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Archive for February 13th, 2020

Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Players of the Week


Justin Turner, Bowling Green

Jason Preston, Ohio

Eugene German, NIU













Brandon Johnson, Western Michigan

MAC Men’s Basketball East Division Co-Players of the Week
Justin Turner, Bowling Green, Guard
R-Junior, Detroit, Mich. (Renaissance)
Turner averaged 26.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists, as the Falcons went 1-1 with a Battle of I-75 victory over Toledo. Turner opened the week with one of the best games of his career, as he scored 31 points on just 16 shots at Central Michigan on Feb. 4. Turner shot 50.0 percent from the floor, and went 11-of-11 at the charity stripe. In Bowling Green’s win over Toledo on Feb. 8, Turner was dominant down the stretch. He scored or assisted on eight of BGSU’s final 11 field goals. The native of Detroit finished the ballgame with 21 points, five assists and five rebounds. He’s now scored 20-plus points in six-consecutive games.

Jason Preston, Ohio, Guard
Sophomore, Orlando, Fla.(Boone)
Preston was masterful on Saturday against Miami, recording his first career triple-double and only the second in Ohio men’s basketball history. Preston finished the game with 15 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Preston sent 6-of-9 (.667) from the field and 3-of-4 (.750) from the free throw line to help the Bobcats to a commanding 77-46 victory over arch rival Miami, snapping the Bobcats’ four-game losing streak.

MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Co-Players of the Week
Eugene German, NIU, Guard
Senior, Gary, Ind. (21st Century Charter)
German averaged 26.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from three, as the Huskies extended their winning streak to six games with a sweep of Toledo (Feb. 4) and Kent State (Feb. 7) last week. With the pair of wins, NIU took sole possession of first place in the MAC West. German opened the week 25 points in a 66-61 win at Toledo, going 7-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-6 from three and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. With the Huskie up by a pair in the final minute against the Rockets, the Huskie senior scored four-straight points to give NIU a two-possession lead and, ultimately, the victory. Against Kent State, the Gary, Ind., native scored a season-high 27 points, with six rebounds and three assists, as the Huskies outlasted the Golden Flashes, 57-54. German went 10-of-19 from the floor against Kent State, including 3-of-7 from three.

Brandon Johnson, Western Michigan, Forward
R-Junior, Chicago, Ill. (Thea Bowman Leadership Academy)
Johnson led the Broncos to two victories this past week, leading the team with 21 points at Miami followed by a career-high 29 points vs. Ball State. Against the RedHawks last Tuesday Johnson scored the go-ahead basket with 36.9 seconds left to cap off a 7-of-10 shooting night from the field to go along with seven rebounds. Johnson also made his mark at the free-throw line at Miami going 7-of-10. Johnson followed up his 21-point performance with a career-high 29 points in a 68-64 win at home over Ball State. Johnson scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half including 15 straight during the final five minutes of play. The Chicago, Ill. forward was 12-of-14 from the field against the Cardinals while recording seven rebounds. It was the 5th and 6th 20-point performances of the season for Johnson and now has 7 20-point games in his career. Johnson is also inching close to the 1,000-point mark, needing just 122 more points to become WMU’s 43rd member of the 1,000-point club. Johnson ranks second on the team with 15.4 points per game while during MAC play is averaging 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Other Top Performances
Tyler Cheese, Akron, Guard
Senior, Albany, Ga.
In Akron’s lone game of the week, Cheese led the Zips to a come from behind victory, scoring 11 second-half points. Cheese kept the game close with timely 3-pointers and knocking down 8-of-9 free throws to set up late game heroics by teammate Xeyrius Williams for a 59-58 win at the buzzer over Eastern Michigan. Cheese added three rebounds and three assists while shooting 5-of-13 from the floor which included a 3-of-8 effort from deep.

Jayvon Graves, Buffalo, Guard
Junior, Malvern, OH
Graves had the best rebounding week of his career as he averaged 11.0 boards over the two contests.  He tied his career high with 12 rebounds in the victory over Central Michigan as he completed the double-double, while adding 11 points. Graves had another 11 rebounds earlier in the week at Eastern Michigan. He leads the Bulls in scoring at 16.2 points per game.

