UNDATED (AP) — Big-name women’s basketball programs like No. 5 Tennessee and No. 12 LSU are making a return to prominence this year. The Lady Vols and Tigers are part of a group of teams that are carrying national rankings under coaches in place since 2019. The list includes No. 15 Georgia Tech, No. 16 Duke, No. 20 Notre Dame, No. 21 North Carolina and No. 23 Oklahoma. Lady Vols coach Kellie Harper says it takes time to build up a winner, noting: “You don’t just push a button and win games.”
UNDATED (AP) — Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips says now is not the time for College Football Playoff expansion. Phillips told reporters on a conference call that with the NCAA about to embark on a transformation of Division I, CFP expansion should not be the priority. He also cited the continuing need for federal legislation regarding name, image and likeness compensation for athletes. Expansion talks among conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director stalled last weekend. Hopes for implementation of a new format by 2024 are dimming, but have not been pronounced dead.
UNDATED (AP) — Freshman Jabari Smith and four transfers have helped turn Auburn into one of the nation’s hottest college basketball teams. Led by the potential No. 1 NBA draft pick Smith and four other newcomers, Pearl’s fourth-ranked Tigers have been rapidly ascending the rankings during a 12-game winning streak that’s tied with Davidson for the longest current binge. It’s only one shy of the total number of Auburn victories last season entering Saturday night’s game at Mississippi. The versatile 6-foot-10, 220-pound Smith has lived up to his billing as a top-5 recruit, the highest rated signee in program history.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina has hired former Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Sterling Lucas as its outside linebackers and defensive ends coach. University trustees approved a two-year contract on Friday that will pay Lucas $350,000 a year. Lucas takes over for Mike Petersen, who left this month to join the new staff of coach Billy Napier at Florida. Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer said Lucas is a perfect fit to keep the team’s defensive moving forward. Lucas spent the last season as an assistant defensive line coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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