Wizards

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Cody Zeller and Christian Watford gave Bryant a rude welcome to big-time college basketball

The 7-foot center had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Watford added 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 1 Indiana past the Bulldogs 97-54 on Friday night.

Indiana, which has its first No. 1 ranking in 33 years, has now won 15 consecutive season openers and 28 straight home openers.

Bryant, a school from Rhode Island, was playing its first game as a full-time Division I member, and it marked the first time the school had ever faced America's No. 1 team.

The Northeastern Conference member was overmatched. While Alex Francis finished with 15 points and Frankie Dobbs has 12, the Bulldogs had no answers for Indiana's front-line duo.

Zeller, a national player of the year candidate, had 12 points and five rebounds in the first half despite missing 4 of 6 from the free throw line, and he was such a big mismatch inside that Bryant's two tallest players - Andrew Scocca and Vlad Kondratyev - combined for seven fouls less than 16 minutes in.

NO. 3 KENTUCKY 72, MARYLAND 69

NEW YORK (AP) - Junior guard Jarrod Polson scored 10 points and made the clinching free throws with 7.7 seconds to play as Kentucky held off a furious second-half rally by Maryland.

Kyle Wiltjer led Kentucky with 19 points in the second game of the Barclays Center Classic, the first college basketball games played in the new arena in Brooklyn. Archie Goodwin had 16 points for the defending national champions.

Seven-foot-1 sophomore Alex Len led Maryland with 23 points and 12 rebounds, both career highs. His rare three-point play - he made the first free throw then rebounded his own miss of the second - brought the Terrapins within 70-69 with 8.9 seconds left.

Polson was fouled with 7.7 seconds left and made two free throws for a 72-69 lead.

Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard missed the final shot but it was only a 2-point attempt.

NO. 5 MICHIGAN 100, SLIPPERY ROCK 62

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points, surpassing 1,000 for his career in Michigan's win over Slippery Rock.

Trey Burke added 21 points for the Wolverines and freshman Glenn Robinson III had 10 points and eight rebounds. Michigan led 44-30 at halftime and had little difficulty in its season opener against a Division II opponent.

In an odd arrangement, the game counted toward Michigan's record but was considered an exhibition for Slippery Rock. Devin Taylor led the visitors with 14 points.

Hardaway made all five of his 3-point attempts, and the Wolverines went 12 of 19 from beyond the arc in their highest-scoring game since 2007.

Michigan entered with its highest preseason ranking since 1993.

NO. 6 N.C. STATE 97, MIAMI (OHIO) 59

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Richard Howell had 16 points and 10 rebounds to help North Carolina State beat Miami (Ohio) in the season opener for both teams.

Lorenzo Brown added 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Wolfpack, who scored the game's first 10 points and led by 19 at halftime en route to an easy win that kicked off a season of high expectations.

N.C. State did nothing to diminish fan excitement that had built since being named the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference favorite for the first time in nearly four decades, shooting 61 percent and leading by 43 points for its 19th straight season-opening victory.

Allen Roberts scored 16 points for Miami, which shot 22 percent in the first half and finished at 32 percent in the first game under new coach John Cooper.

NO. 7 KANSAS 74, SE MISSOURI STATE 55

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Ben McLemore had nine points, 12 rebounds and five assists in his Kansas debut, helping the Jayhawks pulled away from pesky Southeast Missouri State.

Jeff Withey finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman Perry Ellis added 15 points and eight boards for the Jayhawks, who have won 40 straight season openers at Allen Fieldhouse.

This one was a bit tougher than expected.

The Redhawks managed to close within six midway through the second half, but Kansas slowly extended the lead behind its slew of freshmen to put the game away.

Nick Niemczyk finished with 14 points for the Redhawks, who have lost seven straight season openers, all on the road, and remain winless in six tries against Big 12 schools.

NO. 8 DUKE 74, GEORGIA STATE 55

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Mason Plumlee had 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead Duke to the win over Georgia State.

Seth Curry added 15 points and surprise starter Tyler Thornton had 13 for the Blue Devils.

They shot 51 percent while holding the Panthers to 37 percent and keeping them without a field goal for 5 minutes during a run early in the second half that propelled them to their 31st straight home-opening victory.

Next up for Duke: A showdown with third-ranked defending national champion Kentucky in Atlanta on Tuesday night.

Devonta White had 19 points and R.J. Hunter scored 14 to lead Georgia State, which never got closer than 12 points in the second half and turned it over 16 times.

NO. 11 NORTH CAROLINA 76, GARDNER-WEBB 59

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - James Michael McAdoo set career highs with 26 points and 14 rebounds to help North Carolina beat Gardner-Webb.

