Month: September 2019

Month: September 2019

Massachusetts authorities are expected to execute an arrest warrant for New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez  for obstruction of justice in connection with a homicide investigation, sources tell ABC News.The warrant was prepared after police discovered that the security system at Hernandez’s home, along with his cellphone, were destroyed, sources told ABC News.Police were at Hernandez’s home again Thursday with another search warrant based on evidence that Hernandez “destroyed his home security system,” an investigator close to the case told ABC News.The investigator and other law enforcement sources confirmed the security system was smashed intentionally. Hernandez’s cellphone was handed over to investigators “in pieces” by his attorneys, sources added.Police also want to know why a team of house cleaners was hired on Monday to scrub Hernandez’s mansion, sources told ABC News.“There’s a federal statute in every state that you cannot knowingly destroy evidence. And what [authorities] believe has happened here is that the home surveillance system was destroyed, the cell phone was destroyed, the house was cleaned, and the police think there was evidence that was destroyed because of that,” ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack said.“Now the problem of course is that nobody knows what was in that home surveillance so in some ways it’s difficult for the police to make their case,” Cossack said.Surveillance video from the North Attleborough, Mass., neighborhood of Hernandez shows him with Odin Lloyd and two other people hours before Lloyd was killed earlier this week, sources confirmed to ABC News late Thursday.In addition, the Boston Globe reported that video images appear to show Hernandez and Lloyd together on Fayston Street in Boston early Monday morning.Hernandez, 23, has been at the center of the investigation since the body of Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was found shot in the back of the head Monday in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough.Lloyd’s uncle, Ishmael Andrew, told The Associated Press on Friday that Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s girlfriend. Family members have said Lloyd was never in trouble.Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been re-filed in Florida against Hernandez by a man the tight end allegedly shot in South Florida in February. The lawsuit contends Alexander S. Bradley was shot in the arm but the bullet traveled to his head, causing him to lose his right eye.Video footage by a WCVB-TV chopper showed Hernandez traveling by car to Gillette Stadium on Thursday morning. He left the stadium shortly after noon, then was swarmed by reporters after he stopped at a gas station.The Boston Herald reported that Hernandez was told to leave the stadium by staff, who were waiting for him when he showed up for a workout. Patriots spokesman Stacey James told the newspaper that he had no idea why Hernandez came to the stadium.“No coaches are here,” said James, who declined further comment to the Herald.Lloyd’s body was discovered in a clearing near John Dietsch Boulevard, not far from a vehicle that had been rented by Hernandez. Police have ruled Lloyd’s death a homicide.“It has been widely reported in the media that the state police have searched the home of our client, Aaron Hernandez, as part of an ongoing investigation. Out of respect for that process, neither we nor Aaron will have any comment about the substance of that investigation until it has come to a conclusion,” attorney Michael Fee said in a statement.Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a silver mirror cover believed to have been broken off a vehicle and might be visible along a route of travel between Dorchester, where Lloyd was from, and North Attleborough.The NFL is not commenting on the Hernandez situation at this point, a league official told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. But the NFL is monitoring developments, as it would in any matter of this nature.Bradley, the man who claims he was shot by Hernandez after the two argued upon leaving a Miami nightclub in February, is represented by New York attorney David Jaroslawicz.Asked whether he has a police report of the incident, Jaroslawicz declined to provide information. According to USA Today Sports, his client was in the hospital for weeks, and “I’m sure the police were there.”A spokesman for Miami-Dade police told USA Today that he was checking to see whether a report was filed.A police report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff describes a shooting incident involving a man named Bradley on Feb. 13. The sheriff’s office deemed the case inactive because Bradley refused to cooperate. Hernandez was not named in the report. read more


Month: September 2019

New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez says that he has come to an agreement on a “tentative” plan for him to make a comeback to the team.On Friday night, in Rodriguez’s last Double-A rehab game with Trenton, he went 1-for-2 with a home run against the Reading Fightin Phils.He will reportedly play one more game Saturday for Trenton and then return to the Yankees in Chicago on Monday, for their game against the White Sox.“I think it’s possible,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.Rodriguez said his return to the major league team is definite, barring an act of God.“Unless I get hit by lightning, and these days you never know,” he said.Rodriguez has missed the entire major league baseball season so far, due to a hip surgery and a Grade 1 quad strain.


