About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Jay Rodriguez loving the competition between Burnley strikersby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJay Rodriguez is loving the competition between strikers at Burnley.The summer signing has had to compete with Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes this season.He scored against Aston Villa on Saturday and speaking after the game, the Englishman said: “That is football and one of those things, you have to focus on what you can do and be ready when the time comes.”I always want more and more goals and to take every chance I can. I will keep my head down and work hard.”It is healthy competition and everyone has to stay patient and continue to work hard and effect what they can affect.”Woody and Barnesy are great lads and great footballers and they have made me feel really welcome.”I always want to learn off other players and every striker I play alongside.”
LONDON — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):8:30 a.m.Germany’s foreign minister says he’s relieved that Britain’s governing party stopped short of creating “total chaos” in the Brexit process, but is indicating that he still sees little chance of substantial concessions to London on its European Union divorce deal.Prime Minister Theresa May is expected at an EU summit Thursday after surviving a confidence vote by her party’s lawmakers, many of whom loathe the agreement. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Deutschlandfunk radio that “we now have another chance with Theresa May of her … getting a majority for this accord, which is a compromise between both sides.”Asked what could be done to secure British approval without renegotiation or legal changes, Maas replied: “Ultimately the British have to tell us that because, if there are proposals from Brussels now, no one can tell given the confusion in London whether it is enough to get a majority in the House of Commons.”___8:10 a.m.British Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking a lifeline from European Union leaders after winning a no-confidence vote triggered by Conservative lawmakers unhappy with her Brexit plan.May will ask the 27 other EU leaders at a Brussels summit Thursday for reassurances about the Brexit divorce deal that she can use to win over a skeptical British Parliament. The British leader scrapped a planned vote on the deal this week when it became clear she would lose.The bloc is adamant there can be no substantive changes to the legally-binding withdrawal agreement.On Wednesday evening, May survived a vote on her leadership from Conservative lawmakers by 200-117. The victory gives her a reprieve from domestic pressure but the size of the rebellion underscores the unpopularity of her Brexit plan.The Associated Press
Bhubaneswar: Several political families in Odisha are in the fray in the 2019 polls, with members of some either seeking re-election or crossing swords with their kin. In some cases, members of such families have been fielded by parties from different constituencies, including one in which the Congress has given a father the responsibility to retain an assembly seat and son to wrest a Lok Sabha seat from rival Biju Janata Dal (BJD). The assembly election will be held in Odisha along with the Lok Sabha polls in four phases – on April 11, 18, 23 and 29. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Kinship is evident in the Bolangir Lok Sabha seat, where sitting BJD MP Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo is pitted against his sister-in-law and former MP Sangeeta Singhdeo of the BJP. He is the son of former state minister A U Singhdeo and is seeking a re-election from the seat. For Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo, who won the Lok Sabha constituency in 2009 and 2014, the battle will be an interesting one. His father, now a BJD vice-president, has won all the state elections from the Bolangir assembly seat since 1990, but lost to Congress’s Narasingha Mishra in 2014. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Kalikesh Narayan Singhdeo has said he is hopeful of another victory because of the development work carried out by the BJD government in the past five years in the state. Sangeeta Singhdeo’s husband K V Singhdeo, the BJP legislature party leader and a former state minister, is fighting to retain the Patnagarh assembly segment as a saffron party nominee. In Sundergarh district, veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Hemanand Biswal’s two daughters are in the fray as nominees of opposition parties in Sundergarh district. While Sunita Biswal is a BJD candidate for the Sundergarh Lok Sabha seat, her younger sister Amita has been fielded by the Congress from the Sundergarh assembly segment. Amita claims the candidature of her elder sister as a BJD nominee will not affect the poll prospects of the Congress which has a strong base in Sundergarh. Family ties seem important in south Odisha, too, as the baton of BJD MP Jhina Hikaka has been transferred to wife Kausalya. She has been fielded by the ruling party from the Koraput (ST)Lok Sabha seat, currently held by Hikaka in the outgoing House. Kalyani Devi, the great granddaughter of erstwhile king of Paralakhemundi Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, will contest the election on a BJD ticket from the Paralakhemundi assembly seat. She is the daughter of Gopinath Gajapati, who was a two-time Congress MP from Berhampur. Congress stalwart and Leader of Opposition in the Odisha assembly Narasingha Mishra has been given a ticket from the Bolangir assembly constituency, while his son Samarendra Mishra will fight the general election from the Bolangir parliamentary seat. Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das has been fielded by the party from the Kalahandi Lok Sabha constituency, and his son Sagar Charan Das is the party’s candidate from the Bhawanipatna assembly seat. Similarly, George Tirkey is the candidate of the grand old party from the Sundergarh (ST) Lok Sabha constituency, his son Rohit Joseph has been fielded from Birmitrapur (ST) assembly seat, now represented by his father. Firebrand Congress leader Suresh Routray is a nominee from Jatni assembly segment, while his son-in-law Prasad Harichandan, former Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee chief, will vie for victory from the Satyabadi assembly constituency. Sisir Gomang, son of former Congress chief minister Giridhar Gamang, who is now in the BJP, has been fielded by the saffron party from Gunupur (ST) seat. Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik, who made his foray into the poll scene as the heir of legendary leader Biju Patnaik, will fight the assembly elections from Bijepur and home turf Hinjli. Naveen fought his maiden poll battle in 1997 in a by-election from the Aska Lok Sabha constituency and won the seat as a nominee of the erstwhile Janata Dal.The bypoll was necessitated following his father’s death. Thereafter, the BJD was formed and Patnaik scored victory in the Lok Sabha elections in 1998 and 1999 from the seat. The BJD supremo is now in the race for a fifth consecutive term as CM.
Maputo (Mozambique): A powerful cyclone smashed into northern Mozambique, leaving one person dead on Friday, barely a month after a super-storm hit the centre of the country, devastating the area and leaving hundreds dead. Category three Cyclone Kenneth, packing winds of 160 kilometres (100 miles) an hour, struck the north coast’s Cabo Delgado province late Thursday after swiping the Comoros islands. The United Nations warned of flash flooding and landslides as Mozambique’s emergency agency the INGC reported one person was killed by a falling coconut tree in the port city of Pemba, Cabo Delgado’s provincial capital. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USOn the tourist island of Ibo, 90 percent of homes for the 6,000 population had been flattened, according to a spokesman for the agency, Antonio Beleza. “I don’t expect to find my hotel undamaged,” said Swiss hotel owner Lucie Amr, who took refuge in Ibo’s fort alongside many local residents. The winds had reduced to about 70 kilometres an hour on Friday, according to the local meteorological institute, but heavy rains are forecast over the next 24 hours, raising fears of flooding and mudslides in Cabo Delgado, which borders Tanzania. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe UN World Food Programme (WFP) said over 600 millimetres (almost 24 inches) of rainfall was expected. That would be nearly double the amount accumulated in 10 days of rainfall that caused flooding in Beira, which was devastated during Cyclone Idai. The most powerful storm to strike the region in decades, Idai cut a path of destruction through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. It left more than 1,000 dead, causing damage estimated at around 2 billion (1.8 billion euros) “Although floodwaters have receded in most areas it (Idai)affected, access is still a challenge as infrastructure was severely compromised,” the WFP said. “This second cyclone is an additional blow for the people of Mozambique and bound to complicate the humanitarian response,” adding that it had already provided food aid to 1.3 million people after Idai. It said the government has made public buildings including schools available to people seeking shelter from the flooding and the WFP has “prepositioned” over 500 tonnes of food in Pemba. A helicopter is expected to arrived in Cabo Delgado when weather conditions allow as roads are expected to be impassable because of flooding, making food delivery difficult, it added.
Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said that authorities have arrested or killed all the militants responsible for the deadly Easter blasts, but warned that the country still faces the threat of ISIS terror attacks. Speaking in Parliament during a debate on the current security situation in the country, Wickremesinghe said all those directly linked to the Easter Sunday attacks were either killed or are in custody. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportNine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday. The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) for the bombings that killed more than 250 people. Wickremesinghe said investigations had revealed the bombers had direct or indirect links with Islamic State and the island nation needed sophisticated technology to deal with the threat posed by such terror networks. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protests”The danger is not over, we are now a victim of global terrorism,” he said. He said that Sri Lanka must work with the international community to face the global threat from terrorism. “Some assume working with the international community means bringing down foreign troops. That will not happen,” he said. His comments came as Sri Lankan police and military chiefs assured that the country is now safe and can get back to normalcy. Addressing a press conference on Monday night, the tri-forces commanders and the police chief said the security of the country following the April 21 bombings has been ensured with adequate measures and steps have been taken to implement a special security plan. Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Chandana Wickremaratne said that all those directly linked to the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels have been arrested or were killed. He also said that all the explosives believed to be linked to local Islamist outfit National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), blamed for the attacks, have been found.
