Bobcats considering trading down from No. 2 slot
New Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said the idea of trading down from the No. 2 spot in the NBA Draft to acquire extra picks "makes a lot of sense" for a young team like the Bobcats. After finishing 7-59 and with the worst winning percentage (.106) in NBA history, the Bobcats have a variety of holes to fill this off-season.
That's one of the reasons Dunlap said the Bobcats are taking a "hybrid thinking" approach to Thursday night's draft, which means evaluating the talent available at No. 2 while simultaneously looking into the feasibility of moving down and picking up an additional first-round draft pick.
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Dunlap said the decision on whether to remain at No. 2 or move down will be up to his bosses — GM Rich Cho and director of basketball operations Rod Higgins. As of now they're not talking about the draft, although both are expected to address the media at a pre-draft press conference Wednesday.
The New Orleans Hornets won the NBA lottery and have the No 1 pick. It would be a major surprise if they don't take Kentucky's Anthony Davis, considered by many a franchise-type player.
The No. 2 pick is a bit more complicated.
There's no consensus pick for that spot, with opinions varying on whether Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, Florida guard Brandon Beal, Kentucky swingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes might be the next best player available.
■ The Atlanta Hawks hired Danny Ferry as president of basketball operations and general manager. Ferry, 45, will replace Rick Sund, whose contract expires at the end of June.
Ferry comes to the Hawks after two years as vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs. As general manager for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2005-10, Ferry helped to build the team that advanced to the 2007 NBA Finals.
Ferry, a former standout at Duke, averaged 7.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 917 career games with Cleveland (1990-2000) and San Antonio (2000-03).
Sports in the courts
Lawyer: Sandusky insists he's not guilty
As Jerry Sandusky insisted through a lawyer Monday that he is not guilty of sexually abusing children, a juror who voted to convict the retired Penn State assistant football coach said she hoped the verdict would help his accusers heal.
The jury found the testimony of the eight victims who took the witness stand compelling, Ann Van Kuren said Monday. Jurors weighed the accounts and evidence diligently before finding Sandusky guilty last week of 45 counts for sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, she said.
She expressed empathy for the eight men who offered emotional and explicit testimony.
"I really feel for the victims and any other victims that are out there that haven't come forward," Van Kuren said. "That all of them need to heal. I'm hoping that this trial, with this verdict, will help them heal."
Sandusky, 68, is under observation at the Centre County jail, where he is being kept away from other inmates pending a psychological review that will help determine the next step toward his sentencing in about three months.
"He's defiant and wants the truth to be told. He wants people to know that he's not guilty," said defense lawyer Karl Rominger, who visited his client Monday.
"He is very disappointed to be in prison. He is anxious to get out of this suicide watch," Rominger said, adding that Sandusky told him: "If I have to keep sitting in this room for another three or four days without being able to talk to anybody, I might start to need help at that point."
Gumm 1st in State Am qualifying round
Lydia Gumm, who will be a senior at North Hardin in the fall, posted the best score in qualifying — a 4-under 68 — in the Women's State Amateur tournament at Elizabethtown Country Club. The top 31 players in qualifying, plus defending champion April Emerson, who will be a junior at Eastern Kentucky University, will start match play Tuesday. Karisa Akin, a Central Hardin graduate who plays for Middle Tennessee State, shot a 69 to finish second in the qualifying round.
■ Matt Dobyns shot a 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the PGA Professional National Championship in Seaside, Calif. Dobyns, 34, the PGA head professional at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, N.Y., had an 8-under 136 total. He played the Bayonet course, the site of the final two rounds, after opening at Black Horse on Sunday.
First-round leader Mike Small, the University of Illinois coach who won the event in 2005, '09 and '10, had a 73 at Bayonet to drop into a tie for second with Paul Scaletta. Scaletta, a PGA assistant at The Bear's Club in Jupiter, Fla., shot a 72 at Bayonet.
The final top 20 will earn spots in the PGA Championship in August at Kiawah Island in South Carolina.
College World Series
Arizona finishes off Gamecocks for title
Brandon Dixon's tie-breaking double started a three-run ninth inning for Arizona, and the Wildcats won their first national title since 1986 with a 4-1 victory over two-time defending champion South Carolina on Monday night.
James Farris and Mathew Troupe combined to limit the Gamecocks to three hits as the Wildcats won their fourth title overall. The others came in 1976 and 1980.
Dixon, who entered the game in the sixth inning, sent a grounder down the third-base line past LB Dantzler for his first hit of the College World Series.
South Carolina was trying to become the first team in 40 years to win three consecutive national titles. The Gamecocks loaded the bases against Troupe (6-1) in the ninth but couldn't score.
Saudis to permit women to compete
Saudi Arabia, a monarchy with severe restrictions on women in daily life, will allow female athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time at this summer's London Games if they qualify, according to a statement by the country's embassy in London.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is looking forward to its complete participation in the London 2012 Olympic Games through the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, which will oversee the participation of women athletes who can qualify for the Games," the statement, released Sunday, said.
The London Games could be historic, as every participating nation is expected to field at least one female athlete, including the three Muslim countries — Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei — that previously have sent only male competitors.
Saudi Arabia, whose legal system is based on Islamic law, is considered the most significant of the three because of its size and international influence. The country has been criticized in the West for its general treatment of women, who face restrictions in things like gaining employment, getting an education and traveling abroad.
It is unlikely that many female athletes from Saudi Arabia will qualify for the London Games. Dalma Rushdi Malhas, an equestrian, is regarded as the country's most accomplished female athlete; she won a bronze medal at the Youth Olympics in 2010.
The last word
Kim Clijsters, who beat Jelena Jankovic in straight sets on Monday at Wimbledon, talked about her 4-year-old daughter's concern over the tournament's dress code for players:
"She was like, 'Mama, do I have to wear white, too?'"