Digest: Mystics reach agreement in principle for Delle Donne
By Gene Wang
The Washington Post|
Jan 31, 2017 | 3:00 AM
The Washington Mystics have reached an agreement in principle to acquire Elena Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA Most Valuable Player, from the Chicago Sky, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
The deal involves Washington sending the Sky the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft, as well as center Stefanie Dolson and guard Kahleah Copper. Dolson was a first-time all-star in 2015, and the Mystics drafted Copper with the No. 7 pick last year.
Mystics general manager and coach Mike Thibault was unavailable to comment, but sources requesting anonymity because the deal is not officially complete indicated Monday night that the terms are in place for Washington to acquire the 2016 Olympian.
Delle Donne is a restricted free agent, which allows the Sky to match any contract offer, but has said she wants to play closer to her home in Delaware, even suggesting she would be willing to sit out this season to facilitate a trade. WNBA free agency began on Jan. 15, but deals do not become official until Wednesday, when players are first permitted to sign.
Delle Donne helped Chicago reach the playoffs, including the 2014 WNBA Finals, in each of her four seasons in the league. In 2015, she averaged 23.4 points per game to win the WNBA scoring title. This past season, she averaged 21.5 points, the second most in the league, before injuring her right thumb in a loss to the Mystics on Sept. 7. Shortly thereafter she had season-ending surgery, keeping her out of the final 10 games.
Maryland is ranked No. 2 in the Inside Lacrosse Division I Women's Media poll released Monday while Johns Hopkins, Towson and Loyola also cracked the Top 20. Defending national champion North Carolina is No. 1, drawing 17 of 19 votes for the top spot. Maryland, which fell to the Tar Heels in last year's title game, got two votes for the No. 1 spot. Johns Hopkins, which is in the Big Ten for the first time, comes in at No. 18. Towson, the defending Colonial Athletic Association champion, is No. 19. Loyola Maryland, the three-time defending Patriot League champion, is No. 20. Navy received votes but not enough to crack the Top 20.
More women: Maryland was unanimously selected to win the Big Ten championship in the coaches' preseason poll. The Terps have won the past two Big Ten regular-season titles and are undefeated in conference play during the regular season since joining the conference in 2014. Following Maryland is Penn State (2), Northwestern (3), Johns Hopkins (4), Ohio State (5), Rutgers (6) and Michigan (7). Senior midfielder Zoe Stukenberg (Marriotts Ridge), senior defender Nadine Hadnagy and junior attacker Megan Whittle (McDonogh) were named All-Big Ten honorees. Also selected were: Johns Hopkins senior goalie Caroline Federico (Maryvale Prep), junior attacker Emily Kenul and senior midfielder Haley Schweizer; and Penn State sophomore attacker/midfielder Madison Carter (South River), senior attacker Steph Lazo (St. Mary's) and senior midfielder Abby Smucker (C. Milton Wright).
Men: Maryland was voted as the unanimous favorite to capture the Big Ten championship in the coaches' preseason poll. The Terps have earned at least a share of the past two titles. Johns Hopkins was picked to finish second. The Blue Jays shared the 2015 crown with Maryland. Penn State was voted third, while Ohio State and Rutgers split fourth place. Michigan was tabbed to finish sixth. Senior attackman Colin Heacock (Boys' Latin), senior defenseman Tim Muller, and junior goalkeeper Dan Morris were three Terps selected as All-Big Ten honorees. Senior attackman Matt Rambo, who became the first player in school history to record a 40-goal, 30-assist season, was left off the list. Johns Hopkins was represented by senior defenseman Nick Fields, junior attackman Shack Stanwick (Boys' Latin), and junior midfielder Joel Tinney.
Varsity boys cross country:Dalton Hengst was named McDonogh's first Gatorade Maryland Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. The 5-foot-7, 140-pound junior won his second-straight MIAA Class A state meet this past season with a time of 15 minutes, 29.3 seconds, leading the Eagles to a fifth-place finish. Hengst took fifth at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional championships and finished 21st at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. He also won the Maryland & DC Private Schools Championships and went undefeated against in-state competition in 2016.
Varsity girls basketball:Aleah Nelson scored 13 points and Taleah Dixon added 11 to lead to host No. 2 McDonogh (19-1) to a 72-37 victory over No. 5 Roland Park (13-6). Aniyah Carpenter had 10 points for the Reds, who trailed 32-17 at halftime and were outscored 19-5 in the third quarter.
College football: Navy recruit Jamale Carothers was named Mr. Football in Kentucky by the Associated Press on Thursday. Carothers, a running back out of Bowling Green High, is rated a three-star prospect by Scout and Rivals. The 5-foot-8, 187-pound player, who rushed for 1,410 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior season, projects as a slotback.