David DiLeo, Central Michigan, Forward
Senior, Iowa City, Iowa (New Hampton School [N.H.])
DiLeo had a standout and memorable week, first leading Central Michigan to a pivotal win and then making program and conference history. For the week, DiLeo averaged 21.0 points and 4.0 rebounds, shooting .583 overall, .556 from beyond the arc and 1.000 from the line. On Tuesday, DiLeo scored 26 points, making 6-of-8 3-point attempts, and had six rebounds in a 92-82 win over Bowling Green, snapping the Falcons’ eight-game win streak and handing the MAC’s top team just its second conference loss of the season. On Friday at Buffalo, DiLeo helped spark an 18-point second half comeback by the Chippewas and, in the process, became the CMU and MAC 3-point shooting career leader. He finished the game with 16 points, 2 rebounds and 3 steals.

Ty Groce, Eastern Michigan, Forward
Redshirt Junior, Ypsilanti, Mich. (Lincoln)
Groce averaged 14.5 points per game, as the Eagles went 1-1 last week. Eastern Michigan notched its second-consecutive victory in the Mid-American Conference with a 66-62 win over Buffalo, Feb. 4, but dropped a cross-divisional affair at Akron in the final seconds, 59-58, Feb. 8. The redshirt junior finished the week shooting 50 percent (11-of-22) from the field and averaged 3.5 blocks, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.0 steals per game. Groce led the Green and White with 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting against the Bulls. He also contributed four steals, three blocks, and three assists in 38 minutes of play. On Saturday, the Ypsilanti, Mich. native recorded his 16th double-figure scoring performance with 15 points versus the Zips. Groce went 5-of-7 from the field and tallied four rebounds, three steals, and two assists in 40 minutes of action. The redshirt junior has led the Eagles in scoring 10 times this season and is leading the team averaging 11.4 points per game. Groce is tied for second in the MAC with 2.0 steals per game.

Danny Pippen, Kent State, Forward
Junior , Detroit, Mich.
Pippen led the Flashes efforts this week for the Flashes. Over two games, Pippen averaged 12 points a game and 10 rebounds a game. Against Ball State, Pippen grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, his sixth game this season grabbing double-digit boards and third straight game. He also added eight points. At Northern Illinois, Pippen scored a team-high 16 points, his 20th game this season scoring in double figures. Pippen added eight boards and two assists.

Marreon Jackson, Toledo, Guard
Junior, Cleveland, Ohio (Garfield Heights)
Jackson averaged 22.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 4.5 apg in two games for the Rockets last week. Jackson tallied 14 points, six rebounds and five assists against MAC West leader Northern Illinois before erupting for 31 points and grabbing six boards at MAC East leader Bowling Green. Jackson scored the Rockets’ final five points vs. the Falcons to tie the score at 83-83.


Conference USA Bonus Play Schedule to be released Sunday, February 15


February 13, 2020
DALLAS – Conference USA men’s basketball will enter the second phase of its conference slate with the release of its Bonus Play schedule Sunday afternoon. It is the conference’s second year utilizing the innovative format. The Athletics Directors and Board of Directors originally passed the concept in January 2018. Head Men’s Basketball Coaches and Athletics Directors finalized the details during the league’s annual spring meetings in May 2018.

Sunday’s release will include the full schedule with all tip times and TV selections.

Within the format, teams will conclude the first seven weeks of the conference season on Feb. 15. Teams will be placed in one of three groups based on conference standings through the first 14 games of league action and will be guaranteed conference tournament seeding within that group. The teams will be divided into two groups of five (1-5 and 6-10) and a group of four (11-14). During the final three weeks, teams will play within their respective grouping for the last four games of conference play. Home and away games within the groups are determined by a preset formula.

Once all 18 games have been completed, 12 teams, based on their overall conference record, within their respective group, will be seeded in the conference tournament. For example, if a program lands in the second group (6-10), it will seed no higher than six and no lower than 10 in the tournament field.

The 2020 C-USA Basketball Championships presented by Baylor Scott & White Sports Performance Center at The Star will be held in Frisco, Texas, March 11-14, at Ford Center.


Conference USA Men’s Basketball Player of the Week


Jahmir Young Charlotte

Jhivvan Jackson UTSA


February 10, 2020
DALLAS – UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson garnered his fourth C-USA Player of the Week award of the season following a 45-point outburst in a win at Old Dominion. Charlotte guard Jahmir Young averaged 15 points a game in a weekend sweep to earn his sixth C-USA Freshman of the Week honor. Awards are chosen by a vote from a media panel representing the 14 member schools. All C-USA weekly awards are presented by Top of the World.

