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INSIDE THE MADNESS: Izzo on 1-and-dones, Arkansas AD jetsets

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first_imgNotes and tidbits from around the NCAA Tournament on Friday:___IZZO: SOME ONE-AND-DONES GETTING BAD ADVICETom Izzo is the first to admit that if a basketball player with enough talent to be considered a “one-and-done” wanted to come to Michigan State, he would welcome him with open arms.That said, Izzo has concerns for players who are advised to leave college early and don’t make it in the NBA.“Like everything else in the world, smoking cigarettes was cool, then after research of years and years and years, it develops lung cancer,” Izzo said at a press conference Saturday. “So we change our thoughts. We have not researched where a large majority of these guys that come out early (are). … Some day, 10 years from now, there’s going to be a study of how many kids came out and ended up on the streets. That’s the crime of this whole thing.”Izzo said if he was a kid in that situation he would enjoy the college experience.“God, I would die to go back to college,” Izzo said. “You know, I really would, too. I think like a lot of my former players that are in the NBA, it’s a job. It’s a nice job, but it’s a job. College isn’t a job and I think so many kids are missing out. So I would take a completely different approach — not what’s best for the NBA, not what’s best for the college, what truly is best for the kid and how can we work around it.”Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said the decision is out of the hands of college coaches.“It really doesn’t matter what I would want, it’s what the players’ union and the NBA would decide on,” Krzyzewski said. “The NBA would like two years. And the counsel for the players’ union came out a couple weeks ago… and said that it didn’t seem like they wanted the same thing. They would even like kids to come right out of high school. We just have to adapt to whatever’s going to happen with the NBA and the players’ union.”— Steve Reed___KENTUCKY’S CAULEY-STEIN SETS ‘SHINING MOMENT’ BAR HIGHIf Kentucky wins the national championship, the Wildcats’ “One Shining Moment” may have already happened.Late in the first half, after Cincinnati’s Quadri Moore missed a 3-pointer, Kentucky got the rebound and rushed down the floor. Devin Booker passed it to Tyler Ulis on the wing, who hit Willie Cauley-Stein cutting through the lane.Cauley-Stein went up with two hands and brought down a slam on top of Moore, in what is sure to be a highlight of the tournament. Moore was called for the foul, and Cauley-Stein made the free throw. See the sequence here: https://youtu.be/By-P9uHmnbU .___ARKANSAS ATHLETIC DIRECTOR JET-SETTINGArkansas athletic director Jeff Long is spending nearly as much time in the sky this weekend as he is watching the Razorbacks.Long, known to many across the country for his role as the chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee, has kept a busy schedule the last few days while keeping up with Arkansas’ men’s and women’s NCAA Tournament teams.His four-day itinerary:— Flew to Jacksonville to watch the No. 5 seed Arkansas men defeat Wofford on Thursday.— On to Waco, Texas, on Friday to watch the 10th-seeded women defeat Northwestern in their opening game.— Back to Fayetteville on Friday afternoon to watch the Arkansas baseball team play LSU that night.— Return to Jacksonville today to watch the men take on North Carolina tonight with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line — returning to Fayetteville afterward.— Back to Waco and back as the women prepare to face second-seeded Baylor on Sunday afternoon.The tournament appearance is the first for Arkansas’ men since 2008, while the women earned their first appearance in three years under first-year coach Jimmy Dykes.___DON’T FALL, RON HUNTER!Get ready, chair. Georgia State coach Ron Hunter is back in action on Saturday night.The coach who’s needed assistance to get around and taken the two biggest stumbles of March Madness is getting reinforced seating for his team’s game against Xavier with a Sweet 16 spot at stake.The cut foam and tape concoction doesn’t exactly look like surefire protection for Hunter, whose emotional reactions to his team’s biggest moments has made him one of the biggest stars of this year’s NCAA Tournament.But his school says the chair is NCAA-approved to help Hunter as he coaches while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.Hunter rolled out of the locker room Sunday with two cameras following him, smiling and greeting a small group of journalists then rolling toward the court.Going up a ramp they have for him to roll up, Hunter turned to the Georgia State fan section and raised his right hand to wave. He was rewarded with the loudest ovation of pregame.The 50-year-old Hunter was hurt initially while celebrating his team’s Sun Belt Conference title last weekend, instantly becoming a fan favorite.He followed up that fall with another tumble when his son, R.J., hit a winning 3-pointer to lead Georgia State past No. 3 seed Baylor in their opening game. He fell out of his chair, then wasn’t able to get up in a moment that his son later teased him about.___KANSAS-WICHITA STATE FLASHBACK: BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANSKansas and Wichita State will be playing for the first time in 23 years when they meet Sunday in Omaha, Nebraska, with a spot in the Sweet 16 on the line.The drought had been even longer the last time they met in the NCAA Tournament.The two schools separated by just over 160 miles had not played since 1955. But they found themselves facing off in the Superdome in New Orleans on March 20, 1981, with a spot in the regional finals up for grabs. The Shockers were the sixth seed, the Jayhawks the seventh seed, and the game turned out to be just as close.The Shockers were trailing 65-62 when Mike Jones hit a long jumper with less than a minute to go. At the other end of the floor, Jayhawks star Darnell Valentine missed an easy layup that would have the iced the game in the days before 3-pointers.Wichita State got the ball back and tried to get it to Cliff Levingston or Antoine Carr, their star forwards. But with the Jayhawks sagging into the lane to take away the post, the ball ended up with Jones once again. A role player all season, he unloaded from about 25 feet with a couple of ticks on the clock.The soft swish of nylon was heard all the way back in Kansas.“I don’t think he scored another basket the rest of the tournament,” Valentine recalled in an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday. “I mean, he made the difference.”The game was intriguing for another reason: Valentine and Carr, who would both go on to play in the NBA, had played together in high school at Wichita Heights.“It was one of those times where you kind of think in your mind, ‘What if we would have played together? What would it have been like,” Carr told the AP. “You kind of think about those things, go back and forth, and then you realize all those things don’t matter.”Valentine and Carr are still close friends. They still talk every once in a while. And you can be sure they still care about their alma maters, each planning to hole themselves up in front of the television on Sunday to watch the No. 2 seed Jayhawks play the No. 7 seed Shockers in their first NCAA Tournament matchup since they were on the floor together.“I still think we were the better team,” Valentine said, chuckling. “But hey, they played better than we did that game. That’s all that counts.”___Follow all the ins and outs behind the scenes of the NCAA Tournament brought to you by Associated Press journalists on Inside the Madness: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/blog/ap-now-inside-madnesslast_img read more

