The University of Maine men’s basketball team was ranked fifth in the America East conference preseason coaches’ poll released Wednesday. It’s the Black Bears’ highest ranking in the annual preseason poll since the 2010-11 season. Maine went 13-17 last season, its first under Coach Chris Markwood, a former Black Bears’ point guard and Mr. Maine Basketball as a senior at South Portland High.

The Black Bears return six of the top seven scorers from last season, including junior guard Kellen Tynes, the defending America East Defensive Player of the Year. Tynes led the nation with 98 steals and 3.3 steals per game last season, and was one of six preseason all-conference selections.

Defending champion Vermont earned six first-place votes and the top spot in the coaches’ poll, followed by UMass-Lowell, which earned three first-place votes.

Maine opens the season Nov. 6 at Charlotte.

• Cincinnati transfers Aziz Bandaogo and Jamille Reynolds had waivers rejected by the NCAA last week, prompting the Bearcats to file an appeal in hopes of getting both cleared to play when the college basketball season begins in a few weeks.


Bandaogo played two seasons at Akron before spending last season at Utah Valley, where the 7-footer from Senegal averaged 11.5 points and 10.4 rebounds. Reynolds spent his first two seasons with UCF which, like the Bearcats, is joining the Big 12 this season, before averaging 10.1 points in his lone season at Temple.

The NCAA has strict guidelines when it comes to players transferring a second time, a topic that has angered some coaches.


MAJORS: Nolan Arenado’s streak of consecutive Gold Gloves has ended at 10.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ third baseman was not among the three finalists announced. Pittsburgh’s Ke’Bryan Hayes, Colorado’s Ryan McMahon and Atlanta’s Austin Riley are contending for the award, which will be announced Nov. 5.

Players who won last year and are among the 2023 finalists are Cleveland second baseman Andrés Giménez and left fielder Steven Kwan, Houston right fielder Kyle Tucker, Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto, Arizona first baseman Christian Walker, Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson and left fielder Ian Happ, and Los Angeles right fielder Mookie Betts, who played 107 games in right, 70 at second and 16 at shortstop.


Betts, who has won six straight Gold Gloves, also is a finalist at the utility role, a category added last year.

Boston’s Alex Verdugo is a finalist for right field.


SPAIN: The Women’s World Cup-winning player kissed on the lips by the former president of the Spanish soccer federation was called up again by the national team.

Jenni Hermoso was included in Coach Montse Tomé’s squad for this month’s Nations League games against Italy and Switzerland.

Hermoso was omitted from the first squad after the World Cup to protect her amid the controversy ignited by Luis Rubiales’ kiss at the awards ceremony, after Spain had lifted the trophy in Australia in August.


“At the time we believed that was the best option for her and for us,” Tomé said. “Now things have improved. She has played more often. It’s the right moment.”

Hermoso said the kiss was without her consent and Spanish state prosecutors later accused Rubiales of sexual assault and coercion. They alleged that Rubiales tried to convince Hermoso and her relatives to publicly downplay the kiss.

Hermoso and other Spain players have testified as witnesses in the probe into Rubiales’ actions.

Rubiales eventually resigned and the players ended their boycott of the national team after being given guarantees of change within the federation following the intervention of government officials.

MLS: Lionel Messi’s annualized compensation from his Major League Soccer contract with Inter Miami is just over $20.4 million, the MLS Players Association said.

Messi earns more than the entire payroll of all but three other MLS teams and twice as much as every player combined on Orlando City.


BRAZIL: Forward Neymar tore his ACL and meniscus while playing in a World Cup qualifying game, his club Al Hilal confirmed.

Neymar was in tears after injuring his left knee in the first half of Brazil’s 2-0 loss to Uruguay on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old Neymar will need surgery. Al Hilal did not say how long he is expected to be out, but it can take six months to a year to recover from ACL injuries.

That would likely rule him out for the rest of the season and place doubts over his participation in next year’s Copa America, which starts in June.


JAPAN OPEN: Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated Sebastian Ofner 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals at Tokyo, winning consecutive matches for the first time since March.

The 23-year-old Canadian, who had not won back-to-back matches since Indian Wells, rallied from a break down in a tight first set before racing through the second by winning the final six games.

Auger-Aliassime next plays American qualifier Marcos Giron, who upset eighth-ranked Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-4.

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