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USC Loses Starting CB Isiah Wiley To Academics

A University of Southern California football roster still in flux because of ongoing NCAA sanctions became a bit clearer on Friday with the announcement that starting cornerback Isiah Wiley had been ruled ineligible for the season.Trojans coach Lane Kiffin delivered the news, while also adding that linebacker Marquis Simmons and cornerback Brian Baucham had each been cleared to play.Top-ranked USC has until Monday’s first day of fall semester classes to have its roster trimmed to 75 scholarship players as mandated by their NCAA punishment for recruiting violations.Kiffin declined to say exactly how many players were on scholarship, but said the Trojans were hovering a few below the maximum limit allowed.“We’re definitely not over,” Kiffin was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times. “I’ll leave it at that.”Wiley, a senior who had transferred from Arizona Western Community College last year, started the final six games last season after both Torin Harris and Anthony Brown suffered season-ending injuries. Wiley recorded 39 tackles, four pass deflections and one fumble recovery to shore up the spot opposite All-Pac 12 cornerback Nikell Robey.Wiley had not been practicing or attending workouts while his status was determined.“We didn’t want to invest a lot of time in guys that weren’t sure whether they were going to be here,” Kiffin said. “Now, all of a sudden, we’d be sitting here … going ‘Now what do we do’“The blow is not so big, I think, because of the way we went about it.”Wiley is not expected to remain enrolled at the school.Simmons had also sat out all of preseason practice while awaiting word about his academic status. The fourth-year junior, who is coming off neck surgery, is expected to bolster USC’s linebacking corps and special teams.Baucham had been ruled academically ineligible last season, but was singled out by Kiffin during spring practice as one of the most improved players on the team.The Trojans open the season next Saturday when they host Hawaii. read more

The Braves Got Hot Fast And They Might Stay That Way

Team TypeNO. teamsPrev. SeasonApril, current seasonRest-of-season Wins vs. Exp. *Team age is ranked from youngest to oldest, so a top-10 team would be among the 10 youngest rosters. Excludes the strike-shortened 1994 and 1995 seasons.Sources: baseball America, retrosheet All others134.447.591-0.1 Young, talented teams tend to build on hot April startsActual vs. expected rest-of-season wins (based on Elo) for teams who were below .500 in previous season but above .500 in April, by average age and farm-system ranking,* 1984-2017 Top 10 in age and farm25.450.605+2.7 Win share The Atlanta Braves are, as they say, “ahead of schedule.” Going into the season, we commended their young talent base but gave them just a 15 percent shot at making the playoffs, figuring that they’d need another year of rebuilding before truly making the leap toward contention. Fast-forward a month, however, and Atlanta is blowing away those expectations: Against a difficult schedule, the Braves are 19-11 and occupy first place in the NL East — one and a half games clear of the New York Mets, who they just swept in a three-game series. So far, at least, the Braves’ future appears to be now.Even so, statistical algorithms such as FanGraphs’ rest-of-season projections and our own Elo system aren’t fully convinced. The former only has the Braves winning at the majors’ 21st-best clip over the rest of the season, while the latter is barely more optimistic, with Atlanta ranked 14th in the big leagues in terms of Elo. The stats are optimized for prediction, of course — but they have blind spots, too. So, a couple of days into May, is it too soon to call this a breakout year for Atlanta?Certainly Atlanta has played at an elite level over the first month of the season. On top of its impressive record (a 103-win pace over 162 games), the Braves rank1This and all following 2018 stats are up-to-date through Wednesday’s games. fifth in the league in Pythagorean winning percentage2Essentially, the winning percentage we’d expect the team to have based on its runs scored and allowed. and third in wins above replacement per game.3Averaging together the WAR metrics found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. This isn’t merely a case of an outclassed team getting lucky by squeaking out close wins and moving up the standings; the Braves have come to their record honestly.Although Atlanta’s pitching (12th in WAR) has been more or less average — which actually represents a big improvement over last season’s 24th-ranked showing — the highlight of the 2018 Braves season thus far is a lineup that’s generating 5.6 runs per game, easily the most in the National League. First baseman Freddie Freeman ranks as one of the best hitters in baseball after a month of play, while 21-year-old second baseman Ozzie Albies has been a revelation. Albies was already way ahead of the curve as a rookie last season (he had a 112 OPS+, one of the best marks ever by a 20-year-old rookie), and he’s made major strides as a power hitter, upping his slugging percentage from .456 last year to .603 this season. (Granted, his elevated rate of homers per fly ball is sure to regress — but his hard-hit ball rate is up, too.)With all the attention on prospect Ronald Acuña Jr. going into the season, Albies was the one who got off to the red-hot start while Acuña was toiling in the minors (thanks to some service-time chicanery by the Atlanta front office). Now that Acuña and Albies are both in the majors together, the Braves have one of the most exciting young position-player duos we’ve seen in a long time. Not only were Acuña and Albies the two youngest players in MLB at the time Acuña was called up,4In the couple weeks since, yet another Brave has joined the majors and sandwiched himself between them in the youngest-player rankings: Pitcher Mike Soroka. That’s right: Atlanta has each of the three youngest players in baseball right now. but the duo also became the youngest pair of teammates to homer in the same game since 1978 when each went yard against the Reds on April 26.5Oddly, the last time it happened also featured two Braves (Glenn Hubbard and Bob Horner) going deep against the Reds. Go figure.Throw in a renaissance year from veteran right fielder Nick Markakis (151 OPS+), much-improved hitting from former top prospect Dansby Swanson and the late-career blossoming of 34-year-old catcher Kurt Suzuki at the plate (133 OPS+ over the past two seasons), and it’s no surprise the Braves’ scoring is up more than a full run per game compared to a year ago. The only question is how much of the team’s sudden improvement will persist for the remaining five months of the regular season. And that’s where the advanced metrics’ lack of faith in Atlanta’s breakout gets especially complicated.According to research by myself and others, it takes about 70 games before observed results from a season in progress reach even a 50-50 balance with preseason expectations, in terms of how much weight each deserves when assessing a team. The Braves have played less than half that many games so far this year, which probably goes a long way toward explaining why the statistical projections haven’t budged much off of Atlanta’s relatively bearish spring-training predictions. The past data says you can’t read too much into a month’s worth of results.However, that premise was designed to hold true for all teams as a group. What happens when we look at a smaller group of teams, especially just the ones that have as much breakout potential as the Braves? Atlanta went into the season with Baseball America’s top-ranked farm system and currently has the eighth-youngest roster in baseball (if we weight each player’s age by their wins contributed this season.6For this metric, I couldn’t use straight-up WAR, since the averages would be skewed for teams like the Marlins and Orioles, who barely have any WAR across their entire roster. Instead, I added back in the replacement-level wins generated by each player’s raw playing time to get an estimate of total wins created, then weighted every team’s age by that number.)To get a sense for whether this matters, I looked at all teams since 19847The earliest season for which I have data about farm-system rankings. who were coming off a sub-.500 season but had a better-than-.500 record in April. Over the rest of the season, teams in that group who were both among MLB’s 10 youngest and went into the year with a top-10 farm system (again, according to Baseball America) ended up winning 2.7 more games over the rest of the season than Elo would predict.8Using the same rest-of-season projection method I used here. By comparison, all other teams won roughly as many games as Elo thought they would.9Specifically, they won 0.1 fewer games than expected. That difference is just on the border of statistical significance, but if it holds true for the Braves, it would imply that they’re due to win more than expected based on their pessimistic win projections at FanGraphs and in our Elo interactive — and those extra wins could be enough to elevate them from a mid-80s win tally (sketchy territory, playoffs-wise) to a number closer to 90 wins (a much safer bet for making the postseason).That could be a huge step for an Atlanta club still trying to fill seats in its shiny new suburban stadium. These aren’t the old Greg Maddux/Tom Glavine/John Smoltz Braves, of course, but there’s real potential building in Atlanta right now. We’ll have to see where it takes the team — and how long it takes before the sabermetric indicators pick up on it. read more

