Maybe there is another shot at the NFL out there for Terrell Owens, the six-time Pro Bowl receiver whose knee injury and disruptive behavior has kept him out of the league the last two years. Reports are flying that the Seattle Seahawks are looking to bring in the troubled Owens for a tryout. The Seahawks are desperate for receiver help, with only Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin are reliable options at the position.However, Owens tweeted Sunday night that the rumors he would visit Seattle are “not true.”Why Owens would deny reports is a mystery, especially since the Seahawks confirmed a report from KJR-AM in Seattle late Sunday night that Owens would be working out for the Seahawks on Monday. The team is off Monday before returning to practice Tuesday.Owens needs an opportunity in the worst way. He is 38 years old. He has publicly admitted that he has squandered his career earnings made while playing in the NFL.And just two weeks ago, an Atlanta judge threatened him with jail time if he does not make good on back child support.Owens has not played in the NFL since the 2010 season with the Cincinnati Bengals, when he caught 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. Things quickly fell apart for Owens during that offseason. He could not find a team to offer him a contract to play even a portion of the 2011 season.He did have 35 catches for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing eight of 11 games for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. He was cut and lost an ownership stake in the team in May.Owens clearly still wants to play, though some of that could be financially related with his vast having money problems. But his antics and mouth have prevented teams from even granting him a tryout, which really means, “He isn’t worth the trouble.”
Ed Reed was recently let go by the Houston Texans, but the free safety wasn’t unemployed for long. On Thursday, Reed officially joined the New York Jets.According to USA Today, “The New York Jets announced a contract agreement with Reed and expected to have the five-time all-pro and former defensive player of the year on the practice field today.”Reed and Jets head coach Rex Ryan worked together before while the two were part of the Baltimore Ravens organization.“Reed and Jets coach Rex Ryan overlapped for seven years with the Baltimore Ravens, who employed Ryan as their defensive coordinator before he took the big promotion in New York following the 2008 season.”Antonio Allen and Dawan Landry are the Jets’ current starters at safety and even though it’s well pass the halfway point in the season, Reed still has time to get in the lineup.“Reed theoretically has time to work his way into the lineup as part of New York’s nickel and dime packages — while getting his legs underneath him if need be — and could play more center field, especially given Allen’s effectiveness at covering tight ends.”In this season so far, Reed made only 16 tackles in seven games. The defensive veteran has appeared in nine Pro Bowls and was at one time the NFL’s active interception leader. However, this year Reed has failed to force a turnover or even defend a pass.Albeit, Reed still has value as an experience player with a Super Bowl win on his resume. He was fired on Wednesday and it took less than 24 hours to secure his latest job.
Photo by The Associated Press.Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner was suspended indefinitely by the NFL on Wednesday for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.The suspension is the second in two seasons for Browner. He was suspended four games last season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. He’s the second Seahawks player to be suspended for violating the substance abuse policy this season. Fellow cornerback Walter Thurmond is serving the final week of a four-game suspension.Browner, whose suspension is effective immediately and without pay, sent out a lengthy statement vowing that he would continue to fight his suspension. But he appeared resigned that his career with the Seahawks was over.“I want to thank the Seahawks organization for the incredible opportunity they gave me when they took a chance on a player who was out of the NFL and playing in the CFL for 4 years,” Browner wrote. “I also want to thank all of my teammates, coaches, trainers, staff and the 12’s (fans) for their support, respect, and friendship and for helping me grow into the player, father, and person I am today. I have been treated with nothing but first class by everyone associated with the Seattle Seahawks and for that I am forever grateful.“Although I disagree with the circumstances surrounding my suspension, I accept responsibility for all of my actions and I apologize for any that causes any unflattering reflections of my family and the Seahawks. I believe in my innocence and will continue to fight with all legal resources available to me to.”Browner, who was injured in Week 10 against Atlanta and hasn’t played since, filed an appeal of the suspension while injured, and the Seahawks were waiting for an answer from the league. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said earlier Wednesday, before the suspension was announced, that he was frustrated that the process for making a determination on Browner’s status had taken so long.“It has taken a long time and I’ve been a little disappointed in that, but we’re handling it,” Carroll said.Browner is in his third season with the Seahawks. He started all 26 games he has played for the Seahawks and has 19 tackles, one interception and 10 passes defensed this season. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011 when he had 23 passes defensed and six interceptions, but had not been able to match those numbers in the subsequent two seasons.Browner was to become a free agent after the season and could file for reinstatement after one year.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., the boxing megamillionaire who has had his own issues with controversial race-related comments, said he has an interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers, which likely will be up for sale by banned owner Donald Sterling after NBA owners vote to force him to sell, as suggested by the league’s commissioner.Mayweather, a regular at Clippers and Lakers games in Los Angeles, met with a group of reporters in a VIP lounge at the MGM Grand, where he will face fellow welterweight titleholder Marcos Maidana in a unification fight in a Showtime network pay-per-view main event on Saturday night.Insisting he was serious, Mayweather said he spoke with his adviser, Al Haymon, about teaming with Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer and possibly others to make a bid for the Clippers.“I called Al about that to see if me, Leonard and Al, and hopefully Richard and a couple of other guys, a couple other of my billionaire guys, we can come together and see what we can come up with,” Mayweather said. “Hopefully, we can do it, and it’s not just talk.“With me, I can’t come in talking about Mayweather only gonna get 3 percent, 4 percent. I got to get a solid percentage. Do we want to buy the Clippers? Yes, we do. We are very, very interested in buying the Clippers. We’ll keep the Clippers right where they’re at. When I’m not boxing, I’m at the games all the time. We do want to buy the Clippers. . .. and we can afford the Clippers.”Mayweather, an avid sports gambler in Las Vegas, where he lives, added, “Once I get ownership in the Clippers I can no longer bet, so I have to stop that completely.”Mayweather, whose $73.5 million in minimum purses for his two fights in 2013 made him the world’s highest-paid athlete, said his interactions with Sterling had been positive.“Donald Sterling, he’s been getting a lot of negative press and my thing is this–I don’t have nothing negative to say about this guy,” Mayweather said. “He’s always treated me with the utmost respect. He has always invited me to games, always. Has always told me, ‘Floyd, I want you to sit right next to me and my wife.’ I don’t know about the [alleged] mistress. But I’m talking about him and the wife.”Schaefer, who has been promoting his fights since 2007, said: “When (Mayweather) tells you guys he’s interested in buying the Clippers, he’s not just saying that for an interview. He’s really serious about it and I’m sure he could rally the necessary people around him to support him in a bid like that.”Mayweather is not the only celebrity to show interest in buying the team. Music and film mogul David Geffen also could be a candidate, according to the Los Angeles Times.Mayweather’s own past issues with making racist remarks could prove to be a hurdle, as could his history of legal troubles and affinity for gambling. He has been known to often wager six-figure sums on NBA games.In 2010, he unleashed a profanity-filled rant with racial overtones in an Internet video against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, with whom he has not been able to make a deal to fight in what would be boxing’s biggest event.
