NCAA

Brown ready for breakout season with Maryland

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Brown ready for breakout season with Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- C.J. Brown earned the job as Maryland's starting quarterback last season because of his ability to run with the football.

It is a trait that makes him susceptible to injury, and the last thing the Terrapins need is to lose the only quarterback on the roster with playing experience.

In their first meeting last week, the Maryland coaching staff discussed the possibility of reducing Brown's sprints downfield -- and decided against it.

"We've got to do whatever we have to do in order to win," second-year coach Randy Edsall said Monday. "You know what? We can't sit here and play cautiously or be afraid to do the things that C.J. can do to make us better."

That means Brown will get the chance to build on a breakout season in which he scored five touchdowns and orchestrated three of the top eight rushing performances by a quarterback in school history, topped by a 162-yard effort against Clemson.

Danny O'Brien had a better arm, but he lost the job last year to Brown and ultimately left the school during the offseason.

That leaves Brown, a redshirt junior, as the unquestioned starter. Both backups are freshmen, so if Brown gets hurt, Maryland's chances of bouncing back from last year's 2-10 disappointment will be all but over.

Brown, one of four co-captains, knows this. And it doesn't change a thing.

"Anytime you think about getting hurt or playing a different way than you're used to, you're going to be more prone to injury," Brown said. "Maybe I'll be smarter in not taking a big hit or getting down, but I'm not going to change my playing style. I can only do what I do. Injuries are meant to happen, and if it does, than maybe it was just meant to be."

As a preventive measure, Brown spent hours in the weight room to beef up his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame.

"I've worked extremely hard during the offseason to maintain my body, to put on mass and put on muscle," he said.

His effort made an impression on his teammates and the coaching staff.

"C.J. has worked extremely hard. He knows that he's the quarterback, he's the leader," Edsall said. "I think he's done a tremendous job working to make himself better fundamentally as a quarterback, but he's also taken the leadership role to another level. He commands respect from his teammates."

During the season, Brown will be the focal point in the huddle. During the offseason, he led by example.

"The first thing I noticed when we came back from the winter session is that in every drill and every sprint, C.J. was coming in first," senior wide receiver Kevin Dorsey said. "You can see that he put on a show to show this is his team, that he can step up to the plate and get the job done. It hasn't stopped. He's been consistent all summer. I know he'll have a good year and show people that not only can he run, but he can pass, too."

If there was one problem Brown had last year, it was inconsistency as a thrower. He completed only 49 percent of his passes and threw seven touchdowns compared to six interceptions.

New offensive coordinator Mike Locksley worked with Brown to improve his poise in the pocket and insists things will be different this year.

"Obviously one of his strengths is his feet, but he doesn't get enough credit for his ability to throw the football," Locksley said. "We've had to tweak some mechanical things with him, but I've been really impressed with C.J. as a whole, not just as a runner. What we've got to do is find who the playmakers around him are and then just get him to play smart as a quarterback."

And, of course, keep him upright. If Brown gets hurt, the Terrapins will have to turn to Perry Hills or Caleb Rowe.

"We've got to make sure we get Perry and Caleb ready to go," Edsall said. "Hopefully, nothing would happen to C.J. But in the sport of football, in that position, those things can happen."

NOTES: The team began summer practice Monday with 17 seniors and 68 percent redshirt freshmen and sophomores, according to Edsall. ... The school unveiled its new, privately funded 3 million turf field. The word "MARYLAND" runs across midfield and both end zones have a design reminiscent of the state flag. ... Unlike last year, the players will have their names on the back of their uniforms.

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

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USA TODAY Sports

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.

UP NEXT

The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.