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Kelly confident QB Golson will be better vs. Miami

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Kelly confident QB Golson will be better vs. Miami

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Everett Golson didn't do much last time out to make anyone think he'll be the quarterback to lead Notre Dame back to glory.

His first pass against Michigan was intercepted, the Fighting Irish offense sputtered the five series he was in, and in his final play before being yanked in the second quarter, he lofted up an interception instead of throwing it out of the end zone. Because of his carelessness, he was replaced by backup Tommy Rees, last year's starter, who for the second time this season led the ninth-ranked Fighting Irish (4-0) to victory.

Despite the poor play against Michigan, and the disappointing numbers, coach Brian Kelly remains firmly behind Golson, saying he sees him developing every day in practice.

``An analogy that I like to use is, he's still cooking. We've taken him out of the oven. He's still learning all of the things that are not necessarily visible from game film. He's still learning how to effectively communicate, and how he's able to lead, and all of those things,'' Kelly said.

Learning on the job isn't easy, especially with an impatient fan base eager to see an end to a national championship drought that dates to 1988. The Irish defense appears to have the potential, but so far the offense hasn't matched up. Golson has been one of the reasons the offense has stumbled.

He has a pass efficiency rating of 121.06, placing him 98th in the nation. He has played well at times, but not great. Offensive coordinator Chuck Martin said the struggles Golson is facing aren't unusual for a sophomore who didn't play as a freshman, saying the coaching staff didn't expect Golson to be great this year.

``It's very rare to be great all the time. You might be great in spurts or great on plays or great for a period of time, or even a whole game you might have a completely great game,'' he said.

Irish coaches say Golson had a difficult week of classes before the game against Michigan and that may have played a role in his poor play. Golson hasn't been made available to talk with the media since after the win at Michigan State. Kelly said it's not because he doesn't want Golson facing scrutiny, but because he's facing a difficult class schedule.

Golson isn't to blame for all of Notre Dame's offensive problems. The Irish rank 84th in rushing offense, 85th in passing offense and 95th in total offense. The good news is they play Saturday against Miami (4-1), which is ranked 114th in total defense.

The Irish coaches say Golson has the physical tools necessary to be successful. Martin said part of Golson's trouble is at times he knows what he should do, such as changing plays at the line of scrimmage, but he ``flinches.''

``He doesn't flinch all the time, he's made some great run checks this year. Other times he's kind of hesitated. Like he'll come off and say, `I should have. ...,'Martin said. ``So the nice thing is you know the knowledge is there. It' just about experience. Unfortunately or fortunately, whichever way you look at it, he's getting experience under fire right now.''

That's where Rees has the advantage. That's why the coaching staff brought him in for the game-winning drive against Purdue, because they knew he'd be better equipped to check into the correct play.

``I think his experience certainly helps in the management of our offense. There's no question. He has a lot of experience under his belt, and a lot of calmness,'' Martin said.

Kelly was asked after seeing Golson practice during the bye week how confident he was that his first-year starter wouldn't have a similar performance as he did against Michigan.

``See the gray hair? It's one of those things that if we were certain about any of those items we'd have this thing licked. I think it's a constant process of learning, developing, and pointing out times and trying to come to a balance of where we're at,'' Kelly said.

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Tom Wilson is single-handedly trying to fight every player on the Lightning in Game 7

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@ianoland

Tom Wilson is single-handedly trying to fight every player on the Lightning in Game 7

TOM WILSON IS ALL JACKED UP ON MOUNTAIN DEW. 

17 minutes into Game 7 and Tom Wilson is already out here doing Tom Wilson things. 

First, there were these shenanigans:

Pretty standard stuff. Some anger words, some glove pulling. Nothing special. Then, friends - then it gets real:

Let this marinate a little bit. Wilson got a minor for fighting, served his time, and then IMMEDIATELY came out of the box and did literally the exact same thing. 

He punched a guys helmet off. Those helmets have straps to stay on for this exact reason, and it didn't matter. If this was medieval jousting, Braydon Coburn would be declared the loser on the spot. 

Get you a friend like Tom Wilson. 