Month: September 2019

Basketball player Carmelo Anthony says playing with Amar’e Stoudemire was “one of the reasons I wanted to come to New York.”Now that his Knicks teammate is struggling with another knee injury, Anthony is having a difficult time watching Stoudemire go through the agony of recovery.“As a friend, it’s hard for me to sit back and act like it doesn’t bother me because I know how hard of a worker he is [and] I know the time that he puts in the gym to train and rehab,” Anthony said Tuesday. “To see him go forward and then take some steps back every time, it’s just sad.”According to reports, Stoudemire will miss the Knicks’ first three preseason games. Stoudemire is rehabbing from knee surgery he received over the summer, his third in the past year.“I’m still getting stronger, still getting the legs strong enough to withstand the pressure of playing, but progress has been great so far,” Stoudemire said.The 11-year veteran only played 29 regular season games in 2012-13, when he also had two separate knee procedures. read more


Month: September 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — As the 100th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s birth approached, Sharon Robinson is sure her father would have a lot to say about the current political climate in the United States if he were still alive.“I know he would be outraged,” she said.In this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 photo, news articles about Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player Jackie Robinson are displayed at the exhibit “In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson: (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)Jackie Robinson, who died at age 53 in 1972, would have turned 100 on Thursday. He broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, and the centennial of his birth marks the opening of an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York titled “In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend.”It features memorabilia and 32 photographs originally shot for Look magazine, plus footage of Robinson hitting grounders to his son in the backyard of the family house in Stamford, Connecticut. Many of the photos shot by Frank Bauman and Kenneth Eide from 1949 and 1953 had not been on public view previously.Rachel Robinson, the ballplayer’s wife, planned to attend the opening, still a force at age 96. The celebration and baseball’s annual Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 will focus attention on the Jackie Robinson Museum in the SoHo section of Manhattan, scheduled to open in December.Della Britton Baeza, CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, said $28 million has been raised toward a $42 million goal — matching Robinson’s uniform number, which was retired throughout the major leagues in 1997. The money raised covers construction costs, and an additional $4 million is needed for marketing and staff. The overall goal includes $10 million for an endowment, she said.“In this day and age in this climate of our country, we really are going to take on this issue of discussing race relations,” Britton Baeza said. “What better place than a place that pays tribute to one of the great integrationists of the last century? So we’re going to roll up our sleeves. We will do it from a position of goodwill and from a position of starting with the facts, if you will, but we’re going to take these things on and talk about activism in sports.”The exhibit, which runs until Sept. 15, is a partnership between the Museum of the City of New York and the foundation, and some of the memorabilia will wind up at the Jackie Robinson Museum.Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been a major backer of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the museum, and he will be honored at the foundation’s annual awards dinner on March 4 along with businessman Maverick Carter and musician Kristopher Bowers.“The centennial of his birth is an opportunity for MLB to recognize the historical significance of Jackie Robinson and to continue to teach younger people the impact he had on baseball and society,” Manfred said.Sharon Robinson, MLB’s education programming consultant, said today’s players need to have greater knowledge of the foundation’s efforts.“There was a shift in their awareness with the movie ’42,’” she said of the 2013 film that starred Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. “A number of players came up to me or coaches and said, ‘I thought I knew the story but now I get it.’ There’s no time better than now because this country needs healing, needs to continue to move forward in terms of not just dealing with racism but sexism and the whole gamut of isms. So there’s no better time to look back into history and see how much has changed but how much work still needs to be done.”___ read more


