Goalie Shane Connely will play an important role against the Denver Pioneers this weekend as the Wisconsin men\’s hockey team looks to improve their WCHA playoff spot.[/media-credit]With this upcoming weekend’s two-game set against Denver looming, University of Wisconsin men’s hockey head coach Mike Eaves said he doesn’t focus on the Badgers’ performance against the Pioneers in October.The Badgers dropped two games in Denver, pushing their record to 0-4 to open the season in addition to the loss of senior captain Ben Street to an injury for the year. Eaves said it was the worst point of the year for the team and that it was a “dark weekend for us.” But Eaves and his squad are concentrating on the task at hand.“We don’t look at it at all, that was so long ago, and in terms of how they’re playing you always go back to the weekend they played before coming in to see us,” Eaves said.The Badgers have run off a 16-8-2 record since their last matchup with Denver. Eaves did not think his team would respond in the fashion they did.“Hopeful is a word that comes to mind, but at that time we weren’t a very good hockey team,” Eaves said. “We were struggling in many areas trying to find our identity and since that time we’ve been able to do that which has caused the turnaround and we find ourselves where we are now. But at that time if somebody would’ve said that, I’d have said they would’ve been hopeful in that thinking.”Badgers look for playoff spotAside from potentially getting retribution, the weekend series will have major implications on Wisconsin’s tournament chances. Currently, the Badgers sit at 15th in the PairWise Rankings, placing the Badgers out of the tournament despite recent success.“It does [feel unrewarding], I’m not going to lie to you,” Eaves said of the ranking. “In terms of what we can control, I know if we continue to win that that’ll probably take care of itself, so that’s our focus. It does seem unfair and I’m not sure if I understand the nuances, but I do know in talking to some folks that if we continue to win that it will take care of itself.”The weekend will also go a long way as to determining who winds up on top of the WCHA standings; second-place Denver holds a one-point lead over the Badgers.Although the Badgers are coming off impressive back-to-back wins over Minnesota, the coaching staff is facing a big challenge in trying to keep their players sharp over a two-week break.“It’s a roll of the dice,” Eaves said. “History tells us that our last bye week we came out and played pretty well against Colorado College. We’ve come out after a bye week and been flat; that first period is really what you wait to see. … You haven’t been playing at game speed for awhile, that’s the reality of it.”Eaves also expressed the importance of staying sharp during the last few weeks of practice.“It was more of a challenge and I think where they’re at, and where you are at, you kind of have to give them what they need … and to some degree I thought we were a little more detailed in the things that we wanted this past week,” Eaves said. “We only taught one day. We actually, I thought, demanded more from them just because I think they were after a big sweep at Minnesota feeling good about themselves and I think you have to balance that out with what you demand from them.”With the regular season winding down and the postseason coming up shortly, this week of practice and this weekend’s games hold a massive impact over the future of the hockey team. Eaves thought it was important to finish the season on a strong note.“We’ve got six games left in the regular season, so what becomes our focus?” Eaves said. “Well our focus doesn’t really change; it’s still the same one and all mentality on a Friday and a Saturday, but then you have to talk about the process, you focus on the process.”Dealing with injuriesEven while battling injuries the Badgers have managed to impress on a national level. Eaves attributed the success to this reserves coming in for starters and the success they have had.“We’re pretty healthy right now,” Eaves said. “We came off a big series, we’ve got lots to play for. It’s an exciting time of year. It’s going to go by quickly. … The energy is good, I think [the players] know what’s at stake. They’re on the Internet more than we are. We have to keep their focus on the process, and if we do that we are doing our job.”
