If it takes a village to raise a child, for playwright Taylor Mac, it took a community to develop an otherworldly theater piece.While it’s not exactly a cast of thousands, more than 30 people, including four Harvard undergraduates, take the stage in the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.) production of “The Lily’s Revenge,” described by The Boston Globe as “a five-act phantasmagoria.”“If Busby Berkeley had dropped acid while watching ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse,’ ” wrote Globe theater critic Don Aucoin, “the result might have been ‘The Lily’s Revenge.’ ’’The Obie-winning play, at Oberon through Oct. 28, includes elements of film and Noh, a Japanese art form that fuses drama, music, and dance. Mac does double duty, also starring as the flower searching for love and understanding. The show’s run at the A.R.T. marks the first time students will be involved with the production. But their inclusion, said the playwright-actor, fits with his master plan and the work’s operating ethos.“For me, it’s really important that ‘Lily’ utilizes all different kinds of people from all different walks of life and theatrical backgrounds … to accommodate its different genres, and styles and forms,” said Mac. In addition, Harvard students who don’t have access to an undergraduate major in dramatic arts, he said, can “experience the history of our craft. Just by being in one play, they can get a little dose of everything.”Two Harvard undergraduates are cast members, another helped produce the play’s three interactive intermissions, and another created an animated film for the play’s fourth act. Mac said he was impressed by the students’ dedication and by how they “jumped right in and were game for anything.”One student who was ready to try his creative hand at something new was senior Josh McTaggart, the production’s kyogen associate. Mac incorporated kyogens — short, comic pieces with close ties to Japanese Noh theater — into the show’s three intermissions. The breaks consist of informal interactions between the audience and the performers: Audience members can get a massage from one of the actors in a chair in the lobby, or go backstage and chat with performers. In the men’s room, one actor, who is also a professor at Wellesley College, delivers a lecture about the show using the bathroom’s mirror as his chalkboard.McTaggart, a regular on the Harvard dramatic scene since his freshman days, began working on the show at the start of the semester, meeting with actors in rehearsals to help flesh out ideas. Later, during the show’s technical week, he spent close to six hours a day helping to perfect the dynamic intermissions.“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said McTaggart of the show’s organic nature and community feel. The production reinforced his notion, he said, that theater is “all about connections with people, building a community, building a collaborative environment, and really understanding how to work with other people.”Although working on the play made for some late-night study sessions and hectic priority shuffling as McTaggart prepared for midterm exams and the opening of the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club’s production of “Sweeney Todd,” which he is directing, he wouldn’t have missed it.“It’s reminded me of the joy of working collaboratively with people of all ages, experiences, and interests … and it has inspired me to want to go on and do projects that bring people together from different disciplines.”For Shira Milikowsky, the show’s director, the only drawback when working with students concerned those pesky little things called classes.“I wish they were free during the day,” said Milikowsky, with a laugh. But reworking rehearsal schedules was a small price to pay, acknowledged the director, who regularly encouraged feedback and suggestions from her young performers and creative team, and who enjoyed watching them interact with Mac’s diverse cast.“It’s just really exciting to see the undergraduates collaborating with the A.R.T. Institute students, collaborating with (A.R.T. veteran) Tommy Derrah, collaborating with equity actors, collaborating with local Boston performers. It’s fun to watch their brains interact.”One of those many collaborators is Lily Glimcher ’14.A psychology concentrator with a secondary concentration in dramatic arts, Glimcher described her character as a “deranged flower girl who follows her instinct … without any forethought.” She called working on the production “undeniably the best learning theatrical experience of my life.”During a recent rehearsal, the junior practiced a scene that required her to flop on the floor, her legs and arms entwined with a half-dozen actors and actresses doing the same. “Does everybody know where their body parts are going?” asked choreographer Ara Glenn-Johanson. Glimcher responded with a smile and a nod.Receiving feedback from the A.R.T. Institute students, watching professional actors hone their craft, drawing inspiration from Mac’s “energy, joy, passion,” and collaborating with Glenn-Johanson to develop dance movements for the third act’s ballet have been vital parts of the experience, said Glimcher.“The whole process,” she said, “has been about creating something magical together.”Colm Dubhrosa, a visual and environmental studies concentrator, helped to produce an entirely different type of creative element for the show. For almost three months, he worked closely with Milikowsky to develop and refine a 10-minute animated film based on elements of Japanese Noh theater for the play’s fourth act.Dubhrosa used 3-D animation software known as Maya to create the piece, which charts the lily’s efforts to transform itself into an alluring groom for a human bride. The senior said he was surprised at how much autonomy he was given with the project.“Right from the start, Shira was extremely encouraging about me taking my own initiative and making exactly what I wanted to make. I was stunned by how cooperative and how willing she was to encourage me to do what I wanted to do.”But what Dubhrosa loved most was working closely with others.“To make anything substantive you have to cooperate with other people. For me, the most worthwhile part of this experience was learning how to get your own ideas out but at the same time cooperating.”
