Redskins

Ewing headlines NCAA Hall of Fame induction

Ewing headlines NCAA Hall of Fame induction

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) When Patrick Ewing rekindles the memories of his four years at Georgetown, there's a contented smile on his face.

``I felt like I came into college a boy and left a man,'' said Ewing, the headliner in the 2012 National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame induction class. ``Coach (John) Thompson and all the people at Georgetown did an outstanding job of helping me, not only as a basketball player but also as a human being.''

Ewing's stellar college career came during an era of celebrated centers. From 1983 through 1985, the No. 1 overall picks in the NBA draft were centers Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ewing. Sampson and Olajuwon didn't come away with NCAA titles, but Ewing did in 1984 when Georgetown defeated Houston 84-75 in the championship game. It was the highlight of a four-year span in which the 7-foot Ewing led his team to three NCAA championship games and a 121-23 record.

``I was fortunate to be able to go to three of them and blessed to have won one,'' Ewing said. ``I treasure every victory that we had.''

The Sunday induction ceremony also honored players Earl ``The Pearl'' Monroe, Phil Ford, Clyde Lovellette, Kenny Sailors and Willis Reed; coaches Joe B. Hall and Dave Robbins and contributors Jim Host and Joe Dean Sr.

Ewing went on to a 15-year pro career with the New York Knicks, but Georgetown and Thompson have always remained close to his heart.

``The main reason I chose to go to Georgetown was coach Thompson,'' Ewing said. ``He played the center position. And also, he was a man that I could aspire to be like.''

Ewing was a dominating defender in college and his shot-blocking and intimidation often overshadowed his offense. As he matured in the pros, he became one of the great jump-shooting centers of all time.

``I've always been able to shoot,'' Ewing said. ``I worked on my shooting tirelessly as a young player. But it was just that coach Thompson told me `son, get the ball inside and work from the inside out.'''

Monroe also became a Knick, but traveled a much different path from Ewing to get there. With his trademark spin move, Monroe averaged 41.5 points per game as a senior for Division II Winston-Salem.

Monroe hopes his induction can serve as an inspiration for small college players who are far removed from the Division I spotlight.

``There are lots of fine basketball players who aren't in Division I,'' Monroe said. ``There's only room for five guys on the court. There are some really fine players in Division II, Division III, NAIA. Maybe that point will be reinforced with me being here, representing a small school.''

Reed, who wasn't able to attend Sunday's ceremony, had an outstanding college career at Grambling before gaining fame with the Knicks. He led Grambling to three conference titles and three national championship tournaments, including a national title in 1961.

Lovellette was part of the tradition-rich Kansas program, playing for Hall of Fame coach Phog Allen. In 1952, he led the nation with a 28.6 point average while Kansas earned a national title. He remains the only Division I player to have accomplished that dual feat.

Sailors, 91, was credited with revolutionizing the modern day jump shot. He led Wyoming to the 1943 NCAA title.

``I've been asked by quite a few people if I'm happy to be here. When you're (going on) 92 years of age, you're happy to be anywhere,'' Sailors said, drawing a round of laughter.

Ford, a three-time All-American point guard who ran coach Dean Smith's Four Corners offense at North Carolina, was unable to attend the induction ceremony. As a senior, Ford won the Wooden Award and was the consensus national Player of the Year.

Hall embraced the pressure associated with following the legendary Adolph Rupp as head coach at Kentucky. He guided the Wildcats for 13 years, captured eight Southeastern Conference titles and and won a national championship in 1978 when forward Jack Givens exploded for 42 points in the finale against Duke.

Hall recalls the Blue Devils playing a zone in which the guards came way out to contest outside shooters while the big men stayed back near the baseline. That left a gap in which Givens flashed to the free-throw line area for a series of uncontested short jumpers.

``As soon as we saw how they were playing their zone, we didn't do anything except feed Jack Givens,'' Hall said. ``He was a great mid-range shooter.''

Robbins went 713-194 in 30 years at Virginia Union and won three Division II national titles. He sent fierce rebounders Charles Oakley and Ben Wallace to the NBA. Host was honored for his work in the marketing of college basketball while Dean helped popularize college basketball largely as a television analyst. He was known for referring to a sweet shot that swished through as ``string music.''

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The Redskins are going to draft the best available player, unless they aren't

The Redskins are going to draft the best available player, unless they aren't

When their turn comes up in this draft, the Redskins are going to pick the best available player on the board. Unless they’re not. 

That is the mixed message delivered on Tuesday by Doug Williams, the team’s senior vice president for player personnel during his pre-draft press conference on Tuesday. 

