Reds’ Cozart closes in on All-Star starting nod

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 1:22 PM

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart throws to first for an out against the Dodgers on Friday, June 16, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Reds shortstop Zack Cozart throws to first for an out against the Dodgers on Friday, June 16, 2017, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Despite a slump, Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart extended his lead over Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager in voting for the National League All-Star team in the past week.

Cozart’s batting average has fallen from .353 to .320 since June 6, and he hasn’t driven in a run in his last 10 appearances. The Reds have lost nine straight games. Cozart still leads NL shortstops in batting average, on-base percentage (.404) and slugging percentage (.562).

RELATED: Cozart only concerned about team goals

In the updated voting totals announced Monday, Cozart had  1,465,327 votes. Seager had 1,143,767 votes. Cozart led by 193,178 votes last week, Now he leads by 321,560.

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RELATED: Arroyo’s career may be over

Joey Votto ranks fifth among first basemen with 517,833 votes. Adam Duvall ranks 10th among outfielders with 532,243.

Voting continues until 11:59 p.m. June 29.

WATCH: Timelapse of photos at Pete Rose Statue(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

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Driven West Virginia streaks to 85-70 triumph over undermanned Iowa State

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:13 PM

Coach Bob Huggins and West Virginia were intent on gaining revenge Saturday against old rival Iowa  State.

It helped that the undermanned Cyclones were down to a seven-man rotation. The No. 21 Mountaineers took advantage of the limited numbers in a 85-70 triumph at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

It provided a modicum of payback after Iowa State’s 16-point victory in Ames on Jan. 31 that was their largest conference loss of the season.

 

West Virginia improves to 21-8 and 10-6 in Big 12 play with the triumph. Iowa State falls to 13-15, 4-12.

 

3 Who Mattered

  • Esa Ahmad: Another strong effort for Ahmad, who notched 18 points and 11 rebounds. It was his second career double-double.
  • Sagaba Konate: It was a dominant all-around performance inside for Konate, who produced 14 points,  9 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. It marked his sixth game this season where Konate notched at least 6 blocks.
  • Jevon Carter: The Mountaineers’ senior point guard filled the stat sheet with 21 points, 7  rebounds and 2 assists. In the process, he made history as the first player at a Power 5 school to produce 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals in a career. He also became only fifth player in college basketball history to achieve that feat.

Turning Point

West Virginia took advantage of Iowa State’s weakened condition to erupt on an 11-2 run in the final  4:35 of the first half. It sparked them to a 39-30 halftime lead.

It was part of an overall 24-6 Mountaineer run where their defense was on display. Iowa State missed 15 of 16 shots during a  10-minute stretch midway in the game enabling the Mountaineers to blow the game open.

3 observations

  • Iowa State played like a tired team, understandable because they were playing with a 7-man rotation because of injuries and the death of second-leading scorer Donovan Jackson’s father.  The attrition wore on the Cyclones, who missed their final six shots and were held scoreless over the final 4:35 of the first half.
  • Konate completely outplayed Cameron Lard throughout the game. Lard was limited to 8 points and didn’t get his first shot until the first minute of the second half.
  • West Virginia sixth man James “Beetle” Bolden made a mental mistake early in the game when he committed a foul on an Iowa State fast break attempt. It earned him a quick seat in Huggins’ doghouse for the rest of the first half. Bolden didn’t resurface until more than 5 minutes expired in the second half.

The number

West Virginia came up with a strong defensive effort, limiting the Cyclones to 42.9 percent from the field. It was a marked contrast from the first game, where Iowa State shot a season-best 62.1 percent from the field. Since then, no opponent has shot better than 47 percent from the field against the Cyclones.

What’s next for West Virginia basketball

The Mountaineers return to action for a Big Monday showdown against Texas Tech at the WVU Coliseum. Tip-off will be at 9 p.m. ET. It will be shown on ESPN2.

West Virginia will be aiming for revenge after a 72-71 loss to the Red Raiders on Jan. 13. It was the loss that snapped the Mountaineers’ 15-game winning streak that pushed them to No. 2 in the nation.

