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College basketball’s 2020-21 season is officially happening, even if the details are murky

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College basketball's 2020-21 season is officially happening, even if the details are murky

There never has been much doubt a 2020-21 Division I college basketball season would occur in some form, with an NCAA Tournament and a majority of programs finding a way to participate.

The NCAA’s announcement Wednesday of a Nov. 25 start date for men’s and women’s basketball — with guidelines and requirements for staging a season — made that official.

The NCAA was not in position, however, to offer a substantial degree of clarity regarding many of the variables.

Will there be bubbles? Will there be non-conference games and early season tournaments? What impact will the loss of non-conference revenue have on programs in less wealthy conferences? What will the NCAA Tournament look like? Will it expand or contract? Will any conferences choose not to participate, or to construct their own window of competition?

It’s not clear.

This is the best day for college hoops, though, since the major conference tournaments tumbled March 12 and Mark Emmert announced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

“The new season start date near the Thanksgiving holiday provides the optimal opportunity to successfully launch the basketball season,” senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said in the NCAA’s release. “It is a grand compromise of sorts and a unified approach that focuses on the health and safety of student-athletes competing towards the 2021 Division I basketball championships.”

MORE: Behind Big Ten’s football plan

College basketball’s last good-news day before this occurred was Aug. 2, when Sports Grind Entertainment Player of the Year Luka Garza of Iowa led a relative deluge of early draft entrants away from the brink of turning professional and instead back into the NCAA game. Since then, it mostly had been discouraging.

The decisions a week later by the Big Ten and Pac-12 not to compete in fall sports were daunting for college hoops. It raised the possibility neither would participate in winter sports, either.

The Big Ten had announced it was back in the fall football business by the time word leaked Wednesday the NCAA had settled on its various college hoops concepts — the start date, the opening of practice (Oct. 14), the maximum number of games (27), the minimum (13), the recommendation for non-conference competition (four games) and the elimination of scrimmages and exhibitions. That cleared some of the hurdles for what may be college basketball’s most powerful conference to be involved through the winter.

The Big Ten still has much work to do to get its football players onto the field, so there figures still to be some work to do to establish its men’s basketball plan.

ESPN reportedly has been working on using some variation of the bubble it helped to create in Orlando to stage the various multi-team tournaments it owns, not simply the AdvoCare Classic that traditionally has been contested at the HP Fieldhouse. There has been discussion of moving the Maui Invitational to Indianapolis or Charlotte and the Battle 4 Atlantis to South Dakota.

Some conferences, though, still might wish to constrict themselves to conference-only competition. We will be hearing from them individually over the coming weeks on their various plans. We will hear from the NCAA on what March will be like. There is much to be decided.

There will be hooping, though. That we know.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Alex Cora speculation begins after Red Sox fire Ron Roenicke

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Alex Cora speculation begins after Red Sox fire Ron Roenicke

Ron Roenicke will not return as manager of the Red Sox in 2021, the club announced prior to Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves.

A search for his replacement will begin immediately, the organization said in the announcement, and speculation is already swirling about a potential return for Alex Cora, who was fired and suspended for the 2020 season for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

“Throughout this difficult season, Ron’s consistency and professionalism kept the environment in our clubhouse productive and gave all of our players room to grow and develop,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said in a statement. “While we believe that, moving forward, we will benefit from new leadership and new energy, that does not diminish how strongly we feel about Ron. He is a man of the highest character who cares about our players and the Red Sox organization. As bench coach, he helped this team win a world championship.

“As manager, he showed poise and leadership in navigating an extremely challenging year. We are grateful for all of his contributions in our uniform.”

Roenicke replaced Cora in February after Cora and Boston split following MLB’s report on the Astros’ cheating during the 2017 season, when Cora was Houston’s bench coach. Roenicke had previously served as bench coach under Cora. Cora was later banned by MLB for one season.

Red Sox fire Ron Roenicke Alex Cora
Alex Cora, Ron RoenickeGetty Images (2)

Multiple reporters added fuel to Cora’s potential return on Twitter Sunday. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports Red Sox ownership “was among [Cora’s] biggest supporters. So do not rule out a return.”

Bloom named Roenicke interim manager the day after spring training began. He removed the interim tag in late April after MLB’s investigation of the 2018 Red Sox for illegal sign stealing found Roenicke had zero involvement.

The Red Sox are 23-36 this season and will play their final game Sunday afternoon in Atlanta.

Following Boston’s loss against to the Braves Saturday, Roenicke said he had a meeting with Bloom scheduled in a few days and that he was going to “see what happens.” He had hinted at hoping to stay in his position but that he was at peace with whatever the final decision turned out to be.

“It really hasn’t been unsettling,” Roenicke told reporters. “If I was just starting out as a young manager, I guess it would be a little bit unsettling. I’m sure it would be. But I think because of all the things that I’ve been through, I realize there’s a process, and I realize there’s timing differences the way different organizations do things.

“Do I like to know either way? Of course I’d like to know either way. But I think whatever happens, I’m going to be fine. I feel like this year, as difficult as it was, I thought (it) went well. And on my end, try to do everything I can to make things work out. It wasn’t all baseball as we all know this year. Sometimes a lot of other things came up.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Timberwolves’ Malik Beasley arrested on weapons, drug charges

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Timberwolves' Malik Beasley arrested on weapons, drug charges

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley was arrested Saturday on felony weapons and drug charges, according to ESPN.

Beasley, 23, brandished a gun at someone, according to the report. Police found guns and marijuana in Beasley’s Plymouth, Minn. home after obtaining a search warrant. Beasley is facing felony charges of possession of controlled substance/narcotics and receiving/concealing stolen property. He is currently being held without bail at Hennepin County Jail.

“At the time of the incident, multiple individuals were present at the residence,” Beasley’s attorney Steve Haney told ESPN. “The allegations against Malik will be defended vigorously.”

The Athletic reports that police have received multiple trespassing complaints on Beasley’s home in the past.

“We are aware of the situation involving Malik Beasley and are in the process of gathering information at this time,” the Timberwolves said in a statement Sunday morning.

Beasley partook in the first week of the Timberwolves’ voluntary three-week camp — allowed by the NBA for the eight teams not invited to the Orlando bubble — but wasn’t present last week, per The Athletic.

Beasley spent his first three-plus seasons with the Denver Nuggets before he was traded to Minnesota in February, and the 2016 first-round pick had a big breakout after the trade. In the 14 games he played for the Timberwolves before the COVID-19 shutdown, Beasley averaged 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and shot 42.6 percent from behind the arc. Beasley is set to become a restricted free agent after the season.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Joe Montana reportedly rescues grandchild from would-be kidnapper

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Joe Montana reportedly rescues grandchild from would-be kidnapper

NFL legend Joe Montana and his wife reportedly stopped a kidnapping when they wrestled their grandchild away from a home intruder on Saturday, according to TMZ Sports.

According to the report, the would-be kidnapper entered the the house through an unlocked door, grabbed one of their infant grandchildren out of a woman’s arms and took them to another part of the house.

MORE: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson endorses Joe Biden for president: ‘Best choice to lead our country’

From TMZ Sports:

“At 5 p.m. Saturday a 39-year-old woman entered the home where Joe and Jennifer Montana were staying — she got in through an unlocked door. The intruder saw a woman holding a baby — it’s unclear who was holding the infant.

“Our law enforcement sources say the intruder walked away with Montana’s grandchild to another part of the house where she was confronted by Joe and Jennifer. They wrestled the baby away from the woman. The intruder then ran out of the house.”

TMZ reports that the grandchild is safe and the intruder was arrested on kidnapping and burglary charges.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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