first_imgMatthijs de Ligt now feeling settled at Juventusby Carlos Volcano23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveMatthijs de Ligt now feels settled at Juventus.Juve splashed out €75m to sign De Ligt from Ajax over the summer.“I’m getting used to how the lads play. Beating Bayer was good,” he told Veronica after yesterday’s 3-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.“Right now, things are going well. I was Ajax’s captain and there I was able to have my say, whereas here I had to find my place. Now I feel like I’ve found it and I’m happy about it.“Italy is known as a country with defensive teams, but the trend is changing: just look at how high they defend.“We have a new Coach and I’m not the only one who has yet to adapt. Unfortunately, I started badly, but it’s about improving every day and every game.“It’s what I’m doing and it’s going well.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


first_imgCarroll says Newcastle deserved win over Man Utdby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAndy Carroll says Newcastle United deserved their win over Manchester United.Debutant Matty Longstaff scored the only goal of the game.Carroll said, “We’re buzzing! I think we deserved it – we were the better team throughout. You couldn’t write Matty’s goal. It’s his first Premier League game alongside his brother against Man United at home and he’s scored the winner. You can’t ask for any better and I’m absolutely delighted for him along with the rest of the lads.“The lads are buzzing for him. Matty’s a great lad who has worked hard. He’s deserved his start today and kept his head down. He’s grafted since I’ve been here and he deserved his chance and taken it with both hands.“I think it just shows what we have got in the squad. It was terrible last week and we’ve bounced straight back. We’ve worked very hard all week in training, and it has shown today as we dominated the game.“It’s important to show what we are about after last week. When you play a top team like (Manchester) United, it’s always going to be a tough game but when you haven’t won at home and you’re struggling, like last week, I think it’s a great win all round.“The morale in the dressing room right now is great and we are buzzing heading into the international break. It’s nice that we can celebrate for a couple of weeks and it eases the pressure on us. It’s good going into the international break with a win rather than a defeat!” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


If you want to talk about the really good guy who’s not in the tournamentMarkelle FultzFreshman PG, 6-foot-4, WashingtonFultz’s Huskies won’t be in the tournament, but he may come up in draft conversations just the same. Like Ball, Fultz is a stand-out point guard prospect. But while Ball’s offense comes from all over, Fultz was at his best in pick-and-roll, where he has scored 101 points per 100 plays — among the best in the nation for that play type, according to Synergy. He’s especially good at turning the corner quickly and finishing at the rim, but he can also curl around the screen and fire a pull-up three — a shot that’s growing in popularity (and effectiveness) in the NBA. Otherwise, Fultz gets most of his offense by getting out in transition and getting set up for spot-up jumpers, where he’s good but doesn’t stand out as much as he does in the pick-and-roll.If you’re looking for wingsJosh JacksonFreshman SF, 6-foot-8, KansasJackson is a defensive standout and one of the best point-forward prospects in the class. While his defensive numbers (via Synergy) are good but not great (he’s holding his marks to 81 points per 100 plays overall), he can straight-up stick his man and chase him off of shots he’d otherwise take. In fact, his overall numbers are pulled down a bit by his role: Despite spending most of his time as a stretch-4, almost 60 percent of his defensive plays come against spot-up shooters and in isolation, which are play types where the offense believes it has an advantage. Yet Jackson is still holding his own.Jackson is a natural and willing passer who finds runners on the break and in semi-transition, often on clever back-door cuts, and sucks defenders in on drives before dishing to a teammate for an easy dumpoff and dunk. Kansas also puts Jackson in a lot of 4-5 pick-and-rolls, where he can throw lobs to center Landen Lucas. A lot of times, prospects can put up impressive passing numbers simply by using a lot of possessions (Jackson’s assist percentage is 18.9 — very good for a non-point guard), but in this case, the eye test matches the numbers. Jackson is the truth.The one question with Jackson’s game is whether his jump shot is real. Jackson began the season shooting miserably from long range, going 23.7 percent on 2.1 3-point attempts per game in his first 18 games. But since late January, he’s been on a tear. In 13 games since Jan. 21, Jackson is shooting 51.3 percent on three 3-point attempts per game. That evens out to 38 percent on the season, but that kind of extreme swing is worth keeping in mind. As with any one-and-done prospect, we’re dealing in small sample sizes. But for Jackson, there’s at least some explanation for the inconsistency: His coaches aren’t touching his jump shot this season.“Now can he tighten it up and do some things differently? Absolutely,” Kansas coach Bill Self said in December. “But that will probably be on somebody else’s watch. That won’t be on our watch as much. I don’t see a reason why when you have a young man for a very brief period of time why you want to totally cloud his brain with something other than very, very few, simple things.”So the state of Jackson’s jumper over the next few weeks may not be the most important thing to focus on. But how able he is to adjust once he’s in the NBA will be crucial, as the difference between a wing prospect who can do it all and one who can do it all minus a jumper is the difference between an All-NBA-level talent and a useful role player.Jayson TatumFreshman F, 6-foot-8, DukeTatum is a down-the-middle wing prospect. He’s a good defender (allowing 73 points per 100 plays), a pretty good defensive rebounder (19.7 percent defensive rebound rate), a pretty good spot-up jump shooter (89 points per 100 plays, according to Synergy, although 12 of his 37 made threes for the year came during a three-game stretch in February), and a pretty good passer. But his underlying metrics don’t match up with his more obvious talents, such as when he broke out and averaged 22 points per game through the ACC tournament. The natural comparison for Tatum is Justise Winslow, another Duke swingman/small-ball 4 with obvious talents that can go unrecognized by college stats.If you are Vivek RanadiveMalik MonkFreshman PG, 6-foot-3, KentuckyOver the last several seasons, we’ve gotten a pretty clear idea of the tastes of Sacramento Kings owner Ranadive, as well as the forcefulness of his pursuit of those tastes. The Ranadive type is a guard in the mold of Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas or Buddy Hield, a gunslinger who can shoot a team into the Final Four all on his own. This season, no player captures that type better than Kentucky’s Malik Monk. No offense to Monk.Monk is a shooter, and almost singlehandedly shoulders the load of 3-point shooting for Kentucky. This makes him a somewhat unique Kentucky guard, as he’s averaging nearly seven 3-point attempts per game and hitting 40 percent of them, which is impressive on its own, but more so when you consider that he’s doing it while dealing with extra defenders cheating off of backcourt mates De’Aaron Fox (24.2 percent from three) and Isaiah Briscoe (27.3 percent). For many NBA fans, March Madness is the embarrassing time of year when they realize that while they can recite, say, the Milwaukee Bucks’ bench rotation or the draft implications of a Sacramento Kings win, they can’t name more than a handful of college players. The tournament is the first time such fans will be seeing many of the players whom they’ll then discuss at length leading up to the NBA draft. So if you’re starting from zero, or are just looking for a quick refresher on a few prospects, here’s a viewing guide to the top lottery prospects in the tournament.If you’re looking for point guardsLonzo BallFreshman PG, 6-foot-6, UCLAChances are that most NBA fans have heard a little bit about Lonzo Ball. But much of the talk has been about his father, his brothers or his draft stock, rather than just how outstanding Ball has been on the court.First off, Ball is one of the most efficient scorers in the college game. His top-line analytics are staggering: Ball has a 66.7 true shooting percentage and scores 108 points per 100 plays; 56.3 percent of his field goal attempts are threes (he hits 41 percent of those). The overall efficiency is propped up a little because 31 percent of his plays (a massive chunk) have come in transition, where he scores 112 points per 100. Getting out and running is an effective strategy, and a big reason why the Bruins lead the NCAA with 90.4 points per game, but it’s not quite as telling for what Ball will be able to do in the NBA. For that, catch him spotting up for that broken-looking jumper of his — he scores 125 points per 100 plays on spot-ups, which is just as