Once it becomes apparent a star player’s career has begun winding down, it’s a ritual among NBA fans to hit the crates and dig out the old hits. Kobe’s got the 81, but what about that 48 and 16 in Game 4 against the Kings in 2001? Sure, Jordan gave the Knicks the double nickel in 1995, but have you watched the highlights on that 51-point game as a 38-year-old lately? Good golly. On and on down the line — Magic’s 42-15-7 when he was forced to play center as a rookie, Hakeem’s prolonged annihilation of David Robinson’s Spurs in 1995 playoffs — the impactful moments of a star player’s career are preserved in the box score fossil record.That’s how things go for the NBA’s most venerated stars. Just not for Manu Ginobili, who will turn 40 this July and finds his San Antonio Spurs down 3-0 to the Golden State Warriors.Ginobili, who could potentially play his last game in tonight’s Game 4, is unlike any other star of his caliber in that his game logs never quite captured his effect on the court. Ginobili’s career was borne out in moments. And pulling a moment out of a Play Index can be difficult.Mostly, this came down to playing time. Ginobili has averaged just 25.8 minutes per game for his career and had just two seasons in which he played more than 30 per game, leaving him without the per-game numbers of his peers. But dig into his per-minute stats, and you begin to see his true effect in the game.By Win Shares per 48 minutes since 1960, Ginobili career number is 28th, just behind Dirk Nowitzki. If we refine that to just the first 10 years of a player’s career — since dinosaurs like Manu and Dirk get docked points for playing a bunch of years in their decline phase — Ginobili rises to 16th, tucked between Larry Bird and Jerry West. Minute for minute, Ginobili out-produced contemporaries such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett, though he was never asked to carry a team the way they were, either.It’s franchise-player talent stuffed into a super-sub role, and it makes it difficult to find a historical comparison for Ginobili. His comps via Basketball Reference’s similarity score, for instance, contain a puzzling mix of Terry Porter, Jeff Hornacek and Allen Iverson — three profoundly unsimilar players. (My notion for Manu’s aesthetic comparison was always a stubbier Tracy McGrady, but Ginobili’s catch-all style makes him comparable to any tallish All-NBA level guard from the 3-point era.)Yet even among those allegedly similar players, Ginobili’s career stands apart from the others, again, owing to his minutes. We can quantify the number of “big game” performances using John Hollinger’s Game Score, a measure of how well a player played in a given contest. A 20-game score is something like Ginobili’s 27-point, five-assist, three-steal performance in Game 3 of the 2010 Western Conference semis; 30-game score is more like a 40-point, nine-assist, six-rebound performance from 2005. Ginobili’s short minutes meant that while he was producing at a Larry Bird level possession by possession, he had fewer big game lines than Hersey Hawkins. Lenny Wilkins85.7—–—– NO. OF GAMES WITH A GAME SCORE OF … Manu Ginobili’s legacy runs deeper than single games Allen Iverson88.6381–92– Ray Allen85.4239–28– Eddie Jones87.6127–6– PLAYERSIMILARITY SCORE2030 Terry Porter89.8171–21– Hal Greer86.2—–—– Similarity scores for first 14 seasons of career. Game Score since 1983-84.Source: basketball-reference.com Vince Carter88.2267–57– Manu does have his share of signature games, such as a career-high 48-pointer against the upstart Suns in 2005. But his legacy runs deeper than single games. Ginobili made the eurostep’s side-to-side weave on the way to the rim as central to the modern game as the crossover or step-back. He was the posterboy for the rise of flopping, but he was also one of the first guards to combine a high free-throw rate with a high volume of 3s. By our homebrewed Morey Index, which finds the players who lean most heavily on three pointers and free throws,1Using the geometric mean of free-throw rate and 3-point attempt rate. Ginobili’s 2004-05 ranks 56th of all player seasons since 1980, with multiple other appearances in the top 100. He punctuated that season with a standout Game 2 of the 2005 Finals — back when Ginobili had hair and Al Michaels called basketball games — with 27 points on just eight field goal attempts, going 4 for 5 from 3 and 11 for 13 from the line.But not every piece of a player’s game can be quantified, and with Ginobili it feels as if more than most goes unaccounted for — whether it’s the no-look passes that were as much a danger to the cotton candy vendors as they were to defenders or the little funk he put on something as simple as an entry pass. Ginobili has always been reckless — he smashed the bat, and fouled Dirk and played with an abandon that had Gregg Popovich with one breath holding him up as an exemplar of competition, and with the next reminding him, “Manu: It’s f—ing September. Never do that again in September,” as quoted by ESPN.com. Every one of his minutes was a delight because you never knew what would happen next and, you suspected, neither did he.A lot of things can happen between now and the end of the Western Conference finals. The San Antonio Spurs may push the series to a gentleman’s sweep. They may even force the Golden State Warriors to six or seven games, or even take the series. But regardless of the outcome, the time we have left with the inimitable Manu Ginobili is running short. He has spent a career packing memorable moments into short minutes; we can hope he’s got one or two more on his way out. Manu Ginobili110–14– Jeff Hornacek89.2164–15– Hersey Hawkins85.3138–18– Jason Kidd87.8244–25–
And here’s what’s in store for the key Raptors in 2015-16 (and beyond): If he can keep taking so many threes, and hitting them, Patrick Patterson will be a valuable kickout option. Jonas Valanciunas is just 23 and has improved his scoring rate each year he has been in the league, but the careers of some of his most comparable big men never really took off. The team’s offseason upgrades could cost Terrence Ross playing time if he doesn’t show big improvement in his fourth season. In a league enamored with dunks, layups and 3-pointers, DeMar DeRozan is a throwback — and not in a good way. He took 57 percent of his shots between 10 feet from the basket and the 3-point line last season — a career high — and hit a career-low 36 percent of them. He was Toronto’s only player to average 20 points per game, but also the least efficient scorer of any 20-point guy in the league. The Raptors need him to take better shots and share more of the offensive burden. Kyle Lowry followed up an excellent 2013-14 season with a better showing to begin last season, as the Raptors started 24-7. But his production fell off dramatically in the second half of the season, and he shot dreadfully in the playoffs. Many of the guards CARMELO sees as most similar to Lowry had already peaked by his age. DeMarre Carroll is the priciest new Raptor, at $60 million over four years. His defense and efficient shooting should help. But none of his previous five NBA teams have asked him to take many shots, and those he has taken usually have been created for him. It’s unclear whether he’ll generate the kind of offense commensurate with a $15 million average annual salary. We’re inaugurating our NBA player projection system, CARMELO, with 2015-16 season previews for every team in the league. Check out the teams we’ve already previewed here. Learn more about CARMELO here. Last season’s Toronto Raptors set a franchise record for wins for the second successive season — then exited the playoffs in the first round for the second successive season, leaving the franchise stuck at just one playoff series win in its 20-year history. So while standing pat this year might have sufficed to win the putrid Atlantic Division for the third straight season, Raptors management instead shook things up, adding new talent to complement a core of 20-somethings that includes Kyle Lowry and Patrick Patterson. The new Raptors, including DeMarre Carroll and Bismack Biyombo, should be particularly valuable in shoring up the team’s shaky defense, which was by far the worst in the postseason at preventing opponents from hitting shots. Toronto’s offense will remain its strength, though it’s not clear who leads the O and who will take the biggest shots: DeMar DeRozan, Toronto’s leading scorer last year, hits too low a percentage of his shots to be the star of a playoff team.FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO thinks the Raptors will clear .500, but not by much, projecting them to go 44-38: Bismack Biyombo should improve Toronto’s shot-blocking, which ranked near the bottom of the NBA last season.Read more: 2015-16 NBA Previews
