Boozer named player of the week

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Boozer named player of the week

DEERFIELD, ILL.Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer was named Eastern Conference player of the week, the league announced Monday.

Last week Boozer averaged 23 points, which was fourth in the East, as well as a league-leading 14.8 rebounds.

He had his best scoring night in a Bulls uniform with a 36-point outing in the teams overtime win Wednesday in Toronto and a season-high in rebounds, 20, in Fridays overtime win in Boston.

Oklahoma Citys Kevin Durant, the three-time league reigning scoring champion, was named the Western Conference player of the week.

Durant scored a career-high 52 points, the best single-game effort in the NBA this season, in the Thunders win Thursday over Dallas.

Gibson to address fans on holiday

Bulls reserve Taj Gibson will address United Center fans at Mondays game against the Lakers, which takes place on the Martin Luther King holiday.

Of course its going to be special. Its Martin Luther King Day, I get to talk and not only that, we get to play the Lakers on national television, said Gibson, who noted that he didnt know exactly what he would say yet, when asked after the teams morning shootaround at the United Center. I just remember all the sacrifices King endured for a lot of people across this country. Not a day goes by when you dont think about all the struggles that him and all the people before us went through. Tonight is real special. This whole day is real special.

Former Bulls guard named Suns interim head coach

Lindsey Hunter, who last played for the Bulls in the 2009-10 season, was named Phoenixs interim head coach Sunday, following the Suns mutually parting ways with Alvin Gentry last week.

Hunter, who won championships with the Lakers and Pistons during his 17-year playing career, was promoted from his role as player development coordinator.

Hawkeyes going to Outback Bowl for fifth time, taking on Florida

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Hawkeyes going to Outback Bowl for fifth time, taking on Florida

Iowa is going back to the Outback Bowl.

Yes, for the fifth time in the last 13 seasons, the Hawkeyes will wrap their campaign with a trip to Tampa and an appearance in the Outback Bowl. And for the third time, their opponent there will be the Florida Gators. That game kicks at noon on Jan. 2.

Iowa and Florida met in the Outback Bowl to conclude the 2003 and 2005 seasons, splitting those two matchups.

This time around, the Hawkeyes are coming off an 8-4 regular season, a disappointing follow up to their 12-2 campaign a season ago that started off a perfect 12-0 before postseason losses in the Big Ten title game and the Rose Bowl.

Kirk Ferentz has led his team to a bowl appearance in 14 of his 18 seasons, though Iowa has lost the last four of those games, without a bowl win since taking down Missouri in the 2010 Insight Bowl.

Iowa is 2-2 in its four previous Outback Bowl appearances, beating Florida, losing to Florida, beating South Carolina and losing to LSU.

As for the Gators, they own an 8-4 record, as well, after falling to Alabama in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game. Florida is known for its sluggish offense, one of the lowest-scoring teams in the country.

Start spreadin' the news: Northwestern to face Pitt in Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium

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USA TODAY

Start spreadin' the news: Northwestern to face Pitt in Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium

Start spreadin' the news.

Northwestern is heading to New York for its bowl game this season, specifically the Bronx, where it will battle Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

Though it isn't your typically warm bowl destination, the baseball-stadium setting should be pretty fantastic. The game will be played at 1 p.m. on Dec. 28.

The Wildcats reached bowl eligibility with their sixth win in the regular-season finale against Illinois. Northwestern is heading to back-to-back bowl games after missing out on the postseason in back-to-back seasons in 2013 and 2014.

This is just the 13th-ever bowl trip for the Cats, though it's their seventh in 11 seasons under Pat Fitzgerald. Northwestern has a 1-5 record under Fitzgerald in the previous six bowl games, though that win is one of just two all-time bowl victories by the program.

This season started slowly for the Cats, who lost upsetting home games to Illinois State and Western Michigan and started 1-3. But Northwestern turned things around with back-to-back road wins over Iowa and Michigan State and finished 6-6. The Cats' offense has been particularly effective this season compared to seasons past. Wide receiver Austin Carr took home Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors and is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award after leading the conference in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. Running back Justin Jackson was the league's leading rusher until getting surpassed by just a couple yards by both Wisconsin's Corey Clement and Penn State's Saquon Barkley, who both competed in Saturday night's Big Ten Championship Game, adding to their respective rushing totals.

Pitt has had a pretty noteworthy season. Despite having four losses, it beat two teams that finished ranked in the top five of the College Football Playoff rankings: No. 2 Clemson and No. 5 Penn State. The Panthers are coached by former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi.