NCAA

Otani to stay in Japan instead of going to MLB

Otani to stay in Japan instead of going to MLB

TOKYO (AP) High school pitcher Shohei Otani decided on Sunday to stay in Japan instead of immediately pursuing a career in Major League Baseball.

Otani had said before November's draft he intended to go to the major leagues straight out of high school, where the 6-foot-4 right-hander's fastball was clocked at close to 100 mph.

Despite his intentions, the 18-year-old Otani was selected by the Nippon Ham Fighters in the first round. Following the draft, the Fighters waged an aggressive campaign to convince Otani to stay in Japan, with the team's hierarchy holding a series of meetings with Otani and his parents.

Otani announced Sunday he would play for the Fighters next season, though he still hopes to play in the major leagues someday.

Players in Japanese professional baseball must wait nine seasons before becoming free agents eligible to play in MLB, although some have gone earlier through the posting system that allows MLB teams to bid for the rights to negotiate with Japanese players.

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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