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Month: September 2019

Every NBA Teams Chance Of Winning In Every Minute Across Every Game

Can you summarize the NBA season in one chart? With 794 games, more than 152,000 possessions and some 372,000 plays, probably not, but we’ve given it a shot. What you see above is the 2014-15 season’s win probabilities, summarized. At any point in an NBA game, each team has a probability of winning based on the time remaining, the score and the situation (i.e. after a made shot, shooting foul, etc.). In the chart, each team’s in-game win probability is averaged over each minute of regulation time. It’s like watching a win-loss record develop in real time.The win probability model that provides the foundation of the chart uses data from 13 NBA seasons (2000 to 2012). The model is not based on simulations, but rather it does its best to reflect how NBA games are actually played, won and lost.One of our favorite findings: The Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks share a similar win-loss record, but they’ve taken different paths to get to that point. The Warriors have shown more dominance throughout games, often building early, insurmountable leads. The Hawks, in contrast, don’t pull away until the fourth quarter.Let us know about your own discoveries in the comments below. read more


What We Know And Dont Know After 2 World Cup Games

sara.ziegler: It did feel like the starters might have finished some of those shots in the second half, but against a keeper like Endler, maybe not!TerrenceDoyle: The eye test says Endler has been pretty remarkable in this tournament — some of the saves she’s made have looked impossible — but her goals prevented mark is actually in the red. One of those instances where the eye test and the analytics aren’t jelling.neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Endler leads the entire World Cup in saves right now, with 10. South Africa’s Andile Dlamini is second with nine saves. However, she has faced 27 shots. Endler has faced fifty.TerrenceDoyle: FIFTY.emily: That’s hockey numbers!sara.ziegler: Holy crap.TerrenceDoyle: Chile, ah, need more of the ball?tchow: I am curious to know how many of those shots were on target against her though. All 50? There’s no way.neil: Nah. Only 15. But still, a lot of danger coming her way, most due to the U.S. just controlling so much of the play.The Americans had a higher share of all shot attempts (on goal or not) against Chile than they did in the 13-0 romp over Thailand.And the possession percentages were roughly even between the games.tchow: Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that Endler has faced the U.S. and Sweden. Outside of the U.S., the Swedes are tied for second with Italy with the most goals in the tournament so far.TerrenceDoyle: Still quite a fair amount. In terms of keepers who have played in both their nation’s games, Endler is facing more shots on goal per game than any other.emily: Has Alyssa Naeher faced the least?neil: Somehow Carly Telford of England has faced one fewer than Naeher. (But in one game.)TerrenceDoyle: As has Sarah Bouhaddi of France (in two games).sara.ziegler: But don’t forget Stephanie Labbé of Canada, who has faced a grand total of ZERO shots on target. (Against Cameroon and New Zealand.)tchow: Canada, the U.S. and Germany have yet to be scored against in the tournament so far.neil: From the U.S. perspective, all of these shot differential stats really point to the idea that these first two matches were glorified warmups. What have we learned about the Americans so far? Can you learn anything from these lopsided mismatches?TerrenceDoyle: They’ve been ruthless in front of goal, which is good for confidence going forward. They’re outperforming their expected goal numbers so far. We’ll see how that holds up against Sweden, which gave them fits in 2015.sara.ziegler: ^^^ and in 2016!TerrenceDoyle: true!tchow: All due respect to Thailand and Chile, that is a good perspective to keep in mind, Neil. The game on Thursday against Sweden will tell us a lot.TerrenceDoyle: Opposition aside, the Americans have already far outpaced their goal tally from the group stage four years ago. (They scored just four times in 2015!)sara.ziegler: We haven’t learned much about the goalkeeping, that’s for sure. The one time the U.S. came closest to giving up a goal against Chile — a play in which the Chilean striker was ultimately offside — Naeher made a pretty big mistake in coming off her line.emily: I would have loved to see Ashlyn Harris get some minutes, but coach Jill Ellis has been very clear that it’s Naeher’s job.tchow: Emily, I was surprised with all her changes in this second game that she didn’t give Harris some game time too.emily: I wasn’t surprised! Ellis has been doing this since Hope Solo left.TerrenceDoyle: Is it because goalkeeping is such a confidence-based position? You want your goalie to be in a groove.sara.ziegler: Is it a confidence-boosting thing?Ha — jinxTerrenceDoyle: lolemily: But come on, give me Harris and Ali Krieger on the field together!tchow: It would have been great to see Harris and Krieger play together. I understand Ellis for wanting to stick with her goalie, but this would have been the perfect game to bring on someone else.TerrenceDoyle: Agree on that. And you have to figure it won’t happen going forward, barring injury or a disastrous performance vs. Sweden.tchow: I don’t think anyone was sure how much playing time or how well Krieger