Jason Collins Talks to Good Morning America About Being

As NBA player Jason Collins announced he is homosexual, his aunt and confidante, Judge Teri. L. Jackson of San Francisco Superior Court, said that she’s “very proud of him” for doing so.Jason Collins’ Good Morning America Interview: Gay NBA Player Talks Decision To Come Out.NBA player Jason Collins talks to Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos about his announcement that he is gay.

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Golden State Warriors Bank on Andre Iguodala Not Dwight

The Golden State Warriors were partially in the running to recruit NBA player Dwight Howard, but at the end of the day they acquired the guy they really wanted on Friday. The organization is preparing to sign free-agent swingman Andre Iguodala.While waiting for Howard to make his decision, the Warriors put all their chips into pursuing Iguodala. According to sources, they made cap room by getting rid of three reserve players, a few draft picks and severed ties with two key players from last season, so they could sign Iguodala to a four-year, $48-million contract.The 29-year-old averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists last season with Denver. Iguodala said that he’s happy with the signing because the Warriors were at the top of his list.“I feel like they have a good culture there,” Iguodala said. “A lot of great guys, great locker room. The way they’ve got those guys playing with such confidence, that comes from the coach. The way those young guys were playing against us (in the playoffs), that’s confidence. I want to play with that kind of confidence.” read more

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Embattled Dolphin Jonathan Martin Traded To 49ers

Jonathan Marin, the Miami Dolphin offensive lineman who accused teammate Richie Incognito of bullying—creating a firestorm about behavior in NFL locker rooms— was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, led by his college coach at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh.The Dolphins announced the move on the first day of NFL free agency. San Francisco confirmed the trade, saying only that it would send an undisclosed draft choice to Miami and that Martin still must pass a physical to complete the deal.“We feel that this move is in the best interests of all parties involved,” Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. “We wish Jonathan well.”Miami will receive a conditional seventh-round pick in 2015 if Martin is on San Francisco’s opening 53-player roster, a league source told ESPN.Martin’s cross-country move returns him to the Bay Area, where he has been taking classes at Stanford again.“This is great for him to get back on the field, and he’s in Palo Alto right now,” his agent, Ken Zuckerman, said in a phone interview. “It couldn’t be much better. I just think everyone wanted this to happen. Harbaugh knows Jonathan, I think the Dolphins were compensated and Jonathan wants to get back on the field. It’s a good day.”Martin expressed his excitement via Twitter on Tuesday night, posting: “Opportunities are few in the NFL… Can’t wait to get to work #9erEmpire”An investigation for the NFL by Ted Wells determined last month that Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.Martin left the Dolphins in late October, underwent counseling for emotional issues and alleged he was harassed by teammates. Incognito was ultimately suspended for the final eight games. read more

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Ludacris Migos to Perform at PreSuper Bowl Concert

FILE- In this June 24, 2018, file photo from left, Takeoff, Quavo and Offset, of Migos, perform at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Ludacris and Migos will represent Atlanta and hip-hop culture when they perform at the EA SPORTS BOWL days before the Super Bowl next year, Electronic Arts Inc. and OnLocation Experiences announced Monday, Nov. 5. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Ludacris and Migos will represent Atlanta and hip-hop culture when they perform at the EA SPORTS BOWL days before the Super Bowl next year.Electronic Arts Inc. and OnLocation Experiences announced Monday that Lil Yachty and Lil Baby will also hit the stage at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Jan. 31, 2018, for the concert celebrating rappers from Atlanta. Super Bowl 53 will take place Feb. 3 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.Ludacris, a Grammy winner and successful actor, will perform alongside special guests. More performers who are from Atlanta will be announced at a later date.The EA SPORTS BOWL is part of the three-day Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, which runs from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2. Tickets go on sale Friday. read more

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Beside The Points For Thursday March 8 2018

