Fanfare: Ex-Blue Devil Thornton named to Wojo's Marquette staff

Jul. 25, 2014 @ 08:25 PM

Wojo adds Thornton to new Marquette staff

MILWAUKEE — Marquette has added yet another Duke connection to its men’s basketball staff.

Tyler Thornton, who completed his Duke playing career last March, is joining Steve Wojciechowski’s Marquette staff as a graduate assistant.

“Proud and excited to add Tyler Thornton to our staff today,” Wojciechowski said on Twitter Friday. “Will impact our program, players big time! Honored to give him his start.”

Wojciechowski, the former Duke guard and longtime assistant coach, is in his first season as the Golden Eagles’ head coach. He has already added former Duke guard Chris Carrawell to his staff as an assistant coach.

Thornton, from Washington, D.C., played guard the last four seasons for the Blue Devils and was a team captain last season.

Lithuanian wins stage; Nibali still near-lock

BERGERAC, France — Ramunas Navardauskas of Lithuania led a late breakaway in a downpour to win the 19th Stage of the Tour de France on Friday after hitching a ride with his Garmin-Sharp teammates.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey and is expected to take it home with him when the three-week cycling showcase ends Sunday. His lead of more than seven minutes over his closest challenger is so big that only a racing disaster could strip him of it.

Navardauskas stole away from the pack late in the 129.5-mile trek from Maubourguet to Bergerac in southwest France. He looked back over his shoulder, kissed his fingers and raised his arms in victory, with a bunch of sprinters barreling behind him. They crossed seven seconds later, and the stragglers followed.

The 26-year-old Garmin-Sharp rider became the first Lithuanian to win an individual stage at cycling’s greatest race, and gave his team its first stage win this Tour. In 2011, he was on the Garmin-Cervelo squad that won the team time trial at the Tour that year, and he also won a stage in last year’s Italian Giro.

FIFA refuses to pull ’18 World Cup from Russia

GENEVA  — FIFA has rejected calls to move the 2018 World Cup from Russia, saying the tournament “can achieve positive change.”

Some lawmakers in Germany want the hosting rights reviewed because of Russia’s alleged involvement in shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last week.

Political pressure on Russia increased Friday when the European Union sought to freeze assets and restrict travel for more individuals and businesses.

FIFA said in a statement it “deplores any form of violence” and questions the purpose of relocating the showcase tournament.

Oft-injured Gronkowski returns to Patriots’ camp

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Rob Gronkowski is going through light activities at the New England Patriots training camp.

The star tight end ran short routes, caught passes and jogged back to the line of scrimmage during the team’s second day of practice.

He’s recovering from knee surgery on Jan. 9 so he didn’t participate in 11-on-11 drills, cut sharply or run hard at defensive backs.

Gronkowski’s not sure he’ll play in the season opener Sept. 7, but says he’s preparing hard to be ready for it. He’s practicing with a brace on his left forearm that was broken in the 11th game of the 2012 and re-broken in the team’s first playoff game that season. He also had an elastic sleeve on his surgically repaired right knee.

Boxers ditch headgear to limit concussions

GLASGOW, Scotland — It was the first bout of the boxing competition at the Commonwealth Games. Within minutes, Mathew Martin of Nauru had a large lump on his head from a punch. Northern Ireland’s Michael Conlan, who won unanimously on points, had blood streaming down his face.

That’s what fighting without protective headgear can do.

In a decision last year, the International Boxing Association stopped the use of headgear in male bouts, citing medical experts who said it would help reduce concussions.

Benson Njangiru of Kenya, who won his bantamweight fight Friday, said going into the ring for the first time without headgear was “scary.”

“You have to be more worried about cuts,” said Njangiru, who won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. “But the change affects both fighters the same way.”

Clemson WR Peake expected back for opener

CLEMSON, S.C. — Injured receiver Charone Peake’s comeback for Clemson took a step back after knee surgery Friday.

Clemson announced that Peake was injured during workouts Wednesday and needed the operation. He’s expected to miss at least a week of training camp that starts Aug. 1.

Peake missed the last 11 games of the season a year ago with a torn knee ligament.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Peake’s ACL was fine and he expected the junior receiver to play when the Tigers open at Georgia on August 30th.

Peake had eight catches and a touchdown in Clemson’s first two games of 2013. A healthy Peake is being counted on to make up for some of the production of Sammy Watkins, Clemson’s record-setting wideout who left a season early for the NFL.