Redskins

South Alabama downs Western Kentucky 65-57

South Alabama downs Western Kentucky 65-57

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) Augustine Rubit recorded his 10th double-double of the season, 19 points and 11 rebounds to lift South Alabama over Western Kentucky 65-57 Thursday night in Sun Belt Conference play.

Antoine Allen scored 19 points and Mychal Ammons added 10, and both finished with seven boards to help South Alabama (10-8, 7-3) outrebound Western Kentucky 40-32.

After George Fant's layup gave Western Kentucky a 35-33 lead with 14:48 left to play, South Alabama answered with an 18-4 run to take its biggest lead of the game, 51-39 with 8:36 remaining.

Rubit and Allen scored 11 points each in the second half, and the Jaguars converted 14 free throws in the period.

Western Kentucky (11-10, 5-5) made it 60-54 behind Brandon Harris' 3-pointer with 55 seconds left, but the Hilltoppers failed to make another field goal the rest of the way.

Harris led the Hilltoppers with 14 points and seven rebounds.

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Joe Theismann thinks there's no way Trent Williams can 'be a Redskin again'

Joe Theismann thinks there's no way Trent Williams can 'be a Redskin again'

The Trent Williams saga has taken multiple twists and turns over the past year, but the standoff between the left tackle and the Redskins is currently at a stalemate.

The left tackle has one year remaining on his contract with the Redskins, but it's nearly impossible to imagine Williams playing another snap for the Burgundy and Gold.

"In Trent's situation, it was bad. There was no way he [can] be a Redskin again," former Redskins QB Joe Theismann told NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson. "The relationship [has] become so toxic, it just [can't] continue in that vein."

The saga began when the left tackle held out from the OTAs last June through the first eight weeks of the 2019 season after he found out Redskins team doctors misdiagnosed a cancerous growth on his brain for nearly six years. Williams reported to Washington minutes before the trade deadline last season and planned to return, but the Redskins placed him on the Non-Football Injury list days later, ending his season without No. 71 playing a snap.

After the 2019 season concluded, the Redskins organization had a massive overhaul. Longtime team president Bruce Allen was fired along with head athletic trainer Larry Hess. While Williams maintained silence throughout his entire holdout, unhappiness and a lack of trust with Allen and the medical staff were rumored to be the two main reasons he stayed away from the team. 

But according to Theismann, there was another factor that kept No. 71 away from Redskins Park.

"He didn't like Bruce Allen, basically. He didn't feel like communication was going well with them," Theismann said. "He didn't like the training staff because what had happened regarding a diagnosis with him. Then all of a sudden, those issues were taken care of. Bruce isn't there anymore, the training staff isn't there anymore. Now it's about money."

The Redskins brought in well-respected head coach Ron Rivera, who attempted to convince the left tackle to return to the team. But Theismann believes that Williams, whose contract has around $15 million remaining, wants a new deal that will pay him like a premiere left tackle in the game, which is something Rivera and the new staff are not ready to do.

"He's going to be a 32-year-old tackle and he wants a longer-term contract. He wants money," Theismann said. "He gave away half his salary last year, which was approximately $7 million that you're never going to get back, especially in this environment. So the Redskins basically said, 'Hey Trent, see what you can get. Let's see if we can work a deal out.' Well, no suitors have come to the table."

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Williams was given permission to seek a trade by the Redskins last month, but the left tackles camp has been unable to find a trade partner for what the Redskins deem as fair value for the seven-time Pro Bowler.  Last week, Williams' agent ripped to Redskins for "not acting in good faith" and blamed the lack of a trade solely on the Redskins.

The left tackle turns 32 in July and has not played a full season since 2013. The combination of the two makes Theismann believe some teams are hesitant to invest a lot of money in Williams.

"He's not the young guy he was once before. He was one of the best tackles in football," Theismann said. "We were very thankful to have him, and he was compensated accordingly. 

"Time is not your friend when you reach certain stages in football," he continued. "Most players, as you get the middle part of the thirties, especially as offensive linemen, you're just not sure you're going to be able to continue doing what you're doing and be compensated in a way that's worth your while."

Just a month before Williams signed a five-year extension with the Redskins back in August of 2015, longtime pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan also signed a multi-year deal with the team. Williams and Kerrigan were back-to-back first-round picks in 2010 and 2011, respectively, and two of the team's best players over the past decade.

Theismann believes if Williams played out the 2019 season the way Kerrigan did, he may have earned himself a new deal with the team. While Kerrigan has yet to earn another extension from Washington, Rivera has stated that the pass rusher is a part of the team's future.

"In Trent's case, I feel like there was just a lot of conversation about him," Theismann said. "It's time for him to move on and the Redskins to move on, and I believe that's where they are right now. With a little bit of luck, he'll catch on somewhere, and I wish him all the luck in the world. But you got to be realistic for the numbers you are asking for at that age."

