul of picks from the Knicks, who sent over four unprotected first-round picks, a top-four protected first-round pick, a second-rounder and a 2028 unprotected pick swap.

Johnson, 28, played in 58 games last season, making 47 starts. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from 3-point range.

If Johnson is in fact available, the Cleveland Cavaliers will be among the teams pursuing him, according to a report from Cleveland.com.

BAM ADEBAYO INTENDS TO SIGN EXTENSION WITH MIAMI HEAT, AP SOURCE SAYS

MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo, one of the NBA’s top defensive players and soon to become a two-time U.S. Olympian, intends to sign a three-year, $166 million extension with the Miami Heat when the league’s offseason moratorium on such moves is lifted next month, a person with knowledge of the decision said Wednesday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither Adebayo nor the team had revealed the decision publicly. Adebayo can sign the deal on July 6, by league rule.

Miami’s captain and starting center has two years and about $72 million remaining on his current deal with the Heat, the only team that he’s played for since Miami drafted him in 2017.

Adebayo has made the NBA’s All-Defensive team in each of the last five seasons, getting selected for the first team for the first time this past season.

“I feel it’s a long time coming, obviously,” Adebayo said when he made the first team. “Just staying in this moment, enjoying it, blessed to be able to be one of the ones selected.”

A member of the U.S. Olympic team that won gold at the Tokyo Games three years ago, Adebayo is part of the team that will play at the Paris Games starting next month. He averaged 19.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists this past season for the Heat.

Adebayo is three years into his current deal, a five-year, $163 million contract.

REPORTS: NIC CLAXTON, NETS REACH 4-YEAR, $100 MILLION DEAL

Center Nic Claxton has reached an agreement on a four-year, $100 million contract extension with the Brooklyn Nets, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

ESPN identified Claxton as “intends to sign” while The Athletic termed him “nearing plans to sign” with a guaranteed amount of $96 million.

Claxton, 25, recorded career highs for the Nets in 2023-24 in rebounds (9.9) and assists (2.1) while scoring 11.8 points per game, the second-best average of his career.

He’s also shown durability the past two seasons, missing a total of 17 games after injuries being a concern early in his career.

Claxton appeared in a total of 94 games over his first three seasons.

HOW THE THUNDER CAN COMPLETE THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP PUZZLE

Before we talk about the Oklahoma City Thunder’s offseason, which already began with a bang, let’s establish something: This team doesn’t necessarily need to do anything further to win the 2025 NBA championship.

The Thunder are coming off a season in which they won 57 games, posted the league’s second-best net rating behind only the title-winning Celtics, became the youngest team ever to finish as a conference’s No. 1 seed, and came within a hair’s breadth of forcing a Game 7 at home against the eventual West champs in the second round of the playoffs.

Their best player is a 25-year-old who just finished runner-up in MVP voting. Their second- and third-best players are 23 and 22, having garnered All-Star consideration in their sophom*ore and rookie seasons, respectively. Internal development is only going to make them more dangerous. So will exchanging their most problematic starter in Josh Giddey for a veteran role player in Alex Caruso who fits their identity to a T.

All that said, the Thunder still have clear areas where they can stand to improve via external help. And with the option to carve out close to $40 million in cap space, on top of being armed with one of the most stocked draft-asset arsenals in NBA history, they have every possible means of making those improvements. The question is what type of player(s) they should be targeting to complete their championship puzzle.

Let’s start by looking at where Caruso helps them most, and where his acquisition still leaves them wanting.

The biggest and most obvious upgrade he represents is on defense, where OKC already ranked second in the NBA in points allowed per possession this past season. Giddey brought good positional size as a 6-foot-8 guard but was limited by poor lateral agility, a neutral wingspan, and below-average strength. Caruso, meanwhile, might be the best point-of-attack defender in basketball. He’s three inches shorter than Giddey with a similar lack of length, but his strength and balance give him more functional size, with the ability to lock down four positions while providing elite paint deterrence as a nail helper and low man.

He also has some of the fastest and stickiest hands in the business, which means he’ll add a slew of additional deflections and takeaways to a team that just finished top-two in both categories. A starting lineup featuring Caruso, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, Lu Dort, and Chet Holmgren is a freaking bear trap that can ensnare opponents with any conceivable coverage: switching, blitzing, dropping, lock-and-trailing, zoning, full-court pressing, you name it.

Caruso can also provide an offensive upgrade, despite lacking Giddey’s skill as a ball-handler and, especially, as a passer. Because the Thunder are set for shot creation anyway with Gilgeous-Alexander and Williams, Giddey’s on-ball skills never mattered as much to them as Caruso’s superior off-ball skills will. Giddey’s shooting struggles made him borderline unplayable in that second-round series against Dallas as the Mavs cross-matched their centers onto him, kept those centers parked in the lane, and dared him to make them pay. (Narrator: He couldn’t.)

Caruso has never been a high-volume 3-point shooter, and his percentages have fluctuated wildly from season to season, but he nets out at 38% for his career after a season in which he hit 41% from deep. His inconsistency and occasional reluctance mean he’ll likely see his share of center cross-matches as well, but he’s a better bet to make that coverage untenable for opposing defenses. That’s true not only because he can knock down more of his open shots, but also because he’s a better screen-and-rolling guard than Giddey, having grown comfortable on that end of inverted ball-screen actions with DeMar DeRozan in Chicago and LeBron James in Los Angeles. Additionally, Caruso’s proclivity for live-ball turnover generation will further fuel the Thunder’s killer transition attack.

Now, as to those lingering weaknesses…

One place OKC might be negatively impacted by the Giddey-for-Caruso exchange is on the glass, where Giddey was one of the better rebounders (to damn him with faint praise) for a team that ranked 29th in overall rebound rate. That’s one of the most profound ways the team felt its lack of frontcourt size beyond Holmgren (with basically no true power forwards in the rotation), though certainly not the only way. In truth, the rebounding issue didn’t burn the Thunder as badly in the postseason as it seemed like it might, in large part because they counteracted it with a gargantuan turnover advantage that led to them handily winning the possession battle on balance.

Their defense held up just fine in the playoffs; it was their offense – which mustered just 110.9 points per 100 possessions, down from 118.3 during the regular season – that let them down in the end. That drop-off owed largely to some shooting struggles that Caruso will help address, but also to the aforementioned size deficiency that he will not. OKC really struggled to convert at the basket, especially against a Dallas defense that boasted a ton of length and had its centers playing a one-man zone around the rim.

The Thunder, for all their relentless dribble-driving, lacked the kind of imposing presence who could consistently finish through or over that length. Trying to invert spacing with Holmgren on the perimeter and a guard or wing in the dunker spot didn’t help matters. Going from Giddey to Caruso certainly doesn’t hurt in that regard – Giddey’s always been a poor finisher, and Caruso’s shooting gravity might clear some obstacles out of the paint – but it feels like OKC is still a big body short.

And while it makes sense to target a center who can play 15-18 minutes a game and alongside Holmgren situationally (a la Andre Drummond), the bigger focus for Sam Presti and Co. in the size hunt should be adding a legit power forward. Holmgren’s offense is infinitely more valuable at the five, and he showed as a rookie that he’s plenty capable of anchoring the back line of an elite defense. Sure, some of the team’s rebounding issues fell on him and his slender frame, but just as much blame lay with his teammates for failing to corral misses behind him when he contested shots or switched out on the perimeter. It would be super helpful to have more size behind him, and all the better if that additional size doesn’t compromise the team’s five-out offensive concepts.

There’s a reason I (and others) became fixated on the idea of the Thunder paying out the nose for Lauri Markkanen last season. Imagine what it would mean for them to add another 7-footer who can rebound, score inside, hold his own on defense, and shoot the leather out of the ball. The problem is hardly any guys in the league fit that description, and Markkanen might not be available. There’s likewise only one Aaron Gordon (a very different type of four, but one who could be comparably impactful for this team while addressing a slightly different set of issues), and he isn’t going anywhere.

In other words, it’s one thing to point out the type of player the Thunder need most and another to identify an attainable player in that mold. Paul George would fit the bill if OKC could lure him back as a free agent (and how delicious would that be as a capstone to an already lopsided trade?), but that feels pretty unrealistic. As does prying OG Anunoby away from the Knicks. Jerami Grant ticks a lot of boxes, except maybe the one that matters most to OKC, given that he’s one of the worst rebounders for his size in the league. (His contract would also be unpalatable to the front office.)

Deni Avdija would be a fascinating fit if Washington could be talked into moving him. He’s a playmaking four who plays kickass multi-positional defense, made a huge leap as a 3-point shooter (37%) last season, shot 70% at the rim on 86th-percentile volume, and is on a steal of a contract for the next four years. Unfortunately those are also all reasons why the Wizards will be disinclined to trade him. Jonathan Isaac’s health is a huge concern, but his upside would make him worth the risk if the Magic were open to a deal.

Even if they can’t find the ideal power-forward fit, there are plenty of different avenues that can prove fruitful for the Thunder because of how close they already are to their ultimate goal. A creative signing or two, another creative trade, or even a solid draft pick might be all they need. Heck, if they’d gotten something better than Gordon Hayward and Bismack Biyombo at this year’s trade deadline, they might well have found themselves duking it out with Boston in the Finals. Acquiring a rebound-gobbling center (like Isaish Hartenstein) can work, so long as it doesn’t turn Holmgren into a full-time four. Adding a sharpshooter like Klay Thompson could also go a long way, even if it leaves other problem areas unattended.

The amazing thing about the position the Thunder are in this summer is that they can use their cap space to add an impact free agent or two, or use it to acquire a player in a trade using their stockpile of draft capital (15 first-round picks in the next seven drafts) without having to send back matching salary, or use the space to sign an impact free agent or two and then make a trade by attaching that draft capital to the mid-sized salary of Dort, who feels a lot more expendable now that Caruso’s in the fold.

It’s easy to say the Thunder don’t need to act with urgency given the length of their runway, but every title shot is precious and should be treated accordingly. The Thunder also have an especially rare two-year window with both Williams and Holmgren providing All-Star-level production while on rookie-scale contracts. Those guys are both extension-eligible after the 2024-25 season, and once they get their rookie maxes, that window closes. There might not be another opportunity like this to meaningfully add to their core, at least not without subtracting from what they already have. By the same token, those impending maxes will make them wary of adding another big long-term contract in a second-apron world.

The front office had a chance to make a splash last season but opted to play it safe. The Giddey trade shows that they’re ready to hit the accelerator, but that was also a no-brainer move that rid them of a distressed asset. The next week or two will tell us how bold they’re truly ready to get.

