banner

Detroit Sports

Bol Fails Physical, Trade Halted

A trade between Detroit and the Denver Nuggets was rescinded Thursday after big man Bol Bol didn’t receive medical clearance with the Pistons.

The Nuggets finalized a deal Monday to send Bol to Detroit in exchange for guard Rodney McGruder along with a 2022 second-round pick via Brooklyn.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 12: Bol Bol #10 of the Denver Nuggets passes the ball during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The 7-foot-2 Bol is the son of the late Manute Bol, who played 10 years in the NBA. Bol Bol saw action in 53 games over three seasons with the Nuggets and averaged 2.7 points.

McGruder played in 17 games for the Pistons this season. He averaged 2.5 points and 1.6 rebounds.

Over his career, the 30-year-old McGruder has played in 251 games with the Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Pistons.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Jets Beat Red Wings 3-0

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season and Andrew Copp scored twice in the Winnipeg Jets’ 3-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 09: Connor Hellebuyck #37 of the Winnipeg Jets makes a save against the Seattle Kraken during the second period at Climate Pledge Arena on December 09, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Kyle Connor added an empty-net goal in Winnipeg’s first game since a 7-1 loss in Colorado a week ago and just its fourth since Dec. 19. The Jets, who dressed six players on emergency recall, had seven postponements during that stretch.

Hellebuyck, Copp and Connor are Winnipeg’s three Michigan natives, making it a special night for all involved.

“It must be something in the water here, I guess,” Connor said. “We haven’t played here in awhile. We spent a lot of time here, grew up here, all three of us idolized the Wings growing up. There’s a little bit of extra pep in your step coming home and playing against the Wings. ”

Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 29 shots for Detroit. The Red Wings were shut out for the fifth time this season. They were playing their first game after a winless three-game road trip.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 04: Alex Nedeljkovic #39 of the Detroit Red Wings while playing the New York Islanders at Little Caesars Arena on December 04, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“I thought we had a slow start — it is tough coming back from a West Coast (swing) and pretty much playing the next day,” center Dylan Larkin said. “Once we got going, I thought we had good energy, but it was already 1-0 against us.”

Copp opened the scoring at 5:41 of the first period. He flicked a shot near the left boards that deflected off defenseman Nick Leddy and caromed behind Nedeljkovic. Defenseman Dylan Samberg, making his NHL debut, was credited with an assist.

Copp’s second goal and 10th of the season came just after Winnipeg killed off a penalty. He lifted a shot over Nedeljkovic’s right shoulder midway through the second period.

“I definitely had a lot of chances tonight,” Copp said. “I could have had more (goals). Happy to come away with a big win, especially missing some guys and not having played in a little while.”

The Red Wings had a 5-on-3 advantage for 47 seconds late in the third period and emptied the net for an extra skater. They still couldn’t get the puck past Hellebuyck.

“It was crazy seeing that happen,” Hellebuyck said. “I haven’t been in too many of those situations. I was thinking I’ve got to earn (the shutout) and the guys in front of me did a phenomenal job.”

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – MAY 20: Jeff Blashill, head coach of the United States looks on during the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Bronze Medal Game game between the United States and Canada at Royal Arena on May 20, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Wings coach Jeff Blashill lamented the missed opportunities.

“I thought we generated a lot of good looks,” he said. “Connor is a really good goalie and I thought there were some grade-A chances where we just missed the net,”

Connor fired the puck from his own zone just before the second penalty for his 20th goal of the season.

“The penalty kill was outstanding, especially at the end,” Jets interim coach Dave Lowry said. “Goaltending was outstanding and I really liked the energy the young guys brought. We challenged some of our top guys that we needed them to be our best players tonight and they accepted the challenge.”

GAME NOTES
The Jets are 12-0 when leading after two periods. … Paul Stastny, Brenden Dillon and Eric Comrie joined on Thursday a handful of other Jets players in COVID protocol. … Declan Chisholm made his NHL debut for Winnipeg. … The Red Wings placed center Carter Rowney on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 4. … Larkin and Connor were selected to play in the All-Star Weekend. … The teams will meet in Winnipeg on April 6.

UP NEXT

Jets: At Washington on Tuesday night.

Red Wings: Host Buffalo on Saturday night.

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


No. 10 Michigan State Beats Minnesota On Hauser’s shot

Joey Hauser made a low-post shot with a tenth of a second left, lifting No. 10 Michigan State to a 71-69 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night for a ninth straight win.

EAST LANSING, MI – NOVEMBER 25: Joey Hauser #20 of the Michigan State Spartans attempts a three-point shot in the first half against Eastern Michigan Eagles at Breslin Center on November 25, 2020 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

The Spartans (14-2, 5-0 Big Ten) had the ball with 18.1 seconds left, and A.J. Hoggard drove into the lane in the final seconds to set up the much-maligned Hauser for the final basket.

“I was happy for Joey, and the players were happy for Joey,” coach Tom Izzo said. “I appreciate all the fans that chanted his name.”

Michigan State freshman Max Christie had 16 points, Gabe Brown scored 13 points and Tyson Walker added 10 points.

The Golden Gophers (10-4, 1-4) were very competitive throughout the game and had opportunities to pull off the upset.

Minnesota’s chances to win were hurt when Eric Curry injured his left ankle with a minute left, putting him on the bench with 19 points.

“EC got the ankle pretty good,” coach Ben Johnson said. “I don’t know the extent of it.

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JANUARY 09: Ben Johnson the head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers against the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on January 09, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

“If Eric can go, Eric’s going to go. He’s a grown man. He’s kind of the leader of our team and he did a great job of showing that.”

Eylijah Stephens scored 18 points, Payton Willis had 15 and Jamison Battle added 13 points for the Gophers. Stephens made four free throws late, putting the teams in a 69-all tie.

The Spartans started strong, but couldn’t sustain success against a scrappy team.

The Spartans led 27-17 late in the first half, but they got sloppy and Minnesota took advantage to cut its deficit to three at halftime.

The Gophers scored seven straight points, five off turnovers, to take a 52-51 lead midway through the second half. Michigan State went ahead by six points a couple times, but could not put Minnesota away.

“I don’t think I’ve been in a game where you shoot 52% from the field and 43% from the 3 and almost 85% from the line and could’ve lost,” Izzo said.

EAST LANSING, MI – DECEMBER 11: head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts in the second half of the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Breslin Center on December 11, 2021 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

In the conference opener for both teams last month, Michigan State beat Minnesota 75-67 in Minneapolis.

“They were introduced to Big Ten basketball,” Johnson said. “That was the first game like, `Welcome to the show.’ I didn’t feel like we responded well.

“We’ve slowly figured out how to play in this league to give yourself a chance with physicality and mental toughness. We’re in a growing process with a lot of guys who have never been here. That’s the fun part of this group because you can see it develop.”

PIVOTAL PLAY

Minnesota guard Luke Loewe was called for a flagrant foul for tripping Brown when Michigan State was leading 42-40 with 15:18 left. Brown made two free throws and Walker had a layup, making it a four-point swing.

BIG PICTURE

Minnesota: Johnson was disappointed his team didn’t win but was proud of how hard and well his team played against a top-10 opponent on the road.

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JANUARY 09: Ben Johnson the head coach talks with Luke Loewe #12 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers against the Indiana Hoosiers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on January 09, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

“If you play like that with that type of intensity, aggressiveness, and connectivity we’re going to have a fun second half,” Johnson said.

