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No. 4 Florida thumps South Carolina 75-36

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No. 4 Florida thumps South Carolina 75-36

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario scored 15 points apiece and No. 4 Florida dominated another Southeastern Conference opponent, drubbing South Carolina 75-36 Wednesday night.

The Gators, who won their ninth game in a row, led 33-10 at halftime and made their first five shots after the break. They opened a 31-point lead that seemingly couldn't get any more lopsided.

Then it did.

Florida (17-2, 7-0 SEC) pulled ahead 55-15 on Scottie Wilbekin's floater in the lane with 12:32 remaining, sending the happy home crowd to the exits even earlier than usual this season.

The Gamecocks (12-8, 2-5), meanwhile, seemed dazed on the floor and the bench.

Michael Carrera led South Carolina with 13 points and nine rebounds. None of his teammates reached double figures.

The Gators have enjoyed seven blowouts in as many conference games. They won the first six by an average of 26.5 points. This one made those seem like nail-biters.

Florida overwhelmed South Carolina from the opening tip, doing just about everything right.

It had to ease coach Billy Donovan's mind some. After all, the Gators came into the game with their highest ranking since the 2006-07 season, and Donovan expressed concern earlier in this week when he talked about his players needing to ``drive our car with two hands on the wheel inside the lane and looking at what's in front.''

The Gators had no issues staying focused.

In fact, they probably could have been stopped for speeding.

Florida led 11-2 in the first 6 minutes of the game, pulled ahead 21-4 at the halfway point of the first half and probably could have named their score after that.

The Gamecocks had three baskets, two assists and 11 turnovers at the break. Guards Bruce Ellington and Eric Smith had four points between them, combining to go 1 for 9 from the field. They also combined for seven turnovers and no assists.

About the only things that went wrong for Florida were free throws.

The Gators missed nine of 16 shots from the charity stripe in the first half, five of them by Pat Young.

Still, it was a minor bump in a blowout.

Florida shot 53 percent from the field, made 12 of 21 shots from 3-point range and dominated on the glass.

Young, Wilbekin and Erik Murphy had eight points apiece for the Gators. Michael Frazier chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Frazier made all four of his shots from beyond the arc. Even forward Casey Prather, who was not expected to play while recovering from a high ankle sprain, got in the game.

South Carolina shot 31 percent from the field, went 2 of 14 from 3-point range and finished with 17 turnovers. The Gamecocks were outrebounded 38-24 and lost for the fifth time in their last seven games.

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.

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Ryan Zimmerman is ready to rejoin Nationals, but in what capacity?

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Ryan Zimmerman is ready to rejoin Nationals, but in what capacity?

Key for Ryan Zimmerman was the simplistic act of staying on his grumpy feet for nine innings. The idea had been elusive for weeks. Zimmerman last played a full baseball game on April 27. Plantar fasciitis sent him to this fate, and each time he progressed, an ache pulled him back.

Monday, Zimmerman played nine innings for Double-A Harrisburg. He picked up two hits, but more vital was the ability to play a full game his third time on the field in four days. Zimmerman played Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off. Tuesday becomes decision day: is Zimmerman ready to join the team Wednesday or does he have to wait?

There's a benefit to waiting. Washington goes to Detroit for interleague play this weekend. That affords them a chance to use the designated hitter and a window to play both Howie Kendrick and Zimmerman throughout the series without greatly taxing either.

Bringing Zimmerman back sooner also has the benefit of putting his glove on the field and expanding bench options for manager Davey Martinez. The veteran can be protected in a rotation at first base. The Nationals have Brian Dozier hitting and fielding well. Kendrick hits line drives whenever he is in the lineup. Matt Adams provides a powerful matchup option. This is how things were supposed to work from the start of the season. But, they did not come to order until late June.

Zimmerman's injury has also decided the fate of his $18 million club option for next season. It has graduated from unlikely to no chance. Though, he appears open to coming back at a much lower price. Zimmerman's body has forced him into a position of being a part-time player only, at this stage. He said last week his body "felt great" outside of the plantar fasciitis issue in his foot. Don't be surprised if he and the Nationals work something out for one more season.

For now, the club has to decide when Zimmerman will be back on the field. If he felt good Tuesday following his rehabilitation game, he could be ready as soon as Wednesday. Which prompts another decision: Do they release spirit animal Gerardo Parra to make space? Would they entertain a change for Michael A. Taylor? Something has to give if Zimmerman is finally ready.

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