In an evenly balanced race, I’ll Have Another, a 15-1 favorite, surprised nonetheless, coming from behind to overtake Bodemeister at 6-1 down the stretch on Saturday to win the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths.With jockey Mario Gutierrez on the reins, the 3-year-old colt bolted pass Bodemeister and held off Dullahan, which was closing fast.A record crowd of 165,307 watched I’ll Have Another finish the race in 2:01.83, giving Gutierrez the win in his first Kentucky Derby appearance.Trinniberg was expected to set a fast pace in the 20-horse field, but Bodemeister catapulted to a lead of as much as five lengths. But turning for home, Bodemeister weakened and I’ll Have Another strengthened. It is the first horse to win coming from the 19th post.I’ll Have Another paid $32.60, $13.80 and $9. Bodemeister returned $6.20 and $5.60 and Dullahan paid $7.20.
Another year of major championship golf has passed without Tiger Woods hoisting the trophy above his head. It has been four years now, and he has to be getting anxious to get one to reaffirm his standing.Last weekend, Woods crumbled over the weekend – again — after leading the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island after two rounds. Saturday is called “Moving Day” in golf, and Woods moved in reverse, while eventual champion Rory McElroy took leaps forward.Remarkably – remarkable in an unbelievable way — Woods said he falter on Saturday because “I came out with probably the wrong attitude,” Woods said after a final-round 72 left him 11 shots back of McElroy, tied for 11th place. “I was too relaxed, and tried to enjoy it, and that’s not how I play. I play intense and full systems go. That cost me.”Not saying that’s a bunch of hogwash, but that sounds like a bunch of hogwash.It wasn’t as if Woods was out there slapping high-fives with folks in the gallery or chatting it up with his playing partners. What, exactly, does “too relaxed” mean in Tiger Woods world?“I was trying to enjoy it, enjoy the process of it,” Woods said. “But that’s not how I play. I play full system go, all out, intense, and that’s how I won 14 of these things. That’s something I rectified (Sunday) and I played a lot better because of it.”Better was only even par, which was hardly enough to challenge for his 15th major. Woods began the fourth round five shots behind McIlroy and finished 11 shots back. You do the math.He shot 74 Saturday and 72 Sunday, meaning this year he did not break 60 on any of eight weekend rounds of the majors. That’s so unTiger-like.Woods has four top-five finishes in majors; he’s played well enough ot contend, not well enough to win.“The thing is to keep putting myself there,” he said. “I’m not going to win them all and I haven’t won them all. I certainly have lost a lot more than I’ve won. But the key is putting myself there each and every time and I’ll start getting them again.”
Andrew Bynum, one of the key players in the mega-trade that involved three all-stars, said his left knee troubles have extended to his right knee, too , putting an even larger question mark over when he will actually play for the Philadelphia 76ers.Bynum — acquired by the Sixers in the four-team transaction that moved Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers to Philly, Dwight Howard to the Lakers and Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets, among other elements — has been recovering from a bone bruise on his right knee, and his return has been pushed back three times since the beginning of training camp. The 76ers were hoping Bynum would be cleared to return to basketball activities by Dec. 10.That date is now in question because of issues with his left knee. Bynum says he now has swelling and a bone bruise on both knees.“I had a little bit of a setback,” Bynum said. “Just working through some issues with the right knee, I kind of have a mirror thing going on with the left knee. I don’t know what’s going on. The doctors are saying it’s a weakened cartilage state, so we kind of wait, I guess. We can’t do anything. I just have to wait for the cartilage to get strong.”Bynum did say he targeted Dec. 10 as a possibility, with one to four weeks of basketball-related activity to follow, pushing his much-anticipated debut to anywhere from mid-to-late December to as late as mid-January.“It’s the same exact spot (as the right knee) with the cartilage,” Bynum said. “Just doing routine things and it started swelling up. No blunt-force injury or anything like that. It’s the same timetable still.”The Sixers entered Friday 4-4 without Bynum, including three straight losses at home.Bynum announced in May, while still a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, that he was going to Germany in September for the Orthokine blood-spinning treatment in his knees that other professional athletes have sought. The Sixers announced before training camp that Bynum needed to delay his return to allow the effects of the Orthokine treatment to work.The bone bruise in his right knee caused the Sixers to push the return date from training camp to the regular season and now possibly to midseason.But the Sixers are still looking long term with Bynum, who’s in the last year of his contract.“My main concern is Andrew’s health,” Sixers general manager Tony DiLeo said. “My main concern is big picture. We want to have a long relationship with him.”
