Leading Off

Sacramento region’s hoops credibility continues to grow

Hornets guard Mikh McKinney (10) and Hornets forward Zach Mills (20) are congratulated by Hornets fans following the game between the Sacramento State Hornets and the Montana Grizzlies at Sac State in Sacramento on Saturday, January 31, 2015.
Hornets guard Mikh McKinney (10) and Hornets forward Zach Mills (20) are congratulated by Hornets fans following the game between the Sacramento State Hornets and the Montana Grizzlies at Sac State in Sacramento on Saturday, January 31, 2015. rbenton@sacbee.com

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▪ Sacramento State and UC Davis continue to be included in ESPN’s NCAA Tournament bracket projections (the Hornets in a play-in game in the Midwest region, the Aggies a No. 14 seed in the South), and both men’s teams will make the tournament for the first time if they win their conference tournaments. But that’s not the biggest surprise in the latest “bracketology;” just two other California colleges (UCLA, play-in for No. 11, West; San Diego State, No. 7, East) are among the 68 teams. Who would have imagined that the Sacramento area could have more teams in the “Big Dance” than the Bay Area?

▪ Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James said this week colleges should stop recruiting his son, 10-year-old LeBron James Jr., who reportedly already has three offers from major Division I programs. “It’s pretty crazy,” James told CBS Detroit. “It should be a violation. You shouldn’t be recruiting 10-year-old kids.” But James might be responsible for some of the hype – on Dec. 22, he tweeted a video of his son at an AAU tournament (it now has nearly 5 million views), and on Tuesday he told reporters in Detroit that his son “plays just like I did. ... He has great awareness, and he’d rather pass first and set guys up. Most kids nowadays just want to score.”

▪ Former major-leaguers Derrek Lee and Greg Vaughn, members of Sacramento baseball royalty, will be featured Friday night at William Jessup University in Rocklin. The event benefits the Jerry Manuel Foundation, which teaches baseball fundamentals and leadership skills in an academic setting, and Jessup’s baseball program. Manuel, a former major-league player and manager, also oversees the Jessup baseball program, which is in its inaugural season.

Tom Couzens

tcouzens@sacbee.com


What to watch

NBA, San Antonio at Kings, 7 p.m., CSNCA: Can coach George Karl remain unbeaten at home?


Twitter chatter

@CoachKarl22 (George Karl): “Happy to get another W at home. Thanks to the fans for all the support.”


On this date

1998: Indiana routs Portland 124-59, the first time in the NBA’s 51 years that the winning team scores more than twice as many points as the losing team.

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