Michigan State: Izzo’s team has taken care of a relatively easy schedule, beating the Gophers twice, Penn State, Northwestern, and Nebraska.

“I know what’s coming up,” Izzo said. “I know we’ve got to get better.”

FACE IN THE CROWD

Hall of Famer Roy Williams and his wife, Wanda, had courtside seats across from Michigan State’s bench and was with the Spartans in the locker room after the game.

“He had to remind me that we’re 14-2,” Izzo said.

Williams retired last April after winning more than 900 games and three national titles at North Carolina and Kansas. He watched the ninth-ranked Jayhawks beat No. 15 Iowa State 62-61 on Tuesday night.

“He called me a couple of weeks ago and said he wanted to go to six or seven places,” Izzo said.

LETDOWN

Michigan State’s previous game against rival Michigan last Saturday was postponed because the Wolverines had fewer than seven scholarship players, who cleared COVID-19 protocols to play. That might have led to the Spartans lacking energy at times against Minnesota.

“We’re coming off a disappointing no-play, and it’s no excuse,” Izzo said.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: Hosts Iowa on Sunday.

Michigan State: Hosts Northwestern on Saturday.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Hall Of Famer Grant Hill’s Memoir ‘Game’ Coming Out In June

NEW YORK (AP) — Grant Hill’s path to the NBA Hall of Fame had plenty of pain along with all the highlights.

Hill has a deal with Penguin Press for the memoir “Game,” scheduled for June 7 and billed by the publishers as a “full, frank story” covering both the “pinnacle of success” and “the depths of personal trauma.”

BIG NEWS! We're so excited to announce that we will be publishing @realgranthill33's memoir GAME in June! This is the full, frank story of his remarkable life's journey. Learn more and preorder your copy at https://t.co/rEU3tDpsMU pic.twitter.com/6ZI6ywJau7

— penguinpress (@penguinpress) January 12, 2022

Hill will tell about helping Duke University win back-to-back NCAA titles, playing on the 1996 Olympics team that won the gold medal, and his achievements with such professional teams as the Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic. He will also discuss the ankle problems that plagued him for years, and the health struggles of his wife, Tamia Hill, the singer, songwriter and actor who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“My journey through basketball provided me with opportunities that I couldn’t imagine when I started playing,” Hill, now co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, said in a statement Wednesday.

“More importantly, I grew and learned more about myself through the moments of athletic and personal adversity. There is connectivity in the stories we share, a familiarity in the collective pursuit of our goals and dreams. I have benefited from the chronicles of many people throughout my life, and I hope that ‘Game’ can be of similar value to others as they chase their dreams and fight through the unavoidable challenges life presents.”

© 2021 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Pistons Trade For Bol Bol

The Denver Nuggets finalized a deal with Detroit on Monday that will send big man Bol Bol to the Pistons.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 12: Bol Bol #10 of the Denver Nuggets passes the ball during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 12, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

In exchange, the Nuggets received guard Rodney McGruder along with a 2022 second-round pick via Brooklyn.

The 7-foot-2 Bol is the son of the late Manute Bol, who played 10 years in the NBA. Bol Bol was the 44th overall pick by Miami in the 2019 NBA draft and was acquired by Denver in a draft-night trade. He played in 53 games over three seasons with the Nuggets and averaged 2.7 points. He shot 47.8% from the field.

McGruder saw action in 17 games for the Pistons this season. He averaged 2.5 points and 1.6 rebounds. McGruder went undrafted in the 2013 NBA draft after playing at Kansas State. He played overseas in Hungary in 2013-14 and had G League stints before signing with Miami.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 15: Rodney McGruder #17 of the Detroit Pistons plays against the Philadelphia 76ers during a pre season game at Little Caesars Arena on October 15, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The 30-year-old McGruder has played in 251 games with the Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and the Pistons.

Denver may not be done tinkering with its roster. On Sunday, Nuggets coach Michael Malone addressed possibly adding veteran center DeMarcus Cousins: “We’re going to wait and see what happens,” Malone said. “Talented player, somebody that I’m very close with. And if he comes to Denver, I think it would be a tremendous opportunity to reconnect with him. But nothing has been done on that front.”

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Lions, Jets Coach Senior Bowl

The New York Jets and Detroit Lions will get an up-close look at some of college football’s top players at the Senior Bowl.

The coaching staffs of both teams were assigned by NFL Football Operations on Tuesday to lead the all-star squads for the game in Mobile, Alabama, on Feb. 5.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions while playing the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Senior Bowl played at South Alabama’s Hancock Whitney Stadium, showcases many of the best NFL draft prospects who have completed their college eligibility. Justin Herbert, Mac Jones, Najee Harris, Daniel Jones, Baker Mayfield, Dak Prescott, and Deebo Samuel are among those who have participated in recent years.

NFL coaching staffs are selected by NFL Football Operations using the draft order, particularly teams picking near the top and not dealing with coaching changes. Dan Campbell and the Lions hold the Nos. 2 and 27 picks in the first round in April, while Robert Saleh and the Jets are picking at Nos. 4 and 10.

“The New York Jets are fired up for the opportunity to engage with these young men and be a part of everything at the Senior Bowl,” Saleh said in a statement.

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 09: Head coach Robert Saleh of the New York Jets looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Highmark Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

The Lions last coached at the Senior Bowl two years ago under former coach Matt Patricia. The Jets last participated in 1979, when Walt Michaels was the coach and New York drafted two players who were in the game that year: defensive linemen Marty Lyons and Mark Gastineau.

In a change to this year’s format, teams’ head coaches will serve in an advisory role while having assistants hold leadership roles — head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator — for the week of practices and the game. Four coaches from Historically Black Colleges & Universities will also be a part of the Senior Bowl coaching staffs for this year’s game.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Fast Facts: College Football Playoff

(CNN) – Here’s a look at the College Football Playoff, a four-team seeded postseason format which began for the 2014 season and replaced the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

January 10, 2022 – The Georgia Bulldogs defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

December 31, 2021 – In the semifinals, Alabama (1) defeats (4) Cincinnati 27-6 in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas. Georgia (3) wins over (2) Michigan 34-11 in the Orange Bowl in Miami.

January 11, 2021 – The Alabama Crimson Tide defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24 in the College Football Playoff National Championship at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JANUARY 10: Tykee Smith #23 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 33-18 during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

 

Other Facts

 

The 13-member selection committee selects and seeds the four playoff teams. (Number 1 will play Number 4; Number 2 will play Number 3).

The two winning teams of the semifinal games advance to the title game, which determines the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) college football national champion.

This replaces the heavily criticized BCS postseason system, which ran from the 1998-2013 seasons and was often accused of unfairness relating to team selections.

According to the College Football Playoff, compared to the BCS, the “format increases revenue for all conferences and independent institutions.”

Revenue Distribution Policies

The College Football Playoff trophy, presented to the championship team, is handmade, stands 26.5 inches tall and is constructed from 24-karat gold, bronze, and stainless steel.

The playoff is contracted from the 2014-15 season through at least the 2025-26 season.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – JANUARY 10: Alabama Crimson Tide TE Cameron Latu (81) is tackled by Georgia Bulldogs ILB Quay Walker (7) during the Alabama Crimson Tide versus the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship, on January 10, 2022, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Selection Committee

 

The committee members, which include athletic directors and former coaches and players, serve on staggered three-year terms.

The 13 Selection Committee Members

After the ninth week of regular season play, the selection committee begins ranking the top 25 teams on a weekly basis. The committee identifies and compares the top teams, then votes them into the rankings.

