Boston Celtics’s Rajon Rondo’s 2013 NBA season ended after he partially tore his ACL. The point guard has been going through treatment since then, and was recently fitted for his first knee brace. Though he is hopeful, Rondo remains cautious about returning to physical play.“I don’t think contact will be too far from there.” Rondo told ESPN.“I hope I can play against the Raptors [on opening night next week], but that’s not likely. I’m taking it one week at a time. I know it’s getting stronger each week and whenever I’m able to jump off my right leg and probably dunk, that’s when I think I’ll be back to play.”Rondo made it clear that until he is ready he will not return.“I’ll know when it’s right,” he said. “Everybody is different, each injury is different… For me, when I come back, I won’t come back unless I know I’m myself again.”Rondo was asked about Gerald Wallace’s comments questioning the team’s effort.“Everybody has their opinion,” said Rondo. “I don’t think Gerald is wrong to speak his opinion or speak his mind. I think a lot of what he was talking about is that you gotta play for one another. And maybe nights that you don’t have your game going, offensively, you still have to get down and communicate on defense, help the next man and just play hard for the next guy. It may not be your night, and some nights it is going to be your night. But at the end of the day it’s all about the name on the front of the jersey… All that matters is the wins and losses, not your individual stats. If we can continue to think like that, we’ll be fine.”Rondo also talked about new head coach Brad Stevens and the team’s offensive approach.“Brad is not really strict, he lets you go out there and play the game,” he said. “He just wants you to play each possession extremely hard. I think that’s the way I approach the game and, offensively, he designed an offense that we can pretty much flow into things as far as pick-and-rolls, getting the ball into the post… that’s just how he coaches the game. I’m just trying to get back in, go out there, and do what I do best: Lot of pick-and-rolls, get into the paint, make my teammates better, make their jobs a lot easier when I come back.”
Photo by Jeff GammonsJust one week after falling to No. 3 on the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) poll for some strange reason, Florida State has returned to the No. 2 position in this week’s standings.Florida State (8-0) served Miami its first loss of the year on Saturday beating them 41-14. That win boosted them above No. 3 Oregon.Alabama (8-0) is still the No. 1 team in the country, while No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Stanford and No. 6 Baylor positions also haven’t changed.According to ESPN:“Florida State earned a perfect rating from the BCS computers, earning the top spot in five of the six rankings. Alabama earned the other top ranking, but each team’s highest and lowest computer rankings are thrown out and not used in the BCS formula.”Miami, now 7-1, dropped four spots to No. 11 after the loss. Five teams ahead of the Hurricanes also have one loss: Stanford, No. 7 Clemson, No. 8 Missouri, No. 9 Auburn, and No. 10 Oklahoma.
James Harden scored 34 points and four steals in the Houston Rockets’ 113-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.Harden went 11-of-17 from the floor and 4-of-8 from 3-point range for the Rockets.Jeremy Lin added 14 points and three steals for Houston, despite turning the ball over 23 times. Dwight Howard, who had 26 rebounds on Wednesday, recorded a double-double with 13 points and 16 boards.Dirk Nowitzki posted 22 points before fouling out for the Mavericks, while Monta Ellis donated 20 points and three steals.The Rockets captured the lead early and then went on 18-6 run to create some more distance. Harden and Howard both tallied six points during the surge and Aaron Brooks capped it off with a 3-pointer for a 25-12 margin ending the first quarter with 38-points, 38-22 contest.The Mavericks responded by switching to a zone defense and the Rockets shot Dallas back into contention, missing 6-of-7 from behind the arc in the second quarter. The Mavs established a deliberate pace offensively behind Nowitzki and cut the deficit to 61-50 by the break.During the third quarter, the Mavericks used a strategy to consistently foul Howard. He went 3-of-10 in that quarter. However the Rockets maintained their lead in the second half and cruised to victory.“We have to play better at the start of the game. Our play in the first quarter put us in such a hole that we could never get back over the hump and every minute counts in an NBA game,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “When you fall down double digits in the first quarter, you are going to be digging out of a hole the entire night and this is too good of a team to do that against.”
