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Leading Off

Dec. 08, 2014
Dec. 08, 2014

Table of Contents
Dec. 8, 2014

INBOX
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
NFL SHORTIES
JOSE ALTUVE
  • The NFL isn't the only place where big hits come in small packages. Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is among the majors' shortest players, but with his lightning reflexes and refined mechanics the AL batting champ doesn't produce like it

COLLEGE SPORTS
NBA
  • Anthony Davis's rapid rise from overlooked high school junior to NBA phenom mirrors his teenage growth spurt. The Pelicans' do-it-all big man with lofty goals is off to a historic start this season—and he's only 21

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Leading Off

PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY TOM LYNN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDBadger Of Honor Melvin Gordon's season is beginning to sound like a Bunyanesque tale, and not just because the junior running back helped Wisconsin beat Minnesota 34--24 last Saturday to claim the Paul Bunyan Axe. Gordon rushed for 151 yards on 29 carries—and that was a down game for the nation's leading rusher, the first time since Nov. 1 that he hadn't cracked 200 yards. Gordon did set the Big Ten rushing record against the Gophers, and with 2,260 yards he has a chance to break Barry Sanders's single-season mark of 2,628 (page 32).PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY BILL BAPTIST NBAE/GETTY IMAGESPrayer Jordan Sometimes even NBA players just have to stop and watch when one of their own tries an especially dicey aerial maneuver. Such was the case last Friday when Clippers center DeAndre Jordan went up for a reverse layup against the Rockets: You can almost see the thought bubbles—Which Jordan does he think he is?—emanating from his earthbound teammates and opponents. Jordan's bid for highlight-show glory was unsuccessful but he fared better in areas that matter. He had a game-high 13 rebounds, and L.A. won 102--85.PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY GARY LLOYD MCCULLOUGH FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDSoaking In the View From the northeast pool at Jacksonville's EverBank Field, Hailey Ward (left) and Addison Messina of Daytona Beach floated as the Jaguars floundered on Sunday during the first half against the Giants. Entering the game 1--10, the Jags trailed 21--3 at intermission and seemed dead in the water, but a pair of defensive touchdowns and a last-minute field goal buoyed them to a 25--24 victory.