See more NBA predictions All newsletters Oh, and don’t forgetKHL is acting shady We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆  Join the squad. Subscribe Things That Caught My EyeAn out-of-line interview questionLSU running back Derrius Guice said that a representative of an NFL team asked him if he was gay during an interview at the NFL combine. This is not the first time that an NFL team has gotten in hot water over inappropriate and prohibited questions about potential draft stars’ sexuality, and the NFL Players Association wants the team in question prohibited from attending the combine. [The Washington Post]Neymar edges out MessiNeymar has an expected goals and assists rate of 1.18 per 90 minutes, which is the best performance in that stat in any of the top European soccer leagues right now, just beating out even Lionel Messi. Right now, comparing Neymar’s season to any other player besides Messi isn’t really possible; there are only ten player-seasons since 2010 where players had more than 0.9 expected goals plus expected assists per 90 minutes, and more than five progressive passes and runs per 90. Angel Di Maria’s 2015-16 is one of them, Neymar’s is another, and Messi accounts for the other eight. [FiveThirtyEight]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Damian Lillard taking Portland to the postseasonDamien Lillard is creating 101 points for every 100 chances running the pick-and-roll. He’s hitting 103 points per 100 chances on drives. Portland certainly has a defense, but it’s also not an obvious one — they don’t force many turnovers or limit free throws or block all that many shots. Yet, they rank seventh in defensive rating this season. [FiveThirtyEight]Stallings out in PittsburghBasketball coach Kevin Stallings is out at Pittsburgh after just two seasons. His record: 24-41. The Panthers were 0-19 in ACC games, and I’m not a particularly adamant college basketball fan but even I know it’s vastly preferable not to lose every single one of those. [ESPN]POLL: Florida badAn NHL players’ association poll asked the league’s players to weigh in on coaching, the point system, their colleagues and who they’d want on their side if they needed to win a game. More importantly, the survey identified the Florida Panthers as having the worst ice in the NHL — 16.8 percent of respondents said the Panthers have the worst rink. [ESPN]Big Number659.5 milesThat’s how far away New York City, where the Big Ten Conference plays its conference tournament, is from Knox, Indiana, the town that is actually the geographic center of the conference. Realistically, Knox’s neighbor Chicago, only 65 miles from the geographic center, would be a better call than Madison Square Garden. Indeed, the ACC’s tournament in Brooklyn and the Big East’s call of New York is also a bit off too. [FiveThirtyEight]Leaks from Slack: neil:LSU RB: At combine I was asked ‘do I like men’I am amazed that teams haven’t been reprimanded for these kinds of garbage questionsThis has been going on for yearsand they continue to get away with itMiami GM sorry for Bryant prostitute queryFalcons asked Ohio State CB Eli Apple if he likes menidk how it works exactly in the context of a collectively bargained process like the NFL, but many combine interview questions appear to violate fair hiring laws(the combine itself is probably also sketchy, although again idk how that was bargained with the union)Predictions NBA read more

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Do Retread Coaches Like Jon Gruden Ever Work Out

C. GaileyNFL.563112010BUF.250-.313 P. SilasNBA.317161999CHH.629+.312 F. RobinsonMLB.475112002MON.512+.037 Prev. CareerGapReturn Season Among coaches who spent at least two years as a team’s primary coach (coaching at least half a season’s games) before leaving the league.Source: Sports-Reference.com J. PardeeNFL.489101990HOU.563+.074 T. MarchibrodaNFL.554131992IND.563+.009 P. CarrollNFL.516112010SEA.438-.078 J. GrudenNFL.540102018OAK?? B. ValentineMLB.510102012BOS.426-.084 J. GibbsNFL.674122004WAS.375-.299 CoachSportWPctYearsYearTeamWPctChange in WPct -.087 J. McKeonMLB.480101988SD.583+.103 B. RussellNBA.565111988SAC.293-.272 A. ShellNFL.587122006OAK.125-.462 In the past four-plus decades, only 15 other coaches have even tried what Gruden is attempting — and their success rate has been spotty at best. In their first seasons back, this group of returning coaches saw an average drop in winning percentage of about 90 points, compared with their career marks before their long layoffs. Only a third managed a winning record in their return season, and 20 percent only lasted one season before retiring (or being fired) again for good.Not that there aren’t any success stories in the bunch. Dick Vermeil and Pete Carroll both recovered from mediocre starts to visit three total Super Bowls in their next NFL acts, winning two titles. (Carroll, it should be said, had also established himself as a very successful college coach during his time away from the NFL.) Terry Collins weathered the Mets’ Madoff crisis to put in six seasons with the club, guiding it to the World Series in 2015, while Paul Silas2Who was initially the Charlotte Hornets’ interim coach in 1999 but qualifies for our list because he coached more than half the team’s games — and he was eventually made the team’s permanent coach anyway. coached three separate franchises over nine seasons upon his return to the NBA. And Jack McKeon — who was 57 when he returned to managing with the 1988 Padres after a 10-year absence — stuck around for parts of 10 MLB campaigns over the next 17 years, winning the 2003 World Series with the Florida Marlins. After initially re-retiring in 2005, McKeon returned to the Marlins again in 2011, at age 80, for 90 games before finally hanging up the uniform for good.But more frequently, these Gruden-esque returns have failed to recapture the glories of the initial run. (The Raiders know about these declines firsthand: Art Shell’s coaching stint in Oakland went from a success in the early 1990s to a total disaster after he returned to the club in 2006.) Among our group of coaches above, fewer than half had a better winning percentage in Round 2 than they had the first time around,3Fun note: Frank Robinson had exactly the same .475 winning percentage both before and after his 11-year layoff from managing. with the average coach winning at a percentage 65 points lower over the remainder of his career than he’d done before his long absence.For Gruden, such a dip would take his record just below .500 — and while that wouldn’t be terrible by recent Raiders standards, it’s also not what the team was envisioning when it signed that $100 million deal, with a franchise relocation looming on the horizon as well. Of course, there are some reasons to think Gruden can do better than his peers from the returning-after-a-decade-away club. Quarterback Derek Carr is in his prime and should have more weapons to work with in the form of newly acquired receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant (plus two-time 1,400-yard rusher Doug Martin).4Who, granted, has been injured and/or terrible every year other than those seasons. A defense that ranked among the worst in football last season has a completely overhauled linebacking corps around star edge-rusher Khalil Mack. Overall, enough of the roster that won 12 games two years ago remains that a bid for the AFC West crown wouldn’t be totally crazy in Gruden’s first year back.Even so, the Raiders deserved every bit of their 6-10 record last year, and they did it with better-than-average injury luck. Meanwhile, Gruden didn’t exactly spend the offseason assuaging concerns that his thinking was stuck in the early-2000s era during which he’d been most successful. And maybe that’s the biggest reason that some of these coaching retreads end up going flat: The game evolves much faster than those on the outside can imagine, even if they’re observing it from the announcing booth. Tactics and ideas that worked a decade ago are now passé, and you might not know it until the games begin.Gruden will get his very first taste of that Friday night, and we’ll begin to see whether the time away sharpened his focus or simply left him out of touch with the modern game. Bringing noteworthiness to an otherwise insignificant exhibition, the Oakland Raiders’ preseason debut Friday night against the Detroit Lions will officially mark the beginning of the franchise’s second Jon Gruden Era. Gruden coached in the Bay Area from 1998 to 2001, and he remains the franchise’s top coach by winning percentage since Tom Flores left the team in the late 1980s. The Raiders are desperate for Gruden to replicate that success for them now, so much so that they lured him away from his gig at ESPN with a bewildering 10-year, $100 million contract in January.Gruden’s track record speaks for itself, with the 44th-most wins of any coach in pro football history. But it also bears mentioning that Gruden hasn’t roamed an NFL sideline in almost 10 years, since being fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2008 season. He spent most of the intervening years broadcasting, and the time away might be the biggest obstacle to Gruden restoring Oakland to glory. Across multiple sports, history tells us that coaches who return to the game after a decade away are usually unable to improve upon their records from before they left.By coming back to the NFL 10 years after his last season, Gruden joins a pretty peculiar group of do-over coaches. It isn’t as though these kinds of coaches are sitting around doing nothing during their years off — in addition to broadcasting like Gruden, many serve as high-level assistant coaches after their first head-coaching stints — but it’s still rare to get another shot at the big chair after so much time away. Here’s the full list of NFL, NBA and MLB coaches/managers since 1977 (the year after the NBA-ABA merger) who had a gap of at least 10 years in their coaching resumes,1And a minimum of two full seasons coaching before the layoff — just to filter out guys who may have been interim coaches earlier in their careers before getting a legitimate shot later. along with how they did in their first season back relative to their previous career: Average H. BrownNBA.484162003MEM.378-.106 D. VermeilNFL.535151997STL.313-.222 Coaching returns like Jon Gruden’s usually fall flatChange in win percentage from previous career mark for coaches who returned to the NFL, NBA or MLB after at least 10 years away, 1977-2018 T. CollinsMLB.506122011NYM.475-.031 R. MillerMLB.456121998BAL.488+.032 read more

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Happy Birthday Nadal Youre Probably Too Old to Pass Federer

Note the drop-off as players enter their 30s. Only 10.3 percent of majors have been won after age 29 and a mere 3.3 percent after age 31. In tennis, the “wrong side of 30” is a harsh place to be.If we consider only retired players (keeping active players skews the distribution younger), the mean champion age is 25.16.3The aging profiles for both Nadal and Federer have closely paralleled the typical one. We can see this by combining their grand slam titles and looking at the distribution by age. Using their exact ages upon winning, this works out to an average age of 24.57 for a title win, a little below the retired champion average of 25.16, with room to increase if either win subsequent titles. This places Nadal nearly three years past his prime. And Federer is ancient at 32!The only players older than Federer to win a major were Andrés Gimeno, who won the 1972 French Open at 34, and the ageless Ken Rosewall, who won majors at 33 (’68 French), 35 (’70 U.S.), 36 (’71 Australian) and 37 (’72 Australian). Agassi won the 2003 Aussie just shy of Federer’s age (32 years, 9 months). With only six of 184 titles won by players 32 or older since 1968, it’s clear that Federer’s window is closing fast.So, who finishes with more hardware? Let’s first determine how good each player is relative to prior champions at their respective ages. We’ll determine a player’s age-adjusted performance ratio as the number of championships won through his age divided by the majors won by the average champion. For example, through age 27, Nadal has won 13 majors, while the average champion that age had won 2.43.4All figures here are rounded to two places of significance, but the full numbers were used in the calculations. The result is the same. Dividing Nadal’s wins by this average, we get a performance ratio of 5.35. To determine the expected additional titles we’d expect Nadal to win, we can take the product of this multiplier and the average champ’s wins after age 28 — 0.65 —  for a total of 3.48, yielding Nadal a projected total of 16.48 titles, just a tad bit short of Roger’s current 17.We can use the same methodology to calculate Federer’s total projected career majors. With two of the season’s four majors remaining before his 33rd birthday, we’ll declare him as effectively 32.5 years old. We’ll take his 17 titles divided by the 2.96 won by the average champ through age 32.5 to get a performance ratio of 5.74. As the average player can expect 0.13 majors won after 32.5, Federer’s projected career titles is 17 + (5.74 * 0.13) = 17.75.To determine the likelihood Nadal passes Fed, we’ll need to determine the range of championships he’s likely to win. We can use the binomial theorem5The binomial theorem is a powerful tool used for calculating the probability of k events occurring over N trials, given the probability, p, of success in a single trial. It allows us to take, for example, Nadal’s future probability of winning k = 3 additional tournaments over N = 40 trials (10 years at championship level times 4 tourneys per year), given that he has an average probability of winning p = 8.55 percent of tournaments entered. This yields a probability, P, of 22.61 percent.Further reading on binomial distributions can be found here. A binomial calculator can be found at Stattrek. to help us.During the Open era, winners have ranged from age 17 to 37. Hence, based on the age curve, Nadal has 10 years left at championship contention level. With four tourneys per year, he’s got 40 remaining opportunities to win. As we saw earlier, the average retired champ won 0.65 titles from 28 on, reflecting a win probability per tourney of 1.63 percent.Multiplying by Rafa’s performance ratio, 5.34, we can speculate that his odds of winning are about 8.7 percent per tourney. If we want to calculate his odds of attaining, for example, three additional majors, we can plug these numbers into the binomial model to get the odds. In this case, Nadal has a 22.61 percent chance of finishing with precisely 17 titles.The table below summarizes the potential outcomes based on this model. The outside cells represent the probabilities of each player finishing his career with a particular number of championships. Nadal’s probabilities are listed in the rows on the right, while Federer’s are represented horizontally along the top. The cells