This man will replace Andrew Luck at Stanford

This man will replace Andrew Luck at Stanford

From Comcast SportsNet
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- There will be no hiding from Andrew Luck's legacy this season. Every time Josh Nunes walks into the Stanford football offices he will see the trophies Luck helped win. When he runs through the Stanford Stadium tunnel for the first time as the starting quarterback, No. 12 jerseys will be littered throughout the crowd. And if he reads the record books, there's one name dominating the top. "It's the biggest shoes I think you could have to follow," Nunes said. Cardinal coach David Shaw announced Tuesday that the junior quarterback beat out sophomore Brett Nottingham, ending a lengthy and close competition to replace Luck, the NFL's No. 1 overall pick and two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up. Shaw informed both in his office before the morning practice. "Over time, Josh has been the most consistent," Shaw said. "Make no mistake. This is not about wild plays, it's not about doing something outside the framework of the offense. This is about consistency. This is about executing the plays that were called. It's not about who hasn't played well. All of our quarterbacks have competed. All of our quarterbacks have approached this with a workmanlike attitude. But Josh has been the most consistent over this time." Experience is still a major concern. No. 21 Stanford will open the regular season against San Jose State on Aug. 31 with a quarterback who has thrown all of two passes and completed only one -- for all of 7 yards -- in his college career. Both also came two years ago. Nunes (pronounced Noon-es) also will have little time to transition. After playing Duke the following week, a monumental matchup looms against top-ranked Southern California at Stanford Stadium on Sept. 15. "The great thing is the path has been laid for how to be a successful quarterback here at Stanford," Nunes said, referring to Luck's career. "So, really, it's just following that pattern and emulating the kind of player that he was and the kind of person that he was here. I also got to realize I'm not Andrew Luck, and by no means am I trying to be exactly him. I'm trying to come out here and run this high-powered offense that we got and get it to the playmakers that we got." Luck left Stanford as the school's leader in touchdown passes (82), completion percentage (.670), passing efficiency (162.8) and total offense (10,411) -- among other marks -- despite playing only three seasons. A year after rolling past Virginia Tech 40-12 in the Orange Bowl, Luck didn't quite have the finish he had hoped. Stanford lost 41-38 in overtime to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2. Replacing Luck is a task even Shaw had to address the first day of spring practice. "I told them all flat out: Don't try to be Andrew Luck because you can't. It's impossible," Shaw said. "I don't know there's a guy in the nation right now, young or old, that's where Andrew was when he left here. So for us it's about managing the game." While Luck is replacing four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts, Nunes is facing a task equally daunting in the college ranks. Nunes missed most of last year with a right turf toe injury and never saw game action. The native of Upland in Southern California played in four games in 2010. He worked with the first-team offense in Stanford's spring game and started last Sunday's scrimmage, and coaches believe his knowledge of the playbook and game management top Nottingham's strong arm. Nottingham replaced Luck in six games last year, finishing 5 of 8 passing for 78 yards. The quarterback, who played at Monte Vista High School in San Francisco's East Bay, was not made available by Stanford to speak to reporters. A message left at his parents' house seeking comment also was not returned. Shaw wouldn't commit to Nottingham being the backup, insisting redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan will continue to challenge for the spot. But he said the months-long competition made each quarterback and the team better. "It's a very good thing," Shaw said. "If I had to make this decision the first week that would have meant that we didn't have competition. We had a serious competition." Former Stanford tight end Coby Fleener and wide receiver Griff Whalen, both rookies along with Luck in Indianapolis, said they had just one preference for the next starter. "Whoever wins us games," said Fleener, drafted 34th overall. "They're not throwing me balls, so it's whoever wins games. I'm a Stanford fan forever." Whalen also recognizes the parallels for Luck and Nunes as they try to replace such standouts at quarterback. "It's going to be tough because, whoever it is, is going to be in a similar situation to what Andrew has here," Whalen said before the official announcement. "The important thing is to go one day at a time and focus on the things you can control." While there is no bigger hole to fill than replacing Luck, Stanford has built depth over the last two seasons -- both of which ended at BCS bowls -- and Shaw refuses to call this a rebuilding year. Stanford has a talented mix of tight ends and running backs, including back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher Stepfan Taylor, one of the Pac-12's top defenses and the league's Coach of the Year. The program also has a proven record recently of overcoming key losses, including 2009 Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart and coach Jim Harbaugh before last season. If Nunes can be a steady hand at quarterback, perhaps there's no reason Stanford should slip. "Being behind Andrew Luck was pretty much the biggest blessing I think you could ever ask for," Nunes said. "I learned a lot from him and I feel like I'm ready to lead this team."

