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Whittington, Georgetown top Liberty 68-59

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Whittington, Georgetown top Liberty 68-59

WASHINGTON (AP) With top player Otto Porter Jr. sitting out because of concussion symptoms, Georgetown got a career-high 18 points plus nine rebounds from Greg Whittington and had very little trouble beating Liberty 68-59 Wednesday night.

Nate Lubick added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Mikael Hopkins scored 13 for Georgetown (2-0).

Liberty (0-3) was led by Casey Roberts' 13 points.

Liberty scored the game's first four points, before Georgetown reeled off 17 in a row.

All in all, it became the sort of mismatch one might expect between teams from the Big East and Big South. Liberty already lost to Richmond by 42 points and to William & Mary by 12. Plus, the Flames were without three of their primary post players, who are injured.

Liberty, which is in Lynchburg, Va., is 0-9 against Big East opponents.

Now things should get tougher for Georgetown, which travels to New York to play No. 13 UCLA on Monday, then No. 1 Indiana or Georgia on Tuesday.

Against the Flames, even without preseason all-conference selection Porter, the Hoyas started three players who are 6-foot-8 or taller; the visitors' lineup didn't have anyone bigger than 6-7. Not surprisingly, Georgetown outscored Liberty 24-0 in the paint in the first half.

Whittington, a sophomore, topped his previous college best of 15 points.

He had eight points and 15 rebounds in Georgetown's 61-55 victory over Duquesne on Sunday, which officially was the Hoyas' season opener. Their first game on the schedule, against Florida on an aircraft carrier, was called off at halftime because of too much moisture on the court.

Freshman guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, who scored 19 against Duquesne, had 11 against Liberty.

Porter was hit in the head in the first half against Duquesne and left after playing only 6 minutes. His absence Wednesday was announced a little more than an hour before the tipoff.

``After the game on Sunday, Otto exhibited symptoms indicative of a mild concussion,'' coach John Thompson III said in a statement. ``Otto's well-being is our first priority and he is being monitored by our sports medicine team and our doctors, who have been evaluating him daily.''

Wearing a dark suit and tie, Porter stood on court during the pregame layup drill, then offered high-fives and pats on the back to teammates as they walked off. The sophomore sat on the sideline during the game.

Porter was the Hoyas' leading returning scorer from last season, when he averaged 9.7 points. Sophomore Jabril Trawick started in his place Wednesday and finished with five points.

Liberty went ahead 4-0 on a pair of jumpers by Tavares Speaks - and then went silent on offense. The Hoyas put up 17 consecutive points from there, including seven from Lubick, while playing their typically stingy defense.

During Liberty's scoring drought, it had five turnovers, which ranged from stolen passes to a pair of shot-clock violations.

Chad Donley's 3-pointer with about 12 minutes left in the half finally got the visitors back on the scoreboard, pulling them within 17-7.

Davon Marshall's 3 with a little under 6 minutes to go before halftime pulled Liberty within 23-18.

But Georgetown re-asserted itself from there until the end of the half and took a 41-25 lead into the locker room, its biggest lead until then.

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Adrian Peterson's impressive day vs. the Panthers wasn't exactly supposed to happen

Adrian Peterson's impressive day vs. the Panthers wasn't exactly supposed to happen

When you don't hear from someone you wanted to hear from, you typically follow up.

But on Sunday during the Redskins' 23-17 win over the Panthers, Jay Gruden actually didn't follow up with Adrian Peterson about a plan the two first discussed leading up to kickoff.

Everyone associated with burgundy and gold should be OK with that, however, after seeing how things played out.

During his weekly, exclusive interview with JP Finlay on the Redskins Talk podcast, Gruden explained how Peterson's injury situation almost prevented the running back from posting his crucial 17-carry, 97-yard stat line. 

"I talked to him before the game, had a sit-down with him," the head coach said. "I told him I was probably only gonna use him on short-yardage and goal line if that, you know? Because I want him to heal, we have a long season ahead of us." 

Heading into Week 6, Peterson was dealing with shoulder, ankle and knee issues. Plus, he's 33 years old at a position where that number is way more common on a player's jersey than in his bio under "age."

So, Gruden's concern made some sense, especially considering how necessary a productive Peterson has been to the 'Skins' success in 2018. Problem is, the two never connected again, so the coach's pitch count was never executed.

"He says, 'Oh, just let me go early, I'll let you know how I'm doing,'" Gruden recalled. "We let him go early and I never heard from him so I just kept him in there. He played great. He's a pro, he's a stud."

For those of you now wondering if this means you should start ignoring emails from your boss or not text your buddy back and still expect success, let's not get too carried away here. In this instance, a lack of communication worked for the future Hall of Famer, but that doesn't mean it's going to work for you.

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The Redskins releasing Ziggy Hood could mean the return of Stacy McGee

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The Redskins releasing Ziggy Hood could mean the return of Stacy McGee

The Redskins released veteran defensive lineman Ziggy Hood on Tuesday, and in a vacuum, that's not major news. 

Hood has been a strong locker room presence for Washington for the last three seasons. He's played mostly out of position at nose tackle during his time with the Redskins, but he didn't complain and worked hard.

Still, Hood is a 31-year-old defensive lineman and was the last man in the Redskins rotation. 

While the Washington coaches and staff will all have plenty of good things to say about Hood, with the vocal emergence of second-year pro Jonathan Allen, Hood's leadership skills became less valuable.

It's probably not a coincidence, however, that 28-year-old Stacy McGee must come off the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list this week. McGee underwent surgery for a groin injury this offseason and was unable to practice throughout preseason.

In turn, the Redskins placed him on the PUP list, which meant he could not practice or play for the first six weeks of the season. 

Well, check the calendar — it's Week 7.

At 6-foot-3 and 339 lbs., McGee is bigger and younger than Hood. McGee is also carrying a $4.8 million cap hit this season, where Hood counted for $1.7 million.

It's the NFL and it'a a cutthroat business. 

McGee is now eligible to return to practice, and if he's ready, the active roster. If he's not ready, the Redskins have three weeks of practice time to let him continue to work back into shape.

Washington could also send McGee to the injured reserve list (ending his season) or release him. But neither of these options are expected.

Throughout the beginning of the season, McGee has been a fixture at Redskins Park, both in the weight room and on the practice fields. 

Last year, McGee played all 16 games for the Redskins and logged 44 tackles. Other players talked up his ability to absorb double team blocks, freeing up linebackers to make tackles.

Pro Football Focus graded McGee as +2.6 for the 2017 season, where Hood graded out at -26.3.

There are other options as well.

Maybe the Redskins want to give Caleb Brantley more opportunities. The team was high on Brantley going into the 2017 NFL Draft before an off-field accusation caused him to slip on draft boards. Washington signed him during roster cuts after he as released from Cleveland, but he's yet to make a gameday 46 for the Redskins. 

It's also possible the Redskins have identified another player, either a free agent or a practice squad player on another team. 

One free agent that seems wildly unlikely to fill Hood's roster spot: Junior Galette. 

While plenty of Redskins fans want to see Galette return to the Burgundy and Gold, remember, Galette plays outside linebacker and his greatest asset is speed of the edge. Whoever replaces Hood needs to be a big body, serving as a space eater along the defensive line. 

Think of it this way: Galette is a Ferrari. Hood is an F-350.

You don't want an F-350 on the race track, or a Ferrari hauling firewood. 

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