Capitals

Reserves ready to go for short-handed Syracuse

Reserves ready to go for short-handed Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Brandon Triche never flinched when asked how No. 6 Syracuse would cope with its depleted lineup.

After all, that's the Orange way. No complaints here.

``Everybody's ready to play,'' he said. ``Everybody works hard. I guess there's a little bit of inexperience, but we'll be fine.''

With senior forward James Southerland still benched because of an eligibility matter - he's missed four games - and freshman forward Dajuan Coleman on crutches after knee surgery this week that will keep him out at least one month, Syracuse (18-2, 6-1 Big East) is down to seven scholarship players as it gets ready to play at Pittsburgh (17-5, 5-4) Saturday.

Coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse's most famous walk-on, has forewarned everybody to be prepared. Not that they wouldn't be anyway.

``You've got to be ready,'' assistant coach Adrian Autry said. ``As a good coach, you've got to try to be as prepared as possible. They understand that it's a reality that they may be called on to play two or three or four minutes. You just never know. The games still have to be played.''

Reserves Matt Lyde-Cajuste and Griffin Hoffmann, both seniors, and juniors Nolan Hart and Russ DeRemer have played in nine games each, logging a total of 45 minutes between them. Together, they have combined for five whole points, and their action has come in the waning moments of games that had already been decided. None played in the 75-71 overtime loss at Villanova last Saturday.

Lyde-Cajuste walked on to the team as a freshman and was awarded a scholarship this year. At 6-foot-4 and a muscular 210 pounds, he's practiced against the Orange centers and this year has dueled with the forwards, a position he'll likely man if needed.

``Coach says to be ready, and I'm definitely ready,'' said Lyde-Cajuste, who played in 20 games his first three years at Syracuse. ``It's another opportunity, another way for me to help my teammates, do something positive on the court.''

If nothing else, the team is well rested, not having played since Saturday's loss in Philadelphia.

``It gives our players time to see what their roles are going to be. Then the biggest thing is everybody just being comfortable with their position on the floor,'' Triche said. ``Hopefully, we stay out of foul trouble.''

But opposing coaches have been doing all they can to make that happen. Triche has been in trouble three times this season, fouling out against Detroit and reaching four fouls at Arkansas and vs. Villanova at home. Southerland saved the day in two of those wins, scoring a career-high 35 against the Razorbacks and contributing 22 to hold Detroit at bay for Boeheim's 900th victory. Southerland did not play against the Wildcats in the Carrier Dome Jan. 12, his eligibility issue surfacing just before the opening tipoff.

Starting forward Rakeem Christmas, tops on the team with 40 blocks, has also heard his share of whistles. He's been called for four fouls in four of the past six games and has 43 on the season. Backup center Baye Moussa Keita (47) and starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams (45) lead the way.

``I think everybody is going to be ready,'' said Keita, who fouled out in nine minutes against Villanova last Saturday. ``I think we're going to be fine. All the games are going to be tough. We just have to give it everything we have.''

Although Boeheim has nine players averaging 13 or more minutes this season (eight without Southerland), he's been a master juggler when it comes to his lineup.

``Sometimes, you only play seven guys. It all depends on the game,'' Autry said. ``Over the long haul, I think it's something we'll have to deal with, tweak some things here and there, if it continues to be that way. We'll get Dajuan back, hopefully, and see where everybody else goes.''

For his part, Southerland is still practicing with the team and still flashing that infectious smile, hopeful of a resolution to his problem sooner than later.

``He's still with the guys, still with the team, preparing as if he was getting ready to play,'' Autry said. ``His spirits are good. He's doing everything he's supposed to do.''

In the meantime, Lyde-Cajuste is preparing for some more time in the limelight. His biggest foe will most likely be his nerves.

``The jitters will be there to a certain extent, but at the end of the day it's basketball,'' he said. ``I've been playing a more intricate role in practice to get my legs under me.

``I'm very excited.''

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Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 60: Capitals vs. Lightning Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Lightning game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

You can also stream the game online with no cable TV subscription on fuboTV (try for free!).

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals (34-18-7) take on the Lightning (39-17-3) Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Washington.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME ON?

The Capitals-Lightning game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Lightning game:

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

Defensemen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Taylor Chorney

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-LIGHTNING GAME?

The Capitals-Lightning game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

The game is also available to stream, along with all the pregame and postgame shows, on fuboTV (try for free).

CAPITALS-LIGHTNING 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.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201