Baseball’s trade deadline last week provided a referendum on how much value relief pitchers have in today’s game. And the results were fairly clear: Teams just don’t care about saves as much as they used to.This season, we’ve been using our new relief pitching statistic, the goose egg, to track how bullpens are used. And the way relievers are deployed has, in fact, changed. Although it hasn’t been quite as dramatic as, say, the widespread adaptation of the defensive shift in baseball, there’s at least some evidence of teams using their best relief pitchers in smarter ways — using them in the highest-leverage situations, regardless of whether or not a save is on the line. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has been the best relief pitcher in baseball this season, is one prominent example. He often enters games in situations that the goose egg rewards but the save does not — such as when the score is tied, or anytime before the ninth inning.1Yes, a reliever can get a save if he enters the game before the ninth inning and finishes the game. But he doesn’t get any extra credit for pitching extra innings. And he doesn’t get a save if another pitcher closes out the game. (A goose egg is essentially a clutch, scoreless relief inning.)But a series of deadline trades provided evidence on the diminished value that teams place on saves. Plenty of relief pitchers were traded, but teams were seemingly indifferent about whether the pitchers they’d acquired had accumulated high save totals or not. Take the Twins’ Brandon Kintzler, for example, who was picked up by the Washington Nationals for minor-league pitching prospect Tyler Watson and international bonus pool money. Kintzler was second in the American League with 28 saves, and the Nationals have struggled to close out games all season — so you might have expected them to give up a king’s ransom for him. Instead they gave up … Watson, who had been the Nationals’ 27th best prospect before the season and had a 4.35 ERA in Single-A at the time he was dealt.Other pitchers with high save totals, such as the Padres’ Brandon Maurer’ and the Marlins’ A.J. Ramos, didn’t fetch high prices, either. The prospects the Mets gave up for Ramos — pitcher Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes — were rated No. 14 and No. 23 in their system by Baseball America before the year began. The Mets also traded their own interim closer, Addison Reed, to Boston, nabbing three prospects; but none of them ranked higher than No. 20 in the Red Sox system. It’s not that the teams are giving up nothing for saves, exactly. But we’re a long ways removed from the days of the (infamous) Heathcliff Slocumb trade, when even mediocre closers could bring an elite prospect or two in return.And teams aren’t necessarily privileging the closer’s old role when he switches teams. Kintzler isn’t expected to close many games in Washington; instead, he’s the No. 2 or No. 3 option in the bullpen behind Sean Doolittle, who had just three saves for the A’s at the time he was acquired in July. Maurer will only be the third option in the Royals’ bullpen. Ramos will close out games for the Mets, but only because regular closer Jeurys Familia is hurt and Reed was traded.If teams are looking to goose eggs for guidance instead of saves, the National League leaders are Jansen and the Brewers’ Corey Knebel, who have 33 goose eggs each. Cleveland’s Andrew Miller leads the AL with 31 goose eggs, but he’s now injured, which could allow Tampa Bay’s Alex Colome (30 goose eggs) or Seattle’s Edwin Diaz (29 goose eggs) to pass him.Jansen has been by far the most effective reliever in baseball, as measured by goose wins above replacement (GWAR). He’s maintained a perfect record on the season with no broken eggs,2Jansen did have one rough outing last month, yielding three runs in a game against the Braves, but those didn’t come in a goose situation. our term for when a pitcher has an opportunity for a goose egg but allows an earned run instead, and 33 goose eggs — good for 4.8 GWAR. Miller leads the AL with 3.2 GWAR. A complete rundown of goose statistics follows in the table below. Domingo GermanNYY010-0.4 Arodys VizcainoATL1962+0.6 PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ Cody AllenCLE1863+0.7 Jose TorresSD441-0.9 Jayson AquinoBAL010-0.4 Hector SantiagoMIN010-0.4 Matt BarnesBOS1663+0.4 Daniel StumpfDET214-0.1 Trevor RosenthalSTL2471+0.9 Dan AltavillaSEA331-0.7 Vidal NunoBAL010-0.4 T. J. McFarlandARI621+0.2 Blake TreinenOAK/WAS1061-0.7 Joe KellyBOS724+0.4 Craig KimbrelBOS2340+2.2 Luis GarciaPHI742-0.4 Josh EdginNYM525+0.0 Dan OteroCLE200+0.3 Jeff BeliveauTOR111-0.2 Jake BarrettARI203+0.3 Adam KolarekTB021-0.7 Ryne StanekTB013-0.4 Francisco LirianoHOU020-0.7 Justin GrimmCHC301+0.4 Brett CecilSTL1443+0.6 Wade DavisCHC2011+2.6 Miguel CastroBAL101+0.2 Dellin BetancesNYY1851+1.0 Ryan TeperaTOR2030+2.0 Josh CollmenterATL020-0.7 Danny BarnesTOR742-0.4 George KontosSF863-1.1 Al AlburquerqueKC010-0.4 Mike DunnCOL1002+1.6 Warwick SaupoldDET112-0.2 Rex BrothersATL321-0.3 Yovani GallardoSEA100+0.2 Sergio RomoLAD/TB330-0.7 Brian DuensingCHC300+0.4 Caleb SmithNYY110-0.2 Ian KrolATL623+0.2 Drew StorenCIN323-0.3 Greg HollandCOL2330+2.7 Hunter StricklandSF1741+1.0 Robert GsellmanNYM210-0.1 Joe SmithTOR1611+2.1 Anthony SwarzakCHW/MIL1610+2.0 Brad HandSD2845+2.6 Robert StephensonCIN220-0.4 Hoby MilnerPHI001+0.0 J. C. RamirezLAA020-0.7 Check out our latest MLB predictions. Brent SuterMIL001+0.0 Tommy HunterTB1821+2.0 Ken GilesHOU1233+0.7 Justin WilsonCHC/DET2251+1.5 Corey KnebelMIL3362+2.7 Brad ZieglerMIA512+0.4 Nick VincentSEA2025+2.3 Matt BushTEX1662+0.4 Jordan LylesCOL210+0.0 Brad PeacockHOU101+0.1 Carl EdwardsCHC1563+0.0 Tyler DuffeyMIN1032+0.4 Andrew ChafinARI266-1.9 Jesse ChavezLAA010-0.4 Sean DoolittleOAK/WAS1125+0.9 Joe BiaginiTOR932+0.3 Dominic LeoneTOR426-0.1 Jhan MarinezMIL/PIT320-0.3 Mike MontgomeryCHC1321+1.2 Bryan MitchellNYY010-0.4 Enny RomeroWAS1346+0.4 Adam OttavinoCOL1373-0.4 Bryan MorrisSF300+0.4 Santiago CasillaOAK1672-0.2 Yusmeiro PetitLAA1112+1.3 Doug FisterBOS420-0.1 Wandy PeraltaCIN1131+0.5 Erasmo RamirezTB712+0.7 Tyler WilsonBAL111-0.2 Deolis GuerraLAA720+0.3 Wade LeBlancPIT232-0.8 Sammy SolisWAS120-0.6 Derek LawSF1131+0.5 Ryan GartonTB030-1.1 Tyler PillNYM010-0.4 Brad BoxbergerTB231-0.8 Matt AlbersWAS924+0.6 Seung-hwan OhSTL2154+1.2 Mychal GivensBAL1633+1.4 Michael FelizHOU110-0.2 Jake PetrickaCHW202+0.3 Pedro StropCHC1313+1.5 Paul SewaldNYM642-0.6 Kyle RyanDET210-0.1 Albert SuarezSF310+0.1 Liam HendriksOAK951-0.5 Chad GreenNYY022-0.7 Tony ZychSEA843-0.3 Erik GoeddelNYM110-0.2 Jason GrilliTEX/TOR433-0.5 Koda GloverWAS822+0.4 Taylor RogersMIN1863+0.5 Keone KelaTEX832+0.2 Adam WarrenNYY831+0.2 Frankie MontasOAK110-0.2 Darren O’DayBAL932+0.3 Cory GearrinSF831+0.1 Alec AsherBAL311+0.1 Chris HatcherLAD121-0.6 Dovydas NeverauskasPIT200+0.3 Carlos TorresMIL643-0.6 Sam FreemanATL712+0.7 Phil MatonSD711+0.7 Eric O’FlahertyATL211-0.1 Jose LeclercTEX723+0.4 Mike BolsingerTOR310+0.1 Koji UeharaCHC1553+0.3 Ryan PresslyMIN421-0.1 Edwin DiazSEA2952+2.5 Wily PeraltaMIL120-0.6 Ernesto FrieriTEX010-0.4 Aaron BummerCHW120-0.6 James PazosSEA1034+0.4 Jeurys FamiliaNYM412+0.2 Craig BreslowMIN010-0.4 David HernandezARI/LAA1213+1.4 Dario AlvarezTEX201+0.3 Chad QuallsCOL210+0.0 Kelvin HerreraKC2352+1.8 Shawn KelleyWAS620+0.1 Josh OsichSF325-0.3 Joe JimenezDET010-0.4 Steven OkertSF648-0.6 Matt BelisleMIN1633+1.3 Giovanny GallegosNYY010-0.4 Marc RzepczynskiSEA816+0.8 Craig StammenSD301+0.4 Mark LeiterPHI010-0.4 Ross StriplingLAD641-0.6 Tony SippHOU110-0.2 Grant DaytonLAD112-0.2 Luis AvilanLAD424-0.2 Zach PutnamCHW200+0.3 Pedro BaezLAD1146+0.1 Oliver PerezWAS514+0.4 Travis WoodKC331-0.6 Chris RusinCOL833+0.2 Jacob TurnerWAS520+0.0 Kevin QuackenbushSD120-0.6 Buddy BaumannSD111-0.2 Josh SmithOAK200+0.3 Juan