Texas A&M guard Elston Turner, who scored a career-high 40 points in Saturday’s 83-71 victory at Kentucky, was selected today as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by members of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Turner, a 6-foot-5 senior, connected on 14-of-19 shots from the field (6-of-10 from three-point range) to become A&M’s first 40-point scorer in any game since Don Marbury on Jan. 5, 1985. Turner had 55 points in two games last week in helping A&M (12-3, 2-0 in SEC) carry an undefeated record in SEC play into Thursday’s game against No. 10 Florida (12-2, 2-0) in College Station.
Former Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, the 2012 Outland Trophy winner and an Arlington High School graduate, projects to be the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft based on a mock draft released today by NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt, the Dallas Cowboys’ former vice-president of player personnel.
Brandt’s mock drift is expected to be tweaked multiple times before the NFL Draft in April, based on players’ performances at the NFL Combine and in individual workouts. But in the first installment, Brandt projects Joeckel (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) to be taken No. 1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs, with the Cowboys to use the 18th pick on Eric Fisher (6-8, 305), an offensive tackle from Central Michigan.
Brandt projects five players from colleges in Texas to go in the first round, with former A&M defensive end Damontre Moore _ another junior who opted for early entry in April _ to be taken with the sixth overall pick by Cleveland. Moore and Joeckel are the only local players projected among the top 10 picks, with the others being Baylor receiver Terrance Williams (No. 14, Carolina), Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro (No. 15, New Orleans) and Texas defensive end Alex Okafor (No. 24, Indianapolis).
Brandt projects four players from Alabama, the two-time defending BCS national champs, to go in the first round: offensive guard Chance Warmack (No. 4, Philadelphia), cornerback Dee Milliner (No. 5, Detroit), offensive tackle D.J. Fluker (No. 13, Tampa Bay) and running back Eddie Lacy (No. 16, St. Louis), with two quarterbacks taken among the top 10 picks: West Virginia’s Geno Smith (No. 3, Oakland) and USC’s Matt Barkley (No. 7, Arizona).
Baylor’s Brittney Griner was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, as chosen by a media panel Monday.
With the honor, Griner extended her record for career women’s basketball weekly honors to 23, earned her fourth award of the season, and claimed the title for the second consecutive week.
In Baylor’s two victories over ranked opponents last week, Griner averaged 28 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3 blocks. In the No. 1 Lady Bears’ win over No. 25 Iowa State, she tallied a game-high 23 points, four rebounds, three blocks, two assists and a steal while shooting 50 percent from the floor.
Against No. 17 Kansas, Griner recorded her second 30-plus point performance with 33 points. Griner logged her 127th career start in the KU game to break Sophia Young’s Baylor record ending in the 2005-2006 season of 126.
Baylor suffered its first loss of conference play after the Bears traveled to Lawrence, Kans. to take on the No. 4 Jayhawks tonight.
Kansas held the Bears to 44 points – Baylor’s lowest scoring game this season – while running away with the 61-44 victory by the end of the night.
In the loss, the Bears were lead by freshman center Isaiah Austin who had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman forward Rico Gathers rebounded best for Baylor, ending the night with 13, and senior guard Pierre Jackson scored 10 points.
Together, Austin and Jackson scored 35 of the 44 points. In other words, they accounted for 79.5 percent of all Baylor’s scoring.
Surprisingly, breakout junior forward Cory Jefferson, who earned a starting position this year, only got 20 minutes of play time resulting in no points and only fives rebounds.
The entire game seemed to fall in favor of Kansas until the last three minutes of the game when Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore appeared to turn his ankle, lying on the court for several minutes while a trainer examined it.
McLemore eventually got back on his feet and was helped to the locker room.
In the loss, Baylor allowed Kansas a 37.7 field goal shooting percentage while only shooting 23.2 percent themselves and missing approximately 40 percent of their free throws.
Baylor returns home to try to get back on track against Hardin-Simmons on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT. The game will be the first of a double header that features the Lady Bears playing at 7 p.m. CT.
The Oklahoma Sooners announced Monday that All-Big 12 Conference cornerback Aaron Colvin was bypassing a chance to enter the NFL Draft and was returning for his senior season.
That's a major boost for Oklahoma's 2013 hopes, particularly after losing three other junior starters, safety Tony Jefferson, wide receiver Kenny Stills and linebacker Tom Wort, who decided to enter the draft.
