BC-AP Sports Digest
The supervisor is Bob Lentz, 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 email@example.com or 877-836-9477. All times EDT.
ESPN’s Desmond Howard insists he did not know his comments about No. 4 Clemson would offend an assistant coach and upset its fans. The Heisman Trophy winner and “College GameDay” analyst speaks on the AP’s “PodcastOne Sports Now” with guest host Larry Lage. https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-weekly-podcast
The USFL helped change pro football in its three, often weird and wild, years. The league is the subject of a new book by Jeff Pearlman, who speaks with the AP’s Ralph Russo on the Top 25 College Football Podcast. https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
There was a game earlier this month where an Australian drove past a Slovenian and passed the ball to a man from Cameroon, and all that happened in China. This is what the NBA always envisioned when taking the game to different corners of the globe, and there’s no end in sight to the international growth for basketball. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 4 a.m. Friday.
MILWAUKEE —The next challenge for the Milwaukee Brewers’ lights-out bullpen in the National League Championship Series is to shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 1 is Friday night at Miller Park, with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw opposing Milwaukee’s Gio Gonzalez. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 870 words, photos.
— BBN--NLCS-YELICH-SERBIAN SUPPORT — When Brewers slugger Christian Yelich takes the field against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he’ll have one group of Milwaukee fans rooting especially loud for his success: Serbian-Americans. By Ivan Moreno. SENT: 620 words, photos.
— BBN--NLCS-STARTING PITCHERS — SENT: 170 words.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. —The Philadelphia Eagles are finally starting to play like a defending Super Bowl champion. It took six games, but they sent a clear message to the rest of the NFL that they are going to make another run, if their 34-13 win over the New York Giants on Thursday night was a sign of things to come. By Tom Canavan. UPCOMING: 740 words, photos by 4 a.m.
— FBN--REELING-GIANTS — By Simmi Buttar. SENT: 680 words, photos.
Ryan Lochte is undergoing counseling for alcohol use, but the 12-time Olympic medalist is not in a treatment facility and is training in his bid to make the 2020 Tokyo Games, the swimmer’s lawyer said Thursday. By Beth Harris. SENT: 810 words, photos.
FIFA’s new global strategy to grow the women’s game is met with praise and skepticism. The governing body wants women’s participation doubled over 12 years to 60 million worldwide by 2026. The Women’s World Cup in France next summer will be used to drive growth. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 850 words, photos.
Justin Verlander, Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw are among the All-Star aces who have pitched in relief during recent Octobers. More and more teams are getting creative with their pitching staffs, and the trend could continue this week in the league championship series. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
HOUSTON —Ask Houston manager AJ Hinch to name the best thing about George Springer and he rattles off a laundry list of qualities he admires in the outfielder. When he finishes that list, he adds a final thought. “I’m not sure there’s a perfect player,” Hinch said. “But he’s pretty close.” By Kristie Rieken.SENT: 660 words, photos.
BOSTON — The Red Sox hope home-field advantage makes a difference after consecutive Division Series eliminations. Boston began the postseason 0-2 on the road at Cleveland in 2016 and again at Houston last year. By winning a club-record 108 games this season, the Red Sox ensured home-field advantage through the postseason. By Kyle Hightower. SENT: 643 words, photos.
— BBA--ALCS PREVIEW MATCHUP CAPSULE — By Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick. SENT: 2,200 words, photos.
— BBA--RANGERS-MANAGER SEARCH — The Texas Rangers have done their first interviews in the search to replace fired manager Jeff Banister. By Stephen Hawkins. SENT: 140 words.
—BBN--CUBS-DAVIS — A person with knowledge of the situation says the Chicago Cubs have fired hitting coach Chili Davis after one season. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 150 words.
— MEXICO-HOUSTON ASTROS — Mexican president-elect turns down invitation to Astros game. SENT: 130 words.
— BBN--CARDINALS-WAINWRIGHT — Cardinals agree to one-year deal with pitcher Adam Wainwright. SENT: 130 words. SENT: 390 words, photos.
— BBN--GIANTS-MEULENS MANAGER OPENINGS — Giants bench coach Hensley Meulens has interviewed with the Reds for their open managerial position and also is set to meet with Minnesota. By Baseball Writer Janie McCauley. SENT: 300 words, photo.
BKN--WESTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEW
Golden State has won three of the last four titles and this season could have five All-Stars on the floor once DeMarcus Cousins is cleared to play. So here’s a shocking development: The Warriors are the team to beat in the West. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
BKN--EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEW
Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics are the popular favorites to win the Eastern Conference, but several challengers could be waiting, notably a Raptors team bolstered by Kawhi Leonard. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— BKN--NBA PRESEASON RDP — Roundup of NBA exhibition games. SENT: 500 words.
— BKN--NBA-MONTREAL — Quebec group eyes NBA expansion team. SENT: 130 words.
FBN--NFL THIS WEEK
There can be no better measuring stick for the Chiefs and young quarterback Patrick Mahomes than what they face Sunday night. Beat the Patriots in Foxborough and all that excitement in Kansas City might be validated. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. For weekend use.
— FBN--BUCCANEERS-WINSTON — By Fred Goodall. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— FBN--BROWNS BURGLARS — By Tom Withers. SENT: 800 words, photos.
