In NHL Playoffs Plan For a Quick Overtime

As the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings were locked in an epic double-overtime struggle Wednesday night, I wondered about the likelihood of such a prolonged NHL battle. What are the odds of an OT playoff game ending after a given number of minutes had elapsed?I dug into Hockey-Reference.com’s Game Finder tool (using goalie minutes to determine how long a game lasted) and gathered the numbers on all playoff games that went into sudden-death mode since 1988. Here are the results over that span, tracing the probability that a game will have ended by the time a certain duration into OT is achieved:Of course, the thrilling end-to-end playing style of Wednesday’s game would seem to make goal-scoring more likely, thereby increasing the chance of the game concluding earlier. To that end, I speculated that the amount of total scoring by both teams through the end of regulation might clue us in to the overall offensive environment of the game, and therefore play a role in whether “death” would come more or less suddenly.That hypothesis is true, although the difference is fairly small. The red curve in the chart above represents games where the total number of regulation goals by both teams was six or greater; the blue curve represents games with four or fewer combined goals in regulation. That the red line is higher than the blue for most of the chart means that, at a given number of elapsed minutes of overtime, a higher-scoring game was more likely to have ended than a lower-scoring one. (This isn’t exactly surprising, but it’s still interesting to prove it with data.) Whichever type of overtime game we’re watching, though, there’s a better than 50-50 chance that it will end less than 10 minutes into the extra frame, and more than a 75 percent probability it will end before double OT.And that’s another sense in which Wednesday’s Blackhawks-Kings game was a rare treat. Based on history, there was only about a 17 percent chance that an OT game between two teams that had been high-scoring in regulation would last 22 minutes before someone scored. It was exciting, unlikely extra hockey, and hopefully we see even more drama in Game 6 on Friday night. read more

Hot Takedown for March 24 2015 Vintage Michigan State Fixing The Womens

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code Links to what we discuss in this week’s show:FiveThirtyEight’s continually updated March Madness predictions.Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings.FiveThirtyEight’s ongoing March Madness reporting.Michigan State’s historical SRS ratings.The “white paper” prepared by Val Ackerman on the state of women’s college basketball.How the Celtics are trying to balance the middle ground between tanking and greatness.New Zealand reaches the Cricket World Cup final for the first time. Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. This week, we discuss the first weekend of March Madness and why Tom Izzo’s Michigan State teams always seem to beat expectations; whether the Princeton women, even in defeat, showed that they were criminally under-seeded; the rumors that the Oklahoma City Thunder may trade Kevin Durant before he bolts through free agency; and what it would take for cricket to go mainstream in the U.S.Stream the episode by clicking play above, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients below. By Chadwick Matlin, Kate Fagan, Neil Paine and Jody Avirgan If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong.CORRECTION (March 25, 12:14 p.m.): In this week’s podcast, we incorrectly said the Cricket World Cup uses the T20 format for matches. It uses the typical One Day International format, which gives each side 50 overs. That is still much shorter than the traditional “test” matches, but longer than T20, in which each side gets 20 overs. read more

Lance Armstrong to Admit Drug Use to Oprah

Lance Armstrong plans to admit to doping throughout his career during an upcoming interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey, USA Today reported late Friday.The interview, scheduled to be taped Monday and broadcast Thursday night on the Oprah Winfrey Network, will be conducted at Armstrong’s home in Austin, Texas.Citing an anonymous source, USA Today reported that the disgraced cyclist plans to admit to using performance-enhancing drugs, but likely will not get into details of the allegations outlined in a 2012 report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The report led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from the sport.Armstrong representatives, including his attorney Tim Herman, declined comment. The New York Times first reported last week that Armstrong was considering making a confession.Armstrong, 41, who vehemently denied doping for years, has not spoken publicly about the USADA report that cast him as the leader of a sophisticated and brazen doping program on his U.S. Postal Service teams that included use of steroids, blood boosters and illegal blood transfusions.Winfrey’s network announced Tuesday that Armstrong agreed to a “no holds barred” interview with her.A confession to Winfrey would come at a time when some of Armstrong’s legal troubles appear to be clearing up.Any potential perjury charges stemming from his sworn testimony denying doping in a 2005 arbitration fight with a Dallas promotions company over a contract bonus worth $7.5 million have passed the statute of limitations.Armstrong faces a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis accusing him of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service, but the U.S. Department of Justice has yet to announce whether it will join the case. The British newspaper The Sunday Times is suing Armstrong to recover about $500,000 it paid him to settle a libel lawsuit.Armstrong lost most of his personal sponsorship — worth tens of millions of dollars — after USADA issued its report, and he left the board of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity he founded in 1997. He is said to still be worth an estimated $100 million.Livestrong might be one reason to issue an apology or make a confession. The charity supports cancer patients and faces an image problem because of its association with its famous founder.The New York Times reported Armstrong might make a confession in an attempt to return to competition in elite triathlon or running events, but World Anti-Doping Code rules state his lifetime ban cannot be reduced to less than eight years. WADA and U.S. Anti-Doping officials could agree to reduce the ban further depending on what new information Armstrong provides and his level of cooperation.Armstrong met with USADA officials recently to explore a “pathway to redemption,” according to a report by “60 Minutes Sports” aired Wednesday on Showtime. read more