Towards the end of the regular season, selection weekend takes place, where the committee determines the playoff matchups.

The committee selects teams based on conference championship wins, overall win-loss records, strength of schedule, head-to-head matchups and other criteria.

The selection committee is also responsible for choosing the teams which play in the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls in years those bowls are not hosting the semifinal games. (The Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls have previous existing contracts with conferences).

Members are recused from voting when “they or an immediate family member receives compensation from the school or has a professional relationship with that school.”

 

Bowl Game Locations

 

Semifinal playoff games rotate between the Sugar Bowl, Rose BowlOrange BowlCotton BowlPeach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.

Cities interested in hosting the national championship game must submit a bid, in a process similar to bidding for a Super Bowl site.

 

Timeline

 

June 26, 2012 – A BCS oversight committee of university presidents approves the four-team seeded postseason format presented by the BCS commissioners, to begin in the 2014 season and continue through the 2025 regular season (2026 bowl games).

November 21, 2012 – ESPN announces it has obtained the rights for the new college football playoffs from 2014 through the 2025 season.

April 23, 2013 – The College Football Playoff is announced as the name of the new system to replace the BCS.

October 16, 2013 – The names of the 13 members of the selection committee are announced.

January 6, 2014 – The final BCS National Championship game is played in Pasadena, California. The Florida State Seminoles beat the Auburn Tigers 34-31.

July 14, 2014 – The CFP National Championship trophy unveiled.

October 28, 2014 – The selection committee begins issuing weekly rankings for the top 25 teams.

December 6-7, 2014 – Selection weekend takes place. The committee releases the matchups for the inaugural playoff and for the other bowl games.

January 1, 2015 – The University of Oregon defeats Florida State University 59-20 in the 101st Rose Bowl game in Pasadena, California. In the Sugar Bowl, The Ohio State University defeats University of Alabama 42-35, advancing to the first College Football Final against the Oregon Ducks in Arlington, Texas.

January 12, 2015 – The Ohio State Buckeyes defeat the Oregon Ducks 42-20 to win the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship. 33.3 million viewers watched the championship game, making ESPN’s broadcast the largest audience in cable TV history.

 

Future National Championship Game Sites

 

2023 – Los Angeles Stadium in Inglewood, California.
2024 – NRG Stadium in Houston.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.


Cunningham Leads Pistons Over Jazz 126-116

Cade Cunningham scored 18 of his career-high 29 points in the third quarter to help the Detroit Pistons erase a 22-point deficit and beat the Utah Jazz 126-116 on Monday night.

PORTLAND, OREGON – NOVEMBER 30: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Moda Center on November 30, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

“I have to give all the credit to my teammates, who kept encouraging me and getting me the ball,” said Cunningham, who made 10 of his last 12 shots after an 0-5 start. “I’m new to this league, but I’ve been playing basketball for a long time. I know what I’m capable of doing to help a team win once I get into a rhythm.”

Saddiq Bey added 29 points for Detroit, which is 4-2 in 2022 after finishing 2021 with 18 losses in 19 games. Lead assistant coach Rex Kalamian took charge with coach Dwane Casey having entered COVID-19 protocol.

“That’s the first game ball I’ve gotten in 28 years,” said Kalamian, who has been an NBA assistant coach since 1995. “I wanted to get the win for the players, but it is a great feeling to get my first one as a head coach.”

Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points for Utah, and Hassan Whiteside had a season-high 21 points as well as 14 rebounds.

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 01: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a play during the first half of a game against the Golden State Warriors at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 01, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

“Give them credit, because they did a lot of good things in the second half, but we didn’t do much right at all in the second half,” Mitchell said. “They made a lot of shots, but we were making it too easy for them. You can’t get up more than 20 points and lose. You just can’t.”

Utah (28-13), which had won 10 straight against the Pistons, led by 22 in the second quarter but was outscored 94-62 in the final 2 1/2 quarters. Rudy Gobert was still out in health and safety protocols, but Utah coach Quinn Snyder didn’t use that as an excuse.

“When you don’t have the defensive player of the year on the floor, you aren’t going to be as good,” he said. “But we are still good enough to do a lot better than we did in the second half of the game. There’s no reason for us to play as poorly as we did.”

Utah trailed 90-84 in the first minute of the fourth quarter but scored the next nine points to take a 3-point lead with 9:53 to play. Trey Lyles and Cory Joseph hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Detroit up 102-96, and although Utah scored on its next two possessions, Cunningham answered with a 3-pointer, a layup, and a free throw.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 08: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons plays against the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena on December 08, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

That put Detroit up 108-100, and the Jazz never got back within one possession.

“I’m really proud of what Cade did because he’s a rookie who missed his first five shots,” Kalamian said. “When a guy gets off to a start like that, they have to have a short memory. If they are 0-4, they have to focus on making the next four to get to 4-8. That’s exactly how Cade approached it tonight.”

Jazz guard Mike Conley said there was a defensive breakdown.

“We weren’t communicating about when we needed to help and when we needed to stay in place,” he said, “and there were too many possessions where we were leaving guys wide open for easy baskets.”

The Jazz led 54-32 midway through the second quarter, thanks to 18 points from Whiteside. The Pistons answered with a 16-6 run. It was 61-48 at the half. Cunningham continued the Detroit rally in the third, putting up 18 points and three assists as the Pistons took the lead.

“We had a lot of moving pieces tonight with Coach Rex behind the bench and getting down 13-2 in the first few minutes,” Bey said. “When we were down 22 in the second quarter, we knew we had to get back into the game. When it was within 13, we had a chance.”

HOUSTON, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 10: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons speaks with Saddiq Bey #41 during the second half against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on November 10, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

TIP-INS

Jazz: Utah finished its five-game road trip with a 2-3 record despite starting with wins in New Orleans and Denver. It lost to Toronto, Indiana, and Chicago.

Pistons: Detroit hadn’t beaten Utah since Jan. 25, 2016, when Reggie Jackson had 29 points and Ersan Ilyasova added 16. None of the Pistons who played in that game are still on the roster.

UP NEXT

Jazz: Host Cleveland on Wednesday.

Pistons: At Chicago on Tuesday.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Lions Give Hope For 2022 Season

Dan Campbell leaned into a lectern and gripped it with both hands, looking and sounding slightly somber.

Leading the Detroit Lions and winning just three games will do that to you.

ALLEN PARK, MICHIGAN – JULY 28: Detroit Lions head football coach Dan Campbell speaks with the media before the Detroit Lions Training Camp on July 28, 2021 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

When the Lions hired Campbell nearly a year ago, he was perhaps as fired up as any coach could be at an introductory news conference as he talked about kicking teeth and biting kneecaps.

A day after Campbell closed his first season with a 3-13-1 record, he was subdued and perhaps that was because he had just fired offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.

“He came here, took a leap of faith with us under the impression that he would be calling the plays,” Campbell said Monday. “It was not going to go that direction.”

The Lions were 0-8 with Lynn, who has a 33-32 record as a head coach, calling plays. With Campbell taking over those duties, they were 3-5-1.

Campbell said he isn’t sure yet whether he will call plays on offense again next season.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions looks on during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

“It’s what I think is best for us and as a team, and I need time to think about that,” he said.

AS GOFF GOES

Quarterback Jared Goff went 3-1 in his last four starts, topping Green Bay Packers to end the regular season after beating Arizona and Minnesota last month.

