TagsTransfersAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Steven Sessegnon delighted with new Fulham contractby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSteven Sessegnon has signed a new deal with Fulham.The 18-year-old has agreed a deal which keeps him at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2022, with a Club option to extend by a further 12 months.Having come through the Academy since joining as an Under-9 alongside twin brother Ryan, Steven penned his first professional contract with Fulham last summer.“It feels very good,” Sessegnon told fulhamfc.com. “It’s something I’ve been working towards for the last few months and it feels amazing to get it done and over the line.“You could say the first [pro deal] was very special but this one has shown all the hard work I’ve done personally, not just with this Club but with international success as well. It is rewarding helping contribute to the progression of Fulham.“This can only motivate me to keep working harder. I will carry on doing as I am and keep on heading towards the next one.“Hopefully I can make my league debut very soon, but over time I need to keep working hard and knuckling down and see what happens.“You can’t rush this sort of thing. I’m going to take my chance, whenever it might come.“The Millwall game in the Carabao Cup was a great feeling for me. That was something I’m not used to, but one that will push me on, and spur me on in the future to achieve great things.”
Napoli goalscorer Llorente: I really wanted to face Liverpoolby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNapoli striker Fernando Llorente was delighted to score in victory over Champions League opponents Liverpool.Llorente was part of the Tottenham team beaten by the Reds in last season’s final.The veteran said: “I wanted to play against the Reds, I’m happy because we showed we could live with the big names. These three points are very important, but it’s just the first game: we still need a lot. “We have to think about game after game, it will be hard. “Scoring at the San Paolo is something incredible, I didn’t imagine starting this adventure like this.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter/@ESPNCBBAt this point, it feels like we have a huge upset and a court rush every night in college basketball. No. 3 Kansas was the victim tonight, falling to an Oklahoma State team that was just 9-8, and 1-4 in the Big 12 in Stillwater, 86-67. After the game, fans of the Pokes rushed the court in a big way.Down goes Kansas! What a week. pic.twitter.com/46vr4hqHo0— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) January 20, 2016They stormed the court anyway. Regardless, great win for the Pokes. They came to play. 86-67 victory. #OkState pic.twitter.com/KIyNCQsuK8— Sam Gannon (@SamGannon87) January 20, 2016Storm that court, Pokes! #okstate pic.twitter.com/hFFVoutUEc— Jessica Morrey (@JessicaMorrey) January 20, 2016Last night, Iowa State fans stormed the floor. Tonight, it was Oklahoma State. On the road in the Big 12, nobody’s safe.
zoom Norwegian shipbuilder and ship designer Vard Holdings Limited has secured a contract for the design and construction of two additional module carrier vessels for Topaz Energy and Marine.The vessels, of VARD 9 21 design and measuring 123 by 16.5 meters, are sister ships of a series of 15 identical module carrier vessels previously contracted by Topaz for delivery from Vard’s shipyards in Tulcea and Braila in Romania, and Vung Tau in Vietnam. They will be operated by Topaz through a consortium led by Blue Water Shipping.One of the additional vessels will be built at Vard Braila and one at Vard Vung Tau. Delivery of both vessels is scheduled in 2Q 2018.The aggregate contract price for the two additional module carriers is close to USD 40 million, bringing the contract price for all of the 17 vessels to USD 340 million.The module carriers are designed to transport high deck loads of up to 1,800 tons while navigating the shallow river systems as they transport modules through the Russian waterways to oilfields in Kazakhstan.Topaz Energy and Marine operates a fleet of 100 offshore support vessels and is primarily focused on the Caspian, Middle East, West Africa and Subsea operations in the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
