Posts for September 2019

How LeBron James Disassembled the Nets

Heading into Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets, LeBron James had been laying low. The Miami Heat had been playing so well that they hadn’t had to call on James for peak production. But Monday night, he put together an offensive performance of monstrous proportions: James made two-thirds of his shots from the field and 14 of 19 free throws, piling up 49 points and tying his playoff career-high. The Heat now lead the series 3-1.James had just two assists; he did most of the heavy lifting himself, and he did it by getting inside the defense. In addition to those 19 free-throw attempts, James was 11 of 12 on shots in the restricted area. Half of his 24 shots from the field came at the rim.NBA.com’s SportVU Player Tracking statistics can help us quantify how often James drove to the basket and how effective he was once there. The table below shows his driving statistics in the regular season, in the playoffs through Game 3 of the Nets series and in Monday night’s Game 4. SportVU defines drives as any non-fastbreak touch that starts at least 20 feet from the hoop and is dribbled by a player to within 10 feet of the hoop. The points per drive include all points generated on his drives, so this would include a drive where James kicks it out to an open shooter or even a drive where the ball is swung around the perimeter two or three times before a shot is taken.On Monday, James drove the ball more than twice as often as he has per game in the 2014 playoffs and significantly more often than he did in the regular season. The points generated off his drives were in line with the rest of his playoff performance and just a hair above his regular-season average. But every point generated on his drives Monday night was scored by James. Those drives weren’t for the purpose of bending the defense to create openings for his teammates; they were to score points.Enormous point totals and absurd levels of efficiency have become the norm for James, but we saw him at the height of his powers — hyper-aggressive, bullying his way to the rim with a combination of power and speed, finishing with feathery grace. We haven’t seen much of this James in these playoffs because the Heat haven’t needed him. But he can still appear at any moment, and that doesn’t bode well for Brooklyn or the rest of the league. read more

Antron Brown 1st Black To Win Major AutoRacing Title

Antron Brown became the first African American in major auto-racing history to win a major title, claiming the NHRA Top Fuel championship Sunday.Brown held a 70-point lead in drag racing going into the day and was able to hold on to that advantage even as he lost his race first-round when his car caught fire, burning his hands.He had to stand and watch the final round with bandages on his hands, knowing his Don Schumacher Racing teammate, seven-time champion Tony Schumacher, would take the title from him if he won the match up with Brandon Bernstein in the Auto Club Finals. Schamacher lost, giving Brown the historic championship.“I never really thought about it that way,” Brown said of being the first black to win an auto  title. “But if I can be an inspiration to any kids out there, as a guy who never settled and never doubted myself, that’s great.”Bernstein won the final by inches on a holeshot (slower elapsed time but better reaction time at the start) to deny Schumacher and make Brown the champion. Bernstein reached the finish line in 3.76 seconds at 320 miles per hour, edging Schumacher’s 3.75 elapsed time at 325 mph.“You don’t wish nothing bad on anybody,” Brown said. “Tony has been my biggest supporter since Day 1. He has helped me leaps and bounds along the way. Tony’s a class act. I’m just beside myself. I feel so blessed to be in this moment.”Said Schumacher: “It’s a terrible way to lose, but there’s no good way to lose. They gave me a great car that got to the end, but the win light didn’t come on. I’m sure Antron is back there celebrating. He will be a great champion.”Brown suffered minor burns on his hands when the engine on his dragster caught fire in a first-round loss Sunday at the Auto Club Finals.“It’s just a little first-degree burns on my hands,” Brown said after leaving the track care center. “It was tough outing. We were just going for it. I don’t know what went wrong with the car yet, just a rough mishap.”Brown quickly climbed out of the car when flames came in the cockpit. His fire suit was singed as he pulled it off to his waist. Brown was walking around on the track before an ambulance took him to the care center.Brown lost in the opening round to DSR teammate Spencer Massey, who also was trying to win the championship. Massey had to win the opening round to keep his hopes alive. Massey lost in the second round to Bernstein, who is one of Brown’s closest friends.He watched and he won in the end, making history as the first black champion. read more

