Saturday, January 20, 2018
Sports

Duke focuses on McDermott

PHILADELPHIA — Duke will never be a first-weekend tournament darling. So a win today would barely cause a ripple in Durham, N.C.

But at Creighton, a win could send the campus into a frenzy. The Bluejays haven't reached the Sweet 16 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. For the second straight year, they're on the cusp. North Carolina spoiled their run last season. Now another ACC team looks to send All-American F Doug McDermott and Co. home.

McDermott, an All-America candidate, had 27 points, including 11-of-11 on free throws, and 11 rebounds to help Creighton beat Cincinnati 67-63 on Friday. He impressed Duke coach Mike Krzyzewksi, who overlooked McDermott when he recruited his high school teammate in Iowa, former North Carolina star Harrison Barnes.

McDermott committed to Northern Iowa before following his dad, Greg, to his latest coaching stop at Creighton.

"McDermott is such a beautiful player," Krzyzewksi said of the junior averaging 20.1 points and 7.7 rebounds. "He's really one of the best offensive players I've seen in the last decade in college basketball."

High praise from a coach who has had J.J. Redick, Jason Williams and Kyrie Irving over that span.

Maybe Duke can snag a report from two of its current players, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly. McDermott and Kelly were roommates last summer at the Amare Stoudemire Big Man Camp in Chicago. McDermott and Plumlee were teammates at the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas last summer.

"Ryan was a great roommate," McDermott said. "He always reminded me what time we had to be down in the lobby, what time we had to leave. So he was good for that. I got a chance to pick his brain a little bit because we kind of play similar."

Injury report: Michigan State G Keith Appling said he will be ready for the Sweet 16 despite a right shoulder injury sustained while playing defense with 8:35 left Saturday against Memphis. He sustained the same injury Feb. 6 against Minnesota. "It slid out, but it slid back in," said Appling, who didn't return to the game. "It's nothing. Since it had happened before, I knew what was happening. It was very painful. But I could've gone back in if I had to."

Upset alert: Ohio State failed to reach the Sweet 16 both times it has played its first two games in Dayton (about 75 minutes from its campus in Columbus) under coach Thad Matta. The Buckeyes were a No. 2 seed — just like this year — when they lost to No. 7-seeded Georgetown in the second round in 2006. As a No. 8 seed in 2009, they lost to No. 9 seeded Sienna in double-overtime.

Second-half surges: Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy has searched all season for a way to jolt star G Marshall Henderson out of his first-half funks.

In the win over Florida in the SEC title game, Henderson scored three of his 21 during the first half. Friday against Wisconsin, two of his 19 came during the first half. If Henderson finds his touch early tonight, La Salle could be in trouble.

"I would like him to make shots earlier. That's for sure," Kennedy said. "And he talks about it. I told him (Saturday) he may be talking about it too much. It's almost like it's set in his mind."

Understatement of the day: Temple coach Fran Dunphy isn't the sugarcoating type. He's a no-nonsense guy from Philly. So he wasn't about to hide his feelings about facing top-seeded and title contender Indiana today: "We're concerned."

Quotable: "Nobody can ever take away that he did a fabulous job. On the flip side, I don't really see after 10 years it's near as big a deal as maybe the story line would be." — Kansas coach Bill Self on today's against Roy Williams, who left Kansas to coach North Carolina

A

A

C

N

2

0

1

3

Comments
Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

Shrine Game journal: USF players’ thoughts are with grieving QB Quinton Flowers

ST. PETERSBURG — USF had expected to have four former players in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, but QB Quinton Flowers had to miss the showcase game after learning that his grandmother had died late last week."I most definitely ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Thunder embarrasses Cavs’ defense

CLEVELAND — LeBron James came up just short of 30,000 points. Oklahoma City nearly got there, too. Unable to stop Paul George, Russell Westbrook or Carmelo Anthony, the Cavaliers were embarrassed 148-124 on Saturday by the Thunder, who not only rolle...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Lightning journal: Vasilevskiy’s bottom line, Callahan’s production concern

Lightning journal: Vasilevskiy’s bottom line, Callahan’s production concern

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The rest of the Lightning players had left the ice Friday afternoon, heading into the dressing room at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon for a quick change before the team’s charter flight to Minnesota.But G Andrei Vasilevskiy stayed ...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
FSU cruises past Virginia Tech for first ACC road win

FSU cruises past Virginia Tech for first ACC road win

BLACKSBURG, Va. — M.J. Walker managed to secure 18 tickets out of Florida State’s visiting team allotment to take care of family members who live in Virginia and wanted to come to Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech. He also gave them a performance wort...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

Late score gives West victory over East in Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — With less than a week to install a playbook, offenses can have it tough in college showcase games.And for 58 minutes on Saturday in the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field, the teams combined for just one offensive touchdown.But...
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Brady’s injured hand remains a mystery

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The week started with a little trash talk from the underdog. The rest was dominated by speculation about a certain 40-year-old quarterback’s injured throwing hand.Plenty of intrigue for when the Jaguars and Patriots meet in today’...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

Mikhail Sergachev gets thrown into the fire for Lightning

ST. PAUL, Minn. — For the first 20-plus games this season, Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness knew "the look" was coming.The other team’s top line would jump over the boards and Tampa Bay rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev would peek over at Bow...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sunday’s NFL conference championship game previews

AFC: Jaguars at Patriots, 3, CBSLine/OU: Patriots by 7½; 46The big drama leading into this game is whether, or how much, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will be slowed by his injured right hand, which kept him out of practice Thursday (see 6C for more...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kerber ends Sharapova’s return to Australia

Kerber ends Sharapova’s return to Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia — It was expected to be the match of the round. Angelique Kerber ensured it never became a contest.The 2016 Australian Open winner routed Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-3 in the third-round match on Saturday night, meaning she’ll be the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

NFL playoffs schedule

AFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPJaguars at Patriots, 3 p.m. today TV: CBS Line/OU: Patriots by 7½; 46NFCCONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPVikings at Eagles, 6:40 tonight TV: Fox Line/OU: Vikings by 3; 38½Super Bowl LIIJaguars or Patriots vs. Vikings or Eagles, 6:30 p...
Updated: 1 hour ago