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Published: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 9:52 AM
— Pro Football Focus doesn’t see much hope in Cleveland this football season.
Its power rankings, which project future performance, have the Browns at No. 32.
There’s little reason to think the Browns aren’t one of the NFL’s worst teams. They’ll have a chance to prove they aren’t the worst when they face the also win-less Bengals this Sunday, who come in 10 spots ahead of them in the latest projections.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 12:59 PM
ATHENS — So Roquan Smith and Trent Thomson have packed their bags and joined Georgia’s giant pack of seniors in heading on down the road.
This is what makes college football so great. This is also what makes it so hard.
College football, by and large, is cyclical. That works to varying degrees for different programs, but because of the constant ingress and egress of players due to graduation and attrition, achieving sustained, championship-level success is next to impossible for any program not currently named Alabama. To me, that’s what makes it fun and somewhat unpredictable from year to year.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 9:23 PM
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Consider this the first of a two-part reaction to Kentucky basketball’s strange night at South Carolina on Tuesday. The second part will be much more optimistic, promise, but first we must sift through the wreckage of Gamecocks 76, Wildcats 68.
It really takes some doing to turn the triumphant debut of 5-star freshman Jarred Vanderbilt and a 14-point, second-half lead into a total disaster (and defeat). But by golly, these UK freshmen did it.
“This is another example that we don’t know how to close out games,” said freshman Kevin Knox, who had 21 points and 8 rebounds but launched eight 3-pointers and only made one. He knew this team was living dangerously at the end of the Texas A&M and Vanderbilt games last week, and it finally bit them. “Coach was trying to get us to make winning plays down the stretch and we weren’t doing what he was asking for. We were trying to do our own thing and you see what happened.”
The 18 th-ranked Wildcats actually led by 14 three different times after intermission, the last coming at 57-43 with 11:34 to go. Then they were outscored 33-11 the rest of the way. But how does a collapse like that happen?
A little something like this: PJ Washington throws an awful, intercepted cross-court pass and Hamidou Diallo commits a pointless intentional foul for his fourth of the game, triggering a snowball of foul trouble and bone-headed gaffes that would bury Kentucky (14-4, 4-2 SEC).
Coach John Calipari remembers Diallo yelping: I didn’t do it! “You pulled the guy’s shirt out of his pants, so don’t say that. You did it.”
And here comes the avalanche: Wenyen Gabriel’s fourth foul at the 10:13 mark, Sacha Killeya-Jones’ fourth at 9:19, Gabriel’s fifth at 7:21, Nick Richard’s fourth and fifth at 4:38 and 2:47.
“I’ve never seen so many dumb fouls,” Calipari said.
All told, six of eight available scholarship players finished with at least four fouls — including three foul-outs — and the 32 team fouls were the Wildcats’ most in a regulation game since 1997.
“That was tough for us because we had to stay in that zone [defense] and they were kind of picking at it, throwing it inside, and we couldn’t really do much because we couldn’t foul,” Knox said after UK gave up 27 points to South Carolina forward Chris Silva. “Our point guard had four fouls and Hami had four fouls, so we really couldn’t pressure the ball and play man. I think that kind of changed the game”
Yeah, sort of. And it also hurt that starting point guard Quade Green missed his third straight game with a back injury and the usually spectacular Shai Gilgeous-Alexander seemed both exhausted — he played 39 minutes in both games last week — and declawed by early offensive fouls.
Still, the Wildcats should’ve won Tuesday night.
But after shooting better than 50 percent to build that 14-point lead, they made just 3 of 14 shots the rest of the way and did not make a single field goal over the final 6:12. That included a bricked putback dunk by Richards that would’ve given Kentucky a 7-point lead with 4:47 remaining. Instead, the game was tied 45 seconds later.
Diallo missed a pair of free throws with the game tied at the 3:46 mark, from which point the Cats sank just 3 of 8 from the line.
“They looked like a bunch of freshmen playing — first time this year,” Calipari said. “This started in shoot-around today, where you’ve got a bunch of guys that don’t know that … going through the motions or not paying attention or not being focused guarantees what happens when the game is in the crunch.
“Hopefully — I hate to say it — you’ve just got to take some losses to get some guys to start listening.”
There were several positive signs for Kentucky before the implosion, like Richards’ dozen points after a prolonged slump and Knox’s early attacks of the basket and especially Vanderbilt’s 6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block in a tantalizing, 14-minute debut. But all of that is for Part II of this post mortem.
