September 24

Lady Trojans Volleyball Teams Win I-74 Border War

first_imgEC Volleyball faced off with Harrison tonight. All three EC teams won in straight sets.Varsity won with the scores of 25-20, 25-19, and 25-16.EC vs Harrison Varsity VB (9-29)We started off slow in games one and two. We got in a hole quickly due to our own unforced errors. The girls stayed in it and fought back to pull out the win. We played a lot better all the way around in game three, controlling both sides of the scoreboard with fewer errors and smarter play.‘These girls have a lot of heart, we just let the mental game get to us too many times tonight. I’m proud of the win and proud of the way we came back. That’s not easy to do in rally scoring, but they made it look easy. We did a lot of good things tonight and looked really sharp majority of the time. I’m definitely proud of the progress.’  EC Coach Cassie Laker.Next up: Milan Thursday at 5 PM at Milan.  Varsity is now 20-6.Courtesy of Trojans Coach Cassie Laker.last_img read more

August 17

Now in the Olympics: Could 3-on-3 basketball catch on in America?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersGlobally, 3-on-3’s rise is playing out in similar fashion. As an international event, organized by basketball governing body FIBA, the discipline is really only seven years old. A new FIBA World Tour just finished its second season. And in America, despite the country’s pickup patronage, 3-on-3 — with its blistering pace and unique set of rules — has existed mostly on the fringes of basketball competition, at street fairs and on playgrounds.But if 3-on-3 is ever going to have its moment stateside, that day seems to be fast approaching. Two weeks before Mavraides and his teammates took the court for the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals, the IOC voted to add 3-on-3 basketball to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. A five-alarm fire of sports takes followed, sparking a mix of sideways glances and 3-on-3 lineup hypotheticals. Even LeBron James was asked if he might partake.The Olympics isn’t the only thing 3-on-3 has going. Today, a showcase of retired NBA stars will debut their own professional 3-on-3 league. Founded by Ice Cube and populated with recognizable former All-Stars such as Allen Iverson and Jermaine O’Neal, the BIG3 is America’s most serious attempt yet to bring 3-on-3 into the mainstream.“Summer is boring as (expletive),” Ice Cube declared at a news conference in January. “The BIG3 is just what the doctor ordered.”Fox seems to agree. The network signed on to broadcast BIG3 games on Fox Sports 1 every Sunday for the next 10 weeks. David Nathanson, Fox Sports director of operations, even called the league “one of our top priorities of the summer.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Whether Olympic 3-on-3 or the BIG3 can capture America’s attention remains to be seen. But in France, as Mavraides and his U.S. teammates trade lightning-quick punches with Serbia, the action — even over a 5 a.m. YouTube stream — is awfully captivating. The rules are starkly different from 5-on-5, with a slightly smaller ball and games played on half-courts. With just 12 seconds on the shot clock, the tempo is often turned up to breakneck speed. The 10-minute game clock runs constantly, leaving it impossible to catch your breath. True to its playground roots, takebacks to the 3-point line are required after both makes and misses. Shots outside the arc are worth two points — inside, they’re worth one — putting long-range shooting at a greater premium than in traditional hoops.“The slow, big post player who could dominate 5-on-5 by soaking up the paint — that’s not the type of player you want here,” Mavraides said. “You need quick, agile players, who can all dribble, pass, and shoot.”Unlike the bruising squad that brought home America’s first 3-on-3 medal last year, Mavraides and his Team USA teammates live and die by the 2-pointer. They make for an eclectic collection of sharpshooters. Craig Moore, a Manhattan wealth manager and Northwestern alum, is sixth all-time in the Big Ten in 3-pointers. Damon Huffman, a shooter who played at Brown, owns an assisted living facility in Michigan. Zahir Carrington, a Lehigh alum and the team’s most physical presence inside, works in medical device sales.The team qualified for the World Cup by winning an invite-only tournament run by USA Basketball — a format the organization favors, for the time being, over handpicking a national team. In theory, the door is open for you and your weekly pickup team to compete for an Olympic 3-on-3 berth, come 2020.The vision for 3-on-3, according to USA Basketball spokesperson Craig Miller, is to make it possible for “someone who lives remotely and only has two buddies to get a team together and actually be competitive.”More accessible than traditional 5-on-5, 3-on-3 can be played pretty much anywhere from alleyways in the Philippines to a shopping mall in India. Not only does the ease of entry make for a more level international playing field, but for many in the international basketball world, it means huge potential for growth in countries that struggle to field full, 12-person rosters.