Spring game provides final opportunity for Tide players

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first_imgTUSCALOOSA – For Ryan Kelly, A-Day is all about finishing.For Nick Saban, it’s about the tradition.But for Alabama’s fans, it’s just about seeing the Crimson Tide in action one more time before fall.However you look at it, Alabama’s spring game — the culmination of the 14 previous spring practices — is an opportunity.“Spring practice is a great opportunity for a lot of players to make significant amount of improvement, and we certainly had the opportunity to do that his year,” Saban said Thursday. “We had quite a few guys that were out for the spring or got hurt in the spring, which created opportunities to give other people a lot of reps.”Given that A-Day is officially the end of spring practice, Alabama’s senior center also sees the power of creating some offseason momentum heading into the grueling summer months before preseason camp.“I think it’s more, we want to finish on a high note that leads us into summertime,” Kelly said Thursday. “It’s crucial that we go out there and compete really hard, and obviously we tone it down on the things that we run, but the things we do run we need to run well. The momentum that we take at the end of the summertime and into the fall will carry us pretty far.”Alabama’s annual A-Day game kicks off at 2 p.m. today from Bryant-Denny Stadium, where the first-team offense and second-team defense — otherwise known as the White team — will square off with the first-team defense and second-team offense — also known as the Crimson team.“We do it a little different than a lot of people,” Saban said. “I think that the first defense and the second offense make up a team and the first offense and the second defense make up a team, so the ones play against the ones and the twos play against the twos, for the most part.”The game is free and open to the public, and will be broadcast online on SEC Network+ with the SEC Network’s Joe Tessitore, former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy and Shannon Spake calling the action.A-Day will feature a White offense that includes senior quarterback Jake Coker, who entered spring as the frontrunner to be next season’s starter, as well as junior running back Derrick Henry and senior tailback Kenyan Drake. The White team will also feature receivers Chris Black and ArDarius Stewart, punter JK Scott, and the entire first-team offensive line, led by Kelly at center, sophomore left tackle Cam Robinson, redshirt freshman left guard Ross Pierschbacher, sophomore right guard Bradley Bozeman and senior right tackle Dominick Jackson.The Crimson defense features the likes of senior middle linebacker Reggie Ragland, senior defensive end Jarren Reed, senior safety Geno Smith, junior linebacker Reuben Foster, junior defensive back Eddie Jackson, and several others.Meanwhile, the Crimson offense will include the younger quarterbacks, including redshirt freshman David Cornwell and early enrollee Blake Barnett, as well as redshirt freshman running back Ronnie Clark, competing against a White defense that includes sophomore linebackers Rashaan Evans and Shaun Hamilton and sophomore defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand.Still, several injuries this spring will affect the on-field product as nine players — including about six potential starters — are expected to miss the spring game and another player questionable, according to Saban.“We’re a little bit thin at some positions, so that makes it even more difficult, but it gives everybody an opportunity,” Saban added. “When you split up the squad and have a draft, it’s a lot of fun. But sometimes you get some mismatches that are difficult, kind of make it harder for other players to play well.“We’re kind of going to stick with this format.”A-Day will be similar to a normal game, except there will be four 15-minute quarters and a running clock, which will only be stopped after scoring plays, penalties and changes in possession.last_img read more