On Tuesday night, the Viterbi School of Engineering hosted the Information Technology Program Game Industry Career Night in the Ronald Tutor Hall which featured a panel of gaming professionals with years of experience in the industry.Tom Sloper, video game designer and producer who has taught in the ITP department at USC for the past seven years, moderated the event. Panelists discussed a range of topics such as synthesizing creativity within programs and motivating yourself while creating large projects.Sloper started working for Activision in 1988 and has worked on projects for Atari and Sega, as well as doing freelance games for Xbox Live and Nintendo DS.David Dalzell works for Treyarch as the Principle Technical Artist. He began working at Activision 20 years ago and has worked on games such as Call of Duty. He worked in the corporate and publishing sectors of the company and now does game scripting.“My job right now has a bunch of artists, designers and animators who make content and my job is to make all the stuff fit on the plastic disc,” David said.Dalzell said he was always interested in doing art on the computer, but joining a large gaming company was a career he did not anticipate.“The adaptability part is important,” David said. “You have to be able to change jobs very quickly because you will do 20 or 30 different things.”Game designer Karen McMullen got an invitation to visit Ensemble Studios, which has produced games like Age of Empires and Halo, while interning for an architecture firm out of college. Inspired by the facility, she started learning 3D art and within three months, the studio’s executive producer had her build a game level that eventually launched into a massive campaign. She worked there for 10 years.“Architecture prepared me well for that career,” McMullen said. “When you get opportunities like that, grab them.”Currently, McMullen teaches at the Los Angeles film school and stressed the importance of the people you meet rather than each individual project.“The people you work with are gong to be more important than any project you work on,” McMullen said. “Beyond that, you have to love what you do.”Jeffrey Buchanan, who worked at the Department of Defense with technology such as the eight-inch gun system and weapon systems on standard ships, designed some of the first virtual fighter games and worked with Sega in Japan. He stressed the importance of staying committed to a project, which can often be exhausting and require hundreds of thousands of hours.“When you start a project, do your best to finish what you start,” Buchanan said. “Don’t burn bridges. Hang in there. Get the project done. Get that project on your resume and keep the friendships you make.”Bill Black began working in the music business and has worked on sound effects design and directing voiceovers. He worked on an exclusive contract with Activision from 1993 to 2001 and a company in Irvine that designed World of Warcraft.“My early experiences really helped me learn everything such as animation, programming, production and all the areas of art,” Black said. “I really learned end-to-end development.”Panelists gave their advice on balancing creativity, technical knowledge and connections.“When you get older, it’s more about experience than the technical skill,” Black said. “You get to a point where you have to manage that next generation; you’re more valuable; your wisdom, experience, knowledge and contacts in the industry are more important than you actually doing the job.”Dalzell described synthesizing creativity with the logistics of translating that onto a program.“The main task of making games is solving problems,” Dalzell said. “Lots of people start [making games] as artists with creative ideas … once you learn how to get things in the game and you make it less [sic] complicated.”McMullen said the industry has been incredibly self-motivating and rewarding for her.“I’ve found being more technical empowering,” McMullen said. “I ask myself, ‘How do I get this in the game?’ Well, I figure it out.”The panelists told attendants to anticipate the stress of a project’s “crunch time,” the time when a company deadline is fast approaching, and to expect some disastrous projects as well as immensely successful ones.“The difference between the nightmare project and a project that’s just hard is the success of a project,” David said. “When you’ve worked seven days a week and 20 hours a day and it doesn’t go anywhere, that’s pretty awful. When I worked on the last Call of Duty, it was completely worth it because people knew about it.”Buchanan advised students not to get discouraged by difficult or unsuccessful projects.“Sometimes you’ll work really hard on a project and just like anything in life, the pieces just might not all fit together,” Buchanan said. “You did your best; be proud of your work and know the work you put into it.”McMullen urged students to continually work on gaming projects throughout their careers, even if only for personal practice.“Never stop making games,” McMullen said. “You should always have games that you’re kicking around and showing people for fun.”The panel concluded with a Q&A where students had the opportunity to ask questions about gaming.“I want to get into the game industry, so it was useful to hear firsthand from professionals about their opinions on the industry and get their background about how they got involved,” said Zach Hyter, a senior majoring in natural sciences and minoring in video game design.Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the name of one panelist is Jeffrey Ken. His name is actually Jeffrey Buchanan. The Daily Trojan regrets the error.
