Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce dominated the rest of the field to win the World Championships 100-meter title in Moscow Monday.The sprinter improved on her world leading time, finishing in 10.71 seconds, ahead by .22 seconds from silver medalist Muriel Ahoure of the Ivory Coast.Fraser-Pryce was in the clear lead by the 50-meter mark and none of her competitors were able to make up any ground on the Jamaican in the latter half of the race.The 26-year-old has established herself as the top sprinter in the world in recent years. She won the same title in Berlin in 2009, as well as the Olympic gold in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.“I had my obstacles – I was starting to feel pain under my left butt cheek,” Fraser-Pryce said. “It was really hurting but I knew what I worked for.”“I am surrounded by great people, I came here and did my best and actually won,” she said.Defending world champion Carmelita Jeter of the United States settled for the bronze medal.
Albert Pujols will miss the rest of the Major League Baseball season because of his injured left foot, the Los Angeles Angels announced Monday.Pujols agreed to sit out for the remainder of the season after the front office and medical staff advised him to avoid rushing back to the Angels’ miserable season.“It’s not an easy decision, as competitive as I am,” Pujols said at his locker before the Angels opened a series against Cleveland. “But I also understand that we (need) to look beyond the season.”The slugger has been in walking boot since July 26, when he partially tore his left plantar fascia in Oakland.Pujols repeatedly said he was looking forward to a return in September, but after he consulted with owner Arte Moreno and general manager Jerry Dipoto he agreed to a hard decision to shut himself down for the season.“It was a decision of the organization, Arte and Jerry, because I don’t make a decision here,” said Pujols, who had career lows of 17 homers and 64 RBIs this year. “I put my uniform on and get ready to play. They said, ‘This is what’s best for the organization in the long run,’ and they came and brought it to me. And I just told them, ‘Whatever you guys want to do, I’m all for it.’ It’s definitely hard, as I want to be out there, but I also understand that I can’t be selfish and put myself out there.”
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream Type LIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedAudio TrackCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Frankly Video Player – v7.26.0CloseWBRC FOX6 News – Birmingham, ALAn Alabama teen set to graduate from high school went viral after photos of him heading to a bus stop in his cap and gown made the rounds. They’ve caught the eyes of Rickey Smiley, Tyrese and Mike Epps who hope to make his trips a little easier going forward.Corey Patrick, a graduate of Tarrant High School, walked to the bus to attend school every day and when it came time for him to earn his high school diploma, that was no different.“I had to do what was necessary for me to walk this year,” he told WBRC after an image taken by a public transit driver Monday made the rounds online Thursday, May 17. His mother told the station he had been waking up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the 5:41 MAX bus.“I’d just like to say thank you to everyone that’s supporting Corey and supporting me,” his mother, Felicia White, said.Despite the teen’s reported full-ride scholarship offer to college, Rickey Smiley and his celebrity pals are pitching in to get him a car when he goes to college. Smiley tapped Tyrese and Epps to help give Patrick transportation to and from work this summer.“I got Mike Epps to be a part of it … me, him Tyrese we gon make sure we get him a little car,” Smiley says on “The Rickey Smiley Morning Show” Thursday, May 23.Additionally, Smiley is also throwing a party for Patrick on June 23 to help the Alabama native and his family get on their feet.Plus “Insecure” actress Amanda Seales said the teen’s story, “moved me so much” and felt inspired by the community support.Aside from the celebs who have stepped up to offer words of support and a new ride, several GoFundMe campaigns have been established in Patrick’s honor.The one he launched himself, “Conquering Against All Odds,” has raised $4,500 in a single day and aims to collect a total of $10,000.“I thank you all for the support and just know that I appreciate you all,” he said adding, “it does indeed ‘Takes A Village.’”
