Two years ago, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team was 12-4-4 after splitting in the Badger Hockey Showdown. A year ago, the Badgers were 13-6-1 at the same point in the season.Both seasons were characterized by very good starts, especially in the 2003-04 season, when the Badgers were coming off a miserable season under first-year head coach Mike Eaves.But both years also saw UW stumble down the stretch, failing to capture the MacNaughton Cup, Broadmoor Trophy or an NCAA Frozen Four berth.Two years ago, Wisconsin went 8-6-4 in the second half of the season and lost to Alaska-Anchorage in the first round of the WCHA playoffs. They made an admirable NCAA tourney run, but came up just short of the Frozen Four when Maine beat UW in overtime at the regional final.Everyone saw that season as a huge success on the part of the Badgers because they found their way back to the tournament — and it definitely was. Last season was a bit different.The Badgers won their first seven games following the Showdown a year ago, only to go 1-5-3 over their last nine games.They advanced to the WCHA Frozen Five before falling to North Dakota in Minneapolis. Once again, they reached the NCAA tournament, but were trounced by Michigan 4-1 in their opening game.That time around, the season was still viewed as a partial success. The Badgers were young and seemingly just needed to get a taste of the postseason and realize what it takes to win once they get there.This time around, Wisconsin is 16-2-2 and has held onto its spot atop the national polls for more than a month.There can be no excuses if there is a struggle down the stretch this year, and anything less than an NCAA Frozen Four appearance and WCHA title should be considered a disappointment.The Badgers control their own destiny as far as winning the MacNaughton Cup, and they should at least play for the Broadmoor.The same can be said for the NCAA tournament — making the Frozen Four should just be the first of the goals. The Badgers should expect themselves to play for the national title, if not win it.If Wisconsin has any stumble that even somewhat resembles what it saw in the past couple of years, this season would only be a setback.They are a veteran group that now has postseason experience, veteran leadership, another All-American-caliber goalie and a head coach that once won a national title playing for UW.If that is not a recipe for a national championship, I don’t know what is.The lone question heading into the season was the man between the pipes, Brian Elliott. The fact that this reporter hadn’t seen him play back-to-back games through an entire season was about the only reason this column wasn’t written at the beginning of the season.Now, having seen this team through the first half, it has left me no choice than to pin it with the highest of expectations — but, in all honesty, I don’t think they would have it any other way.In fact, I’d bet money they would have told me to run this column to begin the year. They knew what Elliott was capable of, and they set these lofty expectations as their goals to start the season.But what then sounded like preseason-scripted jargon has become a foreshadowing, and now they are not the only ones expecting big things in the second half.It is because of all the previous arguments — and the Badgers relatively easy schedule in the second half — that these high expectations need to be made.Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying back-to-back-to-back weekends against three Frozen Four teams last year — Colorado College, Denver and Minnesota, respectively — book-ended by a weekend at Minnesota-Duluth is a simple stretch.But if the Badgers play like they did in the first half, they could have the MacNaughton Cup all but clinched by early February.Wisconsin finishes the year against Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State — three of the bottom four teams in the league.Comparatively, CC has series against each of the top six teams in the WCHA — not including itself, of course. The same can be said for Minnesota, while Denver, North Dakota and Duluth all play four of the top foes.Not to mention, if the Badgers hold strong down the stretch, they could see an NCAA regional in Green Bay on their way to a Frozen Four in Milwaukee. It is possible that Wisconsin’s longest road trip left this year will be to Upper Wisconsin … I mean, Michigan.You may think I’m getting ahead of myself, but really, I’m not. This is what needs to happen if Wisconsin wants to call its season a success.They won’t be happy with less, and neither will I — you can hold me to it.Eric is a senior majoring in history. He can be reached at [email protected]
Published on September 21, 2013 at 6:56 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 For parts of the past week, Syracuse’s upcoming game against Tulane fell into the background.A week ago, Rob Edson, a former chief financial officer and senior associate director of athletics at Syracuse, died from an apparent heart attack last Saturday. The week was filled with memorials and emotional press conferences from head coach Scott Shafer. Edson’s wife Sue is currently the assistant athletics director/communications for SU and works closely with the team.Before the Orange’s 52-17 win over the Green Wave, Syracuse honored Rob Edson by painting his initials on the turf near the end zone, where he stood at every game, and with a moment of silence.“God loves their family,” Shafer said. “Great family, and they will fight forward. They got the love of the whole Syracuse community behind them.”Before the game, the Orange declared that it would win “No. 2 for Sue.” Fullback Clay Cleveland tweeted about it before the game and after scoring his first career touchdown, he prayed in the end zone.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Sue Edson means a lot to us,” he said. “I never met Rob personally, but we were at the funeral. We were all so moved. This is for them.”After the game, all of the players signed the game ball to give to the Edson family.“We had a death in the football family,” defensive back Darius Kelly said. “That’s all we’ve been talking about. Getting this win for Sue Edson and her kids, that’s what we’ve wanted to do.”SU Athletics officials further honored Rob Edson during the game by wearing sweater vests, his trademark wardrobe choice.Sue Edson has been away from the team during the week, but she will return with her beloved Orange one game better in the win column.“It was an emotional week,” Shafer said, “and now we’ve got to keep fighting on and being there to support one another.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
