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Tue., March 29, 2011

Assured Tennessee’s new men’s basketball coach, Cuonzo Martin, says he did his homework on the possible NCAA punishment the Volunteers face before agreeing to accept the job. In addition to his own due diligence regarding the NCAA, Martin said Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton “has assured me it will all work out.” Martin takes over not knowing what kind of sanctions the NCAA might impose. Tennessee gave Martin a five-year deal guaranteeing him $1.3 million plus bonuses related to the team’s success with the option of a two-year extension after a 24-month review.

Hired Georgia Tech has picked Dayton coach Brian Gregory to rebuild its beleaguered men’s basketball program. He’ll replace Paul Hewitt, who was dumped after the Yellow Jackets’ fourth losing season in six years.

• Bradley has hired Kent State’s Geno Ford as its new men’s basketball coach. Ford, 36, led Kent State to its second consecutive Mid-American Conference regular-season title this season. The Flashes finished 25-12 and lost in the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Declared UCLA forward Tyler Honeycutt is leaving school to enter the NBA draft, giving up his final two years of eligibility. Honeycutt plans to sign with an agent, which would preclude him from returning to school.

Testing Michigan sophomore Darius Morris is asking the NBA to gauge his game before entering the draft. The NBA’s undergraduate advisory committee will assess where he would be selected and tell him by April 18, a week before the deadline for underclassmen to declare themselves eligible for the June draft.

Confirmed Three-time WNBA MVP Sheryl Swoopes is returning to the league, signing a deal with the Tulsa Shock. Tulsa coach and general manager Nolan Richardson confirmed the signing a day after the Associated Press reported a deal was imminent.

Scheduled Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar will have surgery on his broken ankle Wednesday. An MRI exam confirmed the Kings’ leading scorer will need corrective surgery that will keep him out indefinitely.

Traded The Minnesota Twins traded right-handed pitching prospect Billy Bullock to the Atlanta Braves, which allows them to retain Rule 5 draft choice Scott Diamond. Because he will start the year at Triple-A Rochester, the Twins had to work out a deal with the Braves for Diamond or put him through waivers before they could retain him.

Retiring Swiss striker Blaise Nkufo has announced his retirement after 17 professional soccer seasons, his last with the Seattle Sounders FC of the MLS.

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