in the center represent the joint probabilities of the varied individual outcomes. Cells in yellow represent the status quo — that Federer remains ahead — while the gray cells represent a tie, and the blue cells indicate Nadal passing Federer.The odds of Nadal finishing at precisely 16 titles and Federer at 17 are a little under 15 percent. That’s also the most probable of the individual scenarios. Overall, there’s about a 61 percent chance that Federer ends his career ahead of Nadal, and about a 17 percent chance they end in a tie.It looks like somewhat of a long shot for Nadal to pass Federer (close to a 22 percent chance), but if he were to have a strong summer and win two of the three majors remaining in 2014, he’d greatly improve his chances. Then again, failing to win even the French would be a serious blow — especially if Federer could pull off another win this year.This French Open, along with the remaining majors this year, will tell us a lot about who eventually ends up atop the leaderboard. The conversation as to who’s the greatest of all time doesn’t end there, of course. It probably starts there, though, and whoever of these two ends up on top is likely to hold that title for many years to come. Over the next few days, Rafael Nadal will attempt to win his ninth French Open and become only the third male player to achieve 14 major championships, tying Pete Sampras and moving within three of Roger Federer’s record of 17. He’d be the first to win a particular major nine times, and, at barely 28 years old, he’d be just shy of Federer’s pace in reaching the milestone (Federer won his 14th major at 27 years, 10 months).Federer, now 32, may or may not have another major in him. Tennis is a young man’s game — much more so than many other sports. In golf, for example, many players don’t win their first major until their 30s; since 2009, the PGA has seen 13 of 21 majors won by players 30 and older (and three were over 40). In football, quarterbacks have played well deep into their 30s — Peyton Manning (38) and Tom Brady (37) are still among the best in their sport.In tennis, however, many legends were done winning Grand Slam events by their mid-20s — Boris Becker’s last of six was at age 28. Mats Wilander won his seventh and final major at 24. John McEnroe (7) and Björn Borg (11) were done at 25. Even Jimmy Connors (8), famed for his longevity — he made his famous run to the semis at the U.S. Open in 1991 at age 39 — won his final major, the 1983 U.S. Open, at 31.The aging curve for men’s tennis does appear to have shifted in the past few years, with more 30-somethings on tour remaining in contention.1I gathered age data on the top 10 players by year and track their average age, going back as far as possible, to 1973. The ATP’s website provided me with birthdate data, and Tennis28.com tracks year-end rankings. There are currently two top 10 players in their 30s — Federer and David Ferrer, both 32. Their presence has helped skew the average age of a top 10 player to its highest point since the early 1970s. Although Federer’s presence in the top 10 is a reflection of his great career, Ferrer’s ranking is a bit of an anomaly. But he still hasn’t won a major, and if he dips from the top 10, the group’s average age will quickly move closer to the normal range.Connors hung around in the top 10 until he was 36, but he was done winning majors at 31. It may be possible to play at a top-10 level into one’s 30s, but the majors — with best-of-five set matches versus the best-of-three format on the typical tourney — more rigorously test not just the skill of the player, but also his endurance. Empirically speaking, players in their 20s still tend to win these events — since 2000, a player over 30 has won a major only four times: Andre Agassi twice (30 and 32), Sampras (31) and Federer (30).So with Rafa turning 28 on Tuesday, is he a sure thing to equal or surpass Federer’s 17 titles? How likely is Fed to win any more?By analyzing the full data set of champions by age during the Open era, starting at the French Open of 1968, we can show the ascent, plateau and drop-off in performance as players mature and decline. Building upon this, we can make some predictions about how Nadal and Federer will perform over the remainder of their careers.The chart below shows the distribution of major championships grouped by player age.2This data set reflects 184 events won by 47 different players. read more

