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Thinking Out Loud: Kris Dunn lives up to hype at Providence, but students aren’t turning out to see it

12.04.15 at 5:46 pm ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering what I’m really thankful for these days.

— Was it a good Thanksgiving week in California for Providence College? Let’s see — you left home after a narrow, who-are-we-really win over NJIT and came home as a Wildcat-conquering, Spartan-scaring Top 25 squad. Yup, good week.

— The Wednesday win over Hartford was one of those “gotta play it” games on the schedule that every team has. In other words, get through it, learn something and move on. What did the Friars learn? Some of the young guys have a lot of work to do to improve, and the Big East won’t be the place for that to occur.

— Kris Dunn’s second career triple-double? Ho-hum. That seems to be a prevailing attitude among some fans, as only 5,100 showed up at the Dunk on Wednesday night. You’re missing something special if you don’t get out to watch this young man play. He is a legitimate national player of the year candidate.

— So where are the students at these games? Practically non-existent at the Dunk, and I’ve had several people tell me they even leave hockey games early. WTH? Is this current generation of students simply numb to the emotion and school pride that college athletics can create? And what’s at the center of this “numbing”? Partying, booze or fixation with their cell phones and the electronic world around them?

— Whatever it is, it’s lame.

— As for the Top 25 ranking this week, it marks the second straight season for a PC basketball team to reach the national polls. And that’s the first time this has happened for the program since 1977-78. You can’t get pumped for that?

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: NFL officiating in spotlight again as Packers win on Hail Mary after controversial penalty

12.04.15 at 7:53 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Flames, 9 p.m. (NESN)
NBA: Nets at Knicks, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Pelicans, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Pittsburgh at Duquesne, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Alabama at Southern Mississippi, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Oregon at UNLV, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Bowling Green vs. Northern Illinois, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Another marquee NFL game, another officiating controversy.

The Packers capped a comeback against the Lions on the game’s final play Thursday as Aaron Rodgers completed a 61-yard Hail Mary to Richard Rodgers in the end zone for a 27-23 win. The play came right after Lions defensive end Devin Taylor was called for a face mask when his thumb grazed one of the bars on Aaron Rodgers’ helmet. Taylor’s hand continued to Rodgers’ shoulder, but it made it appear as though Taylor had tugged on the face mask.

Taylor said afterward, “I didn’t believed I touched” Rodgers’ face mask, and Lions coach Jim Caldwell added, “Didn’t think it was [a face mask], but [even though] you don’t think it was or I don’t think it was, it was called. Therefore, it is, and we’ve just got to find a way to make a play.”

Rodgers was convinced the right call was made. “It was a face mask,” he insisted. “I was looking for the flag afterwards. I don’t really flop any calls. That was a legit face mask.”

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino backed Rodgers’ claim, tweeting: Hand up to the mask, quick grab with finger and head gets turned. At full speed official is going to make that call almost every time.

The only problem is the replay shows there was no “grab” with the finger, just the appearance of one because Rodgers’ head turned as Taylor yanked Rodgers’ shoulder.

The penalty, occurring with no time remaining, moved the ball from the Green Bay 24 to the 39. Given an untimed extra play, Rodgers scrambled to buy time for his receivers to get to the end zone. He then heaved the ball from his 35 almost 70 yards into the end zone, where the 6-foot-4 Richard Rodgers leaped in front of a pack of players to haul in the game-winner.

“Most amazing game of my life,” Aaron Rodgers said on the NFL Network broadcast right after the dramatic finish, adding: “When he caught it, I blacked out.”

— Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim still has to serve his nine-game suspension, but he won a small victory Thursday when the NCAA allowed him to start serving his ban immediately rather than wait for the conference schedule to start.

The Committee on Infractions had ordered the suspension to be served during ACC play when it announced the punishment in March. However, in Thursday’s ruling the NCAA said Boeheim was not directly involved in the violations — including academic misconduct, extra benefits and drug testing issues — and he could move up the ban. Now Boeheim will miss only three league contests, returning for the Jan. 9 game against North Carolina.

