After a month-long hiatus for the summer Olympics, the Washington Mystics and the rest of the WNBA returns to action this week with the locals playing at Indiana on Thursday. Depending on one's point of view, the break for the Mystics (4-14) was either: Much needed so the players and coaches could analyze and ponder how best to fix the woes of the first half, one that included three losing streaks of at least four games. Or...Poorly timed seeing as the Mystics closed the first half with a rousing 70-53 win at New York, their largest margin of victory on the season.Sure, you can point to the latter position with some legitimacy, but the overall ills during those initial 18 games cannot be denied. Slow starts were a repeat offender; Washington did not own a lead at the end of the first quarter until the 13th game of the season. Spotty point guard play certainly did not help generate consistent early offense.The one constant on offense and on the boardsremains forward Crystal Langhorne, who topped the team in points (16.6) and matched Michelle Snow with a team-high 6.7 rebounds. The former University of Maryland star combined with DC native Monique Currie for 40 points in the victory over New York and tallied 22 points and 13 rebounds in the Mystics stunning 67-66 win over the Fever (10-7) on June 15.Overall the Mystics offense has been stagnant and simply lacking, averaging a league-low 69 points per game. Currie (10.6) is the only other playing averaging double figures, Matee Ajavon (9.2) is averaging nearly five points a game fewer than she did last season, sinking only 32 percent of her shots. The real issue for coach Trudi Lacey's squad offensively comes with those directing traffic. Free agent signee Dominque Canty went from starting point guardto waived after only five games. Second-year guard and former first-round pick Jasmine Thomas is still transitioning into a floor leader role and the growing pains are evident at times.In-season pick-up Shannon Bobbitt became a 5-foot-3 sparkplug for a while, but she failed to tally a single point in four of her last five games. Natasha Lacy also received time, but nothing stuck. Even if the losses continue to mount, letting Thomas and 2012 first-rounder Natalie Novosel take control of the backcourt at some point could be Lacey's best path.Indiana, led by Olympic Gold medalist and small forward Tamika Catchings, ended the first half in second place behindEastern Conference leading Connecticut. Catchings paces the Fever in points (18.2), rebounds (7.4) and steals (2.0), though the do-everything star missed 10 of 14 shots in the June loss to the Mystics. The two sides square off three times over the final five-plus weeks of the regular season including twice in Indiana where the Fever are 6-3.Meanwhile the Mystics lost seven of eight road games with the win at New York representing the only triumph away from the Verizon Center. Seeing as they open the second half playing six of eight on the road, the Mystics better hope they remembered that winning formula.
Maryland basketball keeps moving on up.
After landing the last spot in the AP’s Top 25 last week, the Big Ten-leading Terps (17-2 overall, 5-1 Big Ten) continue their climb in the ranks, now sitting at No. 22 as of Monday. However, despite the conference standings, they're still behind No. 15 Wisconsin (16-3, 5-1) and No. 20 Purdue (16-4, 5-2).
Heading into Tuesday’s home matchup against Rutgers, Maryland is riding a four-game win streak with its last loss on Jan. 1 against Nebraska (9-10, 3-4).
Since cracking the Top 25, the Terps played one game last week — an 84-76 win over Iowa (11-9, 3-4) on the road with junior guard Melo Trimble leading the way with 20 points.
Freshman forward Justin Jackson also made waves last week, netting 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds, earning him the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week honor, the conference announced Monday.
Maryland takes on the Scarlet Knights (12-8, 1-6) on Tuesday at the XFINITY Center at 7 p.m.
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On Monday morning, the Redskins made several new coaching hires official, including Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach.
Tomsula was out of football in 2016 after serving as the 49ers head coach for the 2015 season in which the team finished 5-11.
Despite struggling as a head coach, Tomsula gained an odd, if not heavy cult following. It made little sense considering he has the look and demeanor of someone who was put on this earth to coach football and coach football only. But through the glories of the internet came this:
The Jimmy Tomsula rap song.
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It's just a demo, and I suppose the full version could be out there somewhere since this song is over a year old. But there's something hypnotizing about 60 consecutive seconds of "Open up my shirt like im Jimmy Tom-Sula."
How long before we begin hearing this song at FedEx Field on Sundays?