NicasioPIT1068-0.7 Fernando SalasNYM554-1.1 Miguel SocolovichSTL101+0.1 Hansel RoblesNYM742-0.5 Fernando AbadBOS501+0.8 Dan JenningsCHW/TB248-1.2 Chris DevenskiHOU1785-0.5 Jake JunisKC200+0.3 Donnie HartBAL313+0.1 Aroldis ChapmanNYY1312+1.7 Francis MartesHOU110-0.2 Rafael MonteroNYM131-1.0 Oliver DrakeMIL421-0.1 Tony CingraniCIN423-0.1 Daniel CoulombeOAK234-0.8 Kevin SiegristSTL812+0.8 Randall DelgadoARI500+0.8 Chase WhitleyTB641-0.6 Jason MotteATL212-0.1 David RobertsonCHW/NYY1951+1.0 Brandon MaurerKC/SD1870+0.1 Alex ClaudioTEX1535+1.3 Adam MorganPHI200+0.3 Mike MinorKC1743+1.2 Luke JacksonATL100+0.1 Fernando RodneyARI2243+1.9 Ryan MadsonOAK/WAS1831+1.6 Addison ReedBOS/NYM2555+1.8 Matt StrahmKC231-0.8 Sam DysonSF/TEX1982-0.1 Dustin McGowanMIA311+0.1 Nick GoodyCLE001+0.0 Matt GraceWAS112-0.2 Aaron LoupTOR327-0.3 Richard BleierBAL411+0.3 Chris YoungKC100+0.2 Ty BlachSF101+0.1 Evan ScribnerSEA020-0.7 Jumbo DiazTB653-0.9 Andrew KittredgeTB110-0.2 Joe BlantonWAS320-0.3 Ben HellerNYY101+0.2 Jeanmar GomezPHI721+0.3 Sam TuivailalaSTL320-0.3 Ronald HerreraNYY010-0.4 Daniel HudsonPIT644-0.6 Rubby De La RosaARI011-0.4 Bruce RondonDET420-0.1 Tyler ClippardCHW/NYY897-2.0 Drew SteckenriderMIA210-0.1 Alex ColomeTB3063+2.3 Tony BarnetteTEX630-0.1 Hector RondonCHC931+0.2 Jake McGeeCOL1042+0.2 Pat NeshekCOL/PHI1925+2.1 Drew VerHagenDET210-0.1 Goose stats through Aug. 6, 2017 Blaine HardyDET121-0.6 Zach BrittonBAL800+1.2 Justin HaleyMIN110-0.2 Austin BriceCIN300+0.5 Ryan DullOAK523+0.0 Kyle BarracloughMIA1341+0.4 Carlos EstevezCOL100+0.2 Nate JonesCHW410+0.2 Logan VerrettBAL400+0.6 Diego MorenoTB010-0.4 Jacob BarnesMIL2373+0.9 Roberto OsunaTOR2271+0.9 Neftali FelizKC/MIL1050-0.3 Josh FieldsLAD342-1.1 Michael LorenzenCIN2341+2.0 Junichi TazawaMIA530-0.4 Jared HughesMIL941-0.1 Source: Seamheads.com Hector NerisPHI2053+1.1 Alex WoodLAD301+0.4 Jose AlvaradoTB743-0.4 Chris BeckCHW012-0.4 Ryan BuchterKC/SD1463-0.2 David PhelpsMIA/SEA1683-0.6 Matthew BowmanSTL1654+0.5 Stefan ChrichtonBAL010-0.4 Tanner ScheppersTEX101+0.2 Scott AlexanderKC321-0.3 Luke GregersonHOU752-0.8 Mike MorinLAA101+0.2 Jean MachiSEA101+0.2 Brooks PoundersLAA100+0.2 Antonio BastardoPIT010-0.4 AJ RamosMIA1542+0.7 Blake ParkerLAA1531+1.2 Joaquin BenoitPHI/PIT16100-1.3 Casey FienPHI/SEA320-0.3 Kevin McCarthyKC100+0.2 Lucas HarrellTOR001+0.0 Nick WittgrenMIA611+0.5 Heath HembreeBOS945+0.0 Josh SmokerNYM723+0.3 Tom WilhelmsenARI112-0.2 Will HarrisHOU1630+1.3 Robby ScottBOS329-0.2 Joakim SoriaKC2572+1.3 Kenyan MiddletonLAA310+0.1 Ben TaylorBOS101+0.2 Cam BedrosianLAA633-0.2 Mark MelanconSF940-0.2 Jose RamirezATL1442+0.6 Shane GreeneDET1534+1.2 Josh HaderMIL202+0.3 J. P. HowellTOR010-0.4 Brock StewartLAD200+0.3 Blaine BoyerBOS510+0.4 PITCHER▲▼TEAM▲▼GOOSE EGGS▲▼BROKEN EGGS▲▼MEHS▲▼GWAR▲▼ Miguel DiazSD010-0.4 Zach McAllisterCLE111-0.2 Buddy BoshersMIN010-0.4 John AxfordOAK120-0.6 Rob ScahillMIL110-0.2 Boone LoganCLE104+0.2 Kirby YatesLAA/SD831+0.1 Robbie RossBOS100+0.2 Jeremy JeffressTEX131-0.9 Scott ObergCOL623+0.3 Jonathan HolderNYY611+0.6 Trevor HildenbergerMIN310+0.1 Jonathan BroxtonSTL120-0.6 A. J. SchugelPIT100+0.1 Francisco RodriguezDET382-2.5 Parker BridwellLAA001+0.0 John BrebbiaSTL001+0.0 Tony WatsonLAD/PIT2274+0.7 J. J. HooverARI632-0.2 Jarlin GarciaMIA002+0.0 Steve CishekSEA/TB512+0.4 Jim JohnsonATL1983-0.1 Brandon MorrowLAD330-0.7 Greg InfanteCHW011-0.4 Archie BradleyARI2245+1.9 Chasen ShreveNYY623+0.2 Brad BrachBAL2341+2.1 James HoytHOU110-0.2 Casey LawrenceTOR010-0.4 Alex WilsonDET1165-0.5 Felipe RiveroPIT3132+3.5 Tommy KahnleCHW/NYY1471-0.5 Andrew MillerCLE3152+3.2 Chase De JongSEA010-0.4 Kenley JansenLAD3301+4.8 Akeel MorrisATL001+0.0 Xavier CedenoTB013-0.4 Jerry BlevinsNYM1447+0.6 Simon CastroOAK010-0.4 Joely RodriguezPHI524+0.0 Peter MoylanKC803+1.2 Brandon WorkmanBOS410+0.3 Jose AlvarezLAA553-1.1 Bud NorrisLAA1671-0.2 Asher WojciechowskiCIN100+0.2 Johnny BarbatoPIT010-0.4 Emilio PaganSEA120-0.6 Ricardo PintoPHI011-0.4 Austin PruittTB300+0.5 Neil RamirezNYM012-0.4 Tyler LyonsSTL012-0.4 Chad BellDET001+0.0 Raisel IglesiasCIN2410+3.2 Adam ConleyMIA010-0.4 Hector VelazquezBOS400+0.6 Jorge De La RosaARI1151-0.1 Brandon KintzlerMIN2244+1.9 Blake WoodCIN231-0.8 Gabriel YnoaBAL001+0.0 Danny FarquharTB832+0.1 Edubray RamosPHI3110-3.6 Bryan ShawCLE1744+1.3 Jandel GustaveHOU010-0.4
OSU sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) drives to the hoop while Purdue freshman guard Tiara Murphy (3) drives to slow her down in a game on Jan. 17 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 90-70. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Photo EditorBeing questioned as one of the nation’s true elite teams for its paltry 2-3 record on the road before Thursday, No. 7 Ohio State came into Ann Arbor, Michigan, wanting to prove to the country, the conference and more importantly, itself that it can play as well away as it can in Columbus.While it wasn’t an entirely convincing performance, the Buckeyes (14-4, 6-1) were able to overpower Michigan (11-7, 3-4) 97-93 behind a very efficient 27 points from sophomore guard Kelsey Mitchell.The game belonged to the Buckeyes at the beginning. Coach Kevin McGuff incorporated a full-court press to the Scarlet and Gray’s defensive scheme, which helped force a total of 18 turnovers that led to easy baskets.In the first quarter, along with having problems against the press, Michigan was unable to produce strong defensive possessions. When the high-scoring Buckeyes were able to move the ball around, they had no trouble finding open looks.The Wolverines woke up in the second quarter, making smarter decisions and slowing down OSU. Senior forward Kelsey Mitchell — of no relation to OSU’s Kelsey Mitchell — dropping 12 points in the first half fueled their offense.Michigan was able to keep the Buckeyes from making a shot for nearly four minutes, propelling the Wolverines to a scoring run. Once the Wolverines were able to produce on offense, they were able to focus and decrease the deficit to seven points going into the locker room.The Buckeyes first-half scoring was led by their typical leader, Mitchell, who was on fire and dropped 20 points with a slew of 3-pointers. Although the sophomore was the overall leader, OSU had five players that surpassed double-figure scoring, showcasing the depth of its roster.Michigan continued to battle in the second half, but the Buckeyes weren’t planning on letting another road game slip away. Each time the Wolverines began to cut down the lead, OSU would turn around and come right back with its attack.When Michigan began to shut down OSU’s Mitchell, OSU junior forward Shayla Cooper picked up the scoring load. Cooper attributed her fifth double-double of the season, the 12th of her career, and finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Nineteen of those points Cooper scored came in the second half. The two rivals went back and forth throughout the third and fourth quarters, exemplifying strong defense and sinking shots from all over. When the final buzzer went off, the Buckeyes were the ones celebrating the victory. Only winning by four, it might have been a little too close for comfort for McGuff and OSU, but it stood as a solid win on the road nonetheless.Along with Mitchell’s and Cooper’s strong performances, senior guard Ameryst Alston and sophomore guard Asia Doss each netted 15 points, and sophomore forward Alexa Hart chipped in 10.Sharpshooting sophomore guard Katelynn Flaherty was the top scorer for the Wolverines, netting five of eight attempts from downtown and tallying 22 points.The Wolverines received a hefty contribution from another underclassman in freshman center Hallie Thome, joining Cooper in the double-double club. Thome piled up 22 points and 12 rebounds on the night.With the win, the Buckeyes are tied for first in the Big Ten with the No. 5 Maryland Terrapins. They are set to continue their road trip Sunday at Rutgers, with tip-off set for 3 p.m.
