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PRESS BOX: Watson picks Floyd as Ryder Cup assistant

The SportsXchange


Four-time major winner Raymond Floyd was named Tuesday as a vice captain to U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson for the 2014 matches.

Floyd joins Andy North, a golf analyst and two-time U.S. Open champion, as one of Watson's assistants for the 40th Ryder Cup to be played at Gleneagles in Scotland in September.

When Watson previously captained the U.S. team in 1993, he selected Floyd as a player and the American went on to beat the Eurpoeans 15-13 at the Belfry for the last U.S. victory in Europe. Floyd also served as U.S. captain for the biennial matches in 1989 and again as an assistant under Pal Azinger in 2008 when the Americans posted their last victory.

The 71-year-old Floyd played in the Ryder Cup eight times and posted a 12-16-3 record.

Watson will become the oldest U.S. captain in history. He will be 65 when the matches are played.


Kansas freshman standout Joel Embiid is battling knee and back injuries that could cause him to miss a few games.

The 7-foot center's time on the court has been limited during the past week and might need some time off to rest, according to The Kansas City Star.

Embiid finished with six points and six rebounds in 18 minutes against Kansas State on Monday night.

---Morgan State forward Thair Heath was released from a hospital and was resting in his campus room after a scary midair collision during Monday night's game at Coppin State in Baltimore.

Heath crashed to the floor while attempting a dunk after Coppin State's Michael Murray blocked the shot with under 14 minutes left in the first half of Morgan State's 82-77 victory.

Heath landed on his shoulder and head and lay on the floor unresponsive from the waist down for about 20 minutes until paramedics arrived. He was taken off on a stretcher in a neck brace and transported to the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland, where X-rays came back negative and he was released late Monday night.


Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen interviewed with the Cleveland Browns during their month-long search for a head coach that ended with the hiring of Mike Pettine last month.

The NFL Network reported Tuesday that Andersen had a "secret" meeting with the Browns but that nothing came of it. A day after Pettine was introduced as Cleveland's new coach, Wisconsin announced a contract extension for Andersen.

---Arkansas filled the defensive coordinator vacancy on coach Bret Bielema's staff with the hiring of former NFL assistant Robb Smith.

Smith replaces Chris Ash, who left Arkansas last month to become co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Smith worked as the linebackers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season before coach Greg Schiano was ousted.


New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith will wear a mask after suffering a small fracture in his cheekbone during a fall Sunday in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Smith, whose face landed on Thunder forward Kevin Durant's knee, was being fitted for the mask, which he expects to wear for a few games.

---The Denver Nuggets might be forced to play without a true point guard for a few more games after suffering the latest casualty at the position.

Ty Lawson suffered a fractured rib during Saturday night's game against the Detroit Pistons and could be out until after the NBA All-Star Game break this weekend.

His backups also are not available. Nate Robinson is out for the season after knee surgery and Andre Miller is not with the team.


The Edmonton Oilers' new downtown arena received final approval during a meeting with city officials and construction is scheduled to begin next month.

The $480 million Rogers Place, designed in a shape that resembles a oil drop, should be completed by fall 2016.

---The NHL suspended Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson for two games, without pay, for slashing New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen in Saturday night's game.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and based on his average annual salary, Johnson will forfeit $38,461.54.
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