VALPO ALUM ENSMINGER HONORED BY BBL: Former Valparaiso University player Chris Ensminger was honored last weekend at the Beko Basketball Bundesliga's All-Star Game for his long and distinguished career in the league.
Ensminger played for the Crusaders from 1992 through 1996. He is Valpo's all-time leader with 910 career rebounds and holds two of the top-four, single-season totals in program history. He also had 1,061 career points.
He played his final 14 professional seasons in the BBL, the most by any former player in the history of the league. During his time in the BBL, Ensminger won two league championships and was a seven-time All-Star. He led the league in rebounding five straight seasons from 2001-2005, and was named MVP of the All-Star Game in 2010.
Ensminger now serves as head coach for Oettinger Rockets Gotha, a team in Germany's Pro A Division.
BULLS TRADE TEAGUE: The Bulls on Tuesday acquired forward Tornike “Toko” Shengelia from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for guard Marquis Teague.
Shengelia (6-9, 220) has appeared in 17 games for the Nets this season, and averaged 1.5 ppg in 8.1 mpg.
Shengelia was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (54th overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft (his draft rights were traded by the 76ers to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for cash considerations). In 36 career games, the Tbilisi, Georgia, native holds career averages of 1.5 ppg and 1.0 rpg in 6.4 mpg.
Teague, in his second year out of the University of Kentucky, was drafted by the Bulls in the first round (29th overall) in the 2012 NBA Draft. In 68 regular season contests, he holds career averages of 2.1 ppg and 1.3 apg in 9.3 mpg.
RICK BARRY AT BRIDGES' TODAY: NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry will sign autographs at Bridges' Restaurant and Sports Bar from 6 to 8 p.m. today. Advance autograph tickets are $30 (1 autograph) or $50 (2 autographs). Tickets at the door are $40 (1 autograph). Photos of Rick Barry will be on sale for $10 each.
Tickets may be purchased by calling (219) 924-2206.
IU CONTINUES TO MAKE MOVES ON COACHING STAFF: Indiana coach Kevin Wilson has promoted Kevin Johns to offensive coordinator, apparently expecting Seth Littrell to take the North Carolina job.
Johns takes over for Littrell, who was negotiating a deal with North Carolina to run its offense. Wilson said he "wished Littrell well."
McDaniel spent the last three seasons coaching the defensive line at Bowling Green. He replaces Jon Fabris, who was fired last week after the Hoosiers turned in a historically bad season.
Wilson also hired Larry McDaniel as the Hoosiers' new defensive line coach and assigned offensive assistant James Patton to tight ends and fullbacks.
Wilson said he would continue to play a big part in the Hoosiers' offense, too, and that he planned to keep nine defensive coaches and four offensive coaches in 2014.
NOTRE DAME SWITCHING FROM ADIDAS TO UNDER ARMOUR: Notre Dame is ending its 17-year relationship with Adidas and switching to Under Armour Inc. with a 10-year deal that athletic director Jack Swarbrick called "the largest deal of its kind in the history of college athletics."
Swarbrick said the deal will help Notre Dame navigate through what he called a period of change in college athletics "unlike any of us have ever lived through or tried to navigate," mentioning the change from the BCS to a playoff system in football and conference realignment in all sports that saw Notre Dame move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference last year.
Swarbrick said Tuesdays that the deal includes an option for Notre Dame to take a portion of the cash component from the deal in Under Armour stock, "again an opportunity to reflect our belief that we can help build Under Armour and continue the rocket ride it's on, and Under Armour's belief that they can have a major impact on the University of Notre Dame."
Kevin Plank, Under Armour's chief executive officer, said he didn't expect any major changes in how Notre Dame uniforms look.
GOODELL SUGGESTS DITCHING THE PAT KICK: Roger Goodell doesn't want to stand pat with the PAT. He's suggesting potential changes in the extra point that, well, might have some legs.
The NFL commissioner says the extra point kick after touchdowns, which had a success rate of nearly 100 percent in 2013, is too automatic.
And with few teams attempting 2-point conversion plays until desperation hits, the old 1-pointer from about 20 yards is the way coaches go.
So Goodell wonders if the league can add excitement by making some major adjustments to the extra point, suggesting perhaps making a touchdown worth seven points, with teams having the option to run a play for another point.
But failing on that play would cost them a point.