It has not been a good weekend for three former University of Kentucky basketball players.
Isaiah Briscoe, Archie Goodwin and DeAndre Liggins were all waived by their teams just days before the NBA’s regular-season opener on Tuesday.
Briscoe and Goodwin were let go by the Portland Trail Blazers a month after signing training camp contracts. Briscoe, a rookie guard, had preseason averages of 6.2 points, 2.3 assists and 1.7 rebounds in six games, including one start. Goodwin, who played for the 2012-13 Kentucky team that lost to Robert Morris in the NIT, averaged 6.2 points and 1.6 rebounds in five preseason games.
Liggins, who played three seasons with the Cats from 2008-11, signed with the Miami Heat on Oct. 10 and played in just one game, scoring five points in 26 minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Booker gets 31 against Australian team: Former UK standout Devin Booker scored 31 points in 30 minutes to help the host Phoenix Suns rout the Brisbane Bullets 114-93 on Friday night in the NBA team’s exhibition finale. Booker, who played for the 2014-15 UK team that won its first 38 games before losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four, was 5-for-10 from three-point range and 10-for-20 overall against the Australian team.
Portland’s McCollum suspended for one game: The NBA handed Portland guard CJ McCollum a one-game suspension for leaving the bench area during an altercation Wednesday night. McCollum took several steps onto the floor when Portland’s Caleb Swanigan and Phoenix’s Alex Len tussled in the fourth quarter of the teams’ preseason game. McCollum did not engage anyone, but leaving the bench area merited the penalty under NBA rules. He will have to miss the first game he is physically able to play, meaning he will likely sit Portland’s opener on Wednesday — coincidentally, back in Phoenix.
Dale Jr. takes pole for final Talladega race: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole on Saturday for his final scheduled Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. Earnhardt, who is retiring from full-time competition at the end of the season, turned a lap at 190.544 mph to knock teammate Chase Elliott from the top starting spot. The Alabama crowd has always embraced NASCAR’s most popular driver, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has declared race day “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day” across the state.
The field on Sunday will be led to green by Donnie Allison, a two-time Talladega winner and original member of the Alabama Gang, while driving the late Dale Earnhardt’s No. 2 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Talladega officials presented Earnhardt Jr. with the car, which his father raced during his 1979 rookie season as well as some races during his 1980 championship season, as a retirement gift.
Now, with the pole — the first of his career at Talladega — it has turned into quite the special weekend for Earnhardt.
“This place has meant a lot to me,” he said. “It’s awesome to hear those fans happy for us and hopefully we’re going to give them a lot more to cheer about before this weekend is over.”
Ex-Defender shines in EKU scrimmage: Sophomore forward DeAndre Dishman, a former Bryan Station standout, scored a game-high 18 points — going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line — and had seven rebounds to key the White team’s 63-49 victory over the Maroon team in the Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball intra-squad game on Saturday. Dedric Boyd added 17 points, and former Lafayette standout Jackson Davis, a junior forward, had nine points and eight rebounds. The game was divided into two 16-minute halves. EKU opens the regular season on Nov. 10 at Rice.
One goal beats men’s soccer team: Host Marshall got a goal from Lewis Knight in the 72nd minute to beat the University of Kentucky men’s soccer team 1-0 in a league match on Saturday. Knight’s ninth goal of the season handed UK (7-4-2, 4-2 Conference USA) its second straight defeat. Marshall improved to 6-5-1, 2-3.
The last word
Joe Girardi marked his 53rd birthday on Saturday managing the New York Yankees in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series in Houston. Said Girardi before the game, a 2-1 loss to the Astros:
“The most significance is we’re playing during my birthday, that I’m not home. I’m happy we’re still playing, so that’s a good birthday present.”
Staff and Wire Reports