Tiger Woods Up 2 Shots at Doral After Shooting

TIger Woods put on another masterful putting display Friday, helping him shoot a 65 and earn a two-shot lead going into the weekend in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.Woods, who has won three times at Doral and has captured this World Golf Championship event six times, gave himself numerous chances with a solid ballstriking round in which he barely missed a green.His 7-under 65 gave him a two-shot lead over 2010 U.S. Open champion Graem McDowell and a three-shot lead over Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker, his buddy who gave him putting tips that Woods attributes to his solid play with the flat stick so far.Woods has won 26 -of-31 times when he has the outright 36-hole lead in his PGA Tour career.On Wednesday, Stricker gave Woods some advice during a 45-minute session on the practice green, one that has led to two days of exceptional work.“I’ve always liked the way he putts it,” Stricker said. “We’ve talked a lot about it over the years. We have the same ideas, although we do different things to get it there. We have the same principles. He’s open to hearing what I have to say sometimes.”This time, it worked, as Woods made nine birdies Thursday and added eight more Friday. He has had 22 one-putt greens in the tournament, and on Friday he hit 15-of-18 greens in regulation.For a time, it appeared Mickelson would play his way into a third-round pairing with Woods, reprising their epic 2005 final-round duel here in which Woods prevailed by a stroke to regain the No. 1 world ranking.But McDowell had other ideas, birdieing his last two holes for a 67.“I saw Phil sneaking up the leaderboard there behind me, and I said to (caddie) Kenny (Comboy), ‘Let’s spoil this party tomorrow,’ ” McDowell said. “I’m sure they would have liked Tiger and Phil in the last group tomorrow, would have been great for the tournament, but I certainly will enjoy the position of being in the last group and the mix. That’s right where I want to be.“Great to see the best players in the game playing as well as they are. Always exciting to have Tiger and Phil playing well. It brings the crowds and puts people behind their TV screens, and that’s what’s important.”Mickelson has shot 67-67 after an early-week visit to Augusta National to scout the Masters venue.“I saw Tiger was playing well and I wanted to make a couple birdies to get in the group with him,” Mickelson said. “It seems since 2007, when we played at Deutsche Bank in Boston, I’ve been playing some of my best golf when we get paired together.“I hope that tomorrow that I play a good round and so does he, and we get a chance to get paired together in Sunday’s final round, because he seems to somehow bring out my best golf.” read more

76ers Name 39YearOld Elton Brand As Its New General

Philadelphia 76ers incoming general manager Elton Brand speaks at the NBA basketball team’s practice facility in Camden, N.J., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Only two years out of the NBA, Elton Brand is set to return to the league as a 39-year-old general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers.For a franchise that underwent the painful “Process” for a few seasons and had its last GM caught up in a Twitter scandal, a youth movement in the front office could be what the Sixers need to take the next step into Eastern Conference contention.Brand is ready to help lead the way.“I’m going to rely on my team,” Brand said. “Not just on the court, but the off-the-court team. I can’t keep saying it enough. In my opinion, we are one of the top groups in the NBA.”Brand was introduced Thursday at the Sixers complex as the new GM, and it was made clear the two-time All-Star will not yield the power to make the final decisions, but rather work in concert with coach Brett Brown and the rest of the front office.“The 76ers are on the cusp of something very special and the next 12 months are really important,” Brand said. “I think that’s why I was the leading candidate, to bring stability to the organization and this group that I know really well.”Brand had worked for the Sixers as vice president of operations and was the general manager of the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ G League affiliate.Sixers owner Josh Harris said Brand emerged from a list of at least 10 candidates as the right choice to steady a franchise rocked by Bryan Colangelo’s sudden departure. Colangelo resigned in June as the 76ers’ president of basketball operations after what an investigation concluded was “careless and in some instances reckless” sharing of sensitive team information on Twitter.“I’ll lead with honesty, integrity,” Brand said.Brown had assumed interim GM duties but wanted no part of holding the job full time. But he will work as Brand’s partner in key decisions the franchise faces coming off a 52-win season.“Coach and I are aligned,” Brand said. “Teams that have won in the NBA, the GM, the coach have to get along. He’s going to have the players. But when it comes to trades, draft process, I’m running that. That’s what I’ve been hired for. Final say? Coach is going to have a voice in it.”Brand played in 1,058 career games over 18 seasons with the Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas, Atlanta and two stints with the Sixers. He posted career averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game.A two-time All-Star and the 2000 co-rookie of the year, Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.“I think we’re at a new point in our team’s development into hopefully an NBA championship,” Harris said. “We need to be attracting talent here. Certainly, Elton’s image and who he is as a person were real positives. But leadership and managerial skills and the things you’ve got to do in the front office that aren’t just about image, he’s got those, too. But certainly, that was a huge positive.”Brand said it’s fair to question his inexperience as he skyrocketed through the organization from the G League to GM. But it’s a job he’s ready to handle.“I’ll take the hits,” he said. “When there’s decisions made on the basketball side, I’m taking the hits.”Alex Rucker was promoted to executive vice president of basketball operations. Ned Cohen will remain assistant general manager and Marc Eversley will stay as senior vice president of player personnel.The Sixers beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs before they were eliminated in the conference semifinals by Boston. Under Brown’s watch, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have blossomed into two of the top young players in the league.Embiid and Markelle Fultz were among the players who attended Brand’s press conference.The Sixers were stunned when an independent review found that Colangelo’s wife, Barbara Bottini, operated four Twitter accounts. She admitted using private information to criticize the Sixers and rival colleagues.Brand, the fourth black GM in the NBA, is ready for the Sixers to put the offseason mess behind them and make a jump in the East.“This is a special team, an incredible opportunity, and we will lead a disciplined and determined path to building a championship organization,” he said. read more