BASEBALL NEWS

MLB ROUNDUP: ROOKIE GAVIN STONE, DODGERS BLANK WHITE SOX

Rookie Gavin Stone pitched a four-hit, complete-game shutout and Shohei Ohtani smacked his National League-best 25th home run as the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago White Sox 4-0 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Stone stymied the White Sox on a career night. He never had pitched more than seven innings in 18 previous starts but proved to get stronger as the game progressed. Stone (9-2) didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven to match his career high. He set down 10 and nine straight White Sox during separate stretches as the Dodgers ran their winning streak to four games.

Chicago went 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position during the series, getting outscored 11-3. The White Sox have lost five home games in a row and seven of eight overall.

Ohtani set a franchise record by driving in at least one run for a 10th successive game. He snapped a tie with four other Dodgers who collected RBIs in nine straight games.

Mariners 5, Rays 2

Cal Raleigh smashed a two-out, three-run homer in the sixth inning as visiting Seattle closed out a disappointing nine-game road swing (3-6) with a win over Tampa Bay.

Raleigh’s 14th homer of the season, walloped 422 feet off reliever Shawn Armstrong (2-2), put Seattle out front for good, 3-1.

George Kirby (7-5) turned in an outstanding 87-pitch start. The right-hander lasted six innings and yielded one run on a fluky infield single. He fanned seven without a walk.

Pirates 6, Reds 1

Luis Ortiz pitched six solid innings in his first start of the season, and Rowdy Tellez and Andrew McCutchen each homered to help Pittsburgh pull away for a win over host Cincinnati.

Jason Delay also drove in two runs to help the Pirates take the three-game series.

Ortiz (4-2) made his first start since Sept. 28, 2023, and gave up just one run on four hits while striking out seven and issuing no walks. Graham Ashcraft (4-4) was saddled with the loss, making his first start for the Reds since being recalled from Triple-A.

Orioles 4, Guardians 2

Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson, Cedric Mullins and Ryan O’Hearn homered to overcome a head-turning debut from Cleveland rookie Jhonkensy Noel as the Orioles snapped a season-worst, five-game losing streak.

Noel homered in his first big-league at-bat and teammate Gabriel Arias also went deep, but the Guardians had their seven-game winning streak end as they failed to complete a three-game series sweep. Noel, a 22-year-old first baseman, ended up 1-for-4, making the game’s last out with his second strikeout of the night. Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco allowed two runs on six hits across five innings with two walks and three strikeouts.

Baltimore starter Grayson Rodriguez held the Guardians to two runs and five hits in seven innings. Rodriguez (9-3), who struck out four without issuing a walk, recorded a victory for the fourth time in his last five starts.

Phillies 6, Tigers 2

Brandon Marsh had four hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in four runs as visiting Philadelphia defeated Detroit.

Bryson Stott scored three runs for the Phillies, who took two games in the three-game series. Bryce Harper extended his hitting streak to 11 with a ninth-inning single. Spencer Turnbull, facing his former team for the first time, left early due to shoulder soreness.

Matt Vierling hit a solo homer and a double while scoring both runs for the Tigers. Andy Ibanez added an RBI single. Keider Montero (0-2), elevated from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day, gave up five runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Braves 6, Cardinals 2 (Game 1)

Jarred Kelenic went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and RBI single to drive visiting Atlanta past St. Louis in the first half of a split doubleheader.

Zack Short reached base three times and drove in two runs for the Braves, who have won nine of their last 12 games.

Braves starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez (6-2) allowed two runs on four hits and four walks in five innings. Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (5-3) needed 87 pitches to get 12 outs, allowing four runs on four hits and a season-high five walks in four innings.

Cardinals 4, Braves 1 (Game 2)

Matthew Liberatore blanked visiting Atlanta for six innings on two hits as St. Louis won the second half of a split doubleheader.

Alec Burleson hit two doubles and drove in two runs as the Cardinals won for the 10th time in 14 games.

Atlanta starting pitcher Bryce Elder (1-3) allowed two runs on four hits in six innings while striking out four and walking none. The Braves lost for just the fourth time in 13 games.

Astros 7, Rockies 1

Spencer Arrighetti fanned a career-high 10 over seven shutout innings and Houston won its seventh straight game, beating visiting Colorado.

Arrighetti (4-6), who entered the game with an ERA of 6.36, enjoyed the longest outing of his major league career. He gave up just three hits and didn’t issue a walk.

Jose Altuve and Yainer Diaz both delivered a pair of RBIs and Jeremy Pena added two hits and an RBI for Houston. Brenton Doyle drove in Colorado’s run with a sacrifice fly.

Royals 5, Marlins 1

Salvador Perez’s RBI double highlighted a late rally as Kansas City rebounded for a victory over visiting Miami to win the rubber game of the three-game series.

Trailing 1-0 with two in the eighth, the Royals erupted for five straight hits against Huascar Brazoban (0-1), including a triple by Bobby Witt Jr.

Kansas City starter Brady Singer allowed just one hit after the second inning, retiring the final 11 batters he faced in 7 1/3 innings. Angel Zerpa (1-0) earned the win.

Brewers 6, Rangers 5 (10 innings)

Andruw Monasterio hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th, lifting Milwaukee over visiting Texas.

Christian Yelich and Sal Frelick each finished with three hits while Jake Bauers hit a third-inning grand slam for the Brewers, who won their fourth straight game.

Nathaniel Lowe went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs for Texas, which was swept in the three-game series.

Angels 5, Athletics 2

Zach Neto’s three-run double highlighted a five-run sixth inning, propelling Los Angeles over Oakland in Anaheim, Calif., completing a three-game sweep.

The Angels went with a bullpen game to fill the spot of Patrick Sandoval, who was lost for the season with a major elbow injury. Five Angels pitchers combined to give up two runs on seven hits and five walks. Mike Moore (4-2) got the win with one scoreless inning.

Angels starter Joey Estes (2-3) allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and made 87 pitches.

Padres 8, Nationals 5

Dylan Cease allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings while battery mate Kyle Higashioka homered twice and knocked in six runs as San Diego polished off a three-game sweep of visiting Washington.

Cease (7-6) walked two and fanned nine, throwing 65 of his 102 pitches for strikes. The only hit he allowed was a two-out single by Nick Senzel in the top of the fifth inning.

Higashioka lined a two-run shot in the second and added his first career grand slam in the eighth. The Nationals erupted for five runs in the ninth on two-run doubles by Lane Thomas and Luis Garcia, plus an RBI single by Harold Ramirez. They had the tying run on deck before Senzel grounded into a game-ending double play.

Red Sox, Blue Jays (suspended)

Boston’s home game against Toronto was suspended in the second inning due to a severe rainstorm.

The game will resume on Aug. 26 at 2:05 p.m. as part of a split-admission doubleheader, beginning with one out in the top of the second inning. The teams will play their originally scheduled contest at 7:10 p.m.

Neither team recorded a hit in the first 1 1/3 innings of the game, though starting pitchers Yariel Rodriguez of the Blue Jays and Kutter Crawford of the Red Sox combined to issue three walks.

FINAL USA TODAY SPORTS TOP 25 BASEBALL COACHES POLL

The USA TODAY Sports Top 25 baseball poll, with team’s RECORDS THROUGH END OF SEASON in parentheses, total points based on 25 for first place through one point for 25th, ranking in last week’s poll and first-place votes received.

RankSchool (record)RecordPointsLast week’s rankFirst-place votes
1Tennessee60-13775131
2Texas A&M53-1574430
3Kentucky46-1668720
4Florida State49-1767780
5North Carolina48-1664950
6Florida36-30589NR0
7Virginia46-17580130
8North Carolina State38-23571150
9Clemson44-1650260
10Georgia43-1747990
11Oregon State45-1646270
12Arkansas44-1640940
13Oregon40-20281NR0
14Oklahoma State42-19273140
15Oklahoma40-21264110
16East Carolina46-17252120
17West Virginia36-24238NR0
18Duke40-20223100
19Connecticut35-26203NR0
20Mississippi State40-23168190
21Kansas State35-26157NR0
22UC Santa Barbara44-14155160
23Evansville39-26125NR0
24LSU43-23116300
25UC Irvine45-14107180

Dropped out: No. 17 Wake Forest (38-22); No. 20 Arizona (36-23); No. 21 Indiana State (44-15); No. 22 Dallas Baptist (45-15); No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette (42-20); No. 24 Southern Mississippi(43-20); No. 25 Nebraska (40-22).

Others receiving votes: Wake Forest (38-22) 95; Arizona (36-23) 81; Indiana State (44-15) 64; Louisiana-Lafayette (42-20) 35; Dallas Baptist (45-15) 32; Southern Mississippi (43-20) 26; Vanderbilt (38-23) 24; Coastal Carolina (36-25) 10; Alabama (33-24) 7; San Diego (41-15) 5; South Carolina (37-25) 4; UNC Wilmington (40-21) 2; Texas (36-24) 2; Central Florida (37-21) 1; Nebraska (40-22) 1.

SCHLOSSNAGLE SAYS TEXAS NEEDS TO GET READY FOR ‘MAJOR LEAGUES’ OF COLLEGE BASEBALL IN THE SEC

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — New Texas baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said Wednesday he is ready to lead the Longhorns into the “major leagues” of college baseball, the Southeastern Conference, and he acknowledged the raw feelings left behind at Texas A&M following his abrupt departure for an archrival.

Texas introduced Schlossnagle at a campus news conference less than 48 hours after Schlossnagles’ Aggies lost to Tennessee in the championship game of the College World Series.

He joins a program with which he will be facing Texas A&M on a regular basis now that the Longhorns move from the Big 12 to the SEC next season. SEC teams have won the last five national championships.

“We have to prepare to compete in the major leagues of college baseball. If you’ve never been in SEC baseball, get ready,” Schlossnagle said.

Schlossnagle led Texas A&M to the College World Series twice in three years, and now he takes over a Texas program desperate to recapture past success.

Texas has won six national championships but none since 2005. The Longhorns had been to the CWS three times in eight seasons under David Pierce, who was fired on Monday, hours before Texas A&M lost to Tennessee in this year’s final.

Schlossnagle apologized for his terse remarks when he was asked about the Texas job in the postgame news conference Monday night and responded: “I took the job at Texas A&M to never take another job again. And that hasn’t changed in my mind.”

“I wish I could have answered that better,” Schlossnagle said Wednesday. “I didn’t intend to mislead (Texas A&M fans). In that moment, that’s exactly how I felt.”

Schlossnagle said he understands the hurt feelings from Texas A&M fans who rallied behind his program.

“If I had left Texas A&M for some other school, in a different part of the country, the interesting text messages and messages that I got yesterday probably wouldn’t have happened. But I get it,” Schlossnagle said.

Schlossnagle said several times that the chance to reunite with close friend Chris Del Conte, the Texas athletic director, was a key element in his decision. The two worked together at TCU from 2009-2017.

