Bachynski brothers get first real test

Bachynski brothers get first real test

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) As the Bachynski family moved around from one place to another in Canada, John and Yolanda kept track of their children's heights with a piece of wood instead of marks on the wall.

June 12, 1994: Jordan is 4 feet at 5 years old, Dallin 3 feet, 3 1/2 inches at 3.

Sept. 6, 2004: Jordan 6-4 1/2 (he'll grow another two inches in two months) at 15, Dallin 5-11 at 13.

May 10, 2010: Jordan 7-1 1/2 at 20, Dallin 6-11 1/2 at 18.

The final marks were more of an estimation for Jordan, though; the 2X3 they used only went up to 7-1.

``Didn't think we'd need anything bigger,'' John Bachynski said. ``Oops.''

Now, the Bachynski brothers face a new kind of measuring stick, one they've been waiting for pretty much their entire lives: Against each other on a basketball court in a game that means something beyond bragging rights.

After years of battling in the family driveway, the brawny brothers will face each other on opposing teams for the first time Wednesday night when Dallin and the Utah Utes travel to the desert to face Jordan and the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Befitting two 7-foot brothers, this should be big.

``I'm so stoked to play him,'' Dallin said. ``It's all I think about.''

The Bachynskis have waited a long time for this.

Two years apart, their age difference was just enough that they never faced each other on opposing teams, even when they went to different high schools.

As they got older, even the driveway games became scarce.

Jordan suffered an ankle injury his senior season at Centennial High School in Calgary, then spent the next two years in South Florida on a church mission.

When he returned, Dallin was on his way out, leaving for a two-year mission in Croatia after playing a season at Southern Utah.

Now fully grown - Jordan is 7-2, Dallin 7-0 - the brothers are itching to see how they stack up against each other after nearly five years apart.

``My brother has a lot of confidence. Whether that is well-placed or not, we'll find out,'' Jordan said. ``He's been talking a lot, but so have I. It's going to be a battle out there and I'm really excited to go at him.''

It'll be one of college basketball's rarest battles: Two 7-foot brothers playing on opposing teams.

John is 6-foot-5 and was a solid high school player. Yolanda is 6-2 and played collegiately in Canada.

Their daughter, Jessica, is a 6-1 sophomore forward at Utah Valley.

The Bachynskis are all big, but even as Jordan and Dallin shot up the homemade measuring stick, no one saw them growing up to be this tall and certainly not playing Division I basketball against each other.

``It's not something you expect,'' John Bachynski said. ``We never expected them to play DI basketball when they were growing up and then having them both playing with a sister playing DI, it's kind of surreal.''

Jordan and Dallin grew up always trying to top each other, from seeing who could eat more, do more pushups, lift more weight, who could block the other's shot or score over the other.

Monopoly games disintegrated into shouting or shoving matches.

Basketball often was more like wrestling, particularly if someone else was watching.

And, because they were oversized and boisterous, the damage could be extensive, from bloody noses and black eyes to holes in the walls, including a memorable Christmas crash that left Jordan and Dallin spending the afternoon with trowels and plaster.

``It was pretty much a 7-foot hole in the wall because we were wrestling and he either gave me a kidney shot or a punch to the stomach, and I was so mad at him that I picked him up and threw him as hard as I could into the wall,'' Dallin said. ``He ended up kind of going through it and we ended up having to fix it because my mom didn't want to deal with that on Christmas. I do know how to drywall now because of my relationship with my brother.''

Beating his brother has been a driving force for Dallin.

Jordan was always older and bigger, so Dallin spent much of his life trying to catch up to his big brother, live up to his exploits.

The years of getting his shots swatted by Jordan instilled a never-give-up tenacity in Dallin and forced him to develop better ball-handling skills and perimeter shooting.

Now, close to even in size and with a fully-developed game, Dallin gets a shot at showing big bro what he really can do.

``They both work hard, but Dallin has always wanted to catch up,'' Yolanda said. ``He's always been two years younger, two inches shorter. He's tired of being Jordan's little brother and wants to start doing stuff on his own.''

When they meet Wednesday night, it should be more of an even matchup.

Dallin played well early in the season, including a 22-point, 16-rebound performance against Idaho State, and supplanted Jason Washburn as Utah's starting center. He's gone into a bit of a funk since December started, but has been a key contributor off the bench now that Washburn has returned to the starting lineup.

Dallin is shooting 52 percent while averaging 7.6 points, 6.3 rebounds.

Jordan started to play better after becoming more aggressive last season and it's carried over to this year.

He was Arizona State's leading scorer with 17 points in the season opener against Central Arkansas and set a school record with 12 blocked shots while registering the first triple-double in school history against Cal State-Northridge on Dec. 8.

Jordan has 59 blocked shots this season, already fifth in Arizona State history, and is third nationally with 4.82 per game. He's averaging 9.8 points and 7.1 rebounds.

``This will be the first time they'll be on kind of a level playing field,'' John Bachynski said. ``It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.''

