Wizards

Top 25 Capsules

Top 25 Capsules

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Andrew Smith scored 15 points, Kellen Dunham added 11 and No. 13 Butler used a stifling defense to pull away from Richmond for a 62-47 victory in its first Atlantic 10 Conference home game Wednesday night.

Butler (15-2, 3-0) heads into Saturday's home showdown with No. 8 Gonzaga on a 12-game winning streak. The Bulldogs won without top scorer Rotnei Clarke, who missed the game with a severely sprained neck and has already been ruled out of Saturday's game.

Richmond (11-7, 1-2) was led by Darien Brothers' 12 points but has lost two straight and five of seven. The Spiders were playing without their second-leading scorer, Derrick Williams, who missed his fourth straight game with a sprained ankle.

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MARYLAND 51, No. 14 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 50

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Alex Len dropped in a missed shot by teammate Pe'Shon Howard with 00.9 seconds left for Maryland.

Howard drove the left side and came up short on a 5-footer, but the 7-foot-1 Len grabbed the ball in front of the rim and eased it through the hoop. It was Maryland's first win over a ranked team since March 3, 2010, against No. 4 Duke.

Len had 10 points for the Terrapins, who ended N.C. State's 10-game winning streak.

Maryland (14-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won 10 of 11 against the Wolfpack (14-3, 3-1), including five straight at home.

Lorenzo Brown scored 17 points for NC State and C.J. Leslie had 13. The Wolfpack came in leading the NCAA with a 52.8 shooting percentage, but in this one they shot a miserable 31.1 percent.

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No. 16 KANSAS STATE 67, TCU 54

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Rodney McGruder scored 21 points and Kansas State stretched its winning streak to seven games.

The Wildcats (14-2, 3-0 Big 12) got off to a slow start before taking control with a 19-4 run midway through the first half.

McGruder's layup with 11 minutes left in the first half tied the game at 10, after Kansas State had fallen behind 10-5. The Wildcats led for good when McGruder had a defensive rebound and turned that into a fastbreak 3-pointer by Will Spradling. A floater by McGruder stretched the lead to 24-14.

Adrick McKinney had 18 points and nine rebounds for TCU (9-8, 0-4).

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No. 17 MISSOURI 79, GEORGIA 62

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Earnest Ross scored 15 points to help Missouri rebound from its biggest loss of the season.

Alex Oriakhi had 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Tigers (13-3, 2-1 SEC), who were held to a season-low 49 points in a 15-point loss at Mississippi on Saturday. Their second game without leading scorer Laurence Bowers, who has a sprained right knee, was a major improvement for a team that's 10-0 at home this season and 26-1 at the Mizzou Arena in two seasons under coach Frank Haith.

Vincent Williams had a career-best 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting for Georgia (6-10, 0-3), nine more than his previous best after entering with a 4.1-point average. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Bulldogs' lone player averaging in double figures, added 15 points.

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No. 18 MICHIGAN STATE 81, PENN STATE 72

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Adreian Payne scored 20 points after spending the first half on the bench following a morning scuffle with Michigan State teammate Brandon Dawson.

Payne made up for lost time by dominating the post in the second half. He had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a stretch of 6-plus minutes after entering the game with about 16:30 left.

Payne added a 3-pointer - only his second of the season - in the middle of a 20-8 run to help the Spartans (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten) pull ahead midway through the second half.

Penn State (8-9, 0-5) stayed closed much of the game in large part to Jermaine Marshall, who scored 22 of his career-high 29 points after halftime.

An argument between roommates Dawson and Payne escalated into an exchange of punches in a second-floor lobby of a Penn State campus hotel, before the Spartans boarded a bus for the Jordan Center.

Police were called after a wall was dented at the hotel. The players were expected to pay for the damage.

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No. 19 NEW MEXICO 79, BOISE STATE 74, OT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Tony Snell scored 22 points and Hugh Greenwood added 15 to lead New Mexico to the overtime win.

Snell and Greenwood dominated the overtime, teaming for nine of the Lobos' 16 points. The win was the third straight for the Lobos (16-2, 3-0 Mountain West Conference).

Derrick Marks scored 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting for Boise State (13-3, 1-1), which saw its seven-game winning streak snapped and have yet to beat New Mexico since joining the Mountain West last season.

Greenwood put the game into overtime when he took advantage of a Boise State miscue on defense and drove a wide-open lane for a layup, tying the score at 63 with 54 seconds left.

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No. 25 MARQUETTE 69, SETON HALL 62

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Reserve forward Davante Gardner scored 17 points to lead Marquette over injury-depleted Seton Hall, which had just eight available players.

The Golden Eagles (13-3, 4-0 Big East), who moved into the AP Top 25 on Monday for the first time this season, got 12 points from Todd Mayo to win their season-high sixth straight game.

