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Bengals, Browns stand and lock arms for anthem

Published: Sunday, October 01, 2017 @ 1:11 PM

The Cincinnati Bengals lock arms during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
The Cincinnati Bengals lock arms during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The Bengals and Browns stood for the anthem and locked arms before Sunday’s game.

The Bengals didn’t kneel before or during the anthem a week ago, being the only team to not have anyone partake in the protest.

Kentucky-South Carolina basketball: Live updates, score, stats (January 16, 2018)

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:22 PM

Kentucky basketball plays at South Carolina at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Follow along below for the score, live updates and stats from the game.

Kentucky-South Carolina score, live updates, stats

HALFTIME: Kentucky 37, South Carolina 34

Well that was weird. The Wildcats finished the half with six of eight scholarship players in foul trouble and both Brad Calipari and Jarred Vanderbilt playing critical minutes. All things considered, John Calipari has to be thrilled with a halftime lead of any kind tonight.

Vanderbilt made his debut and stunk in the first go-round — before settling down and totally stabilizing the Wildcats. He’s shown off terrific ball handling, passing and rebounding (all that stuff the staff kept saying he could do) to close out the half. Kevin Knox’s 10 points and 4 rebounds and Nick Richards’ 8 points were also huge for the Cats. Here’s your full halftime box from a wildly eventful first half:

South Carolina 34, Kentucky 32, 1:48 1H: The Cats would be toast without Vanderbilt tonight, as there are now  six UK players with two fouls — and he’s starting to settle in. Playing a long stretch of point forward, he’s begun to show off the skill set we’ve heard so much about. Slick handles into a beautiful bounce feed to Killeya-Jones in the post (but he got tied up), then a terrific offensive rebound, drew the foul and hit both free throws.

Kentucky 28, South Carolina 26, 3:46 1H: Who expected to see Jarred Vanderbilt and Brad Calipari on the floor together tonight? Well, it’s happening, and Vanderbilt is the point forward (as both John Calipari and Kenny Payne said he could be all along) in that lineup. Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Gabriel and Richards all have two fouls. Vanderbilt drove and kicked to Calipari for a 3-pointer that would’ve made BBN’s head explode. He missed, but Knox got a huge offensive rebound and SKJ finished with a bucket and foul, with a free throw coming. Cats are battling here after a horrendous start.

Welcome back, Nick Richards: The freshman 7-footer who averaged just 13 minutes and fewer than 4 points and 4 rebounds in his first five SEC games is having a major comeback game tonight: 8 points, 3-3 FG, 2-2 FT, 2 rebounds. He scored the Cats’ first four points when no one else could score and then hit the tying free throws and go-ahead putback on a how’d-he-get-there offensive rebound.

South Carolina 24, Kentucky 22, 7:50 1H: After Gabriel’s second foul at the 8:53 mark — Diallo already had two — Vanderbilt checked back in for the second time and it has so far gone much better. Leading the break, the 6-9 forward zipped a nice pass ahead to Washington, who was fouled and hit two free throws. Then Vanderbilt did a nice job contesting a 3-poiter the Gamecocks missed (and they’ve missed their last nine shots and gone 5:32 without a made basket). Box score so far:

South Carolina 22, Kentucky 19, 9:40 1H: The Cats trailed by eight with 11:28 to go in the half, then Kevin Knox and Wenyen Gabriel went to work. A Knox layup, then a Knox miss and Gabriel tip-in for a three-point play — followed by a big Gabriel block — got Kentucky steadied again. Knox has 8 points, 2 rebounds, a steal and assists already (and is 4 of 4 at the line, attacking the basket as commanded).

South Carolina 19, Kentucky 12, 11:58 1H: The Gamecocks are still outplaying the Cats, but the big news by far is that 5-star freshman Jarred Vanderbilt has made his college debut.

NOT A DRILL: Jarred Vanderbilt to the scorer’s table to check in. 

South Carolina 11, Kentucky 4, 15:47 1H: Nick Richards, who has been in a brutal slump to start SEC play, already surpassed his scoring average in league play with a short jump shot and hook shot for all of the Cats’ points so far. The defense has been a mess, though, as the Gamecocks are driving at will — including a posterizing dunk over Wenyen Gabriel. Foul Watch for shorthanded Kentucky: one each for Gabriel and Hamidou Diallo. Box score so far:


South Carolina 7, Kentucky 0, 18:05 1H: John Calipari has already taken a timeout after the Gamecocks ignited this crowd with a steal and slam, deep 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and post-up bucket over PJ Washington. Shorthanded Cats facing immediate adversity.

