CARMELO projection for DeMarcus Cousins 2018-199.25.354.5 2017-1810.65.7$59.6m 2019-207.84.946.8 SEASONWARBPMVALUE 2020-22.214.171.124 2023-244.83.035.0 2022-126.96.36.199 Word broke late Sunday night why DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes in that evening’s All-Star game: He’d been traded. The Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans agreed on a deal that will send Cousins and Omri Casspi to New Orleans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a protected 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-rounder. While the Kings may have been concerned about Cousins’s surliness and ongoing feud with referees, they were absolutely fleeced in basketball terms.The tradeAccording to an updated version of FiveThirtyEight’s CARMELO projections, which assumes Cousins’s production will remain steady for the remainder of this season, we’d expect Cousins to produce 46.5 Wins Above Replacement over the next six seasons, and value equivalent to $284.4 million on the open market. That’s a top-10 projection in the league over that period, and one that dwarfs the expected production of the players coming back to Sacramento. Of course, usage rate is a broad indicator, and doesn’t account for the other big unknown: How will two dominant big men fare in a league increasingly run by guards? It’s probably too early to answer that, but there will be plenty of complications to work through. Take the logjam in the post: Cousins posts up on 20.9 percent of his possessions, according to Synergy Sport Technology, and Davis on 16 percent of his. Both are good but not great at these possessions — Davis is in the 58th percentile in points per possession, Cousins the 65th — but the bigger concern is that post-ups tend to engage only one big man in the play, lessening the impact of the other star. Cousins has shot 36.4 percent on spot-up threes this season, so the Pelicans have some options there, but they likely didn’t trade for him with the intent of sitting him in a corner where he could jack league-average threes.That said, there are also reasons to think Cousins may be even better on the Pelicans. For instance, Cousins has been assisted on just 42.4 percent of his 2-point attempts this season, a staggeringly low number for a big man, especially one who uses as many possessions as Cousins does. That isn’t a one-season phenomenon, either — throughout his career, Cousins has ranged from the mid-40s to low 50s on percent-assisted.On the one hand, a center putting up a 37.5 usage rate while also having to create most of his own shots, while also putting up a career-high true shooting percent (56.2) is incredible. Alleviating some of the pressure to create every shot on his own should free Cousins to be even more devastating. That’s generally how the usage-to-efficiency relationship works. On the other hand, a career-long history of grabbing the rock and going it alone may be a hard habit to shake.And that’s the conundrum a team trading for Cousins faced: Cousins has not had much help, but Cousins has not accepted much, either. How he deals with that help coming in the form of an All-NBA power forward will determine whether this deal remains as lopsided as it appears today, or becomes a bad time for everyone.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Hield has been a disappointment in his first season, shooting 39.2 percent from the floor and 36.9 percent from three while having minimal impact in other facets of the game. He’s only a rookie, so he has time to improve, but at 23 years old he is also a good deal older than most NBA rookies. (He’s also in the mold of other shooting guards favored by the Kings in recent drafts, such as Nik Stauskas and Ben McLemore, so it’s possible the Kings think Hield is a bigger asset than he’s shown himself to be so far.) The version of CARMELO that isn’t updated with this season’s stats expects him to produce around $37.4 million in value over the next five seasons. Evans, 27, is expected to produce around $77.4 million in value over the next five seasons, though he is only signed through the remainder of this season.The real value for Sacramento, such as it exists, is of course the draft picks. The 2017 draft pool is widely considered to be full of franchise-altering players, such as Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, and securing an extra lottery pick is a big deal. However, the top-3 protection is a bigger deal than it may seem.While the draft lottery largely slots teams into a range of picks relative to their standings, all teams have a set chance to jump out of their place in line and into the top three slots. As it stands today, the Pelicans have a little under an 8 percent chance to luck into a top-3 pick. But if they begin to struggle and fall just two games in the standings relative to the other lottery teams, supplanting Philadelphia for the fifth-worst record, that chance shoots to over 31 percent.It’s more likely than not that the Pelicans will remain outside of the top three, but even that doesn’t swing things entirely in the Kings’ favor. Because of the top-heavy nature of the NBA draft, the first few picks are disproportionately valuable compared to later picks, even in the lottery. This means the Pelicans retain the rights to the biggest prizes. In other words, a small chance at a big reward (a top-three pick) can be nearly as valuable as a far greater chance at a just-OK one.By making this trade, the Kings are implicitly betting against Cousins. They’re betting against his living up to his projections and being a difference maker on an imperfectly constructed team. But in a perverse way, that’s why the top-three protection on the draft pick is such a killer. Let’s say everything