BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Vin Cherwoo, followed by Fred Lief at 9 a.m. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800-845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. For up-to-the-minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org . For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport(at)ap.org or 877-836-9477. All times EST.
College basketball analyst Jay Bilas believes players will eventually be paid. The former Duke star tells co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg on AP’s PodcastOne Sports Now he’s not sure top players will forgo a year on college’s big stage to play in the NBA’s developmental league. Also, AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner weighs in on which teams may have given up on the season.
No. 11 Central Florida has won 22 straight games and is making a run at another major bowl bid. ESPN’s “College GameDay” is coming to the school’s Orlando, Florida, campus this week So why are Knights fans so mad online? On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel joins AP’s Ralph Russo to talk about UCF’s rise to prominence and how this year’s team stacks up to last year’s unbeaten squad.
FBN--INSIDE THE NUMBERS
PHILADELPHIA — Zach Ertz caught the go-ahead touchdown pass in Philadelphia’s victory over New England in the Super Bowl and hasn’t stopped making receptions. Ertz, Carson Wentz’s favorite target has 75 catches for 789 ards and five touchdowns and is on pace to have a record-setting season for tight ends. By Rob Maaddi. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.
LOS ANGELES — LeBron James had a season-high 44 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, passing Wilt Chamberlain for fifth place on the NBA’s career scoring list and leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a 126-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. James scored 28 points in the second half and vaulted past Chamberlain on a three-point play with 3:55 to go, finishing the night with 31,425 points. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 957 words, photos.
BBO--CY YOUNG AWARDS
NEW YORK — After a season marred by narrow defeats, Jacob deGrom became a runaway winner. The New York Mets ace easily won the National League Cy Young Award, a reward for a historically fruitless season in Flushing. The right-hander had just 10 victories, the fewest ever by a Cy Young-winning starter. The AL prize also reflected a change in voters’ values, with Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays narrowly beating out past winners Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber for his first Cy Young. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
BKN--ON BASKETBALL-BUTLER’S DEBUT
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jimmy Butler is certain that when the Philadelphia 76ers figure things out, they will be a contender. The question is how long will Philly’s latest ‘Process’ take. Butler made his debut for the 76ers in a 111-106 loss to the Orlando Magic, a game where Philly led by 16 in the fourth quarter. It wasn’t the start to the Butler era the 76ers were looking for, but they are now an East favorite — a legit title hopeful. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
BKN--BUCKS-BIG SHOT BROOK
MILWAUKEE — Bucks center Brook Lopez has transformed his game in just three seasons to become a dangerous shooter from the 3-point line. Lopez had a career-best eight 3s earlier this week against Denver, and he is among the NBA leaders in made 3s and 3-point attempts. By Genaro C. Armas. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos.
DURHAM, N.C. — Just three games into their college basketball careers, Duke’s freshmen and the top-ranked Blue Devils have emerged as the story in the sport. Drake has been spotted wearing Zion Williamson’s high school jersey. They put on a show in a rout of then-No. 2 Kentucky and bolted to No. 1 in the country. Their games — and even their pregame lay-up lines — have become must-see events. Duke’s season is just starting, but the Blue Devils’ freshmen have already arrived. By Joedy McCreary. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.
WACO, Texas — Jalen Hurd has made the transition at Baylor to being one of the Big 12′s top receivers after initially being a top running back in the SEC. Hurd made a thoughtful decision to become a receiver at Baylor after almost three seasons running the ball at Tennessee. Hurd is about 20 pounds lighter than his running back days and is fourth in the Big 12 with 62 catches after having to sit out last season. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.
— FBC--BIG 12 THIS WEEK — SENT: 500 words, photos.
— FBC--BIG TEN THIS WEEK — By Eric Olson. SENT: 550 words, photos.
— TEN--ATP FINALS — By Sam Johnston. SENT: 508 words, photos.
— GLF--AUSTRALIAN OPEN — SENT: 411 words, photos.
Thursday Time Schedule
Green Bay at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.
No. 3 Gonzaga vs. Texas A&M, 11:30 p.m.
No. 13 Oregon vs. Iowa at Madison Square Garden, 9 p.m.
No. 15 Syracuse vs. UConn at Madison Square Garden, 7 p.m.
No. 16 Virginia Tech vs. Ball State at Charleston, S.C., 11:30 a.m.
No. 21 TCU vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m.
No. 23 Purdue vs. Appalachian State at Charleston, S.C., 5 p.m.
No. 4 Baylor vs. Southern U., 7 p.m.
No. 6 Mississippi State vs. Lamar, 8 p.m.
No. 7 Stanford vs. San Francisco, 10 p.m.
No. 10 South Carolina vs. Clemson, 6:30 p.m.
No. 11 Texas vs. McNeese State, 8 p.m.
No. 17 N.C. State vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m.
No. 19 Marquette at No. 24 Miami, 7 p.m.
No. 21 South Florida vs. Bethune-Cookman, 7 p.m.
Golden State at Houston, 8 p.m.
Atlanta at Denver, 9 p.m.
San Antonio at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
Florida at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at N.Y. Islanders, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Vancouver at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Nashville at Arizona, 9 p.m.
Montreal at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Toronto at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.