Following loss, USC gears up for Cougars

first_imgEntering the Halloween contest, No. 20 USC has an overall record of 12-9 and a 5-6 record in the Pac-12 play, following a loss to No. 2 Washington on Wednesday night.Despite being ranked 18 spots lower, USC played Washington close, losing by just two points in each set for an overall score of 26-24, 26-24, 25-23. USC led late in the third set, but couldn’t quite hold off the Huskies, who have long been a thorn in USC’s side. Last year, Washington knocked USC out in the NCAA Regional final in a tough five-setter.Against the Huskies on Wednesday, junior outsider hitter Samantha Bricio led the charge with 15 kills, while sophomore outsider hitter Ebony Nwanebu added 11 along with eight digs.USC couldn’t quite contain Washington’s star player Krista Vansant, who posted 17 kills and 10 digs.But the Women of Troy must now turn their attention to the Cougars, who are 10-12 overall and 1-9 in conference play. Though on paper this appears to be an easy match for the Women of Troy, the team knows that they shouldn’t take any opponent lightly.When the two teams met earlier this season on Oct. 3, USC won a thrilling five-set match in which the final set had two ties and one lead change. Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio recorded a double-double with a game-high 28 kills and 13 digs.Since that match, however, the Women of Troy have changed their offensive system and personnel. Instead of running a 6-2 formation with sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola and senior setter Hayley Crone controlling the offense, the team no longer has two back-row setters. Instead, senior opposite Emily Young has taken over setting duties in the front row, presenting an entirely new challenge for the visiting Cougars.Head coach Mick Haley acknowledged the challenges of such a midseason change.“It takes a while to develop and we have only done it for a week and a half,” Haley said. “The more we play, the better we are going to get out of it. We are just trying to speed it up as much as we can.”Though USC’s offense has changed slightly, its production has not slipped. Bricio has 313 kills on the season to go along with 63 aces. Her teammate Nwanebu has started to find her groove after coming back from a preseason injury. Nwanebu has averaged 15.33 kills and 10.33 digs in her last three matches.The Women of Troy’s defense has followed the offense’s example by upping the intensity. Sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham entered Wednesday night’s match against Washington State leading the Pac-12 with 4.64 digs per set.“[Leading the conference] is really cool. I didn’t even realize it,” Whittingham said. “It’s all thanks to the blockers because they help me see it and funnel the ball to me.”Ruddins managed 11 digs in Wednesday night’s matchup.Though Washington State has its hands full trying to contain Bricio, Nwanebu and Ruddins, the Cougars have their own one-two combo on the outside. Outside hitter Kyra Holt has been averaging 3.26 per set with outside hitter Jaicee Harris right behind her at 2.95. Setter Haley MacDonald has put up great numbers running the team’s 5-1 offense with over 11 assists per set.With roughly half of conference play in the books, the Women of Troy hope to make a late run in order to secure home court advantage for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Their quest begins on Friday night at the Galen Center. After tough matches against the nation’s top two teams the Women of Troy are set to face off against the lowly Washington State Cougars this Friday.Flying high · Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio posted 15 kills and nine digs in USC’s three-set loss to Washington Wednesday night. – Brian Ji | Daily Trojanlast_img read more