University of Washington senior Kelsey Plum doesn’t spend much time thinking about her accomplishments on the basketball court. It’d be too easy to get lost amid all the points the point guard has scored in her UW career (3,498, the most in the history of women’s Division I hoops) or even how many she’s netted in just her final season (1,080, another D-I milestone). Although she views the accolades as nice, they’re a distraction from bigger goals: In 2016, she led UW to the program’s first ever Final Four, and with her team a No. 3-seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, she’s hoping for more.“I should probably relish the attention a bit more,” she said. “But right now, I don’t really care. I don’t just want to be remembered as a scoring champ, and personally, it’d be kind of sad if that’s what ends up happening.”According to FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions, the Huskies’ chances are slim — they play No. 2-seed Mississippi State on Friday night but have just a 5 percent chance of returning to the Final Four and a less than 1 percent chance of winning the tournament — but there isn’t another player in women’s hoops who can carry her team offensively like Plum can. Of the 31 D-I players who have scored or assisted on more than 600 plays in the halfcourt this season, Plum has been the most effective, contributing 136 points per 100 halfcourt plays, according to Synergy Sports Technology. Even as opponents know Plum is the focal point of the Huskies’ offense, Plum still manages to score with ease.Against No. 6-seed Oklahoma in the round of 32 on Monday, Plum used a variety of shots to net 38 points, helping dismantle the Sooners 108-82. “The first time you are on the floor with [Plum], you don’t really know what to do,” OU coach Sherri Coale told the Oklahoman ahead of the game.Pac-12 opponents have had four years to figure out Plum, and those teams have done little to slow down the guard. This season, she has encountered an array of defensive approaches, including face guarding,1When a defender turns her back to the ball to deny an entry pass. flat hedging picks2When the screener’s defender stays near the ballhandler after a pick to prevent a 3-point attempt, while allowing the opposing guard a chance to recover. and box and 1s.3A four-person box zone defense with the remaining defender playing man defense on what is typically the opponent’s best player. Yet she posted a true shooting percentage of 66.3 percent in 2016-17. Considering that she essentially never leaves the court, playing more than 90 percent of possible minutes, that level of efficiency is remarkable.“At the end of the day, no matter how familiar you are with her, you have to figure out how to stop her or at least figure out how to slow her down,” Coale told the Oklahoman. “Nobody has been able to do that, really. Nobody.”Plum’s game is buttressed by her ever-growing comfort operating within Washington’s pick-and-roll sets — according to Synergy, nearly a third of her plays are pick-and-rolls, a career high, and she scores 108 points per 100 plays, which ranks in the 98th percentile for all of D-I. That’s a significant uptick from her junior (83 points per 100 plays) and sophomore (89) seasons. A student of the games of both Chris Paul and James Harden, Plum relies on a variety of counters the moment she gets a window of separation from her defender. She’s converted 42.9 percent of her threes this season and often attempts a shot as soon as she steps behind a pick.Plum isn’t the quickest guard, but like Harden, she has a keen sense of how to use hesitation moves to generate extra space between herself and her opponent, and she often unveils those herky-jerky pauses after she dribbles off a pick. “I appreciate the left-handed craftiness,” Harden, a fellow southpaw, told WNBA.com earlier this year.Standing just 5-foot-8, Plum has long learned how to use her shiftiness and agility to her advantage. She does it in a variety of ways: On some sets, she keeps the ball nearly behind her body at her hip — which helps mask her dribbling from the defender’s vision — and breaks a defender down with just a slight shuffle or jab step. On other plays, she looks ready to shoot, but by the time a defender approaches, Plum has already blown by her and is in the lane (she’s averaging 124 points per 100 plays on drives off the pick-and-roll, according to Synergy). She can also suddenly pull up mid-drive, causing her opponent to wave frantically at her shot (she generates 116 points per 100 plays on dribble pull-ups, ranking in the 94th percentile), or immediately attack the interior, bulldozing through opponents and either scoring a basket or getting fouled.One of Plum’s most rewindable possessions happened in a late February game against Colorado — situated in the left corner, Plum feinted a step-back three, causing the defender to lurch forward, at which point the UW guard crossed her up, drove baseline and was fouled.Harden and Plum are both masters of contorting their bodies to draw fouls. Plum, who shoots more than eight free throws per 40 minutes, splays her various limbs much the same way that Harden does. Not only does she cock her elbows and raise her arms above her head, she seeks out the angles that will maximize the contact between her and a defender. She spent this past summer training with ex-Husky (and former NBA guard) Nate Robinson, who advised her on how to use her size, ball-handling and hesitation mastery to get to the line even more frequently.For Washington, making the Final Four will probably require scoring from more than just Plum. UW’s offense can devolve into four players waiting for Plum to make a move, and that stagnancy is compounded when she goes through an in-game scoring drought. When those brief periods occur, Plum isn’t without talented teammates: Chantel Osahor is a unique DI talent talents, a 6-foot-2 center who launches threes with profound accuracy (37.9 percent), and freshman Aarion McDonald averages nearly 10 points per game.The Oklahoma game might provide a good blueprint — Plum had 11 assists and the first double-double of her career, and UW immolated the Sooners defense, scoring 1.47 points per possession. If Washington wants to get out of its region (which will probably require beating No. 1-seed Baylor in the process) — much less accomplish the unthinkable and defeat UConn (likely waiting in the national semifinals) — it, and Plum, will need more games like that.Check out our March Madness predictions.