would play in this tournament, but she got a full 90 minutes and more than held her own: 84 percent pass completion as a right back, and she won 71 percent of her duels, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group.TerrenceDoyle: The Carli Lloyd left-footed volley against Chile is the goal of the tournament so far, idc what anyone says. The degree of difficulty, while falling backward, to get anything on that ball, let alone as much as Lloyd got on it, is high.sara.ziegler: idk, Terrence, that Julie Ertz header was pretty incredible: tchow: thErEs nOt EnOUgh scOrInG iN SOcCeR. tHeRes TOO MUCH ScORinG iN socCeRsara.ziegler: 🤣emily: It’s familiar for Thailand, but this was the first time they’ve been on the other side of things. In 2018, they beat Indonesia 13-0 and Cambodia 11-0.TerrenceDoyle: “OK, so the point of all sports is to score as many goals/points as possible.”“WHY DID YOU SCORE AS MANY GOALS AS POSSIBLE?!?!?!”sara.ziegler: But also, make sure you don’t celebrate your accomplishments, or celebrate the accomplishments or your teammates.But if you don’t celebrate the accomplishments or your teammates, WHY AREN’T YOU FRIENDSSSSSSSS?There is truly no winning.emily: There’s never any winning in women’s sports.sara.ziegler: Ain’t that the truth.TerrenceDoyle: Imagine your friend worked for, like, half a decade or more to reach the pinnacle of their career, then they got there, and they celebrated, and you were like, “Sorry, your celebrations are a little MUCH.”tchow: Nuengruetai Srathongvian, Thailand’s coach, spoke about the loss, and I think what she said should have ended all discussion about whether the scoreline was problematic. So with that in mind, let’s move on.sara.ziegler: Let’s look ahead to Sweden, a very familiar foe. This match doesn’t matter THAT much, but it’s important for seeding, and of course the U.S. doesn’t want to lose its last group game. What can we expect out of this game?TerrenceDoyle: (if they win and france wins, they’re on the same side and can see one another in the quarters, yes?)tchow: (yes)TerrenceDoyle: THE U.S. SHOULD TANK.Kidding, but only sort of.tchow: Don’t say it, Terrence. Don’t say it. Ahhh, damn it.sara.ziegler: HahahahaTerrenceDoyle: lolol sorrysara.ziegler: But if the Americans lose to Sweden, they could face Germany in the quarters! No easy roads.tchow: Going back to Sara’s question, I would expect Ellis to go back to her A-team lineup for this game.An A-Team that doesn’t include Lloyd or Press or Pugh. LOL, the US are ridiculous.emily: Ridiculously stacked.TerrenceDoyle: You can only play the opponent in front of you, and if that happens to be France, it happens to be France. They’re probably going to have to beat them at some point if they want to win the whole thing, so if that’s in the quarters, it’s in the quarters.So, yeah, roll that A-Team out and exact revenge on Sweden.Sorry, that was aggressive. I mean Sweden no harm.sara.ziegler: The U.S. is the only team with more expected goals so far (11.28) than Sweden’s 8.09, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group.They’ve played the same competition, of course, but that has to be a little worrying to the Americans.TerrenceDoyle: And Sweden hasn’t been taking full advantage of that high xG mark either.sara.ziegler: Yeah. And they’ve had just 18 shots on target to the U.S.’s 29.TerrenceDoyle: Kosovare Asllani and Madelen Janogy have both been quietly good so far for Sweden. I think this match could be about containing them, honestly.sara.ziegler: Leaving the U.S.-Sweden match behind, which other teams have impressed you all the most?TerrenceDoyle: ITALYtchow: I was just about to say Italy too. We gave them just a 59 percent chance of advancing to the round of 16 before the tournament. They’ve already qualified.TerrenceDoyle: Canada are low-key looking very dangerous right now.They’re scoring less than their xG numbers say they should be and winning anyway. If they start taking their chances, they’ll look a threat. Especially if Christine Sinclair starts burying her chances. Which, I mean, she will.emily: ARGENTINA 🇦🇷sara.ziegler: Argentina has been really surprising! They had a very smart game plan against England.TerrenceDoyle: Goalkeeper Vanina Correa has been absurd.sara.ziegler: The one time they deviated from their plan … England scored.TerrenceDoyle: The Correa save on the Nikita Parris penalty kick was SPECIAL. Also LOL that it was England’s first ever pen miss at a World Cup. The men should take notes.Correa leads in goals prevented per 90 among goalies who have played in both of their team’s games as a result. She’s also the main reason Argentina still has a chance at advancing.tchow: Argentina is another squad our projections were down on and probably wrong about. They have a 25 percent chance of making it now, which still seems low to me.sara.ziegler: They’re looking up at quite a few teams that already have 3 points. And they just have the 1.TerrenceDoyle: Cruel sport. They’ve played better than their points total suggests.neil: Somehow our model had Argentina rated lower than both Chile and Thailand (!) before the tournament. (Still does, actually.)emily: They lost their funding from the Argentine soccer federation for a few years.sara.ziegler: Is that part of the consequence of not being able to schedule enough matches?It’s been great to see them play so well, though, given what they’ve been through.tchow: Argentina could still get second place if England ends up beating Japan in the final group game.TerrenceDoyle: As a Correa fan boy, I hope they make a run at it.tchow: There’s been a lot of talk about goalkeeper performance in this chat already, but Correa has been ridiculous. She has an 89 percent save percentage right now.sara.ziegler: As the first of the third matches get started right now, what are your final thoughts on what we’ve seen so far?emily: Sinclair is four goals away from breaking Abby Wambach’s record. Will she do it?TerrenceDoyle: VAR is bad and is turning the sport into a surveillance state. That yellow on the pen save for Sydney Schneider in Jamaica v. Italy was … I mean, it was terrible. It’s soooo hard to save a pen. The success rate for shooters is something like 70 percent. It’s taken from so close, the net is so big, goalies should be able to do whatever they want.sara.ziegler: It will be very interesting to see if any changes come to VAR after all of this.Seems worse than last year in the men’s World Cup.TerrenceDoyle: Straitjackets for defenders because everything is a handball now.tchow: Next chat, can we devote the entire thing to kit talk? I’ve been dying to talk to someone about China’s gray away kits.sara.ziegler: LOL. Totally, Tony.emily: Australia’s kit ❤️ ❤️ ❤️tchow: There are so many exciting games that don’t involve the U.S. to close out these group stages! Netherlands vs. Canada in Group E. England vs. Japan in Group D. Group C is all kinds of crazy with Brazil, Australia and Italy. More soccer!!TerrenceDoyle: Group C is definitely in for a wild finish, Tony. Soccer is fun, the World Cup is fun!!!sara.ziegler: But also: USA! USA!emily: 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. tchow: What patriots you all are. Such U.S. bias. If we’re talking goal of the tournament, Amandine Henry’s in the opening game was ridiculous.sara.ziegler: USA! USA!neil: And what about Christen Press’s rocket out of a volley from the left side (even if it was saved)?TerrenceDoyle: There have been some other *absolute bangers* so far! I just can’t get my head around the Lloyd finish.emily: What a tournament for Alex Morgan. She’s been the face of the team for years, but this feels like her real breakout on the field after grabbing only one goal in the 2015 World Cup and two in 2011, and it’s only just started!neil: It was great to see her do the bulk of the crazy scoring in the 13-0 win.I think even she was surprised that the goals kept coming, and coming, and coming, and coming…TerrenceDoyle: The Golden Boot race is going to be fun. Especially if Cristiane keeps this up for Brazil.sara.ziegler: Curious about your opinions on this: Did the U.S. let up a little after the 13-0 game? Did that criticism affect them at all?neil: Certainly it affected their celebrations against Chile.sara.ziegler: That golf clap KILLED ME.tchow: I don’t think they let up, and I would actually be really disappointed if we find out later that they did.TerrenceDoyle: With all due respect to Thailand, I think Chile is a stronger side with a better goalkeeper. The U.S. still dominated play and even passed the ball better/more cleanly against Chile.neil: Even though they scored 10 fewer goals, they could have scored more if not for the huge saves.TerrenceDoyle: 100 percent, Neil.tchow: I honestly can’t believe how long that 13-0 scoreline stayed in the headlines and my news feeds.neil: In fairness, that is a WILD score for a soccer game.TerrenceDoyle: Very much so. But agree, Tony. Had to not look at soccer Twitter for, like, a week. (Which, tbh, was a welcome vacation for my brain, which is filled with worms at this point because of soccer Twitter.)sara.ziegler: Friend of the site Michael Caley posts expected-goal maps after every match, and that one was AMAZING: sara.ziegler (Sara Ziegler, assistant sports editor): We’re two games into group stage of the Women’s World Cup, and there’s a lot we already know: Nine teams have already advanced to the knockout rounds, and even though she has played only one game, Alex Morgan looks like the player to beat for the Golden Boot.But there’s also plenty that we’re still waiting to learn. How will the seeding shake out? Which of the third-place teams will advance? And how will the American women fare against more robust competition?After a first-game drubbing of Thailand, the U.S. took a subdued but still convincing win against Chile. What were your takeaways from Sunday’s match?TerrenceDoyle (Terrence Doyle, contributor): I think it would be hard not to talk about the play of Chile’s goalkeeper, Christiane Endler, and how things could have been much worse without her sublime performance.emily (Emily Scherer, designer): Christiane Endler!!!!!!!!!!!TerrenceDoyle: She was unreal!sara.ziegler: Christen Press will be having nightmares about Endler for a while.emily: She even got into Carli Lloyd’s head in the penalty kick!sara.ziegler: Endler had six saves on nine shots on target. Pretty impressive.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): The roster changes were a big story for the match against Chile, but I was really surprised at how some of those fringe players played. It feels really wrong to even call them second string, but players like Ali Krieger and Tierna Davidson and even Moe Brian played pretty well!TerrenceDoyle: I think that’s right. The U.S. “bench” was a known entity coming into this tournament, but … wow. Just wow. There are a lot of great players in this tournament, but I don’t think any team has the strength in depth that the U.S. has. read more


The Cleveland Indians Are Dominating Like Its The 90s Again

With apologies to Bob Feller and the 1948 World Series champion Cleveland Indians, the definitive Indians team for most fans today is the one that called Jacobs Field home in the mid-to-late 1990s. And as it happens, this year’s squad, at 51-32 and coming off of a recent 14-game win-streak, looks like the franchise’s best all-around incarnation since that golden era of Cleveland baseball.Those late-’90s Indians were stocked with an outrageous number of marquee names; the 1997 Indians’ roster, for instance, contained 22 players who appeared on All-Star teams, tied for the 15th-most of any team ever. With that core, Cleveland won 59 percent of its games from 1994 to 2001, the 19th-best (non-overlapping) eight-season run by a franchise in major league history, to go with a couple of pennants and a World Series near-miss in 1997. Until LeBron James’s Cavaliers won the NBA title a few weeks ago, those Indians represented the pinnacle of modern-era Cleveland sports.But after years of jinxed and otherwise interrupted rebuilding attempts, Cleveland might finally have a real successor to those beloved ‘90s teams on its hands this season. Through 83 games, the 2016 Indians have the franchise’s highest Elo rating (our pet metric for rating a team’s quality at any given time) for this stage of a season since 1998, when the Tribe was powered by the likes of Kenny Lofton, Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel and Bartolo Colon (a handful of belt sizes ago). The Indians of the late ‘90s were an offensive machine, scoring 1,009 runs in 1999 — the fifth-most any team ever posted in a single season — and cracking 950 on two other occasions. And given the sheer amount of hitting talent on hand in Cleveland, at the height of an era we’ll just call one of the most offensive-minded in history, it would have been difficult not to pile up the runs. But one of the secrets of those great Indians squads is that they could pitch, too. Over the same 1994-2001 period, Cleveland also had the fifth-best ERA in baseball after adjusting for park and league, and its staff accumulated the third-most wins above replacement (WAR) in MLB. The names weren’t necessarily megastars — in addition to Colon, their WAR leaders were Charles Nagy, Dave Burba and ancient versions of Dennis Martinez and Orel Hershiser — but they cobbled together a very effective pitching staff to complement a modern-day murderers’ row of hitters.This year’s Tribe cuts a similar profile of all-around goodness. Their batters have the fourth-most WAR of any position-player corps in baseball, highlighted by the emergence of 22-year-old Francisco Lindor as an outright star in his second major-league season. But they can also pitch, with a staff that boasts the eighth-most WAR in the majors. In fact, this time around, it’s the hurlers who have more star power; ace Corey Kluber won the Cy Young two seasons ago, and he might be joined in that category this year by one of his teammates, whether it be Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco. The sum total has been a balanced club that’s finally living up to expectations, and one that looks as scary as any in the American League at the moment.This being Cleveland, there’s plenty that could still sidetrack the Indians’ renaissance. But the city is in an unfamiliar place after actually winning something for the first time in forever. It might even — dare I say it? — be on the verge of a golden age in sports, if we put aside the the Browns. And a big part of that will rest on these Indians’ ability to match, if not surpass, the old ghosts of the 1990s.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more