Baseball Scouts Use Numbers Too

Joe Mauer broke the 2-to-8 scouting scale before I even had a chance to tell you how it works. In the spring of 1999, Mauer was years away from the perennial All-Star catcher he’d become for the Minnesota Twins. He was only 15 years old and in his sophomore season at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, but he was already good enough for a veteran scout like Mike Larson to have heard of him. Larson was so intrigued that one afternoon he drove to the Metrodome in nearby Minneapolis to watch Mauer play in a scrimmage.That day, Larson watched Mauer’s balanced, upright stance, his startling bat speed, and his rare ability to replicate his smooth left-handed swing over and over.1In his first at-bat of the game, against the best pitcher in the state, Mauer stroked the first fastball he saw up the middle. His next time up, facing the same pitcher, he launched a home run over the right-center field fence and into the football press box. By the time he was a senior, Mauer had become one of the best amateur players Larson had ever seen. When it came time to rate Mauer’s hitting ability, Larson didn’t hesitate: “That’s the only player,” Larson told me, “we have ever put a future 8 hit grade on as a high schooler.”That 8 grade is the best a player can get for one of his skills, according to the scale that scouts use to grade players. Non-pitchers2Pitchers are judged on fastball, curveball, slider and a fourth pitch. are given a present and future grade on each of five tools (hitting ability, power, running speed, arm strength and fielding). A 2 grade is poor, 5 is major league average, 8 is exceptional.Scouts have been grading prospects like this for decades, navigating a minefield of variables.3For example: the way a player’s coach uses him, the size of the ballpark he plays in, and the level of competition he regularly faces. They require a standardized process to measure ability that isn’t based solely on statistical output. Therein lies the beauty of the 2-to-8 scale. “It’s a simple formula,” said Don Pries, a former Orioles executive and former director of the MLB Scouting Bureau. “It’s easy for everyone to read, and for everyone to understand.” To scouts, it’s a lingua franca.In this era of advanced analytics, the language may seem antiquated. But it provides scouts with an objective rubric that guides them through an inherently subjective process. Around the world, there are countless young prospects, some of whom haven’t played much organized baseball. Even an encyclopedic site like Baseball-Reference.com can’t catalog them all. But using the 2-to-8 scale, scouts can.“At the end of the day, you’re getting what you really care about from the scout: Who’s better in this particular attribute,” said Sig Mejdal, a former NASA researcher whose title — Houston Astros director of decision sciences — sounds lifted from a short story by Philip K. Dick. But, Mejdal cautioned, “a 60 [rating] to one scout is not a 60 to another scout. That’s the inherent problem to any rating system.”Long before sabermetricians infiltrated Major League Baseball’s front offices, the 2-to-8 scale allowed scouts to quantify the game’s future. In fact, the scouts’ grading system was unwittingly ahead of its time. As several writers have pointed out, if 5 is the mean, then every point above or below that is a standard deviation away from major league average. It’s highly unlikely that old-school baseball scouts ever actually discuss standard deviation while timing a 17-year-old flamethrower’s fastball, but the scale is mathematically sound.It’s still unclear who came up with the 2-to-8 scale. “I don’t know why the scale uses those numbers,” longtime Royals scouting director Art Stewart wrote in his new memoir, “The Art of Scouting.” “I’m not sure anyone else does, either.”There’s a temptation to say it was the creation of Branch Rickey, the visionary baseball executive, whose career as a general manager spanned 1913 to 1955. Rickey fathered the modern farm system, pioneered analyzing players’ “tools,” and at some point used a numerical scouting scale. But his wasn’t 2 to 8. Rickey’s went from 0 to 60, with 30 being average. (His grandson, Pacific Coast League president Branch Barrett Rickey, said in an email that the system was touted “for not allowing the more timid graders to have an easy refuge.”)And it wasn’t Al Campanis, either. Campanis was a Rickey disciple and the Dodgers GM from 1968 to 1987 who also came up with his own scale. According to author Kevin Kerrane’s 1984 book “Dollar Sign on the Muscle,” a classic among baseball wonks, Campanis’s system ranged from 60 to 80, with 70 being average.“I needed something more refined, so I went to numbers,” Campanis told Kerrane. “I thought like a schoolteacher: 70 is a passing grade, so that can represent the major league average on arm or speed or whatever, and 60 and 80 can be the extremes.”For more people to understand the subjective judgments of a few, baseball needed to standardize its scouting lingo. That meant it needed to centralize it. In 1974, nine years after the first amateur draft, 17 teams each chipped in $120,0004Kerrane reported this in “Dollar Sign on the Muscle.” to create the MLB Scouting Bureau.5Some teams resisted at first, initially choosing not to participate in the service. “The bureau teams kind of represented collectivism,” Kerrane said. Major League Baseball didn’t officially oversee the bureau until 1985, when then-commissioner Peter Ueberroth brought it under the authority of his office. Its full-time scouts, stationed around North America and the Caribbean, still compile reports made available to all of the league’s teams. The bureau “allows the club to get information for a fraction of the price of having two full-time scouts of their own,” current director Frank Marcos said recently. “They’re getting a lot more bang for the buck.”At the time, former Milwaukee Brewers GM Jim Wilson, the first head of the bureau, and Pries, then the assistant director, were busy figuring out what direction they wanted the newly formed organization to take. It’s still unclear exactly how Wilson (who died in 1986) and Pries decided on the 2-to-8 scale, but Pries told me they settled on the concept after a brainstorming session. They wanted the bureau to implement a uniform method of evaluating players, and the 2-to-8 idea stuck.Now, the 2-to-8 scale is part of scout training. In 1989, the bureau began offering a scout development program, a 12-day training course during which evaluators learn, first and foremost, how to spot 5s. “Every scout knows what average looks like,” Grantland writer and former editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus Ben Lindbergh wrote last year in a dispatch from scout school, “so when he’s assessing a tool, he pictures its average equivalent and adjusts upward or downward from there.”The bureau’s exhaustive scouting manual also teaches the 2-to-8 scale in great detail. Beyond explaining basics like what grade to give a pitcher’s 97 mph heater, it also includes sample scouting reports, lists of current major leaguers to which scouts are encouraged to compare prospects, and suggested language that scouts can use to describe players. There’s even a page that lists “Homerisms,” a series of empty expressions — like “Built like a Greek God” and “Got some hot dog in him” — that the Knights of the Keyboard may love, but actually say zilch about a prospect.But no matter how standardized the scouts’ approach is, the act of rating players is still founded in subjectivity. This is why famously forward-thinking Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane advocated for “performance scouting,”6Beane also liked college players, Michael Lewis wrote in “Moneyball,” because “you could project college players with greater certainty than you could project high school players. The statistics enabled you to find your way past all sorts of sight-based scouting prejudices: the scouting dislike of short right-handed pitchers, for instance, or the scouting distrust of skinny little guys who get on base. Or the scouting distaste for fat catchers.” an approach that, as Michael Lewis wrote in “Moneyball,” “directly contradicts the baseball man’s view that a young player is what you can see him doing in your mind’s eye. It argues that most of what’s important about a baseball player, maybe even including his character, can be found in his statistics.” It didn’t rely on the whims of scouts, who are less interested in analyzing a prospect’s past performance than they are in predicting his future.The 2-to-8 scale’s numbers can be deceptive. As Lindbergh noted: “Not all 8s are equally rare: There are more 8 runners than there are 8 hitters. Some grades loosely correspond to big league performance: Someone with 7 power, for instance, can hit 27 to 34 homers at the major league level. But it doesn’t always work that way: a 7 fastball is 94 or 95 mph, but a heater that hard could be a 6 if it has lousy life.”Overall Future Potential, an extension of the 2-to-8 scale that’s calculated by adding up a player’s future grades and multiplying by two, is also flawed. For example, Larson gave Mauer future grades of 8 (hitting), 6 (power), 3 (speed), 6 (arm) and 6 (fielding). But not all tools should be weighted equally. “Now that we have a more precise understanding of what makes a baseball player valuable,” Jeff Sullivan wrote for this website in April, “we know, for example, that it’s more important to be able to hit for power than it is to throw the ball real fast.”Another problem is the extra-credit section of OFP. Because Larson believed Mauer’s OFP was too low at 58, he tacked on five points for “outstanding makeup.” That made it 63, a number that projected out to future success. According to the manual, a scout is allowed to add or subtract points based on his “own scouting instinct.” In hindsight, Larson says, he “should’ve raised it 10 to 12 [points] to get him closer to a 70.”Mejdal compared the 2-to-8 scale, warts and all, to the QWERTY keyboard. Efficient or not, it’s here to stay. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “The tools are a wonderful heuristic to walk [scouts] through to get to the overall value of a player,” Mejdal said. “It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s a very good heuristic.”It’s also not the only heuristic; most successful teams use a variety of assessment methods. In an oft-cited Baseball Prospectus column written in the wake of “Moneyball,” Dayn Perry expressed his frustration over people asking whether an organization should rely on scouts or statistics. “My answer,” he wrote, “is the same it would be if someone asked me: ‘Beer or tacos?’ Both, you fool.”And as long as there are amateur players to evaluate, scouts will make sight-based judgments. That, of course, means they’ll be using the 2-to-8 scale. Last year, a decades-old scouting report surfaced that made Mauer’s look almost pedestrian. The player had impressed scout Ken Gonzalez so much that he handed out future 7s and 8s in power, speed, arm strength and fielding. On his report, dated April 18, 1985, Gonzalez wrote: “The best pure athlete in America today.”His name? Vincent Edward Jackson. To most of us, reducing someone as mythically powerful as Bo Jackson to a series of single-digit numbers is decidedly unromantic. To scouts, it’s necessary.Special thanks to the Society for American Baseball Research’s Rod Nelson, who helped guide my research. read more

