Who Let The Trolls Out: Long Island Press Journalists Read “Fan” Mail [Video]

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first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The Long Island Press editorial staff has been the recipient of countless letters, emails and social media comments throughout the years from readers who simply had to weigh in on our award-winning, tell-it-like-it-is brand of journalism, pull-no-punches opinion pieces and eclectic team of truth-seekers.Some of that correspondence can be described as pseudo love letters, wherein the sender gushes about this or that coverage, their thrill over our last take-down, or tips on who or what should be the subject of a future piece. Others–well, not so much. They feel it important to share their two cents and offer critiques on everything from our overall writing and viewpoints to our sentence structure and punctuation choices. Some focus their spite on specific writers. One woman felt compelled to sent a thousand-plus word crucifixion of the as-yet-to-be-released new Star Wars movie. May the force be with her.Regardless of their stances, the Press welcomes all.Inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” segment, we decided to produce our own video in which Press reporters read a few of the comments sent along to us from not-so-happy readers.So, here’s a peek inside what one distressed reader dubbed our “tiny office in Garden City” where “10 people” were “appointed…experts on U.S. politics,” doling out what another deemed “mindless, partisan agit-prop.”Enjoy, dear readers. Enjoy. We raise a glass of freshly brewed coffee to you with our sincere, unending love. Why? Because you read us.“Pravda!” we sing. “To pravda.” [Russian for “The Truth”]Keep ’em coming, and Happy New Year!last_img read more

