A-State places Young, Hayes on Thorpe list

JONESBORO — Senior safety Sterling Young and junior cornerback Rocky Hayes represent Arkansas State on the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, the university announced Friday.

The list includes 39 elite college defensive backs in the nation. Rison alumnus Tyrell Johnson was selected to the list in 2007 and was named Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year for A-State.

Young, a second-team All-Sun Belt player last year, made 80 tackles, intercepted two passes and broke up two more. He also returned one of three fumble recoveries for a touchdown.

Hayes, also a second-team All-Sun Belt player, ranked second in the conference in passes defended (13). He led the Red Wolves with three interceptions and is named "Best Cover Corner" by Lindy’s preseason football publication.


Valley introduces Payne as men’s hoops coach

ITTA BENA, Miss. — Andre Payne was introduced as Mississippi Valley State’s head men’s basketball coach Friday.

Payne spent the past eight seasons as head coach at Wiley College in Texas, where he led the Wildcats to two Red River Athletic Conference championships and two appearances in the NAIA tournament. He went 146-104 at Wiley, including a 25-7 mark this past season. The Auburn (Ala.) High School and Alabama A&M alumnus has an overall record of 239-183, including five years at Texas College.

Payne replaces Chico Potts, who reassigned to another position with one game left in the regular season. Valley finished 9-23 and 5-13 in the SWAC in 2013-14, which was Potts’ second year at the helm.


Reports: Bosh to stay with Heat, Lin to Lakers

Houston Rockets have traded point guard Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to reports.

The Rockets made the deal to clear salary-cap space so they could sign free-agent big man Chris Bosh, according to Yahoo Sports.

But Bosh ended up re-signing with the Miami Heat on a maximum deal, according to multiple reports that surfaced just hours after LeBron James announced he was leaving Miami to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers again.

The Rockets also sent a 2015 first-round draft pick to the Lakers among other draft considerations, according to Yahoo Sports. The Rockets received cash and the rights to an overseas player.

Lin, 25, averaged 13.0 points and 5.2 assists in two seasons for the Rockets.

They signed him in 2012 on the heels of the Linsanity phenomenon in New York, when Lin became a brief and surprising star for the Knicks before suffering a meniscus tear in his knee.

Bosh, 30, has averaged 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds in four seasons with Miami after playing his first seven seasons for Toronto. He has averaged 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in 78 playoff games for Miami.

Kyle Busch sets N.H. track record

LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch will start on the pole for the Camping World RV Sales 301 after setting a new track record and beating Jimmie Johnson in Friday’s qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Johnson held the provisional pole with a lap at 137.790 mph until Busch made a lap at 138.130 mph to earn the top starting position for Sunday’s 301-lap race at this flat 1.058-mile track.

Busch claimed his second pole of the season and the 15th of his Sprint Cup Series career. It was also his second pole at New Hampshire. Busch finished second in both Sprint Cup race here last year.

Trentin edges Sagan in Stage 7

NANCY, France — Matteo Trentin of Italy edged Slovakia’s Peter Sagan in a photo-finish Friday to win Stage 7 of the Tour de France.

Trentin outsprinted a large group and hit the wire millimeters in front of Sagan to claim his second career stage victory in cycling’s most prestigious event. He covered the 234.5 kilometers from Epernay to Nancy in a time of 5 hours, 18 minutes and 39 seconds.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali finished 16th and was among 26 riders credited with the same time as the stage winner to keep the overall lead. He remained two seconds in front of Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang, who was placed 25th on Friday.

Sagan is still third overall, 44 seconds off Nibali’s pace.

There were a few crashes Friday, including one that took out American Tejay van Garderen with about 16 kilometers remaining. He lost time because of the incident and finished more than a minute behind in 43rd place.

Another crash in the final kilometer ended American Andrew Talansky’s hopes of a stage win. From there, it was a group rush to the line with Trentin edging Sagan.

— Staff and wire reports