Kyrie Irving Wants To Be A No 1 But Hes Better As

Kyrie does more damage the more he dribblesFor the 2016-17 NBA regular season Just when you thought the Cavaliers’ offseason couldn’t get any worse — between the front-office issues and the disappointment of missing out on big fish on the trade market — Friday happened. That was when the most seismic news got out: Four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving, apparently no longer content to be a star sidekick to LeBron James, requested a trade elsewhere.It’s too soon to know precisely what this means for James and Cleveland, short- or long-term. Yet gauging Irving’s fit with any other team is fascinating; this is largely in part because of the 25-year-old’s unique skill set, his shortcomings and the challenge that accompanies building around those two things.At a base level, every team would love to have a young, efficient scorer of Irving’s caliber, the likes of which we haven’t seen at his position very often, if at all. To put his offensive talent into context, consider that just six point guards in history — Irving, Derrick Rose, Gilbert Arenas, Tiny Archibald, Dave Bing and Jerry West — have scored 25 points a game or more in a season before their age-25 campaign, according to Basketball-Reference.com.1This only includes players who were designated as point guards during those seasons in the Basketball-Reference database. The site goes off the age a player is by Feb. 1 of each season; Irving turned 25 in March. Irving is arguably the best perimeter shooter of that group and was the only one to accomplish the feat while shooting 40 percent from 3-point range.But while we’ll take a crack at explaining what Irving does through numbers, statistics alone couldn’t possibly capture what makes him different. He’s developed an entire persona and brand off the court with his AND1-mixtape style. And on the actual hardwood, he pulls off the sort of moves that video-game developers haven’t accounted for yet — the kind that could make a Globetrotter blush.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/kyriehandles.mp400:0000:0000:15Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/kyriestepback1.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.A handful of metrics point to how gifted Irving is at making circus shots. One stat, defender distance, suggests that he doesn’t care how much defenders are hounding him. Irving shot a league-best 40.7 percent from 3-point range when tightly guarded — a ridiculous statistic, given that the league shoots 36 percent from the 3 on average. Step-back jumpers are old hat to him; he hit 53 percent of those tries in 2016-17 — third best in the NBA among players who took 50 or more attempts. And he shot 79 percent and logged better than 1.6 points per possession — best in the NBA among guards2With at least 10 such plays — when splitting the pick and roll last season, according to Synergy Sports.Simply put: Much of what Irving does offensively simply can’t be taught. And that fact — along with the two guaranteed years that Irving has left on his contract — explains why the Cavaliers’ phones will be ringing off the hook from now until when this situation is resolved.Still, there are a slew of holes in Irving’s game that should give teams pause, including some that have been sidestepped in recent years as he’s had less responsibility on his plate with James as a teammate. Aside from durability — Irving’s had his fair share of injuries, including a fractured kneecap in the NBA Finals two years ago — defense is chief among them. Opposing teams had no issue targeting Irving, who’s often flat-footed or a step slow in pick and rolls and in 1-on-1 scenarios, this past season.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/calderon.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/brogdonbaptism2.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.He was one of 10 guards this past season to surrender 50 percent shooting or better from the floor in 1-on-1 situations.3Among players who defended at least 50 such plays And while most point guards throughout the league are thought to be pretty weak defensively, Irving’s offense-defense balance is particularly lopsided. In NBA history, there have only been six player seasons in which a guard had a usage rate of 30 percent or more (meaning the percentage of a team’s plays that end with that player shooting or turning the ball over) while logging 1.5 defensive win shares or fewer.4And logging 2,000 minutes or more Two of those six campaigns belong to Irving, including this past season, according to Basketball-Reference.com.That was the case despite Tristan Thompson manning the painted area well, holding foes about nine percentage points beneath their average. In other words: You need to have a decent rim protector, if not a great one, in order to stop teams from taking advantage of Irving’s porous defense. Having good wing stoppers, which the defensively challenged Cavs lacked against Golden State, would obviously help, too.It’s also worth noting that Irving’s sometimes-stagnant style of offense that works so well with James’s wouldn’t mesh with every team, either. A strong defensive team like the Utah Jazz makes sense — they’ve expressed interest in Irving before and could use a scorer with Gordon Hayward having departed for Boston. But they’d have to undergo a shift in their share-the-ball philosophy to incorporate someone who’s most efficient when he’s possessing the ball for seven dribbles or more. (In fairness, Irving is also fantastic when he lines up catch-and-shoot opportunities. But his off-the-dribble ability increases the longer he’s had the ball.) The same is likely true of the Spurs, who might have to work even harder to facilitate a fit since Kawhi Leonard has developed into a possession-eating superstar in his own right. Averaging 5.5 assists per game over his career, Irving can create offense for others. But he often gets tunnel vision on his way to the basket. His 27.6 percent pass rate out of drives was fourth-lowest among starting point guards.5Among starting guards who drove to the basket at least five times per game and played in 50 games. He trailed only Reggie Jackson, Damian Lillard and Derrick Rose. And his assist-to-turnover ratio varied considerably this past season — from a lofty 2.59 (think John Wall) to a mediocre 1.78 (think Austin Rivers) — depending on whether James was on the court with him.Most concerning: Irving and the Cavs were outscored by 8 points per 100 possessions this season without James on the court, a night-and-day difference from the 9 points per 100 plays they outscored opponents by when Irving played with James. Over the past three seasons, Irving and his teammates have been outscored by 94 points over almost 2,000 minutes when James is resting,6This comes out to just over one point per 100 possessions. according to NBA.com. The challenge may be rooted in the fact that Irving’s preferred 1-on-1 style of offense fits with James’s — who can take occasional breathers while his teammate goes to work — but throws his teammates out of rhythm when James is off the floorIn any case, Irving has eye-popping skill, and it’s a safe bet that some team will offer a king’s ransom for him. But it may take another near-perfect scenario for him to thrive the way he has next to James. 