Wizards

Cyclones seek to get bowl eligible against Kansas

Cyclones seek to get bowl eligible against Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Paul Rhoads ticked off in his head, one by one, the number of questions it took this week before someone finally asked him about his Cyclones winning their sixth game.

``That's not bad. I thought it would take two,'' the Iowa State coach said with a smile.

The Cyclones (5-5, 2-5 Big 12) haven't been to a postseason game in back-to-back years since the 2005-06 seasons, when they went under former coach Dan McCarney. The program has only been to 11 in its meager history, including the Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers last December.

Iowa State can become eligible by beating Kansas on Saturday or West Virginia in its finale.

``I don't think our football team has any more pressure than Kansas,'' Rhoads said. ``We're preparing for another game against a quality opponent, it's going to take great preparation and carry over into great execution on Saturday.''

There was a time when this one would have been a slam dunk.

The Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7) haven't won a Big 12 game since beating former Big 12 member Colorado during the 2010 season, a span of 19 consecutive games, and a precipitous fall from the 12-1 mark that Kansas put up five years ago under Mark Mangino.

But under first-year coach Charlie Weis, the Jayhawks are showing signs of life.

They nearly upset Oklahoma State behind a late rally that spelled the end to Dayne Crist's time as the starting quarterback, and after getting trounced by Oklahoma, they held a fourth-quarter lead against Texas before finally succumbing in the closing minutes.

Last week at Texas Tech, the Jayhawks scored the last 10 points of regulation - including a field goal by Nick Prolago with 41 seconds left - to force overtime. The teams swapped touchdowns in the first extra sessions before the Red Raiders survived for a 41-34 victory.

``Kansas is not a pushover team, despite what their record says,'' Iowa State running back Shontrelle Johnson said. ``If you look at their last couple games, you look at them on film, they're not a bad team. They're just a hair short of where they're getting four, five, six wins already.''

It will be Senior Day at Memorial Stadium for a group of Kansas players who have been through a lot during their time on campus.

Those who are fourth-year seniors were recruited to Kansas by Mangino, who was fired after the 2009 season, and then won only five games during the two-year tenure of Turner Gill. They'll play their final home game on Saturday having not defeated a Football Bowl Subdivision team since they beat Northern Illinois in the second game of last season.

``A lot of these guys are on their third coach. I can't even imagine that,'' Weis said. ``The trials and tribulations they've been through, they've gutted it out and bought in.

``Their experience is not over yet,'' Weis continued. ``I would like them to walk out of here with a good taste in their mouth. If all of a sudden, on Saturday night, all of those 900-game losing streaks and all that other stuff go by the boards, and you're partying on the field after the game, that's what they're going to remember. They're going to remember the camaraderie.''

If the Jayhawks win, it'll probably be on the legs of Tony Pierson and James Sims.

Pierson ran for 202 yards, and Sims piled up 127 last Saturday against Texas Tech. It was Sims' sixth consecutive game going over 100 yards after the junior running back was suspended for the first three games of the season for violating team rules.

``They're a dangerous football team,'' Rhoads said. ``These guys are fighting.''

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Zion Williamson joins Rui Hachimura by signing with the Jordan brand

Zion Williamson joins Rui Hachimura by signing with the Jordan brand

 Rui Hachimura and Zion Williamson, two of the most high-profile NBA rookies from the 2019 NBA Draft class, have joined forces on a new team, Jordan Brand. 

The New Orleans Pelicans' new star and No. 1 overall draft pick announced Tuesday afternoon that he'll be signing with Jumpman on a multi-year deal; the details of the deal have yet to be revealed. 

This decision comes about a month after Hachimura became the first Japanese-born player to sign with the brand

Both players have entered the NBA with an incredible amount of fanfare and hype surrounding their transitions to the Association. Hachimura was the star attraction for 61 media members from 21 different outlets in Japan during the NBA Summer League, while Zion's American media presence, understandably, was also substantial.

When Hachimura signed in June it was a dream come true for him and his family. Williamson shared similar sentiments when outlining why he decided to join the Jordan Brand team:

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family," Williamson told Nike News. "Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”

Since their thrilling faceoff in college, when Gonzaga edged an 89-87 victory over the Blue Devils thanks to Hachimura's 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks, the two talents have experienced a similar, yet unique, tip-off to their careers.

It's said that if you look good you play good, and it seems both Hachimura and Williamson have that first part figured out.  

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Redskins365 Episode 2: This Is Where I Wanted To Be

Redskins365 Episode 2: This Is Where I Wanted To Be

Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season.

In Episode 2 titled "This Is Where I Wanted To Be" the focus in on the players, both new and old.

When free agency opened up during the 2019 offseason the biggest splash the Redskins made was the acquisition of safety Landon Collins. Heading over from a divisional rival, Collins as well as other members of the organization break down the signing and his fit within the team. The safety also shares his story about receiving a Sean Taylor jersey and what it means to join the team his idol played on.

The episode also touches on other free agent signings Ereck Flowers and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as well as the trade for quarterback Case Keenum. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on the newest member of the QB room and explains how he'll fit in with Colt McCoy.

Speaking of McCoy, the show then takes a detour to Austin, Texas. There, McCoy reflects on his time at the University of Texas as well as his up and down NFL career that included a season-ending injury just a season ago.

From one Big 12 star to another, the episode concludes with a spotlight on Adrian Peterson. After a whirlwind first season in Washington, AP is back for more. The always-dependable runner shares his thoughts on his first season and explains how he deals with expectations.

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