Former OSU linebacker Darron Lee returns an interception for a touchdown during a game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorFormer Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee was selected by the Jets with the No. 20 pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft. Lee becomes the fifth Buckeye taken in the first round of this year’s draft. NFL.com’s draft analyst Mike Mayock ranked Lee as the fourth-best linebacker prospect.The local product of New Albany, Ohio, quickly became a dominant force for Urban Meyer’s “Silver Bullets.” Lee came into OSU as an athletic high school quarterback and safety recruit who was 6-foot-2 but hardly weighed 200 pounds. After sitting out his freshman season with a medical redshirt, Lee gained close to 30 pounds and started at outside linebacker in 2014.With his bigger frame to go along with his incredible athleticism and lightning-quick speed, Buckeye fans saw Lee transform into a Big Ten linebacker poised for the spotlight.In his first game with the Buckeyes, down 7-6 in the 2014 opener against Navy, Lee charged through the line to scoop up a fumble forced by defensive lineman Joey Bosa and took it the distance to give OSU a lead it would never relinquish.The 6-foot-2, 232-pound linebacker totaled 81 tackles his redshirt freshman season, including 16.5 tackles for loss and seven and a half sacks. Lee was named an Associated Press Freshman All-American and defensive MVP in OSU’s Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama after he had three tackles for loss and two sacks.In his redshirt sophomore campaign, Lee’s numbers went down slightly, but he still ended up with 66 tackles, 11 of which were for a loss, and four and a half sacks. His performance was enough for the AP to award the linebacker second-team All-American honors. Lee started 28 games for the Buckeyes in two seasons.Lee ran the fastest time of all linebacker prospects at the NFL combine in February (4.47), and finished as a top performer in the vertical jump at 35.5 feet.The Jets are scheduled to open up the 2016 regular season against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sep. 11 at 1 p.m.
OSU junior forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) shoots the ball during the Buckeyes’ 72-67 win over Providence on Nov. 17. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorWith its second-straight home game, the Ohio State men’s basketball team took advantage of the comforts of home with a 72-67 win. It took nearly two and a half minutes before the first shot fell for either team, but OSU eventually got going with the hot hand of sophomore guard JaQuan Lyle. The Buckeyes took a shot, however, when junior forward Keita Bates-Diop went down with a right knee injury.Lyle finished the game with 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. With 15 first-half points on 6-for-8 shooting, the questions about the ability on the offensive side of the ball for the 6-foot-5 guard after two disappointing games quickly faded with a stellar performance. “This week in practice, all of my teammates and coaches helped me get my confidence up,” Lyle said. “They were teaching me to never be satisfied and just keep working.”Bates-Diop was knocked to the court in the second half while trying to set a screen, and awkwardly bent his right knee on the way down. The injury appeared to be gruesome, and he was helped to the sideline. There was a noticeable limp, but he made his way back to the locker room under his own power after sitting on the bench for a brief period. “Believe it or not it’s his ankle,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “Just an ankle sprain. Kinda puffed up or whatever, but day-to-day so we’ll need him back. That’s for sure.”OSU made its last three shots to round out the first half, giving the Buckeyes a 10-point lead going into the locker room. Senior forward Marc Loving failed to get in the scoring column in the first 20 minutes of play, but was a key rebounder on the defensive end, pulling down seven boards. Even with a few early mistakes in transition and on defense, the Buckeyes played with a flow and a hustle that was not seen last game against North Carolina Central. Crashing the hoop, OSU led the Friars in rebounds, 43-33.In the second half, Lyle picked up where he left off with a tough, contested layup. Although the Buckeyes had the leading scorer, Providence quickly went on a 7-0 run to reel OSU back in. A quick timeout by Matta slowed the Friars’ attack, but the Buckeyes had to fight hard to keep the lead.Redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson played 20 minutes Thursday night in replacement of freshman Micah Potter, who had foul trouble early in the contest. In a true-center type of performance, Thompson finished the night with 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.Always the competitor, the 7-foot tall center said OSU is still going to be pushing hard next week to strengthen its play on both ends of the court.“We’re hungry, and we’re not satisfied with 3-0,” Thompson said.Redshirt sophomore center David Bell also came off the bench for OSU and played an important role for the Buckeyes. In one of the highlights of the night, Bell drove the lane to the left of Lyle, who lobbed a pass to the cutting center. Bell slammed it through the hoop for a highlight-reel dunk.“I thought Jae’Sean (Tate), Trevor, those guys … Dave Bell did a heck of a job in the paint there,” Matta said. “Those are the baskets we were hoping we could get.”Turnovers remain to be a problem for the Buckeyes, as Providence picked up 11 takeaways. Last week against Navy, OSU had 17 turnovers. Providence was led by junior forward Rodney Bullock, who poured in 27 points, while going 5-for-9 from 3-point land. Bullock created mismatches throughout the evening, and even pulled down eight rebounds. Junior forward Emmitt Holt, Providence’s leading scorer coming into the game, went just 3-for-11 from the field with 11 points. The Friars are now 1-1 on the season, while the Buckeyes keep their perfect record through three games. OSU faces Western Carolina at home Monday, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
The NCAA basketball tournament should expand to 96 teams. It’s the obvious choice.Although it’s only in the discussion phase, the possible expansion from the traditional 65-team tournament to either 68 or 96 teams has its advantages.However, if the NCAA is going to complicate things, why bother with 68 teams? Go straight to 96.There are 347 Division I teams, only 18 percent of which receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.The expansion would allow for 28 percent of teams to receive bids, and between both the NCAA and NIT tournaments, 37 percent would receive bids.I understand the prestige that comes with a bid, but why not share that honor with more players? To the majority of players who don’t continue their career into the NBA, this is the highest honor they will receive.The expansion doesn’t undermine the exclusiveness of the tournament because it will still exclude much more than half of the teams.It would still place an emphasis on the regular season as well. The pressure during the regular season has room to intensify when an NCAA bid is on the line.Conference champions will be rewarded with automatic bids as usual.Then there are teams who are consistently offered a bid but, because of a mediocre season, they become a team on the bubble.A perfect example is Ohio State. The Buckeyes didn’t make it to the 2008 NCAA tournament but received a No. 1 seed in the NIT tournament.If you look at the recent winners of the NIT, they are almost always a powerhouse school. In the last 22 years, only twice has a team from a mid-major conference won the NIT.The expansion would ensure that teams that are able to compete at the same level are given that opportunity.Smaller conferences have teams worthy of a seed and the expansion allows them to have more than one team make it. Keeping the strongest schools together in the big tournament reserves the NIT for smaller schools that simply can’t compete with the big dogs.Sure, the expansion will create obvious underdogs, but it’s the underdogs that add to the “madness” that is March Madness. Without them, there wouldn’t be Cinderella stories.To the powerhouses of the NCAA, there’s no reason to shy away from the expansion. The competition will be nearly the same. If anything, those powerhouses will be protected from big upsets by a first or second round bye.In the event that the Big Ten expands as well, Ohio State has one more competitor in the race for the Big Ten title. For the growing sport and the growing conference, the expansion is inevitable.
