Kansas has QB decision to make vs Oklahoma


Kansas has QB decision to make vs Oklahoma

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) Kansas coach Charlie Weis has a decision to make at quarterback.

He can go with Dayne Crist, the fifth-year senior and team captain who left Notre Dame to play for his old coach after Weis landed at Kansas in the offseason. Or he can go with redshirt freshman Michael Cummings, who showed some promise in yet another loss for the Jayhawks (1-5) over the weekend.

Facing a possible shutout on Saturday against Oklahoma State, Weis benched Crist after three unproductive quarters during which he had only 136 yards on 10-of-22 passing.

Cummings came in and led two scoring drives in the final four possessions to put Kansas in a position to win. He was 5 of 10 for 75 yards and a touchdown - not only putting the Jayhawks in position to win but Weis in the position of having to defuse any quarterback controversy.

``I think you have to honestly evaluate where you are right now and what gives you the best chance to win, and whatever that answer is, that is what we will do,'' he said.

Crist brings more experience. Cummings is more mobile and opens up the playbook.

Weis hasn't picked a starter, publicly anyway, as his team prepares for a trip to No. 10 Oklahoma on Saturday.

``Let's hope whoever goes in first plays so great that it makes it impossible for me to want to put the second guy in,'' said Weis, who has also made recent changes at the kicker and punter positions.

Weis designed practice this week to give both quarterbacks equal snaps so they are both prepared for the game.

Crist has started all six games, with three touchdowns and seven interceptions on 88-of-178 passing (49 percent). Over two games, Cummings has completed half of his 14 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

``I think that Michael deserves to play based on his recent performance,'' Weis said.

When Cummings came in, the Jayhawks were down 20-0 with four failed fourth-down conversions. On his second possession, Cummings led a four-play drive capped with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jimmay Mundine. On the next possession, Cummings handed off to running back James Sims twice, and Sims scored.

Weis was impressed with the spark Cummings gave to the team. For the first time in three weeks, Kansas was in a position to win and Weis saw it.

``It was great to get a touchdown and fire the team back up and get the fans back into it,'' Cummings said.

In his first game with significant playing time, Cummings said he looked to Crist on the sideline for support.

``If Dayne had his druthers, he would be playing every single play, but that is not going to change who Dayne is,'' Weis said. ``When Dayne isn't in there he is going to be the first guy to try and help.''

For now, the team is looking for the quarterback who can lead them to a victory.

``Whoever goes in there, you've got to play as hard as you can for your quarterback and make plays for your team,'' said wide receiver Kale Pick, who was moved from quarterback last season.

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Bradley Beal to Charlotte? Hornets reportedly interested in Wizards SG


Bradley Beal to Charlotte? Hornets reportedly interested in Wizards SG

The Wizards' struggles have been on full display to the public this week, and the rumor mill continues to churn out news and gossip at a hectic pace. 

Days after ESPN reported that every Wizards player is available for trade discussions following a dismal 5-11 start, the Charlotte Observer reported Tuesday that the Hornets had expressed interest in Bradley Beal.

From the Observer's Rick Bonnell:

The Charlotte Hornets have inquired with the Washington Wizards about the possibility of acquiring shooting guard Bradley Beal, an informed source confirmed Tuesday. The source didn’t identify what the Hornets have offered for Beal, a 6-foot-5 guard averaging 21.5 points this season, or whether any progress has been made toward a deal.

A day prior, Beal was asked about the swirling rumors

"Ernie has a job. Ted has a job," he said. "The organization has a job and they're gonna do whatever it takes to make sure that the organization is going in a direction they need to. All we can do is continue to work hard every day, continue to - you know - put in work until something changes." 

The 25-year-old, who made the Eastern Conference All-Star squad in 2017, is averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 boards and 3.5 assists through 16 games this season. 

Washington (5-11) plays host to the Los Angeles Clippers (11-5) Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. It will air at 7 PM on NBC Sports Washington. 


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Wizards coach Scott Brooks on reports that practices got heated: 'I said some things I regret'

Wizards coach Scott Brooks on reports that practices got heated: 'I said some things I regret'

WASHINGTON -- There are NBA head coaches that meet with media members on game days before or after morning shootaround. Scott Brooks generally isn’t one of them.

He did Tuesday ahead of the Wizards’ home matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers after Washington’s internal squabbles leaked publicly Monday. The Wizards are under the spotlight.

“Obviously, everybody is well aware of some of the reports,” Brooks said. 

There was trade buzz Monday morning followed by details on Thursday’s heated practice including the organization fining John Wall for cussing out Brooks.

 “Last week definitely was a spirited practice and very intense practice,” Brooks said during a lengthy opening statement. “And looking back at it, like we talked about as it happened, I said some things that I regret. Our players said some things that they regret. And right after the practice, I had a conversation to hash things out, and everything was good. And then some of our players had some conversations, and they hashed things out, and everything was good.”

Until, for the Wizards, it wasn’t.

 The team lost back-to-back home games, trailing by hefty margins in both. The barrage of reports came the morning after Sunday’s 119-109 loss to Portland.

 “Unfortunately, things get out there,” Brooks said of the reports, which included multiple verbal altercations among teammates. “You always talk about keeping everything in but like I said, I’ve been in this league for a long time and when you have the start that you have, I should get criticized and I understand that. I have thick skin and I can handle that.”

“What happened in practice happened in practice,” Bradley Beal said. “Practice is closed. Practice is not a public thing. It got heated. You guys know that. Practice, I mean it's happened in this organization and every organization around the league. High school, college, it happens.”
Wall joined Brooks and Beal with largely explaining away the incident as something of a normal occurrence over an NBA season. Unfortunately, for the Wizards, the defensive struggles in their latest losses are also par for the course this season. The point guard didn’t blame the losses on the practice blowout.

“It wasn’t nothing to do with that, because we had a great practice after that,” Wall said. “We had great shootaround and we just didn’t come out and play well. We didn’t make shots, we didn’t move the ball, we didn’t defend. You can try to translate it to that, but we already know when we don’t play defense and don’t make threes, we’re a terrible team, and we showed that the last two games.”

As for the fine, Wall said simply, “I wasn’t worried about it. I knew it was coming.”

Who knows what’s coming from this team Tuesday and beyond. The Wizards believe they can turn around the season, or at least aren’t publically showing a level of desperation that suggests otherwise. If trades aren’t coming, the fix must come from within.

“You see that we’re not winning. Everyone is frustrated. At the end of the day, we have to be able to communicate with each other so we can learn from it and try to build on things together,” Porter said. “That’s the only way we can start winning games, to rally with each other instead of against each other.”