Christopher Miller Named Acting Defense Secretary

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first_imgAmerican officials have long struggled with how to think about the Shabab — a loosely organized collection of factions, most of whom are focused on the parochial goal of controlling Somalia but some of whom want to participate in Al Qaeda’s global jihad, carrying out terrorist attacks beyond its borders. Mr. Miller seemed an unlikely emissary for such a delicate diplomatic foray. He spent most of his 31-year military career in shadowy Special Operations assignments. He commanded a Special Forces quick-reaction team that flew to Afghanistan in December 2001 to help a team accidentally struck by an American bomb. They stayed to increase security around Hamid Karzai, who had just been named Afghanistan’s interim president. During the Iraq war, Mr. Miller hunted high-value insurgent leaders.In 2018, he became a top counterterrorism official at the National Security Council, the arm of the White House that helps manage interagency matters involving the military, intelligence and foreign policy.Mr. Miller frequently worked with Mr. Patel, a former aide to Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and an outspoken supporter of Mr. Trump.By contrast, Mr. Miller is not known as a partisan ideologue, according to interviews with officials who have worked with him. His counterterrorism and hostage-focused portfolio has permitted him to largely avoid national security issues that have attracted political furor during the Trump era, like Russia. His watch at the National Security Council included meetings that led to the American commando raid in northwest Syria last year to kill the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and he has gained the trust of officials like Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Patel.This year, Mr. Miller briefly moved to a counterterrorism role at the Pentagon before the Senate in August confirmed him to lead the National Counterterrorism Center, an agency created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that is supposed to serve as a clearinghouse for terrorism threat information and coordinate intelligence sharing between organizations including the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency.The center is not supposed to play an operational role. But as Mr. Miller studied intelligence reports about the Shabab’s senior leadership and Somalia, he told colleagues that it might be possible to change the equation that has kept the United States locked in irregular warfare with the Shabab — including periodic drone strikes targeting suspected militants and the deadly Shabab assault on an American air base at Manda Bay, Kenya, in January. Mr. Miller has displayed an irreverent demeanor that at times clashes with the grave policy matters he has handled, according to people who have worked with him. His background in the Army Special Forces dovetails with a reputation for being hard-charging and not always respectful of bureaucratic vetting procedures that are intended to ensure that potential consequences are fully considered before acting.- Advertisement – Now, control over American national security and foreign policy has been upended. Mr. Trump abruptly installed Mr. Miller as acting defense secretary this week — making him, at least on paper, Mr. Pompeo’s equal for the administration’s last two months. Mr. Patel is becoming Mr. Miller’s chief of staff.The appointment capped a stunning rise for Mr. Miller, a former Green Beret officer who 11 months ago was a counterterrorism adviser at the National Security Council and who lacks significant experience managing a sprawling organization. The extraordinary power and responsibility he will wield during the uncertain endgame of the Trump administration — when Mr. Trump is refusing to acknowledge that he lost the election — immediately cast tremendous attention on the largely unknown new Pentagon leader. Near the end of the Obama administration, the executive branch deemed the entire group an enemy in the war on terrorism, and Mr. Trump eased limits on military strikes in Somalia. But years of fairly regular bombings have failed to bring the Shabab to heel, and in its fourth year the Trump administration has flirted with the idea of pulling back from the Horn of Africa.Amid that churn, Mr. Miller wondered whether it would be possible to separate key Shabab factions from Al Qaeda to reduce its threat to American interests beyond Somalia’s borders. He focused on a group of about 10 older leaders with strong personal ties to Al Qaeda, rather than younger, more nationalistic Shabab leaders.It was difficult to obtain accurate, timely intelligence to target and kill the Qaeda-linked Shabab leaders. Mr. Miller raised ideas for isolating or eliminating them: Perhaps the younger leaders could be persuaded to rebel against them, or the older cohort could be bought off to sideline themselves from the struggle, the officials said.It made sense that Mr. Miller would be attracted to the idea of striking an unorthodox deal with elements of an Islamist militant group to try to diminish the terrorist threat, given his previous experience as a Green Beret officer in Afghanistan and Iraq, said Luke Hartig, a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council during the Obama administration who has worked with Mr. Miller.“Based on Chris Miller’s military background in the Special Forces, he would certainly have a lot of interest in working with irregular forces or others to defeat our terrorist enemies,” Mr. Hartig said.The Qataris had experience as the intermediary for peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. Mr. Miller went to Mr. Patel with his idea of enlisting them for a similar outreach effort. With the National Security Council’s blessing, Mr. Miller approached Qatar’s ambassador to the United States to obtain the blessing of the country’s emir to pursue the idea. The officials familiar with Mr. Miller’s aborted venture described it on the condition of anonymity because of its sensitive diplomatic and intelligence nature. Spokesmen for the State Department, the National Security Council and Mr. Miller declined to comment. center_img Mr. Miller’s previously unreported trip to Qatar offers insight into the acting secretary’s mind-set. The awkward shuttering of the effort was an embarrassing outcome for the U.S. government, in part because Qatar’s emir had already apparently given his approval to explore Mr. Miller’s proposal.It could also portend the kind of last-ditch initiatives or operations, whether overt or covert, that Mr. Trump and his top aides might pursue during his last weeks in office.“The policy process in this administration has just been so bizarre,” said Tricia Bacon, a Somalia specialist at American University in Washington and a former State Department counterterrorism analyst.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Then, over the Columbus Day weekend, Mr. Miller and aides flew to Doha to open talks with senior Qatari officials, including its foreign minister and top counterterrorism leaders. The Qataris were said to have expressed interest in some of the ideas but were cautious about how to proceed. As a preliminary step, they proposed looping in Norwegian diplomats who had also served as go-betweens with the Taliban.Mr. Miller returned from his trip with a proposal to schedule three-way talks with Qatar and Norway to flesh out the proposals, according to the officials. At that point, however, Mr. Pompeo and his top aides became aware of his efforts.The move was seen within the State Department as freelance diplomacy — an intrusion into Mr. Pompeo’s turf — and, more broadly, many counterterrorism policy officials viewed it as insufficiently thought out.Among the problems: figuring out whom to talk to in the Shabab, whose leaders tend to kill one another when they have ideological disputes; figuring out what the effort would mean for the fledgling Somali government the United States is supporting; and vetting the public-relations risks of negotiating with Qaeda-linked figures.Mr. Pompeo insisted that the State Department take over the initiative from Mr. Miller. He referred the matter to the department’s Africa Bureau, where officials said it was widely seen as bureaucratically dead even before Mr. Trump lost the election — and a reversal that has exposed the American government to looking flighty in the Middle East.“This story is strange on so many levels,” Ms. Bacon said. “Reducing the threat to U.S. interests by eliminating 10 Shabab operatives doesn’t hold up. The threat from Shabab isn’t that simple. We have already tried that, and it hasn’t worked.”Thom Shanker contributed reporting. WASHINGTON — A little-known counterterrorism official named Christopher C. Miller flew to the Middle East last month to pursue a diplomatic idea: asking Qatar to help devise plans to buy off or otherwise marginalize some senior leaders of the Shabab, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, who are more committed to attacking the West.Mr. Miller had obtained a blessing from Kash Patel, then a senior official at the National Security Council. President Trump’s national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, was also aware of the trip, officials said. But they bypassed the nation’s chief diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — and when he found out, he deemed the idea half-baked and shut it down.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Every little helps