Colvin tweeted on Monday afternoon: "I have decided to return for my senior year. Thank you to everyone who have supported me through this tough process. Back to work I go."
In a University of Oklahoma news release, Sooners coach Bob Stoops said: "I am pleased that Aaron has come to this decision and I believe it's the right one for him. I believe he has an opportunity to become one of the premier defensive players in the Big 12 and in the country. Hopefully, he will continue to work hard to reach that potential and help us achieve our team's goals."
The Sooners got more good news when wide receiver Dannon Cavil (6-foot-5, 205 pounds) of San Antonio Madison said via Twitter he had changed his commitment to Oklahoma and would be enrolling this semester at OU. Cavil had been committed to California.
Former NBA standout Shaquille O’Neal will address delegates as the keynote speaker during this year’s NCAA Convention, which begins Wednesday in Grapevine. NCAA officials said today that O’Neal will focus on the importance of education, stressing the value of the three college degrees he has earned during his post-NBA career.
O’Neal, who played 19 seasons in the NBA after leaving LSU following his junior season, earned his bachelor’s degree in general studies from LSU in 2000. He finished a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 2005 and earned his doctorate in organizational learning and leadership from Barry University in May, 2012.
O’Neal, who retired from the NBA in 2011, works as an analyst for Turner Sports and is one of the hosts for TNT’s Inside the NBA.
Texas football coach Mack Brown announced tonight that linebacker Jordan Hicks and quarterback Case McCoy, who were suspended from the team the day before the Longhorns’ Dec. 29 game against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl, have rejoined the squad.
Both players are expected to take part in spring drills, along with four January signees announced Sunday: tight end Geoff Swaim, linebacker Deoundrei Davis, offensive lineman/defensive end Jake Raulerson and quarterback Tyrone Swoopes. Swaim is a junior-college transfer. The others graduated early from high school to enroll for the spring semester.
In a statement, Brown said Hicks and McCoy will be subject to additional discipline that “will be handled within the team.” Both players were sent home after missing curfew and becoming the focus of a sexual assault investigation by San Antonio police. Eventually, no charges were filed in the incident.
In the statement, Brown said: “When you break team rules, there’s a certain amount of trust that has been broken and that will be addressed with further discipline. That discipline will be handled within the team.”
Brown said three seniors with remaining eligibility have elected to give up football: OG Thomas Ashcraft, TE Trey Graham and DT Kyle Kriegel.
Oklahoma offensive lineman Austin Woods, a junior from Rockwall who played last season while battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, has been selected as one of seven finalists for the 2013 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award. The honor is presented annually to someone in college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.
Woods, who played in 12 games for the Sooners (10-3), finished chemotherapy on Oct. 1 and was told on Nov. 1 that his disease was in remission. The winner is decided on a fan vote that runs through Jan. 31.
To vote, visit www.uplifttingathletes.org/vote. The website contains information about all seven finalists. Other finalists include Penn State’s Eric Shrive, Humboldt State’s Dillon Reagan, Florida’s Neiron Ball, Navy’s Chris Ferguson, USC’s Frankie Telfort and Fordham’s Andrew Milmore.
TCU picked up the 18th commitment of its 2013 class Sunday. Athlete Cameron Echols-Luper said he connected so well with current TCU wide receiver Cam White and the TCU coaching staff he committed this weekend before taking his other scheduled visit to Texas Tech. “Like honestly we are almost alike,” Echols-Luper said of White via text. “We connected great but it was the same with the coaches.” Echols-Luper and White previously met on the Auburn, Alabama native’s unofficial visit to Fort Worth last summer. Echols-Luper said TCU plans on using him at wide receiver. Earlier this week, the Rivals.com three-star athlete decommitted from Texas A&M citing too many wide receivers committed in the Aggies 2013 class. When he previously committed to A&M, Echols-Luper said he chose between the Aggies and Frogs because he wanted to play close to family he has in Ennis, just southeast of Dallas.
Texas defensive tackle Brandon Moore, a junior-college transfer who started five games for the Longhorns last season, has decided to forego his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft, Moore and school officials announced tonight. Moore, who began his college career at Alabama, made 18 tackles (eight for losses) with two sacks in his lone season at Texas.