In an effort to sensitize ordinary Liberians about the ills of corruption, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) will today, July 17, 2014, commence the first phase of its anti-corruption awareness campaign in market places.The campaign will commence at the Red Light Market and continue to the LBS and Coal Field Markets. The Executive Chairperson of the LACC, Cllr. James N. Verdier, Jr. is expected to officially launch the campaign.The overall goal is to use a bottom up approach in changing the mindset of marketers on corruption and explain to them the evil, causes, manifestations and dimensions of corruption in Liberia.The anti-corruption awareness program will dramatize real life situations such as how patients die in hospitals because they do not have money to give “cold water” for services; how poor people suffer injustice because a Judge takes bribe, how we patronize corrupt officials by honoring them; how marketers inflate prices of goods, and how ordinary Liberians are manhandled because of a police being bribed, amongst others.The LACC intends to take this awareness campaign to all regular market places and “market day markets” throughout the country. The Commission is implementing this pilot project in partnership with the Liberia Marketing Association, Motorcycle Union, Wheelbarrow Union and Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
See also:Boss thrilled after Blues win without TerryHazard scores as Blues see off NewcastleTeams will pay the penalty against Torres, Hazard and coChelsea v Newcastle player ratingsFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook A selection of images from Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge, which left the Blues top of the Premier League with three wins from three matches. (Click on an image to begin slideshow)
19 March 2010Researchers at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have demonstrated a world-first laser cladding system that offers a permanent solution to sealing leaks and repairing cracks at power stations.According to a statement by the CSIR last week, the provisionally patented laser beam-welding and leak-sealing technology was developed for Eskom in collaboration with Eskom welding engineers.The technology will aid in the maintenance of South Africa’s power stations, particularly in sealing and repairing leaking water coolers without having to drain them before conducting the repair work.‘A world-first technology’“This is a world-first technology designed and developed in South Africa by South Africans,” said CSIR National Laser Centre (NLC) head Dr Ndumiso Cingo during a demonstration to Eskom and other external stakeholders, adding that the technological breakthrough coincided with the 50th anniversary of the laser.“The design and development of this technology has proved that the application of lasers extends much further than could have been foreseen when they were first demonstrated a few decades ago,” he said.“The application of lasers also extends to all aspects of modern manufacturing, especially in the technology of refurbishment and maintenance.”Remote controlledThe state-of-the art laser welding and cladding system is mobile and able to reach multi-storey heights with the laser power unit located firmly on the ground. The system functions by remote control provided by an operator on the ground.“We have designed a system that is completely mobile and can execute maintenance and repairs on site,” said NLC operations manager Hardus Greyling.Laser cladding is a remarkably accurate and an effective process whereby weld overlays of layers as thin as 0.1 mm can be applied, with minimal distortion to original components.This is specifically valuable when performing maintenance welding on components. Laser cladding is extensively researched and applied to new industrial applications at the CSIR.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Braxton Miller’s first NFL training camp appears to be going well.The Houston Texans’ rookie wide receiver has only been playing wideout for about a year, but he looked like a seasoned-veteran while making a one-handed catch at practice today.Check this out:Another day at the office.Check out video from practice.We you @BraxtonMiller5.: https://t.co/8AHggQ6neS pic.twitter.com/Gs4FYtO0Rc— #TexansCamp (@HoustonTexans) August 3, 2016Here’s a better look at the catch.Braxton Miller doing @BraxtonMiller5 things pic.twitter.com/tUTYArNWK9— First Picks Sports (@1stPicksSports) August 4, 2016Houston’s coaches lauded Miller’s playmaking ability back in July.From HoustonTexans.com:While his position coach Sean Ryan wasn’t as expansive in describing Miller’s role in the offense, the wide receivers coach did acknowledge the rookie pass-catcher is a dynamic addition to squad.“I think Braxton is coming along great,” Ryan said. “Another good inside and outside guy. Great skill set, change of direction, catching the ball well. I’ve been really happy with him.”Miller said then that he thought his transition into playing wide receiver – especially on the outside against press coverage – was going well.“I’ve adapted pretty well,” Miller said. “That was one of the main things coming out. That’s why I wanted to go to the Senior Bowl, basically. The whole time at the Senior Bowl, I was playing outside and I was going against the better DB’s in the country. I had to come out there and really prepare myself to be ready for big competition and playing outside receiver. I adjusted really well. Right now I’m just out there having fun with it. I’m still learning the techniques and everything, but still being the playmaker and being myself.”Miller, 23, was a third-round pick out of Ohio State by the Texans in the 2016 NFL Draft. The former quarterback made the switch to wide receiver prior to the Buckeyes’ 2015 season as a result of a shoulder injury.The Texans open the 2016 season on Sept. 11 against the Chicago Bears.