Redskins Make Robert Griffin III An Offensive Team Captain

Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins’ mercurial rookie quarterback, returned to practice after a few days off feeling revived, he said. He also picked up a rare title for a first-year player: captain.The Redskins’ offensive players voted Wednesday to make their quarterback a team captain for the rest of the season. Coach Mike Shanahan said he believes it’s the first time he’s had a rookie in such a leadership position. But Griffin’s appointment speaks to his position on the team and the leadership acumen he has displayed since arriving to the Redskins.And he said he does not see the new responsibilities as a burden.“You just know that everybody’s looking at me to be the guy, to make everything work,” Griffin said. “To me, that’s not pressure. But I just echo it to everyone else that it’s not just me. People will say it’s me and I’ll get all the blame and all the fame, but it’s the guys around me that make me great.”Shanahan — who is in the news because he had money and his passport stolen from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room when they played there almost two weeks ago — typically lets his players vote for an initial set of captains before the season, then takes another vote around the midpoint of the schedule. Griffin joins left tackle Trent Williams as the captains on offense.Griffin the few days “to get away from the familiar” during the bye week has replenished him. He insists the playoffs remain a realistic goal for the Redskins (3-6), who face the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, because the rest of the NFC East also has been struggling.“I came back even hungrier,” he said. “I thought I was hungry before the bye week. You come back and you realize just how much more energy you have, just having that week off.”He certainly didn’t lose his creativity. For practice, Griffin wore a red shoe on his left foot and a white shoe on the right foot.“In college I used to wear a white shoe and a black shoe,” Griffin said. “And the whole message is everybody’s working together. Wednesday, Thursday, the shoes will be different — and Friday we bring it all together and get ready for Sunday.” read more