“(FIBA) really likes the idea of seeing smaller countries, less traditional powers, compete,” Miller said.For the BIG3, it’s all about big names and flash. “I know Ice Cube’s dream is to have Kobe Bryant,” BIG3 commissioner and former NBPA president Roger Mason said. “This is a league built for someone like him.”Kobe passed, but the roster of players and coaches the league will feature is intriguing, nonetheless. Hall of Famers Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler and George Gervin will walk the sideline as coaches. Iverson, at 42, is the obvious draw among former players, but retired fan favorites such as Jason Williams, Mike Bibby, and Kenyon Martin could prompt some fans to tune in. Other big-name former players, Mason claims, are monitoring the league in its debut season.With rules catered to fans, it should be a sight to see. The BIG3 will introduce a 4-point shot. Hand-checking is allowed. And players who are fouled must shoot their free throws from wherever they are on the court.“There’s no doubt this product will do well,” Mason said. “Our guys still have gas in the tank. They still feel like they can compete at a high level. I think it’s a recipe for success.”The track record for other upstart leagues with similar ambitions isn’t exactly sterling. But Fox is bullish, and Mason is dreaming big. “Our league certainly has global appeal,” he said. Right now, plans for the future of both international competition and the BIG3 are almost entirely unwritten.“It’s still kind of a wait-and see-game,” Jay Demings, USA Basketball’s point man on 3-on-3, said.The current international structure is a mess of qualifiers and participation point totals, and the available prize money is insignificant, which is likely to discourage the best American players from getting involved. Of course, that won’t stop speculation over whether NBA players might someday get involved and what that might mean for the amateur, grassroots identity of the game as it currently stands.USA Basketball won’t rule out the possibility of NBA player involvement — “We always want to field the best team possible,” Miller said — but suggested the current qualifying structure likely wouldn’t work with the league season.Mavraides isn’t holding his breath.“I don’t see LeBron James or Stephen Curry coming to play on the halfcourt at the Olympics and putting their bodies on the line, given all that they do,” he said.Regardless, Mavraides said that as 3-on-3 hits its stride, the likelihood of him appearing in a Team USA jersey again subsides. A handful of D-League players already dotted the rosters of this year’s World Cup teams. Mavraides, who is ranked 431st in the world by FIBA, has no delusions of dominating 3-on-3 into 2020. Just to take part in the first 3-on-3 Olympic qualifying, he said, “would be an honor.”But as 3-on-3 prepares for its moment in the sun, in France, Mavraides and Team USA weather challenge after challenge from the world’s No. 1 team. A force in the 3-on-3 game, Serbia boasts league infrastructure, legitimate salaries and Red Bull sponsorship. Team USA is merely a collection of amateurs with day jobs.Nonetheless, Mavraides is confident. Down 10-9, he drives the baseline, beckoning for contact as he lifts for a lay-in. With the score tied, Mavraides looks out into the crowd and flashes a flexed bicep.But before long, the sun sets on Team USA’s World Cup run. Serbia is too much to handle. As Serbia pulls away, its top scorer and the world’s No. 1 player, Dusan Domovic Bulut, returns a flexed bicep in Mavraides’ direction. The final seconds tick off, and as the buzzer sounds, 10,000 are watching on YouTube.It’s far too early to tell what the future holds for 3-on-3. The BIG3 is coming. The Olympics are on the horizon. As basketball continues growing exponentially across the globe, it’s not difficult to imagine that number multiplying in the years to come.For now, the investment portfolio manager will return to his day job in Beverly Hills, knowing he got in on the ground floor.BIG3 FACTS AND FIGURESWhat: New professional 3-on-3 basketball league created by rapper Ice Cube featuring eight teams composed of former NBA playersTV: Fox Sports 1Captains: Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Clyde Drexler, Rick BarryNotable players: Iverson, Charles Oakley, Mike Bibby, Rashard Lewis, Kenyon Martin, Corey MaggetteSchedule:June 25 – Brooklyn, N.Y.July 2 – Charlotte, N.C.July 9 – Tulsa, Okla.July 16 – PhiladelphiaJuly 23 – ChicagoJuly 30 – DallasAug. 6 – Lexington, Ky.Aug. 13 – L.A. (Staples Center)Aug. 20 – SeattleAug. 26 – Las Vegas (championship)Website: big3.comcenter_img The U.S. national 3-on-3 basketball team’s leading scorer has never played in an NBA game. He’s not a Drew League standout or a star on the streetball circuit. Dan Mavraides is, in fact, an investment portfolio manager in Beverly Hills.Four years ago, when Mavraides left a professional basketball career in Italy, he figured hoops would never again extend beyond pickup games at West Hollywood Park. The pull of a stable day job was too strong. Basketball, which took him to Princeton and then Europe, took a back seat.“I still felt like I had a lot more to give to the game,” Mavraides says, but with a busy schedule at work, some weeks he struggled just to find time for pickup games.So, Mavraides, 28, did not expect to be standing atop the key of a halfcourt arena in western France a few years later, with a Team USA logo across his chest, as music blared and fans lined bleachers around the court. For him, 3-on-3 started as merely a curiosity. But he quickly fell for its frenetic energy and the strategy the game demanded.last_img read more

