Wisconsin gets no love in polls

first_imgDuring a weekend which saw plenty of heartbreak over losses against inferior opponents, historical collapses in Major League Baseball, top fantasy football players getting hurt and records broken (Dan Marino and Vikings fans weren’t too pleased with Favre’s milestone touchdown pass), there was one steady eddy — Bret Bielema’s Wisconsin Badgers.Bielema, who innocently decided to go with a different look by forgetting his socks at home, was once again able to get the end result, even if the means weren’t all that satisfying.The Badgers defeated the Spartans 37-34 behind another Heisman-esque performance from their rumbling tailback who could probably carry the ball on every down the entire game. P.J. Hill crashed through the Spartans’ ranks 34 times for 155 yards and two touchdowns.The latest version of “how to get off of blocks and make tackles” didn’t go particularly well for the defense, yet it is Wisconsin that is 5-0 and on the nation’s longest winning streak.On the flip side, Oklahoma could do no wrong.Every week Oklahoma annihilated its opponent by 69, 38, 51 and 41 points. Quarterback Sam Bradford looked like a sniper, singlehandedly picking apart the North Texas, Miami, Utah State and Tulsa secondaries, respectively. Indeed, everything was grand. Oklahoma was surely making its case to play in the national championship game. This past Saturday played out in much the same way until the Sooners put away the weapons and Camo and brought out tuxedoes, white gloves and cocktails to serve the Colorado Buffaloes’ every need.Colorado, a good team stuck in bad times, wanted a win. That’s exactly what it got. The Buffaloes didn’t really storm back, as much as the Sooners gave back, but they did score 20 unanswered points to turn a 24-7 second half deficit into a 27-24 win.Now Bradford and Oklahoma are left to consider why they were so serviceable.Beyond just Oklahoma’s second half problem or even the difficulties any team anywhere has faced this season is the underlying question — isn’t a 73-10 win the same as a 17-13 win? And why doesn’t Wisconsin get credit for being greedy (winning)?It’s one thing to question how good UW can be if its defense can’t make big plays, force turnovers or stop any sort of designed play to the outside, but its quite another to think that since this team isn’t winning by 45 like Oklahoma or Florida was, it should be overlooked.Last year the team got no respect because it played and won against a weak compilation of teams. This year, the team isn’t winning by enough points against better competition. Only two schools (USC and Texas) since 2004 have won more games than Wisconsin. Under Bielema, the Badgers are 17-1. Yet the revealing facts don’t seem to impress anyone in the polls. “I think out of the teams in the top 10, we’re the most disrespected just because we don’t go out there and blow every team out,” said tight end Travis Beckum, reiterating the lack of love for a mundane school like Wisconsin.Aside from Week 1 when it moved up from No. 7 to No. 5 after Texas failed to impress and Michigan lost to Appalachian State, Wisconsin dropped in the polls every week (between Week 3 and 4 they remained No. 9 but received fewer votes) up until this past upset special poll.Even now, however, its 1,271 votes are the fewest given to the fifth-ranked team in the country all season. On top of that, Wisconsin is a mere 68 points ahead of No. 6 South Florida.The Bulls are coming off of an unimpressive win at home over the West Virginia Mountaineers. If you want to talk about domination, WVU controlled the clock for 34:38, had 167 more yards and scored just as many offensive touchdowns, but its turnovers, many of which were mental mistakes, gave the ballgame to USF.West Virginia, with its backup quarterback in, had the ball, down only eight points, near the end of the game. How is what South Florida did impressive enough to push it all the way to No. 6 in the rankings, close to Wisconsin who won against a pretty good team in Michigan State? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.While close games don’t go unnoticed by pollsters, Wisconsin is one of the few teams talked about as “not being deserving of its ranking.””We’re winning, and we’re going down in the polls,” Beckum said. “They don’t really give us credit, and that’s something I’ve noticed since our first game.”The only way to change voters’ mindset, according to Beckum, is to win by 100.But then, just as we all witnessed last Saturday, maybe that mindset will take all the fun out of games. Then the Badgers may be enticed into playing the role of giver rather than taker, just like Oklahoma, and find themselves on the losing end. So expect Bielema to stick to the game plan with or without his socks.Wins stack up, no matter how close the final score.Kevin Hagstrom is a senior double majoring in economics and journalism. He can be reached for comment at khagstrom@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