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Ohio State wrestling tops Edinboro for the second year in a row

Redshirt sophomore Nathan Tomasello competes in a match against Arizona State on Nov. 13. Credit: Courtesy of OSUOne could have heard a pin drop in St. John Arena as redshirt sophomore Nate Tomasello started his match at 125 pounds. All eyes were on the national champion, and “pin” was exactly what he did to start the night.The Ohio State team (11-3, 7-2) picked up another win this year in its final dual meet in St. John, taking down Edinboro in a National Wrestling Coaches Association dual-series bout. With six individual victories, the Buckeyes battled their way to a hard-fought team win, 26-13.It was the second time in two seasons the Scarlet and Gray faced the Fighting Scots in a NWCA dual and the second time OSU came out on top.Tomasello earned his third pin of the year, while maintaining an unblemished record for the season. The Parma, Ohio, native remains one of two undefeated OSU wrestlers, along with sophomore Kyle Snyder.Tomasello hasn’t lost since January of last year.There was a surprise absence at 133 pounds for the Buckeyes, as senior Mike Manuche competed in place of redshirt senior Johnni DiJulius. Manuche went up against redshirt junior Anthony Rivera.In his 10th match of the year, Manuche struggled against Rivera, unable to secure any takedown or escape. Eventually, Rivera won 6-0, pulling Edinboro into striking distance, with OSU only up 6-3.Redshirt junior Micah Jordan quickly turned the tide for the Buckeyes, with a good performance against freshman Tyler Vath. Even though Jordan got caught in a bad position and had to sprawl and tumble away from a near fall, he would go on to pick up a 22-9 major decision.After noting that he needed to create more energy and open up earlier this week, Jordan seemed to fix the issues. He now has eight major decisions on the season, which leads the team.After an injury in sudden victory in the previous match for redshirt senior Hunter Stieber at the 149-pound weight class, redshirt freshman Cody Burcher re-entered the lineup. Burcher was the starter for OSU at the beginning of the season against Virginia.Burcher drew a tough opponent in freshman Patricio Lugo. Lugo is the 19th-ranked wrestler in the nation at 149 pounds. With a tight contest into the third, Burcher gained a 1-0 lead on an escape, before being taken down with little time left.Burcher scrambled with eight seconds left looking for an escape, but was unable to capitalize. Lugo went on to win 2-1. OSU coach Tom Ryan said he felt Burcher performed well overall, even with some issues earlier this week with making weight.“The door opened, and (Burcher wasn’t) quite ready to run through it,” Ryan said. “But, he gave a good effort overall.”Buckeye fans got a treat once again at 157 pounds, as redshirt freshman Jake Ryan took another match down to the wire, this time against redshirt sophomore Austin Matthews.A tight contest throughout, things came picked up near the end of the last period. After a takedown was thwarted by Matthews, it was initially ruled that two points went to Edinboro. However, after a video replay, the call was reversed, and the match came down to riding time, which gave Jake Ryan the 4-3 win.With the ball now in their court, the Buckeyes looked to increase their 13-6 team lead. Redshirt sophomore Bo Jordan was just the man for the job.After a shaky outing in the previous match, Bo Jordan started off in a bit of trouble, as his opponent, redshirt senior Casey Fuller, nearly got Bo Jordan’s shoulders down for a fall. However, Bo Jordan rolled out of danger and proceeded to control the rest of the bout.Midway through the second, the St. Paris, Ohio, product secured Fuller and earned the fall. That pin was his fifth of the year.“Last week I couldn’t get my opponent’s feet moving at all,” Bo Jordan said. “I really focused on, this week in practice of, getting guys feet moving.”The adjustment paid dividends for him.Up next at 174 pounds, freshman Myles Martin looked to continue his stellar rookie year. After securing the first takedown, the lead would remain firmly in his hands.After a few more takedowns, one more by Martin gave him a 14-4 major decision win. Martin now has a season win total of 24, which is ranks third on the team.Tom Ryan went to a different wrestler at 184 pounds than he did last week, turning to redshirt sophomore Dominic Prezzia. The absence of the usual competitor, Kenny Courts, should not raise any concerns about the redshirt senior’s status for the rest of the year, the coach said.“Kenny had something come up today,” Tom Ryan said.Prezzia made a valiant effort against fifth-ranked redshirt senior Vic Avery, but he was outmatched as the bout wore on. Avery won 19-7, while Prezzia fell to 13-10 on the year.After a strong outing in the previous match, senior Mark Martin had a much tougher go against senior Vince Pickett. With a team win seemingly in hand, Martin looked to earn another win for OSU to pad the team’s stats.Although he picked up a takedown in the first, Martin could not respond with any more scoring, and he was forced to defend for the rest of the match. Pickett earned an escape but failed to score again, giving Martin a 2-1 decision win.Redshirt junior Nick Tavanello was the last man out for the Buckeyes, and he faced redshirt freshman Billy Miller. The two Ohio natives clashed in a tough, grind-it-out bout.Tavanello struggled to create any separation or scoring chances and could not secure any of his numerous takedowns. Miller would go on to win 5-1.Even with the loss in the final match, OSU won with ease, 26-13.Although Tom Ryan had a smile on his face and was celebrating the NWCA dual-series victory as he made his way into the press conference, he noted what he felt his wrestlers seemed to need to change moving forward.“Fear is debilitating,” the coach said. “We gotta find a way to wrestle fearless.”Postseason play awaits the Buckeyes next, as they are set to head to Iowa City, Iowa, to compete in the Big Ten Championships. The event is scheduled to take place on March 5 and 6. read more