August 14

Inside Tua Tagovailoa, DeVonta Smith’s record-breaking day for Alabama

first_imgMORE: Jalen Hurts distances himself in Heisman race with stat-stuffed Big 12 debutWith that, a look inside Tagovailoa and Smith’s ludicrous outing against the Rebels:274 receiving yardsSmith logged what might be the best receiving game in Alabama football history, catching 11 passes for 274 yards and five touchdowns (more on those scores in a minute). His 11 catches were only two away from tying the Alabama single-game record of 13, held by D.J. Hall (2007 vs. Tennessee) and Amari Cooper (2014, vs. Florida Atlantic and Auburn).Five touchdown receptionsNow, about those touchdowns: Smith caught five on the day, tying an SEC single-game record and obliterating Alabama’s old single-game mark of three. Several Alabama receivers have caught that many in a game, including Jerry Jeudy against New Mexico State on Sept. 7. Smith’s touchdowns Saturday went for 74, 25, 23, 33 and 27 yards, respectively.Six passing touchdownsMeanwhile, Tagovailoa broke his own record of passing touchdowns in a game, throwing six against Ole Miss. Smith was the primary recipient of those touchdowns, but Tagovailoa’s last touchdown went to tight end Miller Forristall from 19 yards out.Four five-passing-touchdown gamesPrior to the 2018 Iron Bowl, only one Alabama quarterback had ever thrown for five touchdowns in a game (coincidentally, it was when Gary Hollingsworth threw five against Ole Miss in 1989). Tagovailoa completed his fourth five-passing-touchdown game Saturday against the Rebels, and his third of the year. He’s the only quarterback in Alabama history to have completed the feat more than once.Seven touchdowns accounted forTagovailoa isn’t a one-dimensional player. On top of the six touchdown passes he threw, he also ran for one from 7 yards out. That gave him seven total touchdowns for the day, breaking the mark he set last year against Auburn, when he accounted for six.85 career touchdowns accounted forFor his career, Tagovailoa has accounted for 85 total touchdowns: 77 through the air, and eight on the ground. That puts him solely in first place and five ahead of AJ McCarron, who accounted for 80 touchdowns from 2010-13. The most impressive aspect of this stat is Tagovailoa still has several games left to play this season; by the time he’s finished in Tuscaloosa, his record might not be touched for a long, long time. Alabama put on quite the offensive display in its 59-31 win over Ole Miss on Saturday; more accurately, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver DeVonta Smith put on the offensive display.Those two combined to tie or break six Alabama records in Bryant-Denny Stadium as the Tide advanced to 5-0 on the season. Tagovailoa was his usual accurate self, while Smith seemed unguardable. Postseason hardware may not be on these players’ minds, but they’ll definitely be up for a few if they continue playing at the same level they did on Saturday. 77 career passing touchdownsOne record Tagovailoa wasn’t able to break — but did tie — was career passing touchdowns. After tossing six through the air on Saturday, he tied McCarron for 77 in a career. That record will remain unbroken for at least another two weeks, when Alabama comes off a bye to play Texas A&M in College Station.72.2 completion percentageAs gaudy as the above stats are, what makes them more impressive is the fact Tagovailoa did it so efficiently: He completed 26 of 36 passes (72.2 percent) on the day. High volume combined with exceptional efficiency makes for a deadly combination.Zero turnoversTagovailoa turned in another zero-turnover day against the Rebs, giving him a 25-0 touchdown-turnover ratio this season. With seven games remaining in the regular season, that mark surely won’t last — but as long as it does, it will continue to remain an impressive feat.last_img read more