Player of the Week
Junior, 6-0, 160, G, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Jackson put together another stellar week in leading UTSA on a two-game East Coast road swing, averaging 35 points, 4.5 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals per game. The junior tallied 45 points in a win at Old Dominion, equaling the third-most points scored in a single game in C-USA history. Jackson shot 51.5 percent, going 9 of 15 from the field and 8 of 18 from beyond the arc. It was his second game of the year with 40 points or more and his ninth game of the season with at least 30 points. Against Charlotte, he added 25 points and a team-high eight rebounds, going a near-perfect 10 of 11 from the stripe. His current average of 27.0 points per game this season ranks second in the nation and would set a new program standard.

Freshman of the Week
Freshman, 6-1, 185, G, Hyattsville, Maryland
Young averaged an impressive 15 points, eight rebounds and 5.5 assists in Charlotte’s two weekend victories over UTEP and UTSA. Against the Roadrunners, the freshman scored 16 points, connecting on a season-high-tying four 3-pointers. The Hyattsville, Maryland, product scored 14 points to go along with eight boards and six assists in the 49ers win over UTEP. This season, Young has recorded 15 double-figure scoring games and 12 games with at least five rebounds. The award is the sixth of his young career.

C-USA Players of the Week
N11:    Xavier Green, Old Dominion
N18:    Trey Murphy III, Rice
N25:    Osasumwen Osaghae, FIU
D2:      Charles Bassey, WKU
D9:      Bryson Williams, UTEP
D16:    Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA
D23:    Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA
D30:    Jarrod West, Marshall
J6:       Devon Andrews, FIU | Carson Williams, WKU
J13:     Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA
J20:     Bryson Williams, UTEP | Taveion Hollingsworth, WKU
J27:     Javeion Hamlet, North Texas
F3:       Bryson Williams, UTEP
F10:     Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA

C-USA Freshmen of the Week
N11:    Jahmir Young, Charlotte
N18:    Jahmir Young, Charlotte
N25:    Jordan Rawls, WKU
D2:      Jalen Benjamin, UAB
D9:      Kenan Blackshear, Florida Atlantic
D16:    Tyson Jackson, Middle Tennessee
D23:    Andrew Taylor, Marshall
D30:    Goran Miladinovic, Marshall
J6:       Jahmir Young, Charlotte
J13:     Jalen Benjamin, UAB
J20:     Jahmir Young, Charlotte
J27:     Jahmir Young, Charlotte
F3:       Andrew Taylor, Marshall
F10:     Jahmir Young, Charlotte



American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Players of the Week


James Bouknight UConn

Darin Green Jr. UCF

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The American Athletic Conference announced its weekly men’s basketball honors for Feb. 10.

James Bouknight, Fr., G, UConn
Bouknight averaged 22.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals in a pair of wins for the Huskies. It was his first two 20-point games of the season and his 23 against Cincinnati on Sunday (Feb. 10) was a season high.

Darin Green Jr., G, UCF
Green Jr. averaged 19.5 points and 2.5 rebounds as the Knights picked up two wins on the week. He scored a season-high 26 with six 3-pointers against the Golden Hurricane on Sunday.


Trevon Scott, Sr., F, Cincinnati
Scott averaged a double-double with 17.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Bearcats, including a career day at UConn with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Nate Hinton, So., G, Houston
Hinton averaged a double-double with 11.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists as the Cougars moved into first place in The American standings with a pair of wins.

Justin Brown, Jr., G/F, USF
Brown tallied a big double-double with 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Bulls as they went on the road and defeated Memphis.

Quinton Rose, Sr., G, Temple
Rose averaged 19.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals in a 1-1 week for the Owls, becoming The American’s all-time leading scorer (1,718 points) with 10 points in overtime in a win over SMU.

Martins Igbanu, Sr., F, Tulsa
Igbanu recorded back-to-back career highs in points, averaging 29.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in two games for Tulsa.



NTT IndyCar Series News & Notes

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NTT IndyCar Series News Release
For Immediate Release

“5 Things To Look For…” heading into
Circuit of The Americas Open Test

Five Things - Laguna Video



AUSTIN, Texas (February 10, 2020) – Twenty-seven drivers in 25 cars are scheduled to converge on the Circuit of The Americas layout for a full-field open test Tuesday and Wednesday as the start of the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season looms just over a month away.

This event will mark the first full-field test of the new year and should prove beneficial to the drivers and teams when they return to COTA on April 24-26 for the AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge. The 17-race NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opens March 13-15 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

The open test will be held on COTA’s challenging 20-turn, 3.41-mile permanent road course. Tuesday’s test session will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET and then from 2:30-6:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, the test will run from 10 a.m.-Noon and then return to the track from 1-5 p.m.

Tuesday will be open to the public and both days will be streamed live on the INDYCAR Mobile App and

Click here for the test entry list.

