Six USC players make all-SEC freshman team

COLUMBIA -- Six South Carolina players were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team as selected by The Sporting News. The Gamecocks led the SEC in selections.

Wide receiver Dion Lecorn and tight end Weslye Saunders represented USC on offense while defensive tackle Ladi Ajiboye, defensive end Travian Robertson and linebacker Cliff Matthews were named to the defense. Chris Culliver was selected as the kick returner.

Three other Gamecocks made the All-SEC team. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn made the first team while receiver Kenny McKinley and safety Emanuel Cook made the second team.

• LOCAL BASEBALL -- The Carolina Reds USSSA 16-Under Majors team won The Myrtle Beach Thanksgiving NIT Tournament this past weekend. After going 0-2 Friday, the Reds came back, beating the Carol Co. Crew 9-1 and the Myrtle Beach Angels 5-1.

In a rematch from Friday, the Reds beat the Carolina Rockets 11-3 in the semifinal. In the championship against ECTB, the Reds won 7-5 with solid pitching from Spencer Rash, Keaston Starnes, Daniel Revis, Kody Kirkland, Gerard Taylor and Dustin Mullinax.

Great defense and hitting from Miles Broome, Jo Jo Bailey, Bobby Howland, Cameron Toney, Michael Crow and Devion Davis all helped the win.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Bone scans revealed that James Mays' hip is sprained, not fractured, and Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said the senior forward may be able to play again before the end of the month.

Mays told reporters Tuesday night he thought the hip was fractured and he was likely out four-to-six weeks. Purnell hopes to have Mays back on the court by the time the team heads to Puerto Rico for the San Juan Shootout, beginning Dec. 20. The Tigers play just twice more before the tournament.

Clemson got more good news Wednesday, when doctors cleared Sam Perry for more activity in practice. The senior forward had knee surgery Nov. 16.

• MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL -- Francisco Cordero and the Cincinnati Reds finalized a $46 million, four-year contract. The 32-year-old right-hander was second in the NL with 44 saves and a 2.98 ERA last season for Milwaukee. The All-Star joins a bullpen that had 34 saves and a league-worst 5.13 ERA.

• Jon Lester, who came back from a cancer diagnosis in 2006 to win this year's World Series clincher for Boston, was honored Wednesday with the Tony Conigliaro Award for overcoming adversity through spirit, determination and courage.

The 23-year-old pitcher was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in August 2006. After cancer treatment during the offseason, he started the year on the disabled list. Lester was recalled in July and finished the regular season 4-0 with a 4.57 ERA.

Lester's grandparents live in the Fort Mill area.

• WNBA -- Marynell Meadors, one of the league's eight original coaches, was introduced as Atlanta's first coach and general manager on Wednesday.

Meadors spent the past three years as an assistant coach for the Washington Mystics. She has spent most of her career as a head coach, including a combined 30 years at Tennessee Tech and Florida State.

Meadors was named the first coach and GM for the WNBA's Charlotte Sting in 1997. She also was director of scouting for the WNBA's Miami Sol in 1999.