Duke Arizona And Michigan State Are Biggest Tourney Gainers

Pretty much every team that survives its first two games and advances to the Sweet 16 has the right to be pleased with its performance. But four men’s teams — Duke, Arizona, Michigan State and Gonzaga — should be especially giddy. Their odds of winning the championship have improved the most so far.In the table below, I’ve compared the 16 surviving teams in two ways: First, by the change in their power rating in the FiveThirtyEight forecast since before the tournament began, and second, by the change in their probability of winning the tournament.Teams’ power ratings can change for two reasons. Our model updates the power ratings at the end of each game based on how a team performs relative to its expectations. A team that wins by an especially wide margin, or that wins as an underdog, will see the largest gains. By contrast, a team’s power rating may decline if it wins by a smaller-than-expected margin.We’re also continually updating the model with new data on player injuries. Two injury situations are the most critical so far: North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks’ Sweet 16 status is uncertain after he hurt his knee in the Tar Heels’ Saturday win against Arkansas. And Wisconsin point guard Traevon Jackson has yet to play despite hopes that he might have returned.Apart from the changes in its power rating, a team’s chances of winning the tournament can change because its draw becomes harder or easier. Michigan State’s probability has improved not just because they beat Virginia, for instance, but also because the No. 1 seed in the East region, Villanova, was ousted by North Carolina State.Here’s a quick look at the teams with the largest shift in their probability:Duke’s championship probability has roughly doubled to 11.9 percent from 5.7 percent. The Blue Devils won their first two games easily, and they were helped by losses elsewhere in the bracket, especially to Iowa State, their one-time potential opponent in the Elite Eight.Arizona’s chances have improved to 14.5 percent from 9.5 percent. The Wildcats have also been helped by an upset: Instead of facing No. 3 seed Baylor in their Sweet 16 game, they’ll get Xavier. It helps, too, that Wisconsin, Arizona’s potential Elite Eight opponent, has not looked as strong as the model had them originally.Almost everything has gone Michigan State’s way: The Spartans beat the No. 2 seed in their region, Virginia, and got a lot of credit for it in the model. But the No. 1 seed in the East, Villanova, was eliminated too. The Spartans are now the favorite to reach the Final Four from the East and have some chance to go further than that — they were underseeded to begin with, and will stay reasonably close to home for the rest of the tournament with the remaining games in Syracuse and Indianapolis. (Plus, there’s Tom Izzo’s amazing run of postseason success, although the model doesn’t give them any extra credit for that.)Gonzaga won easily on Sunday against an Iowa team that looked excellent in its opening game. Its path has also gotten easier because of the elimination of Iowa State, a team they could have played in Sweet 16. Instead, they’re 75 percent favorites to win their grudge match against UCLA.By contrast, Wisconsin and North Carolina’s probabilities have declined slightly, partly because of their injury issues and partly because Arizona looms large in the West regional, which will be played in Los Angeles. Wisconsin also played a closer game against Oregon than the model expected.Still, Wisconsin retains the fourth-best overall chance to win the tournament, after Kentucky, Arizona and Duke. And even if the Badgers don’t win the tournament, their chances of winning an NCAA spelling bee are up after they learned all about stenography this weekend. What’s a 10-letter word for “in the hunt?”Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

Kareem AbdulJabbar Angered Over Misleading Political Ads

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was always more than just a basketball player. He had a mature intelligence and a head for politics, even at a young age, and today’s brand does not fit his tastes.In an article he wrote for Time.com, Abdul-Jabbar expressed his dismay at both political parties for what he called “deceit.”Abdul-Jabbar wrote:“Giving the people the freedom to elect their representation is a core American ideal that is being abused. Instead of educating Americans, the mudslinger ads just create more confusion and chaos for the voters to sift through. How are Americans to make the best decisions for themselves when both of their options spend more money and time lying about one another instead of articulating how voting for them is the right decision?”Abdul-Jabbar points out that just 16 states consider making false political statements a crime and that a federal judge in Ohio decided that criminalizing over misleading or false statements infringed on free speech.The Hall of Fame center known for the “sky hook” wrote that in Mitt Romney’s 2011 Presidential campaign, he edited a clip from President Obama’s 2008 campaign against John McCain to make it seem as if Obama said, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.”“That was a lie,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “The President’s actual comment stated that ‘Senator McCain said, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.’ Subtle, yet effectively misleading people in order to steer them away from President Obama.”Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism was not limited to Republicans.“The Democrats are guilty too, as they spent nearly twice the amount of money Republicans did on advertisements that focused on convincing seniors that Republicans were trying to take away their Medicare benefits.“Lying isn’t the only tool that politicians use to skew the votes in their favor. Shorter voting hours, voter identification laws, and redistricting are different ways that politicians try to influence voter outcome. Shorter hours make it increasingly difficult for people who can’t afford to leave work to get to the polls in time. Voter I.D. laws, in theory, are to protect against the ultra-rare cases of voter fraud. Redistricting is where the district lines are redrawn in order to encircle the area that would give the candidate a favorable advantage.”He added his call to action is about “holding the men and women in public office to a higher standard. Instead of preying on the weak and disadvantaged, allow the voting process to be fair for all citizens. Sneakily silencing voters is a crime against America and the freedoms we boast so proudly.” read more