“There wasn’t anybody at Texas A&M I couldn’t trust,” Schlossnagle said. “I just know I can trust Chris.”

But Schlossnagle would not get pinned down on when Texas first opened talks with him about luring him away. He insisted that while he and Del Conte “talk all the time,” it was as friends, not about work.

He acknowledged that his contract at Texas A&M had a specific buyout in case he left for Texas, “and that’s because of Chris.”

“I didn’t do this to spite anybody,” Schlossnagle said. “Many people on the A&M side will say this wasn’t done the right way. I just don’t know any other way it could have been done.”

REPORTS: TEXAS A&M LOSES JACE LAVIOLETTE, OTHERS TO PORTAL

Five starters from Texas A&M’s College World Series runner-up team entered the transfer portal after coach Jim Schlossnagle left for Texas, per multiple media reports on Wednesday.

Texas A&M players are allowed to enter the portal via a 30-day transfer window that opened Tuesday, when Schlossnagle took over as Texas’ coach, per NCAA transfer rules.

Eleven Aggies, including starters Jace LaViolette, Gavin Grahovac, Kaeden Kent, Ali Camarillo and Hayden Schott, opted to enter the transfer portal Wednesday, per the reports.

Max Kaufer, Caden Sorrell, Jack Bell, Carl Schmidt, Justin Vossos and Jett Johnson are also reportedly set to transfer.

LaViolette, who hit .309 with 29 homers and 16 doubles but sustained a hamstring injury in the College World Series, is expected to be among the top picks in next month’s MLB draft.

Grahovac hit .298 with 23 homers with 66 RBIs en route to SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

Kent, the son of former NL MVP Jeff Kent, filled in after Braden Montgomery suffered a leg injury and hit .417 with a homer and seven RBIs in Omaha.

2024 D1BASEBALL ALL-AMERICA TEAMS

College World Series runner-up Texas A&M leads all programs with five players on D1Baseball’s 2024 All-America teams. The Aggies are also tied for the most first-team All-Americans with national champion Tennessee and CWS semifinalist Florida State. The Aggies, Volunteers and Seminoles each have a pair of first-teamers.

Tennessee, FSU and Oklahoma State are tied for second-most All-Americans in all, placing three players across the three teams.

The SEC leads all conferences with 16 All-Americans in all, and seven players on the first team. The ACC is next with 13 All-Americans and five first-teamers. The Big 12 has seven All-Americans but no first-teamers, and Conference USA has three All-Americans, including two players on the first team.

Six preseason first-team All-Americans also landed on the first team in the postseason: Texas A&M’s Jace LaViolette, Oregon State’s Travis Bazzana, Georgia’s Charlie Condon, Florida’s Jac Caglianone, East Carolina’s Trey Yesavage and Arkansas’ Hagen Smith. Bazzana, Condon and Smith were all finalists for the Golden Spikes Award.

Caglianone is the only repeat member of the first team from 2023, though Smith, Condon, Yesavage and Wake Forest’s Nick Kurtz all earned second-team honors in 2023.

D1Baseball’s editors and national writers determined the All-America teams based on 2024 performance, taking into consideration statistical production, league context, defensive value and postseason impact.

First Team

PositionNameSchoolYearWLERAAPP-GSSVIPKBBBAA
SPJamie ArnoldFlorida StateSO1132.9819-181105.215926.224
SPChase BurnsWake ForestJR1012.7016-16010019130.175
SPRyan JohnsonDallas BaptistJR1132.2916-16010615114.212
SPHagen SmithArkansasJR922.0416-1608416134.144
SPTrey YesavageEast CarolinaJR1112.0215-15093.114532.154
RPEvan AschenbeckTexas A&MSR611.7832-01075.28712.198
RPCharlie BeilensonDukeGR732.0134-01262.29218.181
UTLJac CaglianoneFloridaJR524.7616-16073.28350.225

Second Team

PositionNameSchoolYearWLERAAPP-GSSVIPKBBBAA
SPBrian HolidayOklahoma StateJR732.9516-16011312819.199
SPLuke HolmanLSUJR942.7516-16091.212733.174
SPRyan PragerTexas A&MSO912.9519-19097.212420.226
SPBrett SearsNebraskaSR812.1617-16110410119.191
SPPayton TolleTCUJR743.2114-14081.112739.205
RPGriffin HerringLSUSO611.7921-1650.16713.215
RPDalton PenceNorth CarolinaSO512.4536-0858.27427.189
UTLCarson BengeOklahoma StateJR312.7517-43364211.165

Third Team

PositionNameSchoolYearWLERAAPP-GSSVIPKBBBAA
SPDerek ClarkWest VirginiaSR823.2314-13097.29123.227
SPDaniel EagenPresbyterianJR522.9014-14077.212128.176
SPRyan GallagherUC Santa BarbaraSO1012.2214-140899625.161
SPAidan KnaakClemsonFR513.3515-15083.110829.218
SPKhal StephenMississippi StateJR833.2816-1609610721.213
RPChris CortezTexas A&MJR1032.9824-3060.19532.192
RPBridger HolmesOregon StateJR341.8727-01333.24715.142
UTLEthan BatesLouisiana TechSR223.4336-01744.25219.180

MWCS ATTENDANCE, TV VIEWERSHIP DIP SLIGHTLY FROM RECORDS

Television ratings and attendance at the Men’s College World Series in Omaha, Neb., narrowly failed to surpass the records established a year ago.

A total of 371,820 spectators attended the 15 games over 10 days this year. Last year, 392,946 attended 16 games at Charles Schwab Field.

With one fewer game this year, the average attendance was a record 24,788. The stadium’s capacity is listed at 24,000.

The total attendance mark was broken each of the three previous years.

On Monday, Tennessee won the best-of-three final series for its first national title, defeating Texas A&M.

In 2023, LSU beat Florida in the three-game championship series.

TV ratings for the MCWS also were slightly lower than in 2023.

Viewership on ESPN platforms averaged 1.56 million compared with last year’s all-time high of 1.65 million.

An average of 2.82 million viewers took in the Tennessee-Texas A&M series. A year earlier, the LSU-Florida series set the record with an average of 2.86 million. Game 3 on Monday drew 3.34 million viewers, ESPN’s second-best figure for a MCWS contest, trailing only the 3.59 million that watched the 2023 finale.

FOOTBALL NEWS

TITANS’ SIMMONS ‘CAN’T WAIT’ TO TRASH-TALK CALEB WILLIAMS

Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons marked Week 1 against the Chicago Bears on his calendar, but not just because it’s Tennessee’s season opener.

Simmons – one of the NFL’s top trash talkers – said he can’t wait to welcome No. 1 pick Caleb Williams to the league.

“Painted nails. I can’t wait to say that to him,” Simmons recently said on the “Rich Eisen Show,” according to NFL.com’s Nick Shook. “Most definitely. Oh, it’s gonna be one of them games. I mean, he probably gets smack-talked by his teammates right now, but especially a game like that.”

Simmons added: “It’s gonna be the first game of the season. They’ve got us coming to Chicago. All the hype’s gonna be around them, of course. I think when special, even prime-time games … everybody just counts Tennessee out, which we all know. A game like Chicago, I’m sure (they’re) thinking we ’bout to get beat bad. That also makes me even talk more smack and boost me up a little more, get into a different mode, as well.”

Simmons is one of football’s top interior linemen. The 26-year-old was limited to 12 games and 5.5 sacks due to injury last year, but he earned consecutive second-team All-Pro selections in 2021 and 2022.

Williams joined the Bears this offseason as the consensus top prospect in the 2024 draft. The former Heisman Trophy winner posted a decorated career with the USC Trojans and has long worn his signature painted nails.

“I get it. You’ve got a first-round pick like Caleb Williams, which is a great player. Watching a couple games when he was at USC, he’s a hell of a player,” Simmons said. “But it’s a different league, and I’m excited to play him the first game.”

Simmons recorded a sack on Bryce Young, the 2023 first overall pick, when the Titans beat the Carolina Panthers in Week 12 last year.

REPORT: DOLPHINS’ OFFER TO TUA NOT IN SAME BALLPARK AS LAWRENCE, GOFF

The Miami Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa don’t seem to be on the same page as the two sides negotiate a contract extension.

Miami hasn’t offered the quarterback a market-value deal, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported Tuesday on “NFL Live,” per Omar Kelly of the Miami Herald.

Tagovailoa is seeking a deal at market price, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Jared Goff recently signed massive extensions that are presumably affecting the negotiations between the Dolphins and Tagovailoa. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Lawrence to a five-year, $275-million deal earlier in June, while the Detroit Lions rewarded Goff with a four-year contract worth $212 million in May.

The Dolphins’ recent offers “are not in the Jared Goff and Trevor Lawrence ballpark,” Darlington reports.

Lawrence tied Cincinnati Bengals star Joe Burrow as the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback with a $55-million average annual salary. Goff ranks third on the list ($53 million), according to Spotrac, which projects Tagovailoa’s market value at $52.6 million per year.

The Atlanta Falcons also gave free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins a huge contract in March, signing the 35-year-old to a four-year, $180-million deal.

“I’m not blind to people in my position that are getting paid,” Tagovailoa said on June 4.

Tagovailoa – like Lawrence and Goff – isn’t on Burrow’s level when it comes to quarterback play. But the Dolphins passer is coming off a strong season in which he led the NFL with 4,624 passing yards. The 26-year-old also set career highs in 2023 with 29 touchdown passes and a 69.3% pass completion rate. He topped the league in rating and yards per attempt in 2022.

HOCKEY NEWS

SATHER RETIRES AFTER 45-YEAR NHL EXECUTIVE CAREER

New York Rangers senior adviser Glen Sather announced his retirement Wednesday.

Sather’s NHL front-office career spanned over four decades, beginning as head coach and vice president of hockey operations with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979-80. He won five Stanley Cups with the Oilers – four as head coach, general manager, and president – and one more while holding the latter two titles.

“Slats” joined the Rangers organization in 2000-01, serving as president and GM until 2014-15. He oversaw two division titles and one Stanley Cup Final appearance over that time. He stayed on as president for three more years with Jeff Gorton as GM before transitioning into an advisory role in 2019-20.

“Having the opportunity to be associated with the National Hockey League, and specifically the New York Rangers and Edmonton Oilers, has been one of the great privileges of my life,” Sather said.

Sather played 10 NHL seasons from 1966-76 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a builder in 1997.

“The National Hockey League congratulates Glen Sather on his retirement and salutes him for his legendary career,” commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Whether with the dynastic Edmonton Oilers teams of the 1980s, the contending New York Rangers clubs of recent years, or various iterations of Team Canada, Sather always showed a keen eye for elite talent and a deft touch for bringing out its best.

“As important, he cared deeply about his players as people, sought to develop them as men and supported them through any off-ice challenges.”