A good deal of FiveThirtyEight’s NFL coverage last season used Elo ratings, a simple system that estimates each team’s skill level using only the final scores and locations of each game. For 2015, we’re not only bringing Elo back (with a few small tweaks — more on those in a moment), but we’ve also built a continually updating Elo NFL predictions page that allows you to see the latest rankings, plus win probabilities and point spreads for the current week of NFL games.How do our Elo ratings work? FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver wrote a detailed FAQ about the formula before the 2014 season, and almost all of it still applies. The only changes we made mirror the methodology we used when applying Elo to the entire history of the NBA back in May and involve what to do when new (expansion) teams are added to the closed circuit of a league.Originally, our Elo formula started each franchise (at its founding) with a rating of 1500, which also represented the rating of an average team. This worked in general, especially since it had been a long time since the league had expanded. But it’s not such a good assumption for handling expansion teams and analogous situations, such as mergers between different leagues. Eventually, we determined that new franchises should be given a rating of 1300,1Which is effectively the Elo level at which the NFL’s expansion teams have played since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. and in conjunction with this change, we also regress teams toward a mean of 1505 (instead of 1500) after every season.2More specifically, we regress each team’s rating to the mean by one-third. This helps balance against the low ratings assigned to expansion teams, though it does mean the average team no longer carries a 1500 Elo rating.3Because the NFL hasn’t added an expansion franchise since 2002, the average at the end of the 2014 regular season was 1,504.9.Aside from those slight adjustments, Elo still works exactly the same way it did last season: Teams gain and lose ground based on the final score of each game and how unexpected the result was in the eyes of the pregame ratings. Under Elo, teams pick up where they left off: The initial team rankings for 2015 are by definition the same as last season’s end-of-year rankings,4Had our tweaked version of Elo been in place at the end of last season. only more compressed because of the regression toward the mean.Going into Week 1, that means the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are once again the NFL’s highest-rated teams, albeit with lower Elo ratings than when they faced off last season in one of the strongest championship matchups in NFL history. Why? Like other well-designed predictive rating systems, including ESPN’s new Football Power Index, Elo is appropriately cautious early in the season; a team needs to prove itself to warrant a very high or very low rating.5Incidentally, some of you may be wondering why we used FPI in our season previews instead of Elo, and the answer is simple: This year’s preseason Elo ratings are just a regressed-to-the-mean version of last year’s final Elo ratings. The FPI, by contrast, is grounded in not only last year’s ratings but also Vegas over/under win totals and a poll of NFL experts. Combine that with the luck inherent in the NFL — the best teams don’t always win — and even Elo’s top-rated teams, the Seahawks and the Patriots, have just a 15 percent and 14 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, respectively.Just like last season, we’ll be writing a weekly column using Elo as a jumping-off point to discuss the week’s games. And in between, you can find ratings and predictions on our interactive page.Here’s to another great NFL season! UPDATE (Sept. 7, 2016; 12 p.m.): Our 2016 NFL Elo predictions follow the same methodology as our predictions from last year. Check out the article below for more details.
Ohio State senior libero and outside hitter Gabriel Domecus receives a serve from UCLA on Jan. 7 at St. John Arena. Credit: Walt Middleton | Courtesy of OSU AthleticsAfter a pair of victories last weekend against No. 10 Stanford (3-2), the No. 1 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (5-0) plays on the road again this Friday against Saint Francis (3-2).The Buckeyes will be looking to extend their current 28 game winning streak, a streak that includes 13 straight true road wins, with a win against the Red Flash. OSU has won the last 10 matches against Saint Francis dating back to a loss in 2010, the only win for the Red Flash in the two teams’ 30-game history.“I expect it to be a battle there. They’re looking forward to us coming over as the reigning national champ and the No. 1 team in the country, so it’s going to be a great atmosphere,” coach Pete Hanson said. “Our guys got to be ready. We’ve talked about this numerous times that every gym you roll into is going to come after you with a target on your back and those kids are going to be ready.”The Red Flash come into the matchup off a win against Fort Wayne, which went to five sets, last Friday. This comes after a loss in straight sets to No. 13 Ball State.Saint Francis has three attackers ranked in the top five in kills in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA). Redshirt freshman outside hitter Michael Fisher trails redshirt junior outside hitter Stephen Braswell in the rankings with 55 and 59 kills, respectively. Senior opposite hitter Jeff Hogan tops the conference leaderboard with 73 kills.“They’ve always been a tough team to play because they’re kind of different from everyone else in the way that they’re playing,” junior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen said.Saint Francis will have to find a way to contain Szerszen and senior opposite hitter Miles Johnson this weekend as both Szerszen and Johnson are ranked nationally in points per set at fourth and fifth, respectively.Szerszen has also gain national recognition on his own after being named the National Player of the Week on January 10 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVIC). He was also dubbed Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) Offensive Player of the Week.The Buckeyes and the Red Flash start action at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in DeGol Arena.
