Big Ten Conference to add USC, UCLA in 2024-25 season – WSJM Morning Sports

NCAA – Big Ten votes to add USC, UCLA as members starting in 2024
The Big Ten voted unanimously to add Southern California and UCLA as conference members beginning in 2024. The expansion to 16 teams will happen after the Pac-12’s current media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire and make the Big Ten the first conference to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The announced came almost a year after Oklahoma and Texas formally accepted invitations to join the Southeastern Conference in July 2025.

NHL – Red Wings hire Lightning assistant Derek Lalonde as coach
The Detroit Red Wings have hired two-time Stanley Cup-winning assistant Derek Lalonde as coach after a lengthy search process. Lalonde was on Jon Cooper’s Tampa Bay Lightning staff the past four years in which they won the Cup twice and most recently reached the final. Lalonde is now in charge of a team in Detroit on the upswing of a long-term rebuild. Lalonde is the first active Cooper assistant to take a head coaching job in the NHL. He replaces Jeff Blashill who coached the Red Wings for seven seasons.  Red Wings General Manager Steve Yzerman hired Lalonde when Yzerman held the same position as GM of Tampa Bay.

MLB – Major League Baseball
Yesterday
Chicago Cubs 15, Cincinnati Reds 7
Tigers and White Sox were off

Cubs 15, Reds 7 – Wisdom’s slam, 6 RBIs lift Cubs over Reds 15-7
Patrick Wisdom hit a grand slam and a solo homer en route to a career-high six RBIs, rookie Christopher Morel had a career-high five hits and the Chicago Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 15-7. The Cubs collected 23 hits off five pitchers, tying their season high from a 21-0 rout of the Pirates on April 23. Seven of those hits came in the eighth against outfielder Max Schrock, who allowed a two-run homer to P.J. Higgins and a solo shot to Morel. Wisdom’s slam off Graham Ashcraft capped a five-run second, and he also connected against Dauri Moreta in the sixth.

Tonight
Boston (Hill 4-4) at Chicago Cubs (Sampson 0-0), 2:20 p.m.
Kansas City (Keller 2-9) at Detroit (TBD), 7:10 p.m.                             WSJM/WCSY 6:50
Chicago White Sox (Lynn 1-1) at San Francisco (Cobb 3-3), 10:15 p.m.

MLB – Agency clears way for Oakland Athletics $12B ballpark plan
A California agency has cleared the way for the Oakland Athletics to move forward with a $12 billion waterfront ballpark project. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission voted Thursday to reclassify a terminal at the Port of Oakland as a mixed-use area where a new ballpark could be built. The vote is the first in a series of hurdles before the team could get permission to break ground for the project. The Athletics have also been working on plans to relocate to Nevada and find a spot for a new stadium in Las Vegas.

NBA – 5 players, $1.1 billion: NBA free agency starts with a bang
The NBA generated more basketball related income than ever this past season, the total number coming up just short of $9 billion. Business is good. The first night of free agency underscored how good. Nikola Jokic, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns and Ja Morant agreed to extensions worth more than $1 billion by the time they expire, highlighting the moves made Thursday when the NBA’s annual free-agent negotiating window opened.

NBA – AP source: Kevin Durant asks for trade from Brooklyn Nets
A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. The decision revealed just before the start of NBA free agency undoubtedly will have teams scrambling to put together enormous offers for the perennial All-Star. The Nets have been working with Durant to find a trade partner, and he has multiple teams on his preferred list. That’s according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor Brooklyn revealed any details publicly. ESPN first reported Durant’s trade request and cited Phoenix and Miami as two of his preferred destinations. Durant is a 12-time All-Star, 4-time scoring champion, 3-time Olympic gold medalist and 2-time NBA champion.

NBA – Hornets forward Miles Bridges arrested on eve of free agency
Charlotte Hornets and former Michigan State forward Miles Bridges has been arrested in Los Angeles on the eve of NBA free agency after a warrant was issued, according to the LAPD. Details of the arrest first reported by TMZ were not immediately available. Bridges was the Hornets’ leading scorer last season and is set to become a restricted free agent and could command a max contract. NBA free agency begins Thursday night. The 24-year-old Bridges averaged career highs with 20.2 points and seven rebounds last season for the Hornets in what amounted to a breakout season while playing alongside All-Star LaMelo Ball. Bridges is also a rapper, who goes by the name RTB MB.

Golf – LIV – LIV tees off in Oregon amid criticism over Saudi funding
The Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf tour’s second event teed off Thursday, angering a group of families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11 and want the Saudi government held to account for the terrorist attacks. About 10 family members and survivors spoke at a small park honoring veterans in tiny North Plains, home to Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. The LIV Golf series, funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, was making its first stop on American soil this week after a debut this month outside of London. Carlos Ortiz took the lead Thursday with a 5-under 67. Dustin Johnson, the 2020 Masters winner, was a shot back, and Hideto Tadihara, Pat Perez and Brenden Grace were two shots off the lead.

Golf – PGA – JT Poston shoots 62, leads John Deere Classic by 2 strokes
J.T. Poston shot a 9-under 62 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead in the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic. Coming off a second-place tie last week in Connecticut after also opening with a 62, Poston eagled the par-5 second and had seven birdies in a bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run. He won the 2019 Wyndham Championship for his lone PGA Tour title. Canadian Michael Gligic was second at 64, playing in the final group of the day off the first tee. Vaughn Taylor and Christopher Gotterup followed at 65.

Tennis – Wimbledon – Most American men reach Wimbledon’s 3rd round since 1995
There will be eight American men in the third round of Wimbledon for the first time since 1995. That’s also the largest group for the country at that stage of any Grand Slam tournament since the U.S. Open a year later. Brandon Nakashima, Taylor Fritz and Jenson Brooksby all advanced at the All England Club. Nakashima pulled off the biggest surprise by beating 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist Denis Shapovalov of Canada. Four U.S. men will play for a berth in the fourth round Friday: John Isner, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul.

Tennis – Wimbledon – COVID-19 at Wimbledon: 3 top-20 men out after positive tests
Reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic might be playing in his last Grand Slam tournament for a while because he isn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. And the coronavirus has become a significant matter at the All England Club: Three of the top 20 seeded men in the tournament have pulled out of the bracket after testing positive. Players aren’t required to get tested for COVID-19 but are encouraged to if they develop symptoms. They also are encouraged to let Wimbledon know if that happens and pull themselves out of the tournament. No. 8 Matteo Berrettini, No. 14 Marin Cilic and No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut have done that so far.

WNBA – Women’s National Basketball Association
Tonight
Indiana Fever at Seattle Storm, 10:00 p.m.

Saturday
Phoenix Mercury at Chicago Sky, 1:00 p.m.

MILB – Midwest League Baseball
Last Night
West Michigan Whitecaps 8, Fort Wayne Tin Caps 4
Lansing Lugnuts 10, Lake County Captains 3
Dayton Dragons 11, Great Lakes Loons 8
South Bend Cubs 5, Beloit Sky Carp 3

Tonight
Fort Wayne Tin Caps at West Michigan Whitecaps, 6:35 p.m.
Lansing Lugnuts at Lake County Captains, 7:00 p.m.
Dayton Dragons at Great Lakes Loons, 7:05 p.m.
South Bend Cubs at Beloit Sky Carp, 7:35 p.m.