DETROIT (AP) - Michigan State's athletic director thinks the NHL is spending too much time outdoors. Mark Hollis was asked at the Associated Press Sports Editors national conference on Thursday about the league's expanding schedule of outdoor games. It was Hollis, after all, who helped start the trend of playing hockey in large outdoor venues in 2001, and he says he's honored to have the practice replicated. The NHL plans to play two games at Yankee Stadium, one at Dodger Stadium and one at Soldier Field after hosting its annual Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on New Year's Day. Hollis says Michigan State will probably not schedule another outdoor hockey game. He likes moving on to the next thing, not sticking with what has been done and possibly diminishing the venture.
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski will run in the NASCAR Nationwide series event in Iowa in August. Iowa Speedway said Wednesday that Keselowski has committed to race in the Aug. 3 event before flying to Pocono for the Sprint Cup race the next day. Keselowski, who won the inaugural Nationwide race in Iowa four years ago, has a win and three top-five finishes in seven series events this season. He's ninth in the Sprint Cup standings heading into this weekend's race in Kentucky.
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Pistons have picked Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft, passing on a trio of potential point guards to take a versatile scorer who played college basketball at Georgia. The 6-foot-5 Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points per game as a sophomore last season and shot 37 percent from 3-point range. Detroit has added big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe in recent drafts, and they also took point guard Brandon Knight two years ago. That might be why they decided to pass on point guard Trey Burke of Michigan, a local favorite. Kansas star Ben McLemore was taken one pick before Detroit's turn. In addition to Burke, guards Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. McCollum were both available.
Meanwhile, the Pistons have drafted North Texas forward Tony Mitchell with the 37th pick in the NBA draft. The 6-foot-8 Mitchell averaged 13 points and 8.5 rebounds last season as a sophomore for the Mean Green. He is also the school's career and single-season record holder for blocked shots. Mitchell was a finalist for the Lou Henson Award for the mid-major player of the year in 2011-12, when he averaged 14.7 points as a freshman. That season, he was one of two freshmen to average a double-double - the other was Kentucky's Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in the draft in 2012. The Detroit Pistons also drafted Louisville guard Peyton Siva with the 56th pick in the NBA draft. Siva helped the Cardinals win the national title last season, averaging 10 points per game. He started 113 games in four years at Louisville. Siva scored 18 points in Louisville's victory over Michigan in the NCAA title game. He scored 1,215 points in his career at Louisville. He also averaged over five assists a game for each of his last three seasons there.
DETROIT (AP) - Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking double in the 10th inning and the Los Angeles Angels beat Detroit 3-1 on Thursday for their ninth straight victory over the Tigers. Mike Trout had four hits and was in the middle of the decisive rally for the Angels, who completed a three-game sweep. Jered Weaver pitched seven strong innings in a tight duel with Detroit right-hander Doug Fister. J.B. Shuck singled leading off the 10th against Phil Coke (0-5) and went to third on Trout's single to right field. Pujols sent a drive to deep center, where Austin Jackson tried to make a difficult catch with his back to home plate. The ball tipped off the webbing of Jackson's glove, hit the wall and trickled to the ground. After an intentional walk to Howie Kendrick loaded the bases, Josh Hamilton made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly.
SPARTA, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky Speedway is hot and bumpy, and Brad Keselowski can't wait to race. So much that he's competing in all three NASCAR national series events this weekend. Again. Keselowski's eagerness is understandable. He's the defending champion in the Sprint Cup race Saturday night, one of five series victories that propelled the Michigan driver to last season's title. Standing ninth in the hunt for a berth in the Chase, he aims to improve his standing with his first win this season. Keselowski believes there's no better place to get it than on the 1.5-mile oval that has served him well. After all, he was second in last year's Truck Series race and won the Nationwide event in 2011 before last year's Cup victory.
DETROIT (AP) - Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons have become pretty familiar with this spot in the NBA draft. For the fourth straight year, they'll pick between seventh and ninth. This time it's No. 8 - and the Pistons hope their choice Thursday night will help avoid more trips to the lottery in the future. Dumars, the team president, wasn't about to tip his hand before the draft, and the Pistons need contingency plans depending on who is available. Last year, Dumars suspected shortly before the draft that Connecticut big man Andre Drummond might fall to Detroit at No. 9. Sure enough, the Pistons got him, and Drummond looks like he could be one of the league's most promising young players.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - The Detroit Lions say they've signed ex-Chicago Bears agent defensive end Israel Idonije (ih-DAHN'-uh-jay) to a 1-year contract and have released defensive end Freddie Bishop. The team said Wednesday it isn't releasing terms of its contract with Idonije, a free agent. Idonije has spent nine seasons with the Bears. He started 11-of-16 games last season and finished second on the team in sacks (7.5) behind Julius Peppers (11.5). Idonije made 48 tackles (29 solo), had 7.5 sacks (68 yards) and one forced fumble last season.
DETROIT (AP) - Mike Trout homered and drove in three runs, and Erick Aybar's two-run shot gave Los Angeles the lead for good as the Angels beat Detroit 7-4 on Wednesday night for their eighth consecutive win over the Tigers. The Angels have outscored the Tigers 55-21 during the streak. Miguel Cabrera and former Angels outfielder Torii Hunter homered for Detroit. Los Angeles emergency starter Billy Buckner gave up three runs and three hits in three- plus innings. He replaced Tommy Hanson, who was scratched after feeling tightness in his right forearm while warming up in the bullpen before the game. Buckner was pulled in favor of Dane De La Rosa (2-1), who got the win. Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances. Detroit starter Jose Alvarez (1-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.
UNDATED (AP) - Bobby Labonte's consecutive start streak will come to an end at 704 races in a run that began in 1993. Labonte is not entered to race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, which will bring an end to the second-longest active starts streak in NASCAR behind Jeff Gordon's 705 starts. The Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts will start at 7:30 p.m. in Sparta, Kentucky.
CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Blackhawks landed home with the Stanley Cup just before dawn Tuesday morning and were greeted on the tarmac with a water cannon salute, about a dozen fire trucks and even more police cars - all with their lights flashing. And minutes before the team's chartered Boeing 737 from Boston touched down at 4:05 a.m. at O'Hare International Airport, lightning was dancing across the sky as the edge of windy storm front passed through. Still, the Blackhawks' return couldn't match the dramatic finish of their championship-clinching win over the Bruins on Monday night at the TD Garden. Chicago secured its second NHL title in four seasons when Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored 17 seconds apart in the last 1:16 of regulation of Game 6 for a stunning 3-2 win over Boston.