CONTINUING COVERAGE


Green makes NFL Top 100 for sixth straight year

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 2:09 PM


            Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) participates in a team practice at Paul Brown Stadium, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) participates in a team practice at Paul Brown Stadium, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

A.J. Green may have come up short in his bid for a sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season, but missing the final six games of the season did alter his standing among his peers as the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver is set to appear somewhere between 11 and 20 tonight in the NFL Network’s ranking of the Top 100 players of 2017.

This will be Green’s six appearance on the list, and could be the second highest he has ever been ranked.

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Green was ninth in 2014 and 16th in both 2016 and 2013. He was 77th in 2012 and 37th in 2015.

›› RELATED: Six observations from Bengals OTAs, minicamp

He will be the second Bengals player to make this year’s list after defensive tackle Geno Atkins came in at 68.

The NFL Network will unveil Nos. 11-20 at 9 p.m. tonight

WATCH: Newest Alabama commit explains why he chose the Crimson Tide

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

LAGRANGE, Ga. —  King Mwikuta, the nation’s No. 5 outside linebacker in the 2019 class from Troup County High School committed to Alabama over Georgia, Miami and Florida State during a school ceremony Friday morning. Mwikuta told SEC Country in October that he wanted to make his decision on his birthday. He felt he was ready to make his decision back then and he followed through with it.

Alabama had been his leader for several months now — dating back to the summer — the Crimson Tide never relinquished their lead. There was some cause for concern this past Sunday when Mwikuta released his final 3 schools of Georgia, Florida State and Miami. That turned out to be a stunt to gain some attention because most people believed he would ultimately choose Alabama.

Mwikuta becomes the Tide’s fourth commitment in the 2019 class and first on the defensive side of the ball as he joins 5-star running back Trey Sanders and 4-star offensive linemen Pierce Quick and Deyavie Hammond.

Check out the video below to see why Mwikuta chose the Tide.

Report: TCU center Kevin Samuel cleared in time for Big 12 play

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 12:10 PM

Freshman Kevin Samuel is finally cleared to join the TCU men’s basketball team, per 247Sports’ Jeremiah Glenn.

Samuel, a 6-foot-11 center from Barbuda, was a consensus 4-star recruit out of Redemption Christian in Houston, Texas, and the No. 115-ranked Class of 2017 prospect in the country by Rivals.com.

He should be an extra boost for a TCU team already thriving this season under coach Jamie Dixon. He’ll also provide a nice option behind senior Vladimir Brodziansky, who’s averaging 13.3 points per game and 3.6 rebounds.

He joins a TCU club that’s off to a 10-0 start, the best record in the Big 12, this season and ranked No. 14 in the AP Top 25. The Frogs get Samuel just in time for Big 12 play when Oklahoma visits TCU on Dec. 30. TCU still has two more non-conference games remaining with Texas Southern on Monday and William & Mary on Dec. 22.

College Basketball: Wright State-Toledo preview

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

Wright State-Toledo Preview

Who: Wright State (6-4) at Toledo (5-4)

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Savage Arena, Toledo

TV/Radio: ESPN3/106.5-FM

Series: Toledo lead 6-5

Coaches: Scott Nagy is 26-16 in his second season at Wright State and 436-256 in 23 years overall. Tod Kowalczyk is 136-112 in his eighth season at Toledo and 260-226 overall, including an eight-year stint at Green Bay.

Probable Wright State starters

Parker Ernsthausen;6-11;Jr.;C;4.9

Justin Mitchell;6-4;Sr.;G;9.7

Mark Hughes;6-4;Jr.;G;10.0

Louden Love;6-9;Fr.;C;9.5

Grant Benzinger;6-3;Sr.;G;13.9

Probable Toledo starters

Tre’Shaun Fletcher;6-7;Sr.;F;19.3

Jaelen Sanford;6-4;Jr.;G;16.0

Marreon Jackson;6-0;Fr.;G;7.7

Nate Navigato;6-8;Jr.;F;14.2

Taylor Adway;6-9;Jr.;F;3.9

About Wright State: Cole Genty, a 5-10 sophomore point guard, will make his debut for Wright State. He played for Nagy at South Dakota State before transferring last year. … The Raiders dropped at 82-78 decision at home to Toledo last season. Mark Alstork tallied 39 points, but the Rockets scored eight of the game’s final 10 points to pull out the victory. … The Raiders are first in the Horizon League in scoring defense, allowing 63.3 points per game, and rebound margin at plus-3.2. They’re second in turnover margin at plus-3.1. … Mitchell leagues the conference in steals per game with 2.3 per game. … Wright State has six players averaging between 13.9 and 9.5, including subs Everett Winchester (10.2) and Jaylon Hall (9.8). Ernsthausen scored a season-high 11 points in a 63-54 win over Kent State on Saturday.