Kent Driscoll APTN National News Iqaluit – A controversial change to Nunavut’s Education and Language acts has been declared dead before even reaching the floor of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly for debate.Bill 37 was set to delay the implementation of Inuit language education for Grades 4 to 9 from 2020 to 2030, along with reducing the role of local district education authorities. Four Inuit land claim organizations submitted written opposition to the bill.“Given the overwhelming lack of consensus in support of the bill in such areas as language of instruction, the role of District Education Authorities and increased employment of Inuit teachers, the standing committee is of the view that it should be allowed to fall off the order paper when the current Assembly dissolves later this year,” said Rankin Inlet MLA Tom Sammurtok in a written statement.Education officials were defending Bill 37 until very recently. In an April interview with APTN National News, Deputy Minister of Education Kathy Okpik said, “The language of instruction is intended to be a floor, not a ceiling. So we’re always going to be striving to increase the number of Inuktitut speaking educators. We know that kindergarten to Grade 3 right now is in effect, so when we look to Grades 4 to 9 for 2029, it gives an opportunity to look at the number of Inuktitut teachers we have and the delivery methods.”Nunavut Tunngavik – the group representing Nunavut’s Inuit under the Nunavut Land Claim – opposed the bill from the start.Joined by Nunavut’s three regional Inuit groups, they filed opposition statements in the assembly.NTI President Aluki Kotierk told APTN in April, “The absolute right that Inuit parents have to have Inuktitut language of instruction is being diminished (under Bill 37) to having a majority of Inuktitut instruction.”Today, Koterik was pleased.In a written release she stated, “NTI appreciates that the Standing Committee has asked that Bill 37 not proceed further in the legislative process. I am relieved they recognize that the issue of Inuktut language loss is urgent. I hope the Nunavut cabinet agrees with the Standing Committee recommendation so we can begin working on the real issue.”Kotierk told APTN in April that she thought the Government of Nunavut was selling Nunavut residents short by not aspiring to do more for Inuktitut, saying, “We have to be visionary, we have to be aspirational and it’s important that we be idealistic about what the future should hold.”Nunavut’s MLAs are just wrapping up a week of in camera meetings, where the bill was discussed, and the “overwhelming lack of consensus” was discovered. It is now very likely that the legislation will be left for after October’s territorial election, or ignored completely.That doesn’t sit right with Education Minister Paul Quassa, who slammed the regular members for working outside the system.“There is a process to follow when a bill is put forward to the Legislative Assembly, and it is very disappointing that Standing Committee has not provided the public with an opportunity to understand the pros and cons of their decision,” Quassa said in a statement.The education minister also held hope that the legislation could still be passed before an election.“I remain open to working with the members to address their concerns and ensure that a thorough review is carried out,” said [email protected]
Players as short as Isaiah Thomas aren’t supposed to make it in the NBA, let alone be elite scorers. To find the last player who was 5-foot-10 or shorter and averaged 20 points per game in a single season, you have to go back 20 years.1To Damon Stoudamire, in 1996-97. It’s been almost 40 years since someone that short averaged 25.2Calvin Murphy, during the 1977-78 season. No one that size has ever averaged 30, which Thomas — who is currently scoring 29.5 points a night — is threatening to do.For someone who is much shorter than the best athletes in the world, an incredible amount of talent is necessary to succeed, especially at the all-star level that Thomas has. But there’s also a ton of skill involved, and the 5-foot-9 Celtics star has honed one tactic well over the past two seasons. Thomas, who is second in the league in points per game, has found a trick for avoiding the big men planted close to the basket: He’s become excellent at using the rim as a fence to stop defenders from blocking his close-range shots.These plays usually start with the lightning-quick Thomas (who leads the NBA in drives per game) getting a step on his man. He then leaps for the shot but glides out to other side of the basket where the defender can’t realistically do anything to bother the attempt, since he’s still stuck on the other side.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/thomashandswitch.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/itreverse.