“I know (the Packers) took their guys out at halftime or some of them, but still they’ve got 13 wins with anyone playing and we beat them,” Goff said. “We beat the Cardinals, we beat Minnesota, and those all happened in the last handful of weeks.

“Those give us reason for optimism that we kind of know how to do it now, know how to win.”

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 05: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with head coach Dan Campbell after defeating the Minnesota Vikings 29-27 to win their first game of the season at Ford Field on December 05, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Goff had a lot to do with it, throwing a total of eight touchdown passes with only one interception in the three home wins.

Goff was acquired from the Los Angeles Rams with a pair of first-round picks for Matthew Stafford. The first-year Lion gained a lot of respect from teammates throughout the season, especially in Week 18 when he pushed to play with a banged-up knee in a game that was relatively meaningless.

“To go out there and put your body on the line for us, that goes a long way for the players and the coaches,” said defensive end Michael Brockers, who was also a teammate of Goff’s in Los Angeles.

QUITE A TRIO

The Lions had three players with 60-plus receptions in the same year for the first time. Those players — receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back D’Andre Swift — should all be back next season to try to pull off the feat again with Goff.

Hockenson said it will be tough for defenses to slow Detroit down next season, especially with St. Brown’s emergence.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball after a reception during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

“They can’t just hone in on one guy,” said Hockenson, who had season-ending surgery on his left thumb last month.

BUILDING BLOCK

St. Brown was the brightest spot on a dim season.

The fourth-round pick from USC became the first NFL rookie to make eight-plus catches in six straight games, beating Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson’s franchise record by one. St. Brown had at least 90 yards receiving and caught a touchdown pass in three straight games, joining two rookies in league history: Randy Moss and Odell Beckham.

“It’s a credit to my teammates, credit to the coaches, to the people around me,” he said. “Without them, I couldn’t have done what I’ve done this year. I think hard work, patience, opportunity when those all come together, it’s awesome to see.”

GOING FOR IT

Campbell took a lot of chances, with nothing to lose, and set NFL records along the way with 21 fourth-down conversions and 41 fourth-down attempts.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 31: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions yells from the sideline during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ford Field on October 31, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“I would like to believe the aggressive nature will stay, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will show up on fourth downs all of the time,” he said two weeks ago.

NEXT STEPS

General manager Brad Holmes, entering his second season, and Campbell have a lot of work to do with a team that has more weaknesses than strengths. The front office and coaching staff will evaluate the current roster, helping the team target its many needs in free agency and the draft.

Detroit will have the No. 2 selection overall on April 28 and could fill a void at defensive end with Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson or Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Red Wings Lose 4-3 In SO

Rookie Trevor Zegras had a goal and an assist before scoring again in the shootout, leading the Ducks to a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night in a game that was rescheduled due to Anaheim’s COVID-19 problems.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 17: Trevor Zegras #46 congratulates Hampus Lindholm #47 of the Anaheim Ducks after his goal during the third period of a game against the Arizona Coyotes at Honda Center on December 17, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Lukáš Dostál made 33 saves and won his NHL debut for Anaheim with two stops in the tiebreaker. Troy Terry got his 22nd goal and Max Comtois also scored for the Ducks, who won for just the second time in six games since the holiday break.

After Zegras scored in the second round of the shootout, Rickard Rakell finished it off with a goal. Rakell also had two assists in a matchup initially scheduled for Thursday.

“I think the lack of practice time has built up on us, but we were able to survive it and we were able to get both points,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “That’s the most important thing, but it really was the first time all season I thought we looked tired.”

Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who have lost four of five since the holiday break. Filip Hronek and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for Detroit, and Thomas Greiss stopped 24 shots as the Red Wings rebounded from a dismaying 4-0 loss at Los Angeles one night earlier.

DALLAS, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 16: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates with Lucas Raymond #23 of the Detroit Red Wings, Robby Fabbri #14 of the Detroit Red Wings, Moritz Seider #53 of the Detroit Red Wings and Tyler Bertuzzi #59 of the Detroit Red Wings after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars in the second period at American Airlines Center on November 16, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“We started a little bit slow, (but) we were way better tonight,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We had a good shift in overtime. We did enough good things to be in position, but we didn’t win it. They have a number of talented, good shootout players.”

The 21-year-old Dostál, a third-round pick in 2018 from the Czech Republic, got the chance to come up from San Diego (AHL) for his debut with Gibson still unavailable and Anthony Stolarz resting after facing the Rangers on Saturday night.

Dostál’s 33 saves were a Ducks record for a goalie in his debut. His teammates showered him with water in the locker room following his win.

“I didn’t feel nervous, to be honest,” Dostál said. “I felt so excited. I just went through and enjoyed the moment, because it’s huge. You’re dreaming about it as a kid. It’s unreal. I’m so blessed.”

Comtois scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period for Anaheim, but Namestnikov evened it for the Red Wings with his 10th goal less than six minutes later.

MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 23: Vladislav Namestnikov #92 of the Detroit Red Wings skates the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Centre Bell on October 23, 2021 in Montreal, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Detroit Red Wings 6-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The Ducks have won two of three with a patchwork lineup over the past week. Anaheim got captain Ryan Getzlaf back in uniform after a COVID-19 absence, but the club still is without starting goalie John Gibson and defenseman Hampus Lindholm.

Zegras opened the scoring early in the first period with the ninth goal of his breakout rookie season on a power play, firing home a one-timer off a pass from Cam Fowler, who played more than 35 minutes.

Hronek cleanly beat Dostál with a slap shot on a power play early in the second, and Bertuzzi put the Wings ahead late in the period on a wraparound pass from Marc Staal.

“We kind of get into a wait-and-see mode on the road instead of playing like we do at home,” Bertuzzi said. “Tough to win on the road, and something we have to do. You have to be the aggressor and make the game adjust to you. Something we have to keep working on.”

TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 30: Lucas Raymond #23 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on October 30, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings 5-4. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Lucas Raymond got the secondary assist, giving him 20 assists in 36 games — a Red Wings record for a teenager, surpassing Steve Yzerman’s 39 games needed to reach the mark.

Terry evened it three minutes later with a close-range shot past Greiss, extending his career high in goals and moving him into a tie with Auston Matthews for third in the NHL.

Comtois, the Ducks’ leading scorer last year, got the first goal of the new season when he tapped in a cross-crease pass from Zegras. Comtois hadn’t found the net in his first 17 games this season while sitting out a long stretch for right hand surgery and then a stint in the COVID-19 protocols late last month.

Namestnikov got credit for the tying goal when the puck ricocheted in off the leg of Anaheim defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

UP NEXT

Red Wings: At San Jose on Tuesday night.

Ducks: Host Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 


Top Seed Packers Lose To Lions

Aaron Rodgers got off the field unscathed, giving Green Bay a win of sorts in a game it lost on the scoreboard.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on from the sidelines during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Rodgers threw two touchdown passes in the first half and sat out the second half with nothing at stake as the Detroit Lions beat the top-seeded Packers 37-30 Sunday.

“The win obviously would be nice, but the most important thing was to get out there,” he said.

Backup Jordan Love threw two late interceptions, sealing a defeat that didn’t affect Green Bay’s playoff positioning.

The NFC North champion Packers (13-4) rolled into the Motor City after already clinching the conference’s No. 1 seed and it’s only first-round bye.

“I might have a better perspective tomorrow,” Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said. “We’re all competitors and we don’t like losing.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers looks on during the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

“I am happy in the fact that we got out fairly healthy.”

Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP who may win the award for a fourth time, was 14 of 18 for 138 yards.

He threw a 1-yard pass to Allen Lazard to cap a 13-play, 74-yard drive that took 7:18 off the clock to open the game and a 29-yard pass to the fourth-year receiver late in the second quarter for another score.

Rodgers replaced his helmet with a baseball cap at halftime and watched the rest of the game from the sideline out of harm’s way after getting roughed up at times by the hard-charging Lions.

“I hold my breath every time he gets hit,” LaFleur said.

The Lions (3-13-1) closed coach Dan Campbell’s first season with plenty of pride and some nothing-to-lose plays.

“I’m really proud of our guys to go out there and finish on a bright note,” Campbell said. “When you are late in the season and you don’t have the wins, it isn’t easy to come out and grind every day, especially when you aren’t 100%, but these guys kept going.”

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions looks on during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

With the win, though, Detroit lost a shot at having the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft that was possible because Jacksonville toppled Indianapolis.

The tricky Lions tied it 7-all late in the first quarter when seldom-used Tom Kennedy ended up with the ball on a reverse and threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kalif Raymond.

Detroit took a 24-13 lead early in the third on a reverse flea-flicker with Jared Goff throwing a 36-yard touchdown pass to Brock Wright.

“We wanted to empty the chamber,” Goff said.

Love threw a go-ahead, 62-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Deguara with 4:49 left in the fourth, but the Packers could not hold on for the win.

D’Andre Swift scored on a 14-yard run with 1:54 left to put Detroit back ahead.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: D’Andre Swift #32 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball for a first down against the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

C.J. Moore intercepted Love’s pass at the Green Bay 36 on the ensuing possessions after it was deflected by linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, setting up Riley Patterson’s field goal to put the Lions up by a touchdown.

Love threw a second interception with 21 seconds left after his pass went off rookie receiver Amari Rodgers’ hands.

PACKER PACER

Green Bay’s Devante Adams had six catches for 55 yards, giving him a single-season franchise record of 1,553 yards receiving that Jordy Nelson set in 2014.

“He just texted me when I was walking in here right now,” Adams told reporters after the game, saying his former teammate congratulated him.

MAKING MARKS

Detroit’s Amon-Ra St. Brown had eight receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown, setting team rookie records with 90 receptions and 912 yards. The fourth-round pick from USC closed the season with at least eight catches in six straight games, setting an NFL rookie record.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – JANUARY 09: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions carries the ball after a reception during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field on January 09, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

“He’s better than gold, and I’m glad we’ve got him,” Campbell said.

INJURIES

Packers: WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling left the game with a back injury. … OT David Bakhtiari, a 2020 All-Pro, started and played for the first time since tearing his left ACL on Dec. 31, 2020 and having two surgeries. C Josh Myers started after getting removed from IR on Saturday. The rookie second-round pick from Ohio State had been out since having a knee injury on Oct. 17 at Chicago.

“Like I told (Bakhtiari) and Josh, there’s no substitute for football shape and it will be good for them to be out there,” LaFleur said.

Lions: OT Taylor Decker (foot) and C Evan Brown (ankle) were injured during the game.

UP NEXT

Packers: practice, rest and prepare to play in two weeks.

Lions: begin offseason project of making changes on the roster and coaching staff.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Daxton Hill Enters Draft

Michigan defensive back Daxton Hill is entering the NFL draft and skipping his senior season.

The All-Big Ten player made the announcement on his Instagram account Thursday night.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: Kenny McIntosh #6 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs with the ball as Daxton Hill #30 of the Michigan Wolverines defends in the second quarter of the game in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

He started for the second-ranked Wolverines in their loss to No. 3 Georgia in the Orange Bowl on Saturday night. Hill’s status was uncertain because he did not join the team until just a few days before the game.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said that Michigan’s second-leading tackler had not been with the team throughout the week of preparation for the College Football Playoff semifinal, but declined to give any other details.

Hill, who is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a highly touted recruit and he started in 22 of 32 games over three seasons. He had two interceptions in 2021 and four in his career.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Packers Planning To Play Starters Against Lions

GREEN BAY (13-3) at DETROIT (2-13-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 20: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions throws against the Green Bay Packers during the second half at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

OPENING LINE: Packers by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Packers 12-4; Lions 9-6-1.

SERIES RECORD: Packers lead 105-72-7.

LAST MEETING: Packers beat Lions 35-17 on Sept. 20, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 20: Krys Barnes #51 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

LAST WEEK: Packers beat Vikings 37-10; Lions lost to Seahawks 51-29.

PACKERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (12T), RUSH (19), PASS (9), SCORING (10).

PACKERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (13), PASS (9), SCORING (8T).

LIONS OFFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (18), PASS (21), SCORING (28).

LIONS DEFENSE: OVERALL (28), RUSH (28), PASS (25), SCORING (30).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Packers plus-16; Lions minus-7.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 02: Wide receiver Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers walks off the field after the Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 37-10 to win the game at Lambeau Field on January 02, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

PACKERS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Davante Adams: The 2020 All-Pro selection has 52 catches for 634 yards and eight TDs over his last six games. His 117 catches have broken the single-season franchise record he set last season. He has 1,498 yards receiving, closing in on the single-season team record of 1,519 set by Jordy Nelson in 2014. Adams is the fourth player in NFL history with 110 or more catches in three seasons.

LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. He’s the first NFL rookie to have eight-plus catches in five straight games. The fourth-round pick can join Odell Beckham Jr. and Randy Moss as the three rookies in league history to have 90-plus yards receiving and a TD catch in four consecutive games. He has a franchise-record 82 receptions for a rookie and is 15 yards receiving away from breaking Roy Williams’ team record for a first-year player.

KEY MATCHUP: The Packers’ run defense against Lions RBs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Green Bay allowed just 27 yards rushing against the Vikings on Sunday night. If they can shut down Swift and Williams, a former Packer, that hurts Detroit’s slim chances to pull off an upset.

KEY INJURIES: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was held out of Wednesday’s practice because of a toe injury, but the ailment has not slowed him in games. … Green Bay’s offensive line is missing David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers and Billy Turner due to knee injuries. … Bakhtiari hasn’t played since tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament on Dec. 31, 2020. Bakhtiari and Myers were practicing on an individual basis Wednesday. … Packers CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) hasn’t played since Oct. 3. … Green Bay OLB Za’Darius Smith (back) hasn’t played since the season opener. … Packers TE Robert Tonyan (knee) is out for the season. … Lions QB Jared Goff was limited in practice on Wednesday because of a knee injury that kept him out of the last game after he missed the previous week because he was on the reserve/COVID-19 list. … Detroit has three key players on the reserve/COVID-19 list: OTs Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell along with OLB Austin Bryant. … WR Josh Reynolds, TE Brock Wright and OG Halapoulivaati Vaitai were removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 19: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions looks on from the side lines during the fourth quarter of their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

SERIES NOTES: The Packers have won five straight after Detroit won four in a row. … In 1994, Green Bay beat the Lions twice in the playoffs in separate seasons. Brett Favre threw a 40-yard TD pass to Sterling Sharpe, who was wide open, in the final minute on Jan. 8, 1994 to give the Packers a 28-24 win at the Pontiac Silverdome. Green Bay led from start to finish in a 16-12 victory over Detroit on Dec. 31, 1994, at Lambeau Field.