By the numbers Ohio States dramatic overtime victory over Wisconsin

OSU redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley (8) and OSU redshirt sophomore cornerback Marshon Lattimore (2) celebrate Conley’s first half interception during the Buckeyes game against the Badgers on Oct. 15. The Buckeyes won 30-23 in overtime. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorThen-No. 8 Wisconsin gave the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes their hardest test of the season on Saturday, leading by 10 at half and by three late in the fourth quarter before OSU came out victorious in overtime, 30-23.The two teams met for the first matchup since OSU demolished the Badgers 59-0 in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game. The Badgers defense diminished OSU’s hurry-up offense in the first half, while Wisconsin’s power running game rolled through the Buckeyes’ normally dominant defense.  Wisconsin took a 16-6 lead going into halftime, putting the second-ranked Buckeyes in unfamiliar territory.The Badgers have played OSU tough in Madison in past years, even upsetting a top-ranked OSU in 2010, and falling in overtime to a sixth-ranked Buckeyes team in 2012. Wisconsin had all the momentum as the second half kicked off.  However, OSU coach Urban Meyer had some key defensive adjustments, and held the Badgers to a measly 11 offensive yards in the third quarter as the Buckeyes scored twice to take the lead 20-16.  The Badgers, then, moved the ball quickly down the field as they retook the lead, 23-20 in the fourth quarter. OSU senior kicker Tyler Durbin hit a field goal with 3:57 left in the quarter to tie the game at 23, which was enough to send the game into overtime for the second meeting in a row between these two teams in Madison.OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett, who struggled for most of the first half, went 4-for-4 with the game-winning touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Noah Brown in overtime.  The Buckeye defense then held Wisconsin on its possession holding out for the 30-23 win over the Badgers.  For the game, Barrett had 226 yards passing on 17-of-29 attempts with a touchdown and an interception and added 92 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.  Wisconsin senior running back Corey Clement had a career game for the Badgers, gaining 164 rushing yards on 25 carries. Redshirt freshmen quarterback Alex Hornibrook added 214 yards on 16-of-28 attempts with a touchdown and an interception.By The Numbers3-3: In the Buckeyes last six trips to Madison, they have won only three times, including two overtime wins.  The Badgers knocked off a No. 1, No. 3 and 18th-ranked OSU team in their three wins.89: Barrett scored his 89th career touchdown in overtime, setting the school record for most touchdowns accounted for.  The previous record was held by Braxton Miller, with 88.0: The Badgers’ defense have not allowed a touchdown in the first quarter through six games.6: The Badgers held OSU to only 6 points in the first half, which was the fewest points scored by Ohio State in the first half since Meyer joined the program in 2012. read more