impressive as it sounds.Where Ball isn’t as polished is on the pick-and-roll — a play type that fellow top prospect Markelle Fultz of Washington excels at. Ball scores a more mediocre 78 points per 100 pick-and-roll plays. He’s also just a so-so rebounder for his size, with a 9.4 total rebound rate and 14.4 defensive rebound rate, neither of which is overly impressive for a 6-foot-6 superathlete.But those are all just individual stats. What makes Ball so special is that he can do all those things while also operating as a true point guard. Combine Ball’s individual stats with his passing numbers and the numbers begin to get silly. According to Synergy Sports Technology, he has an absurd 156 points per 100 plays on all plays he finishes — so when he shoots or draws a foul or commits a turnover — plus plays on which he records an assist. A little reference, since this isn’t the most common stat around: These plays + assist numbers tend to look a little inflated compared to what you usually see for players, because adding assists includes only made shots. This isn’t ideal, but it does give a good sense of the total contribution of a player, since adding more assists will nudge the number upward. Here are the numbers for some other top players: Fultz and Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox are at 127p+a/100; Malik Monk of Kentucky is at 119; Josh Jackson of Kansas is at 116. Those are very good numbers, but Ball’s still stand out when compared apples-to-apples.De’Arron FoxFreshman PG, 6-foot-3, KentuckyThe line on Fox has been that he’s a jump shot away from being a top-five pick. So it’s telling that he’s still projected to be a late-lottery pick. On the year, Fox is scoring just 79 points per 100 plays on spot-up jumpers, according to Synergy, which is not very good at all. That’s not a great sign for a perimeter prospect, but Fox has one big thing working in his favor: speed.Fox is a burner, one of the fastest guards in the country, and puts that speed to material use in his game. He and backcourt mate Malik Monk are both in the top 15 of transition plays per game (5.6 per game for Fox, 5.7 for Monk). And once Fox is out in the open court, he can get to the rim at will. His penetration also carries him on isolation plays, where he’s strong (97 points per 100 plays). The question is whether Fox can combine those individual skills into an all-around game. He’s sitting on an assist percentage1The percentage of teammate field goals assisted by a player while he’s on the court. of 30, which is solid, but he doesn’t have the best passing instincts out on the break and can force things at the rim.VIDEO: Our picks for bracket success This perimeter workload has weighed down other parts of Monk’s game. As a prospect, he was known for killer athleticism, but he hasn’t gotten to the basket the way Fox has for the Wildcats: 80 percent of his shots in the halfcourt offense have been jumpers, according to Synergy. He’s scored an excellent 111 points per 100 plays on those jumpers, so it’s working out. But he’s even more efficient when he gets to the rim, either in half court or in transition.If you’re looking for big menLauri MarkkanenFreshman PF/C, 7-foot, ArizonaMarkkanen is a 7-foot freshman center out of Finland who lacks a true comparison in the modern game because I’ll be struck down by the Almighty if I invoke Arvydas Sabonis.Markkanen is sitting on a 63.3 true shooting percentage; 44.4 percent of his field goal attempts are threes, and he hits 43.2 percent of them. He isn’t just a jump shooter, though — Synergy has him averaging 125 points per 100 plays as the roll man in pick-and-roll and 102 points per 100 plays posting up — both excellent numbers. He is a bigger body than recent rangy big-man prospects like Nikola Mirotic but has more bounce than guys his size. This allows him to be a strong rebounder (17.7 defensive rebound rate) but also a live body filling the lane in transition or cutting off the ball. While Markkanen’s stats are impressive enough, he’s one of the guys in the tournament who are especially eye-opening in live action since a not-that-scrawny 7-footer moving around the court and doing the things he can do is a rare sight, even in the NBA.Check out our March Madness predictions. read more


