Stallions announce plans to pursue UK's Kanter
The Georgetown-based Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions, a member of the Premier Basketball League, sent out a press release Sunday night saying that the franchise intends to pursue Enes Kanter to join its roster. The NCAA recently ruled Kanter permanently ineligible to play collegiate basketball.
"We're prepared to do everything in our power to get Enes Kanter to join our team," Stallions president Kristin Nelson said. "We are prepared to offer a very lucrative package that would not only pay him generously but also offer comprehensive insurance coverage against injury. Even if he just played for us at home we'd love to have him.
"Obviously Enes would be a valuable addition to our roster," Nelson said. "But we're convinced that playing for the Stallions would help Enes as well. Enes can continue his quest for a great University of Kentucky education as he pursues a championship ring with the Stallions. Our season ends in March, so he'd have plenty of time to get ready for the (NBA) Draft."
■ Kenny Jones (Kentucky State) scored a team-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds in the Bluegrass Stallions' loss to the Quebec Kebs on Sunday in Georgetown. Bo Harris (Clark County and Pikeville College) added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Quinnell Brown, who played at Auburn, had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Quebec.
Clark County girls race past Paris
The Clark County girls outscored Paris 22-7 at the free-throw line in a 62-51 victory in Winchester. The Lady Cardinals, who jumped out to a 24-8 lead after the first quarter, were led by Tayler Kindred and Preshia Rogers, who scored 17 and 15 points, respectively. Morgan Crain led Paris with 15.
Georgia wideout Green enters NFL Draft
Georgia receiver A.J. Green will give up his senior season to enter the NFL Draft. The decision he announced Sunday had been expected since he was projected as one of the top picks in the draft, even after a four-game NCAA suspension at the start of his junior season for selling a bowl jersey for $1,000 to someone deemed an agent. Green's draft prospects were boosted even more by Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck's decision last week to return to college next season. Over a three-year college career, Green had 166 catches for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns. Even missing four games this past season, he led the Bulldogs with 57 catches for 848 yards and nine touchdowns.
■ West Virginia safety Robert Sands plans to skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. The 6-foot-5 Sands is projected by some scouting services to be among the top three safeties available in the draft. The first-team all-Big East selection had 53 tackles in 2010, including 11/2 sacks. He also had a forced fumble and made an interception. Sands was part of a defense that ranked in the top five in several statistical categories last season.
■ Clemson running back Jamie Harper said he will skip his senior season and enter the NFL Draft. The school said in a news release that Harper has signed with an agent and becomes the second underclassman to turn pro. Last week, All-American defensive end Da'Quan Bowers said he would enter the NFL Draft. Harper was Clemson's rushing leader with 760 yards on 197 carriers and seven rushing touchdowns. He also caught 35 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns.
Cavaliers lose Varejao for season
The losses won't stop for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Scrappy, steady center Anderson Varejao is done for the season with a torn ankle tendon that will require surgery, another major blow to the bottoming-out Cavs, who are not close to recovering after star LeBron James left as a free agent last summer.
"It's a big blow," first-year coach Byron Scott said. "Arguably, he's been our best player."
Varejao got hurt while running in practice on Thursday as the Cavs prepared for a five-game road trip. He was placed in a walking boot and traveled with the team. He missed Friday's game against Golden State as team doctors waited for his injury to "calm down."
On Sunday, he underwent a second MRI in Phoenix that revealed "a complete tear of the peroneus longus in the midfoot of the right ankle and foot."
Scott said Varejao was injured when he was running up and down the court during a simple drill.
"He was just running," Scott said. "Then he planted, touched the line and ran to the other end. And then he just buckled.
"I feel terrible because of the way he's been playing."
It's more devastating news for the Cavs, who have lost nine straight and 20 of 21 after Sunday's 108-100 loss at Phoenix. Varejao, averaging a team-best 9.7 rebounds and 9.1 points, is also the team's best interior defender.
■ Andrea Bargnani scored 30 points, DeMar DeRozan had 28 and the Toronto Raptors beat Sacramento 118-112, handing the Kings their 10th straight road loss. Leandro Barbosa scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and Jose Calderon had 13 points and nine assists for the Raptors, who had lost 13 of their previous 17. Beno Udrih scored 25 points and Carl Landry had 22 for the Kings, who were without leading scorer Tyreke Evans, sidelined by a sprained left ankle. Former Kentucky star DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Francisco Garcia (Louisville) scored 13 for Sacramento, which had won three of its previous five.
■ Manu Ginobili scored 14 of his 21 points in the second quarter, and the host San Antonio Spurs beat Minnesota 94-91 on for their 15th straight victory over the Timberwolves. San Antonio put six players in double figures and ran its NBA-best record to 31-6 while extending the league's longest current winning streak against an opponent.
■ Eric Gordon scored 25 points, Blake Griffin had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the visiting Golden State Warriors 105-91 for their seventh win in 10 games. Baron Davis had 17 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, who have roared to life after a 5-21 start to the season.
May Day Rose rolls in Santa Ysabel
May Day Rose won the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, beating Bluegrass Chatter by 1¼ lengths Sunday at Santa Anita. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, May Day Rose ran 11⁄16 miles in 1:42.81 and paid $2.10 as the even-money favorite in the field of three. There was no place or show wagering. May Day Rose earned $60,000, increasing her career winnings to $184,555, with three wins in five starts for trainer Bob Baffert.
Baffert had told Bejarano to put the filly on the lead because it's her running style. He had been disappointed that May Day Rose wasn't sent to the lead in the Hollywood Starlet at Hollywood Park on Dec. 11, and she wound up fourth.
"I missed a work with her during the rain, so I was hoping her class would carry her, and it did," Baffert said. "She's the kind of filly that probably wants to be let run a little bit earlier. She's more of a free-running spirit."
■ Little Mike held off Blues Street by a nose Sunday in the $100,000 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Little Mike, a 4-year-old gelding ridden by Joe Bravo, ran 11⁄16 miles on the turf course in 1:40.52 and paid $27.80, $9.80 and $6.80. In the Marshua's River Stakes, Justaroundmidnight, a 4-year-old Irish-bred filly also ridden by Bravo, rallied to beat Persuading by a half-length.
The last word
West Virginia Athletics Director Oliver Luck on his son Andrew's decision to spurn the NFL and return to Stanford:
"Call him old school. He comes from a faction of people who believe you go to college to pursue your degree."