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Texas Tech's Kingsbury gets rousing reception

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Texas Tech's Kingsbury gets rousing reception

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Kliff Kingsbury is finally back where it feels like home.

Kingsbury was formally introduced Friday as the new head coach at Texas Tech, where he starred as the quarterback of some of Mike Leach's high-flying offenses. The former offensive coordinator at Houston and, most recently, Texas A&M, said those jobs were purely business.

``But being here now, this is personal to me,'' said Kingsbury. ``This is where I want to be. This is a place that's helped shape me as a man. It's given me so much.''

Kingsbury, a mentor to Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel this year and the first in a string of record-setting Red Raiders quarterbacks, was hired Wednesday to succeed Tommy Tuberville, who left unexpectedly for Cincinnati less than a week ago after logging three losing Big 12 seasons in West Texas.

The 33-year-old Kingsbury has never been a head coach. He's the youngest head coach of a BCS school and the second-youngest in the Football Bowl Subdivision behind Toledo's Matt Campbell.

Kingsbury has a four-year deal that averages $2 million a year - not bad for a guy who just five years ago was making less than $30,000 a year as a quality control assistant at Houston.

He promised a ``young and energetic'' coaching staff and has already gotten Eric Morris, a former Red Raiders receiver who coached with Leach this season at Washington State, and Kevin Curtis, a former safety, to sign on.

This is all wonderful news to the Texas Tech faithful who have watched the program stumble in the aftermath of Leach's 2009 firing and Tuberville's struggles. On Friday, it was clear Kingsbury's hire was a home-run decision by athletic director Kirby Hocutt.

``I don't have any doubt about that because he brings a level of enthusiasm and excitement'' fans want for the program, said Rick Dykes, who was offensive coordinator under his father, former Red Raiders coach Spike Dykes, and recruited Kingsbury in 1998.

During his time under Leach's pass-happy offense, Kingsbury helped engineer wins over Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas. He led the Red Raiders to a 38-28 win over the Sooners as a redshirt freshman in his first start, throwing for three TDs and running for a fourth. In 2002, Kingsbury's final home game saw him throw for 473 yards and six touchdowns to outlast the Longhorns 42-38.

On Friday, Kingsbury wasn't ready to reveal what sort of offense fans will see. He said the program is ``not broken'' despite back-to-back seasons where the Red Raiders slid down the stretch. This year, they lost four of their last five games and in 2011 they dropped five straight to close the season for the program's first losing season since 1992.

``I'm more of a walking-type guy, not a talking-type guy, so I'll let you all see that in the fall,'' he said. ``But it's going to be an exciting brand of football.''

There's little doubt about what kind of offense the Red Raiders will run Kingsbury has been part of some of the most prolific offenses in the country the past few years. His offenses spread the field and moved quickly, favoring a fast tempo that is all the rage.

Kingsbury followed Kevin Sumlin to A&M from Houston, where he mentored quarterback Case Keenum and the 2011 Cougars led the nation in total offense, passing offense and scoring. This year, Texas A&M is third in the nation in total offense at 552 yards per game heading into the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

Kingsbury found it a ``little poetic,'' that Friday's weather was classic West Texas - plenty of wind. Tuberville frequently complained about the often-breezy conditions. None of that from Kingsbury, a Texas native from New Braunfels, not far from Austin.

``I'm going on record that I actually enjoy the wind,'' he said. ``You'll never hear me complain about it.''

Then, near the end of his remarks, Kingsbury got fans riled up when he turned to Hocutt to ask a question.

``I was going to see if there's any way possible we can get Cincinnati on the schedule next year?'' he said, bringing a roar from the crowd.

One fan who's watched the Red Raiders since he was about 7 gave up his season tickets the year after Leach's firing. Jimmie Gowens, who said he might change his mind now, thinks Kingsbury's hiring will reunite the fan base.

``I think people have finally realized that Leach isn't coming back,'' said Gowens, a retired postal worker. Kingsbury is ``going to have to produce within a few years, but I think he will be given a better chance than Tuberville.''

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NBA Draft 2019: Rumors, predictions, and a preview of draft night

NBA Draft 2019: Rumors, predictions, and a preview of draft night

The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived. 60 prospects will be selected and their careers will begin. This year’s draft has a lot more anticipation than many others in recent memory, and that can be attributed to one man who needs no introduction. Zion Williamson took the NCAA by storm for. Duke last season, and New Orleans is prepared to add him to their core as soon as the draft commences. There will surely be surprises, trades, storylines, and a lot of emotion when the 2019 NBA Draft begins, and NBC Sports Washington has everything you need to know to get you ready for the big night.

2019 NBA Draft Preview

The 2019 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 20. The Wizards hold the ninth overall pick. Here's everything you need to know...

When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York

TV: NBC Sports Washington will have Wizards-centric draft coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. on TV and the MyTeams app, the official broadcast is on ESPN

Final Mock Draft: READ

Final Big Board: READ

I Am the Prospect:

Bruno FernandoFrom Angola to the NBA Draft, Bruno Fernando is about to make NBA history. FEATURE.

Ty JeromeTy Jerome's relationship with his hard-driving father shaped him into a bona fide NBA prospect. FEATURE.

Isaiah Roby: Isaiah Roby's journey from small-town unknown to potential NBA Draft steal. FEATURE.

Nickeil Alexander-WalkerVirginia Tech's Nickeil Alexander-Walker is ready to elevate Canada's profile in the NBA. FEATURE.

DeAndre HunterNBA Draft prospect De'Andre Hunter is ready to make his family proud at the next level. FEATURE.

Wizards Draft Prospects by Position:

Guards: The Wizards have worked out multiple prospects that will be able to assist them in the backcourt from the get-go. With John Wall sidelined for the foreseeable future, Bradley Beal can't do it all. Hopefully, some reinforcements will lighten his workload.  READ

Wings: In this era of NBA basketball, there is no such thing as too much wing depth. After adding Troy Brown Jr. in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Wizards could look to add to their arsenal. READ

Big Men: Bobby Portis and Thomas Bryant are free agents. Jabari Parker may not be back in D.C. next season. The Wizards could opt for some help down low. READ

2019 NBA Draft Prospect Profiles:

Zion Williamson, F, Duke: The freshman sensation may be the most talked about prospect heading into the draft since LeBron James. Profile.

Ja Morant, G, Murray State:
The mid-major star broke onto the scene in his sophomore campaign, and the Memphis Grizzlies look to be sold.  Profile.

R.J. Barrett, G, Duke:
The Canadian swingman was the presumed No. 1 pick for a long stretch prior to Williamson’s arrival, and is slotted to go in the top four. Profile.

DeAndre Hunter, F, Virginia: After a strong showing in the NCAA Title Game, Hunter has a lot of buzz going in his favor. Profile.

Darius Garland, G, Vanderbilt:
The biggest wild card of the 2019 Draft, Garland has been gaining a lot of traction ahead of the big night. Profile.

Jarrett Culver, G, Texas Tech:
An impressive 2019 season and Final Four run has propelled Culver into a lottery prospect. Profile.

Coby White, G, North Carolina:
Breaking Michael Jordan's freshman records at UNC, White is near the top of most big boards. Profile.

P.J. Washington, F, Kentucky:
Don't call him a one-and-done from Kentucky. Washington raised his stock with a second year in college. Profile.

Rui Hachimura, F, Gonzaga:
Hachimura was one of the best players in the NCAA last season, but evaluators see flaws in his game. Profile.

Cam Reddish, F, Duke:
Reddish took a backseat behind Williamson and Barrett at Duke, how much will it cost him? Profile.

Jaxon Hayes, F, Texas: 
He's considered the best center of this draft class. Profile.

Bruno Fernando, C, Maryland:
You're not going to find a better rebounder in the draft than Fernando. Profile.

Bol Bol, C, Oregon:
The Oregon star dazzled when he was on the court, but that wasn’t often. Profile.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Virginia Tech:
The Hokies’ star is ready to contribute from the get-go. Profile.

Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky:
One of the many Wildcats projected to go in the first round, Johnson has a very high upside. Profile.

Brandon Clarke, F, Gonzaga:
The tip transfer last season in Spokane, Clarke provides a lot to like as a prospect.  Profile.

KZ Okpala, F, Stanford:
The Cardinal looks to be one of the more NBA-ready prospects in this class. Profile.

Romeo Langford, G, Indiana:
The Hoosiers missed the tournament in March, and Langford’s draft stock may have taken a hit as a result. Profile.

Sekou Doumbouya, F, France: 
The French forward has a lot of suitors and will surely be one of the first international players off the board. Profile.

Kevin Porter Jr., G, Southern California:
A major wild card, Porter showed flashes at USC of a bona fide star, but couldn’t stay on the floorProfile.

Grant Williams, F, Tennessee:
After a solid career in Knoxville, Williams will look to elevate his game at the biggest level. Profile.

Wizards Pre-Draft Workouts:

There were not many players expected to go around the ninth pick that worked out for the Wizards. However, there are several prospects expected to go in the later rounds, or perhaps would not be drafted at all.

-Coby White, G, North Carolina
-Nassir Little, F, North Carolina
-Keldon Johnson, G, Kentucky
-Brandon Better, G, Southern Utah
-Joe Cremo, G, Villanova
-Jon Davis, G, Charlotte
-Malik Dunbar, F, Auburn
-Paul Eboua, F, Africa
-Kaleb Johnson, F, Georgetown
-Aubrey Dawkins, G/F, UCF
-Jordan Caroline, F, Nevada
-Justin Robinson, G, Virginia Tech
-Kavell Bigby-Williams, F, LSU
-Elijah Thomas, F, Clemson
-William McDowell-White, G, Australia
-Bryce Brown, G, Auburn
-Jessie Govan, C, Georgetown
-Frank Howard, G, Syracuse
-Anthony Lee, G, Kutztown 
Myles Stephens, G, Princeton
-Harry Froling, C, Australia
-Shizz Alston, G, Temple
-Shannon Bogues, G, Stephen F. Austin
-Jamall Gregory, G, Jacksonville State
-Trey Mourning, F, Georgetown
-Ed Polite Jr., F, Radford
-Trey Porter, Forward, Nevada
-Corey Davis, G, Houston
-Jaylen Hands, G, UCLA
-Lyle Hexom, F, Peru State
-Jonathan Kasibabu, C, Fairfield
-V.J. King, F, Louisville

MORE NBA NEWS:

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Devante Smith-Pelly's new hockey pup is already a champion by name

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Devante Smith-Pelly's new hockey pup is already a champion by name

Stanley Cup champion and 2018 Washington Capitals playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly has gotten a dog.

Smith-Pelly named the husky-mix puppy Stanley, of course. Because what’s more valuable in life than championships and puppies?

Stanley is pictured above, courtesy of DSP’s mom.

Smith-Pelly posted the same picture on his Instagram story earlier in the week.

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