Williams was asked what nearly every NFL personnel executive has been asked during this round of draft press conferences: Will the Redskins take the best player on the board or would they draft for need?

And Williams gave an answer similar to the ones that all of the other personnel guys gave. 

“You hear this cliché all the time, it’s always going to be the best player available, because at the same time if you’re looking for a need, the player you’re looking for a need might not be graded as high as the guy that’s on that board,” he said. 

That makes some fans crazy as they believe that you must fill needs in the draft. But reaching to fill needs is a good way to have a mediocre, disjointed draft. 

But there are times when the best available player is not the player the Redskins will pick. The topic of injuries came up and Williams talked about the situation at offensive tackle. Morgan Moses and Trent Williams currently are rehabbing from injuries and they won’t take the field during OTAs and minicamp. 

Doug Williams said that both players should be ready for training camp. He didn’t mention it but Trent Williams and Moses are signed for the next three and five years, respectively. That means that there is no need for a tackle in at least the first two rounds, and Williams agrees. 

“We can’t go into the draft drafting tackles, you know,” he said. 

So if, say, offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey of Notre Dame has the highest grade on the Redskins’ board when pick 13 comes up, they will not be taking the player with the best grade. They will “reach”, perhaps only slightly, to take a player at another position. 

The Redskins have a similar situation at quarterback. They are committed to Alex Smith for at least three seasons and it would be foolish to spend a high pick on a quarterback. Williams said that the Redskins are not in the quarterback business this year. If there is a top QB still on the board at pick 13, it’s likely that Williams and Bruce Allen would be looking for phone calls from teams that want to trade up and get their signal caller. 

The true test of how the team chooses needs vs. best available could well come this year. Let’s say that Da’Ron Payne, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Tremaine Edmunds are all on the board when the Redskins’ pick comes up. While each team has its own grades, you probably won’t find many that don’t have Fitzpatrick and Edmunds a clear cut above Payne. The Redskins have needs on the defensive line, not so much at inside linebacker or in the secondary. Picking Payne at that point could be interpreted as reaching to fill a need while leaving more talented and more versatile players on the board. Going best available would almost surely mean choosing between Fitzpatrick and Edmunds. 

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

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2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

2018 NBA Playoffs Wizards-Raptors Game 5: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter and the Washington Wizards battle Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Serge Ibaka and the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night in Game 5 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:

GAME 5: WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT TORONTO RAPTORS

Series: Series tied 2-2
Where: Air Canada Centre
Tip-off: 7:02 p.m. (earlier tipoff than usual)
TV: NBC Sports Washington (pregame coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: NBCSportsWashington.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Pivotal game

The Wizards have done their part in winning both games at home to even up this series at 2-2. Now comes Game 5, which could very well determine who takes this series.

Winners of Game 5 in a seven-game series tied at 2-2 hold a 164-34 (.828) record all-time. That means teams that lose Game 5 come back to win the final two games and the series only 17.2 percent of the time.

The Wizards need to get this one and they know all too well why. Last year they were in this same position in their second round series against the Boston Celtics. They went down 0-2, won the next two games but then lost Game 5 and ultimately the series in seven games.

Road warriors

The Wizards will also have to do something they have yet to do in a while in Game 5 and that is win on the road. Though they have won eight straight home postseason games, they have lost their last six on the road. It goes back to that Celtics series when Washington lost all four games in Boston. The last time they won on the road in the playoffs was Game 6 last year against the Hawks.

The Raptors are particularly tough in Toronto. They were 34-7 this season at home, tied with the Houston Rockets for the best record in the NBA. 

The recent historical odds are also in Toronto's favor. Since 2003, the home team has won each of the first four games in a seven-game series 35 times. In those series, the home team has held a Game 5 record of 22-13 and a series record of 26-9. If the Raptors get Game 5, history will be on their side to go on to win the series.

Can Otto get going?

Games 3 and 4 in Washington saw All-Star Bradley Beal break out to score 28 and 31 points. Will we see the same from Otto Porter before this series is over?

Game 4 seemed to suggest that is possible. After scoring only one point in the first half, Porter erupted for 10 points in the third quarter alone. Though he only scored 12 points in the game overall, it was the most aggressive we have seen him all series.

Porter is averaging just 10.3 points per game through four playoff games. He is shooting 50 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from three, and as long as the Wizards are winning he won't complain, but Porter can do much more than that on offense. If he starts scoring more, the Wizards will be tough to stop.

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MORE FROM WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

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WALL IS BOYCOTTING DRAKE'S MUSIC DURING SERIES

OUBRE IS HELPING THE WIZARDS WIN IN MANY WAYS

For more on the Wizards-Raptors series, check out or latest Wizards Tipoff podcast: