Even If He Never Wins Another Tournament Tiger Woods

So many people miss the point about Tiger Woods.At this stage, it no longer is about what he does on the golf course. He has done more than anyone for golf. Ever. Disagree?Consider that he has won 14 major championships, changed the way players condition themselves, elevated player winnings into the stratosphere, skyrocketed television ratings and generally revolutionized the sport.You cannot say that about anyone else. Not Byron Nelson or Sam Snead or Bobby Jones or Jack Nicklaus.And so, the reality is this: Tiger Woods does not have to win another tournament, much less a major, to have the most important career in his sport. He can toil on for years, competing at a high level and never hoist another trophy over his head—and he will not be eclipsed.His influence on the game in general and African Americans in particular has been phenomenal. Some numbers: estimates by those who compute these kinds of things indicate the number of African-American recreational golfers at around 800,000 when Woods burst upon the scene in 1996. Now, that number is more than two million.This is the true Tiger Woods effect.“Golf is a sport that you have to be a learned person,” said Otis Smith, the interim head pro at Charlie Yates Golf Course in Atlanta. “You have to be exposed to it, and the reality is that most blacks were not exposed to golf growing up. If you’re never exposed to it, you can’t like it.“Tiger has brought the sport to the masses, which is more than anyone else can say. The exposure he commanded brought golf mainstream. . . Now, because blacks have seen someone who looks like them on the golf course on television, we have been exposed to it and drawn to the game.”As a result, golf courses in urban areas that at one time were dominated by white golfers are now loaded with African Americans honing their skills. All inspired by one player.“I see African Americans playing golf every day,” said William Lewis, head pro at John A. White Park in the historic Cascade section of Atlanta, “and I would say 60 percent of them are new to the game. They saw Tiger Woods on the course and decided to pick it up. He’s had a huge impact, bigger than anyone probably can measure, on the sport, especially in the African-American community.“That’s an unbelievable legacy he created. And for someone who has played golf all his life, it’s a legacy that’s as important to me as what he has done as a player.”In other words, you cannot measure when a man opens up an exclusionary game to an entire race.African-American youths around the nation have taken up golf in remarkable numbers. Speak to one or speak to 100, to a kid they will tell you they know of only one golfer.“Tiger Woods,” 11-year-old Jamaal Ritchie said when asked why he took up golf. When asked how he recognized Woods, he said, “Because he’s the only black golfer. When I saw him, he had on a red shirt. It was a Sunday. And he won. And I thought I would try it. Now, I like it.”His response echoed those of more than two dozen kids at John A. White Golf Course on a recent Saturday morning. Those kids participate in the First Tee Program, designed originally to introduced inner-city (read: African American) kids to golf and all the life skills and discipline that come with playing the game. It was a grand idea that has turned away from its initial premise.“Now,” Smith of Charlie Yates said, “there are more white kids in the program than black kids. I mean, the First Tee of Hollywood? Come on. It has definitely helped minority kids. But the original intent of the program has changed. Once (whites) saw how it was helping our kids, they jumped in and made sure their kids could get free lessons.”All in all, the hope is that the increase of African Americans will produce another African American of prominence on the PGA Tour. Why no one consistently has joined Woods comes down to something other than talent, Smith said.“I’ve gone through it,” he said, “and it’s about money. White players at prestigious clubs will get members to invest in their chance to make it on tour. They’ll donate a certain amount of money for their tournament entry fees and say, ‘Go out there. Give it a try.’ They don’t make a loan. They just give it to them. I’m 40 now and past my prime, but I knew blacks who saw I could play, but when asked about helping support my career would say, ‘You ain’t getting rich off of me.’ There’s just not black money to support black players.“I know Will Smith was supporting (black golfer) Tim O’Neal. Other than that, it just doesn’t happen. And it’s sad. When we start supporting our players who have as much potential as whites. . . that’s when we’ll see more of us on the tour.”Jason Bramless, 23, earned his PGA card this year. Shasta Averyhardt is the only African-American women on the LPGA Tour (Woods’ niece, Cheyenne, turned pro this week). But that’s it.It could be next year or years from now before someone who looks like Tiger Woods makes a real splash in pro golf. He or she might not win 72 times as Woods has so far or earn more than $1 billion or become a worldwide figure. But whatever happens, Tiger Woods will be at the heart of it, whether he calls himself black or not.Curtis Bunn is a best-selling novelist and national award-winning sports journalist who has worked at The Washington Times, NY Newsday, The New York Daily News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or position of Atlanta Black Star or its employees read more

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Did The Giants Just Make The Browns Super Bowl Contenders

Receiving yds4th2nd Post-merger Rank, Through a receiver’s… Minimum 750 receiving yards per season.*Adjusted Catch Yards adjusts basic receiving yards by giving a 5-yard bonus for receptions and a 20-yard bonus for receiving touchdowns.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com In a sudden, potentially league-altering deal, Mike Garafolo reported late Tuesday that the New York Giants have agreed to trade their enigmatic star receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., to the Cleveland Browns. In return, New York will receive safety Jabrill Peppers and the 17th and 95th picks in the 2019 draft. Beckham will be reunited with his former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry in Cleveland, and the pair will give Baker Mayfield, the team’s No. 1 overall pick in 2018, a lethal receiving tandem to work with in his second year in Cleveland and his first full season as the Browns’ starter.The trade definitively signals that the Browns — just a year removed from a winless season in 2017 — are legitimate contenders for a playoff berth, if not a Super Bowl appearance. (Yes, we just used the words “Super Bowl” and “Browns” in the same sentence without a hint of irony.) The Giants — seemingly rudderless under the stewardship of GM Dave Gettleman — appear committed to a complete top-to-bottom rebuild.Unfortunately for the Giants, it is difficult to rebuild when you trade away your single best asset for less than what he is worth. According to Eric Eager at Pro Football Focus, the package of picks and Peppers that the Giants received in exchange for Beckham is worth approximately 1.85 wins above replacement over the next four years. That would be a solid haul for most players, but Beckham was worth 1.95 WAR in 2018 alone.Draft pick value is heavily influenced by whether a team selects a QB, and the 17th pick would be worth substantially more on paper if the Giants were to select an heir apparent to Eli Manning — a decision that’s largely viewed as a no-brainer to everyone outside the confines of East Rutherford, New Jersey.1Quarterbacks disproportionately account for the historical value of first-round picks. The value of the 17th pick falls from 1.6 WAR all the way to 0.75 WAR if any position other than quarterback is taken. And that’s much more likely as New York already holds the sixth overall pick, so if the Giants do decide to select a quarterback in the draft, they’ll almost certainly take one there. Peppers, a former first-round pick and high school standout from nearby northern New Jersey, was worth 0.62 WAR a year ago — and has a cumulative career WAR of 0.53 when you include his negative WAR rookie season.Again, compared with Beckham, who has averaged roughly 2 WAR per healthy year in the NFL — including a 2018 season with a zombie Eli throwing to him — there is little doubt that New York is getting the worst of this deal. By almost any measure of production — and at just 26 years young — Beckham has had one of the best starts to his career of any receiver ever. Few receivers have started with as much of a bang as OBJOdell Beckham Jr.’s early-career ranks, relative to wide receivers since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, in various per-game receiving statistics Catches3rd2nd Approximate Value16th13th Category per gameFirst 3 yrsFirst 5 yrs Adjusted Catch Yds*3rd1st Receiving touchdowns5th4th That production should have a profound impact on the Browns’ performance in 2019. The Browns are embracing the offseason with a sense of confidence that’s been largely missing for three ugly decades. Under Mayfield and interim coach Gregg Williams, the team won five of its final seven games, and it’s possible that the Browns now smell blood in the AFC North water as the deal came days after Pittsburgh Steelers star wideout Antonio Brown forced his way out of town and out of the division (with teammate Le’Veon Bell reportedly right behind him).Beckham’s arrival in Cleveland has vaulted the Browns odds from 25-1 to 14-1 to win the Super Bowl, an increase of 2.8 percentage points of implied probability. These relatively short odds put the Browns ahead of the Bears, Colts, Chargers, Texans, Ravens, Seahawks and Eagles — otherwise known as the entire wild-card round of the most recent NFL playoffs.Meanwhile, the Giants fell from 40-1 to 80-1 odds, leaving them with an implied 1.2 percent chance of hoisting a Lombardi trophy this season. New York has won only eight games in two seasons and has gaping holes on both sides of the field. Peppers will fill one left by Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins, who reportedly will sign a six-year deal with Washington on Wednesday. A year ago, the Giants passed on numerous quarterback prospects to select running back Saquon Barkley, who will become the new face of the franchise — probably one who will feud less with management, shed fewer sideline tears and pick fewer fights with kicking practice nets. The reigning rookie of the year, though, is now left with little talent to help shoulder the load in his sophomore campaign.The man selected before Barkley, Baker Mayfield, has no such problems. Mayfield set a rookie QB record with 27 passing touchdowns without Beckham, and it’s difficult to imagine him not building on his breakout season throwing to Odell, Landry and promising young tight end David Njoku in 2019. Throw in second-year back Nick Chubb — who averaged 5.2 yards per rush in his rookie season — and it’s easy to see why Vegas is bullish on the Browns. Perhaps the biggest question facing Cleveland is if Freddie Kitchens, in his first full year as a head coach in the NFL, can help the Browns navigate such suddenly high expectations. GM John Dorsey has left him with scarcely any excuse for underperformance, and he may not be done. The Browns — winners of one of the wildest free agency periods in memory — could just be getting started.Neil Paine contributed research. read more

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The Unlikely Resurgence Of Baseballs Aces

This baseball season seems to have the makings of an unpleasant one for pitchers. Hitters are focusing on hitting deep fly balls, and more of them are leaving the yard than ever before, possibly thanks to a batch of baseballs that are bouncier than usual. As a result, scoring has increased to 4.65 runs per game, the highest it’s been since 2008. But despite all of that, star hurlers are quietly experiencing a renaissance in 2017.In fact, several of them are butting their way into the MVP conversation. Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale has the most wins above replacement of any player — pitcher or otherwise — in the major leagues, with 6.6,1All uses of WAR in this story refer to an average of the Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs versions. and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals leads the National League with 6.1.That wasn’t the case last season. According to WAR, the top pitcher of 2016 was the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard, who clocked in at eighth overall with 6.7 WAR — 0.8 of which came from his bat, not his arm.2Syndergaard hit for a .673 OPS (on-base plus slugging), good for fourth among pitchers. To find the last time baseball’s top pitcher ranked worse in overall WAR, you’d have to go back to 1983, when Steve Carlton and John Denny of the Philadelphia Phillies finished tied for ninth overall. Between then and last year, only one top pitcher has finished as low as eighth by overall WAR, San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy in 2007.With Syndergaard injured since May, it might have seemed as though top pitchers were in for an even worse fate this season. But instead, they’ve flourished: In addition to Sale and Scherzer, Cleveland’s Corey Kluber ranks among baseball’s top 20 players this season (seventh), as do Arizona’s Zack Greinke (17th) and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (19th). (And that’s even though Kershaw headed to the DL in late July.)On pace for 9.1 WAR over a full schedule,3The Red Sox have played 118 games. Sale is having one of the most dominating seasons by a pitcher in recent memory. If Sale keeps it up, the only campaign better by WAR in the past 15 years will have been Greinke’s 9.5-WAR season in 2009. And for his part, Scherzer is tracking for one of the best seasons by a runner-up pitcher, ranking as the 28th-best among No. 2 pitchers in a season since 1901 and 10th-best since MLB lowered the mound in 1969.Of course, all of this means only that the top of the pitching heap has been stellar this season. Because there’s a finite amount of pitching WAR to go around, if the best pitchers are accumulating more of it, lesser pitchers must be doing worse. Indeed, if you look at a ranking of this year’s pitchers by overall WAR, most of those between Nos. 10 and 75 are doing worse (in terms of WAR per 162 team games) than the average for their ranking slot since 1998.41998 is the last time that MLB expanded and thus is the first year the major leagues began allocating the same total WAR per season as in 2017. (For example, Jimmy Nelson of the Brewers ranks 18th in baseball with a 3.9-WAR pace. The typical No. 18 pitcher records 4.3 WAR, so Nelson is running nearly a half-WAR behind average for his ranking slot.) In other words, there are more legitimately great pitchers this year, but fewer good ones. Even so, the numbers pick up again around the 100th-best-pitcher slot, and many pitchers who rank in the range between Nos. 100 and 200 are outpacing the historical average for their rank. So the class of “solid pitchers” seems to be doing just fine, thank you very much.Either way, with such great pitching performances leading the pack, you can expect this season’s MVP debates to be complicated by the old (and really dumb) argument over whether hurlers should be allowed to win the award. Scherzer is currently a half-WAR clear of Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for the NL lead, while Sale is in a slightly tighter race with Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve for the AL lead. And although I’d like to think we’ve come a long way since Pedro Martinez finished second and fifth in MVP voting during two of the greatest pitching seasons ever,5And maybe we have: Kershaw and Justin Verlander both won the award this decade. there is probably still some anti-pitching bias in the minds of MVP voters. (“They have their own award, the Cy Young,” is the common justification.) But unlike last season, there have at least been pitching performances outstanding enough to warrant the debate.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