Internationally acclaimed GRAMMY Award-winning musicians Alabama Shakes and Ben Harper will join the extraordinary line-up for the Tibet House US 30th Anniversary Benefit Concert Celebrating Philip Glass’s 80th Birthday on March 16th at Carnegie Hall in New York City.Chart-topping band Alabama Shakes will grace the Tibet House US Benefit Concert for the first time with their ground-shaking brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Their celebrated 2012 album Boys & Girls and latest album Sound & Color have earned the band multiple GRAMMY Awards, critical praise, chart-topping success and countless accolades.Musician, songwriter, guitarist, producer and activist Ben Harper will light up this special evening with his world-class musicianship and signature blend of blues, folk, soul, reggae and rock which draws throngs of fans to his live shows all around the globe. Ben is currently touring the world with his original band, The Innocent Criminals, supporting their latest release, Call It What It Is.Artistic director and curator Philip Glass will also be joined by Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop, New Order’s Bernard Sumner, Phil Cunningham, and Tom Chapman, Patti Smith and her Band, Sufjan Stevens, Tenzin Choegyal and Jesse Paris Smith, Scorchio Quartet, Lavinia Meijer and more.In addition to celebrating Glass’s 80th birthday, the evening will also honor 30 years of Tibet House US. It’s sure to be another jam-packed show full of amazing music and one-night-only collaborations in what has been a series of unforgettable concerts spanning three decades. Proceeds support the work of Tibet House US, a non-profit educational institution and cultural embassy founded in 1987 at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to ensure the survival of the unique Tibetan civilization. Uma Thurman, Chuck Close, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Arden Wohl are Honorary Chairpersons.TICKET INFO:Tickets for the concert are on sale now ($35-$200) – visit www.carnegiehall.org to purchase, or call Carnegie Charge at 212.247.7800, or visit the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street and Seventh Avenue). Also available now are special gala packages starting at $500 that include prime concert tickets and an elegant dinner reception with the performers and a who’s who of New York City society. To purchase these packages, visit www.tibethouse.us or call Tibet House US at 212.807.0563.
Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins was named the NBA’s 2014-15 Rookie of the Year on Thursday. The announcement came as no surprise: It’s an award he’s essentially been a lock to win since at least February.But there’s a big disconnect between what the eye test (plus basic statistics such as points per game) and the analytics say about Wiggins, both in terms of his current production and his future potential. And because of that discrepancy, Wiggins is emblematic of what’s long been one of the most difficult problems to solve in basketball analysis.According to conventional analysis, Wiggins had a standout rookie campaign. Despite being a callow 19-year-old, he averaged nearly 17 points per game for the season, including 19.1 PPG from New Year’s Day onward, and provided some of the most sharable Vines of any player in the league. On top of his scoring output, he’s also regarded by scouts as a player with elite defensive potential because of his length and athleticism. Viewed in those terms, Wiggins’s Rookie of the Year nod could be seen as a launchpad for a Hall of Fame career.The advanced statistics are far less impressive. As others have noted, according to Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) Wiggins had one of the worst seasons by a Rookie of the Year winner since 1973-74, which is as far back as the statistic can be calculated. Also judging by VORP, 60 other rookies provided more value to their teams this season. And even after a high-scoring spike in performance at midseason, Wiggins’s final 2014-15 Statistical Plus-Minus (SPM) of -2.4 was barely better than the -2.9 mark that could have been expected by simply regressing his stats to the mean back in December.ESPN’s single-season Real Plus-Minus (RPM) for Wiggins’s offense was higher than his SPM, suggesting he makes an impact at that end that can’t be fully detected by the box score. But in his supposed strong suit — defense — RPM ranked Wiggins in the 14th percentile of all NBA players in terms of per-possession performance, even after adjusting for the quality of his teammates (or lack thereof) and the opponents he faced. And Synergy Sports judged his capabilities as an individual defender only marginally better, ranking him in the 32nd percentile of defenders according to its video-scouting metrics.So what gives? Why are the eyes so high on Wiggins, but the numbers so down?Part of it is age. If we give a bonus to Wiggins’s SPM according to an aging curve, setting every Rookie of the Year winner on equal footing at age 22,1The average age of all NBA rookies since the 1976-77 season. Wiggins shoots up the list of winners, from No. 40 (out of 41) in rookie wins above replacement (WAR) to No. 27. Kyrie Irving201219-18.104.22.168+3.8 Chuck Person198722-2.75.05.00.0 Chris Paul200620-8.513.216.4+3.2 There was also the matter of Wiggins’s awful teammates. According to SPM,2Specifically, a calculation estimating how poor the team’s efficiency differential would be if we removed the player from the roster and gave his minutes to a replacement-level player. Wiggins was saddled with the ninth-worst teammates of any Rookie of the Year winner since the