Klay Thompson, the star shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors, unambiguously took a knee to the face in the team’s Wednesday night game against the Houston Rockets. After that, everything got a little muddled — not only for Thompson, but also for the doctors who are being asked to explain why their test didn’t keep him out of the game.The team’s doctors gave Thompson a concussion evaluation after the injury and cleared him to return to the game. Thompson didn’t get to play (he was still bleeding and wasn’t allowed on the court), and now that looks like a lucky break. In a postgame interview, Thompson said he was “feeling a little dizzy,” and the team confirmed that after the game, he had concussion-like symptoms and will need to be retested before he can play in future games.The NBA concussion protocol requires any player who is suspected of having a concussion to have an immediate neurological evaluation. The NBA uses both a modified version of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) and the Cogstate Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT). And according to their clinical trials, both tests do pretty well at detecting concussions accurately.The SCAT combines the results of tests of balance, cognitive function and other concussion indicators into a single score. According to a 2015 study, the SCAT has a sensitivity (successfully detecting concussions in people who really have concussions) of 96 percent. The NBA’s modified SCAT is probably somewhere in the same ballpark, but it’s hard to know for sure because the league hasn’t made public its modifications to the test. The study used a threshold of a 3.5-point drop from an earlier, baseline SCAT score to identify a concussion. If the NBA uses a different figure or focuses on a SCAT subscore instead of the overall figure, the accuracy of the test might change.The CCAT is a computerized test (you can try out a practice version here) that gives players four tasks (sort cards by color, remembering which cards you’ve already seen, etc.) and checks to see if they do badly on at least two of the challenges. According to a 2014 study, the CCAT successfully flags 96 percent of players who really have concussions.So, if the tests are pretty accurate, why wasn’t Thompson identified as possibly concussed until after the game?It’s hard to say, especially without information on the NBA-specific protocols, but sometimes tests are less accurate in real life than they are in a trial. Or a concussed player could just be unlucky; 5 percent or so pass a screening test in error.If Thompson hadn’t mentioned that he felt ill, questions might not have been raised about whether the test failed. Players are a check on the test, but they may not feel free to speak up if they’re passed in error.What happened to Thompson is a reminder for the NBA to audit its methods to make sure that the assessments it is giving players are working as well as they did in the clinical trials. That way, players can trust their doctors, and the fans can trust the league.Update (3:25 p.m., Friday, May 29): On Friday afternoon, the Warriors said Thompson had suffered a concussion, and would not return to the court until he is symptom-free and cleared under the NBA’s concussion protocol guidelines.