Coach Thad Matta’s starting five, laden with incumbent veterans and arguably the best freshman in the nation, doesn’t have room for Aaron Craft — a point guard who arguably could start for any other team in the country. That doesn’t mean the smallest player in the seven-man rotation doesn’t get his playtime. Averaging 28 minutes per game, Craft is fifth on the team, ahead of starting forward Dallas Lauderdale. Only the other four usual starters, junior guard William Buford, freshman forward Jared Sullinger, senior forward David Lighty and senior guard Jon Diebler play more than the freshman. He is the rotation’s only true point guard — so, what’s keeping him from starting? Barring injury, it doesn’t look like he will be slotted into the starting lineup anytime soon. Combined, the team’s four veteran starters have played 485 games, starting in 390 of them. It’s that experience which contributes largely to Matta’s thinking when deciding whom to start each game. “With who we’re starting, I love the experience that we have,” Matta said. “You’ve got four guys out there that have started a lot of games in the scarlet and gray. You’ve got a pretty good freshman in Jared, and I’ve been pretty pleased with how we’ve started a majority of our games this season.” Though he averages a pedestrian 6.8 points per game, Craft leads the team in assists, averaging 4.8, and is the team’s second most efficient offensive perimeter player. Only Diebler’s 49.5 percent from the field is better than Craft’s 49 percent. Craft also leads the team in turnovers. His 50 on the season are 10 more than Buford’s 40 while averaging 2.3 per game. Despite those giveaways, the team’s veterans consider Craft an asset. “He’s a perfect fit for us,” Lighty said. “He comes in and runs the offense and runs the team, and plays defense at the highest level I’ve seen for a freshman in college basketball.” But Craft deflects the individual praise to his team’s defense as a whole. “We’ll have times when some people play great individual defense, but at the same time it’s five guys out there. We, all five, need to be connected, and when one person doesn’t do the thing they’re supposed to, then the whole defense breaks down,” Craft said. “It doesn’t matter how great of defense you play as an individual.” Craft is a victim of circumstance when it comes to starting for this version of the Buckeyes. If he were to replace Lauderdale in the starting lineup, that would leave Sullinger as the only capable big man on the floor. It’s unlikely he would replace Diebler or Lighty either, simply because Diebler is the team’s best shooter and Matta regards Lighty as the nation’s top defender. That would leave Buford as the lone candidate to take a seat to Craft, but the junior is the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 13.5 points per game. One thing is certain: Starting or not, Craft is gaining valuable experience in his first year as a Buckeye. “Aaron’s so unique that he would learn if he was starting (or) if he was coming off the bench, and it’s just sort of who he is,” Matta said. “I haven’t coached a lot of guys like him that think at the level that he thinks, especially at his age, and (he) really wants to understand and know everything that’s going to happen or could happen.” read more


first_imgThere were no reported injuries as a result of the collision or the fire. Employees at JoAnns were evacuated as a result of the fire. initial reports received by KSRM News were of a semi striking a powerline in the area. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Central Emergency Services and Soldotna Police responded to a small fire at the rear of JoAnn Fabric in Soldotna, this morning.Duane Kant with SPD: “At about 6:15 a.m., we responded up here to the JoAnn Fabric building because a commercial motor vehicle had backed into the building. The vehicle struck the main electrical junction box and caused a small fire at the building.” last_img


first_imgThe Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Senate both canceled scheduled meetings for Tuesday making it the end of the second special session. Its 30-day limit is at midnight Wednesday morning. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The last day of the second special session of the 31st Legislative session wrapped up on Tuesday. Governor Mike Dunleavy stated in a press release that he has no plans to call a third special session, at least not for awhile. Leaders of the state Legislature sent a letter to the governor last week urging him to call a third special session to study the Permanent Fund and the dividend.  Dunleavy said that he is “weighing all options available” to continue dialogue about the Permanent Fund. In the release he also stated that he “largely considers a vast majority of the FY20 budget settled.” The governor is required to give thirty days notice before calling another special session. In the press release he did not state whether or not he might call a third special session in the future.last_img read more