More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. Hot Takedown Video Excerpt: Brain Data And Baseball Welcome to this week’s episode of Hot Takedown, our podcast where the hot sports takes of the week meet the numbers that prove them right or tear them down. On this week’s show (July 21, 2015), we discuss how Zack Greinke is achieving his scoreless-inning streak, look into whether dominance in women’s basketball is not the same as in the men’s game and welcome SB Nation’s Zach Schonbrun to talk about the impact neuroscience may have on baseball scouting. Plus, our Significant Digit of the week: more people are going to women’s soccer games after the U.S. women won the World Cup.Stream the episode by clicking the play button, or subscribe using one of the podcast clients we’ve linked to above.Below are some links to what we discuss on this week’s show:Zack Greinke chases the records of Dodgers legends Orel Hershiser and Don Drysdale.Fangraphs’ three keys to Greinke’s streak.Is Elena Delle Donne having the best basketball season in history?Zach Schonbrun on mixing neuroscience and baseball.Significant Digit: 34 percent increase in attendance in National Women’s Soccer League games post-World Cup.
Free Agent Bobby Brown is reportedly conducting workouts with the New York Knicks in Las Vegas on Tuesday.Brown, 28, has an over-achieving year in the Euroleague and has been contemplating his return to the NBA. The Knicks are looking for a third point guard to play behind Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni and are considering Bown to fill that remaining position.Brown’s stats stayed at around 18.8 on average and 5.3 assists during his time in Italy. Back in January, His 41 point assault against Turkey shows his NBA potential.Previously, Brown played for four NBA teams Sacramento, Minnesota, New Orleans and the Los Angeles Clippers. He spent the past two years in Europe honing his skills.
Photo by bleacherreport.com.The Brooklyn Nets who were considered a stacked squad that could challenge the Miami Heat have been a disaster. They have lost 10 of their last 13 games. Rookie coach Jason Kidd was caught and fined for trying a trick to, in essence, create a timeout when his team was out of them. And now, perennial all-star forward Paul Pierce will be sidelined for two-to-four weeks with a broken hand.The team released a statement saying Pierce suffered the injury in a loss at Houston Friday. It happened in the first half and no one knew because Kidd benched Pierce and all the starters for the entire second half of a 19-point defeat.Saturday in a win over Memphis, Pierce, 36, did not play. Pierce joins point guard Deron Williams (ankle), guard Jason Terry (knee) and forward Andrei Kirilenko (back) who are out with injuries.“Injuries are a part of the game,” Kidd said. “You just hope that there are speedy recoveries. And for the guys in that locker room that can play, I believe in each one of those guys and that we can find a way to win until we do get whole.”The Nets (5-12) have lost a total of 37 games due to injury to six players. Kidd has had to use seven different starting lineups. Joe Johnson has been the only player to start every game this season.Pierce was shooting only 36.8 percent and 26.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc while averaging 12.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. He is on pace for career lows in shooting percentages and scoring average in his 16-year career.
2016-174.822.896.3109.560.4 PICK-AND-ROLLOVERALL 2012-132.416.5%5692.351.5% 2015-165.229.58197.954.7 Sources: synergy sports technology, Basketball-Reference 2014-154.326.16692.452.1 2013-142.010.789.792.250.7 2016-174.722.1101109.560.4 2013-144.524.47392.250.7 OFF-SCREENOVERALL Bradley Beal’s pick-and-roll points per play Until this season, Beal ran the pick-and-roll the way most guards in the NBA do. He’d hold the ball, wait for his screen to arrive, and then feel out the space the defense gave him, looking to drive or pass. He has improved this part of his game over the years, but he was never better than about average (and often was far worse than that). That’s mostly because, while he has a good first step, he has never been a strong dribbler; when he can’t go in a straight line to the basket, he’ll often lose his handle and have to reset or will dribble ball off his foot and out of bounds.Having Beal play as though he were a prototypical star shooting guard was not a great use of his talents. So the Wizards have switched things up, getting him open in other ways, away from the ball. After years of spending the greatest portion of his possessions churning out mediocre pick-and-rolls, Beal now gets more shots from running off of screens than from any other play type. And focusing on the off-ball movement has opened up the rest of his game, making him much more effective when he does have the ball. This season’s Wizards commonly start plays with Beal on the wing (or making a run across the baseline to emerge on the opposite wing) and run off a screen that gets him toward the middle of the floor. Because Beal is a threat to shoot off of the screen, the defender has to chase him over it and the screener’s defender has to help discourage a shot. If neither closes him out, Beal can rise up for a shot. If one or both defenders contest, he can use his first step to drive to the rim, which is less congested than it would be if he’d begun the play holding the ball and staring down the defense.That’s a fairly common play type in the NBA, and one that the Cleveland Cavaliers will often run to get Kyle Korver open. But the important thing about these plays isn’t how effective they are — though at 95 points per 100 plays, they’re a perfectly good option for Beal in the half-court — but how much they’ve helped Beal improve those same pick-and-roll plays that had been weighing him and the Wizards down. Last season, Beal scored a career-high 81 points per 100 plays as a pick-and-roll ball handler; this season, he’s taken that to 103 points per 100 plays. That’s due in large part to the space and matchups he’s able to create coming off of screens, which comes from excising a bunch of the slow, pounding, high pick-and-rolls that get him into trouble.Many of this season’s Beal pick-and-rolls are hardly recognizable compared to those of past seasons. In fact, some are more like extensions of Beal’s off-the-screen work than they are traditional pick-and-rolls.Instead of beginning possessions with the defense set, and therefore having to create openings with his dribbling, Beal now often receives the ball after coming around a screen — essentially the play you see above — and then re-engages with the screen for the pick-and-roll going back the other way, or he runs around a second screen set by another Washington big. Instead of immediately exploring the space, however, his first move is now to look for the pull-up 3. It may not sound like much, but the idea is to build Beal’s biggest strength (his jumper) into a primary weapon while minimizing his reliance on things he doesn’t do as well (dribbling and passing).Not every play can be quite that complex. But even when Beal isn’t curling around screens, he’s finding more opportunities to begin the pick-and-roll action early in the shot clock, when the defense is not yet set (which is when he’s looked his best in previous years). Other times, Beal simply needs to run a standard high pick-and-roll while Wall takes a break. Even then, however, it seems like he goes to his jumper more quickly than he used to and looks a little sharper driving into traffic (though he’s still not above occasionally dribbling the ball off of his shin or missing a rolling Marcin Gortat by several feet).These tweaks put several kinds of pressure on the defense. First, it has to guard