Month: September 2019

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another edition of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings. The least you need to know about how these numbers work: Each team is ranked according to a projection of its strength over the upcoming week — and the upcoming week only — using Real Plus-Minus (RPM) player ratings provided by Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. For more details on the ratings, see our introductory rankings post.(Note: These ratings were calculated before news broke that Chicago’s Jimmy Butler would miss three to six weeks with an elbow injury. Butler carried a strong +3.2 RPM rating, so replacing his 26 minutes per game with a replacement-level player would drop the Bulls from 11th place to a tie for 19th with the Pistons. Chicago’s saving grace might be that the average player below Butler on the team’s depth chart is significantly better than replacement level, but there’s no doubt that this news reduces the Bulls’ rating.)Some observations about the rankings this week:The Oklahoma City Thunder climbed more in the rankings from last week than any other team, leaping from No. 13 to No. 6. The biggest reason? The expectation that Kevin Durant will return in some capacity this week, even if in reduced minutes, was worth 1.7 points per 100 possessions to OKC’s overall rating. The ripple effects of Durant’s return extend beyond his own increased minutes. Our playing-time projections also see Dion Waiters (whose extremely negative RPM falls below the replacement level) getting fewer minutes on the wing — a boon of 0.8 points/100 to the Thunder’s rating. More minutes may also go to plus-minus darling Andre Roberson,1Relative to other metrics at least; from his awful 9.9 Player Efficiency Rating (PER), you wouldn’t expect his RPM to be a strong +2.4. and fewer minutes will go to guard D.J. Augustin, an additional 0.6 point boost for OKC’s rating. The mix of very good and very poor players on the Thunder roster makes the team a great case study in how much effect playing-time reshuffling can have on a team’s overall talent rating.The Atlanta Hawks dropped four spots in this week’s rankings, largely because Al Horford (+2.3 RPM rating), Jeff Teague (+1.3), DeMarre Carroll (+1.2) and Pero Antic (+0.8) are all listed as day-to-day in the team’s injury report. Those slight playing-time downgrades gave more minutes to a host of negative RPM players; chief among them are Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore.Joining the Hawks with a four-slot decline this week are the Toronto Raptors. More than half of Toronto’s 1.8 point ratings drop is driven by an injury to Kyle Lowry — and the resulting uptick in playing time for the man behind him on the team’s point guard depth chart, Lou Williams. Williams’s box-score numbers are very good, and Toronto has played much better with him on the court this season. But Real Plus-Minus isn’t convinced despite his great 2014-15 season to date. His long-term predictive RPM is currently -1.9 — with a -3.6 defensive mark — numbers only slightly improved from his -2.0/-3.7 ratings from the end of last season.For all the changes just outside the league’s top tier — in addition to the rise of OKC and declines of Atlanta and Toronto, the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets both moved up a pair of spots — the top four in our rankings stayed constant. This marks the first time that’s been true since we introduced the rankings in mid-January.With Oklahoma City’s gains, the Western Conference playoff picture is all but set. Seven teams have postseason probabilities in excess of 97 percent, and the Thunder don’t sit too far behind, at 92.7 percent. As for the East, it boasts six teams with playoff odds of 99.6 percent or greater, although there’s some drama to be had with six teams battling for the conference’s final two playoff berths. The Indiana Pacers have the inside track for one of the slots, with a 62.7 percent playoff probability, but none of the five teams behind them are any more than 40.2 percent likely to qualify, which ought to bring at least some tension to the final month and a half of the season.Related to the previous point, it’s worth mentioning that the Utah Jazz have a zero percent probability of making the playoffs despite ranking 12th in talent. What happened? Utah’s record has undershot its Pythagorean expectation by three wins, but the team has also improved its talent rating recently (granted, by too little and too late) by jettisoning Enes Kanter and his -2.5 RPM in a three-team trade with Oklahoma City and the Detroit Pistons.Finally, who on earth is Joffrey Lauvergne? Our projections had the French big man down for 2.8 minutes per game for the Denver Nuggets last week, but he ended up averaging 21 minutes per game instead (and even got a starting nod against the Jazz on Friday). Denver might be toning down Lauvergne’s playing time after he shot 38 percent from the floor and posted a -36 plus-minus in that lone start, but his expected role increase — and -4.4 RPM rating — is still enough to help the Nuggets drop by five slots in the rankings. They’re still not New York Knicks bad, but after their mass talent exodus at the trade deadline, the Nuggets now bring up the rear of the non-Knicks/Philadelphia 76ers division of the power rankings. read more