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first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Sherwood handed big Spurs chance

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first_imgTottenham have appointed Tim Sherwood as their new head coach until the end of the 2014/15 season. Sherwood was in charge as Tottenham crashed out of the Capital One Cup following a second home defeat to West Ham this season. But he bolstered his standing by leading the club to a 3-2 victory at Southampton in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday. The 44-year-old had been the head of football development during Villas-Boas’ tenure, and although he has no previous managerial experience it is clearly not an issue for the Tottenham board, who have entrusted Sherwood to lead the club until the end of next season. Chairman Daniel Levy told the club’s official website: “We were extremely reluctant to make a change mid-season, but felt we had to do so in the club’s best interests. “We have a great squad and we owe them a head coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season. “We are in the fortunate position of having within our club a talented coach in Tim Sherwood. “We believe Tim has both the knowledge and the drive to take the squad forward.” Sherwood, who made nearly 100 appearances for Tottenham as a midfielder from 1999 until 2003, will be assisted by Chris Ramsey and former Tottenham team-mates Les Ferdinand and Steffen Freund. Sherwood was among the frontrunners for the job after being named interim manager of the north London club following the sacking of Andre-Villas Boas last week. A statement on Spurs’ official website on Monday evening said: “Following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, the club can announce that Tim Sherwood has been appointed head coach with a contract to the end of the 2014/15 season.” Press Association Villas-Boas was dismissed a day after Tottenham’s 5-0 home defeat against Liverpool. Despite an earlier heavy defeat at Manchester City last month, the Portuguese had a good record overall as Tottenham manager, averaging 1.83 points per league match, the highest of all Spurs bosses in the Premier League era, while he had a 100 per cent record in the Europa League. Yet he oversaw a heavy outlay over the summer, in which the club spent over £100million with seven new players arriving at White Hart Lane as Tottenham re-invested the huge transfer fee they received from Real Madrid for Gareth Bale. Sherwood was among the favourites to take charge as he had the benefit of knowing the players, despite his novice status as manager, while former player and manager Glenn Hoddle expressed his interest. Ajax boss Frank de Boer and former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink were also linked with the post, but the Spurs board opted to give their backing to Sherwood, who will be expected to lead the charge for a top-four finish. last_img read more

