NCAA

College basketball previews: Top games in the DMV

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College basketball previews: Top games in the DMV

For those bummed about missing out on Georgetown's upcoming Aircraft Carrier game, Maryland's season tipoff against Kentucky in Brooklyn or any road tilt involving one of the local college basketball teams, here's some good news: when it comes to noteworthy, impactful and highly anticipated matchups, the DMV is stacked. Here's a baker's dozen worth of men's college basketball games and all only a metro ride or short drive away...

Nov. 9, George Mason vs. Virginia (Patriot Center) -- Even with the just announced suspensions to two players including center Erik Copes, plenty of juice remains for this in-state matchup. Pulling out a win over an ACC squad -and the first BCS program to visit the Patriot Center since 2006 (Mississippi State) - would immediately give the Patriots an RPI boost. A victorious Virginia would show the Cavaliers have game in the post-Mike Scott era.

Nov. 30, Georgetown vs. Tennessee (Verizon Center) -- This Big East-SEC challenge meeting is a battle of length versus bulk. Otto Porter and Greg Whittington headline the long-limbed and rather young Hoyas while the Vols offer resistance inside via the combined 530 pounds from Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon. John Thompson III, a heads up. You have three weeks or so to work on your posing. In this department, Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin is clearly in mid-season form.

Dec. 2, Maryland vs. George Mason (Verizon Center) -- The Patriots make their fourth appearance in the BB&T Classic and face the College Park crew for the first time since 2004-05. Maryland sophomore guard Nick Faust scored only 3 points in last season's win over Notre Dame. With the Terps entering the final year of their contract, this could be the Baltimore product's last chance to make an impact on this local tournament stage and the matchup against fellow wing Sherrod Wright is a juicy one.

Dec. 8, George Washington vs. Kansas State (Smith Center) -- The Colonials have significantly upgraded their share of local talent under second-year coach Mike Lonergan, not to mention their out of conference schedule. That combination means freshmen guard Joe McDonald (Landon) and former Villanova transfer Isaiah Armwood (Montrose Christian) battle the formidable Wildcats, led by their own former D.C. area prep star in Rodney McGruder (Archbishop Carroll). The twist is the meeting with the Big 12 program, one that returns five starters from last season's 22-win team, takes place on the Colonials home turf and not in Manhattan (Ks.) where GW lost last season.

Jan. 16, American vs. Lehigh (Bender Arena) -- Come to thank the Mountain Hawks, led by their all-everything guard C.J. McCollum, for upsetting Duke in last season's NCAA Tournament. Stay for a matchup between two of the top three teams in the Patriot League. If Jeff Jones' Eagles are to make it back to the highest level of March Madness themselves for the first time since 2009, they'll likely have to knock off Lehigh. Might as well start practicing now.

Jan. 26, Georgetown vs. Louisville (Verizon Center) -- Coming off a Final Four run, the Cardinals enter this season ranked No. 2 nationally and figure to arrive in D.C. on a revenge mission. Last season Georgetown defeated then fourth-ranked Louisville 71-68 on the road behind 20 points from Markel Starks. From there the chatty Hoyas guard faded offensively the rest of the way, but Georgetown needs its most experienced backcourt option at his productive best with slithery guard Peyton Siva set to strike for Rick Pitino's squad.

Jan. 31, George Mason vs. Drexel (Patriot Center) -- Debated going with the Patriots contest against soon-to-be-departing Old Dominion (Jan. 10), but in terms of this season, the Drexel game is the one to watch. If the Patriots plan on winning the CAA regular season crown, downing the conference favorite in the first of two meetings would be a wise move. Last season the only matchup took place in Philly and went the way of the defensively feisty Dragons despite seven blocks by Patriots center Erik Copes - in the first half.

Feb. 2, Howard vs. Savannah State (Burr Gymnasium) - The Bison's up and coming roster filled with eight sophomores and freshman are poised to improve on last season's 10 wins and make a corresponding move into the middle of the MEAC pack. The bonus here is catching a peek at the Tigers, the preseason conference favorite and the team primed to be this year's Norfolk State.

Feb. 9, George Washington vs. Butler (Smith Center) -- The Colonials host only one of the two new cool kid A-10 programs this year, specifically the 2010 and 2011 national runner-up Bulldogs. Bummer the floppy haired Matt Howard is long gone, but we still have the tactical coaching matchup to watch between Lonergan and Butler's Brad Stevens. GW's only game with Shaka Smart and VCU is Feb. 16 in Richmond.

Feb. 16, Maryland vs. Duke (Comcast Center) --This just in: these programs just plan don't like each other. Everyone - especially NBA scouts - will love watching the matchup in the middle between Duke's Mason Plumlee and Maryland's Alex Len, the 13th and 14th rated draft prospects according to Draft Express.

Feb. 16, Navy vs. Army (Alumni Hall) -- Wrong sport? Eh, whatever.

Mar. 6, Maryland vs. North Carolina (Comcast Center) -- No doubt we could have placed Maryland's January home date with ACC preseason favorite NC State on this list, but the Wolfpack remain third among Tobacco Road teams Terp fans are most amped to face. By this point in the season we'll know more about the new-look Tar Heels than we do now, but 6-foot-9 forward James Michael McAdoo likely inherits the role of go-to guy and thus is the one Maryland students will want to start developing chants about. Keep it clean kids.

