BC-FL--Florida Sports Digest, FL
The supervisor is David Fischer. All times are in Eastern Time unless otherwise noted. If there are questions about stories, photos or photo contributions please call the Miami bureau at 1-800-824-5498 or 305-594-5825. Ian Mader is the News Editor and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have other statewide stories or breaking news of interest to AP members in Florida, send them via email to email@example.com or fax to 305-594-9265. The AP’s general website is www.ap.org. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616) or from the Miami bureau.
MIAMI _ Dion Waiters is about to take a big step toward returning to the Miami Heat. The Heat said Friday that they are sending Waiters to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, their G League affiliate. The plan is for Waiters to practice with the Skyforce and potentially return to Miami in time for Sunday’s game against Minnesota.
ORLANDO _ The Toronto Raptors bring the NBA’s best record to Orlando to face the struggling Magic, who’ve dropped four straight games. By Dick Scanlon. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. ET.
MIAMI _ The Miami Heat try to get back to .500 on Friday night, when they play host to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Game begins 8:10 p.m. By Christopher Stock. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.
MID-MAJOR SCHEDULING SHAKEUP
Frustrated mid-major conference officials are taking drastic action they hope will nudge the selection pendulum in their direction when it comes to NCAA Tournament at-large invitations and seeding. Leading the way is Conference USA, which has dumped a conventional league schedule in favor of a more radical one based on results. By David Brandt.
JACKSONVILLE _ The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t expect running back Leonard Fournette to play in the season finale at Houston. Coach Doug Marrone listed Fournette (ankle/foot) as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Texans (10-5). The second-year pro has missed practice all week.
ON FOOTBALL-OFFBEAT AWARDS
The Associated Press will hand out its individual NFL awards on the night before the Super Bowl in Atlanta. Until then, here are some off-the-beaten track honors to consider: BEST GAME: Eagles 32, Texans 30. Aside from the meaning for both teams — the defending champs desperately trying to find a way into the postseason, the visitors seeking an AFC South title and to hold onto a wild-card bye — it was a tremendously dramatic, well-played Week 16 contest with twists and turns galore. By Barry Wilner.
SUNRISE _ The Montreal Canadiens begin a two-game, two-night Florida swing Friday when they play the Panthers. By Bill Whitehead. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.
FBC--CAMPING WORLD BOWL
ORLANDO _ Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey looks to close out his career with a postseason win Friday, when the Orange take on West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl. Game begins 5:15 p.m. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos
PEACH BOWL PREVIEW
ATLANTA _ Dan Mullen knows he was hired to do more than just lead Florida to any bowl game. Mullen’s mandate is to bring championships to the Gators. His first-year results show he’s on the right path. By Charles Odum.
CFP-ORANGE BOWL PREVIEW
MIAMI GARDENS _ Nick Saban knows Alabama cannot win every game. The Crimson Tide merely come close. By Tim Reynolds.
The AP, Miami