ABA-NBA merger. Teammate Zach LaVine posted the worst WAR of any player in the league, Anthony Bennett ranked 17th-worst, and Adreian Payne was sixth-worst in the league based on his time in Minnesota alone, despite not joining the team until February. Simply put, Wiggins had to carry more of the Timberwolves’ load because he played with a truly terrible supporting cast.But that doesn’t explain all of the disparity between Wiggins’s conventional accolades and his feeble advanced metrics. After all, the quality of a player’s teammates is barely correlated3Since the merger, there’s only a correlation of 0.098 between a player’s “teammate rating” and his own SPM; there’s also a correlation of 0.117 between the year-to-year change in a player’s teammate quality and the change in his (age-adjusted) SPM. with his own performance. A bigger reason might relate to a question APBRmetricians have grappled with for years: How exactly should we deal with high-volume scorers?Former ESPN Director of Production Analytics (and current Sacramento Kings Director of Analytics and Player Personnel) Dean Oliver devoted an entire chapter (titled The Problem With Scorers) in his seminal book “Basketball on Paper” to the issues involved in statistically evaluating players who perform what seems the most essential of on-court acts: putting the ball in the basket. Although he determined that per-possession efficiency was the best measure of a team’s offensive prowess and developed equivalent efficiency metrics for individual players, Oliver also posited that a player’s offensive efficiency was prone to changes based on how much of a scoring workload he took on.That theory, which has largely been borne out by subsequent studies, implies that a player’s efficiency numbers aren’t even close to being all his own — and that, crucially, high scorers such as Wiggins represent the group most centrally affected by such interplay between teammates. Furthermore, raw scoring ability may suggest heightened potential even after controlling for a player’s actual rookie production. If you run a regression attempting to predict a rookie’s remaining career WAR from his first-year statistics, the second-most important predictor (though dwarfed by the effect of his age-adjusted rookie WAR itself) is usage rate, a measure of how frequently a player was called on for scoring attempts within his team’s offense, regardless of their success.The idea that Wiggins’s scoring and athleticism speak volumes about his potential in a way that can’t be captured by his rookie-season value metrics goes a long way toward explaining the gulf between his subjective reputation and the numbers. Only time will tell which is right, but that differential could position Wiggins as his generation’s Allen Iverson or Antoine Walker — players who served as early battlegrounds in the war between analytics and conventional wisdom. Tim Duncan199821-0.412.213.8+1.6 Larry Bird198023+2.612.211.1-1.1 PLAYERYEARAGETEAMMATE QUALITYRAW WARAGE-22 EQUIV. WARDIFF Andrew Wiggins201519-9.0-0.75.1+5.8 Blake Griffin201121-7.510.311.9+1.6 Kevin Durant200819-22.214.171.124+5.4 Derrick Coleman199123-6.14.03.1-1.0 Brandon Roy200722-126.96.36.199.0 Mark Jackson198822-188.8.131.52.0 Phil Ford197922+0.94.34.30.0 Patrick Ewing198623-6.83.02.3-0.7 Pau Gasol200221-10.66.17.6+1.5 LeBron James200419-5.46.312.4+6.1 Shaquille O’Neal199320-2.910.614.0+3.5 Walter Davis197823+0.47.46.4-1.0 Allen Iverson199721-184.108.40.206+1.5 Mitch Richmond198923-220.127.116.11-1.0 Adrian Dantley197720-18.104.22.168+3.2 Michael Jordan198521-7.616.918.5+1.6 Emeka Okafor200522-22.214.171.124.0 Steve Francis200022-126.96.36.199.0 Chris Webber199420-2.09.312.0+2.8 Derrick Rose200920-188.8.131.52+3.4 Grant Hill199522-10.36.16.10.0 Ralph Sampson198423-184.108.40.206-1.0 Vince Carter199922-220.127.116.11.0 Amar’e Stoudemire200320+0.51.94.8+2.9 Terry Cummings198321-18.104.22.168+1.3 Mike Miller200120+0.12.45.1+2.7 Darrell Griffith198122-5.0-2.7-2.70.0 David Robinson199024-2.515.113.2-1.9 Damon Stoudamire199622-22.214.171.124.0 Elton Brand200020-126.96.36.199+3.4 Michael Carter-Williams201422-188.8.131.52.0 Larry Johnson199222-184.108.40.206.0 Damian Lillard201322-220.127.116.11.0 Jason Kidd199521-18.104.22.168+1.3 Buck Williams198221-22.214.171.124+1.4 Tyreke Evans201020-126.96.36.199+3.0