Point guard Joseph prepares to fill void left by NBA-bound Ennis

first_img Published on April 14, 2014 at 1:30 am Contact Trevor: tbhass@syr.edu | @TrevorHass Every morning Kaleb Joseph wakes up at 5:45 a.m., heads to the gym and makes 500 3-pointers before class. It’s a routine Joseph started when he saw coaches questioning his shooting ability in an article. He takes 25 shots from each spot, and if he misses two in a row he sprints the length of the court. Three in a row and he has to start the 25 over. “I want to go into next year proving I’m a more than capable 3-point shooter,” Joseph said.Now that Tyler Ennis is heading to the NBA, Joseph, a senior at Cushing Academy (Ashburnham, Mass.), will likely be thrust into Syracuse’s starting point guard role as a freshman. Joseph’s wanted to start for the Orange ever since he was a kid, so he’s preparing to ensure his dream unfolds as planned.“A great opportunity opened up,” Joseph said, “It didn’t really change what I planned on doing when I came to Syracuse, but it makes everything a little bit easier.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJoseph’s morning routine never wavers. He wants to make sure he’s completely comfortable knocking down open 3s next season — something Ennis did in stretches, but was unable to do consistently throughout the season.“It’s just about repetition,” Joseph’s high school teammate Idris Taqqee said. “He makes sure that he’s doing those things. I believe that he’s a good shooter.”Joseph said Syracuse could have made a deeper run in the NCAA Tournament if it hit more shots — particularly 3-pointers. He added that the team became easy to guard because it couldn’t keep the defense honest.That predictability, he said, eventually cost the Orange. Joseph watched the Tournament with some of his friends, and said he was devastated when SU lost.“I was pissed,” Joseph said. “You brag about your team. If anybody asks you who’s winning the whole thing, you have to say Syracuse. It sucks.”At the same time, Joseph said, it’s a good opportunity for him next year. He loved the sense of urgency and swagger Syracuse played with when it started 25-0, but said that urgency went away toward the end of the season.Now the players know what getting bounced early feels like, and Joseph feels as though that will help them in the long run. Joseph believes next year’s team can make a deep run in the dance, even with Ennis gone. He had a feeling Ennis would leave, so when he found out on Twitter he wasn’t too shocked. “I didn’t really talk to him about anything,” Joseph said. “I think anybody in that position would go. If you’re a lottery pick, what is the sense of coming back? “You can’t get any higher by coming back. I just put myself in his shoes. If any athlete puts themselves in his shoes, I think they’d be lying if they said they wouldn’t make the same decision.”Joseph knows more pressure will be on him now that Ennis is gone, but that’s exactly the way he wants it. There may be some bumps in the road, but he said he’s ready for the challenge. Said Joseph: “I think it’s a great opportunity for all the guards on the team, including myself.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Grad students and ’SC officials discuss key issues

first_imgGraduate Student Government held its first town hall meeting Wednesday night, where students got the chance to interact with a panel of university officials who answered questions concerning graduate students.Panelists · Vice Provost for Graduate Programs Sally Pratt and Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Jackson respond to questions about graduate students’ needs. – Priyanka Patel | Daily TrojanPanelists included Dept. of Public Safety Chief Carey Drayton, Senior Associate Dean of Students Lynette Merriman, Vice Provost for Graduate Programs Sally Pratt and Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Jackson.The 20 graduate students who attended the meeting discussed issues ranging from security to financial aid with the panelists.Drayton emphasized that the department’s primary goal is to ensure the safety of university students. He said he supported the new policies that make the University Park Campus a closed campus between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., following the shooting incident on campus last week.“We’re not building walls, but we’re putting things in a different sort of light than we have before,” Drayton said. “So things change and coming through campus is one thing that is going to change.”Current national issues affecting university policies were also discussed, particularly the Supreme Court case of Fisher v. University of Texas, regarding a college’s right to use affirmative action with decisions regarding student admittance.Jackson defended the university’s policy of holistic review, stating he personally benefited from affirmative action.“USC’s committed to providing access to folks who historically might have been denied access to an institution like USC,” Jackson said. “We want other students of color to have access to these schools.”Recognizing that this diversity at the university creates a wide range of graduate students to support, all of the representatives present on the panel stressed they were advocates for students pursuing their master’s degrees.“My job is making sure USC is a welcoming environment that allows students to flourish, and we are responsible to both undergraduate and graduate student needs,” Jackson said.Pratt recognized the difference between addressing undergraduate and graduate students, and assured town hall members that the university has resources for graduate students.“Undergraduate students are most like each other,” Pratt said. “However, graduate students are very focused on a given set of things. All graduate studies are hard and are built on stress. I’m interested in working with all constituents to find out what graduate students’ needs [are].”Tiffany De Leon Avalos, a first year graduate student in the Rossier School of Education, believes town halls help build connections among graduate students while creating an outlet to address shared concerns.“Because graduate school is complex and we all are focused on our own studies, these meetings give us the opportunity to foster a community and feel that there is an agency advocating for us,” De Leon Avalos said.The Graduate Student Government hopes to continue connecting graduate students across diverse fields together throughout the year. Graduate Student Government has planned several social and professional events for graduate students to foster this sense of community.“We are the voice of and advocate for students, especially since graduate students are very internally focused,” said GSG President Yael Adef, a graduate student in the USC School of Social Work. “We want to break down any barriers that may exist.”last_img read more

