Cards reel in top 2014 recruit; NCAA scolds Self, Henderson
Louisville landed another top-notch prospect from the class of 2014 on Wednesday, giving the Cards a third top-50 recruit and the No. 2 class in the country.
Evansville combo guard JaQuan Lyle announced his commitment to the Cardinals. His other finalists were Indiana, Florida and Tennessee. Scout.com considers Lyle the No. 12 overall prospect in 2014. He joins point guard Quentin Snider (29th) and wing player Shaqquan Aaron (36th) as early commitments in Rick Pitino's class.
Lyle — a 6-foot-4, 170-pound guard — had some early interest from Kentucky but cut the Cats from his list before getting an offer.
■ Kansas Coach Bill Self was publicly reprimanded by the NCAA and fined an undisclosed amount for damaging the scorer's table during an NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City, Mo.
Self struck the table on March 24 during a round of 32 win over North Carolina. Ron Wellman, the chairman of the Division I men's basketball committee, said in a statement that "Coach Self's actions were out of line with the committee's expectations that championship participants act in a manner that represents the highest standards of sportsmanship."
The NCAA also issued an official reprimand of Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson. Henderson, while exiting the court following Ole Miss' loss to LaSalle in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, directed both middle fingers toward an opposing fan.
"A point of emphasis with the committee over the last several years continues to be ensuring that championship participants act in a manner that represents the highest standards of sportsmanship," Wellman said. "Mr. Henderson's actions failed in this regard."
Henderson released a letter to fans apologizing for his behavior in early April. Teammates said he is maturing on and off the court.
■ With a campus street and a basketball court already named in Pat Summitt's honor, the University of Tennessee got more creative in recognizing the Lady Vols coaching legend.
The university will build Pat Summitt Plaza featuring a bronze statue of the former coach across from Thompson-Boling Arena. "This is an exciting opportunity to honor, in perpetuity, the coach who is synonymous with the sport of women's basketball," UT Athletic Director Dave Hart said in a release. "Generations to come will enjoy seeing this beautiful statue and plaza named for this exceptional leader, role model and the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history."
Oregon avoids major penalties
Oregon will lose a scholarship in each season during a three-year probation period, but the Ducks avoided a bowl ban and other major penalties under sanctions issued by the NCAA on Wednesday.
The committee also placed an 18-month show-cause order on former coach Chip Kelly, a sanction that will likely have limited impact since he's now coaching the Philadelphia Eagles.
For what was considered major recruiting violations, the outcome was about as good as Oregon could have expected.
The NCAA cut Oregon's official paid visits from 56 to 37 for the next three academic years, reduced its evaluation days for each of the next three seasons and banned the program from using recruiting services during the probation period. Oregon must also disassociate itself from Willie Lyles' Houston-based recruiting service, which was at the center of the investigation.
The NCAA had been looking into Oregon's recruiting practices since questions arose over a 2010 payment of $25,000 to Lyles and his recruiting service, Complete Scouting Services. Lyles had a connection with Lache Seastrunk, a star prep running back from Texas who committed to Oregon in 2010, a month before the payment.
Bruins' first title school's record 109th
UCLA won its first national championship in baseball with an 8-0 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday night in Omaha, Neb.
The Bruins (49-17) completed a two-game sweep in the College World Series finals and ended the season with 11 straight wins. The national title is UCLA's NCAA-record 109th in team sports.
UCLA allowed four runs in five games to set a CWS record for fewest in the metal-bat era that started in 1974. The Bruins' .227 batting average in the CWS also was the lowest since teams went away from wood bats. The Bruins' 19 runs in four games were the fewest by a champion since the CWS went to eight teams in 1950.
After Arizona's title last year, the Pac-12 has now won two straight and has 17 in all in baseball, most of any conference.
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Crawdad clears bases, beats Legends
Nick Williams' three-run double in the fourth inning provided all the scoring for the Hickory Crawdads in a 3-2 win over the visiting Lexington Legends on Wednesday afternoon.
The Legends had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on singles by Kenny Diekroeger, Yowill Espinal and Mark Donato.
In the fourth, two walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs, and Williams followed with a line drive to right-center that cleared the bases and gave the Crawdads the lead for good.
Hickory starter Connor Sadzeck (7-2) worked five innings for the win. Legends starter Daniel Stumpf (5-6) pitched four innings and took the loss. Hickory won two of three games in the series.
Lexington continues its trip with a four-game series at Hagerstown.
U.S. SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Lochte, Franklin win two titles each
Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin each won two national titles Wednesday night in Indianapolis with times that ranked among the top five in the world this year.
The two star American swimmers each won in the 200 freestyle, then returned to the pool less than 90 minutes later and each won in the 200 backstroke. Lochte won the 200 free in 1 minute, 45.97 seconds, fifth-fastest in the world this year, and took the 200 back in 1:55.16, third-fastest in 2013.
Franklin's time of 1:55.63 in the 200 free was 0.08 seconds off the world's best this season. The Olympic champion and world-record holder in the 200 back then set a U.S. Open record in that race at 2:05.68, the world's best time this season.
Brazil fights off test from Uruguay
Brazil says its hard-fought win over an experienced Uruguayan squad in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has helped the team mature and gain more confidence for next year's World Cup, also being staged on home ground.
Brazil struggled to beat Uruguay 2-1 in the semifinal of the Confederations Cup on Wednesday, but Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and his players say there are a lot of positives to take from the match.
"This is what we're doing at this competition, we are growing," Scolari said.
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who saved a penalty kick when the match was scoreless, says the victory "is going to play an important role in making the team more mature in the future."
"When you play against Uruguay it's a different sort of match," Scolari said. "There's a lot of rivalry between the two teams and we get a little bit nervous."
The last word
Celtics GM Danny Ainge said the drawn-out negotiations with the Clippers, in which he traded Coach Doc Rivers, have been "a little bit distracting, to be honest with you" before the NBA Draft.
"The only wrinkle right now is that we need to get a new coaching staff."