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SportShorts for Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Packers make
personnel changes

Green Bay’s longtime GM will change roles in the front office, and the Packers will also be in the market for a new defensive coordinator.

Dom Capers was fired Monday after 9 years as Green Bay’s defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley were also let go.

Ted Thompson, who has been Green Bay’s general manager since 2005, will “transition” to an advisory role, according to reports, and the team will begin a search for a new GM.


Barkley to skip senior season

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is entering the NFL draft.

Barkley announced his decision to skip his senior year Sunday.

In a letter posted to his Instagram account, Barkley thanked Penn State fans, teammates and coaches, and said he promised his parents and coach James Franklin that he would return to complete his journalism degree.

Barkley ran for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, and had 54 catches for 632 yards and three TDs. He also completed two passes – one for a score – and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

The 5-foot-11, 233-pound Barkley finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting, and won the Paul Hornung Award as college football’s most versatile player. He leaves Penn State 89 yards shy of the program rushing record with 3,843 yards; he holds the Nittany Lions record with 43 rushing touchdowns.


Illini hold off
Grand Canyon

Leron Black scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Illinois past Grand Canyon University 62-58 on Saturday in Champaign.

Da’Monte Williams only scored 3 points for the Illini, but he made them count. With Illinois up by one with 17 seconds left, Williams sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to seal the victory for the Illini.

Trent Frazier scored 14 points and Michael Finke added nine for Illinois (10-5), which shot 25-for-57 from the field (44 percent) and outrebounded the Antelopes 44-33.

Grand Canyon (10-5) was led by Keonta Vernon’s 14 points, while Alessandro Lever scored 13, and Oscar Frayer added 10 points. The Antelopes led 32-27 at the half, but shot just 23-for-64 (36 percent) for the game.

Badgers win
blowout at home

Brevin Pritzl heated up from the outside, Ethan Happ dominated inside – both scored 18 points – and Wisconsin cruised to an 82-53 win Saturday over UMass Lowell.

Happ was 8-for-12 from the field in just 20 minutes of playing time. Pritzl was 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and was also aggressive driving to the hoop in setting a new personal-best scoring mark.

The Badgers held the River Hawks to 27 points below their season average.

Josh Gantz scored 16 points to lead UMass Lowell, while Matt Harris added 14.

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