Tiger Woods confirmed Saturday at Sherwood Country Club that he contributed $4 million to what he called “bridged the gap” that was needed to help the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual meet its operating costs.“I’m not going to tell you the exact amount, but it’s a good number,” Woods said in an interview after shooting a third-round 69 that put him five strokes back of tournament leader Graeme McDowell. But the Associated Press reported the figure at $4 million.“What’s important is that if it wasn’t for this tournament, we wouldn’t have the success with the (Tiger Woods) foundation,” Wood said. “The Learning Center (in nearby Orange County) would not have happened. We wouldn’t have gained the awareness that we have now.“There have been so many kids that we have helped, just because of this event. It’s important to me, to the foundation. This is what got us on the map.”This tournament began in 1999, and was inspired in part by Woods’ late father, Earl. Although he now has an affiliation with the AT&T National in Washington, D.C., and the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston, this is the tournament that Woods holds dear, said his agent, Mark Steinberg.“He started this one with his father,” Steinberg said. “And he didn’t want to see the foundation take a hit in order to stage the tournament.”Since its inception, the World Challenge has raised more than $25 million for the foundation. It helped Woods start his Learning Center — to which he contributed the first $5 million — as well as other endeavors in other parts of the country.Woods has been contributing his prize money from the World Challenge, the AT&T National and the Deutsche Bank Championship to the foundation. He won the World Challenge last year and the AT&T over the summer, victories that were worth more than $1 million each. He’s contributed more than $14 million of his prize money alone over the years.“It’s kind of a running joke with the foundation,” Woods said. “You better win the tournament because we’re kind of counting on this amount of donation. So it’s fun.”Steinberg said a potential title sponsor fell through in the fall, leaving event organizers in a tough spot.The tournament would have been forced to dip into reserve funds or possibly not be played if it were not for Woods’ support. And while the proceeds from the event are helpful, Woods said the exposure it brings to his charitable causes are also reasons for wanting to keep it going.“It’s both, fundraising and awareness,” he said. “This provides us a platform to show people how we are helping kids. This is where it all started. We are a foundation, yes, but people really didn’t understand what we were trying to do. Once we built the Learning Center, because of this event, that allowed us to do that.”
Jordan, who crafted his Hall of Fame career with the Chicago Bulls, is owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, He is engaged to marry Yvette Prieto next month. Former Chicago Bulls star player Michael Jordan is being sued for child support by an Atlanta woman who claims he fathered her 16-year-old son during an affair in 1995, when Jordan was married to Juanita Vanoy.According to TMZ, Pamela Smith filed legal documents three weeks ago in Fulton County demanding that the player, widely regarded as basketball’s all-time best, submit to a paternity test to prove the teenager, Taj, is his son.The teen’s formal name is Grant Pierce Jay Jordan Reynolds, and he has used YouTube to spread the word that he is Jordan’s offspring.In it the suit, Smith claims that she and Jordan had sex in 1995, the year Jordan made a return to the NBA after a year off to play baseball. She says their son was born in June 1996. Smith has also asked the judge handling the case to officially change her son’s last name to Jordan.In a video posted on YouTube last month, the teenager said he was Jordan’s son and claimed he was in touch with the star.Jordan’s representatives refused comment on Smith’s claims.This is not the first time Jordan has been the subject of a paternity suit. In 1991, his former lover Karla Knafel claimed the star was the father of her child, but a DNA test proved that this is not the case.
2013-144.524.47392.250.7 Sources: synergy sports technology, Basketball-Reference 2016-174.822.896.3109.560.4 2014-154.326.16692.452.1 2012-132.718.3%86.492.351.5% 2013-142.010.789.792.250.7 SEASONPLAYS/GAME% OF ALL PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSTRUE SHOOTING % Bradley Beal’s pick-and-roll points per play 2015-165.229.58197.954.7 Even with all the puzzling players floating around the NBA, Bradley Beal has always stood out. He was drafted as a dead-eye shooter, a seemingly ideal foil for John Wall, the Wizards’ supersonic point guard. But despite shooting about as well as can be expected from long distance, and despite possessing many of the tools required of an All-Star guard, Beal has never quite matched his potential.But this season, amid the Washington Wizards’ rise to legitimate Eastern Conference dark horse, Beal has become the version of himself that Washington fans have always hoped would show up.The change looks simple: Beal is attempting more 3-pointers than ever before (he’s up to 7.4 per game this season) and making them as well as he ever has (40.6 percent). This has brought his true shooting percentage up to an elite level (60.4 percent), and it has been crucial to the Wizards posting their best offensive efficiency in his time with the team. But Beal’s transformation from a bundle of unrealized potential into a true partner for Wall is not merely the result of taking more threes. He has also made fundamental changes to his game in search of those shots.Let’s start with the basics: Beal has always been a perfectly good spot-up shooter, but being an NBA star who specializes in shooting is about more than just stroking open jump shots. Just about any NBA-level guard can stand in the corner and hit a decent percentage of the threes that come his way. In the past, the Wizards tried to get Beal to fill out his game by acting like a traditional star guard, running the high pick-and-roll and doing his best Kobe Bryant impression. This didn’t work out so well. Bradley Beal’s off-screen points per play SEASONPLAYS/GAME% OF ALL PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSPTS/100 PLAYSTRUE SHOOTING % Sources: synergy sports technology, basketball-reference 2012-132.416.5%5692.351.5% PICK-AND-ROLLOVERALL 2015-162.715.290.597.954.7 OFF-SCREENOVERALL 2016-174.722.1101109.560.4 2014-152.817.077.492.452.1 Until this season, Beal ran the pick-and-roll the way most guards in the NBA do. He’d hold the ball, wait for his screen to arrive, and then feel out the space the defense gave him, looking to drive or pass. He has improved this part of his game over the years, but he was never better than about average (and often was far worse than that). That’s mostly because, while he has a good first step, he has never been a strong dribbler; when he can’t go in a straight line to the basket, he’ll often lose his handle and have to reset or will dribble ball off his foot and out of bounds.Having Beal play as though he were a prototypical star shooting guard was not a great use of his talents. So the Wizards have switched things up, getting him open in other ways, away from the ball. After years of spending the greatest portion of his possessions churning out mediocre pick-and-rolls, Beal now gets more shots from running off of screens than from any other play type. And focusing on the off-ball movement has opened up the rest of his game, making him much more effective when he does have the ball. This season’s Wizards commonly start plays with Beal on the wing (or making a run across the baseline to emerge on the opposite wing) and run off a screen that gets him toward the middle of the floor. Because Beal is a threat to shoot off of the screen, the defender has to chase him over it and the screener’s defender has to help discourage a shot. If neither closes him out, Beal can rise up for a shot. If one or both defenders contest, he can use his first step to drive to the rim, which is less congested than it