A week after the Ohio State offense had a slow start against Wisconsin, running back Dan “Boom” Herron made sure the team got going early Saturday against Purdue. “We definitely wanted to get out there, get on top and get some momentum,” Herron said. “It was an honor to carry the load on the first drive.” The Buckeyes handed the ball to Herron on their first five plays from scrimmage, piling up 45 yards and a touchdown for a 7-0 OSU lead. “I think ‘Boom’ got us started, which ‘Boom’ has that ability to electrify the huddle and the room when he walks in it,” coach Jim Tressel said. Fullback Zach Boren indicated the success was not because of diversity of play selection. The team ran only two different plays on that drive, he said. “It was good play-calling,” Boren said. “We were going for it, and it worked.” Herron also liked the decision-making. “I think guys just kind of got in the groove of things, running the same play,” he said. “You know, if it works, we are going to keep on running it.” After their second drive saw three pass plays result in an OSU punt, the Buckeyes returned to the run game on their third possession. It paid off, as Herron once again found the end zone. He finished the day with 16 rushes for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Establishing the run was essential to success later in the game. “I think our offensive staff just wanted to get kind of a flow before we started putting the offensive line in difficult situations,” Tressel said. “The fact that the flow then worked gave you a chance to be balanced.” Starting with “the run really helped,” wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “The more we feel comfortable running the ball, the more it helps.” Herron was quick to share the praise for the success on the ground. “I really don’t talk about myself, it’s a team thing,” he said. “I really couldn’t do it without the offensive line over there.” Boren agreed the offensive line was important. “We were coming off the line and hitting someone,” he said. “The offensive line was creating huge holes for us, which … enabled us to get to the next level.” It has been Herron reaching that level more often than not for the Buckeyes, as he has led the team in carries the past five games. But he seemed reluctant to be referred to as the team’s featured runner. “I just try to get guys going and try to be a leader out there,” Herron said. “If that’s what everybody wants to say, I’m the feature back, I’ll take that.”
DAYTON, Ohio – If Thursday’s practice is any indication, the Ohio State men’s basketball team isn’t feeling the pressure of the NCAA Tournament just yet. The West Region’s No. 2 seed spilled onto the University of Dayton Arena floor just before 4:25 p.m. Thursday for a 40-minute practice session in front of a few hundred Buckeye fans. Before the practice clock started to run, OSU players and coaches scattered around the hardwood. Thad Matta spoke to a smiling threesome of Sam Thompson, LaQuinton Ross and Shannon Scott, joking with the sophomores while pointing out aspects of the 13,435-seat facility. Junior forward Deshaun Thomas and junior guard Aaron Craft grinned and waved to scarlet and gray-clad faithful yelling for their attention. OSU’s student-athletes signed autographs on their way off the floor, following less than an hour of work highlighted by an impromptu dunk-off between Thompson and junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. The Buckeyes were noticeably comfortable in anticipation of their contest against No. 15 seed Iona Friday at 7:15 p.m. With their NCAA Tournament venue being only roughly an hour drive from Columbus, it’s easy to see why that’s the case. “We had a great practice this morning in Columbus, and an hour and 15-minute ride over here. I like it from that standpoint,” Matta said. “It keeps us in the routine we’ve been in.” “This is amazing,” Craft said. “Buckeye Nation always travels really well, and being only an hour away, it can only help. We’re just really excited to see what kind of crowd we can get out here.” Those in attendance Friday evening will be watching an OSU team that has won eight straight games capped by a Big Ten Tournament championship in Chicago last weekend. “Coach did a great job getting ourselves prepared for March,” Thomas said. But the Buckeyes aren’t ready to brag about any of their accomplishments yet. “It’s not time to celebrate that yet. It’s not time to change who we are as a basketball team, to try to be somebody that we’re not,” Matta said. Don’t expect the Gaels to be flustered by any of OSU’s winning history, either. Led by senior guard Lamont “Momo” Jones, who averages 23 points per contest, Iona won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. Only six No. 15 seeds