France’s Thibaut Pinot raises his fist in victory after stage 14Paris, France | AFP | Thibaut Pinot conquered the Pyrenean summit of la Col du Tourmalet on Saturday with Julian Alaphilippe following him across the line to extend his overall Tour de France lead over defending champion Geraint Thomas, who admitted to feeling “weak”.Thomas, in fact, lost time for a second day running.After saying he had overheated when losing time Friday, he dropped another 29 seconds in the overall after being distanced by the lead group at the death.“I just didn’t feel quite on it from the start really to be honest — just quite weak,” said the 33-year-old Ineos man, claiming he had limited his losses. “So I decided to go at my own pace.”For British outfit Ineos, however, their co-captain Egan Bernal can go into the most mountainous culmination of a Tour in years in full confidence after he finished just a few seconds behind the winner at the first of seven summit finishes over 2000 metres.Pinot had vowed to attack this stage after losing time to an Ineos-led attack in a crosswind on the narrow road to Albi on Monday had angered him and his team.Thomas has two Frenchman to worry about and is now two minutes and two seconds behind Alaphilippe in the general classification after he started to suffer with 500 metres to go on Saturday.Alaphilippe was as surprised as anyone at Thomas wilting.“I saw great riders blow up before me and in the end I went for the win, it’s incredible,” said the 27-year-old soldier.French president Emmanuel Macron followed the whole stage from the lead car in the vast caravan and appeared animated as he was flanked on the podium by his two compatriots.“This man has heart,” he said looking at France’s current national hero Alaphilippe.On both the leader and Pinot, he added: “France is proud of them both.”As the 117km stage 14 climbed above the tree-line and above the mist where the oxygen levels were lower, contenders for the overall victory gradually fell by the wayside.By the end there were just five men remaining with Dutch Jumbo Visma captain Steven Kruijswijk third at 6sec, with German Emanuel Buchmann and Bernal another two seconds behind.Not only Ineos, but their rivals too may now switch their attention to young climber Bernal in light of Thomas’s underwhelming show. “Yesterday was one of the worst days of my career,” said the 22-year-old Bernal whose slender frame is unsuited to time-trialling.“Today I feel much better, the ascent was very hard and the best thing about it was managing to be amongst the best riders at the front.”– Pinot gets revenge on Ineos –Few expected the yellow jersey wearer Alaphilippe to thrive on Friday’s time-trial, which he won, and fewer still expected him to survive on the Tourmalet.But Alaphilippe dug deep and when he climbed out of the saddle to win the sprint for second, cheers for him were even louder than those for the popular Pinot.But after 10 stages in the lead, the attention switched from the overall leader to the stage winner.“Since the start of the Tour I’ve been targeting this stage, this is the one I wanted, the mythical Tourmalet,” said Pinot, who is placed sixth overall, 3mins 12sec off Alaphilippe.Pinot has long been thought a potential champion this year with the home nation waiting for its first Tour de France win since 1985.Fans had been weaving up the Tourmalet since dawn and there was a carnival atmosphere with almost as many Basque flags as French ones.Pinot, helped up the hill by young French champion David Gaudu, never faltered on the long final climb and his team boss at FDJ Marc Madiot was ecstatic at the finish.Madiot had been upset by comments from Ineos boss Dave Brailsford on Monday when Pinot dropped down the rankings after getting caught in a crosswind.“It feels good to twist the knife,” Brailsford said Monday.Madiot was seen screaming “yes, yes, yes” at the finish line before racing off to embrace his team leader.Share on: WhatsApp
Image Courtesy: Getty/APAdvertisement 82nNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsjtiWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E3pf6gg( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) crzvWould you ever consider trying this?😱e2dCan your students do this? 🌚te4k9Roller skating! Powered by Firework During the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Ravindra Jadeja and Sanjay Manjrekar lashed at each other on social media, followed by some verbal feuds. But, the two big names in the Indian cricketing scene have possibly let bygones be bygones, as they have a hilarious interaction with each other on social media regarding Team India’s last night victory against New Zealand.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Getty/APLeading the series 1-0, it was a walk in the park for India in the second match of the T20 series at the Eden Park stadium, restricting the hosts on 132 and winning the match with a comfortable 5 wicket victory. The tremendously in form KL Rahul’s stormy 57 runs earned him the Man of the Match award, but Sanjay Manjrekar gave it some other thought.The former cricketer turned commentator posted a tweet after the game last night, referring to the brilliant performance of Indian bowlers to keep the Kiwis batting lineup under pressure. He wrote: “Player of the match should have been a bowler. #INDvNZ”Advertisement Jadeja, who secured two wickets in yesterday’s victory, surprised his fans and came up with a playful reply to his former adversary this morning. The 31 year