Ashton Pankey is transferring from theUniversity of Maryland, basketball coach Mark Turgeonannounced in a statement released by the school on Tuesday. The 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman from the Bronx, N,Y. cited family reasons and the desire to play for a school closer to home. My mom is the rock in my life and I promised her I would take care of her like she did for me, Pankey said in a statement. Therefore, I am choosing to put my family first and look for a school closer to home.After missing all but one minute during the 2010-11 season with a stress fracture in his leg, Pankey averaged 4.7 points and 4.9 rebounds last season while playing in all 32 games. He scored a career-high 17 points against Radford and twice grabbed 11 rebounds. "Ashton was raised in a close-knit home; he and his mother are very close, said Turgeon. We support him in this difficult time. It was great to have Ashton as a part of our program; we appreciate the hard work that he put in academically as well as on the court. He has a lot of potential and we wish him success moving forward.Pankey's announcement comes after guards Terrell Stoglin and Mychal Parker left the program last month. Both players were facing a one year suspension for violating the universitys student-athlete code of conduct. Stoglin announced he is forgoing his collegiate eligibility and is entering the NBA draft.Turgeon's incoming recruiting class is a six-membergroup with four frontcourt options, including post player Shaquille Cleare and stretch power forward Jake Layman.
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 24, 51 days before NFL free agency starts.
—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 41
—NFL Draft (4/26) 92
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 228
Fan questions—Surprise cuts, finding a playmaker
I put out a call for questions on social media and I got so many good ones that I’m splitting them up. Here are Facebook questions today and I’ll hit the best Twitter questions later this week.
Spencer Long could be gone but he is a free agent, so he could not be cut. As far as players under contract, a lot will depend on who they draft and sign in free agency. If they go heavy on the defensive line, Ziggy Hood and Terrell McClain could be in danger of being cut. An influx of defensive back might have Josh Holsey and Deshazor Everett headed out of town.
There won’t be any cuts that save a major amount of cap space. Thek players with the top 15 cap numbers per Over the Cap are all vital to the operation with the possible aforementioned exception of McClain.
The rub is that if you want an instant “bona fide” playmaker you are going to have to invest either a lot of cap dollars or high draft pick. They have invested cap dollars in Reed and, to a lesser extent, Thompson and a No. 1 draft pick in Reed. The plan needs to be to make sure that Reed stays healthy (as best you can) and hope you get 12-14 productive games out of him, get Thompson back in the swing of things, and continue to work with Doctson. Perhaps they can get a mid-round find like the Saints did with Kamara to add to the mix. But for the most part, the Redskins will have to make do with what they have.
The way things stand right now, I’m seeing Vea regarded as more of a late first-round pick than a player who should go in the top half of the round. That could change as the draft process goes on. I think the Redskins need to continue to strengthen their defensive line and if Vea moves up to a high first-round grade or slides to a second they should take a long look at him.
The player I’m keeping my eye on is Jordan Matthews, who spent three years with the Eagles before being trade to Buffalo. He had over 800 yards receiving in each of his three seasons in Philly before a knee injury hampered him last year. He’s 6-3 and still young (26 in Week 1). Sammy Watkins of the Rams is intriguing but he had just 593 receiving yards in 15 games in a Sean McVay’s very productive offense. An older but less expensive option might be Eric Decker of the Titans, who had just 30 fewer receiving yards than Watkins and would be much a much less expensive acquisition albeit as a stopgap.
I see them addressing other needs in the first round. That could change if there is someone there who is just too good to pass up.
Tandler on Twitter
In case you missed it
- No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants more
- Redskins started talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms
- 1-on-1 interviews with Josh Allen, Mason Rudolph and other rookie QBs
- Mason Rudolph would love to play QB for the Redskins
- Vikings QB decisions will be watched closely by the Redskins
- Will Zach Brown stay with the Redskins or go?
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Devon Hall scored 14 points, Kyle Guy had 12 and No. 2 Virginia broke open a close game with a 22-2 run in the second half to win their 11th straight, 61-36 over No. 18 Clemson on Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers (19-1, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who lead the nation in scoring defense, allowed their fewest points of the season.
Clemson led 23-16 before going scoreless in the final 6 minutes of the first half and getting just six points in the first 14 minutes of the second half. Virginia's decisive burst stretched its lead from 30-27 early in the second to 52-29 with 6:48 remaining.
Gabe DeVoe scored 11 points, all in the first 12 minutes, and was the only player to score in double figures for the Tigers (16-4, 5-3). They shot 31.9 percent (15-47) and scored just 13 points in the second half.
Clemson: The Tigers played their first game since losing No. 2 scorer and rebounder Donte Grantham to a torn ACL suffered against Notre Dame, and after getting off to a fast start against Virginia, seemed to be lacking an offensive identity. DeVoe scored 11 points in the first 12 minutes, but none thereafter and top scorer Marcquise Reed (16 points per game) managed only six in 33 minutes. He finished 3 for 10 from the field.
Virginia: The Cavaliers played without their best defender, Isaiah Wilkins, for most of the second half after he appeared to hit the floor hard while being fouled late in the first half. Wilkins didn't participate in warmups before the second half, but started and played only briefly.
Clemson stays on the road and heads to Georgia Tech for a game Sunday.
Virginia faces its toughest test to date, playing at No. 4 Duke on Saturday night.