Vander Blue had 11 points and four assists as the three Golden Eagles combined to go 17 of 18 from the free throw line to claim their 19th consecutive home victory.

Aaron Cosby had 15 points for Seton Hall (12-6, 1-4), which never led in the game.

Haralds Karlis added 14 points and six rebounds for the Pirates, who dropped their season-high fourth straight game.

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Wizards GM reset: Blazers' Neil Olshey, Warriors exec potential targets?

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Wizards GM reset: Blazers' Neil Olshey, Warriors exec potential targets?

The Washington Wizards remain without a President of Basketball Operations since firing Ernie Grunfeld April 2. While several candidates met with owner Ted Leonsis, including Denver’s Tim Connelly, the pursuit continues though largely in silence.

The vibe coming out of the organization is that of patience even with the fan base growing restless as the June 20 NBA Draft looms and prospect workouts starting a week or so out.

There have been no reports of candidate interviews since Washington met over the weekend with Connelly. Speculation and logic have the Wizards considering candidates beyond the previously reported group already brought in for interviews.

We can connect some dots and land on one executive whose team is still in the playoffs: Golden State assistant general manager Larry Harris.

As for the rumor mill, one name stands out: Neil Olshey.

Numerous sources told NBC Sports Washington of the Wizards’ interest in Blazers President of Basketball Operations, the architect behind the Portland squad that reached the 2019 Western Conference Finals.

Before we explain both scenarios, one more thought on Connelly specifically the pursuit and big swing.

While Connelly wasn’t the first candidate meeting, it’s clear the Wizards waited for him. The 54-win Nuggets were eliminated from the second round of the playoffs May 12. Connelly flew to Washington for a meeting with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis five days later.

The Baltimore native sincerely weighed a contract offer from the Wizards before choosing to remain in Denver, sources told NBC Sports Washington.

The Wizards previously interviewed former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, Thunder assistant general manager Troy Weaver and Wizards interim front office leader Tommy Sheppard.

While all three are considered credible candidates, none is an active GM or team president. None represents a big swing, the kind Leonsis hinted he would pursue in his first comments after dismissing Grunfeld.

“One thing I will say: I think this is the best job in sports,” Leonsis said. “I don’t think we’re going to have any issues in attracting really, really great people.”

Olshey, 54, began running Portland’s front office in June of 2012. Over the next 12 months, he drafted guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum and hired head coach Terry Stotts. The quartet created the culture that fueled the current streak of six consecutive playoff appearances.

The 53-win Blazers advanced to the franchise’s first WCF appearance since 2000 before losing the series to Golden State 4-0.

It's uncertain the level of pursuit for Olshey from Washington, but the Wizards could face another uphill climb trying to lure the proven executive considering the similar contractual and team success to Connelly's situation. 

The general interest in Olshey began several weeks back, but the Wizards had yet to ask the Blazers for permission to interview Olshey as of Wednesday according to a source. Portland's season ended Monday with the Game 4 loss to Golden State. 

Olshey agreed to an extension in 2017 that carries his contract through the 2020-21 season. Sources believe he is open to considering other options including Washington after seven years with the Blazers.

Reporting from Portland has the franchise likely to be sold following the 2018 passing of team owner Paul Allen. 

Lillard received All-NBA honors Thursday and with it a supermax extension for four-years, $191 million dollars. If offered and signed, the contract would put constraints on Portland's salary cap structure.

As for Harris, the former Bucks GM joined the Warriors in 2008 as an assistant coach before eventually moving into the front office. He was named assistant GM in 2016.

ESPN reported Harris interviewed for the Pelicans opening in April before the NBA Playoffs began.

Note the familiar names. Gersson Rosas, who subsequently became the Timberwolves President, also interviewed with the Wizards.

The connection with the Wizards and Pelicans is Mike Forde, an outside consultant who helped both teams during their respective searches.

It’s no leap imagining Forde pushing the Wizards to meet with an executive who just spent the past five years in the NBA Finals (The Bucks never finished above .500 in five seasons with Harris, however). Waiting could mean until after Game 4 of the NBA Finals (June 7). Going the full seven games means June 16.

Another front office headliner still in the postseason is Toronto’s Masai Ujiri. NBC Sports Washington previously reported Ujiri showed interest in Washington. Expectations of high salary demands and compensation from the Raptors for their President of Basketball Operations stunted any serious movement, according to a source.

For now, Sheppard runs the show. He led the Wizards’ contingent at last week’s NBA Combine in Chicago. As for Ferry or Weaver, as of Wednesday it was considered unlikely either heard from Washington since the organization ramped up the pursuit of Connelly or learned of the Denver executive's decision, according to sources familiar with the situation.

 For now, all anyone on the outside can do is wait patiently just like the organization and see which name bubbles up next.

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

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'I started to realize that I’m not broken': Steve Smith opens up about mental health and depression

Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.

The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.

“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”

Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.

“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”

Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.

The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.

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