Student entrepreneurs compete for global prize

first_imgThe Hult Prize, a global competition for college or university student entrepreneurs, launches at USC on Thursday night.The competition, which began in 2010 and whose sponsors include the Hult International Business School and the Clinton Global Initiative, asks small student groups to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues with the chance to ultimately win $1 million and a chance to develop their idea into their own start-up. This year’s topic was chosen by former President Bill Clinton and is centered on providing early childhood education in the urban slums and beyond.The quarterfinal event will be held at Hoffman Hall at 10 a.m. on Nov. 15, and the winner will move on to the regional finals held in San Francisco, Boston, Shanghai, Dubai and London in March 2015. The regional finalists then attend the Hult Prize Accelerator for six weeks during July and August to take an intensive course load of entrepreneurial classes from Hult International Business School. Following the Hult Prize Accelerator, the finalists attend the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in September and pitch their ideas in front of a world-renowned group of judges, which includes Clinton, that chooses the grand champion.“The Hult Prize is a global students competition, and I can’t think of a better community that has the cultural connections, experiences, and knowledge needed to solve global issues than ours,” Anzal Adam, campus director of the Hult Prize Initiative at USC, said in an email to the Daily Trojan.Adam, a senior majoring in accounting and business administration, competed in the 2013 Hult Prize competition and said that that was what inspired her to bring the event to campus.“During my first semester in fall 2012, I was invited by a group of graduate students from the Price School to join their team in competing for the 2013 Hult Prize and solving Global Food Insecurity,” Adam said in an email. “We made it to the regional finals in Shanghai.”Adam, a native of Somalia who has also lived in Kenya, said the 2013 Hult Prize topic hit close to home.“Having lived in Kenya where the Kibera slum, the largest in the world, is situated, I know just how dire the situation was for the slum dwellers,” Adam said in an email. “Also, my native country Somalia had just experienced one of the most severe famine[s] and drought[s] in the preceding years and I thought that it would be a shame to pass up the chance to help make a difference.”Teams of three to five members have been permitted to register at Hult Prize at USC’s website or their Facebook page since last Wednesday.One of these hopeful teams competing, led by team captain, Remaya Campbell, said that their strategy is to look to those in need for the solution.“We’re really basing our team on the idea that solutions from afar are not effective,” Campbell, a freshman majoring in film and television production, said in a text message to the Daily Trojan. “To change someone’s life you have to understand them, and you can’t be afraid to walk among them.”Overall, Adam said her biggest goal is to bring the Trojan Family together for the common good.“We hope to promote interdisciplinary interaction within the USC community in solving social issues,” Adam said in an email.last_img read more

Jack Davison: Genius Sports – Betgenius & Football DataCo partnership benefits all football stakeholders

