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Trojans’ late rally comes a little short

first_imgThe USC men’s basketball team was unable to put an end to its four game losing streak on Wednesday night, falling to the UCLA Bruins (15-11, 8-6) by a score of 64-54. The Trojans (6-21, 1-13) dropped their fifth straight game and are just 1-14 in their past 15 contests.Tough break · Without the services of redshirt junior forward Aaron Fuller, who was lost earlier in the season to a torn shoulder injury, the Trojans went 1-8. USC will look for its second conference victory next Thursday at Arizona. – Luciano Nunez | Daily TrojanUSC returned to its former homecourt, the Los Angeles Sports Arena, for the first time since 2006 to face off against its crosstown rivals. UCLA is making repairs to the Pauley Pavilion and has been using the arena as its venue for the season.“That’s a good team there,” USC coach Kevin O’Neill said of the Bruins. “They were picked 12th nationally and to win our league. I think you have to take into consideration that they haven’t played a home game all year. These guys have been forced to play at a neutral site every single game.”The Bruins jumped out to an early advantage over the Trojans, starting the game on a 10-2 run. USC struggled shooting the ball in the first half, finishing 7-29 (24 percent) compared to UCLA’s 14-27 (52 percent). They trailed going into the break, 31-16.“It comes down to shot-making with us,” O’Neill said. “We didn’t make any shots in the first half and shot 39 percent for the game.”USC outscored the Bruins in the second half by a five-point margin — 38-33 — but couldn’t fully recover from an early deficit. Still, the Trojans managed to avoid another blowout at the hands of UCLA, as was the case on Jan. 15 in a 66-47 loss.“We approach every game the same, we just took a different type of initiative to not fold and to keep fighting,” sophomore guard Maurice Jones said.Freshman guard Byron Wesley led the Trojans with 16 points and seven rebounds, shooting 5-11 from the floor and 6-10 from the free throw line. He earned high praise from O’Neill for his performance.“I think he’s becoming a really legit [player],” O’Neill said. ‘We want him to be aggressive to the basket.”Also joining Wesley in double figures was sophomore forward Garrett Jackson, who added 15 points, four steals and three blocks.The Bruins, meanwhile, were paced by twin forwards David and Travis Wear, who contributed a combined 30 points and 24 rebounds.“They’re really, really good players,” O’Neill said. “They’re only redshirt sophomores, they’ve both got two years left to play … Their frontline is as good as anyone’s in the country other than North Carolina probably.”The Trojans will get their longest break of the season —eight days — before traveling to Arizona to take on the Wildcats (18-8, 9-4) on Feb. 23.The Wildcats have won four straight games, including road victories against Stanford and the Pac-12 leading California.In their first meeting on Jan. 8, USC fell to Arizona at the Galen Center by a score of 57-46. USC has four games remaining this season before the Pac-12 tournament.“Just getting some rest is going to help,” Jones said. “We only play about six, seven guys playing 20-30 minutes apiece. That’s the most important thing as we try to get these last four games.”last_img read more

