WC alum to play for Bacone College

Watson Chapel alumnus Christian Smith will play basketball for Bacone College of Muskogee, Okla., when it faces Philander Smith at 4 p.m. Saturday in Little Rock.

Smith is a member of Watson Chapel’s 2010 conference championship team and received a scholarship to play for Bacone in 2012. He averages 14 points and six rebounds for the Warriors, an NAIA program.

Smith is the son of Jennifer Smith and Norwood Smith III of Pine Bluff and the grandson of Betty Johnson of Dumas.


Ellis powers Mavs past Lakers

DALLAS — Monta Ellis nearly matched the entire Lakers starting lineup with 30 points on an efficient 11-of-14 from the floor as the Dallas Mavericks downed Los Angeles, 123-104, from American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

Ellis added a season-high nine assists in the triumph, while the five Lakers’ starters combined for just 32 points. Pau Gasol led the group with 10.

Jae Crowder chipped in 18 points off the bench and DeJuan Blair filled the stat sheet with 10 points, eight boards, four assists and five steals. Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki had 11 points apiece as Dallas remained undefeated at home in three tries.

Nick Young, who started the first three games of the season for LA but was demoted to the bench for Xavier Henry for its last two, led the Lakers with 21 points on 8-of-12 from the field. Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar each scored 11 points.


Mariners hire McClendon as manager

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners have named Lloyd McClendon as their new manager, with the former Detroit Tigers hitting coach to be formally introduced at a press conference on Thursday.

McClendon, who managed the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2001-05 prior to an eight-year tenure under Jim Leyland in Detroit, beat out a pool of four other candidates for the vacancy. The Mariners also conducted interviews with Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, White Sox bench coach Joey Cora and Oakland bench coach Chip Hale.

Of those five candidates, McClendon was the only one with previous managerial experience at the major league level.

"Lloyd is a bright, articulate guy," said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik. "He is a tireless worker and very respected by the players with whom he has worked."

McClendon amassed a 336-446 record with the Pirates before being dismissed in September of 2005. He joined Leyland’s staff with the Tigers the following season and was part of two American League pennant-winning teams in Detroit. The Tigers reached the AL Championship Series four times as well during that eight-year span.

The 54-year-old McClendon also spent eight years in the majors as a player, predominantly as a reserve outfielder and pinch hitter.

McClendon replaces Eric Wedge, who announced during the final week of last season that he would not return to the Mariners in 2014. Wedge missed 28 games of the 2013 campaign after suffering a stroke in late July.

Seattle went 212-271 in three seasons under Wedge and has not posted a winning mark since going 85-77 under Don Wakamatsu in 2009.