McAdoo shot 10 of 20 from the field in the first game of the season for both teams. Dexter Strickland added 13 points for the Tar Heels, who improved to 91-12 in openers.

North Carolina overcame 18 turnovers, 1-of-12 shooting from 3-point range and a 9-of-19 mark at the free throw line to win for the 80th time in its last 82 home openers.

Donta Harper and Max Landis scored 13 points each to lead Gardner-Webb, which dropped to 0-16 against ACC competition. Mike Byron added 10 for the Bulldogs.

North Carolina took its biggest lead at 57-39 midway through the second half. The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 63-54 with 4:55 remaining before the Tar Heels answered with an 8-0 run.

CONNECTICUT 66, NO. 14 MICHIGAN STATE 62

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) - Shabazz Napier scored 25 points and UConn upset Michigan State in the Armed Forces Classic, Kevin Ollie's first game as the Huskies' head coach.

UConn led most of the way and by as many as 16 points in the first half of the game, which was played in a hangar at the United States' Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

Keith Appling scored 17 points and Branden Dawson had 15 points for Michigan State.

Gary Harris scored to pull the Spartans to 62-60, but Denzel Valentine and Appling each missed a shot in the last minute that would have tied the game, forcing Michigan State to foul.

Napier hit four free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the win.

This marks the first season someone other than Jim Calhoun has been UConn's head coach since Dom Perno coached his final game in 1986.

NO. 16 CREIGHTON 71, N. TEXAS 51

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Doug McDermott had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Creighton to a season-opening victory over North Texas.

About a dozen NBA scouts were on hand to watch McDermott, the returning first-team All-American, and North Texas' Tony Mitchell, projected as a possible lottery pick if he turns pro after this season.

Mitchell finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.

Creighton led 39-25 at halftime and opened the second half on a 14-5 run, with Avery Dingman making back-to-back 3-pointers to stretch the lead to 53-30.

Austin Chatman added 11 points and reserve Avery Dingman had 10 for the Bluejays, who have won 39 straight November regular-season home games.

NO. 19 BAYLOR 99, LEHIGH 77

WACO, Texas (AP) - Baylor freshman center Isaiah Austin scored 22 points in 17 minutes before spraining his right ankle, and Corey Jefferson had 26 points for the Baylor in a season-opening victory over Lehigh.

The 7-foot-1 Austin, a McDonald's All-American considered one of the nation's top freshmen, went to the ground after making a turnaround jumper with about 16 minutes left. He apparently stepped on somebody else's foot coming down.

Austin was 10-of-12 shooting, including three dunks and two 3-pointers. Austin was helped off the floor but returned to the bench before the end of the game.

Preseason AP All-American C.J. McCollum had 36 points for the Mountain Hawks, who as a No. 15 seed in last season's NCAA tournament upset Duke.

NO. 21 GONZAGA 103, SOUTHERN UTAH 65

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Freshman Przemek Karnowski scored 22 points to lead Gonzaga over Southern Utah in the season opener for both teams.

Karnowski, a highly touted 7-foot-1 center from Poland, led six players in double figures. Guy Landry Edi scored a career-high 16 points, Sam Dower had 15, Elias Harris and David Stockton had 12 apiece and Kevin Pangos added 10.

Jackson Stevenett led Southern Utah with 29 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Waded Collie added 10 points for the Thunderbirds.

Gonzaga, which was never threatened after halftime, opened the second half with a 12-2 run and allowed only one Southern Utah field goal in the first 5 minutes. A free throw by Gary Bell Jr. gave the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the night at 83-45 with 7:47 left.

SOUTH ALABAMA 76, NO. 25 FLORIDA ST. 71

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Antoine Allen hit four 3-pointers and scored 21 points to lead South Alabama to a season-opening upset of Florida State.

Augustine Rubit added 12 points and Mychal Ammons had 11 points and 11 rebounds for South Alabama, which shot 9 of 15 from 3-point range.

Terry Whisnant and Montay Brandon had 11 points apiece for the Seminoles, the defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions. Senior guard Michael Snaer had 10 points at halftime but was held scoreless in the second half. He shot 2 of 11 in the game. Terrance Shannon returned from a shoulder injury to score 10 points for Florida State.

Florida State, which had 17 turnovers and just nine assists, had won 11 straight season openers.