Offensive lineman Chuma Edoga measured in at 6-foot-3 and 308 pounds, along with 34 6/8-inch arms — ideal for a NFL offensive tackle. Concerns about his upper body strength might remain after putting up only 21 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, but he performed well enough to show his athleticism, looking fluid in drills and running a 5.19-second 40-yard dash — in the top half of the Combine’s offensive linemen. Fellow linebacker Cameron Smith did perhaps the most of any Trojan to shoot up draft boards with his work in Indianapolis last weekend. The widely cited concerns around Smith revolved mostly around his perceived lack of the athleticism necessary for the pros. Though he did weigh in about 7 or 8 pounds less than he would have liked at 238, he alleviated those concerns with impressive athletic testing. Marshall did not participate in any of the other field tests, yet he was among the best performers in the drill portion of the day, showcasing fluid movement abilities and excellent ball skills. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a team look at him as either a safety or a cornerback at the NFL level. Linebacker Porter Gustin may not have put on the athletic freak show some expected from him, but he turned in a good workout on Sunday. Measuring in at 6-foot-4 and a muscular 255 pounds, Gustin fits the frame for a modern edge rusher. A workout warrior, Gustin put up 31 reps on the bench press, tied for most by any linebacker this year and most by a Trojan since Nick Perry’s 35 back in 2012. His 4.69-second 40-yard dash, though unspectacular, was enough to prove that he has the necessary speed to run at the pro level, and his 4.23-second 20-yard shuttle was among the top 10 performers at his position. It was in the jump events that Smith shone the brightest, showcasing elite explosiveness that few would have expected from him. Smith jumped a 39-inch vertical — third among all linebackers behind only first round locks Devin Bush and Devin White. Smith also posted a tremendous broad jump of 12-3, good enough to finish in the top five at his position. Gustin’s on-field work was impressive as well, as he posted good marks with a 35.5 in the vertical and 10-7 in the broad. His 40-yard dash time was solid, if underwhelming, at 4.69 seconds. There’s a possibility that the injuries that forced him to miss the end of the season are still lingering, but he performed well enough to boost his stock nonetheless. Knowing him, it’s also not too much of a stretch to assume that he impressed scouts in the interview portion of the event as well. The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine was perhaps one of the most memorable in recent history, with incredible feats of athleticism from this year’s NFL hopefuls. Among the impressive prospects in this year’s edition of the “Underwear Olympics” were five former Trojans, most of whom impressed on the big day. Though their performances might not have made national headlines like those of D.K. Metcalf or Montez Sweat, almost all of the former USC standouts’ showings likely boosted their draft stock. Safety Marvell Tell, despite sitting out of the 40-yard dash due to a nagging ankle issue, may have had one of the most impressive workouts of anyone at this year’s combine. He showed above average size for a safety at 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, and his 33-inch arms are a huge asset, a trait NFL teams will not overlook. He placed in the top three among all defensive backs in the four on-field events he participated in and no worse than second in any of them among the safeties. He posted ridiculous marks in both jumps, with a 42 in the vertical and an 11-4 in the broad; both top three among all defensive backs. Linebacker Porter Gustin’s 31 reps on the bench press impressed many at the Combine Saturday. (Tucker Judkins/Daily Trojan) Defensive back Iman Marshall measured in at 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds — a good size for a cornerback — although his 30-inch arms might be a concern for some teams at the position. Perhaps the biggest question surrounding Marshall on his way to the combine was whether or not he’d show the necessary long speed to play corner in the NFL, a question he put to rest by running a time of 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Tell’s agility marks were similarly exceptional, with a 6.63-second mark in the three-cone drill and 4.01 in the 20-yard shuttle, both good enough for first among all safeties and second among all defensive backs. Teams will have to wait until USC’s pro day for an answer on his 40 time, but the athletic profile he put on today will undoubtedly help his case. It might even be argued that a team could try to mold him into a cornerback at the next level — he showed all the physical traits to do so.
SPORTS FEDERATION ELECTIONFemi SolajaThe cordial relationship existing between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) may have finally broken down following the outright rejection of the guideline released last week by the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung. At the end of its Executive Committee meeting yesterday at its secretariat in Lagos, the NOC resolved that there should be a harmonious guideline on the national federation elections in line with international best practices.The body argued that the essence of this harmonious guideline is to ensure that it conforms with the Charter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the constitutions of the various international sports federations.According to the Secretary General of NOC, Tunde Popoola, who briefed the media after the meeting, “the issue of ‘eligibility’ as contained in the Ministry’s guideline does not in anyway conform with the provision of the IOC Charter and constitutions of the international federations.