We mustn’t ignore some obvious alarm bells that went off (again) in the final minutes against the Gamecocks.
“Instead of getting [the lead] to 20 and taking the win and going home, next thing you know we’re trying to do our own thing and they get back into it — we’re not listening, people trying to get their own baskets,” Knox said. “We weren’t running none of the plays, weren’t playing no defense, weren’t listening to nothing the coaches were saying. [But] we got all freshmen and it’s a learning experience for us. We’re going to need it down the stretch in March Madness.”
Or, more immediately, Saturday at home against Florida.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 9:04 PM
A Pac-12 referee and his fellow officials have been the targets of threats and harassment in the aftermath of the Music City Bowl, according to a report from ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura.
Pac-12 referee Chris Coyte ran a crew of officials in the postseason bowl game between Kentucky, a Southeastern Conference school, and Big Ten-member Northwestern. During the contest — which Northwestern eventually won 24-23 — Kentucky running back Benny Snell was ejected for contacting an official, a decision widely criticized upon video review.
Both Coyte and the Pac-12 Conference stood by the call after the game, but the referee received “a barrage of threatening calls to his cell and office phones,” per Bonagura’s report. Those eventually died down, until a letter from Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart to Pac-12 vice president of officials David Coleman became public when the Lexington Herald-Leader obtained it via public records request and published it.
With that came a renewal of threats and harassment, and arguments over perceived breaking of protocols (including one that doesn’t exist).
In the letter, Barnhart questioned the professionalism of Coyte and line judge Tim Messuri, claimed the ejection of Snell was unwarranted and accused the officiating crew of lacking care for the well-being of Kentucky’s players, citing an injury to Wildcats quarterback Stephen Johnson as an example.
“Specifically, head referee Chris Coyte seemed to have no care for our injured player or willingness to allow our team a few moments to prepare a substitute quarterback to replace him, which is normal protocol in such a situation,” Barnhart said in the letter, per ESPN.
There is no specific rule requiring a warm-up time for a replacement quarterback before entering the game. Moreover, Kentucky punted on the ensuing play, which came after an unsportsmanlike penalty was issued against the Wildcats.
The Pac-12 felt as though Barnhart broke protocol by reaching out directly to Coleman, per Bonagura’s report.
“We’re happy to discuss the matter with the SEC,” the Pac-12 said in a statement to ESPN. “We’re particularly sensitive about this issue because our officials have received threats and we are concerned about their safety.”
“We are not aware of any protocols for this kind of situation,” the Kentucky athletic department said in its statement to ESPN. “We made contact with the Southeastern Conference office and made them aware of our concerns. We expressed those concerns to the SEC and to the Pac-12 office.”
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:55 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 2:07 AM
Flyin’ to the Hoop
Jan. 12-15 at Trent Arena
Findlay Prep (NV) 50, Huntington Prep (WV) 48: Bol (FP) 18; McGriff (HP) 14.
Spire Academy 80, Fairmont 70: Baker (SA) 22; Hendricks (F) 29.
McEachern (Ga.) 87, Trotwood 77: Okoro (M) 25; Davis (T) 24.
Pickerington North 51, Princeton 38: Hunter (PN) 12; Hunter (P) 20.
Prolific Prep (Fla.) 75, IMG (Ca.) 71: Burnett, Williams (PP) 16; Embery (I) 30.
Xenia 67, Olentangy Liberty 60: Curtis (X) 25; Kershner (OL) 16.
Girls Basketball: Springboro 57, Tippecanoe 38: Diehl (S) 15; Mader (T) 10.
Miamisburg 65, Mountain Mission 54: Hubbard (M) 32; Lee (MM) 17.
Prolific Prep 71, Garfield Heights 43: Burnett (PP) 22; Heath (GH) 13.
St. Vincent-St. Mary 81, Fairland 79: Walter (SVSM) 22; VanHorn (F) 33.
Versailles 65, Sidney 59: Gordon (S) 20; Ahrens (V) 26.
Springfield 73, Cleveland Heights 67, OT: Hill, Smith (CH) 17; Moss (S) 22.
Fort Loramie 58, Thurgood Marshall 53: Sims (TM) 18; Braun (FL) 21.
Hughes 76, Lyndhurst Brush 60: Smith (H) 20; Harris (LB) 20.
La Lumiere 70, Aspire Academy 67: Stewart (LL) 22; Allen-Eikens (AA) 24.