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Ty Lawson is playing a bigger role than anyone could have predicted for Wizards vs. Raptors

Ty Lawson is playing a bigger role than anyone could have predicted for Wizards vs. Raptors

The biggest surprise of the Wizards-Raptors series through two games, at least from Washington's perspective, has to be the fact Ty Lawson has very quickly earned a prominent role in Scott Brooks' playoff rotation.

Lawson, 30, was signed the day after the regular season and after he played much of 2017-18 in China with the Shandong Golden Stars. He did not appear in one game with the Wizards or any other NBA team during the regular season, yet he was the first point guard off the bench in Game 2.

When John Wall picked up two quick fouls, it was Lawson who got the nod, not Tomas Satoransky. Lawson ended up playing 31 minutes, more than Satoransky and fellow backup point guard Tim Frazier have earned combined through two games.

Though the Wizards had three point guards on their bench behind Wall before Lawson even signed, he has apparently surpassed them all on the depth chart. Satoransky is the most surprising, given he played quite well during the regular season.

Satoransky averaged 7.2 points, 3.9 assists and shot a team-best 46.5 percent from three. He had the highest offensive rating (124) on the team.

Lawson, though, played quite well in Game 2. He put up 14 points, eight assists and three rebounds while shooting 4-for-5 from three.

Lawson outscored four of the Wizards' five starters. Not bad for his first game.

"He did everything I knew he was capable of doing," Brooks said. "I’ve seen him do it for many, many years. He’s tough, he’s a competitor. He competes and pushes the pace. He plays defense. I liked the spirit."

Lawson provided a noticeable spark. He is still quick and aggressive with the ball, not afraid to look for his own shot, and played physical defense against the Raptors. Lawson ended the night plus-8 in the box score in a game the Wizards lost by 11.

"It’s good to see him get into a game and be able to produce for us," guard Bradley Beal said.

Given the Wizards lost Game 2 and face an 0-2 deficit in their series, it is likely that Brooks continues to alter his rotation in the coming games. He could go back to Satoransky more often, knowing he had some solid games against Toronto in the regular season, including on March 2 when he had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Satoransky could see more time at shooting guard or small forward and could play alongside Lawson. That might be Satoransky's best bet because Lawson did nothing in Game 2 to squander the opportunity.

For a team whose effort has been questioned by their head coach, Lawson's energy and urgency was noteworthy. He brought the edge of a guy playing for his NBA career, knowing a good playoff series could earn him a contract next season. 

Clearly, the way Lawson played was refreshing for Brooks given how long he kept him out on the floor. He may have come out of nowhere, but it looks like Lawson is here to stay.

MORE ON THE WIZARDS-RAPTORS SERIES:

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BROOKS MAY CHANGE STARTING LINEUP FOR GAME 3

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Can Tom Wilson be an X-factor for Caps after finding redemption in Game 3?

Can Tom Wilson be an X-factor for Caps after finding redemption in Game 3?

When Mike Babcock essentially dismissed any concern over the impact Tom Wilson could have on a series, Wilson responded. In the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017, the Caps' forward scored the overtime winner in Game 1 and saved the series in Game 3 with a sweep of the puck off the goal line followed by a goal of his own soon after.

If you dismissed Wilson after Game 1 and Game 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Barry Trotz believes you can expect a similar answer this year after how he played in Game 3.

"I think his game was really good and that will maybe give some trust and confidence in him going forward," Trotz said Wednesday on a conference call with the media.

Wilson's impact in the first round against Toronto was immediate. As a top-line winger this season, expectations for him were high heading into the playoffs. His start to the series, however, left a lot to be desired.

Through the first two games, Wilson did not record a single shot on goal. What's worse, he took a critical penalty in each game that allowed the Blue Jackets to tie the score on each resulting power play.

You can't compare Wilson's impact on the Caps to that of a player like Alex Ovechkin, but a top-line player has to have some sort of positive impact or, at the very least, not be a detriment to his team.

In Game 3, postseason Tom finally delivered.

Wilson recorded six shots on goal and scored Washington's first goal of the game, deflecting in a shot from Matt Niskanen.

"[Wilson's] taken a lot of criticism for his first two games and some of the penalties and the effect it's had on the game," Trotz said. "I think it's given him some confidence. He's a bright young man, he's a leader, he's an all-in guy."

The key now will be for Wilson to build on that confidence.

Columbus has a number of star players such as Artemi Panarin, Seth Jones and Sergei Bobrovsky. What they do not have, however, is the scoring depth to match the Caps. Getting key contributions from players like Wilson in addition to the top playmakers like Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will make it very hard for the Blue Jackets to keep up.

"[Wilson] had a big effect last year in the first round," Trotz said. "I think he can have a big effect in this series, in this first round."

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