Meanwhile, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is out and he has no Gophers on his preseason All-Big Ten first team, but guard Zac Epping is on the second team and running back David Cobb and tight end Maxx Williams are on the third team. On defensive, Steele doesn’t place any Gophers on the first team but he does select defensive lineman Theiren Cockran on the second team. His only selection from Minnesota on the All-Preseason special team is returner Marcus Jones on the third team.
• Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor served from 2008-12 as chairman of the NBA’s Board of Governors, and he was elected back into that position this year on an interim basis after the resignation of Spurs owner Peter Holt. Taylor will operate in the role until the end of this year.
• The Twins are showing good sales for their home series with the Yankees over the Fourth of July weekend. Look for the team to pay tribute to Yankees legend Derek Jeter, who is retiring after this year, before the July 5 game.
• ESPN recently updated their Class of 2015 basketball recruit rankings and Grand Rapids power forward Alex Illikainen came in at No. 90. The Gophers have been heavily recruiting Illikainen and have offers out to six other top-100 players: 6-10 center Diamond Stone (No. 3 overall, Milwaukee); 6-9 power forward Henry Ellenson (No. 5 overall, Rice Lake, Wis.); 6-8 small forward Brandon Ingram (No. 12, Kinston, N.C.); 6-2 shooting guard Jalen Adams (No. 33, Roxbury, Mass.); 6-8 power forward Tyler Lydon (No. 59, Pine Plains, N.Y.) and 6-3 shooting guard Kenny Williams (No. 84, Chesterfield, Va.).
• Elizabeth Endy of Minnetonka was named the Minnesota Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year and the Metro Player of the Year by this paper. She was also the Athena Award winner as the best female athlete at Minnetonka. Endy went undefeated in the 800 meters this spring and will attend DePaul to play soccer under former Gophers player Erin (Hussey) Chastain.
• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was asked his opinion on the team’s third-round draft choice, running back Jerick McKinnon. “Jerick is doing a good job,” Zimmer said. “We are using him in a lot of different situations, he catches the ball well, he has excellent acceleration coming out of the backfield, he’s learning the run reads better now. We’re glad we have him, he’s a good change-of-pace back. I mean not that Adrian [Peterson] is a slow guy, because he is obviously extremely fast, but just a different kind of back.”
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org