Wizards Insider

Songaila Starts In Place of Blatche

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 29, 2009

MIAMI, Jan. 28 -- With Andray Blatche joining the team's long list of injured players with a strained left knee that is expected to keep him out two to four weeks, Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott went with veteran Darius Songaila as the starter at center for Wednesday's game at Miami.

Tapscott said he elected to start Songaila over rookie JaVale McGee, who started 13 games earlier in the season, because of Songaila's experience.

"I'm going with the veteran guy, he gives us a chance to get off to a solid start and I know what I can expect from him," Tapscott said before the game. "We want to be solid at the start of the game. When the Heat win the first quarter they have a phenomenal record, so you want to be in that first quarter, you don't want to be behind."

Support for Williams

Guard Juan Dixon is well aware of the pressure mounting on Maryland Coach Gary Williams and said he fully supports his former coach. Dixon, of course, helped the Terrapins make back-to-back Final Four appearances and win the 2002 national championship.

"I'm sure there's a lot of pressure on him, but he brought that program a long ways," Dixon said. "It's a program that wasn't doing as well and in 2002 he won a national title. I know he's getting a lot of heat lately, but I think people definitely need to get off his back. I wish Coach all the luck in the world and hopefully, he can get them out of this little funk they are in."

Up Next: Friday at Philadelphia 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

Saturday vs. L.A. Clippers 8 p.m. CW50, WTEM-980

© 2009 The Washington Post Company