Friday, June 21 2024
The Masters - Preview Day Two
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This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.

🏀 Good morning to everyone but especially …


Finally, it’s official: John Calipari is the new head coach at Arkansas, making the move to Fayetteville after 15 seasons, 410 wins, four Final Fours and one national championship at Kentucky.

Calipari’s contract is for five years and $38 million. He gets a maximum of two rollover years for qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, a $1 million signing bonus, $500,000 retention bonuses annually, and additional bonuses for making the NCAA Tournament and advancing through each round.

Calipari landing at Arkansas (and Kentucky now needing a coach … and a roster) was a complete whirlwind that started — somehow — with SMU surprisingly firing Rob Lanier. Andy Enfield then left USC for SMU, and Eric Musselman left Arkansas for USC. And now we’re here.

Calipari had his introductory press conference Wednesday night and delivered a bevy of entertaining stories, including how three different people helped him make the decision:

  • John Tyson, the billionaire Arkansas booster and chairman of Tyson Foods
  • A Catholic priest
  • Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson, who worked under current Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek when Yurachek was at Houston

Calipari also preached patience given the state of the roster: “I met with the team,” he said. “There is no team.”

That, however, could change quickly. Kentucky’s roster and recruiting class are quickly departing, and some players could follow Calipari. Cameron Salerno has the latest details.

👍 Honorable mentions

👎 Not so honorable mentions

⛈️ Thunderstorms delay start to 2024 Masters


The 2024 Masters is off to an inauspicious start: Morning thunderstorms have delayed the start of play until 10:30 a.m. ET. Here are the updated tee times, and here’s a Masters TV schedule and coverage guide you can bookmark and follow all week.

That’s the bad news. The good news is we have plenty of preview content to tide us over. One of my favorite pieces ahead of every major is Kyle Porter’s nine players who can win, and this edition doesn’t disappoint. The final name certainly provides plenty of intrigue.

  • Porter: “9. Ludvig Aberg: His skillset could not fit Augusta better, and he’s been excellent at a couple of the big boy events so far this year (8th at the Players, 2nd at the Pebble Beach Pro Am and T9 at the Farmers Insurance Open). It feels dumb to put somebody who was playing the Calusa Cup this time a year ago on this list, but I believe in his disposition, his lack of scar tissue and of course his driver, one of the most important weapons in this entire event. Odds: 30-1″

Also on that list, to no one’s surprise, is 2023 champion Jon Rahm. But a repeat at Augusta National will be harder than the breakthrough, Kyle writes.

  • Porter: “Rahm insisted Tuesday that all of the pressure that comes with being a Masters champion — a pressure that Rahm may be feeling even more of because of his recent jump to LIV Golf — is not affecting his preparation. … The last player to go back to back at the Masters was Tiger Woods. That happened in 2001 and 2002. Since then, it’s been a whole lot of donuts and not any really great performances in the last 10 years outside of Jordan Spieth in 2016 …”

Here’s all of our preview content.

🏈 Josh Allen signs monster deal with Jaguars

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After plenty of drama — far too much for anyone’s liking, really — the Jaguars finally locked up Josh Allen for the long term, and they paid a pretty penny to do it: five years and $150 million, including $88 million guaranteed.

  • The $30 million per year is the third-highest average annual value for defensive players, only behind Nick Bosa ($34 million) and Chris Jones ($31.75 million).
  • Allen, 26, had 17.5 sacks last year, a franchise record and tied for second in the NFL, trailing only T.J. Watt (19).
  • Allen had been set to play on the franchise tag this season before the deal.

It wasn’t just the sacks, though. Allen recorded an 18.3% pressure rate, third in the NFL behind Micah Parsons and Myles Garrett, who finished third and first, respectively, in Defensive Player of the Year voting. Over the last six seasons, only Allen (2023), Bosa (2022) and Aaron Donald (2018) have recorded at least 17 sacks and a pressure rate of at least 18% in a single season.

The No. 7 pick in the 2019 draft, Allen has 45 career sacks, already second in franchise history behind Tony Brackens (55). In 2024, playing next to free agent addition Arik Armstead, he could easily blow past Brackens and continue to solidify himself as one of the game’s true top-tier pass rushers.

⚽ Barcelona, Atletico Madrid win first legs of UEFA Champions League quarterfinal matchups

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It was a Spanish sweep Wednesday to close out the opening legs of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. Barcelona topped PSG, 3-2, and Atletico Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund, 2-1.

Raphinha staked Barcelona to a lead in the first half, but Ousmane Dembele in the 48th minute and Vitinha two minutes later turned the match on its head in favor of the hosts. It was Raphinha again, though, expertly volleying home in the 61st minute, and Andreas Christensen nodding home a 77th-minute corner kick on his first touch of the game to finish the thrilling comeback.

The young Catalonians deserve immense praise, as does their manager, Chuck Booth writes.

  • Booth: “Under Xavi, they’ve gotten time to make mistakes and grow into their own as players so that didn’t feel out of place when it mattered most. Even for Barcelona’s equalizer, Pedri — who has also had some of his best form under the Barcelona legend — had the assist on another excellent Raphinha finish.”

Luis Enrique‘s decisions, meanwhile, cost — then nearly saved — his team, Jonathan Johnson writes. Les Parisiens will have to hit back away from home next week, but at least it’s only a one-goal deficit.

📺 What we’re watching Thursday

We’re watching the Masters. Here’s how.
🏀 Knicks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Pelicans at Kings, 10 p.m. on TNT



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