You didn’t think he would stop shooting, did you? Deshaun Thomas is in a slump. During Ohio State’s final two games of the Big Ten Tournament – wins against Michigan State and Wisconsin – the junior forward shot a combined 12-38 from the field. How does the Big Ten’s regular season scoring champion plan on getting himself out of his recent funk? By doing what nearly everyone who knows Thomas expects him to do: keep on shooting. “I do shoot my way out (of slumps). Just keep shooting. I want one to go down so bad,” a noticeably frustrated Thomas said Wednesday. At this time of the season, though, in a lose-and-go-home situation, can No. 2 seed OSU afford to have a potentially cold Thomas take the majority of the team’s shots? Well, yes and no. Yes if Thomas improves his shot selection. No if he jacks up jumpers similar to the ones he was taking at the United Center this past weekend. “The shots I’ve taken, they’re questionable. Well, some of them,” Thomas said. “(OSU’s coaches said) the bad shots you’ve taken, they’re killing your percentage.” Thomas averaged 17.3 points per game in Chicago and was named to the tournament’s first team alongside junior guard Aaron Craft, the Most Outstanding Player. But he shot 17-47 (36 percent) and 3-20 (15 percent) from 3-point range, well below his season averages of 44 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Tuesday, coach Thad Matta and his assistants began to break down film from their recent conference tournament run. One aspect of their review was trying to figure out what Thomas could improve on to better his shooting percentage. Their solution was fairly simple: for Thomas to stop forcing the issue. “The coaches have told me when a defender flies out, put it on the floor, pump fake, then shoot it,” Thomas said. “I’ve been really working on the percentage because the bad shots are killing my percentage.” Thomas’ teammates haven’t lost any confidence in their go-to scoring weapon. Following OSU’s 50-43 victory against Wisconsin in the tournament championship, in which Thomas shot 6-for-19, redshirt senior forward Evan Ravenel quickly brushed off any doubts surrounding his teammate. Ravenel said Thomas could just as easily “been 18 of 19.” Matta points to the critical shot of the game against MSU in the conference tournament’s semifinal as evidence for reason to be confident in his junior star. With OSU up two points, Thomas hit a jumper from the left elbow with 25 seconds remaining in the contest to all but secure a Buckeye victory. “When we needed one, he got it,” Matta said. It was NCAA Tournament time last season, after all, when Thomas skyrocketed from a capable scoring option to one of the country’s premier offensive players. During OSU’s Final Four run last year, Thomas averaged 19.2 points per game in five NCAA Tournament contests. He was named to the tournament’s All-East Region team following big games against Cincinnati and Syracuse. Thomas’ play vaulted him into NBA Draft talk before the Indiana native decided to return to Columbus for his junior year. Matta said he expects the experience Thomas and his team gained last March and April to pay dividends in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. “We talked about that as well,” Matta said. “Last year doesn’t give you a point, doesn’t give you a rebound, but it heightens your awareness a little bit of what it takes.” Thomas wasn’t the focus of opposing team’s defenses last season, however. Former OSU forward and two-time all-American Jared Sullinger received the majority of the attention from the defenses the Buckeyes faced. Thomas benefited greatly from it, often being on the receiving end of a kick-out pass from a double-teamed Sullinger. “Me and Jared, we played well together, two (big men), we read the defense, we knew when to pass it to each other,” Thomas said. “It was pretty much, pretty easy to score last year because everybody was focusing on him. I was just sitting back, being patient.” It’s different for Thomas now, who has become the player opposing teams like to double down on. “I try to be as patient as I can … Then again, I’m just trying to win,” Thomas said. He’s handled the pressure all season, leading the Buckeyes, and the Big Ten, in scoring at 19.5 points a game. Despite recent less-than-usual performances, Thomas said he is ready as ever to help propel OSU to a second Final Four in as many years. “I feel locked in. I’m just going to be ready. Whatever play is drawn up for me, I’m going to be ready to shoot,” he said. Thomas had, not surprisingly, just finished doing one of his favorite things. “I just got done putting shots up, they were going in. I’m just going to continue with my routine,” he said. OSU is set to take on No. 15 seed Iona at 7:15 p.m. in Dayton Friday. If the Buckeyes can get past the Gaels, they will take on the winner of the game between No. 7 seed Notre Dame and No. 10 seed Iowa State Sunday. With two wins, OSU will advance to the West Region semifinal, and possible final, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Ohio State then-freshman forward Emma Maltais (17) heads back out on the ice to start the second period of the game against Minnesota on Jan. 19. Ohio State won 3-2. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignNo. 5 Ohio State (3-1) lost its first game of the season in the second game of the weekend series against No. 8 Colgate (2-2) by a score of 5-2.Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said she saw a different team than the one that defeated the Raiders last night.“You don’t know why a team can play so dominant yesterday and the first 20 minutes of the first period and then disappear,” Muzerall said. “Against a good team like Colgate, they are going keep coming back at you, so you can’t wait until the third to try and win the hockey game.”Ohio State struck first less than eight minutes into the first period off a strike by sophomore forward Liz Scheppers to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. Senior forward Madison Field and redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne recorded assists on the goal. This assist was Dunne’s third on the season in only four games. Still early in the game, the Buckeyes extended their lead off a goal less than three minutes later when sophomore forward Tatum Skaggs scored her fourth goal of the season in as many games to make the score 2-0. Sophomore forward Emma Maltais received an assist on the play. However, momentum quickly shifted to Colgate as the game moved into the second period.Colgate struck back just 36 seconds into the second period to close the gap to 2-1 when freshman Nemo Neubauerova knocked a shot by freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli with an assist by senior defenseman Olivia Zafuto. Taking advantage of a power play, Colgate tied the game up at two all 5:10 into