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Read More: aaron rodgers, Darrelle Revis, jim boeheim, Richard Rodgers

Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Appeals court convicts Oscar Pistorius of murder

12.03.15 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Kings, 10 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Thunder at Heat, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Spurs at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Kentucky at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
NFL: Packers at Lions, 8:25 p.m. (CBS, NFL Network; WEEI-FM)

AROUND THE WEB:

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to prison for shooting his girlfriend and killing her. (Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Oscar Pistorius has insisted he did not mean to kill his girlfriend, but an appeals court did not buy his excuses. (Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

— South African double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius was convicted of murder Thursday in Johannesburg, as an appeals court overturned a lower court’s conviction on a lesser charge of culpable homicide in the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

“The accused ought to have been found guilty of murder on the basis that he had fired the fatal shots with criminal intent,” Justice Lorimer Eric Eric Leach of the Supreme Court of Appeal announced to the courtroom, saying the original ruling was “fundamentally flawed.”

The maximum punishment for murder in South Africa is 15 years, although a shorter sentence could be imposed.

Pistorius has been under house arrest since October after serving one year in prison. He had been sentenced to five years in prison.

Leach described the situation as “a human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.”

“A young man overcomes huge physical disabilities to reach Olympian heights as an athlete,” Leach said. “In doing so he becomes an international celebrity. He meets a young woman of great natural beauty and a successful model. Romance blossoms and then ironically, on Valentine’s Day, all is destroyed when he takes her life.

While Pistorius has said he thought he was confronting an intruder when he fired shots through a bathroom door, Leach said Pistorius should have known someone could have been killed if he fired his gun.

“The identity of his victim is irrelevant to his guilt,” Leach said, terming Pistorius’ testimony about his actions “unacceptable” and “contradictory.”

A Pistorius spokesman said the defense is considering its options, which include the possibility of appealing to the country’s Constitutional Court.

— Three premier AFC quarterbacks are in different stages as they look to return to action. While Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger was cleared to play Sunday against the Colts, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck started throwing some passes for but could not say how close he is to game action, and Broncos star Peyton Manning said he’s nowhere close to being healthy.

Roethlisberger was in the NFL concussion protocol after leaving Sunday’s game against the Seahawks a few plays after being hit in the head. He implied Tuesday that he did not have a concussion — something that coach Mike Tomlin questioned — and said Wednesday he’s been OK’d to play.

“I said I didn’t know the results [Tuesday], but I felt good because when I left the training room the trainers told me this looks good,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday. “Don’t see why this would be an issue. That’s why I said I didn’t have a concussion and would be ready to go.”

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Read More: Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Jahlil Okafor, Oscar Pistorius

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Ben Roethlisberger downplays head issue, but Steelers keep him in concussion protocol

12.02.15 at 8:08 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Oilers, 9:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Rangers at Islanders, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Pelicans at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Pacers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Penn State at Boston College, 7:15 p.m. (ESPNU; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Butler at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Louisville at Michigan State, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Syracuse, 7:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arizona State at Creighton, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Florida State at Iowa, 9:15 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Indiana at Duke, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Notre Dame at Illinois, 9:15 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Washington State, 11 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is trying to downplay his head issue, but coach Mike Tomlin apparently isn’t buying it, saying the QB will remain under the NFL-mandated concussion protocol this week.

“We will do what we always do with those guys,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “We will be very diligent about their care. We will lean on the expert advice of our medical team, who always does a great job. We will do what is appropriate at the end of the week, or whenever that decision-making time is.”

Roethlisberger said earlier in the day that he had a “traumatic ocular migraine” that forced him out of Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks in the fourth quarter, and that it cleared up after about 30 minutes.

Responded Tomlin: “I’m no doctor, and I’m not going to try to get into that. I give him credit for taking a bite out of that and trying to maybe explain the circumstance. I’m going to leave that up to the experts. What I will say is he has sustained what is described as a concussion, and he is in the protocol.”

Roethlisberger said he expects to practice Wednesday in preparation for Sunday night’s game against the Colts, but Tomlin wasn’t so sure.