LIAM O’BRIEN SIGNS 3-YEAR EXTENSION WITH UTAH HC

Utah Hockey Club forward Liam O’Brien signed a three-year contract extension on Wednesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the team, however TSN reported the deal was worth a total of $3 million. He was a pending unrestricted free agent prior to signing the contract.

“We are very pleased to sign Liam to a three-year contract,” Utah general manager Bill Armstrong said. “He adds energy, grit and physical presence to the line-up every night that will greatly complement the excitement we expect from Utah hockey fans, especially in our inaugural season. We look forward to having Liam on our roster for the next several seasons.”

O’Brien, 29, recorded career-high totals in goals (five), assists (nine), points (14) and penalty minutes (153) in 75 games last season with the Arizona Coyotes, who have relocated to Salt Lake City under new ownership.

He has 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 199 career games with the Washington Capitals, Colorado Avalanche and Coyotes.

GOLF NEWS

PGA TOUR ADVISORY COUNCIL MULLING BIG CHANGES FOR 2026

The PGA Tour Player Advisory Council (PAC) is mulling changes for the 2026 season that could include reduced fields, relegation and majors on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Three members of the council shared the ideas with Golfweek in a story published Tuesday.

“We started talking and spitballing ideas about what things could look like. There were some ideas that seemed very good and would bring some consistency and true competitiveness to the top players in the world and still give a soft landing and a hopeful resurgence and opportunity if you fall off,” Kevin Streelman told Golfweek.

One idea is to reduce field sizes down from 156 to 120 regardless of type of event, regular or signature. That would require reducing the number of exempt players from 125 down to as low as 100.

“I think it’d be gradual, so that’s 125 to 120, 120 to 115 to slowly push lower and have less Q-School and Korn Ferry graduates,” PAC member Lanto Griffin told Golfweek.

Tied to that would be an opportunity for in-season promotion to the Tour if some tournaments were designed as majors on the Korn Ferry circuit.

“In an ideal world, the PGA Tour should be 20-22 tournaments from January to August,” Griffin told the outlet. “Then have some tournaments go to the Korn Ferry Tour; just throwing random names — (Cognizant), a Valero, a Dominican, those are Korn Ferry majors. You win one of those and you get promoted (in-season). It’s just an idea of having it where two signature events in a row, week off, three on, whatever it needs to be to where the top guys don’t have to play every week.”

Streelman told Golfweek he was “stoked” by the ideas and direction of the PAC.

“I’d say we’re diligently working to try to appease the top players, our marketing partners, our fans and the integrity of the Tour and their competitions to deliver the greatest product and highlight the best players week after week,” Streelman said.

Said PAC player director Peter Malnati, “How can we hang on to the traditions that are really important while making the product the best it can be?”

MILES RUSSELL, 15, RIDES ‘ROLLERCOASTER’ INTO ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC FIELD

Miles Russell tries to appreciate the unique position he finds himself in as a 15-year-old preparing to tee it up on the PGA Tour at the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Thursday in Detroit.

But historical context can be overwhelming, so after earning a sponsor’s exemption courtesy of making the cut at a Korn Ferry Tour event, Russell intends to remind himself he’s still a kid playing a game when he walks into his Tour debut at Detroit Golf Club.

“They’ve been just a complete blast,” Russell said Wednesday. “I don’t know how to describe it other than just kind of a rollercoaster and it’s just been a rollercoaster of just fun.

“This has always been the goal, to play at the highest level. Don’t know … kind of just happened a little faster than I was thinking it might, but it’s just what happens when you have some good play.”

Russell said he began to realize he was ready for opportunities in pro events when he played well in Sarasota, Fla., in April. He became the youngest player to make the cut on that tour with scores of 68 and 66. He was under par in all four rounds and the youngest to ever finish in the top 20.

A Top-25 finish opened the door for him to play the following week in the Veritex Bank Championship and all but crossed out his availability for weekend sleepovers and the usual teenage Saturday stuff.

It’s been a minute or two since Russell was on the same tier as “normal” teenagers. He’s the reigning American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year, and the kid definitely has game. If he wasn’t participating in the Rocket Mortgage Classic this week, he would have been playing in the North-South Amateur at Pinehurst, where the U.S. Open was played two weeks prior.

Because of the mile-a-minute pace he’s keeping this summer, Russell has an agent — Allen Hobbs — and coach, Ramon Bescansa, handling all sponsorship, endorsem*nt, appearance and publicity requests. Bescansa, also Russell’s caddie on the bag this week in Detroit, wants him to keep his focus on his game and the course, not the peripheral tentacles that comes with being part of a professional lifestyle and schedule before he can legally drive.

Defending champion Rickie Fowler was a 20-year-old who made his pro debut the year Russell was born in 2009. Fowler spent 36 weeks ranked No. 1 among amateurs in 2007 and 2008.

Min Woo Lee, a 25-year-old pro in the field and No. 64 in the FedEx Cup rankings, said his advice to Russell or any teen tackling a tournament schedule would be to avoid expectations and comparison but embrace the experience.

“I played pro events in Australia when I was 15, 16, and yes I was nervous, but I didn’t play for money or anything like that, so it was just golf,” he said. “I think maybe a little bit different because the social media side’s so big about it and he’s gotten a lot of attention over the past few months. … Obviously he’s a great golfer. I mean, he’s got plenty of time to turn pro and still years ahead of him. Hopefully he has fun and doesn’t beat me, but does well.”

Russell didn’t want to talk about goals or expectations 24 hours before his scheduled tee time in the second-to-last group Thursday at 2:11 p.m. ET.

“I have my own goals, but my goal is just to come out here and have fun,” he said. “That’s my main goal, have fun, maybe learn something, take something to my next event.”

RICKIE FOWLER ROLLS INTO ROCKET VYING FOR RETURN TO WINNER’S CIRCLE

Rickie Fowler ended a four-year PGA Tour winless stretch in June 2023, emerging victorious in a three-man playoff to win the Rocket Mortgage Classic last summer.

Fowler is vying to become the tournament first back-to-back winner when he tees off on Thursday at the Detroit Golf Club, North Course.

“Looking forward to being back and picking up where we left off last year,” Fowler said Wednesday. “I haven’t played quite that well since then, so yeah, it would be nice to kind of get things going again this week here at Rocket.”

Fowler, 35, has struggled mightily this season, missing the cut three times — including twice this month — before a relative breakthrough last week. Fowler claimed a T20 finish at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn. He carded a 64 to reside two strokes off the lead after the opening round. He followed up with a pair of 69s before finishing strong with a 65 to end up 13-under-par for the tournament.

“Started to score a little bit better last week, which is obviously kind of the name of the game, putting up good numbers. Putted well last week,” Fowler said. “Yeah, kind of the first week to kind of see some good progress and kind of build some momentum and some confidence going into this week.”

Fowler outlasted Collin Morikawa and Adam Hadwin to win last year in Detroit, securing the trophy with a 12-foot birdie on the opening playoff hole.

On Thursday, he will play alongside Will Zalatoris and 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic winner Cam Davis.

“I feel like it’s a fairly simple, old-school golf course and if you can just get to the green, it becomes a bit of kind of who can make more putts throughout the week,” Fowler said.

Fowler was 12th in shots gained putting in the 2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic and was 20-under entering the final round. He circled putting as the critical key to a repeat.

“No, it’s fun, we don’t get to play very many old-school golf courses like this so it’s a treat for a lot of guys who can appreciate kind of old-school golf course architecture,” Fowler said. “Like I said, it’s a fun course to play and especially having good memories and coming off the win last year, we’ll see if we can kind of re-ignite some stuff from then and get past the little bit of a slow year it’s been and just go have some fun this week.”

2024 ROCKET MORTGAGE CHALLENGE: PREVIEW, PROPS, BEST BETS

The race is on for the PGA Tour’s rank-and-file with only six weeks of tournaments remaining to qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

This week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic presents a great opportunity for the field, with only one top-20 player making the trip to Detroit. The grind is on for those trying to earn — or keep — their spots in the playoffs and trying to get into the top 50 in the world for next year’s signature events.

Our golf experts preview the event starting Thursday at Detroit Golf Club, and provide their favorite prop picks along with best bets to win this week.

ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC
Location: Detroit, June 27-30
Course: Detroit Golf Club, North Course (Par 72, 7,370 Yards)
Purse: $9.2M (Winner: $1.65M)
Defending Champion: Rickie Fowler
FedEx Cup Leader: Scottie Scheffler

HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday: 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday: 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming (ESPN+): Thursday-Friday, 6:45 a.m.-6 p.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
X: @RocketClassic

PROP PICKS
–Stephan Jaeger to Beat Taylor Pendrith (-110 at DraftKings): Jaeger isn’t a household name, but he is playing some really solid golf. In addition to tying for ninth in Detroit last year, the German won the Texas Children’s Houston Open in March and has finished T21 or better in four of his past seven starts. Pendrith also claimed his maiden PGA Tour win in May and is coming off a T16 at the U.S. Open and a T23 at the Travelers.

–Tom Kim Top 20 (+100 at BetRivers): Kim is enjoying an excellent string of golf following an inconsistent start to the year. Including last week’s playoff loss to Scheffler, the young South Korean has made 10 consecutive cuts. While posting only three top-20s during that span, two of them have come in Kim’s past four starts and he should fare well against a modest field.

–Alejandro Tosti Top South American (+165 at DraftKings): Tosti last teed it up at the Charles Schwab Challenge, where he tied for 17th following a T73 at the PGA Championship. The fiery Argentinian finished runner-up to Jaeger in Houston and has made five of his past seven cuts. The other three in this prop are Jhonattan Vegas (+230), Nico Echavarria (+260) and Camilo Villegas (+650)

2024 Prop Picks Record: 34-38-1

BEST BETS
–Tom Kim (+1200 at DraftKings) is the top-ranked player in the field at No. 16. He tees it up a week after losing to Scheffler in a playoff at the Travelers. Kim has been backed by the most total bets (9%) and money (10%) at the book.
–Cameron Young (+1600) is coming off a T9 last week that included a 59 in the third round. He finished runner-up here in his last visit in 2022, when Young tied the 18-hole record with a 63 in the second round. He’s second at the book with 8 percent of the money supporting Young to finally claim his first PGA Tour title this week.
–Min Woo Lee (+2000) is coming off a T21 at the U.S. Open, his 11th made cut in 15 starts this year. The young Australian has also been backed by 8 percent of the money.
–Akshay Bhatia (+2200) finished T5 last week after a T16 at the U.S. Open.
–Stephan Jaeger (+2500) also tied the 18-hole record in the final round last year to finish T9. He has only two top-20s since winning the Texas Children’s Houston Open.