When receiver Quincy Enunwa suffered a season-ending neck injury recently, the number of NFL-caliber receivers on the New York Jets’ active roster dropped from one to zero.Taken together, the Jets’ top five remaining wideouts — Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, Chris Harper and Frankie Hammond — average 1.4 years of NFL experience, 18.6 career receptions and 223.8 receiving yards.The Jets have arguably the worst quarterback group in the NFL, an offensive line that lost its left tackle (Ryan Clady) and center (Nick Mangold) from last season’s 5-11 squad, and a pass defense that last year ranked 31st in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). With games scheduled against teams from the stacked AFC West and NFC South divisions, it’s no wonder that people are saying the Jets are headed for an 0-16 season.But a winless season takes more than a terrible roster; it also takes terrible luck.The 2008 Detroit Lions are the only NFL team to go winless in the NFL’s 37 years of 16-game regular seasons.1The NFL adopted a 16-game schedule in 1978, but strikes in 1982 and 1987 caused those seasons to be shortened. Last season’s Cleveland Browns came pretty close — making it to 0-14 before picking up their only win in dramatic fashion in Week 16. The 2008 Lions and 2016 Browns have something else in common: The numbers say their results were profoundly unfortunate.Pro-Football-Reference.com’s “expected wins” calculation measures what a team’s record should have been based on how many points it scored and allowed. It’s a simple formula that essentially assumes that a team’s close wins and losses should balance out. And it turns out that assumption is mostly right: Deviations between a team’s actual and expected records have a tendency to evaporate across seasons.According to expected wins, the 2008 Lions should have had 2.8 wins and the 2016 Browns should have had 3.5. In fact, only 11 teams have finished a 16-game season with one or no wins — and those teams averaged 3.0 expected wins. In other words, teams that flirt with zero wins usually have the talent to win a few more games, but they also catch a lot of (bad) breaks, losing more often than could reasonably be expected from the way they played.So if 0-16 is partly bad luck — which we can’t really predict — and partly bad talent, how do the Jets stack up in the latter department? Let’s start with the 2016 version of the team and then compare it with the four teams since the 2002 realignment that have won zero or one games: the 2007 Miami Dolphins, 2008 Lions, 2009 St. Louis Rams and 2016 Browns. We’ll focus on two power ratings: PFR’s Simple Rating System (SRS), which adjusts a team’s scoring margin for the strength of its opponents, and DVOA, which measures how well (or in this case, poorly) a team plays on a per-play basis. The 2016 Jets scored 17.2 points per game, more than each of the four one- and zero-win teams did. Last season’s Jets also allowed 25.6 points per game, fewer than any of the four. The Jets posted an SRS of -8.5 — awful, but better than all but the 2007 Dolphins among our list of possibly comparable teams. The 2016 Jets had 4.5 expected wins, also the highest among the group. DVOA was less kind — the Jets’ -32.4 percent is worse than the 2016 Browns’ -30.4 percent and well below that of the 2007 Dolphins’ -21.4 percent.By these measures, the 2016 Jets were at least as good as, if not significantly better than, all the one- and zero-win squads of this era.So the Jets were bad last season, but they weren’t 0-16 bad. Knowing nothing else, that means they’d have to have a ton of bad luck to go winless this season — or they would need to suffer a disastrous offseason.But when it comes to offseason talent gains and losses, the Jets arguably held steady: Free-agent tackle Kelvin Beachum was brought in to offset the loss of Clady, and free-agent cornerback Morris Claiborne was signed to replace Darrelle Revis, who was released. With their first two draft picks, the Jets selected safeties, bolstering their pass defense with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.It wasn’t all positive, of course — these are the Jets, after all. The team tried to address the free-agency loss of top wideout Brandon Marshall by drafting pass-catchers with their next three picks. But middle-round wide receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen and tight end Jordan Leggett almost certainly won’t replace the production of Marshall, a six-time Pro Bowler, let alone Enunwa’s.The Jets’ air attack is likely to be less effective in 2017 than it was in 2016, even if the motley trio of Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg can combine to be better than the Jets’ league-worst quarterback corps (67.6 team passer rating) from 2016.But for the Jets not to win a single game this season, their 2017 offense will have to be far less effective than the 2016 version, their defense even weaker — and their on-field luck much, much worse. So take heart, Jet fans: Even with the worst team in football, 0-16 is a tough feat to pull off.