Transfer gossip: Caulker to pick up nearly £1m, Mirror say

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first_imgSome of the latest transfer speculation in the aftermath of the window closing. Steven Caulker will land a windfall of nearly £1m by joining Lokomotiv Moscow on loan from QPR, the Daily Mirror say.AdChoices广告The newspaper say Caulker will play in Russia – where the transfer window remains open – from March to the end of the season in May and will pick up a number of payments.Caulker, 25, will reportedly be given a joining fee of £500,000 and a £30,000-a-week increase on his current wages. Related West London Sport story: QPR’s Caulker could move to Russia on loan Blues rejected keeper deal, Telegraph say Chelsea rejected a pre-deadline bid from Watford for Asmir Begovic, according to the Daily Telegraph.The Blues’ second-choice goalkeeper was wanted by Bournemouth but stayed at Stamford Bridge because Chelsea were unable to bring in a replacement for him.The Telegraph say Watford also came in for Begovic in the final hours of the transfer window, offering Chelsea £10m and the Hornets’ former Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes.Begovic, who wanted to leave in order to play regular first-team football, is now expected to join Bournemouth at the end of the season.The south-coast club also made an offer for Nathan Ake ahead of the deadline.Chelsea were unwilling to part with the young Dutchman, who was recently recalled from a season-long loan with the Cherries.Meanwhile, reports have claimed that Chelsea wanted to sign Celtic’s former Fulham forward Moussa Dembele ahead of the deadline.  Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles People from Local Area Become Rich – Thanks to This New £250 Investment x This Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s Deleted. x Easy Way to Generate Extra Income x Last Nights Episode Left Viewers Speechless! x Remember Her? Take a Deep Breath Before You See What She Looks Like Now x This New Air Conditioner Under £70 with No Installation Necessary is Selling out x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

UWI continue RSPL slide

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first_img NO LUCK UWI FC spiralled to their fourth successive defeat in the Red Stripe Premier League yesterday, going down 1-0 to the in-form Cavalier at UWI Bowl. Alex Marshall netted the only goal of the game, 25 minutes into the match, as Cavalier continued their streak in the opposite direction, securing their third straight win on the road. After 10 rounds of matches, UWI were sitting pretty in second place behind leaders Portmore with 17 points. However, they have since been stuck on that points total, and head coach Andrew Peart has a few issues to address. “It’s definitely a tough result. We had opportunities and we just could not find the net, and that’s the worrying thing for us, not scoring. We are conceding because of simple errors and that’s worrying for us, very worrying, but the only solution for us now is to work hard,” Peart said. He noted that although the opportunities are coming their way, they are just not putting away their chances. “Whoever the ball drops to, we are just not having any luck, and we need to score, but we also need to protect what we have. But we just have to work hard,” Peart added. Cavalier were the better team throughout the contest and controlled possession from start to finish. However, the best chance of the game fell to Patrick Brown against the run of play, but he blasted his effort over the bar from three yards. Moments later, Alex Marshall picked up a ball at the top of the area and drove a low shot past Amal Knight for the game’s only goal. In the second half, Cavalier were content to hold on to possession and frustrate their opponents, and although UWI came to life for a brief moment, they rarely threatened the visitors’ goal. After three successive away wins and 10 out of 12 points, Cavalier’s Technical Director Rudolph Speid is hoping to maintain his team’s good form throughout this round. “We were not pleased with our sixth-place position in the first round. This round, we have seven points so far, but this is the round you really have to make your mark. You cannot wait until the third round, because the third round is going to be the hardest round, where everybody is in a dogfight for the points, so the aim is to do better in the second round than we did in the first round,” Speid stated. Yesterday’s Results: Reno 1-1 Montego Bay Dunbeholden 0-1 Portmore UWI 0-1 Cavalier Humble Lion 2-2 Harbour View Tivoli Gardens 1-2 Waterhouse  Today’s Match: Arnett Gardens vs Mount Pleasant @ 8:35 p.m. – Anthony Spaulding Sports Complexlast_img read more