NOTES
–Miles Russell, 15, makes his PGA Tour debut after being the youngest player to make the cut in a Korn Ferry Tour event. He is a +100000 longshot at BetRivers. Other sponsor’s exemptions included Auburn star Jackson Koivun and Neal Shipley, who won low amateur at the Masters and U.S. Open.
–Detroit Golf Club is hosting the event for the sixth time.
–Fowler won a three-man playoff last year to claim his first tour title since 2019.
–Tony Finau set the tournament scoring record of 262 in 2022.
–The North Course is set to undergo a renovation following the completion of next year’s event.

TENNIS NEWS

ATP ROUNDUP: ALEKSANDAR VUKIC SINKS NO. 3 SEED AT ROTHESAY INTERNATIONAL

Australian lucky loser Aleksandar Vukic pulled off a 6-4, 6-4 upset of No. 3 seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan on Wednesday in the second round of the Rothesay International in Eastbourne, England.

Vukic won 26 of 29 first-serve points and saved 3 of 3 break points to punch his ticket to the quarterfinals. Bublik lost despite racking up 12 aces.

Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka will face Vukic in the next round after rallying for a 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-2 victory over the United States’ Marcos Giron. Fellow qualifiers Max Purcell of Australia and Juncheng Shang of China also won their matches on Wednesday.

Other winners included top-seeded American Taylor Fritz, Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, Italy’s Flavio Cobolli and wild card Billy Harris of Great Britain.

Mallorca Championships

No. 1 seed Ben Shelton of the U.S. collected 13 aces and saved 6 of 6 break points to cruise to a 6-4, 6-0 win over Australian Rinky Hijikata in second-round action in Spain.

Shelton will collide with British qualifier Paul Jubb in the quarterfinals. Jubb also prevailed in straight sets on Wednesday, ousting qualifier Adam Walton of Australia, 6-0, 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Chilean Alejandro Tabilo topped Kazakhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko 6-3, 6-2, while Czech Jakub Mensik defeated Italian wild card Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the only match of the day that went three sets.

TOP INDIANA SPORTS RELEASES

COLTS NEWS

COLTS GM: RICHARDSON WILL BE ‘FULL-GO’ IN TRAINING CAMP

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard doesn’t expect quarterback Anthony Richardson to have any limitations at training camp next month.

“He’ll be full-go,” Ballard recently said on “The GM Shuffle” podcast, according to Nick Shook of NFL.com. “He was full-go all the way up until the last day of OTAs, and we had two heavy throwing sessions the two days before, so we backed off a little on the last day.”

Richardson underwent shoulder surgery in 2023 after sustaining a season-ending injury five weeks into his rookie campaign. He returned at OTAs this offseason and was also a full participant during the first day of mandatory minicamp. The 22-year-old, however, left early on Day 2 and wasn’t on the field for the final day due to soreness in his surgically repaired right arm.

Colts head coach Shane Steichen said at the time that Richardson’s absence was “precautionary.”

The 2023 No. 4 pick flashed his potential in Year 1 before being sidelined. Richardson finished last season with 577 passing yards and three touchdowns against one interception. He also rushed for 136 yards and four scores.

INDIANA FEVER

GAME PREVIEW: FEVER TIP OFF THREE-GAME WEST COAST RUN IN SEATTLE ON THURSDAY NIGHT

Indiana Fever vs. Seattle Storm
Thursday, June 27
Climate Pledge Arena | 10:00 p.m. ET

Broadcast Information
WALV, Prime Video

Probable Starters

Indiana Fever (7-10)

Indiana Fever (7-11)

Guard – Caitlin Clark (16.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 6.6 apg)
Guard – Kelsey Mitchell (16.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Center – Aliyah Boston (13.0 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.7 apg)
Guard – Kristy Wallace (5.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.3 apg)
Forward – NaLyssa Smith (11.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.3 apg)

Seattle Storm (10-6)

Guard – Jewell Loyd (18.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.8 apg)
Guard – Skylar Diggins-Smith (14.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 6.1 apg)
Center – Ezi Magbegor (13.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.5 apg)
Forward – Nneka Ogwumike (17.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.2 apg)
Forward – Victoria Vivians (4.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.0 apg)

Game Status Report

Indiana: Temi fa*gbenle – QUESTIONABLE (Left Foot)

Seattle: None

GAME PREVIEW:

The Indiana Fever (7-11) begin its second three-game trip this regular season on Thursday against the Seattle Storm at Climate Pledge Arena. Thursday’s matchup marks the third of four meetings between the Fever of Storm during the 2024 regular season. Indiana faced the Storm in the fifth regular season game in Seattle on May 22 and fell, 85-83, while the Storm traveled to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for the most recent matchup and won, 103-88.

Last week, the Fever built a four-game win streak with victories against the Washington Mystics, 88-81, and the Atlanta Dream, 91-79, before falling to the Chicago Sky, 88-87.

Sunday’s loss against the Sky was the fourth-consecutive game Fever guards Caitlin Clark, Kelsey Mitchell, center Aliyah Boston and forward NaLyssa Smith all scored in double figures. Mitchell put up a season-high 24 points, Boston followed with 18 points, Clark added 17 points and Smith ended with 12 points each against the Sky. Clark ended with a franchise-best 13 assists, eclipsing the prior franchise record of 12 assists in a single game set by Fever guard Erica Wheeler during the 2023 season.

Clark currently leads all rookies in scoring and assists averaging 16.3 points and 6.6 assists per contest. She ranks fourth in assists per game among all players in the league heading into Thursday night. Mitchell ranks 13th in the league in scoring at 16.4 points per game, while Clark is tied for 14th. Boston and Smith rank ninth and 12th, respectively, in rebounds per game in the WNBA with 7.9 rpg and 7.0 rpg.

In the Fever and Storm’s last matchup, Smith led Indiana with a game and season-high 23-point, 10-rebound double-double. Clark trailed with 20 points and nine assists. Mitchell and Boston both scored in double figures, posting 14 and 11 points apiece along with 11 rebounds from Boston. Four of five Storm starters scored in double figures as well, led by Loyd’s 22-point performance. Seattle outscored Indiana in paint points, 56-34, and bench points, 26-18, but Indiana outrebounded the Storm, 36-32.

Thursday’s matchup against Indiana will be the second game of a nine-game homestand for Seattle, which will last until July 14. The Storm has lost two of its last three games, but did secure a 72-61 win against the Connecticut Sun last time out. Five Storm players scored in double figures in the win, starting with guard Jewell Loyd’s 16-point, five-rebound and five-assist performance. Storm guard Skylar Diggins-Smith and forward Nneka Ogwumike both posted 13 points in the win, while center Ezi Magbegor followed with 11 points and nine rebounds.

Loyd is seventh in the WNBA averaging 18.4 points per game and Ogwumike ranks 11th with 17.7 ppg. Magbegor is tied for fifth in the league averaging 9.6 rebounds per contest and Diggins-Smith is one spot behind Clark, averaging 6.1 assists per contest. Magbegor enters Thursday night as the league leader in blocked shots per game, averaging 2.5 per game. The Storm own the top offensive and defensive rebounding numbers in the WNBA, including a league-leading .521 rebounding percentage.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL

WARE PICKED 15TH OVERALL BY THE MIAMI HEAT

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Former Indiana center Kel’el Ware was selected with the 15th pick by the Miami Heat in the 2024 NBA Draft.

The Hoosiers have had 80 players, the second-most among current Big Ten Conference schools (UCLA ranks first with 125, Michigan ranks third with 76) selected in the NBA Draft since the inception of the event in 1947. Of the 80 players selected, 28 have heard their name called during the first round.

For the first time since the 2013 and 2014 NBA Drafts, the Hoosiers produced first-round picks in consecutive drafts. Jalen Hood-Schifino was picked 17th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2023. Previously, Victor Oladipo (second overall by Orlando) and Cody Zeller (fourth by Charlotte) were selected in 2013 and were followed by Noah Vonleh (ninth by Charlotte) in 2014.

Kel’el Ware, C, Miami Heat

Ware, an All-Big Ten Second Team selection, averaged team highs in points (15.9 per game), rebounds (9.9), and blocked shots (1.9). He became the third Hoosier in the last 25 seasons (D.J. White, Trayce Jackson-Davis) to average at least 15.0 points and 9.0 rebounds for a season. Ware shot 58.6% (188-of-321) from the floor and 42.5% (17-of-40) from the 3-point line. The Big Ten All-Defensive Team honoree added a team-best 15 double-doubles to go along with 19 multi-block contests.

INDIANA MEN’S BASKETBALL HEAD COACH MIKE WOODSON ON KEL’EL WARE

“Kel’el is the prototypical big man in today’s NBA. He can block shots at the rim, hold up defensively in the pick-and-roll, and is a great lob threat on the other end of the floor. He impressed me with his ability to catch and shoot the basketball at a high level and that is what the next level is looking for. He is a quiet kid that goes about his business in a professional way. He handled the adversity thrown his way to start his college career and responded in a big way for our ball club this season. We are really excited to see the way his career plays out in Miami.”

Hoosiers Selected in the First Round of the NBA Draft

First Overall

Walt Bellamy, Chicago, 1961

Kent Benson, Milwaukee, 1977

Second Overall

Archie Dees, Cincinnati, 1958

Scott May, Chicago, 1976

Isiah Thomas, Detroit, 1981

Victor Oladipo, Orlando, 2013

Fourth Overall

Cody Zeller, Charlotte, 2013

Sixth Overall

Calbert Cheaney, Washington, 1993

Seventh Overall

Quinn Buckner, Milwaukee, 1976

Eric Gordon, Los Angeles Clippers, 2008

Eighth Overall

Ward Williams, Fort Wayne, 1948

Ninth Overall

Noah Vonleh, Charlotte, 2014

11th Overall

Bob Wilkerson, Seattle, 1976

Jared Jeffries, Washington, 2002

12th Overall

Mike Woodson, New York, 1980

14th Overall

Romeo Langford, Boston, 2019

15th Overall

Kel’el Ware, Miami, 2024

16th Overall

Alan Henderson, Atlanta, 1995

Kirk Haston, Charlotte, 2001

17th Overall

Steve Downing, Boston, 1973

Uwe Blab, Dallas, 1985

Greg Graham, Charlotte, 1993

Jalen Hood-Schifino, Los Angeles, 2023

18th Overall

Ray Tolbert, New Jersey, 1981

22nd Overall

Randy Wittman, Washington, 1983

23rd Overall

OG Anunoby, Toronto, 2017

27th Overall

Brian Evans, Orlando, 1995

29th Overall

D.J. White, Detroit, 2008

INDIANA FOOTBALL

IU FINISHES STRONG IN TRANSFER PORTAL

Pete DiPrimio | IUHoosiers.com

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Curt Cignetti’s plan to restore glory to Indiana’s football program included a final spring infusion of defensive talent, specifically the defensive line and the secondary.