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The 28-year-old has gone to a reverse layup 29 times this season, for almost 8 percent of his layups — a rate similar to last season, but one that’s almost double what it was in 2014-15, according to NBA Savant, a site that tracks unusual statistics and the specific sorts of shots players take.The sleight of hand at least partially explains how Thomas has been able to get to the basket so much more often over the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, a whopping 33 percent of Thomas’s field-goal attempts have come from within 3 feet, up from just 22 percent over the four seasons before that. He’s converting those attempts nearly 60 percent of the time.This isn’t the only move that Thomas has pulled out of his bag to compensate for his size. He’s also been successful with a now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t sort of half-spin at the perimeter, where he essentially lulls his defender to sleep for just enough time to blow past him for a shot at the rim.No matter how pretty the reverse move looks at times, the display — and other ones that get him close-range looks — is more about survival at the basket. Think of Thomas as the star of one of those National Geographic films that shows a weaker animal trying to fend off much bigger predators. Thomas isn’t always able to scamper away from the bigger players who are hunting him while he’s en route to the basket: He still gets rejected more than any player in the league. But using the reverse has added an extra layer of sophistication to his finishes, likely stopping opponents from being able to block even more of his shots than they already do.Less than 10 percent of Thomas’s layups have been blocked this season, the lowest rate of his career. That number also represents a considerable drop from last season, when 13 percent of his close-range looks got swatted and the 2014-15 season, when 15 percent of his layups got stoned, according to NBA Savant.So in other words, yes: Thomas gets blocked more than anyone in the NBA. But that doesn’t mean other vertically challenged players shouldn’t look up to him and his ingenuity around the rim. It’s helped turn him into the scoring machine he is today.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Last summer, when it was time for bookmakers to release the odds on the upcoming NHL season, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights were an afterthought. According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, they had the worst chance to win the Stanley Cup of any team in hockey, at 200-1. How long are those odds? The Cleveland Browns, who are perennially terrible, currently have much better odds (100-1) to win the 2019 Super Bowl.Congratulations to you, then, if you put a few bucks on Vegas at the beginning of the season: All the Knights have done since is finish the regular season with the fifth most points in the NHL, then sprint through the Western Conference playoffs while losing just three games. That torrid run has landed them a spot in the Stanley Cup final — and opened up comparisons with other unlikely Cinderellas. For us, the one that immediately sprang to mind was Leicester City’s unlikely run to the English Premier League title in 2015-16, which also stunned pundits and bookmakers. But which was truly the more impressive feat?Let’s get one thing out of the way early on: The Golden Knights aren’t your average expansion team. In fact, we published a piece way back in October in praise of their expansion roster. We didn’t think they’d win the Stanley Cup — though we were cautious not to entirely discount the upstart desert dwellers — but we also didn’t think they’d be as bad as others in sports media figured they’d be. In terms of goals versus threshold (GVT) statistics,1GVT was developed by Tom Awad of Hockey Prospectus and is similar to baseball’s VORP, in that it seeks to determine a player’s value in goals above what a replacement player would contribute. the Golden Knights had the most talent of any expansion team that joined the NHL since 1991.The Golden Knights managed to nab some key pieces in the expansion draft — a former 40-goal scorer plus several former 25-goal scorers and a Stanley Cup-winning goalie who’d been drafted No. 1 overall and was once considered a cornerstone to one of the decade’s most successful franchises. Even then, instant success for Vegas looked unlikely: Since 1991, the average expansion team had only managed to collect 57 points in its inaugural NHL season. But Vegas ended up blowing away those expectations en route to the best expansion season in the history of North American pro sports.Like the Golden Knights, Leicester faced long odds at the beginning of its championship-winning campaign. Infamously, the sportsbook Ladbrokes offered 5,000-1 odds against Leicester winning the EPL title. That number, which was bandied about constantly in the wake of the Foxes’ surprise championship, was probably a sham, set to entice people to place any bets on Leicester at all. The notion of any team having such long odds in a 20-team league is a bit absurd, even by the parity-hating standards of European soccer. To put 5,000-1 in perspective, consider this: Texas Southern’s odds of winning the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament — as a No. 16 seed that had to first get past a play-in game, then rattle off six straight wins over major schools — were only 1,000-1 this past March.The “real” odds of Leicester’s victory were staggering enough, though. Leicester had to play near-perfect soccer for the final two and a half months of the 2014-15 season just to avoid relegation.2The Foxes wound up finishing 14th. According to our Soccer Power Index (SPI), Leicester City was the 12th-best team in England entering the 2015-16 Premier League season. Preseason odds for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons indicate that the 12th-best team in the league would have roughly 465-1 odds to win the Premier League. That may not be 5,000-1 long, but it’s quite long by North American standards. (See Browns, Cleveland, above.)Though there was an argument that Leicester City’s odds should have been even longer, the greater consensus is that bookmakers grossly underestimated the Foxes. (And the bookmakers have admitted as much.) After their championship, at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Leicester City found itself as the 13th highest valued team in the Premier League according to TransferMarkt, a website that assesses the talent value of each club-soccer player and team.3At the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Leicester was the 19th highest valued team in the Premier League via TransferMarkt, which probably dramatically underrated the team’s roster. But even the 19th-best team in the EPL has roughly 2,400-1 odds on average, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. So no matter how you slice it, those 5,000-1 odds were much too long. Leicester was never the best team in England, even when it won the Premier League crown, but it wasn’t the worst team in the EPL, either. Sure, the league title was improbable — but it probably wasn’t 5,000-1 improbable. That’s why the 465-1 number above seems about right in retrospect.(Here’s more evidence that Leicester City eventually settled into a tier befitting its true talent level: In the two seasons since winning the Premier League title, the Foxes have finished 12th and ninth, respectively. That might look disappointing when compared with their extraordinary 2015-16 season, but it also makes perfect sense when viewed through the lens of the team’s transfer-market value and other metrics.)In the case of Vegas, the Golden Knights’ long odds were certainly influenced by the fact that they were an expansion team — conventional wisdom assumed it was inconceivable that an expansion team stocked with hockey men who’d never played together could win the Stanley Cup. But Vegas’s odds also fall short in comparison with Leicester’s because an improbable championship run is slightly easier in the NHL than the EPL. Hockey has a salary cap to promote balance; soccer teams spend money like it’s going out of style. Hockey’s standings have a wacky loser point to introduce needless confusion; soccer’s table is cold and uncompromising. Hockey’s playoffs are a crapshoot; soccer doesn’t even bother to have playoffs.Of course, like Leicester, Vegas also might return to earth next season. There’s no question that forward William Karlsson has been a revelation,4Part of this must be because he’s played about 42 percent more minutes per game in Vegas than he did the previous season in Columbus, and also that he’s been tasked with more offensive zone responsibility. but his shooting percentage is bound to regress, which means he’s probably not going to be a back-to-back 40 goal scorer. Likewise, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is having by far the best postseason of his career, and one of the best postseasons in NHL history — a feat he’s unlikely to replicate next season. When Leicester City won the Premier League, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez each had the best seasons of their respective Premier League careers. And while each player has been very good since, neither has managed to produce the numbers he did during that magical championship run. The Knights have their share of players who fit the same description.But whether they’ll be good again next year doesn’t matter much to Vegas right now: They’ve already made history as the first NHL expansion team to make a championship series in 50 years. And though the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues did indeed make the Stanley Cup final in their first NHL season, they did so by winning a six-team conference stocked exclusively with other teams playing their first NHL season. The Golden Knights had to navigate a notoriously difficult Western Conference playoff stocked with established NHL franchises. Now, they are just four wins away from becoming the only NHL expansion team to win a Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.Maybe Karlsson only scores 27 goals next year. Maybe Fleury transforms back into the inconsistent goalie we saw in Pittsburgh. If they do so for the defending Stanley Cup champions, though, it’s a safe bet that no one in Las Vegas will care.