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THE DAY IN SPORTS

Kentucky trio going pro but could return

Junior DeAndre Liggins will join freshmen Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight in declaring for NBA draft, but they won't hire agents in case they want to return to school.

April 21, 2011|Lance Pugmire | Wire Reports

Kentucky freshmen Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight and junior DeAndre Liggins are heading to the NBA. Maybe.

The school announced Wednesday all three players have declared for the NBA draft but will not sign with an agent, clearing the way for them to return to school next fall if they change their mind by May 8.

Jones and Knight are considered middle to high first-round picks, and Liggins is a defensive stopper who hopes to play his way into the first round after being evaluated by scouts.

The trio helped the Wildcats to their first Final Four appearance in 13 years this spring. Kentucky fell to eventual champion Connecticut in the national semifinals.

The New York Knicks say Chauncey Billups is questionable for Game 3 of their playoff series because of a strained left knee and Amare Stoudemire is day to day because of a back injury.

Both players had MRI exams Wednesday while the team took a day off following two losses in Boston.

Game 3 is Friday at Madison Square Garden.

ETC.

Agbeko withdraws from fight

Bantamweight world champion Joseph Agbeko has withdrawn from his scheduled Saturday night title unification bout at Nokia Theatre against Abner Mares.

Agbeko (28-2, 22 knockouts) collapsed after arriving in Los Angeles from New York on Monday, and a subsequent medical examination ruled him out for the Showtime-televised card that was to include a consolation bout between the network's bantamweight tournament semifinalists Yonnhy Perez and Vic Darchinyan.

A final decision on whether the card will continue had yet to be finalized late Wednesday, according to a spokesman for Mares' promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, and it's uncertain whom Mares would fight on the card if he'll be on it at all.

-- Lance Pugmire

Soccer's Barcelona and Real Madrid have overtaken the New York Yankees as the best-paid global sports teams, according to a British study.

The review published Wednesday showed annual average pay during the 2009-10 season was $7.9 million at Barcelona and $7.4 million at Real Madrid.

The Yankees are paying their players an average of $6.8 million this season. The team last year topped the review, which is compiled by sportingintelligence.com.

The Lakers and Orlando Magic occupy the fourth and fifth spots, followed by English Premier League champion Chelsea.

Rafael Nadal opened his bid for a sixth Barcelona Open title with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

The top-ranked Nadal hammered his fellow Spaniard with hard groundstrokes, cruising to victory after breaking Gimeno-Traver's first two service games.

Nadal, who sat out last year's event after winning five straight titles from 2005 to 2009, will face Santiago Giraldo of Colombia in the third round.

Former Michigan and NBA player Jalen Rose told authorities he hadn't been drinking and performed poorly on several tests to determine if he was intoxicated after rolling his Cadillac Escalade on a snowy Michigan road, according to a police report.

The report from the West Bloomfield Township police, obtained by the Associated Press through a Freedom of Information request, also said Rose registered a 0.088 blood-alcohol level two hours after the March 11 crash. Michigan's legal limit is 0.08.

Rose, 38, was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

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