Panthers looking for consistency down the stretch


Panthers looking for consistency down the stretch

PITTSBURGH (AP) Paul Chryst acknowledges Pitt remains very much a work in progress.

Still, there's at least one thing Chryst believes the Panthers should do every week, no matter the opponent, no matter the circumstances: Run the ball.

It was the backbone of the high-powered offenses Chryst put together while calling the plays at Wisconsin. It provided the thump the Panthers used to knock off Virginia Tech in September.

And yet there are long stretches where senior Ray Graham and freshman Rushel Shell have struggled to get it rolling.

``I think it's been inconsistent,'' Chryst said. ``There have been times where it's been good and times where it kind of (lulled) a bit.''

Last weekend's 20-6 win over Buffalo was one of those times.

On a raw day that made throwing the ball hazardous, the Panthers intended to line up and just run over the struggling Bulls. It didn't happen. Pitt needed 42 carries to muster 126 rushing yards as neither Graham nor Shell could bust loose.

The Panthers had a number of short yardage situations with a chance to create some breathing room only to get stuffed. For Pitt (3-4, 0-3 Big East) to find its footing over the final games of the season, Chryst knows the holes need to be there.

``You all have to play together,'' he said. ``If 10 guys are good, but the one guy doesn't get it done on that play it affects the whole, not just the unit, but the whole team.''

Pitt needs to catch fire down the stretch if it wants to reach a bowl game for the fifth straight season. The Panthers host Temple (3-3, 2-1) on Saturday knowing they're running out of time.

``It's something we're aware of but we're not trying to talk about it too much,'' wide receiver Mike Shanahan said. ``We know we pretty much have to win out to make it to a bowl game, but we can only do that if we get a win this week.''

The last time Pitt started 0-3 in the Big East came in 2001. That team rallied to win its final five games and post a win over N.C. State in the Tangerine Bowl. The road will be difficult to duplicate. In addition to Temple, the Panthers play No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 18 Rutgers.

Chryst refuses to look too far ahead. He's emphasizing the present knowing the future will take care of itself. All he knows is the Panthers need to shore up the mistakes and get things going on the ground or there's no use wondering who - or even if - Pitt's season will extend beyond Dec. 1.

``I think all three phases have areas we can clean up,'' he said, ``and need to clean up.''

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 


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Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

On Thursday the NBA revealed the All-NBA teams for the 2017-18 season.

Not surprisingly, Bradley Beal and John Wall did not make it to one of the three five-player teams. Of the two superstars, only Wall has been recognized once in his career.

What is surprising is that neither Beal nor Wall received a single vote in the whole process, especially Beal.

The 2017-18 season was without question the best in Beal’s career. He played in all 82 games, coming right off of the heals of his All-Star recognition. Beal seems to agree in his snubbing, tweeting this minutes after the teams were announced:

Looking at the list of players who made the top three teams, it shouldn’t be an issue, but these three guys got more votes than the Wizards' duo combined: Steven Adams, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard. It is not surprising that Beal and Wall did not make an All-NBA team. It is odd that Beal didn’t receive a vote.

Here is a list of the full All-NBA Teams:


LeBron James (Cavaliers), James Harden (Rockets), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kevin Durant (Warriors)


Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Joel Embiid (76ers), LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)


Stephen Curry (Warriors), Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), Paul George (Thunder)