Did the Hoosiers nail it?

All signs point that way, although nothing is guaranteed until the games begin, starting with the Aug. 31 season opener against Florida International at Memorial Stadium.

Defensive lineman CJ West out of Kent State and D’Angelo Ponds from James Madison highlight the latest promising group to follow what Cignetti and his coaching staff accomplished in the transfer portal last December.

Also signed in the spring were defensive back Cedarius Doss from Austin Peay, safety DJ Warnell Jr. from Arizona, defensive lineman Tyrique Tucker from James Madison, and linebacker Nahji Logan from the University of Massachusetts, plus James Madison running back Solomon Vanhorse.

Hoosier coaches had plenty of transfers to consider. 247Sports reported more than 1,200 players entered the transfer portal between April 16 and April 30. There were more than 3,800 total transfers.

“We had so many holes to fill,” Cignetti says. “In the spring, we took care of some defensive needs. We were able to bring in two defensive linemen, a linebacker, a corner, a safety and a rover, which we needed to do. We feel good about it.”

Consider the 6-2, 315-pound West, who was an offense-wrecking force last season for Kent State. One of the nation’s top available transfer defensive tackles (Michigan, Florida State, and Wisconsin were among the schools after him), he earned third-team All-Mid-American Conference honors last season. For his career the three-year starter totaled 110 tackles, 19.5 for loss, and 7.0 sacks over 36 games. He recorded sacks against Georgia and Texas A&M.

“He’s a really big person who has good initial quickness and is violent,” Cignetti says. “He made a lot of plays at the nose guard position. We were looking to get help there.

“We’ve got to get him in shape, and a little stronger. He has the potential to really help us.”

West figures to be part of a formidable defensive line duo with James Madison defensive lineman transfer James Carpenter, who had 141 tackles, 28, for loss, 11.5 sacks, and 65 quarterback pressures in five seasons with the Dukes.

In the secondary, Ponds has made the Lott IMPACT Trophy Preseason Watch List. The award goes to the defensive player that makes the biggest impact on and off the field.

Ponds earned freshman All-American honors last season for James Madison under Cignetti and defensive coordinator Bryant Haines.

Ponds started 10 games and played in all 13. He broke up 13 passes and had two interceptions with 51 tackles and two sacks. His 15 passes defended ranked No. 11 in major college football.

“He had special qualities when he came in as a freshman,” Cignetti says. “In fall camp, there were some things in his game he had to clean up in terms of technique.

“Early in the season, we were struggling against the pass. We stuck him in as a starter in game 4 and put him in the boundary. When we did that, it was a shot in the arm for our entire defense.

“He’s a great competitor. Super intelligent. He can really move and play the ball in the air.

“He’s a big get, but he will have to earn it here. Nothing is given. Everything is earned. That’s the way it has to be. There has to be competition. I was thrilled when we were able to get him.”

Ponds joins a strong cornerback group that includes a mix of returning veterans and transfers.

“I feel good about it,” Cignetti says. “We have a lot of guys who have a chance to be really good players.”

There’s more than the team to be optimistic about. Program upgrades also include installing a new indoor field at the Mellencamp Pavilion and Memorial Stadium weight room improvements.

There’s more than the team to be optimistic about. Program upgrades also include installing a new indoor field at the Mellencamp Pavilion and Memorial Stadium weight room improvements.

“Those were things that were needed,” Cignetti says. “The field looks good. So does the weight room. Things are onward and upward. We are moving in the right direction.”

That includes the fan experience. IU is expanding Memorial Stadium’s premium suite opportunities. It is adding eight suites to the South Terrace on the stadium’s south end zone to the nine field level suites behind the south end zone that were installed last year.

Suites include spacious furniture seating, a mounted large-screen television and a drink rail with seating facing the field. New IU Athletics partner Levy Restaurants will provide the food and beverage. Levy provides hospitalities at some of the nation’s top sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL

EDEY SELECTED NO. 9 BY MEMPHIS IN NBA DRAFT

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The storybook career of Zach Edey has taken its next step when the two-time National Player of the Year was selected No. 9 by Memphis during Wednesday’s first night of the NBA Draft.

One of the most-dominant players in college basketball history, Edey heard his name called in the first round, becoming Purdue’s 10th first-round NBA Draft selection in school history and the Boilermakers’ second first-round pick in the last three years.

Kentucky (4), Purdue (2) and Connecticut (2) are the only schools with multiple top-10 picks in the last three NBA Drafts.

Purdue also becomes just the third Big Ten school in NBA Draft history to have two top-10 picks in the same freshman class (Michigan, 1992 – Chris Webber, Juwan Howard; Ohio State, 2007 – Greg Oden, Mike Conley; Purdue, 2021 – Jaden Ivey, Zach Edey).

Edey became the second-highest pick for a Boilermaker in the last 30 years since Glenn Robinson was taken No. 1 in 1994, surpassed only by Jaden Ivey’s selection as the fifth pick overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2022 Draft.

Purdue went almost 30 years between NBA Draft Lottery picks. Now, it has two in the last three years.

“Obviously, we are thrilled for Zach to be selected by the Grizzlies in the first round of tonight’s NBA Draft,” head coach Matt Painter said. “Zach has been one of the hardest workers we have ever had in our program and he gave himself the opportunity to be in this position tonight. Memphis will be a great fit for him and are excited to watch his NBA journey unfold.”

“This is a dream come true,” Edey said. “Memphis has such a great core and I am really excited to get down there and work. I want to thank the Grizzlies organization for the opportunity and am ready to take the next step in my journey. Go Grizz!”

Edey is the 10th draft pick under Painter and since the 2016 NBA Draft, the sixth Boilermaker taken. Other draft picks include Carl Landry (2007), Johnson and E’Twaun Moore (2011), Robbie Hummel (2012), A.J. Hammons (2016), Swanigan (2017), Vince Edwards (2018), Carsen Edwards (2019) and Jaden Ivey (2022). Six of the picks have come in the last nine drafts.

Edey’s ascent into college basketball’s hierarchy has been well-documented. Having just completed his seventh season of competitive basketball, Edey was a standout baseball and hockey prospect growing up in Toronto, before turning to basketball prior to his sophom*ore campaign. He transferred to IMG Academy (Fla.) where he was ranked as the No. 436 prospect in the Class of 2020. He committed to Purdue in October 2019 and became one of the top college players in NCAA history.

He won all six National Player of the Year Awards in both 2023 and 2024, becoming the first player since the late Bill Walton in 1972 and 1973 to sweep all National Player of the Year awards in back-to-back seasons. He technically became the sixth two-time National Player of the Year, joining Ralph Sampson (1981, 1982, 1983), Bill Walton (1971, 1972, 1973), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1967, 1969), Jerry Lucas (1961, 1962) and Oscar Robertson (1958, 1959, 1960) as multiple NPOY recipients.

Simply put, Edey had a season and career for the ages and will go down as one of the greatest college basketball players in NCAA history. As a senior, he led Purdue to a 34-5 record and a spot in the National Championship game for the first time in 55 years. He averaged 25.2 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 62.3 percent from the field and 71.1 percent from the free throw line.

In the NCAA Tournament, he was even better, averaging 29.5 points, 14.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.8 assists while shooting 64.1 percent from the field. He finished the tournament with 177 points, the third most in NCAA Tournament history, while playing all but four minutes in the last four games of the tournament. In fact, only three players in NCAA Tournament history have scored 150 points with 60 rebounds in the same tournament (Edey, Elvin Hayes, Jerry West) and Edey had 177 points and 87 rebounds.

His 37 points in the National Championship game were tied for the third most in a title game in NCAA history.

The performance capped off one of the most-dominant seasons in history. He scored 983 points with 474 rebounds, joining Houston’s Elvin Hayes (1968) as the only players in NCAA history to reach those marks in a season in NCAA history. He finished the year by scoring at least 20 points with 10 rebounds in nine straight games, while posting 16 straight games of 20 or more points to end his career. He finished the season with ten 30-10 games, the most for a player since Kansas State’s Michael Beasley in 2007-08 (13).

His 983 points and 474 rebounds in a season are both second in Big Ten history in both categories.

Edey’s senior season was the icing on the cake of a career that will be considered one of the best in college basketball history. He finished his career with 2,516 points and 1,321 rebounds – one of six players in history to reach those marks and the first since 1990 (Lionel Simmons, 1987-90; Michael Brooks, Elvin Hayes, Oscar Robertson, Dickie Hemric).

He finished his career third in Big Ten history in scoring and second in rebounding.

Edey will likely play in NBA Summer League contests starting in the next couple of weeks. Schedules will be announced soon.

PURDUE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

BOILERMAKERS TO FACE MIDDLE TENNESSEE, SOUTH CAROLINA IN FORT MYERS

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s basketball team is set to compete in the Island Division of the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off in November at the Suncoast Credit Union Arena. The Boilermakers will square off with Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 28, before wrapping up the week in Florida against defending national champion South Carolina on Nov. 30.

Game times and broadcast details will be announced later.

Head coach Katie Gearlds enters her fourth season back at her alma mater following three straight postseason appearances. The Boilermakers have seven experienced veterans and seven newcomers in the squad. The team will get early game action when the Boilermakers head to Spain and Portugal for a 10-day European tour in August.

Season tickets are on sale for the 2024-25 campaign.

Purdue will meet South Carolina for the third time in the last seven seasons and the first in the Gearlds era. The Boilermakers are 2-3 all-time against the Gameco*cks with the wins coming in 2000 and 2005 in Cancun, Mexico and Freeport, Grand Bahamas, respectively.

Gearlds dropped 18 points with six rebounds and three blocks in a 56-48 win over South Carolina as a sophom*ore in 2005.

The Boilermakers will meet the Blue Raiders for the first time in November.

Purdue has unveiled three non-conference matchups for the 2024-25 season after announcing a home-and-home series with Kentucky starting this year.

Travel packages for fans looking to join their favorite team at the Elevance Health Women’s Fort Myers Tip-Off will be available on July 16 at www.womensfortmyerstipoff.com/travel. The Westin Cape Coral and Marina Village and the Marriott Sanibel Harbour are the event’s host hotels and fans will have the opportunity to stay where the teams stay and experience resort life to the fullest.

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

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S SOCCER

KORBIN ALBERT NAMED TO USWNT OLYMPIC ROSTER

CHICAGO – Former Notre Dame women’s soccer player and now Paris Saint Germain midfielder Korbin Albert won’t have to travel far for the 2024 Olympic Games. On Wednesday morning it became official when U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Emma Hayes named her to the 18-player roster for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Albert was 1-of-5 midfielders selected to rep the Stars and Stripes.

Previously this year, Albert received her first major call-up with the national team. She won both the CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship and the SheBelieves Cup with Team USA over the last four months.

