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Published: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 9:42 AM
— After another Battle of Ohio beatdown, the Cincinnati Bengals have hopes and the Cleveland Browns have none.
Finally the 2017 pro football season has arrived in the Buckeye State.
While the Bengals try to figure out how to catch the Steelers, Browns fans can start putting together their draft boards.
Everything is how it should be.
RELATED: Bengals crush Browns in Cleveland
I wrote Friday I was nervous about how certain it seemed the Bengals would win in Cleveland, andI think I predicted on our weekly Facebook Live (check those out on Thursdays) a two-touchdown Cincinnati win.
The Bengals did some good things. The Browns are worse than I realized. That added up to 31-7.
After a rocky beginning, Cincinnati’s offense found some holes in Cleveland’s weird defensive scheme and it was off to the races.
Despite getting no help from the running game, Andy Dalton picked apart the Browns, posting an outrageous 146 QB rating.
Seeing seven targets apiece for A.J. Green and Tyler Kroft tells me the quarterback did a good job of looking for his best player and taking what the defense was giving him, which is all you can ask for much of the time.
It looked like the Browns were determined not to let the Bengals run the ball, so we’ll worry about that aspect of things later.
Let’s accentuate the positives today.
Despite having no running game, the Bengals were good on third down (6 for 11), contained everything the Cleveland offense wanted to do until garbage time and got great work from special teams.
Vontaze Burfict came back and even managed to become a sympathetic figure for a minute thanks to a ridiculous roughing the passer flag thrown on him.
Maybe next time Marvin Lewis suggests he gets a bad rap, more people will listen…
As for the Browns, all I can say is, “Wow.”
I still like the potential of DeShone Kizer. I’m wondering if they are too bad to give him a chance to develop, though.
I agree with the line of thinking he doesn’t have the confidence to be an NFL quarterback if it gets destroyed by this terrible early experience, but…. what if that is wrong?
Anyway, it’s not my concern.
It might not be Hue Jackson’s next year either if you’re buying some of the stuff being written about the team.
CBS Sports reported Sunday morning there is a rift between the coach, who has actually done good things in the league, and the front office, which is comprised largely of people who have not.
As believable as this story is given the near-constant state of turmoil the Browns have been in since they were bought by Jimmy Haslam, I generally advise taking this type of report with a grain of salt because you never know who could be fueling it and what sort of agenda they might have.
Jackson took what was seen as a veiled shot at the front office last week when asked if his team can compete, and Adam Jones voiced similar feelings about a Browns roster that since the draft had been viewed as being on the upswing.
Pacman Jones wondered aloud Sunday afternoon if the Browns can win a single game.— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) October 1, 2017
It's a valid question. https://t.co/CfGrMtMYvl
Jackson was an awesome presence in Cincinnati, so I winced when he went north because I knew that would either mean the Browns would become good or he would fail.
On the bright side, I strongly suspect he has enough credibility built up to find another job quickly — maybe back in the Queen City?
There’s a long way to go before the final story is written for either Ohio franchise this season.
It’s nice to have some familiar narratives back in place now, though, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, about that playoff chase?
One win doesn’t cure all the Bengals’ ills but, it’s sure better than the alternative.
They are two games back of the Steelers, who may not be as good as people expected and reportedly have had to deal with some locker room issues after their botched attempt at avoiding controversy during the national anthem last weekend.
(The same caveat as above applied to this story about the Steelers.)...
Ohio State moved up to No. 10 in the Associated Press poll, which doesn’t matter but some people care about anyway.
Miami University went to Notre Dame and endured a blowout...
We’ll take a closer look at the 2017 baseball season in Cincinnati and look ahead to 2018 this week...
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 8:13 AM
The first episode of “Inside the Madness: University of Kentucky basketball” premiered Saturday on Facebook Watch.
It’s a 10-episode behind-the-scenes documentary series from producers Tom Cappello and Jason Sciavicco. The series will air at least once a week through March 31.
Kentucky coach John Calipari said the all-access camera crew hasn’t been a distraction.
“At first it’s kind of noticeable, but going on through the year it hasn’t been that much of a pain,” freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt said. “It’s been pretty good, actually.”
Kentucky will try to snap a four-game losing streak when it faces Alabama at 2 p.m. ET Saturday at Rupp Arena.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 8:14 AM
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Last week, coach Mike White said he felt one way his Florida basketball team could strengthen itself down the stretch would be to get more production from its young bench players.
It didn’t quite make a difference on the scoreboard Wednesday night as the Gators took a deflating overtime loss to Georgia, but freshman guard Mike Okauru has continued to answer that challenge in recent games while taking advantage of his increased opportunities.
After not factoring into the first meeting with Georgia just four games earlier, Okauru logged 14 minutes Wednesday night while hitting 5 of 6 shots (including 2 3-pointers) for 14 points. It was his highest scoring output in SEC play and his most point since scoring 15 against Stanford back in November, and he also added 2 steals.
That followed performances of 9 points against LSU and 8 points at South Carolina for Okauru after totaling just 1 point in the previous five games.
“I think he changed his overall attitude about three weeks ago. He got out of the freshman blues, ‘Woe is me, why am I not playing more?’ Like a lot of these guys go through. It’s all part of college basketball,” White said. “He himself obtained a renewed, I guess, lack of entitlement and he really just got to work. We had a conversation about, ‘Mike, if you work your butt off every single day you’re going to have an opportunity. And if you get three minutes and you wanted 10 you don’t go back in the tank the next day in practice. We’ve got to be grown men about this. This is the University of Florida. This isn’t high school basketball.’