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Move Over Brady The Patriots Running Backs Are Stealing The Show

New England’s running back usage rate was 12 percentage points lower during the regular season — though its share of 47.5 percent was still the sixth-highest in the NFL. Rather than dialing down their running back usage and putting the season in the hands of the NFL’s greatest quarterback, the Patriots have dialed the RB game up to 11. This increase in running back usage is the highest in the 16 postseasons of the Brady-Bill Belichick era. Belichick and his coaching staff have typically chosen to go in the other direction — in 12 of those postseason appearances, the rate of running back touches went down. That includes last season, when it declined from 49.5 percent during the regular season to just 38 percent in their playoff run, which ended with a pass-happy Super Bowl shootout loss to the Eagles.And not only can the defense reasonably guess that the ball is going to a running back, it can determine with an even higher degree of certainty whether Brady is going to hand off or pass depending on which running back is in the huddle.In the regular season, when Sony Michel was on the field, the Patriots ran the ball 75.9 percent of the time. But when the Patriots subbed in James White, the Pats ran on only 23.8 percent of plays, while the Pats threw the ball the other 76.2 percent of the time. In the postseason, rather than seeking to cross up the opponent, their tendencies have somehow gotten even more extreme: 83.8 percent of plays with Michel on the field have been runs, while 89.2 percent of snaps with White have been throws. In the process, the Pats scored 78 points in their two wins and rolled up 1,022 yards, well above their per-game regular-season averages of 27.3 points (fourth most) and 393.4 yards (fifth). So, the game plan may be predictable, but it’s working.(When necessary, the Patriots do have a back that they can deploy without strongly indicating run or pass. With Rex Burkhead on the field, the Patriots threw the ball on 53.2 percent of plays during the regular season. And in the postseason, that’s risen to just 55 percent.)The Patriots have long championed passing to a running back, given that they drafted White in the fourth round in 2014 and quickly made him a receiving specialist with more career catches than rushes. But this heavy reliance on the run is a new identity for them. As recently as the 2015 season, their rate of running back usage in the postseason was just 24.1 percent, which ranked above only the 2011 Lions among all 216 playoff teams in the sample. Last year’s team ranked 158th in postseason running back usage. And their Super Bowl-winning edition in 2016 was 132nd. The last time a Brady-led Patriots playoff team was this running back-centric was in 2004, when the team had Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk. With 54 percent (21st) running-back usage, that team beat the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.It’s unknown whether this transformation was by necessity or design. There’s no doubt that the passing game is without its full arsenal. No one expected a healthy Rob Gronkowski to virtually disappear as a receiving threat (149 yards in his past five games, though 79 came in the AFC championship). And the tight end’s ineffectiveness comes after former All-Pro wideout Josh Gordon in December first “stepped away” and then was suspended indefinitely from football for violating the terms of his reinstatement after he was previously suspended under the NFL substance-abuse policy.So bereft of game-breaking receiving threats, the backs via Michel’s running and White’s pass-catching have had to fill the void in a passing game that was left in “shambles.”Brady, for his part, has really ramped up his checkdown game. During the regular season, the Pats connected on just 74.8 percent of passes to backs (mainly White) within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, which ranked the Patriots 28th in the NFL. New England’s success rate1Success rate is the percentage of plays that are positive in Expected Points Added. on these plays was just 49.7 percent, barely above the NFL average of 45.9 percent. But in the postseason, those numbers have climbed to a 85.2 percent on 27 passes to backs, including seven first downs, and a playoff-leading play success rate of 63 percent.Even though running their offense through their backs was a trademark of New England’s regular-season success, we can’t dismiss the possibility that it just perfectly aligned with the weaknesses of its playoff opponents. The Patriots’ divisional-round foe, the Chargers, were reasonably stout against the run (12th in yards allowed per rush); but they had transitioned to a defense featuring smaller defensive backs in place of linebackers. And they were just 24th in the regular season on defensive play success on passes to running backs. The Chiefs were poor both against the run (31st in yards allowed per rush) and in preventing success on running back passes (31st).The Rams are a mixed bag, actually ranking last in yards allowed per rush but first in preventing success on tosses to backs. That could end up meaning a lot more Michel and a lot less White in the Super Bowl. Or, given the Patriots history, this could all be an elaborate con — and Brady may cross up Los Angeles completely by throwing early and often to Gronkowski and his wide receivers.Check out our latest NFL predictions. The identity of the New England Patriots has been not having an identity. What’s made them so difficult to beat in the Tom Brady era is an amorphous quality that has them adapting a game plan effortlessly to any opponent. So the team’s emphasis on the run versus the pass — and to whom the passes are targeted — historically has changed based on where the defense of that week’s opponent is most vulnerable. But the Patriots’ identity this season has seemed to take on a more specific shape — particularly in the postseason. Over the past two wins, the Patriots have become a power-running, ball-control passing team that has their offense flow through their backs. And even more shockingly, they often indicate whether they are going to run or pass based on who they have on the field. They are winning less with deception, instead simply daring the defense to stop them.This postseason, nearly 59.9 percent of New England’s offensive snaps have ended with the ball in the hands of a running back (meaning a run or a completed pass to a running back), according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group. Since 2001, this is the fourth-highest running back usage rate among playoff teams. read more

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What to expect from Ohio State at the Big Ten Media Days

OSU coach Urban Meyer addresses the media on July 30 in Chicago during the 2015 Big Ten Media Days. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz / Oller ReporterOhio State coach Urban Meyer is set to take the podium on Tuesday morning at 9:30. With a memorable offseason nearly behind him and his staff, there are still many questions to be asked regarding the Buckeyes and what the future holds for them. Here are a few potential questions that Meyer may be answering on Tuesday.Bri’onte Dunn dismissalAfter Meyer removed the redshirt senior from the team on the night of July 18, the only explanation received from curious OSU fans was that Dunn had  “violated team policy.” Only a few hours after the announcement, a 911 call was released from a woman who claimed Dunn had choked and hit her. She is believed to be the girlfriend of the now former OSU running back. Although there is little explanation needed as to why Dunn was dismissed from the team, Meyer will most likely have to answer the basics. Many are still wondering if word on the gravity of the situation reached the OSU coach before the release of the 911 call. Who’s in the backfield?With Dunn gone, it would seem most of the load of the ground game would fall directly on the shoulders of redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber. However, Meyer has yet to declare a starting back, and freshman Antonio Williams shows promise. After Weber and Williams, the only other options for the deep back are senior H-back Dontre Wilson and junior H-back Curtis Samuel. Unless one of two seasoned veterans on the team convert to running back, Meyer will have to play his cards carefully. Greg Schiano accusationsAnother story from the offseason that caused a stir in Columbus, newly hired defensive coordinator Greg Schiano has been accused of having knowledge of the abuse of young boys at the hands of Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant who was with the team along with Schiano from 1990 to 1995. Sandusky was a member of the Nittany Lion coaching staff from 1969 to 1999. Although Schiano has denied the claims and has the backing of his boss in Meyer, there are still some questions as to how this may distract the team, and how Meyer plans to handle the situation.An unproven receiving corpFilling the holes left by three receivers leaving a team is never an easy task. But, Meyer will have to do just that in order to give redshirt junior quarterback JT Barrett ample targets to throw to this fall. The longest tenured receiver on the team, senior Corey Smith, only has 25 receptions for 317 yards in his career. Redshirt sophomore Noah Brown will be attempting a return from a gruesome broken leg suffered last season, and Wilson and Samuel will be starring in the H-back position rather than receiver. Both freshman wide receivers Torrance Gibson and Austin Mack are expected to make key contributions to the team in 2016, but the inexperience of the unit will most likely be discussed by Meyer on Tuesday.Tough out of conference schedulingOSU has really seemed to challenge themselves this year in terms of out of conference opponents. Kicking off the season against a Bowling Green team that posted an impressive 10-4 record will be an interesting first look at the Scarlet and Gray. Tulsa is next up, and although its record of 6-7 is far from stellar, the Golden Hurricanes stood toe-to-toe with then No. 16 ranked Oklahoma. Rounding out the out of conference opponents is Oklahoma, which could quite possibly be the largest test of the season for OSU. The Sooners were a tough opponent for any team last year, and redshirt junior quarterback Baker Mayfield offers a tough test for OSU. read more