would be if he’d begun the play holding the ball and staring down the defense.That’s a fairly common play type in the NBA, and one that the Cleveland Cavaliers will often run to get Kyle Korver open. But the important thing about these plays isn’t how effective they are — though at 95 points per 100 plays, they’re a perfectly good option for Beal in the half-court — but how much they’ve helped Beal improve those same pick-and-roll plays that had been weighing him and the Wizards down. Last season, Beal scored a career-high 81 points per 100 plays as a pick-and-roll ball handler; this season, he’s taken that to 103 points per 100 plays. That’s due in large part to the space and matchups he’s able to create coming off of screens, which comes from excising a bunch of the slow, pounding, high pick-and-rolls that get him into trouble.Many of this season’s Beal pick-and-rolls are hardly recognizable compared to those of past seasons. In fact, some are more like extensions of Beal’s off-the-screen work than they are traditional pick-and-rolls.Instead of beginning possessions with the defense set, and therefore having to create openings with his dribbling, Beal now often receives the ball after coming around a screen — essentially the play you see above — and then re-engages with the screen for the pick-and-roll going back the other way, or he runs around a second screen set by another Washington big. Instead of immediately exploring the space, however, his first move is now to look for the pull-up 3. It may not sound like much, but the idea is to build Beal’s biggest strength (his jumper) into a primary weapon while minimizing his reliance on things he doesn’t do as well (dribbling and passing).Not every play can be quite that complex. But even when Beal isn’t curling around screens, he’s finding more opportunities to begin the pick-and-roll action early in the shot clock, when the defense is not yet set (which is when he’s looked his best in previous years). Other times, Beal simply needs to run a standard high pick-and-roll while Wall takes a break. Even then, however, it seems like he goes to his jumper more quickly than he used to and looks a little sharper driving into traffic (though he’s still not above occasionally dribbling the ball off of his shin or missing a rolling Marcin Gortat by several feet).These tweaks put several kinds of pressure on the defense. First, it has to guard Beal’s initial run off of the screen, which he’s perfectly happy to use to create a shot. But then, if the defense is successful, Beal can turn his defender back the other way around the same screen to begin the pick-and-roll, where he’s also a threat to pull up. And because all this is happening on a dynamic play instead of in a grinding two-man game, Beal has more clear lanes to the hoop that don’t require any of the fancy moves that get him into trouble, like “changing direction” or “avoiding a defender.”We have to go back to the crates to find someone who both runs a lot of pick-and-rolls and uses them the way Beal does. It turns out that this new-and-improved version of Beal plays a lot like the player he was compared to coming out of college: Ray Allen.Allen didn’t have a partner like Wall to draw attention away from him, but the way he navigated his screens and made defenders come to him would be right at home in 2017’s NBA.For the Wizards to make much noise this spring, a lot of things will have to break their way. The defense will have to snap out of a troubling recent downturn (they’ve allowed 111 points per 100 possessions since the All-Star break, compared to 108 before it), and fellow Zards breakout Otto Porter will need to emerge from a cold spell (he’s shooting 35 percent from three since the break, down from 47 percent before it). But those are more temporary, will-they-or-won’t-they type problems. The biggest change to the Wizards this season is more hardwired than that: Bradley Beal has developed a game that suits his skills, and it’s the game of a perennial All-Star.
FiveThirtyEight Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (May 9, 2017), we’re joined by FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring to break down the latest news from the NBA playoffs as we edge closer and closer to the conference championships. We discuss Celtics vs. Wizards and the sweeps by the Cavaliers and the Warriors. Next, the Mets have had a wild week, but is their injury-ridden squad cursed? Finally, FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden returns to fill us in on the attempts to run a two-hour marathon. Plus, a significant digit on Ryan Howard.You can check FiveThirtyEight’s latest NBA predictions, which are updated after every game.The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks says the Celtics-Wizards series has been a game of coaching Whac-A-Mole.In his latest piece, FiveThirtyEight’s Chris Herring takes a look at Draymond Green’s defensive prowess.Chris also wrote about how Isaiah Thomas, the shortest guy in the NBA, became unstoppable.Rob Arthur wrote about the Mets’ unremarkable injury woes.FiveThirtyEight’s latest MLB predictions (updated after every game) currently give the Mets a 38 percent chance of making the playoffs.FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden shared some thoughts on Eliud Kipchoge’s attempt to run a two-hour marathon. He came tantalizingly close.Significant Digit: .184, Ryan Howard’s batting average for the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A Gwinnett team. Howard was released from his contract on Monday after 11 games.
Baseball creates an endless evolutionary cycle where hitters and pitchers battle to find an edge and maintain it. The periods where one side or the other seizes control have often been measured more in decades than years. Earlier this decade, pitchers gained the upper hand and they did so — at least in part — by throwing baseballs really, really fast. The pendulum has now swung back toward the hitters in the past couple seasons, and only time will tell whether that was the result of the ball itself or some other factor. Regardless of how this unfolds, one thing is clear: Those really, really fast pitches are no longer making hitters look silly.While more pitches than ever have been coming in at 95-plus mph,1This also includes pitches that are between 94.5 and 95 mph, to match the rounded numbers you see on TV broadcasts. today’s hitters have seemingly adapted, gaining the supernatural ability to hit these pitches. Last year, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group, hitters faced 110,529 fastballs traveling 95 mph or faster. That’s an increase of 124 percent from 2011, when hitters saw the fewest such fastballs in the period (starting in 2009) for which this data is tracked, and a spike of 32.6 percent from 2016. But the returns are diminishing as blazing-fast heaters become the norm. In 2017, 28,749 plate appearances were decided2This includes any plate appearance that ended on a pitch at this speed, whether that pitch was a ball four, a strike three, or something hit into play. on a 95-plus mph fastball, and batters’ on-base plus slugging percentage against them was .734. That’s 80 points higher than in 2014, when OPS against these pitches hit a low of .654, and the high mark for the period in which the velocity data is tracked. Hitters produced home runs on 2.8 percent of plate appearances decided by 95-plus mph pitches in 2017, also the highest since 2009, and an increase of 75 percent from a low of 1.6 percent in 2014. Weighted on-base average, which more precisely assesses the value of every plate appearance, also spiked against 95-plus gas last season, and players were less likely to make the kind of soft contact that can lead to easy putouts. YearNo. of 95+ mph fastballsall pitches95+ mph fastballsDiff. league OPS against … 200951,0440.7510.701-0.050 201149,2650.7200.665-0.055 201359,6270.7140.678-0.036 * Any pitches whose speed rounds to at least 95 mph, so includes pitches of 94.5 mph and above.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group 201463,5840.7000.654-0.046 This is a one-sided development. Think of these hitters like the cheetah evolving enough speed to catch a gazelle: This advantage doesn’t mean they can’t also catch slower prey, and MLB hitters are feasting on slower fastballs, too. In 2017, batters across the league were almost as good at hitting fastballs that came in at 95 mph or above — .734 OPS — as they had been in 2014 at hitting midrange fastballs — .754 OPS on fastballs between 92 and 94 mph. And on fastballs under 92, big league hitters sported a .906 OPS last year. In other words, hitters have gotten better at handling all species of fastball.Of course, some are better at it than others. Over the previous two seasons, the king of smacking fast fastballs, according to wOBA, was J.D. Martinez, now of the Red Sox. In 128 plate appearances decided by fastballs at 95-plus mph, Martinez hit .360 with a wOBA of .542 (far above the league average of .327) and a 1.314 OPS that includes an .830 slugging average, courtesy of a Ruthian 10.9 percent homer rate.3Actually, “Ruthian” doesn’t do Martinez’s rate justice. In his career, Babe Ruth “only” homered in about 7 percent of his plate appearances. (For reference, among active players who had at least 100 plate appearances decided by fastballs of 95-plus mph, Brandon Moss was second in the league in home run rate on these pitches over the last two seasons, and he was more than two points behind Martinez at 8.7 percent.) The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo isn’t far behind Martinez in wOBA (.457) among active players, and he posted a 1.059 OPS in plate appearances decided by high-octane pitches. And while pitchers understandably try to muscle up to retire Joey Votto, one of game’s greatest hitters, the Reds’ future Hall of Famer is undeterred — he managed a higher on-base percentage (.479) and a nearly identical slugging average (.563) in 217 plate appearances against pitches at 95 mph and above as he had against all pitches in those two seasons (.444 OBP, .564 slugging).Pitchers do find that pure velocity can still put some hitters away, of course. Fans wondered why the Rays gave up on Corey Dickerson this spring, but in 2016 and ’17, the current Pirate had one of the biggest drops in production4Among players with a minimum of 100 plate appearances decided by fastballs of 95-plus mph. (his OPS fell by 475 points) against high-octane heat compared to fastballs thrown at 94 and below. Trevor Story of the Rockies struggled after a record-setting debut in 2016, and it seems like teams have figured out that the hard stuff can get him out, as his OPS drops by 441 points against 95-plus mph fastballs compared to slower heaters. And there’s Chris Carter, who had 113 plate appearances decided by 95-plus mph fastballs in the previous two seasons, and who posted an OPS that was 609 points worse against the fastest fastballs (1.053 against fastballs up to 94 mph compared to .444 against fastballs at 95-plus mph). That helps explain why the player who hit 41 home runs for the Brewers in 2016 is currently a proud member of Salt Lake Bees.Check out our latest MLB predictions. 201683,3250.7390.726-0.013 201051,9670.7280.692-0.036 2017110,5290.7500.734-0.016 201581,5720.7210.698-0.023 201252,0120.7240.685-0.039 Hitters are catching up to the fireballersHow MLB hitters have fared against fastballs of 95-plus mph,* by on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), 2009-2017
For most sports fans, this past weekend meant near-nonstop basketball watching — of the college variety, that is. But NBA players were also in action, so it’s time for this week’s edition of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings.How do these numbers work? All 30 NBA teams are ranked according to a projection of their true talent over the upcoming week — and the upcoming week only — using Real Plus-Minus (RPM) player ratings provided by Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. For more details on the methodology, see our introductory rankings post.With the NBA playoffs rapidly approaching (they begin April 18), here’s a look at how the playoff picture in each conference has come together since the first time we issued power rankings and postseason odds on Jan. 19:The Western Conference playoff field has been relatively set since we started tracking it. Six of the eight slots were all but locked up in late January (the Portland Trail Blazers brought up the rear of that six-team group with a 94 percent playoff probability). The seventh spot was strongly favored to land with the Houston Rockets, who had an 80 percent likelihood of making the playoffs. Barring a Rockets collapse, the battle for the final spot out West was going to be between the injury-riddled Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns, with OKC holding the inside track because of a superior talent rating.Fast-forward to today, and seven Western Conference slots are practically set in stone (according to our model), as Houston quickly added the remaining 20 percent to its playoff probability not long after our inaugural rankings. That leaves three teams — the Thunder, Suns and New Orleans Pelicans — currently duking it out for the West’s eighth and final playoff slot.While the Thunder have continued to struggle with injuries, their chances of grabbing the No. 8 seed in the West are still 86 percent, as the Suns lost 49 percentage points of playoff probability since mid-January and the Pelicans have been treading water. Phoenix and New Orleans currently have better RPM talent ratings than Oklahoma City (despite the Suns jettisoning a lot of talent at the trade deadline), and both teams are within striking distance of the Thunder’s record. But the Suns’ remaining schedule is significantly more difficult1As measured by the average RPM power rating of their remaining opponents after adjusting for home-court advantage. than that of either Oklahoma City or New Orleans, and the Pelicans’ slim schedule and talent edges over OKC probably aren’t enough to offset a three-game deficit in the standings.Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference playoff picture isn’t a whole lot clearer than it was in January. Back then, six of its eight playoff slots were essentially locked up, with six other teams possessing a playoff probability between 15 and 70 percent. Now there are still six spots almost completely wrapped up, with five other teams’ playoff chances hovering between 15 and 75 percent. Only the Detroit Pistons dropped out of the race completely, shedding 39 percentage points of playoff probability since Jan. 19.Realistically, the Brooklyn Nets (17 percent playoff probability) are still long shots, and the Miami Heat (75 percent) are relatively likely to grab one of the two available spots. But the race for No. 8 is as wide-open as ever.A few weeks ago, the Indiana Pacers had a 71 percent chance of making the playoffs, but they’ve lost 29 percentage points of playoff probability since March 9, and now are only marginally better positioned than the Charlotte Hornets or Boston Celtics. Charlotte, too, has seen their playoff chances decline over the past two weeks; after having a coin-flip’s chance at the playoffs in early March, they’re looking at just a 35 percent shot at the postseason.And whenever one team loses playoff odds, another team (by definition) is there to scoop them up. One of those teams, the Heat, spent the past two weeks drastically shoring up their playoff chances after seeing them drop to 30 percent on March 9. Meanwhile, the Celtics have added 23 points of playoff probability since their odds bottomed out at 12 percent in late February. (Although Boston also lost 10 percentage points from their playoff chances over the past week.) Even the aforementioned Nets, left for dead at 6 percent a week ago, clawed their way back into the mix as Boston and Indiana saw their probabilities fall since last week.All of this figures to set up an intriguing three weeks of basketball to close out the regular season. Whoever wins out will have earned the right — in all likelihood — to lose in the first round of the playoffs. That said, most of the teams battling for the final playoff spots are good enough to keep the top seeds in each conference on their toes.
