Yahoo Sports AM: NIL critics were wrong

By | December 19, 2023

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๐ŸšจHeads

๐Ÿ€ 24 in a row: Cade Cunningham scored a career-high 43 points on efficient 16-24 shooting against the Hawks. The Pistons still lost, extending their losing streak to 24 games.

๐Ÿˆ Suspended for the season: Steelers safety Damontae Kazee has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the season for repeatedly endangering players. His violent attack on Michael Pittman Jr. was the last straw.

๐Ÿ’ Sens bag Smith: The last-place Senators have fired DJ Smith, making him the fourth head coach to be fired this season, following Edmonton’s Jay Woodcroft, Minnesota’s Dean Evason and St. Louis’ Craig Berube.

๐Ÿ€ Draymond update: Draymond Green will reportedly miss at least three weeks during his indefinite suspension. He has already started counseling.


๐Ÿˆ Top QB flips from Georgia to Nebraska

Dylan Raiola is headed to Nebraska.  (Aubrey Lao/Getty Images)

Dylan Raiola is headed to Nebraska. (Aubrey Lao/Getty Images)

When the NIL era began in July 2021, Critics feared that football recruiting โ€” already dominated by a few select schools โ€” would become even more top-heavy as the best and richest programs hoard all the top players. It turned out they were wrong.

Monday’s big news: Dylan Raiola, the No. 1 QB in the class of 2024, has transferred from Georgia to Nebraska, meaning the nation’s top 10 recruits, per Rivals, are currently deployed to 10 different schools.

  1. Jeremiah Smith, WR (state of Ohio)

  2. Dylan Raiola, QB (Nebraska)

  3. Williams Nwaneri, DE (Missouri)

  4. Julian Sayin, QB (Alabama)

  5. Cam Coleman, WR (Maroon)

  6. Micah Hudson, WR (Texas Technology)

  7. David Stone, D.T (Oklahoma)

  8. Ellis Robinson, C.B (Georgia)

  9. Colin Simmons, DE (Texas)

  10. Justin Scott, D.T (Miami)

For context: Between 2017 and 2021, an average of six schools signed the top 10 players in a class, notes Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports. This year it could be 10 schools, including programs like Missouri and Texas Tech, which are typically not in the mix.

โ€œThe Alabamians and Georgians of the world don’t get every great recruit. They don’t even get the number of great recruits they had five years ago. Schools across the country are prioritizing the 5-stars they’re dealing with (often in the state) and winning those battles.” -Wetzel

In related news: Georgia junior QB Carson Beck will return for the 2024 season instead of entering the NFL draft.


๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Photos across America

Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes the winning catch.  (Jane Gersovich/Getty Images)Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes the winning catch.  (Jane Gersovich/Getty Images)

Seattleโ€” Backup QB Drew Lock led a game-winning 92-yard drive to lift the Seahawks past the reeling Eagles, 20-17, and keep Seattle alive in the playoff race.

Teammates celebrate with kicker Lucas Carneiro after his game-winning field goal.  (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)Teammates celebrate with kicker Lucas Carneiro after his game-winning field goal.  (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

Teammates celebrate with kicker Lucas Carneiro after his game-winning field goal. (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

Charlotte- Western Kentucky scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat Old Dominion 38-35 (OT) in the Famous Toastery Bowl. It’s the fourth-biggest comeback in bowl game history.

(Harry Hoe/Getty Images)(Harry Hoe/Getty Images)

(Harry Hoe/Getty Images)

Los Angeles โ€” The Lakers hung their In-Season Tournament championship banner from the rafters on Monday. The Knicks spoiled the party with a 114-109 road victory.


โ›ณ๏ธDaughter’s memory takes father to new heights

Hayden Springer hugs his caddy on the 18th green.  (Tracy Wilcox/PGA Tour via Getty Images)Hayden Springer hugs his caddy on the 18th green.  (Tracy Wilcox/PGA Tour via Getty Images)

Hayden Springer hugs his caddy on the 18th green. (Tracy Wilcox/PGA Tour via Getty Images)

Five golfers earned their PGA Tour cards on Monday in the final stages of Q-School, changing their lives forever.

Amongst them: Hayden Springer. The 26-year-old American played with memories of his 3-year-old daughter Sage, who tragically passed away last month.

โ€œI’ve thought about her a few times,โ€ Springer said told NBC Sports. โ€œNot thinking about golf, not thinking about the last shot, the next shot, just thinking about her and her smile… Like that’s the thing that I can just close my eyes and think about her smile, and it’s a kind of grounding, kind of brings you back to neutral.โ€


๐Ÿ€Purdue is back on top

(Yahoo Sports)(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

Purdue is back at the top of the AP poll after beating former No. 1 Arizona this weekend.

  • Rising: No. No. 9 Kentucky moved up five spots after beating No. 11 UNC in Atlanta, while No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 8 Tennessee each rose four spots, mostly thanks to losses to other teams.

  • Traps: No. No. 15 Gonzaga (lost to No. 5 UConn) and No. 18 Clemson (lost to No. 23 Memphis) each fell five spots, while Baylor (lost to Michigan State) and No. 12 Creighton (lost to UNLV) fell four spots. .

