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Published: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 8:50 PM
COLUMBUS — Makayla Waterman became the center of attention Saturday at Wisconsin, but not for any reason the Ohio State women’s basketball forward would have wanted.
The former Fairmont star was down for several minutes before being carted off the floor and taken to the emergency room after a hard fall during the Buckeyes’ 68-55 win.
“It was definitely scary because with something like your neck you never want to risk anything, so I think I was just more nervous,” she said Tuesday before the Buckeyes took the practice floor. “I was definitely in pain, but I was also nervous because the squad was coming and getting a stretcher. My parents weren’t there. It hurt, but it was just more nerve-wracking with all the people surrounding me.”
The trip to the ER turned out to be precautionary. A doctor checked her out and determined Waterman had suffered no structural damage. She did not have a concussion, either.
X marks the spot for Samari Curtis’ college choice https://t.co/vlxRmqS2k9— daytonsports (@daytonsports) February 7, 2018
Three days later, she said she was feeling a lot better, though she was still a little stiff and not quite certain when she will be ready to play again for the Buckeyes, who are tied for second place in the Big Ten standings.
Ohio State and Nebraska are both 1.5 games behind Maryland with five conference games to play.
Not surprisingly, Waterman’s high-profile injury brought well wishes from many people, something she appreciated very much.
“Just thanks for the thoughts and prayers. It means a lot to my family and to me personally. I appreciate all the support. It’s good to know people have my back.”Follow @marcushartman
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 10:18 AM
Orlando Brown is one of the six best players in the 2018 NFL Draft, according to Sporting News’ Eric Galko.
The Oklahoma left tackle is the No. 6 overall prospect on Galko’s big board, which excludes quarterbacks, He’s the third-ranked offensive lineman and the highest ranked tackle in the draft class. He’s also the highest ranked prospect from the Big 12.
Listed at 6-foot-8 and 345 pounds, Brown has the prototypical size teams look for in a starting left tackle. He’s also an NFL legacy. His father, Orlando Brown Sr., played in the NFL from 1993-2005 for the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.
Brown elected to skip his senior year and declare for the draft. He is commonly projected as a likely top-10 pick. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley actually said he wouldn’t have allowed Brown to come back for another season, because he thinks the All-American lineman is ready for the NFL.
“You know, in Orlando’s case, I told him, ‘Hey, if you try to stay, then I’m going to kick you out of here,’” Riley said on NFL Network during Senior Bowl week. “I did. Because he’s ready. I’ve watched him do it for three years. He’s been one of the best left tackles in the game. He’s brought a ton to our program. Been a great player, great leader. He’s going to make an NFL team very, very happy. So there’s no question he’s ready to do it.”
Brown was one of three Sooners to declare early for the draft, along with tight end Mark Andrews and defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 9:58 AM
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox, who was named in a report for allegedly having dinner with an agent, is expected to play in Kentucky’s game against Missouri on Saturday at Rupp Arena.
“At this point, I believe so,” Calipari told a horde of reporters Friday afternoon. “Unless there’s something I don’t know.”
Knox’s father, Kevin Knox Sr., told SEC Country on Friday that neither he nor his son ate or met with Andy Miller or his associate Christian Dawkins — agents at the center of the FBI’s investigation.
“Obviously the investigation is still going on, but the only comment I can say is I’ve never met Christian Dawkins before or Andy Miller, and if they sat next to me at the grocery store, I wouldn’t know who they were,” Knox Sr. said.
Knox, a 6-foot-9 forward from Tampa, Fla., leads Kentucky in scoring with 15.4 points per game. He’s had double-digit scoring efforts in each of his last five games. Knox had 23 points in Kentucky’s win against Arkansas on Tuesday.
Knox was the 11th-ranked prospect in the 2012 class, according to the 247Sports composite. North Carolina was the strong favorite to land him.
“I have no relationship with Andy Miller or any of his associates,” Calipari said in a statement Friday morning. “Neither my staff nor I utilized any agent, including Andy Miller or any of his associates, to provide any financial benefits to a current or former Kentucky student-athlete. We will cooperate fully with the appropriate authorities.”
Kentucky is conducting an internal review into the allegations against Knox, as well as former players Bam Adebayo and Nerlens Noel.
“We have not been contacted by the FBI or the NCAA, but since learning of the report, we have reached out to both the NCAA and our league office,” Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. “We will be conducting an internal review. At this time, we have no further comment.”
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 10:16 AM
On Jan. 30, Baylor basketball was in a much different position. The Bears sat at 2-7 in the Big 12 and at the bottom of the conference standings. Baylor lost four games by three or fewer points in January.
That was enough to swing the Bears from Big 12 contention to out of the NCAA tournament. But for Baylor coach Scott Drew, it was far from an unfamiliar position.