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Time for Carson Palmer to take talent elsewhere

The Cincinnati Bengals and Carson Palmer have irreconcilable differences. The former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick is fed up with losing. He wants to be traded or he’s going to retire. Let me be clear: Palmer’s not a quitter. He’s a tough guy who’s played through injuries and genuinely wants to win, so I can’t see him calling it a career. Team owner and president Mike Brown, son of football titan Paul Brown, is a shrewd business man. He is not a football man. Mike has already told Palmer the team will not trade him. Until Mike kicks the can, the team will continue to be the opposite of fan- and player-friendly. Players like Palmer will have their souls stolen, continuing the trend of “Bengalization.” Palmer has been a good soldier for the team and coach Marvin Lewis adores him. Heck, I bet if Lewis has another son, he’ll name the wee lad Carson. There were a few fabulous moments during the Carson Era. The 2005 team was exciting on both sides of the ball, and a bona fide Super Bowl contender. But all that hope was washed away when Pittsburgh defensive tackle Kimo von Oelhoffen mutilated three of Palmer’s left knee ligaments in the 2005 wild-card playoff game. And who can forget 2009, when Palmer handed off to Cedric Benson time after time as the Bengals relied on their run game and stout defense to sweep the AFC North and win the division? But No. 9 has never been a leader since he joined the pro ranks. Palmer and Lewis have let diva wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens run the locker room. Palmer put up with their “me first” attitudes and sideline temper tantrums when they weren’t thrown the ball. He should have gotten in their faces and said, “This is my team. You don’t like how I run the show? Get lost. And if you shoot your mouth off again, I’m going to rearrange your face.” I spent time in the Bengals’ locker room this summer, and I got a chance to talk to Palmer. He’s a great guy and true family man. But I never got the sense that the Bengals were his team, that his leadership could be felt in the locker room. On the field, the former Southern California Trojan has been mediocre for the last few years. Palmer threw 20 interceptions in two of his last three full seasons. In his six years as a starter, he has only played in two playoff games. Palmer’s agent David Dunn had a few words to say about the Palmer-Bengals partnership. “Carson met with Bengals owner Mike Brown recently,” Dunn said in a statement Monday. “Because of the lack of success that Carson and the Bengals have experienced together, Carson strongly feels that a separation between him and the Bengals would be in the best interest of both parties.” It might sound crazy, but it ain’t no lie — time to say, “Bye Bye Bye.” read more