first_img EFL announces that all non-Sky Sports fixtures will be available to stream August 27, 2020 Share Jack Davison – Genius SportsLast week, Genius Sports subsidiary Betgenius announced its biggest and most important commercial agreement to date, becoming the ‘exclusive live data supplier’ of Football DataCo servicing the global betting industry.Valued as one of the most important data contracts in sport, starting season 2019/2020 Betgenius will supply entire data provisions for the Premier League (EPL), English Football League (EFL) and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) to all global betting stakeholders.Speaking to SBC, Jack Davison, Chief Commercial Officer at Genius Sports, detailed the significance of Betgenius servicing Football DataCo through an agreement that will be fulfilled during a transformative period between football-&-betting, with all incumbents emphasising higher ethics and responsibility.____________SBC: Can you expand more on the importance of the Football DataCo partnership, in terms of Genius Sports Group’s history and existing data portfolio?Jack Davison, (CCO Genius Sports): The exclusive partnership with Football DataCo is a huge milestone for our business. The partnership reaffirms our long-held commitment to driving a sports betting ecosystem that recognises the value of all stakeholders, all the way from the sports to the sportsbook operators and through to their customers. Official live sports data is a key component of this ecosystem and Football DataCo have understood that our technology, combined with our unique expertise and insights will help make this a reality.Most importantly for Betgenius customers, this partnership demonstrates our determination to invest in an expanded portfolio of premium content that will provide the fastest, most accurate and reliable feeds on the market. We understand that when it comes to competitions such as the Premier League, whose data is virtually priceless to sportsbook operators, having access to the best data available to run your in-play product is vital.SBC: How is Genius Sports Group confident that it can expand and enhance existing FootballDataCo provisions and partnerships?JD: Over the past decade, we have invested in the development and optimisation of technology at every stage of the sports data value chain, from capturing the data in-stadia to delivering it to our partners within milliseconds.Benefiting from years of experience and expertise honed from working with over 500 sports leagues across the globe – we know that our business provides some of the most secure and highest quality data feeds in the industry. Football DataCo’s competitions, including the Premier League and Championship, are amongst the most bet on leagues worldwide. We realise that providing our customers with complete confidence in the source of the feed and the guaranteed supply of data is fundamental to their business fortunes.Ultimately, Football DataCo understands the needs of the betting industry and wants to maximise the distribution of their official data in regulated markets across the globe. We believe that providing a premium product at a fair and reasonable price will achieve this.SBC: Why is official live content on English and Scottish Football Competitions so valuable to bookies?JD: The popularity and unpredictable nature of the sport means that in-play betting on Premier League, EFL and Scottish football continues to be hugely valuable to bookmakers across the globe. Their customers expect to be able to bet on not only who will win the game but hundreds of other markets as the action is occurring.These days customers expect their in-play betting experience to be of the highest quality, and if the product fails to satisfy their expectations – for example markets are suspended too often or bets aren’t being settled fast enough – a significant amount of turnover can be lost within seconds. Not to mention losing a customer to a competitor the next time they bet. Punters care about this and notice when it’s not right. Maybe a few years ago it was different but in mature markets at least, the contrast between a premium feed direct from the stadium and an inferior feed has grown increasingly obvious.SBC: Why has the sports betting sector’s attitude towards official data changed on a global scale?JD: Sports that engage with betting and invest in an official data product are seeing an increasing trend amongst sportsbooks that understand the real value of their offering.For sports betting, we see the use of high quality and secure data as a sign of the sector maturing. Historically many sportsbooks have turned a blind eye to their data feeds’ origins. However, the industry can no longer afford to ignore the warning signs of increased public scrutiny and tighter legal and regulatory controls.Proper businesses need to have total confidence in their supply chain and bookmakers need confidence in the live data behind their odds. So long as this is offered through a fair and sustainable commercial model, which we are committed to delivering, then it’s a move that will benefit everyone.__________________________Jack Davison – Chief Commercial Officer  – Genius Sports Group Related Articles Share Submit QPR names Football Index as new shirt sponsor August 21, 2020 Betgenius expands virtual sports range with Kiron August 20, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more