OSU redshirt sophomore defensive end Sam Hubbard (6) sacks Tulsa redshirt senior quarterback Dane Evans during the first quarter against Tulsa on Sept. 10. The Buckeyes won 48-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorCoach Urban Meyer and the No. 3 Ohio State football team head to Norman, Oklahoma for Saturday’s battle with the No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners. The last two opponents, Bowling Green and Tulsa, provided few challenges for the Buckeyes, but this game is a little different.“I think the two (teams) we’ve faced, they’re both going to win games. This one’s real, real real,” Meyer said.Oklahoma will be the most potent offense OSU has faced to date in 2016, possibly all season. Redshirt junior quarterback Baker Mayfield is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate who has an elite arm and the ability to scramble and avoid tacklers to extend plays. He has completed 71.7 percent of his passes for 567 yards and five touchdowns.Along with Mayfield, the Sooners’ backfield has NFL-like talent in both of their running backs. OSU associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said he believes junior Samaje Perine and sophomore Joe Mixon are two of the top five running backs in college football.For OSU to slow down coach Bob Stoops’ offense, the defensive line will have to put pressure on Mayfield and contain the run game, something OSU has struggled with at times thus far.“They have a big offensive line and we got to stop the run first,” said redshirt sophomore defensive end Sam Hubbard.For some perspective on the size of the Oklahoma offensive line, its five starters average height is 6-foot-6 and average almost 315 pounds in weight. Left tackle Orlando Brown boosts most of those stats, standing at 6-foot-8, 340 pounds.Hubbard registered his first sack on Saturday against Tulsa for an 11 yard loss on a third down in the first quarter. He finished the day with three tackles, all of which came in the backfield.The Buckeyes have totaled four sacks so far this year, compared to last year’s six sacks through two games. Replacing former defensive end Joey Bosa and defensive tackle Adolphus Washington was never going to be an easy task, but the team’s two sack leaders from 2015 in Hubbard and redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis returned this year and lead a D-line that has underperformed statistically.On Saturday, this is an opportunity for the unit to establish itself in the national picture.“We want to make that statement because we believe we are one of the best units in the country,” Hubbard said. “It’s going to put us on the national stage for everyone else to think that, so it’s a big opportunity for us.” For Hubbard, Lewis and junior defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes will be tested going up against the physically intimidating Brown on the Sooner offensive line. He added that he hasn’t ever tried to move someone that big, but it’s important for him to be violent with his hands, if he and the D-line hope to get to Mayfield in the backfield.More than ever, this week’s preparation is critical for the defense. Hubbard said that going up against redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett has improved the play of the defense because Barrett is just as elusive as Mayfield.Saturday also serves as the first statement game for the young defensive lineman like redshirt freshman Dre’Mont Jones, redshirt freshman Robert Landers and freshman Nick Bosa. Schiano said he’s excited to see how his young guys respond to the environment awaiting the Buckeyes at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.“This is big-boy football. Do we know how they are going to respond? No. A lot of these guys have never been in this situation,” Schiano said. “As a coach, you just try to prepare them the best they can. I believe we have the right people here, but that gap between knowing and doing is the biggest gap there is.”For someone who has played in games against Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame, Sam Hubbard said a game like this is the reason he plays at OSU.“I want to get there and make a big play,” he said. “I know Tyquan does, and everyone on the line does.”
OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett huddles up with teammates prior to the Buckeyes 30-27 double-overtime win against Michigan. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorSaturday’s win for the Ohio State football team over Michigan in double overtime solidified the Buckeyes as a playoff contender. In Tuesday’s latest installment of the College Football Playoff poll, OSU finds itself at the No. 2 spot, awaiting to hear whether they it be playing in the Peach Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl.Alabama remained at the top spot, and will be playing No. 15 Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship. At No. 3, Clemson moved up to replace Michigan following the Wolverines’ loss to the Buckeyes on Saturday. Washington rounds out the playoff spots in No. 4. Michigan dropped to No. 5.No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 7 Penn State will compete in the Big Ten Championship game, and both hope their respective performances are good enough to convince the committee to give them a spot in the playoffs.In the top six spots, the Big Ten has three teams, so the conference will have at least one representative in this year’s playoff.
LaDarius Green of the San Diego Chargers tries to make a catch during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Qualcomm Stadium Dec. 1. The Bengals won, 17-10. Credit: Courtesy of MCTThe Cincinnati Bengals increased their lead in the AFC North to two games with a 17-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers.Timely plays by the defense and a steady ground game powered Cincinnati (8-4) to victory against a San Diego team that was coming off an impressive victory over the Kansas City Chiefs one week before.The Bengals played conservatively against the Chargers (5-7) after having lost their last two road games in overtime. By not asking quarterback Andy Dalton to win the game, his mistakes were limited. Though Dalton failed to reach 200 yards for the second straight game, he only turned the ball over once and did not take a sack. Instead, the Bengals decided to let their defense and running game do the talking.With the game tied at seven in the third quarter, Cincinnati’s second-year cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick changed the game’s momentum when he outmuscled 255-pound tight end Antonio Gates for an interception. That play set up a 21-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to wide receiver A.J. Green.Leading 17-7 in the fourth quarter, Bengals safety George Iloka forced wide receiver Keenan Allen to fumble after a 14-yard reception. On its next drive, San Diego only managed to kick a field goal.The Bengals’ ground game would then seal the deal. With just under five minutes to play, Cincinnati ran out the clock with an 11 play, 61 yard drive behind a power running game. In the win, the Bengals totaled 164 yards on the ground.Sunday’s game offered a number of encouraging signs for Cincinnati fans. The secondary, which has not fared well on the road this season, was not daunted by the task of having to slow down the prolific Philip Rivers (23 touchdowns, nine interceptions and 3,633 yards passing). Dalton also seems to be learning that he gives his team a better chance of winning when he simply puts the ball into the hands of the team’s many playmakers. Running backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis (20 carries, 92 yards, one touchdown) and Giovani Bernard (14 carries, 57 yards) showed that they can carry the team to victory in close games.If last week’s bye accomplished anything, it allowed the Bengals to re-establish their identity, which is key for a young team heading into the stretch run before the playoffs begin.The Bengals head back to Cincinnati next weekend to host the Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
It was a win, but nothing came easy for the Buckeyes.The Ohio State women’s basketball team took down Iowa, 91-85, in overtime Saturday night, advancing to the Big Ten Tournament final.Tied 37-37 at halftime, the Buckeyes roared back to take out the Hawkeyes for their second straight tournament win in Hoffman Estates, Ill.Freshman forward Alexa Hart connected on a free throw with 17 seconds to play to give OSU an 81-79 lead, but the Hawkeyes answered with a layup at the three-second mark to tie the game and force overtime.Iowa held the Big Ten’s leading scorer, OSU freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell, to 21 points in regulation, but she took over in overtime with a pair of 3-pointers and two late free throws, sealing the win for the Buckeyes.OSU is set to face No. 1 seeded Maryland in Sunday’s championship battle at 7 p.m.