Casablanca – Prince Moulay Hicham has seemingly lured the eyes of curious citizens into his life. A French citizen originally from the Maghreb was recently arrested in Paris for stalking him.A French citizen, Merzak Stephan, was recently arrested at Paris-Orly Airport for stalking Prince Moulay Hicham, according to the news website Alfapost. During a police interrogation, the suspect admitted that he worked for two Moroccans who had asked him to watch over the Prince.The Prince was checking in at the Royal Air Maroc’s office in Paris-Orly Airport when some employees noticed that three people were stalking the Prince, according to Alfapost. The French police arrested only one of the three stalkers, while the other two managed to flee. The arrested suspect subsequently admitted to working for two Moroccans who had assigned him the mission of stalking the Prince in Paris.According to the same source, the suspect told the police that he did not know the person he was stalking was a Moroccan prince until he was arrested.The police found pictures of Prince Moulay Hicham in the suspect’s phone and discovered that the suspect had criminal records. After checking surveillance cameras in shops nearby the hotel where the Prince was staying, the police discovered that the three suspects were stalking the Prince and taking pictures of his every move. The police are still unsure why the three suspects were stalking Prince Moulay Hicham. The identities of the Moroccans who sent these stalkers remain unknown.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
But the Question of Kobe has undeniably helped the analytics movement grow. Rather than pretending that basketball was baseball and settling on those initial narratives about supposedly inefficient star players, the second wave of basketball metrics tended to illuminate the first generation’s blind spots — namely, the dynamic aspects of the game, such as a player’s tangible on-court impact, how different skill sets complement one another and what value should be assigned to every bit of real estate on the floor. As a byproduct, the metrics came around again to the old-school realization that scoring workload matters — and few players in NBA history carried a bigger scoring burden than Bryant, particularly in his prime.Of course, some of the new stats co-signed longstanding doubts about Bryant’s game. Despite receiving 11 all-defensive team nods from 2000-01 to 2013-14, for instance, he was only in the 41st percentile of defenders by Real Plus-Minus over that timeframe. But others — such as his No. 4 overall ranking by offensive RPM in the same data set — confirmed that the true benefits of Kobe’s game were being masked by box score metrics wearing true-shooting blinders. Had today’s most cutting-edge metrics — like SportVU’s ability to track a shot’s difficulty (not just its efficiency) — existed during Bryant’s prime, we’d be able to interrogate questions like whether Kobe is the “best difficult-shot-maker” ever.In a lot of ways, we have Bryant to thank for the tools we have available to appreciate the full contribution of stars — like Russell Westbrook — who would have slipped through the cracks during that first wave of basketball analytics, because those tools were at least in part developed to make sense of Kobe.As the ink dries on this final, morbid chapter of Kobe’s career, even the most stats-savvy of analysts have to acknowledge Bryant’s all-time greatness. According to Value Over Replacement Player, a measure of total contribution that tries to emulate RPM for historical seasons,1For technical sticklers: VORP uses as its input Box Plus/Minus, which is premised on estimating a player’s RPM-style on-court effects in seasons before play-by-play data. Bryant ranks as the NBA’s 15th-best regular-season player since 1973-74 and its eighth-best in the playoffs, both of which track with the No. 12 all-time ranking he received in a recent ESPN poll of NBA experts.Those rankings are still probably not as high as many observers would place the Black Mamba. But they do represent a kind of compromise between the traditionalist viewpoint and the first wave of sabermetric assessments that harshly criticized Bryant for his relative lack of efficiency. Bryant’s game had its flaws, and he was certainly no Jordan, but he was a player of undeniable historical importance. His résumé speaks enough to the on-court portion of his legacy, but for statheads, Kobe’s career helps us track the evolution of basketball analytics over time, both in its reaction to his performance and its ability to capture the meaningfulness of that performance in the first place.Check out our latest NBA predictions. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed For a stathead such as myself, tracking Kobe’s career arc has been fascinating because it’s existed in near-perfect overlap with the lifespan of basketball analytics. When Bryant made his NBA debut, on Nov. 3, 1996, the field (if you could even call it that) was in an embryonic state. Dean Oliver and John Hollinger were proto-blogging in relative anonymity; the APBRmetrics forum — an early petri dish of smart basketball folks — wouldn’t even become a discussion group board for four-plus years; there was no Basketball-Reference.com, no Player Efficiency Rating, no Sloan Conference, no Nylon Calculus. Over the past 20 seasons, as Kobe’s career unfolded through its successes and growing pains, analytics did too, with the former serving as a touchstone — and lightning rod — for the latter.The stats were not always kind to Kobe, least of all in his perpetual, mythic struggle against Michael Jordan. Perhaps that comparison would have been less harsh in an earlier era, thanks to a similar ring count and a passing statistical resemblance, but the advanced metrics have consistently debunked the parallel. (They’ve essentially taken on the role of the old noodge at the bar or barbershop, reminding “kids these days” of their historical betters.) Kobe wasn’t nearly as efficient as Jordan, they’d remind; he’d likely never be as valuable no matter what the rings said. Likewise, the numbers always seemed to find some other contemporary upon whom to bestow the “Next Jordan” mantle, be it LeBron James or Dwyane Wade or even Tracy McGrady. As if chasing Jordan’s shadow wasn’t hard enough, the shadow seemed to be armed with the cold, compassionless weaponry of data.It didn’t help that hoops analytics went through its contrarian phase right around the time Kobe peaked. Every sabermetric movement has a period in which its sport’s sacred cows are officially on notice, and basketball’s came in the mid-2000s — known around these parts as the Hollinger Era — when Bryant embodied many bits of conventional basketball wisdom in need of rigorous auditing. Back then, it was fashionable to unearth the deep cuts, the guys like Carl Landry or Gerald Wallace or, uh, Landry Fields, who didn’t get as much play on SportsCenter but contributed efficiently within their roles. Obsessed with efficiency over context, many in the field downplayed the value of Kobe’s greatest skill — relentless, tireless scoring — and went so far as to suggest that an average player could have notched as many points if given the same number of opportunities. (Note: This is, and always was, insane.) Others raised more valid questions about Kobe’s reputation for clutch shooting and lock-down defense, and these cut more to the core of what fans wanted to know about him and players of his caliber. It was a crucial point for basketball stats; perhaps a fractious relationship between Kobe and stat-geekdom was simply the necessary collateral damage. By Neil Paine Kobe Bryant played his final game Wednesday and sent himself off in spectacular style by scoring 60 points (albeit on 50 shots from the floor). It was quintessential Kobe — grabbing the lead headline even on the night the Golden State Warriors set the all-time NBA record for single-season wins. Kobe could never fade quietly into retirement. Listen to our sports podcast, Hot Takedown, discuss the Warriors’ record-setting season. Embed Code
Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger gets most of the publicity for the Ohio State basketball team, but even the preseason All-American and player of the year candidate needs a break. That’s when junior forward Evan Ravenel comes off the bench. Replacing a player like Sullinger is undoubtedly difficult, but Ravenel has made the most of his opportunities, especially during OSU’s first test of the season against No. 7 Florida. Ravenel logged 14 minutes during the Buckeyes’ 81-74 victory over the Gators and played a key role coming off the bench. He showed a range of offensive skills, connecting on a long two-point field goal and showing the athleticism to finish an alley-oop from sophomore guard Aaron Craft. In all, Ravenel made all three of his shot attempts and finished with seven points and one rebound. Sullinger said Ravenel’s performance was nothing surprising. “The usual,” Sullinger said. “That’s what he does in practice. That’s the way he plays. He played really well today. Going three-for-three, took a big-time charge and a big-time rebound. That’s what he does.” It hasn’t been an easy journey for Ravenel. The forward from Tampa, Fla., started his career at Boston College but transferred to OSU after his freshman season. Because of NCAA rules, Ravenel was forced to give up a year of eligibility and sit out last year’s season. Ravenel said he was excited to finally get back on the court. “I’ve been patiently waiting to get back out there,” Ravenel said. “I feel like I’ve improved a lot over the last year by working with guys like Jared, (former OSU forward Dallas Lauderdale) and (former OSU forward David Lighty). I’ve been real anxious to get