If only Jerry Buss could see Byron Scott as new Lakers head coach

first_imgThat counts for something. He cares deeply about this franchise. Neither Mike Brown nor Mike D’Antoni had that. Neither of those press conferences featured any semblance of emotional investment. In fact, D’Antoni joked he was hopped up on medication following a recent knee surgery.It was funny at the time, but that 27-55 season last year — the most losses in franchise history — was anything but funny.Jim sat in the front row at Scott’s news conference while Jeanie was watching from her office above the court at the Toyota Sports Center. She streamed the news conference on her computer and watched it there as she was working on a contract. “(The emotions) surprised me a little bit,” Jeanie said. “I was anticipating that Byron might be the coach, but it didn’t hit me on this emotional level until it was actually here. I could just feel the energy. That kind of positive will makes a difference.”Jeanie gave Scott a congratulatory wish from fiancee Phil Jackson, too. She can just picture what her father would’ve thought of this day. “He would’ve been smiling ear to ear, and I’m positive he is right now,” Jeanie said with tears in her eyes. “This just feels good.”She stood up to recall how the emotions struck her and Scott, as they stopped to look near the door of her office. There’s an old, small statue with the likeness of her father’s face for his contributions to mental health awareness, along with the rotating, glitzy display of his championship rings. “It just hit me how my dad took such pride in Byron’s success as a player,” Jeanie said. “It hit Byron too. It’s like my father’s presence is here, and it connects in so many ways. In an era where LeBron James writes a letter that basketball has a bigger message, you take these moments to reflect on people and relationships, that says a lot.“Plus, he’s a good coach, too.”Magic told reporters not to let Scott’s winning smile fool anyone. “He’s a tough cat,” Johnson said.But not tough enough to hold back the emotion of earning the keys to the Lakers and the responsibility and history that come with it. His grandchildren, 2-year-old Kyla and 7-month old Laila, were there to watch.They’re not old enough to understand happy tears. “I talked to Jeanie for a little while and we started to mention her father and my ex-boss, and we both got a little teary-eyed,” Scott said. “I don’t think I could state this any deeper how I feel about this organization.“I thought this was a perfect fit. It’s hard for me to contain some things. I’ve got kids over there. I don’t want my kids seeing Daddy crying. I don’t want my grandkids seeing Poppa crying.”The rest of us could see those tears he was blinking back. It was refreshing. Scott grew up in Inglewood and played basketball at Morningside High. He dreamed of playing for the Lakers. And when that became a reality, he had a bigger dream.“I used to sneak in the Forum and watch Jerry West, and I said, ‘One day I would love to be a Laker,’ ” Scott recalled. “And one day, I would love to coach that purple-and-gold.’’For all the conversations they shared, Scott never told Jerry Buss that he wanted to coach the Lakers one day.But Magic Johnson knows Buss had that dream for him. “This is a great day for Dr. Buss, even though he’s not here,” Johnson said. “We were in a suite, he called me up and he said, ‘Earvin, I would love for Byron to coach this team one day.’ I haven’t even told him (Scott) this yet. Dr. Buss was going to make Byron the coach when Phil didn’t know what he was going to do.“But Byron took the Cleveland job, and he took it too early. Then I called him, and told him, ‘B, you took that job? Dr. Buss was going to hire you to be the coach.’ But he had to make a decision, of course. This is really a great moment for all of us, that he’s the coach.”That emotional investment speaks volumes. It’s not a statistic that can be measured by wins and losses, but it sure is nice to see that back in the new Lakers coach. EL SEGUNDO — Byron Scott already is working his magic with the Lakers.One of the first things he did with that fancy new title of Lakers head coach was honor the late Dr. Jerry Buss.Before his introductory news conference Tuesday, he was in Jeanie Buss’ office, the one with those 16 championship trophies and her father’s championship rings, and they both had tears in their eyes. “I just wish my father was here to see it,” Buss said from her office. “Byron’s heart is in the right place. He knows what this team meant to my dad. My dad instilled that in him. It’s just such a nice thing to have.”Scott, who played with the Lakers for 10 years and helped them win three NBA titles, was surrounded Tuesday by former Laker greats Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes. It was a star-studded cast showing their support for their former teammate. His family and grandchildren were there, too. Only one person could’ve made it better.“The only thing I regret is that Dr. Buss is not here today,” a teary-eyed Scott said. “He was a guy you could talk to about everything, about life, basketball, money, anything. I wish he was here today.“As I told Jim and Jeanie, I’m going to do everything in my power to bring this team back to where it should be. This organization is about championships. Period.”When Scott referred to the Lakers’ 16 NBA championships, he inadvertently referenced the Lakers’ 17 titles. Perhaps he had that self-fulfilling prophecy in mind. Scott wants to do the Buss family proud — with Jim and Jeanie running the basketball and business side, respectively. How can you not love Scott’s lasting connections, passion for the Lakers and unbreakable ties?center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

