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Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 10:14 PM
SPRINGFIELD — The beard lives on in Springfield.
Wittenberg men’s basketball coach Matt Croci says he won’t shave until his team loses this season and the Tigers made sure the growth will continue with a 93-72 win over Ohio Wesleyan on Wednesday night.
»RELATED: Witt moves up to No. 5 in D-3 poll
The Tigers (16-0, 9-0) climbed to No. 5 in the D3hoops.com poll this week and promptly proved they belonged, beating the No. 23 Battlin’ Bishops (11-5, 6-3) in a North Coast Athletic Conference showdown.
The home team started with a hot hand. Tigers shooters made their first five shots and when the sixth bounced off the rim, Chad Roy was there to tip it in.
It was a big night for former Southeastern High school standout Jacob Bertemes. The sophomore hit 11-of-16 shots on his way to 27 points. Bertemes also handed out seven assists.
Wittenberg shot 59 percent from the field thanks to a dominating presence inside. Roy scored 22 points and Connor Seipel added 16 and 11 rebounds for the Tigers.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:09 AM
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast with Ryan Fowler. In this edition, we talk with National CFB Analyst, Bruce Feldman from Sports Illustrated on how Nick Saban is improving his team this off-season.
Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country’s daily Alabama Crimson Tide podcast right here .
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:06 AM
West Virginia starting defensive end Adam Shuler is leaving the program, he announced Wednesday.
Shuler said that he will transfer at the end of the spring semester and has received permission to contact other schools. He played in 13 games with 10 starts for West Virginia last season, recording 26 tackles with 8 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.
— Adam Shuler (@Adam_goeshard) February 21, 2018
This story will be updated.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:06 AM
Tyrann Mathieu is full of LSU pride before the NFL combine.
The former Tigers cornerback used Twitter on Wednesday to offer his support for former LSU cornerback Donte Jackson. Jackson, whose speed has been well-documented, is expected to threaten John Ross’ record time of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, which runs from Feb. 27-March 5.
Earlier Wednesday, the NFL’s Twitter account published a graphic asking readers to pick which player has the best chance to break Ross’ record time: Alabama cornerback Tony Brown, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward or Jackson.
Mathieu made his rooting interests clear.
It’s cool to see Mathieu, taken in the third round by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft, supporting Jackson in such a public way. It stands to reason that Jackson, given his speed, will be allowed a chance to thrive at the next level in much the same way Mathieu has done so. Speed, after all, is currency for NFL teams.
Mathieu was named to the Pro Bowl during the 2015 season. He also became a first-team All-Pro that season. He has 307 tackles with 11 interceptions throughout his NFL career.
If Jackson has a similar start to his journey at the next level, he likely will be happy — with or without the record time in the 40-yard dash.
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 6:04 AM
Mel Kiper Jr. is coming around on the SEC’s chances of another big day during the opening round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The ESPN draft expert released his Mock Draft 2.0 on Wednesday, and the league is clearly trending up as the combine approaches.
The second version of his first-round predictions included a noticeable uptick in SEC talent include in the first 32 picks. Kiper placed 10 former SEC players in the first round after including just seven during his first attempt at a mock draft.
Auburn’s Carlton Davis dropped out of the first round, but LSU’s Derrius Guice and Donte Jackson, Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn and South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst were all new additions.
Here’s a quick rundown of the SEC players he included and an change in his opinion on those prospects:
Kiper bumped Fitzpatrick up the board from No. 6 to No. 4 in the latest mock draft.
“Fitzpatrick is a big-time playmaker as a deep safety, outside corner and in the slot — he really has it all. He is a defensive coordinator’s dream,” Kiper wrote.
Kiper stuck with his projection of Smith to the Raiders, calling it a “perfect fit” and indicating that Smith could be the centerpiece of a Jon Gruden defense.
Ridley fell seven spots in Kiper’s projections, going from No. 8 to No. 15. But he still believes in the Crimson Tide product, and wouldn’t it be fun to see him line up alongside future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald?
“Ridley is far and away the best wideout in this draft class, and getting him at No. 15 is good value,” Kiper explained.
Kiper stuck with his choice of Payne to the Chargers at No. 17, citing Los Angeles’ dire need for run stoppers.
Here’s a rising stock in Kiper’s eyes. Evans moved from No. 28 to No. 19 in one of the biggest jumps from Mock Draft 1.0 to Mock Draft 2.0.
“He’s smart and battle-tested after playing under Nick Saban. I really like this pick for the Cowboys,” Kiper wrote.
The missing piece for former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford? Kiper thinks so, which is why he jumped the former Tigers running into the Top 20 after leaving him off the first round board altogether in Mock Draft 1.0.
Wynn is another newcomer to Kiper’s first round board thanks to a big performance at the Senior Bowl.
“He was one of the best offensive linemen there,” Kiper explained. “And he neutralized pass-rushers on almost every one-on-one rep.”
Hurst jumped into the first round of Kiper’s projections, and was even mentioned as a potential pick at No. 19 before Kiper settled on No. 27 to New Orleans. He expects the Gamecocks star to be the first tight end off the board in this draft class.
Kiper moved Jackson into the back end of his first round after predicting a big combine performance from the speedster. He mentioned that Bill Belichick could see him as a solution for the Patriots return game.
Kiper dropped Kirk six spots from No. 26 to No. 32, but he may have found a nice fit with the defending Super Bowl champs.