Lawyer names Pryor Posey as players he warned Tressel about

Terrelle Pryor and DeVier Posey reportedly are the Ohio State football players who were mentioned in e-mails to coach Jim Tressel regarding his players’ association with a Columbus tattoo shop owner who is under a federal drug trafficking investigation. In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” Columbus lawyer Christopher Cicero confirmed he mentioned Pryor and Posey while informing Tressel of his players’ involvement with Eddie Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor. Pryor and Posey, along with Dan Herron, Mike Adams, Solomon Thomas and Jordan Whiting, were suspended for the start of the 2011 season for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits from Rife. Tressel exchanged eight e-mails about the players’ involvement with Rife from April 2, 2010, through June 6, 2010. Earlier this week, OSU released the e-mail conversation between Cicero and Tressel OSU representatives on Friday declined to confirm the names of the football players Cicero mentioned. University spokesman Jim Lynch said the university is required by law to redact information that is specific to individual students. “The Federal Education Rights & Privacy Act requires us to redact any information that can lead to the identity of students, especially a student’s name,” Lynch said in an e-mail to The Lantern. “As caretaker of these documents, we still cannot reveal the student names in the document.” Athletic department spokeswoman Shelly Poe also declined to confirm ESPN’s report, saying in an e-mail to The Lantern, “We will not have any more comments until the NCAA makes its ruling.” Tressel said he did not report the actions of his players because of confidentiality issues. OSU’s investigation of the matter also resulted in suspending Tressel for the first two games of 2011 for failing to properly report the possible infraction to the university after Cicero brought it to his attention. Tressel was fined $250,000 to cover the costs of OSU’s self-imposed investigation. Cicero, a former OSU linebacker and letterman during the 1983 season, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. read more


Ohio State Athlete of the Week Tiffany Cameron

Ohio State women’s soccer forward Tiffany Cameron said she’d made a promise with herself heading into her senior season. “It’s my senior year and I made a promise to myself that I am going to go into every game like it’s my last,” Cameron said. Having notched five game-winning goals and the Sept. 10 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honor, it seems that Cameron is making good on the promise to herself.. “It’s an honor, so I was very excited and happy,” Cameron said of winning the Big Ten honor. “I know a lot of people are happy for me and proud of me and I just need to keep it up.” Cameron said her strengths make her stand out as an offensive player. “I think (it’s) my ability to run at players and get in and behind players,” Cameron said. “My finishing has been pretty good so far … I think (those are) my biggest strengths, just kind of playing around with the ball and doing my own thing and swagger.” Cameron has scored seven goals in her last six games and has eight total scores on the season. OSU freshman forward Marisa Wolf said Cameron works hard to score those goals. “She is determined and won’t give up until she gets that goal,” Wolf said. Cameron’s productivity, however, hasn’t necessarily been limited to this season. In her career as a Buckeye, Cameron has netted 19 goals, 11 assists and 10 game-winners since arriving to Columbus in 2009. In that span, she’s played in 66 games and started in 61 of them. Coach Lori Walker said Cameron’s ability to be unpredictable helps her succeed on the field. “Very unpredictable when she has the ball at her feet,” Walker said. “When we need her most she is coming through for us, so I credit to just how hard she is working and the entire team works hard to get her in the right place and I think that is an important part.” Cameron, though, admitted she has a weakness. “This year, I am working on not letting things get to my head and taking it one step at a time,” Cameron said. “I think when I take things one step at a time I succeed.” Sunday’s 2-1 overtime victory against Minnesota was the Big Ten opener for the Buckeyes, and Cameron said she is excited to take on more Big Ten teams this season. “I am definitely looking forward to the Penn State game because they are always coming out to play hard and they are a good team,” Cameron said. “I think the Penn State game and Wisconsin and Michigan, but mostly the Penn State game.” Cameron and OSU are scheduled to take on Illinois on Friday at 7 p.m. in Champaign, Ill. read more