Send Alex Gordon

It would have been close. Alex Gordon might have scored, particularly if he’d been in the mindset to do so all along. Or maybe not. I’m sure there will be Zapruder-film-type breakdowns, and I’ll look forward to seeing them. It would have been one hell of a moment: Gordon, 220 pounds, who looks like he could have been a strong safety at the University of Nebraska, bearing down on Buster Posey, the catcher whose season-ending injury in 2011 helped inspire baseball’s home-plate collisions rule.Your browser does not support iframes.Game 7 will leave us with that sense of what might have been. Partly because it involved the Kansas City Royals, who were making their first World Series appearance since 1985. But mostly I’m referring to that penultimate play: When Gordon hit what was officially scored as a single and wound up on third base because of defensive miscues by San Francisco Giants outfielders Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez. It seemed to take an eternity — it was actually just 13 seconds — but I was surprised that Gordon wasn’t rounding third base by the time the TV cameras returned to the infield.Here’s what I know: Gordon should have tried to score even if he was a heavy underdog to make it. It would have been the right move if he was safe even 30 percent of the time.Between 1969 and 1992 — I’m using this period because it better approximates baseball’s current run-scoring environment than the offensive bubble of the 1990s and aughts — a runner scored from third base with two outs about 27 percent of the time, according to the tables at Tangotiger.com. We should probably round that down a bit in this example. The Royals had Salvador Perez at the plate — a league-average hitter — and the light-hitting Mike Moustakas due up after that.More importantly, they were facing Madison Bumgarner. That Bumgarner had been so dominant in the World Series is not as relevant as you might think. There’s extremely little evidence for a “hot hand” in pitching: In-game performance tells you next to nothing about how the pitcher will fare in future at-bats. Instead, you should look toward longer-term averages. Still, I feel comfortable asserting that Bumgarner was an above-average pitcher at that moment: Certainly not the first guy you’d want to have on the mound if you were the opponent. So let’s round that 27 percent down to 25 percent.So, Gordon should have tried to score if he had even a 25 percent chance of being safe?It’s just a touch more complicated than that. With the Royals down 3-2, Gordon represented the tying run rather than the winning run. If he’s thrown out at home, the game’s over; it forecloses on the possibility of Perez scoring as the winning run, like with a walk-off homer. What was the probability of that? Perez homered in about 3 percent of his plate appearances this season, but he could also have scored in other ways — by doubling, for example, and then scoring on a base hit by Moustakas. We can turn to Tangotiger’s tables again, which suggest that a league-average batter has about a 6 percent chance (I’m rounding down slightly) of eventually scoring from home with two outs.So, after Gordon holds at third, he has a 25 percent chance of scoring. Six percent of the time, Perez (or pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson?) also scores, and the Royals win outright. The other 19 percent of the time, Gordon is the only Royal to score in the ninth and the game goes to extra innings. If we assume the Royals are even money to prevail in an extra-inning game, their chances of winning at that point are:6% + (19% * 50%)That works out to 15.5 percent. Not coincidentally, this matches FanGraphs’ in-game win probability for the Royals (after Gordon held at third) almost exactly.What if Gordon rounds third and tries to score? If he’s successful even 30 percent of the time, the Royals’ win probability is at least 15 percent — a 30 percent chance of Gordon scoring, multiplied by a 50 percent chance of the Royals winning in extra innings. But it’s slightly higher than that. The 30 percent of the time that Gordon scores, Perez still has his 6 percent chance of scoring the winning run in the ninth. That brings the Royals’ overall win probability up to about 16 percent.We’re splitting hairs. The point is that if even Gordon had been a 2-to-1 underdog to score, he should have tried.These decisions can be counterintuitive. Sometimes a strategy that’s successful less than 50 percent of the time — like splitting eights in blackjack — is still the right move because the alternative is even worse. In this case, the alternative involved trying to score against Bumgarner with your catcher at the plate and two outs, and then having to prevail in extra innings.It would have made for one of the best plays in baseball history. We’re talking about the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the World Series: Even a sacrifice fly can be thrilling under those circumstances. But this would have been in a league with Bill Mazeroski and Kirk Gibson and Bill Buckner: under serious consideration for the greatest play of all-time. (The play already had a little Buckner in it, with Blanco’s and Perez’s misplays in the outfield.)Unlike any of those moments, it would have involved an incredibly gutsy decision. It’s an extraordinary play if Gordon scores. It’s an extraordinary play if there’s a collision at home plate — and baseball needs to decide whether to invoke the “Buster Posey Rule.”And if Gordon were thrown out, it would have been the most extraordinary way to lose a game in the history of baseball.CORRECTION (Oct. 30, 11:14 a.m.): A previous version of this article misstated the first name of a Kansas City Royals catcher. He is Salvador Perez, not Santiago Perez. read more