“That provisions in the guidelines which forbids Nigerians who are members of Executive Committees of their respective international federation from holding offices in their respective national federations locally will inhibit opportunities of getting more Nigerians into positions in the long run,” he argued.The NOC scribe also picked some holes in the composition of the Appeals Committee, which he said “was a crowd of appointees of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, with only one NOC member is not in accord with the principle of fair hearing. We (NOC) recommend that a team of independent persons be appointed as members of the committee for fair hearing,” he explained.Popoola also narrated how the Olympic body has tried to maintain good relationship with the sports ministry, noting that the Godwin Kienka’s Reforms Committee made use of the NOC boardroom for most of its meetings with inputs from NOC but some individuals in the sports ministry for selfish interest threw everything over board.“We are the direct descendant of IOC in Nigeria operating within this territorial water and established to coordinate the affairs of the federations just as the each sporting federation relates with the international bodies.“It is time to correct most of the anomalies that are associated with the composition of boards of the federations. We are ready to thread path of dialogue and will appreciate if the sports ministry can allow everybody to operate within norms as approved by IOC and not manipulation of the compositions of the respective boards of the sports federations,” he insisted.Last week, the Sports Ministry released the guidelines with too many contentious issues in the area of eligibility.The guideline disqualified candidates that have spent more than two terms and as well as banning presidents that are currently serving in the executive committees of their respective continental/ international federations.The battle for supremacy between the two bodies (Sports Ministry and NOC) has become a recurring decimal at every elective year.The major cause has always been the special privilege accorded NOC Presidents at the Olympiad preceding the election.After surviving several sports ministers, Late Raheem Adejumo was finally removed by then Sports Minister, Dr. Jim Nwobodo and was replaced by Adamu Dyeri before a serving director in the sports ministry, Habu Gumel took over and doubled as the President of volleyball federation.There was synergy between the two bodies until he was upstaged by Sani Ndanusa who used his platform as a serving sports minister to plot his way into the plump position.Incidentally, Gumel staged a comeback at the last election held in December of 2014 by snatching the NOC job from Ndanusa.But his plan to return to the position is now threatened by the new guideline released by Dalung.Other federation presidents disqualified from seeking fresh mandate by the new guidelines include; Solomon Ogba (athletics), Tijani Umar ,,(Basketball), Wahid Enitan Oshodi (Table tennis), among others.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Share Submit Share Gary ShawLondon AIM-listed B2B mobile gaming solutions provider Nektan Plc has detailed strong corporate growth for its Q2 2018 trading update (three-month period ending 31 December).Updating investors, Nektan would record net gaming revenues of £4.7 million up 42% on corresponding Q2 2017’s £3.3 million.During the trading period, Nektan governance informs that it has prioritized on developing player quality, whilst improving its ‘efficiency in spend’ resulting in a 37% saving in bonuses awarded in Q2 FY18.The company strengthened its commercial pipeline launching 17 new website properties during the trading period, at present Nektan services a total of 94 brands from 51 partners, with a further 18 new sites aiming to be launched during Q3 2018.Nektan continues to expand its client games portfolio adding new titles from Evolution Gaming and IWG, taking the Group’s total mobile games portfolio to over 450. The firm’s new platform deal with Tyche is expected to go live during January 2018 and to generate revenue during Q3 FY18.Gary Shaw, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Nektan Plc, said: “Our core European business continued to progress as expected in Q2 FY18 with a number of further launches planned in Q3 FY18. Our strategy to move into B2B is paying off with initial revenue generated by the Company. We look forward to announcing further positive updates across Nektan’s business over the next few months, including on our platform deal with Tyche and our US business.” Related Articles Delasport elevates online casino offering with Betsoft deal June 3, 2020 XLMedia completes takeover of 101GreatGoals.com July 17, 2020 StumbleUpon FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020
New Edubiase United have vowed to avoid demotion at the end of the on-going First Capital Plus Premier League.The Bekwai-based side has been lurking around the drop zone for a large part of the season and now currently place 13th but on same points – 26, with Hearts of Oak who lie just above on the FCPPL log.”We will not be relegated this season. No way!” club President Abdul Salam Yakubu told Supersport.”The season has not been rosy but we believe the quality we have can get us up the ladder. Judging from our remaining games, we believe we can move up to even the Top 4 bracket.”The technical team and players are working hard to get the results,” he added.Edubiase host Academy boys WAFA at the Len Clay Stadium in one of eight match day 22 fixtures on Sunday. Two downThe following two games were played on Saturday:B.A United 0-2 Inter Allies [CLICK HERE FOR MATCH REPORT]Sekondi Hasaacas 1-1 All Stars.Sunday’s clashes Following the dramatic shake up at the top of the table last week, many teams will be hoping to