Christian Pulisic made U.S. soccer history last week when he reached an agreement to join Chelsea in the coming summer transfer window. Borussia Dortmund, where Pulisic has played since 2015, will pocket $73 million for the rights to him — by far the largest fee ever for an American. But this transfer raises a number of questions: Is Pulisic worth the money? What can Chelsea expect from a young player out of the Bundesliga, and how well does the American fit his new club’s needs? How will Pulisic slot into manager Maurizio Sarri’s system, and what can fans expect to see from him in the coming years?The first question is how to adjust for a transfer from the Bundesliga, the top tier of German soccer. Do we expect Pulisic’s production to drop off significantly from Germany to England? Given the players who have moved between the two leagues before, the answer is no.Since 2010-11, 103 midfielders or attackers have transferred between the Bundesliga and the Premier League. Normalized for minutes, these players created about 371 expected goals and assists in the Bundesliga and 364 in the Premier League, based on data from analytics firm Opta Sports. That’s a difference of about 2 percent. Not every young star hits: Lucas Ocampos remains a capable but unspectacular Ligue 1 attacker for Marseille, Erik Lamela has struggled at Tottenham and faced major injury problems, and Xherdan Shaqiri stagnated for years before becoming a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool squad this season. But on average, results are strong. In up to three seasons after their age-20 seasons, these players averaged 0.54 nonpenalty goals and assists per 90 minutes. That’s an improvement for their expected goals and assists numbers — players who are this good at 20 tend to get even better in their early 20s.And as befitting that production, players like this tend to find their way to big clubs. Excluding the players currently in their age-20 seasons, 18 of 27 are regulars at teams in the Soccer Power Index top 20. Further, when players this young and this productive make their moves to big clubs, it’s expensive. Ousmane Dembele, Pulisic’s teammate at the time at Dortmund, cost Barcelona well over $100 million. Pulisic’s teammate-to-be Eden Hazard cost Chelsea only about $40 million in a less inflated market after his age-21 season. A few others came more cheaply — Inter Milan selling Philippe Coutinho for less than $15 million after the numbers he put up as a 20-year-old looks like a historically poor decision, while the less impressive futures of Ocampos and Domenico Berardi suggest the roughly $10 million fees paid for their services were more in line with their values. On average, the players on this chart who transferred within two years of their age-20 season cost about $44 million.Pulisic’s future looks bright, and Chelsea’s fee is not out of line with what players of his pedigree tend to command. But one concern that arises here is that Pulisic’s best production came in his age-17 to -19 seasons. Now at 20, when he should be coming into his own, his production has declined from his usual 0.4 to 0.5 expected goals and assists per 90 minutes to less than 0.3. He has even lost starting minutes in the Bundesliga to Jadon Sancho.The decline represents fewer than 1,000 minutes, and Pulisic’s total production including these minutes remains strong. But the drop is still concerning. The problem appears to be Pulisic’s role in the system of new Dortmund manager Lucien Favre. Favre prefers a more defensive and counterattacking system than the high-pressing, high-possession style of Thomas Tuchel, under whom Pulisic broke in. This year, Pulisic is playing much deeper on the pitch than he ever used to. Only about 8 percent of his open-play pass receptions have been in the penalty area or on the flanks near the penalty area, compared with about 13 percent in previous seasons with Dortmund. Instead, Pulisic has done much more buildup work, with 13 percent of his passes received in the central area of the defensive half, compared with 6 percent previously.Pulisic is currently expected to contribute to a slower buildup style or help run counterattacks through the center, rather than making himself available as a passing outlet near the goal or near the endline. But it’s that latter skill where he has stood out.Pulisic has averaged just fewer than 1.5 open-play passes received into the penalty area in his career so far. The most comparable players at such a young age are strikers — a few being among the best forwards in the world. Raheem Sterling2011-150.542016-180.78 Through age-20ages 21-23 Kylian Mbappe201520182.15 NameFromToReceived passes inside penalty box per 90 minutes Marcus