Here are ”5 Things To Look For …” following a busy offseason:


Simon wins the 2019 Indianapolis 500

“Rise Above”



Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden arrives as the defending NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion and will be looking to become the first to repeat since Dario Franchitti won three in a row from 2009-11. Newgarden, a 29-year-old native of Nashville, Tenn., won his second title in three years to join three-time series champ Sam Hornish Jr. (2001, ’02, ’06) as the only Americans with multiple crowns since Al Unser Jr. won his second in 1994. Newgarden is coming off a 2019 campaign in which he led the series in wins (4), top-five finishes (12) and laps led (490). He grabbed the championship lead from the outset with a win at the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., and only relinquished the points lead once – following the Indianapolis 500 in May – during the entire 17-race season.



Will Power wins at Pocono, 2017

“TK Last Lap”



Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and ’04 series champion, announced Jan. 30 that the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will be his final campaign. Kanaan is scheduled to compete in the season’s five oval races – the Indianapolis 500 (May 24), Texas Motor Speedway (June 6), Richmond Raceway (June 27), Iowa Speedway (July 18) and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Aug. 22) – in the No. 14 Chevrolet entry for AJ Foyt Racing. Kanaan, a 45-year-old native of Brazil, will be competing in his 23rd season in 2020 and the farewell tour will be known as “TK Last Lap.” Kanaan owns 17 wins and 15 poles as well as INDYCAR’s all-time “Ironman” streak, having competed in 317 consecutive races dating to the 2001 season. Given his 2020 plans, that streak will end at 317 with no current intention to compete in the March 15 season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kanaan will not test this week, but he will be part of the streaming coverage of the event on and the INDYCAR Mobile App.

Alexander Rossi wins the 2018 ABC Supply 500

“On the Move”


There were a flurry of driver moves heading into the 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, including a full makeover at Arrow McLaren SP with the addition of the two most recent Indy Lights champions. Oliver Askew, the 2019 champ, and Pato O’Ward, the ’18 champ, replace James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson for the organization. Ericsson moves over to Chip Ganassi Racing to join Scott Dixon and Felix Rosenqvist as the team expands from two to three cars. Hinchcliffe announced in January that he has backing from tech company Genesys that will allow him to compete in the GMR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge in May, and possibly more 2020 events. Rinus VeeKay, the 2019 Indy Lights championship runner-up, landed a ride with Ed Carpenter Racing as did Conor Daly. Daly will share the No. 20 entry with team owner Ed Carpenter and is slated to compete in all the road/street course events as well as an additional team entry in the Indianapolis 500. Dale Coyne Racing bid farewell to Sebastien Bourdais and replaced the four-time Champ Car World Series champion with Super Formula Rookie of the Year Alex Palou. Colton Herta moves from the Harding Steinbrenner Racing one-car team to the fifth full-time entry for Andretti Autosport, following a merged effort that will be known as Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport. Charlie Kimball, who ran a partial schedule for Carlin last season, will run a full season in the No. 4 entry for AJ Foyt Racing. The No. 14 Foyt entry will be split among Kanaan, Bourdais and Canadian rookie Dalton Kellett. Finally, Team Penske announced last week that reigning Virgin Australia Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will make his series debut in the GMR Grand Prix at IMS. McLaughlin, who will be attempting to win his third consecutive series championship for DJR Team Penske in 2020, is participating in the COTA test.


Newarden Wins at Iowa

“A Game Changer”


The Aeroscreen, a safety innovation for enhanced driver cockpit protection, will be showcased by every team during the two-day test session and will make its competition debut March 13-15 in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The Aeroscreen consists of a ballistic, canopy-like “windshield” anchored by titanium framework encompassing the cockpit. INDYCAR announced a partnership with Red Bull Advanced Technologies during the 2019 Indianapolis 500 race weekend for the development and implementation of the Aeroscreen and had the first on-track test in October. That initial test was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Team Penske’s Will Power. Additional tests with other drivers followed at Barber Motorsports Park, Richmond Raceway and Sebring International Raceway over the course of a month. This will be the first full-field test with all teams having the Aeroscreen on their cars.


Santino Ferrucci (No. 19 Cli-Del Manufacturing Honda)

“Captain’s Choice”



The biggest move of the offseason came from Roger Penske, but it did not involve any of his championship-winning drivers (Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud or Will Power). In a blockbuster announcement in November, Penske acquired the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions from Hulman & Company. The sale to the Penske Corporation was finalized Jan. 6 and the assets are now operated by Penske Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Penske Corporation.



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