Around the Nation: Cavaliers star guard Kyrie Irving could return to action this week

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASKETBALL

Cavaliers' Irving returns to practice

CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving practiced with his Cavaliers teammates for the first time in two weeks Tuesday after missing eight games with a biceps injury. Irving took some contact during his first workout since straining a left biceps tendon March 16 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I feel good," Irving said. "It was great to be back out there. It was definitely hard for me these last two weeks just sitting on the bench. But as always, if I go down, I'm the biggest cheerleader. "

Irving doesn't know yet if he'll play tonight in Orlando, a key game in the Cavs' playoff push. He'll take part in the shootaround and then consult with the medical staff.

While he was out, the team went 4-4 and climbed into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland trails Atlanta by three games for the No. 8 spot. After playing the Magic, the Cavs face the Hawks on Friday in Atlanta.

Antigua takes over for Heath at USF

TAMPA, Fla. -- Orlando Antigua believes he can transform South Florida's struggling basketball program into a consistent winner.

The Kentucky assistant was introduced Tuesday as the ninth coach in the American Athletic Conference school's history, and he's hardly the first to take the job promising brighter days.

But Antigua is one of the nation's top recruiters, one of the reasons why Kentucky is in the Final Four with a starting five of all freshmen, and he says there's no reason USF can't win championships, too.

"That will take work," he said during a news conference in the Sun Dome's Arena Club. "I'm not afraid of work."

The John Calipari understudy takes over a program that's made the NCAA Tournament once in the past 22 years. Predecessor Stan Heath, who coached Kent State to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight in 2001-02, arrived at USF sporting a strong track record of getting teams to realize their potential, but the Bulls went 97-130 in seven seasons under the fired coach.

Antigua got a five-year, $4.75 million contract that could be worth more with incentives.

Marquette to hire Wojciechowski

Marquette has hired Duke assistant Steve Wojciechowski as its next men's basketball coach, said a person familiar with the situation.

The 37-year-old Wojciechowski takes over for Buzz Williams, who left for Virginia Tech last month. He led Marquette to a 139-69 record and five NCAA tournament appearances in six seasons but missed the tournament this year.

Wojciechowski becomes the second Mike Krzyzewski assistant in two years to land a head coaching job at a program in a major conference. Chris Collins left last spring for Northwestern.

Notre Dame loses star F Achonwa

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame forward Natalie Achonwa will miss the Final Four with a left knee injury, a big blow to the national championship hopes of the Fighting Irish.

Coach Muffet McGraw said Achonwa tore her anterior cruciate ligament in Notre Dame's 88-69 victory over Baylor on Monday night, calling it devastating for the senior but not for the title hopes of the Irish (36-0).

BASEBALL

Angels coach Baylor has leg surgery

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Los Angeles Angels hitting coach Don Baylor had surgery on his broken right leg Tuesday, a day after getting hurt while catching the ceremonial first pitch on opening day.

Manager Mike Scioscia has no idea how long Baylor will be out of uniform, but he expects to consult regularly with the 64-year-old former Rockies and Cubs manager during his recovery.

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