breaks the Kings’ way — Cousins turns out to be a player who isn’t conducive to winning, the Pelicans struggle to integrate Cousins into the team, and the team struggles down the stretch. But if the Pelicans do tank with Cousins, the only way that affects the Kings is to lower the odds they actually get their hands on that 2017 lottery pick. And if things go the other way and the Pelicans make the playoffs, the pick can be no better than 15th.Re-signing CousinsCousins has one year remaining on his deal, and can’t become a free agent until the summer of 2018. However, due to terms in the new collective bargaining agreement, Cousins was up for a five-year, $209 million “Designated Player Extension” this summer, which would have been added to the one year remaining on his deal and locked him up through 2023.Unlike other contract extension rights, however, the right to sign this designated player extension does not transfer with a trade, so the most Cousins can sign for now is five years and $180 million.It’s far too early to begin speculating whether Cousins will re-sign in New Orleans, but as we evaluate the trade, it’s important to remember that Sacramento had a massive advantage in re-signing Cousins if it chose to do so, making fear of losing him for nothing a much smaller issue than it often is for other teams trading superstars.Cousins and DavisThe big question will be whether Cousins and Davis can both continue to produce as prolifically as they have on their own. The answer pretty obviously is “no,” since there is only one basketball and their current combined usage rates (32.5 for Davis, 37.5 for Cousins) would leave barely any possessions for their teammates. But usage also tends to find equilibrium among teammates, especially ones who aren’t occupying the same areas of the floor and getting in each other’s way. That’s a problem if you’re, say, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, who both loved to hang out on the left wing.A glance at their shot charts, via StatMuse, shows that while both big men operate out of the post, they shouldn’t be fighting for space outside of the immediate basket area. 2021-226.64.043.4 Updated with 2016-17 stats through Feb. 19.
This makes some sense from both sides if you think about it.natesilver: :inhales from vape:kyle: The Cavs add rebounding and passing in the frontcourt and youth in the backcourt.natesilver: :inhales deeply:chris.herring: Wow, Kyle.neil: LOL. I think we’re done here. kyle: This is a real thing, though: Building in a small market is HARD. This is why teams like the Pistons take such big risks just to get a guy like Blake Griffin or why Memphis paid Mike Conley and Marc Gasol knowing the clock was up on that core. Things worked out, eventually, for the Philly teardown, but even those guys, good as they look, are playing .500 ball in the East at the stage Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal were making the finals.If the Cavs parachute out of the LeBron era, they have to be VERY certain that there’s no chance whatsoever this season and that LeBron is very, very likely to leave.chris.herring: I honestly think he’d have to straight-up tell them he’s gone. Anything short of that, and fans will never forgive you. We’re a site that deals in probabilities, but no fan would give a damn about that.natesilver: I mean, I feel like we’re going in circles here. Let’s say the Cavs have a (i) 5 percent to 10 percent chance to win the title this year; (ii) 70 percent chance that LeBron leaves this summer; (iii) a further 70 percent chance that LeBron leaves next summer, even if he’s still here this summer. And let’s say you can get a potential franchise talent — not a Ben Simmons level talent, but say Donovan Mitchell or Ingram — in return.chris.herring: All it would take is LeBron saying 20 years from now that he never wanted to leave, and Dan Gilbert would get threatening letters in droves for a decision that actually seemed wise at the time.neil: That’s the thing with LeBron — he loves to keep his options open.kyle: neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): We are all gathered here because FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver had a very hot NBA trade deadline take that he needed to get out into the world. Nate, what is your idea?natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): I think the Cavaliers should trade LeBron James.🔥neil: Go on …natesilver: I think the Cavaliers are a dumpster fire right now, and their trade options aren’t very attractive because their second- and third-best players are at the bottom of their market value (because of an injury in Kevin Love’s case). And I think it’s too risky to trade Brooklyn’s No. 1 pick when there’s a good chance that LeBron leaves anyway this summer. So it’s maybe their least-worst option.kyle (Kyle Wagner, senior editor): Disagree, vehemently, but also I have a muscle emoji trade proposal for if they do, so willing to hear this out.natesilver: I’m assuming they can get something pretty good, though.chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): Funny thing is, I think Love’s value would have been pretty decent now had it not been for his injury.neil: So this notion implicitly assumes that the Cavs have no chance this year and should just wave the white flag on the season. Is that fair for a LeBron-led team that has won the East three years running, even given how bad they look right now?chris.herring: But this dumpster fire does feel fundamentally different from the past midseason lulls.natesilver: Just to set a fairly low bar here … what if the Cavs could get Brandon Ingram + Lonzo Ball + an unprotected No. 1 from the Lakers. (Plus a bunch of crap to make the salaries work.) They’d definitely be smart to do that, right? (Assuming that LeBron telegraphs that he’ll sign in LA long term, which is part of the Lakers’ calculus.)chris.herring: I guess it comes down to this: Yes, it would be devastating and perhaps crippling to lose the guy for nothing. At the same time, don’t you have to be 100 percent sure that he wouldn’t come back before you deal him?