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No. 7 Beavers go with Mannion against Huskies

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No. 7 Beavers go with Mannion against Huskies

Quarterback Sean Mannion will start for No. 7 Oregon State against Washington on Saturday, less than three weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure on his left knee.

Mannion missed two games after he was hurt in an Oct. 6 victory over Washington State in Seattle. The 6-foot-5 sophomore was injured on a handoff, and an MRI revealed the need for surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee.

Cody Vaz started in Mannion's place and Oregon State has remained unbeaten, rising to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Pac-12.

``It was difficult. Cody has played well and Sean has played well,'' coach Mike Riley said Tuesday. ``I just kind of took it back a little bit further to the initial competition. Sean had played four games and played well so we decided to go with him. But it was not easy.''

It was surprising when Mannion was cleared to play last week in advance of Oregon State's game against Utah. But because Vaz had started the week practicing with the first unit, he was designated as the starter and Mannion was listed as the backup. The Beavers beat the Utes 21-7.

Vaz completed 16 of 26 passes for 174 yards against Utah. But the 6-foot-1 junior really wowed the week before in his debut as a starter against BYU, throwing for 332 yards and three touchdowns.

There were questions about Vaz because he hadn't started a game since high school and had last appeared for the Beavers in the 2010 season, when he played in five games and completed six of 17 passes for 48 yards.

Not anymore.

``The one thing we feel good about is our quarterback situation,'' Riley said, ``because now Cody's got some experience. He's won a couple of games. We would never even blink about playing him.''

Mannion has thrown for 1,358 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He is sixth on Oregon State's career list with 4,686 yards.

Before he was hurt, Mannion was averaging 339.5 yards passing a game to rank second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation.

One of four team captains this year, Mannion is a classic drop-back passer with a calm demeanor and a good grasp of the fundamentals, the product of growing up the son of a high school coach.

Last season as a redshirt freshman, Mannion unseated junior starter Ryan Katz, who had started the 2010 season for the Beavers. Katz has since transferred to San Diego State.

Oregon State's third option at quarterback is redshirt freshman Richie Harrington.

The Beavers have rebounded from finishing 3-9 last season to opening 6-0 this season. Oregon State has not opened a season 6-0 since 1907.

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Wizards' preseason showed how Jeff Green can help bench score from inside and out

Wizards' preseason showed how Jeff Green can help bench score from inside and out

When Mike Scott left to join the L.A. Clippers, the Wizards replaced him as the backup power forward with Jeff Green and in doing so found a guy who is similar in many ways, albeit for a cheaper price. He is experienced, versatile offensively and even a local guy who roots for the Redskins.

Where they differ on the offensive end is the ways they like to score. Scott is more of a three-point threat, while Green is more comfortable operating in the post. 

Last season with the Wizards, Scott attempted only a third of his shots from less than 10 feet, while Green took 54.2 of his attempts from that range. Nearly a third of Green's shots (30.3) came within five feet of the rim.

Green's ability to score inside and with his back to the basket may end up complementing others in the Wizards' second unit quite well. Three-point shooting is more important than ever in today's NBA and his ability to draw the defense inside can open up the floor for others like Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers.

The Wizards did not have anyone on their bench last season with Green's level of skill in the post and Green showed in the preseason a willingness to pass from the paint.

Against the Knicks in the Wizards' fourth preseason game, Green had the ball in the post when he noticed Satoransky's defender was moving closer inside, perhaps anticipating a rebound. He fired the ball to Satoransky, who pump-faked a three and dribbled to his right before knocking down a jumper at the top of the key.

"It's just smart basketball. There are a lot of unselfish guys," Green said of the Wizards' bench. "I think we just work well together. We feed off each other. I think we know how to play the right way."

Satoransky led the Wizards with a 46.5 three-point percentage last season. He knocked down 51.2 percent off catch-and-shoot plays. Rivers shot 37.8 percent from three last year for the Clippers and 37.1 percent on catch-and-shoot looks.

Oubre shot only 34.1 percent overall from three, but that number dropped significantly towards the end of the year. He can get hot from three and is dangerous when cutting to the basket off the ball. Ian Mahinmi, though not highly skilled in the post, can make defenders pay for leaving him on double teams.

It's not only about threes for Rivers and Satoransky, as Satoransky showed on that one play in New York. Both are solid at catch-and-gos. Rivers is decisive and quick and Satoranksy has made noticeable strides since he entered the league and taking off once he gets a pass. 

Green, 32, is still learning their strengths.

"I try to use their attributes to our advantage and creating what I can create," Green said. "If they can shoot and I'm being doubled, I'm going to make the right play and get it to the shooter."

The Wizards made upgrading their bench a big priority this offseason and the net result may be the most versatile group they have had in years. They can shoot threes, run the floor and, with Green in the mix, work inside and out.

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NHL Power Rankings: Not every night is a big-time game for the Capitals

NHL Power Rankings: Not every night is a big-time game for the Capitals

There was a lot of excitement to start the season for the Caps. First, there was the home-opener and the banner raising against the Boston Bruins. Then there was a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the rival Penguins. After that, it was a Stanley Cup Final rematch against the Vegas Golden Knights.

And all of that was followed up with a trip to Newark.

CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S NHL POWER RANKINGS HERE

With all due respect to New Jersey, given the slate the Caps faced to start the season, it was no real surprise to see the team struggle to get up for Thursday’s game against the Devils, a game in which the Caps were blown out 6-0. Of all the games Washington faced to start the season, the trip to New Jersey was definitely the least exciting.

But not every game is going to be a big rivalry matchup or a playoff rematch. With every team gunning for the Caps, they better make sure they can get themselves ready for the grind of an 82-game season that won’t always feature a big-time matchup.

A trip to Newark may not be flashy or exciting, but it still counts as two points.

The Caps dropped the game in New Jersey and lost a tight contest against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Where do they stand now after two straight losses?

FIND OUT HERE IN THIS WEEK'S NHL POWER RANKINGS

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