Month: September 2019

Each member of the line must be on the ice for a goal to qualifySource: Left Wing Lock CGYJ. GaudreauS. MonahanM. Ferland251267.6 Goals BOSB. MarchandP. BergeronD. Pastrnak21387.5% TORZ. HymanA. MatthewsW. Nylander24972.7 COLG. LandeskogN. MacKinnonM. Rantanen291467.4 NYIA. LeeJ. TavaresJ. Bailey241955.8 The best among the best lines in the NHLThe top 10 lines in the NHL in goals scored while playing 5-on-5, by percentage of goals for TMLeft wingCenterright wingForVS.For % PHIC. GirouxS. CouturierJ. Voracek231069.7 For the first couple months of the season, the Boston Bruins had more problems than they could handle. They had lost more games than they had won. They were firmly out of the playoff picture. Top-line center Patrice Bergeron and his linemate Brad Marchand had both missed time with injuries. So had second-line center David Krejci. Goalie Tuukka Rask was a husk of his former self, and looked for a moment as though he might lose his starting job. Matt Beleskey, who the Bruins decided to pay $19 million because he had a handful of good weeks during the spring of 2015, had been placed on waivers.1He cleared them and now plays for Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence.This was a team that had won the Presidents’ Trophy as recently as 2013-14, and that had a core made up of several skaters who’d played in two of the past seven Stanley Cup Finals. This was also a team that had failed to qualify for two of the past three postseasons, and that hadn’t won a playoff series since they beat the Detroit Red Wings in the spring of 2014.But since a loss to the Washington Capitals in mid-December, the Bruins have been damn near untouchable: They are 14-0-4 in their last 18 games. The Bruins looked like basement dwellers a few months ago, and now pundits are wondering whether they’re legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. But are they for real, or is this streak just a tantalizing aberration?The Bruins are a balanced hockey team — seven skaters have at least 25 points — but much of their recent form can be attributed to the extraordinary play of a rejuvenated Rask and the top line of Bergeron, Marchand, and David Pastrnak, which has established itself as one of the best in the NHL.In his last 18 starts, Rask has lost exactly zero games in regulation; in his prior 13 starts, he had won just three. During his recent dominant stretch, Rask has stopped 94 percent of the shots he’s faced; during his disastrous stretch, he stopped just under 90 percent of the shots he faced.2Not what you’d expect from the NHL’s all-time leader in save percentage.Goaltender play is notoriously unstable, so these gulfs in Rask’s performance aren’t actually as shocking as they seem on the surface. Even if Rask’s save percentage regresses and he stops roughly 92 percent of the shots he faces for the rest of the season, the Bruins will be in good shape.To explain the dominance of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak, the best place to start is their possession numbers. Bergeron is yet again among the league’s elite faceoff takers, winning more than 57 percent of his draws.3That number drops a bit to roughly 53 percent on power play draws, but Bergeron can be forgiven — unless he’s the man in the penalty box, teams often task their best faceoff man with taking draws on the penalty kill. Among qualifying skaters, all three on Boston’s top line rank in the top 50 in Corsi percentage,4Adjusted for score, zone and venue. which estimates a player’s possession rate by measuring the percentage of shot attempts directed at his opponent’s net versus his own net while he’s on the ice. And because the Bruins’ top troika are sending so many shots toward their opponents’ nets, all three also rank in the top 15 for goals per 60 minutes.Among lines that qualify, only 11 others in the NHL have a higher combined shooting percentage than the combination of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak. And their goals for percentage — which takes the total number of goals scored while a line is on the ice together and calculates the percentage of those goals that were goals scored by the line — is by far the best in the league. LOSA. IafalloA. KopitarD. Brown201360.6 TBLV. NamestnikovS. StamkosN. Kucherov261957.8 DALJ. BennT. SeguinA. Radulov201360.6 VGKR. SmithW. KarlssonJ. Marchessault321666.7 None of this is to say the Bruins are a one-line team — they’re far from it. Rookie forwards Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk have already chipped in with 11 goals each, and rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy5McAvoy recently underwent minor surgery to correct an abnormal heart rhythm, but is expected to return in two weeks. is building a solid case for the Calder Memorial Trophy. And David Krejci is a pretty decent second line center, too: He’s scored 24 points in 29 games, and he’s winning 56.3 percent of his faceoffs, by far the best mark of his career.Boston will lose in regulation again — Marchand, who is serving a five-game suspension, and McAvoy’s temporary absences should ensure this happens sooner than later. But there’s nothing in recent memory suggesting Boston’s top line will cease to be a possession beast any time soon.6All three forwards finished in the top ten in Corsi percentage in 2016-17. If they keep getting (and burying) their chances — and if Rask’s ascendancy holds up, which his dazzling career implies it might — the Bruins might find themselves playing hockey in June again. read more


