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Mountaineers fall to No. 19 Gonzaga, 84-50

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Mountaineers fall to No. 19 Gonzaga, 84-50

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) West Virginia ended last season and started the new one the same way, with a loss to Gonzaga.

Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 points and No. 19 Gonzaga crushed the Mountaineers 84-50 Monday night.

``We're just not transferring what we do in drills to playing the game,'' said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, whose team lost to the Zags in the NCAA tournament last spring. ``And we don't play the game the right way.''

``The first thing I think we need to do is we've got to find out who really wants to play and who doesn't. We don't compete.''

Gonzaga coach Mark Few was pleased that his team met the challenges posed by the Mountaineers.

``It's nice to be able to face that type of athleticism and physical play and that type of pressure and be able to function,'' Few said.

Guy Landry Edi added 14 points for Gonzaga (2-0), which shut down the Mountaineer shooters. Kevin Pangos scored 13 points, Elias Harris 11 and Mike Hart 10 for the Zags.

``The defense was really good today,'' Few said after Gonzaga forced 20 turnovers. ``That was a great performance by our guys.

``I was worried we might get exploited on the glass,'' Few said, but the Bulldogs won the rebound battle 38-36.

Aaric Murray led West Virginia (0-1) with 14 points, while Jabari Hinds added nine.

The Mountaineers shot just 27 percent from the field in the game and never got their offense untracked. They were 3 of 26 from 3-point range.

Gonzaga made only 4 of its first 15 shots, but led 15-2 after 8 minutes as West Virginia missed 9 of its first 10 shots. Sam Dower's stuff made it 21-6.

Gonzaga led 45-18 at halftime, thanks to 51 percent shooting that included 6 of 11 on 3-pointers.

Bell made consecutive baskets to push Gonzaga's lead to 34-12 with 4:44 left in the first half. At that point the Mountaineers had made 3 of 19 shots.

West Virginia shot only 21 percent in the first half, making 5 of 23 while committing 15 turnovers. They were only 1 of 13 from 3-point range.

The Mountaineers closed the gap a bit in the second half.

Matt Humphrey's steal and breakaway dunk cut Gonzaga's lead to 50-32 with 14:45 left. But Elias Harris replied with a 3-pointer for Gonzaga to push the lead back over 20.

Bell's basket for Gonzaga made it 68-37.

The schools' only other meeting was in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season, with Gonzaga winning 77-54. This was the first time the Mountaineers have played in the state of Washington.

Gonzaga opened the season with a 103-65 win over Southern Utah.

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In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

In addition to being an NFL player, Bryce Love can now call himself a Stanford graduate

Bryce Love hopes he'll have the opportunity to carry many footballs in his NFL career. But this past weekend, the running back picked up something that'll be just as, if not more, valuable than the attempts he'll be getting on Sundays.

How's a college diploma from Stanford sound? Pretty solid, right?

Oh, how about a college diploma from Stanford in human biology? Yeah, probably something worth hanging up on the ol' fridge, huh?

Well, that very hard-earned and impressive degree is what Love is now in possession of:

Drafted by the Redskins in late-April and walking across the stage at Stanford in mid-June, Love is doing well for himself recently. He passed up the chance to enter the draft early to ensure he graduated, and now he has.

His college GPA isn't known, but once you find out his high school GPA was 4.5 (that's apparently possible) and add that to the fact that he was able to finish up school out west while also churning up yards for the Cardinal, you can imagine it was very, very good. And if his yards-per-carry average as a pro matches or exceeds it, then the Redskins will be thrilled.

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Nationals introduce first round pick Jackson Rutledge, who is ready to work

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Nationals introduce first round pick Jackson Rutledge, who is ready to work

WASHINGTON -- Jackson Rutledge may still be years away from the majors, but as the Nationals' 2019 first round pick toured the team's ballpark for the first time on Monday, he sure looked the part as a big leaguer.

At 6-foot-8, Rutledge towers over everyone currently on the Nationals' roster. He's got prototypical pitcher size with a fastball that reaches triple digits.

Like any pitcher recently drafted, no matter the round, there is a good chance Nationals fans will not hear Rutledge's name again for quite some time, if they hear it again at all.

In the previous eight years, the team used their first pick in the draft on a pitcher six times. Only two of them - Lucas Giolito and Erick Fedde - have pitched in a Nationals uniform, and only Fedde is currently on their roster.

Rutledge, 20, will begin his journey with the Gulf Coast League Nationals. He heads there on Friday, hoping it will not be long before he is back in Washington.

"This is my first time in D.C.," Rutledge said. "Amazing stadium."

Rutledge signed his first contract with the Nationals on Monday and passed a physical in the morning. In the afternoon, he walked around the clubhouse and on the field during batting practice, introducing himself to manager Davey Martinez and players who could be his future teammates.

Rutledge has said in various interviews since being drafted earlier this month that he looks forward to playing with Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin, the Nationals' three ace starters. 

This was his first glimpse at them in-person.

"Meeting all the big league guys was really cool," he said. "I just want to be one of those guys that has that success."

If there was any impression Rutledge left on Monday, beyond his height, it was his eagerness to learn. He cited several of his mentors over the years, former big leaguers like Andy Benes who coached him in summer ball and Woody Williams, an assistant coach at San Jacinto Community College. He mentioned Tom Arrington, head coach at San Jacinto, and his attention to detail.

Rutledge even had praise for Ross Detwiler, a former Nationals pitcher whom they took in the first round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He explained how Detwiler taught him a changeup grip during an offseason workout that he has continued to use.

Those are the people, he says, who helped him arrive at this unexpected place in his life as a first-round draft pick.

"If you asked me a year and a half ago where I would be, I probably wouldn't say the first round. It worked out really well because of how hard I worked," Rutledge said.

His college numbers were certainly impressive. Rutledge held a 0.87 ERA with 134 strikeouts in 13 starts. As a freshman at Arkansas before transferring, he posted a 3.45 ERA in 12 starts.

Rutledge is now looking forward to taking the next steps in his development. He said working on his curveball and changeup will be the focus while he's in the GCL. He wants to add weight and muscle to prepare for next year, his first full pro season. 

Assuming he does someday return to Washington as a big league pitcher, Rutledge said to expect a guy who likes to work fast but without a lot of emotion.

"When things are going well, I really feel in control of the game. I feel like I'm setting the game at my own pace and hitters feel uncomfortable because of that," he said. 

"I'm not a guy that's going to get up and start yelling and give energy like that, I'm more of a consistent kind of flat body language sort of guy."

Nationals fans will hope to get to know him better someday. For now, it's down to the minors to learn the ropes as a prospect.

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