Latest Carolinas sports

May 17, 2017 - 3:35 am


South Carolina catcher Cullen, shortstop Stokes out

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina baseball team's struggles have become even more challenging with starting catcher Chris Cullen and shortstop Madison Stokes sidelined.

The school said early Tuesday that Cullen, a sophomore, was finished for the season after having surgery to remove torn cartilage from his left knee. Hours later, the Gamecocks said Stokes had a broken right wrist that will need at least six weeks to heal. Unless South Carolina (30-21) advances to the College World Series, it is unlikely Stokes would return this season.

Stokes hurt his wrist when he was hit by a pitch in a loss to Missouri last Saturday.

Cullen started 31 of 34 games this season. Stokes, a junior, started 47 games.

The Gamecocks have lost seven straight Southeastern Conference series.


Playoff committee member joins South Carolina hall of fame

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — College Football Playoff selection committee member Bobby Johnson is now a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Johnson was among seven new inductees honored in ceremonies Monday night. Johnson spent eight seasons as Furman's head coach before moving on to Vanderbilt, where he led the Commodores to their first bowl victory in 53 years. Johnson stepped down before the 2010 season. He joined the CFP committee in 2015, replacing Archie Manning.

Johnson said he enjoys his work on the committee and feels like a regular fan watching college football on Saturdays despite his duties.

Others enshrined included former Baltimore and New York Mets pitcher Kris Benson and ex Chicago Bears All-Pro defensive back Donnell Woolford. Both Benson and Woolford played their college careers at Clemson.


C-USA will play basketball tournaments at NFL Cowboys' home

Conference USA will play its men's and women's postseason basketball tournaments at the Dallas Cowboys' headquarters the next two years.

The 14-team league announced Tuesday that its 2018 and 2019 tournaments will be hosted at Ford Center, a 12,000-seat indoor stadium that is part of The Star, a 91-acre complex worth more than $1 billion where the NFL's Cowboys have their headquarters and a practice facility.

Those C-USA tournaments next March, with 11 men's and 11 women's games, will be the first major collegiate event planned at the complex in Frisco, north of downtown Dallas.

High school football and soccer games have been played there, as well as a track and field event. Texas Tech held a spring game there last month. Major League Lacrosse is playing its championship game there Aug. 19.


Florida A&M names Robert McCullum as men's basketball coach

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida A&M University has hired Robert McCullum as its next men's basketball head coach.

The university announced the move on Tuesday.

McCullum has been Oregon's assistant director of basketball operations for the past three seasons. The Ducks advanced to this year's Final Four for the first time since 1939 before losing to North Carolina. The 62-year-old McCullum was one of three finalists for the job along with Buffalo assistant Lindsey Hunter and Pat Kennedy, who has led five programs including Florida State.

McCullum, who has a 84-121 record, led Western Michigan for three seasons (2000-03) before going to South Florida for four years (2003-07).

This is Florida A&M's fourth coach in 11 seasons. Byron Samuels' contract was not renewed after he went 17-71 in three years, including 7-23 last season.


Hurricanes, Stars get early jump on NHL goalie carousel

When the Carolina Hurricanes traded a third-round pick to Chicago for the rights to Scott Darling, the NHL's goaltender carousel started spinning.

After Carolina signed Darling to a $16.6 million, four-year deal, the Dallas Stars sent a fourth-round pick to Los Angeles for the rights to Ben Bishop and signed the 6-foot-7 former Lightning starter for $29.5 million over six years. Carolina and Dallas were willing to give up picks to get the jump on what Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis called an interesting offseason to shop for a goalie.

"There's two different paths you can look at: One is certainly who's going to be available on July 1 and what it may take to get them in terms of years and in terms of salary, and then the other option is you're looking at who might be available in terms of teams not wanting to lose a goaltender in expansion and willing to make a trade and what it costs you to get that player," Francis said. "When we looked at everything and studied things, we thought this was the best viable option for us."

It looks brilliant now ahead of a goalie shuffle that expected to happen over the next several weeks leading up to the Vegas Golden Knights' expansion draft June 21, the actual draft a few days later and the start of free agency July 1. The Golden Knights, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers and perhaps even the Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche are in the market, with Pittsburgh veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, Washington backup Philipp Grubauer and a handful of others in the mix to fill vacancies.


Broncos rookie wears 33 in honor of friend killed in crash

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The first thing rookie running back De'Angelo "Hop" Henderson of Coastal Carolina inquired about when the Denver Broncos drafted him was whether No. 33 was available.

Unlike many NFL rookies who have superstitious reasons for seeking certain jersey numbers — and often paying cash to a veteran who already owns it — Henderson wanted the number to honor a friend.

"My fraternity brother Anthony Frye died March 2, 2016," Henderson said. "He wore No. 33 when he played at Coastal. He was one of my closest friends."

Frye and Henderson knew each other before they joined Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

"I could go on for days about how good of a person he is. How genuine he was. How much we talked about this moment coming," Henderson said. "I miss him. I definitely want to honor him."

Frye was killed in a motorcycle accident while on his way to see his girlfriend and newborn child shortly after a fraternity meeting.

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