LA Lakers not surprisingly choose Kobe Bryant over LeBron James

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The question sounded like a fun hypothetical. It also made members of the Lakers laugh because of the implications.If they could emulate one person’s NBA career, would it be Kobe Bryant or LeBron James?“I’d have to say Kobe,” Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell said. “L.A. would probably torture me if I didn’t.”It also helps that Bryant has five NBA championships over James’ two. But the Lakers (14-51) enter Tuesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers (44-18) on Thursday at Staples Center unsure if Bryant will play his final game against James. Lakers coach Byron Scott chalked up the chances to “50-50” because of Bryant’s recent soreness in his right shoulder that has caused him to miss four of the past six games. “I thought it was going to be like this once he hurt it,” Scott said, which occurred shortly before Bryant threw down a one-handed dunk against Houston on Dec. 17, 2015. “The game is physical and you get a little bit bumped up and more bruised up with each game that you play. This isn’t something that’s shocking me at all.”It hardly sounded shocking that Scott also chose Bryant over James after both being his mentor his rookie year and then coaching him in his last two NBA seasons.“I’m trading with Kobe,” said Scott, who won three NBA titles with the Showtime Lakers. “If I can trade and get two more rings, I’ll take that any day of the week.”So will Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson.center_img “He got more rings,” Clarkson said. “He’s my teammate, too.” Young and the RestlessIf only all of the Lakers’ Young guys could play well.Russell, Clarkson and Julius Randle have emerged as the Lakers’ young core. But the 30-year-old Nick Young has not. In the past five games, Young has averaged 5.8 points on a 21.8 percent clip from the field.“When he’s missing shots, he forgets there are things he can do on the basketball court to contribute,” Scott said. “I can’t tell him when your shot is not going, you still have to play defense and still have to get a couple of steals. You have to stay involved in the game.” Ringing endorsementBryant outlined in exact detail why he thinks former Lakers teammate Tyronn Lue will excel as the Cavaliers’ head coach.“He has a very sharp mind,” Bryant said of Lue, who played with the Lakers from 1998-2001. “We have very complicated concepts and he was able to pick them up very quickly. He has a good demeanor about him, a good disposition about himself. He doesn’t get too rattled.”Fashion forwardIt turns out Young isn’t the only one that goes by “Swaggy.” Clarkson called himself and Russell the “Swag Bros.”“I dress the best on the team,” Clarkson said. Injury updateScott reiterated his hope that Lou Williams could return for Sunday’s game against New York after nursing a strained left hamstring.Scott admitted feeling uncertain on many minutes Williams could take from both Russell and reserve Marcelo Huertas given their recent play.“As a coach, that’s you want your players to do; make your job hard,” Scott said. “(Huertas) obviously is going to put some things on my mind that I have to think about when Lou is healthy.” last_img read more


first_imgSOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENALSOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1)GAZZANIGA, SOARES, FONTE, VAN DIJK, BERTRAND, WANYAMA, CLASIE, S. DAVIS, MANE, TADIC, PELLEARSENAL (4-2-3-1)GIROUD, CAMPBELL, OZIL, WALCOTT, FLAMINI, RAMSEY, MONREAL, MERTESACKER, KOSCIELNY, BELLERIN, CECHArsenal go into the Christmas period in second place and just two points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Leicester City. Interestingly, Arsenal have gone into the Christmas period in second place twice – and on both occasions they went on to win the title.They should travel with confidence; the Gunners have more wins away than at home (six to five at the Emirates) and have also scored five more goals on the road (18 to 13 at home).And Southampton have failed to win in their last five games in the Premier League, dropping from seventh to 12th in the process. It is the Saints’ longest run without a win for a year; a sixth would represent their longest non-winning sequence under manager Ronald Koeman and their worst since December 2013.They have a good record on Boxing Day, winning five and losing one of the last six. They last lost on this day in 2008, at Plymouth Argyle in a second-tier game.But Arsenal’s record on Boxing Day is even better. Since they last lost on this day, at Coventry City in 1999, the Gunners have played 14 times, winning 11 and drawing three.But three of the last four Premier League games between these teams at St Mary’s have been drawn while Arsenal last won at Southampton in December 2003.Southampton test goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, with Paulo Gazzaniga on stand-by to continue at the back. Another keeper, Fraser Forster, is still out, as is Florin Gardos and Jay Rodriguez.Arsenal miss Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Francis Coquelin among others.last_img read more

Anthony stars as Knicks beat Bulls

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) : Carmelo Anthony had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah delivered big games against their former team, and the New York Knicks beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 104-89 on Thursday night. Rose scored 17 points in his return to Madison Square Garden after skipping the last game here, and Noah finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds as the Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak. Rookie forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas had a season-high 19 points. The Knicks bounced back from a loss at the buzzer in Philadelphia on Wednesday to win for the first time this season on the second night of back-to-back games. Dwyane Wade scored 22 for the Bulls, who were missing star swingman Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic and Denzel Valentine, all because of illness. They dropped their third straight. Playing without starting forward Kristaps Porzingis, New York won for just the second time in 11 games. Other results: Mavericks 113, Suns 108; Nuggets 140 Pacers 112; Spurs 134 Lakers 94; Pelicans 104, Nets 95.last_img read more

