Bulls' Bogans scores points with coaches, teammates
Once upon a time, Keith Bogans scored. And scored and scored and scored. You don't join Adrian Dantley as the only four-year letter-winners at powerhouse DeMatha High in suburban Washington or rise to fourth on Kentucky's legendary all-time scoring list without knowing how to do so.
Now, Bogans' job is to defend — and not only a typically high-scoring opposing shooting guard as the Bulls' much maligned starter at that position. He must also defend himself from critics who want Bogans to be like, say, Ben Gordon and score.
"People always seem to get mad because I'm not producing offensively," Bogans said. "They need to understand that's not why I'm here. I'm on the floor with Luol (Deng), Derrick (Rose), Carlos (Boozer) ... there aren't a lot of shots for me and Kurt (Thomas).
"I'm not saying that's a bad thing. People saying I shouldn't be starting motivates me. I love playing here. I love Chicago. I love the Bulls. It's all fun for me."
And don't look now, but Bogans' three-point percentage has risen to 33.6 percent after a slow start, near his career mark of 35 percent. Bogans is shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc in January. And then there's this: The Bulls are 12-0 when Bogans scores six points or more, which he has done in three of the last five games.
"I've been playing for a while, man," said Bogans, an eight-year veteran. "Sometimes it falls. Sometimes it doesn't. The main thing is getting up shots. I never get down on myself if I'm making or missing. It's just playing basketball. That's a plus if I'm making shots. My job is to defend."
Bogans' critics don't exist inside the Bulls' coaching staff or locker room. They know what Bogans brings.
"He's always found a way either to start or be in the rotation for very good teams," Coach Tom Thibodeau said. "If he's guarding you, you know he's guarding you. He's going to make you work. ... Keith gives you toughness. That's important in this league. ... And he does his job every day. Every day."
■ Brook Lopez scored 27 points and Devin Harris had a career-high 18 assists as the Nets gave Carmelo Anthony an indication why he might want to play for New Jersey with a 115-99 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. The game was the first between the teams since Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told his team to halt extended trade talks with Denver for Anthony a little less than two weeks ago, saying the drawn-out negotiations were hurting his team. The Nets (15-34) are 5-3 since the talks ended, but Anthony gave the fans who jeered and cheered him at different times a clear indication why he is so valued, scoring 37 points — two shy of his season high — to keep his team in the game.
■ Dwyane Wade scored 26 of his 34 points in the first half, LeBron James added 24 points and eight assists against his former team and the Miami Heat beat Cleveland 117-90 on Monday night, sending the visiting Cavaliers to their 21st straight loss.
■ Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 11 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers beat the visiting Toronto Raptors 104-93 in interim coach Frank Vogel's debut.
No. 2 UConn women rout No. 3 Duke
Maya Moore scored 29 points and No. 2 Connecticut routed Duke 87-51 on Monday night in Storrs, Conn., handing the third-ranked Blue Devils their first loss of the season. The senior All-American also grabbed nine rebounds and dished out seven assists for the Huskies (21-1), who opened the game on a 23-2 run and ran away from the Blue Devils (20-1). Tiffany Hayes added 20 points for the Huskies, who have won 73 consecutive home games.
Faried sets OVC record for weekly award
Morehead State senior center Kenneth Faried was named the Ohio Valley Conference's player of the week for a record 12th time, eclipsing the mark set by former Tennessee-Martin standout Lester Hudson. Faried averaged 17.7 points, 18.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in three games last week. "There have been many great players in the OVC, so I'm honored," Faried said. It's very humbling. The player that I passed, Lester Hudson, played in the NBA this year, so I'm in good company."
Legends' caravan starts this week
The first stop on this year's Lexington Legends caravan will be Wednesday evening in Danville, followed by Cynthiana and Lexington on Thursday. Trips to Richmond and Somerset will come on Wednesday, Feb. 9, Columbia on Feb. 10 and Jackson on Feb. 16.
Wednesday in Danville: Fazoli's, 1560 Hustonville Road, 5-6:30 p.m. with "Big L" and Legends staffers in attendance.
Thursday in Cynthiana: 8-9 a.m. at Biancke's Restaurant, 102 South Main St. Longtime Harrison County baseball coach Mac Whitaker will be a special guest.
Thursday in Lexington: 5:30—7 p.m. Calistoga Cafe, 2217 War Admiral Way, near the intersection of Winchester Road and Sir Barton Way. Scheduled guests include former major leaguers John Shelby Jr., Willie Blair, Jeff Parrett and Andy Green; former UK baseball coach Keith Madison; Marcus Nidiffer, a three-year starter at UK now in the Astros organization; Twins minor-leaguer and former Lexington Catholic star Ben Revere; Chaz Roe, a Mariners prospect who played at Lafayette; and former Tates Creek stars Jeremy Shelby and John Shelby III.
Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Richmond: 1-2:30 p.m. in the Powell Building at Eastern Kentucky University. Legends representatives will be joined by major league umpire and EKU alumnus Sam Holbrook and EKU baseball coach Jason Stein.
Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Somerset: 4-5:30 p.m. at Gold's Gym, 3680 South Hwy. 27. Legends Hall of Famer Josh Anderson, a former Pulaski County and Eastern Kentucky star, will attend.
Thursday, Feb. 10: Columbia 3:30—5 p.m. Central time.
Wednesday, Feb. 16: 10 a.m.-noon, Rose Bros. Dept. Store, 695 Hwy. 15 North. "Big L" and Legends staffers will attend.
Reds, Volquez agree to contract
Right-hander Edinson Volquez and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,625,000. The deal, which avoided salary arbitration, includes $50,000 in performance bonuses: $25,000 each for 24 and 28 starts. The 27-year-old returned from elbow surgery last August and went 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 12 starts, getting better as he went along. He made $445,000.
Ex-Florida coach Meyer joins ESPN
Urban Meyer joined ESPN as an analyst less than two months after he surprised the college football world by resigning from his plum job as Florida's coach. Meyer will call one game a week during the regular season and also serve as a studio analyst, the network said Monday. He'll start with Wednesday's signing day coverage. "It's a great opportunity to stay around the game," he said.
■ The U.S. national soccer team canceled its Feb. 9 friendly against Egypt in Cairo because of the political turmoil in the north African country. The next game for the U.S. team will be March 26 against Argentina at East Rutherford, N.J.
■ Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin hired Bob Shoop as its defensive coordinator and Brent Pry as its co-defensive coordinator. Shoop spent the past four seasons as defensive coordinator at William and Mary, where in 2010 his defense limited opponents to just 16.7 points per game. Pry spent the past season at Georgia Southern, which limited opponents to 286.9 yards per game.
The last word
New York Jets receiver Santonio Holmes on former teammate Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers being the named the Associated Press' NFL Defensive Player of the Year:
"Everybody has their one person they think is t he greatest player. In my eyes, I think he's the greatest player I've ever played with."