have ever beaten a No. 2, but Iona expects nothing short of a victory. “I’m very confident. I think we can win the game, and if we win the game, it’s not going to be a shocker,” Jones said. Jones said he and his teammates respect OSU, but the sharpshooter said he isn’t likely to be fazed by anything the Buckeyes present. Specifically, Jones said he won’t feel pressured by OSU’s defensive-minded guard duo of Craft and Scott. “I don’t think we’ll have a problem with it,” Jones said, noting that he goes against in-your-face defenders every day in practice. OSU players are aware of the outpouring of confidence from their opponent. “We definitely listen. We’re not going to respond to any of that, but we know what they’re saying,” Thompson said. Smith went as far to say that Jones’ comments might have made the Buckeyes more focused for the contest. “If we weren’t ready to play, they just made us ready to play. They gave us all the ammunition (we) needed,” he said. That doesn’t mean the Buckeyes aren’t conscious of the Gaels’ capability to play well. “They’ve got great scorers. They’re very active on defense,” Thomas said. “So what we need to do is just run our offense with pace and hit the open shots and hit the open man and just play hard.” Iona was the second-highest scoring team in the country during the regular season at 80.7 points per game. Along with Jones, junior guard Sean Armand propels the Gaels, dropping 16.6 points a contest. The Buckeyes will have their hands full with Iona’s shooters, who started practice Thursday with a 3-point contest. But Craft thinks his team has its best basketball in front of it. “The worst thing we can do is get complacent. Coach is doing a great job staying honest and having our minds ready to go, and that’s what it’s about,” he said. “This is when the fun starts happening. Hopefully we can extend it.” If OSU gets past Iona, the Buckeyes will take on the winner of the game between No. 7 seed Notre Dame and No. 10 seed Iowa State Sunday.
Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell controls the ball during the Big Ten tournament championship game against Maryland on March 4, 2018 in Indianapolis. Ohio State won 79-69. Credit: Alyssia Graves: Assistant Sports DirectorNo player in the history of the Ohio State women’s basketball program has scored as many points as Kelsey Mitchell, nor has any player in Big Ten history. Only one player — former Washington guard Kelsey Plum — has scored more points in the history of women’s college basketball.Mitchell capped off her illustrious career as a second-team All-American with 24.3 points per game as a senior this season, and was voted by students to be Ohio State’s best female athlete.Mitchell also was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference’s coaches this season, the third time she was given the award. This year’s success is nothing new to Mitchell, who on Monday became the program’s first player to be honored four times as an All-American when she was named a second-team All-American for the third time in her career. She also was named a first-team All-American in 2016.Mitchell averaged at least 22 points per game in each of her four years. She both attempted and made the most 3-pointers in NCAA history and ended her career having made one triple in 92 consecutive games.Despite Mitchell’s many personal accolades, her team’s season did not end as she hoped. Central Michigan upset the third-seeded Buckeyes in the second round, ending Mitchell’s career. She never managed to lead her team past the Sweet 16 in any of her four collegiate seasons.Though her collegiate career is over, Mitchell has the potential for an extended professional career. She is viewed as a top-two prospect, along with South Carolina forward A’ja Wilson, in the 2018 WNBA Draft and has the scoring ability to terrorize defenses at the next level.Runner-up: Alexis Mattern, women’s gymnastics
Ohio State No. 2 senior Kollin Moore celebrates after defeating Michigan’s Jackson Striggow in the 197-pound bout by decision, 12-5. Credit: Sal Marandino | For The LanternThe No. 6 Ohio State wrestling team (9-1, 5-1 Big Ten) defeated No. 21 Illinois (2-6, 1-5 Big Ten) 23-14 on Friday, and defeated Northwestern (3-7, 1-4 Big Ten) 27-15 on Sunday.Ohio State seniors Myles Martin and Kollin Moore, the No. 1 wrestlers in the country at 184 pounds and 197 pounds, respectively, remained undefeated after their pair of matches over the weekend.Martin defeated Illinois redshirt senior Emery Parker, No. 4 wrestler in his class, by an 8-4 decision in a clash of two top 5 wrestlers. Martin defeated Northwestern true freshman Brendan Devine via pin in 42 seconds.Moore defeated Illinois redshirt senior Andre Lee via pin, and beat Northwestern redshirt junior