NCAA

Applewhite taking over play calling at Texas

Applewhite taking over play calling at Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas fans have gilded memories of former quarterback Major Applewhite on the field. Can his reputation survive now that he's in the lightning-rod position of calling the plays for Mack Brown's inconsistent offense?

Applewhite, who has been Texas' co-offensive coordinator the last two seasons, was handed play-calling duties for the Texas bowl game and next season on Wednesday when co-coordinator Bryan Harsin left to become the head coach at Arkansas State. Applewhite will also tutor the Texas quarterbacks.

Applewhite should know as well as anyone the potential storm he faces.

Greg Davis, Texas' offensive coordinator from 1998-2010, coached Applewhite, Vince Young and Colt McCoy, directing some of the most prolific offenses in Texas history before leaving the program under withering criticism from fans after the Longhorns went 5-7 in 2010.

Applewhite has held the co-coordinator title for the last two years while Harsin called the plays. Texas went 16-9 over that span with consecutive blowout losses to Oklahoma. The Longhorns (8-4) play Oregon State (9-3) in the Holiday Bowl.

As a player, Applewhite was a redshirt freshman starter in 1998 when Longhorns running back Ricky Williams rushed for more than 2,000 yards and won the Heisman Trophy. Applewhite led Texas to a 9-5 record in 1999, but in 2000 found himself splitting starts with Chris Simms.

Ironically, Applewhite may be most beloved by Texas fans for a game he didn't win.

By 2001, Applewhite was relegated to the bench as Simms led Texas to a 10-1 record with a chance to play in the national championship game if the Longhorns won the Big 12 title game.

But a rash of early turnovers by Simms put Texas in an early hole against Colorado, a team Texas had beaten soundly during the season. Applewhite relieved Simms and nearly led a dramatic comeback before Texas lost 39-37.

Applewhite was a graduate assistant at Texas for two seasons before coaching stops at Syracuse, Rice and Alabama. Applewhite joined the Texas staff in 2008 as running backs coach.

Harsin's departure prompted other moves on the Texas staff. Wide receivers coach Darrell Wyatt was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Stacy Searels was given the title of assistant head coach for the offense.

Tight ends coach Bruce Chambers was named recruiting coordinator.

VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

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VCU loses fourth consecutive game to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- Javonte Perkins had 25 points as Saint Louis topped VCU 80-62 on Friday night.

Hasahn French had 18 points for Saint Louis (19-8, 8-6 Atlantic 10 Conference). Terrence Hargrove Jr. added 11 points. Jordan Goodwin had 10 points.

Marcus Santos-Silva had 11 points for the Rams (17-10, 7-7), who have now lost four consecutive games. De'Riante Jenkins added 10 points.

Saint Louis plays Saint Joseph's at home on Wednesday. VCU faces UMass on the road on Wednesday.

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Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Tristan Thompson calls Bradley Beal one of the best shooting guards in the league

Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson spoke with reporters after the team's victory over the Wizards Friday night, praising Bradley Beal, who was snubbed from All-Star consideration this season despite averaging nearly 30 points-per-game.

The Cavaliers held the Wizards to just 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Thompson said their main focus was neutralizing Beal.

"The Wizards are really good offensively when they are making their runs," Thompson said postgame. "Bradley Beal is an All-Star in our league. One of the top-three two-guards in our league right now, so we were just trying to make it tough for him."

Beal finished the night with 26 points, but struggled from the floor. Beal shot 9-for-28 from the floor and the Cavaliers' stingy defense was clearly a factor.

Beal and the Wizards will have a chance to get back on track on Sunday night at Capital One Arena when they host the Chicago Bulls for the final time this season.

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