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Navy, Troy facing very different defensive tasks

Navy, Troy facing very different defensive tasks

TROY, Ala. (AP) The assignments are clear for the defenses of Navy and Troy.

The Midshipmen (6-3) have to contain Trojans quarterback Corey Robinson and a dangerous passing offense in Saturday's game. Troy (4-5) must switch over from last week's passing festival with Tennessee to defending one of the nation's top running teams.

The Trojans are trying to bounce back from a 55-48 loss to Tennessee when Robinson, backup Deon Anthony and Tyler Bray combined for more than 1,000 passing yards.

``Now we are going from a team that spreads it out all over the field to a team that is very different, that is a dynamic option, play-action pass team that is very, very disciplined and normally very prolific,'' Troy coach Larry Blakeney said. ``So we will have our hands full. We are getting into some must-win area and I hope we respond well to it.''

Navy has already secured a spot in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Dec. 29 in San Francisco against a Pac-12 opponent. The Midshipmen have won five in a row and haven't had a six-game winning streak since the start of the 1979 season.

They're also facing an opponent that didn't present much of a problem last season in their first-ever meeting. Navy, which is 6-0 against Sun Belt Conference teams, jumped ahead 35-0 by halftime and won 42-14.

The game will present a contrast in styles.

Navy ranks seventh nationally in rushing, averaging 266.3 yards a game on the ground. Troy's defense is giving up an average of 168 rushing yards, 72nd nationally.

``They'll run a little reverse here and there,'' Blakeney said. ``They're a good football team, offensively, but the main thing is they are so disciplined with their attack they make you be disciplined. If you get out of whack or you get out of position they are going to take advantage of it. They are well-oiled.''

Robinson, meanwhile, directs a Troy offense ranked 15th nationally in both total and passing yards. He threw for 393 yards and Anthony added 103 against the Volunteers.

``This is a very good offensive football team. They have put up big numbers in terms of yards and points every week,'' Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. ``Every time I've watched them on tape, it's up and down the field. They were clicking on all cylinders and in all phases - making some great throws and great catches while running the ball extremely well.''

The Trojans also have a big deep threat in wide receiver Chip Reeves, who leads the Sun Belt Conference with 10 catches for 30-plus yards and has four 100-yard games.

``They have great receivers with great speed that can go get the ball. They have just killed people with the deep ball all season,'' Green said. ``They do a really good job of sending guys deep and making you cover the vertical game, which opens up the underneath routes. They make your linebackers cover in space.''

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Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

The Anthony Davis trade will have ripple effects across the NBA, not only on teams, but also on the players involved.

Josh Hart, who was traded from the Lakers to the Pelicans as part of the package for Davis on Saturday, could stand to benefit from the move.

First, here's a look at all of the assets reportedly swapped in the deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Now, where does the Silver Spring, Md., native figure in the proceedings?

Hart spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 7.9 points in 24.4 minutes per game in his two years in Los Angeles. 

Still, Hart was often the Lakers' third or fourth option at shooting guard behind starter Brandon Ingram and shared minutes with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock and Lance Stephenson. 

LeBron James and the Lakers' win-now strategy left little room to develop Hart last season.

Now in New Orleans, he is part of a franchise rebuilding around presumptive No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. The trade gave the Pelicans both a younger roster and a long enough timeline for success to develop players.

That can only be good news for Hart, giving him the chance to start fresh and impress Pelicans general manager David Griffin and head coach Alvin Gentry with his potential. 

Where the Sidwell Friends alum fits into the lineup depends on several factors.

At first glance, the new-look Pelicans could start Lonzo Ball at point guard, move Jrue Holiday to shooting guard, then complete the lineup with Ingram at small forward, Williamson at power forward and Julius Randle at center. 

If both Ingram and Holiday remain healthy, Hart would compete with Stanley Johnson to be the first wing off the bench for New Orleans.

But if Ingram does suffer recurring issues related to blood clots, Hart could press his case to start. 

The only issue complicating his place in New Orleans' plans is the No. 4 pick that was traded from the Lakers.

If the Pelicans keep that pick and draft a wing player like Jarrett Culver, Hart could find himself on the outside looking in again. 

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Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

According to a report from ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Pelicans' forward Anthony Davis in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The announcement comes less than 48 hours into the NBA offseason, although the rumors and speculation of the deal has been a prominent storyline for months.

The much-anticipated deal gives the Lakers the star they've been trying to pair with LeBron James for some time and gives the Pelicans a young nucleus to build around the presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson. 

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Boston Celtics refused to part ways with promising forward Jayson Tatum in a potential trade with New Orleans.

The Celtics had been in the mix for Davis, but with Kyrie Irving likely headed for the exits, Danny Ainge was unwilling to part with his young assets in exchange for the one year remaining on Davis' contract.

Before the Davis domino fell, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes wrote about how a Davis trade could impact Bradley Beal's value

The Lakers, Knicks and Celtics all appear to want Davis and only one can get him, if he is even traded at all.

If the quest for Davis comes down to those three teams, there will be at least two that lose out.

The Knicks or Celtics now must determine whether trading for Beal is their next-best option behind Davis. 

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