In Brief


Duke teammates Singler, Smith head team coming to Las Vegas

Final Four most outstanding player Kyle Singler and Duke teammate Nolan Smith are among 20 players on a select team of college players that will practice against the U.S. national team.

USA Basketball named 20 players to the squad Thursday. They will arrive in Las Vegas on July 19 and train with the candidates for the Americans’ world championships team from July 20 to 23.

Also chosen: LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor), Jimmer Fredette (Brigham Young), Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), Kemba Walker (Connecticut), JaJuan Johnson (Purdue), Shelvin Mack (Butler), Marcus Morris (Kansas), Lavoy Allen (Temple), William Buford (Ohio State), Scoop Jardine (Syracuse), Jon Leuer (Wisconsin), John Shurna (Northwestern), Chris Singleton (Florida State), Howard Thompkins (Georgia), Mike Tisdale (Illinois), Chris Wright (Dayton), Scotty Hopson (Tennessee) and Tyler Zeller (North Carolina).

Also: Mel Turpin, a former NBA player and All-America center at Kentucky, has died in Lexington, Ky. He was 49.

Coroner Gary Ginn said Turpin committed suicide but would not say how. He also would not say whether Turpin left behind a suicide note.

The 6-foot-11-inch Turpin, dubbed "The Big Dipper," was an All-Southeastern Conference player for the Wildcats from 1980 to 1984. He led Kentucky to the SEC championship in 1984.

The woman charged with attempting to extort $10 million from Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has denied the charges in a court brief.

Karen Cunagin Sypher’s attorney, James Earhart, filed a five-page trial brief detailing the charges against Sypher and what prosecutors must prove to convict her. It includes one sentence saying she denies the charges.

Opening statements are set to begin in her trial July 26 in Louisville, Ky.


Clarke forgets frustrations, takes early Scottish Open lead

Darren Clarke upstaged fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell with a 6-under-par 65 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Scottish Open at Luss, Scotland.

McDowell, returning to tournament golf and his European Tour roots for the first time since his win at the U.S. Open, shot 71 on a blustery day at Loch Lomond.

McDowell birdied his final two holes to finish alongside Phil Mickelson, who was making his first appearance in Europe since winning the Masters in April.

They were both 44 places down the leaderboard behind Clarke, the former Ryder Cup star who has considered retirement.

One shot behind Clarke were Graeme Storm, Edoardo Molinari and Damien McGrane.


USC football won’t be eligible for USA Today coaches poll

Southern California is ineligible for the USA Today coaches poll for the upcoming season.

Grant Teaff, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, issued a statement to USA Today confirming that his organization’s members aren’t allowed to vote for any school on major probation, such as a bowl ban.

Also: Britain’s Mark Cavendish broke down in tears after winning the fifth stage of the Tour de France for his first victory in this year’s race.

The Briton, who won six stages last year and four in 2008, broke through in the 2010 edition on the mostly flat 116.3-mile trek from Epernay to Montargis. The main contenders for the overall title cruised home afterward in the pack, with the whole field clocking 4 hours, 30 minutes, 50 seconds.

Fabian Cancellara retained the leader’s yellow jersey, and the overall standings didn’t change. Defending champion Alberto Contador of Spain was 19th in the stage, and seven-time tour winner Lance Armstrong was 30th.

The agent for Sidney Rice said the receiver has a lingering hip injury but should be ready when the Minnesota Vikings open the regular season against the New Orleans Saints.

Free-agent wide receiver Bobby Engram has signed with the Cleveland Browns. Engram, 37, had five receptions for 61 yards in five games last season with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Linebacker Antonio Pierce has retired from the NFL after nine seasons and is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst.

Pierce spent the past five seasons with the New York Giants and was released by the team in February. He was the Giants’ defensive captain and helped them defeat the New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.

The NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons linebacker Robert James for four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. James, 26, played in one game and did not record a tackle last season.

A world-record tennis crowd watched Kim Clijsters defeat Wimbledon champion Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2 in an exhibition at Brussels, Belgium.

The crowd of 35,681 at King Baudouin Stadium surpassed the record of 30,472 set in 1973 at the Houston Astrodome in the "Battle of the Sexes" match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

Clijsters originally was scheduled to play Belgian Justine Henin, but Henin withdrew after injuring her elbow at Wimbledon.

The U.S. Open will offer the richest purse in tennis history, with its singles champions each getting a record $1.7 million.

U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir is skipping the 2010-11 season. A three-time U.S. champion and two-time Olympian, Weir is known as much for his outlandish costumes and frank comments as his short and long programs.

Usain Bolt won the 100 meters at the Athletissima meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 9.82 seconds, returning from an Achilles’ tendon injury to matching the year’s fastest time.

The Buffalo Sabres re-signed veteran free-agent goalie Patrick Lalime to a one-year contract. The 36-year-old has spent the past two seasons with the Sabres as Ryan Miller’s backup.

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