Redskins

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Cody Zeller scored 22 points and Remy Abell added a career-high 14 to lead No. 1 Indiana past North Dakota State 87-61 on Monday night.

The Hoosiers (2-0) struggled to get in sync against the foul-prone Bison (1-1).

Early in the second half, after the Bison closed to 48-38, Zeller and Abell combined for 15 points in a 23-13 run that turned the game into a rout.

North Dakota State was led by Marshall Bjorklund with 16 points and Mike Felt with 11.

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No. 5 MICHIGAN 91, IUPUI 54

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Trey Burke scored 22 points and Glenn Robinson III added 21 to lead Michigan in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Burke equaled a career high with nine assists and Robinson made his first eight shots from the field. Michigan (2-0) has been a model of efficiency on offense so far this season. After beating Slippery Rock 100-62 in their opener, the Wolverines shot 60 percent from the field and went 13 of 21 from 3-point range against IUPUI.

Michigan advances to play Cleveland State in the next round Tuesday night.

Purdue transfer John Hart scored 15 points for IUPUI (1-1).

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No. 17 MEMPHIS 81, NORTH FLORIDA 66

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Tarik Black had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead Memphis in its season opener.

Memphis (1-0) eventually pulled away in the middle stages of the first half and coasted through the second half.

Joe Jackson finished with 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Antonio Barton, who keyed Memphis' rally, scored 11 points.

Jerron Granberry led the Ospreys (1-1) with 17 points, including 13 in the second half. Parker Smith scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from outside the arc.

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No. 18 UNLV 92, N. ARIZONA 54

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Anthony Bennett scored 22 points to lead five players in double figures for UNLV its season opener.

Reserve Bryce Dejean-Jones added 15 points for the Runnin' Rebels (1-0) while Anthony Marshall and Katin Reinhardt had 14 points apiece and Savon Goodman added 11.

The 92 points were the highest point total for the Runnin' Rebels in a season-opener since 2005-06 when it opened with a 108-73 win over Long Beach State. UNLV extended its home winning streak to 19 regular-season games, which dates to the end of 2010-11.

UNLV extended its NCAA Division I record for consecutive games with a 3-pointer. Since the 3-point field goal was adopted by the NCAA in 1986-87, UNLV has converted at least one in all 841 games played.

Dewayne Russell had 16 points for Northern Arizona (0-1).

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No. 19 GONZAGA 84, WEST VIRGINIA 50

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Gary Bell Jr. scored 15 points to lead Gonzaga in the easy win.

Guy Landry Edi added 14 points for Gonzaga (2-0), which shut down the Mountaineer shooters. Kevin Pangos scored 13 points and Elias Harris chipped in 11 points for the Zags.

Aaric Murray led West Virginia (0-1) with 14 points, while Jabari Hinds added nine.

The Mountaineers shot just 27 percent from the field in the game and never got their offense untracked. They were 3 of 26 from 3-point range.

Gonzaga made only 4 of its first 15 shots, but led 15-2 after 8 minutes as West Virginia missed 9 of its first 10 shots. Sam Dower's stuff made it 21-6.

Gonzaga led 45-18 at halftime, thanks to 51 percent shooting that included 6 of 11 3-pointers.

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No. 20 NOTRE DAME 84, MONMOUTH 57

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Garrick Sherman had 22 points and seven rebounds to lead Notre Dame.

Jack Cooley added 16 points for the Irish (2-0) and Pat Connaughton had 13.

Monmouth (1-1) scored the game's first four points, but Cooley's free throw 4 minutes into the game put the Irish ahead for good.

Notre Dame, which outrebounded Monmouth 42-24, only shot 61 percent from the free throw line.

Dion Nesmith led the Hawks with 13 points.

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Inside linebackers

Additions: Shaun Dion Hamilton (drafted in the fifth round)

Departures: Will Compton (free agent)

Starters: Zach Brown, Mason Foster

Other roster locks: Josh Harvey-Clemons

On the bubble: Hamilton, Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight

How the inside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: This is a difficult comparison to make since only about half of the teams use the 3-4 with two inside linebackers and there are many variations when they go out of their base defense. Brown certainly is in the upper tier of players at his position. Foster’s skill set may not be coveted by many teams around the league, but he is a perfect fit in the Redskins’ defense in many ways. The player who could differentiate this group from others around the league is Harvey-Clemons. If he turns into a top-notch nickel LB the inside linebackers will be a great asset. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  This is about health. In 2017, Foster missed 11 games, Brown was hampered by a variety of injuries before sitting out the last three games. Compton was the top backup to both players and he went to injured reserve after just three starts. They did re-sign Vigil, who had spent training camp with the team, and he played pretty well near the end of the season. If the front-line players can stay on the field for most of the season this should be a much better group than the one that was partially responsible for the league’s 32nd-ranked rushing defense. 

2018 Inside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: The 2017 season was supposed to be a redshirt year for Harvey-Clemons as he transitions from college safety to NFL linebacker. He played a lot in the base defense during the offseason practices and that indicates that they are considering him for a bigger role beyond just playing nickel. You have to wonder how his size (6-4, 230) will affect his ability to get off of blocks. 

Most to prove: Spaight was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and he has yet to establish a regular role in the defense. It was telling that when they needed someone to start in the latter part of last year they brought back and started Vigil and mostly kept Spaight is going into the last year of his contract, but it would not be surprising to see Vigil beat him out for the last roster spot.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins traded up in the sixth round to get Hamilton. It wasn’t a blockbuster deal but the fact that they thought enough of him to move up says something. Gruden has said that he thinks Hamilton could be a starter at some point. He was one of the leaders on a strong Alabama defense before injuries struck. Hamilton is not going to start this year barring multiple injuries, but he should develop a role as the season goes on and be ready to compete in 2019.

Bottom line: The Redskins have not invested much in terms of free agent dollars or draft capital in the inside linebacker position in recent seasons. That changed somewhat this offseason as they made sure to spend to retain Brown and Foster. Neither commanded a huge contract but they did make a commitment and that is important. Last year Brown gave the defense a sideline-to-sideline dimension it hasn’t had in quite some time and retaining him was critical. Inside linebacker may not be a major strength for the defense this year but it should be able to get the job done. 

2018 Redskins position outlook series


 

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Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards plan to introduce Dwight Howard Monday

Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season. 

One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday. 

NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.  

Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance. 

The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. 

Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years. 

Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year. 

 

RELATED LINKS: 

John Wall's take on Dwight Howard 

Wizards make Dwight Howard free agent signing official 

By the numbers: Is new Wizards center Dwight Howard still in his NBA prime?