Senior offensive lineman Connor Smith never takes the feeling of running into the Horseshoe on game day for granted. “I think if you don’t feel something every time you go in front of 105,000 people, there is something wrong with you,” Smith said. Smith has been used to the big stage since his high school days at Colerain High School in Cincinnati. He was a highly touted recruit, tabbed with labels such as 2005 Gatorade Ohio Player of the Year and Greater Miami Conference 2005 Offensive Player of the Year. The 6-foot-4-inches, 313-pounder was named first team All-Ohio in 2004 and 2005 and was on the 2006 Parade All-America team. Smith was also invited to the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, following his senior season at Colerain. Five years later, Smith is nearing the home stretch of his career as a Buckeye, but he would rather think about the tasks ahead. “I try not to think about it,” Smith said. “We have to get better because we can’t get to where we want to go if we are not progressing.” Smith redshirted his freshman year at OSU in 2006 and earned his first varsity letter the following season in 2007 playing some at the right guard position. Smith also won letters his sophomore and junior seasons, providing stability to a deep offensive line, mostly in a backup role. A seasoned veteran in his fifth year with the Buckeyes, Smith knows that this year’s team has to improve every day if it want to accomplish its goal to be national champion. “Every day we work on what we need to accomplish that day,” Smith said. “We need to improve efficiency when we are running the ball.” Smith also stresses the importance of winning games on the road, especially after scares like the team had at Illinois earlier in the season. “Being away from home is different; we have got to improve on the road definitely,” Smith said. Smith may always be thinking of ways the team needs to improve on offense, but is happy to be part of the offensive line where all the players seem to clique. “The O-line is a tight-knit group,” Smith said, “the tightest group out of everyone on the team.” Though Smith isn’t in the starting line-up, he takes every opportunity to be a leader for the younger players. “You just try to give them tid-bits about something you see in their game,” Smith said. Smith may be running out of time as a Buckeye, but makes the most out of every day for one last run at a championship.
OSU redshirt sophomore quarterback Joe Burrow (10) catches a snap during the Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 15, 2017. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Social Media EditorAfter the 2016 spring game, then-redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Burrow said he wasn’t ready to assume the role of backup quarterback. Now-redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins wasn’t in the mix for the job yet, having not arrived at Ohio State.On Saturday in the 2017 spring game, the two threw a combined 59 passes, completing 40 of them. Haskins was 21 for 32 with the Gray team and 5 for 5 with Scarlet. Burrow was 14 of 22 for Scarlet. Now exiting spring camp heading toward summer workouts and fall camp, whoever wins the backup quarterback job feels confident enough to be the next man up behind redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett.Haskins had the most opportunities in the passing game, playing for nearly the entire game on the Gray squad after Barrett played just the first quarter. Haskins completed five passes for more than 20 yards, throwing for 283 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Burrow connected on three such passes, accumulating 262 passing yards and three touchdowns on the day.Burrow said that the game has slowed down for him quite a bit from a season ago.“I see just about everything that’s going on on defense, know the offense way better — the ins and outs, what’s going on up front,” he said.Burrow and Haskins each stood in the pocket and sprayed the ball all over the field, not being afraid to throw it deep and let the receiver make a play in the air. The effect of a Ryan Day-Kevin Wilson offense was on full display for the first time for the Buckeyes and the passing game reflected that change the most.Burrow came into the spring game as the clubhouse leader for the backup quarterback job, but after a strong performance from both the Athens, Ohio, native and Haskins, OSU coach Urban Meyer will have a decision to make come fall.“I know it is very close. But I’m not prepared to say who is (No.) 2, who is (No.) 3, et cetera, yet,” Meyer said.Meyer continued saying that all four quarterbacks — Barrett, Burrow, Haskins and freshman Tate Martell — have been exceptional during spring camp. He added Haskins and Burrow played well Saturday.In his first time playing in a game scenario, Haskins confirmed beliefs about his arm. He overthrew receivers at time, but dropped in a few long passes on target to redshirt junior wide receivers Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin for his three touchdowns.When asked whether or not he thought Burrow and Haskins are ready to be the quarterback on deck, Dixon emphatically said he’s confident Burrow and Haskins each can be the leader of the offense, if need be.Haskins said that he did what he sought out to do this spring and did enough to win the backup job. But until fall camp, he and Burrow will have to wait to prove they’re the right choice to be the next up after Barrett.“As far as the competition goes, we’re just going back and forth rotating twos, ones,” Haskins said. “Doing everything we need to do to get each other better.”
