Redskins

Miami (Ohio) beats Illinois-Chicago 82-70

Miami (Ohio) beats Illinois-Chicago 82-70

OXFORD, Ohio (AP) Will Sullivan scored a career-high 16 points and Miami (Ohio) snapped a four-game losing streak to beat Illinois-Chicago 82-70 on Saturday.

Will Felder and Jon Harris each finished with 14 points for the RedHawks (4-6), who sent Illinois-Chicago to its second straight lost after winning eight consecutive. Reggie Johnson had 12 points and Quinten Rollins had five steals.

Miami used a 9-0 run early in the first half, capped by Geovonie McKnight's jumper to give it a 20-9 lead. The RedHawks controlled the rest of the contest, and never trailed in the second half.

Felder's slam dunk gave Miami a 79-65 advantage with 1:40 remaining in the game. Illinois-Chicago pulled no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Gary Talton scored 15 points for the Flames (9-3). Daniel Barnes finished with 14 points, Joey Miller had 11 points, and Hayden Humes and Josh Crittled added 10 points apiece.

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The Redskins releasing Ziggy Hood could mean the return of Stacy McGee

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USA Today Sports

The Redskins releasing Ziggy Hood could mean the return of Stacy McGee

The Redskins released veteran defensive lineman Ziggy Hood on Tuesday, and in a vacuum, that's not major news. 

Hood has been a strong locker room presence for Washington for the last three seasons. He's played mostly out of position at nose tackle during his time with the Redskins, but he didn't complain and worked hard.

Still, Hood is a 31-year-old defensive lineman and was the last man in the Redskins rotation. 

While the Washington coaches and staff will all have plenty of good things to say about Hood, with the vocal emergence of second-year pro Jonathan Allen, Hood's leadership skills became less valuable.

It's probably not a coincidence, however, that 28-year-old Stacy McGee must come off the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list this week. McGee underwent surgery for a groin injury this offseason and was unable to practice throughout preseason.

In turn, the Redskins placed him on the PUP list, which meant he could not practice or play for the first six weeks of the season. 

Well, check the calendar — it's Week 7.

At 6-foot-3 and 339 lbs., McGee is bigger and younger than Hood. McGee is also carrying a $4.8 million cap hit this season, where Hood counted for $1.7 million.

It's the NFL and it'a a cutthroat business. 

McGee is now eligible to return to practice, and if he's ready, the active roster. If he's not ready, the Redskins have three weeks of practice time to let him continue to work back into shape.

Washington could also send McGee to the injured reserve list (ending his season) or release him. But neither of these options are expected.

Throughout the beginning of the season, McGee has been a fixture at Redskins Park, both in the weight room and on the practice fields. 

Last year, McGee played all 16 games for the Redskins and logged 44 tackles. Other players talked up his ability to absorb double team blocks, freeing up linebackers to make tackles.

Pro Football Focus graded McGee as +2.6 for the 2017 season, where Hood graded out at -26.3.

There are other options as well.

Maybe the Redskins want to give Caleb Brantley more opportunities. The team was high on Brantley going into the 2017 NFL Draft before an off-field accusation caused him to slip on draft boards. Washington signed him during roster cuts after he as released from Cleveland, but he's yet to make a gameday 46 for the Redskins. 

It's also possible the Redskins have identified another player, either a free agent or a practice squad player on another team. 

One free agent that seems wildly unlikely to fill Hood's roster spot: Junior Galette. 

While plenty of Redskins fans want to see Galette return to the Burgundy and Gold, remember, Galette plays outside linebacker and his greatest asset is speed of the edge. Whoever replaces Hood needs to be a big body, serving as a space eater along the defensive line. 

Think of it this way: Galette is a Ferrari. Hood is an F-350.

You don't want an F-350 on the race track, or a Ferrari hauling firewood. 

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Mystics star Kristi Toliver excited to officially join Wizards coaching staff

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Mystics star Kristi Toliver excited to officially join Wizards coaching staff

After months of serving a variety of roles for the organization, Kristi Toliver now has an official title with the Washington Wizards. The Mystics star has joined Scott Brooks' staff as an assistant coach and assistant for player development.

Toliver, 31, will remain a member of the Mystics, who play their season during the summer. The lack of overlap will allow her to focus much of her time on the Wizards and what she hopes becomes a long and successful coaching career.

She chose joining the Wizards over continuing to play professionally this year overseas, an option many WNBA players use in the offseason. But she has a coaching dream and happens to have caught on with the hometown team.

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime. When it came about, I wanted to be involved in any capacity that I could," Toliver said.

Toliver is the first active WNBA player to serve on an NBA bench and just the second woman after Becky Hammon, who is an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs. Toliver plans to reach out to Hammon after getting her phone number from Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird.

Toliver is honored to be in the same category with Hammon, whom she looked up to first as a player and now as a coach who has become a trailblazer in the profession.

"I know she's going to be somebody that I can ask questions to," Toliver said. "I will pick her brain about how she played and I will pick her brain about how she is coaching."

Hammon joined the Spurs' coaching staff in 2014 after years of helping the team out in other ways. Now that there are two female NBA assistants, the logical question is when one will become a head coach.

Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal can already attest to Toliver's impact and said there could be a female head coach "very soon."

"I wouldn't be surprised if it happened sooner rather than later," Beal said. "If you know the game, you know the game. Plain and simple."

Toliver has served as a coach in the Wizards' 5-on-5 scrimmages at practice. She has also been particularly helpful with ball-handling, which makes sense given she's the starting point guard for the Mystics. Toliver has helped a variety of Wizards players in dribbling drills including the big men like Jeff Green and Dwight Howard.

Coaching has required an adjustment for Toliver, who is used to having the ball in her hands running the offense. But just as being a player can help her as a coach, she expects to become a better player now seeing the game from a new perspective.

"I'd much rather be playing, I know that. But it's good to think the game in a different way and from a different point of view," she said.

Brooks has been effusive in his praise of Toliver ever since she began helping out in the Las Vegas Summer League in July. He invited her to join the staff over the phone shortly before the Summer League began and will admit he did not know at the time the relationship would get this far.

But over the summer, Brooks lost two assistants to other teams in Chad Iske and Sidney Lowe, paving the way for some movement on his staff. He promoted several positions from within and an opening was created for Toliver to come on board.

"She's a special talent. She's going to be moving through the ranks pretty quick," Brooks said.

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