STATS AND STUFF: The Packers have clinched the NFC’s No. 1 seed and the conference’s only first-round playoff bye. … Packers coach Matt LaFleur said he still plans to play his regulars even though the game has no bearing on playoff positioning. … LaFleur’s 39 regular-season victories are the most for an NFL coach in his first three seasons. Former San Francisco coach George Seifert won 38 games in the regular season from 1989 to 1991.… Rodgers has thrown 18 TD passes without an interception over his last six games. … Rodgers has thrown 50 TD passes and just eight INTs against the Lions in his career. … The reigning NFL MVP has a chance to be the first player to lead the league in passer rating in consecutive years since he did it during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. … Packers RB Aaron Jones has scored seven TDs (three rushing, four receiving) in his last three games against Detroit. He is the NFL’s only player with at least 1,100 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDs in each of the last three seasons. … Packers OLBs Rashan Gary, a former Michigan star, and Preston Smith both have a chance to end the regular season with double digits in sacks. Gary has 9 1/2 sacks and Smith has nine. … Packers K Mason Crosby has missed only one of 10 FGs over his last five games after a midseason slump in which he missed 8 of 14 field goals. … Packers WR Equanimeous St. Brown is Amon-Ra’s older brother. … Detroit is No. 31 in The Associated Press Pro32 NFL Power Rankings, ranking ahead of only Jacksonville (2-14), and one of those teams will have the No. 1 pick in the draft. … The Lions showed signs of promise during a 2-3-1 stretch after their bye before dashing hopes of closing the season relatively strong by losing by 22 points against the Seahawks. … Former Packers QB Tim Boyle had three interceptions at Seattle in his third career start. He also had career highs with 262 yards passing and two TD passes. … Fifth-year LB Charles Harris has career highs with 7 1/2 sacks and 10 tackles for losses.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Eastern Conference Has Top Rookies

Cade Cunningham and Franz Wagner are giving the Eastern Conference’s bottom two teams reasons for optimism.

The Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic have seven victories apiece this season, but they also have two of the NBA’s top rookies. Detroit took Cunningham No. 1 overall in last year’s draft, and the former Oklahoma State star has impressed with his all-around contributions. Wagner went to the Magic at No. 8. The Michigan product leads all rookies, averaging 15.9 points per game.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 08: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons plays against the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena on December 08, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In fact, four of the game’s top newcomers reside in the East. Evan Mobley of Cleveland and Scottie Barnes of Toronto are ranked 1-2 among rookies in rebounds per game.

“It seems like a strong group,” said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer, whose team allowed 38 points to Wagner last Tuesday. “We’ve played Cleveland multiple times and talked about Mobley and what a big impact he’s having on the game. The game Wagner had the other night was about as impressive as I’ve seen from a rookie in a long time. Cunningham, as a first pick, is somebody who’s kind of been in and out, and I think the second time we played him he was a lot better. Tonight we get to learn more and see more.”

Budenholzer made those comments prior to Monday night’s clash between the Bucks and Pistons. Detroit upset the defending champs behind 19 points and seven assists from Cunningham. The rookie guard did have five turnovers, something that’s been an issue for him.

“It’s about where rookie point guards usually are, in that situation,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s like a rookie quarterback in football. It’s tough. But that’s what this year is all about, is he growing.”

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 08: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons plays against the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena on December 08, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Cunningham is averaging 15.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists, although his arrival hasn’t helped Detroit’s record much. Mobley, on the other hand, is part of a resurgence in Cleveland. The Cavaliers, who went 22-50 last season, are 21-16 now.

Mobley, the third pick in the draft out of Southern California, is averaging 14.7 points and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 50.1% from the field.

“His ability and poise with the ball, he just never gets sped up,” said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, whose team lost to Cleveland on Sunday night, thanks in part to Mobley’s 24 points and nine rebounds. “I marvel at his skills at such a young age.”

Barnes was the fourth pick in the draft out of Florida State. He is averaging 15.5 points and 8.1 rebounds.

“He’s just got good energy and passion to play, and I think there’s a real youthful enthusiasm that shows itself sometimes when we need it,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said recently. “He gets the lone starter on the floor with some second-unit guys and you can see him raise his level of, ‘Come on, let’s go. I’m gonna run, I’m gonna block some shots. Let’s do this and let’s have some fun out here.’ And I think that’s been fun to watch.”

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – OCTOBER 30: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Wagner, a big contributor on both offense and defense in college, has been quite an addition for the Magic, who could use a few bright spots to distract from their league-worst 7-31 record. Wagner is one of three ex-Michigan players with Orlando, along with his older brother Moe and Iggy Brazdeikis.

Wagner has played in all 38 of his team’s games this season. Other rookies haven’t been as fortunate. Cunningham, Barnes and Mobley have all spent time in health and safety protocols. Earlier this season, Mobley missed four games with an elbow injury, and Cleveland lost them all.

“At his age, and his level of experience, his intellect far outweighs what you see,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Not only is he extremely bright, he picks up things quickly and he can pick them up in the moment.”

It’s clear how valuable this quartet is. Barnes, Mobley, Cunningham, and Wagner are the top four rookies in the league in minutes per game. Each game feels like a chance to keep improving — even if a couple of them haven’t won many games so far in their young careers.

“Overall, the group of rookies has been impressive so far,” Budenholzer said. “It’s good for our league.”

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Hornets Rout Pistons

Kelly Oubre Jr. hit a career-high nine of Charlotte’s franchise-record 24 3-pointers and the Hornets routed the Pistons 140-111 on Wednesday night.

Oubre had eight 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, tying an NBA record set by Milwaukee’s Michael Redd in 2002. Oubre was 8 of 9 on 3s in the fourth quarter before being subbed out with 4:08 left and the Hornets leading by 35.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – DECEMBER 27: Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts after a dunk against the Houston Rockets in the first quarter during their game at Spectrum Center on December 27, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Golden State’s Klay Thompson holds the league record for 3-pointers in a quarter with nine, that coming in the third quarter of a game in 2015.

“I give all the credit to my teammates,” Oubre said. “We had 39 assists tonight. … I am blessed to be able to play with a bunch of unselfish guys out there who allow me to continue with a hot stretch.”

Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges each had 19 points to help the Hornets beat the Pistons for the 14th straight time. Charlotte hasn’t lost to Detroit since Oct. 18, 2017.

Terry Rozier added 16 points, and LaMelo Ball had 12 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds in three quarters.

Trey Lyles had 17 points for Detroit. Cade Cunningham added 16.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 08: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons plays against the Washington Wizards at Little Caesars Arena on December 08, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Oubre finished 9 of 14 for the game, and the Hornets shot 57.1% overall from deep.

A seven-year NBA veteran, Oubre is averaging a career-high 16.2 points per game in his first season with the Hornets and is shooting 36.7% from beyond the arc, also a personal best.

“When Kelly gets hot, he’s tough to stop,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “It’s great to see him play with that joy, that happiness, and that confidence. He had a big-time fourth quarter and our guys kept feeding him.”

Borrego said Oubre deserves consideration for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

“I don’t have all of the candidates, but I would vote for him if I had a vote,” Borrego said. “There are a number of players out there capable I’m sure, but Kelly has to be right there in the mix.”

Detroit was feeling confident coming off a road win Monday night over the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, marking the first time the Pistons (7-29) have won back-to-back games this season.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 03: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets reacts against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on January 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

But Charlotte (20-19) jumped on Detroit early, making 7 of 11 3-point attempts in the first quarter and building a 26-point lead in the opening half. The Hornets never led by less than double figures after that.

