Around the Nation (March 31): Cavs' Irving cleared to return from biceps injury

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASKETBALL

Cavs' Irving cleared to return from injury

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has been cleared to return to practice after missing eight games with a biceps injury.

Irving strained his left biceps on March 16 against the Clippers. He can resume full contact immediately, but the Cavs said his status for important games this week at Orlando and Atlanta has not been determined. Cleveland is 4-4 since its leading scorer was injured.

The Cavs, who enter the week just 21⁄2 games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, will likely ease Irving back into the lineup.

Also, an MRI on forward Anderson Varejao's shoulder revealed a sprained AC joint. The 6-foot-11 Varejao will not play Wednesday against the Magic and the team said his status beyond that will be updated later.

Cavs sign Hopson for rest of season

CLEVELAND -- The Cavaliers have signed free-agent swingman Scotty Hopson for the remainder of the season, a move that will give them flexibility in summer free agency.

Hopson's deal includes a non-guaranteed team option for next season. The 6-foot-7 Hopson, who has spent the past three years playing overseas, will get the $2.5 million exception this season and his second season is worth about $1.44 million.

His contract, along with the guard Alonzo Gee's non-guaranteed deal next season and forward Anderson Varejao's partially guaranteed deal for 2015, gives the Cavs trade options as they try to rebuild.

Hopson played at Tennessee but was not drafted in the NBA. He was with Miami's summer league team last year.

The deal was announced on Monday.

FOOTBALL

Saban: Athletes deserve a voice

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban says college athletes should have "a voice in what happens" to them during their careers.

Asked about the prospect of a union, Saban said Monday night he's always supported players' rights and that they should be compensated "the best that we can to help them." He didn't give an opinion on last week's ruling by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board that Northwestern's football team can bargain with the school as employees. The school is appealing.

Saban says it's easy to determine how much a scholarship costs, but that he'd like to see a study to determine the total value. The former Kent State player, who made about $6 million last year, says it's been worth a "pretty significant" amount to him.

COLLEGE

Jayhawks' Wiggins to enter NBA Draft

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins made official Monday what he's been telling folks all along: He's headed to the NBA after his only season with the Jayhawks.

The 6-foot-8 forward, who was voted second-team All-America earlier in the day, is expected to go in the top three picks in the June draft. Some believe he could go first overall.

Wiggins was the top-rated recruit when he arrived at Kansas, and his brief career was a bit of a roller coaster. He struggled early in the season, caught fire midway through, and then flamed out when it mattered most in an NCAA Tournament loss to Stanford.

Source: Marquette interviewing Duke asst. Wojciechowski

DURHAM, N.C. -- A person familiar with the situation says Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski is interviewing for the Marquette job.

The person spoke to The Associated Press Monday on condition of anonymity because Marquette is not commenting publicly about specific candidates for the position.

The Golden Eagles are looking for a replacement for Buzz Williams, who earlier this month left for Virginia Tech.

The 37-year-old Wojciechowski was a star guard for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski from 1994-98 and has been on the Blue Devils' staff since 1999. He was promoted to associate head coach in 2008.

McDermott leads AP All-America team

Doug McDermott of Creighton is a unanimous choice for The Associated Press All-America team, the first three-time selection in 29 years.

McDermott is the nation's leading scorer at 26.9 points a game. The senior is joined on the team Monday by freshman Jabari Parker of Duke and seniors Russ Smith of Louisville, Shabazz Napier of Connecticut and Sean Kilpatrick of Cincinnati.

Smith, Napier and Kilpatrick all played in the first-year American Athletic Conference, the first time a conference had three players on the first team since the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2000-01.

BASEBALL

MLB ticket price averages $27.94

CHICAGO -- Major League Baseball's average ticket price rose 2 percent this season to $27.93, the steepest rise since a 5 percent hike in 2009, according to the Team Marketing Report's annual survey.

The average rose 1.8 percent last year after remaining flat in 2012. World Series champion Boston had the highest average, rising 4.8 percent to $52.32. The New York Yankees, who missed the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years, kept their average flat and remained second at $51.55. The Chicago Cubs were third at $44.16.

Guerrero signs one-day deal to retire with Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Vladimir Guerrero is signing a one-day contract to retire with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels announced the honor on Monday, shortly before Guerrero threw out the first pitch on opening day at Angel Stadium.

The slugging outfielder hasn't played in the majors since 2011.

The 39-year-old Guerrero played six of his 16 major league seasons with the Angels from 2004-09, winning the 2004 AL MVP award and earning four of his nine All-Star selections.

Guerrero began his career with the Montreal Expos and finished with single seasons for Texas and Baltimore.

He played briefly in the minors for Toronto in 2012, and was out of baseball last year.

Guerrero leads all Dominican major leaguers with 2,590 hits.

Don Baylor is the only other league MVP in Angels history.

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