Can The NBA AllStar Game Be Fixed

Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed By Neil Paine, Kyle Wagner and Nate Silver Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Feb. 15, 2018), FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver is back to help break down the latest in the NBA with Neil and Kyle. First, the Utah Jazz are on an 11-game winning streak. The crew takes a look at what’s going right for the Jazz — and how it might come to a halt. Next, the All-Star Game is nearly here, and The Lab’s members are taking it to the lab: keeping what they like, cutting what they don’t and throwing out some crazy ideas (8-year-olds choosing teams! one-on-ones!) that might make watching it more enjoyable. Plus, a small-sample-size segment on the new Cleveland Cavaliers.Here are links to what was discussed this week:Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote about what’s real and what’s not for the Utah Jazz.To get in on the All-Star Game fun, you can draft your own team.ESPN’s Dave McMenamin goes inside the new Cavaliers team. read more

How Isaiah Thomas The Shortest Guy In The NBA Became Unstoppable

Just when we thought we’d seen all Isaiah Thomas could do, the diminutive Celtics star found yet another level Tuesday, scoring 53 on his late sister’s birthday to give Boston a 2-0 second-round series lead over the Wizards.The million-dollar question: How? How does a guy who’s 5-foot-9, who nearly averaged 29 points per game during the regular season, continue to wreck defenses so mightily in a playoff setting when defenses are hellbent on neutralizing him?The simple answer is that Thomas and his coaching staff have found ways to make Thomas virtually unguardable within Boston’s offensive scheme; especially since Brad Stevens tweaked his lineup in the middle of the first round, a move that gave Thomas more space to navigate.Stevens all but eliminated Amir Johnson from the rotation, meaning Al Horford is now soaking up a ton of minutes as the team’s lone post player on the court. That switch forces defenses to guard an extra Celtic along the perimeter, which is already a tough task, since Horford is also a good shooter. With opponents stretched that thin, Thomas can make use of his game-changing quickness.That’s especially the case in handoff scenarios, where the floor general can generate a full head of steam while his man is trying to play catch-up from behind. Thomas took more handoffs than any other player in the NBA this past regular season, with 216 plays of this nature according to Synergy Sports. And he’s only gotten better at them in the last few weeks. He has scored on 56 percent of his handoffs since the playoffs began, up from 47 percent during the season. (This would’ve been the NBA’s highest mark during the regular season among players with at least 100 handoffs.)Having Horford as the lone Celtics big helps Thomas’s handoff game immensely. Thomas — the league’s most-blocked player — has been able to get his shots off more cleanly with fewer players in the paint.1Thomas’s shots have only been blocked 6 percent of the time with Horford on the court and Johnson off; he’s been blocked 13 percent of the time when Horford and Johnson are on the floor together, according to NBA Wowy, which tracks advanced statistics across different lineup groupings. What’s more, Thomas’s newfound space has left defenders without a clear way to defend him.After receiving a handoff, he’s a nightmare on the perimeter because of all the different options he has at his disposal. Watch how reluctant Wizards star John Wall is to chase Thomas around the screen here. He doesn’t want to risk barreling into Thomas, who is one of the league’s best players at stopping abruptly once he’s turned the corner in order to draw a 3-point shooting foul.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/thomasoffahandoff.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In the paint, Washington’s bigs have been just as concerned about how to play Thomas. Stand too far back, and you risk Thomas scoring from midrange, where he is an effective, albeit inconsistent2Thomas’s successful midrange attempts, on average, had far less arc on them than his midrange misses this past season. The 1.03 foot difference was the widest disparity in the NBA among players who took at least 100 midrange shots, according to an analysis run by SportVU at FiveThirtyEight’s request. shooter. Play too far up, and he’ll use a burst of quickness to beat you to the rim, where he’s armed with an array of twists and tricks that help him compensate for his lack of height.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/thomasoffhandoff2.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ithandoff3.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Trapping Thomas with two defenders as he comes around screens is one option for opposing defenses. But Stevens’s lineup switch, which has the Celtics looking more like the Houston Rockets because of how many threes they’re taking, makes that option a more dangerous choice because an unguarded Celtic shooter is now more likely to be found on the perimeter.All of which helps explain why the Wizards have had no answer for how to guard the shortest man on the court. That Thomas is really good also helps. read more

