Nov 18, 2020 10:43 AM

Sports Headlines for Wednesday

Posted Nov 18, 2020 10:43 AM

Here is the latest Mid-America sports news from The Associated Press

UNDATED (AP) — Iowa forward Luka Garza could have heard his name called in Wednesday night's NBA draft. Instead, he opted for the uncertainty of playing a final college basketball season amid a pandemic. Garza heads the list of notable seniors gearing up for the 2020-21 campaign. He was the Big Ten player of the year last season and finished runner-up to Dayton's Obi Toppin in Associated Press player of the year voting. The 6-foot-11 forward averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has resigned following an investigation into allegations of verbal and physical abuse. Marshall, who has long been known for his combustible sideline persona, came under scrutiny when former player Shaq Morris claimed he'd been struck twice by his coach during an October 2015 practice. Morris also claimed that he'd seen Marshall choke assistant coach Kyle Lindsted, who soon departed to become an assistant at Minnesota.

UNDATED (AP) — Iowa State's Charlie Kolar, Chase Allen and Dylan Soehner entered the season as perhaps the most celebrated group of tight ends in the country, and they still are. Those three along with reserve Easton Dean have combined for 45 catches. Only Boston College's tight ends, with 52, have more. Kolar is the 17th-ranked Cyclones' second-leading receiver with 23 receptions for 264 yards and three touchdowns. Allen has 13 catches for 173 yards and two scores. Soehner is the highest-rated tight end in run blocking, according to Pro Football Focus. Coach Matt Campbell says each tight end is playing his best football this season.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — New Nebraska starting quarterback Luke McCaffrey is known for more than his leadership and talent. Teammates say McCaffrey has boundless energy. They say the redshirt freshman from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, has a zest for life that is infectious. The move from Adrian Martinez to McCaffrey wasn't a huge surprise. The little brother of NFL star Christian McCaffrey had flashed playmaking ability in multiple roles last year and coach Scott Frost knew his offense was better with Luke McCaffrey on the field. He led the Cornhuskers to a 30-23 win over Penn State last Saturday. They host Illinois this week. 

NEW YORK (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers, the NFL's last unbeaten team, have maintained the top spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll. The Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints remained at No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. The Green Bay Packers inched up two spots to No. 4 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers climbed four places to round out the top five.

UNDATED (AP) — Undaunted by losing all five starters from a team that won the Big Ten women's basketball championship, Maryland coach Brenda Frese restocked the roster with enough talent to potentially keep the Terrapins atop a conference they've ruled since arriving in 2014. Maryland is among five Big Ten teams in the preseason Top 25 poll. Maryland checks in at No. 12, Indiana is 16, Northwestern is at 17, Ohio State garnered the No. 20 spot and Michigan is at No. 25. So, despite its 92-12 regular-season record in Big Ten play over the past six years, Maryland is no shoo-in to again win another title.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The 2021 Pinnacle Bank Championship will be the final event on the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour, with 25 pros receiving PGA Tour cards after the tournament at The Club at Indian Creek. The tour announced the event would be played Aug. 9-15 and all four rounds will be televised by the Golf Channel. Organizers also announced a five-year extension with title sponsor Pinnacle Bank through 2025. Tournament director Jessica Brabec said organizers are honored to continue hosting the game's rising stars and that it's exciting to know Omaha will now be synonymous with players reaching their dreams of making the PGA Tour.

Update on the latest sports

NBA-NBA SCHEDULE

NBA announces partial schedule for next season

NEW YORK (AP) — The 2020-21 NBA schedule will feature a play-in tournament and an NBA Finals that could run all the way until July 22 — keeping some players from competing in the Olympics.

The league's 75th season, delayed and shortened because of the coronavirus pandemic, will begin Dec. 22 and look like none other. The NBA announced Tuesday how it will make up the 72-game schedule, which won't be entirely known until well after it's started. The first half of the schedule will be announced around the start of training camp in early December. The second half will be announced near the end of the first half.

In other NBA news:

_The Canadian government is reviewing a proposal from the NBA and the Raptors to play in Toronto amid the pandemic. A spokesman for Health Minister Patty Hajdu says they have been in contact with the Raptors and will continue to engage with them "in the coming weeks." Raptors general manager Bobby Webster told Sportsnet television the team needs to know "in the coming days. This is not a next week type thing."

— A person with knowledge of the situation says point guard Jrue Holiday is being traded from New Orleans to Milwaukee. The person told The Associated Press that the Pelicans are getting Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and a package of future first-round draft picks from the Bucks.