Month: September 2019

OSU co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell walks out of the Buckeyes’ locker room before a game against Maryland on Nov. 12. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorWhen Urban Meyer was hired as Ohio State’s head coach at the end of the 2011 season, many saw the possibility for a dynasty. Meyer’s MO had been his ability to implement a high-octane, prolific offense to whichever program he was coaching. He is one of a few coaches that reshaped the offensive landscape of college football, primarily switching to a spread from a pro-style offense. Since the OSU football program’s earliest days, the Buckeyes have been viewed as a team that excels on the defensive end. Since 2002, when Luke Fickell joined the OSU staff, the characterization of a tough, blue-collar defense stood out in the program’s seven Big Ten championships, four national championship berths and two national titles. The offensive firepower of an Urban Meyer offense combined with the traditionally stout Buckeyes’ defense was a formula many thought would put OSU in the running for a national championship every season. But Meyer came close to making his own recipe.During Meyer’s first two years at the helm for OSU, the Buckeye defense wasn’t the same. After 24 consecutive victories, OSU dropped the Big Ten Championship game to Michigan State and the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl to Clemson. OSU allowed an average of 377 passing yards over the last three games. The Scarlet and Gray ranked 118th out of 125 teams in passing defense.“I did not want to keep (Luke Fickell) when I got here,” Meyer said. “We weren’t very good on defense for a couple years and that stressed things out just a touch around here.”Fickell served as interim head coach before Meyer arrived in Columbus in 2011, going 6-7. Fickell was retained by Meyer as co-defensive coordinator, sharing the duties with Everett Withers, who also coached safeties. After coming within earshot of playing for a national title in 2013, it was clear to Meyer that a change had to be made on defense.In 2014, Fickell was the one who stayed and Withers took another job while current Rutgers head coach Chris Ash was hired by Meyer to replace Withers. The Buckeyes’ secondary underwent a complete overhaul, improving to 15th in passing defense and picking off 25 passes on its way to a national championship. Fickell, in charge of the linebackers, transformed Darron Lee into a freshman All-American after switching from safety.Fickell has produced 12 NFL draft picks so far in his coaching career, as well as dominated the state of Ohio in recruiting — a couple reasons why the University of Cincinnati hired him as its next head coach.“You do not have to be on the best terms at all times,” Fickell said. “Sometimes discomfort breeds growth. To push somebody deep down inside, you gotta know it’s for a reason. That’s the thing I can say, at times, we’ve had these discussions before we’ve had tough times. That’s a part of the game and what you really do is step back and able to realize how much you respect him because of it.”In the midst of preparing for OSU’s national semifinal bout against Clemson on Dec. 31 in Glendale, Arizona, Fickell accepted an offer from Cincinnati to become the Bearcats next head football coach. The long-tenured Ohioan — the one who played for St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus, played for John Cooper for four years and coached under Jim Tressel — now will attempt to create his own legacy in the same state that he has built his career.A career that Fickell said wouldn’t be anything without his wife, Amy, and their six children.“Sometimes you take advantage of the people you love the most,” he said. “My family understands that. My wife understands that, my kids understand that, I hope, to some extent. For right now, those are the things that suffer the most. I couldn’t do that without a great wife.”Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell celebrates with junior cornerback Doran Grant (12) following an interception during a game against Purdue Nov. 2, 2013 at Ross-Ade Stadium. OSU won, 56-0.Credit: Lantern File PhotoIf Fickell had left after 2013 for another job, he said that it wouldn’t have felt right not leaving on a high note. When former OSU offensive coordinator Tom Herman was hired at Houston during preparation for the College Football Playoff in 2014, he chose to coach throughout the playoff with the Buckeyes. Fickell will do the same this year, preparing for the CFP semifinal against the No. 2 Clemson Tigers (12-1), while trying to balance his position at Cincinnati.“I told them even when I was introduced down at Cincinnati, I wanted to look at every kid and make them realize why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Fickell said. “I’m doing what I’m doing because we started something and I would never start something without finishing it.”One of the players that Fickell has impacted the most is junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan. A five-star recruit from Hinesville, Georgia, that Fickell recruited, McMillan said the best quality about Fickell is his trust in his coaching, sticking with one defensive philosophy since McMillan’s freshman year in 2014.McMillan was an impact player on the national championship team and soon will be another member of Fickell’s linebackers in the NFL. In his time at OSU, Fickell said he hasn’t seen a player that means more to a unit than McMillan.“He’s been able to guide me through all my blessings I’ve been given here at Ohio State and put me in the position I’m in today,” McMillan said. “Through the ups and downs, he stayed on my side, and even the guys beside me, nurtured us and have us become men.”In his last days as a an assistant coach at OSU, Fickell is facing one of his most difficult tasks yet as a defensive coach. Clemson averages 505.5 yards per game on offense, led by Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson.In 2014, when Clemson put up 40 points and over 500 yards against the Buckeyes, some thought that result would spell the end for Fickell’s time in Columbus. Since then, Fickell has turned into one of Meyer’s most trusted colleagues the past three seasons.“One of the greatest things I’ve ever done was keep Luke Fickell,” Meyer said. “He’s a loyal, good man and a very good friend of mine. We’ll be very close for a long time.” read more


