NCAA

Hoyas look to build off Brooklyn showing

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Hoyas look to build off Brooklyn showing

After splitting a pair of games against ranked foes in Brooklyn, the Hoyas (3-1) return to the Verizon Center on Saturday against Mount St. Mary's (Noon). Georgetown downed UCLA in the semifinals of the Legends Classic on Monday before falling 82-72 in overtime to top-ranked Indiana in Tuesday's championship game despite 20 points from Markel Starks and late-game heroics by Otto Porter.

As expected, the Hoyas' performance proved demonstratively better with Porter, the do-everything sophomore forward who missed the bulk of Georgetown's first two games with a concussion suffered in the season opener. The New York eye-opener was the junior Markel Starks, who set his career-high with 23 points against UCLA.

In the previous 20 games, the former Georgetown Prep star had not topped 11 points. His overall game suffered in the scoring wake, his minutes fluctuated over the final weeks last season. The Hoyas need more of the aggressive, confident, 3-point making version going forward in the Big East wars, especially since he's the only upperclassman among the primary backcourt options. The Hoyas' leading scorer with 13.8 points, Starks is shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc.

As for the versatile Porter, he averaged 16.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.5 blocks and 2.5 steals in the New York swing, which included the overtime-forcing layup against Indiana.

Fellow sophomore Mikael Hopkins scored 11 points against the Hoosiers before fouling out. After receiving limited minutes last season, the 6-foot-8 forward and former DeMatha product has reached double figures in scoring in all four games this season, though his apprehensive post-play leaves observers wanting more.

The Mountaineers (1-2), coached by 29-year-old former VCU assistant Jamion Christian, are led in scoring by former George Mason guard Rashad Whack (13.7 ppg). The first meeting between the two programs since 2009, Georgetown leads the all-time series 20-6.

While the Hoyas have the talent edge, the Mountaineers have proved formidable offensively from distance, an inconsistent area defensively for Georgetown to date. Despite the Hoyas' perimeter length, highlighted by Porter and the elastic Greg Whittington, Indiana made 10 of 17 three-pointers in victory. Earlier this month, Liberty sank 10 of 19 from beyond the arc in a 68-59 Georgetown victory. The Mountaineers are shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point territory led by Whack's 9 of 18 from distance.

Barring an upset to Mount St. Mary's or the various voting groups prove unimpressed McKayla Maroney-style by the Brooklyn outings, this should be Georgetown's last game as an unranked squad - for now, anyway. Starting Saturday, the Hoyas play six of their next seven games at home with only the Nov. 30 matchup against Tennessee in the Big East-SEC challenge standing out as a likely roadblock. The one away game comes against skittish Texas on Dec. 4 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

Hypocrisy of NCAA loud and clear with Maryland Football promotion

The NCAA is a dumb and monumentally stupid organization with rules that often don't make sense for the student-athletes they govern. One of those is paying, or more specifically not paying, athletes.

In an incredible twist of irony, Maryland will give one lucky regular student (that isn't an athlete) $10,000 for something an athlete (not a regular student) could potentially perform on the football field.

This is a highly specific play that will have to happen in order for one lucky student (again, not an athlete) to win the money, but the hypocrisy is incredible and this entire situation is so backward.

A student-athlete could score a touchdown (while not being paid) for the university and while scoring said touchdown will be helping make money for the university (money they will never see a dime from). The university will then turn around and give money to a student who did nothing to earn it, except decide to stay around in the second half for a game that is expected to be lightly attended, thanks to the achievement of a student-athlete who is incapable of receiving said money. 

That makes sense. Totally.

This comes on the heels of a report earlier this week that Division 1 coaches were "spooked" and against new rules that would allow students who met a minimum GPA to transfer and have immediate eligibility.

This is all totally fine.

Anyway, I can't believe someone didn't see the irony here and think "eh, we just had one of the biggest upsets of the weekend and should have a better way to capitalize on our momentum with something cool to entice people to stick around against Towson?"

I guess not.

MORE MARYLAND: TERPS KICKOFF YEAR WITH TEXAS-SIZED UPSET

 

Virginia Tech beats West Virginia 31-24 in electric showdown at FedEx Field

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USA Today Sports

Virginia Tech beats West Virginia 31-24 in electric showdown at FedEx Field

LANDOVER, Maryland -- Virginia Tech made FedEx Field feel like Lane Stadium Northeast and got to bring that Black Diamond Trophy back to Blacksburg for the first time in more than a decade.

Oh, and the Hokies' new quarterback looks like a keeper, too.

Josh Jackson passed for 235 yards, ran for 101 and accounted for two touchdowns in his first start for Virginia Tech, and the No. 21 Hokies made a last-second stand to beat No. 22 West Virginia 31-24 on Sunday night.

The 52nd meeting between the Appalachian region rivals was the first since 2005. It ended up being a classic. The Hokies rushed the field after their defense held the Mountaineers out of the end zone on two last plays from the 15, and their fans screamed along to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" to celebrate.

"This was a fantastic win," Virginia Tech safety Terrell Edmunds said with a huge grin.

Jackson, the redshirt freshman who won a three-way competition for the job, was up and down with his passing, but showed off some nifty moves running in the opener for both teams.

"I felt calm," said Jackson, the son of former longtime Michigan assistant coach Fred Jackson.

Josh Jackson's 46-yard keeper up the middle -- which ended with him taking a hard low hit -- set up Travon McMillian's 3-yard touchdown run that put Virginia Tech up 31-24 with 6:30 left.

"I felt that one pretty good," Jackson said about the hit.

Jackson said he read a blitz on that play and the Mountaineers gave him all kinds of room inside.

"That was a bad, bad call by me," West Virginia defensive coordinator Tony Gibson said.

West Virginia's new quarterback was just as impressive. Florida transfer Will Grier, who left Gainesville after being suspended by the NCAA for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2015, pass for 371 yards and three touchdowns.

He got one more chance to tie after usually reliable Virginia Tech kicker Joey Slye missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt with 1:55 left.

Grier slinged and scrambled West Virginia down to the Virginia Tech 15. Hokies coach Justin Fuente used a timeout before the last two plays because he was worried his defense was getting gassed chasing the shaggy-haired quarterback.

"You just want them to hold on for one more," Fuente said.

Grier's second-to-last pass into the end zone under pressure was a little behind David Sills and it went through the falling receiver's arms.

"I thought I had him," Grier said. "I got hit and I couldn't see. I thought he caught it. That's the one I'd like to have back to get it up more for him."

It was a tough ball to catch, but Sills wasn't hearing that.

"I just got to make that play," he said. "That's really all it comes down to."

Grier's last throw sailed high and away, but a couple of penalties on the West Virginia offensive line made it moot.