Other Sports

Sports briefs: April 16


Ex-Cat Davis knows his big weakness is a lack of strength

New Orleans Hornets center Anthony Davis interrupted a weightlifting session Monday to review his rookie season with reporters at the team's practice facility.

Sidelined for the final three games by a knee injury — the latest in a series of minor setbacks during an otherwise successful debut — Davis knows where he needs to improve the most.

"It's definitely my biggest focus, to get stronger," he said. "The NBA wears down your body a lot. You definitely have to take care of your body. That's a big part of the league, the wear and tear of 82 games."

When he was on the court, Davis showed a well-rounded game befitting the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. He averaged 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.2 steals and 1.0 assists, becoming the fifth player in NBA history to reach those marks in all five categories. The others were Chris Webber, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon.

After leading Kentucky to the NCAA championship in 2012, New Orleans had high expectations of him. If anything, he was more effective offensively than advertised, showing a nice midrange shot to go along with the athletic ability and defensive skills that made him the Associated Press Player of the Year in his one season with the Wildcats.

The Hornets knew Davis (6-feet-10, 220 pounds) needed to bulk up when they drafted him. He was not yet physical enough to survive the pounding inside in the NBA, but he adapted well in his first season.

"He's had a good rookie season," Hornets guard Eric Gordon said. "There's nothing to worry about because he's very talented. He has a lot of upside, more than a lot of guys in this league. He's definitely going to have a big-time career for sure."

Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried won't suit up again until sometime during the playoffs after an MRI on Monday revealed no fractures in his sprained left ankle. Faried is averaging 11.5 points and a team-best 9.2 rebounds.

He was hurt Sunday while driving for a layup against Portland. Faried said he had never felt such pain and initially feared a more serious injury but vowed to play in the playoffs, telling the team's website, "I know I will be out there. I don't care what's going on. If I can walk, I can play."

The Boston Celtics' home game against the Indiana Pacers scheduled for Tuesday night has been canceled because of the Boston Marathon bombings. The game will not be rescheduled. The Celtics and Pacers already have clinched playoff berths and are locked into certain seedings in the Eastern Conference.

College basketball

FIU finds Richard Pitino's replacement

Florida International said it has hired Anthony Evans as its men's basketball coach, and will introduce him to the university community at a news conference Tuesday. Evans had been at Norfolk State for the past six seasons, going 99-94 in that span. At FIU, he will replace Richard Pitino, who was with the Panthers for one year before being hired by Minnesota.

Virginia Coach Tony Bennett said sophomore guard Paul Jesperson is leaving the Cavaliers' program. The 6-foot-6 Jesperson started 33 of 35 games this season. Bennett said Jesperson, of Merrill, Wis., intends to transfer to another school and continue his basketball career. He's the fifth player to transfer since Bennett arrived in 2009.

All-American Otto Porter Jr. is leaving Georgetown after his sophomore season and declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft. Porter was the Big East player of the year and finished second in the voting behind Michigan's Trey Burke for The Associated Press player of the year award.

Georgia sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will enter the NBA Draft. Coach Mark Fox announced that Caldwell-Pope has hired an agent, ending his college career. Several draft analysts have projected him to go around the middle of the first round.

Horse racing

Borel's Derby ride is Revolutionary

Three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel was officially named Monday to ride WinStar Farm's Revolutionary when the son of War Pass makes his expected start in the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Borel previously helped bring home the first Kentucky Derby winner for owner WinStar Farm and trainer Todd Pletcher, who conditions Revolutionary, when he guided Super Saver to victory for those connections in 2010.

"Obviously, Calvin did a masterful job guiding Super Saver to WinStar's first ever Kentucky Derby victory a few years ago, which is something we'll be forever thankful for," Elliott Walden, President & CEO of WinStar, said in a release. "So we've had good fortune together, and hopefully, history can repeat itself on May 4th."

WinStar polled fans this past weekend through its fan-based website — WinStar Stablemates — to gain feedback on which jockey fans would like to see aboard Revolutionary in the Kentucky Derby. Calvin Borel and Rosie Napravnik were far and away the leading vote getters, which helped to affirm the decision.


Ky. play-by-play announcer replaced

NBC said Dan Hicks is replacing Lexington native Tom Hammond as the lead play-by-play announcer on the network's Notre Dame broadcasts this season.

Hicks' first assignment comes Saturday, when NBC Sports Network airs Notre Dame's spring football game.

Hammond has been the lead Notre Dame announcer for NBC since 1992. NBC said Hammond will continue to be the network's lead announcer for Triple Crown horse racing, figure skating and track and field at the Olympics.


Cincy re-signs running back Scott

The Bengals re-signed reserve running back Bernard Scott, who missed all but two games last season because of injuries. The sixth-round draft pick from 2009 has started three games during his four seasons in Cincinnati. Last year, he suffered a hand injury during pre-season, then an ankle injury that resulted in him going on the injured reserve list on Oct. 8. He carried eight times for 35 yards in his two games.


Vols southpaw charged with DUI

Tennessee pitcher Drake Owenby faces a DUI charge after a police stop early Sunday. Knoxville police said Owenby was stopped at 2:44 a.m. Sunday after his car crossed the lane lines several times on Interstate 275. According to police, the 19-year-old Owenby had blood-shot eyes, struggled to concentrate and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. He was charged with driving under the influence and underage possession of alcoholic beverages.

Owenby is a freshman left-hander with a 2-0 record, one save and a 4.66 ERA in 11 appearances.

The Augusta GreenJackets scored three runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth on their way to a 7-3 win over the Lexington Legends on Monday night in Augusta.

The last word

Alabama football coach Nick Saban gave President Barack Obama a team jersey on Monday at the White House. It was Alabama's third championship win during Obama's presidency, and Saban joked that thanks to previous gifts of equipment, Obama now had now been presented with a full uniform.

Saban said: "I will have a meeting later with you to decide how much playing time you're going to get."

Obama replied: "I think you should keep me on the bench."