(It’s also worth mentioning here that he has a no-trade clause. So they couldn’t just deal him away without talking with him first.)natesilver: kyle: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOneil: LOLchris.herring: 😒 😒😒😒😒😒😒natesilver: It’s basically the Arizona Wranglers-Chicago Blitz franchise swap option.chris.herring: I will say this: We don’t exactly know how Gordon Hayward comes back. And he hasn’t shown to be someone you can run your offense through. It grinded my gears last year that Iso Joe Johnson was Utah’s end-of-game shot taker.neil: I just wanna see the look on Kyrie Irving’s face when that is announced.chris.herring: Exactly! Kyrie would throw a hissy fit if that happened. He just ran away from that situation. So you can’t deal for a guy that would put him in that scenario all over again.natesilver: You can also include a Al Horford-for-Love swap if you want as part of it — the salaries work out.neil: Even better!But, seriously, I’m curious — does the destination in-season have to be the team LeBron would be interested in re-signing with? How would the return package change between a team that thinks it can hang onto LeBron past 2018 and a team for whom he’s just a five-month rental?natesilver: I guess I’m thinking back to the Carmelo Anthony precedent — where a team would pay a lot to “lock him in.” Maybe a big premium over fair market price.chris.herring: Kind of like the Rockets just did with Chris Paul, before he hit free agency?kyle: OK, here’s an actual (and still idiotic) idea: If Cleveland is going to trade for a Boston guard, it should target Marcus Smart. Cleveland’s defense is awful. Marcus is a one-man defense. Boston very likely can’t pay Marcus this summer. Given Cleveland’s needs, Smart makes as much sense as a microwave scoring option to replace Kyrie one-to-one. It’s just much harder to justify spending assets on him to your fans and owner.natesilver: But Cleveland doesn’t really have needs anymore if they trade LeBron, right?Or at least, not short-term needs?kyle: If Cleveland trades LeBron, its short-term needs include riot gear and tarps for the 300-level.chris.herring: LOLneil: What’s incredible is that even after all of their struggles, the Cavs are still quite likely to make the playoffs. So basically this would have them limp into the postseason as a hollowed-out zombie version of a team, while some other team actually trying will miss the playoffs.natesilver: natesilver: Wait, what is happening? I can’t even process it with all those colors.kyle: The Lakers would win 25 games. That’s … not terrible, right?kyle: I don’t think the Bucks make sense at all, tbh. There’s a ton of duplication of skills with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Giannis isn’t developed the way Dwyane Wade was in 2010 to play next to LeBron as a non-shooter.natesilver: But they’re getting 2018 Wade in the deal! Return to Milwaukee!I agree that they have overlapping-ish skill sets (which is a very, very nice thing to say about Giannis). But if the Bucks already had LeBron and you could clone him — well, you’d give up Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton and Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova for that, wouldn’t you?kyle: That’s the same reason the 76ers don’t really work. Joel Embiid is an amazing fit, but Ben Simmons not being able to shoot past the length of his arm is a tough, tough sell. Look at the players who have thrived next to LeBron — aside from Wade, who turned into a killer off-ball cutter and could always get to the rack, there isn’t really another guy who thrived with James without an outside shot. LeBron teams just run the LeBron offense, and a star like Giannis or Simmons doesn’t really fit that mold.In a way, the Bucks would be better off keeping Jabari and Middleton in that deal and finding another way to get value for Giannis.natesilver: Are you ready to get trolled? Here’s my next idea.chris.herring: LOL. Nate’s next idea must be a doozynatesilver: According to our projections, the Cavs have a 16 percent chance of reaching the finals again and a 5 percent chance of winning the title. And that’s with giving them a huge post-season bonus that assumes they’ll be a much better team in April than they are now.kyle: The reason the Cavs shouldn’t trade LeBron is pretty simple to me: certainty. They are trash right now, but we do expect at least some elevation come playoff time, just given recent history. But if you can make two assumptions, it’s crazy to trade him:Assumption 1: The Cavs are still a lock or a heavy favorite to advance out of the East. This is not a certainty! But I’m still having a very, very hard time taking Boston and Toronto at face value.Assumption 2: If a star Warrior is injured, the Cavs, as currently constructed, can beat that team, or at least be competitive.Assumption 1 gives you certainty: For the same reason that teams’ championship odds go WAY up once they advance a round and the other teams in the pool are still locking up their series, being chalk for the finals gives the Cavs a huge edge — if we think that’s still true.Assumption 2 is more important, though: If we think it’s true, it means their win-condition has not meaningfully changed. The Cavs were never going to compete with a full-strength Warriors team. They may have thought they were, but given the state of their roster and the state of