MADRID -- Barcelona didnt show any signs of missing Lionel Messi on Saturday, cruising past Sporting Gijon 5-0 in its first Spanish league game without the injured playmaker.Neymar and Luis Suarez took over in Messis absence, and by the end of the day Barcelona was only one point behind Real Madrid, which drew at Las Palmas 2-2 after conceding a late equalizer.Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio scored for Madrid, which twice relinquished its lead.Neymar scored two goals and Suarez one for Barcelona, while Rafinha and Arda Turan added the others at El Molinon Stadium in Gijon.Athletic Bilbao won its fourth in a row to be third, two points behind Madrid.Fifth-place Atletico Madrid hosts Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.BARCELONA 5, SPORTING GIJON 0Messi hurt his groin in the draw with Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou last week, and will miss another La Liga game, one Champions League match, and Argentinas World Cup qualifiers against Peru on Oct. 6 and Paraguay on Oct. 11.Coach Luis Enrique filled the midfield with Turan, Rafinha, and Andre Gomes, resting Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic. He also didnt play Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba ahead of the Champions League game at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday.I have different kinds of players and that gives me a lot of options, Luis Enrique said. Depending on who we are playing and the players I have available, Ill pick the ones that I think are right for the situation.Sporting played with 10 men from the 74th as captain Alberto Lora was sent off for a second yellow card after a hard sliding tackle on Sergi Roberto.Barcelona struggled in the first 30 minutes but took control of the match after the first two goals, and the game opened up even more for the Catalan club after Loras red card.The result doesnt reflect what happened, Luis Enrique said. It looks like it was an easy win but Sporting played an intense game. The red card changed everything and from then on we were able to score another three.Sporting, which dropped to 12th in the standings, also lost 5-0 at Atletico Madrid two rounds ago.LAS PALMAS 2, REAL MADRID 2Substitute Sergio Araujo scored an 85th-minute equalizer as Las Palmas held Real Madrid to its second consecutive draw.Marco Asensio opened the scoring, and Tana evened the match before halftime. Benzema put the visitors ahead again in the 67th, but Araujos shot ricocheted off goalkeeper Kiko Casilla and twice bounced off the Argentine striker.We lost two points that are needed to win the league, Madrid striker Alvaro Morata said. We had to win this game.Cristiano Ronaldo, who had a goal disallowed because of offside in the 56th, appeared to be upset by his substitution in the 72nd.ATHLETIC BILBAO 3, SEVILLA 1Athletic Bilbao won its fourth in a row.Mikel San Jose scored in the first half, and Samir Nasri equalized for Sevilla in the 55th, but Mikel Balenziaga put the hosts ahead again in the 66th, and Aritz Aduriz sealed the victory by converting a 90th-minute penalty kick at San Memes Stadium.Following losses in its first two games, including to Barcelona at home in the second round, Athletic was coming off wins over Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia and Granada.Sevilla, which was yet to lose after five games, dropped to fourth place.STRONG SUPPORTBarcelonas victory came a day after Arnold Schwarzenegger paid a visit to the squad. 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Fred Couples, captain of the U.S. side, put it all into perspective. "We know whos in charge," he said. Editors note: The 2016-17 college basketball season will be the Year of the Freshmen,?featuring what could be the best class weve ever seen. Over the next two weeks we will get familiar with the best of the best, examining who they are and where each of the top 10 prospects in the 2016 ESPN 100 came from.Read more: No. 10: Dukes Frank Jackson | No. 9: Kentuckys Malik Monk No. 8: Michigan States Miles Bridges | No. 7: Washingtons Markelle Fultz No. 6: Kentuckys DeAaron Fox | No. 5: Kentuckys Bam Adebayo No. 4: UCLAs Lonzo Ball | No. 3: Dukes Jayson Tatum No. 2: Kansas Josh Jackson | No. 1: Dukes Harry GilesSEATTLE -- His story says Jordan.His play screams LeBron.And when his playing career is all over, Washingtons Markelle Fultz wants to be in a category all his own. Not just listed among the all-time greats, but above them.My mindset is different from a lot of people, Fultz said. You ask people their goal and theyll say to make it to the NBA. My goal isnt just to make it there, its to be the best that ever played.Its not an outrageous vision to the 6-foot-4 native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He knows how far he has come in only three short years when, as a 10th-grader at perennial prep powerhouse DeMatha High School, he did not make the varsity roster. Now hes being projected as potentially a top-three pick in the 2017 NBA draft if he decides to bolt college after one season.His fast rise isnt the absurd piece in all of this. Fultz says its crazy the way people react to him now. It seems with every new interview theres a new way to critique a guy who has yet to play a college game.People go from why dont I smile, to the JV story, to just the way I play is awkward, Fultz said. Its been kind of weird, but Im used to it now.Ah, the JV story. Like Michael Jordan, Fultz didnt make varsity as a sophomore and ended up playing on the junior varsity team. He already has grown tired of having that story regurgitated time and again, but finally accepted that its going to be the story for the rest of my life.Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, for one, loves that story. Without it, this could have been an entirely different story for the Huskies. Had Fultz made varsity as a sophomore, theres a good chance a school closer to home would have noticed him first and Romar never would have been able to pry him from the East Coast.Instead, associate head coach Raphael Chillious arrived early to scout a varsity game when he noticed Fultz playing junior varsity. He played nearly every position on the floor and always seemed to make the play that was needed at the time.I called Lorenzo and told him, Coach, youre going to call me crazy, but this kid is 5-foot-9. If he grows hes going to be a NBA All-Star -- not a NBA player, an All-Star, Chillious said.Fultz did grow between his sophomore and junior years, prompting Romar to have the same giddy reaction the first time he saw Fultz play in person. Romar called Chillious and asked if they were being Punkd. Washington was the only major Division I school watching Fultz play, but it was clear to the Huskies that he was going to be a special talent.Fultz played everything from point guard to power forward, which is why many schools who ended up recruiting him late in the process viewed him as a wing.I thought, I dont care who has not offered him or what anybody says -- call him a 2 or a 3 -- that kid is an NBA point guard, Romar said. The way he moved, the feel he had. And, that game, I dont think he was playing hard. You could just see it.Everyone sees it now.What they didnt see is how all the small details worked together to get him to this point.Ebony Fultz, his mother, said she didnt have aa grandiose plan of grooming her son into an NBA player when she first sought out a basketball trainer when he was around 7.dddddddddddd She started taking to Keith Williams, a former high school classmate who taught basketball fundamentals to kids as young as 5.Her plan was simply to get Markelle involved in something he enjoyed to occupy his time. She wanted him active.The only thing she knew for sure is that she didnt want him to play football. She viewed it as too dangerous, although there was that one season she relented and Fultz played on the offensive line for the team at the Marlboro Boys & Girls Club. He dreamed of being a running back, but the coachs son got all the carries.She also enrolled him in karate classes, where he worked his way up to a green belt. He learned a lot of things he hopes to never use, stuff like if somebody tried to stab me, I could get a knife out of their hands.What stayed with him from karate was the self-discipline he learned, which ironically led him to stop the pursuit of a black belt. He wanted his focus, and all of his free time, to go toward basketball, so he left karate behind as he went to high school.Fultz always showed Williams he had a will to work hard. When he broke his right wrist playing on Williams 15-and-under AAU team, Fultz showed up the next day at the gym shooting and dribbling with his left hand. Williams helped Fultz cultivate his competitiveness.We definitely paid attention to rankings, and yeah we did kind of target guys, Williams said. We were playing in one tournament and a guy called me from Charlotte and was like, Hey, you want to play against the Atlanta Celtics? And I was like, Yeah. They got Kobi Simmons [who this season is a freshman at Arizona] on that team, they got another kid thats ranked really high. ... And so, yeah, we did target those kids.Now Seattle is a target for NBA scouts. Fultz has made the must-see list, as many teams have already been through to see him practice. What theyve learned is that Fultz is still holding on to that 10th-grade version of himself. He still views himself as an unknown entity just trying to make a name.That approach has endeared him to his Huskies teammates.Sophomore guard David Crisp was one of Fultzs hosts when he came on his official visit. As Fultz catapulted in the rankings before arriving on campus, Crisp expected a different person to arrive as well.When he came I knew they were saying this kid is going to be one-and-done, and when it got closer to him getting here I saw stuff [about Fultz] moving up, like he might be top five or the No. 1 pick, Crisp said. I was like, man he might be kinda cocky. Hes like really the opposite.Romar has held Fultz out from several early practices to rest him. When Fultz is on the sideline, its not unusual to see him filling water cups during breaks as if he were a team manager.He doesnt have that part of him that says, Im Markelle Fultz, who are you? Chillious said. That doesnt exist.Thats why Fultz has no desire to talk about the NBA right now. Hes just trying to lead the Huskies back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. Hes afraid that if he stops to think about the future, hell get passed by in the process by someone who was like him in the 10th grade.I want to make sure that Im not the one that lets up, because I know that some people let up that I passed now, I outworked them, Fultz said. I want to make sure that Im always working. Im trying to get in front of everybody so far ahead that theres no way they can catch me. ' ' '