The No. 10 Ohio State wrestling team is looking to build upon its early season success this weekend against the No. 15 Virginia Tech Hokies. The Buckeyes are 3-0 this season after defeating Utah Valley, Old Dominion and North Carolina by a combined score of 102-9 last weekend at the Wrestle for a Cure Duals in Harrisburg, Pa. “We were pleased with their performance,” said coach Tom Ryan. “But there is certainly room for improvement.” The young OSU team lost only two matches in the meet and won 28, led by redshirt freshman Logan Stieber, the No. 4-ranked wrestler in the nation at 133 pounds. Stieber had two pins in his three matches for a perfect 3-0 finish. The Buckeyes finished the meet with four falls, one technical fall and four major decisions. Stieber echoed his coach in saying the team has some work to do to be competitive. “We need to pick up intensity,” he said. “We still have a lot of things to work on, but we wrestled pretty well.” The probable starters for the Buckeyes this weekend include five freshmen, two redshirt freshmen, two redshirt sophomores and one redshirt junior. There is only one senior on the roster. Ryan said the youth of the team is its biggest challenge. “We’re trying to do the toughest thing that I’m aware of in college sports, and that is to have a freshman perform at a national level,” he said. “And that is extremely difficult.” The team will have to grow up in a hurry, as Ryan said Virginia Tech represents the team’s biggest challenge of the season, and this is only the third week of the season. Stieber will be involved in the featured match of the dual as he faces No. 5 sophomore Devin Carter , who finished in the Top 12 at the 2011 NCAA Championships as a true freshman. “Every match is going to be tough in that dual; we’re very similar in rankings in each weight class, so all 10 matches will be tough,” Ryan said. “But (Stieber’s match) is a doozie. Either one of those guys could be in the national finals, or both of them.” Fans are encouraged to wear black to the meet, which will start at 4 p.m. Sunday from St. John Arena.
If Ohio State football plays like it did against Alabama-Birmingham, it won’t have a chance against Michigan State. That’s how Buckeyes players and coaches said they felt after defeating UAB. “We have to play better,” said senior linebacker Etienne Sabino following OSU’s 29-15 win against the Blazers Saturday. The Buckeyes, who were favored by more than 35 points coming into the game, trailed the Blazers until late in the second quarter and were only up by a single score with less than six minutes to play in the fourth. The performance “disappointed” coach Urban Meyer. “I really had confidence this was going to be a Ohio State-looking team,” Meyer said after the game. “And it wasn’t.” Thanks to a 21-point scoring outburst during a six-minute span in the second quarter, OSU won the game to bring its record to 4-0, but the Buckeyes said their performances haven’t been as unblemished as their record. OSU escaped California in week three thanks to a 72-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller to sophomore receiver Devin Smith and three missed field goals from the Bears. The previous week Central Florida gave OSU all it could handle before OSU eventually pulled away for a 15-point win. But now the non-conference schedule is over, and with Big Ten season starting next week, OSU likely will not face another team it’s predicted to beat by five scores. “It’s glaringly obvious we’ve got to get a lot better or we won’t win next week,” Meyer said. “I think we seem like a very passive team.” Fans can look the other way when one game turns out to be closer than is expected, but the UAB game makes for three straight weeks that the Buckeyes have had to battle for the victory against teams they were expected to easily handle. After a three-and-out early in the fourth quarter Saturday, audible boos descended onto the field from the Buckeye faithful. “I don’t think anybody’s pleased right now,” said wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown. “I mean we’re winning games right now, but we’re not winning like we’re supposed to.” What’s the problem? Meyer said a lot of it comes down to inexperience. “It’s not lack of talent, it’s maybe lack of some experience,” Meyer said. “But we have a depth issue here at Ohio State right now. Severe.” That problem was perhaps never more apparent than Saturday when senior Ben Buchanan’s punt was blocked in the first quarter and returned to give UAB a 6-0 lead. Meyer said injuries forced him to shuffle his punt personnel and a true freshman missed his blocking assignment. The situation is nothing new to Meyer, though. OSU’s first-year coach said despite the disappointments, he still thinks the team can reach its potential. “I have a very clear understanding of where we’re at,” Meyer said. “Disappointed, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the guys. I think they’re working their tails off. We’ve just gotta keep grinding. No, absolutely I’ve been through some teams that you thought would be better at this point of the season.” The Buckeyes will get a test against the Spartans Saturday in East Lansing, Mich., and said the next week of practice will go a long way in determining the outcome. “We know that we’re not playing up to our potential yet,” Brown said. “We realize that especially after a wake-up call like (the UAB game) we got to come in on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and practice harder than we ever have.”
