Redskins

Buckeyes lose their touch and a game, 74-66

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Buckeyes lose their touch and a game, 74-66

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Moments after No. 7 Ohio State's 74-66 loss to ninth-ranked Kansas on Saturday night, coach Thad Matta was asked about his team's awful shooting.

He answered by making a crack that was closer to gallows humor.

``I asked Santa for Christmas to improve our jump shooting,'' he said.

Maybe he'll get that gift. But it sure didn't arrive early.

The Buckeyes misfired again and again - occasionally when they were unguarded, standing wide open on the perimeter - in losing to the Jayhawks (10-1).

Ohio State shot just 31 percent (20 of 65 from the field) for the game, losing despite getting 16 more attempts. In the second half, with the game on the line, the Buckeyes made only 9 of 36 shots (25 percent), including a critical 10-minute span in which they didn't have a field goal.

Kansas plays good defense. On this night, it was hard to determine how much of the misfires were attributable to the Jayhawks' defense and how much to an Ohio State team that has had difficulty making shots all season.

``(Kansas) didn't really do anything special,'' said Deshaun Thomas, who led the Buckeyes with 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting. ``We didn't make shots. We had great shots at the basket.''

Thomas, Shannon Scott (who had a career-high 15 points) and point guard Aaron Craft were asked if the Buckeyes had ever had a span in a practice or a game in which they had so much difficulty making a simple field goal.

``Not really,'' said Craft, who was 2 for 9 shooting.

The Buckeyes (9-2) ran off a 14-0 spurt in the first half against the Jayhawks to turn a six-point deficit into an eight-point lead. They did it by getting points in transition, forcing turnovers that led to layups and making the shots that they did get.

``They weren't getting back on defense,'' Scott said. ``We hurried down and we got some easy layups. The second half they started getting back on us, so it was hard to get layups.''

Everything was harder in the second half, it seemed.

``There was one point in the second half where I turned to the bench and I said, `Hey, let's call a play where we score,''' Matta said.

Thomas' 3-pointer with 18:25 left gave Ohio State a 40-37 lead. The Buckeyes' next basket - Amir Williams' bucket inside off a Thomas assist at the 8:15 mark - cut the Kansas lead to 53-50.

In 19 possessions, they were 0 for 12 from the field with two turnovers, scoring eight points on foul shots.

Ahead 56-52 with 7 minutes left, Kansas pulled away thanks to its brilliant leading scorer. Redshirt freshman Ben McLemore hit a pair of foul shots and then flipped in a 15-foot jumper that bounced not once, not twice, but three times before falling through. Off an inbounds pass, McLemore then came off a back pick and dunked to push the lead to 62-52 with 5 minutes left.

The Buckeyes never got closer than six points again.

``We knew we had to play obviously better than we did tonight,'' Matta said.

Sam Thompson was 3 for 10 and one of those buckets was a layup. Evan Ravenel went 0 for 2, Lenzelle Smith Jr. made just 3 of 13 shots, Scott was 5 of 12, LaQuinton Ross 1 of 5 and Amir Williams 2 of 3.

Almost half of the Buckeyes' shots were behind the arc, too. They made 8 of 31 3-pointers (26 percent), meaning they were only 12 of 34 closer in (35 percent).

``We knew they were going to shoot 3s, we didn't know they were going to shoot that many,'' Kansas coach Bill Self said. ``They became a jump-shooting team, and that helped us.''

Now the Buckeyes have one more tuneup before opening Big Ten play on Jan. 2 at home against Nebraska.

Craft was asked what he had learned about his team against Kansas.

``We came out battling. We didn't really back down,'' he said. ``The worst thing we can do is to overcomplicate things and try to look for secrets and easy shortcuts. It comes down to getting tough, getting the stops when we need to and making shots when we need to. They did that tonight, and we didn't.''

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Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Game 5 Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

Alex Ovechkin said the Caps would return to Washington with a tied series. The Caps captain is a man of his word as the Caps won both Game 3 and Game 4 to even up the series at two games apiece.

John Tortorella had no answers after seeing his Columbus Blue Jackets fall in Game 4, but he will have to figure things out quickly as the series shifts back to Washington for a pivotal Game 5.

The Caps return home with two straight wins and all the momentum. There's just one problem: No one seemingly can win at home.

What: Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Round 1, Game 5

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

When: 3:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC.

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 on NBC Sports' live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

The Capitals take on the Blue Jackets in Game 5 on Saturday, April 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET in Washington. The series is tied 2-2.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME ON?

Capitals-Blue Jackets, Game 5 will be broadcast on NBC. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 2:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 2:30 p.m. Tune back to NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 6:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

2:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
2:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
3:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Blue Jackets on NBC
5:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
6:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Capitals-Blue Jackets Game 5 is available to stream live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS GAME?

Here are the Caps' projected lines:

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

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

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Andre Burakovsky (upper-body), Shane Gerisch, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

CAPITALS-BLUE JACKETS 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.

SEE THE CAPITALS VS. BLUE JACKETS FULL SERIES SCHEDULE HERE

CAPITALS SCHEDULE