Redskins

Rutgers edges St. John's 58-56

Rutgers edges St. John's 58-56

NEW YORK (AP) Myles Mack scored 13 points, including making two free throws with 32 seconds to play, and Rutgers beat St. John's 58-56 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Both teams ran spread offenses that used up quite a bit of the 35-second shot clock each possession. The final 3 minutes became mostly a free-throw shooting contest and Rutgers prevailed even though the Scarlet Knights (11-3, 2-1 Big East) made just 3 of 5 from the line over the final 32 seconds.

Dane Miller, who finished with 11 points, gave Rutgers the lead for good at 53-52 on a basket down low and he added to it 30 seconds later when he scored on a tip-in.

St. John's (9-6, 1-2) struggled all over the court in trying to tie or take a lead in the final 2 minutes. The Red Storm missed two shots - 3-point attempts by D'Angelo Harrison and JaKarr Sampson - in the final 15 seconds when they trailed by either one or two points.

Mack made two free throws to give Rutgers the three-point lead with 32 seconds to play. Sampson scored down low to make it 57-56 with 23 seconds to go and then following a miss of front end of a 1-and-1 but Harrison took a 3 and missed badly. Poole made one of two from the line with 6.6 seconds left and Sampson's final shot of the game was a 3.

Harrison had 20 points for the Red Storm, the 11th time he reached that figure this season.

Both teams were coming off wins over ranked teams. St. John's won at then-No. 14 Cincinnati, 53-52, while Rutgers beat then-No. 24 Pittsburgh 67-62.

Rutgers is off to a 2-1 start in the Big East for just third time and this was a big win for coach Mike Rice who is 2-1 since returning from a three-game school-imposed suspension for inappropriate behavior.

Chris Obekpa had five blocked shots giving him 76 for the season that ties Walter Berry for the school record.

Rutgers took a 13-2 lead after St. John's made one of its first 10 shots from the field. The lead didn't last all that long as the Red Storm went ahead 18-17 with 7:04 left when Sampson capped an 8-0 run with a dunk on the fast break. St. John's closed the half with a 7-2 run that gave them a 27-23 lead.

St. John's finished the half shooting 34.5 percent (10 of 29) while Rutgers shot 34.8 percent (8 of 23).

The teams meet again in two weeks in Piscataway, N.J.

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Comparing the 2015 playoff Redskins to this year's team

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USA Today Sports Images

Comparing the 2015 playoff Redskins to this year's team

We don’t know if there will be major changes on the Redskins if they don’t make the playoffs this year but getting into the postseason and getting a win when they get there would make a decision to keep going in this direction very easy.

Yes, a lot of the pressure lies on the shoulders of Jay Gruden but winning games usually comes down to the players on the field. How do the players the Redskins have today compare to those on the last team that made the playoffs?

Here are the players who started in the last playoff game that involved the Redskins, a 35-20 Wild Card round home loss to the Packers, side-by-side with the anticipated starting lineup for the 2018 season with some unscientific comparison of the quality of the two teams.

Offensive line

Position—2015 starter, 2018 starter
LT—Trent Williams, Williams
LG—Spencer Long, Shawn Lauvao
C—Kory Lichtensteiger, Chase Roullier
RG—Brandon Scherff, Scherff
RT—Morgan Moses, Moses

How do the 2018 versions of Williams, Moses, and Scherff compare to the ones who started the playoff game? They’ll be about three years older but they have gained valuable experience. Remember that Lichtensteiger was activated off of injured reserve the week before the playoff game after missing 11 games with a neck injury so he was not close to 100 percent against the Packers. Josh LeRibeus was center for most of the year. Roullier is at least a good as he was. Long is no All-Pro but he is better than Lauvao. Comparison: Even

Offensive backs and receivers

Position—2015 starter, 2018 starter
QB—Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith
RB—Alfred Morris, Derrius Guice
WR—Jamison Crowder, Crowder
WR—Pierre Garçon, Josh Doctson
WR—DeSean Jackson, Paul Richardson
TE—Jordan Reed, Jordan Reed

We can debate Smith vs. Cousins all day but we really won’t know until they start playing games. Guice has the potential to be better than the 2015 version of Morris, who averaged 3.7 yards per carry while gaining 751 yards. Reed has his best season in 2015 with 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was arguably the best tight end in the game in 2015. Reed has to demonstrate that he can be that guy again. Crowder will be better than he was as a rookie but there are clear downgrades at the wide receiver positions. Comparison: Edge to 2015

Defensive front

Position—2015 starter, 2018 starter
DE—Chris Baker, Matt Ioannidis
NT—Terrance Knighton, Daron Payne
DE—Jason Hatcher, Jonathan Allen
ILB—Mason Foster, Foster
ILB—Will Compton, Zach Brown
OLB—Ryan Kerrigan, Kerrigan
OLB—Trent Murphy, Preston Smith

I don’t think we need to go into much discussion here to sort out which team has the better front seven. The interior line plus Brown makes this year’s front clearly superior. Comparison: Solid edge to 2018

Secondary

Position—2015 starter, 2018 starter
CB—Will Blackmon, Josh Norman
CB—Bashaud Breeland, Quinton Dunbar
SS—DeAngelo Hall, Montae Nicholson
FS—Dashon Goldson, D.J. Swearinger

Breeland was very good in 2015, tallying two interceptions, three forced fumbles, and two recoveries. Dunbar could be a downgrade but I don’t think he’ll be a significant one. This year’s team is clearly better off at the other three positions. Comparison: Solid edge to 2018

If defense wins championships then you have to give the overall edge to this year’s team. But the offense will be important and Smith, Guice, and the wide receivers will need to come through if the Redskins are going to play a game in January of 2019.

More 2018 Redskins

- The secondary: What's the outlook in the secondary?
- Tandler’s Take: The pressure's on Gruden and he knows it

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler.

 

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Wizards' assistant Sidney Lowe leaves to join Dwane Casey's staff with Detroit Pistons

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Associated Press

Wizards' assistant Sidney Lowe leaves to join Dwane Casey's staff with Detroit Pistons

The Washington Wizards have an opening on their coaching staff, as assistant Sidney Lowe has left the team to join the Detroit Pistons.

Lowe, according to ESPN, will be the top assistant on new Pistons coach Dwane Casey's staff. 

Lowe spent two seasons under head coach Scott Brooks in Washington. A D.C. native, Lowe starred at DeMatha High School before playing at NC State and then in the NBA.

Lowe was the head coach at his alma mater for five years from 2006 through 2011, but has otherwise been an NBA lifer. He served as head coach of the Timberwolves in 1993-94 and head coach of the Grizzlies from 2000 to 2002.

The Wizards have several coaching hires to make now. They have a new G-League team set to take the court in the fall and will need to hire a staff sometime this summer. 

With Lowe gone, they could choose to promote from within or go outside the organization.

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