STARTING FIVE: It’s Gilgeous-Alexander, Diallo, Knox, Washington and Richards for the Cats. Same as the last two games without Green. Jarred Vanderbilt is wearing the full team gear on the bench, by the way, including the warm-up top (he just wore a T-shirt last game) and appeared to be stretching his legs during the national anthem, whatever that is worth.

Three Cats stay home: Kentucky announced that starting point guard Quade Green (back), reserve forward Tai Wynyard (back) and freshman guard Jemarl Baker (knee) did not make the trip to Columbia, S.C., because they are not healthy enough yet to play. Green will miss his third straight game, meaning Kentucky will likely play with just seven scholarship players for the third straight game. (The Cats beat Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, barely, while shorthanded.) However …

Jarred Vanderbilt Watch: He’s in game shorts again (with a T-shirt on like the rest of the team) and fully participating in the team stretching and warm-up drills for the second straight game. He is attempting to come back from a preseason foot injury and I was told today that he’s been increasing his workload daily, inching toward a debut, and that questions about whether he  wants to play this season are unfounded: “He just wants to feel good before he plays,” a source close to the program told me, meaning he wants to trust that foot, injured three times since high school, a bit more before he tests it. Stay tuned …

Kentucky-South Carolina game time, details

  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018
  • Location: Colonial Life Arena (18,000), Columbia, S.C.
  • Records: Kentucky 14-3, 4-1 SEC, South Carolina 11-6, 2-3
  • Favorite: Kentucky by 2 1/2

What TV channel is Kentucky-South Carolina on? 

You can watch Kentucky vs. South Carolina on ESPN. Joe Tessitore, Sean Farnham and Laura Rutledge will be on the call.

How can I watch Kentucky-South Carolina  online?

Stream Kentucky vs. South Carolina on and the WatchESPN app.

How can I listen to Kentucky-South Carolina  on the radio? 

Kentucky and South Carolina will be broadcast on the UK Sports Network. That’s 630-AM on Lexington radio and can be streamed at iHeart Radio. You can also listen on XM channel 191 and Sirius channel 138.

Kentucky-South Carolina preview

  • He hasn’t started a game this season. He’s seventh on the team in points and sixth in minutes. But sophomore Wenyen Gabriel has become the guts and glue of this young team, making hustle play after hustle play (and sinking timely 3-pointer after timely 3-pointer) just when the freshmen need him. “His energy, his effort and what he’s giving us on the floor, just the fight of it, is an example of what we need every player to do.” 
  • What’s wrong with 5-star freshman 7-footer Nick Richards? He’s averaging just 13 minutes, 3.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in SEC play. Assistant coach and big-man specialist Kenny Payne, who also addressed the buzz about him as a potential head coaching candidate at his alma mater Louisville, swears the staff has not lost faith in Richards. That he is well-trained and plenty skilled. But he has “made the pivotal mistake that all young players make: They begin to think too much.”
  • Payne also gave the most detailed and encouraging update yet on 5-star freshman Jarred Vanderbilt, who is attempting to come back from a third left foot injury in two years and has become a polarizing figure with the fan base. He’s cleared to play, but coaches say it’s up to him when he does — that he has a mental hurdle still to clear. “It’s wrong for adults to force a kid to do anything when they don’t feel like they are ready yet,” said Payne, who also raved about Vanderbilt’s skills. “His speed is unbelievable … he can really move … an exceptional ball handler … literally like a point forward.”
  • Oh, by the way, Kentucky has been playing the last two games without its starting point guard, Quade Green, who tweaked his back. Because Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been so good — “our best player, by far,” Payne says plainly — and the Wildcats have won both without Green, it’s easy to overlook how much they need him. He’s one of the team’s best free-throw and 3-point shooters and takes care of the ball, all things UK could’ve used in its near-collapses the last two games. Here’s the latest update on his status and when he might return.

Analysis: Cameron Johnson helps North Carolina basketball withstand Clemson

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:16 PM

North Carolina forward Luke Maye had blood streaming down his nose, the result of an accidental elbow from teammate Kenny Williams.

The No. 15-ranked Tar Heels did plenty of damage Tuesday night, beating up on both themselves and No. 20 Clemson before hanging on for an 87-79 win in Chapel Hill, N.C.