West Virginia coughed up a 11-point lead in the final 13 minutes in the earlier loss this season. Texas Tech shot 58.3 percent in the second half to spur the comeback, sparked by 20 points by Keenan Evans.

Carter led West Virginia with a game-high 28  points in the earlier game.

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Former Longhorn Brian Orakpo shows his love of cupcakes in Player’s Tribune video

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:12 PM

If you recall Brian Orakpo’s career at Texas, you’d think that he’d have a hyper-masculine hobby. Perhaps something along the lines of hunting coyotes with his bear hands, woodworking, or grilling.

In a new video on Player’s Tribune, Orakpo shows his undying love for…cupcakes?

Orakpo teamed up with the Tribune to talk about his cupcakes business, which will forever seem odd for a man who used to be known as “The Freak.”

“Look at these layers! It’s perfect,” yells Orakpo, about one of his shop’s newest cupcakes.

Orakpo tallied 23 sacks over his career at Texas, including 11 during his senior year in 2008. He was taken in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins with the 13th overall pick. Orakpo currently plays for the Tennessee Titans, and has racked up 64.5 sacks in his NFL career.

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Book it, Hogs! Arkansas beats Alabama and all but ensures itself of NCAA bid

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:12 PM

What Mike Anderson has done with the Arkansas basketball team this year should not be discounted. In a season the SEC is as good as it has been in 10-plus years, Anderson has the Razorbacks at 20 wins and all but assured of an NCAA Tournament.

The selectin committee is going to have a difficult time keeping Arkansas out of the Dance with the Hogs’ resume. Their beating of Alabama, another team likely to make the NCAA Tournament, on Saturday, 76-73, the latest in a season filled with more resume positives than negatives.

Wasn’t easy but no one expected it to be in the SEC.

Anderson’s bench was balanced, his freshman big man Daniel Gafford was tenacious and his two best players, had a flurry to put away Alabama near the end. Probably wasn’t the prettiest game the Razorbacks played all year, but given circumstances and stakes, it was perhaps one of the best.

Alabama had a lead for most of the second half. With 6:53 left, the Crimson Tide led by one. Barford hadn’t made a field goal since three minutes into the game. He found himself wide open, though, on the wing and buried a 3. After the Crimson Tide failed to score, Macon went down on Arkansas’ end and hit another. A quick 6-0 run put the Hogs back into the position they were for most of the opening 20 minutes – ahead by a couple possessions.

Alabama didn’t answer and, in fact, let Arkansas keep piling on. Gafford’s dunk led the teams into the under-4 timeout with the Razorbacks ahead by eight. It was their largest lead of the game and came in the midst of a 1 for 7 stretch for Alabama.

The win keeps the Razorbacks (20-9, 9-7) in a tie for third place in the SEC with two games left. It was significant, too, as Auburn – the SEC leaders – come next, followed by a road game at Missouri to finish the regular season. The Crimson Tide (17-12, 8-8) have lost three straight now.

Macon finished with a team-high 15 points. Barford had 10, Gafford 11, Dustin Thomas 11 and CJ Jones, off the bench, added 13. Alabama had four players in double figures, too, but had just 11 bench points to Arkansas’ 22.

The highlight

Arkansas had eight players score and picked up a six-rebound, five-assist game from Trey Thompson on top of it. The team that used to rely on the Macon-Barford-Gafford combination has recieved superb perfromances from role players most of the last three weeks.

The lowlight

A bit of difficulty, per usual, defending the 3-pointer. Alabama made 10 as a team not normally known as that strong from the perimeter.

What’s next for Arkansas?

Arkansas returns home for a chance to knock off the SEC leaders. Auburn visits Bud Walton Arena on Tuesday in the penultimate game in the SEC’s regular season.

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NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players, NFL draft order (02/24/2018)

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 2:30 AM

NFL mock drafts 2018 are out. Find some projections, players and a first-round draft order below.

Much of the narrative around the draft is focused at quarterback. Mock drafts from ESPN and CBS Sports both have quarterbacks filling up the top 10 this year.

Here is a collection of 2018 NFL mock drafts, including Land of 10’s own projection.

NFL mock draft 2018: First-round projections, top players

Land of 10 predictions

  1. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  2. New York Giants — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb, DL, N.C. State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  5. Denver Broncos — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  6. New York Jets — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Derwin James, DB, Florida State
  8. Chicago Bears — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, DB, Ohio State
  10. Oakland Raiders — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  11. Miami Dolphins — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  13. Washington Redskins — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  14. Green Bay Packers — Joshua Jackson, DB, Iowa
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Connor Williams, OT, Texas
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Mike McGlinchey, G, Notre Dame
  18. Seattle Seahawks — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
  20. Detroit Lions — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  21. Buffalo Bills –Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
  22. Buffalo Bills — Arden Key, DL, LSU
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
  24. Carolina Panthers — Marcus Davenport, DL, UTSA
  25. Tennessee Titans — Maurice Hurst, DL, Michigan
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Vita Vea, DL, Washington
  27. New Orleans Saints — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Harold Landry, LB, Boston College
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
  31. New England Patriots — Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
  32. Philadelphia Eagles — Ogbonnia Okoronwko, LB, Oklahoma

NFL mock draft 2018: ESPN projections by Mel Kiper

  1. Cleveland Browns — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  2. New York Giants — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  5. Denver Broncos — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  6. New York Jets — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Quenton Nelton, G, Notre Dame
  8. Chicago Bears — Tremaine Edmunds, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  10. Oakland Raiders — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  11. Miami Dolphins — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Kolton Miller, T, UCLA
  13. Washington Redskins — Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  14. Green Bay Packers — Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  18. Seattle Seahawks — Derwin James, S, Florida State
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
  20. Detroit Lions — Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  21. Buffalo Bills — Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
  22. Buffalo Bills — James Daniels, G/C, Iowa
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  24. Carolina Panthers — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma
  25. Tennessee Titans — Ronald Jones, RB, USC
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
  27. New Orleans Saints — Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Geron Christian, T, Louisville
  31. New England Patriots — Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
  32. Philadelphia Eagles — Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

NFL mock draft 2018: Top players, projection for first round

CBS Sports projection

  1. Cleveland Browns — Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  2. New York Giants — Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  3. Indianapolis Colts — Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  4. Cleveland Browns — Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  5. Buffalo Bills (mock trade) — Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  6. New York Jets — Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  8. Chicago Bears — Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
  9. San Francisco 49ers — Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  10. Oakland Raiders — Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
  11. Miami Dolphins — Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  12. Cincinnati Bengals — Connor Williams, T, Texas
  13. Washington Redskins — Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  14. Green Bay Packers — Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
  15. Arizona Cardinals — Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
  16. Baltimore Ravens — Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  17. Los Angeles Chargers — Derwin James, S, Florida State
  18. Seattle Seahawks — Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
  19. Dallas Cowboys — Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  20. Detroit Lions — Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
  21. Denver Broncos (mock trade) — Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame
  22. Buffalo Bills — Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  23. Los Angeles Rams — Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
  24. Carolina Panthers — James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
  25. Tennessee Titans — Billy Price, OL, Ohio State
  26. Atlanta Falcons — Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  27. New Orleans Saints — Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers — Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars — Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
  30. Minnesota Vikings — Will Hernandez, OL, UTEP
  31. Philadelphia Eagles — Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE, Oklahoma
  32. New England Patriots — Ronald Jones, RB, USC

2018 NFL Draft: First-round order

The draft order was finalized after the Super Bowl.

1. Cleveland Browns

2. New York Giants

3. Indianapolis Colts

4. Cleveland Browns

5. Denver Broncos

6. New York Jets

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. Chicago Bears

9. San Francisco 49ers OR Oakland Raiders (coin flip)

11. Miami Dolphins

12. Cincinnati Bengals

13. Washington Redskins

14. Green Bay Packers

15. Arizona Cardinals

16. Baltimore Ravens

17. Los Angeles Chargers

18. Seattle Seahawks

19. Dallas Cowboys

20. Detroit Lions

21. Buffalo Bills

22. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs)

23. Los Angeles Rams

24. Carolina Panthers

25. Tennessee Titans

26. Atlanta Falcons

27. New Orleans Saints

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

30. Minnesota Vikings

31. New England Patriots

32. Philadelphia Eagles

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