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Buckeyes win No 1 rank next

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Correction: Feb. 28, 2011 An earlier version of the photo slideshow accompanying this article stated the game was at the Jerome Shottenstein Center. It was at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. For weeks, Ohio State coach Thad Matta has been praising the work that freshman forward Deshaun Thomas has been putting in during practice. Playing against a school from his home state Sunday, Thomas showed the nation what Matta was talking about. Thomas scored 22 points, as the No. 2-ranked OSU men’s basketball team (27-2, 14-2 Big Ten) defeated Indiana (12-17, 3-13 Big Ten), 82-61, at the Schottenstein Center, moving the Buckeyes one step closer to a Big Ten title and possibly the nation’s top ranking. With No. 1 Duke’s loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday, the win might help the Buckeyes ascend to the top of the polls for the second time this season. If the Buckeyes regain the No. 1 spot, it will be because of the player who wears jersey No. 1. Entering the game with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, and the Buckeyes leading the Hoosiers, 16-10, Thomas broke open the game by single-handedly fueling a 14-3 OSU run — which included two 3-point shots — en route to a game-high 22 points. “It was just getting to the spots,” Thomas said. “After I hit my first two threes, then I felt kind of warm and I felt comfortable.” The scoring outburst by the Indiana native couldn’t have come at a better time for the Buckeyes, after freshman forward Jared Sullinger, the team’s leading scorer on the season, picked up two personal fouls and played just three minutes in the first half. Thomas finished with 16 first-half points, as OSU took a 38-23 lead into halftime. “Deshaun came in and gave us a tremendous boost scoring the ball,” Matta said. “He warms up pretty doggone quick.” The Buckeyes didn’t let up in the second half, leading Indiana by as many as 27 points and never letting the lead drop below double digits. After the game, OSU fifth-year senior forward David Lighty said Buckeyes’ defensive effort was the key to their second win this season against the Hoosiers. “Holding down our defense, getting back to where we started at the beginning of the season — I thought we did a good job of that holding them under 40 percent shooting,” Lighty said. “Just playing Ohio State basketball pretty much for 40 minutes.” Junior guard William Buford added 15 points, including two off a second-half alley-oop from Lighty, who scored 11 points. Sullinger finished the game with a season-low five points and seven rebounds in 13 minutes of action. With the win, OSU stays a full game ahead of Purdue in the Big Ten standings. The Buckeyes and Boilermakers each have two regular-season conference games remaining. The Buckeyes return to action at 9 p.m. Tuesday at Penn State, when a win against the Nittany Lions will earn them a share of their second consecutive regular-season Big Ten title. “This is honestly what college basketball is all about,” Matta said. “When you play in as competitive of a league as we’re in, you just got to play through and do the best that you possibly can.” read more

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2018 Big Ten Football Preview Penn State Nittany Lions

Location: College Park, Pennsylvania2017 Record: 11-2 (7-2 Big Ten) Head Coach: James Franklin2018 Record: 4-0 (1-0 Big Ten)All-time record vs. OSU: 14-18What has happened thus far in 2018:No. 9 Penn State began the season with a light schedule, with three of their first four matchups having combined for a 9-27 record last season. Penn State handled all three of those opponents by 39 points or more. Appalachian State, however, took the Nittany Lions to overtime, though Penn State held on to beat the Mountaineers 45-38. Penn State leads the NCAA in points per game with 55.5.Impact Player:Junior running back Miles Sanders has made a sizeable impact so far in the Penn State offense following Saquon Barkley’s footsteps, but all eyes are on redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley for a reason. As Penn State’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (59) and total touchdowns (77), McSorley is a dual-threat quarterback that has made his way by making plays at the right time, and doing it in enthusiastic fashion. This season, McSorley has swung his imaginary bat on 14 total touchdowns, with only two interceptions on 998 yards of total offense.Strengths:There’s a reason this is the highest scoring offense in the nation. With the combination of McSorley and Sanders, Penn State has won its games this season by dominating opponents on the offensive end, mostly through the run game, ranking No. 10 in the NCAA with 275.0 yards per game on the ground. The offensive and defensive lines have also done a great job avoiding and creating sacks, respectively. The Nittany Lions have allowed only one sack per game, tied for the 18th-fewest in the nation.Weaknesses:McSorley has led Penn State to only No. 62 in the country in passing yards, but has also not needed to rely on his arm much yet to win games. The Nittany Lions have been susceptible to the run game, allowing the 48th-most yards on the run at 172.5 per game. But Penn State’s Achilles heel thus far has been the first half. The Nittany Lions outscore opponents 149-35 in the second half and overtime, with 28 of the opposing points coming against Appalachian State. But Penn State only outscores its opponents 73-43 in the first half so far, allowing for lower-level teams to stay in the games until the offense inevitably blows it open in the third and fourth quarters. This issue won’t matter much against teams like Kent State and Illinois, but in a matchup like the one against No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday, a slow start could make all the difference. read more