“Even if they feel better they are going to remain in the protocol,” Tomlin said, referring to Roethlisberger and linebacker Ryan Shazier. “We are going to do our due diligence under the guidelines that have been prescribed in recent years.”

Meanwhile, the league and the NFLPA reportedly are looking into why Roethlisberger was not removed from the field when he was injured on a roughing-the-passer penalty. Roethlisberger stayed on the ground for a few seconds before being helped to his feet by his teammates, then remained in the game to complete the scoring drive — nine more plays — before self-reporting his head issue. The independent trainer serving as a spotter apparently never requested Roethlisberger be checked.

“It’s great that he self-reported,” an anonymous union official told ESPN, “but that’s the not the process we all signed up for.”

— Warriors interim coach Luke Walton was named Western Conference Coach of the Month, even though technically he has not won a single game.

Because Steve Kerr still is considered the team’s coach, Kerr gets credits for all of Walton’s wins despite being sidelined following back surgery.

Walton doesn’t seem to mind, as he continued to give credit to Kerr for the system he’s put in place.

“Steve’s done a lot for me,” Walton said. “It’s the least I can do to add a couple wins on his total for him with all he’s done for me.”

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Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Luke Walton, Mike Tomlin, Steve Kerr

Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: Kevin Durant rips media for ‘killing’ Kobe Bryant

12.01.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Wizards at Cavaliers, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Mavericks at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Michigan at N.C. State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northwestern at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Maryland Eastern Shore at Georgetown, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Villanova at Saint Joseph’s, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Virginia at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Purdue at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Miami at Nebraska, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Louisiana Tech at Memphis, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Maryland at North Carolina, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL: Wild at Blackhawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Penguins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Kobe Bryant farewell tour has begun, after the Lakers legend announced Sunday that he’s retiring after the season. Thunder star Kevin Durant is ready to pay tribute to Bryant, but he’s disappointed in the lack of respect Bryant has received from the media to this point in the season. And on Monday he wasn’t shy about expressing his opinion about it.

“I’ve been disappointed this year because you guys [the media] treated him like [expletive],” Durant said. “He’s a legend, and all I hear is about how bad he’s playing, how bad he’s shooting and it’s time for him to hang it up. You guys treated one of our legends like [expletive], and I didn’t really like it. So hopefully now you can start being nice to him now that he decided to retire after this year.”

Durant, who said he idolized Bryant grown up and “wanted to be like him,” responded later Monday to backlash about his comment by elaborating on his point.

“I understand [the media] have to write about the game. Of course I understand that,” Durant said. “Kobe hasn’t played well, and his team hasn’t played well, but did we expect that from them? You did say he was the 93rd-best player in the league, you did have the Lakers as the worst team in the West, but it seems like everybody is happy that he’s going out like this. Every game he’s played on TV is about how terrible he looks, every article the next day is about how he should retire and give it up. Just killing him.

“I never hear about the Finals MVPs, the accolades. They did it for [former Yankee] Derek Jeter, they will do it for Tim Duncan when he leaves even if he’s playing bad. I know you’ve got to report the games, but you’re going too in-depth about how bad he is. You’re almost kicking him out the league.”

Added Durant: “They say I don’t get the media and how they work. Well, they never got players and how we work.”

— According to reports out of Miami, the Marlins are having internal discussions about hiring disgraced home run king Barry Bonds as their hitting coach. Bonds has worked as a special instructor for the Giants at the last two spring trainings.

Baseball’s all-time home run leader with 762 dingers, Bonds batted .298 in 22 seasons with the Pirates and Giants.

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Read More: Barry Bonds, Jahlil Okafor, Kevin Durant, kobe bryant

Monday’s Morning Mashup: Lakers coach Byron Scott ‘shocked’ by Kobe Bryant’s decision to retire after season

11.30.15 at 7:56 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Ravens at Browns, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Celtics at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Bulls, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Wake Forest at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Illinois State at Kentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Alcorn State at Indiana, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Clemson at Minnesota, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Considering how poorly he’s played this season, Kobe Bryant‘s announcement that he will retire from the NBA after this season can’t be considered a complete surprise. But apparently it was to Lakers coach Byron Scott.

