Joe's Morning Sports-Tuesday, November 10, 2020

It’s official:  The NBA is coming back Dec. 22.  The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have struck a deal on rules for this coming season, setting the stage for what will be a frenzied few weeks before games resume.  Teams will play a 72-game schedule.  The league said a new system will be used to ensure that the split of basketball-related income continues, one of the many details that had to be collectively bargained with the union because the current agreement between the sides had a great deal of language that needed reworking because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa has been charged with driving under the influence again.  According to the Maricopa County Justice Courts website, the arrest occurred in February, but the case was filed on Oct. 28, one day before La Russa’s hiring was announced by the White Sox.  Team spokesman Scott Reifert said the White Sox were aware of the arrest when the 76-year-old La Russa was hired.  La Russa pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Florida in 2007 after police found him asleep inside his running sport utility vehicle at a stop light and smelling of alcohol.  He said then he accepted full responsibility and it would never happen again.

Seattle Mariners center fielder Kyle Lewis is the unanimous winner of the American League Rookie of the Year award, and Milwaukee Brewers reliever Devin Williams won the National League honor last night.  The 25-year-old Lewis was one of baseball’s breakout stars during the pandemic-shortened season, batting .262 with eleven homers and 28 RBIs in 58 games.  He led big league rookies with 37 runs, 90 total bases and a .364 on-base percentage.  Featuring a devastating changeup and a four-seam fastball that gets into the upper 90s, Williams was practically unhittable during the pandemic-shortened season.  The 26-year-old right-hander went 4-1 with a microscopic 0.33 ERA, striking out 53 in just 27 innings.

The Big Ten Conference has announced football game times and television designations for upcoming Nebraska games against Illinois on Nov. 21 and Iowa on Nov. 27.  The Huskers' home contest against Illinois will kickoff at 11:00, with television coverage provided by the Big Ten Network.  Nebraska's annual Black Friday matchup with Iowa will be televised by FOX with kickoff set for 12:00 in Iowa City.  The Huskers' matchup this Saturday against Penn State will be televised by FS1, with an 11:00 kickoff time.

The Creighton men's basketball team is ranked eleventh in the Associated Press preseason top-25 poll, its highest preseason AP ranking ever.  Yesterday's announcement marks just the fourth time in program history the writers have voted CU to the top-25 in the preseason.  Creighton is one of two BIG EAST Conference schools in the poll, joining third ranked Villanova.  Gonzaga is atop the poll, just ahead of Baylor, Villanova, Virginia and Iowa.  Creighton finished last season ranked seventh nationally in the final AP poll released on March 18, 2020, matching the best ranking in program history done twice previously.  Creighton is scheduled to open the 2020-21 season on Nov. 25 at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic with a game against South Dakota State in Sioux Falls, S.D.  In other Creighton men’s basketball news, Creighton announced that, at least to begin the 2020-21 men’s basketball season, it will not be allowing fans inside the CHI Health Center for CU home games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that the Golden Window Classic is a go.  The Nebraska men's basketball team will indeed host a nonconference, multi-team event beginning Nov. 25, as Pinnacle Bank Arena announced ticket information yesterday for an eight-team tournament to be played Nov. 25-29 at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Devaney Sports Center.  LSU, Saint Louis, Northern Iowa, Western Kentucky, San Francisco, Nevada and Illinois State will join the Huskers in the field.  Tickets will go on sale this week for games at Pinnacle Bank Arena only, and the arena will be open at 25% capacity.  Fans will not be allowed at the Devaney Sports Center.  While Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg did not outright confirm the event in October, he did say Nebraska was expecting to open its season on Nov. 25, and play a full 27-game schedule.

The Lincoln Journal Star has posted its final high school volleyball rankings.  Class ‘A’ Champion Elkhorn South stays at number one in their class while Class ‘B’ Six-time Defending State Champion Omaha Skutt remains first in their class.  In Class ‘C-1’, State Champion Wahoo is once again first and Columbus Lakeview moves up from fifth to third.  In Class ‘C-2’, State Champion Lutheran High Northeast stays at number one, Norfolk Catholic moves up from third to second, Clarkson/Leigh jumps from seventh to fourth, Howells/Dodge slips from fourth to fifth, and West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic remains eighth.  In Class ‘D-1’, State Champion Pleasanton is once again first, Hartington Cedar Catholic stays at number seven, and Summerland falls from the rankings.  In Class ‘D-2’, Two-time Defending State Champion Diller/Odell is once again first, Chambers/Wheeler Central stays at number two, Humphrey St. Francis slips from fourth to fifth, and Wynot remains eighth.

NFL Scores:  New England 30 N.Y. Jets 27.

Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM the home of Kansas City Chiefs football!

In other news

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, a source confirmed to ESPN.  The reigning NFL MVP is the biggest star player to become infected in what has become one of the biggest outbreaks in the NFL.  Jackson is among the four latest Ravens players and …

Four Cornhuskers scored 14 points each and six finished in double figures as a cast of newcomers led Nebraska to a 102-55 victory over McNeese State. Transfers Kobe Webster, Teddy Allen, Trey McGowens, Lat Mayen, Dalano Banton and Shamiel Stevenson reached double figures in their Huskers deb…