old asked Manjrekar: “What is the name of that bowler?? Pls pls mention 🤪“Manjrekar had the answer ready, complimenting Jadeja himself and also named Jasprit Bumrah: “Ha ha…Either you or Bumrah. Bumrah, because he was extremely economical while bowling overs no 3, 10, 18 and 20.” Along with conceding only 21 runs out of four overs, Bumrah picked up the wicket of Ross Taylor in the last over. Jadeja, who had the lowest economy rate yesterday, picked up the wickets of Colin de Grandhomme and also the Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson.While the Indian bowlers dominated the host batsmen, MOTM Rahul scored a stunning 57 runs from 50 balls with three fours and two sixes, and Shreyas Iyer’s blistering 33-ball-44 including one boundary and three over boundaries helped India ending the chase in the 18th over.Leading the series 2-0, India’s next T20 against New Zealand is at the Seddon Park cricket ground this Wednesday.Also read-https://www.sportsindiashow.com/ind-vs-nz-2nd-t20-review-india-conquer-eden-park-pile-pressure-kiwis/https://www.sportsindiashow.com/ravindra-jadeja-hits-back-sanjay-manjrekar-comments-rounder/ Advertisement
To make the World Cup every four years, the United States men’s national team needs to do the bare minimum — that usually entails not being worse than teams from a couple of Central American or Caribbean countries that have a GDP roughly 0.1 percent the size of ours. In Honduras on Tuesday night, the USMNT delivered on that promise: They accomplished the bare minimum.A late Bobby Wood goal secured a 1-1 draw, salvaged a crucial road point and calmed anxiety about the U.S. qualifying for next summer’s World Cup. According to ESPN’s Soccer Power Index, the U.S. now has a 69 percent chance of qualifying. Of course, those odds are more a reflection of the forgiving nature of the Hex, the round-robin CONCACAF World Cup qualification tournament, than the U.S. men’s skill. Six teams enter, three leave with a World Cup bid, and the fourth-place team can still score a spot by beating the fifth-place Asian qualifier.The path to qualification is easy, so it’s still likely that the U.S. team will be off to Russia next summer, but they’ve used up much of their margin for error. As it stands, there’s no scenario in which the U.S. can qualify for the World Cup before the final match in Trinidad and Tobago. The last time the U.S. was still hoping to clinch a spot entering its final game was heading into the 1990 World Cup, basically the dawn of modern American soccer. Even if things go perfectly next month, when they take on Panama and Trinidad and Tobago, this will still go down as the team’s worst modern qualifying campaign.Now the U.S. is faced with two simple questions. What the heck is wrong with this team? And can it be fixed?Where the U.S. went wrongThe problem right now isn’t so much that the U.S. team is bad. It’s not. The problem is that the U.S. was really bad last year when this phase of qualification started, and it hasn’t really ever made up for it. Jurgen Klinsmann was fired two games into the USMNT’s final-round qualifying bid, after a home loss against Mexico and a 4-0 thumping away to Costa Rica. The team was a mess, and Bruce Arena was brought in to stabilize the ship. And he did. In his first four games in charge, he led the team to two home wins and two road draws, the exact kind of record that leads to easy qualification. But the record didn’t earn back any of the points the team dropped in its first two games. Arena stopped the bleeding, but he didn’t fill in the hole that Klinsmann had dug.That left that the men’s team vulnerable to a single bad match — like the match last Friday, in which Costa Rica beat the U.S. 2-0 in New Jersey. Realistically, Arena’s team didn’t play all that badly. The USMNT outshot its opponents 14-9 and produced a 1.26 to 0.62 expected goal advantage. Arena’s men conceded an early goal thanks to some poor positioning from central defenders Geoff Cameron and Tim Ream and some questionable goalkeeping from Tim Howard. Then they were denied a second-half equalizer when Costa Rica’s goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, made an absolutely inhuman save on a shot from U.S. midfielder Christian Pulisic that took a wicked deflection. If either the blown defense or the amazing save had gone slightly differently, the game looks different, the qualifying campaign looks different, and the answer to the question of “What is wrong with the team?” is basically “Nothing.” This team as currently constituted is just about good enough to qualify for the World Cup. The problem is that it isn’t much better than that.Fixing what’s wrongArena’s emergency stabilization job was built around two main pillars. First, he handed the keys of the attack to teenage superstar Pulisic, and second, he narrowed midfielder Michael Bradley’s responsibilities, shifting him from the hub of the team to a more traditional deep-lying playmaker. Everything around them has been in flux. Personnel has changed, formations have changed, tactical approaches have changed.Without much continuity, the team ends up in trouble when the game plan breaks down. Against Costa Rica last week, the defense was badly exposed without protection from midfield. Cameron and Ream were both called upon to step into midfield frequently and neither were able to do the job. And against Honduras this week, the attack sputtered when Pulisic wasn’t able to get on the ball. Since starting to play with the