With a start in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, Albert became the second youngest player to start for the USWNT in a competitive final in the last 30 years. She’ll be competing in her first Olympic Games next month.

Albert last competed at Notre Dame in the fall of 2022, when she took home several top collegiate awards: Mac Hermann Trophy Finalist, Top Drawer Soccer Player of the Year, First Team All-American and ACC Midfielder of the Year. She then signed with Paris Saint Germain and has been with the club since.

“Making an Olympic roster is a huge privilege and an honor and there is no denying that it was an extremely competitive process among the players and that there were difficult choices, especially considering how hard everyone has worked over the past 10 months,” said Hayes. “Choosing an 18-player roster plus alternates involved many considerations, but I am excited for the group we have selected and I’m looking forward to building on the work from last camp as we head into the Send-Off matches and then onto France. These are great opportunities for us to continue to show the progress we are making.”

Just eight players who were on the USA’s roster for the 2020 Olympics (which was played in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) make a return this summer while 10 players who were members of the USA’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team were named to the final roster for Paris.

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team will come together for the first time on July 8 in New Jersey in preparation to face Mexico on July 13 (3:30 p.m. ET on TNT, truTV, Telemundo, Universo, Max and Peaco*ck) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J in the Impact 99 Legacy Match, presented by New York Life. The USA will then head to the nation’s capital for the 2024 Send-Off Match, presented by Coca-Cola, on July 16 against Costa Rica at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. (7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, truTV, Universo, Max and Peaco*ck).

At the 2024 Paris Olympics, the eighth Olympic Games to feature women’s soccer, the U.S. will open Group B play on July 25 – one day before the Opening Ceremonies – against Zambia (9 p.m. local / 3 p.m. ET) at Stade de Nice in Nice. The Americans will then play Germany on July 28 (9 p.m. local / 3 p.m. ET) at Marseille’s Stade de Marseille in their second match and finish group play against Australia on July 31 (7 p.m. local / 1 p.m. ET), also in Marseille. Located in the south of France, Nice is nearly 600 miles from Paris near France’s border with Monaco and Italy. Marseille, located 125 miles west of Nice, is the second-largest city in France.

The full roster is listed below.

2024 U.S. OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CAPS/GOALS):

GOALKEEPERS (2): Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage; 19), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 104)

DEFENDERS (6): Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 58/3), Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG; 49/1), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC; 32/0), Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit; 49/0), Jenna Nighswonger (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 9/2), Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 91/2)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA; 11/0), Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC; 17/1), Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 148/35), Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 100/24), Catarina Macario (Chelsea FC, ENG; 19/8)

FORWARDS (5):Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 147/25), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit; 38/7), Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC; 14/7), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 48/19), Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars; 92/34)

Alternates: Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, midfielder Hal Hershfelt, midfielder Croix Bethune and forward Lynn Williams.

EVANSVILLE BASEBALL

UE’S SHALLENBERGER EARNS SECOND-TEAM ALL-AMERICA HONORS FROM D1BASEBALL.COM

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Evansville graduate outfielder Mark Shallenberger (St. Louis, Mo./Priory) earned his second All-America honor of the 2024 season on Wednesday morning, as he was named Second-Team All-America by D1Baseball.com. Shallenberger is the first Purple Ace to earn multiple All-America honors in the same season since Kevin Kaczmarski in 2015.

Shallenberger also captured American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings Third-Team All-America honors in a vote of collegiate head coaches earlier in June. D1Baseball.com is considered by many as the top on-line website focused on collegiate baseball.

Shallenberger earned All-America honors after a season in which he earned first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors and Greenville (N.C.) Regional All-Tournament team honors for the Purple Aces. He finished the 2024 season ranked in the NCAA’s Top 100 in 11 different offensive categories, including ranking 13th nationally in on-base percentage, a category he has ranked among the nation’s top 25 in for much of the season. Shallenberger set program records for both runs scored (72) and hit-by-pitches (28), while posting the second-highest single-season hit total in UE history with 91.

Overall, Shallenberger hit a team-best .374 with a team-high 21 doubles, two triples, 17 home runs and 64 RBI. He hit arguably the biggest home run in UE baseball history with a game-winning three-run home run in UE’s 6-5 victory over East Carolina to win the Greenville (N.C.) Regional and advance Evansville to its first-ever NCAA Tournament Super Regional appearance.

Shallenberger now joins an elite fraternity of UE players to earn multiple All-America honors in the same season. Shallenberger joins a list that includes only Andy Benes (1988), Cody Fick (2011), Kyle Freeland (2014), and Kevin Kaczmarski (2015) as the only UE players to earn All-America honors from multiple publications or groups in the same season.

Evansville went 39-26 this season, advancing on to the 2024 NCAA Tournament by winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. The Purple Aces won the Greenville (N.C.) Regional Tournament and forced #1 national seed Tennessee to the “if necessary” game three of the Knoxville Super Regional in UE’s first-ever NCAA Super Regional Tournament appearance.

UE’S CARROLL NAMED ABCA/ATEC MIDWEST REGIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Evansville head baseball coach Wes Carroll was named on Tuesday as the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/ATEC Midwest Regional Coach of the Year in a vote of the ABCA’s All-America and Coach of the Year Committee. Carroll is one of eight baseball coaches nationwide to earn Regional Coach of the Year honors at the Division I level, and it marks the first time in which a UE head coach has earned the honor.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the ABCA and earn this award,” said Carroll. “I would like to thank our coaching staff, athletic training staff, and our strength coach. They were so instrumental in our success this season.

“But, most importantly, I want to thank the players! They bought into something bigger than themselves, and represented our University well this season.”

Carroll was named the ABCA/ATEC Midwest Regional Coach of the Year after helping Evansville advance to its first-ever NCAA Tournament Super Regional, where the Purple Aces fell, 2-1, to eventual national champion and #1 overall seed, Tennessee, in the best-of-three game Super Regional series. Evansville was one of just two teams in the NCAA Tournament to knock off the Volunteers, as UE posted a 10-8 victory in game two of the series to force the deciding game-three. Evansville advanced to the Knoxville Super Regional by winning the Greenville (N.C.) Regional Tournament as the regional’s No. 4 seed, after UE advanced to the NCAA Tournament by sweeping through the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to earn the league’s automatic bid.

Evansville finished the regular-season 39-26 overall. The Purple Aces finished the season nationally-ranked in various collegiate baseball polls, including ranking 15th in the NCBWA Top 25 and 23rd both the Baseball America Top 25 and the USA Today Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

Here is the list of the 2024 ABCA/ATEC NCAA Division I Regional Coaches Of The Year:

Midwest: Wes Carroll (Evansville)

Northeast: Mike Glavine (Northeastern)

East: Randy Mazey (West Virginia)

Atlantic: Scott Forbes (North Carolina)

Southeast: Tony Vitello (Tennessee)

South: Lane Burroughs (Louisiana Tech)

Central: Skip Johnson (Oklahoma)

West: Andrew Checketts (UC Santa Barbara)

INDIANA SMALL COLLEGE WEB SITES

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VINCENNES ATHLETICS:https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index

NUMBERS IN SPORTS

6 – 25 – 44 – 41 – 10

June 27, 1963 –Philadelphia PhilliesJohnny Callison,wearingNumber 6hitfor cycle. In other news from the same gamePhillie centerfielderNumber 25,Tony Gonzalez’s error ends his record 205 consecutive errorless games

June 27, 1977 –San Francisco Giants hitterWillie McCovey, Number 44cleared the bases twice with a pair ofHRs in a single inning for 2nd time. The previous rime was April 12, 1973.

June 27, 1980 –LA Dodgers’Jerry Reuss, Number 41tossed a no-hit wonder against theSanFrancisco Giants for an8-0 victory.

June 27, 1984 –UEFA European Championship Final played atParc des Princes, Paris, France,Michel Platini,wearingnumber 10and teammateBruno Belloneeach scored as France blanked Spain, 2-0.

June 27, 1986– Dude take that fridge off of your back! Second basemanRobby Thompson, Number 6of the San FranciscoGiantsset arecord as he wascaught stealing 4 times in 1 game.

FOOTBALL HISTORY

June 27, 1929 – The first time a color television is demonstrated took place at Bell Laboratories in New York, New York took place on June 27, 1929. Color TV never shines so bright as when it displays the vivid green of the gridiron.

Football Fun Fact

The main scoreboard at AT&T Stadium (Formerly Cowboy Stadium) which opened in 2014 near Dallas, Texas and home of the Cowboys, cost almost $5 million more than the whole stadium that AT&T Stadium replaced, Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971.

June 27, 1975-Miami Dolphins stars Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka and Jim Kiick made the break-up of the Dolphins official when they formally joined the World Football League’s Memphis Southmen. The trio reported for team physicals at the WFL team’s training camp in Senatobia, Mississippi.

Hall of Fame Birthdays for June 27

June 27, 1931 – Grand Island, Nebraska – Nebraska Cornhuskers halfback from 1950 to 1952, Bobby Reynolds arrived into the world. After nearly a decade of poor records, the Nebraska team was energized with offense and “W’s” after the arrival of the talented Reynolds. The FootballFoundation.org says that Bobby led Nebraska to a 6-2-1 season in 1950. These games were filled with Huskers scoring too, as the Cornhuskers won 49-21, 40- 34, 33-26, and 32-26, and suffered a loss by the score of 49-35. Reynolds was honored as an All-America selection but he may be best remembered for a final touchdown against Missouri, in 1950, which assured a 40-34 Husker win. This run play is officially listed as a 33 yard gain; however, he covered well over 100 as he ran backward, forward, and side-to-side, reversing his field three times before crossing the goal line. However a slew of injuries slowed him down in his final two seasons as he got an infection from having lime in his eye, a shoulder separation, as well as a broken leg. Bobby’s 1342 yards in the 1950 season set a school record that stood for 32 years. The College Football Hall of Fame proudly placed a display in honor of Bobby Reynolds into their legendary museum in 1984.

June 27, 1932 – Nowata, Oklahoma – Oklahoma’s top tier center of the 1951 to the 1954 era, Kurt Burris was born. Burris was an All-American Center for the Sooners that finished second in the 1954 Heisman Trophy voting to Alan Ameche of Wisconsin . Pretty outstanding for an “O” lineman! The two-way star was also a top-notch linebacker on defense. Kurt had five brothers and five sisters as all the boys played college football. The Burris name was found on the gridiron fields of Oklahoma, Tulsa, and Northeastern State. The National Football Foundation says that the Helms Foundation named Kurt Player of the Year for 1954, and the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association named him Lineman of the Year that same season. After the regular season Burris played in the North-South Game and was captain of the South team. Kurt Burris received the great honor of being selected for inclusion into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

June 27, 1966 – Athens, Georgia – Mike Favor, North Dakota State’s center from 1985 to 1988. His bio on the NFF’s website says that Michael helped drive North Dakota State to three Division II national championships as he earned All-America status twice. avor started 51 games in four years and helped the Bison achieve a 44-6-1 overall record, enjoying two undefeated seasons in 1986 and 1988. He blocked for Harlon Hill Award winners, Chris Simdorn. and Hall of Famer Jeff Bentrim. Favor was selected to the NCAA Division II Football Team of the Quarter Century in 1997. Mike Favor’s collegiate football records are celebrated in the College Football Hall of Fame after his induction in 2011.

