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Monday night the Metro Maple Leafs hockey team was invited into the Washington Capitals dressing room to meet some of their heroes.

On Tuesday, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson confirmed that Carson Wentz will be the team’s starting quarterback going forward.

The San Diego Padres are looking at picking up pitching ace Corey Kluber.

udoka-azubuike.jpg

Azubuike’s Season Over

Kansas Jayhawks junior center Udoka Azubuike is out for the rest of the 2018-19 NCAA basketball season so that he can have surgery on his right hand.

"Udoka had an MRI done this morning and the MRI revealed he tore the same ligament in his right hand that he tore in his left hand his freshman season (Dec. 2016)," head coach Bill Self said in the Jayhawks' official press release.  "This occurred in practice on Friday and although the initial X-rays did not reveal the extent of the injury, the MRI did and it will require season-ending surgery."

In nine games this season, Azubuike averaged 13.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.  While the team plays smallball, his presence from beyond the arc will be felt on the Jayhawks floor who are lousy at shooting the three-ball.

Kansas is tied for 271st in made three-pointers (89) and 176th in three-point percentage (34.4).  Having the 7’0” Azubuike allowed them to survive without any consistency long-range.

With Azubuike’s absence, the 6’9” Dedric Lawson is the tallest player from the regular rotation.  This could also force Self to rely on David McCormack, who is a true freshman who stands 6’10”.  McCormack has averaged 7.2 minutes per game.  He was the number five center in the 2018 recruiting class.

After missing time earlier this season with a sprained ankle, he had been on a tear the past couple of games.  He had 23 points and nine boards in a blowout of Eastern Michigan, then had eight points and nine more rebounds in a comfortable win over number-23 Oklahoma to begin defense of the Jayhawks' Big 12 title, a streak of 14 titles that might be in some serious jeopardy.

No matter what, losing Azubuike further depletes a frontcourt that was supposed to count on the services of Silvio De Sousa.  Self has held De Sousa out of action since the sophomore forward was connected to the FBI’s trial into corruption in the NCAA.

It was already a bad weekend for the Jayhawks after losing 77-60 to Iowa State on January 5, bringing their record to 12-2.  However, that loss was a by-product of 24 turnovers and some bad defense rather than issues in the paint.

The starting lineup Self used Saturday featured Lawson in the post, with Marcus Garrett joining starters Lagerald Vick, Quentin Grimes and Devon Dotson in a four-guard backcourt.

Whether that sticks when Kansas returns to the floor against TCU on Wednesday night remains to be seen.

Azubuike is expected to make a complete recovery and resume full basketball activities over the summer months.

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