PSU's McGloin, Mauti prep for draft in own way

PSU's McGloin, Mauti prep for draft in own way

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Matt McGloin went Hollywood. Michael Mauti went home to Louisiana.

Miles from the campus they called home for five years, the two Penn State stars have taken different routes to prepare for their shots at the NFL. After helping to lead the Nittany Lions to a surprising 8-4 season, they began to focus on the next level ... in their own way.

``The weather is great,'' said McGloin, a Scranton, Pa., native, joked about training in southern California. ``A lot better than the 6-degree weather back home.''

There was little time to party or hit the beach, though. McGloin, a quarterback who had a six-day-a-week workout schedule, is scheduled to play in the ``Texas vs. The Nation'' all-star game Saturday in Allen, Texas.

``Just landed. Can't wait to start playing ball again,'' McGloin posted on Twitter this week. It would be his first action since the emotional 24-21 win over Wisconsin in the season finale Nov. 24.

Mauti, a linebacker, has been training back in Louisiana. A stellar senior season ended early after Mauti had to miss the finale with a left knee injury. Previous injuries - one to each knee - cut short two seasons in Mauti's career.

He declined to give more specifics on his knee, other than saying that things were going well while training for the NFL Combine. He's already tried to make a good impression with the personal touch of sending hand-written notes to all 32 NFL general managers.

``Feedback,'' he said, ``has been positive so far.''

The stoic Mauti embraced a high-profile leadership role during the challenging 2012 season, working with fellow seniors Michael Zordich and Jordan Hill to help keep most of the team together after the NCAA handed down strict sanctions in July. Mauti will be known as one of the best leaders in the history of the program, but he sought a change of scenery after the draining season.

Mauti was a known commodity when he arrived at Penn State in 2008, becoming a key reserve and special teams player in a freshman year that foreshadowed his future contributions to the program.

The rags-to-riches story of McGloin - Mauti's freshman year roommate - is now well known throughout Pennsylvania. McGloin climbed from a walk-on under former coach Joe Paterno to record-setting starting quarterback in the spiced-up passing attack in 2012 under first-year coach Bill O'Brien, the former offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.

A year for McGloin that included school records for career touchdown passes and single-season passing yards ended with the senior winning the Burlsworth Trophy, an award given to the top college player who started his career as a walk-on.

``I've run New England's offense for a year,'' said McGloin, as if running off bullet points from his resume. ``I've been around an NFL practice, day in and day out.''

After the surprising success of his senior year, the confident quarterback headed to Los Angeles for offseason workouts. He said the workout facility also hosted notable prospects like Alabama offensive lineman Chance Warmack and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.

McGloin was focusing on combine drills like 40-yard dash starts and the broad jump. Throwing mechanics were important areas of concentration, too.

``Finishing throws,'' McGloin said, ``being more balanced and doing a lot with my core and legs for throwing than using my arm.''

He might have a longshot chance at getting drafted, though analysts have predicted McGloin could sign on as a free agent.

Of course, McGloin has already proven he can overcome long odds to succeed at quarterback.

No. 16 UMBC shocks No. 1 Virginia to make NCAA history

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No. 16 UMBC shocks No. 1 Virginia to make NCAA history

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored 28 points, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County pulled off the most shocking upset in NCAA Tournament history, defeating Virginia 75-54 on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed.

Virginia entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after going 31-2 this season, including 20-1 in ACC competition.

But the Cavaliers couldn't get anything generated on offense and the nation's top-ranked defense couldn't contain American East Conference champions.

The 74 points were the most Virginia had allowed this year.

Lyles was the catalyst.

He diced up Virginia's defense in the second half, getting the hole easily on six different occasions and making easy layups. He also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as UMBC built a 16-point lead.

Lyles finished with 23 of his points in the second half and Joe Sherburne finished with 14 points.

The game was tied at halftime, but the Retrievers came out confident and motivated in the second half and built a double-digit lead that Virginia could never erase.

Sherburne scored on an and-one drive and then knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key after a behind-the-back pass from KJ Maura. After Virginia made a foul shot, the shifty 5-foot-8, 140-pound Maura drove the lane for uncontested layup.

A Tony Bennett timeout couldn't stop the bleeding, as Lyles hit two more 3's and Sherburne hit one to extend UMBC's lead to 14 with 14:57 left in the game. Lyles was fouled on a 3-point shot and suddenly the Retrievers led by 16.

A corner 3-pointer and a layups off a fastbreak by Arkel Lamer gave UMBC its biggest lead at 67-48. From there, the party was on as chants of "UMBC" rang through the arena.

It was yet another early exit for the Cavaliers in a season that seemed to hold so much promise.


UMBC: Despite being undersized and unknown, they shocked the world and made history with an epic game.

Virginia: This isn't the first time Virginia has struggled as the No. 1 seed. The Cavaliers trailed by five at halftime in 2014 to Coastal Carolina but went on to win 70-59.


UMBC: Will face No. 9 seed Kansas State on Sunday in the second round.

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Kuznetsov to be evaluated Saturday after leaving Islanders game with "upper body" issue

Kuznetsov to be evaluated Saturday after leaving Islanders game with "upper body" issue

The Capitals may have won the game Friday against the New York Islanders, but now they will wait to see if they also suffered a significant loss.

Kuznetsov left the game in the third period after taking a slash from Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey which sent him sliding head-first into the boards. The team labeled the issue as “upper body” when it was announced he would not return to the game.

Head coach Barry Trotz was tight-lipped afterward on Kuznetsov’s status.

“They're going to re-evaluate him tomorrow and we'll have some clarity hopefully tomorrow,” he said.


You can see the play here:

When Kuznetsov is first slashed he immediately reacts. His feet then catch the stick of goalie Jaroslav Halak which sends him tripping and sliding hard into the boards. He sat on the ice for several minutes afterward and was looked at by the trainer before getting to his feet and slowly making his way to the locker room.

When asked after the game what he felt about the slash, Trotz said only, “Hockey play.”

One of the Capitals’ biggest strengths as a team is their depth down the middle. Any injury to a center, considering it is arguably the most important skating position on the ice, would be significant. An injury to the team’s top-line center would be even more costly.

Kuznetsov leads the team with 28 assists and ranks second in both goals (21) and points (69).