Announced North Carolina underclassmen Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Kendall Marshall will enter the NBA draft, the school said Thursday. The school didn’t state whether the three planned to hire an agent in its release announcing the departures, though it appears the three are in the draft to stay. Barnes, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, averaged about 17 points to lead the team. Henson, a 6-11 junior, averaged about 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Marshall, a 6-4 sophomore, won the Cousy Award presented to the nation’s top college point guard earlier Thursday. He set the ACC’s single-season assists record. He missed the last two NCAA tournament games after breaking his right wrist.
Hired Illinois has made it official: John Groce is the new men’s basketball coach of the Illini. Groce spent the past four seasons at Ohio, where he led the Bobcats to an 85-56 overall record and a run to the Sweet 16 of this year’s NCAA tournament. Groce replaces Bruce Weber, who was fired earlier this month after nine seasons. The Illini were 17-15 and suffered through a 2-12 collapse that sealed Weber’s fate.
• Kansas assistant and former Jayhawks star Danny Manning agreed to coach the Tulsa men’s basketball team. The 45-year-old Manning is in New Orleans, where Kansas will play Ohio State in the NCAA tournament semifinals on Saturday night. Manning has spent nine years on the Kansas staff and has been a full-time assistant since 2007. He won national championships as a player (1988) and assistant (2008). He takes over for Doug Wojcik, who was fired after six seasons.
• Former Wake Forest and Xavier assistant Pat Kelsey is Winthrop’s new men’s basketball coach. Kelsey spent eight seasons at Wake Forest under the late Skip Prosser and Dino Gaudio, then went to Xavier until 2011. Kelsey replaces Randy Peele, who was let go after the team’s second straight losing season.
Retired Preakness winner Shackleford will be retired at the end of the year and stand at stud at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky. The farm said the 4-year-old is in training for the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 7, with trainer Dale Romans hoping for a final race in the Breeders’ Cup in the fall. Shackleford was the leading 3-year-old money-earner.
Selected Maine’s Spencer Abbott, Jack Connolly of Minnesota-Duluth and Colgate’s Austin Smith are the finalists for this year’s Hobey Baker award. The award honors college hockey’s best player. Abbott leads the nation in scoring and assists, with 21 goals and 41 assists. Connolly won the WCHA scoring title and was the league’s player of the year. He scored 20 goals. Smith scored 36 goals and had 21 assists to win the ECAC scoring title.
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