Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 7:55 a.m.
UPDATED 4:15 p.m.
By Benjamin StandigCSNwashington.com
Awesome, Andray Blatche is motivated. Frankly, that has been apparent with his staggering effort numbers on the boards in the Wizards' back-to-back wins, not to mention consecutive Aprils. But it goes without saying the season started before Halloween, right?
As the Capitals are battling for playoff seeding, they have an ongoing MASH unit situation on the blue line. Bruce Boudreau also has a numbers game, as by next week, 15 forwards will turn into a 12-man postseason rotation. Whether options like Jason Chimera and Matt Hendricks make the cut are what the final three regular-season games are all about.
For their bench, the Nationals clearly chose experience over youth. One could argue they also sacrificed a touch of talent, but no way was the franchise was willing to skimp on clubhouse chemistry.
Adding a perimeter pass rusher is believed to rank high on the Redskins' needs list, and outside linebacker Brooks Reed is reportedly visiting Ashburn later this week. Not that long ago, the University of Arizona product was thought to be a possibility at No. 41, but now the Clay Matthews-compared Reed is being linked with the first round.
The Huskies' errant shots piled up like the off-court accusations hurled against their head coach, but through it all and for the third time, Connecticuts Jim Calhoun came out smelling like a champion.
So close, yet so far away, maybe. Thats the way Thom Loverro views the Nationals' missed opportunity Sunday against the Braves. Not simply a game, but to reverse the three-year curse. Dont forget to listen on Tuesday for a double dose of Nats Insider Mark Zuckerman, hitting the ESPN 980 airwaves at 12:40 p.m. and 6:05 p.m.
Whether one viewed the Hoyas mens basketball season as an overachieving success or disheartening in the end, it was clear that high-flying athleticism was not part of the blue and grays repertoire. That deficiency looks to change when the dunking swingman Jabril Trawick joins the Hilltop crew for the 2011-12 season.
Former George Washington and St. Johns coach Mike Jarvis has been part of the NCAAs coaching witness protection program since 2008. Thats when Patrick Ewings high school coach took control at Florida Atlantic, and in his third season, the Owls won the Sun Belt regular-season title. Thats why you can expect Jarvis name to come up for the now vacant University of Miami gig.
Considering their desperate need for an offensive line upgrade, its no surprise the Redskins have reportedly scheduled a workout with Outland Trophy-winning offensive tackle Nate Solder for next week. Whats potentially interesting is that while the Colorado All-American is considered a first-rounder, Solder has rarely been linked with a top-10 draft projection. So while the Redskins may simply kicking the tires on the 6-foot-8, 300-plus pounder, it also keeps hope alive that a trade-down remains possible.
Overtime with Bill Rohland and Danny Rouhier (The Fan, 106.7): The debut of the Mike Rizzo Show featured the Nationals general manager responding to those who wonder why a largely youthful, up-and-coming team would open the season with a multitude of veterans on its bench. These guys are the mentors of these young players, said Rizzo, referring to the likes of Matt Stairs and Jerry Hairston helping to show those such as Danny Espinosa and Ian Desmond what it takes to be major-leaguers. (Via Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog)
The Tony Kornheiser Show (ESPN 980): On the heels of the Basketball Hall of Fame introducing its latest class, Mr. Tony batted around the worthiness of those who were honored (Dennis Rodman, Artis Gilmore) and the wide-ranging, inclusive nature of the institution. Guests David Aldridge (TNT) and Bob Ryan (Boston Globe) were overwhelmingly in support of the rebounding force with a penchant for body ink, piercings and formal wedding attire being deemed one of the sports all-time best (less so for Gilmore, who manned the middle in the ABA and NBA during the 1970s and '80s).
Of more interest to Kornheiser and Ryan is when the Hall will finally add Christian Laettner, the only member of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team not enshrined now that Chris Mullin has been picked. Remember, the basketball edition is about ones entire body of work, not simply on the pro level.