consolidate or, better still, improve on their standings on the table. The subplots are many, too.Aduana v Hearts of OakAduana are in Dormaa as Hearts of Oak come to town. All eyes will be on the Phobians following their managerial problems. Earlier in the week, Herbert Addo was let go along with his assistant and the team’s woes worsened when they lost in the Elite Cup against Dwarfs. Eddie Ansah, the goalkeeper’s trainer, has been put in charge of the team and will be hoping to get the Phobians their first win in four matches. “I believe I am more capable to handle Hearts of Oak. I do not have any working experience because I have not coached any team, but I believe I can do a good job,” Ansah told Oman FM.”I will lead the team to a respectable position if I am handed the job,” he went on.Aduana will want to take advantage of Hearts’ troubles to compensate their loss to AshGold last wekend. The Dormaa side are still in the haunt for the title and a win could see their chances boosted especially when Ashantigold face a trick test in Kpando. Aduana (4th) last five games: L W L W LHearts (12th) last five games: L D D L W Lions v AshGoldThe league leaders will travel to play Hearts of Lions. It appears this “Hearts” are also struggling. Just like Hearts of Oak, Lions lost their last game to WAFA and have tasted a sanction from the FA for supporter violence. After hitting the 40-point mark, AshGold’s seven point gap lead does not appear to be in trouble soon. They will be hoping to continue from where they left off when they beat Aduana by a lone goal. Having been awarded a new contract this week, Bashiru Hayford will want a win to crown off a successful week for him as they seek to tighten their grip on the league title.He said: “If we have stretched the lead by 7 points, then we are cruising towards the winning of the league but I’m not saying it is automatic. No!” “Anything at all can happen but we are going to guide against things that will may be prevent us from winning the league. I think we are on course.”Lions (14th) last five games: L D L D LAshGold (1st) last five games: W L W D WKotoko v Berekum ChelseaThe encounter will see a resurgent Chelsea, who moved to second in Week 21, face Kotoko in Kumasi. Kotoko’s loss to Dunkwa, a Division One side, in the Elite Cup exposed their deepening cracks.Hearts’ woes may have shifted the attention from the Porcupines but not its problems. Chelsea will hope to capitalize on this to increase their chances of catching up with AshGold at the top. The Berekum side have an abysmal record away from home having last won in March 2013.Their last trip to Kumasi ended 2-1 to the Porcupines. Should Solomon Odwo and his charges mount a title charge, this poor form away must be halted and what better place to stop the rot than Kumasi?Kotoko (10th) last five games: D W L W LChelsea (2nd) last five games: W D W L W Olympics v Bechem UnitedGreat Olympics will be come into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Inter Allies two weeks ago. Olympics have however been boosted following two successive weeks in the Elite Cup.Bechem United also come into the game after winning at home against Liberty in Week 21. The Bechem Side have a potential game changer in Cofie Bekoe in their ranks and will be hoping the former Petrojet player can produce a stelar performance to fetch them all three points.Olympics (15th) last five games: L W L L L Bechem (11th) last five games: W L W D W Edubiase FC v WAFANew Edubiase sit just a point above the relegation zone with 26 points after 21 games. Edubiase’s last encounter with Berekum Chelsea end 2-0 in favour of the latter. While Chelsea shot to the 2nd on the log from 5th, Edubiase went down to 13th from 9th. They will hoping to compensate for that loss in front of their home fans when they take on third place WAFA who won their last game against Lions 2-1. Edubiase (13th) last five games: L W D D L WAFA (3rd) last five games: W L W D D Liberty v Medeama SCThe last time both teams met, the game ended 1-1.The teams will be hoping to settle it this time round. Although they sit comfortably around the middle of the table, their last few matches have not gone quite well.Liberty will hope that home fans will spur them on for their first victory in three matches. Kennedy Ashia is in top form for the Dansoman side having scored five goals in his last four matches for the scientific soccer lads.He faces his rival for the goal king, Nathaniel Asamoah, who has not been prolific in the road for the Tarkwa side. More frightening for Medeama will be the fact that Ashia has scored four in his last two games.The MTN FA Cup finalists will be counting on two goal hero Kwasi Donsu to perform my heroics should Nathaniel Asamoah continue with his poor run away from home.Liberty (8th) last five games: L L W D WMedeama (9th) last five games: D L W L D–The Joy Sports Team will be bringing live updates on Sports Arena on Sunday from 3pm, anchored by Gary Al-Smith. Follow minute by minute updates on Twitter and Facebook with the #JoySports hashtag