Canary sets out on new chapter

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first_img Press Association Testing conditions are expected to bring out the best in Canary Row in the www.thetote.com Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh on Sunday. Twice runner-up behind champion juvenile Dawn Approach a couple of years ago, Patrick Prendergast’s colt struggled to make a significant impact as a three-year-old as he competed in handicaps off marks in the high 90s. Now preparing to make his four-year-old debut, the son of Holy Roman Emperor has been given some relief by the assessor and Prendergast hopes his charge can kick-start a profitable campaign with a bold showing in the 100,000 euro contest. center_img “I would imagine the ground is going to be quite hard work, but I think that will suit Canary Row,” said the trainer. “He’s a horse who was second to Dawn Approach twice as a two-year-old and for that reason he was quite highly rated last year and just hit the crossbar a few times. He’s come down the weights a bit and we’re claiming 10lb off him with Ben (Dawson) taking the ride. Ben rides him out every day and they seem to get on well with each other. “The horse has had a trouble-free preparation and we’re quite hopeful he’ll have a good four-year-old career.” Canary Row is one of two runners in the fiercely competitive handicap for County Kildare-based Prendergast, with Smoker making his first appearance since pulling up injured at Gowran Park last May. The trainer added: “Smoker gets in with a very low weight (8st 4lb), but the last time he was on the track he got injured quite badly and he will definitely come on for the run a good bit.” Ken Condon’s stable stalwart Bold Thady Quill makes his seasonal reappearance having finished third in the race 12 months ago. However, the trainer feels his charge has plenty on his plate this time around. Condon said: “He is ready to run and ready to run well, but he is a horse who normally takes a run to get back up to full speed. “He was third in the race last year off 91 and he’s rated 100 now. I think his last win in a handicap was off 81, so it looks a difficult task for him. The ground will suit him, though. We know he handles extreme conditions. “Hopefully he’ll give a good account of himself and then we can kick on for the rest of the season. After finishing third here last year he went and won the Cork Stakes, which is a Listed sprint, so we might go down the same route again.” last_img read more

Ellsworth and MDI girls’ basketball teams remain undefeated

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first_img Taylor VorthermsSports Editor at The Ellsworth AmericanTaylor Vortherms covers sports in Hancock County. The St. Louis, Missouri native recently graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and joined The Ellsworth American in 2013. Part 2: When the injury is inside your head, some “don’t get it” – July 26, 2016 ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island girls’ basketball teams are both off to 5-0 starts this season.Ellsworth notched its fifth win Tuesday when Madison Card’s game-high 15 points led the Eagles past Hermon 51-43.Hannah Sargent added 11 points, and Kate Whitney chipped in 10 for Ellsworth.Hermon dropped to 2-4.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMDI’s latest win came Saturday, handing 5-1 Houlton its only loss this season. Sierra Tapley scored 15 points and Keely McConomy contributed 12 for MDI en route to the squad’s 47-41 win.GSA 80, Lee 23George Stevens Academy senior Margaret Brooks looks for an open teammate on Friday against Sumner.PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSMorgan Dauk led all scorers with 25 points to power George Stevens Academy (4-2) past Lee (0-5) on Monday.“Morgan is one of the most dedicated practice players I’ve ever seen,” GSA coach Bill Case said of the 6-foot junior guard. “She has a great knack for the game.”GSA’s two losses this season were within 12 points and on the road at Piscataquis and Calais — both requiring more than five hours of driving.“Those were long trips,” Case said. “And they were close games right to the end.”However, the two-hour bus ride to Lee didn’t affect the Eagles on Monday when GSA senior forward Megan Tobey netted 21 points, including five 3-pointers.The win is GSA’s third straight after the Eagles topped Sumner 55-31 on Friday.Dauk and Hanna Gutow combined for 20 first-half points against Sumner (3-5), giving GSA a 28-10 halftime lead en route to the win.“Hanna is running the team really well,” Case said of the senior guard.Case also noted the team’s youth, with several key players still sophomores and juniors. Mazie Smallidge, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, is among them.“Our inside game with Mazie and Morgan is our biggest strength,” Case said. “We’re a pretty young team.”Fortunately, the second half of GSA’s schedule offers far more games at home, where Case said his team performs its best.“The challenge is keeping everyone together so we have a shot at beating those same teams at our place,” Case said. “We shoot really well here.”George Stevens Academy freshman Julianna Allen tosses the ball up to a teammate in Friday’s game against Sumner.PHOTO BY TAYLOR VORTHERMSGSA was scheduled to play next at Penquis on Wednesday.Dexter 46, Bucksport 31Bucksport (1-5) lost to Dexter (6-1) on Monday. Cassie Coombs and Breanna Coombs tallied nine and eight points for Bucksport.Calais 52, Sumner 39Calais (3-1) beat Sumner on Monday. Taya Moore tallied 11 points to lead Sumner.DI-S 61, Greenville 31Allyson Eaton scored 24 points to lead Deer Isle-Stonington (1-5) to its first victory of the season Saturday over Greenville (0-3).Ellsworth 69, Mattanawcook 42Ellsworth shot 53 percent from the field, including 6-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc, in the first half en route to its win over Mattanawcook (2-3) on Friday. Madison Card led Ellsworth with 22 points, and Kate Whitney added 16.Bucksport 56, DI-S 37Bucksport outscored DI-S 30-15 en route to the win Thursday. Cassie Coombs poured in 25 points to lead Bucksport.Ally Eaton paced DI-S with 15 points.MDI 67, John Bapst 25MDI outscored 3-3 John Bapst 35-2 in the final 13 minutes en route to the win Thursday. Kelsey Shaw led MDI with 22 points and eight rebounds. Sierra Tapley added 17 points and four assists.Narraguagus 70, Sumner 36Sumner lost to Narraguagus (6-0) on Thursday. Latest posts by Taylor Vortherms (see all) Part 1: Invisible, incapacitating concussions are sidelining high school athletes – July 19, 2016center_img Bio EHS names new boys’ soccer coach – July 13, 2016 Latest Postslast_img read more