“It’s the way you start the game,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. “We didn’t come out with the right disposition, didn’t switch properly. … Just because you beat somebody, the top team in the league, doesn’t mean jack in this league because the very next night you’ve got another gunslinger coming in.”

It was a welcome change for the Hornets, who have struggled to get off to fast starts in recent games.

Ball missed out on his fourth career triple-double when Borrego sat him the entire fourth quarter. Charlotte led by 25 entering the fourth quarter.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 03: LaMelo Ball #2 of the Charlotte Hornets in action against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on January 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

“When Melo has double-digit assists, most times we like the result,” Borrego said. “He starts the ball movement and when he does that it seems to spread throughout the team. It’s no surprise that he had 12 and we had 39 as a team.”

ROZIER’S RUN

Rozier has quietly been on a bit of a tear of late from long range. He was 4 of 7 from 3-point range against the Pistons and has made 30 of 63 3’s in his last seven games.

WASHINGTON RETURNS

P.J. Washington gave the Hornets a big lift off the bench with 14 points and eight rebounds after missing the last four games in the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

“I thought he had great energy on both ends,” Borrego said. “It’s great to have him back and I thought he was a major part of this win.”

TIP INS

Pistons: Jerami Grant, the team’s leading scorer, remained out with a right thumb sprain.

Hornets: Charlotte’s previous franchise record of 23 3-pointers came on Nov. 26 against Minnesota.

UP NEXT

Pistons: At Memphis on Thursday night.

Hornets: Host Milwaukee on Saturday and Monday nights.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


WR Jayden Reed Returning For 2022

Michigan State receiver and kick returner Jayden Reed is returning to play for the Spartans in 2022.

Reed announced his decision Tuesday on social media.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 30: Jayden Reed #1 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates a touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 30, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

“I’ve come to a final decision to return to Michigan State and use my last year of eligibility. We have unfinished business to take care of,” Reed wrote in a post on Instagram. “Thank you Spartan Nation for being the best fan base in the nation. A huge contribution to an undefeated season in the Woodshed!!! This was a year that I’ll never forget.”

The Spartans finished 11-2 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten and were ranked No. 11 in the final AP poll after a 31-21 victory over No. 13 Pittsburgh in the Peach Bowl.

Reed finished the season with 59 catches for 1,026 yards and 10 TDs, returned 12 punts for 238 yards, and averaged 23.5 yards on 16 kickoff returns. He was second in the conference in all-purpose total yards (1,567) and was one of only four players nationally with two punt return touchdowns.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Michigan’s David Ojabo Announces He Is Entering The NFL Draft

Michigan outside linebacker David Ojabo is entering the NFL draft.

Ojabo announced his decision Tuesday to turn pro and skip his senior season with the Wolverines.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 04: David Ojabo #55 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts in the first quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The second-team All-American and All-Big Ten player had 11 sacks as a redshirt sophomore. He helped Michigan win its first Big Ten title since 2004 and advance to the College Football Playoff for the first time.

Ojabo had one tackle in 2020 in three games at linebacker and was a redshirt in 2019. He was born in Nigeria in 2000, moved to Scotland seven years later, and attended three years of high school at Blair Academy in New Jersey, where he started playing football as a junior.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 


Detroit Makes Short Work Of Sharks 6-2

Tyler Bertuzzi and Pius Suter each scored twice, including short-handed goals on the same penalty, and the Detroit Red Wings beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Tuesday night.

Dylan Larkin and Robby Fabbri also scored for Detroit. Alex Nedeljkovic made 24 saves.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 04: Alex Nedeljkovic #39 of the Detroit Red Wings while playing the New York Islanders at Little Caesars Arena on December 04, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The short-handed goals gave the Red Wings a 3-0 advantage early in the second period.

“It’s the same mentality, you are just doing everything you can to survive being short-handed and go from there,” Suter said. “We got the two short-handed goals and suddenly we’re up three, so that’s obviously really good for us.”

Jasper Weatherby and Alexander Barabanov scored for the Sharks. James Reimer stopped 20 of 24 shots before being replaced by Adin Hill (five saves) at the start of the third period.

Bertuzzi had the only first-period goal on a backhander from the side of the net. The shot glanced off Reimer’s stick and through his legs.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 14: Tyler Bertuzzi #59 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Little Caesars Arena on October 14, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“That first goal was a fluke,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “It took some wind out of our sails.”

Detroit forward Giovanni Smith was penalized five minutes for boarding and given a game misconduct after a hit against defenseman Jacob Middleton late in the first period. Middleton suffered a head injury and did not return.

“He’s not feeling too good right now,” Boughner said.

Rather than providing San Jose an advantage, Suter scored on a breakaway and Bertuzzi added a goal off a feed from Carter Rowney during the Sharks’ extended power play.

“The deeper you get into a penalty kill like that, the more momentum it gives your team and the more it takes away from the other team,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – MAY 20: Jeff Blashill, head coach of the United States looks on during the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Bronze Medal Game game between the United States and Canada at Royal Arena on May 20, 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

“They didn’t get many good chances early, which got us feeling better about ourselves, and then we get the two goals. I don’t think we were trying to attack more than normal on the penalty kill, but we blocked some shots and got sticks in the lane. That’s how you get chances short-handed and we happened to put two of them away.”

Detroit hadn’t scored two short-handed goals on the same penalty kill since Dec. 17, 1999, against Colorado.

“We lost the game in the five-minute power play when they scored two short-handed goals,” Boughner said. “You can’t go down 3-0 when you’ve got a five-minute power play.

That’s your chance to make a difference in the game, set the tone, and get the game back to even, and actually the opposite happened.”

Barabanov’s goal early in the third pulled San Jose within 4-2, but Larkin and Fabbri quickly answered.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 01: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a shootout goal with teammates while playing the Seattle Kraken at Little Caesars Arena on December 01, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-3 in a shoot out. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“That was huge for us because it took the energy out of their game,” Suter said.

The Sharks have allowed 14 goals in the last two games.

“It’s really embarrassing what we showed in the second,” Sharks forward Tomas Hertl said. “It changed the momentum of the game. It’s on us. It’s a tough feeling because (Reimer) was so good all season. The last two games we didn’t help him at all.”

GAME NOTES
Before Tuesday, the last Detroit player who scored a short-handed goal was Darren Helm on Feb. 15, 2020, against Boston, a span of 101 games. … Forward Logan Couture, San Jose’s second-leading scorer with 29 points, was added to COVID protocol, along with forward Lane Pederson on Tuesday. … The Sharks recalled Hill and center, Scott Reedy, from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League. … The game was the first between the teams since Dec. 31, 2019. They’ll play again in San Jose on Tuesday, Jan. 11.

UP NEXT

Sharks: At Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Red Wings: At Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Lions Limp To Finish Line

It has been a long season for the Detroit Lions, and there is still more adversity ahead.

At 2-13-1, things obviously haven’t gone well, but first-year coach Dan Campbell has been dealing with a roster decimated by injuries and COVID-19. More than 80 players have been active for at least one game and only one player — rookie offensive tackle Penei Sewell — has been able to stay on the field all year.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – NOVEMBER 21: Penei Sewell #58 of the Detroit Lions plays against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

In the first 16 games, Sewell only missed four offensive snaps. On Monday, he was placed on the COVID-19 list.