3-645.749.3 NO. OF DRIBBLESFIELD GOAL PERCENTAGEEFFECTIVE FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE 242.344.2 135.9%40.2% Effective field goal percentage is used to account for the fact that 3-pointers are worth more than 2-pointers.Sources: NBA.com, STATS SportVu 7 or more49.053.5 read more

Ohio State mens basketball takes down Illinois in overtime thriller 6863

OSU junior forward Marc Loving (2) attempts a shot during a game against Rutgers on Jan. 13 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorIt took overtime to decide, but the Ohio State men’s basketball team was able to take down Illinois on the road Thursday night 68-63 at the State Farm Center. After trailing for nearly all of the second half, the Fighting Illini engineered a 15-2 run in the final six minutes of regulation to push the game to extra time. A back-and-forth five minutes ensued, but freshman guard JaQuan Lyle, who came off the bench for the second straight game for OSU, hit a pair of clutch free throws to make it a three-point game with 14 seconds left. With no timeouts remaining, Illinois inbounded the ball and looked to set up a game-tying shot attempt, but confusion on the dribble handoff led to OSU’s sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop stealing the rock. A bizarre sequence followed, as Fighting Illini players looked to foul but the officials swallowed their whistles, opting to let the teams play. The Buckeyes were able to advance the ball past the timeline to Mickey Mitchell. The freshman forward drove all the way to the hoop and connected on a layup with four ticks remaining to ice the game for OSU. With the win, the Buckeyes advance to 14-8 on the year and 6-3 in conference play, while the Illini sink to 10-11 overall and 2-6 in the Big Ten. “I’m just happy we won the basketball game,” OSU coach Thad Matta told Big Ten Network’s Seth Davis after the game. “It holds true to my theory that we’ve got a long way to go, but this was a great win for us … Turning the halfway (point in Big Ten play) is a heck of a accomplishment for this team.”Balance was the key for the Buckeyes, as three players reached double figures in the scoring column. Leading that trio was redshirt sophomore center Trevor Thompson, who had a career-high 16 points and five rebounds. Bates-Diop and junior forward Marc Loving each registered a double-double to complement Thompson’s career night. Bates-Diop, an Illinois native, had 15 points on 7-of-18 shooting and 12 rebounds, while Loving chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds. A commanding advantage on the glass was key for OSU to grab the victory. After starting the game in an 8-0 hole, the Buckeyes fought their way through a poor-shooting first half to hold a 29-24 lead at halftime. At halftime alone, OSU outrebounded Illinois 30-14, including an 11-1 advantage on the offensive glass. Those margins inflated to 51-34 and 13-5, respectively. With the massive rebounding advantage, OSU was able to get itself more offensive opportunities, which was critical in a game in which both teams struggled to shoot at a high clip. The Buckeyes shot just 39 percent for the game, while the Illini countered with 32 percent from the field. The extra possessions helped alleviate the burdens caused by the Buckeyes’ turnover issues. For the game, they had 14, but down the stretch it was the turnovers and defensive lapses that helped the Illini shave down OSU’s 13-point lead to force overtime. “We made mistake after mistake defensively,” Matta said. “Then (on offense), the turnovers, I don’t know.” Despite the catastrophic meltdown in regulation, the Buckeyes were able to regain their composure once overtime began. Bates-Diop, building off his 22-point performance against Penn State, was aggressive in the extra time, scoring four of his 15 points there. Thompson, who, along with Lyle, came off the bench for the second consecutive game after Matta opted to start freshman Daniel Giddens at center, was critical all game long. His basket in overtime helped fend off a fervent Illinois squad. The game was littered with runs by both teams. Illinois opened the game with an 8-0 spurt, but the Buckeyes countered, holding the Illini to just one field goal in the final 11 minutes of the first half to take the lead at the break. OSU grew its lead in the opening 10 minutes of the second half before squandering it away. For a team dominated by inexperienced players, this is the type of victory that develops character, Thompson said. “We grew up a lot tonight,” he told Davis. “Our past road games haven’t gone as well, and in certain situations, we would have folded, but in this situation, we just came together.” A.J. Harris started in place of Lyle again Thursday, but his performance against the Illini did not mirror the one he churned in against Penn State. The freshman guard had three points on 1-of-5 shooting and one assist. Junior guard Kendrick Nunn lead the way for Illinois with 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Malcolm Hill, who was the Illini’s leading scorer heading into the contest, was largely held in check by sophomore forward Jae’Sean Tate. Hill, a junior, had a dozen points but a less-than-stellar 3-of-14 shooting performance.Although both Matta and Thompson were pleased with the victory, OSU has a large test ahead of it. The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on No. 8 Maryland, which defeated third-ranked Iowa on Thursday, at the Schottenstein Center on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Correction 1/29: The headline has been updated to reflect the correct final score. read more