Senior forward Sam Thompson (12) drives toward the basket during a game against Purdue on March 1 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 65-61.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWith just two games remaining in the regular season, the Ohio State men’s basketball team is in a full sprint toward the finish line.The Buckeyes have rattled off back-to-back wins at home, including coming back from 12 points down to beat Purdue on Sunday night, 65-61.The win put the Buckeyes in a three-way tie for fourth in the Big Ten conference and was sparked by freshman sensation, guard D’Angelo Russell.Russell scored 17 of his 28 points in the second half of the game, and while it looked like the Louisville, Ky., native did most of the heavy lifting, he received ample help from three experienced seniors.While it might not have always been in the scoring column, center Amir Williams, guard Shannon Scott and forward Sam Thompson all contributed in their own way.Williams, who took on the Big Ten’s leading shot blocker in Purdue’s junior center A.J. Hammons, matched the 7-footer in rebounds and blocked shots, the last of which helped seal the win for OSU.While Williams has been known to be inconsistent at times, Matta said he was pleased with how his senior played against the Boilermakers.“I thought Amir, with three blocked shots, was as good as he could be,” Matta said after the game.Then came Scott, who has become known for his defense more than anything in his four years in Columbus. While he didn’t light up the scoreboard against the Boilermakers, recording just one assist, block and steal each, it was what didn’t show up on the stat sheet that impressed his coach.“Shannon, nobody would ever see it, but he did some things defensively tonight via scouting that was tremendous and really disrupted them,” Matta said.Scott scored just five points in the win, all coming at the free throw line, three of which came in the final minute to help seal the Buckeye win.Finally there was Thompson, who recorded 14 points in the win while hitting all six of his free throws, three per half.With games against Penn State and Wisconsin remaining before the start of the Big Ten Tournament, Thompson said his performance and the win were important moving forward.“This is the type of win we need to get, especially in the month of March,” Thompson said. “It’s too late for us to be taking steps backwards, and it’s our time to hit our stride, get going and to put together a run.”While Russell still is stealing the show, ranking second in the conference in scoring, he credited his fellow Buckeyes for the team’s success after the win.“My coaches put me in a great position to facilitate for my teammates,” Russell said. “Coaches kept running the same play, and we kept making the best out of it.”And although Russell hasn’t yet played in a postseason basketball game in his college career like most of his teammates have, he said he has already gotten a taste of things to come and wants more of it.“I could get used to this. This is great,” Russell said. “Every win counts and any win can trigger a run, and just getting this win on our home court is great going down to Penn State.”The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are set to tip off at 6 p.m. Wednesday in State College, Pa. OSU won the first matchup between the two teams, 75-55, Feb. 11 in Columbus.
Redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller (1) carries the ball while being hit by a Hawaii defender during a game at Ohio Stadium on Sept. 12. OSU won, 38-0. Credit: Muyao Shen / Asst. Photo EditorOhio State football coach Urban Meyer addressed the media on Monday afternoon to discuss the Buckeyes’ victory over Hawaii on Saturday as well as to discuss their upcoming matchup against Northern Illinois. Here are highlights from Meyer’s press conference:Gameday championsAfter each game, Meyer and his staff evaluate the performances of players and name the game’s best performers “champions.”Meyer announced those Buckeyes that obtained those honors against Hawaii.For the defense, which pitched a shutout against the Rainbow Warriors, the champions were rather abundant.Redshirt sophomore cornerbacks Eli Apple and Gareon Conley, as well as redshirt junior safety Tyvis Powell, were evaluated as champions for their performances in the 38-0 win.“Our secondary is playing at very, very high level,” Meyer said.A pair of linebackers, senior Joshua Perry and sophomore Raekwon McMillan, graded out as champions. Redshirt sophomore defensive end Tyquan Lewis also was named, making it six Scarlet and Gray defenders.As for the offense, which Meyer said “didn’t play very well,” there were only two players who graded out as champions: junior tailback Ezekiel Elliott and sophomore H-back Curtis Samuel.He added that Elliott, who rushed for 101 yards and three touchdowns, was the offensive player of the game for the Buckeyes.An update on the quarterback battleMeyer confirmed that redshirt junior Cardale Jones is still the team’s starter, for now.“He’s the starting quarterback. I met with him yesterday,” Meyer said.Redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett, who quarterbacked the final eight minutes of the first half after a shaky start for Jones, continues to get reps in practice.Meyer said Barrett “has not beaten (Jones) out yet” but that he will keep getting opportunities to do that.As for the quarterbacks’ performances against the Rainbow Warriors, Meyer wouldn’t say he was disappointed but he wasn’t overjoyed.“I think we have two excellent quarterbacks, and I expect them to play very well. Neither of them played very well Saturday,” he said.The use of direct snapsSo far in their opening two games, the Buckeyes have run a lot of direct snaps to players who aren’t quarterbacks, especially redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller.Against Hawaii, the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year had the ball snapped directly to him eight times.Meyer offered some insight as to the decision to run these types of plays with players like Miller, junior H-back Dontre Wilson, redshirt sophomore Jalin Marshall or even Percy Harvin from his time at the University of Florida.“It’s hard to get receivers the ball. If they roll up on you or double you, you can’t get them the ball,” he said. “It’s not real hard — if you want to really give them the ball, put them behind center five yards and snap it to them.”Running those wildcat-like plays works at times, but Meyer said it’s “a little more complicated when people know you’re not going to throw.”However with Miller, a former quarterback, the possibility to throw does exist, but the question was if the shoulder he injured in August 2014 would be healed enough to pass.Meyer all but answered that question on Monday.“The good thing is Braxton can throw and will throw,” he said.Up nextThe Buckeyes are scheduled to be back in action on Saturday, against Northern Illinois. Kick off is set for 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Urban Meyer raises the Cotton Bowl trophy following the end of game against the University of Southern California on Dec. 29 in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Ohio State won 24-7. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorIt did not take long for the headlines to start appearing, all with a common theme: Ohio State dominates USC in 24-7 victory in Cotton Bowl.Just as soon after those headlines appeared did people begin to criticize the College Football Playoff committee’s decision to omit Ohio State from the top-four teams.But this game proved one thing to me: the committee got it right. Neither No. 5 Ohio State nor No. 8 USC deserved to be included in the playoff.The score shows a defensive battle between two Power Five champions. But the game looked quite the opposite of how the score turned out.USC quarterback Sam Darnold seemed to have Ohio State’s number right out of the gate. He made tough throws look easy and receivers often made similarly challenging catches look routine. He completed 26-of-45 passes for 356 yards, 79 more yards than Ohio State had total offense.The problem for USC and for Darnold was that what mistakes he made, they were major. The pick-6 he threw into the hands of safety Damon Webb was a terrible read, and Webb made him pay. The two fumbles he had were both the result of a constant torment of pressure from Ohio State’s defensive line that the USC offensive line failed to stop for much of the day. His top receiver, Deontay Burnett, also had a bad fumble in Ohio State territory that set the Buckeyes up in great field position. And overall, Ohio State scored 21 of its 24 total points after turnovers. Similarly, the only points USC was able to put on the board came when H-back and punt returner K.J. Hill muffed a punt on the Ohio State 15-yard line. Neither team scored in the second half. The only real chance either team had came when USC missed a 28-yard field goal attempt that bounced off the right upright.USC’s offense crossed the 50-yard line just seven times when it didn’t begin with the ball off a turnover, and Ohio State managed to cross it only three times when not set up by a turnover. Ohio State’s offense, which ranked No. 5 in scoring entering the game, had 13 total first downs while USC, led by a likely top-five NFL draft pick quarterback and a potential early-round running back, had 23.If Ohio State was a playoff team, it would have dominated a porous rushing defense that had given up 1,195 rushing yards to just five other top-30 rushing attacks. It would have decimated a passing defense that had allowed the 30th-most passing yards per game (246.5 per game). It would not have struggled to run the ball and muster just 163 yards on 38 carries. It would not have only passed for 114 yards and completed just 11-of-17 passes. And on the flip side, Ohio State’s defense should have been better against Darnold. While it forced some crucial turnovers, Darnold deserved more blame than Ohio State credit for his interception. He made some throws that were tough to make, but there were plenty others that were more the result of poor coverage. Ohio State’s defensive line and offensive line were really the only two units that lived up to the billing of a potential playoff team. The defensive line dominated USC to the tune of 14 tackles for loss, including eight sacks. On the other side, Ohio State’s offensive line only allowed four tackles for loss, three being sacks.But a playoff-caliber team needs to click more than Ohio State did against USC. Had that been a Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia or Alabama, Ohio State probably does not come out on the winning side of that matchup. It might not have been shutout again, but the way that offense played against a middle-of-the-road USC defense would not have fared well against top-six defenses like Alabama and Clemson. The way Darnold tore Ohio State apart, there is little doubt a Baker Mayfield, who already torched the Buckeyes once this season, would have again had his way with them. Ohio State had a fine season. It ended as Big Ten and Cotton Bowl champions. But it was not a playoff team. I’m sure if Alabama loses to Clemson, many will berate the committee for getting the No. 4 team wrong. But Alabama would have to lay an Ohio State vs. Clemson 2016-edition egg for this to look like the wrong decision by the committee.
Ohio State junior forward Grace Zarzecki (7) battles for a puck with a South Korea player in the first period of their exhibition match the South Korean Olympic teama on Sept. 26 at the OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes prevailed 8-0. Credit: Jeff Helfrich | Lantern ReporterThe No. 5 Ohio State women’s hockey team (19-8-4, 12-5-4-3 WCHA) split a weekend series on the road against Minnesota State (5-23-1, 3-18-0-0 WCHA) on Friday and Saturday, dropping the opener 4-1 and closing the series with a 3-2 victory. Game 1The Buckeyes outshot the Mavericks in the series opener, but skated off the ice with a 4-1 loss. The Buckeyes took 36 shots, though only one shot by junior forward Grace Zarzecki made it past Minnesota State sophomore goaltender Chloe Crosby. Ohio State freshman goaltender Amanda Zeglen ended her night with 16 saves, allowing four pucks to find the back of the net. Redshirt junior goalie Kassidy Sauve did not play in either game against Minnesota State.Minnesota State scored two goals in the opening period. Senior forward Lindsey Coleman needed just 29 seconds to put the Mavericks up 1-0 with a goal. Senior forward Amanda Conway added her team’s second goal with 5:01 remaining in the first period.Seven minutes into the second period, Zarzecki scored the Buckeyes’ only goal with assists from redshirt sophomore defender Jincy Dunne and freshman defender Lisa Bruno.Coleman scored just one minute later to reclaim a two-goal lead and deflate Ohio State’s hopes of a victory.Junior forward Rebekah Kolstad added a fourth goal with less than seven minutes remaining in the game to clinch a Maverick win.Game 2Ohio State bounced back from its loss Friday with a 3-2 victory against Minnesota State the next day.Ohio State scored all three goals in the second and third periods of the game. Ohio State’s third and final goal of the night was scored by freshman forward Emma Maltais with 6:47 remaining in the game. The score, which was assisted by senior defender Dani Sadek, broke a 2-2 tie. The Buckeyes held off the Mavericks the remainder of the game to claim a bounce-back win.Maltais’ game winner was made possible by junior forward Charly Dahlquist, who scored her seventh goal of the season 2:59 into the third period to tie the game at two. Prior to her goal, the Mavericks were threatening to pull off a second win in a row.Kolstad ripped a shot past Zeglen with nine minutes remaining in the second period to give Minnesota State a 1-0 lead. The Buckeyes struck back, though, when sophomore forward Rebecca Freiburger responded with a goal less than three minutes later. The Mavericks reclaimed their lead when freshman forward Tristen Traux scored a tie-breaking goal with less than two minutes remaining in the second period. Dahlquist and Maltais ensured a Buckeye victory to avoid a series sweep in the final period.Ohio State head home for one final series of the year, hosting Bemidjii State on Friday and Saturday.
