Howard University (0-3) is still searching for their first win of the season (as of Dec. 2) and will not have the services of forward Makur Maker after suffering a groin injury.

The five-star recruit only played 19 minutes against Queens University (N.C.) before exiting the game and will be out indefinitely for the foreseeable future. Maker finished the game with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot.

So far this season, Maker was averaging nearly 12 points per game and six rebounds per game. Head coach Kenneth Blakeney had him on a minute restriction once he heard of his nagging injury.

“He’s (Maker) really banged up, and we’re gonna shut him down,” Blakeney said after the loss. “We’re gonna shut him down until he gets healthy, he’s not able to move, and I don’t want him to be counterproductive right now.

“You got the exclusive. You’re the first to know that, but we’re gonna shut him down man, and just let him get healthy and see if we can get him back to normal because he’s not playing or moving, rather anywhere near the way he can move. It’s in our best interest and his best interest to let him rest and heal a little bit.”

Wizards Load Up Talent

The Washington Wizards made a splash in the 2020 NBA draft and free agency period after they finished the 2019-2020 campaign with a record of 25-47, desperately looking for a new direction.

Hopefully, the Wizards will find new life after drafting Deni Avdija with their ninth overall pick. Avdija, 19, averaged 12.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists last season in the Israeli League and became the youngest MVP in league history with those numbers.

Washington did some wheeling and dealing by acquiring the draft rights of former Michigan State University standout Cassius Winston from Oklahoma City in the second round.

The deal exchanged Winston and a Memphis Grizzlies 2024 second round pick (previously owned by Oklahoma City) from the Thunder in exchange for the rights to Vit Krejci (37th pick) and Admiral Schofield.

Winston signed a one-year contract on Nov. 28. He is one of four players in NCAA Division I history to record at least 1,900 points and 850 assists. He finished his career with 894 assists, the most in Big Ten and Michigan State history.

Washington also resigned Latvian star forward Davis Bertans to a five-year contract year worth $80 million including $69 million guaranteed and an annual average salary of $16 million. The Wizards also brought in Robin Lopez on a one-year deal worth more than $7 million.

Bertans ranks fourth in NBA history with 187 three-pointers as a reserve, and his 200 three-pointers made rank fifth-most in a single season in Wizards history. His 15 games of five or more three-pointers off the bench tied for the second-most during a single season in NBA history.

“My family and I are very proud to be a part of this first-class organization in a world-class city with great teammates, coaches and fan support,” said Bertans. “All of those factors led to my decision to re-sign with the Wizards, and now I’m looking forward to getting back on the court and back to work so we can keep improving as a team.”

Lopez fills a hole in the big man department for the Wizards.

In three seasons with Chicago, the 32-year-old averaged 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting .526 from the field. He averaged a career-high 11.3 points on .534 shooting from the field in 82 games during the 2012-13 season with New Orleans Hornets and has averaged 8.5 points and 6.3 rebounds in 31 career playoff games with Phoenix, Portland, Chicago and Milwaukee.

ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Leaves D.C.

The 2021 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament will leave the confines of Capital One Arena this March. Initially set to be played in Washington, D.C., the conference Nov. 24 announced that they have decided to move the March 9 – 13 tournament to Greensboro Coliseum.

The North Carolina venue was the site of the tournament last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced an early cancellation of competition before the quarterfinal matches.

“The ACC men’s basketball tournament has enjoyed terrific experiences and hospitality at Capital One Arena,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement suggesting a return to D.C. in the future. “We look forward to returning to Washington, D.C., and appreciate Greensboro for welcoming and accommodating us during these unique and challenging times.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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