Wizards

RB Miles starting again for No. 12 South Carolina

RB Miles starting again for No. 12 South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Kenny Miles wasn't sure he wanted to spend another season just getting spot duty when South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore needed a breather. Now, all the eyes are again on Miles when the 12th-ranked Gamecocks face Arkansas.

Miles was South Carolina's leading rusher in 2009, but that was the year before Lattimore came to campus and became one of the Southeastern Conference's top rushers.

Miles went through Senior Day festivities last fall as he considered leaving the program after four seasons. Miles stayed, though, and will start Saturday against the Razorbacks (4-5, 2-3 SEC).

``I'm prepared and ready to go,'' said Miles, a fifth-year senior.

It's the first game for South Carolina (7-2, 5-2) since the gruesome knee injury to Lattimore two weeks ago against Tennessee. Lattimore has had surgery and could need more than a year of recovery. He was supposed to be at Williams-Brice Stadium this weekend as the school unveils his name in the building as the team's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (38).

But on Thursday, the school said team physician Dr. Jeffrey Guy, trainer Clint Haggard and Lattimore decided the junior shouldn't attend.

While the fans won't get to cheer for Lattimore, there could be plenty of praise for Miles, who stuck it out after Lattimore surpassed him.

Miles started seven games and rushed for 626 yards as a freshman three years ago. But he'd gained only 356 yards the next two seasons as Lattimore ate up yardage and helped South Carolina to a 20-7 record - the school's best ever two-year mark.

It wasn't easy for Miles to watch, but he liked Lattimore and loved the team's success.

``Of course, you want to be the starting back, but you've got to think what's best for the team at the time that was what was best for the team,'' he said. ``I was happy we were winning and I wasn't really worried about me personally.''

But with his pending graduation last December, Miles thought hard about what was next. He was not the team's first choice when Lattimore injured his left knee last October, freshman Brandon Wilds starting.

Miles ran out onto the field for senior ceremonies against Clemson, not really expecting he'd play a key role with 71 yards rushing in South Carolina's 34-13 victory later that night.

Miles got the start in the Capital One Bowl and had 67 yards in the 30-13 win, then started wondering if he wanted to play one last year - even as Lattimore's backup.

Spurrier remembered Miles asking if he could come back. ``And I said, `Sure, you can come back if you want to,''' he said.

Miles will have to pick his way through an Arkansas defense that's allowed just 125 yards rushing a game, fifth in the SEC. Although the team will be without suspended linebacker Terrell Williams, arrested last weekend for driving while intoxicated.

Arkansas struggled at the start of the season after an offseason of upheaval centered on disgraced ex-coach, Bobby Petrino. The Razorbacks have improved the past month, winning three of four. They've won five of the past six games against South Carolina, including the last three.

``We went to South Carolina last time and got a big win. We were here last year and got a big win. So, they know that we're going to come in and battle,'' Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson said. ``We're not laying down against these guys.''

Wilson leads the SEC in passing yards, something the Gamecocks looked particularly vulnerable to in their last outing when Tennessee's Tyler Brad threw for 388 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-35 win.

It took defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's strip sack of Bray to stop the driving Vols from moving in front with less than two minutes left.

The Gamecocks, coming off a bye, have had more than a week to fix what went wrong against Tennessee. Clowney chalked up the poor showing to the loss of Lattimore, a stunningly gruesome injury to a team captain.

``I think a lot of people were down, not even thinking about the game'' after Lattimore's injury, Clowney said. ``I think we're going to be more focused this game.''

Miles plans to take the same approach he always has. Spurrier says Miles' maturity has helped the younger players. Miles stays inside watching horror films and comedies instead of attending parties. He prefers jazz and R&B to rap and he'll often go for a five-mile run after games to clear his head.

``He's a super Gamecock,'' Spurrier said. ``I think our fans and all the Gamecocks appreciate that he decided to stay for five years.''

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What It Means: Wizards reportedly expected to make extension offer to Bradley Beal

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USA Today

What It Means: Wizards reportedly expected to make extension offer to Bradley Beal

Despite the litany of teams who would love to get their hands on Bradley Beal this offseason, Washington has so far remained committed to keeping Bradley Beal a Wizard.

And when he's eligible in July, they plan to offer him a three-year, $111 million extension, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  

"He's eligible for a three-year, $111 million extension," Wojnarowski said during ESPN's televised mock draft special. "I'm told it's the team's intention to offer that up to him and try and move forward."

Keeping Beal long-term may wind being a smart move, as NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig wrote this week. The extension would lock Beal up for the next five years and secure him and John Wall -- once he's fully recovered from offseason Achilles surgery -- as the Wizards' backcourt for the foreseeable future. 

The offer may seem financially burdensome, considering the Wizards just signed John Wall to a massive supermax extension that starts this season. But although the Wizards are currently strapped for cash, there's hope on the horizon. Ian Mahinmi's $15.6 million deal and Dwight Howard's $5.4 million deal expire after the 2019-2020 season.

The Wizards could decline Jabari Parkers $20 million team option and let Bobby Portis walk in restricted free agency this offseason. If both those happen, the Wizards could open up cap space for Beal's extension.

Considering John Wall is out for likely the entire next season and the Wizards still don't have a GM, their best move might be to lock in what proven production they have.

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

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Rain knocks out another Phillies-Nationals game

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and Phillies are 2-for-2.

Tuesday night's game was postponed following a two-hour rain delay. Monday's game was postponed after a three-hour rain delay.

Tuesday's game will be made up as part of a split day-night doubleheader Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., bumping a four-game series to a five-game series. The Nationals and Phillies are scheduled to also play a split day-night doubleheader Wednesday.

The day was not without news. Nationals ace Max Scherzer broke his nose in batting practice when a ball bounced off his bat and struck him in the face. Scherzer was attempting to bunt at the time.

Scherzer's injury and the multiple postponements throw the Nationals' pitching plans into disarray. They're not sure if Scherzer will pitch as expected Wednesday. It appears Austin Voth, who was scratched from his Thursday start for Triple-A Fresno, will be available to pitch in one of the Wednesday games -- should they be played. More rain is expected Wednesday.

The Nationals will bump Patrick Corbin, who was slated to pitch again Tuesday, into a Wednesday spot. Wednesday's other starter is TBA. It could be Scherzer if he is ready. It could be Erick Fedde, and Voth could be used in the bullpen as the 26th man. That would provide Scherzer a chance to pitch Thursday and Strasburg on Friday against Atlanta. 

Or, Scherzer could be provided more time off. There's a lot to sort out once again thanks to the rain.

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