AP Sports

December 19, 2023
AP Scorecard
December 19, 2023
AP Sports

Update on the latest sports

AP-Summary Brief-Sports
December 19, 2023

Washington’s Kalen DeBoer is the AP coach of the year after leading undefeated Huskies to the CFP

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington’s Kalen DeBoer has been named The Associated Press coach of the year in college football. The Huskies are 13-0, won the Pac-12 championship and have a spot in the College Football Playoff in just DeBoer’s second year in charge. The Huskies will face Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 with a spot in the CFP championship game on the line. In DeBoer’s two seasons, the Huskies are 23-2 overall. Mike Norvell of Florida State was second in voting and Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz was third.

In 2023, the Saudis dove further into sports. They are expected to keep it up in 2024

At the dawn of 2023, the specter of Saudi Arabia’s growing influence on pro golf — and sports in general — served not only as a moral conundrum for players and their fans, but also, some argued, as an existential threat to the multibillion-dollar professional-sports industry itself. Twelve months later, it’s a different conversation, now virtually devoid of concern about supposed “sportswashing” and more fixed on just how rich the Saudis might make all these athletes before they’re done investing. The two key moments that shifted the focus were the June 6 announcement that the PGA Tour and the Saudi’s rival LIV Golf were looking to go into business together. Then, earlier this month, the world’s third-ranked player, Jon Rahm, joined LIV.

Drew Lock’s late touchdown pass rallies Seahawks to 20-17 victory over sliding Eagles

SEATTLE (AP) — Drew Lock threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 28 seconds left to cap a 92-yard drive, and the Seattle Seahawks stunned the Philadelphia Eagles 20-17, ending a four-game skid and getting back into NFC playoff contention. Seattle rallied behind its backup quarterback, who moved the team the length of the field for its longest touchdown drive this season and found the Seahawks’ rookie first-round pick for the biggest catch of his young career. Philadelphia had one last chance, but Julian Love made his second interception of the fourth quarter, picking off Jalen Hurts’ deep pass. The Eagles dropped their third straight game.

Backup QBs are on display all around the NFL as injury-depleted teams push toward the postseason

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — It can happen almost overnight: a backup quarterback goes from holding a clipboard to being thrust into action. Backups are on display all around the NFL right now after a flurry of starters have gone down for the year with injuries and teams have needed help to keep their postseason hopes alive. At the end of Week 15 of the NFL season, 18 teams had started quarterbacks who weren’t their first-string passers on opening day; 56 different quarterbacks have started an NFL game this season. And as starters continue going down, the value of backups keeps rising.

Ja Morant’s suspension is over, allowing the All-Star to rejoin the Grizzlies on the court

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension stemming from his social media antics with handguns has ended. That makes him available to play against the Pelicans in New Orleans on Tuesday night. Under the terms of his suspension, Morant was able to practice and travel with the Grizzlies and take part in morning shootarounds. But he was not permitted to be in an arena with his team during games. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins says Morant increasingly has been involved in practices during the past couple of weeks. He also has been video chatting with teammates during games. Jenkins says he’s been impressed with Morant’s conditioning. Morant was second overall draft pick in 2019 and is a two-time NBA All-Star.

Analysis: Sean Payton’s curious calls, sideline spat with Russell Wilson have Broncos on the brink

DENVER (AP) — Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton has gotten some buzz about his Coach of the Year credentials after the team recovered from a 1-5 start to push for an AFC playoff spot. But the Broncos have suffered two losses in three weeks that have hurt their chances of ending an eight-year playoff drought and Payton has drawn scrutiny for his decisions in those losses. The Broncos can still get to the playoffs with games remaining against the Patriots, Chargers and Raiders but Payton has left the Broncos without any wiggle room down the stretch.

Hornets’ Miles Bridges denied access to Canada for NBA game due to legal problems, AP source says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges has been denied entrance to Canada due to his past legal problems and will not be available to play Monday night in Toronto against the Raptors, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person said Bridges was turned away at the border. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly on the matter. Bridges is currently serving three years of probation after pleading no contest in exchange for no jail time in the June 2022 domestic violence case involving the mother of his two children, who accused Bridges of assaulting her in front of them.

Ja Morant lawsuit provides glimpse into his youth, family and a contentious pickup game

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A court hearing will resume this week in a lawsuit filed by a Memphis teen who alleges that NBA star Ja Morant assaulted him during a pickup basketball game two summers ago. The hearing has already featured testimony from the Memphis Grizzlies All-Star, who says he punched Joshua Holloway after the then-17-year-old aggressively threw the basketball at him and hit him in the face. The case is a test of Tennessee’s so-called stand your ground law and has offered an intimate glimpse into the NBA star’s family life. The hearing resumes Wednesday, a day after Morant is expected to return to the court from an unrelated 25-game suspension.

Column: Reviewing the year in golf based on shots from every club in the bag

One swing can win a tournament. Rose Zhang and Rory McIlroy know all about that. And one swing can lose a tournament. Just ask Viktor Hovland and Corey Conners at the PGA Championship. This is the annual review of golf by looking at shots struck from every club in the bag to tell a story. That starts with driver and finishes with wedges and the putter. The putter might have been the most popular of all the shots. That belongs to Nick Taylor and his 72-foot eagle putt to be the first Canadian to win the Canadian Open since 1954.

AP Sports Story of the Year: Realignment, stunning demise of Pac-12 usher in super conference era

Conference realignment and the downfall of the Pac-12 is The Associated Press Sports Story of the Year. Over a span of six weeks this past summer, the Pac-12 was ripped apart and redistributed by its competitors. Oregon and Washington are going to the Big Ten along with Southern California and UCLA. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are going to the Big 12. Stanford and California will join the Atlantic Coast Conference. College sports is heading toward a super conference era. Realignment has laid bare the importance of revenue and the bottom line.