LOS ANGELES – For at least the first 20 minutes of play, the defects that often doomed Ohio State during a rocky midseason stretch in February seemed to show in glimpses Thursday night at the Staples Center. In their Sweet 16 bout against Arizona, the Buckeyes veered away from the type of play that had gotten them to Los Angeles and leaned on the skill of junior forward Deshaun Thomas, the team’s and Big Ten’s leading scorer. Enter LaQuinton Ross, whose swift flick of the wrist likely made him the most-talked about person in Columbus. Thanks to the sophomore forward’s 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds to play, OSU won the game, 73-70, and will play in the Elite 8 for the second consecutive year. “This is what every player grows up looking at on TV and wants to hit that big shot, wants to win the game and hit the big shot in the NCAA Tournament or the NBA,” Ross said. “It just feels great to be here right now.” It was the second game in a row a late 3-pointer has lifted the Buckeyes. Just last week, junior guard Aaron Craft, OSU’s defensive heart and soul (and a 30 percent 3-point shooter) buried a game-winning shot en route to 18 points, vaulting the Buckeyes past Iowa State in Dayton Sunday. In some ways, Thursday felt like deja vu. But for parts of the first half, even being in the position to win seemed unlikely. While OSU opened the game’s scoring with a basket from Thomas, they seemed anxious and disorganized on both ends of the court. “We started off slow. Guys were being selfish, guys were hugged up on their man, not helping each other out, getting into gaps and tagging,” said Thomas, who finished the night with a game-high 20 points. “I don’t know what it was. It was probably just the heat of the moment. Everybody was just too excited.” Quickly, Arizona coach Sean Miller and the Wildcats took advantage. After falling the victim to an early, furious 10-2 run, the Buckeyes fell behind, 10-4, with 15:46 to play in the period. Behind Arizona senior guard Mark Lyons and his 10 first-half points, the Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field and, in particular, used a lethal 3-point assault to stave off a Buckeye squad that struggled to find momentum. Thomas, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, became a lone pillar for stability as his teammates’ jump shots clanked off the iron and their layups clunked off the backboard. But despite Arizona sinking 63 percent of shots from behind the arc, OSU coach Thad Matta and his crew trotted into halftime down just 38-34, thanks to Thomas and his 16-point outburst in the first period. Having been outscored, outshot and perhaps generally outplayed in the first half against the Wildcats, Thomas said Matta had a singular and simple message. “Coach said do what we do at halftime,” he said, “and that’s what we did.” Craft relayed a similar message. “Our biggest focus was we needed to play better defense,” Craft said. “We gave up 38 points in a half and we haven’t done that too often this year. We got stops and we got easy buckets in transition and that’s where we’re at our best. It really kind of fuels our offense. Layups, dunks, mismatches, scramble situations.” It didn’t take long for OSU to pick up its level of play. The Buckeyes roared out of the gates on a 10-0 run thanks to sophomore forward Sam Thompson, junior guards Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Craft and even sophomore center Amir Williams – who swatted away a shot on one end of the floor before snatching a rebound over two defenders and going up for the jam on the other. Conversely, in that span, Arizona found scoring to be a more troubling endeavor than it was in the first half. In fact, the Wildcats wouldn’t make a basket until freshman forward Brandon Ashley connected on a short jumper a the 14:40 mark of the second. The struggles didn’t end there, either, as Arizona could only muster five points the first nine minutes of the second period and trailed the Buckeyes by as many as 10 after leading all but 33 seconds in the first half. The Wildcats responded, cutting the OSU lead to 60-57 after Lyons buried a trey with 6:33 to play. With 21.8 seconds to play, Lyons tied the game at 70 after making a driving layup despite being fouled, then making the ensuing free throw. It was not enough to overcome Ross – the Buckeyes’ hero – who surged late to score 14 of his 17 total points in the game’s final eight minutes. The Buckeyes have had a revolving door of second scoring options that have played sidekicks to Thomas’ usually steady production. And while his aid came late, Smith said the flavor-of-the-day approach to who will compliment Thomas is a blessing rather than a curse. “That’s such a good thing about this team, you never know who’s gonna step up and be that guy in next game,” he said. “It’s been a knock on us all year. We don’t have offense, you know, we don’t have that second scorer. Well, I mean, I can’t tell at this point, we’re finding guys to make shots.” The Buckeyes (29-7) are set to play No. 9 seed Wichita State Saturday in the Elite 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 7:05 p.m.
Freshman defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) is looked at by the OSU training staff and coach Urban Meyer during a game against Illinois Nov. 16 at Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 60-35.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorIn football, much like any other sport, injuries are part of the game.For the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0, 8-0), Saturday was no exception, as at times had to play without their star quarterback and a stalwart offensive lineman during their 60-35 victory against Illinois (3-7, 0-6).OSU redshirt-senior offensive lineman Jack Mewhort made his 35th consecutive start in the win, but was taken out after senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Braxton Miller, which gave the Buckeyes a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter.Coach Urban Meyer said after after the game that the plan was to get Mewhort out of the game if OSU “could get up on (Illinois)” early to rest his right knee, which he hurt in practice earlier in the week.“It’s devastating,” Meyer said, referring to when Mewhort, who he called OSU’s “best offensive player,” is not in the game. “It’s not that he’s a very good player, he’s the man. He’s the rally point, he’s the leader.”The OSU coach compared playing without Mewhort to losing senior safety Christian Bryant, who broke his ankle late in OSU’s 31-24 win against Wisconsin Sept. 28.“Not having him, it’s a little bit like C.B.,” Meyer said. “We’re still feeling the effects of having Christian Bryant out.”OSU beat the Illini without two other starters in sophomore linebacker Joshua Perry and junior linebacker Curtis Grant. Grant is recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the Buckeyes’ 56-0 win over Purdue Nov. 2 and Perry slipped on ice in the middle of last week and hit his head. The Buckeyes also lost starting freshman defensive lineman Joey Bosa to a sprained neck in the third quarter Saturday and had to turn to backup redshirt-senior quarterback Kenny Guiton at one point when Miller came out following a hard hit.“You’re playing with your third string middle linebacker … Your starting defensive end gets knocked out,” Meyer said. “We’re down 11 players for the year.”The lone usual starter at linebacker, junior Ryan Shazier, said playing without Grant and Perry changed the game a little bit.“It’s a little different because you’re so used to looking and just seeing one guy on the side of you or looking down and seeing that one guy there,” Shazier said. “But we practice with each other, we rotate all the time, so with those guys in I feel confident.”The players Shazier was referring to were sophomores Camren Williams and Joe Burger, who filled in for Perry and Grant.“We trust in Cam and Joe Burger just like Curtis and Josh,” Shazier said. “They just don’t have as much experience.”The 35 points the Buckeyes gave up were the most so far in 2013, and although one touchdown was scored on a punt return in the second quarter, Shazier said that does not matter.“I am not satisfied because I don’t want anybody to score any points on you, but 35 is way too much,” Shazier said. “Because if our offense wasn’t the offense that we are right now, this could have been a different situation, so we gave up too many points today.”Mewhort re-entered the lineup in the third quarter, and on a day where high winds wreaked havoc on the passing game, helped pave the way for both senior running back Carlos Hyde and Miller on the ground. OSU finished with 441 yards rushing on the day, compared to 132 for the Fighting Illini.“We went back to basics a little bit because the passing game wasn’t working as we thought,” Miller said. “We kind of get the ball out to Carlos or me, (and) we’ve got the best O-line in the Big Ten or country. Why not?”Miller only managed to complete 13 of his 29 pass attempts for 150 yards and two touchdowns against Illinois. His 44.8 completion percentage was his lowest of the season.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Indiana next Saturday in what will be their final home game of the season. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Then-San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh before an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 15, 2013.Credit: Courtesy of TNSThe Michigan Wolverine football program is set to welcome back one of its own.Former Wolverines quarterback and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has been selected as the next head football coach at Michigan, according to multiple reports.Harbaugh, a Toledo native, played quarterback for the Wolverines from 1983 to 1986, starting in his final three seasons under then-coach Bo Schembechler and amassing 5,449 yards and 31 touchdowns over his college career.Following a 14-year NFL career with the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers, Harbaugh worked as an assistant for his father, Jack, who was the head football coach at Western Kentucky University, before working as an assistant for the Oakland Raiders and ultimately landing his first head coaching job at the University of San Diego.From San Diego, Harbaugh was named head coach at Stanford in 2007, leading the Cardinal to its first 11-win season in 2010.After four years in Palo Alto, Calif., Harbaugh became the head coach of the 49ers in 2011 and led them to Super Bowl XLVII in 2012 — a game which the 49ers lost to the Baltimore Ravens, coached by Harbaugh’s brother, John.After an 8-8 finish to the 2014 season, it was reported that Harbaugh and the 49ers were ready for a mutual departure, which led to Harbaugh’s return to Ann Arbor, Mich.Harbaugh is set to be welcomed back to Michigan as its next football coach on Tuesday during the Wolverines’ basketball game against Illinois, according to reports.