🏈 Tomorrow's Stars

NFL Combine Day 1 recap + weekend preview, NBA, NHL, college hoops, and more...

Happy March! The big fellas on defense kicked off the NFL Combine yesterday, and we'll recap the biggest winners from Day 1 before highlighting all the need-to-know names going into the weekend. In the NHL, the B’s got back on track, and Nathan MacKinnon hit the century mark. On the hardwood, Victor Wembanyama furthered conspiracists’ beliefs that he is, in fact, not an earthling, and we had some down-to-the-wire finishes in women’s hoops (which South Carolina chose not to partake in). Ready. Set. Friday!

WTF Stat: The most points per game by an NBA player in his 21st season:

  • LeBron James: 25.0

  • LeBron James in the 4th Quarter: 7.7

  • Vince Carter: 7.4

  • Dirk Nowitzki: 7.3

  • Robert Parish: 3.7

  • Kevin Garnett: 3.2

Note: There is no player named “LeBron James in the 4th Quarter.” That is simply Lebron James’ average in the 4th quarter this season. He is 39 years old.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏀 76ers C Joel Embiid, who injured the lateral meniscus in his left knee on Jan. 30, said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season - Embiid underwent surgery to repair the injury on Feb. 6

🏀 Iowa G Caitlin Clark announced that she is entering this year’s WNBA Draft and forgoing her fifth year of college eligibility - Clark is the projected No. 1 overall pick and is 18 points away from breaking the DI men’s and women’s career scoring record held by Pete Maravich (3,667 points)

Photo: B’s Back on Track | Source: USA Today

NHL - Top Games

  • Boston Bruins 5, Vegas Golden Knights 4: Morgan Geekie (3 G) had a hat trick, and Boston took a 3-0 lead in the 1st period, but Chandler Stephenson’s (1 G, 1 A) shorthanded goal tied the game for Vegas early in the 3rd period. However, the B’s prevailed as Mason Lohrei (1 G) netted the game-winner with less than five minutes remaining, snapping the Bruins’ three-game skid

  • Dallas Stars 4, Winnipeg Jets 1: Dallas entered the night having lost six of their past eight games but managed to take the Central lead over the Jets behind big outings from Jake Oettinger (25 SV) and Joe Pavelski (1 G, 1 A) - Stars rookie Logan Stankoven (1 G) scored for the third time in his four NHL games, and Dallas also acquired Flames D Chris Tanev in a three-team trade yesterday

  • Colorado Avalanche 5, Chicago Blackhawks 0: Nathan MacKinnon (1 G, 1 A) hit the 100-point mark in his 61st game this season, Zach Parise (2 G) buried a pair, and the Avalanche shutout Chicago at the United Center for their second win in two nights

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

NBA - Top Games

  • San Antonio Spurs 132, Oklahoma City Thunder 118: Reminder that Victor Wembanyama (28 PTS, 5-7 3PT, 13 REB, 7 AST, 5 BLK) is 7-foot-4 and only 20 years old. Last year’s No. 1 overall pick sunk five triples in a dazzling shooting display and blocked five shots for the second consecutive game to power the Spurs past Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31 PTS, 6 REB) and the promising Thunder, snapping San Antonio’s five-game skid - Wemby on the win: “I missed this s**t

  • Golden State Warriors 110, New York Knicks 99: The Warriors never trailed, as Steph Curry (31 PTS, 8-18 3PT, 11 REB) shined at the Garden, while Jonathan Kuminga (25 PTS, 8 REB) also had a nice night to drop Jalen Brunson (27 PTS, 5 AST) and the shorthanded Knicks to 2-7 in their past nine games

  • Milwaukee Bucks 111, Charlotte Hornets 99: After starting 3-7 under newly hired HC Doc Rivers, the Bucks are starting to heat up as Giannis Antetokounmpo (24 PTS, 10 REB, 5 AST) had his way with Charlotte to give the Deer their fourth straight dub

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAM | Ohio State 78, Nebraska 69: Ohio State is now 3-1 since interim head coach Jake Diebler took over for the fired Chris Holtmann, as Jamison Battle (32 PTS, 4 REB) dropped a season-high to boost the Buckeyes past Rienk Mast (14 PTS, 12 REB) and the Cornhuskers in Columbus - Ohio State (17-12) also has wins over No. 2 Purdue and Michigan State under Diebler, giving them hope for a late NCAA Tournament push

  • NCAAW | #1 South Carolina 98, Arkansas 61: Make that 28-0 for the Gamecocks! South Carolina outscored Arkansas 21-9 in the 2nd quarter, as Ashlyn Watkins (21 PTS, 11 REB) and company dominated on the road to remain perfect - the Gamecocks will host Tennessee this Sunday in their last regular-season game

  • NCAAW | #17 Notre Dame 71, #5 Virginia Tech 58: Georgia Amoore (20 PTS, 2 AST) and the Hokies saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the Irish, as freshman Hannah Hidalgo (23 PTS, 12 REB, 6 AST) led Notre Dame to an upset victory in South Bend - the night wasn’t a total loss for Virginia Tech, as you’ll see below

  • NCAAW | #12 NC State 75, #19 Syracuse 71 (OT): The Orange needed a win in their final regular-season game for a shot at the ACC title, but NC State had other thoughts, as Saniya Rivers (22 PTS, 8 REB, 5 AST) sealed a Wolfpack win with a pair of game-clinching free throws in overtime, giving Virgina Tech the out-right ACC championship

See the full NCAAM scoreboard here and the current rankings here. See the full NCAAW scoreboard here and the current rankings here.

