Wizards

Sparks' Ogwumike and Ross earn WNBA honors

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Sparks' Ogwumike and Ross earn WNBA honors

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Sparks collected two of the WNBA's season-ending awards, with Nneka Ogwumike honored as rookie of the year and Carol Ross chosen coach of the year on Sunday.

The awards were announced before the Sparks lost to the Minnesota Lynx 80-79 and got swept 2-0 in the Western Conference finals at Staples Center.

Ogwumike averaged 14 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists during the regular season. She was drafted No. 1 overall out of Stanford by the Sparks.

``I was really excited,'' she said, having kept the secret for a few days.

``It's an honor, but I think it's also a reflection of our team success. Individual awards don't come without team success, so I think that that showed, especially with some of the other accolades that my teammates got. It's reflective of how hard we worked.''

Ross, in her first season with the Sparks, guided them to a 24-10 regular-season record, including a 16-1 mark at Staples Center. She previously was an assistant with the Atlanta Dream and coached 16 years at Florida and Mississippi.

``I don't feel like the coach of the year,'' she said. ``I'm coming off two losses.''

Candace Parker of the Sparks was runner-up for league MVP honors to Connecticut's Tina Charles last month.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon at the NBA Combine.

Turgeon talked about his three draft-eligible players and what this time is like advising them. Chris and Chase Hughes also gave their early favorites for the Wizards' first round pick and their biggest takeaways from the NBA Combine measurements.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

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