Four years ago, Baylor basketball fell to 2-8 in Big 12 play and were almost certainly out of the NCAA tournament. But after guard Brady Heslip nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send a game against Kansas State to double-overtime, everything changed.
The Bears stormed back to a 7-1 finish in Big 12 play to finish 9-9. In the Big 12 tournament, the Bears won three straight games and led Iowa State at halftime in the championship game. They leveraged the streak into a run to the Sweet 16.
“I think anytime you have positive experiences, you can use those as motivation and encouragement,” Drew said. “The big thing is that some of our past players who have lived it have been able to pass on that information to our players as well.”
Since January 30, Baylor basketball has won five of six games. The five wins came during a winning streak, which was the longest in the Big 12 at the time.
Over the streak, Baylor held opponents to just 37.2 percent from the field and 63.4 points per game. Every single opponent was held under 40 percent shooting. The only rival to score more than 70 points in a game was Texas; it took them double-overtime.
But easily the biggest difference has been closing out games. In January, Baylor lost four one-possession games. In February, the Bears are 2-0 in such games. Sometimes, just a little luck can swing those results in college basketball.
“Someone banks in a three, that could be the difference between winning and losing a game,” Drew said. “We’ve executed better in the games we’ve won down the stretch. Either made free throws or gotten offensive rebounds. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”
By far the breakout star of this streak was Baylor forward Terry Maston. Over the streak, Maston averaged 16.6 points per game and shot a blazing 63.2 percent from the field. He reached 20 points in three of the five games. In the other two, he posted just 10 combined field goal attempts.
Maston missed virtually the entire month of January after breaking his hand. Finally, he seems to be finding his rhythm.
“It takes time to get back in the groove,” Drew said. “Just because you’re able to play doesn’t mean you’ll be 100 percent effective.”
Over this streak, Baylor has moved to 17-11 on the season and 7-8 in Big 12 play. The Bears are firmly entrenched on the bubble of the NCAA tournament. ESPN’s Bracketology projects Baylor as an 11-seed and one of the last four byes.
Baylor did lose a bad game to West Virginia on Tuesday. The Bears were never competitive in an 11-point loss. However, Baylor also lost a game in the middle of the 2014 streak. That did not ultimately affect their trajectory.
There are still regular season games left against Oklahoma, Kansas State and TCU. Then, it’s onto the Big 12 tournament. Baylor probably needs to win at least two games to stay in good standing for the NCAA tournament.
The good news is that the schedule is favorable. Baylor is streaking at a time when the rest of the Big 12 seems to be faltering. The Bears took advantage of struggles by several teams to put together this winning streak.
Like 2014, the Bears could make a run in the NCAA tournament. If they can earn a first round bye, there’s even a small chance Baylor could bring home a Big 12 tournament title.
But even though there are parallels, Drew is reluctant to compare this year’s squad to one that eventually beat Creighton and earned a Sweet 16 berth.
“If you ask me in a few weeks, I’ll hopefully have a better idea,” Drew said with a laugh.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 10:13 AM
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes knows to expect a challenge at Ole Miss on Saturday.
The Rebels’ 12-16 overall mark and 5-10 league record don’t suggest much, but its 90-87 overtime win at Missouri on Tuesday night says it all.
“After watching what they did against Missouri,” Barnes said Friday, “they’ve got a pretty good mindset right now.”
The No. 19-ranked Vols (20-7, 10-5 SEC) tip off at Ole Miss at 1 p.m. on Saturday (TV: SEC Network). Tennessee is in search of back-to-back wins for what would be the first time since Feb. 6, having sputtered the past 2 1/2 weeks with a 2-2 mark.
The Vols could have injuries on the front line, with Kyle Alexander in a protective boot on Friday and Derrick Walker questionable with a sprained ankle suffered in Tuesday’s practice.
Tennessee is working to the momentum back it enjoyed when it reeled off six straight SEC wins, but that has been elusive.
Ole Miss interim head coach Tony Madlock, spoke of his team’s mindset after knocking off Cuonzo Martin’s battled-tested Tigers on Tuesday night.
“We’re not going to go quiet — we’re going to play hard,” Madlock said. “All we’ve talked about the past few days is playing hard, playing together and playing with your brothers. We’ve been working since June. They’ve put in so much work, so it’s all about them.”
The win over Missouri represented Ole Miss’ first game since Andy Kennedy stepped down as coach, and the team has clearly responded well.
Tennessee will be the Rebels’ first home game without Kennedy, and they’ll likely be playing with something to prove after the Vols beat them 94-61 on Feb. 3 in Knoxville.
It’s also Ole Miss’ first weekend home game in six weeks, and the Rebels have a three-game win streak over Tennessee in games played in Oxford