Golden State’s, it was not going to happen. They always needed something to go sideways. In other words, this is still the best chance the Cavs will have at a title, and those chances maybe aren’t as diminished from earlier this season, or last season, as it seems.natesilver: (If you use a system like Basketball Power Index that doesn’t include a playoff boost, the Cavs’ odds of winning the title are … 0.2%).kyle: That said, they should definitely try to trade LeBron for Kawhi Leonard and see what happens.neil: Yes!natesilver: But what are the chances that Isaiah Thomas isn’t still complete trash by the playoffs?Or maybe that’s setting a low bar — but that he’s an above-average point guard (meaning very good offensively given his defensive liabilities).kyle: Low! But that doesn’t change the premise here. The question isn’t how much better the Cavs can get here; it’s whether improving this last-gasp roster with LeBron, who may leave this summer, is the best shot Cleveland has at a title. The alternative is tearing it all down and playing the lottery game, but that isn’t anything close to a guarantee at a roster that can mount even an empty challenge for the title.We’ve seen what rebuilding without LeBron looks like in Cleveland.natesilver: I guess I’m just assuming that he’s more likely than not to leave and that if he stays, he might only stay for a year.neil: What do you think those odds are, Nate, if you had to put a number on it?natesilver: I think there’s a … 70 percent chance that he leaves? I dunno. I’m not Woj. I just think there are other places where he’d be more likely to win a title and that he doesn’t have a lot to prove in Cleveland.kyle: I get that, but my argument here is that one playoff run with LeBron is worth several years of potential value, because certainty is very hard to come by and LeBron is as close to a sure thing as we’ve had. So if you can flip the Nets pick and Isaiah for, say, Kemba Walker, you should max out in your window. The bill will come due, but I think it’s reasonable to max out when you think you’ve got a shot, even a faint one.(FWIW, Woj-types believe Cleveland won’t trade the pick before the deadline.)neil: Yeah, a lot of it depends on what we think the Cavs’ odds of winning this season are as currently constructed in addition to the odds that LeBron would return to Cleveland (which could happen!), versus the chance that they’d be able to build a team as close to contending as this one using the Brooklyn pick plus whatever assets they get in a LeBron trade.Which I think is what you’re getting at, Kyle.natesilver: I think our odds showing them with only a 16 percent chance of winning the East are too low. But they’re really dysfunctional right now, they have a lot of work to do just get functional, they’re probably going to have to win a couple of road series just to make the finals … and then they’re going to have to beat the Warriors, or maybe the Rockets.kyle: Anyway, back to my Kawhi trade. LeBron and Pop! LeBron could make a pairing with LaMarcus Aldridge work! Remember that no-look Hammer pass that LeBron claimed he was the the only person in the world capable of throwing but actually Boris Diaw threw for the Spurs for years and years? Run that back!!!Also not for nothing, but Boris was a useful player in the league very recently, and he was essentially Washed-Up LeBron. I’m pretty sure LeBron could be 2015 Boris at age 60.natesilver: Why would San Antonio do that, though?chris.herring: There’s a part of me that wants Bron to play out the rest of the season as a Cav and then just maneuver a way to San Antonio or Houston.kyle: So LeBron’s no-trade clause makes all of this very academic. But in the timeline in which this happens, it would be backchanneled that he’d stick around a while. And IF the rift between Kawhi and the front office is real and IF Kawhi’s mysterious leg injury persists … Pop still tells Cavs owner Dan Gilbert to eat dirt, but it would be fun.And in theory, it would get him down there under the cap.chris.herring: I don’t think he would truly elevate anyone to championship level this year, aside from maybe Boston. The gap is too wide between the Warriors, the Rockets and everyone else.neil: And that factor is a big part of any LeBron trade — since he has the no-trade clause, as you mentioned, Chris, he basically gets to choose what situation would be best for winning over the rest of this season.natesilver: Here’s another idea that I stole from some Bucks blog I was reading: (Edit: Actually, here.)natesilver: This is the kind of thing that all parties might be able to get behind IF they all admit this season is a wash.natesilver: Yeah, if LeBron went to the Lakers this year, part of the idea might be that he’d get to take the playoffs off or maybe even end his regular season early (unless they won like six in a row or something).kyle: It clears the decks for LeBron in LA salary-wise, moves one but not all of the young talent, and slots in LeBron with Lonzo, Kyle Kuzma, a possible Julius Randle re-signing (haven’t done that exact math) and another free agent.tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): Jumping in late here, but if we’re doing Lakers trades, I’m just going to leave this here. TEAM BANANA BOAT!tchow: The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon, so we assembled FiveThirtyEight’s resident basketball writers — plus editor-in-chief/trade machine troll Nate Silver — to bandy about some, um, creative trade ideas for LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sure, James says he won’t waive his no-trade clause. (He says a lot of things.) But if LeBron somehow does assent to a deal, should the Cavs think about trading him? The transcript below has been lightly edited.