When Kevin Garnett was traded to the Brooklyn Nets from the Boston Celtics, part of the arrangement was for him to go to Brooklyn with teammates Paul Pierce and Jason Terry. What has recently become public knowledge is: Garnett also demanded that Reggie Evans remain on the Brooklyn roster so that they would play together.“I won’t go into specific details of what I was wanting and dislikes and everything else when it came to building the business of basketball,” Garnett said before the Nets beat the 76ers, 127-97, in Monday night’s preseason game at Wachovia Center. “But I will say this: One of the key things for me was not only Paul (Pierce) and ‘Jet’ (Jason Terry) coming here with me to make it comfortable, but Reggie Evans had to be on the roster. That was a huge key for me coming here.”Garnett really respects Evans’ work ethics on the court and according to Evans the two players really hit it off.“Me and KG, we’re just clicking,” Evans said. “We are just taking advantage of this moment, and taking advantage of it is winning a championship. Sometimes you’ve got to do the little stuff, always talking to each other, communicating with each other and stuff like that. Everything is a process and we are slowly getting to know each other on the court and off the court. Dapping each other up, all that stuff is coming natural. Ain’t nothing fake about it. It’s all just natural, which is good.”Garnett and Evans formed a bond that will benefit both players, especially Evans who’s getting the opportunity to get mentored by a Championship player.
201453.312.1 201649.9%21.7% 201557.115.2 Source: Synergy Sports Given the aggressive way he challenges multiple defenders at once and the energy he expends in doing so, it’s not all that surprising that Westbrook’s turnover rate is spiking. At the same time, he’s scoring in transition just under 50 percent of the time, which is his lowest success rate on such plays since his rookie season in 2008.There’s also been a major shift in the kind of turnovers Westbrook has been committing since he took on an unprecedented share of his team’s offense in the absence of Durant. The share of his miscues that stem from losing the ball — as opposed to throwing a bad pass, for instance — has more than doubled this season, according to Basketball-Reference. (In fairness, fellow MVP candidate James Harden, who has also been asked to take on a far greater role in his team’s offense, has struggled with many of the same turnover issues.)Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/westbrook-vs-heat1.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In Cleveland on Sunday, I asked Thunder coach Billy Donovan about Westbrook’s aggressive, coast-to-coast sprints, and Donovan said he’s careful to not try to change the player Westbrook is, especially considering how much his star is asked to facilitate on offense.“When he does make a mistake, or doesn’t make the right decision and it results in a turnover, nobody is harder on him than himself. So there’s a line for me: I don’t want to take away a guy who, in my opinion, is the best open-floor player in the world,” Donovan said before his team lost to the Cavaliers. “After he makes a mistake, he does a good job of regulating and pulling back so that he can make better decisions.”Westbrook, who’s faced questions for the majority of his career about whether he sometimes plays too fast, has said in the past that he doesn’t feel his play is out of control.“I don’t think I play reckless at all,” he said. “I just think I play at a high level that other people may not be used to seeing.” That much is almost impossible to disagree with.Kawhi Leonard’s little fundamentalsIt’s challenging to illustrate how good Kawhi Leonard is on defense with numbers alone, but one metric offers us a glimpse: How often his blocked shots end up in the Spurs’ hands as opposed to the other team’s. It happens way more often than it should.On average, defensive teams come up with the ball about 57 percent of the time after they block a shot. But San Antonio has gotten possession of the ball on 75 percent of Leonard’s blocks this season, the highest rate in the NBA among players with at least 25 swats, according to information from BigDataBall, a database that logs the league’s play-by-play data. (San Antonio is still somewhat above-average at recovering blocks if you take Leonard’s numbers out of the mix, but the Spurs’ 61 percent recovery rate without Leonard doesn’t stand out from the rest of the league nearly as much.)It’s unclear whether this speaks solely to Leonard’s ability to guide blocks with his oversized hands, or whether it’s more a function of the Spurs being in a good position to field the swats once they occur.In any case, Leonard had a great mentor for this sort of thing. Recently retired Spurs legend Tim Duncan saw his teammates recover almost 74 percent of his blocked shots last season, per BigDataBall; the highest rate of any NBA player with 70 blocks or more.Paul George, all of a sudden the NBA’s best free-throw shooterAcross the board, from his three-point stroke to his solid efficiency in the last four seconds of the shot clock, Paul