Ohio State then-sophomore attack Tre Leclaire walks off the field with his teammates after scoring his first goal of the game in the first quarter against Michigan on April 13, 2018. Ohio State beat the Wolverines 8-5. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Editor in ChiefThe No.16 Ohio State’s men lacrosse team opens up its season at noon this Saturday when it squares off against Cleveland State at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.Ohio State is just two seasons removed from being the NCAA men’s lacrosse runner-up, though a departure of key veterans from that year’s team led to a letdown year in 2018, with the Buckeyes finishing just 8-7 overall and missing the NCAA tournament. Ohio State will return two All-Americans in 2019, junior attacking midfielder Tre Leclaire and junior midfielder Ryan Terefenko. Both Leclaire and Terefenko were named Players to Watch by the Big Ten in January, as was senior midfielder Jack Jasinski. Leclaire has been a consistent threat for Ohio State in the past two years, finishing second in team points in his freshman season with 65 and leading the team in 2018 with 37. The Buckeyes defense will be a critical point to keep an eye on this season after senior defenders Ben Randall, Erik Evans and Freddy Freibott graduated from Ohio State and advanced on to Major League Lacrosse teams.“We lost three All-American caliber guys, and, at the end of the day, you hope to develop the next wave of defenseman,” head coach Nick Myers said.Senior defender Matt Borges said despite the veteran departures, the mentality of playing strong defense has not changed on the team, and Ohio State still believes it will be a program built on its defenders.“We’re excited to prove people that we are the same team, and that is a credit to the coaching,” Borges said.Borges noted that while he expects the defense to remain strong, he believes the team will take on a different look than in years past. He said this season, depth appears to be a strength for a team that was young in 2018, and that the athleticism of the players has the team excited about what the year could hold.Ohio State had scrimmages in January against Hill Academy, Robert Morris and No. 2 Duke. Myers said both Robert Morris and Duke specifically helped test the team differently and provided challenges that will help the team going forward.Many of the team’s freshmen and sophomore players stepped up last season. Replacing Jake Withers as the team’s face-off specialist, sophomore midfielder Justin Inacio was crucial to the Buckeyes in 2018 in the circle, winning 130 of his team-leading 212 face-offs. He finished the year with Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors. Sophomore JT Bugliosi also came up big for the Buckeyes, recording 12 points with eight goals and four assists.“Your freshmen and sophomore year is where you see the biggest jump in terms of your comfortability, and understanding what to expect,” Myers said. “With that sophomore class and guys in key roles, we are certainly looking forward to taking another big step.”The Buckeyes will also field two junior captains this season, with junior midfielder Ryan Terefenko and junior defenseman Jeff Henrick both receiving the honor. This will be the first time in 19 years that Ohio State will have two junior captains. The team begins the season against Cleveland State at home at noon on Saturday.
Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson looks for an open layup attempt against Iowa on Feb. 26 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Cori Wade | For The LanternWith four games remaining before the Big Ten Tournament and an 0-7 record against teams in the Associated Press Top 25, Ohio State needed a win to prove its merit for the NCAA Tournament.On Tuesday, the Buckeyes proved it, handedly defeating No. 22 Iowa 90-70 for their first win of the season against a top-six opponent in the Big Ten standings.The 20-point victory is the largest since Ohio State defeated Minnesota 79-59 on Dec. 2.In Tuesday’s win against the Hawkeyes, Ohio State scored at least 90 points for the first time in conference play and for the second time all season, scoring 107 against Purdue Fort Wayne on Nov. 11.“A fun night for our guys,” head coach Chris Holtmann said. “As a coach, you love seeing your guys play with that level of joy and happiness.”Ohio State started the game missing its first seven attempts from 3, finishing the first half 4-of-17 from behind the arc.The second half started the same, with the Buckeyes missing their next two 3-point attempts. But then, the shots started to fall, specifically for Justin Ahrens.The freshman forward hit the first 3 of the second half, leading Ohio State to hit its next five attempts, four of which were from Ahrens.Ahrens finished the game with a career-high 29 points, 25 of which came in the second half, and was a team-high plus-31 for the team in his second collegiate start.Ahrens hit all six of his 3-point attempts in the second half after missing his first four from the field.His previous career-high was nine points, set against Maryland in the Buckeyes’ past matchup.“I was really hot out there, it felt good, my teammates were feeding me really well,” Ahrens said. “Honestly, “You know that’s great, but we’re really just focused on punching our ticket to the tournament, and really that’s all on our mind right now.”Ohio State shot 57.7 percent in the second half, including 53.5 percent from deep.Sophomore forward Kaleb Wesson found himself in foul trouble again in the first half, playing only nine minutes and scoring seven points and five rebounds in limited time.The foul trouble didn’t hold him back for long. The sophomore forward connected on a pair of and-1 opportunities early in the second half, giving Ohio State a 10-point lead following both free-throws.Wesson finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, his first double-double since Dec. 22 against UCLA, and he said with players like Ahrens making shots from deep, it makes his job a simple one.“It’s easy, with guys hitting shots like that, they can’t come down on me as much, and they gotta go out there,” Wesson said. “When they come down, I’m passing it out and they’re hitting wide open shots, it’s just, it makes for good basketball.”When the Buckeyes faced the Hawkeyes on Jan. 12., Wesson had four fouls and five turnovers in 23 minutes.It was Kaleb who found his stride as the game progressed, but junior forward Andre Wesson was the one who found consistency.Andre Wesson played all but six seconds of the game for Ohio State. He finished with 11 points and five rebounds.Holtmann said he didn’t realize he played Andre Wesson for that long.“Did he play 40 minutes? Is that right?,” Holtmann said. “He was really good in some of his finishing, he’s battling guys that are three, four, five inches taller than he is, I thought he was good with the ball in the press, in attacking the press.”The Buckeyes led Iowa 36-33 at halftime following a 3 by senior guard C.J. Jackson with 40 seconds to go, his first points of the game.Jackson came off the bench after missing Ohio State’s past game against Maryland with a shoulder injury, and finished the game with six points and a team-high six assists in 34 minutes.Freshman guard Duane Washington led all scorers with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting at halftime. Midway through the first half, Washington scored 10 of Ohio State’s 13 points to give the Buckeyes a 24-22 lead with 7:40 to go.Late in the first half, Ahrens forced a steal, and hit a layup in the open court, while Iowa redshirt senior forward Nicholas Baer attempted to foul Ahrens prior to the shot.The result was a flagrant foul on Baer, tying the game at 31 after Ahrens hit both free throws.A win puts Ohio State at 8-9 in the Big Ten, and moves the team six spots up in the KenPom rankings, up to No. 31.Ahrens said, even if it’s not discussed, that the NCAA Tournament is what’s on every player’s mind.“We all know how bad we want to be there,” Ahrens said.Ohio State will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on No. 14 Purdue on Saturday.