“I think that’s where a lot of freshmen have struggles. They feel like they deserve more, and when he kind of rearranged his mindset in terms of ‘What do I need to do to just help this team?’ coincidentally he starts playing better. When it’s about the team you play better.”
Okauru, who was rated a 4-star prospect by ESPN and a 3-star by Rivals and 247Sports, admits he had become frustrated with his lack of role on game days and went into White’s office to have a conversation about it.
“It just got to a point, I was just fed up with not playing so I went into his office, we just talked and, you know, he told me what I had to do to get on the court and I’ve been working hard and I’ve been doing that ever since,” Okauru said.
Okauru would seem to be in line for a much larger role next season after senior point guard Chris Chiozza moves on, and every strong performance like the one he gave Wednesday night will only help with that.
Okauru says he understood he’d have to be patient this first season.
“That’s something like all freshmen all around the country deal with so I’m just learning from Chris as much as I can and just going on from there,” he said. “I knew coming in I’d have to wait. Chris is like one of the best guards in the country, so I kind of expected that coming in.”
But not being able to contribute while watching the game struggle surely tested that patience.
Okauru has gotten at least 11 minutes in each of the last four games after logging 0 minutes in that road game at Georgia, and if he keeps performing in those limited opportunities he should continue to find a place in the rotation.
“I think I can be a great defender for this team. If I need to score or whatever, I can do that as well,” he said.
Said White: “I think with these young guys it’s a matter of gaining confidence and getting into the rhythm of the game. And then if you can help us, help us. He’s been pretty good.”
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 1:00 AM
Olympics Hockey 2018 continues Saturday, Feb. 17. Get the schedule, scores, standings and results for Saturday below.
USA men’s hockey lost to the Olympic Athletes from Russia on Saturday morning.
Saturday, February 17
|4||South Korea||0||0||0||2||1||10||-9||0||Qualification playoffs|
|1||Olympic Athletes from Russia||2||0||0||1||14||5||+9||6||Quarterfinals|
|4||Olympic Athletes from Russia||0||0||0||3||1||15||-14||0||Quarterfinals|
Saturday, February 10
Saturday, February 11
Monday, February 12
Tuesday, February 13
Wednesday, February 14
Thursday, February 15
Friday, February 16
Saturday, February 17
Sunday, February 18
Monday, February 19
Tuesday, February 20
Wednesday, February 21
Friday, February 23
Saturday, February 24
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 8:00 AM
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa men’s basketball team hostsIndiana on Saturday, Feb. 17, for a Big Ten basketball game at 1:05 p.m. CT at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes (12-16, 3-12 Big Ten) are trying to turn things around before the Big Ten Tournament starts at the end of February. The Hawkeyes have have lost four straight games and are tied for 11th in the league standings.
The Hoosiers (15-12, 8-7) have won three in a row, including a 78-68 victory over Illinois on Wednesday.
15:11 (1H) — The Hawkeyes are perfect, yes, perfect, from the field. Iowa has hit all seven of its field goals and leads 17-10 at the first media timeout. The Hawkeyes have good ball movement and are doing whatever they want offensively right now.
17:12 (1H) — We have a delay in the game as the PA system is having a very bad first few minutes of the game. It took a minute to get audio for the player introductions and twice the horn has randomly gone of during play.
17:20 (1H) — Quick start for Iowa on the offensive end. Hawkeyes lead 10-3 and already have hit a pair of 3-point shots.
12:50 p.m. — The Iowa starters are Jordan Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, Jack Nunge, Tyler Cook and Luka Garza.
12:42 p.m. — The officials for the game are Larry Scirotto, Paul Szelc and Bill Ek.
12:08 p.m. — Don’t be surprised if it’s a late arriving crowd. The area is getting hit with a snowstorm right now and reports are that the roads are bad and the highways are backed up.
— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) February 17, 2018
12:00 p.m. CT — Welcome to the Land of 10 Iowa live blog for the Indiana game. The Hawkeyes are looking to even up the season series with the Hoosiers this afternoon. The game starts in an hour.
WatchESPN will air the Iowa-Indiana game. Jason Benetti will call the action while Dan Dakich provides analysis.
ESPN will stream the game. Click here for more information.
In Iowa, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the Hawkeyes’ flagship radio stations. Gary Dolphin is the play-by-play broadcaster with Bob Hansen as the color analyst. Click here for other Iowa radio affiliates.
The TuneIn app also streams basketball games.
When the teams met in December, Indiana picked up an easy 77-64 win. The Hoosiers led by as many as 22 points.
The good news for Iowa is this isn’t on the road, where the Hawkeyes have yet to win a Big Ten game. Turnovers and an inability to generate defensive stops were major issues in the first contest. Iowa committed 17 turnovers and allowed an easy path to the basket, allowing 36 points in the paint.
Guard Jordan Bohannon and forward Tyler Cook combined for only 16 points. It’s hard for Iowa to win when its top two scorers combine to shoot 37.5 percent.
Indiana is a sneaky defensive team. The Hoosiers are ranked No. 10 in the Big Ten in points allowed (69.4), but are ranked No. 51 nationally in the KenPom.com adjusted defensive metric (98.4). They aren’t the best defensive team in the league and Iowa has the chance to score on them, but they’re not as bad as their traditional stats may indicate.
The Hoosiers beat the Hawkeyes in December by spreading around the scoring. Four players scored in double figures. Only two, forward Juwan Morgan and guard Robert Johnson, average double figures in points. Morgan is the team’s best player, averaging 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds.
This one could be entertaining to watch. Indiana isn’t afraid to get up and down the floor. Iowa thrives in that kind of game. The question is if the Hawkeyes can do enough to reverse the outcome.