🏈 Tomorrow’s Stars

Photo: Dallas Turner | Source: USA Today

The NFL combine is underway at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with many of the draft's top prospects taking center stage. Four days of on-field drills and workouts began yesterday and will continue today as the tight ends and defensive backs get set to take the gridiron this afternoon.

Need to Know

  • 321 prospects will attend this year’s combine, the majority of whom will spend six days in Indy. Michigan leads the way with an NFL-record 18 players participating, followed by Washington (13), Florida State (12), Georgia (11), and Texas (11)

  • In addition to specialized drills designed for each position group, combine participants may take part in the 40-yard dash, vertical and broad jumps, three-cone drill, shuttle runs (20- and 60-yard), and the bench press (225 pounds) - participants are not required to perform any physical testing (e.g., Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr., a projected top-five pick, won’t partake in any drills, and is simply in Indy to meet with the teams)

  • The players also undergo medical examinations, media press conferences, and team interviews - each NFL team is allowed 45, one-on-one interviews with the players of their choosing, with an 18-minute limit per interview

  • NFL Network will air the on-field workouts all four days, with streaming options available via NFL+ and NFL.com - below is the on-field workout schedule for each position group

Schedule - On-Field Workouts

  • Thursday, Feb. 29: Defensive Linemen, Linebackers (3:00pm ET)

  • Friday, March 1: Defensive Backs, Tight Ends (3:00pm ET)

  • Saturday, March 2: Quarterbacks, Running backs, Wide Receivers (1:00pm ET)

  • Sunday, March 3: Offensive Linemen, Special Teams (1:00pm ET)

Note: Each position group’s bench press test will take place the day after their on-field workouts.

Yesterday’s Winners (DL/LB)

  • Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama): It’s no mystery why Turner is the No. 1-ranked edge rusher in this year’s draft when you turn on the film, and his combine performance was just as impressive. At 6-foot-3 and 251 pounds, the 2023 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year measured in with a whopping 6’11” wingspan, ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, second only to NC State LB Payton Wilson (4.43), and posted an outrageous 40.5” vertical, the highest of the day.

  • Chop Robinson (EDGE, Penn State): We told you he was a freak yesterday morning, and he proved it a few hours later. Robinson measured in undersized, but his athleticism shined through during testing. The Penn State star clocked a 4.48 40, with a Thursday-best 1.54-second 10-yard split, and went for a 10’8” broad jump, tied for the best leap of the day.

  • Braden Fiske (DT, Florida State): After an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, the fifth-year out of Florida State continued to boost his stock yesterday. Fiske is currently the No. 4-ranked interior defensive lineman and can really move despite his 292-pound frame. He ranked first among defensive tackles in the 40-yard dash (4.78), 10-yard split (1.68), and the broad jump (9’9”).

See yesterday’s full combine results here.

Top Prospects to Watch this Weekend

Today (DB/TE)

  • Brock Bowers (TE, Georgia) - PFF Rank: 5

  • Cooper DeJean (CB, Iowa) - PFF Rank: 7

  • Nate Wiggins (CB, Clemson) - PFF Rank: 9

  • Quinyon Mitchell (CB, Toledo) - PFF Rank: 12

  • Terrion Arnold (CB, Alabama) - PFF Rank: 14

  • Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Alabama) - PFF Rank: 21

  • Tyler Nubin (S, Minnesota) - PFF Rank: 27

  • Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (CB, Missouri) - PFF Rank: 30

  • Ja’Tavion Sanders (TE, Texas) - PFF Rank: 41

Saturday (QB/RB/WR)

  • Malik Nabers (WR, LSU) - PFF Rank: 4

  • Rome Odunze (WR, Washington) - PFF Rank: 8

  • Jayden Daniels (QB, LSU) - PFF Rank: 22

  • Troy Franklin (WR, Oregon) - PFF Rank: 24

  • Brian Thomas Jr. (WR, LSU) - PFF Rank: 29

  • JJ McCarthy (QB, Michigan) - PFF Rank: 31

  • Bo Nix (QB, Oregon) - PFF Rank: 35

  • Adonai Mitchell (WR, Texas) - PFF Rank: 37

  • Keon Coleman (WR, Florida State) - PFF Rank: 39

  • Michael Penix Jr. (QB, Washington) - PFF Rank: 47

  • Jonathan Brooks (RB, Texas) - PFF Rank: 57

Sunday (OL/ST)