Kawhi Leonard Is The Terminator

Even though they held a one-point lead with just more than a minute left in Game 4, Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors found themselves with their backs against the wall on Sunday in Philadelphia.The Sixers and their raucous home crowd at Wells Fargo Center could almost taste a victory, one that would have given them an enormous 3-1 series advantage over Toronto heading into Game 5. And they would be accomplishing that despite getting a poor scoring effort from Joel Embiid, who was under the weather for the second time during the series.But as the clock ticked down to that final minute, Leonard, who’d gotten almost everything he’d wanted Sunday, had other plans. He used a screen from teammate Marc Gasol, and four dribbles to his right, but both of Philly’s pick-and-roll defenders — Embiid and Ben Simmons — opted to follow Leonard to the right wing. Where another player might have passed the ball, Kawhi chose to elevate, lofting a rainbow 3-pointer over the outstretched left arm of the 7-foot-2 Embiid.Aside from all but assuring that Toronto would knot the best-of-seven series at two games apiece, the shot punctuated yet another virtuoso performance by Leonard, who logged 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting and 14 rebounds, and is so far having one of the most efficient postseason runs we’ve ever seen from an NBA player, let alone a wing player specifically.In this series against Philly, Leonard is somehow averaging 38 points on 62 percent shooting, with a perfect-looking shot chart. He’s drained an unthinkable 21 of his 24 uncontested shot attempts through the four games, including hitting 6-for-6 on Sunday.Leonard did all this while continuing to have an impact on the defensive end, where he held Simmons in check during the first half before sliding over during the third period and heavily limiting swingman Jimmy Butler, who had scored efficiently up until that switch occurred.Leonard wasn’t solely responsible for Toronto’s win Sunday. Gasol — who’d been held to eight points or fewer in Games 1-3 — was more aggressive and finished with 16 in Game 4. Similarly, Kyle Lowry looked for his shot early and finished with 14 points after having just seven in Game 3. Danny Green was a perfect 8-for-8 from the line. All of these contributions were helpful in light of Pascal Siakam, arguably Toronto’s second-best player, shooting 2-of-10 from the floor while playing through a calf injury, and Serge Ibaka being the only Raptor to score off the bench.But make no mistake: Kawhi has played as if he were content to do this all by himself if need be. And in many ways, that spectacle is still noteworthy considering how far a cry it is from what Leonard was earlier in his career, before he became a clear-cut franchise player.During this postseason, just 33 percent of Leonard’s baskets have been assisted, according to NBA Advanced Stats, while the other two-thirds have been self-created. Snapshots over time illustrate how that’s flipped almost entirely, as he’s become more of a 1-on-1 player. During the 2012-13 regular season, for instance, 65 percent of Kawhi’s makes were assisted. That share of assisted baskets dropped to 54 percent during 2014-15, and to just under 48 percent in 2016-17 before dwindling to just a third during these playoffs.The question to raise here, of course, is whether it’s possible for Leonard to keep this up. He can’t keep shooting 70 percent from midrange when he was a 46-percent shooter from there during the regular season, right?On some level, the answer to that may depend on whether the Sixers are willing to be more aggressive about forcing the ball out of Leonard’s hands. We’ve written before about what makes Leonard so different from the other stars in the NBA (aside from how mysteriously quiet he seems to be): He does just about everything at an above-average level, while defending and scoring better than almost anyone. But if there’s one area to test, it’s his playmaking, which generally pales in comparison to LeBron James’s or even Kevin Durant’s. (Both contemporaries regularly enjoy 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratios, while Leonard has yet to post such a season.) Leonard, who had five assists and seven turnovers Sunday, has closer to a 1-to-1 ratio this postseason, with 31 assists and 29 turnovers so far.Going one level deeper, Kawhi was the NBA’s least efficient wing player1Among the 60 players who faced at least 25 traps and blitzes. this past regular season when opposing defenses either blitzed or trapped him in pick-and-rolls, with the Raptors scoring just 0.46 points per chance in such situations, according to data from Second Spectrum.So while Philadelphia hasn’t been able to stop The Terminator-like Kawhi yet, the Sixers at least have something they can try in hopes of slowing him down as the series moves back to Toronto. read more

Farewell To Tim Duncan The Greatest TwoWay Player In Modern NBA History

Shaquille O’Neal56.325.435.0 Nobody combined offense and defense like Tim Duncan 8Larry Bird41,329120.353.674.2 Wilt Chamberlain35.849.041.4 18Pau Gasol41,57281.438.552.2 4David Robinson38,492100.680.389.3 Includes all NBA regular seasons and playoffs from 1973-74 to the present.Source: Basketball-Reference.com 14Magic Johnson40,783149.134.656.2 11Jason Kidd56,19994.855.470.0 20Patrick Ewing45,80141.265.350.5 7Kareem Abdul-Jabbar50,840144.453.578.0 Kevin Garnett50.033.039.8 10Scottie Pippen49,17487.462.372.7 Hakeem Olajuwon30.638.534.1 The post-Jordan NBA era unofficially ended Monday, when San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan announced his retirement after 19 seasons as a pro. Duncan was at the forefront of the league for the past two decades, winning five championships and a pair of MVPs as the best player of the generation that entered the league as MJ was on his way out. But for whatever reason — be it playing in small-market San Antonio, his relatively low-key public persona or all the things that go into a nickname like the Big Fundamental — Duncan’s greatness remains undersold in many quarters. So here are a couple of ways in which he made a case for being the best player in modern NBA history.All-around greatnessDuncan never scored more than 25 points per game after age 25, and he didn’t crack 20 PPG after turning 30. His low-post game, premised around that classic bank shot, was solid but rarely feared, particularly later in his career. But Duncan augmented his point totals with good efficiency, great rebounding and a nice passing touch for a big man that allowed him to anchor the Spurs’ offense even when his days as a big-time scorer were in the past.And on defense, Duncan was uniformly incredible throughout his career. He was named to 15 All-Defensive teams — the last of which came at age 38 — and led the league in defensive Win Shares five times, to go with nine other top-five finishes. In terms of suppressing offensive efficiency (relative to league average), Duncan’s Spurs were the NBA’s best defensive dynasty since Bill Russell’s Celtics. And even in the twilight of his career, Duncan consistently ranked among the league’s top five defensive players according to the plus/minus metrics. He’s undeniably on the shortlist of the best defenders in basketball history.Put it all together, and it’s hard to find a modern player with a better combination of offensive and defensive résumés than Duncan. To measure this, I used a couple of statistics from Basketball-Reference.com: value over replacement player (VORP) and Win Shares, both of which strive to capture a player’s total on-court influence over his team’s success.1Since VORP only goes back to 1973-74, that’s the earliest season included in my sample. I converted both metrics to a figure representing wins above replacement (WAR), and broke down each into its offensive and defensive components, zeroing out seasons where a player dipped into negative-value territory. Then I summed up offensive and defensive WAR for a player’s entire career — including the playoffs, where Duncan built a good amount of his legend — and took the harmonic mean (which favors balance between the two instead of a lopsided total in one category) of a player’s offensive and defensive tallies.By that standard, Duncan has no peers among modern NBA players: 13Charles Barkley44,179154.941.064.9 Moses Malone40.933.136.6 15Clyde Drexler43,109118.235.654.7 2Kevin Garnett55,701107.387.296.2 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar61.582.670.5 Paul Pierce36.337.436.8 19Horace Grant44,79368.341.351.5 6LeBron James46,861196.252.582.8 WINS ABOVE REPLACEMENT 3Karl Malone62,759162.567.595.4 Great both young and oldDuncan also performed those acts of all-around greatness for just about two decades straight, playing like a Hall of Famer as both a young player and an old one. Back in 2014, my colleague Nate Silver was curious about how rare that combination was for a player:I wondered which other players in the NBA, and in the other major team sports, have had so much impact over their full professional lives. In other words, which of them were both very effective as young players and as old players?For an answer, Nate looked at each player’s Win Shares before age 25 and after age 32, taking the harmonic mean (yes, that again) of the two numbers to find players who matched Duncan’s career path. There weren’t many.Since Duncan has only added to his post-32 totals since then, let’s re-run the same exercise, updated through the end of Duncan’s career: NBA WIN SHARES PLAYERTHROUGH AGE 24AGE 33 ONWARDHARMONIC MEAN Tim Duncan47.855.051.1 1Tim Duncan56,738108.1110.3109.2 Michael Jordan53.643.648.1 12Michael Jordan48,485206.541.669.2 PLAYERMINUTES PLAYEDOFFENSEDEFENSEHARMONIC MEAN 9Shaquille O’Neal50,016133.850.273.0 17Robert Parish51,88170.941.452.3 5Hakeem Olajuwon49,97179.593.385.9 The NBA’s best full life-cycle players Dirk Nowitzki53.037.543.9 Sorted by harmonic mean of NBA Win Shares through age 24 and from age 33 onward.Source: Basketball-Reference.com 16Shawn Marion43,93463.047.053.8 In the end, Duncan still trails Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — it’s really tough to beat that guy in longevity-based measures — but he did pass Michael Jordan for No. 2 all-time in Nate’s metric, another feather in Duncan’s cap as one of the best and truly unique players in NBA history.Better than the raw numbers?And as great as Duncan looks according to the numbers above, both studies were conducted using derivatives of the basic box-score stats. Those can be fine for estimating a player’s value in a broad sense, but they have a tendency to misfire in some areas — such as defense, or even the more subtle aspects of offense like screening or space-creation — where Duncan happened to excel.Perhaps that’s why, when Real Plus-Minus creator Jeremias Engelmann released a bank of adjusted plus/minus data encompassing the 2001-2014 seasons, Duncan ranked as the third-best player of that era, trailing only Kevin Garnett and LeBron James. That’s slightly higher than Duncan placed according to Player Efficiency Rating (he was fifth), Win Shares per 48 minutes (also fifth) or even Box Plus/Minus (sixth), which is designed to emulate plus/minus ratings derived from more granular data.In other words, Duncan’s contributions might be somewhat underrated when we line up his stats against those of other greats from history. The NBA won’t be the same without him in it next season. read more

