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Wisconsin routs Cornell 73-40

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Wisconsin routs Cornell 73-40

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each scored 18 points to help No. 22 Wisconsin beat Cornell 73-40 Sunday night.

Brust also grabbed 12 rebounds, while Ryan Evans also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Badgers (2-1).

Devin Cherry Cornell (1-3) with 13 points.

In losing to No. 10 Florida 74-56 on Wednesday, the Badgers allowed the Gators to shoot 75 percent in the first half and 62 percent for the game.

But it was clear from the start Sunday there would be no repeat of that performance.

The Big Red started just 1 of 11 and Cornell found itself down 27-8 with just less than 8 minutes to go in the first half.

But it was clear from the start Sunday there would be no repeat of that performance.

The Big Red started just 1 of 11 and Cornell found itself down 27-8 with just less than 8 minutes to go in the first half. Cornell then went to a trapping defense that had some success in forcing Wisconsin turnovers and picking up the pace of the game as the Big Red cut it to 27-14.

But the pressing defense also left Wisconsin shooters open, and the Badgers hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions. A Sam Dekker steal and dunk on the breakaway pushed the lead to 38-16, and Wisconsin largely cruised from there.

It was a struggle offensively most of the night for Cornell, which ended up shooting just 26 percent for the game and was outrebounded 54-31.

It also could have been worse for the Big Red, but Wisconsin was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball, committing 16 turnovers.

It was only the second meeting between the two schools, the first an 87-69 Cornell win in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

The game was the first of four in seven days for Wisconsin as part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational. After hosting Presbyterian on Tuesday, the Badgers head to Las Vegas to face No. 15 Creighton.

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Report suggests Barack Obama is trying to recruit Masai Ujiri to Wizards

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Report suggests Barack Obama is trying to recruit Masai Ujiri to Wizards

The Wizards are reportedly preparing to make Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri a massive offer to run Washington's NBA franchise. And they may have some big-time help recruiting him to D.C. 

Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, is trying to persuade Ujiri to leave the NBA champions to join the Wizards, according to The Athletic's Ethan Strauss. 

"I hear Barack Obama's a part of that whole Masai recruitment to D.C.," Strauss said on a recent episode of the "Back To Back" podcast. "I've heard Obama wants Masai in D.C. Obama wants to do something with basketball."

Obama and Ujiri are close friends. Obama was in attendance at Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, while Ujiri attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2015 when Obama was in office. 

The Wizards' potential offer for Ujiri is reportedly for six years, $60 million, and could possibly include an ownership stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment and other responsibilities within the company, sources have told NBC Sports Washington. 

And hey, it doesn't hurt to have the former Commander in Chief making your sales pitch.

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Sekou Doumbouya visits Wizards hoping to sell them on his defense

Sekou Doumbouya visits Wizards hoping to sell them on his defense

WASHINGTON -- The Wizards hosted one of their final prospect workouts in anticipation of the June 20 NBA Draft on Friday, as six players battled in three-on-three drills with every member of Washington's front office and coaching staff in sight. But behind the glass wall of the dining lounge at the Wizards' practice facility at St. Elizabeth's was the player everyone wanted to see.

Sekou Doumbouya, who is projected to land in the lottery on draft night, made a visit to Washington to speak with Wizards personnel. He did not participate in the workout, but through face-to-face interviews gave the Wizards an up-close look at a player who may or may not be on the board when they are on the clock with the ninth overall pick.

Doumbouya is the youngest player in the draft at just 18 years old, with his birthday not until late December. He is originally from Guinea but played professional basketball in France. Given his age and the fact he played in a second-tier league before making the leap to the NBA, Doumbouya holds some mystery as a prospect.

In his meetings with teams, Doumbouya has tried to hammer home one point in particular.

"My defense," he said. "I can play everywhere [because] if you play defense, you can play everywhere in the league."

Defense certainly stands out when it comes to Doumbouya's potential. He is 6-foot-9 with a reported 7-foot-2 wingspan. At his age, he could keep growing. And at that size, he has the mobility to guard multiple positions, force turnovers and maybe even block some shots.

The Wizards need help with just about every area of their defense. They were 27th in defensive rating last season and 29th in points allowed. They couldn't defend the perimeter or the lane, allowing the fourth-highest three-point percentage (37%) and the fifth-most three-point makes (12.1/g), while also allowing more field goals within five feet of the rim than any team (22.1/g) and the third-highest percentage (64.2%) in that range. 

Doumbouya projects as the type of defensive anchor who could help in a variety of ways. He could step out to guard three-point shooters while also clogging lanes to the basket with his length.

The questions for Doumbouya center around how NBA-ready he is at his age and experience, and what his ceiling will ultimately be on the offensive end. Doumbouya, though, believes he can be especially effective in transition.

"Fastbreak," he said when listing his strengths. "I love running [the floor]."

Whether Doumbouya will be available at the ninth pick depends on who you ask. Most mock drafts have him at nine or lower, but his athleticism and versatility could entice a team that picks before the Wizards.

The Hawks, whom Doumbouya met with the day after seeing the Wizards, are a team to watch. They have the eighth, 10th and 17th picks in the first round, so they can afford to take a risk. They could snag Doumbouya at No. 8, then go with a safer pick or two with their other selections.

But there is a very good chance Doumbouya is the best player available when the Wizards get set to make their pick. If he does, defense will be his biggest selling point.

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