OSU freshman linebacker Baron Browning addresses the media on National Singing day at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex on Feb. 1, 2017. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Sports EditorBaron Browning just might be the perfect replacement for Raekwon McMillan.On Wednesday, Browning and his fellow early enrollees from the 2017 Ohio State football recruiting class addressed the media at the Woody Hayes Athletic Complex. A native of Texas, Browning fielded questions about Whataburger and the new pipeline of players from the state bolting to Ohio and other places, but one of the most intriguing queries was about playing cornerback at times.An athletic freak, the incoming freshman has been known to have crazy versatility. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds by the Buckeyes, he is only about 10 pounds lighter than outgoing Raekwon McMillan, but the fact he is trusted to take on the responsibility of a wide receiver speaks volumes about his ability.“Usually I only did it, though, when there’s a receiver they needed me to take out (of) the equation,” Browning said on Wednesday. “As far as what that says to me, I just say that for my size I’m very versatile. Just because I weigh as much as I do, that doesn’t limit me I guess.”McMillan is not necessarily known for his coverage ability, and it showed at times last season. Browning brings in the potential to cover passes effectively, but only time will tell if Urban Meyer and his coaching staff decide to use his apparent coverage ability in game.A linebacker who isn’t limited by his size is a scary proposition for opposing teams, and Browning fits the bill of a dominant force on the inside of the defense. That is, if he ends up playing in the middle, since new linebackers coach Bill Davis has apparently been teaching the linebackers how to play all over the unit.Browning himself doesn’t know where he’s playing yet.“I really can’t tell you,” he said. “I know, just talking to coach Davis, he plans on teaching us all three linebacker positions, so it’s his call.”Browning, like most of the incoming freshman, is doing his best to adjust to the new level of competition. He spoke about how, initially, he thought the warm-up to one of OSU’s early drills was the actual workout. “Once I found out that was a warmup, I knew I couldn’t get my hopes up,” he said. “I just had to try to make it through. Ice tub became my best friend after that.”Even though he’s been tested so far, Browning has an apparent solid relationship with OSU coach Urban Meyer. Browning shared a story about when he pulled a prank on Meyer, and called to tell him he was deciding on Alabama instead of the Buckeyes.Meyer did not react well.“I threw my phone against the damn wall,” he said.However, after the smoke had cleared and Meyer discovered he would still be getting the top-ranked outside linebacker in 2017, he devised his own plan to get back at Browning, even recruiting the help of his mother. Meyer told Browning over the phone he would be taking the job as the Los Angeles Rams new head coach.This, of course, was a lie, but Browning took it to heart before Meyer came forward with the truth.“He got me back,” Browning said. “I see how he felt. I was really more so mad because my mom was in on it too. They planned it together. I guess I had that coming.”In the upcoming season, Browning’s play will be a testament to just how good the five-star recruit can be. As for now, he will continue to try and develop as a player, and live up to the precedent set by so many historically stellar linebackers who have come through Columbus.After all, he did say the reason players like him travel such a long way for college is to grow.“I would say probably the reason everyone is leaving Texas is because everybody wanna be great, so they’re going to where they feel like they can grow the most.”
Following 65 minutes of scoreless hockey at Nationwide Arena Friday night, Todd Bertuzzi’s goal in the fourth round of a shootout sealed the Blue Jackets’ loss of their season finale to the Detroit Red Wings 1-0. Led by a strong performance between the pipes in which reigning Calder Memorial Trophy winner Steve Mason turned aside all 45 shots directed his way, the Jackets failed to muster any offense to help him out. “Obviously we would have liked to get the win, but Mase looked like he found his game tonight,” Jackets captain Rick Nash said. “He was unbelievable.” Offensively, the Jackets were only able to generate 22 shots on net. Columbus interim head coach Claude Noel said he believed fatigue played a part in their lack of offensive productivity. “When I look at the game, it looked like it was our 10th game in 18 days,” Noel said. “The way we started the game, we looked like we were watching the game, and we looked a little tired.” After two periods of play, which contained relatively equal offensive opportunities for both teams, the tide turned in the third period as Detroit found itself at home in its offensive zone, out-shooting the Jackets 23-4 in the final stanza and overtime. “We hit some posts and we had some chances but clearly in the third they took it to us,” Noel said. Even with the offensive dry spell and barrage of shots on Mason, the Jackets never stopped fighting and were ultimately able to force overtime. Overtime proved to be much of the same as the third, though, with the Jackets unable to produce any shots in the extra five minutes. But Mason delivered once again, stopping all four Red Wing shots and sending the contest to a shootout. After goals from Nash and Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk in the first round of the shootout, both teams failed to score again until the fourth round. Ultimately, the Jackets’ final contest of the year finished in familiar fashion, as Bertuzzi ended the game on his top-shelf backhander, beating Mason and handing Columbus its league-leading 15th overtime/shootout loss of the year. “The frustrating part in that game is to lose it in a shootout,” Noel said. “But I think that the players gave it their all and I was certainly happy with what they gave us.” While the Jackets dropped their final five contests of the year by a single goal each time, Nash agrees that the effort was there and believes it is something this Jackets team can build upon. “I think it’s exciting for next year,” Nash said. “If we can carry the momentum that we did in the last couple games then it will be real exciting.”