Batters Are Getting Plunked At Historic Rates But Why

It’s never been more dangerous to be a major league hitter. Through Thursday’s games, batters had been plunked by pitchers 457 times, struck with a fast-moving projectile made of cowhide and densely wound yarn. Considering that MLB pitchers are throwing harder than at any time in recorded history, it’s safe to assume that getting hit by a baseball has never stung worse.The current rate of 0.41 batters hit by a pitch per team game is the highest since 1900, the same year that the Brooklyn Superbas led by Wee Willie Keeler won the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup. (There was no American League yet and thus no World Series.) This level of plunkings has given us some interesting results — and inevitable dust-ups. On Monday, four Reds were hit by pitches — in one inning, tying a record set in 1893. Mets batters were hit seven times on the hands just through April. Presumably in retaliation, reliever Jacob Rhame threw at the head of Rhys Hoskins, who retaliated himself with the slowest home-run trot since 2015. Rhame was suspended two games.While the rate of HBPs has fluctuated across the game’s history, it was just 0.34 per team game three seasons ago, which is more in line with where it was for most of the 1990s and 2000s. So what is causing the recent spike? It’s a bit of a mystery.There’s one simple explanation: There are more opportunities to hit someone now because hitters are extending counts and pitchers are throwing more pitches. The past two full seasons saw the highest number of total pitches (721,282 in 2018 and 721,279 in 2017, according to Baseball-Reference.com) on record.1Pitch count data goes back to 1988. But even though the raw counts are higher, the share of total pitches that hit a batter last season is also going up: 0.266 percent of all pitches in 2018 hit a batter, the second-highest share on record. Through Thursday, this season has seen a share of 0.274 percent — which would be the highest that we’ve seen.Some speculate that pitchers are just wilder than ever because of a focus on throwing hard in lieu of command. Walks per game (3.44) are well above the average since 1900 (3.19), but pitchers are throwing only fractionally more balls as a percentage of pitches this year (36.7) than the 2009-to-2018 average (36.6).Of course, one specific reason for an HBP is that the pitcher meant to do it. Retaliation is as old as the game itself. And nothing gets a pitcher more snippy than giving up a homer. Balls are flying out of ballparks more than ever before, giving pitchers more opportunities to throw at the offending players. But it’s not just the act of hitting a home run, it’s what can come next: Don’t flip your bat or stand too long watching it or lollygag around the bases or trash talk the opposition in mid-trot. This year, Tim Anderson was beaned for flipping the bat too aggressively at his own dugout.Furthermore, with home runs all the rage, pitchers may seek to expand the strike zone by moving batters farther away from home plate, effectively making the outside part of the plate more out of reach. Miss just a little in to a hitter in midlean over the plate and … kerplunk.While we can’t measure the pitchers’ intent, we can measure where pitches are being located. According to data from Baseball Savant, more pitches than ever before are being thrown on the inside third of the plate and off the plate to the inside. Through Tuesday’s games, more than 32 percent of pitches were inside, which is the highest rate since pitch location was first tracked in 2008. This rate is up more than 3 percentage points from 2008, which may not seem like much on first blush but would equate roughly to an increase of more than 30,000 inside pitches.With more pitches directed inside, more batters are bound to get hit. But how much of that is on the batters themselves? Even as far back as 1997, players were bemoaning how hitters could treat the batter’s box like they owned it.”Today’s game, you see guys digging a little trench in there,” Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn told The New York Times. “I just get flashbacks and wonder if they would do that if [Bob] Gibson or [Steve] Carlton or [Nolan] Ryan or [Tom] Seaver were out there. You can’t let a hitter go up there and think he controls both halves of the plate. If you bust a guy in, keep him honest, get him off the plate, you might be able to get him out away.”Gibson, a Hall of Famer and the man largely responsible for the lowering of the mound, was viewed as a tiger on the field. He once dusted Reggie Jackson at an old-timer’s game. (Jackson had homered off of Gibson in a similar game the previous year.) After his close friend and teammate Bill White was traded, “Hoot” immediately plastered him on the elbow. And slugger Dick Allen said, “Gibson would knock you down and then meet you at the plate to see if you wanted to make something out of it.”But Gibson hit “just” 102 batters in 3,884.3 career innings, or 0.24 per nine frames. That ranks 359th out of the 471 pitchers who threw at least 1,000 innings and hit at least 50 batters, according to Baseball-Reference.com. So the guy whose Hall of Fame bio says he “may well have been the most intimidating pitcher in MLB history” hit batters at a rate well below the hurlers of today’s game.The pitcher today placing opposing trainers on the highest alert is Charlie Morton of the Tampa Bay Rays, who has led his league in hit batsmen four times in the past six years — despite never pitching more than 170 innings in any of those years. Morton nails 0.78 batters per nine innings, a career rate last exceeded by Ed Doheny (0.90), who retired in 1903. Morton’s ERA this year currently stands at a career-best 2.64. And in 2018, with the Astros, his .833 winning percentage led all of baseball: His 15 wins were one fewer than the number of batters he tattooed.Neil Paine contributed research.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Taming of the Wildcats Scouting Northwestern football