senior national team, he’s averaged 53 touches per 90 minutes, but against Honduras he only got 42, and the U.S. struggled to create chances without his influence.The defensive problems will likely sort themselves out eventually. The team is currently missing half of its starting defense, as both John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin are injured. If they get healthy and back on the field, the defense will immediately take a step in the right direction.On the attack side, the solution is less clear-cut. Pulisic is the team’s crown jewel, and it’s Arena’s job to figure out which players in his fairly deep attacking talent pool best complement the young star. Arena has yet to settle on the best combination. Pulisic has played as a winger in a front three, as a wide midfielder with two strikers in front of him, and as the attacking midfielder at the tip of a diamond. In the last two games alone, he played with four different strikers in Wood, Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris. Settling on a more consistent lineup might not only help get the best out of Pulisic but also allow the U.S. to develop a more effective plan B for those times an opponent is able to take Pulisic out of the match.Arena is facing the same challenges all managers do. He has to balance the need for short-term results against the desire to develop a team that over the medium term can steadily improve and peak at the right moment. Up until this week, it seemed like he had gotten the balance mostly right, winning enough to put the U.S. solidly on course while also developing a basic plan. This week, that plan broke down. Now October’s matches can’t serve as a platform to help build the team for the future; instead, they’re all about short-term goals.There’s nothing wrong with this team that time can’t fix. But with two must-win games on the horizon, time is the one thing this team doesn’t have.
During that 2016-17 season, though, five other teams exceeded the Moreyball Rate of the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors, who had the highest non-Rockets Moreyball Rate of any team from 2012 through 2016. That incredible jump from one-sixth of the league foreshadowed what has happened since: The league’s Moreyball Rate has been rising far faster than it did during the McHale years, meaning that the Rockets’ math advantage is once again shrinking, through no fault of their own offensive priorities.While the average Moreyball Rate jumped only 3.7 percentage points from 2012 (58.1 percent) through 2016 (60.8 percent), it has rocketed (pun very much intended) all the way up to 68.3 percent in 2019. That’s a jump of 7.5 percentage points in just three seasons, compared with the four it took to erase a smaller advantage for the previous incarnation of the Rockets. And at the same time that the NBA’s average Moreyball Rate has shot through the roof, the Rockets themselves have once again stalled out. They appear to have hit a ceiling in terms of how many of their shots can really be taken from the most efficient areas of the floor.Houston’s sky-high Moreyball Rates during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons helped them to two of the most efficient offensive seasons in NBA history. During that 2016-17 campaign, the Rockets registered the 10th-best offensive efficiency in NBA history, per Basketball-Reference. During the 2017-18 season, they posted the 11th-best offensive efficiency in history. And during both seasons, the Rockets led the NBA in Moreyball Rate by a healthy margin, even while the league as a whole was catching up.This year, however, they don’t even lead the league in Moreyball Rate, marking the first time since the 2011-12 campaign that they’ve fallen out of first place. (They’ve been passed by Mike Budenholzer’s Milwaukee Bucks, who are at 82.6 percent, the highest figure that can be gleaned from the shot location data in NBA.com’s database, which reaches back to the 1996-97 season.) Amazingly, Houston’s Morey+ this season has already dropped below where it was during the 2015-16 season that inspired Morey to bring in D’Antoni in the first place. And even while they’ve cleaned up their defense a bit these past two years, the rate at which leaguewide Moreyball Rates are spiking has left their Moreyball Advantage at the lowest point it’s been in years.It seems unlikely that other NBA teams will simply stop pursuing shots from the Moreyball areas of the floor, so the league average will presumably continue to rise — if not necessarily at quite the rate it has these past few years. And with the Rockets having seemingly maxed out their own Moreyball Rates in the low 80s, it looks like the best way for them to regain the sky-high Moreyball Advantage they had in the early 2010s is by engineering their defense so that opponents simply can’t access the most efficient areas of the floor. But that’s also what every other team in the league has been trying to do to the Rockets for years, and as they’ve been showing us for quite some time now, it’s easier said than done. By attempting so many more of their shots from the most efficient areas of the floor than any other team, the Rockets created for themselves a healthy math advantage. Through shot selection alone, they essentially began each game with a small lead that their opponents needed to erase in addition to out-scoring them over the course of 48 minutes in order to win the game.For the next three seasons under Kevin McHale, however, the