Sports briefs: Cobb back in full-contact drills


San Antonio wins division; Wade clinches scoring title

Michael Finley hit a three-pointer as time expired to force overtime, and Tim Duncan put on a dominating show from there, leading the host Spurs to a division-clinching 105-98 win over the Hornets Wednesday night. Coupled with a Houston loss to Dallas, the Spurs clinched the No. 3 seed in the West. The Hornets fell to the seventh seed.

Dwayne Wade got a second night off, and his first scoring title. Wade, who didn't play in Miami's 102-96 win over Detroit Wednesday, averaged 30.2 points — 1.8 points better than Cleveland's LeBron James, who was last year's top scorer.

■ The Thunder hired interim coach Scott Brooks as the team's head coach Wednesday. Oklahoma City was 1-13 when Brooks took over for P.J. Carlesimo on Nov. 22, and was 21-47 afterward.

College Football

Cobb back in full-contact drills

Kentucky wide receiver/quarterback Randall Cobb took his first full contact of spring practice on Wednesday and came out in good shape, Coach Rich Brooks said following the morning workout. Cobb has been recovering from an injured knee that required arthroscopic surgery in December. He had been participating in non-contact work prior to Wednesday's practice. "Not at all," Brooks said when asked if Cobb favored the joint any during practice. "He got tackled several times. He looked like he came out of it fine."

Duke's Paulus looking at Michigan

Duke point guard Greg Paulus visited Michigan Tuesday to explore the possibility of transferring there to play football, Duke spokesman Art Chase said Wednesday. Paulus thought about resuming his football career at Duke, but Coach David Cutcliffe's team is set at quarterback with Thaddeus Lewis preparing for his fourth year as the starter. Paulus hasn't taken a snap in a game since 2004, when he was a highly touted high school quarterback in New York. Paulus, who played four years of basketball at Duke but never played football there, would have one season of football eligibility.

Men's College basketball

Ex-coach Bartow has cancer

Former UCLA and UAB basketball coach Gene Bartow has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. The 78-year-old Bartow, currently the president of the company that owns the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies, will begin outpatient treatment at the Kirklin Clinic in Birmingham next week, UAB said Wednesday. Bartow is to be inducted in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in November.

Toppers add two to recruiting class

Western Kentucky Coach Ken McDonald announced the signing of Terrence Boyd and David Laury on Wednesday. Boyd and Laury join a recruiting class that already includes Caden Dickerson, William Green, and Jordan Swing. Boyd is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Norman, Okla. and both list Boyd as a four-star recruit. He was forced to sit out his senior season in high school due to transfer rules. Laury is a 6-8 forward from Newark, N.J. He averaged 22.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game as a senior.

■ Georgetown says Big East Rookie of the Year Greg Monroe is sticking around for his sophomore season. Monroe is a 6-10 center who was second on the Hoyas with 12.7 points and led the team in rebounding with 6.5 boards.

Women's college basketball

Auriemma set for double duty

Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma couldn't pass up coaching an Olympic team and couldn't imagine not coaching the Huskies. So he'll do both. Auriemma was introduced Wednesday as the coach of the U.S. women's basketball team for the next three years, through the 2012 Olympics in London. The 55-year-old Auriemma just guided Connecticut to its sixth national championship and third perfect season. Auriemma is the first active college coach to head a women's Olympic team since Tara VanDerveer led the 1996 Olympic team to a gold medal in Atlanta. The Hall of Fame Stanford coach took a year off to lead that U.S. team, which won the gold medal at the Atlanta Games. Auriemma, who was an assistant coach on the 2000 Olympic team, said he doesn't see any problem doing both jobs.

■ North Carolina State has chosen Western Carolina's Kellie Harper to replace Hall of Famer Kay Yow as the Wolfpack's women's basketball coach, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Harper, who played at Tennessee, has spent the past five seasons at Western Carolina, compiling a 97-65 record while leading the Catamounts to two NCAA Tournament bids. Yow died in January after a long fight with cancer.


Jags' Jones-Drew gets new deal

Maurice Jones-Drew signed a five-year, $31 million contract Wednesday with the Jaguars that includes $17.5 million guaranteed. Jones-Drew was one of the most productive running backs in the league the last three years, totaling 6,003 all-purpose yards and scoring 40 touchdowns despite splitting time with the now-departed Fred Taylor.

Craig MacTavish was fired as coach of the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday after they failed to make the playoffs for the third straight year.

The last word

Isiah Thomas was introduced as Florida International's head basketball coach Wednesday. The NBA great and former New York Knicks coach will not accept a salary in his first season, instead donating that money back to FIU. The embattled Thomas he was prepared for a return to basketball:

"I've had my ups and downs. But don't expect me to just stay down, because that's not happening."