What Happened To All Those Absurd NBA Stat Lines

More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Jan. 4, 2018), Neil, Chris and Kyle discuss Isaiah Thomas’s debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers after recovering from a hip injury he sustained last season. Next, DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors is putting up ridiculous numbers this season — but he’s one of the only ones. After a 2016-17 season that saw blowout wins and notable individual performances, this season is off to a much less explosive start. What happened to those absurd stat lines? We investigate. Plus, a small-sample-size segment on Andre Drummond.Here are links to what was discussed this week:Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.Deadspin’s Lauren Theisen noted that it seems DeMar DeRozan can shoot threes now.Last year, Neil took a look at the league’s crazy stat lines. read more

Were Not Overreacting After Week 1 In The NFL

Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season is in the books, and you know what they say: The more things change, the more yada yada yada, you get it. The New England Patriots won. The Cleveland Browns lost. And Patrick Mahomes is really good. This week on Hot Takedown, we temper the wild overreactions after the games in Week 1 and take a look at what, if anything, can really be seen as trends for the rest of the season.Since the Antonio Brown story won’t go away, we also discuss what his move to the Patriots could mean for him and for the league in this new era of “player empowerment.” And on a similar note, we try to parse out what in the world is really going on with the Miami Dolphins franchise.Our Rabbit Hole this week comes from our sports intern, Ari Levin, who took a look at former Florida Marlins player Wes Helms and his unfortunate propensity to strike out when the game was on the line.What we’re looking at this week:Our 2019 NFL predictions, now with quarterback-adjusted Elo forecasts.A look back at just how terrible the Cleveland Browns have been.A preview of the WNBA playoffs starting this week. Embed Code FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed read more

Mens lacrosse Buckeyes offense explodes in win over Furman 126

Coach Nick Myers instructs the Ohio State Buckeyes on the sideline during a timeout against Furman on Feb. 5. OSU won 12-6. Credit: Gene Ross | Senior Lantern reporterThe Ohio State men’s lacrosse team thoroughly handled the Furman Paladins on Sunday afternoon at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, 12-6.The 17th-ranked Buckeyes allowed the first goal from Furman sophomore midfielder Will Holcomb, but scored seven of the next eight goals for a comfortable lead heading into halftime.Senior midfielder Johnny Pearson led OSU’s offensive surge with four goals. Pearson said that due to the offense and defense playing well, it opened up many opportunities to score.“If everyone contributes at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who scores as long as everyone contributes,” said Pearson.Freshman midfielder Tre LeClaire broke the silence for OSU late in the first period and tied the game, 1-1. LeClaire finished his first career game with two goals. LeClaire accredited the veterans on the team for help preparing him for his first game.“At the start, there were a lot of nerves going into it, but my teammates helped me out and said, ‘just play your game,’ LeClaire said. “We had run a great offense out there and luckily I caught it and shot it in the net.”Senior midfielder J.T. Blubaugh followed LeClaire with an unassisted goal with 2:57 remaining in the first quarter. From there on, the Buckeyes took control of the game, scoring five times in the second quarter. Pearson was credited with three of those.A point of emphasis for the Buckeyes had been working on their ground balls and positioning. The Buckeyes led the Paladins 27 to 23 in ground balls.“I think at the end of the day there was pretty good balance and we still have things to clean up on both sides of the ball,” OSU coach Nick Myers said.Furman made a change at goalie in the second quarter after OSU’s seventh goal, but that did little to slow down the Buckeye offense.OSU added five more goals against the backup while redshirt senior netminder Tom Cary saved 11 shots and allowed six goals.The Buckeyes (1-0) will host the Detroit Mercy Titans on Feb. 11 at noon. read more

Michigan hires Brady Hoke to replace Rodriguez

The University of Michigan announced Tuesday it hired former San Diego State coach Brady Hoke as its 19th head coach in program history. Hoke’s hiring came less than a week after Michigan fired former coach Rich Rodriguez. Hoke is coming off of his second season as San Diego State’s coach with a 13-12 overall record. Before San Diego State, Hoke coached his alma mater Ball State for six seasons, where his record was 34-39. Hoke spent eight seasons, from 1995-02, as Michigan’s defensive line coach under former coach Lloyd Carr. “We are pleased to announce the hiring of Brady,” Michigan athletic director David Brandon said in a statement. “He is a terrific coach and will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program. We look forward to having him build a championship program on the field and in the classroom.” Hoke’s hiring came a day after Brandon and other Michigan officials met with former Michigan offensive lineman and current LSU coach Les Miles about the coaching vacancy. On Tuesday, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva announced Miles would be returning to LSU for a seventh season. Hoke will have the challenge of turning around a Michigan program that has gone 15-22 in the past three seasons under Rodriguez. The Wolverines’ last game under Rodriguez was a 52-14 loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. A Michigan spokesperson told The Lantern that the university would reserve comment on the hiring until a 1 p.m. press conference Wednesday to formally introduce Hoke. read more