Can The Rams And Chiefs Get Revenge In Their Championship Game Rematches

NO64%NO70%NO 20, PHI 14+0.0 How Elo sees the conference championships playing outWin probabilities for Week 20 games according to two methods: standard Elo and adjusting for starting quarterbacks Interestingly, each conference championship is also a rematch: The Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in Week 6, while the Saints topped the Rams 45-35 in Week 9. These kind of rematches are more common than we might think — from the advent of the modern playoff format in 1990 through last season, 63 percent of conference championship games featured teams who’d faced off at least once during the regular season.2If not twice previously, as in the cases of the 1992 Bills and Dolphins, 1999 Titans and Jaguars, 2008 Steelers and Ravens, 2010 Packers and Bears, and 2013 Seahawks and 49ers. And how predictive was the original game? Over the same period of time, the winner of the earlier contest (or contests) also won the conference championship game 63 percent of the time320 times in 32 tries. (excluding cases in which teams played twice beforehand and split the first two matchups).So what lessons can the Rams and Chiefs glean from those regular-season games against the same opponents to try to avoid a second loss? Let’s look at what went wrong the most for them in the earlier matchup. One way to do that is through expected points added (EPA)4Adjusted for home-field advantage. — specifically, in what area of the game (looking at pass defense, rushing offense, kicking, etc.) did the Rams and Chiefs most underperform their per-game average for the rest of the season? These are where each teams could focus on to try to generate a different result:Chiefs’ key area for improvement: Run defense (-1.47 standard deviations from season average vs. NE)Kansas City shouldn’t feel too bad about the earlier contest, in which they played the Patriots close to a standstill in Foxborough — especially since, by contrast, Sunday’s game will be held at Arrowhead Stadium. KC only lost on a last-second field goal, was outgained by just 54 yards, and even led New England with as little as 5:25 to go in the game. Patrick Mahomes threw for 352 yards with a 110.0 passer rating,5Or an 88.3, if you want to use the better version of passer rating we laid out here. although the Chiefs offense was held below its usual EPA output despite a big game (185 scrimmage yards) from the now-departed Kareem Hunt. But if the Chiefs get to 40 points again, particularly in the frigid weather forecasted for Sunday, there probably won’t be many complaints about the offense.The bigger concern for KC might be about its ability to contain New England’s stable of running backs, who generated 173 yards (and 8.9 expected points) on the ground in the first meeting. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel ran for 72 of his 106 yards before first contact in the game — reminiscent of the 70 yards before contact (and 129 overall) he racked up on the Chargers last week. The Patriots then preyed on Kansas City’s inability to stop the run by using play action, where Tom Brady had 140 yards and a season-high 10 completions. The Chiefs are not known for their defense, but even by their standards, the previous meeting was a struggle. Perhaps the presence of KC playmakers such as linebacker Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry (maybe), both of whom missed the earlier contest, will make a difference this time around?Other areas for KC to improve: Penalties (-1.32); passing offense (-0.45); punting (-0.35) KC66KC63KC 31, IND 13-12.3– Perhaps not coincidentally, the four teams that are still standing are the same ones we’ve been talking about most of the season. As early as Week 8 (roughly midseason), the only teams with double-digit Super Bowl odds in our Elo model were … the Chiefs, Patriots, Rams and Saints. Rarely do all of the front-runners advance this far across the board, so we really will be treated to the cream of the crop this weekend. Here’s what Elo (both the classic version from above and one with our experimental quarterback adjustments) predicts for each game: PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS As has been the case all season, it was another rough week for readers picking against Elo. The readers broke even on the Saints’ win over the Eagles but lost big elsewhere, including getting penalized for a lack of confidence in both the Chiefs and Patriots at home. (In retrospect, was it really that hard to see the Patriots coming out and dominating the travel-weary Chargers in a place where they hadn’t lost a playoff game in over 2,100 days?)Anyway, congratulations to reader “Ellis,” who leads all users in the postseason with 276.4 points, and to Neil Mehta for another week in first place on the season, this time checking in with 1,275.9 points. Thanks to everyone who has been playing — and the game isn’t over yet! You should keep making picks and trying your luck against Elo throughout the playoffs. Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. LAR1648361636Jared Goff+737 Check out our latest NFL predictions. NE58NE53NE 41, LAC 28-17.0– Home teams are in bold.Elo quarterback adjustments are relative to average, based on a rolling average of defense-adjusted QB stats (including rushing).Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com After a wild-card weekend marked by upsets, the NFL’s divisional round restored order to the playoffs: The home team won in all four matchups — only the second time that’s happened this decade.1The other was in 2015-16. The resulting conference championship games — Rams vs. Saints and Patriots vs. Chiefs — could be explosive affairs. They feature the four highest-scoring offenses in the NFL this season and a very evenly-matched “final four” that could go down as one of the most exciting ever.You can see some of this using our Elo ratings, which measure the strength of every NFL team from history at any given moment. If you want a conference-championship round in which every game meets a certain threshold of both quality and competitiveness, few fields since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger can match this season’s quartet: LAR66LAR68LAR 30, DAL 22-3.6– OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of divisional weekendAverage difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 19 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game NE1662391618Tom Brady+4738 There are plenty of other storylines to watch, of course, including a potential passing of the quarterback torch from zombie geezers Brady and Brees to young guns Mahomes and Goff. Add everything up, and it should make for one of the most entertaining pair of games we’ve seen all season, with a couple of tickets to Super Bowl LIII on the line.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersAs you’re following the playoff action, please be sure to check out FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions, which use our Elo ratings to simulate the rest of the postseason 100,000 times, tracking how likely each team is to advance to the Super Bowl. You can also pick playoff contests against the Elo algorithm in our prediction game and keep climbing up our giant leaderboard.According to data from the game, here’s how readers did against the computer last weekend: TeamRatingWin Prob.Base RtgStarting QBQB Adj.Win Prob. KC167561%1642Patrick Mahomes+3962% NO1682641619Drew Brees+4963 Standard EloQB-Adjusted Elo Rams’ key area for improvement: Pass defense (-2.17 standard deviations from season average vs. NO)Way back in November, the Saints never trailed as they handed Los Angeles its first loss of the season, humbling the Rams’ star-studded defense with its worst performance of the entire year. Now New Orleans will try to make it 2-for-2 against L.A. at home in the Superdome, and the Rams will have a tough time preventing that fate if they can’t slow down Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and the Saints’ passing attack.Brees had 346 yards, 4 touchdowns and a 137.0 passer rating against L.A., with Thomas gaining an incredible 211 yards on 12 receptions. It was the Rams’ third-worst game of the season in terms of generating pressure on an opposing quarterback, and Brees got a season-high 2.45 seconds of time in the pocket per pass, according to ESPN Stats & Info despite facing a blitz 36.8 percent of the time. Against a Rams team that thrives on pressuring the QB6L.A.’s defense ranked second to the Jaguars this season in pressures per dropback. and forcing mistakes,7They were also tied for third in total interceptions. the extra time that Brees had to survey the defense and pick it apart was devastating. The same could be said for Thomas’s ability to gain extra yards after the catch; according to NFL Next-Gen Stats, Thomas picked up 8.7 YAC per reception, or 3.8 more than would be expected based on player-tracking data. (It’s worth noting that Thomas also had a monster game last week against the Eagles, hauling in 12 catches for 171 yards, so Brees might be primed to go back to him in heavy doses this week.) Cornerback Marcus Peters was the closest defender on the majority of Thomas’s catches back in November, so his performance Sunday may go a long way toward determining whether the Rams fare better the second time around.Other areas for L.A. to improve: Rushing offense (-1.07); penalties (-0.50); field goals (-0.16) read more