Rutgers seeks revenge on Michigan

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first_imgSUPER SENIORS: Michigan’s Zavier Simpson, Jon Teske and Eli Brooks have collectively accounted for 47 percent of the team’s scoring this season, including 40 percent of all Wolverines points over the last five games.CREATING OFFENSE: Simpson has either made or assisted on 44 percent of all Michigan field goals over the last five games. The senior guard has accounted for 17 field goals and 39 assists in those games.BLOCK PARTY: Rutgers is 10-0 when it blocks at least six opposing shots and 8-8 when it falls shy of that mark. Michigan is 12-0 when blocking six or more shots and 4-9 this year, otherwise.STREAK SCORING: Rutgers has won its last 17 home games, scoring an average of 73.1 points while giving up 57.5.STOUT WOLVERINES: Rutgers has held opposing teams to 37.9 percent shooting from the field this year, the lowest percentage among all Division I teams. Associated Press Rutgers seeks revenge on Michigan Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMichigan (16-9, 7-7) vs. Rutgers (18-8, 9-6)Louis Brown Athletic Center, Piscataway, New Jersey; Wednesday, 7 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: Rutgers seeks revenge on Michigan after dropping the first matchup in New York. The teams last played on Feb. 1, when the Wolverines outshot Rutgers from the field 46.8 percent to 32.5 percent and made 13 more foul shots en route to the 69-63 victory.center_img February 18, 2020 ___For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25___This was generated by Automated Insights, http://www.automatedinsights.com/ap, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comlast_img read more