As the decade closes, one of baseball’s end-of-season awards gains value

first_imgThe voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will be filing their end-of-season awards ballots over the next week. It’s the final round of voting this decade.Looking back on all the major award winners since 2010, a broad trend stands out: this was a strong decade for Rookies of the Year. The 2012 season gave us Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Other winners include Buster Posey (2010), Craig Kimbrel (2011), Jose Fernandez (2013), Jacob deGrom and Jose Abreu (2014), Corey Seager (2016), Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge (2017). We might need a bigger window to assess the talents of Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani (2018), but their promise remains robust.Even the weakest rookies among this decade’s winners were hardly one-hit wonders. Neftali Feliz (2010) enjoyed a five-year run as one of baseball’s best closers. Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer (2016) missed the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery but at 26, he is young enough to hope the majority of his career lies ahead. Wil Myers (2013) was ultimately miscast as a National League utility player but is a valuable hitter when healthy.This trend line has been expressed differently before. Ask any manager, and he will rattle off a list of reasons why the game is getting younger. Player development techniques are better refined. The skills that pay the bills – power at the plate, speed on the mound – are being expressed at younger ages. Yordan Alvarez will soon become the 30th player since 2010 to amass at least 4 WAR in his rookie season. How does that number compare to past decades? How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire It’s no wonder the Rookie of the Year award winners this decade have been so good. Voters have had an unusually great selection of candidates.This trend bodes well for Alvarez, a left fielder, and Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, my picks to win the 2019 Rookie of the Year award in each league. Each seems more likely to be a perennial All-Star than the next Bob Hamelin. Since I am not permitted to disclose the order on my one actual ballot (NL Most Valuable Player), I will withhold from offering a prediction in that category.Here are my selections for the other major awards:AL MVPThe debate between Trout and Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, while healthy, is a fairly short one.With 104 RBIs, Trout’s bat had accounted for 14.4 percent of the Angels’ runs through Tuesday. Bregman plays for a much more talented team in Houston. Had he not driven in 12.2 percent of the Astros’ runs, another talented teammate might have filled in capably. Trout was the more valuable player to his team at the plate by the oldest of old-school stats. He also played a premium defensive position (center field) capably.I personally loathe the idea of punishing an individual for his teammates’ attributes, positive or negative. If you believe the best player in his league is the most valuable, Trout leads Bregman in every public version of WAR, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and good old home runs – despite playing 16 fewer games (and counting). Trout is the MVP, regardless of which stats or interpretation of “value” one prefers.AL CY YOUNGThe tete a tete between Astros teammates Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander has been a marvel. Their dual dominance echoes Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, who combined to go 47-12 for the 2002 Diamondbacks and finished 1-2 in Cy Young voting. Johnson led the National League in ERA that year and was the unanimous winner. The vote between Cole and Verlander will be closer.Cole has the higher strikeout total. Verlander has thrown more innings with a lower WHIP. Their ERAs are separated by one-hundredth of a run, with one start remaining for each pitcher. Advanced pitching metrics are split, but generally agree that this is a close race. There is no bad choice here. I’m partial to Verlander, who has been slightly more durable, slightly more consistent, and no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 1.AL ROOKIEThe only flaw in Alvarez’s credentials? The Astros waited until June 9 to promote him to the major leagues, costing him more than two months in what has become an epic season.Measured by Weighted Runs Created plus (WRC+), which adjusts a hitter’s production to his park and era, Alvarez’s season is the best ever by a rookie in either league. At 22 years old, his walk rate is higher than that of Trout at the same age. Alvarez is an easy selection.AL MANAGERThe Yankees won 100 games despite sending 30 players to the injured list, a major league record. I am not convinced this alone should elevate Manager Aaron Boone to the forefront of this race – he did not personally draft, sign, or trade for the Yankees’ fill-in players – but history says it’s a good starting point.First-year manager Rocco Baldelli deserves credit for guiding the Twins to a division title after an underachieving 2018 season. Kevin Cash managed the Rays into wild-card contention with an unconventional approach to pitching and defense. A.J. Hinch might be the best manager in either league, though he receives relatively little credit for the Astros’ annual dominance. All are deserving of the award; Boone will certainly win.NL CY YOUNGThe case of Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu rests on his 2.45 earned-run average, which still led all of baseball through Tuesday despite gaining nearly a full run since Aug. 1. Advanced metrics like WAR and Deserved Run Average cannot fully extricate Ryu’s means of dominance – confusing hitters with pitch sequencing and location to induce weak contact – from his luck. Over a full season, that seems unfair; Ryu makes his 29th start on Saturday in San Francisco.Unless Ryu no-hits the Giants, the favorite is Jacob deGrom, the defending Cy Young winner and the preferred candidate of WAR. Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg leads the NL in wins and DRA. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer is the league’s most dominant pitcher by strikeout rate. Those four – Ryu, deGrom, Strasburg and Scherzer – each have a valid case.Ryu’s minuscule 1.95 ERA at Dodger Stadium suggests his method works better in his pitcher-friendly home park. I’m slightly more sympathetic to deGrom or Strasburg, whose home/road splits are negligible. The final start by each pitcher might resolve this coin toss.NL ROOKIEWhen Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered a serious back injury in August, we were denied a potential photo finish with Alonso. Tatis was hitting for power and average, and making elite plays at shortstop daily, when his season ended prematurely.Related Articles Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies 2000s: 231990s: 201980s: 221970s: 341960s: 26center_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Alonso is plenty deserving. He is the first National League rookie to hit 50 home runs in a single season, the most by any player in Mets history. Milwaukee second baseman Keston Hiura, Pittsburgh outfielder Bryan Reynolds, Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo and Nationals outfielder Victor Robles deserve down-ballot support, but Alonso’s win might be unanimous.NL MANAGERThe Brewers provided manager Craig Counsell with the narrative he needs to win: They overcame unreliable starting pitching and an injury to MVP candidate Christian Yelich to contend for a wild-card berth and a division title. Milwaukee had scored as many runs as it allowed (743) through Tuesday, yet was 17 games over .500.Don’t ignore Dave Roberts, particularly if the Dodgers are able to match or exceed the franchise record for wins (105) this week. Atlanta’s Brian Snitker, St. Louis’ Mike Shildt and Washington’s Dave Martinez could also siphon meaningful votes, but I imagine this award is Counsell’s to lose. Angels fail to take series in Oakland, lose in 10 innings Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Julius Randle will miss entire season after broken leg in opener