“He’s been more mature than a normal rookie since the day he got here,” Campbell said Monday. “He’s as smart as a whip.”

Detroit’s COVID-19 list also claimed its other starting offensive tackle, Taylor Decker, who caught a touchdown pass in Sunday’s 51-29 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and linebacker Austin Bryant.

“We have to prepare as if we’re not going to have them Sunday against the Packers, even though the new rules make it possible for them to be back,” Campbell said.

“We thought we had a good chance of getting (wide receiver), Josh Reynolds, back for Seattle, and that didn’t work out, so we’re going to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 19: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with Josh Reynolds #8 in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Reynolds came off the list on Monday, along with guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai and tight end Brock Wright. That should give Detroit’s passing game a few more options against the Packers after they were forced to throw back-to-back passes to offensive tackles against the Seahawks.

“We were using two brand-new tight ends last week, so we put in a formation with seven offensive linemen,” Campbell said. “That’s why we were throwing them the ball.”

Decker’s touchdown was the second of his career — he caught an 11-yard pass against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 2, 2018, — and he was more prepared this time. After his first score, he excitedly threw the ball into the stands at Ford Field, losing the chance at keeping it for his trophy case.

This time, he kept a firm grip on the ball throughout the celebration.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 02: Taylor Decker #68 of the Detroit Lions catches a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

WHAT’S WORKING

Detroit’s offense put up 29 points against the Seahawks, only the fourth time it has surpassed 20 this season. Granted, a lot of the points came after it fell behind 38-7 in the third quarter, but Detroit did it without Jared Goff and several of his best playmakers.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

The Lions were 0-8 going into their bye, but went 2-3-1 in the next six games behind a vastly improved defense. Sunday, they collapsed. The Seahawks went three-and-out on their first drive of the game, then scored on their next nine possessions.

The only thing that ended the scoring parade was Russell Wilson ending the game by taking a knee at the Lions 1.

“I wouldn’t have had any problem with them running that one in,” Campbell said. “There are 60 minutes on the game clock, and if you have an issue with a team scoring on you, stop them from doing it.”

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 02: Tim Boyle #12 of the Detroit Lions passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at Lumen Field on January 02, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

STOCK UP

Backup quarterback Tim Boyle didn’t have a great game, throwing three interceptions in his third career start, but Campbell was happy with his progress.

“I thought he did a pretty good job of reading defenses and he made some really nice throws,” Campbell said. “He still plays a little too fast, so he’s not always set when he throws, but I think these reps have been invaluable for him.”

STOCK DOWN

Russell Wilson was never going to be a great matchup for a short-handed defense, but the Seahawks came into the game at 5-10 with a below-average scoring offense. Giving up 51 points and having Seattle take a knee to keep it from getting higher isn’t a good look for anyone on that side of the ball.

INJURIES

The Lions are hoping to get Goff back against the Packers after he’s missed back-to-back games with COVID-19 and a nagging knee problem.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 19: Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions looks on from the side lines during the fourth quarter of their game against the Arizona Cardinals at Ford Field on December 19, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

KEY NUMBER

228 – the number of losses for the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons during 2021. That’s the most ever put up by four teams in the same city, breaking the record of 226, set by Detroit in 2019.

NEXT STEPS

Finish the season without serious injuries and, as a bonus, try to beat a Green Bay team resting its top players for the postseason.

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Michigan’s Comeback Season Ends

Michigan won the Orange Bowl coin toss.

And that’s the last thing that went right for the Wolverines in 2021.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: James Cook #4 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs the ball into the end zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Michigan Wolverines in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

A team that had barely trailed all season — never by more than four points — got into a hole quickly and only saw it deepen the rest of the way. Michigan’s appearance in the College Football Playoff semifinals did not go anywhere near according to plan, the Wolverines’ season-ending Friday night with a 34-11 loss to Georgia in the Orange Bowl.

“Congratulations to Georgia. They played a heck of a game in all phases,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I loved the way our guys fought. It wasn’t our best but certainly was theirs. They played extremely well.”

By every measure, the numbers were bad. The Wolverines came in allowing 316 yards per game; Georgia had 330 by halftime. The Wolverines’ biggest deficit all season was four points; Georgia was up 7-0 after seven plays. The Wolverines had trailed for a total of 44 minutes in 2021; Georgia led for 56 minutes in this one alone.

They lost the turnover battle 3-0, gave up four sacks while not recording any, and the much-hyped strength vs. strength matchup — Michigan’s running game vs. Georgia’s defensive front — was pretty much a mismatch, with the Wolverines held to a season-low 88 yards on the ground.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: Blake Corum #2 of the Michigan Wolverines loses control of the ball in the third quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It all added up to a fifth consecutive bowl loss for Michigan, the school’s worst drought since a seven-bowl-loss streak in the 1970s.

“Obviously, it’s very disappointing right now,” Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara said. “We gave it everything we’ve got and we got beat tonight.”

The Wolverines had a big home-field advantage Friday — Hard Rock Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins and the Orange Bowl, is owned by Stephen Ross, a Michigan alum and massive donor to his school. Of the 66,000 fans or so in attendance, two-thirds seemed to be wearing maize and blue. They even got to use the Dolphins’ sideline, which probably pleased Ross to no end.

Most of those Michigan fans were long gone before this one ended. It was 34-3 before the Wolverines found the end zone for the first time in the final minutes, far too late for anything to matter.

“We did accomplish great things this year, and although it is a disappointing way to end it, we did do great things this year,” said Josh Ross, who led Michigan with 11 tackles. “And we can’t forget about that.”

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: Head Coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines talks with Josh Ross #12 in the second quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

He’s right. Once the sting of this loss goes away, it’ll be easy to see Michigan took massive steps forward in 2021.

The Wolverines went 2-4 last season, and utterly forgettable year played through Year 1 of the pandemic. They were unranked to start this season, didn’t get into the Top 10 until October, and then made it all the way to No. 2 in the polls. The Ohio State hex was finally solved as Michigan beat its rival. A team picked to finish fourth when the season started — that is, fourth in the Big Ten East — ended up as one of the last four teams standing in the race for the national title.

Getting overrun by Georgia doesn’t change that. It does, however, show how much work remains if the Wolverines are going to return to college football’s mountaintop.

Michigan got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter, a short field goal cutting the deficit to 17-3. The Wolverines had Georgia facing a third-and-3 on the ensuing possession, perhaps poised to get the ball right back.

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: Jake Moody #13 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts after scoring a field goal with teammate Brad Robbins #91 in the second quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Capital One Orange Bowl for the College Football Playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 31, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Nope.

Georgia’s James Cook went down the right sideline and hauled in a 53-yard pass from Stetson Bennett, the only reason it wasn’t a touchdown was that Cook had to slow up slightly because the ball appeared to be a bit underthrown. The Bulldogs settled for another field goal to restore the 17-point edge, and it was another tiny chance that Michigan let slip away.

An interception followed, and on the next Georgia possession, Bennett didn’t underthrow anyone. He found Jermaine Burton with a 57-yard touchdown pass, pushing the score up to 27-3 as the first half — and, really, the Michigan season — was coming to an end.

That said, when it was over, Harbaugh immediately looked ahead.

“To me, it feels like a start,” Harbaugh said. “Feels like a beginning.”

 

© 2022 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


On Air Now

Amy Lawrence
Amy Lawrence
2:00am - 6:00am
After Hours with Amy Lawrence

Facebook