Mens Basketball Loving and Thompson lead Buckeyes past Minnesota 7872 for third

OSU junior center Trevor Thompson (32) waits for a rebound during the Buckeyes’ game against Minnesota on Jan. 25. OSU won 78-72. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorWith criticism weighing heavily on the minds of the Ohio State men’s basketball team, the Buckeyes got out to a fast start against Minnesota, and fought off a late comeback to pick up a 78-72 victory over the Golden Gophers (15-6, 3-5 Big Ten) for their third conference win.After Minnesota got out to an early lead, OSU went on a 9-0 run to grab a 13-6 lead. The Buckeyes’ biggest run was a 14-2 mark over four minutes and 34 seconds that was finished by a senior forward Marc Loving 3 to give OSU an 18-8 advantage with under 14 minutes to play.The Buckeyes (13-8, 3-5 Big Ten) shot 52 percent from the field in the first half, in addition to a perfect 9 for 9 from the charity stripe. Minnesota struggled early to find its rhythm, but eventually finished 41 percent shooting from the field.Redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson was on fire out of the gate, as the big man scored 10 of OSU’s first 15 points. He ended his career night with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double this year.“Our game plan was to get the ball in, but I only had one word in my mindset, and that was win,” Thompson said. “I just wanted to win. That’s all I was thinking about. My teammates did a good job of finding me and screening. They did a hell of a job screening.”His hot night, paired with sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle’s big night from outside, the Buckeyes kept Minnesota at bay. Lyle went 3 of 5 from behind the arc, and finished with 11 points overall.Redshirt junior guard Kam Williams, who suffered a thigh bruise against Northwestern, left the court limping in the first. After a short stint on the stationary bike, he finished his night with seven points and four rebounds.“He got hit on the one spot of his body he shouldn’t get hit on,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. Minnesota came roaring back just before halftime, notching a 12-0 run to cut the OSU lead to just five. Sophomore forward Jordan Murphy tipped in a missed shot with less than a second on the shot clock to cap off the run. Minnesota freshman guard Amir Coffey was kept in check for most of the night, including when OSU freshman forward Andre Wesson was tasked with guarding the speedy guard. Wesson finished with nine points, six of which came from the free throw line.The combination of junior guard Nate Mason and redshirt junior center Reggie Lynch gave the Gophers 31 points. The duo also picked up 13 rebounds.After success with ball movement in the first half, the Buckeyes had just one assist in the first 10 minutes of the second, as senior Marc Loving drove inside and launched a pass to the left side to a wide-open Wesson for 3, giving OSU an eight-point lead with less than 10 minutes in the half.“We weren’t guarding,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “We’re a pretty good defensive team. We weren’t guarding. So I think it carried over to both sides and we were getting frustrated when we started guarding. We got out on the break and good things happened.”A Lyle turnover led to a 3-pointer from Coffey to cut the deficit to just three for Minnesota, and another 3 by Mason brought the Gophers within two. After a timeout following a Minnesota foul, the teams went back-and-forth, as Loving and Minnesota guard Akeem Springs traded 3-pointers with less than a minute left.Following a Minnesota turnover, Lyle missed two free throws providing a window of opportunity for the Gophers. However, a missed shot followed by two made free throws by the Buckeyes and a resounding Trevor Thompson block put the game away.It was Minnesota’s fourth-straight conference loss. OSU is set to travel to Iowa on Saturday at 8 p.m. to square off against the Hawkeyes. For Matta, his team might have won, but the reconstructing process to get where OSU wants to be is far from over.Matta compared the process as children playing with blocks.“Remember when they stack their blocks up?” Mattas asked the media. “With this team, we just knocked them all down. And tomorrow, we got to start stacking them back up again to get ready to go to Iowa.” read more

Ohio State Miami to face off in conference playoffs

The last time the Ohio State men’s hockey team went to Oxford, Ohio, to play Miami, they were on the wrong end of a 6-2 RedHawks victory. This time around, the Buckeyes look to be David as they go against the hockey Goliath called Miami. OSU will meet the RedHawks in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association quarterfinals in a best-of-three series for the right to play at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit in the CCHA semifinals. Ohio State is coming off an impressive two-game sweep over Notre Dame last weekend where junior goaltender Dustin Carlson gave up only one goal on 84 shots over the two games. “We all know hockey is about goaltending and Dusty is playing very well right now,” coach John Markell said.But now OSU faces an in-state rival that has only given up four goals in its four meetings against the Buckeyes this season.“You’re going into a difficult situation,” Markell said. “They can defend as well as they can produce offense. They are a complete team.”Markell was pleased with his goaltending and offense against Notre Dame, but wants his team to cut down on the penalties. “We played half of our of our last game against Notre Dame shorthanded and we don’t want to test that [against Miami],” Markell said. Sophomore Zac Dalpe said that the Buckeyes’ familiarity with Miami will help them to not underestimate their opponents. “We’ve played them a lot this year and last year and we know what to expect,” Dalpe said. “They’re deep and have a lot of skill and they don’t give you  a lot of time. With them, you can’t really take a shift off or a period off and we’ve learned that now.”Carlson said that they need to play with a sense of urgency with their season on the line.“Hopefully we have that urgency right away,” Carlson said. “Not from the start of the third period, but right when the puck drops.”Two weeks ago in Oxford the Buckeyes skated to a scoreless tie with Miami after the first period. However, the RedHawks turned up the tempo en route to a six-goal second period and never looked back. The Buckeyes need to play with the consistency on defense like they did against the Fighting Irish. Markell says knowing how to adjust to each situation in games will be their key to success. “Momentum is a big part of the game,” Markell said. “You need to know how to skate with it and need to know how to defend it.”Markell also knows that Miami by no means is going to hold back physically, as they showed the last time OSU played in Oxford.“Our guys know we are going to get hit. They’re going to be physical, they are going to try to run us out of their building” Markell said. “Hopefully, we can get that competitive level back because we are going to need it.     Dalpe said despite the circumstances he doesn’t mind going up against the favorite in a playoff situation.“If we don’t bring our best, we could be done,” Dalpe said. “But competing is something we’re looking forward to and to be honest, I like being in the underdog role anyway.”The Buckeyes open up the series against Miami Friday at 7:35 p.m. and play game two Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in Oxford. If necessary, game three will be at 7:05 p.m. Sunday. read more

Columbus Crew acquired by Precourt Sports Ventures

Courtesy of MCTEffectively immediately, new ownership will lead the Columbus Crew, the city’s Major League Soccer franchise, as announced during a press conference at Crew Stadium July 30.Precourt Sports Ventures, LLC, has acquired the team from the Hunt Sports Group for an undisclosed purchase price and is now a 100 percent stakeholder. Anthony Precourt is the managing partner of PSV and attended the press conference as the firm’s representative.Columbus mayor Michael Coleman and Clark Hunt, chairman of HSG and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, joined Precourt on stage.In the context of that watershed event, Hunt spoke of his family’s role in the galvanizing of Major League Soccer as an American mainstay.“There was one thing that propelled the League on to success, to where it is today. Against the odds, and against the momentum of the League, my family made the decision to build Crew Stadium. And as a result, today there are 14 soccer-specific stadiums in Major League Soccer,” said Hunt.Hunt said his company had only been looking for minority investors in the team when Precourt made the offer to buy the entire franchise earlier this summer.“We were initially very taken aback by his interest, but after we got to know Anthony, we concluded that he was the right guy to lead the Columbus Crew, that he would be a great fit for the city of Columbus, that he would be somebody that would push the team to be successful on the field,” said Hunt.Precourt said his company “will respectfully and diligently try to uphold Lamar’s (Clark Hunt’s father) vision for Major League Soccer and the Crew. And further, we will honor his fan-first mentality.”Precourt used the platform to formally greet the Greater Columbus community and to express his anticipation of working toward success in “a dynamic, growing city with incredible soccer heritage and a passionate soccer supporters’ fan base.”Mayor Coleman agreed by saying “the Columbus Crew is a vital part of the fabric and the future of the city.”He laid out specifics of the role the Crew has played in financially bolstering the city’s bottom line: “$400 million in direct spending, the hundreds of area jobs, the 3.5 million people who have attended soccer matches and other events here, the millions of tax revenue.”The mayor said Precourt assured him during talks in the days preceding the press conference that the team would remain in Columbus.When the panel concluded their remarks and opened the floor for questions, one reporter asked if Precourt had any plans of relocation.Precourt surprised the reporters by saying, “I do live in Northern California now, and I intend to be here on a regular basis. I’m not sure we’ll be moving here full time, but I’ll be here very, very regularly and have a second home here.”Continuing to speak on his vision for the team to succeed athletically, Precourt said, “We have a competitive fire, and our intent is to run this club with a single mission: to create the resources to win over the short run and the long run…We want to be a playoff team every year.”Precourt fielded questions about his ownership style, given that it will be his family’s first journey into sports management after extensive operational experience in finance, natural gas pipelines and facilities.“First and foremost, I want a great culture…I want more horizontal structure where people are empowered. I guess you’d say I’ll be hands-on and attentive and involved, and over time, I will empower our employees to do their jobs well,” said Precourt.Beyond the scope of the business aspects of the acquisition, Precourt was careful to emphasize his goals for fostering a winning franchise that draws fans and gets them excited about soccer in Columbus.“A full stadium is a lot more exciting than a two-thirds-full stadium. There are 17 home games, and we should fill the stadium for all 17 games,” said Precourt.As a father, Precourt has coached youth soccer in U6 and U8 competition, but he said he said he will stay out of the day-to-day soccer operations of the Columbus Crew.Hunt said his company will “continue to be the investor-operator of [MLS franchise] FC Dallas and plan on doing so for many years to come. Like Anthony, we’re a big believer in where Major League Soccer is headed and excited to still be part of the League and to now be a partner of Anthony’s through the League.” read more

Ohio State womens track team gets Big Ten Indoor Championship preview with

A sneak peak of the future is in store for the Ohio State’s women’s track team as it makes its way to Geneva, Ohio, to compete in the SPIRE NCAA Division I Invitational this weekend.At the invitational, the Buckeyes are slated to get a preview of the facilities that are also scheduled to host the Big Ten Indoor Championships Feb. 27 and 28 and March 1.While all outdoor tracks remain constant, many indoor tracks vary depending on the facility.The French Field House, home to OSU’s men’s and women’s track teams, has a 200-meter track. SPIRE Institute’s facility houses a 300-meter track.Coach Karen Dennis said she’s happy to get a sneak peak at the track two weeks prior to the championship meet so the team can fine tune its skills and put the finishing touches on its preparedness for that specific track.“We’re going to familiarize ourselves with the venue,” Dennis said. “While at the same time, there will be probably eight of the Big Ten schools there, so we will get a chance to get a real good feel where we are at versus that quality of competition.”Junior sprinter and jumper Abie Ehimwenman said acquainting the athletes with the facility beforehand will help get rid of the nerves and make the venue not feel so “foreign.”“If you are able to do your best at a meet where most of your competition is going to be two weeks later, (that) gives you confidence that you can perform well against your rivals and the people you need to beat,” Ehimwenman said.Running at the SPIRE invitational this weekend can also help the Buckeyes identify where they should be moving forward.“Once the team does get a preview of the meet, they will start to get that mental picture in their head,” redshirt-senior sprinter Ashlee Abraham said.Abraham identified an area the team has been working on throughout the season — mental toughness.“Last week, I had the best 60-meter race of my life. I (had a personal record). I won. I was feeling great,” Abraham said. “But yay, all that happened, but now it’s like OK, back to Monday.”The formula for success, Abraham added, is to mentally train your mind to keep pushing and preparing for what comes next.Dennis agreed that while many of the Big Ten competitors are strong on paper, she is not focused on matching up against them.“I have to look at my strengths and how to maximize our ability to score. My focus is totally on this team and how this team can do in the championship,” Dennis said.The meet is set to begin Friday at 2 p.m. and continue through Saturday. read more

Baseball Scarlet and Gray World Series gives Buckeyes first glimpse of touted

Ohio State freshman starting pitcher Seth Lonsway delivers a pitch out of the windup in the first inning of Game 3 of the Scarlet and Gray World Series. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports EditorOhio State’s baseball team brought in one of its best recruiting classes in team history, landing the top prospect in Ohio — and the highest-ranked recruit signed by a Big Ten school — in freshman starting pitcher Seth Lonsway.Overall, Baseball America listed this as one of the best recruiting classes in the conference, citing Lonsway as the clear headliner, but also highlighting touted freshmen like catcher Dillon Dingler and Jake Ruby as potential impact players for the Buckeyes next season.Though the Scarlet and Gray World Series was just a scrimmage for the team, the performances of some of the younger players could lay the groundwork for upcoming position battles in the 2018 season.Nearly all of Ohio State’s top recruits had a chance to play in Tuesday’s game, with the star of the class — Lonsway — opening the game on the mound.Here are some thoughts on the performances of the younger players:LHP Seth LonswayTo find any faults with the starting pitcher for the Scarlet team would be to knitpick. Lonsway entered the game with the loftiest expectations of any newcomer in the class. He was regarded as the No. 148 prospect on MLB Pipeline’s 2017 Top 200 Draft Prospects and was drafted 557th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the MLB draft.The southpaw fanned six batters in the outing and allowed just one run on three hits and two walks over four innings of work. It is clear why the Buckeyes are excited about his potential. Lonsway immediately flashed his dynamic stuff, spotting a low-90s fastball (it touched 94 a couple times) with plenty of life that he located effectively. If he ever fell behind in the count, he found he could come back to that pitch and help put himself back in the count. It is the most electric left-handed fastball to come out of an Ohio State arm in a long time, and it kept hitters off balance all day.“It was working inside, working outside. At times, I left it up a few times out of the stretch, which I’ve been working on quite a bit,” Lonsway said.The secondary offerings were about as steady as would be expected. His changeup was spotty at times, and it was clear the pitch is a work in-progress. When he had the pitch working, it kept both right- and left-handed hitters off balance, but often he lost his touch with it and bounced it in the dirt. The second-best pitch in his repertoire was his curveball. He located the pitch well — though he occasionally lost the grip on it — and it always seemed to keep hitters off balance.Lonsway is far from perfect, but head coach Greg Beals knows he could be a star player for the Buckeyes. It took him a few moments to ponder what Lonsway needed to improve on before citing the inconsistency in the southpaw’s secondary pitches as the key to improving.“He’s got a good changeup to go with his breaking ball, just a little bit better command of his offspeed stuff to go with the explosive fastball that he has,” Beals said. “That’s his next evolution is just the command part of his game and getting that intact because he’s got all the tools necessary to be a great pitcher at this level.”C Dillon DinglerLonsway’s battery mate did not have quite the same impact on the game the starter had, but his tools jumped out. The swing was easy and fluid, and built to make plenty of contact. He combined that swing with a patient approach at the plate and a good eye. And though he was never a great power hitter in high school, his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame gives him space to develop some pop in his bat.What stood out the most about Dingler was his defense. He is athletic for someone of his size, and his above-average speed and athleticism helped him block pitches in the dirt and serve as an effective receiver for his pitchers. He possesses a missile for an arm, though the accuracy wavers at times. Base-runners will have a tough time running on him once he is able to harness the power in his arm. Lonsway said he feels comfortable with Dingler catching behind the dish, and said the freshmen tandem could be a dynamic pairing for the Buckeyes.“He’s got a great arm behind the plate, just very smooth and very fundamentally sound,” Lonsway said. “I have a lot of confidence when I’m on the mound and he’s behind the plate. I love throwing to him. He’s caught me quite a few times this fall, so it’s been a pretty good duo for us.”OF Jake RubyRuby enters his freshman season competing to fill a critical spot in the Buckeyes’ lineup. A natural center fielder, he will compete with transfer Malik Jones for the vacancy left by Ohio State’s Tre Gantt, who left early for the 2017 MLB Draft.The 6-foot, 190-pound outfielder showed off what made him such a highly regarded recruit in the state of Ohio, flashing well above-average speed both in the field and on the basepaths. In center, he had great jumps on nearly everything hit his way and his speed helped him catch up to everything. His speed also showed up on the basepaths, though likely not in the way Beals would have liked to have seen. He was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double on his first hit of the evening. Even when he safely reached first base, it was clear Ruby was an aggressive baserunner, though it seems only because his speed affords him the opportunity to test the limits. At the plate, he was able to make some contact, though he often appeared too patient. He was struck out looking once in the game. The swing is clearly designed to make plenty of contact, but there could be some raw pop to be channeled. The key for Ruby to win the battle as the starting center fielder will be to wait on some of his decisions and step into the batter’s box ready to hit rather than expecting to take, Beals said. The Buckeyes’ head coach said Ruby will need to make quicker decisions at the plate to be a fixture in the lineup.“Two-way decisions take too long and it’s that amount, that difference in time in the decision process is the difference between being on-time or being late in the batter’s box,” Beals said. “So we talked about that yesterday and I was excited to see him make a good adjustment live at game time today.” read more

Womens Basketball Ohio State sets recruiting tone

Ohio State freshman forward Dorka Juhasz shoots a jumper in practice. Credit: Daniel McNatt | Lantern ReporterLosing all but four players, including three-time Big Ten Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell, Ohio State has a long way to go to rebuild its team to a title contender.That rebuilding process starts with effective recruiting.The alluring draw of Ohio State’s program stays on the mind of women’s basketball associate head coach Patrick Klein, especially when recruiting future Buckeyes.One of Klein’s focuses when he is on the road recruiting high school players is making sure the coaching staff gets to know players and their families. His main goal, though, is emphasizing the importance of Ohio State, not only as a basketball program, but as a place players can make connections for their futures, he said.Head coach Kevin McGuff, along with Klein, showed how this strategy can work this summer. Kierstan Bell, the No. 6 player and the No. 2 point guard in the 2019 recruiting class, according to ESPN, chose to commit to Ohio State in August. A Canton, Ohio, native, Bell was named Gatorade Player of the Year last season and is a three-time Associated Press first-team All-Ohio athlete playing for McKinley High School. Klein said the brand of Ohio State brings power, something that can help players both on and off the court and is instilled in them when they are recruited. That is what prompted freshman forward and Hungary native Dorka Juhasz’s decision to commit to Ohio State over schools such as Louisville and Kentucky.“I can get a really good degree,”Juhasz said. “I planned my life like what it’ll be after my basketball career. I think both education and basketball were the best here.” Juhasz could be an impactful player for the Buckeyes this year, after playing professionally in Hungary for three years prior to committing to Ohio State. Juhasz was ranked the No. 12 international prospect in the 2018 class and a No. 5 forward in the class, according to Prospects Nation. Klein knows just how strong Ohio State’s brand can be, even overseas in Europe. “From Barcelona to Budapest, we’re hearing O-H-I-O because of what we’re wearing on our chest,” Klein said.That appeal can reach thousands of miles away, and also works in-state.Ashanti Abshaw, a transfer from Cleveland State who was a three-time All-Horizon League member and was the third fastest in school history to 1,000 career points, joined the Buckeyes for her final year of eligibility. Abshaw said being from Ohio makes playing for the Buckeyes that much more special, and  getting the opportunity to play in front of her family means that much more. “It means a lot,” Abshaw said. “I’ve always been a family person, so being able to represent Ohio is just so big because I have so much support just from being from Cleveland Heights.” read more

Mens Soccer Ohio State battles to a scoreless overtime draw against Northwestern

Ohio State freshman midfielder Xavier Green (11) works to gain possession during the first half of the Ohio State-Northwestern game on Sep. 21. After two overtimes, the game ended tied 0-0. Credit: Scott Good | Lantern ReporterFollowing a visit Friday morning by American soccer goalkeeper Tim Howard, the Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-5-2) played Northwestern (4-2-2) to a scoreless overtime draw Friday night at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. “That was unbelievable, everyone looks up to Tim Howard. He’s a goalkeeper but I think even field players look up to him,” fifth-year senior midfielder Brady Blackwell said. “One of the best American players we’ve seen, so everyone was amazed to see him, and really liked his message. He just told everyone to work hard, believe in your dreams and grind everyday.”Ohio State seemed to use Howard’s advice in Friday night’s game against Northwestern. The Buckeyes were forced to traverse the final 58 minutes of regulation and overtime with one fewer player than the Wildcats after redshirt freshman forward Devyn Etling was handed a red card after going after the ball along the near sideline in the 52nd minute.The subsequent resilience shown by the team was encouraging for head coach Brian Maisonneuve. “Being down a man for a majority of the game, that’s a win for sure, so we can take a lot out of that in terms of effort, fight, and, again, we still created stuff going the other way, so there’s a lot to take out of this one,” Maisonneuve said.Though the stat sheet will not show offensive dominance – Ohio State only managed two shots on goal for the entirety of the match – the Buckeyes controlled possession thanks to a combination of improved spacing and crisp passing through the midfield. “The best thing about the possession was as we went forward we didn’t leave ourselves susceptible in the back,” Maisonneuve said. “Soccer is a game of transition, so even as you go forward, you’ve got to be aware when the ball turns, you’re not giving to get and I thought our shape as we attacked was much much better.”The Ohio State defense also had a strong opening half as they fought off five Northwestern corner kicks in a scoreless 45 minutes. Overall, the Wildcats and Buckeyes were almost even in terms of shots during the match, with Northwestern outshooting the Buckeyes 9-8. Both teams managed just two shots on goal, despite Northwestern also gaining a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.The second half opened in controversial fashion with Etling receiving a red card. The play was reviewed and the call stood. The final 38 minutes of regulation ticked away as Ohio State stood its ground, and limited the Northwestern attack while creating chances of its own, as the match headed to overtime. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried came up with a clutch save in the 93rd minute to keep the game scoreless.“To fight against a good Northwestern team, and as you said we created as many chances [as Northwestern did], I think shots were close to even but a lot of our opportunities were wide service and chances that weren’t corner kicks or shots, but were really good dangerous attacks,” Maisonneuve said. Seven Buckeyes played all 110 minutes of the match, and will now have to turn their attention towards recovering for Tuesday’s upcoming match against Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Ohio State will take on Michigan in Ann Arbor on Tuesday at 7 p.m. read more

Southern Rail issues fresh apology to passengers as it prepares to restore more

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Alex Foulds, Southern’s Passenger Services Director, said: “I want to apologise again to our passengers who have suffered ever since the RMT began their unnecessary action against our plans to improve customer service on board our trains.”The temporary revised weekday timetable has been delivering a more consistent, reliable service.”Now, as promised, we are steadily reintroducing trains and will continue to do so until the entire timetable is back in place.”A temporary timetable with a reduced service was introduced in July following a spate of strikes in a long running row over the role of conductors, and “unprecedented” levels of train crew sickness. Southern Railway is to restore more train services next week and has issued a fresh apology to passengers for disruption caused by an industrial dispute and staff shortages.The operator announced it will reinstate the full timetable from Tonbridge and Reigate to Redhill and London Victoria/London Bridge next Monday and restore the full service between Redhill and London.Inner London and West London line services were reinstated last week and more services will be added in the coming weeks.last_img read more

Thunderbirds are go US Air Forces rivals to Red Arrows tour British

first_imgThe largest show in the aviation calendar takes place at RAF Fairford this weekend.As they prepared to take part in the event, the Thunderbirds flew over several military bases and landmarks across Britain. The Thunderbirds take in the English countrysideCredit:Sgt Christopher Boitz/MOD/PA  US Air Force Thunderbirds flying over Stonehenge US Thunderbirds The Thunderbirds fly in formation over the countryside behind the refueling aircraftCredit:Sgt Christopher Boitz/MOD/PA The Thunderbirds are an elite squadron of F-16s that perform at air show demonstrations much like the RAF’s Red Arrows. Thunderbirds flying over Loch Ness Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. US Thunderbirds Thunderbirds RAF Lakenheath base in Suffolk comes into view beneath the ThunderbirdsCredit:Sgt Christopher Boitz/MOD/PA The aircraft receiving aerial refueling from a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker Credit:Sgt Christopher Boitz/MOD/PA Stonehenge was among the landmarks the US Air Force Thunderbirds flew overCredit:Sgt Christopher Boitz/MOD/PA US Thunderbirds Like any tourists, they must have been keen to see the best of Britain’s landmarks.But the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds air acrobatics team took sightseeing to a different level when they flew in formation over the UK.The elite squadron – the US version of the Red Arrows – toured must-see locations including Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, and Loch Ness, in the Scottish Highlands, as they prepared for the Royal International Air Tattoo. The Thunderbirds flying over Loch Ness in the Scottish HighlandsCredit:Sgt Christopher Boitz/MOD/PA US Thunderbirds Staged each year at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, the Royal International Air Tattoo is the largest show in the aviation calendar.This year’s event takes place from Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16. The Thunderbirds flying behind a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker Credit:Sgt Christopher Boitz/MOD/PAlast_img read more

Down the hatch Duke and Duchess try 40 proof local liqueur in Poland

first_imgThe Duke and Duchess were welcomed in the Arthus Court in the heart of Gdansk, wandering through the Long Market with the Fountain of Neptune, a symbol of the city.There, they spoke to amber expert Zbligniew Strzelczyk. The city has been famous for the stone since Medieval times.The craftsman said: “They were very interested in the trade. Prince William asked about where the amber is found and I told him to 10 per cent is washed up on beach. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are mobbedCredit:Imago / Barcroft Images The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are mobbed The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were today mobbed by thousands of curious well-wishers, as they visited a Polish market to sample the local dumplings and were offered a shot.The Royal couple were swamped by Gdansk locals, who turned out with flags and selfie sticks to see them.Emerging in the medieval market square surrounded by security, the Duke and Duchess were serenaded by a choir singing Zadok the Priest, played at every English monarch’s coronation since King George II in 1727. “I gave them two chunks of amber, one with an ant and two leaves inside and another with a little fly and air bubbles. They seemed delighted.”center_img At the next stall, they gamely sampled Gdansk liqueur, Goldwasser (Golden Water); a strong root and herbal liqueur which has been produced since at least 1598.”It is very good, very sweet,” the Duke said, after he downed the shot in one.”And very strong … ” his wife added.Damian Robakowski, of Pod Lososiem, restaurant said: “It is very powerful.”They also polish dumplings – a specialty of the restaurant. The Duchess chose the Salmon and Crayfish while the Duke picked a mushroom one, as staff promised to name them after each Royal respectively. As crowds cheered enthusiastically, the Duchess waved and smiled while the Duke appeared to recognise the song from the town’s Capella Gedanesis orchestra.Large crowds were held back amid tight security behind steel barriers and the Royal couple flanked by close guarded maximum security. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Its a step too far Princess Dianas former butler Paul Burrell condemns Channel

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Princess Diana’s former butler says the controversial tapes showing Diana talking about her marriage and private life should not be broadcast by Channel 4.last_img