About Toledo: The Rockets are coming off a 93-87 home loss to Marshall despite 31 points from Fletcher. That’s their only loss at Savage Arena in five games. … They’re 2-0 against the Horizon League, beating Detroit Mercy, 89-86, and Oakland, 87-74. They’ve lost to a pair of national powers, falling to Kansas, 96-58, and Syracuse, 72-64, on the road. … They were picked third in the MAC West preseason poll behind favorite Western Michigan and Ball State, while Sanford was named to the preseason All-MAC West team after averaging 13.6 points and making 65 three-pointers last season. … Luke Knapke, a 6-11 sophomore, averages 12.4 points off the bench. … Fletcher is averaging 9.6 rebounds, helping to make up for the loss of second-team All-MAC pick Steve Taylor, who was third in the nation in rebounding as a senior last season at 12.9 per game. … Toledo has made three postseason trips in the previous seven seasons under Kowalczyk, playing in the NIT, CBI and CIT.

Coming up: The Raiders play at Missouri State at 8 p.m. Tuesday and at Georgia Tech at 9 p.m. Friday.

Actor Tom Arnold lists his all-time favorite Hawkeyes

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 12:06 PM

We are tackling the best question supplied by Iowa fans each day. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet to Scott Dochterman here. Look for our Iowa Question of the Day every Monday through Friday. Go here  to see all of our previous answers.

ANSWER: What a question from @ChinLovesIowa (Matt Winchester) directed at actor and Iowa native Tom Arnold, asking for his favorite Hawkeyes and his top three. Certainly you can make a case for any of the four Hawkeyes Arnold listed. The actor later added basketball players Chris Street and Jess Settles.

Gable, who wrestled at Iowa State, coached the Hawkeyes to 15 NCAA wrestling titles in 21 years, including nine straight from 1978 through 1986. His legacy knows no bounds. Nile Kinnick died in World War II during a training exercise off the coast of Venezuela. Kinnick won the 1939 Heisman Trophy, and in 1972, Iowa Stadium was renamed for him. I’ll go out on a limb and say had Kinnick lived, he would have become president of the United States sometime between 1968 and 1980.

Don Nelson was a terrific basketball player at Iowa in the early 1960s and owns the NBA record for career coaching victories. Land of 10 readers voted Ronnie Lester as the greatest basketball player in Iowa history, and if he wasn’t injured in the 1980 Final Four, he might have led the Hawkeyes to the national title.

There’s no argument from me regarding Arnold’s list. Maybe I’d add Hayden Fry over Don Nelson, but that’s not a criticism. As for the players in my memory bank of 30-plus years watching or covering Iowa athletics, I’ll name six others who stand out as enjoyable (and I’m leaving out 300 more athletes who qualify for this):

QB Chuck Long: After Kinnick, Long probably is the most revered football player in Iowa history. Long led Iowa to an outright Big Ten title in 1985, a No. 1 ranking for five weeks and was only 45 points from winning the Heisman Trophy. His bootleg against Michigan State and drive against Michigan are legendary moments in team, school and state history. He was the first quarterback to reach 10,000 passing yards in NCAA football and remains among the top 10 in several Big Ten passing categories.

S Bob Sanders: No, Sanders didn’t receive the All-America acclaim as some other players, but nobody set the tone in the Kirk Ferentz years like Sanders. He changed games with his legendary hits. In his final game at Kinnick against rival Minnesota, Sanders had 16 tackles and 3 forced fumbles. “When we first put Bob in the starting lineup as a freshman, it was like being in a street fight and having your big brother show up,” coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters before the 2004 NFL Draft.

OL Brandon Scherff: No offensive lineman displayed more raw power than Scherff. When he destroyed a blitzer against Pitt in 2014, the only way I could describe it was like a wrecking ball hitting a stack of pumpkins. I’m convinced Scherff’s game against Ohio State in 2013 was the greatest played by an offensive lineman in Iowa history. In his senior season, Scherff tore his meniscus in a game, had knee surgery, and played the following week.

RB Akrum Wadley: When you look closely at Wadley’s career, few Iowa players could match his penchant for big plays in big moments. This season his 46-yard catch-and-run against Iowa State forced OT. His two long touchdowns against Penn State nearly provided an upset. As a junior, Wadley had late game-winning TD runs at Minnesota (56 yards) and Rutgers (26). As a sophomore, Wadley tied the school record with 4 rushing touchdowns at Northwestern, a game in which he rushed for 204 yards.

G Devyn Marble: When Iowa was transitioning from basketball bottom feeder to Big Ten contender, Marble was the reason for that rise. He came to Iowa as a skinny 17-year-old and left as the Big Ten’s best guard. As a sophomore in an NIT game at Oregon, Marble hit his first seven 3-point attempts. He could play any position. Combined with his father, the late Roy Marble, the Marbles became the Big Ten’s first father-son combination to each score 1,000 points. They totaled 3,810 points at Iowa.

F Aaron White: From getting locked in Iowa’s basketball locker room all night his first summer on campus to reaching No. 2 on the Hawkeyes scoring list, nobody worked harder or displayed more passion than Aaron White. He was overlooked in the recruiting process and Iowa gave him a chance. White scored 19 points in his debut, the most for an Iowa freshman since 1944. After a 6-6 start to Big Ten play his senior season, White willed the Hawkeyes to six straight victories to finish 12-6.

Read more answers about the Iowa Hawkeyes here.