Beal’s initial run off of the screen, which he’s perfectly happy to use to create a shot. But then, if the defense is successful, Beal can turn his defender back the other way around the same screen to begin the pick-and-roll, where he’s also a threat to pull up. And because all this is happening on a dynamic play instead of in a grinding two-man game, Beal has more clear lanes to the hoop that don’t require any of the fancy moves that get him into trouble, like “changing direction” or “avoiding a defender.”We have to go back to the crates to find someone who both runs a lot of pick-and-rolls and uses them the way Beal does. It turns out that this new-and-improved version of Beal plays a lot like the player he was compared to coming out of college: Ray Allen.Allen didn’t have a partner like Wall to draw attention away from him, but the way he navigated his screens and made defenders come to him would be right at home in 2017’s NBA.For the Wizards to make much noise this spring, a lot of things will have to break their way. The defense will have to snap out of a troubling recent downturn (they’ve allowed 111 points per 100 possessions since the All-Star break, compared to 108 before it), and fellow Zards breakout Otto Porter will need to emerge from a cold spell (he’s shooting 35 percent from three since the break, down from 47 percent before it). But those are more temporary, will-they-or-won’t-they type problems. The biggest change to the Wizards this season is more hardwired than that: Bradley Beal has developed a game that suits his skills, and it’s the game of a perennial All-Star. Even with all the puzzling players floating around the NBA, Bradley Beal has always stood out. He was drafted as a dead-eye shooter, a seemingly ideal foil for John Wall, the Wizards’ supersonic point guard. But despite shooting about as well as can be expected from long distance, and despite possessing many of the tools required of an All-Star guard, Beal has never quite matched his potential.But this season, amid the Washington Wizards’ rise to legitimate Eastern Conference dark horse, Beal has become the version of himself that Washington fans have always hoped would show up.The change looks simple: Beal is attempting more 3-pointers than ever before (he’s up to 7.4 per game this season) and making them as well as he ever has (40.6 percent). This has brought his true shooting percentage up to an elite level (60.4 percent), and it has been crucial to the Wizards posting their best offensive efficiency in his time with the team. But Beal’s transformation from a bundle of unrealized potential into a true partner for Wall is not merely the result of taking more threes. He has also made fundamental changes to his game in search of those shots.Let’s start with the basics: Beal has always been a perfectly good spot-up shooter, but being an NBA star who specializes in shooting is about more than just stroking open jump shots. Just about any NBA-level guard can stand in the corner and hit a decent percentage of the threes that come his way. In the past, the Wizards tried to get Beal to fill out his game by acting like a traditional star guard, running the high pick-and-roll and doing his best Kobe Bryant impression. This didn’t work out so well. 2015-162.715.290.597.954.7 SEASONPLAYS/GAME% OF ALL PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSTRUE SHOOTING % Bradley Beal’s off-screen points per play SEASONPLAYS/GAME% OF ALL PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSTRUE SHOOTING % 2012-132.718.3%86.492.351.5% Sources: synergy sports technology, basketball-reference 2014-152.817.077.492.452.1
This is despite the success rate of the play used on first or second down being better than that of all rushes by running backs on those downs.1Third-down draws are often in long-yardage situations in which a team is simply setting up for a punt. According to the ESPN Stats & Information Group, the success rate2Measured by whether the play resulted in positive expected points added. on first- and second-down draws this year is 41.8 percent, compared with 38 percent on all RB runs on those downs. And draws on any down result in longer gains on average (5.29 yards per attempt) than other running back runs (4.35).The Los Angeles Rams called only one draw play all season. (It didn’t work.) The New Orleans Saints waited all the way until Week 10 to run their first draw play of the season — a successful one. That two of the league’s most innovative offensive coaches — Sean McVay and Sean Payton — basically ignore the play seems like a bad harbinger for its survival. But the maestro of the NFL’s best offense, Kansas City’s Andy Reid, is one of the league’s greatest proponents of the play. That makes perfect sense: He’s essentially a Brown disciple, given that his West Coast offense was originally conceived by Bill Walsh when Walsh coached on Brown’s staff with the Bengals. For decades, the draw play has been one of the NFL’s most reliable tricks to fool overeager defensive lineman. The play mimics a pass — in the action of both the quarterback and the offensive line — until the last second, when the ball is handed off to the running back. When it works, the runner can often slice through holes untouched because defenders are busy trying to evade offensive linemen for a sack of the quarterback.The play may seem like the perfect countermeasure to keep a defense honest in the modern NFL. Yet for some reason, the draw play has been all but erased from teams’ playbooks.As the story goes, the draw play was invented in the middle of a game to slow unblockable pass rushers. It quickly became a staple of the modern offense by the sport’s “master innovator” Paul Brown, after a desperate hand-off on a busted passing play ended up working. “You fool one guy with a trap block,” Brown said. “You fool a whole pass rush with a draw play.”Offenses today are more pass-happy than ever before. And defenses have had to respond with more aggressive stunts and blitzes by rushers quicker and more desperate to pressure passers. So what better way to cross them up than by using a draw play? But during the 2018 season, teams ran the play just a little more than once every two games, down from well over two per game just 10 years ago. The Chiefs, who will play Indianapolis in the divisional round this weekend, have run a draw 16 times this year and have had success 10 times. That success rate of 62.5 is by far the best of the 10 teams that have run more than 10 draw plays. The Chargers also have used the draw well, generating 64 rushing yards in 10 attempts, six of which graded as successful.The draw is often thought of as a play of last resort: When teams are faced with virtually hopeless distance to convert a third down, they can use the draw to stop the bleeding before punting. But only 37 third-down draws this past season were in situations when the offense needed at least 7 yards to convert. The vast majority were used on first and second down (256 out of 307 draw plays) and out of the shotgun (253 total draw plays). Of course, the latter makes sense given that the main purpose of the play is to mimic a pass.Reid primarily uses the draw when teams have virtually no defenders dedicated to the run, meaning no more than six defenders “in the box” at or near the line of scrimmage. That was the defense deployed 13 of the 16 times Reid called a draw this season, and the call was successful eight of those times. If defenses continue with this look, a draw could be the perfect call.With the Chiefs offense setting records and NFL coaches looking at it for design and play-calling inspiration, there’s a good chance that teams will soon discover that one of the oldest forms of NFL deception may have even more relevance in the modern game.Check out our latest NFL predictions.