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer addresses the Buckeyes prior to the first practice of fall camp on July 27. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorComing off its 54-21 victory over UNLV, the No. 11 Ohio State football team (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) will be preparing this week for its matchup against Rutgers, the first Big Ten opponent the team has faced since the season opener against Indiana.Speaking on Tuesday’s weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference, head coach Urban Meyer was asked questions about the protests that were prominent in the NFL this week, and how he would react if one of his own players asked to protest racial injustice and police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.After he avoided providing a direct answer the day prior at a press conference regarding how the team has dealt with the protests, Meyer gave a similar answer in the teleconference, citing a culture of respect to deal with the varying opinions players and coaches might have on the hotly debated topic, while avoiding sharing his own opinion on the matter.“A culture of team, a culture of respect and a culture of focus. And so, I was unaware that anything was going on until yesterday,” Meyer said Tuesday. “I’ll talk to some players and we’ll do what we normally do after a conversation and I’ll let people have their opinions and never cross the ‘r-word’, which is respect.”Meyer later said that in a hypothetical situation in which a player might ask him about joining the protest over racial injustice and take a knee during the national anthem, any conversation on the matter would be kept private and not shared with the public.“That’s between me and the player and to be honest, I don’t know,” Meyer said. “And if I did, I probably wouldn’t share it with you since to me, that’s sanctuary-type meetings you have with your players that you have trust in. So it’s no different than if you said what if my son or daughter came home and asked me what would I do, that’s between me and them.”Here are more updates from Meyer during the Week 5 teleconference.On Big Ten locker rooms: “These players do a lot for us and do a lot for our conference. They should be treated right and that’s very clean environment, obviously the proper heat, proper air conditioner, air conditioning and a sanitary environment. And I would imagine that from this point forward that their people will look at that very closely.”On assessing the team: “Pass defense continues to be the No. 1 on the hit parade as far as we have three pass interference penalties last week. Other than that, we played well, but that’s No. 1 where we need to improve. And then No. 2 is consistency on offense, and especially you know when you start getting into conference play and facing the better defenses, you have to play much better.”On Tracy Sprinkle: “He’s one of our top players as far as leadership, as far as respect amongst our players, so they know how hard he works, what a character guy he is and how much he loves his teammates. He actually talked some today a little bit. He’s getting back to that group he was before he got hurt. So, his last two games have been much better and we anticipate him to continue to improve as he has more confidence on that leg.”On freshmen who impressed against UNLV: “I can see Pete Werner and Baron Browning. They’ve really made strides … plus they’re very talented guys. Jeffrey Okudah is a guy who has taken a giant step and earned some playing time. Trevon Grimes had a couple really good weeks of practice. He’s not in a position to be in the rotation yet, but he’s working towards that.”On Demario McCall: “We’re pressing along and trying to get him ready to go, but when you watched him play, that wasn’t the Demario McCall you’ve seen in the open field. So it is a real injury. It is something that’s getting better and it’s a guy that just needs confidence to become the dynamic player he could be.”
Pep Guardiola has warned his players that progress must be continued to be made at Manchester City in order for him to see out his new contractThe Catalan signed a new two-year deal with the Premier League champions on Thursday that he will see remain at the club until the end of the 2020-21 season with his original contract still having a further year remaining.In his nine-year managerial career, Guardiola has spent four years at Barcelona and three at Bayern Munich.The 47-year-old warned that he may also decide to leave City, after a short spell, if they are unable to continue their progress made from this season.“The contract and the manager always depends on the result. We have extended two years to stay for the next three years but we depend on results,” said Guardiola, according to SportsKeeda.Report: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…“In football, what you have done in one year can change absolutely everything. But I have confidence with the club, with the chairman [Khaldoon Al Mubarak], with [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain]. We know [each other] perfectly.“When we feel things are not going well, we are going to change and I am going to make a step back.“I am trying, with all my efforts and desire to avoid that, and instead of making a step back we are going to make a step forward to maintain the level of this club.“We have a contract because we have to have a contract, but the club knows me and when I have the feeling that our relationship with the players is not good I am going to make a step back and another guy is going to come to help the players maintain this high level.”