George has improved considerably as a shooter this season. He has also become a surprisingly great free-throw shooter — he’s hitting almost 93 percent from the charity stripe and is leading the league in free-throw percentage.That might not seem all that surprising — after all, he shot 86 percent from the free-throw line last season. But the Pacers star was very slightly worse than league average from the line as a rookie, making 76 percent of his shots that year. If he keeps this up, George would be the first player in more than 45 years — and just the second player in NBA history after Chet Walker — to lead the NBA in free-throw percentage after shooting worse than league average from the stripe during his rookie season.The Memphis Grizzlies’ defense is just for kicksThe Grit ’n’ Grind Grizzlies have long been known for their tough, bruising style of old-school basketball. But at certain points over the years, Memphis looked like it was doing its best impression of a soccer team instead.The Grizzlies, fourth in the NBA with 35 kicked-ball violations, are on track to rank among the NBA’s top 10 in the category for the sixth time in nine seasons, according to rare-stat site NBA Miner. Leading the charge for the Grizzlies is Marc Gasol, who tops the league with 13 kicked-ball violations this season, per BigDataBall. Related: Hot Takedown 201353.315.0 201254.811.1 201054.815.1 Welcome to Four-Point Play, our weekly NBA column that pieces together four statistical trends from around the league and lays out what they tell us about where a team has been or where it’s heading. Find a stat you think should be included here? Email or tweet me at [email protected] or @Herring_NBA.Is Russell Westbrook too fast for his own good?Between his freakish athleticism and the sheer fury with which he plays, Russell Westbrook — the closest thing we have to a human cannonball in pro sports — is the most entertaining player in the game today. Unlike smoother players like LeBron James or Chris Paul, who have a signature ebb and flow to their games, the Oklahoma City star is unpredictable from one play to the next. Because of his game-changing speed — when going full bore, he’s one of the NBA’s five fastest players, according to the league’s high-level tracking data — Westbrook’s capable of making plays that most other athletes can only dream of pulling off.More often than not, though, when Westbrook’s talent backfires, it’s because he’s trying too hard to make something happen, particularly when he’s outnumbered during fast-break situations.Oklahoma City, after forcing a live-ball turnover, is finishing its possessions in just over eight seconds on average, which is by far the fastest rate in the league, according to Inpredictable, a site that specializes in calculating win probabilities and other advanced sports metrics. Westbrook, as the team’s point guard and best player, is an enormous part of that speed. But the quick trips down the court aren’t necessarily paying off: As of Wednesday afternoon, the Thunder were tied for the second-worst efficiency after live-ball turnovers. That’s a steep drop-off from last year, when Kevin Durant was still in Oklahoma City and the club had the NBA’s eighth-best offense in those scenarios.Perhaps Westbrook’s speed-demon tendencies have something to do with that inefficiency.In transition, Westbrook’s reliance on his speed means he’ll often experience the same dichotomy as Sonic the Hedgehog: He either sprints triumphantly across the finish line or crashes painfully into an obstruction, losing all his golden rings.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/westbrook-vs-clippers-clip.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Westbrook is involved in an NBA-high seven transition plays per game. And according to an analysis run at FiveThirtyEight’s request by Brittni Donaldson of SportVU, which tracks nearly everything that happens on an NBA court, there have been 413 instances1As of January 29. this season where, following a turnover or a defensive rebound in the backcourt, Westbrook took at least three dribbles and covered at least 20 feet with those dribbles. For context, John Wall, the next closest player, has done that 257 times. 200847.215.7 201154.515.5 SEASONSCORETURNOVER 200954.113.2 Outcomes of Russell Westbrook possessions when in transition Is College Basketball Broken? We Asked The Game’s Top Stats Guru Of course, there are practical reasons for a team like Memphis — which has also ranked among the top 10 on the defensive end of the floor for six of the past seven seasons — to kick the basketball. At a minimum, it forces a team to reset its offense with less time remaining on the shot clock. And at a maximum, it prevents an opposing player from catching an interior pass in a prime scoring area. (We’ve seen Tony Allen accidentally go a bit too far defending with his feet before.)That said, it’s more fun to try to connect the dots between Gasol’s kicked-ball violations and Gasol’s love for soccer. He hails from Spain, and he is an FC Barcelona fan. Plus, who could forget the time he nearly headed the basketball into the hoop during a pause in the action?Additional research assistance by Neil Paine.