in the game.” Ravenel is not a go-to player for the Buckeyes, but OSU coach Thad Matta said he still has an important part to play on the team. “I thought Ravenel came in and really gave us great minutes,” Matta said. “Evan understands he has a role to fulfill on this team. As long as he continues to embrace that role and gets easy buckets , gets the rebounds … that’s big for us.” Ravenel is currently in Matta’s rotation as the first or second player to enter the game off the bench along with sophomore guard Jordan Sibert. He said he doesn’t mind his current role and feels he has a meaningful impact on the game. “I feel I bring intensity off the bench,” Ravenel said. “I come in and play hard and work on our defensible principles and do everything I need to do … to back up Jared and (sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas).” The Buckeyes next face Jackson State on Friday at the Schottenstein center at 9 p.m.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) throws the ball downfield in the third quarter of the Ohio State-Oregon State game on Sept. 1. Ohio State won 77-31. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorDwayne Haskins is no stranger to the big lights.In high school, the four-star prospect, according to 247Sports composite rankings, won back-to-back conference titles in Maryland’s Interstate Athletic Conference at Bullis School before committing to Ohio State.Then, in his redshirt freshman year for the Buckeyes, Haskins led Ohio State back with 17 unanswered points to defeat Michigan 31-20 when quarterback J.T. Barrett went down with an injury.Now with two collegiate starts, dominant victories in each, the redshirt sophomore quarterback faces his toughest challenge yet with No. 15 TCU.“I think they do a really good job,” Haskins said. “They’re a really experienced team, and we’re getting ready for them.”Haskins might be going into the biggest start of his Ohio State career, but in Wednesday’s interview, it seemed like any regular week.Though this will be his first time starting a primetime game or facing a ranked opponent, Haskins seemed incredibly calm about the entire situation.He said, regardless of the heightened pressure in the game, all he’s thinking about is how to win it.“I really haven’t thought about that,” Haskins said. “The biggest thing for me is to go win the game and that’s all I want to do.”So far this season, Haskins has proven to be calm and confident under center.In his first two collegiate starts, Haskins has completed 79.2 percent of his passes for 549 yards and nine touchdowns, with only one interception. This has, in part, led to the Ohio State offense averaging 64.5 points per game through its first two matchups.But, on Saturday night, in his third start, Haskins faces a TCU defense that has allowed only 9.5 points per game while holding opposing quarterbacks to the eighth-fewest passing yards per game in the NCAA.TCU head coach Gary Patterson has always held a defense-first approach, even in the offense-heavy Big 12 conference. Acting head coach Ryan Day complimented the depth that TCU’s defense holds against his inexperienced quarterback.“Coach Patterson has done a great job. They have all the answers,” Day said. “They make quick adjustments. They know exactly how you’re trying to attack them, so very, very talented group.”The Horned Frogs will give the Buckeyes their first real challenge, their first major opponent after handedly defeating Oregon State and Rutgers.But an outside viewer would never be able to tell that Haskins, a quarterback who just made his first two starts at Ohio State, is about to go up against one of the highest-ranked defenses in the nation on Saturday.Instead, Haskins said if anything rattles him, it’s his dogs, and maybe some school work.“Probably the biggest thing is homework,” Haskins said. “Having to take my dogs out and pick their, you now, stuff up, that gets me pretty riled up.”
Zinedine Zidane reportedly wanted to vacate his role as Real Madrid manager back in FebruaryThe Frenchman stunned the football world in May by announcing that he had decided to leave Los Blancos, just five days after he had led the club to a third consecutive Champions League title.Since that shocking moment, Zidane has been regularly linked with replacing the under-fire Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.But now Marca claims that Zidane had decided to leave Real in February and was very close to leaving on the same month.Zidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.This came in light of Los Galacticos’ shock Copa del Rey exit at the hands of the lowly Leganes.However, Real president Florentino Perez and his right-hand Angel Sanchez managed to convince Zidane to stick it out for the remainder of the season.Zidane won 104 of his 149 games in charge of Real with a win percentage of 69% after replacing Rafael Benitez in January 2016.