Bama hoops transfer Mack picks Clemson

Columbia native Tevin Mack, a grad transfer from Alabama, he announced Monday. Mack took an official visit to Clemson last week. He told The State over the weekend he was also looking at an official visit to Oregon this week, but that visit will not take place.

Mack starred at Dreher High School. He was strongly recruited by Clemson and USC but signed with Shaka Smart and VCU in 2015. He never played for the Rams, however. When Smart left for Texas, Mack got his release from VCU and followed Smart to Austin.

In two seasons with the Longhorns, Mack played in 48 games, starting 10. He was the team’s leading scorer over the first 15 games of the 2017 season at nearly 15 points per game, then in January he was suspended by Smart for a second time in the season for a violation of team rules, and in late February he was released from his scholarship.

Terry Bowden to be Clemson grad intern

CLEMSON — There’ll be another Bowden at Clemson.

Football spokesman Ross Taylor said Monday that Terry Bowden is joining the program as an unpaid graduate intern as he pursues an advanced degree in athletic leadership at the university. Bowden, 63, is the younger brother of Tommy Bowden, who was Clemson’s football coach from 1999 through middle of 2008 when Dabo Swinney was appointed Bowden’s successor.

Terry Bowden went 47-17-1 with two Southeastern Conference Western Division titles in six years at Auburn from 1993-98. He most recently spent seven seasons at Akron, where he went 35-52. He was let go this past winter after the Zips finished 4-8.

Terry and Tommy Bowden are sons of Florida State’s two-time national championship coach, the retired Bobby Bowden.

USC pitcher Kerry named All-American

LYNCHBURG, Va. — University of South Carolina freshman righthanded pitcher Brett Kerry has been named a First Team Freshman All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), it was announced Monday. It was the first NCBWA Freshman All-America honor for the Gamecocks since Carlos Cortes was on the team in 2017.

Kerry, who also was named to the Freshman All-SEC team and was a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, ended his rookie season with a 4-1 record and a 2.62 ERA while recording seven saves in 22 appearances, including two starts.

Coach downplays Solo comments

REIMS, France — U.S. national team coach Jill Ellis has downplayed critical comments made by former goalkeeper Hope Solo, who said the World Cup-winning coach “cracks under pressure.”

Ellis addressed the remarks Monday, a day before the defending champion U.S. team opens World Cup play against Thailand, saying, “Comments are comments.”

Solo, who is working for the BBC during the tournament and has been known to make incendiary comments, knocked Ellis on a podcast where she said the coach is “not the leader I wish her to be.”

Jags’ Ngakoue holding out for new deal

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue plans to skip Jacksonville’s mandatory three-day minicamp that begins Tuesday in hopes of getting a new contract.

Ngakoue’s agent, Roc Nation Sports, released a statement on behalf of the 2017 Pro Bowl selection a day before camp.

The announcement ended weeks of speculation surrounding Ngakoue, who showed up for the start of voluntary organized team activities last month , vowed to attend the remaining dozen practices, and emphatically said he plans to play this season even if he doesn’t get a long-term contract. He bailed on teammates and coaches three days later. He also skipped most of Jacksonville’s voluntary offseason conditioning program to work out in Miami.

Auburn beats UNC, reaches CWS

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Auburn scored 13 runs in the first inning to stun host North Carolina en route to a 14-7 victory Monday that sent the Tigers to the College World Series for the first time since 1997.

Judd Ward hit a three-run homer and Edouard Julien and Matt Scheffler each had two-run singles in the Tigers’ overwhelming opening act, which turned the rest of the deciding game in the best-of-three NCAA super-regional series into a formality.

The Tigers (38-26) finished with the second most runs in an inning of an NCAA Tournament game. The barrage began when UNC starter Joey Lancellotti walked the game’s first four batters, the first sign of trouble for the Tar Heels’ normally reliable pitching staff.

Contact sports writer Skylar Rolstad at 223-1813 or follow him on Twitter @SkyRolSports.