OSU freshman running back Demario McCall breaks into the open field in the fourth quarter against the Bowling Green Falcons on Sept 3, 2016. OSU won 77-10. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorYouth has been discussed as the driving force of the Ohio State football team by coaches all season, but the impact of the young players has been mixed at best this season. Team members such as redshirt freshman Mike Weber, who is playing his first season with the Buckeyes, have contributed since the first game of the season. Weber has picked up 842 yards on the ground on 140 attempts, paired with seven touchdowns. These numbers are good enough to put him in the fourth spot in the Big Ten in rushing yards. While his numbers are impressive, the fact that Weber has been playing since Week 1 would cause most fans to expect this kind of production.Against Nebraska, other first-year players stole the show from Weber.Freshman running back Demario McCall – 16 carries for 73 yardsMcCall is the near-opposite of Weber. Standing at just 5-foot-9 and 182 pounds, the North Ridgeville, Ohio native depends on his speed and agility to rack up the yardage. Although McCall’s biggest run of the day was just 10 yards, the freshman took a bulk of the carries late in the game after Weber sustained a shoulder injury, later revealed to be an AC joint sprain by OSU coach Urban Meyer. The dynamic ability of McCall to hide behind blockers along with his relatively small stature and burst around the edge with elite speed is one big reason why OSU recruited the Ohio native, and could see him returning punts in the near future after senior H-back Dontre Wilson continued a trend of muffing the ball on returns.Meyer said McCall has some things to work on before he can be a big factor in the offense or on special teams. “Stronger, better ball security. Just physical strength, experience,” he said. “He’s a little loose with the ball. But his future is nice. He’s a wonderful young man.”The comments were high praise from a guy who doesn’t throw around compliments often.Freshman tight end A.J. Alexander – 3 receptions for 24 yardsAs a statline, this output by Alexander doesn’t seem to be too impressive. But the reserve tight end played well after coming in early in the second quarter. Redshirt junior tight end Marcus Baugh has been a key target of Barrett for the past few weeks, but has been known to drop a few wide-open opportunities.Baugh also seemed to be limping after coming out of the pile after a play in the second half.Alexander performed admirably in the blocking game and showed off his hands with a tight-window catch on a third down. He certainly has the size to play well, and his ability might become clearer if he is used more Saturday.Freshman safety Jordan Fuller – 5 tacklesFive tackles for a first-year player is a nice mark for someone who is mostly a special-teams player. Fuller was all over the field on kick coverage, and came into the game late at safety to replace redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker.Fuller is an enormous player, standing at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds. He as the frame of a linebacker, and can really lay the load when he gets ahold of an opposing player. Meyer praised him on Monday.“Kicking game — Special Teams Player of the Week was Jordan Fuller, who is really coming on as a young freshman and playing well for us,” he said.Fuller is unlikely to pass Hooker for the starting spot, but Saturday’s game served as a testament to the ability of the young safety.
Redshirt senior middle blocker Driss Guessous takes a set from senior setter Christy Blough in the match against Loyola on Feb. 12. Credit: Aliyyah Jackson | Lantern reporterThe No. 1 Ohio State men’s volleyball team notched another win on its belt on Saturday, this time against conference foe No. 10 Loyola University in St. John Arena.The Buckeyes improve to 8-0 for the season and 4-0 in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) conference play after a sweeping the Loyola Ramblers in straight sets, (25-22, 25-18, 25-19). With the loss, the Rambles drop to 7-4 overall and 3-1 in MIVA. The win for OSU puts it atop of the MIVA standings.“They’re playing with confidence,” OSU coach Pete Hanson said. “Right now, we don’t have any glaring weaknesses. There’s some finer points that we’re trying to smooth over and get better at, but for the most part they’re pretty much clicking on all cylinders right now.”After the Buckeyes gained a 9-3 lead at the start of the first set, the Ramblers battled back to tie the score up at 16. OSU then responded with a three-point run. The score stayed within three for the remainder of the set as the Buckeyes clenched the set 25-22.“I didn’t think we were serving the ball real well early on in that set,” Hanson said. “We had a few more errors than what we had been in the last couple of weeks and that kind fed into their momentum a little bit.”The Buckeyes committed seven service errors, more than twice as many as the Ramblers committed in the first set. Both OSU and Loyola were hitting well as both teams attacked at a rate greater than .400. Senior opposite Miles Johnson led the Buckeyes attacking regime with 7 kills and a .700 hitting percentage. Loyola gained its first lead of the night during a 3-0 run to begin the second set. Another Rambler three-point streak tied the score at 10 all. The Buckeyes then amassed a lead as large as seven points as they won the match 25-18.The Buckeyes were able to neutralize the Loyola’s offensive efforts, holding the Ramblers to a .000 attacking rate. OSU combined for five total blocks in the second set while accumulating nine digs. Third set began with back and forth points for the two teams with the score remaining knotted up at 15. OSU closed out the set on a 10-4 run to win 25-19.Three players on the Buckeye squad swung at a rate greater than .400 in the third set. Senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen had the best attacking rate, going .500, while also leading the team in digs with seven.OSU’s win extends its historic winning streak to 36 games, a streak longer than any team in OSU school history that competes in head-to-head competition. The win helps the Buckeyes inch closer to Loyola’s 40-game win streak from the 2014-2015 season and the all-time record of 47 set by UCLA in 1983-1984. “The goal is not to beat the streak,” Szerszen said. “The goal is to get the national championship. That’s the most important thing and then if the streak comes along it’s even better.”The Buckeyes are back in action Friday against conference opponent Quincy University. First serve is at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena.