At first, it appeared as if UNC (15-4, 4-2 ACC) might cruise to its third consecutive win, even with Maye briefly sidelined with a cut on his nose and Joel Berry II struggling early on to hit a shot.

However, Clemson (15-3, 4-2) erased a 17-point deficit in the second half and got to within 66-64 before Cameron Johnson continued his big night and Maye chipped in down the stretch.

Johnson led UNC with 21 points, hitting 6 of 9 3-pointers and missing only 3 of his 10 shots from the floor.

Relying on role players

Johnson drained one 3-pointer after another, making so many against Clemson that it was almost a surprised when he missed.

It was needed with Berry and Maye combining to score just 5 points in the first half.

With their top two scorers either struggling or in pain early on, the Tar Heels turned to Johnson, Williams and their other  role players to emerge as go-to scorers.

Johnson was averaging 9.7 points per game heading into Tuesday, but he asserted himself and knocked down big shots. With 6:06 minutes remaining and Clemson within striking distance, Johnson sank a 3-pointer to push UNC’s lead to 69-64.

Williams also found his shooting touch early on, matching his season average with 12 points in the first half and finishing with 15. He sparked UNC’s fast start, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 8 points during an 18-5 run to open the game.

All five of the Tar Heels’ starters finished in double figures, with Maye eventually reaching 11 points and 4 rebounds.

Scoring from beyond the arc

North Carolina has a bit of an identity crisis.

At times, the Tar Heels can be a scrappy team that relies on Maye to power his way into the paint and score around the basket. Other times, their focus is on their athletic guards running the floor and making plays.

On Tuesday, UNC took advantage of its 3-point shooting in a big way, draining 15 of its 31 attempts (48.4 percent) to build a 15-point halftime lead and then withstand Clemson’s fierce run down the stretch.

Along with Johnson’s 6 3-pointers, Berry made 4 3-pointers in the second half to finish with 17 points.

Shutting down Clemson

UNC built a large enough lead and gained enough momentum in the first half to carry over into a second half that wasn’t always so efficient.

The Tigers were held to just 23 points in the first half, with three of their starters combining to miss all 13 of their shots as the Tar Heels jumped out to a 38-23 halftime lead.

Clemson managed to miss both open shots and contested shots, and its offense looked out of sync and a step too slow during the ugly stretch,

While the Tigers shot only 33.3 percent from the floor in the first half, somehow their players failed to make up for it at the free-throw line, making just 4 of 10 attempts before halftime.

Clemson regrouped and outscored UNC 56-49 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.




WATCH: Trae Young misses free throw, grabs own rebound, immediately nails 3 pointer

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:09 PM

Is there anything Trae Young can’t do on a basketball court? Surely, there are things he doesn’t excel at, but at times, it doesn’t feel like those things are that numerous.

In the first half of Tuesday night’s game against Kansas State, he missed his free throw, grabbed his own rebound, and then drilled a three from the corner.

It’s unfair to the rest of the Oklahoma Sooners to say that Trae Young does everything for the team, but he certainly does a lot. The freshman averages 30.1 points per game, and is hitting around 40 percent of his three point shots.

Oklahoma still has to run the Big 12 gauntlet, but with Young, they’ll have a legitimate shot at a Big 12 Championship. They’ll have to make their way through the Kansas Jayhawks, the West Virginia Mountaineers, and the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but Young will ensure that the Sooners will always have a shot in every game they’re in.

Celtics great Jo Jo White dead at 71

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 9:32 PM

Jo Jo White was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Jo Jo White was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.(

JoJo White, who played with the Celtics from 1969 to 1979 and was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015, passed away at the age of 71. 

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News of White's passing was first reported by the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett, who received word from one of White's former teammates. 

The news was confirmed by the Celtics shortly before the team's game against New Orleans Tuesday night. 

White joined the Celtics after a successful college career at Kansas. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie team in 1970, was named an All-Star seven times and had his No. 10 retired by the Celtics in 1982.

White averaged 21 points per game in the Celtics six-game win over the Phoenix Suns in the 1976 NBA Finals. He was named Finals MVP. 

He played for six Celtics teams that reached the playoffs. He had a 13-year career in the NBA, playing two years with the Golden State Warriors and one with the Kansas City Kings after leaving the Celtics. He averaged 20.2 points per game during his career.