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La Crosse sports briefs

La Crosse sports briefs

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Johnson adds coach to staff

University of Minnesota men’s basketball coach Ben Johnson is expected to add Dave Thorson and Jason Kemp to his staff as assistant coaches, sources told the Star Tribune.

Johnson, who was hired last month to replace Richard Pitino, would be bringing back a familiar name to the Twin Cities.

Thorson, a longtime DeLaSalle coach, spent the last three seasons on Colorado State’s staff.

Thorson won a record nine state titles with the Islanders, including six in a row from 2012-17. At that point, he decided to get back into college coaching for the first time in 20 years.

The former Gophers assistant under Clem Haskins got his restart at Drake in 2017-18 with Niko Medved, who worked with him at Minnesota.

Thorson followed Medved to Colorado State three years ago and helped him turn around the Rams from 12 wins to back-to-back 20-win seasons the last two seasons, including a school-record 14 wins in the Mountain West Conference this year.

Thorson’s connection with Johnson goes back to when he coached the former DeLaSalle standout guard in high school, which included state titles in 1998 and 1999.

Kemp, a Madison, Wis., native, spent the last two seasons at William & Mary, which included when the program went 21-11 and finished second in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2019-20.

One of Kemp’s players already is headed to the Gophers. William & Mary guard Luke Loewe, who entered the transfer portal, committed to play for Johnson last week.

During his first 12 seasons as a college basketball assistant, Kemp worked at North Dakota State (2007-13, Toledo (2013-14) and Ohio (2014-19). He got his coaching start as an assistant at Minnesota State-Moorhead in 2005-06.


Ex-FSU receiver accused of murder

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A former Florida State football player was involved in a scuffle with his girlfriend hours before he fatally shot one man and injured another, according to an arrest affidavit released Thursday.

Travis Rudolph, 25, was ordered to remain in jail during a first appearance hearing in West Palm Beach on Thursday morning. He’s charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Deputies detailed the shooting in an affidavit released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators said Rudolph’s girlfriend told them she called a male friend following the scuffle Wednesday. The friend and three other men then went to Rudolph’s home, where a fight broke out, the affidavit said. A witness told investigators that Rudolph ran after the men and shot at them with a rifle after they got back in their car and began to drive away.

Deputies found a man dead inside the vehicle and an injured man outside the car. Authorities arrested Rudolph a short time later.

The case now goes to a grand jury. Judge Charles Burton on Thursday forbade Rudolph from contacting any of the victims or their families. Rudolph told the judge he intends to hire an attorney.

Rudolph was Florida State’s leading receiver in 2015 and 2016. He left the team early to enter the NFL draft in 2017. He eventually signed with the New York Giants and then the Miami Dolphins. He also spent time with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. The team released him Wednesday.

He gained national attention in 2016 when a video of him eating lunch with an autistic student during a team visit at a Tallahassee middle school went viral. Rudolph’s father died a year later after a gun accidentally discharged at a West Palm Beach strip club.


Suspensions handed out for fight

NEW YORK — Toronto Raptors guards DeAndre’ Bembry and Fred Van Vleet and Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker were suspended one game without pay Thursday for leaving their benches during a fight.

The suspensions, announced by NBA executive vice president for basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe, stemmed from the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game, a 110-101 victory by the Lakers.

Bembry will serve his suspension in Toronto’s game against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night in Tampa, Florida. Horton-Tucker will miss the Lakers’ game at Miami on Thursday night.

Van Vleet has missed the past two games with an injury. He will serve his suspension when physically able to play.

Also, Toronto’s OG Anunoby and Montrezl Harrell of Los Angeles were fined for their roles, leading to their ejections.

With 2:24 left in the first quarter, Dennis Schroder fouled Anunoby’s layup attempt. Schroder and Anunoby squared off and other players became involved. The ejections were determined by video review.

Anunoby, who received a technical foul, was fined $30,000 for initiating the altercation by grabbing Schroder by the leg and flipping him to the ground.

Harrell, who also received a technical foul, was fined $20,000 for aggressively entering the fray and shoving Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr.


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