— Center Andre Drummond has told the Cavaliers he will exercise his $28.7 million contract option and stay with them this season. Drummond was acquired by Cleveland in a surprising trade from Detroit in February. A two-time All-Star with Detroit, the 27-year-old Drummond has consistently said he enjoys playing with the young Cavs.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NFL

Giants, Falcons put players on the COVID list

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Las Vegas Raiders put players on the COVID-19 list on the same day Washington had its first instance of someone in the organization testing positive for the coronavirus since the season began.

The NFL said there were 17 new confirmed positives among players and 35 among other personnel during testing last week. Giants kicker Graham Gano, Falcons wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, Washington injured defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis, and Las Vegas defenders Clelin Ferrell and Lamarcus Joyner all went on the list.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-DUKE-WAKE FOREST

Wake Forest-Duke football game won't be played

UNDATED (AP) — The Atlantic Coast Conference says this weekend's game between Duke and Wake Forest won't be played due to coronavirus issues and injuries within the Demon Deacons' football program.

The league made the announcement Tuesday night ahead of Saturday's matchup at Duke. The ACC's statement made no mention of rescheduling. In a separate release, Wake Forest said it would work with Duke and the ACC on the possibility of rescheduling the game. Wake Forest said the decision was due to positive cases, quarantines of close contacts and injuries. The team won't practice or hold team activities Wednesday or Thursday.

NHL-PANTHERS-PETERSON

Panthers hire Peterson, NHL's first Black assistant GM

UNDATED (AP) — The Florida Panthers have hired Brett Peterson as an assistant general manager. The team says Peters is believed to be the first Black assistant GM in the NHL.

Peterson's hiring comes days after the nearby Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng as the first female GM in Major League Baseball.

The NHL has been working to increase minority participation in front offices and on coaching staffs.

Peterson has a background as a player agent just like GM Bill Zito and fellow assistant Paul Krepelka. The 39-year-old was previously vice president of hockey for Wasserman Media Group and has been an NHLPA certified agent since 2009.

MLB-CUBS-EPSTEIN

Epstein steps down as Cubs' president of baseball operations

CHICAGO (AP) — Theo Epstein is stepping down after nine seasons as the Chicago Cubs' president of baseball operations. The team announced Epstein is leaving the organization, and general manager Jed Hoyer is being promoted to take his place.

Epstein transformed the long-suffering Cubs and helped bring home a drought-busting championship in 2016. He said after the season he anticipated remaining on the job for at least one more year, with his contract set to expire in 2021.

Epstein said in a statement Tuesday he will "cherish" his time with the Cubs and said it was simply time to make a change.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL-WICHITA STATE-MARSHALL

Wichita State coach Marshall resigns after misconduct probe

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has resigned following an investigation into allegations of verbal and physical abuse.

Marshall, who has long been known for his combustible sideline persona, came under scrutiny when former player Shaq Morris claimed he'd been struck twice by his coach during an October 2015 practice. Morris also claimed that he'd seen Marshall choke assistant coach Kyle Lindsted, who had soon left to become an assistant at Minnesota.

NFL-PACKERS-LAZARD

Packers activate Allen Lazard

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have activated wide receiver Allen Lazard from injured reserve after he missed six games. Lazard had the best game of his pro career Sept. 27 when he caught six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown in a 37-30 victory at New Orleans. But he suffered a core injury in that game and hasn't played since. The 2018 undrafted free agent from Iowa State has 13 catches for 254 yards and two touchdowns in just three games this season. The Packers play at Indianapolis on Sunday.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-GOLF-HAAS

Haas tests positive, withdraws from tournament

UNDATED (AP) — Bill Haas has tested positive for the coronavirus and has withdrawn from the RSM Classic this week at Sea Island. Haas had received a sponsor exemption.

Haas is the 16th player to test positive since the PGA Tour returned from the COVID-19 pandemic in June. The RSM Classic is the 24th consecutive week of tour events, including the three majors.

TENNIS-ATP FINALS

LONDON (AP) — Dominic Thiem mastered the tiebreakers again to get the better of Rafael Nadal at the ATP Finals. Thiem beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion in straight sets and secured his spot in the semifinals when Stefanos Tsitsipas outlasted tournament newcomer Andrey Rublev in the evening match. Thiem clinched the victory on his fifth match point in his first meeting with Nadal since the Australian Open quarterfinals in January. On that occasion, the Austrian player prevailed after winning three tiebreakers in a tight four-set match. Tsitsipas won in three sets, handing Rublev his second defeat.