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Illinois hires Cubit as offensive coordinator

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Illinois hires Cubit as offensive coordinator

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois coach Tim Beckman returned to his Mid-American Conference past on Monday and hired Bill Cubit as the new offensive coordinator for the Illini.

Cubit was fired last year as coach at Western Michigan after a 4-8 season. He replaces Chris Beatty and Bill Gonzales, who were co-coordinators last season and whose offense was last in the Big Ten in both points per game (16.7) and total offense (296.7 yards a game).

Beatty was fired earlier this month while Gonzales will stay at Illinois as wide receivers coach.

Cubit said he was looking forward to working for Beckman, a former coach at MAC member Toledo.

``I have a lot of respect for him and his teams,'' Cubit said. ``I'm enthused about joining a great staff and being a part of the Illinois football tradition. I look forward to getting to work immediately and competing for a Big Ten championship.''

Beckman praised the 59-year-old Cubit's work as an offensive coach.

``He has had many extremely productive offensive teams during his career,'' Beckman said. ``Bill has called plays for many years as an offensive coordinator and as a head coach, and has developed several outstanding quarterbacks.''

Beckman is looking for big improvement on both sides of the ball after a 2-10 season, including nine losses in a row after a 2-1 start. One of those two wins was over Western Michigan.

So far the only announced changes have been on the offensive side of the ball.

Even in a down season the Western Michigan offense under Cubit was solid. The Broncos averaged 29.3 points a game, (sixth in the MAC), and were fourth in the conference in total yards at 434.2. They averaged 289.8 yards passing (third in the MAC) and 149.5 yards rushing (10th).

Cubit was 51-47 in eight seasons at Western Michigan, including three bowl appearances. He was 1-1 against Illinois, knocking off Ron Zook's Illini in 2008.

Before becoming head coach at Western Michigan, Cubit was offensive coordinator at Stanford, Rutgers and Missouri. He also has been head coach at Division III Widener University in Pennsylvania and an assistant coach at several other schools. Cubit was a quarterback and receiver at Delaware in the early 1970s.

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Follow David Mercer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidmercerap

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Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards set bring back familiar face, sources confirm

Remember Ramon Sessions? Wizards set bring back familiar face, sources confirm

For the Wizards, with a tough stretch coming and with John Wall still sidelined, depth and health is of the utmost importance.

With the team set to begin the second half of the 2018 NBA season on Thursday night against the Cavaliers, Scott Brooks and company decided to make a move to shore up their backcourt depth, a commodity the team cannot have enough of.

Veteran guard Ramon Sessions, who spent the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons in Washington, D.C., has been signed by the Wizards to a ten-day contract, NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller confirms.

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The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN . Sessions played in 110 games for the Wizards over the course of his two seasons, playing in all 82 games during the 2015-16 season.

He joins the Wizards again having been waived by the New York Knicks on Jan. 13. Sessions averaged 12.8 mpg in 13 games for the Knicks.

Sessions is rejoining a former team for the third time in his career, having played in Milwaukee and Charlotte on two separate occasions.

 

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Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Wizards at Cavs: TV, live stream and radio info, things to watch

Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle LeBron James, George Hill, Larry Nance, Jr. and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

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

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Where: Quicken Loans Arena
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: TNT (pre- and postgame coverage on NBC Sports Washington Plus)
Live stream: TNTdrama.com
Radio: 1500 AM

Back in action

The Wizards return to the court after a week-long layoff due to the All-Star break. Add in the fact that they had three days off before their last game and this will be just the second game for the Wizards in the last 12 days. What is this, football?

The Wizards will try to overcome the rust to keep their momentum going. They entered the All-Star break having won seven of their last nine games. Though the time off was needed due to a wide array of injuries, the Wizards had a good thing going and will aim to recapture that against a good Cavs team.

PODCAST: BIGGEST STORYLINES COMING OUT OF ALL-STAR BREAK

Tough stretch

The Wizards come back with a game against the Cavs, a difficult first assignment after such a long layoff. But this is just the beginning of what will be a very difficult part of their schedule. In their next 17 games, the Wizards will play 15 times against teams currently holding playoff spots. That includes the Warriors, Celtics, Spurs and Raptors.

The schedule is tough beyond their opponents. Four times in the next three weeks they will play back-to-back games and they have five games in the next seven nights. Hopefully the players recharged their batteries because it won't be easy.

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New-look Cavs

The Wizards and Cavs have played twice this season already and Cleveland took both of those matchups. However, that was all before the trade deadline when the Cavs overhauled their roster. They have won all three of their games since and look rejuvenated with younger players.

Now surrounding LeBron James are a host of new faces like George HIll, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards match up with this new group.

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