COLUMN: LaVar Ball could risk hurting his son’s name

first_imgAnyone who has played youth sports has probably had the misfortune of dealing with overzealous parents being far too involved with their children — the soccer mom yelling at the referees, the irritating dad telling the coach to put his kid in the game — or perhaps the even greater misfortune of having one of those parents.Now, imagine being a star high school or college athlete and still having that kind of parent — except his words are being published in the national media.Meet LaVar Ball: father of Lonzo Ball, the stud UCLA freshman guard, and LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, both high schoolers already committed to UCLA. There’s no question the three brothers are good at basketball, but I doubt they asked for their father to tout each of them as the next greatest thing.In case you haven’t been exposed to LaVar’s comments, here’s a brief tasting: He claimed that Lonzo, who he said will be drafted No. 1 overall this summer and will win a national championship in a few weeks, is better than Stephen Curry, more athletic than Magic Johnson, has a better jump shot than Jason Kidd and can beat LeBron James and Russell Westbrook in a 5-on-5.He said his three sons will sign a collective shoe deal worth $1 billion. Oh, and as for himself, he believes he would have beaten Michael Jordan 1-on-1 in his “heyday” (just for kicks, LaVar averaged 2.2 points a game in 1987-1988 with Washington State, his only season of recorded stats. Jordan scored 35 points a game for the Chicago Bulls that same season.)As good as Lonzo may be, all of those players he is being compared to are current or former NBA superstars. Lonzo is a college freshman. And no, playing one season of college basketball and literally scoring a single basket a game does not even qualify you to have a “heyday.” Jordan right now, at age 54, would destroy LaVar in his supposed “prime.”Dare I say, LaVar Ball is the Donald Trump of sports dads. While LaVar’s comments have no real-world implications, they reach a lot of people, they confuse readers like a Trump tweet (check the #LaVarBallSays hashtag on Twitter) and they carry a lot of weight on their intended targets: his sons.Think about Lonzo. He is objectively one of the best players in college basketball right now. He exhibits the poise and patience that few college point guards possess and has the intuitiveness to see the right play before it develops, and yet he can take over the game adeptly with his athleticism and unlimited range.He likely has a stellar NBA career ahead of him, but … What if he doesn’t? A lot of high draft picks don’t pan out to be the franchise players they were projected to be. Greg Oden, selected No. 1 overall in 2007, was touted as a once-in-a-generation talent, but recurring injuries ended his career prematurely. Darko Milicic, drafted No. 2 in 2003 between LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, is currently a farmer in Serbia. Sam Bowie, picked first in 1984, played in just 139 games and is relevant only because he was selected before a guy named Michael Jordan. And don’t ask me how many awful top draft selections my Warriors have made over the years (do you have any idea who Joe Smith is? Exactly).The point is, for LaVar Ball to play up his son like this is doing Lonzo a disservice. It is piling on a mountain of expectations, most of which seem impossible to meet. It is telling a 19-year-old kid that he is the next coming of Jordan. It is taking away Lonzo’s control of his own career narrative, which is shameful. Try typing “Lonzo Ball” into Google and you’ll find the suggested result “Lonzo Ball dad” second from the top.From the small sample size of how much I’ve seen of Lonzo, he seems to be a calm, confident person who doesn’t let his emotions get the best of him, which will come handy for when his father inevitably dispels his next inaccurate prediction (heck, maybe Lonzo Ball will also walk on the moon by the end of the year or something). He clearly has the talent to be a star in the NBA, but will need the thick skin to stomach the expectations that are guaranteed to come with his father’s mouth and ego.He’ll hear it from opponents, from fans, from passers-by on the street: “Hey, the next Steph Curry!” People will critique him much more than others, harp on his every misstep, trash talk him and tear him down if his career doesn’t go exactly as expected and predicted by his father. To wit, after Lonzo committed a turnover in the Pac-12 tournament semifinal against Arizona earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times quoted a fan as yelling from the stands, “Hey, Steph Curry wouldn’t have done that!”Lonzo Ball should not be known as the next Steph Curry, nor should he be seen solely as LaVar Ball’s kid. Lonzo Ball is the next Lonzo Ball, and he and his brothers deserve to write their own fate, to weave their own path, to do the best they can in the NBA — or whatever level of basketball they wind up at — and not be judged for it because of their old man’s idiotic comments.Eric He is a sophomore studying print and digital journalism. He is also an associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs on Fridays.last_img read more

Tipp ‘have to win’ last two home games

first_imgThe Tipperary senior footballers will have home advantage for their League clash against Sligo this Sunday. The Division Three game – which will throw in at Semple Stadium at 3 o’clock – is crucial for the Premier County as they must win their two home games if they are to be in with a chance of promotion. Tipp Senior Selector Michael O’Loughlin says that it’s all to play for, but they do have some injury concerns.last_img