Changeup Football scrimmage replaces Spring Game

On Saturday, the Ohio State football team will close out spring practice without holding its annual Scarlet and Gray game. Instead, the team is forced to finish spring practice with a jersey scrimmage featuring the Buckeye offense facing the Buckeye defense because of injuries and a lack of depth, especially along the offensive line. Junior defensive lineman John Simon said the change will make the players much more competitive. “The scrimmage gives us a lot more competition and a lot more leeway on plays we can run and things of that sort,” Simon said. “You’ll just see a lot more guys fired up and ready to be out there. There will be some battles.” In past years, the Scarlet and Gray game was preceded by a draft to determine how the players would be split. The seniors were the team captains each year, and drafted players onto each side. Senior center Mike Brewster said he was disappointed he could not participate in this tradition. “It would have been fun,” Brewster said. “But you gotta do what you gotta do.” OSU coach Jim Tressel hinted at the idea of a jersey scrimmage at a press conference on March 30. He said numbers were an issue, but also noted that teams were sometimes unfair. “Sometimes when you draft up teams, there are some mismatches in situations,” Tressel said. Saturday’s jersey scrimmage involves a complicated scoring system that gives the defense points for events such as turnovers, sacks and punts, and the offense gets points for touchdowns, first downs and field goals on offense. Brewster said the new rules could make the game more exciting for the fans. “It will be something different, and I think the fans will get to see a little more ones versus ones which will be cool,” Brewster said. “They’re not really used to seeing that, everyone’s usually mixed together.” Tressel said the players had been looking for a change to the spring finale. “Because of some of our offseason meetings and conferences and surveys with our players,” Tressel said, “one of the things that they talked about in how to get better in the spring is to have a more competitive spring game.” Simon said the decision to make it a jersey scrimmage was not up to the players. “Whatever coach says, goes,” he said. read more

Ohio State defensive struggles stem from lack of execution

Redshirt-sophomore safety Tyvis Powell (23) dives towards Virginia Tech sophomore cornerback Kendall Fuller (11) during a game Sept. 6 at Ohio Stadium. Powell totaled 4 tackles in OSU’s 35-21 loss.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorFollowing its first loss of the young 2014 season, the Ohio State defense is trying to regroup.After allowing nine third-down conversions from the Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, redshirt-sophomore safety Tyvis Powell said Monday that simple mistakes cost the Buckeyes defensively.“We looked at the tape, reviewed it, everybody else talked about what they needed to work on. We communicated the mental errors,” Powell said. “We went over it yesterday in practice, got it corrected and we are looking forward to the future now.”Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash said a lack of execution, especially on third downs, is what led to the defensive struggles.“Third down, especially in the first quarter, I think we were 0-5 …  (Virginia Tech) did a good job, but it was more about our mistakes,” Ash said Monday. “(Third downs were) critical situations outside of first and second down, but situations you work on all the time, you really need to be at your best. We were not at our best Saturday night.”Ash said he was disappointed his defense could not hold the Hokies at the most critical point in the game after the Buckeye offense tied the game at 21.“When you talk about momentum changers in a game, it is absolutely a turning point,” Ash said. “The stadium was alive and the team was juiced up on the sidelines … (then) we had a couple mistakes. It was more about us than Virginia Tech and what they did.”Coach Urban Meyer said Monday he thought the defense was “average” against the Hokies and he expects the Buckeyes to improve on that side of the ball.“We had a couple third (downs), didn’t get them off the field (on) third down in the first half,” Meyer said. “But for a good 2 1/2 plus quarters, it was a very good defense. It’s not four quarters of defense. I like the direction we’re going, we just need to get there really fast.”Ash said he believes his defense will be able to make the necessary changes prior to the Buckeyes’ next game against Kent State.“It is still a new defense to the guys,” Ash said. “Are we discouraged about the game Saturday? Absolutely. Could we have played better in a couple situations to make a difference? Absolutely. Do we still have a chance to be outstanding? I believe so, and we all think so.”Meyer said because of the loss, there was no victory meal for the first time after a regular-season game since he arrived in Columbus. He added that his players would be given the rest of Monday to be upset before getting back to work Tuesday.“I can tell they’re hurting,” Meyer said. “So we get to hurt the rest of the day today, and then coaching staff and players need to move forward and try to get our second win.”The aftermath of the loss and lack of a victory meal is an experience Powell said he doesn’t want to have again.“It is something that I really didn’t enjoy and something that I cannot get used to,” he said.The Buckeyes look to rebound Saturday at noon against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Ohio Stadium. read more