Ohio State freshman running back Bri’onte Dunn has been charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia over the weekend in Alliance, Ohio, according to an Alliance Police Department report obtained by The Lantern. Dunn, 19, was pulled over around 11:08 p.m. Saturday and charged with four different misdemeanors including possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, a tail-light violation and not wearing his seatbelt. According to the police report, Dunn was pulled over near the intersection of E. Broadway Street and Arch Ave. in Alliance after failing to stop behind the white line. Dunn’s car traveled past the crosswalk, nearly ran a red blinking light, and almost struck the observing officer’s patrol car, according to the report. After pulling him over, police found that Dunn and passenger McKensey Cross had a wooden pipe used for smoking marijuana, along with less than 200 grams of marijuana in the pipe, on the seat cushions and on the floor of the vehicle. A small amount of the drug was also found in the driver’s door pocket, according to the police report. As originally reported Sunday night and Monday morning by The Repository in Canton, Dunn was not arrested or taken into jail, despite an earlier report from ESPN radio affiliate WKNR Cleveland that stated otherwise. OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig said he was unable to confirm or comment on Dunn’s alleged incident and did not return further requests for comment. Alliance Police department officials did not immediately respond to multiple voicemails from The Lantern for comment regarding the freshman running back. Dunn ran for 5,479 rushing yards in his high school career. He spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Alliance High School in Alliance, Ohio, before playing his final two years at GlenOak High School outside of Canton. At GlenOak, Dunn was honored as a first-team Division I Ohio All-State selection as a junior and senior. Dunn, who enrolled early at OSU, ran for 21 yards in the Buckeyes’ annual Spring Game on April 21. He and junior running back Carlos Hyde are expected to help share carries in OSU’s season-opener against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 1 after projected starter senior running back Jordan Hall underwent surgery on his foot after stepping on a piece of glass on June 29. It is uncertain, though, if or how much time Hall could miss as a result of the surgery. Dunn isn’t the first OSU player in trouble with the law since the end of spring practices. On June 2, redshirt senior tight end Jake Stoneburner and redshirt junior offensive lineman Jack Mewhort were arrested for obstructing official business after the two fled police after urinating in public. A day later, first-year coach Urban Meyer suspended Stoneburner and Mewhort from the team before removing them from their athletic scholarships for the summer until certain stipulations between Meyer and the two are successfully met. Similarly, senior linebacker Storm Klein was arrested on charges of domestic violence and abuse on July 6 after allegedly “purposefully” throwing an alleged female victim “against the front door” according to NBC4. Just a day later, Meyer removed Klein from the team citing in a released statement that “his arrest and the seriousness of the allegations warranted Meyer to remove him from the team.” As of Monday afternoon, it is not known whether Meyer has any disciplinary action against Dunn, nor has the coach released a statement regarding the charges against the freshman. Dunn did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.
Ohio State senior forward Nick Schilkey takes a shot on net against Wisconsin in a Big Ten tournament semifinal in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena on March 17. Credit: Courtesy of Ric KruszynskiAfter locking up its first NCAA tournament appearance in eight years, the Ohio State men’s hockey team — the No. 4 seed in the West region — travels to Fargo, North Dakota, to take on the No. 2 overall seed Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in the first round.For a third time this season, the Buckeyes will be without senior defenseman Josh Healey, who was suspended for two games by the Big Ten conference Monday as a result of a game misconduct penalty that occurred against Wisconsin on March 17 in the Big Ten tournament.Although Healey is a key piece to his defense, OSU coach Steve Rohlik said the Scarlet and Gray continue to hold a “next man up” mentality in these types of situations. Despite their lack of experience, Rohlik said that younger defensemen, such as freshmen Gordi Meyer and Matt Miller, will be vital in the absence of his skillful senior on the backline.“These guys have played all year with us. They know what we want to do and how we want to play,” Rohlik said. “At the end of the day, these two guys have played a lot of minutes for us this year, and I have all the confidence in the world that they’re going to go up there and do their job.”With a poised Healey out of the lineup, senior forward and captain Nick Schilkey emphasized that the Buckeye forwards will have to occasionally backtrack to help out the OSU backline — and echoed his coach’s belief in the younger members of the Scarlet and Gray to step up when needed on defense against the Bulldogs’ impressive offense.“I think the biggest thing is making sure that us as forwards, we focus on getting back and helping (the defense) out,” Schilkey said. “It’s a good opportunity for some other (defensemen) to step up, too, and I think some guys are going to relish in that opportunity.”Minnesota-Duluth enters this matchup behind a strong core that has made the NCAA tournament for a third-straight year, and ranks as the No. 8 scoring offense in the nation at more than 3.42 goals per game. Senior winger Alex Iafallo and sophomore forward Adam Johnson have each registered 45 and 36 points this season, respectively.Additionally, the Bulldogs’ defense also ranks among the best in the nation at No. 11 in the USCHO.com statistics, mainly behind the play of freshman goaltender Hunter Miska and sophomore defenseman Neal Pionk — who Rohlik calls a “difference maker” on the ice.Despite Minnesota-Duluth’s overall depth and abilities in all facets of the game, Rohlik said his team isn’t looking to make any changes to its game plan, and is trying to stick to what propelled the Buckeyes to their first 20-win season since 2009.“You wouldn’t say they’ve got a lot of weaknesses looking at them, but they’re as beatable as anybody else,” Rohlik said. “They’ve got to go out and play the game, and we’ve got to go out and play the game for 60 minutes — and we’re going to go empty the tanks and go in there with confidence.”With this being the first NCAA tournament appearance for the players on his roster, and possibly the final game in an OSU jersey for his seven seniors, Rohlik said his biggest message to his team this week has been to appreciate what they have accomplished this season and what they have done for the program during their time in Columbus. Ultimately, however, the collective goal of the Buckeyes is to survive and advance.“We’re not satisfied with just going up there and being a part of it, but it’s also a big reason why you work this hard to have this experience and enjoy it,” Rohlik said. “We’re going to enjoy it, but to enjoy it, you’ve got to go up there and try to win hockey games.”Puck drop for the first round Friday night is set for 6:30 p.m at Scheels Arena.
Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) looks to throw a pass in the first quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorIn J.T. Barrett’s final season at Ohio State, the redshirt senior added yet another title to his cluttered resume Thursday when the Big Ten announced he had been named the Big Ten Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year.It is the third time in Barrett’s four-year career that he was honored with the recognition. He won the award last season and in his redshirt freshman season at quarterback during the 2014 campaign. Barrett is the first three-time captain in program history, and is the holder of 24 Ohio State and Big Ten records.This season, Barrett has enjoyed another strong campaign, completing 217-of-328 passes (66.2 percent) for 2,728 yards. He also has 33 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback has also continued to show his mobility this season, rushing 130 times for 672 yards and scoring nine times.
A couple have been arrested on suspicion of trying to abduct a premature baby at Great Ormond Street Hospital.The couple, a 31-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman, entered the the world-renowned hospital in Camden, north London, on Monday afternoon.They told staff that their child had been born at 21 weeks at the Royal London Hospital in nearby Whitechapel, about four miles from Great Ormond Street Hospital, on March 1.They showed staff a photo of “their baby” in an incubator – believed to be a printout from the internet – and said they had come to collect their child from the neonatal unit.Staff checked with managers at the Royal London Hospital for premature babies being born on March 1, but found no records and alerted the police.A police source said the photo shown by the couple had been “screen-grabbed and printed from the web”. It is not yet known if it was an image of a baby being treated in Great Ormond Street. Officers arrived at the scene and arrested the couple on suspicion of conspiracy to abduct a child.The couple have now been released on bail on the condition that they should not enter any hospital – unless they are suffering a “medical emergency”.Inspector Paul Clarke, of the Met Police, said: “The actions of the staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital in making all of the necessary checks and the quick response of police in arresting a couple prevented what could have been a very frightening and harrowing incident.” A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street Hospital said: “Thankfully, this type of incident is exceptionally rare.”We are pleased that staff at the hospital acted so swiftly and calmly to ensure the safety of all our patients.”A Met Police spokesman said: “We were called at approximately 1400hrs on Monday, 6 March by staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital following a report of an attempted abduction.”Officers attended and arrested a 31-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of conspiracy to commit child abduction. “They were taken to a central London police station and have since been bailed to a date in mid-April. Enquiries continue.” The incident comes a year after the Royal London Hospital was instructed to improve tighten security on its maternity ward, following an inspection by the health watchdog. The Care Quality Commission revealed that some newborn babies at the east London hospital had no name tags, and that staff had demonstrated a “lax” approach to checking them.Inspectors also found that senior member of staff were unaware of the baby abduction policy and there were not enough midwives to provide safe cover.Following the report last year, the trust in charge of the hospital, Barts Health, said it had introduced new policies to resolve security issues. Police praised the response of nurses at Great Ormond Street Credit:AP 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.
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. Chemistry kits which allow genetic editing can already be bought online for under £100.Scientists are concerned that a new technique, called Crispr, is now so cheap and widely available that amateurs will start experimenting at home, or in school labs.The technique works like genetic scissors to cut away DNA code and replace it with new genes. It has been hailed as one the most significant scientific breakthroughs in recent years, but there are fears that in the wrong hands, the procedure could unleash dangerous strains of bacteria or other organisms. Kits to make E.coli resistant to antibiotics are already for sale on the internet. A bioterrorist attack which could wipe out 30 million people is becoming increasingly likely because it is easier than ever to create and spread deadly pathogens, Bill Gates has warned.The Microsoft founder, who was speaking before a speech at the Royal United Services Institute in London (RUSI), warned that an outbreak of a lethal respiratory virus such as smallpox would be more dangerous than even a nuclear attack.Mr Gates, whose charitable foundation funds research into quickly spotting outbreaks, said it was more important than ever to help foreign countries monitor diseases to prevent a global tragedy.“Bioterrorism is a much larger risk than a pandemic,” he said. “All these advances in biology have made it far easier for a terrorist to recreate smallpox, which is a highly fatal pathogen, where there is essentially no immunity remaining at this point.“When you are thinking about things that could cause in excess of 10 million deaths, even something tragic like a nuclear weapons incident wouldn’t get to that level. So the greatest risk is from a natural epidemic or an intentionally caused infection bioterrorism events.“Whether the next epidemic is unleashed by a quirk of nature or the hand of terrorist, scientists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year. So the world does need to think about this.” A pandemic on a larger scale than Ebola is coming, the Microsoft tycoon believesCredit:Anadolu Agency “So the scariest thing is something like the 1919 flu which really spreads everywhere and because people are moving around more it’s easier for it to spread than back in 1919. If 1919 came back we have no immunity to that strain.”Mr Gates urged Theresa May to maintain the 0.7 per cent GDP foreign aid pledge.“The UK’s foreign aid investments are, in fact, long term investments in the health and security of British citizens here at home,” he added.“A disease is more likely to become an epidemic when countries are unstable and have no functioning health system. We can’t build a wall to hold back the next global epidemic.” Gates said UK foreign aid is a ‘long-term investment in the health of British citizens’Credit:David Rose Last year the Nuffield Council of Bioethics warned that ‘garage scientists’ could unleash dangerous genetically modified organisms into the environment using unregulated technology which is already available online. Mr Gates said that today’s widespread global travel mean that a future pandemic could be even more deadly than the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1919 which killed up to 100 million people.“We will have epidemics in the next 20 years far worse than the ebola epidemic, or the Zika epidemic and there is some chance it would be a form of flu,” he said.“Something that is human-to-human respiratory that is like a measles or a flu or smallpox, that you need just one person on the bus or plane or the airport and you get huge things. A health crisis somewhere is a health crisis everywhere.