Northwestern then-redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) throws a pass in the first half of a game against Stanford at Ryan Field on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 in Evanston, Ill. Northwestern won 16-6. Courtesy of TNSThe Ohio State football team walked into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Sunday to dissect film on its last game — but it wasn’t business as usual. The Buckeyes had their first post-defeat film session of the 2016 season, after dropping a 24-21 contest at Penn State.A couple of late blunders by the special teams allowed the Nittany Lions to topple then-No. 2 OSU, but it was a culmination of big plays allowed and a lack of cohesiveness on the offensive side of the ball. Meyer said after the game that his team  was not “a very good team, right now.” As they move on to Northwestern on Saturday, the Buckeyes hope that the first home game in three weeks will rid the errors that plagued them in Happy Valley.“It’s not business as usual,” Meyer said. “If you lose a game, you accept it. That’s the message to our players. We work so hard so that doesn’t happen. It happened; move on. Get ready for a very good team coming in here.”The Northwestern Wildcats (4-3, 3-1 Big Ten), started the season at 1-3, but have won their last three games, including victories over Iowa and Michigan State. Wildcats’ coach Pat Fitzgerald has his team playing its best football coming into a matchup with a No. 6 OSU team fresh off of a loss.OffenseThe Wildcat attack begins and ends with junior running back Justin Jackson. He leads the Big Ten with the most carries (171), the most rushing yards (792) and rushing yards per game (113.1). He also ranks fifth in the conference in rushing touchdowns (6).Last week, OSU faced one of the conference’s top backs in Saquon Barkley, who ran well against the Buckeye defense. Barkley gained 99 yards on 12 carries (8.25 yard average), with two rushes more than 20 yards. Jackson provides the OSU defense with similar challenges, however he doesn’t have the size Barkley has. Standing at 5-foot-11, and weighing 193 pounds, Jackson is coming to Columbus having gained 453 yards on 88 carries and having scored three touchdowns in his past three games.“They got a great running back,” said junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan. “I think he leads the Big Ten in rushing yards. (He was) second last year to (Ezekiel Elliott) in the All-Big Ten.”Redshirt sophomore quarterback Clayton Thorson is in his second season as the starter for Fitzgerald and has shown significant improvement.Thorson has completed just 57.9 percent of his passes, but has thrown for 1,686 yards and 14 touchdowns, while running for three more scores. Like Jackson, Thorson is coming into Ohio Stadium playing his best football. He has thrown for three touchdowns in each of the past three games, which is a reason why Meyer said Northwestern is a thriving team.“That’s as improved a team as I’ve ever seen from beginning to now,” he said. “Three big wins, two on the road — Defining wins.”Redshirt defensive end Tyquan Lewis said on Monday that there’s a feeling inside the locker room, at least for the defense, that the team is ready to prove itself again on the field. Having the last game stand as an “L” on OSU’s schedule doesn’t sit well with Lewis or the team.“I feel more anxious to get out there,” Lewis said. “It’s not that big of a thing to me, to go to work. It’s more so getting over the feeling.”DefenseThe production of the passing game has been lacking during the past three weeks when compared with earlier games in the season. Against Northwestern, OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett might be going up against the perfect defense to assert himself through the air.The Wildcats rank dead last in the Big Ten — and 111th in the NCAA — in passing defense, allowing 282.4 passing yards per game. As a whole, the defense averages 414.1 yards allowed per game, ranking near the bottom of the Big Ten.To make things worse, just this week, four-year starter senior cornerback Matthew Harris retired due to concussions. He has been out since suffering a concussion in Week 2.However, a big reason Northwestern is respectable against the run is because of redshirt senior defensive lineman Ifeadi Odenigbo. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Circleville, Ohio, native has been terrorizing quarterbacks all season. He leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the NCAA with eight total sacks.Coming off of a game where the OSU offensive line allowed 11 tackles for loss and six sacks, this week may be just as tough as a task to give Barrett ample time to pass and create holes for redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber and junior H-back Curtis Samuel.“There’s not a question of ability within our team at all,” said redshirt junior guard Billy Price. “We got very talented guys in our room. You got to focus in on what we have and continue to develop and execute higher.”BreakdownCoach Meyer and the Buckeyes hope to answer several questions that arose from the loss to now-No. 24 Penn State. The past two seasons, OSU has had great success following a loss, especially on offense. Against Northwestern on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the ‘Shoe, the Buckeyes should be able to re-establish their offense as one of the most potent in the conference.Last week, Samuel failed to get a touch in the first quarter and only ran the ball twice in the game. This week, there should be a higher emphasis on getting the ball to the team’s No. 1 playmaker.On the defensive side of the ball, the amount of big plays allowed last week overshadowed the defense giving up only 276 total yards. Going up against a more up-tempo offense might benefit OSU, which had success earlier in the year against that style of play.Barrett said that the team’s identity will be put to the test this week because they have a smaller room for error for the duration of the season.“We’re going to find out what we’re made of,” he said. “Everybody could be fine when we’re winning games … but as far as backs against the wall … that really shows your true colors.” read more

Wimmers could return as soon as this weekend

“He’s progressing day to day and getting better,” pitching coach Eric Parker said. “We’ll keep evaluating, especially in the middle of the week, and see where he’s at.”To this point, Wimmers — a Pitcher of the Year quarterfinalist — has only been lifting, rehabbing and throwing on flat ground. Tuesday marked his first bullpen session since the injury.Wimmers himself hopes he will be ready to return to game action as soon as this weekend.“I’m trying to get back for this weekend,” Wimmers said, “trying to get back for Saturday or Sunday.”The Buckeyes head to Iowa City, Iowa, Thursday to take on the Hawkeyes in a critical three-game series. However, the coaching staff isn’t as optimistic as Wimmers that he’ll be ready to go this weekend.To ask him to pitch this weekend “would be a lot to ask of anyone,” Parker said.Coach Bob Todd went even further, saying that he won’t know if Wimmers will travel with the team until they leave on Thursday.“He’s obviously got a bright future and we’re not going to do anything to jeopardize that,” Todd said.Wimmers acknowledged that he needs to recover fully before he can take the mound for the Buckeyes and that the coaching staff will ensure that.“I don’t think anybody would let me go out there if I was just 90 percent. I have to be 110 percent in order to go back out there,” Wimmers said.So far this season, Wimmers has been dominant, posting a 9-0 record with a 1.61 ERA.With just six conference games remaining, the Buckeyes could use their ace as they are just one game out of first place in the standings. Wimmers is all too aware of the team’s situation.“It’s killing me,” Wimmers said about not being able to pitch. “With the conference as close as it is, you just want to be out there helping your team as much as possible.” Ohio State pitcher Alex Wimmers threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time in nearly three weeks. The Buckeye ace has been sidelined since pulling his left hamstring during a pregame stretch at Michigan April 30. read more

Ohio State mens hockey set to start freshman Logan Davis in goal

Junior forward Chad Niddery (19) fights for the puck during a game against Bowling Green Oct. 29 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 5-3.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorFreshman goalie Logan Davis is expected to make his first collegiate start as the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team sets its sights on a two-game series against Canisius College.Originally third in the depth chart, Davis is set to take over the reins from fellow freshman Matt Tomkins, who won’t be in the lineup because of a lower-body injury he sustained in the first four minutes of OSU’S 6-1 win against Niagara Nov. 9. Tomkins’ playing status is day-to-day. Davis’ projected start also comes less than two weeks after Collin Olson, who was Tomkins’ backup, elected to leave the team to play junior hockey in the USHL.“At this point, I feel like I might’ve gotten over the nerves a little bit after getting that first game under my belt, but I’m still a little jittery,” Davis said.Coach Steve Rohlik attributed his team’s 4-1 and 6-1 victories against Niagara Friday and Saturday, respectively, to his defensive unit, and said he wants the team to carry the success over into the series with the Golden Griffins (2-5-0, 1-3-0).“You’re only as good as your D-zone. Our D-zone leads all of our offense,” Rohlik said. “We’re doing a decent job on the penalty kill now, and I think we’ve given up quite a few goals early in the year, so we’re trying to clean that part of it up, but everything starts in the D-zone. If we can shut down teams defensively and still put up three, four, five goals, then we’re doing something right.”Junior forward Chad Niddery said the Buckeyes have to continue to build on the momentum they’ve generated in the last few games.“We’re having upbeat practices, just making sure everybody’s still going hard and getting ready for the weekend. These teams are coming in, they’re fast. They work as hard as they can,” Niddery said. “We’ve got to match their work ethic, and we’ve got guys with a lot of skill, so as long as we show as much work ethic — and Logan (Davis) is there backing us up in the net — so we’ll definitely be on top of our game.”The series will conclude a seven-game homestand in which the Buckeyes (6-4-0, 0-0-0) have only lost once, a 3-1 decision against Minnesota Duluth Nov. 1. OSU is set to open up Big Ten play at Ann Arbor, Mich., against rival Michigan Nov. 29.The Buckeyes and Canisius are slated to face off Friday and Saturday at Schottenstein Center, with the puck set to drop at 7:05 p.m. for both games. read more