The cross country Big Ten Championships meet is more than two weeks away, but the Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams will get a chance to run against championship-level competition Friday. The Buckeyes will run at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Oct. 14 in Madison, Wis. The meet will feature a number of ranked teams. Nineteen men’s teams are ranked in the top 30 in the country with the women’s field including 18 of the top 30 teams. OSU men’s head coach Robert Gary said having such a high number of good teams at one meet outside of the NCAA National Championship is a rarity. “This is an unprecedented number of great teams, usually you don’t get this many good teams at one meet until the national meet,” he said. Coaches from both OSU’s men’s and women’s teams said they are excited their runners are getting a chance to compete at a high level before championship season. “I think one of the good things about this meet is you have such good competition,” OSU women’s assistant coach Chris Neal said. “I think it’s a good chance for some of our girls to get out and run fast.” Another aspect of the meet that intrigues both coaches is the amount of Big Ten teams that will be in Madison: nine for the men and 10 for the women. A number of teams that the Buckeyes will run against at the Great Lakes regional meet are also a part of the field. Gary said he is looking forward to seeing how his team measures up with the rest of the conference and teams from OSU’s region. Viewing the meet as a “trial run” for the Big Ten championship is something the women are doing according to Neal. “This (meet) will allow us to see where we line up and what moves we need to make over the next couple weeks,” he said. The men will be without one of their top runners, redshirt senior Jake Edwards, who injured his hamstring at the Notre Dame Invitational Sept. 30. Even though Edwards isn’t running, the men think a top-10 finish is possible. “That’d be great,” junior Donny Roys said. “Getting in the top 10 will show that we’re meant to be at the national meet.” The women have aspirations of a high team finish as well, redshirt senior Jordan Jennewine said. “I think as a team we’d really love to be around top 20,” she said. In order for both teams to reach their place goals, running as a pack will be key. “I think we just need to get out and stay together,” Roys said. “We need to work on the last couple miles and staying together from the beginning.” Jennewine said having a small split between the first and fifth runner is important for the women to run well. “We already talked about keeping the spread small, and we’ll really keep our point total down,” she said. “When you have a lot of good teams, that’s basically the key to winning.” Coach Neal agreed. “When you’re talking about a field of this size, 15 seconds can be 40 points,” he said. “So, we really have to get our fifth and sixth runners to be up where our two through four runners are.” After running on Friday, the women will have a week off before the Big Ten Championship meet Oct. 30. The men will run at the Eastern Michigan Fall Classic Oct. 21.
Senior running back Carlos Hyde (34) cries as he meets with the media after a game against Northwestern Oct. 5 at Ryan Field. OSU won, 40-30.Credit: Kaily Cunningham / Multimedia editorEVANSTON, Ill. – For nearly 45 seconds, Ohio State senior running back Carlos Hyde couldn’t find the words to describe the suspension that cost him playing time in the first three games of the season. Addressing the media for the first time in 2013 following OSU’s 40-30 victory against Northwestern Saturday, tears welled up in Hyde’s eyes as he was asked to recall the punishment.“That suspension, it really hurt, not being out there with my brothers, because I made a mistake,” Hyde said with emotion. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through.”Hyde’s suspension was issued after he was involved in an altercation with a woman at a Columbus bar in July. The incident was reported as an assault, and Hyde was tagged as a “person of interest” in the case. Charges were not filed against him, however, at the alleged victim’s request, but he was still disciplined by OSU for his involvement.The suspension gave Hyde, who said his Christian faith helped keep him focused during the suspension, what he called a “different hunger for the game.”“I go out every game with a mindset that I have to make up for those three games,” Hyde said. “I’m running with a whole different demeanor than what I would have had in the beginning if I didn’t get suspended.”Hyde showed that hunger Saturday, his third game back from suspension, with the biggest performance of his career. He gashed the Wildcats for a career-high 168 yards on 26 carries and scored three rushing touchdowns and also had 38 receiving yards on four receptions. With 206 yards from scrimmage, he accounted for more than 45 percent of OSU’s 451 yards of total offense.“I wanted it bad,” Hyde said. “I caught a rhythm. My (offensive line) was doing a great job to convert on run blocking, and they made it easy for me.”With just 126 rushing yards on 22 carries and five yards on two receptions in his first two games of the season, Hyde exceeded each of those totals Saturday.In his junior season in 2012, the Naples, Fla., product was the Buckeyes’ starting tailback and ran for 970 yards and a team-leading 16 touchdowns on 185 carries.That said, OSU coach Urban Meyer said Hyde’s career has been disappointing thus far.