“It’s working out pretty well so far.”Rollins is a familiar foe to the Mets, having played for the rival Philadelphia Phillies from 2000-14. He’s still hearing the boos every time he comes to the plate. It’s probably no coincidence that Rollins is breaking out of his slump someplace he’s always hit well. Only Pete Rose and Lou Brock have more hits against the Mets in their careers than Rollins.“Coincidence? No,” he said. “It’s a great time.”Starting rotation set NEW YORK >> Not far from where Citi Field now stands, Glenn Wright hit a home run in three consecutive games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in July 1930. For 85 years, no shortstop in franchise history achieved that feat until Jimmy Rollins crushed a home run to right field against the Mets on Saturday.Rollins also hit home runs here Thursday and Friday.The 36-year-old veteran isn’t quite old enough to remember Wright, but he’s old enough to stay calm during a slump. He had a big one coming out of the All-Star break, going without a hit in his first 18 plate appearances. Rollins’ batting average nearly dipped below .200 for the season.“I was feeling good,” he said. “The first day of (batting practice) in D.C. I was hitting the ball well and hard. I was like, ‘whoa.’ I was trying to stick with the plan. I was like, ‘if this is where I am right now, don’t fight it.’ Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw will start the Dodgers’ two home games against the Oakland A’s on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be Anderson’s first career start against the A’s, the team he debuted with in 2009 and pitched for until 2013. Anderson was lined up to start Sunday against the Mets, but Zack Greinke was pushed back two days due to the birth of his first child in Los Angeles on Thursday night.To keep fresh, Anderson threw a 15-pitch bullpen session Saturday, one day after he threw twice as many pitches in his regularly scheduled bullpen. This time Anderson pitched without tape around his left ankle, which had been bothered by inflammation in the sheath around his Achilles tendon.The left-hander said he would have been fine starting either Tuesday or Sunday.“If it gives them the peace of mind, I’m flexible,” Anderson said. “All things considered, the best thing to do was have (Greinke) start (Sunday).”AlsoWhen Juan Uribe entered Saturday’s game in the seventh inning, it was the fifth time he has suited up against the Dodgers as an opponent this year — four times with the Braves, this time with the Mets — after spending the first two months of the season in a Dodgers uniform. Uribe and Kelly Johnson were traded to the Mets on Friday. … Adrian Gonzalez was bothered by stiffness in his neck the past two days, so Saturday’s original lineup had Justin Turner playing first base and Alberto Callaspo playing third. After taking batting practice, Gonzalez was inserted into the lineup. Callaspo came out and Turner took over at third. … Alex Guerrero took a normal round of batting practice one day after he was scratched due to stiffness in his back, but didn’t play in the game. … Manager Don Mattingly said he hasn’t told Yasiel Puig that he won’t (or will) be traded before next Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline. “I haven’t heard the trade rumors,” he said. “I guess there have been a little bit. Within the clubhouse, at least for me, there haven’t been any trade rumors with him. … There hasn’t been any need to talk about anything.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Again, we’ll stop mentioning Alex Bowman when he stops performing. Bowman has finished in the top 10 in his last four races and was third at last year’s fall race at Pocono as well.Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch are the active leaders in wins at Pocono Raceway with three apiece. Both men have been subtly good this season as Busch has three top-5 finishes and eight top 10s in 14 races this year. Johnson has one top five and six top 10s.One sleeper for the Pocono 400William Byron might be coming into his own right now. The 21-year-old driver has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three races and won the pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway last week. He also has a decent track record at Pocono with sixth- and 18th-place finishes at the track in his short career. Taking that into account this race can very much be a crapshoot, as guys like Chris Buescher won in the fall of 2016 and Ryan Blaney took home his first-ever win there in 2017.This can be very unpredictable week to week, but what has been very predictable this season has been Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.The two men have combined to win six of this year’s 14 races and each has factored into the top 10 as well throughout the year.Both men have two career wins at Pocono while Busch has five straight top 10s at the track and Truex has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four events.These two men will be the favorites to take home victories this week, but with the unpredictable nature of the event it’s hard to pick exactly who will find Victory Lane.As good as both Busch and Truex have been this year and at Pocono in the past, we are going to take Chase Elliott to win. He has five top 10s in six career races at Pocono and has finished in the top five in four straight events in 2019.The Pocono 400 can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on FS1.What are the betting odds for the Pocono?Kyle Busch 3/1Kevin Harvick 9/2Martin Truex Jr. 6/1Brad Keselowski 7/1Chase Elliott 10/1Joey Logano 10/1Denny Hamlin 12/1Ryan Blaney 20/1Clint Bowyer 20/1Kyle Larson 20/1Kurt Busch 20/1Erik Jones 25/1Jimmie Johnson 25/1Alex Bowman 25/1Aric Almirola 40/1Daniel Suarez 40/1William Byron 40/1Austin Dillon 50/1Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 100/1Ryan Newman 100/1Chris Buescher 100/1Paul Menard 100/1Daniel Hemric 300/1Matt DiBenedetto 500/1Ty Dillon 1000/1Ryan Preece 1000/1Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. 1000/1Michael McDowell 1000/1David Ragan 1000/1Field (all others) 1000/1Which NASCAR drivers should you watch at the Pocono 400?Erik Jones really likes Pocono Raceway and has three top-10 finishes in four career races at the track. He also has finished in the top 10 in two of his last three races and is coming off a second-place finish at a similar big flat track in Indianapolis last season. NASCAR makes its first trip to a big flat track this weekend at Pocono Raceway in Pennslyvania.The “Tricky Triangle” presents a very different challenge from recent weeks at intermediate tracks as this week horsepower will be absolute king.
