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Mbah a Moute will hire an agent and remain in draft

June 17, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, a starter on three UCLA Final Four teams, said Monday he would hire an agent and forgo his final year of college eligibility in favor of making himself eligible for the NBA draft.

Mbah a Moute is projected by most experts to be chosen about midway through the second round, where a guaranteed contract isn't likely, but he said he is convinced he will be on an NBA roster next season.

"I feel like I had a good career at UCLA," Mbah a Moute said. "Now I feel like I want to take on a new challenge."

Mbah a Moute, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward, didn't start playing basketball until he was 15 in his native Cameroon. Last season, he averaged 8.8 points and 6.0 rebounds.

UCLA Coach Ben Howland said Mbah a Moute called him Monday with the news.

"Luc made his own decision based on all the information he had gathered," Howland said. "It looks like he's slated to be a second-rounder and I hope he gets drafted by the right team that will truly appreciate his strengths. He's special for me."

Monday was the deadline for college players to withdraw their names from NBA consideration and still retain NCAA eligibility. Most did exactly that.

Guard Josh Akognon will return to Cal State Fullerton, where he led the Titans with a 20.2 scoring average last season.

Also, Chase Budinger decided to stay at Arizona, and it was announced that Ty Lawson, Danny Green and Wayne Ellington would all return to North Carolina.

-- Diane Pucin

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COLLEGE BASEBALL

Georgia defeats Stanford, 4-3

Matt Cerione's two-out, bases-loaded single drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and three Georgia pitchers combined for six innings of shutout relief to lead the Bulldogs to a 4-3 victory over Stanford in the College World Series at Omaha.

The Bulldogs (43-23-1) remained undefeated in the double-elimination tournament. It was the first loss for Stanford (40-23-2).

Jemile Weeks hit his second home run of the College World Series and Miami (53-10) held off Florida State, 7-5, in an elimination game.

Florida State ends the season at 54-14.

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PRO FOOTBALL

Texans sign free-agent linebacker Colvin

Free-agent linebacker Rosevelt Colvin signed with the Houston Texans, giving the team another pass rusher to pair with 2006 No. 1 draft pick Mario Williams.

Colvin spent five years with the Patriots and was a member of two Super Bowl winning teams, but was released by New England in February.

Former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi has been hired as a consultant to the NFL and will co-chair a new general managers advisory committee.

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MISCELLANY

Raiders' Walker is found unconscious

A police spokesman said Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker was found unconscious on a Las Vegas street after apparently being the victim of a robbery.

Police spokesman Bill Cassell said in a statement that Walker was taken to a hospital with "significant injuries" after being found early Monday on a street off the Las Vegas Strip.

Cassell said Walker remains in fair condition at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

A Raiders spokesman said the team was "in the process of gathering information" and had no further comment.

Taylor Phinney, the 17-year-old son of former Olympic cyclists Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter, set a world junior record in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit short track cycling event at Carson's ADT Event Center Velodrome.

Phinney's time was 3 minutes 16.65 seconds. Based on his results this season, Phinney is expected to be selected to the U.S. Olympic short-track team July 1.

-- Diane Pucin

The Ducks lost a key member of their management staff when Al Coates accepted a job with the Toronto Maple Leafs as director of player personnel.

Coates, 63, spent the last six years with the Ducks, including the last thee years as special advisor to General Manager Brian Burke.

-- Eric Stephens

Amelie Mauresmo held off a strong challenge to defeat sixth-seeded Alize Cornet, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, in the first round of the Eastbourne International in England. . . . . Defending champion Ivan Ljubicic beat Robin Haase, 6-3, 7-6 (5), to advance to the second round of the Ordina Open at Den Bosch, Netherlands. . . . Marin Cilic upset second-seeded Paul-Henri Mathieu, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, in the first round of the Nottingham Open, a Wimbledon tune-up tournament at Nottingham, England.

Jordan Nasser of Anaheim Hills and Grant Rappleye of Elk Grove share the lead after the first round of the 97th California Amateur Championship at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale.

Nasser and Rappleye each shot five-under-par 67. Defending champion Josh Anderson of Murrieta opened with a one-over 73.

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