Korger: Wisconsin’s experience will break undisciplined Ole Miss

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first_imgMarch Madness.It’s a time for filling out brackets, decreased productivity in offices across the United States and enough college basketball to rot your brain into a gooey pulp.This year, unfortunately, the unofficial national holiday of the NCAA tournament’s opening round of games (because, let’s be honest, play-in games don’t count) fall during class time for most college students.So we will sneak watching the games on our laptops, smart phones and other gadgets while pretending to pay attention in class. Some of us may construct “fan caves” in our rooms with multiple televisions. Maybe others will sit in their rooms with the lights turned off and fast food delivery on speed dial, shunning significant others, roommates and family members for days in a blurry haze of buzzer-beaters and upsets. Well, maybe that’s just me.This year, like so many, there is once again an air of hope surrounding the Wisconsin team’s tournament prospects. Battle-hardened by a rigorous Big Ten schedule and the adversity of losing their starting point guard before the season even started, Bo Ryan’s Badgers have somehow found themselves primed to make a run into March. But the question remains: How far will they go?Well, that depends on the matchups. Who will Wisconsin lose to? Will it be the neurotic Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss in the team’s first game? Will it be a potential game with Kansas State and once-Illinois coach Bruce Weber? Or is there a chance that Ryan and the boys fall to the No. 1 seed Gonzaga?As one of the Herald’s senior writers Ian McCue examines today, it all comes down to defense. But, more specifically, how well the Badgers can play man-to-man defense against more athletic teams.The experienced Wisconsin spectator knows what I’m talking about. Last year, when the team lost to Syracuse in the Sweet 16, Wisconsin allowed its opponent to shoot layup after layup, as the Orange constantly blew past the Badgers’ defenders for easy layups and high percentage shots.How high? Try 55 percent from the field for the entire game. Yes, Syracuse was one of the most athletic, if not the most athletic, teams in the country, but the Badgers and Ryan took a shot and gambled they could somehow match up one-on-one with their talented adversary. And, truthfully, if it weren’t for the Badgers shooting the lights out from beyond the arc, they would have been blown out. Get this: Syracuse shot just nine three-pointers the entire game. Wisconsin? Well, they shot 27 of them- and made 14 of those attempts, making for one of the most thrilling games of the entire tournament.Then there was the loss in 2010 to Cornell, where Wisconsin once again saw its season end due to poor defense. Sure, the Big Red were feeling it, but plenty had to do with the fact the Badgers’ defense was non-existent, allowing their opponent to shoot 61 percent from the floor.The list goes on and on, but you get the point. With the Badgers’ offense in 2013 about as consistent as a politician’s promise, defense is what will carry this team forward. And not just defense, but matchups. Are there any offensive juggernauts that could maul Wisconsin like Florida did earlier this year? Yes, there certainly are, but not for at least a few rounds. With that, let’s look at the first round matchup.Ole Miss is definitely a classic 12-seed when it comes to the tournament. They have the capability to burn you offensively, and Marshall Henderson is a big reason why. He’s like watching a little Energizer Bunny – he just never gets tired. But he’s wild and has a gunner mentality; something the Badgers should be licking their chops at. If they stay disciplined in their defense and junior guard Ben Brust has the same success chasing him like he has other opponents this year, Wisconsin should be able to force Henderson into a very miserable shooting performance.After being forced to play defense for the entire shot clock, Henderson will be antsy to put up shots early in the shot clock. If he makes them and gets into a rhythm early, it’s going to be a close game. If he misses a couple early, this could be a Wisconsin blowout. Don’t worry about Henderson scoring – there’s no doubt he’s going to get his points. But, those points do come at a cost in the games Ole Miss has lost this year. Henderson has averaged 18 points a game in the team’s eight losses but he shoots a paltry 33 percent on average from the floor – a combined 45-for-136 from the field in games the team has fallen.But Ole Miss has an inside-outside game that helps to even out the gung-ho play of Henderson. Wisconsin must remain leery of Ole Miss senior forwards Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner, two players who hound the glass for Henderson’s misses. Remember, Henderson focuses his shot by aiming at the back of the rim. That way, if he misses, the rebound is long, giving his teammates an opportunity for an offensive rebound. Maybe that’s the reason why both forwards finished in the SEC’s top 5 for offensive rebounds.However, the Rebels have a few glaring weaknesses the Badgers should be able to exploit. This team struggles to get back in transition defense worse than any team from a major conference the Badgers have played all year. Wisconsin outscored Indiana in transition points when the two teams played in the Big Ten Tournament. Why can’t they do the same to the Rebels?As far as the first round goes, there’s a reason Ryan is 10-1 in the team’s opening games of the NCAA tournament. The biggest reason is opponents from other conferences have rarely played a team as disciplined, precise, patient and methodical as Wisconsin.It’s not going to be any different this time, folks. Wisconsin will break down Henderson and Ole Miss in a laughable manner Friday afternoon in Kansas City.Nick is the sports editor of The Badger Herald and the Wisconsin men’s basketball beat writer. Do you think he’s wrong with his game predictions? Let him know at nkorger@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

