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Washington fires Jimmy Lake: What’s next as Huskies program dismisses coach in second season

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Washington fired coach Jimmy Lake on Sunday, six days after the school suspended him for Saturday’s game against Arizona State. Lake was 7-6 in two seasons leading the program after serving on Chris Petersen’s staff in Seattle since 2014. Washington will honor the terms of Lake’s contract, and he’ll be owed roughly $9.9 million. Assistant coach Bob Gregory will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

“Making a head coaching change in any sport is difficult, recognizing that the decision impacts coaches, staff, student-athletes and their families,” athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a release. “However, as the steward of UW Athletics, I must always act in the best interests of our student-athletes, our department and our university. No one wanted Jimmy to succeed more than I when I hired him in 2019, but ultimately, this change is necessary for a variety of reasons, both on the field and off. I am grateful for Jimmy’s service to Washington, and we wish him the very best of luck moving forward.”

Lake’s suspension stemmed from an altercation caught by television cameras with Huskies linebacker Ruperake Fuavai in the Nov. 6 loss to Oregon. The incident with Fauvai may not have been the only inappropriate run-in with one of his players. The Seattle Times reported Saturday that Lake threw ex-Washington wide receiver Quinten Pounds into a locker at halftime while trailing Arizona in 2019. Lake denied the incident, which is alleged to have occurred while he was still serving as assistant on Petersen’s staff two months before he was promoted to the program’s coach position following Petersen’s retirement

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“I absolutely deny anything improper went on at halftime of the University of Arizona game in 2019,” Lake told the Times. “There were numerous witnesses in the game — from equipment room, to football staff, to strength and conditioning coaches — and no one came to me with concerns after halftime, after the game, never.”

Despite the off-the-field controversies, Lake’s was off to a promising start on the field. Washington went 3-1 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, his first at the helm. The Huskies won the Pac-12 North but were unable to participate in the Pac-12 Championship Game due to COVID-19 protocols. Oregon replaced Washington as the representative out of the Pac-12 North and defeated USC for the conference title. 

What’s next for Washington?

It’s unlikely Washington will follow the same path post-Petersen and hire from within after all that’s gone on. Plus, there are plenty of directions to consider.  The program could go one state over and try to lure Andy Avalos, who’s in his first season as coach at Boise State. The former Oregon defensive coordinator has ties all over the Pacific Northwest, which is a huge factor considering Washington has to recruit against the Ducks on a consistent basis.

Ex-Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie might be another option. The air raid specialist has taken over at Texas Tech for the remainder of the season and has been considered one of the up-and-coming stars of the industry for several years. Speaking of Air Raid coaches, USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell — who also played quarterback at Texas Tech — could be another attractive option. Like Cumbie, he is going to be looking for work after the Trojans fired Clay Helton, and can bring a creative offense and Los Angeles recruiting ties to the Pac-12 North. 

Bottom line, though, is that this will be a huge hire for Cohen. The Huskies should be one of the powers of the West Coast and need to get this right in order to keep pace with division rival Oregon and the rest of the Pac-12. 

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PSG need Kylian Mbappe and Neymar on the same page to reach their full potential

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Paris Saint-Germain beat Montpellier HSC 5-2 at Parc des Princes on Saturday to open an early two-point lead at the Ligue 1 summit. Neymar scored twice while Kylian Mbappe opened his account for the season, despite missing a penalty. Yet, the post-match focus was on the hints of tension between the superstar pair.

The Brazilian currently tops both the Championnat goal scoring and assist providing charts with three apiece after an opening day 5-0 win away at Clermont Foot 63 was followed up by the Montpellier drubbing. The Frenchman has taken longer to get going after a domestic suspension from last campaign kept him out of the Trophee des Champions before injury ruled him out against Clermont.

Now that both are back on the pitch along with Lionel Messi, who has also returned to action this term looking focused and in good shape, we are getting our first competitive look at the new balance of power in the capital. The hope, obviously, is that year two will prove to be more harmonious than the big tree’s uneven first go-around. But, no sooner had Mbappe extended his stay with PSG, then reports surfaced suggesting that Neymar was on his way out as part of a major cleanup operation.

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Once Luis Campos was appointed sporting advisor after Leonardo’s departure as sporting director and Christophe Galtier replaced Mauricio Pochettino as head coach, the door was left open to Neymar to play his way back into favor. However, it was abundantly clear that Les Parisiens would field offers for the €225 million man — assuming any arrived.

Despite links with Manchester City, which Pep Guardiola shot down himself, it was always going to be difficult to find any suitors capable of paying a fee for Neymar and covering his PSG salary without this sort of uptick in form. Whether it is enough to convince a club to go all in for the South American this month is doubtful, but his form and conduct so far have been impeccable under Galtier.