Clippers haven’t forgotten past playoff failings

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error One thing the Clippers have had issues with in recent postseasons is maintaining a sense of urgency. They blew Game 5 in Oklahoma City two years ago when they thought they had it won, then lost the series in Game 6 at Staples Center. They fell apart in Game 6 at Staples Center this past season when they relaxed with a big lead, then lost Game 7 at Houston.Both were Western Conference semifinal series, meaning each time a chance to advance to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history was lost.The Clippers currently lead the Portland Trail Blazers 2-0 in their first-round series, which resumes Saturday in Portland. Power forward Blake Griffin believes his team will continue playing with desperation because it has not forgotten what’s happened in the past.“I think it’s in all of our minds,” he said Thursday. “Some guys, obviously, weren’t here. But for the guys that were, the guys that went through it, I think it’s hard to forget something like that and I don’t think you should. Best defenseA lot has been made about how strong the Clippers’ defense has been. At the moment, they appear at the top of their game. According to Griffin, this is the best defense he has seen in six seasons with the team.“Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve really bought into the whole trust thing,” he said. “I think it shows a little bit on the court – just running guys off, next guy is there and the next guy has that guys’ back and the next guy has that guys’ back.”The Clippers held the Trail Blazers to 39.8 percent shooting in a 115-95 Game 1 victory and to 34.1 percent in Wednesday’s 102-81 win.Redick’s sore heelShooting guard J.J. Redick bruised his left heel on April 12 against Memphis. It’s still bothering him, Rivers said.“Yeah, it definitely has an impact, I think with his movement, for sure,” he said. “I think as the game goes on I’m trying to figure out how to rest him.”Rivers said he wasn’t sure if giving him a longer rest than usual in Game 1 helped.“I actually thought he didn’t move that well coming back in, so we may adjust that,” he said.Redick scored 17 points in Game 1 on 8-of-12 shooting, he scored 17 on 7 of 15 in Game 2. He played 26 1/2 minutes and 28 1/2 minutes, respectively. He averaged 28 minutes during the season.Rivers on PrinceRivers was bummed out about the death of Prince on Thursday at age 57.“Yeah, it’s really sad,” he said. “Him and Michael (Jackson) were my two guys and to lose them both this early is just crazy to me. Growing up, it was Prince or Michael. Sometimes, you had to take sides.”Rivers said he saw Prince “two or three times” in concert.center_img “That’s kind of how you learn from it and get kind of better. … Each year we’ve lost in kind of a different way and if there is one thing we’ve done and we know how to do is, it’s lose. So we’re not going to do the same things that we’ve done in the past. I think this year we’ve kind of embraced that, of not being a team that does what, quote en quote, losers do.”Coach Doc Rivers scoffed at the notion his team is playing with urgency because of past postseason failings.“I always say everybody fails in the playoffs if you don’t win it,” he said. “You call it failing, we call it growing and just trying to get better.”Playing all-out should be automatic, Rivers suggested.“You can’t not have an urgency about you,” he said. “We try to get our guys to understand single-possession, 48 minutes are the keys to winning in the playoffs. There are games where I think we do that, then there are games that we don’t. But if we want to be great, we have to learn how to do it all the time.”last_img read more

‘MAKE THE CRAIC GOOD, NOT THE DINNER’ INSISTS HARAN!

first_imgPictured are: (Standing) Richard Finney (The Counter), Joe McGee (Joe’s Butchers), Paul McGovern Club PRO(Seated) Alma Kavanagh (Event Organiser), John Haran (Event Organiser) and Club President, Sean Boyle.People taking part can discounts on ingredients at The Counter and Joe’s – Photo: Paddy GallagherDONEGAL’S biggest ever ‘Come Dine With Me’ should more about the craic – than the food!St. Eunan’s GAA Club are holding the novel fundraiser on Saturday, November 23rd.Titled “Come Dine With Eunan’s” this unique event is based on the popular culinary TV show. Eunan’s star John Haran insisted however: “I’ve yet to see a great dinner on the TV show, so we’re not looking for Michelin-star chefs.“It’s really all about the GAA, our club and the social occasion ahead. It’s going to be great craic and if there are a few hidden MasterChefs out there, then all the better.“It promises to be a great night out; a good few people have signed up for it but we are hoping for more in the coming days.The club are looking for 200 members to host an evening at home for their friends and family before meeting up at The Grill for a great night’s dancing to music from the 80’s and 90’s. There will be a registration night at the Mount Errigal Hotel next Wednesday, November 13.More details on the St Eunan’s Facebook Page. ‘MAKE THE CRAIC GOOD, NOT THE DINNER’ INSISTS HARAN! was last modified: November 9th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:come dine with eunanslast_img read more