Capitals

Purdue coach shrugs off AD statement

Purdue coach shrugs off AD statement

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) This isn't how it was supposed to be for Purdue and coach Danny Hope this season.

The Boilermakers, expected to challenge for a Rose Bowl berth this season, have started 0-4 in conference play and are in danger of missing out on postseason play.

Athletic director Morgan Burke released a statement Monday night saying he expected more from the Boilermakers this season, but the team's performance ``has kept us from reaching our goals.''

Hope said Tuesday that he didn't think the statement was a big deal, and that he was more concerned about Saturday's home game against Penn State.

``I read it, but didn't pay a whole lot of attention to it, or didn't try to read between the lines any,'' Hope said. ``I think it's a pretty generic statement and pretty similar to the one that was posted out this time last year. Our focus is to prepare our football team for a game this Saturday. So I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the statement.''

The statement got some attention given recent circumstances.

Purdue was crushed in back-to-back home games to start the Big Ten season - 44-13 against Michigan and 38-14 against Wisconsin. The Boilermakers looked like they might be ready to turn the corner with a solid effort in a 29-22 overtime loss to Ohio State, but they fell behind 44-7 at Minnesota before losing 44-28 last week. Minnesota had been winless in Big Ten play and had mustered just 39 points in three Big Ten games combined.

``We played well against Ohio State,'' Hope said. ``Played well enough to win against a top opponent, in a hostile environment. Thought we came away from that ballgame with a lot of confidence. We were disappointed in a loss. Bounced back and practiced probably as well these past two games as we have throughout any other time in the course of the season. Didn't perform as well this past Saturday.''

Purdue rallied against Minnesota behind quarterback Robert Marve. The senior, who has torn his left ACL three times, completed 11 of 19 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns against Minnesota, enough to earn the start Saturday over the struggling Caleb TerBush. Marve started the season-opening win against Eastern Kentucky, then split time with TerBush against Notre Dame. He tore his ACL for the third time against the Irish, and TerBush had been starting ever since.

Marve has worked back into the rotation since stepping in during the second half of the Michigan game and now is playing well enough and is healthy enough to take on a greater role. That, combined with TerBush's season-long struggles, made the move necessary.

``It was based on his performance in the ballgame, and the fact that we believe now he can play with his leg like it is,'' Hope said. ``A month ago we were told that he probably wouldn't play football again. So even though he was saying all the right things and we were hoping that he could, the medical experts were telling us it was very doubtful.''

Hope said the Boilermakers still can have a successful season.

``Obviously, you want to be aware to stop any negative momentum or any downward spiral,'' he said. ``But you hope that you surrounded yourself with the right coaches and players that can do something besides just being ordinary when you're going through tough times.

``This is a time for extraordinary people, not ordinary people. I believe we have enough extraordinary people around us to still manufacture a good season. There is still a lot to be played for or to play for. There are four games left - a third of the season. We can still win seven regular season ball games.''

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Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

Capitals listed as underdogs in their first Stanley Cup since 1998

The odds have never gone the way of the Washington Capitals.

After years of being the common pick to finally break through and win the Stanley Cup, this was most definitely not the year.

Yet, here we are with the Capitals as one of the final two teams standing.

For their upcoming Stanley Cup Final, the Caps are the underdogs against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.  The opening line from OddsShark has the Golden Knights as -135 money line favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals were listed as +115 underdogs.

Vegas (the betting entity, not the team) has not exactly been the most reliable this year though. After all, the Golden Knights were 100/1 odds to win the whole thing. Now they are four games away.

In their past two series, Washington was not the favorites. The Capitals have not been favorites since the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For years in the Alex Ovechkin era, they have been the favorites to not only go on to play for the Stanley Cup but winning it.

In 2018 they started the season tied for the fifth best odds to win the Cup (14/1), one of their lowest opening marks in the past decade. For the full perspective, Washington was tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs and behind the Dallas Stars at the start of the season.

Without question this underdog role has fit them quite well, they shouldn’t want anything to change heading into the biggest postseason series in 20 years for Washington D.C.

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Ty Lawson

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Ty Lawson

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Ty Lawson's season...

Player: Ty Lawson

Position: Point guard

Age: 30

2017-18 salary: $11.9K

2017-18 stats: 6 G, 19.2 mpg, 5.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.5 bpg, 34.6 FG%, 62.5 3P%, 1.000 FT%, 44.2 eFG%, 114 ORtg, 115 DRtg (all in playoffs)

Best game: 4/17 at Raptors (Game 2) - 14 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 4-for-10 FG, 4-for-5 3PT

Season review: The Wizards made a surprise move the day after the regular season finished by signing Ty Lawson, giving them a fifth point guard for the playoffs. Not only did Lawson join the team last-minute, he actually got minutes in the postseason, immediately slotting in as their primary backup point guard.

Very quickly Lawson showed what the Wizards saw in him. He added a spark off the bench, particularly on offense. He showed no restraint in looking for his own shot and in Game 2 against the Raptors hit 4-of-5 from long range.

Lawson proved he still has the quickness that made him an above average NBA point guard in his prime. There were questions about his athleticism given he is 30 years old and spent most of the season in China, but Lawson was still noticeably faster than his contemporaries on the Wizards' bench.

Whether Lawson proved enough to stick around in the NBA is the real question. He only played six games for the Wizards and, though he impressed to a certain degree, teams had given up on him just a year before. 

The Wizards have five open roster spots entering this offseason and have only two point guards in the mix. They will be in the market for more backup help, though it is unclear at this point if they are interested in bringing Lawson back. They have two draft picks and the ability to add players via trades, as they have several times in recent years to address backup point guard.

Working in Lawson's favor to potentially stick around is that the Wizards do not have much money to spend. They are in the luxury tax and will likely need some cheap options to fill out the final spots on their roster. Lawson certainly would not cost much.

Potential to improve: Shooting, scoring, consistency

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

Tomas Satoransky, PG

Ian Mahinmi, C

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