A busy Monday for some
Here's a daily recap of various local sports news.
We lead again, of course, with Willie Taggart, who obviously had to get on a flight as soon as possible Sunday night to work real hard at recruiting.
The Orlando Sentinel and others report that Taggart met with Florida State officials and that both sides hope to reach a deal by Monday night that would make the Oregon Ducks football coach the new coach of the Seminoles.
And now, on to other notes ...
Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri, from Argentina, has been named MVP of the 2017 MLS season.
New York City's David Villa, from Spain, was second in the voting by team management, media and players.
• Much of the local sporting population isn't plugged into the MLS playoffs, with or without the Timbers in them.
So here's a public service announcement on behalf of the league: It's championship game is Saturday. Seattle at Toronto, 1 p.m. PT, on ESPN. Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer, who used to hear it from Portland fans going back to his days coaching the Sounders in the A-League, is looking for his second MLS title in two years — but Toronto wants to avenge its loss to Seattle in the 2016 final.
Senior running back Royce Freeman won the Pat and Stephanie Kilkenny Team MVP Award at Oregon's team banquet Sunday night at the Eugene Hilton.
Sophomore linebacker Troy Dye was named defensive MVP for the second year in a row.
Sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert was announced as the offensive MVP.
Sophomore Brenden Schooler was named special teams MVP.
Senior defensive end Henry Mondeuax, from Jesuit High, joined Freeman as winners of the team captain's award, and Mondeaux also got the Tough Man Award.
Sophomore linebacker La'Mar Winston Jr., from Central Catholic High, and sophomore center Jake Hanson, earned Len Casanova Leadership awards.
Sophomore offensive lineman Shane Lemieux was picked as the most improved player, and defensive tackle Jordan Scott was voted freshman of the year.
NHL 2 SEATTLE?
The Seattle City Council approved a $600-million renovation of KeyArena on Monday. The move could open the door for an NHL franchise, while optimistically spurring revitalization of the Seattle Center area.
Many in the Emerald City also have been hoping for a return to the NBA, and an upgrade to KeyArena can't hurt Seattle's chances of restoring its SuperSonics, who moved to Oklahoma City in 2008.
Ex-Duck Jonathan Stewart, a veteran running back with the NFL Carolina Pantehrs, is one of several players entered in a new CBS one-hour special, "MVP: Most Valuable Performer," which is said to be a contest to determine the pro football player with the most talent off the field. Stewart will play the piano. The show is set for Thursday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m.
New Nebraska Cornhuskers football coach Scott Frost has added some Oregon (as in, ex-Oregon Ducks staff) flavor to his coaching staff. Greg Austin (offensive line) and Erik Chinander (defensive coordinator) once worked at UO and have joined Frost. And some reports have ex-Oregon receivers coach/offensive coordinator Matt Lubick set to join the Cornhuskers as offensive coordinator.
JONES BACK IN HAMILTON
June Jones, the former Grant High/Portland State athlete and quarterback, will be contiuning his lengthy coaching career.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Monday that Jones will be back as their head coach for the 2018 Canadian Football League season.
Jones, a run-and-shoot disciple of Mouse Davis and two-time NFL head coach, led the Ticats to a 6-4 record after he took over as head coach following their 0-8 start this year.
• The Trail Blazers will look to bounce back from two home losses and get a season sweep of Washington. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Moda Center. The Wizards will be coming off their Monday night game at Utah.
• The Portland Winterhawks (20-5-0-1) have look to bounce back from Sundayt's surprising home loss to Saskatoon with a road game at the Vancouver Giants (12-13-2-2), 7 p.m.
• Oregon State faces Eastern Kentucky in men's basketball, 7 p.m., at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers (4-3) have won two in a row. The Colonels improved to 4-4 with their Saturday overtime victory, 70-65, at home in Richmond, Kentucky, against Jacksonville.
• Prep basketball, early- and nonleague style, starts to heat up. In boys hoops, Central Catholic plays at Jesuit, 7:15 p.m. Roosevelt, under new coach Yusef Leary (and with Omar Leary on the staff), is coming off a 74-71 win at home over the Rams, and will visit Tigard at 7 p.m.
The Grant girls, ranked eighth in Class 6A, play host to No. 4 Tigard at 7:15 p.m. Grant's temporary home is the Marshall Campus in Southeast Portland.