Ohio State planning 78 million renovation to Woody Hayes Athletic Center

Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorWith a focus towards the future of athletic facilities at Ohio State, the Board of Trustees on Thursday voted to approve a renovation plan of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center’s east wing for $7.8 million in its Finance Committee meeting.The plans would create a new kitchen and nutrition area to provide a dining area in the practice facility. In addition to the dining area, the Woody will also have an expanded lounging area for the players, as well as a recovery and rehabilitation area. More offices and storage space will also be added to the facility, as will team-activity areas.The Board said the plans were made in an effort to improve the environment for athletes at Ohio State, and that they have discussed the plans with football coach Urban Meyer to find what could be improved in the WHAC for the student-athletes. Of the $7.8 million project budget, $6.9 million will be allotted to construction with contingency while $900,000 will go towards professional services.Following the approval of the plan by the Board, the design and bidding of the renovation will begin in September 2017 and run through February 2018. Construction is expected to begin in March 2018 and conclude in December of the same year.Tom Knox of Columbus Business First reported the project would receive 90 percent of its funding from donors and anything else would come from operations funding from the athletic department. The Board will vote Friday to approve the construction plan. read more

Football Urban Meyer updates on the status of injured players in Big

Urban Meyer watches the Buckeye defense during the first quarter of the game against Tulane on Sept. 22. Ohio State won 49-6. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorDuring the bye week, Ohio State had some players who needed to rest up after suffering injuries in the weeks prior. Now, moving into Saturday’s game against Nebraska, head coach Urban Meyer said in Tuesday’s Big Ten Coaches Teleconference that the majority of the injured players are good to go. With a depleted defensive line, after the loss of All-American defensive end Nick Bosa, Meyer said redshirt junior defensive lineman Robert Landers will be back next week. Meyer acknowledged that even while playing through some injuries, Landers is back to being the kind of player he was last season. “(Landers) has not been the same,” Meyer said. “He had injuries all along this fall and he is one of our better players there. He is full-speed now. He is bringing that same energy he does when he is healthy.” Meyer also said sophomore offensive lineman Thayer Munford has been resting after injuring his hip, but practiced yesterday and is ready to go for the game against the Cornhuskers. After each player suffered an injury in Ohio State’s Oct. 20 loss to Purdue, Meyer said sophomore cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, redshirt junior cornerback Damon Arnette and senior wide receiver C.J. Saunders will play on Saturday. Meyer still focuses on balanced offensive attackAfter the records redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins broke against Purdue, completing 49-of-73 pass attempts for 470 yards and two touchdowns, Meyer said the Ohio State offense needs to go back to its 250/250 approach. The head coach said it’s something that Haskins is aware of, but the team might lean a bit more pass-heavy than usual. “With a guy like Dwayne, it might be a bit higher in one area. When you have another type of quarterback, it’s a little higher in the other area, but you have to have balance and we are experiencing that now,” Meyer said. “Dwayne knows that and he’s obviously a very smart guy. He understands the game and that has to happen.”  Even if the Ohio State offense focuses more on the passing game, Meyer said both sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins and redshirt junior running back Mike Weber are not happy with the lack of success they have been having. “They are both very frustrated, as we all are, as the offensive line is,” Meyer said. “There’s times where you have to make your own hole and plow through it and get positive yards. We worked extremely hard on that during the bye week, but frustration is a right word. They are great people and they want to do well first, for the team, but they are prideful guys. They want to rip through and get some big yards.” Meyer said that Isaiah Prince, as one of the leaders on the offensive line, has been playing well overall, saying he has done a good job leading the unit in practice. However, when asked about personnel changes in the front five after the 49-20 loss to the Boilermakers, Meyer said redshirt freshman offensive lineman Wyatt Davis has been pushing himself into the conversation for a more prominent role. “He is very close. Those are conversations that have been had,” Meyer said. “It will continue, but he is a guy that has to be one of our most improved players from the summer until now.” read more