Mens gymnastics No 3 Buckeyes to compete in Winter Cup Thursday Saturday

OSU redshirt junior Sean Melton prepares for his parallel bars routine, chalking up the bars for better grip. Melton and the Buckeyes competed against the Michigan Wolverines at the St. John Arena on Feb. 4. Credit: Aaron Tomich | For The LanternFour Buckeyes will compete in the 2017 Winter Cup, including former gymnast and current director of operations Drew Moling, redshirt junior Sean Melton, sophomore Alec Yoder and future Buckeye and high-school senior Max Andryushchenko. The competition will take place on Thursday with finals on Saturday in the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.The scheduled times of the Winter Cup vary per athlete. Andryushchenko will compete at 4 p.m. ET while Melton, Yoder and Moling compete at 9:30 p.m. ET on Thursday. Finals will take place on Saturday at 10:15 p.m. ET.Performances at the Winter Cup will determine which 15 athletes, country-wide, will join the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team. Following the two-day competition, the top-four ranked all-around athletes will automatically qualify.The Men’s Program Committee selects up to 11 more gymnasts participating in the Winter Cup and members of the 2016 US Olympic team, including alternates, to keep their spot on the national team provided they earn qualifying national scores both days of the competition.After the 2016 Winter Cup, Melton was placed in U.S. Senior National Team following his third-place performance in all-around. Melton posted an overall score of 174.500, finishing behind three-time U.S. all-around champion Sam Mikulak (177.450) and 2015 NCAA all-around champion Akash Modi (175.300) from Stanford.Although he is still recovering from a wrist injury sustained during the 2016 preseason, Melton has not backed down and is ready to hit the floor again.“I’m going out there and showing all the USA committee that I’m back and I’m recovering. I’m not 100 percent back, but I’m getting there and I’ve improved on events that I’m doing,” Melton said. “I’m in good shape, and they could use me on Team USA to compete and help represent our country. I’m just excited to show what I’ve been working on since trial — and that I never gave up.”Yoder finished ninth overall in the 2016 Winter Cup, with a score of 170.700. He was placed in the all-around top-10 at the competition in the past two seasons — an eighth-place performance in 2015 placed him on the U.S. Senior National Team.“I’m looking forward to just getting out there again and competing,” Yoder said. “That’s why I do this sport. I do it because it’s fun and I do it because it’s what I love.”Moling, the current director of operations for the team, was 23rd overall with a combined all-around total of 162.750. Moling finished 16th on both rings (28.550) and high bar (27.850) at the 2016 Winter Cup.“After this meet, I’ll be done as this is the last one of my career,” Moling said. “I competed at this competition last year … and I did pretty well here; it qualified me to compete at the P&G Championship which is in the summer. Since I competed at the P&G, that pre-qualified me to compete at the Winter Cup this week. I figured I might as well come out and have one last competition.”According to the all-around placements and Men’s Program Committee’s points ranking system, the top 42 gymnasts will advance to the final competition along with the top-three gymnasts of each event. The all-around and individual event champions will be determined by their combined two-day score.OSU enters the week ranked No. 3 in the College Gymnastics Association (CGA) National Rankings, with the No. 3 average all-around score in the nation and a No. 1 ranking on pommel horse with an average score of 69.575. read more

