Marcus Zegarowski announced Tuesday he is leaving Creighton and declaring for the NBA draft, the biggest name in an exodus that started after the Bluejays’ run to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Zegarowski, who starred as a freshman at Hamilton-Wenham before transferring to the Tilton School, was one of the top point guards in the nation, averaging a team-leading 15.8 points per game as a junior after being named the Big East preseason player of the year. “I will be entering the 2021 NBA draft and look forward to continuing to work hard, chase my dreams and play the game I love,” Zegarowski tweeted Tuesday. “Thank you Creighton for making my college experience so special. I will forever be a Bluejay.” Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA is allowing 2021 seniors to return next season. Zegarowski, the younger brother of Orlando Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams, is the fourth starter to announce his departure since Creighton lost to Gonzaga in the NCAA regional semifinals March 28. Creighton’s attrition follows head coach Greg McDermott’s use of racially insensitive language during a locker-room talk following a Feb. 27 loss at Xavier.
Ralph, Garrick headed to Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt has hired Shea Ralph away from UConn to help revive the Commodores’ struggling women’s basketball program, which hasn’t reached the NCAA Tournament since 2014. Ralph will be introduced at a news conference Wednesday. Ralph has been an assistant with the Huskies since 2008, and she helped lead UConn to 13 consecutive Final Fours and six NCAA championships. According to reports, Ralph’s husband, UMass Lowell coach Tom Garrick, will be joining her on the Vanderbilt staff as an assistant coach. Garrick, who is 35-46 in three seasons as coach of the River Hawks, was an assistant at Vanderbilt from 2009-15 and then at Boston College from 2015-18 before taking over in Lowell . . . Tennessee State introduced former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL running back Eddie George as its new football coach . . . In a Title IX lawsuit filed Monday in US District Court in Evansville, a former student is suing the University of Evansville and its former basketball coach, Walter McCarty, accusing him of rape and the school of not protecting students from him, allegations that both deny.
Nuggets’ Murray out with torn ACL
The Denver Nuggets will be without Jamal Murray indefinitely after the dynamic point guard suffered a torn ACL in his left knee, the team announced in a statement. It’s a big blow to a team coming off a season in which it advanced to the Western Conference finals and is hoping to make another deep postseason run. Murray was hurt late in a loss at Golden State on Monday night. He drove the lane, tried to elevate off his left foot and fell to the ground, instantly grabbing his knee in pain . . . Bobby “Slick” Leonard, who led the Indiana Pacers to three ABA championships during a Hall of Fame coaching career and was selected a 1963 NBA All-Star, has died. No details about the 88-year-old Leonard were provided but he had been in failing health in recent years.
Broncos, Seahawks, Buccaneers players to skip workouts
Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers players announced they are shunning in-person voluntary offseason workouts because of the coronavirus pandemic. Players on other teams were expected to follow suit. NFL teams can start holding offseason programs next week. But NFL Players Association president J.C. Tretter has been advocating for a repeat of last year’s offseason when the global COVID-19 outbreak forced teams to do everything online until training camps opened in August. Except for one minicamp, the offseason programs are voluntary, although most players participate in them and many players have contractual incentives to do so . . . The Arizona Cardinals signed running back James Conner to a one-year contract. The 25-year-old Conner played his first four seasons in Pittsburgh and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2018 . . . Running back Giovani Bernard has agreed to a one-year contract with the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. Bernard was released this month after spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him in the second round in 2013.
Rapinoe, Morgan lead US past France
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan scored and the US women’s national team beat France, 2-0, in an exhibition in Le Havre, France. The United States extended its unbeaten streak to 39 games, dating to January 2019 when the Americans fell to France, 3-1 . . . Paris Saint-Germain did just enough to knock defending champion Bayern Munich out of the Champions League and reach the semifinals for the second consecutive season, losing a tense match 1-0 to advance on away goals from the first leg. Bayern had to score twice after losing 3-2 at home . . . A spectacular goal from a scissor kick by Mehdi Taremi wasn’t enough to earn Porto a place in the Champions League semifinals as Chelsea advanced despite a 1-0 loss in the second leg of their quarterfinal. Chelsea went through 2-1 on aggregate and will play either Real Madrid or Liverpool in the last four, which the English club has reached for the first time since 2014 . . . This year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup final will be played on Aug. 1 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The United States is in Group B with Canada, Martinique and the winner of qualifying among Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bermuda and Barbados . . . The Italian government gave the all-clear for a limited number of fans to attend European Championship games at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, allowing the city to remain part of the rescheduled tournament when it begins June 11.
Rangers sign UMass defenseman Jones
Defenseman Zac Jones, who helped UMass win its first NCAA men’s hockey championship, agreed to terms on an entry-level contract with the New York Rangers. Jones had 9 goals and 15 assists in 29 games this season for the Minutemen. A third-round pick of the Rangers in 2019, he was named a second team NCAA East All-American and a second team Hockey East All-Star . . . The Canadian Hockey League has canceled the 2021 Memorial Cup because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. CHL president Dan MacKenzie said the decision was made based on “limitations on travel, border restrictions, and quarantining requirements that would make it impossible to produce league champions.” . . . Formula One moved up the start of practice and qualifying sessions for this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix to avoid a clash with the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip . . . The Baseball Americas Qualifier for the Olympic baseball tournament will be played on the east coast of Florida in West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie from May 31 to June 5 . . . Fabio Fognini opened the defense of his Monte Carlo Masters title with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Miomir Kecmanovic as second-ranked Daniil Medvedev withdrew from the clay-court tournament after testing positive for COVID-19. Italian teenager Jannik Sinner also progressed to set up a contest with top-ranked Novak Djokovic, defeating 2017 runner-up Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic will be playing for the first time since winning his ninth Australian Open title in February . . . The New York Racing Association said two horses died as the result of a barn fire on the backstretch at Belmont Park . . . Conn Findlay, a four-time Olympic medalist in rowing and sailing and a member of two winning America’s Cup crews, has died. He was 90.