SAS soldier says he faced antigay discrimination

first_imgAn SAS soldier claims underlying prejudice against gay personnel is hampering their promotion – despite a senior general saying he wants to spearhead sexual equality.  The decorated soldier says he was pushed aside for promotion to sergeant  – despite his outstanding military pedigree on operations – because many senior officers refuse to accept gay soldiers in the elite regiment.The experienced special forces Corporal was listed for a promotion board to sergeant after returning from operations last year, but while many of his colleagues were successful he failed and was told he needed to gain more time on operations.But just three weeks after the promotion board sat the soldier, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was told by a close friend that senior officers had discovered that he was gay and that had affected his chances.The soldier, whose identity we have chosen to protect, said: “Nobody will openly admit that they don’t want gays in 22 (the SAS Regiment), but the fact is that senior officers have concerns, not about our ability, but more about how our sexual lifestyle will impact on the regiment.“I was very disappointed at the promotion results, I have more experience and good reports from frontline operations than any of my contemporaries, but a good mate told me that my sexuality was a concern.It is very much an old fashioned approach and often down to the view of senior officers.”The soldier added: “The promotion boards are held behind closed doors and I doubt very much that my sexuality would have been mentioned – nobody would risk openly being anti-gay.“But after the meeting my mate was picking up some paperwork and heard two officers speaking in a derogatory term about me being gay. If any senior NCO had been aware I am sure they would have spoken up for me.”His claims come after Lt Gen Patrick Sanders, commander of the Field Army, as the Army’s LGBT champion saying earlier this year that he wanted to help rid the Army of the “last dregs of prejudice and intolerance”.The SAS corporal said it was difficult to campaign for change within the Army while still serving as a soldier.“There have been gays in the regiment in the past and no one has said anything.  Often because those concerned have not wanted to pursue promotion and have been happy to soldier on as Troopers or Corporals.“It may be hard to appreciate in 2017 when we have such an open society, but parts of the Army are happy for you to be gay as long as you don’t mention it, some senior officers are very open about it, others are less willing to accept it.”He says he may have no choice but to leave the Army and predicts it will be some time before specialist areas of the military fully accept the Army’s ambition of equal treatment for Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Gay and Transgender (LBGT) personnel.Last year the British Army was placed 32nd in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index for the top 100 LGBT inclusive employers across the UK – a huge climb from its position in 2012 when it sat at 185th.  But soldiers seeking to be open about their sexuality have complained there is little support and that they continued to face prejudice.In 2008 Captain Ian Hamilton, who served with the Parachute Regiment and was decorated for operational tours in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, became the first British officer to complete gender reassignment from male to female.Captain Hamilton sued the military for unfair dismissal after being forced to wear a male uniform for a medical examination.Now renamed Abigail Austen she has rebuilt a life as a journalist and often appears on Channel 4 television reporting from Afghanistan and other areas of the globe.In a message to LGBT servicemen and women last February Lt Gen Sanders said: “I am proud to be the Army’s LGBT champion and a straight ally.”I celebrate your service as LGBT members of the Army and I cheer the fact that we are recognised as a top LGBT employer.”An Army spokesman said discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation was not tolerated within the service.He said: “The promotion board system is open and transparent and no weight at all is given to an individual’s sexuality. But if this person feels they have a complaint it would be taken very seriously.” 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

Buckingham Palace knifeman had 4ft sword and shouted Allahu Akbar police reveal

first_img9:25PMTwo officers injured The man was being held at a London station under the Terrorism Act and on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm. Police searches were being carried out at properties connected to him in the Luton area of Bedfordshire.It was not clear whether the vehicle belonged to him, or whether he had travelled directly from his hometown to London. CCTV was also being analysed to see whether there was any suggestion he earlier had “scouted out” the area.There was speculation last night that the suspect may have been a private hire taxi driver. Cabs, both traditional black cabs and private hire cars, are one of the few commercial vehicles allowed to work along the roads leading to the palace. Something is going on outside #buckinghampalace so many police arriving pic.twitter.com/eYJEsXcK8F— Kiana Williamson (@kianaelisewills) August 25, 2017 Buckingham Palace on Saturday morningCredit:Paul Grover for the Telegraph Commander Dean Haydon, of the Met’s counter-terrorism branch, said: “A blue Toyota Prius deliberately drove at a marked police vehicle and stopped in front of it.”Uniformed officers then confronted the driver of the vehicle and during that confrontation the driver reached for a four-foot sword that was in the passenger footwell.”CS gas was used as part of the arrest and during the struggle the individual repeatedly shouted the words Allahu Akbar.”He praised the “bravery and professionalism” of the officers, adding that: “Their vigilance, courage and the swiftness of their response demonstrates how our officers are protecting the public.” 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. Officers are on scene at the Mall o/s Buckingham Palace. A man has been arrested on suspicion of GBH and assault on police— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 25, 2017 Buckingham Palace on Saturday morning One witness described seeing the man wrestled from a car by police having apparently driven his vehicle towards them.Kiana Williamson told the Press Association: “We turned up and there was one police van and one car, there was also a civilian’s car that had veered towards the police car.”They were trying to get the man out of the car, shouting, more police were arriving on to the scene and the man was fighting back.”I saw one injured policeman with an injury to his arm although it didn’t look severe.”He was being tended to by another officer.”The man had been restrained and looked almost unconscious by the side of the road.”I didn’t see the car driving but the car had been left at the side of the road and an eye witness had said that he had driven towards the police car.”The whole encounter lasted around one minute, she added. The man arrested outside Buckingham Palace drove at police before lunging for a 4ft sword and repeatedly shouting “Allahu Akbar”.The 26-year-old man from Luton was wrestled to the ground by unarmed police who had to use CS gas to incapacitate him.During the struggle three officers were injured, two of whom suffered minor cuts to their hands and required treatment in hospital before being discharged. 10:18PMSuspect was ‘wrestled from a car’, PA reportscenter_img Buckingham palace in lockdown. Man with a sword attacker an officer. #londonattack pic.twitter.com/N8N0bBre4F— Leonardo Paoli (@leonardo_paoli) August 25, 2017 Heavy police presence outside Buckingham Palace on Friday eveningCredit:Twitter Heavy police presence outside Buckingham Palace on friday evening 9:24PMMan arrested on suspicion of GBH Two police officers suffered minor injuries during the course of detaining the man— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 25, 2017 Officers are on scene at the Mall o/s Buckingham Palace. A man has been arrested on suspicion of GBH and assault on police— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 25, 2017 The Prius model is particularly popular with minicab drivers because it costs less to run and can get an exemption on the city’s Congestion Charge.Mr Haydon said officers believe the man was acting alone and no one else was being sought by police. He added he could not speculate at this stage what the man was planning to do.He urged the public to remain particularly vigilant during the Bank Holiday weekend when so many public events are being held. The threat from terrorism in the UK remains ‘severe’.Luton has been linked to problems with Islamic extremism over recent years. Khalid Masood, also known as Adrian Elms, who killed five people during his attack in March on Westminster Bridge earlier this year had lived at two addresses in the town. In February, a gang were jailed for trying to persuade people to travel to Syria to join Islamic State. 9:18PMThere is a heavy police presence outside the palace The three policemen were praised for their bravery and speed in containing the situation.The Prime Minister, Theresa May, tweeted: “I want to thank the officers who acted quickly and bravely to protect the public last night, demonstrating the dedication and professionalism of our police.”The attack happened shortly after 8.30pm on Friday when The Mall, Constitution Hill and Birdcage Walk, the roads running through St James’s Park and Green Park towards the palace, were still full of tourists.The motorist was said to have driven a Toyota Prius at a police van on a restricted part of road directly opposite the palace.The car pulled up abruptly in front of the van and as officers emerged he grabbed into the passenger footwell and produced a 4ft sword.The police eventually overcame the man who had been alone in the car. Passersby said they saw the motorist, who may have been driving on the wrong side of the road at one point, being restrained by officers on the ground. Some said he appeared to have a machete.last_img read more