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Source: EdjFootball 2013SEA43.71DEN27.02+16.7 Philadelphia59.474.082.0 1992DAL40.61BUF10.69+30.0 Both teams are seldom in troubleThe average Game Winning Chance of each Super Bowl team at the end of the first through third quarters Game winning chance 2004NE32.83PHI20.47+12.5 1991WAS52.41BUF21.13+31.3 2011NYG6.014NE25.33-19.3 PostseasonNew England58.869.558.1 TotalNew England70.177.276.5 1987WAS5.311DEN17.54-12.2 2003NE31.23CAR1.216+30.0 SplitTeamQ1Q2Q3 Seemingly everyone has a Super Bowl take or prediction these days — the football media is afforded 14 days to scrutinize two teams and dissect every facet of their matchup. But that doesn’t mean every useful bit of information has been presented on the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. We dug into the databases of ESPN’s Stats & Information Group and Football Outsiders to find a few obscure statistical areas to highlight that could help predict Sunday’s showdown.Stat No. 1: Weighted DVOAThe key efficiency metric used at Football Outsiders is Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, or DVOA for short (explained here). For the season, the Eagles ranked fifth in DVOA (23.5 percent) and actually edged out the sixth-ranked Patriots (22.6 percent). However, when looking at weighted DVOA, which places less importance on early-season games — the ones when the Patriots couldn’t get off the field and Carson Wentz was launching his breakout campaign — things become much different. The Patriots finished No. 1 in weighted DVOA (33.6 percent) and were 10 percentage points higher than the No. 7 Eagles (23.6 percent).It makes sense for the Patriots to rank No. 1 in weighted DVOA. Four of their five lowest games by DVOA came in the first five weeks of the season. Their only loss in their last 14 outings was the Week 14 game in Miami. It also makes sense that the Eagles held steady between the two stats: Philadelphia had five games with negative DVOA in 2017, and four of them were the last four games of the regular season.It has taken some time to adjust from Wentz to Nick Foles at quarterback, but Foles and the Eagles were stellar in the NFC Championship Game against Minnesota. That game is not reflected in the 23.6 percent weighted DVOA for the Eagles, but as Neil Paine recently wrote, a dominant performance in the conference title round has not been predictive of success in the Super Bowl.Since 1986 (as far back as the data currently goes), teams with at least a 5 percentage point edge in weighted DVOA are 15-8 in the Super Bowl. That sounds good for New England, but consider that the two biggest upsets by weighted DVOA were the Patriots’ losses to the Giants in Super Bowls XLII (the Pats had a 39.9-point advantage) and XLVI (a 19.3-point edge). 2008PIT30.1%2ARI-11.5%22+41.7 2016NE33.01ATL19.94+13.1 1997DEN23.46GB36.61-13.2 Stat No. 2: Defensive DVOAFor the season, the Patriots rank 31st in defensive DVOA, and that could ultimately be their undoing this week. Our study of Super Bowl winners has shown that no team since at least 1986 has won a Super Bowl with a defense ranked lower than 25th in this metric. Atlanta came really close a year ago, but the 26th-ranked defense eventually wore down against the Patriots in the Falcons’ 28-3 collapse in Super Bowl LI. The 2011 Patriots also came close with the 30th-ranked defense, but Eli Manning led the Giants down the field for another game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLVI. Teams don’t require great balance to win a Super Bowl, but having the No. 1 offense and No. 31 defense like the 2017 Patriots makes them the most unbalanced Super Bowl team in more than 30 years. 2001NE15.49STL21.94-6.5 2000BAL23.35NYG14.110+9.2 1986NYG23.84DEN11.310+12.5 Philadelphia69.670.472.0 This year, New England has a weighted DVOA of 33.6 percent, and Philadelphia is at 23.6 percent.Source: Football Outsiders Regular seasonNew England71.5%78.2%78.8% The biggest mismatches heading into a Super BowlSuper Bowls with the biggest discrepancy in weighted DVOA since 1986 1996GB34.31NE13.49+20.9 1993DAL28.02BUF-2.919+30.9 1989SF42.91DEN18.84+24.1 DVOADVOA 2012BAL8.311SF23.85-15.5 2015DEN16.36CAR30.93-14.6 2007NYG2.617NE42.51-39.9 YearWinnerWEIRankLoserWEIRankDIFF. 1999STL28.21TEN19.45+8.8 Philadelphia68.470.873.1 1994SF39.51SD7.78+31.8 The main reason for the Patriots’ mediocre start to the season was the defense. New England actually allowed more than 400 yards of offense in each of the first six games but has done that just once in the past 12 games, including the playoffs, and has conceded more than 20 points just twice.The improvement in defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s unit has been real, but the Patriots still rank only 22nd in weighted defensive DVOA because they continue to allow a lot of successful plays. The 2017 Patriots have one of the most statistically unique defenses that we have ever studied. They are 32nd in yards per drive allowed but still rank sixth in points per drive allowed. No other defense since the latest league expansion in 2002 