Rashford201520181.31 * Season listed is the year in which the season startedMinimum 2,500 minutes played in the big five European leaguesSource: Opta Sports Marco Asensio2015-160.542017-180.41 Florian Thauvin2012-130.412014-160.43 Leroy Sane201320161.28 Philippe Coutinho2010-120.472013-150.43 Keita Balde2013-150.522016-180.76 Xherdan Shaqiri2010-120.452013-150.52 Julian Draxler2010-130.442014-160.44 Kingsley Coman2012-160.492017-180.54 Timo Werner201320161.12 Dele Alli2015-160.552017-180.61 Mario Gotze2010-120.572013-150.67 Pulisic is great at finding spaceEuropean soccer leaders in rate of receiving passes inside the penalty area per 90 minutes, among players prior to turning 21 Richarlison20170.4620180.61 Thomas Lemar2014-160.422017-180.34 Christian Pulisic2015-180.44—— Gabriel Jesus201620171.16 Manolo Gabbiadini201120121.24 Roberto Firmino2010-120.422013-150.69 Lucas Ocampos2013-140.422015-170.36 Antoine Griezmann2010-110.392012-140.57 Erik Lamela2011-120.542013-150.43 Raheem Sterling201120151.26 Aaron Ramsey2010-110.402012-140.52 Leroy Sane2013-160.552017-180.90 Eden Hazard2010-110.432012-140.52 Koke2010-120.402013-150.48 Mauro Icardi201220131.51 Season listed is the year in which the season startedMinimum 2,500 minutes played in the big five European leaguesSource: Opta Sports While there is variation, on average a player who creates attacking chances in the Bundesliga can be counted on to do the same in the Premier League.With more than 6,000 minutes played before his 21st birthday, Pulisic is in rarefied air already. Since the 2010-11 season, only 47 players have more than 6,000 minutes played among one of the top five European leagues1England’s Premier League, the German Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga, France’s Ligue 1 and Italy’s Serie A. and the Champions League.And even among that group, Pulisic’s production stands out. Here are players since 2010 with at least 2,500 minutes played before their age-21 season, sorted by expected goals and expected assists per 90 minutes, with strikers excluded. Pulisic does not look like a better prospect than Leroy Sane or Raheem Sterling in shot production. And he certainly falls behind strikers like Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi, Gabriel Jesus, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku in goal-scoring prowess. But what you get in Pulisic is good shot production and an elite ability to make himself available for passes in dangerous areas. In Favre’s system, where deep possession sequences around the penalty area are less common, his best skills are wasted.Sarri’s high-possession Chelsea attack, however, might just be the perfect place for Pulisic’s game. At the same time, Pulisic may be just the attacker that Chelsea needs to get Sarri’s attack flowing. At Napoli, Sarri’s team completed elite numbers of open-play passes within or into the penalty area, 11.7 per match in his final season in 2017-18. But Chelsea this year has completed just 9.8 open-play passes in the penalty area per match despite a higher share of possession (61.9 percent) than Napoli had last year (60.3 percent). Favre’s Dortmund, with its less possession-heavy style, has only 9.1 of those passes per match. Pulisic may find the right fit for his skills at Chelsea, and the Blues appear to need a player with Pulisic’s ability to find space in the penalty area to execute their manager’s tactics.While other Americans have found steady work in the English Premier League — Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Brian McBride — none has commanded even close to the money that Pulisic has. All eyes will be him from day one. But Pulisic’s combination of production at a young age and skills that fit the needs of his new club make him a good bet to succeed even under international scrutiny.Check out our latest soccer predictions. Malcom2015-170.4320180.70 Goncalo Guedes2015-170.4620180.10 Christian Pulisic201520181.41 Romelu Lukaku201120131.09 Mattia Destro201020111.29 Playerseasonsexp. goals + assists/90 minutesSeasonsnonpenalty goals + assists/90 min Ousmane Dembele2015-170.6020180.92 Erik Lamela201120121.09 Federico Chiesa2016-180.40—— Maxwell Cornet201520161.28 Paulo Dybala201220141.18 Maxwell Cornet2015-160.412017-180.74 Domenico Berardi2013-140.422015-170.38 Yann Karamoh2016-180.49—— Julian Brandt201320161.24 Julian Brandt2013-160.402017-180.41 Pulisic is one of Europe’s elite youngstersEuropean soccer leaders (excluding strikers) in expected goals plus expected assists per 90 minutes prior to turning 21 and nonpenalty goals plus assists for up to three seasons* afterwards