August 14

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin calls out ESPN over handling of Myles Garrett interview

first_imgESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Thursday released a condensed interview with Garrett in which he alleged, again, that Rudolph called him “a stupid N-word” moments before the brawl between the two teams. The full interview aired on Saturday. In it, ESPN’s Mina Kimes mentions to Garrett the NFL found no evidence of his claims.Tomlin said he was “hacked off” by the way ESPN handled the piece, saying it was unfair to Rudolph and that it didn’t reflect that he, the Steelers and Browns organizations and the NFL found no evidence of him calling Garrett the N-word.MORE: Rudolph, Tomlin rebuke Garrett’s claims against Steelers quarterback”But when these allegations returned this past weekend, I thought it was appropriate that Mason is properly defended. It was a thorough investigation done by us and the National Football League. I don’t think that that was represented during that piece. These accusations are serious, not only in terms of Mason Rudolph’s character, but his professional pursuits. Nobody on that field, as a member of the Cleveland Browns or the Pittsburgh Steelers, corroborated what was said by Myles Garrett. That was founded by us and the National Football League. And at no point during that piece this weekend, that was stated. Myself personally, I was on the field immediately after that altercation and subsequently after the game. I’ve got a lot of personal relationships within that organization over there in Cleveland. At no point did anyone within that organization come forward and say, ‘Mike, heads up, we’ve got a situation here,’ or something of that nature that you would expect to come with those types of allegations. So I fully support Mason Rudolph, we as an organization fully support Mason Rudolph. And to be quite honest with you, we were hacked off with what we saw this weekend. Not specifically from Myles Garrett — he’s been in the lane that he’s in — but what was displayed by ESPN and that panel. The way that the situation was presented, I don’t think was fair to Mason Rudolph, and that’s why I’m here today.”Both Rudolph and the NFL released statements in response to the “OTL” piece. Rudolph called Garrett’s claim “1000% false” while the NFL again stated that it found no evidence Rudolph used the racial slur toward Garrett. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has once again come to the defense of quarterback Mason Rudolph.Tomlin on Monday appeared on ESPN’s “First Take,” not only to reaffirm his support of Rudolph — who Browns defensive end Myles Garrett claims used a racial slur against him in the teams’ Nov. 14 meeting — but also to lambaste the network for the way it handled Garrett’s interview. (ESPN) Garrett, suspended indefinitely over his role in the brawl, was reinstated by the NFL last week.Update: ESPN reached out to Sporting News, providing a screen shot of the “OTL” piece that ran on Saturday in which a graphic is shown mentioning the NFL had not found evidence Rudolph used a racial slur:last_img read more

December 29

Liverpool starlet set for Eredivisie loan move

first_imgLiverpool teen ace Taiwo Awoniyi is set to complete a loan move to Dutch club NEC Nijmegen.The Nigerian prodigy joined the Reds last summer but was immediately loaned to FSV Frankfurt in the German second division.And Jurgen Klopp has now decided that the 18-year-old needs another year away from Liverpool to gain further first-team experience before he makes the step up to the club’s senior squad.According to Voetbal International, Nijmegen are the clear favourites to land Awoniyi, due to the close relationship between their coach, Peter Hyballa, and Klopp.Awoniyi has represented Nigeria at Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 level and is very much seen as one for the future at Anfield. 1 Taiwo Awoniyi on loan at Frankfurt last_img read more