Ohio State continues taking pride in defense

Junior guard Shannon Scott (left) guards an opposing player during a game against North Dakota State Dec. 14 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 79-62.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAs former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant once said: “Offense sells tickets. Defense wins championships.”If that is to be believed, then the No. 3 Ohio State men’s basketball team is a lock for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament this season.A year after losing one of the most prolific scorers in Buckeye basketball history, forward Deshaun Thomas, to the 2013 NBA Draft, the Buckeyes have built a winning start to this season on defense.Despite falling in their most recent game, a 72-68 defeat in overtime against No. 5 Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich., the Buckeyes are still allowing only an even 56 points per game. The 72 put up by the Spartans was the highest total against OSU this season.The Spartans struggled at times against OSU’s defense, turning over the ball over 17 times. After the game, MSU coach Tom Izzo was complimentary of the Buckeye defense.“Everybody knows they’re the best defensive team in the country,” Izzo said. “Everybody knows those guards are leading the country in steals. They get after you. You just have to man up.”Two of OSU’s starting guards, senior Aaron Craft and junior Shannon Scott, are in the top 35 in the country in steals per game, with Craft tied for 20th.Scott, who tallied three steals against the Spartans, has been improving consistently on defense despite still making mistakes, OSU coach Thad Matta said.“He got out of position one time and they made us pay for it, but Shannon is quick,” Matta said after the game Tuesday. “He is difficult to guard and he hit some big free throws, some big shots down the stretch.”The 56 points per game is best in the Big Ten, with second place and No. 4-ranked Wisconsin allowing 60.5 a contest.OSU freshman forward Marc Loving said Dec. 17 that having such a strong defensive team makes every practice tougher than the games.“The game’s are a lot easier compared to practice … we have one of the best defense in the country,” Loving said. “So when we practice with great defenders like (senior guard) Lenzelle (Smith Jr.), Aaron (Craft) and (junior forward) Sam (Thompson) … they’re lock down defenders so the game will just be 10 times easier when you get on the court.”Since Big Ten play began, the Buckeyes are allowing 64.7 points per game, but their defense continues to impress.Nebraska coach Tim Miles said after his team lost to OSU, 84-53, Jan. 4 that it’s hard to get things going against such a talented defensive team.“Ohio State’s really good … their defensive quickness really causes problems. They have the ability to switch a lot of things,” Miles said.Before the Big Ten opener against Purdue, Scott said the team is enjoying the way it plays defense.“I think as a team standpoint, we’re taking pride in our defense now,” Scott said Dec. 30. “It’s not just me and Aaron … it’s everybody now. The fact that we’re all taking pride in that makes it a lot of fun for us to play defense and hopefully we can keep doing it in the Big Ten and keep going from there.”The Buckeyes will need a stout defensive performance in their next game to prevent a second consecutive loss. The 20th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (12-3, 1-1) are scheduled to visit Columbus to take on the Buckeyes, and come in sporting the conference’s top offense, scoring an average 86.1 points per game.Scott said Dec. 13 the goal for the Buckeyes is to make teams fear playing against the defense.“Coach Matta talks about it a lot, about every game, that we’re the best defense in the country,” Scott said. “We really want to have that in our heads that nobody should be able to score on us … From a viewpoint of other teams speaking of us as a problem on defense, we really want that to happen. We want them to be scared to play against us. As long as we can keep doing that, it’s going to make our game a lot easier.” read more


GP urgent home visits to ease AE crisis

first_imgGPs are under pressure to provide emergency home visits to ease the crisis in overstretched A&E departments, NHS documents reveal.Local doctors groups are being asked to establish “A&E Delivery Boards” and to draw up rotas of medics able to respond to 111 requests for urgent care at home.The boards are ostensibly responsible for easing winter pressures, but the new NHS England best practice guidelines state the measures should remain in place all year round because of the unprecedented demand on hospitals. The Government is trying to put a sticking plaster on the fact that the ambulance service is not responding in a timely fashionRichard Vautrey Last month a Daily Telegraph investigation revealed that patients are being forced to wait for up to nine hours in ambulances because of the gridlock in A&E departments.In the past, 111 operators have been criticised for too frequently advising callers to go to A&E.The new guidance says: “Early and effective assessment of frail and vulnerable adults can enable general practice to plan alternatives to hospital admissions or arrange for early specialist review”.It adds that swift action would help to avoid “default admission” to hospital.But the idea has been ridiculed by GPs representatives who say doctors are themselves under such pressure that stepping up the number of home visits is not feasible.Chair of the Family Doctor Association, Dr Peter Swinyard, said: “I think the Government is trying to put a sticking plaster on the fact that the ambulance service is not responding in a timely fashion and they are trying to dump the problem onto general practice.“If you’re working in the surgery during the day, you are absolutely chock-a-block and you don’t have time to rush out and do an emergency  home visit.“If you do that you have four patients sitting in the waiting room who are not going to be seen.”NHS England said it will be for “local systems” to determine exactly how the new models, which should be implemented by June next year, should work.The guidance comes as the NHS undertakes a series of complex service restructures, known as Sustainability and Transformation Plans, in response to last year’s record £2.45 billion deficit in the hospital sector.Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, said the new initiative was a symptom of fundamental problems.“The reality now is that the health and social care system is under severe pressure 12 months of the year, and needs additional support throughout the year,” he said.“It’s important that all such schemes are properly resourced and don’t just have narrow focus on A&E activity and hospital admission but also recognise the significant pressure that general practices are under as well.”Most GP practices currently refuse home visits to all except those who are housebound and whose medical condition prevents them being transported to a surgery.This week the Chancellor Philip Hammond was criticised by politicians and the health community for failing to deliver any new funding for the NHS or social care sector.center_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.last_img read more