3. What should you expect from redshirt senior quarterback Joe Bauserman? At a Tuesday press conference, first-year coach Luke Fickell announced that Bauserman would probably take the first snap of Saturday’s game against Akron.For his career at OSU, Bauserman is 25-for-47 passing for 320 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception.At the Buckeyes’ Aug. 20 jersey scrimmage, Bauserman demonstrated great accuracy and the ability to lead receivers with his throws. Assuming he has time to throw, you can expect more of the same from the fifth-year senior on Saturday.At a Tuesday press conference, senior tackle J.B. Shugarts’ spoke highly of Bauserman’s athleticism and scrambling.“(Bauserman) is a little more of a pocket passer,” Shugarts said, “but he’s a lot more athletic then people give him credit for when he gets out of the pocket.” 1. How will the suspensions of junior running back Jordan Hall, sophomore defensive back Corey Brown and junior defensive back Travis Howard impact Saturday’s game against Akron?OSU announced Thursday that Hall, Brown and Howard were suspended for the Akron game for receiving impermissible benefits of $300 or less each in total at a charity event they attended earlier in the year.Similar to the suspensions of DeVier Posey, Mike Adams, Dan Herron and Solomon Thomas for the first five games of the 2011 season, the latest round of Buckeyes’ suspensions significantly hurts the team.The latest OSU depth chart listed Howard as the starter at left corner back while Hall was slated to start as the Buckeyes’ punt and kick returner, as well as tailback.For starters, don’t be surprised if Akron sophomore quarterback Clayton Moore tests Howard’s replacement, sophomore Dominic Clarke, early and often.Perhaps more significant is the loss of Hall, who led all Buckeyes’ kick returners in 2010 while averaging 27.9 yards per return. He was also the only OSU kick returner to record a touchdown last season.As a rusher, Hall recorded modest numbers last season, gaining 169 yards on 37 attempts and scoring two touchdowns. However modest those statistics are, taking the team’s current No. 1 rusher out of the equation on Saturday is a negative development and limits the OSU ground game considerably. 4. Will Akron beat OSU for the first time in 117 years? In a word, no.Akron’s lone win against the Buckeyes — or any current member of the Big Ten for that matter — occurred at the Ohio State Fair on Sept. 5, 1894. The Zips defeated OSU, 12-6, that day.Don’t expect Akron to claim win No. 2 this Saturday.The Zips posted a 1-11 record in 2010 and it’s safe to say that 2011 is a rebuilding year for the program. Additionally, Ohio Stadium is a tough place to lay the groundwork for a rebuilding season.Thirteen returning starters on offense and defense should help Akron avoid an embarrassing result, but an upset win is unlikely.5. Assuming the Buckeyes win, is there reason to be concerned if they don’t win big? “Whether I’m playing against my brother or I’m playing against someone I don’t like, to me, it’s gotta be competitive,” Fickell said at an Aug. 20 press conference. “If I can beat them, I want to beat them as bad as I can.”Based on that quote, you can bet that no one wants OSU to beat Akron in convincing fashion more than the team itself.The Buckeyes are champing at the bit to take the field and play ball. You can’t quantify or measure the different emotions felt by the players in the OSU locker room during this off-season, but it isn’t hard to imagine that they’ll be looking to upend any obstacles in their path — that includes Akron.I like the Buckeyes to win convincingly, but if Akron does make a game of it, keep the number of suspended players in mind, as well as the significance of those players. The suspensions that were announced Thursday are especially relevant as they could have possibly forced some last minute alterations to Saturday’s game plan.Suspensions aside, the Buckeyes will take care of business on Saturday.Game prediction — OSU 38 – 10 Akron 2. How will the Ohio State offensive line fare in protecting the Buckeyes’ quarterbacks against Akron?Ohio State coaches have already said that the team lacks depth at the offensive line position. That, coupled with the fact that the offensive line allowed 12 sacks in the April 23 spring game and the Aug. 20 jersey scrimmage combined, makes the position an area of concern. Akron collected only 17 sacks during the 2010 season, however.An unsuccessful showing by the offensive line against Akron would be cause for additional concern because OSU will face stronger and faster defensive opposition in almost every other game this season. Protecting the OSU quarterbacking tandem of redshirt senior Joe Bauserman and true freshman Braxton Miller shouldn’t be an overwhelming task for this weekend, though.
