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Texas Tech frosh guard earns starting role

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Texas Tech frosh guard earns starting role

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Texas Tech freshman Dusty Hannahs learned long ago that when he's wasn't practicing somebody else probably was.

That notion has driven the 19-year-old since his youth growing up in Arkansas. In the family's Little Rock backyard, his father would chase rebounds so Hannah could repeatedly put up more shots.

In seventh grade, he finagled a key to the school gym and spent hours practicing his shot. High school? Different key, same routine.

``Once that happened it was over,'' said Hannahs, who has started the past nine games and is averaging 6.5 points a game. ``I wanted to live there.''

Now, long after Red Raiders fans leave the arena or practice is over, Hannahs lingers. Sometimes under dimmed lights with only the janitorial staff as company.

That time has paid off. After 18 or fewer minutes in Texas Tech's first eight games Hannahs earned a starting role. He has become the go-to guy from beyond the arc, hitting 26 of 66 to lead the team. He's also perfect from the free throw line (9-9) and notched a season-high 21 points in his second start, a win over North Carolina A&T. He hit seven of his 12 shots, going 4 of 8 on 3s.

``And he'll get better as time goes on when he learns how to hunt his shot,'' interim coach Chris Walker said.

The 6-4, 210-pounder's presence has helped the Red Raiders, who despite struggling have already won more conference games than all of last season under coach Billy Gillispie. He resigned in September for medical reasons after getting just one Big 12 victory and matching a school record for the most losses in a single season (23) in his lone year in Lubbock.

The Red Raiders (9-8, 2-4 Big 12) halted a four-game skid Wednesday night when they beat Iowa State 56-51. On Saturday, they travel to Texas and have a shot at beating the struggling Longhorns, who are winless in Big 12 play.

Walker said Hannahs' work ethic in shooting is ``light years'' ahead of his teammates. But there are areas where he needs improvement, like rebounding and defense.

``If you're not making 3s, what other value do you bring to the team?'' Walker said. ``He's not going to be a defensive stopper. That's not his role on the team. I just have to continuously challenge him to be a more well-rounded player.''

Hannahs understands his shortcomings and is working to become better on defense. His confidence is growing each week.

``I just always was getting by, but I needed to learn principles,'' Hannahs said. ``I've come such a long way with the help of the coaches. They're just so good at helping me, letting me know what I'm doing wrong and right.''

Redshirt junior Jaye Crockett, the team's leading scorer (13.1 points per game) and its sixth man, has been impressed by Hannahs and the energy he always brings. When the freshman is on the floor and opponents must respect his shooting prowess, it opens up lanes inside for teammates, Crockett said.

Then there's the extra time Crockett sees Hannahs put in.

``Dusty's in the gym all the time,'' he said. ``He's one of the reasons why I started getting in the gym a lot just trying to work on my game because I've seen a freshman come and his work ethic and all, I was like, `Maybe I need to change something.'''

Hannahs believes the Red Raiders are finding their stride.

``We're just going to keep working,'' he said. ``We all know what we have and once we come together, which is what we feel we are, we're the only people who can stop us.''

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Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

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USA Today Sports Images

Warriors will visit D.C. kids instead of White House when they play Wizards

Instead of visiting the White House when they come to Washington this week to play the Wizards, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors plan to hold an event with D.C.-area kids.

Their invitation was rescinded by president Donald Trump following a back-and-forth between the two sides last year. After the Warriors won the title, they openly questioned whether they should follow the tradition given many of the players and coaches disagree with his policies. Trump took the opportunity away before they came to a final decision.

PODCAST: WIZARDS MAKE A FREE AGENT SIGNING

The Warriors' event will be closed off to the media and held at an undisclosed location. It is set for Tuesday, the day before they play the Wizards at Capital One Arena. The Warriors had the option of holding a ceremony with other politicians in the Democratic party, but decided that would send the wrong message. 

"It's their championship. They got disinvited to the White House, so it's up to them what they wanted to do. So they made their plans," coach Steve Kerr said. "I want the players to have a good day and to do something positive and to enjoy what they're doing."

The Warriors are the first NBA team to make this choice since Trump was elected president. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers held their celebration with president Barack Obama in November. They did so just days after Trump was elected and LeBron James questioned at the time whether he would visit the White House with Trump in office.

RELATED: DURANT MAKES HUGE DONATION TO PG COUNTY SCHOOLS

Sports teams visiting the White House goes back to the mid-1800s. The first World Series title team to visit was the 1924 Washington Senators. By the 1960s, NBA teams were going and by the 1980s NFL and NHL teams made it a tradition.

Entire teams snubbing the White House is unusual, but many players have turned down the opportunity. In the NBA, some famous cases include Larry Bird in 1984 and Michael Jordan in 1991, according to Rolling Stone.

Perhaps the Warriors start a trend, or maybe it will be a one-off thing. Regardless, the alternative they chose is a respectable one. 

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

 

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

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

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

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

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

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres 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. Sabres
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-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres 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
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers 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.

CAPITALS-SABRES 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.