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel(2) throws the ball away under pressure by New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) during the NFL game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Jets won 31-10. Credit: Courtesy of TNSJohnny Manziel should be the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback for the rest of 2015, regardless of Josh McCown’s health and availability for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans and Manziel’s performance in that game and beyond. The reasoning is rather simple. Cleveland spent a first-round pick on the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and it needs to find out whether Manziel will be gold for an organization that has been looking for their franchise quarterback since 1999 or if he will be pyrite. Manziel was originally the backup to McCown all throughout training camp and leading up to the Browns’ season opener against the New York Jets on Sunday.But late in the first quarter, McCown sustained a concussion while diving for a touchdown on a play that ended up being the complete opposite of everything John Elway’s helicopter play was in the 1998 Super Bowl. McCown fumbled inches before crossing the goal line and suffered the concussion that could potentially keep him out of Sunday’s game. Into the game came Manziel, whose performance oscillated between dynamic and dull over the final three quarters. There was his 54-yard laser throw to Travis Benjamin for a touchdown on his first series and the 14-yard scramble for a first down in the fourth quarter. He also had two 20-plus yard runs that got called back due to penalties. But there were many dull moments too, such as the off-target short pass to Brian Hartline that was intercepted and the two strip-sack fumbles late in the game. It was not necessarily a good showing but it was progress, considering the former Texas A&M sensation was nothing short of egregious in the two season starts he made for the Browns late in 2014. After coming to terms with that fact that the callous preparation and backyard-like play style that thrust him into fame during his two collegiate seasons would not work against NFL defenses, Manziel made offseason changes. He checked himself into rehab, worked with private coaches — including ESPN’s Jon Gruden — and improved his film study habits. The Browns’ coaching staff had praised his progression, which was displayed at times against the Jets, but they were content on McCown being their starter. The logic behind wanting to start the veteran — who inked a 3-year, $14 million deal in February — is understood. Let the 36-year-old veteran, who has played for nine different NFL teams since being drafted in 2002, act as a stop-gap quarterback in 2015 (and maybe beyond) to fill the vacancy while Manziel’s development persists or they locate another guy they think could be their franchise quarterback.McCown had looked good in camp and especially on the first drive against the Jets but his ceiling — as well as the Browns’ — is low.Even if McCown played out-of-this-galaxy good in 2015, Cleveland still has a swiss cheese-like run defense, a receiving corp that lacks reliable talent and no starting running back.If every domino fell in place with McCown at the helm, this Browns team would have, at best, been 7-9 or 8-8 — which would likely not be good enough to make the playoffs but rather good enough secure a middle-of-the-road draft pick. Due to his age, McCown is nothing more than a short-term plug for the gaping hole that the Browns have historically had at quarterback. It’s not that the Browns should just give up on 2015 and start Manziel, but the organization needs to see what type of signal caller the 2014 first-rounder can be. He’s exhibited enough progress in camp, preseason games and against the Jets to deserve a shot at proving himself. Backing up McCown could benefit Manziel, but the best way to see if the work he has put in can translate to NFL success is to let him play, not hold a clipboard. He will struggle by missing opening receivers, throwing picks and fumbling. But he will probably throw more passes that resemble the 54-yarder to Benjamin and scramble for more first downs. By playing him in 2015, the coaching staff will have a large sample size to know if improved Manziel is good enough to be their franchise quarterback. If not, they will have to continue their search. Maybe that search will end with some guy named Cardale Jones.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (left) speaks with running backs coach Tony Alford (right) prior to the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 win over Indiana on Aug. 31 in Bloomington, Indiana. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorOhio State will have both its top two running backs, freshman J.K. Dobbins and redshirt sophomore Mike Weber, for its Week Two matchup against Oklahoma Saturday evening. Coach Urban Meyer said Weber is healthy and will suit up and play against the Sooners.“Mike had a good practice today, and he went full speed today,” Meyer said.Weber, last year’s starter, missed the Buckeyes’ season-opening 49-21 victory against Indiana due to a hamstring injury. Meyer said he has not determined how he will rotate the backfield duo.Dobbins started in his debut against Indiana, rushing for 29 times for 182 yards. He was the sixth true freshman to ever start for Ohio State and rushed for more attempts and yards than Weber had in any game last year.In 2016, Weber gained 1,119 rushing yards on 182 attempts, scoring nine touchdowns. He added 23 catches for 91 yards.
Ohio State redshirt senior guard Adreana Miller (15) pass the ball in the first half of the game against South Florida. Ohio State lost 71-47. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s basketball team gained its third victory of the season and second in a row after defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats 69-56 on Sunday.The Buckeyes got off to a hot start with a 15-4 lead midway through the first quarter, making six of seven from the field and three of four from 3-point range to start the game, one of which was a milestone 3 from redshirt senior guard Adreana Miller.Miller recorded her 1,000th career point on a 3 ball, helping Ohio State to the highest scoring quarter of the season, scoring 26 points to pair with a season high 85 percent shooting for a quarter.The Buckeyes carried their momentum into a 17-point lead at halftime powered by freshman forward Dorka Juhasz’s game-high 10 points and seven rebounds.The second half turned into a much more competitive affair as the Bearcats chipped away against Ohio State behind the strength of a team-high 14 points by junior guard Sam Rodgers, who played a game-high 37 minutes.The Buckeyes made many mental mistakes and had missed opportunities that allowed Cincinnati to get back into a game that head coach Kevin McGuff said should have been wrapped up earlier.“Good to kind of see us getting together and finish the game out,” McGuff said. “But it was disappointing. We played such a good first half and thought in the third quarter had chances to really stretch the lead out, and put a lot of game pressure on them and probably end it. But they kept playing hard and we kept making mental mistakes.”Cincinnati narrowed the lead to just three points in the second half when the Bearcats went on an 11-0 run. Comparably, Ohio State was unable to find its scoring touch, going more than five minutes without a basket.“I think the problems were like mental problems,” Juhasz said. “We missed lots of great shots, free throws, lots of turnovers. I think we have to reduce it because we will have tougher games.”While Ohio State’s 19 turnovers illustrated the mental breakdowns during the game, the team was able to stay resilient and end the game on a 10-0 run highlighted by two 3-point shots off the bench by junior guard Jensen Caretti.The Buckeyes (3-2) next face the Washington Huskies (4-3) on the road Wednesday.
Two women take a selfie on a platform at Oxford Circus Tube stationCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP London’s Night Tube service on the Piccadilly line will begin on December 16, it has been announced.Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, said the decision fulfilled his pledge to have five lines running throughout the night on Fridays and Saturdays by the end of the year.All-night services have already begun on the Victoria, Central and Jubilee lines, with the Northern line to begin on November 18.The 24-hour weekend Piccadilly line service will run between Cockfosters and Heathrow Terminal 5. It will mean that late-night revellers will be able to travel home from Christmas parties by the Piccadilly line this year. This could make it easier for passengers catching early morning weekend flights from the west London airport, as well as provide another transport option for people working at or visiting bars, restaurants and music venues in Kensington, Hammersmith and the West End.Mr Khan said: “I pledged to introduce five Night Tube services before the end of the year, and it gives me great pleasure to announce the start date of the fifth of these, the Piccadilly line services.”We’ve seen how enthusiastically Londoners have embraced the Night Tube, and I am delighted that we’ve exceeded expectations with more than one million journeys made already.”The addition of the Piccadilly line will help even more thousands of Londoners every weekend, from those taking in the capital’s cultural landmarks to the many workers who keep London open around the clock.” Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre, said: “The Piccadilly line runs through the heart of theatreland and, once it begins running for 24 hours at the weekend, will give our audiences the flexibility to explore the West End’s vibrant nightlife, making that trip to the theatre even more special.”Moreover, the Night Tube has already proven to be a tremendous asset to the industry, helping our staff and performers get home in the quickest possible way.”The long-awaited Night Tube launched in August – almost a year later than planned. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (centre) travelling with passengers on a Victoria line tube train during the launch of London’s Night Tube AugustCredit:Yui Mok/PA A man sleeps on the floor of a London Underground train at nightCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP 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. It was due to start on five lines at weekends last September, but was beset by delays amid a campaign of staff strike action.Unions maintained that Transport for London (TfL) could have introduced the Night Tube earlier, but it took 18 months of “tortuous” negotiations before a deal on pay and conditions was agreed.Transport for London said the Night Tube will reduce journeys by an average of 20 minutes and some by more than an hour. It is estimated it will boost London’s night-time economy by £360million.