Schools face bigger funding crisis than NHS select committee chair warns

first_imgSchools are facing a bigger funding crisis than the NHS, the chair of a powerful select committee has warned, as they are forced to make £3bn in savings over the next five years despite student numbers increasing.Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts said the Department for Education (DfE) must “get their act together” and “address a sector facing increasing financial challenges faster than the Department of Health have”.The National Audit Office (NAO) announced that mainstream schools need to find savings of £3 billion by 2019-20, while immigration continues to drive the numbers of pupils up.A report titled Financial Sustainability of Schools, published by the NAO on Wednesday, predicts that both the number of students and the cost of educating each student will rise over the next five years. Figures released earlier this year by  Government’s chief statistician,John Pullinger, showed that almost 700,000 school-aged children – one in 15 pupils nationally – have a parent who is a citizen of another European country.The number of school-aged children arriving in the UK from Europe reached a record 25,000 in a single year, the research also showed.The NAO report said the DfE should move faster to set out how it envisages achieving the £3 billion of savings by 2019-20 and give schools information and support to do so.A DfE spokesman said: “We want schools to have the resources they need, and through our careful management of the economy we have been able to protect the core schools budget in real terms.” The National Audit Office announced that mainstream schools need to find savings of £3 billion by 2019-20Credit:Angela Hampton Picture Library / Alamy Amyas Morse, head of the NAO said the efficiency savings must be made by schools “against a background of growing pupil numbers and a real-terms reduction in funding per pupil”.The NAO said on Wednesday: “The department believes that schools can finance high standards by making savings and operating more efficiently. However, it has not yet completed its work to develop tools and advice to help schools secure crucial procurement and workforce savings.”It is clearly reasonable for the department to look to schools to make efficiencies, but it is important to understand the implications of this method of doing so.”The definite part of the department’s approach is that real-terms funding per pupil will drop over the coming years; the uncertain part is how schools are able to respond based on their particular circumstances.”The watchdog added: “Until more progress is made, we cannot conclude that the department’s approach to managing the risks to schools’ financial sustainability is effective and providing value for money.” The National Audit Office announced that mainstream schools need to find savings of £3 billion by 2019-20 The NAO report said the DfE should move faster to set out how it envisages achieving the £3 billion of savings by 2019-20 Credit: Eyebyte / Alamycenter_img However, teaching unions warned that children’s education would be jeopardised by such stringent budgets.Kevin Courtney, General Secretary at the National Union of Teachers, said this represents the “biggest real terms cuts to school funding in a generation”.Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT added that “budgets are being pushed beyond breaking point”.Adrian Prandle, from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “Parents, pupils and politicians will be shocked to hear the Department for Education is still in special measures for its approach to public money.”Taxpayers as well as teachers are being let down when there is not effective management of the risks to schools’ financial stability nor value for money.” 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 NAO report said the DfE should move faster to set out how it envisages achieving the £3 billion of savings by 2019-20  Budgets are being pushed beyond breaking pointRussell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHTlast_img read more


Child 14 accidentally left behind on school trip to London while the

first_imgThe Newcastle city centre school is for pupils aged 13-19 and specialises in science, technology, engineering and maths. There is no excuse for what was a serious error on our behalfPrincipal Gareth Rowe A headteacher has apologised after a teenager was left alone in London following a school trip as the rest of the group headed back to Newcastle on the train.The Discovery School has said there was “no excuse” for the serious error and that it will change its policies to make sure it does not happen again.The pupil immediately alerted station staff at King’s Cross and was put on the next service north, accompanied by train staff in First Class, and was met by a teacher in York. According to reports, four teachers were accompanying the pupils on the field trip to the capital.Principal Gareth Rowe said: “He was never in any danger as he had the presence of mind to immediately let station personnel know what had happened.”He was put on the next train and looked after by the guards in first class until he could be reunited with his teacher in York.”However, there is no excuse for what was a serious error on our behalf.”Our first priority is always the safety of our pupils and obviously this incident highlights a failure in our processes which will now be reviewed and amended so this can never ever happen again.” 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.last_img read more