Month: September 2019

Freshman goalie Matt Tomkins protects his goal during a game against Michigan State Jan. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. The teams tied, 1-1.Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternFreshman goalie Matt Tomkins returned to the lineup as the Ohio State men’s hockey team took four points from a weekend series against Michigan State.Tomkins, who sustained an injury during a 6-1 victory against Niagara Nov. 9, tallied 59 saves over the two games as OSU (11-6-1, 1-2-1) earned its first-ever points in the Big Ten play.A season-high crowd of more than 8,000 Saturday saw the Spartans ride an early lead all the way into the third period, only for the Buckeyes’ junior forward Darik Angeli to score midway through the final stanza.Neither team could find the winning goal in the final minutes or in the overtime period. The shootout ended 3-2 in favor of Michigan State, as Angeli was stopped by sophomore goalie Jake Hildebrand, giving the Spartans (6-10-3, 0-2-2) the extra point in the Big Ten conference standings.Friday night’s game saw the Buckeyes — who are tied for second in the Big Ten in goals per game with 3.25 — continue their strong attacking in a 5-3 victory. Leading the charge was junior forward Ryan Dzingel, whose three goals, to go along with an assist on a goal by junior forward Nick Oddo, extend his streak of games with at least a point to 10.Dzingel credited the play of his two linemates, Oddo and freshman forward Nick Schilkey, as the key to his recent success.“I feel like our line has been clicking and we know where each other are on the ice,” Dzingel said. “I enjoy playing with these guys and I was just fortunate enough to get a couple goals.”Michigan State coach Tom Anastos said after Friday’s game his team “had to be better” in the defensive zone.“I thought it was a big difference in our game because (defense is) really part of our identity,” Anastos said. “That’s the expectations we have, so that was much more in alignment with how we should be playing all the time.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to play against Big Ten opponents for the rest of the regular season. Coach Steve Rohlik said the competitive nature of the two games against Michigan State is something that will be repeated ad nauseam in the Big Ten.“It’s going to be a broken record every weekend,” Rohlik said. “It’s going to make our players better and it’s going to make us (as) coaches better.”Next up for the Buckeyes is a trip to Minneapolis for two games against No. 1 Minnesota. Their first game against the Gophers is outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium, home of Minnesota’s football team. Puck drop for the game is set for 9 p.m. Friday. read more


Month: September 2019

Trevor Thompson (right) looks on during the 2014 Spring Game April 12 at Ohio Stadium. Thompson announced his decision to transfer to Ohio State April 13.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorTo say the Ohio State basketball team is going through an overhaul is a bit of an understatement.First, the Buckeyes saw the careers of two of the most decorated players in program history — a total of 119 wins — come to a close on a cold, windy day in Buffalo, N.Y., more than three weeks ago when senior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. battled to a 60-59 loss Dayton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.Two days later, sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle told coach Thad Matta of his intentions to leave Columbus and head back home to Europe to pursue a professional basketball career.Then only six days later, OSU got hit with another departure — this time its leading scorer — when junior forward LaQuinton Ross announced his intentions to follow in Della Valle’s footsteps and leave early to pursue a pro career.But with 40 points per game lost from the 2013-14 season, Matta didn’t flinch. In fact, he might even come out on top.Barely two weeks after adding Temple transfer and redshirt-junior forward Anthony Lee to his roster, OSU’s basketball coach landed another big man, as Virginia Tech freshman Trevor Thompson committed to OSU Sunday, per a report by ESPN College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman.“I love the academics, the fans, my new teammates and the coaching staff,” Thompson told ESPN. “It was the perfect fit.”Thompson also took to Twitter to announce his decision, one day after attending the OSU football Spring Game.“Well it’s official I’m a Ohio State Buckeye Show Me Love #BuckEyeNation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Thompson tweeted from his personal account, @TrevBallinTrey2, at 1:29 p.m. Sunday.Thompson, a 6-foot-11 center who will likely sit out the 2014-15 season per NCAA transfer rules unless he chooses to request a waiver from the NCAA because of his father’s medical condition, averaged 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this past season at Virginia Tech.An OSU spokesman did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment about the transfer Sunday. Attempts to contact Thompson directly also were unsuccessful.The addition of Thompson brings the scholarship count of the men’s basketball program to 12, one below the NCAA allotted 13.If Thompson does sit out the 2014-15 season, he is set to be one of two centers on OSU’s roster in 2015-16, as junior centers Trey McDonald and Amir Williams are scheduled to enter their final season of eligibility next year. The other center who is set to be on roster with Thompson is David Bell, who is a member of Matta’s 2014 recruiting class.That class also includes guard D’Angelo Russell and forwards Jae’Sean Tate and Keita Bates-Diop.Other members slated to be a part of next year’s squad that saw action in 2013-14 aside from Williams and McDonald — who combined averaged 9.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game this past season — include junior forward Sam Thompson, junior guard Shannon Scott and freshman fowrward Marc Loving. Freshman Kam Williams figures to be in the mix as well after sitting out last season as he battled back from illness. read more