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Womens basketball Ohio States offense returns in 8864 rout over Illinois

Ohio State junior forward Alexa Hart attempts a jump shot in the first half against Illinois at the Schottenstein Center on. Jan. 22. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorThe Ohio State women’s basketball team has struggled this season in terms of playing with consistency from quarter to quarter. But Thursday’s nine-point victory against Wisconsin was a night-and-day difference between Sunday’s game.Ohio State’s high-scoring offense returned on Sunday with 15 3-pointers, defeating Illinois 88-64 to improve to 17-5 and 7-1 in Big Ten play. The Fighting Illini dropped to 8-12 overall, 3-4 in conference.“We looked like our self a little bit more today,” said OSU coach Kevin McGuff. In the Buckeyes last three games, they have been scoring below their season average of 86.3 ppg by at least 10 points. However, the tone was different this game.Led by junior guard Kelsey Mitchell who picked up 22 points with two rebounds and six assists, OSU put together a cohesive effort against the Illini. Redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun added 11, and junior guard Asia Doss and freshman guard Kiara Lewis had 10.OSU always plays better when Mitchell has a good day from the field (7 for 14, 6 of 12 from 3), but her production also benefitted others — something that hasn’t always been the case for the Buckeyes.“Everybody was focused on Kelsey and it left other people open, and we hit open shots,” Lewis said.Illinois came off the tip scoring three straight field goals. However, the quick burst of momentum did not last long, as the Buckeyes proceeded to score 13 straight points midway through the quarter. “We moved the ball, we made the extra pass much more today,” McGuff said.Illinois came out in a 2-3 zone, which OSU quickly dissected, finding open players around the arc, helping contribute to four straight made shots from downtown. A 43.8 percent mark from the field gave OSU a lead at the end of the first it would never relinquish. The Buckeyes started the second quarter a little slow, but were able to find their rhythm ending the quarter with four straight 3s in the last minute. OSU ended the quarter on a 12-2 run. It started when McGuff went with a bigger lineup having junior forward Alexa Hart, redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga and Calhoun all on the floor. Hart scored a bucket in the paint followed by Mavunga. This brought in the zone for Illinois where junior guard Kelsey Mitchell proceeded to hit three straight triples and assist on the final 3 by Asia Doss before the half. OSU ended the second quarter with a 12-2 run as the team’s went to the locker room for halftime. OSU came out of the third quarter playing at a different intensity than Illinois. The Buckeyes were able to score from all angles — the free throw line, behind the arc, in the paint and off the fast break. Offensively, an up-tempo approach of pushing the ball on the fast break and capitalizing off of layups as well as fouls from driving inside kept the game well in hand late. Eventually, OSU ended the quarter going on another huge run, this time 23-4.“Our full court pressure really wore on them,” McGuff said. “You could see them wear down as the game went (on).”Mitchell took a hard fall along the sideline in the third, appearing to cut open her lip during her stumble out of bounds. After heading to the locker room, she came back on the court to finish the game. Four different OSU players scored double figures. Additionally, 34 points came from the bench and 14 off of the fast break.The Buckeyes shot 45 percent from both the field and behind the arc. OSU will continue Big Ten play at Minnesota on Thursday at 8 p.m. read more