One thing's for sure: It'll be big.

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Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Injuries to Marshall and Perine will open the door for Kapri Bibbs to make the Redskins

Following the Redskins' Week 2 preseason win over the Jets on Thursday, Jay Gruden said both Byron Marshall and Samaje Perine were "OK" after the two running backs each left the game with injuries. Marshall's was labeled a lower-leg issue, while Perine's injury was called a twisted ankle.

Timetables for their recoveries were then reported on Friday, and while the two members of the backfield escaped anything too severe, they will each be sidelined for decent chunks of time.

Perine will miss a week, according to Mike Garafolo. Marshall, meanwhile, is looking at a longer two-to-four week recovery, per Tom Pelissero. Those pieces of news hurt them in more ways than one.

Derrius Guice's torn ACL in Week 1 of the team's exhibition schedule meant that Marshall and Perine both had a big-time opportunity to step up and earn a spot on Washington's 53-man roster, spots that were harder to envision for them when Guice was healthy.

Overall, the two were slated to compete with Kapri Bibbs for what will likely be two spaces on the depth chart behind the absolutely safe Chris Thompson and Rob Kelley. Now, though, they'll be forced to sit until they're healed up, giving Bibbs more chances in practice and the two remaining August contests to earn Jay Gruden's trust.

Against New York, Bibbs struggled on the ground but led the offense with seven grabs, including a 29-yard gain off a screen play. That performance absolutely brought him closer in the race with Marshall, who scored vs. the Patriots a week earlier. Next, he'll need to prove he can run effectively between the tackles vs. the Broncos in Week 3, which will put some heat on Perine as well.

The 'Skins have 15 days left until they have to finalize their regular season roster. As things stand now amongst the running backs, Bibbs presently has a real shot at stealing a job from the two shelved RBs. But with the way this race has unfolded thus far, that can all change in a split second. 


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Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Associated Press

Familiarity for coach and GM should allow Capital City Go-Go to hit ground running

Despite being a brand new franchise with a new roster and new facilities, the Capital City Go-Go will carry into their inaugural season a level of continuity. Both their general manager and head coach are familiar with what they are getting into and the people they will be working with.

GM Pops Mensah-Bonsu is no stranger to the D.C. community and the Wizards franchise. He made a name for himself starring at George Washington University, spent time with the Wizards as a player in their 2013 training camp and remained a frequent visitor to Wizards games as a scout for the Spurs in recent years.

"To be back in the community and the first general manager of the G-League team is special," Mensah-Bonsu said. "This is D.C.’s team. I want them to embrace us."

Head coach Jarell Christian played college ball in Virginia and goes back several years with Wizards coach Scott Brooks. Christian joined the Oklahoma City's G-League staff when Brooks was in his final year as head coach of the Thunder.

Christian began his coaching journey with an eye trained on how Brooks goes about his job.

"My introduction to pro basketball was under Coach Brooks and his philosophies. A lot of that stuff, I believe in wholeheartedly. That’s my foundation," Christian said. "I got a chance to know him through training camp and throughout that season. He and I developed a bond and a relationship that stood the test of time. To this day, we still talk often. It’s just another chance for me to reconnect with him and to continue to grow our relationship."

The Go-Go intend to make what they do as similar to the Wizards as possible. When guys like Devin Robinson, one of their two-way players, is called up he can step right in without a learning curve of the playbook or how they practice.

Having Christian in place will help that process in particular.

"There won’t be any issue or any slippage with guys going up and down to know what’s in store for them," Christian said. "A lot of the stuff that the Wizards will do, we will implement with the Go-Go. Just some offensive and defensive concepts. Some of the playcalls and the terminology will be the same."

"Whatever you see the Wizards doing, you will probably see the Capital City Go-Go doing, too," Mensah-Bonsu said.

The symmetry between the G-League and the NBA teams will also be helped by the fact they will share the same practice facility. Their proximity will come with many advantages from the Go-Go perspective.

"I think it’s going to help motivate these guys. We’re going to be practicing in the same place that the Wizards do and the Mystics do," Mensah-Bonsu said. "I think if these guys can see Dwight Howard and John Wall and Bradley Beal walking around every day, it will help motivate them to get to that next level."

"The exposure our players get with the Wizards [front office], the Wizards personnel, being able to watch them practice daily, watching their practice habits and what their routines may be, is really big," Christian said.

That element will also apply beyond the players. Christian, who is just 32 years old, will get to watch how an NBA coaching staff operates on a daily basis.

Christian has yet to take a tour of the new building in Ward 8, but he has seen blueprints. Among the amenities the Go-Go will enjoy that other G-League teams do not usually have is a dedicated dining area.

Many G-League teams do not go to that length.

"A lot of organizations do not provide food for their players on a daily basis, but we will. That’s the No. 1 thing in my opinion that’s gonna set us apart from our competitors," he said.

The Go-Go won't take the floor for their first game until November, but it seems like a good foundation is starting to take place.

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