Football Confidence is the key for Ohio State right tackle Isaiah Prince

OSU then-sophomore offensive lineman Isaiah Prince (59) waits for the ball to snap during the first half of the Buckeyes game against Nebraska on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo EditorThey were all in redshirt sophomore right tackle Isaiah Prince’s head; the often-vicious criticisms, complaints and calls for him to be replaced. These critiques came early and often negatively affecting his mindset which, in turn, resulted in poor play. “Every time I’d make a mistake, I’d hang my head and I’d be so frustrated,” Prince said Monday. “It would just build up play after play after play.”But, Prince is different this year. At least that’s what his teammates and coaches say about the second-year starter.Prince, whose function resembled that of a turnstile against the Penn State defensive line in the fourth quarter of the Buckeyes’ only regular-season loss last season, was called one of Ohio State’s most improved players by coach Urban Meyer at a press conference Monday afternoon.“That’s not just out there in practice, but with (strength and conditioning) coach Mick (Marotti) with the bend and with all the things he’s struggled with,” Meyer said. “He’s a very serious player right now.”The long-term project to reinvigorate the offensive lineman’s mental psyche began months ago. After Ohio State’s thrilling 30-27 double-overtime win over Michigan on Nov. 28, 2016, Meyer sat down with Prince to reinforce the confidence he had in the right tackle entrusted to protect redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett.“(Meyer) was just like, ‘You’ve got to keep going, I still trust you to get the job done. It’s your first year starting and you’re going to make mistakes,’” Prince said. “He just gave me that reassuring confidence to go out there and keep going”According to his teammates, that message was well-received.In the days leading up to the Fiesta Bowl against Clemson and, once again, in spring practice, redshirt senior center Billy Price lauded his attitude. Senior left tackle Jamarco Jones barely let a reporter finish his question in an interview Monday after practice before jumping in to extol Prince’s confidence level heading into the 2017 season.“He’s very confident right now. Everybody in the program is confident in him too from what he’s done these first couple weeks,” Jones said. “We always knew what he could do, it’s just a matter of going out there and doing it whether it’s execution of fundamentals or whatever it was.”OSU junior offensive tackle Isaiah Prince (59) walks down the sideline during the Spring Game on April 15. Scarlet beat Gray 38-31. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo EditorOffensive line coach Greg Studrawa believes the solution to Prince’s struggles with confidence is simple: the right tackle must be shown why he made the mistakes.“When guys start making mistakes, the first thing they do is get down on themselves, Studrawa said. “What you’ve got to do is revert back to your training, trust your technique. And that was his first time starting. He made some mistakes. He saw those, he’s worked on those.”Studrawa said his attention to detail isn’t close to where it was last year. In 2016, the Buckeyes gave up an average of 2.15 sacks per game, the most per contest by the program since 2012. The 28 sacks allowed ranked them as the 71st-best at keeping the quarterback off the grass in the country. Prince wasn’t the only culprit in the weaker-than-normal Ohio State pass protection, but he stuck out in a line including Jones, a true freshman in right guard Michael Jordan and two first-team All-Americans – center Pat Elflein and Price.When looking back on the film, Prince said he has worked on playing lower and improving his footwork as he believed his pass protection skills weren’t where they needed to be last season.Jordan echoed Meyer, praising Prince as one of the most improved players on the team. He added that Prince has honed his ability to drop back in pass protection and has even been working with younger lineman, specifically freshman Thayer Munford.So, after dealing with a year’s worth of criticism, is Prince tired of talking about last year and ready to move on to the upcoming season? He claims he isn’t.“I learned a lot from last year,” Prince said. “I mean, without last year, I wouldn’t have had this growth. I’m just thankful for it.” read more

TBDPITL Episode 6 Is Indiana the Iowa of this year

Colin and Wyatt look back at Ohio State’s 27-26 road win over Penn State, and look forward to what Indiana may bring to Ohio Stadium this week, while seeing if the Hoosiers are the Iowa Hawkeyes of this season, who the Buckeyes lost to last year. They also go into the rise of Izzy Rodriguez for women’s soccer, the fall of men’s soccer, women’s hockey’s undefeated start and women’s volleyball’s struggles in the Big Ten.

Mens Volleyball No 11 Ohio State hopes to regain momentum against George

Ohio State junior setter Sanil Thomas (3) sets the ball to redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson (11) during the Buckeyes’ 3-1 win against Loyola on March 29. Credit: Ris Twigg | Former Assistant Photo EditorThe No. 11 Ohio State men’s volleyball team hopes to end its two-match skid this weekend when it takes on George Mason (3-1) and Erskine (0-4) at St. John Arena.The Buckeyes return to Columbus following tough road losses against then-No. 5 BYU and then-No.11 Stanford.Ohio State played close matches, with each of those seven sets won by five points or fewer.Head coach Pete Hanson said that looking at these matches as only losses is missing the point.“Yeah, two losses, but two losses in January against two teams that are legitimately top 10 teams are not anything to panic about,” Hanson said. “We played them close, we played in hostile environments and we’ve got young guys.”Redshirt senior middle blocker Blake Leeson is still adapting to his leadership role among the young middle blockers, this being the first year he’s the oldest in the position.“I feel more responsibility in terms of making sure all the guys are on the same page and living out the set of expectations that the guys before me did,” Leeson said. “I try to provide that support, letting them know it’s a long season and one or two games isn’t going to dictate this whole season.”On Friday, the Buckeyes will face a George Mason team coming off a four-set loss to No. 3 UC Irvine.The Patriots are led by junior opposite hitter Hayden Wagner, who leads the team with 63 kills and 4.50 kills per set. Wagner brings the distinction of Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Offensive Player of the Week into the matchup against the Buckeyes.On Saturday, the Buckeyes will take on Erskine, who’s still searching for its first win this season through four matches.If Ohio State wants to get back in the win column this weekend, they’ll have to do so with a different starting lineup.Junior outside hitter Reese Devilbiss is expected to sit out this weekend due to a concussion sustained during practice this week. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by sophomore outside hitter Kyle Skinner.Skinner, who replaced Devilbiss in the third set of the match against Stanford, said he’s ready to step up whenever his team needs him.“Whenever I get in, it’s an opportunity for me to perform and show the coaches what I can do,” Skinner said. “Being on the court a lot more this weekend will give me a chance to show not only that I can come in and make a difference, but that I can stay in the game and make a difference throughout the entire match.”Ohio State takes on George Mason at 7 p.m. on Friday and Erskine at 7 p.m. on Saturday. read more