Scott said he was shocked when Bryant calmly told him his plans Sunday, as the coach figured Bryant “had at least another year” in him.

“He kind of shocked me when he told me,” Scott said. “[I’m] just sad more than anything. Just sad more than anything. Somebody who I truly care about, have a lot of respect for. I think it’s always hard when greatness like Kobe decides to hang it up.”

Bryant, however, decided that his 37-year-old body needed to rest.

“My heart can take the pounding. My mind can handle the grind. But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” Bryant wrote in The Players’ Tribune. “And that’s OK. I’m ready to let you go. I want you to know now. So we both can savor every moment we have left together. The good and the bad. We have given each other all that we have.”

Bryant also left a letter for Staples Center fans at Sunday’s game against the Pacers, writing: “What you’ve done for me is far greater than anything I’ve done for you. I knew that each minute of each game I wore purple and gold.”

Tributes poured join from around the league after the 17-time All-Star announced his plans.

“Kobe was my Jordan,” Pacers star (and Southern California native) Paul George said after Bryant missed a late 3-pointer that could have tied the game in the Lakers’ loss. “Watching him win championships when I was growing up, that’s who I idolized. That was the standard.”

Said Commissioner Adam Silver: “Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game. Whether competing in the Finals or hoisting jump shots after midnight in an empty gym, Kobe has an unconditional love for the game.”

Asked about it after the game, Bryant kept his composure but made it clear his decision is final.

“I had to just accept the fact that I don’t want to do this anymore, and I’m OK with that,” he said.

— Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor finally commented on his off-court issues, acknowledging he has not made the best decisions of late.

Okafor was involved in a fight outside a Boston bar after Wednesday’s game at TD Garden (and a man filed a police report claiming he was the victim in the confrontation). After the incident, reports emerged that Okafor had an incident at a Philadelphia club in October in which a man pointed a gun at the player’s head, and he was stopped by police earlier this month for driving 108 mph on the Ben Franklin Bridge, where the normal speed limit is 45.

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Read More: byron scott, Jahlil Okafor, kobe bryant, Kyle Flood

Thinking Out Loud: Minus its star, URI looks to reinvent itself under fiery coach Danny Hurley

11.28.15 at 7:55 am ET
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Rooke_JohnThinking out loud … while wondering whatever happened to Mike Bibby?

— This is the most wonderful time of the year, if you ask me. Holiday tournament basketball combined with meaningful, playoff-caliber football? Sign me up.

— Providence College’s cross-country trip to Anaheim, California, for the Wooden Legacy Tournament has been a good experience for a young team, regardless of the game results. Kris Dunn showcases his obvious talents, PC learns what it might take to be elite (with Michigan State and Arizona present), and young players can make mistakes without the red-hot spotlight of the Big East beating down their necks.

— Providence’s win over Evansville could be one of those that will look better as the season progresses. With Wichita State’s early struggles, the Purple Aces may be a real player in the Missouri Valley this season — certainly better than a CIT team in the postseason.

— Ben Bentil hit for a career high 24 (to this point) against the Purple Aces, and is capable of so much more, if he does just one thing: Calm down. Around the basket, that is. His energy level is so through the roof, it’s almost as if he has a putter’s “yips” when he gets close to scoring. A little more experience should, hopefully, provide the opportunity to learn the poise needed to be a truly dominant player inside.

— The struggle for basketball life after E.C. Matthews got started this week for the URI Rams, with mixed results in Cancun. A win over the Big 12’s TCU preceded a resounding thumping at the hands of national title contender Maryland. What does it mean? Rhody simply will need to grind, grind and grind some more to win. It won’t be aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

— Strange that the alleged postgame handshake “incident” between Danny Hurley and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon Wednesday night was reported by the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post, with direct attributions to what was said by a tournament official at the scorer’s table — and URI athletic director Thorr Bjorn reported he was satisfied that nothing was said at all. Who should we believe? As in all cases, the answer undoubtedly lies somewhere in the middle.

