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Evan Turner follows his heart and enters NBA Draft

compiled from staff, wire reports and Ohio State Athletics

Evan Turner (OSU)

To no one’s surprise, Ohio State’s Evan Turner is skipping his senior year and entering the upcoming NBA draft. The 6’7 point guard is expected to be a top-three pick in the June 24 draft.

The Chicago native averaged 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 6 assists while shooting 52 percent from the floor, 36.4 percent beyond the arc and 76 percent at the free throw line.

Turner was moved to point guard before the season, a decision by coach Thad Matta that had media and fans scratching their heads because Evan had never played the position and had been prone to making mistakes with the ball.

With the junior sharp-shooter leading the way, Ohio State went a surprising 29-8 (second-most wins in school history); won a share of the Big Ten regular season title; won the conference tournament championship; and advanced to the NCAA tournament round of 16 before falling to Tennessee.

Even Thad Matta knew it time for Turner to move up to the NBA. “I told evan up front, I’m ok if you go. Coach Matta wants you back, but Thad Matta if ok if you go. It’s knowing what’s right for him,” Matta said.

Turner was a first team All-American and had a huge year despite missing 4 1/2 weeks with broken bones in his back. He was injured while dunking during a game on December 5, and had to go through an extensive rehab program before returning. Ohio State held their own without him, going 3-3.

A near-unanimous pick for Big Ten player of the year after leading the league in scoring, rebounding and finishing second in assists, he guided Ohio State to wins in 16 of its final 18 games heading into the NCAA tournament.

Evan showed in the Big Ten conference tournament that he is definitely ready for the NBA. He took an inbounds pass, dribbled to just past midcourt and hit a 37-foot 3-point basket at the buzzer to beat archrival Michigan 69-68 in the quarterfinals. Two days later, he had 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as Ohio State beat Minnesota to win the tournament.

Turner, who was the Associated Press Player of the Year and the Naismith award winner, was not even the top-player on his high school team in Chicago. Illinois’ Demetri McCamey was considered more of a blue-chip prospect. Turner set a record by being chosen Big Ten player of the year 10 times during his career, including an unprecendented seven times this sesason.

Turner said yesterday in announcing his departure, ” I leave the program in great hands. We’re going to stay on top.”

78 wins in a row and a National title for the Connecticut women’s team

compiled from staff, wire reports and Connecticut Athletics

Geno Auriemma (UCONN)

Maya Moore (UCONN)

The NCAA women’s national championship game in San Antonio, Texas on Tuesday night was being played by two of the best in the game, Stanford and Connecticut.

The halftime score was 20-12 Stanford. Yes, you’ve seen it 20-12. The Huskies missed 18 straight shots, from layups to 3-pointers and missed free throws. The Connecticut women went 10 minutes, 37 seconds between points.

Huskies star Maya Moore took control of the game.

Moore scored 11 points during a 17-2 run to start the second half of the national championship game, a key point in the game that put the Huskies back in control and on their way to a 53-47 win over the Stanford Cardinal on Tuesday night. Maya Moore finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Tina Charles added nine points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocks.

The win, their record-stretching 78th straight, capped a two-year run in women’s college basketball history, going undefeated from start to finish.

Connecticut finished the season the way as they did last season: 39-0 and National champions. Associated Press player of the year Tina Charles reminded everyone during the trophy ceremony, as she sent a message to the White House, “tell President Obama, we’re Baaaaaaaaaaack’.

UConn’s unbeaten streak is moving into sacred territory. If they can start the 2010-2011 season at 11-0, the Lady Huskies would top the 88-game streak by John Wooden’s UCLA men in the early1970′s.

Auriemma won his seventh national title in a 25 year career. That puts him one behind Tennessee’s Pat Summitt for most titles among women’s coaches.

Tina Charles (UCONN)

The Stanford Cardinal,  who finishes the season at 36-2, was the last team to beat UConn, exactly two years before, at the 2008 Final Four. In the last 15 months, Stanford has beaten everyone its faced except Connecticut. This was the their third straight loss.

They met earlier this season on December 23, 2009 in Storrs, Connecticut. Stanford led at the halftime, but lost by 12. It was the closest that anyone has ever been to beating the Huskies all season long.

Stanford center Jayne Appel closed her career with a game she will soon forget, going 0 for 12 from the floor and failing sore from the field.

Kayla Pederson led the Cardinal with 15 points and 17 rebounds.

The game in San Antonio was played before a crowd of 22,936 that included Vice President Joe Biden as well as former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Cleveland 113 Toronto 101; Chris Bosh suffers facial injury

compiled from staff and news reports

The Toronto Raptors are trying to secure an Eastern Division playoff spot, but last night in Cleveland, the road just got tougher.

For one they lost to the Cavaliers, 113-101, the eleventh loss in a row to Cleveland. The Raptors haven’t won up on Lake Erie since April 6, 2004.

And two they lost their star player, Chris Bosh to a facial injury. Bosh was accidently struck by the Cavaliers Antawn Jamison as the two banged around for position in the lane in the opening minutes of the first quarter. He was taken immediately to the Cleveland Clinic.

Anthony Parker Cavs (nba)

After the game, Toronto media relations staff members told the media that the All-Star forward suffered a “maxilla and nasal fracture to the right side of his face”.

Toronto’s loss comes at a bad time for the team. Currently, they are clinging barely to the eastern conference’s number 8 playoff spot. The Raptors have a tough week ahead with games against Boston, Atlanta and Chicago. Chicago is one game behind Toronto.

The Cavaliers were led by Antawn Jamison with 20 points, 12 in the third quarter when the Cavs opened up a double-digit lead, Le Bron James scored 19 points and dished out 13 assists,  and Anthony Parker had a season-high 18 points.

Devils shutout Atlanta as Martin Brodeur wins 600th game

compiled from staff, wire reports and New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur says that win number 600 is no big deal. He says, “A win’s a win”.

The veteran goalie reached that milestone with another shutout of the Atlanta Thrashers 3-0 Tuesday night in the Philips Arena in Atlanta.

New Jersey moved into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division and second place in the Eastern Conference. The 37-year-old Brodeur improveed to 10-2-2 against Atlanta.

Martin Brodeur (NJD)

The game was also the first time that Ilya Kovulchuk returned to Atlanta to play against his former team. He was traded on February 4.

GAME NOTES

* The Atlanta Thrashers announced two team awards Center Marty Reasoner was voted best team player by teammates.

* Johan Hedberg accumulated the most points from being named a star, one of the three stars of the game voting after games.

Another award for Jim Boeheim; Naismith coach of the year

conpiled from staff, wire reports and Syracuse Athletics

Jim Boeheim (SU)

Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim has been selected the Naismith college coach of the year.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club made the announcement on Tuesday. Boeheim beat out some worthy competition: Steve Alford of New Mexico, John Calipari from Kentucky and Kansas State’s Frank Martin.

Boeheim, who guided the Orange from the unranked in the preseason polls to number 1, becomes the fourth Big East coach to win the award. He joins Ben Howland (2002) and Jamie Dixon (2009) of Pittsburgh and Jay Wright of Villanova (2006).

Syracuse went 30-5 overall in making it to Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament before losing to national runner-up Butler. The Orange won the Big East regular-season title with a 15-3 record, lost only once on the road, and were ranked number 1 during the regular season for the first time since 1989-90.

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