It took 7,596 miles for Mari Hole to find a school that felt right to her academically and athletically, but both she and the rest of the Ohio State women’s volleyball team agree it was worth every mile. The first 5,323 miles took place when the junior outside hitter left her hometown of Oslo, Norway to play at UCLA. The last 2,273 came when she decided to transfer to OSU after her first two years. It was all a part of an unusual journey for a girl who did not even start playing volleyball until six years ago. Hole said she played soccer and skied growing up but got into volleyball eventually because her mom’s side of the family plays. It eventually led to her decision to come to the U.S. “My mom played a year at Hawaii back in ‘86 or something so I kind of always heard of the possibility and she always talked about it so I decided to give it a try,” Hole said. “I was lucky enough to get a scholarship.” Hole now leads the team with her 282 kills and 323.5 points, both fifth-best in the Big Ten. It was the perfect addition for the 13-6 Buckeyes who lost 802 kills and 41 percent of their points from their two senior outside hitters last year . “It was kind of just like a big deep breath-and-relax kind of thing because we were kind of short on outside hitters,” senior libero Sarah Mignin said. “We really didn’t have any experience so having a player who did play in a big conference in the Pac-10 really helped us.” Hole was an All-Pac-10 Freshman Honorable Mention in her first year at UCLA but a change of coaches and several other factors led to her decision to transfer. “I wasn’t too happy about my athletic situation and then academically there wasn’t anything I really wanted to study and I was kind of done with the culture there,” Hole said. “So it was kind of one of those things I decided to give something else a try.” Coach Geoff Carlston was looking for a player at the time, said he heard through the grapevine about Hole and got an official release to start talking to her. “We had the stats and saw a little bit of YouTube video but it was mostly just talking to people,” Carlston said. “We hadn’t seen her a lot because she didn’t play a lot her sophomore year.” Hole narrowed the transfer down to four schools that she visited and said academics played a major part in where she looked because UCLA did not have a major she wanted to do. Both Hole and fellow junior and outside hitter Emily Danks said Hole’s visit to OSU went really well. “I remember we were sitting around at someone’s house watching “The Bachelor” and just hanging out and everyone just thought she was the coolest girl ever,” Danks said. “We were all here coaching camps one night and Jayme, our assistant coach, came running down the ramp and said Mari is committing and it was like a big celebration.” Danks, Carlston and Mignin all agreed Hole is leader on the team and a big part of their success. “The kids love her and she feels really comfortable here,” Carlston said. “She’s just a great student, works hard, just everything across the board. We couldn’t ask for a better person to join our team.” Comfortable is the key word for Hole. Hole said she never felt that way in her two years trying to transition from Norway’s culture to the West Coast culture of Los Angeles and of the U.S. in general. “In Norway since it’s such a small sport, it isn’t a business,” Hole said. “Just to realize how big the sport really is. How much people put into it and how the support system around it is a big difference.” Because of its low popularity in Norway, Hole said volleyball was played more for fun, but now after two years she is used to the system and how it works here. “The more comfortable I get,” she said, “The more confident I get as a player and that’s when I play good.” The biggest challenge Hole still faces in the U.S. is missing her family back in Norway, with whom she is very close. “I love being home, so it’s never fun leaving,” Hole said. “That will probably never get easy, but it’s kind of one of those things when you get th
After a six-tackle, 2.5-sack performance against Penn State, Ohio State sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa has been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.Bosa, who leads the Big Ten in sacks (8.0) and tackles for loss (11.5) clinched Saturday’s game for the Buckeyes when he brought down Penn State sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg on fourth-and-five in double-overtime.The award is the first for Bosa, and he becomes the first Buckeye to win the award since former OSU linebacker Ryan Shazier won it last November following a 20-tackle performance against Indiana on Nov. 23.Bosa, who has started every game this season, started 10 games as a true freshman in 2013 and tallied 7.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native was also named Athlon’s Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday.Bosa and the Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.