College Sports

Kentucky signs Knight, adds more top players

Kentucky sent a message to college basketball on Wednesday when arguably the best prospects in the high school junior and senior classes committed to the Wildcats.

“Sort of a display of strength,” analyst Jerry Meyer of Rivals.com called the commitments by senior point guard Brandon Knight of Pine Crest, Fla., and junior forward Michael Gilchrist of Elizabeth, N.J.

Earlier this month, UK announced that five players, including four freshmen from last year’s No. 1-rated recruiting class, would enter their names in the NBA draft.

The Wildcats also announced the signing of 6-foot-10 center/forward Enes Kanter, a Turkish phenom who verbally committed to the Washington Huskies in November but then re-opened his recruitment in February.

Hayward to test NBA

Gordon Hayward couldn’t quite say no to the NBA’s money – but hasn’t said goodbye to his Butler teammates, either.

The 6-foot-9 sophomore announced that he would enter the NBA draft while retaining his option of returning to school. He has until May 8 to withdraw his name. …

Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson and guard E’Twaun Moore plan to skip their senior seasons and enter the NBA draft. The school announced the pair would not hire agents. Elsewhere

Jeff Bzdelik was introduced as the new basketball coach at Wake Forest, ending a search for a replacement for Dino Gaudio. The former coach at Air Force and the NBA’s Denver Nuggets left Colorado after three seasons, where he was 36-58. … Rutgers guard Mike Rosario has been granted a conditional release so he can transfer, meaning the Scarlet Knights can approve what school he goes to. … Wright State promoted longtime assistant Billy Donlon to head coach a day after losing Brad Brownell to Clemson.

ETC.

Arsenal missed a chance to move into second place in the Premier League, losing 2-1 to Tottenham, the Gunners’ first defeat to their north London rival in 11 years. Danny Rose, a 19-year-old midfielder making his Premier League debut, and Gareth Bale scored for the Gunners. ... Amping up safety efforts, Keeneland officials are mandating that any jockey who races at the track provide medical information for its internal computer database, giving doctors instant access to critical details such as allergies, blood type, and past injuries. ... Rafael Nadal breezed past Thiemo de Bakker, 6-1, 6-0, to win his 28th straight match at the Monte Carlo Masters, while top-seeded Novak Djokovic also won in straight sets to advance to the third round. ... International Olympic Committee delegate Jean-Claude Killy is “on most accounts very satisfied” with Russian preparations for the 2014 Winter Games in its first inspection of Sochi’s preparations since Vancouver passed the torch in February.

McClatchy news services

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