Football Defensive lineman Nick Bosa will not participate in drills at Ohio

Ohio State junior defensive end Nick Bosa (97) runs to tackle another member of Rutgers’ offensive team during the first half of the game on Sept. 8. Ohio State won 52-3. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorMany former Ohio State players will take the practice field at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for the final time Wednesday for their Pro Day: one of their last chances to participate in drills and talk to teams prior to the 2019 NFL Draft. However, according to reports, defensive end Nick Bosa will not participate in drills during Ohio State’s Pro Day. While at the NFL Combine, Bosa ran a 4.79 40-yard dash, third-best among defensive lineman. He also recorded 29 bench-press reps and 33.5-inch vertical. Bosa also had the third-fastest three-cone drill, completing it in 7.1 seconds. Expected by many to be one of the first few players taken in the draft, Bosa’s season was cut short due to an injury suffered against TCU on Sept. 15. Bosa decided to withdraw from Ohio State on Oct. 16, leaving with six tackles-for-loss and four sacks during the 2018 season. Bosa was one of 10 Ohio State players that participated in the NFL Combine, joining offensive linemen Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince, running back Mike Weber, wide receivers Terry McLaurin, Parris Campbell and Johnnie Dixon, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones and cornerback Kendall Sheffield. All are expected to participate in Ohio State’s pro day.At the NFL Combine, Haskins recorded the slowest 40-yard dash of any quarterback, recording a 5.04 time. He also recorded a 28.5-inch vertical. According to reports, Haskins will throw again for scouts on Wednesday after doing so at the combine. In the 40-yard dash, McLaurin, Dixon and Campbell each finished in the top-8 times recorded, with Campbell recording a 4.31 40, tied for the fastest of any wide receiver. Offensive linemen Demetrius Knox, Malcolm Pridgeon and Brady Taylor, along with linebacker Dante Booker and kicker Sean Nuernberger, were not invited to the combine, but will likely participate in Pro Day drills Wednesday. In 2018, all 32 NFL teams were represented at Ohio State’s Pro Day, including five general managers and five head coaches. The 2019 NFL Draft will begin on April 25 in Nashville and will conclude on April 27. read more

Tom Daley records special message to fans on behalf of Team GB

first_imgHowever Daley didn’t go home empty-handed, as he claimed bronze with Dan Goodfellow in the synchronised 10m platform event. Tom Daley Tom DaleyCredit:@TomDaley1994 Flying home proud to be a part of @TeamGB . It may not have gone the way I hoped, but I’m ready for what’s next. pic.twitter.com/iPxRmZtKEj— Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) August 22, 2016 Tom Daley’s bid for Olympic gold in Rio unravelled when he failed to qualify for the final of the 10m platform event.center_img Tom Daley’s Olympics might not have gone the way he hoped, but the diver still took the time to record a special message for Team GB supporters.Wearing his team kit, Daley addressed the camera: “I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all of the support over these Olympic Games. And I’m saying this on behalf of all Team GB too, because you’ve been absolutely amazing.” He was hoping to emulate swimmer Adam Peaty with gold, but exited the men’s 10 metres platform competition in the semi-final stage. His body would not do what his mind wanted it to, his coach said.Despite the setback, Daley vowed to be back in Tokyo. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Innocent teenager shot dead on towpath was in the wrong place at

first_imgA “wholly innocent” 16-year-old boy was “in the wrong place at the wrong time” when he was shot dead on a canal towpath, a jury has heard.Lewis Dunne was on his way to a shop when he walked into the path of four men lying in wait with a loaded weapon and with “murderous intent”, Liverpool Crown Court was told.The shooting in Vauxhall, Liverpool, was said to be the culmination of a series of incidents in the area on November 15 last year between two groups of males which involved the deliberate ramming of vehicles, chases and violence on the streets of the city.Opening the prosecution case, Ian Unsworth QC said: “Put shortly, at the time of the fatal attack upon Lewis Dunne the defendants were intent on revenge. Lewis Dunne was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’Credit: Liverpool Echo “They had obtained a deadly loaded firearm and acting as a group they sought revenge upon those they opposed and who they had had trouble with earlier that day.”Lewis Dunne was not involved in any of those previous incidents. He was simply on his way to the shop at the time that he lost his life.”Whether he looked like one of the opposing group or whether they simply believed he was one of the opposing group, they used the gun to shoot him dead as he unwittingly walked into their path.”The prosecutor added: “Lewis Dunne had no axe to grind with these men. He had done nothing wrong.”Three of the men who took part in the “cowardly attack” alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal were in the dock, Mr Unsworth said, but police had not yet been able to identify who they say the fourth man was.Jake Culshaw, 25, of no fixed address, and brothers Paul Martin, 25, and John Martin, 20, both of Ince Avenue, Anfield, deny murder.The prosecutor told jurors at Liverpol Crown Court: “There is no direct evidence to to say which of those four men pulled the trigger and shot Lewis Dunne.The simple fact is this – he was shot in the back by one of a group of four males who had walked in darkness along that canal towpath armed with a loaded lethal weapon.”That we cannot say which person actually shot him does not matter.”In short, we suggest on a proper analysis of the evidence … each of the three defendants bears the responsibility for the death of Lewis Dunne.” Lewis Dunne was 'in the wrong place at the wrong time' Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Ambulances wait nine hours outside AE amid epidemic of delays