McEachern 76, Pickerington Central 52: Cooper (M) 23; Garcia (PC) 15.
Minster 74, Franklin Monroe 58: Conley (FM) 35; Ketner (M) 21.
Upper Arlington vs. Wayne, ccd.
Dunbar 83, Toledo Woodward 78
Fairlawn 52, Botkins 43: Hickman (F) 20; Butcher (B) 11.
New Bremen 59, Fort Recovery 55: Bornhorst (NB) 17; Jutte, Wendel (FR) 15.
Belmont 68, Franklin 51: Hunt (B) 20; Kinzer (F) 16.
Butler 55, Tecumseh 32: Justice (B) 22.
Carlisle 71, Legacy Christian 60: Flor (C) 28; Burke (L) 23.
Chaminade Julienne 61, Thurgood Marshall 59
Clark Montessori 67, Cincinnati Christian 50: Reutener (CC) 12.
Clinton Massie 59, Valley View 55: Chowning (CM) 20.
Dayton Christian 48, Emmanuel Christian 29: Welker (DC) 17; Davis (EC) 9.
Fenwick 64, Madeira 54
Hamilton 78, Talawanda 53: Robinson (H) 36; DeWitt (T) 19.
Indian Lake 66, Graham 64
Lakota East 69, Fairfield 36
Lebanon 65, Milford 57: Hookfin (L) 21; Ayler (M) 18.
Miamisburg 54, Bellbrook 52: Hubbard (M) 21; Crouch (B) 12.
Mount Healthy 45, Edgewood 43: Simmons (M) 13; T. Allen (E) 16.
Norwood 67, New Miami 58: Morris (N) 25; Philpot (NM) 17.
Roger Bacon 50, Badin 42: Moore II (RB) 16.
Stebbins 88, Greenville 45
Stivers 80, Kenton Ridge 77: Ellis (S) 21.
St. Xavier 62, Lakota West 47: Stockman (S) 10; McCorkle (L) 15.
Tippecanoe 80, Eaton 36: Smith (T) 20; Manning (E) 10.
Triad 69, Southeastern 50: Harlan (T) 21; Flannery (S) 21.
West Liberty-Salem 62, Ben Logan 49: Loffing (WLS) 15; Robson (BL) 15.
Urbana 51, Alter 48: Underwood, Boettcher (U) 13; Bazelak (A) 17.
Anna 48, Marion Local 40: Huelskamp (A) 12; Evers (ML) 12.
Botkins 59, Fairlawn 21
Fort Recovery 39, South Adams 33
Franklin 54, Dixie 21: Ferrell (F) 19; Ruppert (D) 12.
Franklin Monroe 51, Brookville 33: Cable (FM) 17; Wheat (B) 10.
Houston 48, Riverside 42
Madison 61, Ansonia 45: Runnells (M) 20; Henderson (A) 24.
Milton-Union 63, Northridge 19: Dickison (MU) 27; Reeder (N) 14.
New Bremen 49, St. Marys 33: Homan (NB) 16; Cisco (SM) 10.
Russia 38, Covington 36: Cordonnier (R) 16; Whiteman (C) 23.
Tri-Village 56, Cedarville 50: Downing (TV) 17; Bolender (C) 11.
Troy Christian 53, Catholic Central 28
Union City 77, Mississinawa Valley 23
Waynesville 70, Carlisle 38: Murray (W) 28; Harris (C) 11.
Wilmington 46, Carroll 42: Jackson (W) 13.
Team Results: Celina 3983; Lima Shawnee 3884; St. Henry 3712; Wapakoneta 3691; St. Marys 3673; Lima Central Catholic 3481; Graham 3432; Defiance 3398; Columbian 3394; Minster 3360; New Bremen 3278; Lima Senior 3268; Wapakoneta 3252; Worthington Christian 3174; Wauseon 3043; Lima Shawnee 3021; Temple Christian 2827; Minster 2815; Lima Bath 2814; Mansfield Senior 1998.
West Liberty-Salem 2291, Fairbanks 2190
Team Results: Lima Shawnee 3154; Wapakoneta 3131; St. Marys 3083; Graham 2850; Wauseon 2736; Lima Bath 2658; Worthington Christian 2609; Minster 2589; Lima Senior 2465; New Bremen 2409; Celins 2349; Defiance 2316; Columbian 2243; Worthington Christian 1896.
Fairbanks 1936, West Liberty-Salem 1897
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