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

June 27

1917 — Catcher Hank Gowdy of the Braves became the first major league player to enter military service in World War I.

1939 — The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves played a 23-inning, 2-2 tie. Whit Wyatt pitched the first 16 innings for the Dodgers. Both clubs played a 26-inning tie in 1920 at the same Braves Field.

1958 — Billy Pierce of the Chicago White Sox retired 26 straight Washington batters before pinch-hitter Ed Fitzgerald hit a double just inside the right-field line for the only hit. Pierce then struck out Albie Pearson on three pitches and beat the Senators 3-0.

1973 — David Clyde, a $125,000, 18-year-old bonus baby with the Rangers, pitched five innings, struck out eight and allowed one hit in his first major league start. Texas beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 before 35,698 fans — the Rangers’ first home sellout at Arlington Stadium.

1980 — The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Jerry Reuss pitched a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants in an 8-0 victory at Candlestick Park. The only player to reach base was Jack Clark in the first inning on a throwing error by shortstop Bill Russell.

1986 — San Francisco rookie Robby Thompson set a major league record when he was caught stealing four times in the Giants’ 7-6, 12-inning victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Catcher Bo Diaz threw out Thompson in the fourth, sixth, ninth and 11th innings.

1993 — Anthony Young of the New York Mets set a major league record by losing his 24th straight decision, 5-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals.

1999 — Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 27th homer and robbed Juan Gonzalez of a three-run shot with a spectacular over-the-fence catch as the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 in the final game at the Kingdome.

2003 — Boston set a major league record by scoring 10 runs before the first out. The 50-minute, 91-pitch first inning came during a 25-8 victory over Florida. The Red Sox also tied an AL record with 14 runs in the first inning. Johnny Damon matched a major league mark with three hits in an inning.

2007 — Ryan Howard hits his 100th career home run in a 9 – 6 loss to the Reds. The shot against Aaron Harang makes him the fastest player in major league history to hit 100 homers, doing so in his 325th game.

2008 — Carlos Delgado of the New York Mets homered twice, including a grand slam, and set a franchise record with nine RBIs in a 15-6 rout of the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the opener of the teams’ two-ballpark doubleheader. The Yankees beat the Mets 9-0 at Shea Stadium in the night game.

2009 — Tim Wakefield makes his 382nd start for the Boston Red Sox, tying Roger Clemens for most in franchise history. The 42-year-old knuckleballer earns his tenth win of the year with six scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves. Boston prevails, 1 – 0, with Mark Kotsay driving in the game’s only run.

2010 — Jamie Moyer surrendered his record-breaking 506th home run but was sharp otherwise, and the Philadelphia Phillies took advantage of Toronto’s troubles to beat the Blue Jays 11-2. Moyer only mistake was a two-run homer by Vernon Wells in the third inning. Moyer passed former Phillies Hall of Famer Robin Roberts for the most homers allowed in a career.

2016 — Kris Bryant became the first major leaguer to hit three homers and two doubles in a game, and Jake Arrieta added a solo shot, leading the Chicago Cubs to an 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

2016 — The Texas Rangers wrapped up a weird win at 2:44 a.m., rallying after a rain delay of more than 3 1/2 hours in the ninth inning to beat the New York Yankees 9-6 with maybe 100 fans left in the stands. Umpire crew chief Paul Nauert signaled for the tarp at 10:40 p.m. The game resumed at 2:15 a.m. Texas trailed 6-5 when Kirby Yates replaced closer Aroldis Chapman after the delay with a runner on first and no outs. Yates (2-1) hit three batters, and Beltre and Elvis Andrus each hit a two-run singles.

2017 — The University of Florida wins the first College World Series Title in school history by defeating Louisiana State University 6-1.

2019 — The starters for the 2019 All-Star Game are named, at the conclusion of the fans’ vote. For the first time, this voting is two-tiered, with today’s winners the victors of a second round of strictly on-line voting among the three top finishers at each position, after the more traditional ballots have been counted. The results are well-balanced, with only one team managing as many as three players elected – the Astros with 3B Alex Bregman and OFs George Springer and Michael Brantley – and are generally representative of who have been the best players so far this year.

2021 — A little over a week after MLB has begun to systematically examine pitchers for foreign substances to improve grip, a first victim is caught: Hector Santiago of the Mariners is ejected after umpires discover an unknown sticky substances on his glove. The glove is impounded and sent for further analysis, while Santiago protests his innocence, claiming that he was only using rosin to prevent perspiration from dripping unto his hands. He will be issued a ten-game suspension.

TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY

June 27

1890 — Canadian boxer George Dixon becomes first black world champion when he stops English bantamweight champion Edwin “Nunc” Wallace in 18 rounds in London, England.

1903 — Willie Anderson captures the U.S. Open with a two-stroke victory over David Brown in a playoff.

1914 — Jack Johnson wins a 20-round referee’s decision over Frank Moran at the Velodrome d’Hiver in Paris.

1924 — Walter Hagen wins his second British Open. Hagen finishes with a 301 to edge Ernest Whitcombe by one stroke at Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, England. Hagen, who won in 1922, was the Open’s first winner born in the United States.

1936 — Alf Padgham beats Jimmy Adams by one stroke to win the British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

1950 — Chandler Harper wins the PGA championship by beating Henry Williams Jr., 4 and 3 in the final round.

1959 — Mickey Wright beats Louise Suggs by two strokes for her second straight U.S. Women’s Open title.

1971 — JoAnne Carner wins the U.S. Women’s Open with a seven-stroke victory over Kathy Whitworth.

1979 — Heavyweight Muhammad Ali confirms that his 3rd retirement is final (it isn’t).

1984 — UEFA European Championship Final, Parc des Princes, Paris, France: Michel Platini & Bruno Bellone score as France beats Spain, 2-0.

1988 — Mike Tyson KOs Michael Spink in 91 seconds, in Atlantic City.

1990 — NBA Draft: Syracuse power forward Derrick Coleman first pick by New Jersey Nets.

1992 — Top-seeded Jim Courier, the Australian and French Open champion, loses 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to qualifier Andrei Olhovskiy of Russia at Wimbledon. It’s the first time in Wimbledon history that a qualifier beat the top seed.

1998 — NHL Draft: Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) center Vincent Lecavalier first pick by Tampa Bay Lightning.

1999 — Juli Inkster shoots a 6-under 65 to win the LPGA Championship, becoming the second woman to win the modern career Grand Slam. Pat Bradley won her Grand Slam 13 years earlier.

2001 — NBA Draft: Glynn Academy center Kwame Brown first pick by Washington Wizards.

2006 — Roger Federer wins his record 42nd straight grass-court match, beating Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to open his bid for a fourth consecutive Wimbledon championship. Federer breaks the record he shared with Bjorn Borg, the five-time Wimbledon champion who won 41 straight matches on grass from 1976-1981.

2008 — Zheng Jie completes the biggest victory of her career at Wimbledon, beating new No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-4 in the third round. The 133rd-ranked Zheng’s victory, her first against a top-10 player, is the earliest exit by a top-ranked woman at Wimbledon since Martina Hingis lost in the first round in 2001.

2010 — Cristie Kerr cruises to a 12-stroke victory in the LPGA Championship in one of the most lopsided wins at a major. Kerr leads wire-to-wire, closing with a 6-under 66 for a 19-under 269 total. Kerr breaks the tournament record for victory margin of 11 set by Betsy King in 1992 and matches the second-biggest victory in a major.

2013 — NBA Draft: UNLV power forward Anthony Bennett first pick Cleveland Cavaliers.

2017 — Florida scores four runs in the eighth inning to pull away from LSU, and the Gators beat their Southeastern Conference rival 6-1 to complete a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals for their first national title in baseball. LSU loses for the first time in seven appearances in a championship game.

2021 — Nelly Korda beats Lizette Salas by 3 strokes to win the Women’s PGA Championship. The win is Korda’s first major title.

TV SPORTS THURSDAY

MLB REGULAR SEASONTIME ETTV
Minnesota at Arizona3:40pmBally Sports North
YurView
MLB.TV
Fubo
Chi. Cubs at San Francisco3:45pmMARQ
NBC Sports Bay Area
MLB.TV
Fubo
Miami at Philadelphia6:20pmBally Sports Florida
NBC Sports Philadelphia
MLB.TV
Fubo
Texas at Baltimore6:35pmBally Sports Southwest
MASN
MLB.TV
Fubo
NY Yankees at Toronto7:07pmYES
Sportsnet
MLB.TV
Fubo
Cincinnati at St. Louis7:45pmBally Sports Ohio
Bally Sports Midwest
MLB.TV
Fubo
Cleveland at Kansas City8:10pmFS1
Bally Sports Great Lakes
Bally Sports Kansas City
MLB.TV
Fubo
Detroit at LA Angels9:38pmBally Sports Detroit
Bally Sports West
MLB.TV
Fubo
GOLFTIME ETTV
DP World: Italian Open7:00amGOLF
LPGA: Dow Championship10:00amGOLF
Champions: US Senior Open12:00pmGOLF
PGA: Rocket Mortgage Classic3:00pmGOLF
SOCCERTIME ETTV
Copa América: Panama vs USA6:00pmFOX
Univision
Vix
Fubo
Copa América: Uruguay vs Bolivia9:00pmFOX
UniMas
Vix
Fubo
WNBATIME ETTV
Minnesota vs Dallas1:00pmBally Sports Southwest
Bally Sports North
Connecticut vs Washington7:00pmMNMY
NBC Sports Boston
Las Vegas vs Chicago7:00pmPrime
MARQ
SSSEN
Indiana vs Seattle10:00pmPrime
GYMNASTICSTIME ETTV
US Olympic Trials6:30pmUSA
TRACK & FIELDTIME ETTV
US Olympic Trials8:00pmNBC
US Olympic Trials9:00pmUSA
TENNISTIME ETTV
Eastbourne-ATP/WTA, Mallorca-ATP & Bad Homburg-WTA Quarterfinals5:30amTENNIS
Eastbourne-ATP/WTA, Mallorca-ATP & Bad Homburg-WTA Quarterfinals1:30pmTENNIS
THE INDIANA SRN “SPORTSPAGE” THURSDAY JUNE 27, 2024 (2024)

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