  • Joe Alt (T, Notre Dame) - PFF Rank: 6

  • Taliese Fuaga (T, Oregon State) - PFF Rank: 10

  • Olumuyiwa Fashanu (T, Penn State) - PFF Rank: 13

  • Jackson Powers-Johnson (C, Oregon) - PFF Rank: 17

  • JC Latham (T, Alabama) - PFF Rank: 19

  • Troy Fautanu (T, Washington) - PFF Rank: 25

  • Zach Frazier (C, West Virginia) - PFF Rank: 34

  • Christian Haynes (G, UConn) - PFF Rank: 64

Notable Players Not Participating

  • Caleb Williams (QB, USC): Williams is at the combine but will not participate in any on-field drills - PFF Rank: 1

  • Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State): Harrison Jr. is at the combine but will not participate in any on-field drills - PFF Rank: 2

  • Drake Maye (QB, North Carolina): Maye doesn’t plan to throw tomorrow at the combine but will partake in physicals - PFF Rank: 3

What is the lowest combined score by two teams in an NBA game since the 24-second shot clock was introduced in 1955?

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Photo: Sugar Ray’s Last Ride. | Source: AP

On March 1, 1997, Sugar Ray Leonard lost his final career fight via knockout to the late Hector "Macho" Camacho in Atlantic City, NJ. The 40-year-old Leonard had not fought since 1991 but came out of retirement for a third time to fight 34-year-old Camacho for the lightly regarded International Boxing Council (IBC) Middleweight Championship. Camacho, a quick-hitting southpaw from Puerto Rico, was a three-time world champion with a record of 62-3-1; however, he was also considered to be past his prime. In the fifth round, Camacho dropped Leonard with a right, followed by two left uppercuts. Leonard got up but was unable to ward off counterpart. The referee stopped the fight with Camacho teeing off on a defenseless Leonard on the ropes. It was the only time in Leonard's career that he was knocked out. Leonard later stated that he was severely hampered by a calf injury and flirted with making one last trip inside the ring. But the Camacho fight turned out to be his last. Sugar Ray finished his career with a record of 36-3-1 with 25 knockouts. In 2002, Leonard was voted by The Ring magazine as the ninth greatest fighter of the last 80 years, and many consider him the greatest fighter alive - Camacho was murdered in 2012 at age 50.

Friday

  • NBA: Dallas Mavericks @ Boston Celtics 7:30pm ET, ESPN

  • NBA: Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls 10:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: #21 Dayton @ Loyola Chicago 9:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NFL Combine: Defensive Backs, Tight Ends 3:00pm ET, NFL Net

  • NHL: Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals 7:00pm ET, NHL Net

  • MLAX: #17 Penn @ #1 Duke 6:00pm ET, ACCN

  • MLAX: #15 Princeton @ #18 North Carolina 8:00pm ET, ACCN

Saturday

  • F1: Bahrain Grand Prix 10:00am ET, ESPN

  • NBA: Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Lakers 8:30pm ET, ABC

  • NCAAM: #7 Kansas @ #15 Baylor 1:00pm ET, ABC

  • NCAAM: Virginia @ #10 Duke 6:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Michigan State @ #2 Purdue 8:00pm ET, FOX

  • NCAAM: #4 Tennessee @ #14 Alabama 8:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Full Schedule

  • NCAAW: #4 Stanford @ Oregon 5:00pm ET, Pac-12

  • NFL Combine: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers 1:00pm ET, NFL Net

  • NHL: Florida Panthers @ Detroit Red Wings 3:00pm ET, ABC

  • NHL: New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • MLAX: #8 Johns Hopkins @ #2 Virginia 1:00pm ET, ACCN

  • MLAX: Full Schedule

Sunday

  • EPL: Manchester United @ Manchester City 10:30am ET, Peacock

  • NASCAR: Cup Series at Las Vegas 3:30pm ET, FOX

  • NBA: Golden State Warriors @ Boston Celtics 3:30pm ET, ABC

  • NBA: New York Knicks @ Cleveland Cavaliers 7:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Phoenix Suns 9:30pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Seton Hall @ #3 UConn 12:00pm ET, CBS

  • NCAAM: Michigan @ Ohio State 4:00pm ET, CBS

  • NCAAW: Tennessee @ #1 South Carolina 12:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAW: #2 Ohio State @ #6 Iowa 1:00pm ET, FOX

  • NCAAW: Duke @ North Carolina 4:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAW: Full Schedule

  • NFL Combine: Offensive Linemen, Special Teams 1:00pm ET, NFL Net

  • NHL: New Jersey Devils @ Los Angeles Kings 3:30pm ET, TNT

Trivia Time Answer

D. 119. Since the shot clock era began in 1955, the fewest combined points by two teams in an NBA game is 119, in which the Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Hawks 62-57 in 1955. Surprisingly, the second-lowest scoring game in the shot clock era came in 1996, when the Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 66-57, making for a total of 123 points.

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Men’s College Basketball

  • #7 Kansas @ #15 Baylor: KU +4.5 (-110)

Thank you for reading, seriously.