has ranked in the top 10 in points per drive allowed while ranking 26th or lower in yards per drive allowed. The Patriots were able to accomplish this with an extreme bend-but-don’t-break style of play. While part of this reflects New England’s red-zone defense that ranks second in points allowed per red-zone appearance, it’s also a matter of real estate. The Patriots’ opponents have the worst starting field position in the league thanks to New England’s strong special teams and ball security on offense — so there are more yards for offenses to gain against this unit. Still, the defense has managed to keep scoring down and is even doing this with just one takeaway in the past six games.You also can say that the Patriots have had some good fortune on defense this year. Opposing kickers missed nine field goals against the Patriots for a success rate of 71.0 percent, the second lowest against any team in 2017. New England has also controversially benefited from a few touchdowns overturned by replay — against the Jets (Austin Seferian-Jenkins), Steelers (Jesse James) and Bills (Kelvin Benjamin).Lest we forget, the Eagles finished 2017 ranked fourth in offensive points per drive. Foles threw four touchdowns against the Giants and just shredded a superior Minnesota defense in the NFC Championship Game for 352 yards and three touchdowns. If head coach Doug Pederson can devise another good offensive game plan, the Eagles could be poised for another big night of scoring against a suspect defense.Stat No. 3: Under PressureThese were two of the best offenses at handling pass pressure all season long, though Wentz hid a lot of Philadelphia’s protection problems with his mobility. Foles is not nearly the same threat in that regard, and he’s also not playing as well as Brady has been under pressure, which we highlighted a few weeks back.Using a scatter plot from ESPN Stats & Info, we looked at how teams fared under pressure by comparing their Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) to their average air yards per pass attempt (how far the ball traveled relative to the line of scrimmage). Not only were the Patriots and Eagles among the top three offenses in QBR, but they were also among the five most vertical offenses when pressured, both averaging just shy of 10 air yards per attempt. Brady in particular has really taken to throwing deep with defenders bearing down on him. Since 2015, Brady leads all quarterbacks by averaging 10.28 air yards per pass attempt while pressured, according to ESPN Stats & Info. In 2017, Brady has clearly been leaning toward the left portion of the field on passes thrown more than 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He has thrown for 723 yards on 52 deep passes outside the left numbers, as opposed to 407 yards on 25 deep passes outside the right numbers.New England wide receiver Brandin Cooks leads the NFL (including the playoffs) with 381 receiving yards on passes to the deep left this season. He could be in for a big night against a Philadelphia defense that fared better in DVOA on passes thrown to the deep right (-10.8 percent) than the deep left (6.5 percent).Stat No. 4: The Predictable Game Script?In their previous seven Super Bowls, the Patriots have never scored in the first quarter. Every game was decided by 1 to 6 points, and either Brady or Eli Manning led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime. This season, the Patriots and Eagles led the league in net points per drive, with 1.04 and 0.79 points respectively, and both are accustomed to playing with the lead, though the Patriots needed late game-winning touchdowns to topple the Steelers (in Week 15) and Jaguars in crucial matchups.We turned to EdjFootball, part of the EdjSports analytics site, for its Game Winning Chance probability data to see which team had the higher average win probability through each of the first three quarters of their 2017 games. 2010GB25.14PIT38.42-13.3 1995DAL30.83PIT24.75+6.1 Including the playoffs, the Patriots hold a slight edge over the Eagles in each quarter, boasting an average Game Winning Chance of 76.5 percent to start their fourth quarters compared with 73.1 percent for the Eagles. However, the Patriots have had a rougher go of things in the playoffs; they held just a 16.2 percent Game Winning Chance to start the fourth quarter against Jacksonville in the AFC Championship. Of course, it sure felt like the Patriots would come back from that deficit more than 16 times given 100 chances, but that’s just because we’ve seen this play out so often.No matter how well the Eagles start this game, we know the Patriots have the ability to come back. To make matters worse, Philadelphia’s worst defensive quarter this season was the fourth quarter, in which its DVOA fell to 14th after ranking in the top five in each of the first three quarters. While the Eagles have some experience at holding big leads, they weren’t doing so against an experienced New England team with Brady and Belichick. The Eagles have to be able to exploit the holes in New England’s defense to put a big number on the scoreboard and keep Brady off the field as much as possible.
