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Published: Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:23:07 GMT2017-02-24T19:23:07Z


Murphy: Phillies' young stars offer a glimpse of what might be

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:23:07 GMT2017-02-24T19:23:07Z

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The odds say this wasn't a preview. Roman Quinn, J.P. Crawford, Dylan Cozens, Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro, all in the same lineup, all wearing Phillies red. It happened Thursday afternoon, and the performance they turned in almost dared you to dream: 6-for-13, four extra-base hits, two of them home runs.

Ford: Bryan Colangelo's struggles center on Sam Hinkie

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:59:19 GMT2017-02-24T16:59:19Z

It was another great week for Sam Hinkie, the former 76ers general manager who devised the franchise's "Tank, Then Crank" strategy - well, at least the first part - but didn't stick around for the second act after a ritual deveining by owner Josh Harris.

Sielski: Sixers still tanking, but on Colangelo's terms

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:05:50 GMT2017-02-24T14:05:50Z

Wearing a maroon hooded sweatshirt, Nerlens Noel emerged from a training room at the 76ers' Camden training complex and sauntered across the floor to Joel Embiid, finding his closest friend on the team for a hug and a fist pound, setting a fitting scene for his departure for Dallas.

Hayes: Admit it, Colangelos doing OK with Sixers

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:58:31 GMT2017-02-24T11:58:31Z

THE COLANGELOS' name is mud today in Philadelphia. Their chief sins: They have been evasive in handling the injuries of star center Joel Embiid and rookie Ben Simmons; they didn't trade unpopular center Jahlil Okafor; and, now, they have traded popular center Nerlens Noel, the first piece in Sam Hinkie's haphazard rebuilding puzzle.

Smallwood: Noel trade shows how little NBA values centers

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 01:51:29 GMT2017-02-24T01:51:29Z

IT IS HARD to believe how much respect NBA teams have lost for the big man in the middle. Centers, at least the historical center, have not gone the way of the NFL fullback, but the desire for them certainly doesn't seem to be what it used to be.

Kern: Gwynedd Mercy star has special bond with coach's son

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:14:05 GMT2017-02-24T00:14:05Z

JOHN BARON couldn't help himself. Not that the Gwynedd Mercy men's basketball coach needed to apologize for the moisture he had to brush away from his eyes, or for the way his voice broke off following a prolonged pause between sentences.

Jensen: Herb Magee, at Philadelphia University 50 years, and the shots are still flying in

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:48:23 GMT2017-02-23T22:48:23Z

If Herb Magee took no more than a couple of strides out of the coaching box, he'd be stepping right on his name, since that's what the court at Philadelphia University is now called, spelled out right in front of him.

Brookover: Asher's turbulent season also a successful one

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:46:07 GMT2017-02-23T22:46:07Z

CLEARWATER, Fla. - In late March of last year, Alec Asher got the news that he would start a third straight season at the double-A level. By mid-May, there was a call from the Major League Baseball Players Association telling the righthander, then 24, that he was about to be hit with an 80-game suspension for a failed drug test. A week later, while pitching for triple-A Lehigh Valley, he took a line drive off his leg that left him with a fractured shin.

Murphy: Bullpen key to speeding up games

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 20:26:42 GMT2017-02-23T20:26:42Z

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Want to make Major League Baseball more enjoyable to watch? Want to do it in a way that achieves the commissioner's long-held desire to quicken the pace of its games while also respecting the old-school sensibilities of die-hard traditionalists?

Donnellon: Watson sees warming trend in Flyers' Cold War

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 12:37:32 GMT2017-02-23T12:37:32Z

FORTY-ONE YEARS ago, amid incendiary rhetoric between the two countries not unlike the rhetoric of today, an NHL referee reportedly walked into the Flyers' locker room at the Spectrum before an extremely important game of hockey against the Soviet Red Army team and crossed the line of any definition of sportsmanship.

Cooney: Even amid uneven season, Sixers creating a winning culture

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 03:18:06 GMT2017-02-23T03:18:06Z

AT THE END of practice Wednesday, 76ers center Joel Embiid and forward Dario Saric had a spirited one-on-one competition. There was a lot of trash talking, some serious physicality, and a big amount of mutual respect between the teammates.

Murphy: Wilt Chamberlain crashed glass ceilings

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:21:27 GMT2017-02-22T23:21:27Z

WHOEVER WROTE the laws said the echoes never stop. Time is an infinite pond, the present a patch still rippling with the energy of earlier times. All of us are ripples, tiny pieces of string, the vibrating remnants of history's disruptions, reactions in a chain we trace back through stories and pictures and newspaper pages. Some of them whisper with the force of a butterfly's wings. Others resound.

Brookover: Aaron Nola's brother describes perfectionist

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 22:43:30 GMT2017-02-22T22:43:30Z

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Aaron Nola's fast rise from being the Phillies' first-round pick out of LSU in 2014 to becoming a member of their big-league starting rotation in just over a year was primarily about two things: command and control.

Sielski: Martelli among select few to appreciate Gonzaga's run

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:38:59 GMT2017-02-22T12:38:59Z

Phil Martelli gets this kind of phone call every few years, whenever a college basketball team closes in on an unbeaten regular season, people probing his mind for his thoughts about Wichita State in 2014 or Kentucky in 2015, asking him to relieve that en

Donnellon: Sixers' Brown excels at people skills

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:11:23 GMT2017-02-22T06:11:23Z

OF ALL THE wonderful possibilities Sam Hinkie could have imagined or anticipated when he took over running the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013, this is one that was likely not on that radar:

Jerardi: At Villanova, seniors are proven winners

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:10:52 GMT2017-02-22T06:10:52Z

WEDNESDAY NIGHT, Villanova's seniors will play their penultimate home game. Their 123 (and counting) wins over the four seasons are a number that is almost hard to believe.

Brookover: Marlins will miss Fernandez even more this year

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 02:08:04 GMT2017-02-22T02:08:04Z

JUPITER, Fla. - Not enough time has passed for the Miami Marlins to fully grieve the most devastating moment of the 2016 baseball season. In fact, no amount of time can erase the searing pain that engulfed the entire franchise, the city of Miami, the country of Cuba, and all of baseball last Sept. 25.

Jensen: Trust the process at City Six schools, too.

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 01:25:07 GMT2017-02-22T01:25:07Z

Last week's theme was how nobody in the City Six after Villanova has a shot at an at-large NCAA bid, and that's still obviously true, although Penn has been furiously digging out of its 0-6 Ivy hole. A 4-6 record now puts the Quakers in either the driver's seat or at least the front passenger's spot for the last opening at the four-team Ivy tournament. That spot could come down to Saturday's game at Columbia.