Welcome back, rebels: No. 25 Ole Miss is ranked for the first time since January 2019. In their first season under Chris Beard, the Rebels (10-0) are off to their best start since opening 13-0 in 2007-08.


๐Ÿ€Fighting cocks still unanimous

(Yahoo Sports)(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

South Carolina remained the unanimous No. 1 team this week after receiving all 36 votes from the national media panel.

  • Welcome back: Number 23 Washington is in the rankings for the first time since 2017. Tomorrow they face a big test at No. 19 Louisville.

  • Best start ever: No. 18 Marquette (11-0) is off to its best start in program history.

52-0: Five of the 13 remaining undefeated teams are in the Big 12. No. No. 5 Texas, No. 10 Baylor, No. 25 TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia are a combined 52-0.


๐Ÿ“† December 19, 2001: Highest Score Bowl Game

Marshall QB Byron Leftwich ran away with 576 yards and 5 touchdowns.  (Eliot Schechter/Allsport via Getty Images)Marshall QB Byron Leftwich ran away with 576 yards and 5 touchdowns.  (Eliot Schechter/Allsport via Getty Images)

Marshall QB Byron Leftwich ran away with 576 yards and 5 touchdowns. (Eliot Schechter/Allsport via Getty Images)

22 years ago today, Marshall stormed back from a 38-8 halftime deficit to defeat East Carolina, 64-61 (2OT), in its highest-scoring bowl game ever.

Highest Scoring Bowl Games:

  1. Marshall 64, 61 ECU: 125 points (2001 GMAC bowl)

  2. Baylor 67, Washington 56: 122 points (Alamo Bowl 2011)

  3. West Virginia 70, Clemson 33: 103 points (Orange Bowl 2012)

  4. Army 70, West Virginia 33: 103 points (Come from the Armed Forces 2018)

  5. Hawaii 54, Houston 48: 102 points (2003 Hawaii Bowl)

More about this day:

  • ๐Ÿ’ 1917: Montreal teams won the first two NHL games ever played, with the Canadiens beating the Ottawa Senators and the Wanderers beating Toronto Arenas.

  • ๐Ÿˆ 2010: The Eagles scored 28 points in the final eight minutes, highlighted by DeSean Jackson’s walk-off punt return, to defeat the Giants in the Miracle at the New* Meadowlands.

*Part I: The first Wonder in the Meadowlands came on November 19, 1978, when Eagles cornerback (and future NFL head coach) Herm Edwards recovered a fumble for a 19-17 last-second victory over the Giants.


๐Ÿ“บ Watchlist: The return of Ja Morant

(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant will make his season debut tonight on the road against the Pelicans (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

The struggle is real: Memphis got off to a bad start without their best player in charge, going 6-19 during Morant’s 25-game suspension.*

More to watch:โ€Œ

  • ๐Ÿ€ NBA: Celtics at Warriors (10 p.m., TNT)

  • ๐Ÿˆ NCAAF: UTSA vs. Marshall (9 p.m., ESPN2) โ€ฆ Frisco Bowl in Frisco, Texas.

  • ๐Ÿ€ NCAAM: No. 22 Virginia at No. 23 Memphis (7 p.m., ESPN); No. 6 Marquette in Providence (8:30 p.m., FS1)

*Suspended without pay: Morant’s 25-game suspension cost him approximately $7.6 million in salary.


๐Ÿˆ NFL trivia

(Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images)(Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images)

(Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images)

Ask: Can you name the current first-place teams in all eight NFL divisions?

Answer below.


๐Ÿ€ Good read: the wolves are enormous

Karl-Anthony Towns (L) and Rudy Gobert.  (David Berding/Getty Images)Karl-Anthony Towns (L) and Rudy Gobert.  (David Berding/Getty Images)

Karl-Anthony Towns (L) and Rudy Gobert. (David Berding/Getty Images)

First place Timberwolves beat the Heat on Monday to improve to 20-5, tied with the Celtics for the best record in the league. What’s behind Minnesota’s hot start? It starts with their intimidating size.

From Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports:

The Wolves look to chase away the sun and envelop opponents with the towering shadows of Rudy Gobert (7-foot-1, 7-foot-9 wingspan) and Karl-Anthony Towns (7-foot-1, 7-foot-4 wingspan) on the interior and clearing their space to to operate outside by deploying the edge-rusher power of Anthony Edwards (6-foot-1, 6-foot-1 wingspan) and the pterodactyl threat of Jaden McDaniels (6-foot-1, almost 6-foot-1). foot span).

The investment in size also carries over to the second unit, with players like Kyle Anderson and Naz Reid (both 6-foot-1 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan). โ€ฆ At the risk of oversimplifying things, if you want to build an elite defense, being damn big is a pretty good start. And the Wolves have been much better than pretty good.

Keep reading.


Trivia answer: Cowboys (NFC East), 49ers (NFC West), Lions (NFC North), Buccaneers (NFC South), Dolphins (AFC East), Chiefs (AFC West), Ravens (AFC North), Jaguars (AFC South)

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