Whatever one want to say about University of Maryland football coach Randy Edsall, you cannot say he's not searching the globe for talent.Punter and place-kicker Brad Craddock, a native of Adelaide, Australia, has a signed up to play for the Terps, the program announced on Thursday. According to the statement released by the school, Craddock learned to punt playing Australian Rules football and was dubbed the top rated Australian kicking prospect in the class of 2012 by one publication. He has trained with OzPunt, an Australian punting, kicking and holding academy."Brad is an extremely talented kicker and punter with a very strong leg and excellent hangtime and distance with his kicks," Edsall said in the statement. "Having had experience with an Australian punter previously, I felt that Brad would be a great fit based on film and recommendations of our kicking and International contacts. We look forward to having Brad with us when our team reports to camp on August 5th."Senior Nick Ferrara handled kicking, punting and kickoff duties last season for Maryland. In 2011, Ferrara made 12 of 20 field goal attempts and averaged 39.5 yards on 57 punts. Rising sophomore Michael Tart is another kicking option on the roster.Craddock will have all four years of eligibility available at Maryland.
Now that Lou Williams has been dealt from the Lakers to the Rockets, the Wizards and other teams have to look elsewhere for bench options with Thursday's trade deadline looming. According to a new report from ESPN, Washington could turn to Timberwolves guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad.
The connection was first drawn by Marc Stein, who tweeted this on Tuesday:
Washington has shown interest in Minnesota's Shabazz Muhammad, according to league sources, as the Wiz continue to search for bench upgrades— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 22, 2017
Muhammad, 24, is an interesting option as a former 14th overall pick who has performed well this season off Minnesota's bench. He's averaging a modest 9.4 points in 19.6 minutes per game, but shoots 47.1 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from three.
Muhammad doesn't rebound or play much defense at all, but he has turned into a fairly lethal shooter, which could come in handy as the Wizards seek a scoring punch for their bench, particularly at the shooting guard position. Even after going 0-for-8 from three in his last four games, Muhammad holds a 48.6 three-point percentage going back to Dec. 21.
It's hard to tell what it would take for the Wizards to get Muhammad, who is set to hit free agency this summer. The Timberwolves have reason to part with him, given they are 13th in the Western Conference and unlikely to make the playoffs. They might as well get something for him while they can, if they don't plan on re-signing him. But if Muhammad becomes attainable for other teams, he could generate considerable interest as a three-point threat.
If the Wizards are to find a backup guard to help their bench, it won't come in the form of Lou Williams. The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade the veteran guard to the Houston Rockets.
That's according to Adrian Wojnarowski, who has the Rockets giving up a first round pick, which the Lakers were reportedly seeking in talks for Williams:
The Rockets are sending Corey Brewer and a first-round pick to the Lakers for Lou Williams, league source tells @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 22, 2017
Many teams were reluctant to part with a first round pick, especially one in the unusually deep upcoming draft. The Lakers ended up getting one, though the Rockets' pick will likely end up in the high-20s.
Williams, 30, is the type of player who could help any team in the NBA. He scores 18.6 points in just 24.2 minutes per game off the bench. The Wizards, like a lot of teams, were interested.
Now Williams will join a Rockets team that is already excellent at scoring. With James Harden leading the way, they are second in points per game (114.4). Add Williams to the mix and they are even more dangerous. Whether that puts them over the top in a crowded Western Conference, however, is the question.