She added: “Labour votes in Aberdeen yesterday were used to put the Tories into administration and I think that should say something to everybody who might be considering voting Labour in the future – that if you vote Labour, you often don’t get Labour, you get the Tories and that is the reality.”Perhaps Kezia Dugdale will want to take the opportunity of just making it clear that the suspensions of the Aberdeen councillors yesterday won’t miraculously be waved away after June 8.”Ms Dugdale confirmed later that coalition deals with the SNP had been approved in Fife, Scotland’s third biggest local authority, and rejected in Edinburgh, where she expected the proposal to be resubmitted.Despite being engulfed in the crisis just three weeks from the general election, she insisted that her leadership had not been undermined. The SEC has a veto over coalition agreements and will only approve those with an anti-austerity agenda. Earlier in the week Perth and Kinross’s only Labour councillor quit the new Tory-led coalition as a result.Meanwhile, the Conservatives challenged Labour general election candidates in Aberdeen to say whether they agree with Ms Dugdale’s decision to suspend the group.The Tories said that over the last five years the previous Labour-Conservative-Independent administration had delivered the £250million Aberdeen City Region Deal, £300m exhibition and conference centre, a £22m bridge over the River Don and raised £370million for local infrastructure investment. Labour hierarchy is at war with councillors in AberdeenCredit:Getty Asked if the actions of the Aberdeen group had undermined her and the party, she said: “No, because I’ve been very clear that they don’t act as Labour councillors when they’re passing on Tory cuts in Aberdeen.”The row between the party hierarchy and the Aberdeen nine is all the more remarkable as Labour and the Tories have been involved in coalition in the city for several years. Barney Crockett, one of the suspended councillors who was appointed Lord Provost as part of the coalition deal on Wednesday, told BBC Radio Scotland the council had been run by a Labour-Conservative coalition since 2012, which had “done very well for the city”.He also said he was confident of showing that the deal would “certainly not” lead to more austerity, and said he was sure that would be accepted by the national party.He added: “I think that we’ll work through it and I’m confident we will be back in Labour very soon.”We are still Labour councillors through and through and I am sure everything is going to be rectified and we will be in good order very soon.”Ms Dugdale insisted coalitions with the Tories and the SNP were being treated the same way, would each be considered on their own merits and would be rejected if they threatened to pass on austerity or failed to guard against compulsory redundancies.She claimed Labour was only in the position of discussing coalitions because the Tories and the SNP had previously ruled out going into coalition together in a “petty political manoeuvre”. Kezia Dugdale at First Minister’s QuestionsCredit:PA Kezia Dugdale has been forced to deny her leadership is in crisis after Nicola Sturgeon claimed Scottish Labour was in “meltdown” as civil war erupted between its leadership and its councillors.The First Minister taunted the Labour leader after party chiefs suspended nine councillors who struck a deal with the Conservatives to form a coalition in Aberdeen and lock the SNP out of power.Labour’s ruling Scottish executive committee had earlier rejected the terms of the deal and when the party’s group on Aberdeen City Council went ahead regardless and were all suspended.It also emerged yesterday that officials have banned a second council group in West Lothian from doing a deal with the Tories.In noisy exchanges at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said Labour was “in disarray, in civil war and in meltdown”. 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.
Judge Norman Wright said gun crime in Liverpool was extremely concerning.“It is disquieting to know that this particular firearm had been used on 19 previous occasions,” he said.“You of course will know that firearms, particularly pistols of this sort, are extremely highly valued in criminal organisations.“They are not something that is just freely passed around. Being so valuable, only extremely trusted people are asked to mind or hold these sort of weapons. The conclusion I draw in this case is you were someone who was highly trusted by the owners or principal users of this firearm; that is why it was given to you.”Speaking after the sentencing, DI Elaine Coulter said she hoped the sentence sent a message that “possessing firearms of any type carries huge risks and is simply not worth it.” “That is nothing to do with him,” he said.“Both his parents were spoken to, he lives in their house, and both said they suspected he came back with it the day before because he came back with a bag. His intention was to hand the weapon back to the person who originally gave it to him. He only had possession of it for one day.” There is no evidence the weapon was used in the Kirkby shooting.Bigley admitted possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition without a firearm certificate and was jailed for six years and nine months on Thursday.His DNA, along with that of at least three others, was found on the safety catch of the weapon.A magazine was attached – containing four factory-loaded 9mm live rounds – and the serial number had been erased.Andrew Alty, defending, cautioned that Bigley was being sentenced for his possession of the gun and not for its historical use. A gun seized by armed police after a shooting in Merseyside has been described as “the most criminally used firearm in Britain”.The Beretta 9000S self-loading pistol has been used in 19 shootings in the past seven years, lawyers prosecuting a case in Liverpool revealed.Earlier this year, another court heard the gun was linked to more firearms incidents than any other known weapon in the UK.The gun was found during a raid by officers investigating an incident in Kirkby in which a gunman fired at a vehicle in a suspected targeted attack.It was stashed behind boxed off pipes in a bathroom at the home of 24-year-old Adam Bigley. Adam Bigley was jailed for six years and nine months for possessing a loaded firearmCredit:Liverpool Echo The Beretta 9000S pistol was found in a bathroom in Kirkby, MerseysideCredit:Liverpool Echo 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.
