Katlyn Lee | Daily TrojanJunior guard Elijah Stewart declared for the NBA Draft without an agent on Tuesday. The move was first reported by DraftExpress and confirmed by USC.Joining sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright and redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron, Stewart is the third USC player to declare without an agent after the Trojans’ surprise run to the Round of 32 in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Like his teammates, Stewart can withdraw from the draft before May 24.Stewart is not projected to be selected according to most experts’ mock drafts, making a return to USC likely. However, he turned heads during March Madness, pouring in 22 points against SMU and draining the game-winning shot. Six of Stewart’s baskets came from behind the arc, proving his duality across the court as a threat from outside and driving to the basket.Stewart also added 12 points and four 3-pointers against Baylor, and he was the Trojans’ leading 3-point scorer throughout the 2016-17 campaign, sinking 78 threes. The total led the team by more than 30, with Boatwright and junior guard Jordan McLaughlin in second with 47 3-pointers each. Stewart was also one of the most efficient Trojan shooters from beyond the arc, trailing only McLaughlin in 3-point percentage.The junior averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season while acting as a veteran presence on a team with just five upperclassmen. Stewart’s 175 career 3-pointers is sixth all-time in program history, just one bucket short of tying Harold Miner for fifth. A repeat of last season would catapult him to the top of the list; Lodrick Stewart is currently the all-time leader with 232 made threes from 2004 to 2007, a number that Stewart could catch up to if he continues to heat up from behind the arc.With a new contract extension and a strong incoming recruiting class, head coach Andy Enfield would surely like to retain Stewart and build on the promising 2016-17 season. Although three Trojans have declared for the draft so far, none of these players have taken on an agent, meaning that they are still flexible in their decision making. Additionally, none of these three players are predicted to go even in the final round in expert mock drafts. This could change, however, with their performance at the NBA Combine, which will take place in Chicago from May 9 to 14. The combine gives athletes a chance to showcase their abilities in a series of drills, interviews and tests. The results of those five days will be one of the key deciding factors for Stewart and the rest of the players who have declared. From there, each of the Trojans will have to make a decision to stay or go by the deadline in May. If they decide to stay, they will return to summer ball with the Trojans and look to help Enfield return his team to the NCAA tourney for the third time in a row. If not, Stewart and his teammates will head to the NBA Draft, which will take place on June 22.
Eguma said the ties will represent a difficult proposition for his side as they look to make a favourable impression in their first-ever expedition into the waters of Africa’s premiere club competition.“I see the draw to face AS Real Bamako as an extremely tough one because they are a very big club,” he admitted.“They have a rich pedigree in CAF inter-club competitions and have a history of producing plenty of players for Mali’s senior national team.“Mali’s heritage in both the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and African Championship of Nations (CHAN) defines them as a very strong footballing Nation so AS Real Bamako must be respected.“Don’t also forget that AS Real Bamako knocked (seven-time Nigerian champions), Enyimba out of this same competition in 2014.”Eguma, a veteran of many CAF Champions League battles with former clubs Enyimba and Dolphins is however not daunted by the prospect of facing such a tough opposition.The experienced coach explained that painstakingly detailed-pre-season preparations will put his side in fine fettle for the task at hand.“We have prepared very well for this tournament and it is actually a blessing in disguise that we start meeting the stronger sides from the early (stages of the competition),” he said“To become a champion, you must be ready to face the best.“If we must beat Real Bamako over two legs, everyone involved with the football club must be united, work hard and stay focused on the task ahead,” he said.Rivers United’s first leg clash with AS Real Bamako will take hold at the Stade Mamadou Konaté in Bamako on the weekend of February 10-12 with the second leg coming up a week later at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUECoach Stanley Eguma has admitted his Rivers United is in for two tough matches against AS Real Bamako of Mali in a preliminary round of the 2017 CAF Champions League.Rivers United will travel to Bamako to face the six-time Malian champions in the first leg in February 2017, before navigating the return fixture a week later in Port Harcourt.
Winning numbers for the record $370 million Mega Millions jackpot were announced Tuesday night from a special location: a studio in New York’s Times Square. The winning numbers were: 42-39-29-22-16, and the Mega Ball was 20. It wasn’t immediately known how many tickets were sold nationwide or who, if anyone, held the winning ticket. After the jackpot hit $355 million Monday, the 12 participating Mega Millions states agreed to move Tuesday night’s drawing from the game’s usual home in Atlanta to a Times Square street-level studio. Even though the temperature was a frosty 16 degrees, a handful of hopefuls showed up to watch the event outside the studio, waving their tickets in the air. The largest previous multistate lottery jackpot was $365 million in 2006, when eight workers at a Nebraska meat processing plant hit the Powerball lotto. The Big Game lotto, the forerunner of Mega Millions, paid out a $363 million jackpot in 2000.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The deadline for buying tickets back East was 10:45 p.m. But lottery players in Ohio who waited until late in the day to purchase their tickets were out of luck. The gaming system went down statewide at about 10:20 p.m., about 25 minutes before the deadline for placing wagers, said Mardele Cohen, a spokeswoman for the Ohio lottery. She said it’s unclear what caused the problem and that it would not likely be until Wednesday until the system can be reviewed. Earlier Tuesday, lottery players lined up at stores around the country in the hope of buying the winning ticket. New Yorkers bought more than 1 million tickets an hour, said Robert McLaughlin, the state’s lottery director. Virginia retailers sold about 8,550 tickets per minute as the drawing approached. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are about 1 in 176 million.