Semi-finalists Emerge in Equatorial Conference

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first_imgNESTLE MILO SCHOOLS B’BALLKunle AdewaleThe quarter-final matches of the Equatorial Conference of the Nestle Milo Secondary Schools Basketball competition were decided yesterday at the Sports Hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, Enugu State with eight states booking their semifinal tickets. In the boys’ category, Rivers State defeated their Anambra counterparts 26-17, Ebonyi out-dunked host, Enugu, 40-6, while Cross River defeated Imo 18-15.In the last boys’ game, Bayelsa defeated Akwa Ibom 28-16.In the girls category, ruthless Bayelsa State girls outclassed their counterparts from Ebonyi 42-4, while in the battle of neighbours, Akwa Ibom defeated Cross River 31-10, while Imo defeated Abia 16-9.One of the outstanding schools in the competition was Community Secondary School, PABOD, Port Harcourt, which paraded the smallest boy in terms of stature and age yet showed great cohesion against bigger opponents.In a chat with THISDAY, Coach of the school, Fubara Onyenabo, said he felt elated that the boys booked a semifinal ticket considering that it was the first time the school would be participating in the competition.“The ultimate aim is to expose them to the biggest stage as far as basketball is concern. Most of them came from the volatile part of the state where cultism was the order of the day but I have been able to shield them away from trouble through the Da-F Basketball Academy, which sponsors most of them to school,” Onyenabo said.The semifinal matches are scheduled to take place today at the same venue.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Ravens hope Jackson and upgraded D lead to Super Bowl run

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first_imgLast Updated: 27th August, 2020 07:21 IST Ravens Hope Jackson And Upgraded D Lead To Super Bowl Run Offense put up record numbers last year behind versatile QB Lamar Jackson, who worked hard during offseason to be even better in 2020 Associated Press Television News BALTIMORE RAVENS (14-3)New faces: : DE Calais Campbell, DE Derek Wolfe, G D.J. Fluker, LB Patrick Queen, RB J.K. Dobbins, WR Devin Duvernay, LB Malik Harrison.Key losses: G Marshal Yanda, DT Michael Pierce, TE Hayden Hurst, RT James Hurst, LB Patrick Onawuasor, LB Josh Bynes, DE Chris Wormley, WR Seth Roberts, S Tony Jefferson, CB Brandon Carr, S Earl Thomas.Strengths: Offense put up record numbers last year behind versatile QB Lamar Jackson, who worked hard during offseason to be even better in 2020. He’s got four solid running backs, with Dobbins joining an already impressive trio of Mark Ingram, Gus Williams and Justice Hill. Receivers Marquise Brown and Willie Snead, along with tight end Mark Andrews, will be joined by Chris Moore and Duvernay to help make passing game worthy supplement to ground attack that last year racked up record 3,296 yards.Weaknesses: Ravens hope Campbell and Wolfe fortify defensive front pierced for 217 yards rushing in playoff loss to Tennessee, but they’ll need strong production from Queen at middle linebacker. In addition, offensive line must make up for loss of Yanda, a potential Hall of Famer, and is counting on C Matt Skura to return to form after knee injury kept him sidelined for final four games and postseason.Pandemic Development: Ravens had two players opt out, KR De’Anthony Thomas and reserve Andre Smith. Team appears to have solid handle on enforcing necessary protocols to keep players healthy, as no positive tests were announced after training camp moved into high gear in middle of August. With essentially same coaching staff as last year, there weren’t too many additions to playbook that couldn’t be taught during Zoom sessions that replaced minicamp workouts.Fantasy Player to Watch: Jackson provides big points with arm and legs, qualities that should make him high pick in any fantasy draft. He ran for 1,206 yards and seven TDs in 2019 and threw for 3,127 yards and 36 scores.Vegas Says: Win Super Bowl: 13-2. Over/under wins: 11 1/2.Expectations: Ravens went 14-2 during 2019 regular season and entered playoffs looking to go distance, quest that went awry with loss at home to Tennessee in their first postseason game. GM Eric DeCosta worked to fortify defense and appears to have filled holes. Ravens have drive and manpower to finish what they started last year. Nothing less than reaching Super Bowl will do for team with reigning NFL MVP guiding offense, and defense good enough to cut loose seven-time Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, deemed derisive influence in very positive locker room.Image credits: AP SUBSCRIBE TO US First Published: 27th August, 2020 07:21 IST Written Bycenter_img WATCH US LIVE COMMENT LIVE TV FOLLOW USlast_img read more