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle is expected to miss the 2014-15 season after having surgery on his right leg on Wednesday.This offers a devastating blow to the Lakers on multiple fronts. The Lakers saw promise that Randle could develop into a top prospect after selecting the former University of Kentucky standout seventh overall in this year’s draft. The Lakers already field a depleted lineup with a season-ending injury to Steve Nash (back) as well as ailments to Nick Young (thumb) and Ryan Kelly (right hamstring). And the Lakers have only completed one game in what could become a long 2014-15 season.See more on the Inside the Lakers blog.last_img read more

ASA DuPont Young Leaders Explore Issues Participate in Leadership Training

first_imgThe 2018 class of DuPont Young Leaders completed their training at Commodity Classic in Anaheim. Photo credit: Joe MurphyThe 34th class of American Soybean Association (ASA) DuPont Young Leaders completed their training, Feb. 25 – March 2, 2018 in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show in Anaheim, Calif.“The ASA DuPont Young Leader Program has provided the soybean industry and all of agriculture strong and well-connected leaders,” ASA President John Heisdorffer said. “The program fosters innovation, provides a forward looking training opportunity that fosters collaboration and strengthens the voice of the farmer. We are grateful to DowDuPont for their commitment to this program and for helping secure the future of the soybean industry.”While in Anaheim, the Young Leaders participated in leadership and marketing training, issues updates and discussion and were recognized at ASA’s annual awards banquet.The 2018 class of ASA DuPont Young Leaders includes: James Wray (AR); Rick Dickerson (DE); Jonathan Snow (DE); Joshua Plunk (IL); Chris Steele (IN); Chris Gaesser & Shannon Lizakowski (IA); Kevin & Kim Kohls (KS); Jared & Kimy Nash (KS); Clay & Lindsey Wells (KY); Caleb & Jordan Frey (LA); Walter & Kristen Grezaffi (LA); Brian & Michelle Washburn (MI); Scott & Polly Wilson (MI); Adam & Melanie Guetter (MN); James Locke (MS); Tyler Clay (MS); Dane Diehl & Erica Wagenknecht (MO); Kevin & Heather Kucera (NE); Scott Langemeier (NE); Philip & Lindsay Sloop (NC); Logan Ferry (ND); Justin Cowman (OH); Kevin & Brianna Deinert (SD); Jordan & Samantha Scott (SD); Charlie & Bettye Jane Roberts (TN); AJ Teal (TN); Tanner Johnson (WI); Pat & Sheri Mullooly (WI); and Ann & Jeff Vermeersch (Ontario, Canada).“It is critically important that our industry have strong leaders who are well-equipped to advocate for policies that benefit farmers,” said Krysta Harden, Vice President, External Affairs & Chief Sustainability Officer, Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont™. “I am so proud of these young leaders who are stepping forward to ensure the farmer’s voice is heard.”For more information about the ASA DuPont Young Leader Program, click here.last_img read more