Sporting its road red uniforms, the Ohio State softball team dug itself into an early hole against Purdue and never recovered, losing 4-2 Friday at Buckeye Field in the first of a three-game series. Purdue (12-18, 1-3) was designated the home team after weather conditions in West Lafayette, Ind., rendered its home field unplayable and forced the teams to reschedule the weekend series eastward to Columbus. Sophomore pitcher Alex DiDomenico struggled from the start, walking the bases loaded and giving up two runs in the first inning before being pulled in the second. She finished the day with five walks and three earned runs. She suffered her fourth loss of the season. DiDomenico said she had trouble adapting to the game. “I had trouble adjusting to (home plate umpire Greg Paul’s) strike zone,” she said. “That’s on my part, I couldn’t adjust, and they took advantage of it.” Redshirt junior pitcher Melanie Nichols pitched the remainder of the game. Purdue struck first with a run off of a walk with the bases loaded and added another after a throwing error by sophomore outfielder Caitlin Conrad. The second inning saw the Boilermakers score two more, aided by junior outfielder Lindsey Rains’ RBI double. The Buckeyes (20-10, 2-2) added one back in the third inning off of freshman utility player Cammi Prantl’s sacrifice fly RBI and another in the fourth off sophomore second baseman Shelby Pickett’s RBI single to chip away at the lead, 4-2. In the end, though, the early deficit proved too large to overcome. Sophomore outfielder Taylor Watkins said the Buckeyes still have hope for the rest of the weekend. “We need to come out more focused tomorrow,” Watkins said. “We didn’t hit like we normally do, but we have to come out and play hard and forget about this game and worry about the next two.” The Buckeyes’ offense was grounded by Purdue sophomore pitcher Lexy Moore, who earned her fourth victory of the season with a three-hit, one-earned run, four-strike out game. Watkins said that the Buckeyes simply didn’t play their best. “We should have came out hard no matter what,” Watkins said. “Whether we were home or the visitors, and we didn’t. It was just a normal game.” Purdue snapped a nine-game losing streak with the victory and earned its first Big Ten win of the season. DiDomenico said she expects Saturday’s game against the Boilermakers to go better. “We have to come out tomorrow and do our best,” DiDomenico said. “And things will fall into place.” OSU is scheduled to take on Purdue for game two of the weekend series Saturday at 2 p.m. at Buckeye Field. The teams will also meet Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ohio State head women’s volleyball coach Geoff Carlston watches theaction during his team’s match with Purdue on Friday, Oct. 27 at St. John Arena inColumbus, Ohio. Purdue won the match 3-0. Credit: Jeff Helfrich | Former Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team (11-7, 2-4 Big Ten) takes on the state of Michigan in a weekend-long battle as the women’s volleyball team welcomes No. 13 Michigan and Michigan State to St. John arena this weekend. The Wolverines bring the most impressive record the Buckeyes have faced this season at 15-2, and 4-2 within the conference. The Spartans stand at 14-5 and 2-4 in the Big Ten.“The Big Ten is all kind of beating each other up right now. Each weekend can flip everything so this is a big weekend for us, we’re excited for it,” head coach Geoff Carlston said. The Michigan teams bring impressive players, with each of their top attackers leading the teams with 225 kills, compared to the leading Buckeye, freshman opposite hitter Vanja Bukilić, with 199. Michigan senior outside hitter and team captain Carly Skjodt poses a threat to the Buckeyes, and according to Carlston, the rest of the Big Ten as well. “She’s tough man, she has all the shots, she grinds, she’s definitely one of their leaders,” Carlston said. “There’s lots of great outside hitters but her back-row attack is maybe one of the best in the conference.”Skjodt received Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 8, along with two other award-winning Wolverines. Senior libero Jenna Lerg earned Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week and junior MacKenzi Welsh earned Big Ten Conference Co-Setter of the Week.“There’s always a big sense of rivalry between us and Michigan and they’ve been playing well so obviously we need to raise the stakes a little bit,” said freshman defensive specialist Camryn Moeller. Carlston agreed the heightened rivalry changes the dynamic of the match. “We feel it like everyone does,” he said. “We’ve beaten them most of the time hear, and they’ve beaten us there. The environment is huge so we’re hoping to have this place rocking for sure on Friday. It’s a big match for both of us.”With a large number of player injuries this season, the Buckeyes have not enjoyed the consistency of any one lineup. The team and staff continue to work on communication and comfort on the court. “As a staff we’re trying to be more creative and do different things to keep it fresh,” said Carlston. “The chemistry on the floor is so important. You have to really be comfortable with the people to your left and right and that’s been tough because we haven’t had that ability to have the same group on the floor this year.”Ohio State will face Michigan on Friday at 7 p.m. and Michigan State on Sunday at 1 p.m. for Ohio State’s Dig Pink match to honor breast cancer survivors.
Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.Charlie’s parents subsequently failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London. Bosses at Great Ormond Street Hospital have not said when Charlie’s life support equipment will be turned off.But in late June, when litigation appeared to have come to an end after European judges refused to intervene in the case, a hospital spokeswoman had said there would be “careful planning and discussion” before life-support treatment ended.Mr Gard and Ms Yates, who are in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that Charlie should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in New York. 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. Connie Yates and Chris Gard arriving at the High Court on MondayCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph Charlie Gard’s parents are spending their “last precious moments” with the terminally ill little boy after abandoning attempts to persuade a judge to let him travel to America for experimental therapy.Lawyers representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates say they want to spend the “maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie”.The little boy would turn one year old on August 4, but Charlie’s parents say he “unfortunately won’t make his first birthday”.His parents accused Great Ormond Street Hospital of delaying treatment until it was too late, with 31-year-old Miss Yates complaining that the world-renowned children’s hospital had “wasted time” in refusing to allow doctors from abroad to treat her son. Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help. They said life-support treatment should stop. Chris Gard and Connie Yates with their son Charlie before he became unwellCredit:PA Ms Gard read a statement during a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.”We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks’ time,” she said.”Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you.”Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy.” They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene.But the couple had recently returned to court, saying they had new evidence and they asked Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.The couple abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the “point of no return”. Show more
Smoking is worth almost £15 billion to the public purse because of the tax revenue and the savings from smokers’ early deaths, according to a think tank’s analysis.The free market Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) calculated the cost of smoking at £4.6 billion, including treating diseases, tidying up dropped cigarette butts and putting out house fires.But tobacco duties brought in £9.5 billion a year and the Government saves £9.8 billion in pension, healthcare and other benefit payments because of the premature deaths of smokers. The think tank accused politicians of “scapegoating” smokers, drinkers and the obese, claiming the £24.7 billion revenue from “sin taxes” far outweighed the costs they impose on the public finances.”Taken together, Britain’s public finances would be £22.8 billion worse off if there were no drinking, smoking or obesity,” the IEA research paper said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The report’s co-author Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the IEA said: “We are constantly being told that people who choose to drink, smoke or eat too much are a burden on the UK taxpayer.”This is one reason why we have seen such aggressive hikes in taxes on alcohol, smoking and very soon, a tax on sugar. But the justification for these taxes is based on an illusion.”Smokers, drinkers and those who are obese actually provide a net benefit to the public finances, so vilifying them is futile in the quest to make savings for the NHS.”A careful consideration of the evidence shows that the popular belief that costs will fall if people live healthier and for longer is false.While it’s good that we now have longer life expectancies, policymakers must now address how we tackle the financial consequences of the ageing population rather than pointing the finger elsewhere.” Smoking is worth almost £15 billion to the public purse, report findsCredit:Ken Lennox/PA