MLB playoffs 2019: Three takeaways from an improbable Nationals wild-card win MLB playoffs 2019: One reason Nationals, Brewers could win the World Series 2019 NLDS storylinesWill Dallas Keuchel be the key to the Braves taking the next step?: This is why the Braves went out and signed Keuchel in the middle of the season. The lefty got World Series experience wth the Astros and made multiple appearances in the postseason with Houston. He gives the Braves a veteran for their rotation to send out in Game 1 of the NLDS and possibly for a second time in Game 4 or 5. But will he be what they need to advance to the next round? Or will he struggle as he did in his final few outings in the playoffs for Houston (4.43 ERA last four appearances)?Can the Nationals hit consistently in their matchup with the Dodgers?: While Max Scherzer can catch some flak for lackluster postseason performances with the Nationals, it has truly been the lineup that has let Washington down in the playoffs over the last few years. Since 2014, Washington has averaged 3.8 runs per game in the playoffs, scoring three runs or fewer in seven of their 15 games. The Dodgers have a solid pitching staff. Will the lineup do enough to support a rotation that will likely keep the Nationals in all of their games?2019 NLDS players to watchJack Flaherty, SP, Cardinals — The 23-year-old righty might have been the best pitcher in MLB down the stretch in 2019. In the second half, Flaherty put up a 0.91 ERA and 0.71 WHIP in 99 1/3 innings. He won’t get to start Game 1 on Thursday, but he will likely pitch Game 2 on Friday and will either have a chance to send the Cardinals back to St. Louis tied 1-1 or up 2-0.Kenley Jansen, CP, Dodgers — The Dodgers decided to stand pat at the deadline and did not go out and get either an additional closer in the market or at least a man who could step in and take over in case Jansen struggled. Los Angeles’ closer posted a career-worst 3.71 ERA this year while blowing a career-high eight saves. This could easily be seen as an anomaly with hope that he’ll get over it in the playoffs, but in the last two years he has had some serious postseason breakdowns. He has posted a 3.55 ERA with four home runs allowed in nine appearances in the World Series over the last two years. Jansen struggled again during the regular season. The Nationals showed in the wild-card game they can get to good closers in the late innings. Will that factor into the series? The National League Division Series are set.Washington will take on the Dodgers after winning a dramatic wild-card game 4-3 over the Brewers and the Cardinals will face off with the Braves. Both series start Thursday as the Braves and Cardinals play at 5:02 p.m. ET and the Dodgers and Nationals face off at 8:37 p.m. ET. Both games will be on TBS.Here is your 2019 NLDS Preview: Related News MLB playoffs 2019: One reason Athletics, Rays could win World Series 2019 NLDS predictionsBraves over the Cardinals in five games — The Braves have an odd advantage in this one: the Cardinals haven’t faced Keuchel or Max Fried yet this season. The one pitcher they will definitely face in the playoffs is Mike Soroka and he dominated them to a tune of a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings (two starts) this season. But the Cardinals have had success with their pitching as well, so this will come down to the two lineups. The Braves’ lineup is better. They tasted the postseason last year and their young hitters have more experience under their belt. That will be the difference.Nationals over the Dodgers in five games — We admit it, this is bold, but we just like the Nationals’ starting rotation too much to think it will lose with the way it’s set up. The Dodgers have to face Patrick Corbin in Game 1. He shut out Los Angeles over seven innings in his lone start against them this season and Los Angeles showed massive vulnerability in matchups against lefties in the playoffs all of last year. Now, it addressed that by playing Cody Bellinger every day — matchups be damned — but this year the Dodgers were not as good against lefties as they were righties. But beyond that the Dodgers will have to face Stephen Strasburg in Game 2 and he is an absolute beast in the postseason. Los Angeles could easily be down 2-0 going back to Washington. But as we said above, the Nationals still have to hit in this series. That is the X-factor. So if they don’t then the Dodgers will obviously win. But it is undeniable how well the Nationals’ pitching sets up for the NLDS against the Dodgers.
