Capitals

Anderson, Arkansas not panicking after tough loss

Anderson, Arkansas not panicking after tough loss

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) Mike Anderson's honeymoon period at Arkansas might very well have come to an end after an uninspired loss at Texas A&M.

The second-year coach, however, is still holding out hope of leading the Razorbacks back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008.

Arkansas (9-5, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) had won five in a row before Wednesday, when the streak came to a crashing halt in the 69-51 loss to the Aggies.

``The one thing, we're not going to panic,'' Anderson said. ``I know that. I mean, if you look at the progress this team has made up until this point, we're going in the right direction. We took a step back.''

That the Razorbacks lost away from home was hardly a surprise, given they were 1-7 in SEC road games last season and have yet to win away from Bud Walton Arena this season. What was surprising was how poorly Arkansas played, scoring a season low that was more than 30 points below their average.

The Razorbacks shot a dismal 4 of 15 from the free throw line and were also outrebounded 51-27, enough to even test the patience of the level-headed Anderson - who singled out guard Mardracus Wade for not grabbing a rebound in 27 minutes of action.

``They've got to hear it loud and clear, `If you're going to be able to play, there's accountability when you're out on the floor,''' Anderson said.

Even more surprising was the performance of second-leading scorer Marshawn Powell. The junior, who was averaging 15.2 points, struggled with foul trouble in 12 minutes of action and was held scoreless for only the second time in his career.

The only other time Powell didn't score in a game was while playing only one minute against Texas Southern in 2010. His struggles away from home this season, however, have become a common occurrence.

Powell is now averaging 7.0 points in four road games, well below his overall average of 14.1. That includes a 2-point effort in a neutral-court loss to Arizona State, and the forward is now shooting just 35.1 percent (13 of 37) away from home.

Arkansas didn't make its players available to talk in advance of Saturday's home game with Vanderbilt (6-7, 0-1), but Anderson refused to call Powell's poor play away from home anything but a coincidence. Anderson said Powell must do a better job of playing through foul trouble, and he has to do a better job of giving the junior the opportunity to do so.

``He's one of our most experienced forwards on our basketball team, so I think it's going to be important,'' Anderson said. ``But hopefully he'll find his stride. He's been pretty good so far this year, and now the SEC play is here, we want him to be even better.''

Anderson also refused to weigh himself down with big-picture concerns about a program that's now 15-16 in its last 31 games dating to last season. The former Alabama-Birmingham and Missouri coach preached a return to the national spotlight for Arkansas - which won the national championship in 1994 - when he was hired to replace the fired John Pelphrey.

The latest loss was a cold reminder of just much work is left to resurrect a program that hasn't made it past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament since 1996.

``I just think it's the mental, the mental toughness has got to get there,'' Anderson said. ``We've got to be a little more mentally tougher, especially when adversity takes place.''

The Razorbacks lost nine of their final 12 games last season, missing the NCAAs for the fourth straight season. Anderson, for one, isn't about to give up just yet on a return to that level - this year or in the future.

``When we started the year, that (was) our goal and is still our goal,'' Anderson said. ``I think, you know, certainly I made the statement to start the year; we want to be an elite program. We will be an elite program. And like I say, everything is a work in progress. We'll continue to work. It's going to happen.''

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-SABRES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197