Zack Chakonis by technical fall 19-4.Martin and Moore gave Ohio State much needed bonus points without senior Joey McKenna, the No. 2 wrestler in the country at 141 pounds, who missed both games with an undisclosed injury.Ohio State redshirt sophomore Hunter Lucas had two matches against ranked foes this weekend in Illinois junior Travis Piotrowski and Northwestern redshirt sophomore Sebastian Rivera, the No. 11 and No. 1 at 125 pounds in the country, respectively. Both defeated Lucas this weekend.Ohio State redshirt senior Micah Jordan, the No. 3 wrestler in the 149-pound class, won in dominant fashion in both duels this weekend, improving his record on the season to 18-1.Jordan defeated Illinois junior Christian Kanzler by technical fall 27-12 and pinned Northwestern junior Shayne Oster in the first period.Ohio State redshirt freshman Ethan Smith, the No. 18 wrestler in the country at 174 pounds, won both of his bouts.Smith defeated Northwestern redshirt senior Johnny Sebastian, No. 16 in the country, by major decision 11-3. Smith won by decision 7-5 over Illinois redshirt junior Carver James, improving his record to 14-5 on the season.Ohio State redshirt junior Ke-Shawn Hayes, the No. 7 wrestler in the 157-pound weight class, had two ranked foes to face this weekend splitting the matches with a 1-1 record.Hayes defeated Illinois redshirt junior Eric Barone, No. 8 in the country, 3-1 by decision in a tight match. Northwestern redshirt sophomore Ryan Deakin, No. 3 in the country, defeated Hayes by major decision 8-0 to improve his record to 20-2 on the season.No. 6 Ohio State will take on No. 1 Penn State at St. John Arena at 8:30 p.m. on Friday .
Their float was one of around 20 that joined in the parade in the seaside town of Aberaeron Carnival, west Wales.The men also wore dreadlock wigs and rasta hats, waved Jamaican flags as their bobsled-float was carried on a JCB.But Dinah Mulholland – who stood for Labour at this year’s General Election – said their fancy dress choice was “unacceptable”. The men used a bobsleigh made of woodCredit:CASCADE NEWS The four men covered themselves in black body paint and Lycra bodysuits to dress up as characters from Cool Runnings at Aberaeron Carnival in West WalesCredit:CASCADE NEWS Four carnival revellers who “blacked up” to look like a Jamaican bobsleigh team are being investigated by police for racism.The four men covered themselves in black bodypaint and Lycra bodysuits to dress up as characters from hit comedy Cool Runnings.But the men – who used a bobsleigh made of wood – sparked a police probe after the complaints their outfits in the street parade were racist. The 1993 movie’s cast included Canadian actor John Candy, also known for his roles in Uncle Buck and Planes Trains & Automobiles. She said: “Utterly horrified to see this from Aberaeron Carnival today. How could this have been considered acceptable, or even legal, by the Carnival organisers?”There may have been no conscious agenda or racist intent towards involved people of African or Caribbean heritage in the Cool Runnings float.”But there is no doubt that offence has been caused and that there is a danger that, unchallenged, such behaviour makes casual racism seem okay.” John Candy starred in the 1994 filmCredit: She said that “blacking up”: “Continues to be used today to belittle and mock people of colour.” Police confirmed they had received a racism complaint and are investigating.A spokeswoman said: “Dyfed-Powys Police received a report of a perceived hate incident which occurred at Aberaeron carnival on Monday, August 28.”An entry to the carnival parade was considered racist. Enquiries are being made by local officers.”But other residents in Aberaeron backed the fancy dress revellers – and slammed Miss Mulholland for “overreacting”.Luke Summerfield said: “So are we now living in an era where we can’t dress up as our favourite movie characters? You are creating more of a problem instead of living in harmony.”Tom Bow said: “Wow this shouldn’t of even brought up. This shouldn’t even be in the minds of people. This isn’t any sort of racism.”This is why our world has so many problems because of people taking things too seriously and just not enjoying the culture and the icons that were Cool Runnings.”Lewis Jones said: “How is this in any sense or form wrong? They are literally portraying characters who are black. It’s not bullying.”It’s not targeted at anyone or anything. The only people being offended are the people who assume someone is going to get offended.”Cool Runnings was the story of four Jamaican athletes who dream of becoming Jamaica’s first ever bobsleigh team to compete in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Japan. 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.