NCAA

Oklahoma State dealing with uncertainty

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Oklahoma State dealing with uncertainty

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) The departure of Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator and buzz about the Cowboys' defensive coordinator and head coach haven't distracted the team from its preparations to play Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1.

The Cowboys (7-5) will be without Todd Monken, who left as offensive coordinator to become the head coach at Southern Mississippi. But Monken might not be the only coordinator coach Mike Gundy will have to replace. Defensive coordinator Bill Young - a coaching veteran of 45 years - has said he doesn't know how much longer he plans to coach, although he talked Thursday about recruiting and next season as if he will be back.

Gundy also was mentioned in connection with openings at Tennessee and Arkansas before opting to remain at his alma mater.

``We understand that coaches have to do what is best,'' starting quarterback Clint Chelf said. ``When you win games that can happen. People come talk to your coaches. We all know we have another game left. For us, as players, you have to go out and keep practicing, keep performing and hope the team wins.''

Replacing coordinators has become commonplace during Gundy's eight seasons. Three of them - Larry Fedora and Dana Holgorsen on offense and Tim Beckman on defense - went on to head coaching jobs before Monken did so.

Gundy and his other offensive assistants - a group that includes wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn, inside receivers coach Doug Meacham, running backs coach Jemal Singleton and offensive line coach Joe Wickline - will call plays against Purdue (6-6), although Gundy didn't specify Thursday who will have the final say.

Gundy did say he's been involved more in offensive coaching meetings this month than he's been since giving up play-calling duties with Holgorsen's arrival before the 2010 season.

``We've got a plan that we'll have completed by Sunday,'' Gundy said. ``We'll have it broken down based on position on the field. We'll make a play call. There will be conversations that go on between coaches on the headphones. The quarterback has to make that determination when we give him the play.''

Gundy also said he hasn't started the process of replacing Monken, because it would be unfair to the Cowboys' seniors for him to not devote his full attention to bowl preparations.

The buzz around the coaching staff doesn't seem to faze the players much.

``It's not too big of a distraction,'' defensive lineman Cooper Bassett said. ``We know it's a business. We came here, I came here to Oklahoma State and I signed my letter of intent for Oklahoma State University, not to coach Gundy.

``Since I've been here, we've started out with a different defensive coordinator. Coach Young is our second defensive coordinator. Since I've been here, we've had three offensive coordinators. It's part of it. It's part of the business of college football and the reason that happens is because we've had success.''

Young missed the first two games of the season because of medical treatment for an aneurysm between his eyes. He has said that the health issue made him rethink his future, although he sounded Thursday like someone ready for another season of coaching.

``All I'm thinking about is this next ball game,'' Young said. ``I really am. Retirement is not in the picture for me right now.

``I certainly haven't been talking about it. People have asked me the question and I've answered it the best I could. I don't want to be a distraction. I love these players. I want to get out here and coach this ball game and do the best we can and then get on to recruiting.''

Gundy said he has ``had very little conversation'' with Young about the issue.

``I think he's at a point in his life that he's probably is going to make a decision on what path you take,'' Gundy said. ``At some point, you get to where you want to think about what you want to do for the next 10 or 20 years of your life. I think it's really that simple.''

The Cowboys' opponent in the Heart of Dallas Bowl also is dealing with coaching issues. Purdue fired Danny Hope earlier this month and appointed receivers coach Patrick Higgins as the interim head coach for the bowl game. Purdue already has named Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell as the Boilermakers' new head coach.

Gundy said preparing to play a team going through a head coaching change can be difficult.

``I'm not so sure who has the advantage,'' Gundy said. ``When you lose a coordinator like we have, I lost a quarterback coach, an organizer on offense and a play-caller. I don't know what their situation is. I don't know how many of their coaches are still coaching or how many have gotten jobs. I haven't kept up with that. I'm not a fan of either situation.''

Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

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USA Today Sports Images

Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with 63-58 win over Georgia Tech

ATLANTA (AP) -- Jay Huff and Mamadi Diakite scored 17 points apiece as defending national champion Virginia snapped a three-game losing streak with a 63-58 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers (12-5, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) finally regained their winning touch after dropping out of The Associated Press ranking for the first time since November 2017.

Georgia Tech (8-10, 3-5) lost its fourth straight home game. The Yellow Jackets haven't won at McCamish Pavilion since a Dec. 4 victory over Nebraska. 

Diakite's dunk with 14:47 remaining gave Virginia its biggest lead, 43-29.

The Cavaliers were still up 48-37 with just over 10 minutes to go when Georgia Tech suddenly came to life offensively.

The Yellow Jackets scored on four of five possessions, stringing together a 9-0 run that cut Virginia's edge to 48-46.

That was as close as Georgia Tech would get.

Huff, a 7-foot-1 center, knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to thwart Georgia Tech's momentum. A few minutes later, he swished another open jumper to make it 55-48. 

Georgia Tech got a basket and a defensive stop, but Braxton Key swooped on for an offensive rebound to give the Cavaliers a second chance. With just over 2 minutes to go, Diakite was left open on the wing for a jumper that made it 57-50, effectively finishing off the Yellow Jackets.

Jose Alvarado paced Georgia Tech with 20 points.

Virginia led 33-25 at halftime, taking advantage of the home team's sloppy play. The Yellow Jackets hit 11 of 18 shots (61.1%) but turned it over 13 times, wasting far too many possessions against the defensive-minded Cavaliers.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers picked up a desperately needed victory to avoid their longest losing streak since a four-game skid from Feb. 12-20, 2017. While still a far cry from their national championship squad, Virginia showed some offensive efficiency to go along with its always-tenacious defense. Key chipped in with 10 points. 

Georgia Tech: This is shaping up to be another disappointing season, raising more doubts about whether coach Josh Pastner can turn around a program that is approaching a decade since its last NCAA Tournament appearance. The Yellow Jackets continue to show flashes of promise, but Pastner has been unable to develop any sort of consistency in his fourth season. 

UP NEXT

Virginia: Returns home to play North Carolina State on Monday night. 

Georgia Tech: Hits the road for the first of two meetings against No. 11 Louisville. The teams will meet again in Atlanta on March 7, the final game of the regular season. 

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Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

Capitals hosting Rock The Rink skate and watch parties around DMV

The Capitals may not be participating in Stadium Series this year, but the team is embracing outdoor hockey around Washington for spirited game day fun.

The Caps are hosting Rock The Rink skates at The Wharf, Penatgon Row, Rockville Town Square and The Avenue at White Marsh on select game days from January to March 2020. Fans attending these events can wear Capitals jerseys or gear to get either $5 off admission or free skate rentals.

The Wharf

Jan. 18 at 1 p.m., Jan. 31 at 6 p.m., and Feb 17. at 1 p.m.

Transit Pier will boast a Capitals-paneled ice rink with an ice resurfacer, trivia contests, giveaways, along with a DJ. The Capitals Campire will also boast Adirondack chairs around a fire to roast marshmallows for smores in front of a 14-foot jumbotron screen to watch the Capitals games. 

Pentagon Row

Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and March 9 at 6 p.m.

These skates will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants. The Caps games will also be on at surrounding bars. 

The Avenue at White March

Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.

This event will feature Slapshot, giveaways, a DJ and Capitals-centic specials at local restaurants.

Rockville Town Square

Jan. 31 at 5:30 p.m. and March 5 at 6 p.m.

In addition to the above fun, Rockville native and Capitals hockey ambassador Haley Skarupa will be there on Jan. 31. You can watch the Capitals game at local bars as well. 

Fans attending these events or using local outdoor rinks this season are encouraged to post about it on social media by tagging @capitals and using the hashtag #RockTheRink to enter themselves for a chance to win prizes.

Caps slept through the first 40 minutes, they did not give Holtby much help though he was bad in his own right and Vrana sure did show something with the game-winning goal.

As for no penalties...not so much.

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