“His whole career was just kind of a mush. He hasn’t done a whole lot for himself or the program,” Meyer said of Hyde. “We all make mistakes. I hope this is a game-changer for him.”The Buckeyes needed Hyde to take on a greater role Saturday. OSU’s leading rusher this season, redshirt-senior running back Jordan Hall, did not play in Saturday’s game because of an injury.“Jordan Hall’s got a little knee issue we’re dealing with right now,” Meyer said. “(Hyde)’s the horse right now. I think he’s a great player. That tells you how much I trust the kid to be able to do that.”Trailing 23-13 following a 32-yard field goal by Northwestern senior kicker Jeff Budzien early in the third quarter, the OSU offense needed to find the end zone.The Buckeyes turned to Hyde. He scored all three of his touchdowns — the only offensive touchdowns of the game for the Buckeyes — in the second half, in which he ran for a total of 112 yards on 16 carries.In total, the Buckeyes ran the ball 48 times, and Hyde said he thought that quantity of rushing attempts was a contributing factor in his success.“I’m made to carry the ball that many times,” Hyde said. “I definitely feel like me and the offensive line wore them down.”Getting to 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in Big Ten play did not come easily for the Buckeyes, though the team held steady at No. 4 in the Associated Press poll after the victory. They trailed for at least part of each quarter in Saturday’s game, and never held a lead of more than four points until freshman defensive lineman Joey Bosa’s fumble recovery touchdown as time expired extended OSU’s margin of victory to 10 points.OSU’s winning streak, which stands at 18 games dating back to the start of the 2012 season, might have ended at the hands of Northwestern if not for Hyde’s contributions.“You always can lean on a great back like him, especially in the Big Ten season,” OSU junior quarterback Braxton Miller said of Hyde.After playing its first six games of the season on consecutive Saturdays, OSU has a week off before it plays for its seventh win of the season against Iowa at Ohio Stadium Oct. 19.
OSU junior forward Peanut Johnson prepares to pass in a game against Penn State Sept. 28 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU lost 4-3Credit: Grant Miller / Copy chiefWith just minutes to play, the Ohio State field hockey team got a goal form freshman midfielder Morgan Kile to take down No. 3 Virginia in overtime.OSU won, 4-3, after Kile’s goal put the team ahead for good, capping a 1-1 weekend for the squad.The Buckeyes (4-7, 0-3) completed a late second-half comeback against the Cavaliers (10-3) when junior forward Peanut Johnson connected on a goal with less than 10 minutes to play to tie the game at three. Freshman forward Annabel Sams found Johnson on a penalty corner to send the game to an extra session.Virginia is the highest-ranked team OSU field hockey has defeated since Anne Wilkinson took over as coach in 1997, and it’s the first top four program it’s beaten since No. 4 Syracuse in 2010.The Buckeyes got out in front of the Cavaliers quickly. Freshman midfielder Maddy Humphrey got the Buckeyes on the board first. The Virginia Beach, Va., native scored on a break away that was assisted by Johnson to give OSU a 1-0 lead 14:27 into the game.The Cavaliers tied the score six minutes later, however, when sophomore striker Riley Tata converted in front of the net just past OSU freshman goalkeeper Liz Tamburro.The score remained tied until halftime, but five minutes into the second half, Virginia struck again on sophomore striker Caleigh Foust’s 10th goal of the season.OSU showed resiliency in striking back against Virgina. Kile scored her second goal of the season to even the score at two.The Cavaliers took a 3-2 lead after freshman midfielder Tara Vittese scored her 10th goal of the season with a little more than eight minutes left, but OSU wouldn’t go away, tying the game up on Johnson’s penalty corner conversion.The Buckeyes were not as fortunate Friday afternoon in College Park, Md., when they faced No. 2 Maryland. OSU kept the game competitive for the first 25 minutes, but Maryland would not be denied in its first Big Ten home game.Junior midfielder Anna Dessoye started the first half rally for Maryland with 9:05 left to play in the frame. The Mountain Top, Pa., native snuck in front of the net and tipped in a rebound off a penalty corner.Three minutes later, senior forward Katie Gerzabek scored her first goal of the season to make it 2-0.With less than three minutes to play, Gerzabek found Putsch in front of the net, and she found the back of the net using a high stick to get the job done.Maryland tacked on one more before the half ended from freshman midfielder Lein Holsboer, giving the Terrapins a commanding 4-0 halftime lead.Gerzabek added her second goal of the game 1:37 into the second half and the Terrapins shut out the Buckeyes, 6-0.Tamburro saved 15 shots Friday, which stands as third most in single-game school history.OSU is set to have four days off following its upset of Virginia before it takes on another Big Ten newcomer, Rutgers, in Piscataway, N.J., on Friday. The game is set for 1 p.m.
Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann claps after a Buckeye defensive stop in the first half in the game against Radford on Nov. 12. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State will dance again.For the first time since the 2014-15 season, the Buckeyes will play in the NCAA Tournament. They are the No. 5 seed in the west regional, hosted by No. 4-overall seed Xavier. Ohio State will face No. 12 South Dakota St. in the first round of the tournament in Boise, Idaho. The remaining top four seeds in the west regional are No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Gonzaga. Should the Buckeyes advance past South Dakota St., they will face the winner of the Gonzaga-UNC Greensboro matchup in the Round of 32.Ohio State is joined throughout the bracket by Purdue, Michigan State and Michigan. Purdue is the No. 2 seed in the east regional and Michigan State represents the No. 3 seed in the midwest regional.The appearance in the March Madness tournament represents a major turnaround for a program that failed to reach the NIT a season ago. In the first year of the Chris Holtmann-era, the head coach led the Buckeyes to their best regular-season finish at 24-7 since Ohio State went 25-6 in the 2011-12 season. Though the season was a major turnaround, Penn State was able to get the better of the Buckeyes in all three meetings, including the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. The Nittany Lions seemed to have the answer for the Buckeyes every time, relying on guards Tony Carr and Shep Garner for point production.Given the struggles of Ohio State to defend against guards with a size advantage, the Buckeyes will hope to avoid playing any teams that lean heavily on guard play for scoring.
He was freed with a tag after ten weeks, and after release told The Sun: “Everyone wanted to sing Agadoo with me.”It was so surreal singing the party song about pushing pineapples and shaking the tree in such grim circumstances.”But people were obsessed. At night, the entire wing was singing in chorus ‘Agadoo doo doo’.”The 59-year-old added: “When terrifying criminals tell you to do something you do it, we had a conga snaking around the jail. All the murderers and drug dealers wanted to be my mate.” Black Lace frontman Dene Michael has claimed he led a giant conga in prison involving 60 inmates dancing round an exercise yard.The star, famous for the Eighties hits Agadoo and Do The Conga, was jailed in June for claiming nearly £25,000 in benefits saying he could not walk despite performing “vigorous” dance moves on stage. 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. People were obsessed. At night, the entire wing was singing in chorus ‘Agadoo doo doo’Dene Michael Behind bars Betteridge, of Garforth, West Yorkshire, said he wrote new songs while at the tough Leeds prison and plans to release an album. He also hopes to star in Big Brother.The entertainer, jailed under his real name Dene Michael Betteridge, told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that he was unable to walk unaided and was effectively housebound.His wife, Karen Betteridge, was also sentenced for benefit fraud after claiming more than £2,000 in carer’s allowance, saying her husband could not look after himself.Black Lace are best known for their hit song Agadoo and other party standards like Superman and Do The Conga.Betteridge was not part of the original line-up, but joined in 1986.In 2015, he took part in BBC TV talent show The Voice and has appeared on the ITV legal show Judge Rinder.
The clown craze is threatening to become a diplomatic spat after the Russian Embassy warned its citizens in London to “beware” pranksters causing “fear and bewilderment” in Britain.The unusual press release was issued via Twitter as Boris Johnson urged the public to march on the embassy over the country’s role in the Syrian conflict.Officials warned citizens to beware “fear and bewilderment” in a release entitled “information for citizens of Russia: beware of the clowns.” Meanwhile, as police continue to be deluged by sinister sightings, Ronald McDonald, the fast food mascot, has been ordered to keep a low profile.McDonald’s confirmed the mascot’s charity and community events were being scaled back while police hunt prankster wearing similar outfits.”McDonald’s and franchisees in local markets are mindful of the current climate around clown sightings in communities and as such are being thoughtful with respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events for the time being,” a statement from McDonald’s US said.Shops and supermarkets in the UK expressed frustration at police chiefs calls to take clown outfits off shelves. A press release said: “According to British media and law enforcement agencies in recent years in different regions of the country in the dark there are cases of attacks against malicious people in clown suits. The purpose of the antics of the British ‘clowns’ – to cause fear and bewilderment.”We ask citizens in the UK Russia take note of this information.” Information for Russian nationals https://t.co/0Nc8Jv3PAk— Russian Embassy, UK (@RussianEmbassy) October 12, 2016 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.