Rockets’ Moreyball Rate stayed fairly stagnant. They still led the NBA in Moreyball Rate during each of those seasons, but they did so with rates that hovered between 72.6 and 73.8 percent. At the same time, the league average Moreyball Rate crept upward, eating into the Rockets’ math advantage and, by extension, that small de facto lead with which they began every game.This is perhaps best exemplified by scaling their Moreyball Rate against the league average. Fans familiar with baseball statistics like OPS+ will recognize this formula: The NBA average Moreyball Rate is given a score of 100, while a team whose Moreyball Rate is 10 percent better than league average receives a Morey+ score of 110, and a team whose Moreyball Rate is 10 percent worse than league average receives a Morey+ score of 90. So, in a world where the league average Moreyball Rate is 50 percent, a team with a 55 percent Moreyball Rate has a Morey+ of 110, while a team with a 45 percent Moreyball Rate has a Morey+ of 90.Using the same formula, we can calculate that during the 2012-13 season when the Rockets had a Moreyball Rate of 73.6 percent against a league average of 57.1 percent, they had a Morey+ of 129.1, meaning they attempted shots in the restricted area or from three-point territory at a rate 29.1 percent higher than that of the average NBA team. That is a ridiculously high mark. But it was also essentially the high-water mark for the McHale-era Rockets, whose Morey+ plummeted over the next few seasons, though not through any offensive fault of their own.At the same time the Rockets’ math advantage on offense was shrinking, the same thing was happening on the defensive end of the court. During that 2012-13 campaign, the Rockets did an excellent job of limiting their opponents’ attempts from the Moreyball areas of the floor. Slowly but surely, however, they ended up yielding better and better shots, and their opponents’ Moreyball Rate crept upward at an even faster rate than the league average.The decline of the Rockets’ math advantage during that time looks even starker when pitting their offense and defense against each other. At the same time as they were shooting 29.1 percent more often from Moreyball areas than the average team in 2012-13, they were forcing opponents to shoot from those areas 3.2 percent less often than the average squad. Add those two numbers up, and the Rockets had a Moreyball Advantage of 32.2 points during that season. By the time they got to the 2015-16 campaign, however, their Moreyball Advantage had been cut by more than half (to 13.8 points).During those four years, the Rockets were the only team to have a Moreyball Rate above 68.8 percent, but the average team still gained steadily gained on them, and their ability to prevent their own opponents from getting to Moreyball areas declined as well. And it was then that Morey decided to hire Mike D’Antoni. Because if the Rockets couldn’t stop the rest of the league from following their lead in following The Math, then the next-best option was for them to take The Math to new heights.In D’Antoni’s first season, the Rockets had a Moreyball Rate of 81.8 percent, blasting the previous league highs they’d set over the prior few seasons. That 81.8 percent figure was, obviously, the highest in the NBA by far, making it the fifth consecutive season during which the Rockets led the league. Crucially, that rate bumped their Morey+ all the way back up to 128.8 — almost all the way back to where it was during that 2012-13 campaign, when the Rockets first began truly orienting their offense around The Math. Morey+ score* for the Houston Rockets 2018-19119.8– Winners of five straight games, the Houston Rockets nudged their record back up to their season-high mark of two games over .500 (16-14) with a blowout win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night, during which they set an NBA record by making 26 3-pointers. Despite this hot streak, however, it’s still fair to say that the Rockets have not performed as expected thus far this season. When searching for reasons why that might be the case, the focus has often been on their inability to replicate last season’s switch-happy defense or the early-season injuries and suspensions they had to weather or their general offensive malaise. (If ranking fifth in offensive efficiency can be described as a malaise.) But the root of Houston’s issues may actually just be that the rest of the league is increasingly subscribing to Houston’s core beliefs, which has eaten into the team’s math advantage.To fully understand what that means and how that’s happened, we need to back up a bit. Daryl Morey has been the general manager of the Rockets since 2007, but it wasn’t until the 2012-13 season that the purest form of Morey’s basketball philosophies truly began to shine through on the floor.Coming off three consecutive non-playoff seasons and having just traded for James Harden, the Rockets re-engineered their offense to play not only to their new star’s strengths, but also to The Math. It was during that season that the Rockets began their maniacal pursuit of the most efficient shot on every single possession, turning their collective backs on years of NBA tradition by eschewing the lost art of the mid-range jumper whenever possible in favor of attempts either at the rim or behind the three-point line.It’s easy to see the benefits of that offensive strategy now — six years after the Rockets took it to what then seemed like its logical extreme — but at the time, it was not yet really accepted that this was a healthy way to construct an offense. Not everybody believed in The Math. The Rockets did, however, and they did to a degree that was then unheard of in league history.During that 2012-13 campaign, the Rockets attempted 73.6 percent of their shots from either the restricted area or three-point range, per NBA.com. (For the balance of this piece, we’ll refer to this percentage as a team’s “Moreyball Rate,” in keeping with certain segments of the basketball analytics community.) The next closest team was the Denver Nuggets at 67.4 percent, while the average NBA team had a Moreyball Rate of 57.1 percent. SeasonMorey+ score 2012-13129.1– * A rating where 100 equals the NBA average and every point above or below 100 equals a one percent change (up or down). 