the second period off a power play goal by freshman forward Delani MacKay with assists by sophomore forward Malia Schneider and senior forward Jesse Eldridge.The domination of the second period by Colgate continued as a goal by senior forward Shae Labbe 14:59 into the second period gave Colgate the lead for the first time, 3-2. Senior forward Bailey Larson got an assist for the play. “It was unfortunate that we gave up in the second, which dominantly, we don’t,” Muzerall said. “We usually dominate the second period, so when we had such a great first period, I was very excited for the second knowing that we usually are in control of it, but Colgate came to win, and Saturday games are always tougher.”Throughout the entirety of the second period, Ohio State was held to just four shots on goal to Colgate’s 14. The Buckeyes outshot Colgate 19-8 in the first period. “I think our first period was great, but then Colgate came out flying in the second period,” Dunne said. “You got to give them credit, they are a national championship contender. They don’t quit, and they don’t give up. I think we were a little on our heels and they took advantage of that.”The Buckeyes continued to lose momentum, as with just 2:10 left in the third period, sophomore forward Coralie Larose added an insurance goal for Colgate to extend their lead to 4-2, marking the fourth goal that Braendli gave up. Larose was assisted by senior forward Bailey Larson and sophomore defenseman Shelby Wood.In Braendli’s first start of her collegiate career, she recorded 32 saves and gave up four goals. “If you look on the scoreboard, that doesn’t tell you everything if you watch the hockey game,” Muzerall said. “She couldn’t see two of the goals. We had way too much traffic and if we’re going to do that, we have to block it. The other two, you have to give Colgate credit. They scored four goals on us this weekend with that top shelf goal shot. Her angling was pretty good on both of them, they were just good shots.” Just over a minute later, senior forward Shae Labbe scored her second goal of the game with an empty net goal to make the score 5-2 and end all chances of an Ohio State comeback. “I don’t think you ever put yourself in a good position when you have to play desperate,” Dunne said. “We were given chances and we just got to capitalize. I think it’s opportunity for us to learn how to play when we’re down, and when we do need an extra goal, what do we need to do to get that.”
Juventus boss Max Allegri admitted the club played the best game of their season so far against Udinese suggesting they can build on their success onwards.The Bianconneri have made a perfect start to the campaign, winning all 10 competitive games, including the recent 2-0 away win to Udinese.“We worked hard to ensure we got off to a strong start this season. It was a difficult game, I think we played perhaps our best of the season, allowing Udinese practically nothing,” the Coach told Football Italia.Juventus confirm Mario Mandzukic could leave this month Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed reports that Mario Mandzukic could leave Juventus for a move to an unnamed Qatari team.“It could’ve been at risky fixture, but we showed great maturity and determination. The lads know what we are working on, at times we have been a little complacent after taking the lead, but we didn’t do that today.“Rodrigo Bentancur impressed me in midfield, both tactically and technically, then, of course, he scored the goal. I think above all, we are not too hasty, but move the ball around quickly and all over the field to make the most of the great technical qualities at our disposal.“The break for international duty came at the right time, though, as we needed a rest. We need to set new targets every time, which now is a series of clean sheets. If we don’t keep setting ourselves targets, we risk resting on our laurels.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery was full of praise for Bukayo Saka’s “big personality” after their 1-0 Europa League win against Qarabag FKThe 17-year-old winger made his full debut for the Arsenal senior team on Thursday night and impressed greatly in the second-half at the Emirates Stadium.In fact, Saka nearly capped off a superb performance by becoming the club’s youngest goalscorer in Europe after shooting the ball into Qarabag goalkeeper Vagner’s face in the dying moments.“Every young player, we have the responsibility to give them chances, first to train with us and to be demanding with their performances,” said Emery on Arsenal.com.“We give them these chances in the games like today, when we can do that. They show us in every match positive things.“Today Saka also played with a good performance, with a very big personality and we were speaking at half-time.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“His personality is very important for us to continue trying to go 1v1 and break lines with his quality.“He played with a very big personality and sometimes with a very good performance.“It’s very important for his confidence and for us also, because we can look at this player and see quality to help us.”Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal finished as Group E winners with 16 points from six games.The Gunners will next take a trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes rattling Paul Pogba is key to bringing out the best from the Frenchman.United continued their 100 perfect start to life since Solskjaer was appointed as caretaker manager in December following their 2-0 win against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.Pogba has been one of the most improved players since the Norwegian took over, with the World Cup winner scoring four goals and creating three assists in his last four games for the Red Devils.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.Solskjaer believes tapping into the aggression of the former Juventus star which was on display against the Magpies after being fouled by Jonjo Shelvey, has helped him rediscover his form for United.“You need to rattle Paul Pogba at times to get him going; he has been immense for us,” Solskjaer said, according to Standard.United face a tough game after their FA Cup third round tie at Reading on Saturday when they travel to Wembley Stadium to face high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.
Episode 8: Riley SchindlerThe Riley Schindler FileNumber: 4Full name: Riley Michele SchindlerNickname: RiClass: SophomorePosition: OutfielderBats/Throws: R/RHometown: Borden, Ind. High School: BordenTravel Team: OC EliteMajor: Sport AdministrationFun Fact: She was a cheerleader for eight years. Print Friendly Version The University of Louisville Softball Player Spotlight series features short interviews with each of the Cardinals’ players. Episode eight features sophomore Riley Schindler. Story Links