Witness Alvin Carpio said the former England and Newcastle United striker, who has long-battled alcoholism, appeared “very drunk” during the altercation.He tweeted: Mr Carpio added: “It’s a sad state: He’s been spitting, making racist remarks & groping women, all while throwing around £ notes.”He was racially abusing my mates, and hitting one of them on the shoulder and head before throwing a £20 note on him.” It gets crazier: Gazza has just been kicked down the stairs by a guy whose friend got slapped by him. He really isn’t in a good place.— Alvin Carpio (@AlvinCarpio) December 27, 2016 Former football star Paul Gascoigne was taken to hospital after being kicked in a fight at a hotel, it has been reported.Gascoigne, 49, was “racially abusing” customers at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, east London, and throwing money at them, according to a witness.The Metropolitan Police said officers were called to a disturbance at the hotel shortly after 6pm on Tuesday before a 49-year-old man was taken to hospital with a head injury. The police have arrived. I think they’re sorting things out. #Gazza pic.twitter.com/Ry0BsCt1bm— Alvin Carpio (@AlvinCarpio) December 27, 2016 Gascoigne’s spokesman, Terry Baker, said the troubled star had been taken to hospital with a head wound, according to the Daily Mirror.Mr Baker added: “He hasn’t been arrested. He’s about to be released and sent home.”A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “The man has been taken to an east London hospital where he remains in a stable condition.”No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing, she added. Gascoigne was fined £1,000 at Dudley Magistrates’ Court in September after racially abusing a bodyguard who was employed to protect him. 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.
Cressida Dick has started work as the new Met Police Commissioner and is planning an early meeting to lobby the Government over proposed budget cuts, as she seeks to protect the thin blue line, sources have said.The first female head of Scotland Yard has already agreed to take a £40,000 a year pay cut from her own £270,000 salary, but is said to be determined to fight for every penny to protect frontline officers.Despite having a close relationship with the Prime Minister, sources said Ms Dick will not shirk from challenging the government over plans to change the way the country’s biggest police force is funded.Ms Dick smiled for photographers as she arrived for work at the new Metropolitan Police headquarters on Monday morning, wearing trainers and clutching a bunch of bananas. Cressida Dick’s challenges include rising levels of gun and knife crime across the capitalCredit:Paul Grover for The Telegraph Speaking when her official starting date was announced, Ms Dick said: “Terrorism is just one of the challenges we face. Alongside the mayor and every single one of our officers and staff, I will work tirelessly to keep our city safe.”Ms Dick’s first role in her new post will be to attend the funeral of Pc Keith Palmer, who was murdered by terrorist, Khalid Masood last month.Other issues she is facing include rising levels of gun and knife crime across the capital as well as the explosion in fraud and cyber-crime. The Met has a number of separate funding streams and earlier this year London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced an extra £27 million in order to maintain officer numbers at 31,000. Her predecessor, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, warned that the Met faced NHS style “rationing” of services if budgets were cut any further, but there are fears the Yard could lose as much as £700 million from its Home Office grant in coming years.The ongoing terror threat has led to widespread calls for the Met budget to be protected, but the government is keen to divert money from the capital to other forces in order to redress alleged imbalances in funding.One source said: “The new Commissioner will have a lot on her plate in keeping London safe and fighting crime, but the job is so much harder with less money.”Sir Bernard managed to protect the number of frontline officers by selling off some of the Met’s buildings but Cressida won’t have that luxury so it is going to be even more important that she fights her corner.” But the extra money is only scheduled to last for the next 12 months and the £3 billion annual budget is under unprecedented pressure, despite the ongoing terror threat. 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.
Ms Campbell said she last spoke to 15-year-old Olivia on the phone between the support act and Miss Grande’s performance.She said: “All I know is she was at the Manchester Arena with her friend watching Ariana Grande and she’s not turned up yet.“I can’t get through to her. I’ve called the hospitals, I’ve called all the places, the hotels where people say that children have been taken.“I’ve called the police. There’s no news, I’ve just got to wait. I’m waiting at home just in case she turns up here.”Co-presenter Piers Morgan was also lost for words during the interview. Olivia Campbell, 15, has still not been foundCredit:Twitter Ms Campbell said she had been at home “phoning everybody – hospitals, police, all these centres that the children have been put in”. 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. Broadcaster Susanna Reid broke down in tears while interviewing the mother of a missing girl following the attack at the Ariana Grande concert. “I cannot imagine the agony parents are going through, I’m sorry”, she said while interviewing Charlotte Campbell, whose daughter Olivia was at the Manchester Arena for the American singer’s performance.Wiping tears from her eyes, Good Morning Britain host Ms Reid said: “It doesn’t help anyone if I get upset.” “Her dad is actually in Manchester looking for her. I’ve got friends out looking for her, I’ve got people I don’t even know out looking for her.”I’ve got people messaging me saying ‘Look, we’ve got her photo and we’re out looking for her – we’ll get in contact with you if we see her’.”I’m just hearing nothing – her phone’s dead.”She posted a picture of her daughter on Facebook, saying “please share – my daughter is still missing with no news on her”.Ms Campbell said social media had been “wonderful” and thanked those who were helping with the search. Ms Campbell, who lives in Manchester, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I last had contact with her at half past eight last night. She was at the concert, she’d just seen the support act and said she was having an amazing time and thanking me for letting her go.”She was with her friend Adam. Adam was found about half an hour ago, he’s in hospital but Olivia has not been found yet.”
Net migration has fallen to the lowest level for three years and official estimates show the overall measure – the difference between arrivals and departures – was at 246,000 in the year to the end of March, a fall of 81,000 compared with the previous 12 months.The Office for National Statistics said more than half of the change can be accounted for by a 51,000 decrease in net migration of EU citizens. Nicola White, head of international migration statistics at the ONS, said: “The net migration change was driven by an increase in emigration, mainly for EU citizens and in particular EU8 citizens, and a decrease in immigration across all groups.“These results are similar to 2016 estimates (published in May 2017) and indicate that the EU referendum result may be influencing people’s decision to migrate into and out of the UK, particularly EU and EU8 citizens.”It is too early to tell if this is an indication of a long-term trend.” Theresa May has vowed to cut net migration to the “tens of thousands” but former Chancellor George Osborne has claimed other Cabinet members do not feel the target is achievable. And business leaders have warned cutting the number of skilled migrants coming to the UK would make it difficult to companies and services like the NHS going. The number of EU citizens emigrating from Britain has increased by a third to 122,000 over the past year in the wake of the EU referendum, new figures have found.Net migration has fallen by a quarter in the past year to 246,000, driven by the departure of EU citizens in the wake of the Brexit vote. The EU nations account for the biggest increase in people returning to their home country of origin – 46,000 people left the UK in the past year compared to 29,000 the year before. The “EU8” states – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia – traditionally accounted for higher numbers of people coming to the UK to find work. Far fewer EU migrants came to the UK looking for work than ever before – down 29,000 to 47,000 over the period. The ONS said in its research paper: “Long-Term International Migration estimated that 275,000 people immigrated for work-related reasons in year ending March 2017, down from 303,000 for the previous year. “This difference was not statistically significant but this is the lowest recorded estimate since the year ending September 2014. “The majority immigrated with a definite job (188,000) but fewer people arrived looking for work (down 39,000 to 87,000 – a statistically significant decrease).” The new figures give the fullest picture yet of immigration following the EU referendum vote last year. 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.