2013-14124.8– 2017-18126.1– 2015-16120.1– 2016-17128.8– 2014-15125.3–
This was supposed to be the year of eight for the Ohio State football team. The team seemingly had all the pieces to go 12-0 during the regular season and win the school’s eighth national championship. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor would also become OSU’s eighth recipient of the Heisman Trophy, thrusting him into Buckeye lore. Then, after the Buckeyes were beaten and battered by Wisconsin Saturday night, most fans gave up hope on the season. Everyone together now, take a deep breath. Through seven weeks of the season, three teams have ascended to the No. 1 ranking (Alabama, OSU and now Oregon). Verdict? No dominant college football team exists in 2010. Here’s a rundown of what the apparent national title contenders face the rest of the season. Oregon still has to play at Southern California, home versus Washington, home against No. 18 Arizona (who has already beaten Iowa) and at Oregon State. Its defense has put up good numbers but hasn’t faced a team as physical as USC or a quarterback with the shake-and-bake of Washington’s Jake Locker. No. 2 Oklahoma travels to No. 18 Missouri and No. 17 Oklahoma State before its regular season ends. It’ll likely face Missouri or No. 14 Nebraska in the Big 12 title game. The Sooner defense gave up 24 points to lowly Utah State and 351 rushing yards to Air Force. It isn’t going undefeated with a cupcake defense. After they face each other next week, all No. 5 Auburn and No. 6 LSU have to do is take on No. 7 Alabama, as well as the SEC East winner in the SEC championship game. Auburn gave up 332 yards passing and four touchdowns to Arkansas’ backup quarterback last weekend — in a little more than one half. LSU can’t decide who its quarterback is. Enough said. There will be a mid-major elimination game on Nov. 6 as No. 9 Utah and No. 4 TCU square off. The loser of the game is immediately eliminated from the title picture, and the winner isn’t guaranteed anything even if it doesn’t lose a game. Although it’s already beaten Wisconsin and won’t have to play OSU, I’m not sold on No. 8 Michigan State. One, it hasn’t played a game outside the state of Michigan yet. Two, it travels to No. 13 Iowa a week from Saturday. If the Spartans are still undefeated in two weeks, go ahead and crown them. The only team that will go untested the rest of the season is No. 2 Boise State. With that being said, a lot has to go right for OSU to re-enter the national title picture. On the other hand, the 2010 college football season is a masterpiece that is far from finished. And if recent history in college football has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected in a season with no clear-cut top team. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the chaos of the 2007 college football season. Week One: Appalachian State stuns No. 5 Michigan in the Big House. Week Five: No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Florida lose to unranked Colorado and Auburn. Week Six: No. 2 USC loses at home to 41-point underdog Stanford. Week Seven: OSU and South Florida rise to No. 1 and No. 2 after previous No. 1 and No. 2, LSU and Cal, lose to division foes. Week Eight: South Florida’s stay at No. 2 is short as it falls to Rutgers. Week 10: New No. 2 Boston College falls to unranked Florida State. Week 11: OSU suffers embarrassing loss on Senior Day to Illinois. Week 12: Not only is No. 2 Oregon defeated by Arizona, but it loses its quarterback, likely Heisman winner quarterback Dennis Dixon, to a season-ending injury while No. 4 Oklahoma is beaten by Texas Tech. Week: 13: No. 1 LSU is topped by Arkansas in a wild triple-overtime loss, and No. 4 Missouri beats No. 2 Kansas to move within one win of playing for the school’s first national championship. Week 14: No. 1 Missouri and No. 2 West Virginia choke in the final week of the season, giving rise to No. 1 OSU and No. 2 LSU, which ended up being the first national champion with two losses. The Buckeyes need to win their remaining games, preferably quite handily, to stand any chance. Furthermore, they need a ton of help. I’m convinced Oklahoma, Oregon and Michigan State will each lose at least once. It would help OSU tremendously if Oklahoma and Oregon lost twice. Then, OSU needs the three SEC West teams to take each other out and produce only one one-loss team. Utah and TCU also both need to lose. If all of that shakes out, and depending on the voters, OSU might stumble upon another national champion game berth against an SEC team. Far-fetched? Yes. Impossible? No. As college football fans are well-aware of by now, nothing’s impossible with the BCS.
