Smith scores 22 points, FIU defeats Troy 61-55

Smith scores 22 points, FIU defeats Troy 61-55

MIAMI (AP) Malik Smith scored in double figures for the fifth straight game and Florida International topped Troy 61-55 Saturday night in Sun Belt Conference action.

Smith netted 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5 of 11 from 3-point range for the Panthers (10-8, 5-4). Tymell Murphy added 15 points and eight rebounds and Cameron Bell had 12 points.

Emil Jones paced Troy (7-12, 2-6) with 18 points, making 8 of 11 free-throw attempts.

The Trojans committed 12 turnovers to FIU's four, with five different players finishing with two giveaways.

Troy led 28-27 at halftime, backed mostly by 41.7 percent shooting (5 of 12) from 3-point range in the first half. The long-range magic dried up in the second half, though, as the Trojans made just 1 of 9 3-point attempts.

FIU used the intermission to fix its shooting woes, improving from 2 of 10 from 3 before intermission to 5 of 13 after.

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Trea Turner on being under-the-radar, the upcoming season and Anthony Rendon

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Trea Turner on being under-the-radar, the upcoming season and Anthony Rendon

Click play in the embedded podcast to listen to The Racing Presidents' interview with Trea Turner and click here to subscribe to the podcast.

An acronym to remember whenever thinking of Trea Turner: PTBNL.

That’s him, the Player To Be Named Later from a mid-season 2015 trade with the San Diego Padres. Joe Ross arrived first. Steven Souza went out. Eventually, after grappling with some of the stranger rules in Major League Baseball, Turner joined the Nationals. 

He’s 25 now, married and the incumbent shortstop. Fame eludes Turner for the most part, which doesn’t bother him.

“I still go under the radar quite a bit, so I don’t have to deal with that,” Turner told NBC Sports Washington. “Sometimes I’m not jealous. Going out in public places and not being able to have a normal meal, normal slice of pizza is not always fun. If you get recognized you’re doing something right, though, in my mind. It’s kind of a plus and minus.”

Turner sat down with NBC Sports Washington on the latest edition of The Racing Presidents podcast. He talked about being in the public eye, his best pal Anthony Rendon, and the idea of running a lot more this season. Turner’s 43 stolen bases led the National League last season. Manager Davey Martinez is asking him to run more this year. Martinez is also still deciphering how the top of the order will work with Turner and Adam Eaton.

“I have my thoughts, but there’s no conclusion on it yet,” Martinez said Monday. “I’m still doing a bunch of research on which way we want to go. But you’ll see them both up at the top of our lineup.”

Take a listen to Turner at the end of today’s episode. The guys cover several other topics beforehand:

-- The latest on Michael A. Taylor from Todd Dybas at spring training. He’s making (slight) progress.
-- How Stephen Strasburg looked in his most recent outing against the New York Mets. He was sharp early and pleasant afterward. 
-- A discussion about how the catching pair could be dispatched. Yan Gomes as the starter? Kurt Suzuki paired with Anibal Sanchez? Who will play against the Mets in the opening series?

Listen, subscribe, rate, and stay tuned for more 1-on-1 conversations with players this week when we sit down with Ryan Zimmerman and Sean Doolittle.


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2019 Redskins Draft Bracket: Jachai Polite would help now, while Daniel Jones would be for future

2019 Redskins Draft Bracket: Jachai Polite would help now, while Daniel Jones would be for future

NBC Sports Washington wants Redskins fans to help decide the team's ideal 2019 first-round pick by voting in the Redskins Draft Bracket on Twitter. Before you vote, though, take in this breakdown of the next matchup.

Round 1: Daniel Jones vs. Jachai Polite

The opening battle in the 2019 Redskins Draft Bracket brings with it an interesting question: Should Washington use its first-round selection on a quarterback who'd likely be asked to contribute later on or on an edge rusher who'd hopefully improve the defense from Day 1?

Thanks to the arrival of Case Keenum, Jay Gruden now has two capable veterans he can lean on under center in Keenum and Colt McCoy. Therefore, if the 'Skins were to take Jones at No. 15, they'd be able to let him develop in camp and at practice, as opposed to rushing him onto the field.

And, of course, anytime you're talking about the Burgundy and Gold's QB situation these days, you have to think about the future. Keenum and McCoy only have one year left on their respective deals, and Alex Smith's career is fully in doubt. So, having Jones — who is a tantalizing albeit polarizing passer — as a high-ceiling prospect is appealing.

However, can the Redskins afford to draft for the future when there's so much pressure to win now?

Bruce Allen believes his franchise is "close." Jay Gruden, meanwhile, probably can't afford another sub-.500 campaign as head coach. 

That means someone like Jachai Polite -- an edge rusher from Florida who posted 11 sacks in 2018 and who could replace the departed Preston Smith -- may be the more sensible choice in Round 1. Landon Collins' addition gives the defense a much-needed star, and Polite could inject additional speed and talent at a key spot.

Yes, it's absolutely paramount Washington finds a long-term solution at signal caller, and sooner rather than later. Sure, they could try to scrape together nine or 10 wins with Keenum and McCoy, but even if they do, that doesn't change the fact that they still need that answer.

With that being said, a few influential figures in Ashburn may not be around to see someone like Jones grow if 2019 doesn't go well. That's why they could be more inclined to take Polite and hope his immediate impact makes this "close" roster more dangerous.

You've heard the case for both players. Now, retweet or like depending on whom you'd prefer to see move on in the bracket.