The Mercury News

Santa Clara's Podziemski ready to enter NBA Draft


Santa Clara could be sending a player to the NBA Draft for the second consecutiv­e year.

Sophomore standout Brandin Podziemski, the University of Illinois transfer whose unexpected emergence earned him West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Year honors alongside Gonzaga's Drew Timme, announced Wednesday that he was declaring for the draft while maintainin­g his collegiate eligibilit­y.

Podziemski is expected by pundits to be a late-first or early-second round pick.

“This past year has been filled with the best experience­s of my life both on and off the court… I'm excited to get to work to prepare for this next challenge,” he said in a Twitter post.

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is known for his sweet left-handed shot, slick passing abilities and a knack for being in the right spot at the right time. He led the WCC in rebounding with 8.8 boards per game. He also averaged 19.9 points and 3.7 assists.

The Broncos season came to an end last week in a 5856 loss to Sam Houston in the opening round of the NIT Tournament.

Santa Clara also sent Jalen Williams to the NBA Draft last season, when he was picked 12th overall by the Thunder. He's having a brilliant rookie year, averaging 13.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

—Jason Mastrondon­ato


The Las Vegas Raiders might have found their replacemen­t for Darren Waller, signing former De La Salle High and Stanford star tight end Austin Hooper.

Las Vegas also announced it had signed cornerback David Long Jr., who played for the Los Angeles Rams the past four seasons.

Hooper caught 41 passes for 444 yards and two touchdowns last season with the Tennessee Titans.

He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection when he played for the Falcons, where he spent his first four seasons after being drafted in the third round in 2016. Hooper then played two years for the Cleveland Browns.

He has 339 receptions for 3,468 yards and 25 touchdowns in his career. BROWNS GET MOORE FROM JETS >> Elijah Moore wanted out of New York. The Browns wanted speed. Both got their wish.

Cleveland added another offensive playmaker and target for quarterbac­k Deshaun Watson, acquiring Moore in a trade with the Jets, who have overhauled their receiving group this offseason — perhaps in advance of quarterbac­k Aaron Rodgers' arrival.

The Browns have agreed to send the No. 42 pick in this year's draft to the Jets for Moore and the No. 74 selection. The deal's completion is pending a physical.

The Jets are parting ways with Moore, a second-round pick in 2021, shortly after agreeing to terms with former Kansas City wide receiver Mecole Hardman on a one-year deal.


Keegan Bradley extended his dubious streak to 16 matches over 11 years without winning in the Dell Technologi­es Match Play in Austin, Texas. He sure felt like a winner.

Bradley was 4 down with five holes to play when he rallied to scratch out a halve against Denny McCarthy in the opening round at Austin Country Club.

“Gosh, that felt good,” Bradley said. “That was a grind. That has the possibilit­y of going a long way, so I'm excited about it.”

Defending champion and top seed Scottie Scheffler missed two putts inside 5 feet over the last five holes before making a 12-footer for birdie on the 18th to beat Davis Riley in a rematch of their U.S. Junior Amateur title match 10 years ago that Scheffler won.

Jon Rahm, the No. 2 seed, was the only player from the top four seeds to lose. Rickie Fowler took him down on the 17th hole, the first time Rahm has lost in the opening round.

Matt Kuchar, at 44 the oldest player in the field, outlasted Viktor Hovland and won his 35th match, one short of the career tournament record held by Tiger Woods. Rory McIlroy earned a 3-and-1 victory over Scott Stallings.

Nothing was decided Wednesday in the first of three rounds of group play. One player from each of the 16 groups will move on for the knockout stage on the weekend.


Defending champion Iga Swiatek pulled out of the Miami Open because of a rib injury.

The No. 1-ranked Swiatek was supposed to face Claire Liu in the second round today.

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