The Ohio State men’s soccer team opened Big Ten play on the wrong foot, falling to the No. 15 Indiana Hoosiers, 2-0. Sunday’s loss drops the Buckeyes to 3-5-1 on the season while the visiting Hoosiers improved to 6-1-1. The Buckeyes opened play against the favored Hoosiers with a conservative mindset, hoping to contain the Indiana attack and make the most of their own chances, said OSU coach John Bluem after the game. “Today we chose to play a little bit more defensively,” Bluem said. “(Indiana is) a strong attacking team. We wanted to play safe and keep ourselves in the game.” The defensive-minded strategy worked until a costly mistake in the OSU goal in the 30th minute allowed Indiana to take the lead. Indiana freshman Andrew Oliver’s shot was deflected and rolled past Buckeye sophomore goalkeeper Alex Ivanov, who was not able to recover and make the save. Oliver again helped the Hoosiers find twine, drawing a penalty in the first minute of the second half. Ivanov guessed correctly on Indiana sophomore forward Eriq Zavaleta’s penalty, but the shot scorched past the sophomore goalkeeper’s outstretched arms. Indiana led, 2-0. Bluem did not agree with the penalty call, saying it was “a very bad decision by the referee that ended the game.” The Buckeyes abandoned their defensive mindset in their attempt to erase the two-goal deficit. OSU outshot the Hoosiers, 10-4, in the second half but were eventually held scoreless. The shutout is the second consecutive for OSU. “We did create some good moments,” Bluem said, “and sometimes that’s all you need. We just weren’t sharp enough to get it done.” Riding a two-game losing streak, Bluem said his team is “having a difficult time,” but is still in the mix to compete for a conference championship. “You’re not out of this conference race at all just because you lost your first game,” Bluem said. “We played today what many people are thinking is the best team in the conference. I think we held our own against them.” OSU will take a break from Big Ten action on Wednesday when they host Butler (2-1-4) at 7 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Former Ohio State men’s soccer standout Chris Hegngi was drafted No. 22 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft by the Portland Timbers. The forward, who was drafted Jan. 22, scored 18 goals during his career and was second on the team with nine points last season. A four year letterman, Hegngi started every game his freshman year and all but two his second season at OSU. The star forward tallied three goals and four assists in each of his first two years for the Buckeyes. Despite the successes of his early career in Columbus, it wasn’t until his junior year that Hegngi might have started to show his worth. Scoring nine goals and starting every game, Hegngi was voted MVP of the team by his teammates his junior year and was showered with accolades, including being named second team NSCAA All-Region and the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. His 6-foot-2, 180 pound frame made him a prime target heading into his senior season for any MLS clubs looking to add a big man up front. A disappointing senior season where Hegngi only scored 3 goals and added 3 assists, however, caused him to fall off most teams’ radars. Hegngi was passed up in the MLS Super Draft, but eventually the Portland Timbers selected him in the later Supplemental Draft. The Timbers might need a physical presence that could help them improve on their atrocious offensive performance from a year ago, when they finished the season with a 8-10-16 record and an average of only 1 point per game, leaving them second last in their conference. Finishing near the bottom of the Western Conference in 2012, the Timbers only found the back of the net 34 times, the second lowest total in the league. Having come up through the ranks of the D.C. United Youth Academy and played for his high school before arriving at OSU, Hegngi has years of experience that could help him find a position on the final roster for the Timbers. With the selection, Hegngi joins other former Buckeyes in the professional ranks. He joins the ranks of former stars Matt Lampson, a current Columbus Crew player, and Roger Espinoza, a current Wigan Athletic player in the English Premier League, to leave OSU with hopes of succeeding in the MLS.
