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Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Struggling Nets demote top assistant Lawrence Frank after reported rift with Jason Kidd 12.04.13 at 8:10 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA: Spurs at Timberwolves, 9:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
College basketball: Boston College at Purdue, 9 p.m. (ESPN2; WEEI-AM)
College basketball: Maryland at Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Northwestern at N.C. State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Saint Joseph’s at Temple, 8 p.m. (ESPNews)
College basketball: Pennsylvania at Villanova, 8 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: North Carolina at Michigan State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Miami at Nebraska, 9:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
NHL: Flyers at Red Wings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
Soccer: Premier League, Everton at Manchester United, 2:40 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘€¢ Fans in the Big Apple have to hope the Yankees‘ deal with Jacoby Ellsbury works out better than the most recent New York team’s acquisition of a Boston star.

Paul Pierce (who is out 2-4 weeks with a broken hand) and Kevin Garnett have not had the impact on the Nets the team expected. But much of the blame has to be placed on coach Jason Kidd — or whomever decided it would be a good idea to hire a just-retired player with no coaching experience.

Kidd, who last week embarrassed himself and the organization by spilling a drink on the court to get a timeout and then lying about it, demoted top assistant coach Lawrence Frank on Tuesday due to a “difference in philosophies,” as the struggling Nets continue to underachieve.

Frank has been assigned to doing “daily reports” and won’t be on the bench anymore, despite being in the first year of a six-year deal worth a reported $6 million.

“This is my decision,” Kidd said before Tuesday night’s 111-87 loss to the Nuggets that dropped Brooklyn to 5-13. “It’s what I had to do. It’s about basketball.”

According the New York Daily News, the team wanted Frank to offer more guidance, but the onetime Nets head coach (2004-08) became frustrated and complained about Kidd to others in the league. Frank, who was head coach of the Pistons the past two seasons and is a former Celtics assistant, is known as a defensive specialist, but Brooklyn’s defense has been poor this season.

Swingman Joe Johnson said he could see that the relationship was rocky.

“Guys do notice it. I know I surely noticed it. Something just wasn’t quite right,” Johnson said. “But that has nothing to do with how we played [Tuesday]. That was just a carbon copy of our season, to be honest with you.”

‘€¢ The Newtown High School football team’s inspirational season ended Tuesday with a two-point loss to Ridgefield in the Connecticut state quarterfinals.

With the number 26 on their helmets in tribute to the students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School who were gunned down last December, the Newtown players rallied from a 21-point second-half deficit and had a chance to tie the game with 16 seconds remaining, but their two-point conversion failed.

“I love our town. I love our team, I love our fans,” junior wideout Julian Dunn said after the 33-31 setback (via the New York Daily News). “We couldn’t ask for better help keeping everything positive.”

The Nighthawks had advanced to the playoffs after going 12-0 in the regular season.

‘€¢ On the heels of the incredible ending to Saturday’s Auburn-Alabama game, Real Clear Sports has a list of the best finishes in college football history.

Saturday’s shocker is the new No. 1, moving the Cal-Stanford band game to second. Boise State’s Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma — featuring a hook-and-lateral and a Statue of Liberty play by victorious Boise State — is No. 3. Boston College’s Miracle in Miami is fourth.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Dec. 4, 1988, which Patriots player recorded his 500th career reception during a 13-7 victory over the Seahawks?

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Read More: Auburn, Jason Kidd, Lawrence Frank, Newtown
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Newtown children to sing at Super Bowl 01.31.13 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NHL: Sabres at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Penguins at Rangers, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA: Grizzlies at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Mavericks at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: UConn at Providence, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Illinois at Michigan State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Drexel at George Mason, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Penn State at Iowa, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arizona at Washington, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Arkansas at Alabama, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Oregon State at California, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Gonzaga at Loyola Marymount, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)


‘™¦ Almost two months after 26 students and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., were gunned down, a group of 26 students from the school will sing “America the Beautiful” as part of Sunday’s Super Bowl pregame show. The performance will be broadcast live on CBS shortly before Alicia Keys sings the national anthem.

The News Times in Connecticut reports that an anonymous donor provided the money for the trip. “It’s an honor,” an unidentified local parent said.

Choir members from the school recorded “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with Grammy-nominated singer Ingrid Michaelson earlier this month.

‘™¦ The Lakers had won three straight games before losing to the Suns on Wednesday night, but coach Mike D’Antoni still found himself dealing with controversy. The latest issue surrounded center Pau Gasol, who was upset about being benched in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s victory over the Hornets.

Said Gasol: “I’m a competitor, I’m a guy that thinks I bring a lot to the table, and not being on the floor is something that I don’t like, I don’t appreciate.”

Considering the players talked about a renewed focus on team success over individual issues earlier this week following a recent team meeting, D’Antoni was especially disappointed.

“Well, you know, ‘all for one’ didn’t last [very] long, did it?” D’Antoni said. “Forty-eight hour shelf life. That’s not bad. We’ll take what we can get.”

‘™¦ Former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky‘s bid for a new trial was denied Wednesday, as a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers did not have enough time to prepare for his trial last year that resulted in his conviction on child sexual abuse charges.

“I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant’s trial counsel failed to test the prosecution’s case in a meaningful manner,” Judge John Cleland wrote in his 27-page order. “The defendant’s attorneys subjected the commonwealth’s witnesses to meaningful and effective cross-examination, presented evidence for the defense and presented both a comprehensive opening statement and a clearly developed closing argument.”

Sandusky is serving 30-60 years in state prison for the sexual abuse of 10 boys.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 31, 1971, in a 6-0 rout of the Blues, Bobby Orr scored twice to become the second defenseman in Bruins history with 100 career goals. Who was the first?

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Read More: Jerry Sandusky, Mike D'Antoni, Newtown, Pau Gasol