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Netflix reveals what gets us hooked on shows like Stranger Things and

first_img 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. The “hooked findings” showed it took three episodes of Baz Luhrmann’s hip hop show The Get Down to draw viewers in, four episodes of Aziz Ansari’s Emmy-winning Master of None, four of drug thriller Narcos and seven of mother-daughter drama Gilmore Girls.It took six episodes of Jane The Virgin for fans to commit to powering through series one and four episodes of Marvel’s Jessica Jones and French political drama Marseille.There were no shows where viewers were sold on just the first episode alone. Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix, said: “We’ve always known there is a commonality to great stories.”The internet allows us to share these stories with audiences wherever they may be and what we see from the data is how similar our members watch and respond.”The hooked findings give us confidence that there is an appetite for original and unique content, which is why we’re excited to deliver variety in stories to our members – whether they’re political dramas from France or musical dramas from the Bronx.”Last year’s Netflix data showed Breaking Bad lured in an audience after two episodes, political drama House of Cards won people over after three episodes, while superhero show Daredevil needed five. Narcos, the Netflix show about Pablo EscobarCredit:Netflixcenter_img Narcos, the Netflix show about Pablo Escobar Netflix viewers were hooked after three episodes of sci-fi drama Stranger Things and four episodes of true crime series Making A Murderer, according to analysis by the streaming serviceMore than two thirds of UK fans (70 per cent) who made it to that point in the show finished the series, Netflix found.The service analysed viewer data to find out at what point someone becomes likely to finish at least the first series of a show.last_img read more

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Ross and Demelza Poldark welcome a new member of the family in

first_imgEarlier this week, Aidan Turner was spotted filming scenes for season three  “He was being christened and when they poured the water on him he didn’t even flinch. He was wide awake and just stared up at everybody. He didn’t cry once.”Earlier this week, Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson were spotted at Bottalack Mines, in Cornwall, filming scenes for season three.In the next series, Aidan Turner’s character returns from the American War of Independence to his Cornish tin mines after spending three years in the Army to avoid charges of smuggling.   The couple are seen christening their son in tomorrow night's episode Played by seven-week-old Jack Griffiths, the baby is later seen being cradled by his parents at a christening.Becky Griffiths, mum to baby Jack, told Gloucestershire Live that the day of filming was “lovely” and the cast were big fans of her little boy.She said: “It was a lovely day. Everybody was really nice and Demelza was cuddling him the whole time, Aiden Turner had a cuddle too. They all loved him and were really nice to us.”I kept looking around and thinking, look at all these famous people cuddling my son.”He was brilliant, absolutely faultless,” said the 36-year-old mum of three from the Forest of Dean. The couple are seen christening their son in tomorrow night’s episodeCredit: Mike Hogancenter_img 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. Earlier this week, Aidan Turner was spotted filming scenes for season three Credit: BBC/Adrian Rogers Poldark fans are introduced to a new character in tomorrow night’s episode when Ross and Demelza celebrate the arrival of a baby boy.In last week’s episode, fans watched as Demelza – played by Eleanor Tomlinson – broke the news of her pregnancy to her husband Ross.But in tomorrow night’s episode, baby Jeremy has a dramatic arrival into the world after his mother goes into labour while out fishing.last_img read more

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