Ohio State freshman forward Kaleb Wesson (34) works his way into the paint in the first half of the game against Maryland on Jan. 11 in the Schottenstein Center. Dakich made three of four three point attempts in the first half aiding Ohio State to a 91-69 win. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo. 13 Ohio State (18-4, 9-0 Big Ten) has survived a few scares. On Jan. 17, it came within four points of losing to Northwestern in the final minute in an eventual 71-65 win and was trading leads with Nebraska Monday, until pulling away late to a 64-59 win.Now it welcomes a struggling Penn State (13-7, 3-4 Big Ten), which has lost four of its past six games, to the Schottenstein Center at 8 p.m. Thursday, with eyes set on a 10-0 start to Big Ten play.Projected StartersPenn State:G — Jamari Wheeler — Freshman, 6-foot-1, 170 lbs., 3.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.0 apgG — Tony Carr — Sophomore, 6-foot-5, 204 lbs., 18.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.8 apgG — Shep Garner —Senior, 6-foot-2, 196 lbs., 10.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 1.4 apgF — Mike Watkins — Redshirt sophomore, 6-foot-9, 254 lbs., 13.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 0.7 apgF — Lamar Stevens — Sophomore, 6-foot-8, 226 lbs., 15.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 apgOhio State:G — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.4 apgG — Kam Williams — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs., 7.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.5 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 19.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.3 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.8 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 11.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 apgScouting Penn StateThe Nittany Lions have been involved in plenty of close games this season. Nine of their 21 games have been decided by single digits, and two have gone into overtime.Part of the reason they are in so many close games has been their defense. Penn State has the 43rd-best defensive efficiency in the country and has held opponents to just a 47 percent effective field goal percentage (37th-best), according to the advanced statistics website KenPom.com. It also ranks in the top 25 in blocking and steal percentages.However, this defense matches up poorly against Ohio State. It typically plays man-to-man, a type of defense Ohio State has flourished against this season. The best way to slow down Ohio State’s 31st-best offensive attack has been to run a zone defense. Penn State’s offense also will not match up well against Ohio State’s defense. Though the Nittany Lions have shot 37.4 percent from the 3, they generate 54.4 percent of their offense from inside the arc, the 57th-highest rate in the nation.Teams that have been able to beat Ohio State do so from long range, with 36.4 percent of opponents’ points coming from 3-point range, 36th-highest in the country. Opposing teams have mustered only the 257th-highest 2-point percentage in its point distribution at 46.9 percent.Monitoring Kaleb Wesson’s minutesOhio State has relied heavily on freshman center Kaleb Wesson this season. After sophomore center Micah Potter injured his ankle in the fourth game of the season, Wesson took over as the starter and has not let up.As a starter, Wesson has averaged 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game. While the numbers don’t jump out, Wesson has become a better defender and has avoided foul trouble more. He has fouled out three times as a starter, but only once in his past 10 games.Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said that even though Wesson has shown improvements and has been a key cog in the team’s success this season, he still does not want to put much pressure on his young big man by playing him too much.“It’s a lot to expect a kid of his size as a freshman really even to play 20 minutes,” Holtmann said. “I think his minutes are probably where we’d like for them to be. I think sometimes he could play a little more, sometimes a little less depending on how he’s playing. He’s done a very good job with the minutes, but I wouldn’t want to put 30 minutes on him right now as a freshman.”Wesson’s conditioning has improved, but it is clear after five minutes on the court that he gets worn out. He starts to breathe heavily and is slower to post and seal, meaning the team needs to bring in a fresher defender to maintain solid interior play. As he continues to develop and adjust to the workload, Wesson will turn his raw tools into game skills and be able to keep using those tools later into games, Holtmann said.“He’s so gifted with his hands and I think his feet can get better,” Holtmann said. “They’re not bad right now, but they’ve got to get a lot better in the offseason. His explosiveness, his movement. But I think that you can tell pretty early on when he’s [tired].”
AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco has opened up about losing out to Barcelona on the race to sign Malcom.Di Francesco has revealed that the Italian club have accepted their fate after missing the chance to sign the Brazil winger from French club Bordeaux.The Giallorossi defeated the Spanish champions 4-2 in their International Champions Cup friendly in the United States despite Malcom scoring his second goal in as many games in a Barcelona shirt.During the post-match conference after the game the Roma gaffer was questioned about losing the signature of Malcom to the Catalans, and he said, according to Calciomercato:“I experienced the whole saga surrounding Malcom’s transfer with great tranquility.”What is wrong with Sampdoria? Taimoor Khan – September 3, 2019 Things just aren’t going the way Sampdoria had planned with the club now having conceded 7 goals in the opening two games of the…“He is a fantastic player and if Barcelona were also after him, it shows we scouted well. I wish him all the best with them.”“I’m happy with the players I’ve and we can’t do anything about the fact that the player has chosen to play for another team.”Roma continue preseason preparations in the International Champions Cup in the USA, with their next match coming against European champions Real Madrid.The Rome based club have already added nine players to their squad this summer as they prepare for another season of Champions League football after making it to the semis last season.