first_imgSoaring numbers of sick patients are being forced to wait in ambulances outside Accident & Emergency departments amid a deadly “epidemic” of delays, health officials have warned.A Telegraph investigation reveals record waits in casualty units, with patients spending up to nine hours in parked ambulances or with paramedics in hospital corridors before being seen by a doctor or nurse.Emails seen by this newspaper reveal that orders have been given to abandon patients in hospitals after 30 minutes, so that paramedics can return to their duties. Last night one of Britain’s most senior A&E doctors warned that hospitals had reached a state of “gridlock” with safety at risk and patients “crammed in like sardines”.Official guidelines state that handovers from ambulances to hospitals should take no longer than 15 minutes. Number of patients waiting at least 2 hours for handover2013/14 2,1242014/15 4,8332015/16 10,031 London: 9 hours 3 minutes Queen Elizabeth II, Woolwich MarchNorth West: 8 hours 37 minutes, Southport District Hospital, JulyYorkshire 6 hours, 24 minutes, Scarborough District Hospital AprilEast Midlands 6 hours 21 minutes, Leicester Royal Infirmary JanuaryEast of England: 6 hours 6 minutes, Broomfield Hospital, FebruarySouth Western: 5 hours 29 minutes, Dorset County Hospital, JulyNorth East:  4 hours 40 minutes, Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, MarchSouth East Coast: 4 hours 35 minutes, Royal Surrey County Hospital, AprilWest Midlands 4 hours 31 minutes. Royal Shrewsbury, April South Central: 4 hours, Queen Alexandra Hospital, March A number of redundancies [were made] to reinvest about £10million savings in ongoing pay costs into frontline servicesAmbulance trust Official statistics show growing pressures on the NHS Credit:Chris Radburn /PA  Number of patients waiting at least 4 hours for handover2013/14 1262014/15 1742015/16 405Source: FOI disclosures Jeremy Hunt  A&E sign  Carol Wilson with husband Peter  But Freedom of Information (FOI) disclosures show that the number of patients subject to longer delays has risen by 64 per cent in just two years, with almost 400,000 cases in 2015/16.Emails seen by this newspaper disclose fury among ambulance trust chief executives at the “unacceptable risks” being posed to patients.They said 999 response times were deteriorating because paramedics were being forced off the roads for long periods, to care for patients queuing for A&E care.In one message, the head of East of England ambulance Service trust said handover delays had reached “epidemic proportions” – with a “completely unacceptable” impact on 999 performance.In the email, Robert Morton told NHS trust chief executives across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire that in future, paramedics would have to abandon patients after 30 minutes.center_img Carol Wilson died after a paramedic told her to take paracetamol for chest pains  Longest handover delay recorded by each ambulance service, 2016 so far More than 10,000 patients waited at least two hours before handover to a casualty unit in 2015/16 – a five-fold rise in just two years.More than 400 of the waits lasted at least four hours.They included delays of more than nine hours at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Woolwich in March of this year and a hold-up of 8 hours 37 minutes at Southport District Hospital in Merseyside, in July.Dr Chris Moulton, Vice President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the safety of patients was at increasing risk, because of the numbers of ambulances being forced off the roads.“The flow in hospitals has become gridlocked, the risks to patients aren’t acceptable,” he said.“You’ve got all these ambulances waiting at hospitals, patients stuck on trolleys for 12 hours, crammed in like sardines,” said Dr Moulton, an A&E consultant at Bolton NHS Foundation trust. “There are safety risks to those patients, because they aren’t getting proper care, and there are wider safety risks to all those patients in need of an ambulance, who are forced to wait longer,” he said, calling for extra funding, and an increase in the number of hospital beds across the NHS. The documents reveal increasingly tense exchanges between senior managers in the health service, as A&E and ambulance response times deteriorated.One letter from Anthony Marsh, chief executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service, told the then chief executive of Worcestershire Royal Hospital: “Our managers in Worcestershire are having to stop doing their jobs and go to the hospital to care for your patients, in your corridors, in our hospital.”  The letter, sent in March last year, was followed by a warning the next month that the situation had become “totally unacceptable”.NHS targets say 75 per cent of 999 calls classed as potentially life-threatening calls should receive a response within eight minutes.But in the last two years, national performance has plummeted. In the first eight months of this year, one in three urgent calls did not receive a response within in the NHS eight minute target, with more than 1.1 million cases classed as “life-threatening” forced to wait longer.In the last year, the ambulance service has had an 11 per cent rise in calls, while visits to A&E have risen by more than six per cent.An NHS England spokesman said: “These figures demonstrate the increasing rise in demand for both ambulance and A&E services over recent years.  Although there are occasions when it is necessary and best for the patient that their handover is delayed while they are, of course, still receiving care from skilled ambulance staff, this has to be reduced wherever possible.” Number of patients waiting at least 30 minutes for handover2013/14 239,7722014/15 319,8562015/16 393,446 The message, sent in March, was met with anger from hospital bosses, who said A&E performance was “on a knife edge” and that abandoning patients would put them in too great danger.In another email, the head of South Central Ambulance Service – which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – tells a local hospital chief executive that delays at her hospital “exceed acceptable levels”.The warning to the chief executive of Portsmouth Hospital trust, sent the same month, describes “grave concern” about the consequences for those in need of a 999 response.  The disclosures from the country’s 10 ambulance trusts reveal record delays at hospitals across the country. Jeremy Hunt has been questioned about the ability of the NHS to cope amid growing strain Credit:PA  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Man jailed for life for murder of waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar after

first_imgA man has been jailed for life for the “despicable and cowardly” murder of waiter Surjit Singh Chhokar in a retrial under double jeopardy laws.Ronnie Coulter was found guilty at the High Court in Glasgow earlier this month of stabbing the 32-year-old almost 18 years ago.The attack happened as Mr Chhokar returned from his work at an Indian restaurant in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, on November 4, 1998.Coulter, 48, was previously acquitted when he stood trial in 1999 for the murder but was convicted by a majority when the case became only the second to return to court since Scotland’s centuries-old double jeopardy law was reformed in 2011.He was sentenced to life at the same court on Monday, with a minimum term of 19 years and eight months.Judge Lord Matthews said the minimum sentence would have been 20 years but he took off four months for the time Coulter spent in custody before the first trial in 1999.The latest trial had heard Coulter, his nephew Andrew and David Montgomery went to see Mr Chhokar on the night following a row over a stolen Giro cheque.After an altercation, Mr Chhokar collapsed in front of his partner Liz Bryce.Coulter had denied the charges and blamed Andrew Coulter and Mr Montgomery for the murder. Giving evidence at the latest trial, Andrew Coulter and Mr Montgomery admitted being present at the scene but denied murder. Lord Matthews said Mr Chhokar was the “victim of an ambush which cost him his life”.Passing sentence, he said: “The evidence showed that what happened was not on the spur of the moment.”Along with your nephew and David Montgomery, who was recruited to drive you and who on his own admission was prepared to get involved in an assault, you travelled the short distance to Overtown.”It is plain that your only purpose was violence and you must have had a knife to hand.”When the trap was sprung you were not content to let Andrew Coulter use his baton on Chhokar but you inflicted three stab wounds on his body in the most despicable and cowardly fashion.”Thereafter you attempted to cover your tracks, and in large measure you succeeded in doing so.”Now, many years later, you are here to answer for your crime.”The judge praised the patience and “quiet dignity” of the Chhokar family, and particularly the victim’s father who passed away in November 2015.Lawyer Aamer Anwar, who began campaigning for justice for the family as a law student, said: “In the 18 years it took to prove Ronnie Coulter’s guilt, he has never shown a shred of remorse or sorrow.”Surjit Singh Chhokar was not his only victim. His two parents, a sister, two young children and his partner Liz had their lives devastated, but today the presence of justice has finally given Surjit’s family peace.”Every step on a long journey has required the Chhokar family’s sacrifice and struggle.”They taught us that there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to fight for justice.”Victim’s rights at the heart of our legal system will be the Chhokar legacy long after Ronnie Coulter’s name has turned to dust.”In mitigation, Coulter’s lawyer Donald Findlay QC said his client maintains that he was at the scene but did not “wield the knife”.Mr Findlay also said race “had no part whatsoever to play in this matter” and urged Lord Matthews to exercise leniency in respect of Coulter’s treatment for depression and paranoid schizophrenia.Detective Chief Superintendent Clark Cuzen said: “I hope today’s sentence gives some closure to the family, and again I would like to thank them for their courage and dignity throughout.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Ronnie Coulter, 48, from Wishaw is convicted of the 1998 murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar after being tried for a second time Ronnie Coulter, 48, from Wishaw was convicted of the 1998 murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar after being tried for a second timeCredit:James Chapelard / SWNS.comlast_img read more