— I appreciate the fire with which Hurley guides the Rams program. Based on personal observation, however, there are times when he walks a tightrope on the line between energy, enthusiasm and absolute hysterics. It’s his style. And I’m quite certain it rubs other coaches the wrong way — you’ll perhaps recall Hurley and Ed Cooley shouting at each other two years ago at the Ryan Center?

— As for Maryland’s reaction to whatever was said in that handshake line, Turgeon also is known as being a bit flippant when it comes to emotions — I seem to recall a few years ago as coach at Wichita State he had a back-handed slap for the Friars after defeating them in Wichita, saying his team didn’t play well in a win over Providence.

— It would be nice, however, if some coaches could learn to be humble in victory, while also remaining gracious in defeat. Perhaps the pressure to win in college basketball‘s pressure-cooker simply has become too high for maintaining a certain level of sportsmanship?

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Read More: Ben Bentil, Danny Hurley, Kris Dunn, Mark Turgeon

Friday’s Morning Mashup: 76ers investigating after Jahlil Okafor gets in fight outside Boston bar

11.27.15 at 8:05 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Rangers at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NBC)
NHL: Blackhawks at Ducks, 5 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Canucks at Stars, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Wizards at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Bucks at Magic, 7 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA: Warriors at Suns, 9:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: UC Irvine vs. Boston College, 3 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Providence vs. Arizona, 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Arkansas vs. Stanford, 12:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: UConn vs. Gonzaga, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Xavier vs USC, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Georgia Tech vs. Villanova, 3 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Syracuse vs. Texas A&M, 3 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Kentucky vs. South Florida, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Boise State vs. Michigan State, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Virginia Tech vs. Iowa State, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Memphis vs. Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Illinois vs. Alabama-Birmingham, 9:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Monmouth vs. Dayton, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: West Virginia vs. San Diego State, 10:30 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Midle Tennessee vs. UNC Asheville, midnight, CBSSN)
College football: UMass at Buffalo, 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College football: Marshall at Western Kentucky, noon (FS1)
College football: Miami at Pittsburgh, noon (ESPN2)
College football: Navy at Houston, noon (ABC)
College football: Western Michigan at Toledo, noon (CBSSN)
College football: Missouri at Arkansas, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
College football: Boise State at San Jose State, 3:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Iowa at Nebraska, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
College football: Washington State at Washington, 3:30 p.m. (Fox)
College football: Oregon State at Oregon, 4 p.m. (FS1)
College football: Baylor at TCU, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College football: Tulsa at Tulane, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Sixers rookie Jahlil Okafor apparently is not injured, although his wallet might soon be a little lighter after his fight outside a Boston bar Wednesday night.

Via TMZ Sports, Okafor was being taunted outside Storyville Boston nightclub following the Sixers’ 84-80 loss to the C’s that left them at 0-16. Okafor then yelled, “We got money, you broke-[expletive] [N-word].”

The confrontation then turned physical, with Okafor pushing a friend out of the way to punch one of the taunters, falling to the ground in the process.

“We are aware of the report and we are currently working to gather additional information,” the 76ers said Thursday night. “Until that time, we will have no further comment.”

Okafor, selected third overall after leading Duke to a national title last season, is averaging a team-high 18.4 points with 8.1 rebounds in 33.4 minutes per game. But he has not been able to stop Philadelphia’s 26-game losing streak that dates back to last season.

— The Panthers routed the Cowboys on Thursday, 33-14, and cornerback Josh Norman said Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant lit Carolina’s fire by disrespecting him before the game.

Norman said Bryant started trash-talking during warmups — telling some of the younger defensive backs that he was calling for Norman while Norman was in the locker room — and the controversial receiver continued it when he “popped off” on the game’s second play after an incomplete pass.