Cim Smyth Wins The Kobuk 440

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first_imgCim Smyth arrived in Kotzebue early Easter morning, winning the 2015 Kobuk 440 sled dog race.In the early hours of Easter morning, the first mushers arrived into Kotzebue at the end of the Kobuk 440 sled dog race. The first place title and more than $11,000 purse went to Cim Smyth of Big Lake, who arrived just past 6 o’clock on Sunday morning – after 2 days 18 hours and 4 minutes on the trail.Download AudioIt was a first-time win for Smyth, who says the race was his primary focus this year, after he chose not to run the 2015 Iditarod. Despite a controversial date change that pushed it closer to the finish of the 1000 mile sled dog race, the Kobuk 440 drew a total of twelve mushers this year – competing for an historic $35,000 combined pot.And while several teams had completed the race from Fairbanks to Nome just two weeks earlier, that didn’t keep former Iditarod winner, and defending Kobuk 440 champion, Jeff King from the competition.Smith and King travelled neck-and-neck for much of the race, with King leading from Ambler to the halfway point of Kobuk and back. But Smyth finally passed King on the westbound trail Saturday evening, at a shelter cabin between Ambler and Selawik.“You know, when I caught Jeff out there at the shelter cabin, I felt pretty good,” he says. “I really felt like I had a big advantage because…he had a lot of time to make up at that point.”“I stopped for twenty minutes at that shelter cabin,” says King. “And I’m glad [the dogs] did — they ate really, really well. They cleaned out a whole cooler while I was there. But, um, that’s where I was went he went by… and it became apparent — I mean my dogs had really full stomachs, they ate a lot at that shelter cabin — and I had to back off.”The race was close, and tensions appeared to be high as the pair flew through several upriver checkpoints. But at the finish line, both competitors shook hands and congratulated each other on a great race.Smyth even surprised King with an offer to remove booties from his rival’s team.Kotzebue musher John Baker was next to arrive at the finish. He started the race with a strong showing –arriving first into Ambler, and collecting a bevy of local prizes in the process. Baker says another highlight came at the halfway point, where he caught up with cousins and other family members in Kobuk.“That’s the wild side of my family,” he says.Just as Baker was arriving in Kotzebue, the battle for fourth and fifth place had begun. Kristin Bacon and Ken Anderson sprinted, less than a mile apart, across the narrow stretch of Hotham Inlet.Ultimately Bacon emerged victorious, arriving fourth to the finish line in her longest distance race to date. But Bacon says the nearly 500-mile event wasn’t as intimidating as she’d expected.“I had a blast. I mean, I totally lucked out this year. This was stellar,” she says.Bacon was the only woman to run this year’s Kobuk 440, and the only musher to complete the race with a full team of twelve dogs.Tim Pappas, racing a team of dogs from Martin Buser’s Happy Trails kennel, arrived next in sixth place. The race rookie says he was more than pleased with his placement, which he hopes will go toward qualifying for next year’s Iditarod.Mushers continued to arrive throughout the afternoon and night — including Kotzebue locals Andrew Brown, Paul Hanson and Jim Bourquin. As of Monday afternoon, Dempsey Woods Sr. of Ambler was the last musher still on the trail, despite a stormy turn in the weather.Only one musher scratched from the race; Tony Browning says he decided to pack it in after his dogs, many of whom ran the Iditarod with Nome’s Aaron Burmeister, began experiencing health problems near Selawik.But Browning was quick to quip that the race was still a pleasant one, saying: “It was fun while it lasted.”last_img read more