GOL: A Shameful, Fraudulent Misuse of Power, WFP in an Unholy Alliance

first_imgThe World Food Program (WFP), in flagrant (barefaced, unashamed) disregard for struggling Liberian businesses, recently awarded to a Guinean trucking firm a multimillion dollar contract for transport services to the WFP’s Ebola response to Liberia.How is that possible?  Does WFP or anyone else think that the Guinean government and people, more particularly Guinean businesspeople, would ever allow such a thing to happen in Guinea?  Definitely not!   The Guineans most certainly know better.  Though they are predominantly Muslim, they know fully well the Christian dictum that “Charity begins at home.”The big trouble is, NOT IN LIBERIA!Liberia is a friendly country, most probably the most friendly in Africa.  For which other African country so openly and so wholeheartedly welcomes foreigners and are prepared to give them every opportunity to do business and make tons of money here, while Liberians continue to live in abject poverty?This newspaper has always advocated, argued for, pleaded with the Liberian government, to do everything in its power, as a deliberate policy, to encourage and foster the development of a middle class.   Daily Observer publisher  Kenneth Y. Best, as a young Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) in 1972, started urging the Liberian leaders to begin the process of developing a Liberian merchant class.  His point was that it was the quickest way to lift our people out of poverty, for that is where the money is—in business and commerce.  If Liberians controlled their own commerce, they would be in the driver’s seat of their economy.When Kenneth made that 1972 call during a speech at his alma mater, Booker Washington Institute (BWI), no less a person than the eminent former Liberian Secretary of State J. Rudolph Grimes told him, “You know, you are right.”Alas! The government has paid absolutely NO attention to this advice.  This advice has over the years been consistently rejected by successive Liberian administrations, including the current one.  The Tubman government started by enunciating (pronouncing) the Open Door Policy.  This was initially hailed as a great thing because it started attracting foreign investments to the country,   But from the very start, it became a totally foreign thing, the first being Lansdell K. Christe’s Liberia Mining Company (LMC) that mined iron ore from Bomi Hills (now Tubmanburg).  But 20 years before LMC came Harvey S. Firestone, Jr’s Firestone Rubber Plantations Company (FRPC).  That was Liberia’s first major foreign investment.  Like Firestone, LMC had no local investment participation. Then came LAMCO in the late 1950s, to mine the iron ore in Mount Nimba, Nimba County; and later Bong Mining Company.  All of these were overwhelmingly foreign-owned.The government did nothing to encourage Liberians to undertake ancillary (subsidiary, secondary) businesses, such as food supply,  transportation and other logistical services. Even as late as the 2000s, especially with the coming of the current government, major concession agreements have been signed, particularly in the iron ore, oil palm and now the petroleum sectors, with no Liberian participation.  The National Oil Company (NOCAL) has auctioned off most of the oil blocks, again with little or no Liberian participation, except a very few that have not been made public.  Who knows whether these are not reserved for people close to the powers that be?  If not, why are these Liberian owners so secretive?  Is that the few remain natural resources should be shared?There is another alarming, deeply distressing reality at play:  The government owes the media, most of them tiny business enterprises, well over half a million United States dollars, but has, over several years, consistently REFUSED to pay them.  Now the government is DEMANDING that the media houses accept far less than the amount due them!  How so fraudulent and unfair, how so shamefully a misuse of power!Worse yet, several Christmases have passed, and this one, too,  is about to pass, and GOL has not aroused its conscience — if it has one — to pay the media, so that our wives and children can say “Papa na come home.”So who can blame the WFP for ditching Liberian truckers in favor of Guinean truckers?    WFP has learned well the lesson the Liberian government has taught them— “to hell with Liberian businesses.  You can come to Liberia and do as you please.”Is this government then serious about poverty reduction, which it has preached, since coming to power?Ellen’s government has only two more years in power.  As eternal optimists, we don’t think it is too late for her to make a difference.  A good place to start is to PAY THE MEDIA WHAT YOU OWE THEM AND DEMAND THAT THE WFP AGREEMENT BE REVERSED.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more