Tate Britain displays art of Khadija Saye in memory of Grenfell Tower

first_imgIn memory of Khadija Saye and all who lost their lives at #Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017. Sothiou, 2017. Now on display at @Tate Britain. pic.twitter.com/640pzG0VYi— Tate Collectives (@TateCollectives) June 20, 2017 A sign at the Tate says “Sothiou is from a group of works by Khadija Saye under the title Dwelling: In This Space We Breathe, which is included in the Disapora Pavilion at the Venice Biennale until 26 November 2017.”A fund will be set up in Khadija’s name and for more information or if you would like to make a donation please go to justgiving.com/khadija-saye-memorial-fund”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The work of promising young artist Khadija Saye, who died in the Grenfell Tower blaze, is being displayed at the Tate Britain.Ms Saye had just produced her first major body of work, and it is so impressive that, according to her friend David Lammy MP, she had just met with a prestigious gallery owner the day before her death.She was on the cusp of recognition before she perished along with her mother Mary Mendy in the blaze which raged in the tower block.Her work is currently on display at the Venice Biennale, and now at the Tate Britain. It’s been a real journey, but mama, I’m an artist exhibiting in Venice and the blessings are abundant! pic.twitter.com/FkH4cjLjYa— Khadija Saye (@Saye_Photo) May 10, 2017 When her work was displayed in Venice, Khadija Saye, who worked out of her and her mother’s 20th floor flat, jubilantly tweeted: “It’s been a real journey, but mama, I’m an artist exhibiting in Venice and the blessings are abundant!” The Sunday Times art critic Waldemar Januszczak had tweeted Maria Balshaw, who is the new director of the Tate  suggest the art gallery display her work.She replied:  “Our thoughts are with everyone who knew her.”We will be marking her creativity by showing one of her works at Tate Britain next week.” last_img read more

Lionesses match causes first ever TV pickup for womens football as 130000

first_imgThe National Grid told The Telegraph it registered a pickup in demand of around 200MW (which equates to approximately 130,000 kettles) at 8:32 pm which they put down to the football reaching half time (having taken out the pickup they would also have expected to have seen for end of Emmerdale).However, the most popular televised sporting event, from TV pickup at least, caused a spectacular number of people to go and switch their kettle on at the same time. AP Photo/Patrick Post Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images England’s Jodie Taylor, left, battles for the ball with Stefanie van der Gragt of the Netherlands during last night’s matchCredit:AP Photo/Patrick Post The semifinal had thousands grippedCredit:Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images Women’s football is enjoying mainstream success as it has never done before – at least, not since the National Grid started recording TV pickups for programmes and live events.A TV pickup occurs when many people use electricity at once during the advert break or half-time during a popular television show or sporting event – such as when the country breaks during a tense soap to turn the kettle on.Thursday’s women’s football match was the first where the National Grid has seen a TV pickup at half time as people switched on kettles and used other electrical appliances. A spokesperson for the National Grid told The Telegraph: “Generally TV pickups are declining as more people watch on demand, so it tends to be for live events, and while this wasn’t in the category of those massive moments above it’s still significant as it seems to show the first time we’ve picked up on a women’s football match being one of those moments that actually has a noticeable impact on balancing supply and demand.” The biggest TV pickup ever was at the end of the 1990 World Cup semi-final – 2,800MW.Other significant TV pickups include The Thorn Birds in 1984 (2,600MW) and 2,290MW for the ‘Who Shot Phil Mitchell’ episode of EastEnders. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

University society asked comedians to sign safe space contract for event with

It decreed that the comedy night would be a “safe space” and all topics discussed by performers must be “presented in a way that is respectful and kind”. Unicef on Campus at Soas, University of London, tried to book five comics to appear at an unpaid charity gig in January, but the invitation came with a “behavioural agreement form”. The form continued: “By signing this contract, you are agreeing to our no tolerance policy with regards to racism, sexism, classism, ageism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia or… A university society has provoked ridicule by asking comedians to sign a “safe space” contract, forbidding them from making jokes about class, race or sexuality.

Black students reluctant to apply to Cambridge University due to lack of

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Students also had anxieties around whether they would have enough money and whether they would fit in, he added.Prof Virgo made the comments at a panel discussion on Wednesday evening, convened by the investment bank J. Stern & Co as part of a series of seminars on education.Universities are under pressure from the higher education regulator to admit more students from ethnic minorities and disadvantaged backgrounds.Last year it emerged that six of Cambridge’s colleges admitted fewer than ten black British students in five years. The university said at the time that  it cannot change diversity “on its own” and called for parents and schools to encourage ethnic minorities to apply.  Naomi Kellman, founder of Target Oxbridge, a programme to assist black students with Oxford and Cambridge applications, said the question about hairdressers “comes up really frequently”. “If you are from a majority group you assume you will be catered for, anywhere in the country can manage your hair,” she said. “But if you have afro hair, the expertise is needed. Things that are really basic and simple become quite a big challenge.”As well as asking about the academic demands of courses at Oxbridge, black students are also concerned about what kind of food and night life will be on offer, Ms Kellman said. Professor Graham Virgo said the “unexpected” finding arose during research into what deters black students from considering the institution The “unexpected” finding arose during research into what deters black students from considering the institution Black students are failing to apply to Cambridge because there is a lack of Afro-Caribbean hairdressers in the city, the university’s pro-vice-Chancellor has said.The “unexpected” finding arose during research into what deters black students from considering the institution, according to Professor Graham Virgo.Speaking at an event held at King’s College, Cambridge, he said this was one of the barriers that black students face in applying to the university. “We have been doing some quite detailed research, particularly with black students, particularly in London, looking at obstacles to applying to Cambridge and thinking about Cambridge. And number three on the list was hairdressers,” he said.Prof Virgo, who is a QC and expert in criminal law as well as Cambridge’s senior pro-vice-Chancellor for education, said this revelation sent a “really important” message to the university.The research, which involved surveying some Cambridge undergraduates and sixth form students, was carried out in preparation for a new campaign aimed at encouraging more black students to apply to the university.  Cambridge has a number of hairdressers including the Afro European Beauty Centre, which says on its website it specialises in “Afro and European hair care for both men and women”. However, Dr Tony Sewell, CEO of Generating Genius, a charity that encourages youngsters from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue STEM subjects, said a lack of hairdressers is not the reason why black students are put off from applying. “It may be another lame excuse – kids need to get more resilient and get with it,” he said. “As a minority,  you will have to be confronting a situation where you are the only one. You have to face that and learn how to adapt to that. That’s the key issue.”Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the social mobility charity the Sutton Trust, said “cultural differences” mean that some ethnic minority students are more likely to apply for a university in their home town rather than move away.”This difference is holding some young people back in terms of going to their local university when they have the potential to go to a much higher ranked university,” he said.“Part of this is about cultural differences with many students worrying that they won’t fit in.” The “unexpected” finding arose during research into what deters black students from considering the institution “[We asked] what is the obstacle, what is stopping you from thinking about Cambridge? The real message was about hairdressers,” Prof Virgo said. “It’s unexpected but we need to look at applying to Cambridge from their eyes. For those students this is their concern. Really being able to engage with these perceptions enables us to say ‘how are we going to respond to that?’” Professor Graham Virgo said the “unexpected” finding arose during research into what deters black students from considering the institution read more