Ohio State quarterbacks brothers on and off the field

Cody Cousino / For The LanternThen-sophomore Braxton Miller looks for an open receiver during a game against Wisconsin on Nov. 17, 2012 at Camp Randall Stadium. OSU won, 21-14.When he was told a teammate struck a Heisman pose after he was asked about expectations for the quarterback’s season, Braxton Miller responded with a sheepish chuckle.The junior Ohio State signal caller then brushed off a question about whether him being a preseason Heisman favorite is discussed much among his peers.“They don’t talk about it at all,” Miller said, with a smile. “If they see it on ESPN they might mention it to me if they see me walking down the hallway or something, but they don’t really bring it up.”After being an integral part of an undefeated 2012 Buckeye campaign that saw Miller gain a school record 3,310 total yards of offense, finish fifth in the Heisman voting and be named the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year, lofty expectations have been hard to avoid.Coach Urban Meyer has not been shy about expressing his gratification toward his quarterback’s progression in fall camp.“Braxton’s worked very hard. I’m very impressed,” Meyer said Aug. 11 at OSU Media Day. “Him and (offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach) Tom Herman (have) got something really special going on right now. You can see it on the field. You can see his maturity.”That maturity is helping Herman sleep better at night, mainly because of how much better Miller understands the offensive concepts.“He’s head and shoulders better than he was, and farther ahead,” Herman said after practice Aug. 19. “I’m not saying he’s a finished product by any stretch of the imagination, but he does make coming to work a little bit easier knowing that he is progressing the way that he is.”The 20-year-old Huber Heights, Ohio, product ran for 1,271 yards last season, finishing fourth in the Big Ten, and putting his body in harm’s way multiple times with mixed results. Miller was banged up a few times throughout the year, most notably during the Purdue game.At the end of a 37-yard run during the third quarter of OSU’s 29-22 overtime victory, Miller was slammed to the turf, sustaining injuries to his head, neck and shoulder.He would not return.Enter in cool as can be then-redshirt junior Kenny Guiton, asked to be the savior to preserve the Buckeyes’ perfect season.A career backup, Guiton threw an interception in the fourth quarter before rallying the troops for one final drive, tying the game, then winning it in the extra session to run OSU’s record to 8-0.Guiton said fans thank him from time to time for his efforts in the Purdue game, but would like to give something else back.“I do get thanked a lot, and it’s pretty crazy because I want to thank Ohio for giving me this opportunity,” he said, referring to getting a chance to play at OSU. “It’s pretty cool to be out and every once in a while someone notices me.”Guiton said the thought of leaving OSU has popped into head from time to time from being a career backup, but is happy where he’s at and is here to stay.“Sometimes it comes up in my head, what if, what if I did this or that,” Guiton said. “But I’m here, I’m happy I came here, it’s a lot of fun. I’m happy with everything going on.”After being asked if he would be comfortable if Guiton needed to take the field in the event that Miller could not play, Herman wasted no time saying “without a doubt,” even though Guiton’s arm may not be as strong as Miller’s.“The big knock on him was that he had all the intangibles that you could ask for of a leader, of a quarterback, knew the offense inside and out, he’s a coach on the field,” Herman said. “But he just didn’t quite have the quick release and velocity on his ball. He makes up for maybe some of that deficiency with his leadership, his anticipation. He’s a rock in my meeting room.”Herman said his backup QB would be the starter for “at least” half Division I programs in the country.“His velocity might hinder his ability to do that but at the same time all those intangibles are something that you can’t overlook,” Herman said. “We’re blessed to have him. I’ve been a lot of places throughout my career that we would have been doing jumping jacks and cartwheels down the hallway if he was our starting quarterback.”Miller called Guiton his “big brother,” and said their relationship extends beyond the field.“We got a mutual respect outside of football, too,” Miller said. Referencing when his injury occurred during the Purdue game and he was carted off, Miller said his “big brother” looked him straight in the eye with one message: “I got you, man.”Herman said he has never asked Guiton if he is frustrated with being the backup, but spoke of a time during fall camp where the QB from Houston was asked how he was going to help the team in 2013.“He said, ‘I’m going to push No. 5, I’m going to be the best teammate, leader and coach on the field. I’m going to coach No. 5 like I’m a coach,’” Herman said. “It tugs at your heart strings a little bit, how selfless he is.”Guiton said if he is called on again, he will be ready.“My mentality is just whenever I get a shot I want to come out on top,” he said. “I want to be able to go out there and keep the offense’s tempo up and do the best things that can keep this offense going.”Should the chance arise where he would get more crucial playing time like last year, Guiton’s response to the possibility was simple and confident.“I hope so. We’ll see.” read more