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Jackets shoot down Stars in first game of postHitchcock era

It was a tale of two goalies.The Columbus Blue Jackets’ Steve Mason and the Dallas Stars’ Marty Turco did battle for three periods last night, with Columbus emerging victorious as they defeated the Stars 2-1 in the Jackets’ first game since the firing of former head coach Ken Hitchcock. It was a hard-checking, grinding, defensive-minded game.In short, it was just the kind of game Hitchcock would have loved.Afterwards, interim coach Claude Noel spoke about what it was like going into his first-ever NHL contest as the boss.“It was really nerve wracking for me,” Noel said. “I’m happy that the players were resilient and not carrying the nerve-wracked coach onto the ice with them.”Both teams were active in the first period. The Blue Jackets had multiple scoring chances while putting seven shots on goal. The two teams would trade opportunities through the rest of the period.Columbus defenseman Anton Stralman broke the stalemate with a slap shot from just a step in front of the blue line that Stars’ goalie Marty Turco was unable to get a glove on. Fredrik Modin and Ohio State product R.J. Umberger assisted on the goal. The Jackets took the 1-0 lead it provided into the dressing room with them at the first intermission.Columbus kept up the pressure as the second period unfolded, forcing Turco to make several difficult saves. The physical play between the two teams began to pick up noticeably all around the ice.The increase in hard checking led to a scoreless second period. The third frame would bring more of the same physicality.After a Jared Boll penalty for interference, the Blue Jackets’ penalty kill unit stood tall, led by captain Rick Nash. At one point, Nash made a flashy move with the puck before nearly cashing in on the short-handed goal. After he was leveled by a vicious check into the boards, he leapt back to his skates and somehow managed to regain control of the puck.The sequence brought the mostly quiet Blue Jackets fans to their feet as they cheered the grit that has been so sorely lacking.The game stayed in doubt until Umberger decided to put the finishing touch on his new coach’s first ever NHL win in dramatic fashion.Umberger fought his way through two Dallas defenders and was shoved face-first into the ice just inside the Stars’ zone. As he slid on his belly towards the left circle, he extended his stick out just far enough to push the puck towards the goal, which was empty as Dallas had pulled Turco for an extra man advantage.Dallas tacked on its only goal of the night with just under a minute remaining, but Columbus was able to hang on and send their new coach home a winner. “So much has happened in the last two days, (Noel) wanted us to free our minds,” Umberger said from the dressing room after the game. “When we leave and drive home, he wants us to be proud of our efforts. It was about doing everything you can on your end.” read more

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