13) MaxPreps did a thing looking at where the 12 starting QB’s for the NFL playoff teams went to high school; three are from California (Goff-Brady-Smith), three are from Texas (Brees-Foles-Keenum). Matt Ryan is from Philly; he’s going home this weekend.
12) Good news from Charlotte, where Hornets coach Steve Clifford has been cleared to return after missing more than a month to deal with severe headaches. Clifford has worked his way up the coaching ladder; in 1994-95, he was an assistant coach at Siena College here in Albany.
11) Oregon 76, Arizona State 72— Sun Devils are 1-3 in Pac-12 after being unbeaten coming into league play. Big road win for the Ducks.
10) Lorenzo Brown scored 24 points, had 12 assists for Toronto’s G-League team Thursday, then played 19 minutes for the parent Raptors in their win over Cleveland last night. Thats a full day.
9) NFL announced three London games for next season:
— Seahawks-Raiders, Eagles-Jaguars, Titans-Chargers
Rams are expected to play in the 2018 Mexico City game.
8) Underrated NBA record: Ricky Pierce scored 30+ points coming off the bench in 17 games one season, while playing for Milwaukee in 1990.
7) Wednesday, agents with U.S. Immigration, Customs Enforcement descended on 98 7-Eleven franchise stores across America, where they began audits and interviewed employees and managers. 21 people suspected of being in the United States illegally were arrested.
Those 98 7-Eleven stores were located in 17 different states, plus the District of Columbia.
6) Disappointed that ESPN scrapped Big Monday; they still have their Monday twinbills, but they don’t call it Big Monday anymore. Back in the day, ESPN had Big East/Big Ten/Big West triple headers every Monday, and they were mostly great fun.
Jerry Tarkanian’s UNLV teams, Bob Knight bitching about 9:00 starts, the heyday of the Big East before they expanded into the Midwest and signed up with FS1. Jerome Lane’s dunk breaking the backboard at Pitt was on a Big Monday— Arizona coach Sean Miller threw him the pass.
If I ran ESPN, I’d ask the WCC if they would be interested in Monday night broadcasts, seeing how today’s Gonzaga is a lot like Tark’s UNLV squads— a powerful program carrying an entire league on its shoulders. National TV exposure helps recruiting.
5) Louisville’s basketball team is headed to probation over its handling of Brian Bowen’s recruitment; the kid will wind up playing for South Carolina, starting next season. Before he could announce the signing, coach Frank Martin had ti to get it signed off by the school’s AD and compliance people, so if it all got this far, Bowen should be good to go.
4) Odd Fact: Every Norwegian’s income tax return is published on the Interweb.
3) Huge week for Western Kentucky’s basketball team; 4-star recruit, big man Moustapha Diagne has been cleared to play by the NCAA, making the Hilltoppers a legit 9-deep team. WKU won its last two games on the road, at Marshall/Old Dominion.
2) Carolina Panthers hired Norv Turner as their new OC; he is a great QB guru who should help Cam Newton a lot.
1) Get well soon Alex Trebek; the 77-year old Jeopardy host was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma and is on leave from the show after brain surgery.
Trebek also hosted gameshows like The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare and High Rollers.