Commentary For LaQuinton Ross 201314 an opportunity to be the guy

Then-sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross looks on during a game against Iona March 22 at University of Dayton Arena. OSU won, 95-70. Credit: Lantern file photoOhio State men’s basketball junior forward LaQuinton Ross looks to have more of a role this season for the Buckeyes, and if OSU wants to repeat its recent performances in March Madness, the team will need him.The 6-foot-8-inch Jackson, Miss., native is expected to be a key contributor this year after spending most of last season as a reserve. Although Ross didn’t really emerge as a contributor until the Buckeyes’ run to the Elite 8, scoring 53 points in 61 minutes during the tournament, he’s always had the potential to be a star.Ross, the 43rd best player coming out of the 2011 recruiting class according to rivals.com, ran into academic problems that forced him to sit out the majority of his freshman season. He officially joined the team in December 2011 and played sparingly, averaging just two points per game.During his sophomore season, Ross played in all 37 of the team’s games and averaged 8.3 points per contest, showing flashes of exceptional play when he got the chance. Against then-No.3 Michigan Feb. 5, Ross scored 16 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. He followed that performance with 11 points against then-No. 1 Indiana at home Feb. 10.His career high came against Northern Kentucky Dec. 1, when he scored 22 points on 8-12 shooting.Although Ross was proficient during the regular season, he really made an impact in the NCAA Tournament, where he averaged 15 points per game and made some huge shots. The most notable of those was his game winning 3-pointer to beat Arizona in the Sweet 16. He finished that game with 17 points.With the departure of last year’s leading scorer Deshaun Thomas (19.8 points per game), the Buckeyes will need someone to replace him. Ross certainly has the ability to be just that guy. read more