“Is Comic Relief really saying white people have nothing to say or contribute in providing a focus on these very real issues?”Another charity, the Disasters Emergency Committee, said it was considering changing its approach in its own videos after it was also criticised.Two of its videos, which involved actors Tom Hardy and Eddie Redmayne appealing for donations to help with the Yemen crisis and East Africa famine appeal, were also nominated for the award, known as the “Rusty Radiator”, last year. Nicola Peckett, its communications director, told the Daily Telegraph: “We did take the feedback from the Rusty Radiator nominations very seriously and we are talking to our broadcast partners about how we could do things differently in the future.”She said the organisation’s videos were made on a very short timeframe of 72 hours by news teams at the BBC and ITN, and it made efforts to choose celebrities who were connected in some way to the subject matter of the appeal. 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. “You can very often see the celebrities coming face-to-face with problems that they hadn’t experienced before and the visceral impact of the kind of suffering that development charities deal with around the world has a very marked effect on those celebrities and one can feel, ‘yes that is the way I would react'”. He added: “Celebrities very much help to reach audiences that normally wouldn’t be reached. They can be very effective in that they have a huge amount of people who follow them on social media.”They don’t all have to be white celebrities, they can be celebrities of any sort.”He said the move would be positively received by a “sophisticated, educated audience, that might look a bit askance at anything that smacks of imperialism”. A Charity Commission spokesman said that it could not comment on the plans by Comic Relief saying that “it’s not a regulatory matter.”A source at the regulator added: “It’s up to charity trustees to make decisions about how best to run their charity which includes decisions on fundraising”. Celebrities very much help to reach audiences that normally wouldn’t be reached. They can be very effective in that they have a huge amount of people who follow them on social media. Joe Wicks is another celebrity who has appeared in the charity’s videos Credit:Olivia Acland /Comic Relief Ltd “Whilst I am no fan of the celebrity culture that has developed, I do recognise the impact they can have in helping to connect with the public in the UK – whatever their colour. “Lenny Henry has done an outstanding job over many years fronting Comic Relief in the UK. “Of course our biggest celebrities are the Royals and Prince Harry in particular has done an enormous amount to help charities operating in Africa,” he said. The head of Comic Relief admits charities may lose money as a result of its move to stop celebrities fronting fundraising campaigns, amid concerns about white saviour stereotypes. Liz Warner, a former TV commissioning editor and executive who received awards for her commitment to diversity in the industry, said the change was in response to criticism over its fundraising videos.Last year one video starring singer Ed Sheeran was described as “literally poverty tourism” and was named “most offensive” campaign by an organisation which highlights cliched and stereotypical charity campaigns. Labour MP David Lammy also criticised Red Nose Day for being “tired and patronising to Africans”.In an interview with the Guardian, Ms Warner admitted that the new strategy was a risk as celebrity-fronted campaigns were a tried-and-tested way of raising funds. Former charities minister Rob Wilson called the change “very disappointing”. Experts said celebrities were traditionally used by charities to reach out to lay audiences about emotive issues. John Baguley, chair of the international fundraising consultancy, which advises charities on how best to fundraise, said using “the right kind of celebrities” could raise more money than using “the most popular celebrities available”.
A Forest of Dean Council spokesperson said: “The maypole is currently being investigated by our planning enforcement team. No decisions have been made.”There used to be as many as 18 maypoles in the Forest of Dean.Local resident Stuart Cox said: “We’re supporting the event as there aren’t many maypoles left and this maypole should be allowed to remain. It’s great fun, it’s colourful and keeps the old traditions going.”I don’t see how anyone can complain about it. Hopefully it can get retrospective planning permission.”Margaret Kidby, of Bream Gardening Society, added: “It would be a real shame if it had to go after so many people have worked so hard to put it up again. It’s attractive and dancing around the maypole on May Day is a wonderful tradition, which is worth keeping.” 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. A maypole row has taken hold of a town which has held dances since the 17th century after it was told its current pole requires planning permission. Locals in Bream, Gloucestershire, which was once home to 18 maypoles and even has a Maypole Cottage, a Maypole estate and a Maypole Road, held a “dance of defiance” in protest around the 50ft high technicolour maypole before it was taken down.The pole had been planted in the garden of the New Inn, a 15th-Century former police station owned by Bill Parker, who also owns a steam engineer repair shop.However within days of the new pole being erected and amid excitement about the first May Day pole dance for nearly a century – it had to be removed after the Forest of Dean Council received a complaint which stated the Maypole required planning permission due to its placement in front of the Grade II listed building. It was also suggested that it could be deemed an eyesore.Mr Parker said: “This is the traditional maypole area in the old part of the village.”I’m hoping I can then get everyone on-side and put it up again. If necessary, I’ll apply for planning permission.” The new pole was carved from a Douglas fir tree and painted by the Bream Gardening Society. Locals with the maypole in the backgroundCredit:Stephen Cassidy/SWNS
Cutting straight to the point, Mr Clarke passionately summed up the “simple concept” of Brexit, warning that failing to respect the referendum result could be a “cataclysmic mistake” which could fuel… Simon Clarke, who was elected Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in June 2017, took just two minutes to cut through the Brexit argument put forward by MPs who are convinced the UK should remain in the single market and the customs union. A 33-year-old Conservative MP has been applauded for delivering an eloquent speech in the House of Commons, in just two minutes and using only 442 words, which summed up the importance of delivering a Brexit deal for which the UK voted.