Mar. 9, Georgetown vs. Syracuse (Verizon Center) -- As it turns out, the best comes last. Meeting in the regular season for the final team as Big East rivals. Thompson vs. Boeheim. Gray vs. Orange. The Princeton offense vs. the 2-3 zone. Echo's of Ewing, Floyd and Mourning vs. Pearl, Coleman and Douglas. None of the rooters on either side, the front row sitters to the upper deck face painters, want this longtime rivalry to end - but if this is it, March 9th can't get here soon enough.   

Unique skillset benefits George Mason's Marquise Moore in NBA aspirations

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USA TODAY Sports

Unique skillset benefits George Mason's Marquise Moore in NBA aspirations

Marquise Moore is not your prototypical college basketball star. But as the 2016-17 season prooved, he is one of the most intriguing and interesting players. 

Standing at just 6-2, the George Mason guard averaged a double-double, and the second category wasn't assists.

The lightly recruited Queens, N.Y. native averaged 16.9 points and 10.9 rebounds, while being the eighth best rebounder in the country. Of the top 50 rebounders last season, Moore was the only one under 6-5 and was the best rebounder among guards. 

Entering college as a two-star recruit with just three offers, Moore's collegiate career ended as a all-conference performer at a traditional mid-major power.

This past season the Patriots finished 20-14, the best mark in Moore's four years with the team. It was also Moore's coming out party, Moore flourished on court and garnered attention from several national outlets due to his unique and unlikely skillset.

Outlets like the Washington Post and Bleacher Report were baffled on how a 6-2 guard could be so good at rebounding. His opponents were baffled too.

"Marquise could not be guarded and kept out of the paint one-on-one in the Atlantic 10," George Mason coach Dave Paulsen told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "I gotta believe he'd have the ability to get into the lane, to attack at the highest of levels."

Now, the Atlantic 10 is nothing compared to the level of play in the NBA, but his skills can transfer across all levels. In the association, teams cannot collapse on a small guard driving down the lane, otherwise sharp shooters will be left open. If his college game can translate, he could be the perfect bench point guard to at least get starters rest and generate scoring opportunities. Already his workouts with the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers prepared him for the higher level of play. 

"You want it more when you are playing against those type of guys," Moore told CSN in Early July. "I've never been highly ranked, highly recruited or anything. Definitely felt overlooked so I'm glad I proved I'm just as good or better than them." 

Getting some pre-draft workouts with both the Rockets and 76ers, there was optimism that Moore could get pulled for a summer league roster.

Unfortunately for the George Mason grad, an ankle tweak in early May served as a major setback for a player that has a lot to prove with opportunities few and far between.

"I think he'd have four or five more workouts if he hadn't had the ankle sprain," Paulsen said. "Had he had a few more workouts, that would have gotten him more exposure to get in for a summer league thing. He's a few weeks behind because of the ankle sprain and its going to take him a little longer to get where he wants to go."

With the summer league now gone without Moore on any roster, he is now in a limbo like many other talented stars who did not benefit from the high-major spotlight. Of course for all basketball prospects, the ultimate dream is to play in the NBA, but the best path to get there is not always clear.

The two primary options for Moore is to play overseas or continue to get workouts with the NBA and G-League teams domestically. 

Currently, Moore is still battling for his NBA path. He is set up to participate in the G-League Player Invitational Aug. 13 in Chicago, an event he can earn eligibility for the G-League draft in October. 

"I feel like I have interest from NBA teams," Moore said. "Going to the G-league will be a more foreseeable option, but I'm not sure if I want to enter the G-league blindly without hearing from any NBA teams becuase its really hard to move up that way."

As a guard with incredible physicality, the unknown is actually what could bring Moore to an NBA team.

Will there be a team willing to bite?

The G-League Player Invitational will be the next measuring stick on how NBA coaches and scouts feel about Moore a month removed from summer league. Admitting his weaknesses in the workouts, Moore thrives during live-ball action, which is a huge part of the invitational. 

Look out for teams that need rebounding and thrive off of physical play. Teams that come to mind instantly are the Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers; two teams that had pre-draft interest, the Chicago Bulls and Rockets; and the team who followed him thoughout his senior season, the Brooklyn Nets.

Its too bad that Washington's G-League team will not be formed until next season, otherwise there would be a perfect backup guard that could work right into Washington's system. 

"Mason fans know what I can do but I feel like most people still don't know. Just trying to show people what I can do one person at a time, you know, get a shot."

University of Virginia cornerback wins $100k in Virginia lottery

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Virginia Lottery

University of Virginia cornerback wins $100k in Virginia lottery

Virginia cornerback Chuck Davis hit all five numbers recently on Cash Five game from the Virginia Lottery to take home $100,000.

He went on a coffee run one morning for his mom and decided to play the numbers his gradmother gave him and now he's $100k richer and looks like the happiest person on the planet.

God first last and always 🙌🏽

A post shared by Charles Davis (@forevergone6) on

Davis is a redshirt freshman after sitting out a year after a transfer from Nebraska. As for his plans for the money?

Here's hoping he gets to enjoy all the money and doesn't get a call from the NCAA.