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Read More: Dez Bryant, Guy Lewis, Jahlil Okafor, Josh Norman

Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Rams WR Stedman Bailey recovering after reportedly being shot in head

11.25.15 at 8:09 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: 76ers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Grizzlies at Rockets, 8 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: Gonzaga vs. Washington, noon (ESPN2)
College basketball: Charlotte vs. Syracuse, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: St. John’s at Chaminade, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: High Point at Georgia, 5 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Indiana vs. UNLV, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Yale at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Wake Forest vs. UCLA, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: UMass vs. Creighton, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Vanderbilt vs. Kansas, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: San Jose State vs. Toledo, 11:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: San Diego vs. Loyola-Chicago, 2 a.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Bruins at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Flyers at Islanders, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Blackhawks at Sharks, 10 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Benfica at Astana, 9:50 a.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Wolfsburg at CSKA Moscow, noon (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, PSV Eindhoven at Manchester United, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Stedman Bailey

Stedman Bailey

— Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey is recovering in a Miami-area hospital after being shot in the head Tuesday night, according to multiple reports.

The Rams released a statement late Tuesday saying they been in touch with Bailey, who is halfway through a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

“We are aware Stedman Bailey was involved in an incident this evening,” the statement said. “We have spoken with Stedman and he is in the hospital in critical, but stable, condition. We are gathering facts about the situation and will provide updates as we learn more.”

Players from around the league offered support for Bailey via social media.

Tweeted Rams defensive end Chris Long: Keep our brother @iamSB3 in your thoughts, prayers tonight. I don’t wanna believe it….

Tweeted Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell: prayers to my brother Stedman Bailey.

Bailey has 12 receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown this season. He had 30 receptions last season, despite missing the first two games while suspended for performance-enhancing drugs.

— Greg Hardy might be Public Enemy No. 1 to many NFL players and fans, but some of his former Panthers teammates still view him with respect.

As Carolina prepares to visit Hardy’s Cowboys for a Thanksgiving Day showdown, some Panthers spoke out in support of the troubled defensive end.

“Greg Hardy is a guy that you flat-out want on your football team,” linebacker Thomas Davis said Tuesday. “He’s a guy that’s a game-changer. He can go out and totally wreck a game plan if you allow him to. Of course we went and spoke up for him, trying to get him back.

“But a few details came out with this whole situation. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get him back. Now he’s a part of the Dallas Cowboys. Guess who we play this week?”

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Tuesday’s Morning Mashup: After hearing rumors of Red Sox’ interest, David Price jokes, ‘I’m going to play in Japan’

11.24.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

TUESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Celtics at Hawks, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Lakers at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: St. John’s vs. Indiana, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: TCU vs. Rhode Island, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Redford at Penn State, 6 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Vanderbilt vs. Wake Forest, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Louisiana Tech at Ohio State, 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
College basketball: Illinois State vs. Maryland, 8:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
NHL: Senators at Stars, 8:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Boston College at UConn, 7 p.m. (WEEI-AM)
College football: Ohio at Northern Illinois, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Bayer Leverkusen at BATE Borisov, 11:50 a.m. (FS1)
Soccer: UEFA Champions, Dinamo Zagreb at Arsenal, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The latest rumors have the Red Sox as leading candidates for free agent pitchers David Price and Zack Greinke, but Price isn’t lending any credence to the chatter.

Fox MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal said Monday that new Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski is willing to the be the highest bidder for either pitcher, while Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci predicted, “I believe David Price is going to Boston. Dave Dombrowski is all in.”

Price, who many predict will end up with the Cubs (and his former manager with the Rays, Joe Maddon), finds the rumors humorous, and he jokingly made an announcement about his future.

Tweeted Price: I can always tell the big rumor days…tons of mentions when I haven’t even said anything!! I love you all BUT I’m going to play in Japan.

He then added: Haha just kidding!! Patience my friends.

— The NFL is reviewing Sunday’s Rams-Ravens game to determine why St. Louis quarterback Case Keenum remained in the game late in the fourth quarter despite showing signs of a concussion.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher denied seeing Keenum’s head hit the turf on a tackle or being aware of Keenum’s obvious symptoms — the QB staggered after being slow to get up — and Fisher said it was a “combination of unusual events” that led to the apparent failure in protocol.

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