It was meant to bring together the two of the largest teachers’ organisations to form a “super-union” that “politicians will have to listen to”.But the merger of the “radical” National Union of Teacher (NUT) with the more moderate Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has led to a bitter row, culminating in employees going on strike against their own union.The strike has been described as “highly embarrassing” for the newly formed National Education Union (NEU).”Intra-union strikes are very rare, it is almost unheard of for a union to organise a strike against another union. It it’s the worst possible start for the new union,” a source familiar with the dispute told The Sunday Telegraph.”Some ATL staff are concerned about the direction of the new union. Historically the ATL has always been very moderate. The National Union of Teachers, whose members were pictured here marching in April 2008, merged with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Credit:ADRIAN DENNIS /AFP PHOTO ATL staff, many of whom are members of the GMB union, have complained that their pay and conditions will be worsened by the merger. A second motion signalled concern about the reputation of the new union as an “apolitical” group, and asked for guidelines to be produced on platform-sharing and affiliations with other organisations.A spokesperson for the National Education Union said: “There have been no resignations from the ATL section executive in protest at the amalgamation. “The number of individual member resignations from the ATL section has reduced significantly since the amalgamation.”There are always HR issues that arise with amalgamations as no organisation will have the exact terms and conditions of the other.”As a good employer, we are working very hard with the recognised unions to ensure the best possible outcomes for staff in the new union and discussions are continuing.” 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. They voted nine to one in favour of strike action to take place at any point or continuously between this Thursday and December 31.Some staff have also launched a formal collective grievance against management over their handling of appeals. “It is very rich for a trade union to behave this way when it lectures everyone else about how to treat staff”, the source said.“The NUT staff are largely unaffected as this ‘merger’ is essentially a takeover.”Signs of inter-union strife were apparent at the ATL’s most recent annual conference, where members expressed their concern about the radical Left-wing causes that their NUT colleagues have long been associated with.One motion called for the new union to draw up “guidelines on funding and support for activities not directly related to education” and warned against engaging in activities “where the name and reputation of the union can be bought into questions”.It went on: “Many of the rallies, demonstrations and festivals supported by other unions may be close to the hearts and minds of a small proportion of our members without being something that a majority of the members would support or want their name or the name of the union attached to.” “There is quite a lot of disquiet as their members don’t want to be dragged into the militancy that has characterised the NUT. They fear that the hard Left will see the new union as a way in.”There was a strong element within NUT that was very engaged in anti-Israel stuff and my impression was that a lot of ATL feel uncomfortable about this.”The NUT has long exercised a formal boycott of Israel, and has previously been accused of “spreading political propaganda” in classrooms by teaching children and “extremist agenda” and promoting Palestinian “resistance”.
“As stated earlier, all this information has been held within this enquiry and previously reviewed. There is no new evidence that has come to light as a result of this meeting.”As the SIO for the investigation into Corrie’s disappearance, I am now completely satisfied that the data provided by Biffa can be relied upon, as can the 116kg recorded weight of the Greggs Bin collected on 24.9.16.”This investigation has found no other reasonable explanation for that unusually high bin weight, thus when this data is considered alongside the other evidence held within this enquiry it confirms and consolidates my view that the preferred outcome and finding of this investigation is that during the early hours of 24th Sept 2016 Corrie came to be in the bin that was collected by the Biffa lorry and was transported away from the Horseshoe area to Red Lodge transfer station.”Suffolk and Norfolk police spent 137 days looking for Corrie at the Milton tip and trawled through more than 7,000 tonnes of rubbish. In March this year they announced they announced his disappearance had been moved to the major investigation cold case team. Missing RAF airman Corrie McKeague was buried in landfill, police have ruled after concluding his body would have been in an “unusually heavy” bin.Officers confirmed his remains would have been in the landfill site in Cambridgeshire, as his family said they would now be holding a private memorial.Suffolk Police attended a meeting with Biffa Head Office, who confirmed the weight of the bin, which was picked up from outside Greggs in the Horseshoe area of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk on September 24 2016 when Corrie went missing. They believed he climbed into the waste bin and fell asleep and the data showed the bin weighed 116kg – much higher than bin collection weights from the same place normally.In a statement the force said: “We reviewed the data for 24th September in particular and I remain confident that the bin did weigh 116kg as previously stated.”We then went onto identify the weights of the Greggs bin which was collected each Saturday during the period of Jan 16 and Feb 17.”Our findings were that the weights of these bins were consistently low (mostly between 20-30KG) and it was extremely unusual for the Greggs bin collection on a Saturday to be anywhere near 100KG let alone over this figure. 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. “In the whole of this yearly period we identified only one other occasion where the weight exceeded 100kg, other than a date where a system error had occurred which recorded a weight in excess of 1000KG which is known to be impossible. His father Martin McKeague said on Facebook: “The police have confirmed the Biffa bin weight that suggests my son ended up in the Suffolk waste disposal system.”They also confirmed that there is no new evidence whatsoever. Whatever anyone has read in the newspapers to suggest otherwise is a lie.”My son is gone and the McKeague family in Scotland will be holding a private memorial for him in the near future. Thank you all again for standing up and standing by us.”
She has now set to write her first book called Hinch Yourself Happy: All The Best Cleaning Tips To Shine Your Sink and Soothe Your Soul, which promises to offer readers “clever cleaning… Known to her 1.4 million Instagram followers as Mrs Hinch, Sophie Hinchliffe is a 28-year-old hairdresser whose videos of her cleaning her humble Essex home have amassed hundreds of thousands of fans in a matter of months. Domestic cleaning manuals have existed for over 150 years. But the guide on how to maintain a gleaming abode has been given a modern makeover as a cleaning-mad Instagram star, who was unknown just nine months ago, has won a lucrative book deal after a “heated” bidding war by 11 publishers. 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.