Month: September 2019

Ohio State senior defensive end Jalyn Holmes (11) is escorted off the field in the third quarter against Nebraska in Memorial Stadium on Oct. 14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorInjuries go hand in hand with athletics. Athletes in all sports have to constantly manage them, even if not recovering from injuries, taking the necessary steps to prevent injuries from taking place.Therefore, in order to fully understand sports at Ohio State, it is important to consider the health of the athletes and the people in charge of ensuring an athlete’s safety. Athletic trainers are an ostensibly underappreciated yet critical component to the Ohio State Department of Athletics.Currently, Ohio State staffs approximately 19 athletic trainers, eight interns and two physical therapists. There are also 10 team physicians, four sports medicine fellows, four nutritionists,  several sports psychologists, a dentist and a pharmacist, all of whom collaborate with the athletic trainers. Throughout each season for the sports, an athletic trainer will constantly need to be on site, whether it be at practice or during a game, to be there should something go wrong. Katie Walker, an athletic trainer who specializes in tennis and women’s soccer, stressed just how different the experience is for every trainer based on the injury-risk of the sport.“Soccer, obviously, is a higher-risk sport, from an acute contact injury standpoint,” Walker said. “So with soccer I’m really dialed into what’s going on in the play; people going up for headers, sliding into people.” Walker added that keying in and evaluating an athlete’s current condition while simultaneously judging how an injury impacts the athlete’s play is a necessary skill for an athletic trainer. For example, tennis players would be assessed on their form and their swinging technique in order to see how an injury might be affecting performance.In fact, the process of guiding an athlete through an injury is one of the primary  responsibilities  for any athletic trainer.“Once you start to know your athletes and know their personalities and have treated them through so many injuries, it just becomes fun to watch people you know and to watch people who you helped get back on the court or back on the soccer field,” Walker said. “And that’s really where the enjoyment for athletic training comes from.”Walker said there are multiple steps to addressing an injury during a game. The first action the protocol calls for is evaluating if the injury is major or is a high-risk type of injury.If the injured player is physically capable of moving himself or herself to the sideline, the trainer will move the athlete to the sideline and further evaluate the injury with the available team physician. Treatment such as ice or taping then might be applied on the field to reduce recovery time.After the game, more in-depth treatment like crutches or walking boots would be applied in the athletic training facilities. Documentation is the final step, as all athletic trainers must report any sort of injury into their computer medical database. Preventing injuries is another key component to an athletic trainer’s arsenal. The term “prehab” is used among athletic trainers  to describe preventing future injuries with players who are currently rehabbing. Walker said prehab consists of working with strength and conditioning coaches to incorporate exercises that focus on building muscle in areas with high-risk injuries, such as ACLs and shoulders. Athletic training also relies heavily on being updated with equipment and technology. Like any medical field, having the best techniques and technology allows for quicker recovery and eases an athletic trainer’s job.Women’s soccer uses Polar Team Pro heart rate and GPS monitors in order to track cardiovascular and muscle stress.  Another technology utilized is Omegawave, which is a system of electrodes that calculate changes in heart rate, which aids with recovery. Omegawave can also highlight any cardiovascular discrepancies that might impact an athlete’s ability to play.Other techniques and equipment are vastly improving and the idea of unique improvements to the athletic training field is being constantly recognized every year. The concept of athletic training is much more than simply concussion protocols and taping ankles. Although they might not be starring in any of the hype videos or postgame interviews, the athletic training staff are essential for keeping Ohio State’s athletes continually performing at high levels. read more