The Washington Mystics have fired coach and general manager Trudi Lacey, President and Managing Partner Sheila C. Johnson announced on Monday.In two seasons under Lacey's direction, the Mystics posted a combined 11-57 record, including a WNBA worst 5-29 mark in the just completed campaign. Washington ended the 2012 season Saturday with a loss at Chicago, the team's 13th consecutive defeat. In addition to establishing a franchise-worst losing streak, the Mystics had only one victory in 15 post-Olympic break games and just one win away from the Verizon Center this season."Everyone in our organization recognizes how frustrating the season has been and would like to thank our fans for their support," Johnson said. "We thank Trudi for her dedicated work and wish her well in her future endeavors. Lacey joined the Mystics initially as an assistant coach under Julie Plank in 2009 before taking over the head coaching reigns from Plank and the player personnel duties from Angela Taylor after the 2010 campaign. In two seasons with Plank on the sideline, the Mystics reached the postseason twice, including winning the Eastern Conference regular season title in 2010.After not renewing Taylor's contract, Mystics ownership attempted to have Plank take on both roles. When those talks broke down, out went Plank and in came Lacey, who previously served as the coach and general manager for the now-defunct Charlotte Sting.Washington overhauled the roster entering the 2012 season with seven newfaces joining the 11-player roster. Expect more changes during the offseason with the team needing an interior presence opposite forward and leading scorer Crystal Langhorne, a true pass-first point guard and additional perimeter shooting.The Mystics enter Wednesday's draft lottery with the best odds among the four non-playoff teams. Baylor's All-American enter Britney Griner is projected as the top overall pick in the 2013 draft.We are looking forward to a fresh start with our core returning players, a high draft pick that will yield an impact player and a new direction in basketball operations, Johnson said.In addition to Laceys departure, the Mystics also announced they would not retain the team's assistant coaches.
With the 69th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected Maryland pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. He was the second Maryland player taken on Friday night, along with defensive back Sean Davis to the Steelers, and for the Jaguars was the third straight defensive player selected.
Pair Ngakoue with first-round DB Jalen Ramsey from Florida State and possible second-round steal Myles Jack, and Jacksonville has already put together a formidable draft class.
What are people saying nationally about the Ngakoue pick? Take a look below.
"The 6-foot-2, 252-pound Ngakoue is a scheme fit who will start off as a designated pass-rusher. He needs improvement against the run and has to work on keeping his weight up. Still, he’s an upgrade at the position."
"As for fitting with the Jaguars, they seemed to be set on finding somebody who is more of a situational pass rusher than they are finding a true every-down LEO. Their interest in Ngakoue makes sense in the regard that he can step in and be able to contribute right away."
"The Jaguars addressed the edge late Friday. They did because they needed to, but more than that, they did it because the right player was available at the right time."
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com:
Ngakoue Grade: B+. Watching Sean Davis on tape, he kept showing up. Love this pick. Pass rusher with talent.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) April 30, 2016
"Ngakoue will contribute as a pass-rusher immediately, playing mostly the LEO position and coming in on third downs. General manager Dave Caldwell raved about Ngakoue’s first step quickness in his press conference with the media on Friday night."
"He decided leave Maryland early and the Jaguars jumped at the chance to add him. [GM Dave] Caldwell said he considered taking Ngakoue as early as the second round, but again, stayed patient and reaped the benefits."
Maryland defensive back Sean Davis was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 58 overall pick in thte 2016 NFL Draft on Friday night. Among those reacting to the selection was CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco, who grades each pick as the draft progress.
Safe to say Prisco was a fan.
Kevin Colbert does it again. Sean Davis is a damn good safety. He will be a perfect pick for the Steelers. Grade: A+— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) April 30, 2016
"Love this pick. Love this kid," he would go on to write in a post later. "The Steelers get a safety with range who can cover and tackle. Secondary is fixed."
Davis, in talking to CSN on Friday night, said that he was surprised to a certain extent that Pittsburgh would select him after the Steelers took defensive back Artie Burns from Miami in the first round.
But Burns can in at corner and Davis can slot in at safety, so the fit is there.
"I kind of thought it was over. I didn't expect them to pick me up. I guess they're trying to do something special back there," he said with a smile. "It's crazy."
Davis had a relationship with the team prior to the draft, though. He spoke with representatives at both the NFL Combine and the Senior Bowl.
Had he not been taken where he was taken, it was unlikely that he would have slipped much more. The New England Patriots sat at picks 60 and 61 and had long been intrigued by Davis.
New England would end up taking Alabama defensive back Cyrus Jones at 60 and trading pick No. 61.
You would expect the Ravens to draft a cornerback at some point Saturday, but even if they do, it might be too late.
The Ravens didn’t draft a cornerback in the first three rounds, the fifth straight year that has happened. Fifteen cornerbacks went off the board in Rounds 1 through 3, but none of them went to the Ravens.
Their last high draft pick at corner was Jimmy Smith, a first-round pick in 2011. Since 2013, the Ravens have only drafted three corners -- the late Tray Walker (2015), Marc Anthony (2013), and Asa Jackson (2012).
At a position that is vitally important, the Ravens have not been very active in the draft. Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta defended that fact Friday night, and still believed the Ravens could find a quality cornerback Saturday.
“I think we will,” DeCosta said Friday night. “You need a little luck sometimes, and it depends on the board, but there’s still a lot of good players at that position and other positions. The challenge for us will be to find those guys.”
Cornerbacks the Ravens could target include Juston Burris of N. C. State, Rashard Robinson of LSU, Zack Sanchez of Oklahoma, D. J. White of Georgia Tech, and Tavon Young of Temple.
But if cornerback play becomes an issue for the Ravens next season, they may look at this draft as another missed opportunity to improve at that position.