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout highlights quest for shooting, raises question at point guard

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Wizards' second pre-draft workout highlights quest for shooting, raises question at point guard


The Wizards held their second pre-draft workout at Capital One Arena on Wednesday and the theme of this session was shooting. They hosted six players, four of which shot 40 percent or better for their college careers. Not 40 percent for their final season, like they developed a shot over the years, 40 percent for their careers.

Those four would be Aaron Holiday of UCLA, a likely first-round pick, plus likely second-round picks Devonte' Graham and Sviatoslave Mykhailiuk of Kansas, and Zach Thomas of Bucknell who may go undrafted.

One of the outliers was Moe Wagner of Michigan, who shot 39.4 percent as a junior. The other was Johnathan Williams, who shot 33.3 percent from long range in college, but impressed in the workout by knocking down more shots than expected.

Wizards executives raved about the amount of made shots in this workout and the players they chose to host help demonstrate that shooting is a need the Wizards are hoping to address. Head coach Scott Brooks said as much in his final meeting with the media following their playoff loss.

Here are some notes on the players that addressed reporters on Wednesday...

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

 - The brother of NBA players Jrue and Justin, Holiday said he is aiming to find the same success as them at the professional level. Both are good defensive players and Holiday said that is a big part of his game: 

"No pressure at all. I'm here to make my own name for myself... We all like to play defense... I just try to watch how they read guys and force guys into bad plays."

Holiday was informed his brother, Jrue, had just been named All-Defense. He was happy for him, of course.

"That's awesome. That's actually really good. I thought he would do it, too. Obviously, he's a great defender. Both of my brothers do well."

 - Bringing in Holiday was interesting because he is expected to be a first round pick and plays point guard. The Wizards, of course, already have an All-Star point guard in John Wall. Holiday acknowledged that fact, but believes he can play with both Wall and All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal:

"It was obviously a question of why they would want me, but at the same time I know they need help on the backend, coming off the bench and playing high minutes and producing while John and them aren't on the court. Or, even playing with John Wall out there... with John and Bradley Beal out there, I could space the court pretty well for them."

Holiday would have no problem beginning his career as a bench player, if that's what happens:

"If the coach tells me to come off the bench, play a lot of minutes and get other people involved, that's what I will do. I also can play off the ball as well. I think I fit pretty good."

The Wizards taking a point guard in the first round is not that crazy of an idea. They have long been in need of a viable backup point guard and Fred VanVleet of the Raptors showed how much a really good backup can help.

Moritz Wagner, C, Michigan

 - Wagner worked out with the Bulls first and has the Nets up next. He said the Wizards workout was more intense than the Bulls, which is something we heard from many prospects last year. Washington apparently puts a greater emphasis on physical conditioning than other teams.

 - A native of Germany, and a seven-footer who shoots threes, naturally Wagner grew up a big fan of Mavs great Dirk Nowitzki:

"He was kind of our MJ. He was my MJ. He kind of shows you 'okay, this is possible and this is doable.' It's just basketball. He's from where I'm from, too. It gives you a lot of hope. It gives you a lot of belief and motivation."

 - Questions for Wagner surround his defense and whether he can protect the rim, as he wasn't a shot-blocker in college. Wagner said he is hoping to show teams how his mobility can help on that end of the floor:

"I think the most important thing that I wasn't able to show in college is that I'm able to switch the ball-screen. Especially with the way the league is going; switch on everything and stay in front of guards as a big guy."

Devonte' Graham, G, Kansas

 - Graham also worked out with the Bulls first. He has the Suns, Hawks, Rockets and Grizzlies up next. He expects to work out for 13 or 14 teams in total.

 - Graham is from Raleigh, just like Wall who was in attendance. Wall and Graham sat next to each other to chat after the workout was over:

"We're from the [area code] 919 and we all stick together. I hit him up last night."

 - Graham also knows Wizards forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. very well. They were roommates as freshmen at Kansas:

"He was a goofy dude. That was my boy, though."

 - Graham said he has been talking to Jazz star rookie Donovan Mitchell about the draft process, as he and Mitchell share the same agent.

MORE WIZARDS: 

- Diallo visits: Is the Kentucky star a good fit?
- Turgeon talks: Maryland coach talks 2018 draft
- NBA mock draft: Post combine edition

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