Football 2019 fourstar offensive lineman Harry Miller commits to Ohio State

Ohio State added another player to its 2019 recruiting class Sunday when four-star offensive lineman Harry Miller announced his commitment to the Buckeyes over teams such as Clemson and Georgia.Due to unforeseen circumstances our mission team is currently unable to travel to Nicaragua. I was planning on making this announcement with the kids from our school, but I am excited to announce I have committed to THE Ohio State University.#GoBucks#PrayForNica @Mission4Nica pic.twitter.com/CyZfRCaRGD— Harry Miller (@harrymiller76) June 10, 2018He is the No. 36 player in the country according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He also is the No. 2 center in the nation as well as the No. 8 2019 prospect in Georgia. Miller is the third offensive lineman that has committed to Ohio State in the 2019 class, joining four-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby and four-star offensive tackle Doug Nester. Miller is the first lineman in the Buckeyes’ class that plays primarily on the inside. Playing center for Buford High School in Buford, Georgia, Miller is one of seven 2019 recruits in the 2019 class that are not from Ohio. He also is one of two from Georgia, with four-star outside linebacker/running back Steele Chambers hailing from Roswell, Georgia. read more

Kingston bus fire Dramatic moment doubledecker is engulfed by flames on busy

first_imgThe back of the number 371 bus is engulfed by bright orange flamesCredit:MPSKingston/ PA Kingston bus LondonAmbulance Service staff were at the scene to treat people for possible smoke inhalation, but no one was believed to have been seriously injured.Police, firefighters and ambulance crews were called to tackle flames on the number 371 bus near the Guildhall/Rose Theatre at just after 9am. Bus fire in Kingston. No one hurt luckily. pic.twitter.com/l51VlpC6ZB— Nelson (@asnelson100) December 2, 2016 Crews are currently dealing with a bus alight in #Kingston https://t.co/iM0aVCb4bQ © @___hannahrose pic.twitter.com/y2xqTBk4Jj— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) December 2, 2016 Bus fire now out @LondonFire did a great job – no casualties 👍 pic.twitter.com/J8yQskix0G— Kingston Police (@MPSKingston) December 2, 2016 Bus fire in Kingston pic.twitter.com/t78eCmyQgi— david luff (@davidluff555) December 2, 2016 Tony Akers, Transport for London’s Head of Bus Operations, said: “There will be a full investigation into the incident.” Kingston bus fire Local residents were evacuated as a precaution over fears the bus would explode amid the blaze that sent a plume of dark grey smoke funnelling into the sky.But London Fire Brigade (LFB) said the fire was under control at just after 10am. The cause is currently unknown. Currently dealing with a bus fire on High Street, Kingston – please stay away pic.twitter.com/OTU1FtyRWr— Kingston Police (@MPSKingston) December 2, 2016center_img Another view from the police station of the bus fire in #Kingston pic.twitter.com/OW4I0a5UtF— Kingston Police (@MPSKingston) December 2, 2016 An LFB spokesman said: “A double decker bus was well alight when firefighters arrived at the scene.The driver left the bus before the arrival of the brigade and was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by London Ambulance Service crews before being taken to hospital.” Forget Christmas decorations – if you want to get a crowd in Kingston set fire to a bus pic.twitter.com/Wi1B6hbGtG— Robin Hutchinson MBE (@LordScroley) December 2, 2016 Speaking at about 10am, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Local residents have been evacuated as a safety precaution.”The road remains closed. Motorists are advised to avoid the area.”Passers-by posted pictures on Twitter of the burnt-out shell of the blackened bus, as smoke rose from the wreckage. Pictures shared on social media showed the back of the double-decker engulfed in bright orange flames.The LFB said the driver escaped before crews from two fire engines arrived, but was treated for breathing in smoke. 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. Bus passengers had a miraculous escape after a double-decker burst into flames in the middle of a town centre.Smoke began pouring from the vehicle as it pulled into a stop in Kingston, south-west London, on Friday morning.Moments later, it erupted into a fireball on the busy High Street during rush-hour. Witness Martin Delaney, who arrived on the scene as firefighters had got the blaze under control, said the scene was “pretty chaotic”.Mr Delaney, who shared photos of the burnt-out bus with wires hanging from its rear, added: “The road was taped off, there were acrid burning smells, local shops’ fire alarms or smoke detectors had been triggered – it was quite a mess.” A plume of dark grey smoke was sent pouring into the sky above south-west LondonCredit:Hannah Page/PAlast_img read more