— FBN--CHIEFS IN MOTION — By Dave Skretta. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— FBN--PANTHERS-OLSEN — By Steve Reed. SENT: 600 words, photos.
— FBN--TEXANS-DEANDRE’S CATCH — By Kristie Rieken. SENT: 690 words, photos.
FBC--FIVE THINGS TO KNOW FOR WEEK 7
The title chases in each of the conferences are starting to come into focus now that the college football season has reached its midway point. This week should clear things up even more. Notable matchups include No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU, No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan and No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 4 a.m.
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has spent half the season fighting to shake off the recent years of failure with an underdog’s attitude to beat all doubters. The result has been a five-game win streak and a rise to No. 9, the Longhorns’ highest ranking this late in the season since 2010. . The challenge now is keeping their edge as the Longhorns head into Saturday’s matchup against Baylor. By Jim Vertuno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 a.m.
FBC--T25-PITT-NOTRE DAME PREVIEW
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame’s 6-foot junior quarterback Ian Book has a luxury few others have: six receivers and tight ends who are 6-foot-4 or taller. One of the smallest is senior Miles Boykin, who has become Book’s favorite go-to player. Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi knows his team will have its hands full taking on the No. 5 Irish in South Bend this weekend. By John Fineran. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 4 a.m.
ANN ARBOR, MICH. — No. 12 Michigan is undefeated since opening with a seven-point loss at Notre Dame, building momentum and confidence while waiting for its next opportunity to earn an impressive win. The Wolverines won’t have to wait much longer. No. 15 Wisconsin is coming to play under the lights Saturday night at the Big House. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 630 words, photos by 4 a.m.
— FBC--BIG TEN-PLAYING TRICKS — By College Football Writer Eric Olson. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— FBC--BIG 12-PLAYOFF OUTSIDERS — By Dave Skretta. SENT: 650 words, photos.
— FBC--PAC-12 OFFICIATING — By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 450 words, photos.
— Conference previews: ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12.
NEW YORK — A government witness at a college basketball corruption trial testifies that he made a secret $40,000 payment to the inner circle of a North Carolina State recruit through an assistant coach at the school. By Tom Hays. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— FBC--WISCONSIN RECEIVER — Wisconsin receiver pleads not guilty to sexual assault. By Todd Richmond. SENT: 300 words, photos.
BKW--NOTRE DAME-DEFENDING CHAMPIONS
SOUTH BEND, Ind. —Muffet McGraw has spent most of her college coaching career being the hunter. Notre Dame and its coach will be the hunted this season. SENT: 600 words, photos.
BKC--BIG TEN-MEDIA DAY
ROSEMONT, Ill. —Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Thursday significant “storm clouds” are hanging over college athletics because of a basketball recruiting scandal displaying what many see as the sleazy side of the sport. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 890 words, photos.
— BKC--BIG TEN-IZZO — By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 520 words, photos.
— BKC--PAC-12-RECRUITING SCANDAL— By Janie McCauley. SENT: 760 words, photos.
— BKC--KENTUCKY-WASHINGTON — By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 760 words, photos.
TAMPA, Fla. — This loss did not sting for Michael Bradley, far different from the previous one. Carlos Bacca, Radamel Falcao and Miguel Borja scored second-half goals to lead Colombia over the United States 4-2 on Thursday night in an exhibition that marked the return of Bradley to the national team following a one-year absence. By Mark Didtler. SENT: 850 words, photos.
— SOC--BELGIUM-RAIDS — By Raf Casert. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— SOC--RONALDO-RAPE LAWSUIT — By Ken Ritter. SENT: 530 words, photos.
— SOC--EUROPEAN ROUNDUP — By Tales Azzoni. SENT: 610 words, photos.
OMAHA, Neb. — Challenger Jose Benavidez Jr. has been displaying lots of bravado in advance of his fight with Terence “Bud” Crawford. The WBO welterweight champion expects Benavidez to respect him by the time things are settled in the ring Saturday night. By Eric Olson. SENT: 400 words, photos.
— GLF--BRITISH MASTERS — Tommy Fleetwood part of three-way tie for lead after first round of European Tour event in England. SENT: 250 words, photos.
— GLF--CIMB CLASSIC — The second round of the PGA Tour event in Malaysia. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 6 a.m.
— GLF--KEB HANA BANK — The second round of the LPGA tournament in South Korea. UPCOMING: 300 words, photos by 6 a.m.
— TEN--SHANGHAI MASTERS — Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic reach Shanghai Masters quarterfinals. SENT: 350 words, photos.
— Other tournaments in Tainjin, China; Hong Kong.
— HKN--NHL CAPSULES
Friday’s Time Schedule (EDT)
Los Angeles at Milwaukee, 8:09 p.m.
No. 23 South Florida at Tulsa, 7 p.m.
Charlotte at Dallas, 7 p.m.
Detroit vs. Cleveland at East Lansing, Mich., 7 p.m.
Guangzhou Long-Lions at Washington, 7 p.m.
San Antonio at Orlando, 7 p.m.
Brooklyn at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 8 p.m.
Denver at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Houston at Memphis, 8 p.m.
Minnesota at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m.
Sacramento at Portland, 10 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. Golden State at San Jose, Calif., 10:30 p.m.
Houston at Los Angeles FC, 10 p.m.