Child porn defendant claims he did not know he was looking at

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A man charged with viewing child pornography did not know he was looking at images of under 16-year-olds because he is blind, a court has heard. Andrew Shaw, 44, was aided into Blackpool Magistrates Court, Lancashire by his black Labrador guide dog.His wife who was supporting her husband is also blind and was led to the court by her white Labrador guide dog.Shaw of Derby Road, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire faces three offences of possessing 71 downloaded obscene images of children on his computer. Twelve of the images are alleged to be of the worst variety.He said: “This is an unusual case as my client is registered blind. He has no sight in one eye and only a small amount in the other.””It may be argued that difficulty with his vision makes it difficult for him to put an age to images he downloads. He may think he is looking at 16-year olds.”Shaw was granted bail.last_img read more

Oxford colleges in row over inelegant and bulky redesign of St Hildas

first_imgThe philosopher John Locke is an alumnus of Christ Church College View of the quad in Christ Church College, Oxford View of the quad in Christ Church College, OxfordCredit:Andrew Crowley They said they carried out extensive consultations about the building project with stakeholders over the past two years, including neighbouring colleges. 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. Two Oxford colleges are embroiled in a row over the “inelegant and bulky” redesign of St Hilda’s, which the officials at Christ Church claim will ruin their view.Christ Church, one of Oxford’s oldest and most prestigious colleges, lodged a formal objection to the building project proposed by its newer neighbour. Invoking its role as the “custodians” of the landscape, officials from Christ Church said that this is a duty which it has “successfully maintained and defended for many centuries”. Christ Church, which was founded in 1546, boasts 13 British prime ministers among its alumni, along with King Edward VII, the writers Lewis Carroll and W H Auden, and the philosopher John Locke. It has own tower, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and its Great Dining Hall was the seat of the parliament assembled by King Charles I during the English Civil War. St Hilda’s College welcomed the council’s backing, saying the new buildings will provide “an excellent environment for our students to flourish and raise St Hilda’s profile as a world-class centre of teaching and research”. The complaint went on to say that the proposed structure is “inelegant and bulky” and will lead to “significant light pollution of the Meadow after dusk”.“In its current form, it will spoil the view from the path along the Cherwell over Milham Mede as well as from the end of the Botanic Garden,” the College added.Christ Church said it was “acutely aware” of the problems faced by colleges with small sites but “also aware” of its role as “custodians of a special landscape, which we have successfully maintained and defended for many centuries”.  Despite the objections from its neighbouring college, the Oxford City Council planning committee backed the St Hilda’s expansion plan at a meeting earlier this week. Historic England supported the plans, saying that they will be an “elegant and attractive set of buildings” which are “well adapted to [their] context”. A view of St Hilda's from the River Cherwell A view of St Hilda’s from the River Cherwell The philosopher John Locke is an alumnus of Christ Church CollegeCredit:Getty Officials at Christ Church told the Council that the building project will have “significant implications” for them.“The redevelopment, especially the Tower, will have an impact on the setting of the Grade I Christ Church registered park and garden,” their submission said, according to documents published by Oxford City Council. “The site is protected by a great many statutory and non-statutory designations.The built areas, the meadow and Merton Field are within the Grade I landscape included in the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.” Meanwhile, St Hilda’s College is considered to be one of the more modern institutions, having been founded in 1893 as a women-only hall. It began accepting male students for the first time in 2008, and it endowment is roughly ten times smaller than that of Christ Church.St Hilda’s College is planning a major expansion project to mark its 125th anniversary, which will involve erecting a tower, as well as 59 new student rooms, a common room and offices.last_img read more