Cats No. 3 in USA Today poll; IU is No. 1 and Louisville No. 2
The University of Kentucky men's basketball team was ranked No. 3 in the nation in the USA Today pre-season college basketball coaches' poll announced Wednesday.
The coaches ranked Indiana No. 1 and Louisville No. 2. Rounding out the top five were Ohio State and Michigan.
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Kentucky, the defending national champion, got five first-place votes, as did Louisville, which joined the Cats in last season's NCAA Final Four. Indiana got 21 first-place votes.
The remainder of the top 10 were North Carolina State, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse and Florida.
Kentucky, Florida and No. 17 Missouri were the only schools from the Southeastern Conference ranked in the Top 25.
■ Louisville, which has three starters back from last season's Final Four, is the unanimous choice for first place in the Big East coaches' poll.
The Cardinals, who won the Big East Tournament last season, received 14 first-place votes and Notre Dame got the other, obviously from Louisville Coach Rick Pitino.
Syracuse, coming off a school-record 34-3 mark, was second and Notre Dame, which returns all five starters, was third.
Cincinnati was fourth followed by Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Marquette, USF, Connecticut, St. John's, Rutgers, Villanova, DePaul, Seton Hall and Providence.
Peyton Siva was selected pre-season player of the year, the first time a Louisville player received that honor.
Joining Siva on the first team were Jack Cooley of Notre Dame, Vincent Council of Providence, Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati, Gorgui Dieng of Louisville and Otto Porter of Georgetown.
Timberwolves' Love out 6-8 weeks
Kevin Love, a two-time All-Star for the Timberwolves, will miss the next six to eight weeks after breaking his right hand in a Wednesday morning workout. It's a crushing blow to Minnesota, which is already without star point guard Ricky Rubio for what is expected to be at least the first six weeks of the regular season while he recovers from a torn ACL in his left knee.
Love averaged 26 points and 13.3 rebounds a game last year. He signed a four-year contract in January worth more than $60 million, then played a key role in Team USA's march to the gold medal in the London Olympics.
■ Bucks rookie forward John Henson will miss the next two weeks with a left knee sprain and bone bruise. The No. 14 overall pick for Milwaukee in the 2012 NBA Draft, Henson suffered the injury in in Tuesday's pre-season loss to the Chicago Bulls. Before the injury, Henson played 12 minutes and scored just four points.
■ The Kings exercised the 2013-14 contract options of center DeMarcus Cousins and guard Jimmer Fredette.
Cousins is entering his third NBA season after being the fifth pick out of Kentucky in the NBA Draft in 2010. He averaged 18.1 points and a team-high 11 rebounds last season. Fredette averaged 7.6 points as a rookie out of BYU last season.
Idaho State coach faces probe for shove
Idaho State Coach Mike Kramer is being investigated by police and the university for allegedly shoving a player to the ground two weeks ago in an incident caught on video.
Senior wide receiver Derek Graves lodged a complaint with police Sunday that he was pushed by Kramer in a practice on Oct. 3.
Don Jackson, Graves' attorney in Montgomery, Ala., said Graves has suffered from neck and back spasms since the incident.
In the video, which was obtained by ESPN, Kramer runs toward a player on the field, puts his face close to his helmet, and then shoves him with two hands. The player falls backward to the turf, after which Kramer steps over his prone legs.
■ Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson has been cleared to resume practice after completing concussion testing on Tuesday.Golson was hurt during a helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter of Notre Dame's win over Stanford last Saturday. The sophomore has started every game for the Fighting Irish.
■ Texas Tech's starting center Deveric Gallington was charged with misdemeanor public intoxication and disorderly conduct after police were called to a bar fight near campus last weekend. Gallington will still play for the No. 18 Red Raiders at TCU on Saturday. No injuries were reported in the fight about 1 a.m. Sunday, just hours after Texas Tech beat then-No. 5 West Virginia 49-14.
Ex-Cat Conner waived by Jets
Fullback John Conner was waived by the New York Jets on Wednesday after reaching an injury settlement with the team.
Conner, who played at Kentucky, has dealt with a medial collateral ligament sprain and a hamstring injury this season. The Jets reportedly hope to bring Conner back, but rules preclude that possibility until late in the season. Conner was a great source of pride to Jets Coach Rex Ryan during HBO's Hard Knocks in 2010. A fifth-round draft pick that year, Conner's blocking impressed Ryan.
'The Walking Man' Eddie Yost dead at 86
Eddie Yost, nicknamed "The Walking Man" because of his penchant for drawing bases on balls during an 18-year major-league career, died Tuesday in Weston, Mass. He was 86.
Primarily a third baseman from 1944-62, Yost drew 1,614 walks — a total that still ranks 11th all-time. He spent his first 14 seasons with the original Senators, garnering All-Star honors in 1952. Yost led the AL in walks six times, including a career-high 151 in 1956.
■ Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly says he won't return to the team next season. WGN-TV and Brenly released a joint statement Wednesday announcing his departure. Brenly says he's looking for another baseball broadcasting position. The former catcher leaves the team after eight years and a 101-game losing season.
UK men's soccer blanks stingy Marshall
Junior Dylan Asher netted his first career goal in his first start at forward, leading Kentucky to a 1-0 win over Marshall, which has the NCAA's second-best defense, at Hurricane (W.Va.) High School.
UK improved its road record to 5-2, a year after going 0-7-1 on the road. Kentucky (7-6-1, 2-1-1 C-USA) got a five-save game from junior keeper Jack Van Arsdale, who earned his third shutout of the year. Marshall (10-2-1, 2-2-0 C-USA) keeper Daniel Withrow saved two shots.
■ Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s sister said Wednesday that NASCAR's most popular driver could be back racing next week at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Earnhardt will miss his second consecutive race Sunday at Kansas because of two concussions suffered in a six-week span. Kelley Earnhardt Miller wrote Wednesday on JRNation.com that Earnhardt is on schedule to test a car early next week. If all goes well, she said he can race again Oct. 28 at Martinsville.
The last word
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman responded Wednesday to the benching of star Alex Rodriguez, who is 3-for-23 in this postseason. Rodriguez would have been out of the starting lineup again had New York played Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers in Detroit. Said Cashman:
"We will go forward. Alex will go forward. That doesn't mean that he's done, that he's finished, that he is not capable. He is still a big threat, but for whatever reason right now we are adjusting to what we are seeing."