49ers

Stanford sixth in Top 25 poll, Sooners No. 1

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Stanford sixth in Top 25 poll, Sooners No. 1

August 4, 2011COACHES TOP 25 POLL

(AP) Oklahoma is the preseason No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' poll.

The Sooners received 42 of 59 first-place votes to easily outpoint No. 2 Alabama, which received 13 first-place votes. Oregon, which lost last season's BCS championship game, is third and LSU is fourth.

The Ducks and Tigers will open the season against each other at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 3 in Arlington, Texas. They each received two first-place votes in the coaches' poll.

Florida State is fifth, followed by Stanford, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.

Stanford, which had a final 2010 ranking of fourth after winning the Orange Bowl, returns quarterback Andrew Luck, but is without coach Jim Harbaugh, who departed for the 49ers.

Luck, the Heisman Trophy-runner up to Auburn's Cam Newton last year, returns after putting off being the NFL draft's likely No. 1 pick. Several starters are also back from a 12-1 team that finished fourth in the final AP poll, the school's best ranking since the unbeaten 1940 team finished second. Stanford also could be a preseason Top 10 pick and the heavy favorite to challenge Oregon in the North Division for a spot in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game.

The major concern for the Cardinal is the coaching turnover. New coach and former offensive coordinator David Shaw takes over for Jim Harbaugh, who took some of his staff with him to the San Francisco 49ers, leaving Shaw with the burden of making sure Stanford doesn't slip.

"Last year was great, but every team every year has to build its own momentum," Shaw said.

Defending national champion Auburn starts the season ranked 19th in the coaches' poll.

After a tumultuous offseason, Ohio State is ranked 16th. Notre Dame is No. 18.

49ers receive early vindication on selection of Reuben Foster

49ers receive early vindication on selection of Reuben Foster

SANTA CLARA – General manager John Lynch received the text message Wednesday from Dr. Tim McAdams that might have come as a surprise to many of the teams that passed on linebacker Reuben Foster during the draft.

The 49ers’ team physician declared Foster’s surgically repaired right shoulder is ready to play football. The 49ers are scheduled for their first practice of training camp on Friday, and Foster will be a full participant.

“We feel great about our doctors, our medical program here,” Lynch said on Thursday, as the 49ers reported to training camp. “Our trainer, Jeff Ferguson, is as good as there is in the league. Dr. McAdams, world-renowned. He has the Stanford name behind him.

“We challenged him numerous times. From his observation, the shoulder was good.”

Foster’s tumble to the back end of the first round was widely blamed on his shoulder condition. The 49ers traded with the Seattle Seahawks to select Foster with the No. 31 overall pick. Almost immediately, the 49ers were scrutinized for making the selection.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported some teams did not even consider drafting Foster. One “well-placed source with knowledge of the injury” told Schefter that Foster’s surgery “didn’t take.”

The 49ers’ willingness to clear Foster for the first day of camp is a reality that appears to be in stark contrast to the opinions around the league that Foster’s shoulder would require additional surgery. The 49ers expect Foster to be ready Sunday for the first padded, contact practice of training camp.

“We pride ourselves in doing all of our due diligence, not afterward, but before we make the decisions,” Lynch said. “We’d done exhaustive research on Reuben Foster in a lot of different areas. Medically was one area.”

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he the nature of Foster’s injury convinced him that even the worst-case scenario, in the big picture, was not so bad. Foster sustained a torn rotator cuff in Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington and played the championship game against Clemson with the injury.

“I was proud of our doctors for putting themselves out there and giving their honest opinion about what they felt,” Shanahan said. “They feel it is healed, and it’s going to be good. I respect them for doing that. They went against the norm on that, and that isn’t always easy.

“(I’m) pretty confident when it is a shoulder injury, if it doesn’t heal the right way or it’s done wrong, you have to re-do a surgery, yes, it’s time, but it’s not going to affect the guy we saw on tape.”

Report: Kyrie Irving 'very badly' wants to play for Knicks

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USATI

Report: Kyrie Irving 'very badly' wants to play for Knicks

Kyrie Irving is itching to get to the Big Apple.

Irving 'very badly' wants to play for the Knicks, according to ESPN's Pablo Torre.

Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cavs during a meeting with management on July 7.

The four-time All-Star would prefer to be shipped to the Spurs, Timberwolves, Heat or Knicks, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

Although Irving was born in Australia, he grew up in West Orange, New Jersey -- which is about 20 miles away from Madison Square Garden.

The Cavs have been trying to get a hold of Irving, but the 25-year old is not talking to anybody from the organization, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic.

Irving averaged 25.2 points and 5.8 assists per game last season, shooting over 47 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep.

In the 2017 NBA Finals, he registered 29.4 points over the five games.

The Knicks owe Joakim Noah over $17.7 million next season, over $18.5 million in 2018-19 and nearly $19.3 million in 2019-20.

The Knicks also just signed Tim Hardaway Jr. (who they traded in June 2015) to a 4-year contract worth nearly $71 million.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller