Badgers look to rebound after road loss

first_imgLed by senior forward Laurie Nosbuch, the Badgers began September with a four-game road trip and won its first three by a combined score of 7-2, but Wisconsin dropped the final leg to in-state foe UW-Milwaukee, 2-1, in overtime.[/media-credit]Golden opportunities must be taken advantage of when presented. The Wisconsin women’s soccer team just missed out on a perfect four-game road trip and a five-game winning streak on Sunday. The Badgers (5-2-0) fell at the hands of the No. 17 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers, 2-1 in overtime.The Badgers may have entered the week ranked for the first time this season had they prevailed, earning 19 votes in Tuesday’s NSCAA weekly top 25 poll, despite the loss.“Going forward it gives us a little more motivation to get a win,” senior forward Laurie Nosbusch said. “Any time you lose you kind of get a little bit of a chip on your shoulder and want to make sure you win the next one.”Wednesday evening gives the road-tested Badgers a reprieve from traveling with a home matchup against the Central Michigan Chippewas at the McClimon Complex.“I think it is important to reflect and watch film and see the mistakes that we have made, learn from those mistakes and then move on and refocus yourself for the next game,” senior goalkeeper Michele Dalton said, after what she called a great practice. “[The mistakes] are important learning tools for us, but moving forward we need to refocus ourselves, but not necessarily completely forget the mistakes we have made, just learn from them and build off of them.”A key for Wisconsin will be to jump on the Chippewas early. Both of the Badgers’ losses this year have occurred when the opponent was first to score, and the same is true for Central Michigan whose lone loss came when Kentucky look a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.Central Michigan (5-1-1) was already tested against a Big Ten foe on Sunday, fighting for a 1-1 tie in double overtime against the Michigan Wolverines.As the West division leaders of the Mid-American Conference, the Chippewas appear ready to give the Badgers everything they can handle Wednesday. In its many close games, Central Michigan is only allowing an average of 0.57 goals per game, a number the Badgers will surely have to top to come away with a victory.“The key is focusing on getting services into the box and getting a little more creative and aggressive,” Nosbusch said of the Badgers’ offense.The fact that both squads are entering Wednesday’s contest coming off overtime games makes for common ground for both opponents, and should this game go into overtime as well, Dalton is prepared to do what it takes to win.“[Winning overtime games] comes down to effort and drive,” Dalton said. “The team at the end of the game that is most willing to put forth that extra effort when you’re tired mentally and physically exhausted is usually the team that comes out the winner.”Recent overtime games are not the only thing these two teams have in common. The Badgers and Chippewas both boast a freshman as their leading goal and point scorers.After winning Big Ten Freshman of the Week in the season opener, forward Cara Walls has been carrying the Wisconsin offense with four goals and nine points, and Laura Gosse leads Central Michigan with three goals and six points despite only starting one game thus far in the season.While the contest may seem like an everyday non-conference matchup, Wisconsin is looking at this game as a must-win. This is not only a time to correct the mistakes made against Milwaukee, but also to gain positive momentum as they head into the Big Ten season.It will be a difficult Big Ten schedule right out of the gates.Defending co-Big Ten Champion Penn State will come to Madison Saturdayafternoon for a game that could have a large impact on how the rest ofthe Big Ten season will go for Wisconsin, and following that UW will hita Michigan road trip, visiting the Spartans and Wolverines thefollowing weekend.“[This game is] not just for statistics purposes, it’s just for morale more than anything,” Dalton said. “I think the team really needs to win at this point. Sunday was a hard loss for us, it really was. I struggled with it, but we need to move on and refocus ourselves for this game. … Pulling out a victory in this game would be huge for us for NCAA purposes going forward and overall morale going into the Big Ten this coming weekend.”last_img read more

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MLB Network’s film on 1995 Mariners a reminder of bygone era when attendance was king

first_imgMORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNIn a previous era, that would have been a much bigger problem for owners.Take Seattle, for example, which regularly ranked bottom-five in attendance in the late-’80s and early ’90s, just before modern revenue supplies kicked into gear. As the MLB Network film “The 1995 Mariners, Saving Baseball in Seattle” explores, the Mariners faced relocation until they attracted rabid stadium support (and subsequent funding for a new park) via a dramatic 1995 playoff run.“Baseball was gone (before that),” said former infielder Harold Reynolds, who played in Seattle from 1983 to 1992.His Mariners were the penultimate case of lackluster attendance being the main driver of monetary uncertainty. After Seattle’s near-exit, the Expos left Montreal for D.C. after cost-cutting ownership and a subpar stadium experience torpedoed fan support.The modern Rays, of course, have remained in jeopardy of relocation in part because of their dismal gate counts. But declining attendance hasn’t stopped their valuation from tripling since 2009, according to Forbes.The feeling for players competing in front of empty seats is different, too.“We weren’t on TV much,” Reynolds said. “If people didn’t come to the game, they didn’t see you. Now, even if there’s not a fan in the stands … we still all (see) the game.“It’s important that fans go to games, don’t get me wrong, but I do think it was different back then. If we didn’t have attendance, people didn’t follow the club.”The downside of attendance being deemphasized, however, is lessened incentive for front-offices to field competitive teams, and by extension, minimized personal connection between players and fans at the ballpark.Those aforementioned Rays have artificially limited ticket growth through seat capacity reduction — Tropicana Field’s reduced capacity of 25,000 would not have been able to hold eight of the 10 home crowds that arrived in September 2008 or six of the 10 in September 2010, let alone any of the playoff games the Rays have hosted. Even as MLB’s attendance numbers plummet in 2019, continuing an in-person decline not just in baseball but across many major U.S. sports, teams are not necessarily being thrust into peril.Other emergent cash sources such as hefty local TV deals, video streaming agreements and revenue sharing for small markets have helped ease strain on attendance-starved franchises. There are a lot of those organizations these days: Eight teams are currently drawing fewer than 20,000 fans per game, compared with just three teams a decade ago. They could win 25 straight games and not match the all-encompasing importance of what the Mariners pulled off to save their team in 1995. So too could a number of other attendance bottom-dwellers such as the A’s, Orioles and Marlins. It’s no longer just about who shows up in person.As a result, then, the raw emotions on display in “The 1995 Mariners, Saving Baseball in Seattle,” which debuts this Sunday, indicate something may be lost in baseball’s evolved priorities.“To see that connection with the fans was really special,” Reynolds said. “(Mariners outfielder) Jay Buhner crying at the end of the movie tells you all you need to know. It tells you all you need to know about what that meant to everybody.”last_img read more

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Leafs, Nitehawks post shutouts in Murdoch Division action on opening night of KIJHL

first_imgWow! What a difference a week makes.Andrew Walton turned away 27 shots to power the Nelson Leafs to a 3-0 victory over the defending Kootenay Conference Champion, Castlegar Rebels, in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night at the Community Complex in the Sunflower City.The win gained the Green and White a little revenge after the Murdoch Division rivals pummeled Nelson by a total score of 14-5 in two exhibition games.The story of the game was the play of Walton, who started last season in Castlegar before being traded to Fernie midway through the campaign.Walton made 12 saves in the first period and 11 in the second before the Leafs took the play to the home side, out shooting Castlegar 11-4 in the third.Patrick Martens led the Nelson attack with a pair of second period goals. Colton Malmsten opened the scoring in the first frame with an assist coming from newly acquired Matti Jmaeff.Jmaeff came to the Leafs earlier this week in a four-team deal that sent former Nelson goalie Darren Hogg to Osoyoos.Grand Forks Border Bruins and Penticton Lakers were also involved in the transaction.Newcomer Connor Beauchamp took the loss in the nets for Castlegar.The two teams play the second half of the home-and-home series tonight at the NDCC Arena in Nelson.Game time is 7 p.m.Hawks rack up 13 as Beaver Valley explodes past Border BruinsThe Beaver Valley Nitehawks scored 10 times, that’s right, 10 times in the final 40 minutes to blast Grand Forks Border Bruins 13-0 in KIJHL opening night action Friday in the Boundary City.Chris Derochie led the attack with six points, including three goals.Craig Martin added a goal and four assists while Ryan Edwards and Scott Davidson each scored twice.Max Flanagan, Justin Niminikin, Mason Spear and Christian Johnson.Zach Perehudoff made 30 saves to register the shutout.Ryan Bryant and Jeremy Mandoli each took turns between the pipes facing the Nitehawk onslaught.The two teams play the second half of the home-and-home series tonight in Fruitvale. Game time is 7:30 [email protected]last_img read more

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World Series champion Astros hold off on White House talk

first_imgQC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort The Astros also agreed to terms with New York Yankees third base coach Joe Espada to replace Alex Cora as bench coach. Cora was hired to manage the Boston Red Sox. LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Pistorius case returns as prosecutors seek longer sentence World Series MVP George Springer said his grandfather worked in Washington for years and he has respect for what a visit to the White House would mean.“That’s the most historic place in our country, it stands for a lot, it means a lot to a lot of people,” Springer said. “If the team goes I’m going. I’m not going to say no. I understand the impact of it. … I understand the stuff that’s been happening. Yes there are things that have to change but there are always things that have to change. There isn’t anything that is ever going to be perfect. If the team goes I’ll go.”Also on Friday, general manager Jeff Luhnow said the team had exercised the options of All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve and utility man Marwin Gonzalez. Altuve’s option is for $6 million and Gonzalez’s for $5,125,000.Altuve led the majors with a .346 average and hit 24 homers with 81 RBIs. Gonzalez batted .303 with 23 homers and a team-leading 90 RBIs.Houston also has a 2019 option on Altuve for $6.5 million.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick celebrate after Game 7 of baseball’s World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Astros won 5-1 to win the series 4-3. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON — The World Series champion Houston Astros have not made the decision yet on whether they will visit the White House to meet with President Donald Trump if an invitation is extended.“We just won the first world championship in Houston Astros history,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said shortly before the team left for a celebratory parade through downtown Houston on Friday. “We’re also in one of the most divided countries, polarizing countries in politics. I don’t know that this is the best stage for everybody to declare one way or the other and try to comment on the moment and be too much of a political statement.”ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC PLAY LIST 01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Penguins and Clemson Tigers have all visited the White House in recent months to be congratulated by the president for their titles. The Golden State Warriors did not make the trip after being disinvited by Trump. The president has been outspoken for weeks about his opposition to players kneeling during the national anthem to protest social injustices.Following the Astros’ 5-1 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 on Wednesday night, Trump tweeted his congratulations to the team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHinch said he believes that the Astros should savor their accomplishment, but a decision on a White House visit would need to wait.“What comes out of this moving forward on the political side or what we do or don’t do or what sports has turned into, to kind of representing the country’s tone — that’ll be decided in time,” he said. “We’re not going to allow anything to polarize this moment that we want to celebrate with our fans.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

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LOOK: LeBron shouts out PH fans for sprawling mural in Taguig

first_imgRead Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa NBA: Leonard’s rehab going slower than Parker’s, coach Popovich says “Just wanna inspire and influence as many people in this 🌎 [world] as possible while I live!” he said in his post on Instagram. LeBron James gave his Filipino fans a special mention after a breathtaking artwork of the Cleveland star at Titan Love Court in Bonifacio Global City caught his eye.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe murals spanning two basketball courts featured images of James about to take flight for a tomahawk slam and one of his signature reactions.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:46US defense chief agrees it’s time to take another look at defense pact with PH00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES LOOK: LeBron James ‘honored’ to have mural at Tenement court“S/O to all my fans in the Philippines for this mural as well as all the other countries around that allow myself to be an INSPIRATION to the youth and beyond! Thanks you!”This wasn’t the first time that James’ image dressed up one of the outdoor courts in Metro Manila.READ: Return of the king: LeBron wows Manila fans anew The Taguig Tenement court had featured James’ larger-than-life illustration several times during The King’s visits to the country.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH James’ last trip to Manila was last September for the Strive for Greatness Tour. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View commentslast_img read more

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MOCA Toronto names director of programs

center_img With the naming today of November Paynter as the director of programs for Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the unpredictable evolution of the museum’s leadership took another turn. Paynter’s appointment comes seven months after Chantal Pontbriand left MOCA as its first-ever chief executive officer. Pontbriand’s surprising departure had occurred less than eight months after she assumed the newly created position.Paynter joins MOCA from SALT, a Turkish not-for-profit institution based in Istanbul and Ankara. British-born and educated at the Royal College of Art in London, Paynter was the founding associate director of research and programs at SALT from 2011 to 2016.She arrives at her new post in Toronto with the museum in the midst of significant transition. The opening of MOCA’s new home (in rented quarters at Tower Automotive Building, a century-old former factory in the city’s west end) has been delayed from the spring of this year to the fall. Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

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No Federal funding included in Budget to help the Oil and Gas

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Oilpatch observers say there is nothing in the new federal budget to deal with Canada’s competitive disadvantage with the United States in oil and gas.Statistics Canada says capital spending to extract oil and gas will fall for a fourth straight year, with the biggest declines projected to be in the oilsands sector.Hardest hit will be Alberta, but spending will also be down in Newfoundland and Labrador, B.C. and Saskatchewan. CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld says the numbers are falling because big projects are wrapping up and not being replaced.He says companies are seeing bottlenecks in the ability to get a product to the market and a lighter regulatory environment in the U.S.Ottawa says more analysis is necessary before considering tax cuts to match the U-S, which announced in December it would drop its federal corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.University of Calgary tax expert Jack Mintz says Canada had a tax advantage over the U-S until recently but that has evaporated.(THE CANADIAN PRESS)last_img read more

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100 per cent unity among United India forces Mamata

first_imgKolkata: With the world’s biggest democracy all set to begin the 40-day election process in which an eighth of the world’s population will cast their franchise, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee reiterated with renewed vigour and conviction that there is 100 percent unity among the United India allies and that Bengal will play a major role in the formation of the new government at the Centre.”All the regional parties will do well in the election and a national party will have to join the United India forces. Bengal will play a leading role in the formation of the new government in Delhi,” she said. In the same breath, she said her party will get 42 out of 42 seats in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. In an interview to a vernacular television channel on Monday evening, the Chief Minister said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls me a ‘speed breaker’. As far as I know, speed breakers are installed to control speed and save lives.” She further added that never in the past, India has seen such an arrogant Prime Minister whose language does not suit the post of a Prime Minister. “I have worked with great leaders like Atalji, Advaniji, Gujralji, Rajivji, Deve Gowdaji, Narasimha Raoji but never have I come across such arrogance. The only thing he wants is publicity.” Asked about giving tickets to film stars like Mimi Chakraborty from Jadavpur, Nusrat Jahan from Basirhat and Moon Moon Sen from Asansol, she said: “All of them will win. Mimi will do great work. The CPI(M) candidate in Jadavpur is former Mayor of Kolkata who could not be traced during severe waterlogging in the city. Nusrat will win from Basirhat while Moon Moon will win from Asansol. Besides being the daughter of matinee idol Suchitra Sen, Moon Moon is a highly accomplished lady.” Asked whether the Trinamool Congress will win in Alipurduar, Cooch Behar and Darjeeling, she said: “Our candidates will win from these seats. In Darjeeling, BJP had won in 2014 by dividing the people. But this time this trick will not work. There are four Assembly constituencies in the plains and another three constituencies in the Hills. Our candidate Amar Singh Rai is a localite and is respected by all. He will win the election.” Banerjee said a probe should be conducted into the source of BJP’s money. “They are spending crores of rupees on meetings. They are paying money to the voters — Rs 1,000 and at times Rs 5,000 to the voters to cast votes in their favour.” Asked about the fight between the TMC and Congress in the state, Banerjee said: “There is a pact between BJP, CPI(M) and Congress. In Murshidabad, RSS is helping a Congress candidate while BJP is helping the CPI(M) candidate in Jadavpur. But despite these unofficial pacts, Mausam Noor will win from Malda North and Moazzem Hossain from Malda South seats respectively. Apurba Sarkar and Abu Taher will win from Berhampore and Murshidabad as well.” Talking on the arbitrary surveys by several media houses, the TMC supremo said: “Most of them are bogus and are paid surveys. Most of the national television channels have been sold out and are showing concocted news. I have stopped watching television because of conflicting news. The top brass in the media has been purchased by the BJP.” Referring to Modi as a fake ‘chowkidar’, she said: “I have challenged him to sit for an open debate. I know it is difficult for him to accept it as he has lied throughout these five years and hasn’t done anything constructive.” She also maintained: “Modi is talking shamelessly about the air strike in his election campaigns. But there will be a strike by the voters and on May 23, he will be ousted from Delhi.”last_img read more

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Save Cinemas in Morocco founder Tarik Mounim on the fight to

first_imgPhiladelphia- Tarik Mounim is the founder of Save Cinemas in Morocco, an organization dedicated to preserving traditional theaters to promote public cinema in Morocco.Tarik Mounim first learned of the derelict state of Moroccan cinemas when he returned to his home country from Paris in 2006 for a role in the film Goodbye Mothers, which included scenes shot in an old theater in Tetouan. “When I saw how amazing the cinema was, and how run down it had become, I met with the theater owner to ask what had happened. He explained to me that as less and less people were visiting cinemas, many were in disrepair or closed,” Tarik says. Other cinema buildings were purchased and repurposed for other businesses. Internet piracy and the rise of movie multiplexes have each played a role in the decline of traditional cinemas in Morocco. “Now you can buy a pirated movie on any street corner in Casablanca for 4 or 6 dirham,” Tarik explains. “It kills creation, it kills culture, it kills cinema.”The Moroccan Cinematographic Center, in charge of funding and regulating film projects and institutions, put money into producing movies while neglecting to restore old cinemas; instead, they built multiplexes, and stopped sending new releases to the old theaters. At 60 dirham per ticket, the multiplexes are unaffordable for many Moroccans.The young actor knew that to lose the historic cinemas would mean a loss of vital cultural venues for Moroccans. “It is the only place for people to share the experience of watching a movie,” Tarik says. “If you watch a movie on a big screen, you are in the movie. Cinema is a mirror to society, a way to understand society and to broach formerly taboo topics.”Mounim founded Save Cinemas in Morocco in 2007 to raise awareness and funds for the preservation and promotion of traditional movie theaters. Without funding or publicity, the organizers began by selling t-shirts at an international film festival in Marrakech to make money and garner media attention, and by sharing stories and pictures of the cinemas on social media. The Cine Theatre Palace Marrakech, pictured above, is one of the oldest theaters in Marrakech, and was the subject of one of Save Cinemas in Morocco’s first organizing events.From the beginning, SCIM received enthusiastic support from students and young professionals. “We made an active campaign to mobilize people and convince the authorities that they should not destroy the theaters. Some investors were interested in buying the cinemas to make supermarkets, so we got in front of this, and the more we communicated about the story of the cinemas, the more people joined our cause.”Eventually, more than twenty old cinemas were declared historic landmarks thanks to the efforts of Save Cinemas in Morocco.SCIM recently developed an exhibition with English artists for the Biennale heritage month to push authorities to buy a theater for renovation that could then be made more accessible with lower ticket prices.Tarik hopes that restoring old cinemas will pique interest in subsidizing theater tickets to encourage public engagement with art. He sees the buildings as the symbolic heart of visual art. “Cinemas are temples of culture,” he says. “Making cinema affordable will encourage people to share movies, their culture and their hearts.”Without major donors or public funds, Save Cinemas in Morocco has managed to gain the support of the Minister of Communications for the preservation of cinemas as historic monuments. Now, SCIM is looking for funding for their newest project. “We want to put cinemas where there are none – El Jadida, Ouazazate, Essaouira, Agadir, and many other cities,” Mounim says.Tarik, who is also the director of development at Sandman Productions, says that starting an NGO in Morocco can be challenging. “It is difficult to find funding, and there is little existing structure.” However, he advises aspiring organizers to learn by doing. “It is the best school,” he says. “When you work for someone else, you have to sacrifice your passion; when you work for yourself, you are surrounded by people who believe in your project.” The SCIM founder sees broader significance in preserving traditional cinema. “The language of cinema is the language of dialogue between people; it is about peace and understanding – an international language. A country where there is no cinema is missing something.”“We will not save all the cinemas, but we know one thing: there is less and less space in our cities for cultural events. For us, it is vital to explain to the authorities that there is a demand for this kind of place, for people to have a place where they can express their creativity, especially young people,” Mounim says.“The more people who join us, the more we will change the mentality of authorities and engage them in issues of cultural politics in Morocco. We are happy to organize partnerships with artists or anyone who is interested in supporting our efforts, and we invite them to join us.”For more information about Save Cinemas in Morocco, visit their website, www.savecinemasinmarocco.com, follow them on Facebook, or email inquiries directly to savecinemasinmarocco[at]gmail.com.This article is part of a series on young artists, creators and organizers pursuing unconventional paths. Read about Off-the-Wall Pilgrimage, the first Palestinian-Israeli arts festival in Paris, and an interview with rapper Soultana.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

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Commentary Ohio State mens basketballs affinity for defense keeping Final Four dreams

Hey, you! Yes, you, right there, Joe/Jane Buckeye fan. You go here because of the football team, right? I know, I know, we all do. It’s OK. School is secondary. And, let me guess, since you go to Ohio State because of Buckeye football, you probably have a special affinity for defense. Brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. And, let me surmise, you look at the basketball team, with its inconsistent offense and those four losses and think: “Hey, it’s only, like, eight months until Urban Meyer unleashes his freshly non-bowl banned OSU football team on the rest of the country.” Stop it right now. It’s not August yet. It’s basketball season. It’s Big Ten basketball season. And your Buckeyes are playing a brand of basketball I know you can appreciate. They’re playing basketball with a football mentality. They’re playing brutal, violent, aggressive, stingy defense. Beautiful defense. Football defense. Jared Sullinger is gone. William Buford is gone. The Buckeyes’ elite offensive abilities are gone too, and it’s showing. Against elite teams, OSU’s offense has sputtered for long stretches. The Buckeyes have made 3-point shooting look as difficult as solving a Rubik’s cube in less than 30 seconds (if only junior guard Aaron Craft could do the former as well as the latter) and they lack a go-to second scorer (Craft? Sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross? Junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.? Brutus Buckeye?) behind the offensive genius that is junior forward Deshaun Thomas. Where would OSU be without Thomas? Hint: somewhere losing a lot of games by 20.5 points. But guess what? It doesn’t matter that OSU is trying to set offensive basketball back to the peach basket days of Dr. James Naismith, the game’s creator. The team’s defense is good. Like, Final Four good. Don’t give up on them. Craft is and has been the NCAA’s preeminent perimeter defender since he stepped on campus in 2010. He smothers guards. His scalp list the last three years reads like a “Who’s Who” of college basketball: Trey Burke, Jordan Taylor, Dion Waiters, Scoop Jardine, Tyshawn Taylor, Brandon Knight, Seth Curry, Erving Walker and the list goes on. Point blank, he’s OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby in sneakers. His competitors know by pregame they’re going to wear a Craft coat for the next 40 minutes. Craft’s partner-in-crime, sophomore guard Shannon Scott, averages a hair under two steals per game and plays passing lanes like a seasoned veteran. Smith Jr., is a hulking 6-foot-4 menace who can physically overpower smaller foes. Sophomore forward Sam Thompson is a weak-side shot-blocking terror with staggering athleticism and a 476-foot vertical leap (approximately). If someone manages to penetrate the lane against OSU’s guards, 6-foot-11 sophomore center Amir Williams lurks in the paint ready to send any shot all the way back to his hometown in Detroit. Any way you slice it, the Buckeyes’ top-20 scoring defense (out of 345 teams) gives them a chance to win any game, despite the offense’s struggles. Hmmm, actually that sounds familiar. Wait, are we sure Jim Tressel isn’t coaching basketball? Don’t write off this season just yet. Sure, the offense might not be Sweet 16 worthy (or outside of Thomas, even RPAC worthy) but the defense is Final Four caliber. It might not be pretty, but the basketball Buckeyes are taking a page out of Woody Hayes’ playbook and embracing a new, defense-first identity. As football fans, it shouldn’t be hard for us to do the same. read more

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