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Sports briefs: Oct. 17

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Highly touted Lee to pick UK or California on Wednesday

Kentucky's epic basketball recruiting class of 2013 could grow by one more Wednesday, when Marcus Lee announces his college decision at his high school in Antioch, Calif.

Lee, a 6-foot-9 forward ranked by one Web site as the No. 9 senior in the country, will choose either Kentucky or California. He's expected to make his decision between 2 and 3 p.m. ET.

Lee was the only uncommitted senior to visit for last weekend's Big Blue Madness. After the trip, he tweeted a photo of himself with UK commitments Andrew and Aaron Harrison, James Young and Derek Willis. Along with the photo, Lee wrote, "That's just scary."

He was scheduled to make one more visit to California before making a decision, but that trip has now been canceled.

24/7 Sports analyst Jerry Meyer tweeted Tuesday night that it would be "beyond shocking" if Lee does not pick Kentucky.

The Cats would be adding another star player to what is already the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. The Harrisons and Lee are all accomplished perimeter players ranked in the top 10 nationally. Lee is more of a defensive-minded post player, who doesn't need to score to make an impact.

"I think he's a guy that can really help them by way of contesting shots and by way of rebounding," Scout.com analyst Evan Daniels told the Herald-Leader. "He'll get some easy baskets just from running the floor. I think that's going to be more his role."

Scout.com ranks Lee as the No. 38 player in the class. 24/7 Sports (9th), Rivals.com (15th) and ESPN (28th) all have him in the top 30. Lee averaged 13.9 points, 13.9 rebounds and an astounding 9.1 blocks for Deer Valley High School last season.

ESPN's series on Cats debuts at 7 p.m.

A new sports series focusing on the Kentucky men's basketball team will debut at 7 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN. All-Access Kentucky will follow Coach John Calipari and the defending national champion Wildcats from Big Blue Madness to the start of the season.

"Our mission at ESPN is always to serve sports fans and with many new players on the Wildcats this year, there is enormous interest surrounding this team," said Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president of programming and acquisitions.


SOCCER

Dempsey scores twice in Americans' win

Clint Dempsey had a pair of goals and assisted on Carlos Bocanegra's equalizer, and the United States rallied to beat Guatemala 3-1 Tuesday night in Kansas City, Kan., and reached next year's final round of World Cup qualifying.

Facing their first elimination game in qualifying since 2000, the Americans needed merely a draw to advance to the six-team finals in North and Central America and the Caribbean. After Carlos Ruiz put Guatemala ahead in the fifth minute, Dempsey set up Bocanegra's goal in the 10th minute, then scored in the 18th and 36th. With 30 international goals, Dempsey tied Brian McBride for third-most in American history.

The U.S. (4-1-1), seeking its seventh straight World Cup appearance, topped its semifinal group with 13 points.


GOLF

Tseng doesn't have any answers for slump

Five months without a top-10 finish. Sixteen consecutive rounds without breaking 70. An average final round of 74.3 since April. The numbers add to a player mired in a dreadful slump, and it's even more shocking when they belong to the No. 1 player in the world.

Yani Tseng doesn't seem to have any answers.

"I think this is just part of real life when you go out and you have to go down and maybe you go up again," Tseng said Monday in South Korea, where she is the defending champion in the LPGA HanaBank Championship. "I can always be stronger and tougher when I'm coming back."

Cats' Bishop wins rain-shortened event

Rain forced officials to end the Querencia Cabo Collegiate in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with only one round completed. Kentucky finished tied for second overall with an 11-over-par first round on Sunday. The Cats were three shots behind Mississippi.

Kentucky sophomore Will Bishop, a Paul Laurence Dunbar graduate, took first place after shooting a 2-under 70 on Sunday. It was his first collegiate victory.

"It even happened on his birthday which makes it all the better," Coach Brian Craig said. "Will has been on a steady track of improvement for quite a while now."


NBA

Orton stars in Thunder's win vs. Bobcats

Former Kentucky center Daniel Orton had 13 points and three rebounds in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 120-98 pre-season victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. Orton was 5-for-6 from the field and played 19 minutes. DeAndre Liggins added five points and six rebounds for Oklahoma City while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was held to three points and five rebounds in 18 minutes for Charlotte.

Brandon Knight had nine points and four assists in the Detroit Pistons' 112-86 pre-season victory against the Orlando Magic.

■ Former Western Kentucky standout Courtney Lee had 13 points and four assists in the Boston Celtics' 97-96 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Rajon Rondo had five points and 11 assists for Boston.


The last word

Turns out reports of Peyton Manning's demise were ridiculously premature. Denver's quarterback has been outstanding by every measure since throwing three interceptions in the first quarter at Atlanta a month ago. His latest Monday night performance went much better as he engineered the biggest comeback of his career in the Broncos' 35-24 win at San Diego. Manning said afterward:

"These comeback victories are great, but all it means is that you screwed up in the first half."

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