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Best Orioles of the Century: Versatile defenders define race at third base

Best Orioles of the Century: Versatile defenders define race at third base

With fans stuck inside and no live sports for entertainment, it's time to look to the past. Over the next few weeks, NBC Sports Washington is putting together a Best of the Century team for the Baltimore Orioles. Through the past two decades, there has been a surprising amount of star power to come through Charm City, and now we can determine who has truly been the cream of the crop.

It started with the catcher, then first base and second. Now it's time for the hot corner: third base.

Through the course of Orioles history, third base is loaded. The position has seen both Mr. Oriole (Brook Robinson) and Mr. Oriole 2.0 (Cal Ripken Jr.), and this century's standouts include perhaps the most talented player in franchise history. In fact, the two favorites at third base this century have arguments as the second and third-best at the hot corner in O's history - the question is in which order?

From a star power perspective, this is the strongest position of the century for the Orioles, aided significantly by No. 8's brief tenure there before retiring in 2001.

Every finalist also spent varying amounts of time at other positions, showing off their versatility. Ripken is obviously most famous for his time at shortstop, the same position Manny Machado came through the minors playing. Melvin Mora, one of the most underrated Orioles in the last few decades, was a super utility player before settling in at third.

Any name would be well-deserving as the best of the century. Once again, it will come down to the star of one decade compared to the next. Who wins?

Here are the top contenders at third base, in chronological order.

The Contenders

Cal Ripken Jr. (2000-01)

Obviously, Ripken isn't a serious contender for Best Orioles of the Century, considering he only played in two years, and they were his final two seasons in baseball. This is clearly a more sentimental choice.

For completion's sake, here are the stats this century: 211 games, 29 home runs, 124 RBI, 0.8 WAR, and a 6.87 OPS, not what you'd expect from a normal finalist.

Ripken isn't a normal finalist though. He defined baseball in Baltimore for the previous two decades and is the best player in the franchise's history. He, of course, set the consecutive games played record, perhaps the most unbeatable mark in sports.

You can't leave him off any Orioles list if he's eligible, and yes, he's eligible. So he's on the list. Those are the rules.

Melvin Mora (2000-09)

Mora is the forgotten star of the early Orioles this century. Fans remember him as a good player, but it was easy to first think of Miguel Tejada, Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis before landing on Mora.

Make no mistake, Mora was a star. He was worth 19.3 WAR from 2002-05, fifth-most among third basemen across baseball. He made two All-Star Games and won the Silver Slugger in 2004, thanks to his .340 batting average and AL-leading .419 OBP.

He wasn't a standout in the field, converting to full-time third baseman after spending his first few seasons as a super utility player. He eventually paired with Tejada to form perhaps the best left side of any infield in Orioles history, thanks to his excellent batting skills.

He is also a member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.

Manny Machado (2012-18)

Machado is likely the most purely talented player the Orioles have ever had. He's a five-tool talent, with power, batting skills, decent speed, a cannon for an arm and one of the best gloves in baseball.

He came up a shortstop, but he joined the 2012 Orioles at the hot corner as a 20-year-old to help them make their first postseason in more than a decade.

From his electric debut - hitting two home runs in his second career game - to the literally countless jaw-dropping plays in the field, Machado was one of the faces of the O's resurgence from 2012-16. His unbelievable glove earned unsurprising comparisons to none other than Brooks Robinson himself, and he did it all with a smile on his face.

He hit at least 32 home runs in five straight seasons, finished top-five in MVP voting twice and won a Platinum Glove. His trade to Los Angeles at the 2018 trade deadline is the only reason he isn't a shoo-in for this spot.

The Winner

This is a tough call. Mora is really, really deserving as his career in Baltimore went underappreciated during the lowest points of the 14-year losing streak. But the correct answer is probably Machado.

In nearly 400 fewer games, FanGraphs gives Machado a 0.1 WAR edge in their careers in Baltimore. The gap on Baseball Reference is even wider. On offense, their outputs were remarkably similar. Machado hit four more home runs. His batting average was .003 higher.

Longevity has mattered in past debates, but in this case, Machado's counting stats hold up to Mora's and that doesn't mention the fielding. Mora was serviceable, while Machado set the gold standard at the position and is in the short conversation for best fielding third basemen ever. 

He also had the better peak, with multiple MVP-caliber seasons of 7.3 and 7.4 WAR. Mora was consistent, but never topped out above 5.6

When it's this close, it's also worth weighing the winning. Machado was the difference-maker on the 2012 team, the most fun season for a generation of fans, and his addition turned the team into the winningest in the AL for half a decade. Mora was terrific, and it's no fault of his that he never made the playoffs, but for a franchise like Baltimore winning is a worthy tiebreaker.

By a slimmer margin than expected, Manny Machado is the best Oriole third baseman of the century.

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