— high school boys basketball from SaturdayBishop Garrigan 77, Newman 29Algona 63, Charles City 43Belmond-Klemme 55, Central Springs 53 (OT)Hampton-Dumont-CAL 48, Saint Ansgar 42Osage 62, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 40West Fork 51, Forest City 40 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Danielle Hunter had three of Minnesota’s five sacks to spearhead a resurgence by the defense, and the Vikings sailed past Detroit 20-7 to stick the Lions with their sixth straight loss. Kirk Cousins passed for 242 yards and a touchdown, and Dalvin Cook had 75 yards from scrimmage and a rushing score on 20 touches over three quarters. But Minnesota’s defense delivered the biggest impact to help keep the Vikings on track for the playoffs with a 9-4 record. Rookie quarterback David Blough threw two interceptions, and the Lions fell to 3-9-1. IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa says its former athletic director Bump Elliott has died. He was 94. Elliott was a star halfback at Michigan who won the Big Ten’s MVP award in 1947. Elliott became Michigan’s coach in 1959 and led the Wolverines for 10 seasons, a tenure that included a Rose Bowl win in 1964. Elliott, who was the Hawkeyes’ athletic director from 1970-1991, was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989. IOWA CITY — The Iowa Hawkeyes are headed to San Diego to play USC in the Holiday Bowl on Friday December 27th. It is their fourth trip to the game but their first since 1991.That’s defensive coordinator Phil Parker who filled in for Kirk Ferentz on Sunday. He was watching his son, James, start for the Patriots. The Hawkeyes finished the regular season 9-3.That’s Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley. Kickoff for the Holiday Bowl on Friday December 27th is scheduled for 7 o’clock Iowa time, and you can hear the game on AM-1300 KGLO starting with the pre-game at about 5 o’clock. TONIGHT:– AM-1300 KGLO — Iowa men vs. Minnesota — pre-game 6:00, tipoff 7:00– AM-1490/96.7-FM KRIB, kribam.com — Clear Lake at Mason City High — girls 6:15, boys follow MASON CITY — The North Iowa Bulls ended their run at the North Iowa Ice Arena on Saturday night with an 8-3 win over Alexandria. Justin Daly had a hat trick while Ryan Hempel scored twice to lead the Bulls, who were two-for-five on the power play. North Iowa is now 20-3-2-0 on the season and will play at Rochester on Friday night. After playing three games at the NA3HL Showcase Tournament in Blaine Minnesota December 15-17, the Bulls will be off until they have their first game in the new Mason City downtown arena on Friday December 28th against Alexandria. QUINCY, ILLINOIS — The 3rd-ranked NIACC women picked up a couple of victories at the John Wood Community College Classic in Quincy Illinois over the weekend. On Friday night, Sana’a Smith had 15 points while Sierra Lynch and Autam Mendez each had 14 points to lead the Lady Trojans to an 82-70 win. On Saturday, NIACC needed overtime to beat 5th-ranked Lincoln Land Community College 84-81. Lynch scored all six of NIACC’s points in the extra session. Sierra Morrow had 29 points and 17 rebounds to lead NIACC. The Lady Trojans are 12-0 and are off until they travel to the Illinois Central Holiday Tournament starting on December 28th, where they’ll face 11th-ranked Bryant & Stratton Community College of Wisconsin. AMES — Iowa State will play Notre Dame on Saturday December 28th in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando. The Cyclones finished the regular season with a record of 7-5.That’s Iowa State coach Matt Campbell. It is the Cyclones’ third straight bowl game.Kickoff for the Camping World Bowl on December 28th is scheduled for 11:00 AM. — high school girls basketball from SaturdayBishop Garrigan 72, Newman 29Algona 74, Charles City 41Belmond-Klemme 49, Central Springs 39Forest City 48, West Fork 28Hampton-Dumont-CAL 64, Saint Ansgar 60 AMES — Iowa State outscored 16th ranked Seton Hall 48-40 in the second half to beat the Pirates 76-66 in Ames. Coach Steve Prohm says the Cyclones overcame a slow start with defense.The Cyclones had four players in double figures as they improve to 6-3 on the season.Next up for Iowa State is a meeting with Iowa on Thursday night at 7 o’clock, which you’ll hear on AM-1300 KGLO starting with the pre-game at 6 o’clock. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis had a season-high 50 points and the Los Angeles Lakers improved to a league-best 21-3 with a 142-125 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Davis was 20 of 29 from the field and made all 10 of his free throws to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. LeBron James had 32 points and 13 assists despite committing four fouls in the first half. Alex Caruso added 16 points as the Lakers won their fourth straight and improved to 10-2 at home. DES MOINES — The Mohawk Hockey Club fell at the Des Moines Oak Leafs 6-3 in Midwest High School Hockey League play on Saturday afternoon, as you heard on AM-1490/96.7-FM KRIB and kribam.com. Andrew Crane scored for the Mohawks in the second period while Ty Fisher and Zak Molstad scored in the third period. Mason City falls to 1-12 on the season and will travel to Waterloo on Friday before having their final-ever game at the North Iowa Ice Arena on Saturday when they host the Des Moines Capitals.