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Beal, Grunfeld react to Wizards trade with Nets for Bogdanovic

Beal, Grunfeld react to Wizards trade with Nets for Bogdanovic

The only player for the nine-win Brooklyn Nets that gave the Wizards problems consistently was Bojan Bogdanovic, a 6-8 forward who was constantly in motion and beating them off curls and backdoor cuts to the basket. 

The Wizards still won all three meetings, but he's a difficult cover; a stronger, more physical small foward than Otto Porter but with some of the same principles of moving without the ball to be effective.

Now, after a multi-player trade with the Nets on Wednesday, Bogdanovic is on their side.

"He can put the ball on the floor and play multiple positions, probably two through four. He's shooting a lot better. He's a strong guy who can post up and shoot threes," Bradley Beal said Wednesday, after CSNmidatlantic.com reported the deal that also included 6-11 big Chris McCullough.

"He can put the ball on the floor and guard, too. He's pretty good at rebounding and backdoor cutting. He got me a couple times before. I'm excited. We made some good moves. It's unfortunate when you lose teammates, but that's the business aspect of it. I'm looking forward to him and McCullough, as well. We're going to roll and hopefully they can jump on board and help us out."

Bogdanovic is averaging 14.2 points and shooting 35.7% from three-point range. He had a chance to tie the score in overtime vs. the Wizards in their last meeting trailing 113-110 but missed. The Nets lost 114-110.

RELATED: NBA TRADE DEADLINE TRACKER

He was a high-volume starter in Brooklyn but will have a slightly reduced role in Washington. With the second unit, however, Bogdanovic will be expected to take the intitiave on offense.  

"I love his aggressiveness, he plays with confidence. It's difficult being on a Brooklyn team where he was taking a majority of the shots and he was aggressive. We kind of need that same mentality," Beal said. "Stay aggressive, knock down shots and shoot the ball when you're open. We're going to instill all that confidence in him and he has some in himself. We're excited. I don't know him personally but I am definitely happy that he's with us."

Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld shared his thoughts on both Bogdanovic and McCullough on Wednesday.

"Bojan is a very good shooter and a talented overall scorer whose versatility gives us an added dimension as we gear up for the stretch run," Grunfeld said. "He is a proven starter that will provide us an added boost off the bench and allow us to be creative with our lineups."

"We feel Chris is an intriguing prospect as a first round pick who was recently named a D-League All-Star. He has high potential and we look forward to our staff continuing his development."

RELATED: WHY WIZARDS ZEROED IN ON BOJAN BOGDANOVIC

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Wizards rookie legally changes name to Sheldon Mac

Wizards rookie legally changes name to Sheldon Mac

The NBA All-Star break offers players not participating in the weekend's festivities to take care of business in their personal life. One Wizards rookie used that time to go back home to Texas and legally change his name.

Yes, the player formally known as Sheldon McClellan is now officialy Sheldon Mac. The 24-year-old returned to Houston, Texas over the past week and, with the blessing of his mother, changed his name. 

Mac expects to have his jersey changed at some point and he will now be referred to in print as 'Sheldon Mac.' He said the reason was because 'McClellan' was a name he got from his father, whom he has no relationship with.

Mac had thought about making the change for at least since last May when he left the University of Miami. He decided to hold off through the draft process in order to avoid confusion for scouts and prospective teams.

Mac said it shouldn't be difficult for him to get used to it, as all of his friends already referred to him as Mac anyways. 

Mac could have gone with his mother's last name, which is Johnson. But he likes Mac better.

"I just added a little swag to it."

[RELATED: Wizards deal first round pick for Nets swingman]