“Since July 4, Neymar has been beyond reproach,” said the 55-year-old. “He behaves well, came back ready and prepared well. He is performing very well in all our games. He is happy during those matches and plays for his teammates. He is opportunist with his goals. He works well for the team and in this system that is a must. Regarding what happens between now and the end of the transfer window, I see what is being written. Everyone is satisfied with Neymar regarding his investment.”

Factor in his two-goal haul against FC Nantes in the Trophee des Champions in Tel Aviv before the Ligue 1 season got underway and Neymar has five goals and three assists already this campaign. Two of those strikes have been penalties, admittedly, but it is not just his stats which have impressed Galtier — it is his overall work rate and attitude matching the expectations set upon arrival.

“That he must work for the team,” said the Frenchman of the challenge he set the mercurial No. 10. “We know that he is talented and a world class player. He is one of the best and he performs very well when he is physically and mentally well. He works for the team and puts in good displays. This system needs balance, and he is responding to that. You must be demanding defensively when you lose the ball. Collectively, he knows how to play with his teammates.”

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The worry for PSG is that this is part of Neymar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup preparation phase, with his hot form just as likely to dry up post-Qatar and midway through the current term, instead of lasting for the duration of the season. The same could be said of Messi who has three goals and an assist from three competitive outings so far.

Ultimately, if nobody makes an offer for Neymar which PSG would be willing to accept, debate is futile as he will remain in Paris. Mbappe’s early tensions are understandable given his suspension and injury-hit opening, but there can be no doubting that the team are much better off having two of their three attacking stars firing this early in the campaign while he gets up to speed.

Besides, given Mbappe’s ability to carry this PSG side of the past 12-18 months, getting the best out of him will have been the least of Galtier’s worries. Finding the best way for Mbappe, Neymar and Messi to coexist will now be the key as Campos continues to rebuild the squad with further transfer activity expected this week as the atmosphere within the group receives fresh oxygen.



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The Angels Engineered An Epic Collapse Monday Night

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(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

 

While the New York Yankees have been sliding, they at least have the comfort of knowing that they’re 10 games ahead in the American League East.

For the Los Angeles Angels, not so much.

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They have been on an epic slide since the end of May and have completely lost their way after a hot start to the season.

At 51-65, there really is no hope at this point for the Halos.

And it keeps going from bad to worse.

The Angels lost another one last night to the Seattle Mariners, and one inning in the game stood out, which ultimately sums up the way their season has gone.

Defense was nowhere to be found, mistakes were being made, and the Mariners kept tacking on more runs.

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Halos Break Down At Crucial Moment

There’s “down bad” and then there’s what took place for the Angels in the top of the ninth last night.

Errors, letting a runner who was caught in a rundown slip by, and just all around back luck is what sunk the Angels in last night’s game.

Can it get any worse for the Halos?

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Obviously, it can.

It ultimately sums up the way the 2022 season has gone for the Angels.

Things began to go south at the end of May, and they haven’t found a way to get it going again.

Firing Joe Maddon didn’t help at all.

And last night, their defensive breakdown wasted another great outing by Shohei Ohtani, who held the Mariners to two runs over six innings and struck out eight.

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It was a collapse of epic proportions for the Halos.

Now, they find themselves 14 games below the .500 mark with no hope of breaking out of their funk.

The post The Angels Engineered An Epic Collapse Monday Night appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Zion Williamson Has His Return On The Schedule

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(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

Fans of the New Orleans Pelicans have been eagerly anticipating the start of the 2022-23 season.

It’s not just because the team did surprisingly well last year and it feels like great things are on the horizon.

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No, followers of the Pels are elated because 2022 will mark the return of the team’s centerpiece, Zion Williamson.

Williamson has been away from the game for more than a year as he has rehabbed from a serious foot injury but he looks ready to go.

Now we know when he will fire up his engines once again.

On October 19, the Pelicans will face off against the Brooklyn Nets in New York.

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This will be the first time that fans have seen Williamson play in ages – and it will also be the first time that Ben Simmons has ever suited up for his Nets.

This is going to be must-see TV.

 

Winning With Williamson

There is a lot riding on Williamson’s return to his team.

The squad showed an awful lot of promise without him but they are very excited to have him back, healthier and stronger than ever.

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If the team was able to make the playoffs last season without Williamson, imagine what they can accomplish when he is back and tearing through the competition like a runaway freight train.

As for the Nets, opening night will be interesting because it will have Simmons finally playing for the team – but he might be missing his two biggest co-stars.

We don’t know what is happening with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving but there is a good chance neither player is on the Nets’ roster when the new season starts.

As you can see, this scheduled game will have plenty of reasons to watch.

The post Zion Williamson Has His Return On The Schedule appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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