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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 06, 2017 1:00 am

Briefs

Former Illini coach Groce to lead Akron

Staff, news services

CLEVELAND – Akron hired former Illinois coach John Groce to take over its men's basketball program.

The Indiana native and former Taylor University player and assistant coach replaces Keith Dambrot, who surprisingly left his alma mater last week to coach at Duquesne.

Groce is familiar with the Mid-American Conference after spending four seasons at Ohio. He went 85-56 at the school and twice led the Bobcats to the NCAA Tournament. Ohio upset Michigan in the 2012 tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16.

Illinois fired Groce last month after five seasons and a 95-75 record, but only 39-53 in the Big Ten.

BASKETBALL

UCLA losing another to draft

Ike Anigbogu is leaving UCLA for the NBA draft but won't hire an agent. The 6-foot-10 forward-center will join fellow freshmen Lonzo Ball and TJ Leaf in departing after one season.

COLLEGES

5 Trine football seniors honored

Five Trine football seniors were recognized by the National Football Foundation as members of the 2017 NFF Hampshire Honors Society. The players are Zachary Denig, Charles Gladieux, Jacob Quain, Brandon Rooze and Joshua Sheron. The society is composed of football players from all divisions who each maintained a GPA of 3.2 throughout their college careers. … IPFW's Zach Schroeder was named Summit League Men's Golfer of the Week, his second award this season and of his career. The sophomore shot a 54-hole school-record 210 (70-71-69) to finish tied for third out of 78 golfers at the Hoosier Invitational.

FOOTBALL

Around the NFL

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider acknowledged that the team has listened to trade offers regarding cornerback Richard Sherman but downplayed that a deal might actually happen. Schneider made his comments in an interview with KIRO-AM on Wednesday. … Retired running back Marshawn Lynch has visited the Oakland Raiders as he decides whether to come back to the NFL and the team decides whether it wants to acquire the hometown favorite. The visit was first reported by recently retired Colts punter Pat McAfee, who now writes for Barstool Sports. … New England re-signed running back Brandon Bolden, a five-year veteran with the Patriots who has mostly been used on special teams.

Defense rests in Hernandez trial

In Boston, the defense rested its case in the double-murder trial of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez as lawyers for Hernandez called their final witnesses. The former New England Patriots tight end was not called to testify in his own defense. Closing arguments are scheduled for today.

HIGH SCHOOLS

Williams finalist for Mr. Basketball

Snider's Malik Williams was named a finalist as Indy­Star's Mr. Basketball. The 7-foot Louisville recruit averaged 21.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4 blocks, helping the Panthers to a 17-7 record and an SAC regular season title. Other contenders are Cloverdale's Cooper Neese, Castle's Jack Nunge and North Central's Kris Wilkes.

HOCKEY

NHL news

The Russian Hockey Federation wants as many players as possible back in the Kontinental Hockey League next season in preparation for the Olympics without the NHL. Board chairman Arkady Rotenberg said some Russian players want to go to the Olympics even with an NHL contract. … Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will undergo surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck and will be out four to six months. The three-time All-Star hasn't played since Feb. 21.

RUNNING

Marathon to use trucks, drones

Authorities say they'll make greater use of trucks and drones to secure the April 17 Boston Marathon. Police say they'll use tethered drones at the starting line in Hopkinton to keep a close eye on the crowds. Up to 1 million spectators are expected to line the course. They'll also use large public works vehicles to block access to key pedestrian areas.